Today I'm presenting "Six Figure Freelancing" at WordCamp San Diego. Learn how to make the transition from full-time employee to full-time freelancer AND earn at least $100K per year.
Thank you. — Thanks for sticking around and sharing an hour of your time with me this afternoon. I know these last few sessions on Sunday’s aren’t always the easiest ones to make it to, so thanks for sticking around to hang out with me today. Like the guy who introduced me just said, my name is Nathan Reimnitz but online I go by a far less German — and much easier to spell — alias, Nathan Ello.
Now, before we dive into this session I’ve got one quick announcement to make…
Next month (April 2017) I’ll be launching my first online course which explores everything from this session in far greater detail. So, if you like what you hear from me today I’d encourage you to sign up for my newsletter, or follow me on Twitter, and you’ll receive a coupon to take my class for half price.
Okay, so, first things first, I think it’s important that we all get to know one another… And I suppose since I’m the one up here on stage that I should probably go first.
So, let’s get to know me… Well, I’ve been a developing websites for a little over 10 years now, and here’s what my personal journey as a
A run down of the best places to get help and support with WordPress in 2017.
Ever wish there was a WordPress customer service number you could call? Like whenever you hit a snag, just call up and say, “Hey Mr. WordPress, fix my site please”. That would be pretty awesome, right? There’s just one problem… It doesn’t exist. At least not officially.
But the fact that there’s no official WordPress customer service for the self-hosted version doesn’t mean there aren’t places you can get help with WordPress. There are plenty of WordPress support services out there. And that’s what I’ll be digging into in this article.
Most of the WordPress support services you’ll encounter come in two flavors:
I’ll cover options for both types of services in this article.
Do You Need a WordPress Maintenance Service or Customization Service?
Some services span both categories. But generally, services usually specialize in one or the other.
So which one do you need? Here are some scenarios to help you pick the right one:
If you’re already happy with your WordPress site’s functionality and just want someone to take care of housekeeping details like updates,
Really excellent article from Jason Cohen, CTO & founder at WPEngine, about why big companies buy small ones
Large companies don’t acquire small companies for their financials. Revenue multiples, profit multiples, premium over the previous financing — these are metrics used by sellers to help determine a minimum acceptable price. That’s the price that “pays for” enough foreseeable upside that it’s not worth rolling the dice against future troubles or the unlikelihood of an exit.
Large acquirers don’t care about small-company financials because mathematically those won’t affect the growth or value of the acquirer. A company with $100m/yr in revenue growing 30% annually won’t go through the effort, risk, and distraction of buying a company with $1m/yr in revenue growing 100% annually, because that’s only a piddly 1% or maybe as much as 2% of additional growth.
Rather, buyer behavior is rooted in their strategy — a combination of product thesis, their theory of their market’s evolution, how they need to position for customers and against competitors, their long-term brand development, geographic expansion plans, and so on.
From this foundation, they’re constantly asking: “How can we execute our existing strategy,
"You see, EDD is seen around the WordPress community as this great plugin that is wildly successful and a model to look up to in the commercial plugin ecosystem. While this is a reputation that we take great pride in, the honest truth of the matter is our team has struggled with EDD for months because in many ways it has felt like a sinking ship."
On December 14, 2016, my team and I pushed a significant change to our Easy Digital Downloads products: we increased the price on all extensions by 50-250%. Yes, you read that right: up to a 250% price increase on certain plugins. This change was done for a number of reasons, which I will get into shortly, and has resulted in a very interesting last three months. Since I have always been very open with my company’s financials, I would like to now share some reflections on the change that we made and to also share some of the aftermath of the change. The backstory
Since the beginning of Easy Digital Downloads, and I imagine many products, customer support has always been our biggest challenge. Taking care of customers is hands down the most difficult job in the company. It is ripe with challenging problems to solve, long hours, relentless flows of new tickets, on-going conversations that spread not only over days but even weeks and months. Providing good and, when possible, great customer support is, to put it simply, exhausting.
