We're an affiliate.
We hope you love the products/services we recommend on Just Van Life! So you know, there is the possibility we will collect a commission should you make a purchase via any of our links. This will in no way affect the purchase price. Thank you for your support, we really appreciate it!
Progress continues! The first order of business for the day was a brief overview of some of the competition, I went and did some browsing on whats out there vanlife wise in terms of website builds. The first thing I noticed was I’m kind of already jumping ahead in terms of scope, most van websites even the ones with tutorials seem to be pretty basic the landscape seems to primarily dominated by small personal bloggers, which makes sense given the nature of the topic.
Though I was surprised by the sheer number of personal blogs, most of them of course not being built by someone with web design and marketing experience they were nothing more than free shell templates provided by WordPress. This bodes well for my goal, as I have plans to take over several of the main search terms related to vanlife it will be rather easy to outrank them on google with a few months of work and a strong presence I can easily overtake them!
After seeing what was out there, I then reviewed what I had done so far. As with any website I’ve built they are constantly evolving and after the page I made yesterday really impressed me I decided to use it as a pseudo template for most of the “Van Life” sections content. So I went back and tweaked the design of the Vehicles page to match that of the build page. No one likes a website that flip flops with it’s design and now that I have fleshed out an aesthetic I’m going to stick to it for the time being. Undoubtedly it will progress as time goes on and I become more familiar with DBL but for now this is the look!
I went through the content I had created in advance, made some edits and did a bit of brainstorming as to how I would build this page out. As construction is much more of a personalized affair I pegged down the few things that everyone doing van construction would need to do before getting to any sort of specified customizations. The first of those is, of course, the gutting process. Everyone no matter what their later build is about needs to at the bare minimum strip out the seats and paneling (if insulating!) making it the first thing on my list for them to complete.
Sticking to the same design style, insulation is the next thing that the vast majority of vanlifers will be dedicating themselves to after gutting the van. As I’ve already written a slew of content on insulation I had to go through it and decide on what would be put into which part (the guide from vehicles or here), I will have to write some more content definitely now that insulation appears in two places so this section I’ve decided to dedicate directly to the actual act of insulation with some tutorials and guides whereas the build page will be more of an academic lesson on the principles of insulation.
Here was where I had some trouble deciding on how to format the rest of the page, I realized that from this point everyone will really start to branch off in terms of build variety. Originally I had intended to have a section for each trade here with some guides for each, and possibly as time goes on I will update and adapt this page for exactly that. However, after some brainstorming, I decided to simply reinforce the blueprint idea, most people even having gone through the tutorial on the prior page about blueprinting won’t have a blueprint and ideally, I’d like to prompt as many of them as I can to actually build one.
For those that do have a blueprint, this section is going to be all about putting together the different components of your blueprint in a logical fashion, for instance, should they complete the electrical work before plumbing, or the carpentry before hydraulics? Many will not have actually considered the order in which they need to complete each of these projects, so here I’ll be doing my best to guide them towards a proper order and avoid them running into the terrible issue of realizing they need to remove half of the stuff they installed because they forgot to hook up the portholes for their lights ahead of time.
You can’t see it from the picture, but I spent probably more time than I should have to put together a scrolling image, I figured at this point people would have some sort of vision of what they wanted so I found the absolute nicest (in my humble opinion) van interior I could find and used it as motivational prompt for those scrolling through stressed about the work they are about to undertake. At least I’ll know how to do it faster in the future… 😅
I went and did a bunch of digging through as many Youtube vanlife tutorials as I could find stuffing them into a nice notepad file, there is so much great content out there already I want to do my best to showcase as many different guides covering a wide variety of topics as possible. I, of course, would like to have my own tutorial content series at some point but that’s for a day in the future of course with a nice custom-designed piece of art with a Yoda quote!
The last bit of course was the standard weekly newsletter & CTA grouping at the bottom, layered above is the start of the custom van affiliate section. The ultimate goal here being to pair up with the aforementioned companies and as many others as I can, for those who want to live the van life but don’t trust their own craftsmenship or simply can’t be arsed to actually build the damn thing themselves they are a viable alternative. I’d like to one day be able to provide referrals to them through my website and recieve a kickback from the profits of each sale I send them, though that’s definitely a long ways away…
Now that the three core pieces of the Van life section are finished, tomorrow I’ll be working on the more “flavourful section”, Travel!