After appearing on the Post Status State of WordPress News roundtable, I felt like I had a bit more to say about my experience with WordPress news.
WordPress news isn’t a heavily trafficked topic on the web. How does a publisher build more than just a side gig from putting out WordPress news? How do we define WordPress news?
I asked Kim Coleman, co-founder of Paid Memberships Pro, to see if she had any questions around the topic and if she had any interest in recording a podcast episode about it. Thankfully she was willing to chat and share her questions and her opinions on how we do WordPress news.
[00:00:00] Matt: It’s the WP minute, a special WP minute because I am joined by a special coat. Co-host the title of this episode is called challenges of a WordPress news business. I have my great friend here, the lovely Kim Coleman, Kim, welcome to the program.
[00:00:18] Kim: Hi, thanks for having me, Matt. I’ll. I want to add who I am before we get too deep, because Everybody knows you.
[00:00:25] Nobody knows me, maybe. Well I’ve been working in WordPress as the line goes from the WordPress rep since I used to rock the Kubrick theme. So I’m a really OJI community member. I spend a lot of time doing site development and moved into products.
[00:00:39] And now most notably a WordPress membership plugin paid memberships pro.
[00:00:45] Matt: I want to talk about how you and I ended up in this moment of time first. I did. Post status state of the WordPress news. I think they called it and it was a great Twitter space. I’m not a fan of Twitter spaces. Dave, if you’re listening, I’m an old school podcast. I like things to be recorded.
[00:01:02] I like to sit in our little recording room that we’re in now and I don’t have to use my phone. So I wanted to, once I was done with that conversation, which again was a fabulous conversation six or seven of us from around the WordPress news space, fantastic conversation. But I felt like I really only scratched the surface on what it’s like to, I don’t know.
[00:01:20] I hate to say run a WordPress news business, but that’s the phrase that comes into my head. And Kim, I know that well I’ve known you for years, right? Ever since I was running my studio, you running your studio, we go way back. But I saw you chatting up others in the WordPress new space on Twitter with some great points, some strong opinion.
[00:01:38] I was like, Kim’s the perfect person to sit down with to talk about this stuff. And that’s how we’ve ended up in this room today. Is that a fair state?
[00:01:45] Kim: Totally fair. Yes. I struggle with opinionated verse. Not because my product does work with a lot of other plugins out there and businesses. So, who you are as an individual and who you are as your business face are an interesting part of these conversations, but yeah, I’ll, I’ll do my best juggling.
[00:02:03] Matt: Kim burying the lead right out of the gate. We’re going to talk, we’re going to talk about that stuff. So it’s Kim I don’t wanna say interviewing me, but we, we chatted on some points that we thought were really important to share about news in the WordPress space. And there’s so many of us are blogging about WordPress.
[00:02:20] We have our opinions, we want to share it. And then there’s like a small percentage of us that say, okay, I’m going to do this for a living. Like I’m gonna write about WordPress, whether it’s tutorials, development, tutorials, training stuff, or, inside WordPress news. And I know there’s a few of you out there especially in the discord server that.
[00:02:38] Yeah, that’s what you do for a living. You create content around WordPress whether it’s eat, soft content, like the tutorial or more of the hard hitting stuff, like the news, you want to figure out how to do it. I’ve got some opinions to share. And I think Kim has a couple of questions for me
[00:02:53] Kim: I want this to be your build in public moment where we talk about Matt report media and what you’re doing with the news. And like we said, the title of the show, what are the challenges that we’re facing as a community? And what are those things? So I think that’s a good kickoff is let’s establish, why is it important?
[00:03:09] Why is news important in WordPress? We’re a multi-billion dollar industry made up of many big and fewer and fewer huge and then thousands of tiny, tiny companies. So why is news important to you?
[00:03:23] Matt: I’ll give you my, why it’s important to me from, from the heart first is because look, it is a, it’s a big space. And one of the very first things that I saw coming into the WordPress space was, looking at some colleagues that were, that they were getting the connections, they were getting the projects, they were, selling the plug-ins and the themes.
[00:03:47] And I’m talking 50. Plus years ago. And I was just curious, like how, how does this all work? Like as a newcomer into the space, as big as WordPress is today, there’s new new people coming in right now, like 70 is installing WordPress probably for the first time, literally, right when we’re saying this and they might be thinking, I want to start an agency, I want to do this thing.
[00:04:07] Or I just want to know what’s happening here. And it was very important for me to be able to quickly learn that and just get a feel for, for the land. And on the surface. That’s why it’s important for your average WordPress user. Who do I turn to? Where do I go in this WordPress space for the business owner?
[00:04:26] Yeah. You want to have somebody who’s out there covering, well, this year, specifically acquisitions investments, who’s doing what? With products and services you want to have that sort of pulse on, on the. To really know, where your business and what your opportunity is in the, in the marketplace, whatever a CNBC approach of, analyzing the market, but for WordPress and that’s something that’s interesting, to me, as, as somebody who’s in the business side of it. And then I think there’s a third leg of, just accountability and transparency.