There have been many times over the last 5-7 years where I thought to myself I’m sick of this; I just can’t keep taking care of these people,
Big news! WP Rocket is now a WP Engine preferred caching plugin. You can now speed up your website with EverCache and WP Rocket.
We have some big news! These past few weeks, we’ve been working with the wonderful folks over at WP Engine toward a one-of-a-kind partnership. WP Engine has an incredible EverCache layer that helps your load time performance on the server side. Coupled with WP Rocket this setup makes most WordPress websites load FAST. That’s great news for you, for your visitors, for us, for WP Engine and even for Google! We know the search engine has been trying to make the web faster for a long time.
Entering The WP Engine Preferred Plugin Program
WP Rocket is now part of the WP Engine Preferred Plugin Program. Previously, WP Engine was known to ban caching plugins because these plugins created caching conflicts with the EverCache layer.
We discussed earlier on our blog that one of the biggest lessons we learned as a company is that you have to play nice with others. For WP Rocket, it means being compatible with many other service providers, themes, plugins, hosts out there.
We optimized our plugin to be compatible with the WP Engine platform. Some parts of the caching is deactivated to make sure that it does not create any issues with the EverCache technology. This way, we can ensure
I don't even have words for this. GoDaddy is becoming an unstoppable behemoth, and that is scary. (And yes, I know where I'm saying this).
Authored by Daniel & Tony We are happy to announce that as of today Sucuri will be joining the GoDaddy family.
This acquisition will bring the best of both worlds. It will allow us to expand our product-line to all GoDaddy customers, while also remaining true to our foundation supporting all our current and future customers.
Since our inception our goal was simple: protect our customers websites – at all costs. This was built on the premise that every website owner should be able to deploy enterprise-grade security, without the enterprise-grade costs. Our approach to achieving this was to build things that delivered real value, while simultaneously staying ahead of the emerging threats.
Joining GoDaddy allows us to achieve this goal at a much larger scale than the one we are currently at. As a product company, this is the greatest challenge!
What Does this Mean for Sucuri?
We will continue to operate as is. What you can expect however are improvements to our processes and more resources to enable us to continue to invest in the things we love – our team, our customers and our product.
What Does this Mean for Sucuri Customers?
There are no changes to our customers.
There are a lot of great points here. I never looked at the terms from Squarespace, but good to know that downside to its service.
If you’ve landed on this post because you’re deciding whether to go with WordPress or Squarespace, let me make your decision easier for you: choose WordPress every time. While both provide a platform for you to build a website, they are vastly different. WordPress is used by more than 27% of all websites on the internet while Squarespace, on the other hand, powers 1.2 million websites. WordPress is available both as hosted and self-hosted options (we’ll dig into that further down), while Squarespace is available only as a hosted version.
In this post, I’ll go through the 27 reasons why self-hosted WordPress is the clear winner over Squarespace every time.
Reason #1: Free to Download
The WordPress software is open source and free to download for use on the web host or server of your choosing.
On the other hand, Squarespace isn’t flexible – you’re stuck with their hosting, which is strictly on Squarespace’s servers.
Reason #2: Build Upon the Software
WordPress has a GPL 2.0 license, which means you’re free to poke around the code and make changes that suit your needs, so long as you’re willing to share your changes with others
Learn more about how things changed, how many people stick with a theme and our further plans.
Welcome to the 25th edition of our monthly transparency report (for February 2017). In this series, I try to cover everything that’s been going on at CodeinWP and ThemeIsle – from a business point of view, plus all things related (marketing, management, behind the curtains stuff). Click here to see the previous reports. Getting out of my comfort zone … with some outside help
Every now and then, I like to spend some quality time talking with other entrepreneurs and business owners in the online realm. Regardless if WordPress-related or not.
And I don’t mean stuff like, “hey, how’s it going?” -kind of talks. I mean deep and sometimes lengthy conversations about strategies, visions, plans, projects, everything. The more in-depth the better.
