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The WordPress Weekly is a news publication that... has been in the news quite a bit recently as Davinder promotes the first edition of The WP Awards. If you haven't voted yet make sure you before the 30 November deadline.
The WordPress Weekly is relatively new too. The archive counts 71 editions making it over one-year old. The first edition was reached subscribers in July last year and Davinder has done a great job producing a quality newsletter week in week out. Which explains why The WordPress Weekly has been growing so fast.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started with WordPress
During my college days (2000 - 2005), I was lucky enough to have a computer at home (thanks to my parents). I started writing about various software tips on a Blogger (Blogspot) blog. It blew up in no time, and as such, there wasn't much search competition in those days - anything you wrote came on Google's front page in no time!
Around the same time, WordPress made a debut, and I moved from Blogger to WordPress. That's how my WordPress journey started and still going strong!
2. You’ve been a Digital Consultant for over 14 years. What is your focus and what kind of projects do you work on?
If I look back at my career, the type of work has changed or evolved every two years. I am sure if I did the same very thing - I would have burnt out from the internet and sitting in some jungle! I followed the path trekked by most freelancers, starting off trying to make sense of the whole business on the internet, ferociously finding clients, and then guessing on price points.
I started off doing brochure websites and then expanded into membership and custom LMS websites. In recent years, I have spent more time coaching and consulting clients to get refined visibility through better content structuring, social media broadcasting, and much-loved (for me) email marketing that works.
3. Introduce The WordPress Weekly: what is it and who’s your target audience
Besides doing the usual work to get the base income going - spending time on things, you love to do (aka side projects) is very important. With this firm belief, along with my love for WordPress and my email marketing experiments - TheWPWeekly was born. It is for people like me, be it starters or experts at building web stuff using WordPress. Honestly, I have been blown away by the response to the "TheWPWeekly" project.
Also, connections made with fellow WordPress users via this project have been blissful and productive.
4. How did you build it? What’s your WordPress stack and what platform are you using for sending out emails?
I kept the tools stack for the "TheWPWeekly" very simple and minimal.
It uses Astra Theme with page layouts created with core Gutenberg blocks made fancy with the manual CSS code.
Theme: Astra Pro Theme with core/default blocks
Main Plugins: All-in-One WP Migration, Fluent Forms, Patchstack, Pods, Scriptless Social Sharing, SEOPress, SimpleCSS
Other: MailerLite, Convertbox, Gmail
5. Have you tried any newsletter plugins such as Groundhogg and Mailpoet? What are your thoughts about managing newsletters from within WordPress?
Yes, I have used Groundhogg, Mailpoet, and even FluentCRM for email marketing hosted on WordPress. Since I wanted to keep things simple and was already using Mailerlite for my other projects - I just went with the same tools stack to save time!
6. What does your publication workflow look like and what tools do you use to manage it?
I am very boring when it comes to online tools glitz. I have my Gmail always open - so, if I can do something specific using the existing Gmail workflow - I do that instead of getting into a new tool. All the links for the newsletter content are managed in the Gmail inbox along with Google Docs. I write the newsletter post directly on the website in the block editor. Once it's finalized, I copy the post content into the MailerLite editor (5 mins job, all the formatting, and links magically appear).
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7. The first edition of The WP Awards is coming up. Tell us about this initiative.
If you go and search for the best plugin for xyz in Google, most search results are a disappointing collection of list posts. The majority of content there is influenced by paid placements, own product promotion, the affiliate tilt - rather than the actual user experience. The WP Awards is a small attempt to gather honest feedback from real WordPress users to discover the authentic products within the WordPress ecosystem.
The WP Awards 2021, voting will be open from Nov 01, 2021, to Nov 30, 2021, and final results in the first week of Dec 2021 before heading off for the holiday break.
8. The WordPress Weekly isn’t the only project you work on. What else do you have going?
The WP Weekly is actually an outcome of things I learned while building ProBeaver.com (a dedicated resource website for Beaver Builder plugin users). I also run a podcast show at SmartWebCreators.com, which has been on pause ever since Covid started (hoping to relaunch it soon). Plus, I have many other new things brewing; you can see it all at idavinder.com website.
9. There have been a lot of acquisitions and investments in WordPress businesses this year. Do you think there is a risk of WordPress - the platform and ecosystem - becoming too commercialized?
WordPress is free! Well, it is not free - money makes things go here! Acquisitions are good for the WordPress ecosystem, with more money involved - people are more serious about things they do, as there is more at stake!
Aren't we all WordPress users commercialized when using WordPress to build client solutions that bring in more money for them and us? On the flip side, WordPress seems like the only industry where competitors are friends and help each other. This profound balance of money-making and supporting each other in the WordPress ecosystem is AMAZING.
10. Any final thoughts that you want to share with our readers?
It took me a few years to realize, and guess what - we all take our own sweet time in opening up and sharing what we know. The early you start sharing things you know, the earlier you will see success. Don't be trapped in the imposter syndrome, aka I am not good enough. There is goodness in everyone; it's all about discovering and sharing it. Be good and cool!
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