[00:04:59] It, it is a multi-billion dollar industry largely covered on the, under the umbrella of automatic and Matt Mullenweg. And there needs to be just a a critical eye on how things roll out because in an open source community, we’re all giving up our time and investing in WordPress. And that’s an awesome thing.
[00:05:26] Open source is, and WordPress is, it’s an awesome thing, but to have folks like Sarah Good. Who really dives deep into some of these stories and analysis to, to, to illustrate the picture to us, to let us decide on whatever heavy topics it might be in the community and the contributor space again, automatic or GoDaddy, like having that critical eye on the space, I think is important.
[00:05:52] As narrow as this space really is it drives business for a lot of us, and I, I think that news or content around it is, is important. And that’s what it means to me. I don’t know if you have any thoughts on that or.
[00:06:06] Kim: yeah, I think when I reflected on this question, I thought about my customers and I thought about. They’re very little involvement in the WordPress community, which we call it the WordPress community. It’s the faces you see, on Twitter, maybe in other communities you’re in you see them in the hallway track, you see them in in-person or virtual meetups related to WordPress.
[00:06:27] I call those people, the WordPress community. But when I look at my users, I think they’re not interested in WordPress news. They’re building their business, using WordPress as a tool. So you know, what is the size of the audience of people that are affected by WordPress news and, and who is interested?
[00:06:44] Who are we reporting to? You talked about like the business owners and the people who are part of the community, but who do you identify with when you’re preparing your news?
[00:06:52] Matt: I don’t think there’s many of us doing any real hard hitting journalism or writing in the space set aside Sarah Gooding.
[00:07:00] I don’t think there’s anyone else really doing it diving deep into, into real deep stories. And I think that that’s something that I want, I don’t even necessarily want to do myself. I wanna be able to empower others to do or at least just like encourage others to do through the work that I’m doing.
[00:07:13] So when I sit aside, when I set aside time to do the WP minute on the news side of it, it’s very much the WordPress professional that I think. The business owner, the product owner, the freelancer it’s still not dipping into the average user, although the way that the whole premise of the WP minute is to get it in five minutes.
[00:07:37] And I think that that is at least the only thing that I can think of that that could ever attract, your average Jane user. She started a WordPress site because she sells gluten-free cupcakes down the block, and this is her small little, WooCommerce site or whatever that she’s built to like power her business.
[00:07:53] Maybe she would tune into five minutes of, of news just to hear like where WordPress is going with a new release or something like that. And five minutes is, is, enough for her to, to consume or just enough for her to consume. But so when I write my do my content, it’s generally the, the WordPress professional.
[00:08:10] And I would say that largely everyone else in the space, it’s the same thing. I have. Done plugin tutorial content, which does far better in terms of, eyeballs, traffic search terms one does not set out to create a scalable business covering WordPress news AF after nearly a decade of interviewing people in the WordPress business space, I have enough lessons and, and enough case studies to say, Matt, this is foolish.
[00:08:42] Like you don’t run a business. Like there’s no such thing as a business with this WordPress news. It’s a nice sort of lifestyle income on the side. Sure. If you, if you want it to be, but you’re not covering you’re not going after like that WP beginner model with this, which is, is like, if you’re just listening to this and you want to shut it off right now, like how do I make money making content.
[00:09:02] I’m telling you it’s the WP beginner style, whereas tutorials it’s lessons, it’s education, it’s search terms. That’s what people want. That’s what the vast majority of people want. The people who really care about the WordPress news. My estimate is 2,500 people tops really care about what’s happening in the WordPress industry, business community, and otherwise, like who really care about like the directions and the analysis of it.
[00:09:31] That’s my, that’s my guess. I could be way off on that. But that’s my guess.
[00:09:36] Kim: It was interesting your point about hard hitting news, because I think that I’ve been in conversations where what would be hard hitting news is being discussed, but it’s in our private group with our doors closed and not going, mainstream with it, I would say. , it’s cool that you are looking to create a platform for people to share that and whether it’s you or someone else if that’s what the WP minute becomes, I think that’s a good segue to introduce.
[00:10:02] The concept of it and with any business there’s, what’s your product and how are you making money with it? So we can dig into both of those sides of, of this business. What is the WP minute, and then let’s start with how you’re making it a business, how it’s being funded.
[00:10:17] Matt: Yeah. So, WP. Again, five minute podcast covering WordPress news. The biggest headlines that I feel like me and my staff want to pull out, every week that people would be interested in. So you won’t get every point release a piece of information. You won’t get every vulnerability that’s published.
[00:10:36] It’s just too lengthy to do that, in five minutes. And that is a challenge to really condense to, to con condense the podcast in the podcasting world is very easy to create a podcast where you just go on zoom, you hit record it’s hour long, but nobody wants that same thing over again, the real challenge and the real money comes in the edit of a podcast and how you edit a show and, and a text piece as well.
