Hi! I’m Josh Robbs, the founder of Rust Belt Webworks.
To understand me and RBW, you need to understand a few landmark events in my life.
I born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. It’s the poster child of the Rust Belt. It’s a city that was decimated by the loss of 1 industry.
Other companies better leveraged technology and put our local companies out of business.
In the late 90’s, I saw the power of fast information exchange. It was around Halloween. We took photos of my son in his Tigger costume, had them quickly developed, scanned the photos, and emailed them to the grandparents on the other side of the country. Yes, it took hours between 1-hour photo development and using a bulky scanner and sending images on a dial-up internet connection. But that was a miracle of modern science by 90s standards.
Around the same time, I built my first website and things really fell into place in my mind. The ability to “quickly” share knowledge and information was going to be at the heart of the next revolution.
From 2002 to 2008, I built dozens if not hundreds of websites testing different software platforms from phpNuke to Xoops to Joomla. I had tried WordPress, I found it powerful enough to run a blog, but not powerful enough to serve as the foundation of a content marketing system. In 2008, I gave WordPress another try. It had grown up and I’ve been using it ever since.
Package that up and what do you get?
You get someone who understands the consequences of falling behind in the technological arms race and has a solution.
I believe that small business owners will face an uphill battle unless they use modern marketing tactics and tools.
I believe the answer is a content marketing strategy built on a WordPress platform
That intersection is where I’ve planted my flag.
So why Rust Belt? If the Rust Belt is a symbol of loss, why name your company after it?
I didn’t experience the fall of Youngstown. I grew up in the aftermath.
My generation was too young to have jobs to lose. We simply never had anything but the stories of the way things were.
The generations before me, they have a different perspective. Many of them think “Rust Belt” is outdated and negative.
I think the term is under new management. Many of my generation think it represents the spirit that the area was built on.
We believe that the Rust Belt represents a gritty, never-say-die work ethic. We believe that it represents the ability to take a punch and keep on fighting.
I reflect that in my design. Above all else, your website has to work for you. It doesn’t have to be cool or pretty. It has to work.
And a website works when it gets out of the way and lets your work do the talking.