Just imagine, the person you’re talking with has lived with their business for X years, they have learned and experimented a lot, they have made their mistakes, they have come to conclusions that you couldn’t have come to unless you had clocked in your hours with the business. So now into the picture come you, and you can get the highlight reel of all those hours in mere 1/100th or 1/1000th of the
Jetpack Introduces Theme Installation from WordPress.com, Sparks Controversy with Alternative Marketplace for Free Themes
Interesting and understandable move. Open source is great until there's not enough people leading and contributing. Then you end up with a marketplace that has a wait time a mile long, and the competition, even from within its own heart, does an end-around to bypass the wait.
Jetpack Introduces Theme Installation from WordPress.com, Sparks Controversy with Alternative Marketplace for Free Themes
Today Jetpack announced that its users now have access to a collection of 165 free themes from WordPress.com. Jetpack users can browse, preview, and activate themes by visiting the WordPress.com Theme Showcase. WordPress.com has also added the ability for Jetpack users to upload a theme from its interface as well, a feature that targets those who are heavily using Jetpack Manage instead of the WordPress admin. Many of the free themes are already available from Automattic’s account on the WordPress.org Themes Directory, but the limitations of the preview functionality doesn’t present themes in their best light. The Theme Review Team added a new rule last year that theme authors can only upload one theme at a time and will have to wait for it to pass through the queue before submitting another. This severely restricts individuals and companies that are prolific theme authors, requiring them to wait months in the queue. Authors can realistically expect to only publish one or two themes per year on WordPress.org.
After Zerif Lite, one of the most popular themes on WordPress.org, was suspended for five months for violations of content portability requirements, Matt Mullenweg
In order to get to know how business owners within the WordPress ecosystem usually build their morning or daily routine, I spoke with 11 successful entrepreneurs and WordPress business owners who have developed some daily routines. I hope you will find it useful!
Being an entrepreneur and owning a business can require a high level of self-discipline, especially when you are the "Rocket Commander" within your company and the only one that has to make sure everything is going well. Usually, the way you start the day will generally determine the type of the day you will have, and I think one of the best things is to develop a morning or daily routine and keep up with it.
At the same time, we should say that not everyone has the same morning routine because some business owners already have a family, some have kids, other don't, so everyone have to figure out what works for them.
In order to get to know how business owners within the WordPress ecosystem usually build their morning or daily routine, I spoke with 11 successful entrepreneurs and WordPress business owners who have developed some daily routines. Therewith, I could understand how they boost their productivity, which is the first thing they do in the morning to kick start the day and what keeps them motivated on what they do.
Below you will find a lot of interesting insights and life-hacks about the day-to-day routine of some successful WordPress business owners.
About the rise of WordPress compared with that of the most popular visual website creation platform - Wix. The competition between the two, and what's coming in the next few years.
Web design platforms have been competing in a race that has been going on for over 14 years, and some signs are starting to show the race drawing to a close, with one of the two main contenders taking the throne. These two contenders, WordPress and Wix, are sparing no expense in their mutual attempts to be crowned the most popular website creation platform in the World.
To fully understand how each side had arrived to this point in the battle, one must go back to the first launch of WordPress, back in 2003.
The rise of WordPress
In the early days of the internet, a website was basically a bunch of static pages that resided within the same domain. Later, programming languages like Dot Net and Java were introduced, allowing the creation of much more complex websites.
The websites written in these programming languages were built as a closed circuit, meaning you had to rely on your developer to get even the smallest changes done. The developer was the only one with access to the site – front and back.
That closed circuit was apparent when it came to the services required to manage the site, including hosting servers and web design software. In the case of dot net, for instance, you
How to turn those dreadful places in your WordPress plugin or theme where you could be losing users into places that end up increasing the value of your customers. unConversions.
You’ve probably read a lot about conversion rate optimization (CRO), the practice of testing user experiences to encourage visitors to take actions that drive value. If you care about your WordPress plugin or theme business, you’ve been A/B testing landing pages, newsletter subscribe pages, in-plugin/theme upsell messaging, and any other place where visitors could give you money.
Did you know you can actually encourage users to do absolutely nothing and have an even BIGGER impact on your bottom line?