[00:10:59] So really condensing it down to five minutes. It’s very important to me. And then one of the challenges of this, because people don’t need to hear from me anymore. Like I want to build a platform that removes. And put me in a position that I think that I’m halfway decent at, which is getting some exposure and asking for money, right?
[00:11:21] Like being able to knock on somebody’s door and say, Hey, this thing needs some money. Can you fund it? We got some awesome people , here, creating news and creating content in the WordPress space and how I’m funding it now is small annual membership donation. It’s $79 for the year. You become a producer of the show.
[00:11:42] And the technology that connects us is right now, anyway, discord, which I know everyone has a love, hate relationship with, but everyone has a love, hate relationship with slack too. So I, I can’t figure anything else out. That’s going to work.
[00:11:54] So you make the $79 donation. You get your hand in the weekly WordPress news and you can, chat about the news with others that want to chat about the news. You can drop links in the discord. Where my executive producer and I use it to write the actual script of the show and you get a call out, you get credit.
[00:12:13] It’s a fun little game where people get to submit their links and I have a counter and I keep track of how many people are the account that people contribute links for. So it adds like this little game of vacation and value, and you get your name out there through the podcast, through the newsletter and the blog posts.
[00:12:29] So that’s one way of funding it. And the other way of funding, it is the traditional sponsorship route. I’m fairly lucky to be able to get sponsors fairly easily in the WordPress space. And I saw that as an actual opportunity to be able to maybe even pass that to somebody else.
[00:12:48] This is a topic that came up the other day core contributors in the WordPress space, largely in the wordpress.org core, largely from the automatic team. What is the impact of WordPress and the long game when it’s mostly automatic, but only a handful of people from GoDaddy.
[00:13:02] Boy, don’t you think GoDaddy should be able to afford a little bit more on that team and what would happen if there was a, this balance of this mix of other corporate entities who really leverage WordPress and make a lot of money with WordPress giving back, so hard hitting stories like that would be awesome to hear.
[00:13:18] And I hope to build a platform that can pass that revenue onto somebody else. Give somebody else the ability to tell these stories, use the WP minute as a platform. And I’m just the guy who goes and gets the money. That’s all I want to do hear from other people. That’s the long game right now, the way it’s funded is through this.
[00:13:37] Potential donations of folks want to donate, but then also I’ll go after traditional sponsorship as well.
[00:13:42] Kim: Do you, do you feel like with the corporate sponsorship route that there’s a case to be made, that it could influence your objectivity or your ability to be opinionated or I don’t know. I think that’s a curious thing. If you are having other businesses, contributing their money, is there an expectation that you’ll be reported on favorably?
[00:14:01] I, should anything negative ever happen? I I’m a member of post status. I think that if they publish something very negative about my business, that my whole team is subscriber to, that would, that would hit hard for me.
[00:14:12] Matt: That’s a great, it’s a great question. Something to really unpack. I think that news is valuable for all of us, for, for many different, for many different reasons. And if we set aside the. The biases towards a corporate sponsor or your example where they write something bad about PM, paid memberships, pro how would it affect you and how would it affect your dollars?
[00:14:36] I think that when you encourage or when you support news outlets, again, like the WP minute and others, when you’re, what you’re doing is your you’re amplifying the whole you’re, hopefully you’re amplifying the whole market and the opportunity for everyone. And this is gonna sound so cliche, but, rising tide lifts, all boats.
[00:14:59] It’s the same argument that Matt, Matt Mullenweg has obviously contributing to WordPress makes WordPress better for everyone. And I think if news is funded more in the WordPress space, it raises the whole, it raises it for everybody on a more respected level, right? I mean, how many years have went by for, for a decade where tech crunch.
[00:15:19] Not that I’m a fan of this anymore, but TechCrunch would always say like a WordPress is, wordpress.com or WordPress with a lowercase P. And like, you have thousands of people who are like, that’s not how you say it, where it’s not how you say it. Tech crunch, or WordPress is greater than wordpress.com.
[00:15:34] And I think that if corporate entities fund it more, we have a chance to elevate our game a little bit. post statuses, I don’t think as much more of a news thing now that Brian has left. I think that really the only news game in town of record would be again, what Sarah Gooding is doing over at the Tavern.
[00:15:52] And the team over there was doing at the Tavern that’s funded by Audrey capital. So if you could bring in other players into that space, now you have competing is not the right word because the space is only, still so small on topics, but you have the ability to cover more stuff. Again, putting the.
[00:16:13] Objectivity aside like of Audrey capital or let’s say paid memberships, pro funded all of WP minute. And I would never talk bad about the paid membership pro ever again, putting that stuff aside, you have the ability to cover more stories. And I think that that’s where a challenge becomes is a WordPress business.
[00:16:34] That people want the wins. They want to be able to say, I’m going to give a thousand dollars over here and I’m going to get $1,001 in return. I can totally understand it because we’re not all super big businesses. So the money has to, you have to carefully think where you put your money.
