Grow Your Business Online
Make Money Doing What You Love
SproutSpire is for people who are passionate about growing their business through online marketing.
I’m here to help you with Blogging, Content Marketing, Websites, Social Media, Business & Entrepreneurship, and Digital Strategies for your business.
I provide Website Services, including Website Design, SEO and Social Media Strategies, and Coaching.
With over 14 years experience designing websites and online marketing, SproutSpire is here to grow your business and it’s online profile.
Based in Brisbane, Australia, but servicing the world, we aim to provide your small business personalised service to take it to the 21st century.
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Who Started SproutSpire?
Hello, I’m Carlie Hamilton, and I started SproutSpire in 2013. I have been designing websites and blogging since 1999.
In 2002 I was featured in The Sunday Mail, a national newspaper in Australia, for my blogging. The same year I was contacted by another newspaper – I forget which – but as it was my graduation day from High School I couldn’t take the interview.
From 2007 – 2010 I ran a highly successful Japanese Language and Culture website. I also have several niche sites that I make a bit of money off.
Connect To SproutSpire
I remember when I started making websites. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was 1999 and I was in high school. I was in the “gifted and talented” (ha!) program at school, which was a very small amount of people from grades 8, 9 and 10. Lucky for me, my then-boyfriend was also a part of this group. In G&T we were to take on a project of our own choosing. My boyfriend was going to create a webpage, and me, being a strong independent young lady, did that too.Carlie’s First Website
Little did I know that this small project would change my life. I remember going around to my boyfriend’s house so he could show me how to close a HTML tag. After that something clicked, and I created a super awesome Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan page, equipped with a scrolling stake across the screen. I wish I had a screen shot of it, but it was purged from Geocities long ago, and my only copies now exist on long forgotten 3 1/2 inch floppy.
Blogger Is Born
Back in those days I joined a community of young teenage webdesigners who were doing their thing. You would ask someone who had hosting for a subdomain on their hosting package, and people would let you out of the kindness of their hearts on their server. Usually they would only let you if you made great websites. I can’t even remember if I used a CMS or if I was doing everything from scratch. I was hosted by various people, one of which is still a friend to this day. Eventually I wanted my own space, I made the plunge to get my own domain.
It was something like crazy-goddess-x.com
Now I can see why my mum was worried.
At the time I thought it suited me to a t. I was crazy, I was a goddess, and the “x” meant that there was a bit of a mystery/it could be anyone.
Over the years I would abandon old sites in turn for new names. I remember using Movable Type, and I would take a blank template and code everything myself from scratch in notepad. I taught myself everything to do with webdesign, although I have always been creative and visual with a bit of an eye for good design. Another domain name that I remember was pinksugar.net. I had that one when I was going through grade 12, which was not an easy year for me. I came up with my best stuff that year, I believe. That year I was also contacted by two Australian newspapers in regards to my blogging. They didn’t publish my name as I was under age, but I kept the newspaper.
In 2007 I started my first “serious” website that wasn’t a personal website. Weird choice of name, but I have had the “GoddessCarlie” name for a while on the internet. I was very interested in Japanese culture, Japanese live dramas and the Japanese language, and so I made this website into a Japanese themed website. It was about my journey to learn Japanese, and became very popular. I had an amazing ride with that website – I met some fantastic people, both online and offline. I got so much free stuff! I also earnt some money from affiliate sales and advertising. It was great, but there was one problem.
I never took it seriously.
It was always just a fun hobby with a vague goal of one day having my own products to sell.
I never took it that step further. I had a mailing list at one time, and I got together with a group of people to start a podcast that never got off the ground. I took online courses to improve, which I did, but I just never got it up to a full time income because I never tried.
In 2009 I moved to Japan, and was so busy living life that GoddessCarlie.com was neglected. What a bummer, that would have been the perfect opportunity to really pull in a huge crowd. I was living the Japan dream that a lot of my audience dreamt about. GC.com did grow to some record numbers during this time when I sporadically posted. But I had lost the heart of it.
After I got back, I continued to blog on GC.com but about other random things that interested me, and which totally alienated my old audience. I didn’t mind. I was trying to find my feet again. I couldn’t give up blogging, but I didn’t know what direction to take.
It wasn’t until the end of 2012 that I started thinking about trying to work for myself on the internet. I still didn’t know what I wanted, but I knew I wanted to work for myself. I had become a qualified teacher and I loved helping people. I started to explore blogging seriously, and I started producing my own videos. I started bringing in a bit of an audience but I wasn’t really solving any problems or had any kind of direction at all. I briefly experimented with a niche site, but quickly lost interest; I prefer building authority websites, although that one niche site is bringing in a bit of money which is nice.
SproutSpire Journey Begins
In March 2013 I began to think that I could start my own webdesign business. I got it all set up and going mid April, and SproutSpire was born. You can read about how I chose the name “SproutSpire”. I knew I wanted to help people grow their online presence.
My intention when I opened up this web design business was that I would get out of web design as soon as possible. My dream isn’t to build websites for other people. My dream is to help other people. Help other people help themselves. What I want to get out of SproutSpire is to help and inspire other businesses get a website and grow their business through the use of the internet.
If I look back over my past, for a long time I have been blogging. All my life I keep coming back to blogging. I am a blogger. I want to help other people become effective bloggers. Right now that is my goal.