Encouraging users to do nothing can result in higher profits per customer and a much more efficient use of your advertising dollars. Money for nothing and clicks for free!
What is uCRO?
uCRO or “unconversion rate optimization” is the practice of testing user experiences to encourage users to *not* take actions which detract from profitability.
Unlike CRO which focuses attention at the top of the funnel, uCRO focuses attention on keeping customers from dropping out the other end by discouraging actions like canceling your recurring services, uninstalling your plugin/theme, requesting refunds, or increasing your operational expenses.
By focusing on both ends of the
About the evolvement of WordPress from a blogging tool to an independent application platform, and the huge benefits of going SaaS with your next WP plugin or theme.
The cloud concept has evolved dramatically in the last decade, and it has opened new gateways for businesses. The rapidly diversifying world of SaaS (software as a service) solutions illustrate the value of cloud technology. In fact, according to Forbes, “cloud-based business application services revenue forecasts the market growing from $13.5B in 2011 to $32.8B in 2016, attaining a 19.5 percent CAGR.”
WordPress, which currently powers more than 27 percent of the entire internet, combined with the SaaS application model, opens up an entire world of opportunity.
Using a SaaS Model for a WordPress Product
Because WordPress is open source, developers are continually working to make it better. It’s hard to believe that a simple blogging tool has emerged as an independent application platform. Using SaaS with WordPress is not a new concept. People have already tested the model with custom post types, themes, frameworks, and more.
A lot of plugins can be difficult for beginners to learn how to use. If developers opt for a SaaS solution, the onboarding process becomes easier and users of all skill levels will have a better understanding of the features offered by the plugin.
They are launching a subscription program as a way to monetize the service.
Join us in changing what stories get told I’d like you to be among the first to become a Medium member, a new subscription program we’re launching today to a limited number of people. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling it out to everyone, but for now, this post is unlisted, and we’re only inviting those who meet certain criteria to sign up.
In this post, I want to take you behind the scenes and share our thinking on membership, so you can join us on this journey from day one.
First, the basics: Medium will remain the best place to share ideas that matter and to find independent voices and fresh perspectives — for free. For members, it will get better. For $5 per month (introductory price), you’ll get two upgraded aspects:
A better reading experience: We’ve been working on a whole new reading experience, which I’m excited for you to see. It’s based on the premise that, instead of yet another never-ending feed, people would be much happier with a limited set of carefully curated stories, chosen by experts among topics we care about. Something that is completable, satisfying, and puts you in control. If you read Medium regularly,
Very interesting thoughts on the freemium model in the WordPress ecosystem by Josh Pollock, the founder of the rapidly growing Caldera Forms plugin.
Two years ago, I started a WordPress plugin company. I thought if we made cool stuff people would like it, and therefore buy them and we’d have a bunch of money. I was a bit naive, to say the least. This was my first time selling anything online besides my development services. However, our first month only brought in about $350, which was not exactly what I was expecting. It shouldn’t have shocked me because I wasn’t focusing on what problem my plugin could solve for people. I also didn’t know that Caldera Forms, not our Pods add-on would become our flagship product.
This was a problem because Caldera Forms was not the centerpiece of a freemium business. It was a really cool plugin with a ton of potential. Now it’s a really cool plugin that a lot of people love, but most of those people don’t need the paid add-ons for payments or list building.
It’s a great plugin for contact forms, and it’s awesome people use it for free. But putting a free plugin out there “for the good of the community” and hoping to cash in on it later isn’t a plan that is likely to lead to a sustainable business. Without cash-flow to support a plugin,
With an aim to take the blindfold off of WordPress theme authors' eyes - Insights for Themes, by Freemius, is announced.
Today, we’re officially announcing the release of our insights and analytics solution for WordPress theme authors: Freemius Insights for themes – yeah baby! In case you have never heard of the Freemius Insights solution before – it’s an easy-to-use BI tool that provides comprehensive details and metrics about your WordPress product users & usage. Once you integrate it into your product, your users are prompted by an opt-in screen that asks approval to capture their user-data. Then, that data is automatically saved and filtered for you to make use of.