[00:16:48] But being able to tell stories and be able to share the stuff that’s happening in the WordPress space and say that you support it I think is, is a win across the board because we just get more stuff. And maybe we can be respected more, once you hit, once you go above the tech crunches of the world, they’ll start to look at this space as more than just a bunch of freelancers that have this, piece of software that gets hacked all the time.
[00:17:11] Because that’s largely what everyone thinks, when you, when you’re not looking at WordPress news internally. I don’t know if that fully answers your question, but that’s just a bunch of thoughts that came to mind with that is it’s not just about, who’s funding it and whatnot, but as the opportunity to tell, more stories, it’s an ancient problem.
[00:17:29] Being able to to fund that, to fund news for that exact reason. Everyone can like, if you look at local. At least in mice, my local area, which I’m sure it probably happens in your local area. And everyone listening to this people always complain about the local news. Oh, they only care about this mayor and that city council person, and they’ll never talk about this.
[00:17:52] So I won’t pay a dollar a month to get the digital news from them, but then when something happens, they’re like CNN didn’t cover that. Well maybe if you supported your local news a little bit more, you’d have local journalism to cover this thing that was so important to you. Oh. But all you did was complain that they don’t come, you need to, you need to support them so that there’s more writers.
[00:18:16] It’s an ancient problem. And I don’t know if we can solve it, but I’m, I’m happy to just like, give it a shot.
[00:18:23] Kim: no, I mean, I’m excited about the capacity of, of a news outlet like yours and more if they crop up to amplify small news in the WordPress space because, five years ago, what was small news is now the acquisition, of a $10 million or who knows that we can speculate at. So, But on that same flip side do you think there’s a version in the future where WordPress news is mainstream is covered on, any, CNN channel?
[00:18:51] I, think people talk about the project as a whole. They talk about, like you said, automatic and wordpress.com incorrectly often, but you know, are there stories that are happening that are big news?
[00:19:00] Matt: I I hope so. I think that part of me for the reason of doing this is so that, so that yeah, we can get exposure and, and say that. Well, it’s funny, like my, I have a local podcasts that I do. I’m tucked in between like my, where I live. I’m tucked between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.
[00:19:21] So two capitals of two states and my local podcast is called. We are here to tell the world that we are here because everyone always leaves and goes to either Boston or Providence for all the awesome stuff. We have the south coast of Massachusetts and the whole premise is , we are here.
[00:19:38] And it’s funny because I almost said the same thing. Like I’m doing this to, so that people know that we are here too. And I think one of the things I’ve always criticized Mullen wagon is the fact that yes, core contributors, people who write the code, the project needs to exist a hundred percent.
[00:19:55] But there’s a ton of people who, I’ve said before I, I refer to myself as, as well, like that digital blue collar worker, somebody who just wants to use WordPress. Just build a good product, whether that’s a small plugin or a services shop and just do good work at good for good people for good prices.
[00:20:13] Like people aren’t trying to buy the Lambo. But they’re also not, they’re trying to respect their craft and their value. And I feel like there’s so many of us out there that really prop up WordPress and yeah, I would love to see somebody in the news cover like in larger media maybe if you sold, paid memberships pro to web flow, so something like that would certainly break the barrier and suddenly like, oh my God, like they bought a WordPress plugin, but integrated that into web flow.
[00:20:41] Oh, that’s an interesting thing that would break the barrier of like your typical tech cover. But then there’s, I think WordPress has a tremendous opportunity for education and career at the local level. I think one of the reasons why I really love WordPress and why I’m still such a strong proponent for WordPress is, is that you can give this piece of software to somebody.
[00:21:07] They can learn it, not even master it, but master to what they need to know how to do like to build a small website. And now they can go and try to do that same thing for other. And dig themselves out of, a job that they lost or site income so that they can provide for their families, or, I think about it all the time, like homeless folks that I see throughout my community.
[00:21:28] Like if you, if we could gather them together and teach them software like this, like WordPress is a gateway to empower somebody. And that’s really awesome. Like that’s what I really love about it. So on the news side, yeah. Stories like that would really win. We will never win on like where WordPress is going, because it’s, it will always win by automatic.
[00:21:50] Is this that’s just how it’s going to happen. So if we can win in other areas, that would be great. I don’t know if that, again, it’s weird being on this side of
[00:21:56] Kim: No it’s conversational. It’s okay. No, I, when I I think about what you just said, I think about a recent I, a job listing I had and the number of people I interviewed that were being pushed by their educators. Even these were people either in like a technology program or kind of a, a two year degree type thing learning new technology, modern technology, and being pushed into other coding languages and other methods that were not WordPress and they weren’t learning that foundation.
[00:22:26] So I think it’s interesting to come to that realization myself, that if mainstream media isn’t somewhat clued into WordPress, even, a sub category of people talking about modern technologies, if WordPress isn’t in those conversations, We aren’t interesting to young people learning new trades and careers, and we’re not thought of as vibrant or interesting, and it can have a long-term negative effect on, market share and use from everyone getting more business for their agencies, for their plugins.
[00:22:57] All of it. So scary how it’s intertwined when you, when you go down that hole.
[00:23:01] I want to go to like, maybe this is a boring topic, but we did talk about these articles. You brought them up
[00:23:06] Matt: We’re not burning any headlines down by covering WordPress news already. Kim
[00:23:10] Kim: Okay
[00:23:11] Matt: we’ve already passed that.
[00:23:12] Kim: Yeah. So you talked about articles. So. what is the mix of how you’re delivering news and what do think is how, how are people consuming it?
[00:23:20] And do you just have to spread a wide net what’s going on?
[00:23:23] Matt: The WP minute stuff is an interesting experiment has been an interesting experiment. The, the reason why it’s called the WP mint and why I keep it the five minutes is one to be different. But two, because I don’t have any time. So when a defender from the WP weekly convinced me to do this I was like, well, I have to do something.
[00:23:42] That’s going to be short form and that I can build a process for and repeat. Now, last week I live streamed the entire process of me recording, editing, and uploading the weekly episode, which includes the contributors who contribute their a one minute clip every week. That whole process took takes me anywhere between, well, in that particular case, it took me almost 40 minutes to produce the five minute show.
[00:24:09] One, because I was live streaming and I was talking about it, but two recording it and editing it editing is what takes the most amount. And I have pat and she writes the weekly script for me. what we do is we collect the links from the discord group. It’s called hashtag link squad. If you’re a part of the discord you go and you drop in your link and the links only chat.
[00:24:27] You say hashtag link squad and hashtag link squad gives me the ability to track all of that in a database. And then pat and I, we pull that out at every Tuesday when we start to curate the links and then we build the script around that. And then pat writes the script and I read the script. I’ll edit the script.
[00:24:44] Sometimes she’ll have, have some questions for me, some reminders of things to say and include. And then I record it and then upload it to the website. I’m telling you what the process is, is because how, what we deliver is the audio recording. Obviously the blog post, which is a transcript of the audio recording and the newsletter, which is the entire training.
[00:25:06] Sent an email, right? And because it’s only five minutes, whatever, it’s a, it’s quite literally a five minute read, or if you read faster than me, then it’s two and a half minutes. And I feel like that’s a nice balance. So you can either go to the website and just check on it really quick. Every Wednesday, what’s going to come in your inbox, you can read it and scan it.
[00:25:25] And what might be interesting to you is I don’t have time for either of that. I’ll throw Matt on in the background and it’ll just play for five minutes and I’ll get the top headlines that I want. So it’s the same thing delivered in three different outlets and how I’ve been trying to spice it up and get community involved is to get folks to either read the transcript for me.
[00:25:47] So guest readers No, I’ve had a whole bunch of folks carry deals. Helen from 10 apples, she was from 10, but she just retired from TenUp a whole bunch of folks from around the community, read the script. And now we have folks who syndicate content into it. And what that is is a one minute clip of something that you think is really awesome about whatever it is that you do.
[00:26:09] And Michelle shelf did something, which I thought was amazing, which was health and wellness or health and fitness, health, and wellness, both the same thing. She did a one minute clip on that. Michelle for chef has done things on community. Dave wrote and Baba e-commerce Bob Dunn, do the woo. So we have like these recurring folks who contribute just a one minute clip of audio, which makes it a nice variety.
[00:26:31] So you, you might listen for the news, but you all, you also might listen because I want to hear this cool one minute thing that somebody has to say. So hopefully a nice balance for the listener and for the community to get something in. Because again, as much talking as I do, I, I want somebody else.
[00:26:49] Somebody else take the microphone. You don’t need to
[00:26:51] hear me.
[00:26:52] Kim: I was just going to say it’s, it’s good because it’s open source news, but curated. So there is a person saying like, this is news, this is a tutorial or how to this doesn’t belong here. Cause there’s lots of news aggregators. Like if anyone here uses Reddit, there’s a WordPress sub Reddit, there, there are subreddits for lots of things.
[00:27:11] And other communities like the startup community, they have, hacker news where, where they go that’s their go-to source. It doesn’t feel like WordPress has a single. Hub, I guess I would say. And that could be just, we’re so diverse. All the people are just deeply diverse for this community.
[00:27:28] So it’s a challenge for you.
[00:27:30] Matt: Yeah. I mean, and also look, I mean, we’re press headlines are still very dominated by. Develop from the developer crowd, right? It’s still like, people want to hear things on the development front, much more than they care about, the business side or, heck even the community side,
[00:27:50] the headlines still win on, the code, the lines of code, the new frameworks, all that stuff, the battle between react and view and all this stuff that I don’t understand, people still like largely just consume that because it’s largely development crowd and I totally get it.