What’s all the excitement about?
Well, up until now, Freemius Insights was only available for WordPress plugin authors, but…
Insert drum roll, please…
Freemius Insights is now officially available for WordPress THEMES, too!
The Freemius team has been hard at work on being able to provide complete analytics and user data for theme authors in the past few months. We have been discussing it with many WordPress theme authors who have expressed an urgent need to use it with their WordPress themes.
Everybody knows that data about WordPress theme users is not something that is easy to come by when
An extensive checklist of ways you can improve the SEO on your WordPress site in 2017. Chances are that you aren't doing some of these things yet.
Some might lead you to believe “SEO is dead.” Google that search term and what comes back in return is over 800,000 search results. However, just because SEO has changed drastically over the past decade doesn’t mean it is dead, it simply means it has changed. Businesses now have to take new and unique approaches to SEO to win the never-ending game in SERPs. Many bootstrap companies and blogs build their entire business from the beginning off of organic search. While this may be risky, it still is a sign that organic search is alive and well. In this in-depth post we are going to share with you 45+ WordPress SEO tips to help skyrocket your traffic and hopefully help you dominate your competition. WordPress SEO Tips 2017
70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results. – imFORZA
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the methods and or strategies used to rank a website and content higher in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to result in more organic traffic. There are really two sides to SEO, the first is the technical part of it and the second can sometimes be more of a natural branding play among online businesses.
WP Rocket reached a huge milestone: our plugin is active on more than 200K websites! We thought we’d share lessons learned along the way to this milestone.
We created WP Rocket in 2013. A little over 3 years later, we are happy to announce that more than 200,000 WordPress websites are running with WP Rocket on board! Here’s what we learned on our way to speeding up so many websites:
1. You can do good and still make money
When we entered the market, the main WordPress caching solutions were free plugins. Why would people pay for something that’s already free? Well, it turns out that customers aren’t looking for free at all costs. Someone told us recently that we had a knack for finding great solutions to what people need.
The lesson we learned building WP Rocket is that you can do good and still make money. No shame in that. Today, we are at version 2.9.7. of our plugin and keep improving every day. 6 months ago we wrote a blog post to celebrate our 3 year anniversary. In it we were celebrating our 100,000 sites using WP Rocket milestone.
A little more than 6 months later, we doubled the number of websites that have WP Rocket installed. 16,000 WordPress websites install WP Rocket per month.
We’ve achieved these incredible milestones while maintaining our core company values. We still get up every morning with the
Getting tons of traffic to your website is always good, but generally if the traffic doesn’t convert to something, it's simply a waste of time and effort. Check out these 12 different CRO tips to help increase sales and sign ups on your WordPress site.
Getting tons of traffic to your website is always a good thing, and something we all crave for our businesses and blogs. But if the traffic doesn’t convert to something, such as a sale, an eBook download, or signup to your email list, then there really is no point. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as perhaps a news site generating income from AdSense or a business specifically trying to generate buzz around their brand. But 99% of the time, you need your traffic to convert, otherwise, it is simply a waste of time and effort. Today we are going to explore 12 different conversion rate optimization tips to help increase your sales and sign ups. What’s a Good Conversion Rate?
Some people may wonder what a good conversion rate is, however, this is a very difficult thing to answer as every niche and industry varies. WordStream did an analysis of over 100 of their client’s accounts and they discovered that a good conversion rate generally hovers around 2% to 5%. However, there is also a small portion of advertisers out there getting much higher conversion rates.
But it is very hard to say what a good conversion rate really is when doing a direct comparison. Those
What is an SSL certificate? Do I need one on my website/eCommerce? How much will it cost me? Get all the answers to these questions (and more) in this in-depth guide for WordPress business owners.
Everyone on the World Wide Web is talking about SSL certificates. And has been doing it increasingly for the past months, at least. The reason? Google and its ever-changing algorithms. Specifically, one of the latest actions Google had taken to fight fraudulent, insecure websites and pages is to label non-HTTPS pages as "not secure": There's a high chance you might have met with one of this alert messages already. Or, even worse, users reached out to you saying your website or eCommerce store isn't secure according to Google. And, correct me if I'm wrong, you were caught on short, someone might even have panicked at that time. And if you're still trying to understand what this fuss is all about, this guide is for you.