[00:28:04] There are pockets of people doing some interesting things. Like I know my check from WP owls he started that, that program through just his local community in Poland. So he like had a lock on the Polish literally the country of that content. Like if you were bullish and you were looking for work.
[00:28:25] News or highlights or interviews. He had a lock on that and it’s not until we opened it up to the U S he still runs the polar side of it, but now he does the U S or not the U S I shouldn’t say that the global side of it. He has the global side of it, and that’s all more of the English version. So that is more of an audience for it.
[00:28:43] So there are people who are winning, but yeah, I agree with you. There’s not that one place to just get all like the cool headlines other than like the code stuff.
[00:28:53] Kim: Definitely the, the code stuff and the acquisition stuff.
[00:28:56] because that’s what we’ve all been facing so much. I think a conversation about news would be remiss without talking. For a very small moment about scoops, about being the news outlet to break a piece of news, that’s mainstream media and, and the biggest scandal from the white house.
[00:29:13] And then in WordPress, it’s the, the next company that liked me and my husband kinda said, take the wheel, give us the money and we’ll give you the thing we’ve worked on for 10 years. Goodbye. So what’s your take on scoops in WordPress.
[00:29:25] Matt: I don’t know if people really gonna like this answer because my answer is companies or freelancers y’all have to do a better job. I said this on the post status Twitter space. I’ll have to do a better job reaching out to folks like me and heck even probably the Tavern in, in post status and stuff like that.
[00:29:46] , and give us that story, tell us, what’s happening, why are doing it? One of the things I’ve been doing with the WP minute is reaching out to a lot more people doing some interesting things on Twitter, and I’m like, Hey, I’d love to interview you. You can, you have plenty of options.
[00:30:03] You can literally give me one minute of what you want to say about this thing that you’re working on. You can give me a five to 10 minute audio monologue. Like if you want to just talk about whatever it is you want to talk about to send it to me, I can send you questions and you can record it, or I can send you questions and you can just write the answers to them.
[00:30:22] I can give you a bunch of options to do this stuff. And like the uptake on that is probably 40% people are just like in this space, there are people who are simply either too shy or just not confident enough about their thing, whatever that thing is that they’re working on. And at the end of the day, hopefully like seeing what I do encourage somebody to do it is like, look, you don’t have to be smart to do this.
[00:30:52] Like look at this guy who just turns on a microphone and hits record. It’s very easy. So do a better job reaching. And heck, even if you have some really good story, you can hit us all up, hit us all up and just say, Hey, here’s this great story. Here’s my press release. It doesn’t have to be so stuffy, like a real PR organization might do for you, something fun and interesting or whatever, give us that, that scoop.
[00:31:17] Otherwise it’s, it’s just relationships, which is still how the world works. Whenever I do talk to real journalists, it’s about the relationships that they have, the connections that they have, the sources that they have, and that’s how they get the stories and the content and the scoops and stuff like that.
[00:31:32] And that’s cool. I mean, hopefully some of that stuff happens now that this discord, I think I’m up to about 50 ish people so far. And hopefully that stuff starts to happen more, but I really think that people have to be able to , get their story out more to us and not. Hope to get a tutorial or a review or something like that out.
[00:31:51] And hopefully the WB men, it gives people a different format to deliver that on. But again, knock on the door of the Tavern, Sarah and post status and et cetera, et cetera.
[00:31:59] Kim: when I think about these acquisitions, I see the people who were acquired, stepping out as thought leaders as personal brands in some ways a few of them in, in the, in recent times. And I think what you’re advocating for is do that. Now do that as you’re running your business, being not outspoken, but.
[00:32:17] A comment about something that’s public participating in contributing to the news through the WP minute. These are ways that you not detach yourself from your business, but establish a personal brand, which isn’t a bad thing. There are many personal brands in WordPress.
[00:32:32] Matt: right. Yeah. A hundred percent.
[00:32:35] Kim: Cool. That wraps up my questions, but I want to give you a chance to, speak freely or kick something more, more around
[00:32:42] Matt: let’s just talk about diversity in WordPress news. Kim recently we were chatting about my friend volva from freemiums has a panel. I think I forgot what it was called.
[00:32:53] Kickstarters start a fight Firestarters game-changers it certainly was a Firestarter it was a panel of all men and certainly got some, some blow back there for that. I had messaged him cause he was like, Hey, can you include this on the WP minute? I’m like, sure. I will link it up in our events section.
[00:33:10] But what are your thoughts? On getting, more women, more diversity on these panels in the future. And he said that he recognized that they’re going to work towards it in the, in the future. But you own your business with your husband. I’m sure you have some thoughts around
[00:33:26] Kim: definitely. Yeah. So we, personal story time, we began this business. And got into the product space right around the time I had our first child. So as we were becoming more noticed in the WordPress space, I was taking a deep back seat, working very hard at odd hours and also raising children.
[00:33:45] And I think as my children have gotten older, I’ve become more vocal, more of a face for our business and our product. And with that, I think I followed conversations about diversity, diversity, and technology diversity in this WordPress community. But never really spoke out about it until the screenshot of that game.
[00:34:03] Changers covers just struck me. It struck me because I’m in a mastermind with only women in WordPress. And I’m also in a slack community of only women in WordPress. So to me, I, I knew personally people that could have been included in that. And it’s probably the first time I’ve spoken publicly. And said like, Hey, this just doesn’t feel right to me.
[00:34:25] And I certainly was nervous as it took off as a conversation because I didn’t want to be lumped into, a version of people who are just complainer’s because I appreciate the news that Volvo was trying to push out and the support he wanted to give other business owners, on either side of the acquisition table, which I think is the goal of, of that series.
[00:34:44] But at the same time, it’s embarrassing to me as a woman that nobody catches this in someone’s team. My team myself, we are seven women, eight men, and, and partially a woman women founded. So, it doesn’t seem hard to me to build a team of half women. I didn’t do it with deep intention, but it, it happened.
[00:35:07] So, and it wasn’t challenging. So it was a very awkward thing where I just opened my eyes to, this is not a diverse panel of people.
[00:35:14] Matt: , do you, if somebody knocks on your door and says, Hey, you want to be on a podcast? And let’s, let’s say it’s your typical, bros startup podcast. And I’ve been guilty of that too. It’s just like the headlines. It’s like how this person sold their business for a million dollars kind of thing.
[00:35:30] Do you evaluate that and say, I don’t want to contribute content to that type of show or do you have any recommendations for how people should ask you to be on a show? And not just covering quota for lack of a
[00:35:46] Kim: yeah, I don’t think that women should be offended by being a token member of something. If that’s how it’s perceived. ’cause it’s it’s, progress, I guess, in, in any state of things. If a bro podcast contacted us and said, we want someone from stranger studios to talk, I would put Jason on.
[00:36:04] I would say, Jason, this one’s for you. This is not the one for me. I’m not going to relate to these people, if they didn’t have a specific preference, I would say I would send him on it. I wouldn’t, I’m not like I’m deeply outspoken person. And I don’t know that I find. And maybe I should find more value in, in my role as leading a path for women and women founders.
[00:36:29] But Yeah.
[00:36:29] I would say, even if you are a token, it’s okay. They asked and you’re present and, and I think, WordPress has found value in seeking to have more diverse panels of speakers and presenters. It’s, retuned the conversations that we’re having. We’re not only talking about code, we’re talking about all the aspects of remote work and working in WordPress in, in new ways.
[00:36:52] I think because of that diversity.
[00:36:54] Matt: Yeah. The, when Pagely announced their Gaudet acquisition from our GoDaddy. Pagely, there’s a lot of praise, of course, the Josh, because Josh spends a lot more time on, on Twitter than Sally does for sure. But having worked at the camp myself, worked at the company for nearly three years. Like Sally is a force and like, she’s the one who keeps Josh in line.
[00:37:18] And the rest of like, the the fabric of that, the real, like family fabric of that brand and organization in place. Again, at least from the time that that I was there. And it’s very easy, in WordPress and look, we’re here talking about the news it’s also, and this is not an excuse by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s also easy to just be like, oh, I see this person talking all the time on Twitter.
[00:37:40] Certainly they are that person of that company. So, okay. Here comes another acquisition. I’m going to start pounding the keyboard and like, oh yeah. Josh, of course. And yeah, it’s, it’s short-sighted to not know, do not go deep. And really understand the brand, so I’m not making excuses for my work in the past or even stuff at like freemium, but it’s very easy for somebody who’s like marketing play, let’s go and get headline and just grab a bunch of names.
[00:38:07] And let me just scoop all this stuff together, shuffled it onto a page. And just like last this thing out, like you really, to me, this is actually going to parlay into a deeper conversation right now. But like, I really care about WordPress content. If I wasn’t doing sponsorship stuff or running a business out of it, I do it because I actually love creating the content.
[00:38:30] And that is the advice I give to people at my day job at Castillo’s is if you’re going to start a podcast, you got to do it because you love it. Don’t just do it as like this B2B marketing play or this headline play, or you’re going to get rich kind of play because it’s not going to happen. And you’re only going to hit things on the server.
[00:38:49] And these are the pitfalls of just doing things on the surface, purely for marketing, purely for clicks. In my opinion, you do it for the craft as you love it. I mean, maybe if I was a TMZ competitor, the game would be totally different. And in the WordPress space, I care about the craft. I, I care about it more and I’ve been trying to reach out to as many folks as I possibly can to keep the contribution of news as diverse as possible.
[00:39:18] Or I shouldn’t even say news, but the con the diversity of content. Yeah. Cause like Michelle stuff on, on health and fitness, that’s not really news, but I look at it as she’s got something awesome to say, not about WordPress, let’s get that out there. Like, so to me, that’s, that’s interesting. And I hope stuff like that work.