In this guide, I'll go through all the main elements pertaining to SSL certificates to provide you with a clear picture of what they are and how they work, but above that, whether you as a website/eCommerce store manager will need to have them in place.
Ready to start? Let's dive in!
They say "to know your future you must know your past", right? Put into a closer, business perspective, I'd rephrase that with "to better assess whether you'll need
WordPress theme developers will now have the same data every company product manager out there has. Information is power.
Everything has been said about the popularity of WordPress as a CMS. We’ve all heard time and time again about how it powers 26% (or is it 27% by now?) of the websites on the internet, which is around 15,886,000 websites! That’s a big deal, and no one can take that away. That being said, WordPress does have a few lacunae (but we still love it!) as a platform that aims to power so many websites and serve so many people. One of those lacunae, which has not been seriously addressed yet is information (metrics/analytics/user-data).
A huge percent of the websites powered by WordPress are made using WordPress themes, yet most of the WordPress developers who create those themes are blindfolded. They have no way of knowing who is using their themes, how are they using them and where are they using them.
If you disagree with the statement I just made above – see if you can answer the following set of trivial questions that every SaaS company product manager MUST be able to answer:
Which features do users favorite most about your theme?
What is the life cycle of your purchase theme? Or how long a website will be using your theme on average?
What are the main reasons driving
One WordPress agency's recipe for turning plugins/themes built in-house into a recurring income from their clients
At Freemius, we work closely with our partners, so we get a unique opportunity to encounter some very interesting monetization use-cases and business models. Today I’d like to share one specific example that can help many WordPress agencies (and freelancers) to increase their monthly bottom line with in-house developed plugins & themes. This is the success story of Ryan Theis, a partner of ours. Ryan shares how they did it at their agency – BNG Design, an Inc 5,000 Web Design & Marketing agency from Fargo.
Ryan – thank you so much for taking the time to make this interview, I’m sure many agencies & freelancers will be excited to learn from your creative way of upselling custom developed plugins to your clients.
Could you please start by telling us about ‘BNG Design’?
‘BNG Design’ is a web design and marketing company based in Fargo, North Dakota. We started in 2012 as one of the four divisions of BNG Team. The thing that caused me to start BNG Design was seeing a gap in the local market that wasn’t being filled. I had gotten into building websites and marketing online in 2007, shortly after starting with BNG. At that
Jason Lemeiux and Postmatic are offering free consultation, training, and services to journalists of all stripes. It's a bold move in this political climate to stake a position with your business. I think it's pretty impressive what they are doing.
I come from an immigrant family. Most of us do. My father immigrated from Quebec with his parents and 6 brothers and sisters in the 1940s. They were looking for better farm land and economic opportunity. The Lemieux’s settled in Vermont, later spreading out through New England, and within a generation were successful Americans. They built businesses, raised families, and contribute to our collective endeavour with an incredible amount of tenacity and innovative thinking. And potatoes. They all still grow potatoes.
I guess this makes me a first-generation American. My wife shares a similar story albeit one generation removed. Her great grandfather left Italy as a teenager aboard a ship bound for America. It embarked for Argentina (South America darnit!) where he learned to farm and later in life landed at Ellis Island with his Argentinian wife, children, and a dozen farm workers he couldn’t bare to leave behind.
Although I am a citizen, the new American war against immigrants still bothers me. It does so because I am a citizen. My family and millions like it have been offered the promise of America. It is our duty to offer the same to others – especially those who are
In this episode, Troy and I talk all about developing online courses, the tools he, used, and how to keep students engaged and completion rates up. If you've been thinking about starting an online course, this interview is a must listen!
In this episode, Troy and I have a great conversation about developing online courses, creating scarcity, and keeping students engaged. If you’ve been looking to start an online course or develop a great online community, this episode should not be missed! Show Notes