[00:39:35] So I’ve been spending a lot of time knocking on the Twitter doors of folks that I’ve never talked to before. And sometimes I’m like, I feel like, oh God, what are they going to say about the bearded white guy who wants them to be on a podcast? Because I just feel like everyone, it’s just like, it’s the common trend and nobody needs to hear from me or see me doing this a hundred percent of the time.
[00:39:57] So, I will I will try my best, to work in that direction as best as I possibly can.
[00:40:03] Kim: Women of WordPress. We’ll try to come out of our private communities and interact with the white men with beards more. We’ll try our best. Now. I can’t speak for everyone, but it is nice to, we do have a community of our own, and it’s a nice. And it’s interesting and it’s different. It’s much more about, like you said, health and fitness and interesting things.
[00:40:23] I just wrote an article where I asked for some tips about relaxation and, and the two tips I got from men were very work-focused and every tip I got from women was about how to make food preparation for your family, your extended family, a little less painful over the next two weeks. And I, at first part of me chuckled about it, but then I thought like, that is actually what I’m most stressed about.
[00:40:44] So I appreciate that perspective the most. So
[00:40:47] Matt: Yeah, let me guess the white, the guys were like, oh, a time block your calendar, probably and automate your to-do list.
[00:40:56] Kim: pretty much. And also like lock up your device, which is a, not a new idea, but an interesting and true idea for sure. But the other ones were like order Chinese takeout. I was like, yes, that is smart.
[00:41:11] Matt: One of the other questions I wanted to cover was that of finding journalists, paying journalists in the WordPress space, my particular challenge with it. To find folks to create content. And I’ve had a handful of air quotes interviews with a very poorly written job description, which was literally like eight bullet points in a video that I did just trying to find somebody who really cares about WordPress news, who wants to publish WordPress news and, and get their name out there, but can also do it I don’t want to say inexpensively, but inexpensively for a publication that, that doesn’t make much money.
[00:41:49] And when you look at, the money I do make back of the napkin math, cause it’s all public, paid memberships pro has been a sponsor of the Matt report before. And you simply go to a WooCommerce site, you buy the product and you, you check out and that’s how I sell sponsorship. I put it out in a tweet it’s done in a lottery fashion on purpose because I want to get.
[00:42:11] I want to get as much random opportunity in there, like brands that don’t necessarily get a chance to sponsor stuff. It’s not a very cheap price. It’s not a very high price. I think for a month it was 15. At the time when I was doing that, it was 1500 bucks. I’ve since moved it up a little bit for premium sponsorships.
[00:42:27] But at the end of the day, the revenue that I can pull in or that I have pulled in from 2021 is roughly about 40 grand for the year. Fantastic side hustle does not make a business of employees. So how do I hire writers? How do I get people through the door that hasn’t been a particular challenge? Everybody wants to be valued.
[00:42:51] Yes, myself included the audience for WordPress news is very, very small. Very difficult to get a balanced approach from that. Like how do you pay somebody really well for a piece that’s going to get very few eyeballs so that when a sponsor looks at it, they go, boy, I don’t get much recognition from this because it’s very a small piece.
[00:43:13] Views. It’s been a challenge. I don’t expect you to have an answer or
[00:43:17] really to
[00:43:18] Kim: I’m wondering
[00:43:19] If instead of looking for writers, you should be looking for bad people who have opinions, who could write words on paper and get a good editor
[00:43:29] I think to find a writer that also has a viewpoint and an opinion, and has been in this business long enough to write credibly about something is different than, myself expanding on the conversation we had about diversity in written form.
[00:43:47] And you just knowing that you had someone to take a pass over it and make it. Readable proper SEO friendly, if that is important to you and distilled down into part of your things. So I wonder if it’s a, maybe it’s that you’re, you’re maybe attracting people who want to write and are looking for a byline more so than an, an opinionated journalist,
[00:44:11] Matt: Yeah.
[00:44:13] Kim: I think you, you will find those people. , but you know, the news should be, you, you can’t stop me from publishing. You can’t stop me from saying. And that’s the energy that you were probably looking for and, what are we six months in, on, on this?
[00:44:28] So not, we, I mean, I’m, I’m saying that I’m part of it because I’m here today, but I’m no part of this at all, other than a listener. So Yeah.
[00:44:35] I think it it’s just time. There are other places in WordPress that are publishing people’s stories for free for them and not giving them any contribution for it.
[00:44:44] So, it’s just finding the right people that have the opinion and the passion,
[00:44:50] Matt: All right, Kim, that was a fantastic conversation. I really appreciate you coming on to to interview me and talk about the WordPress news. Get some of your own feelings out there. Get some of your own thoughts around WordPress news. Where can folks go to say thanks.
[00:45:05] Kim: Sure. On Twitter Coleman, K 83, you can also reach out to me through paid memberships, pro.com. It’s an open source WordPress membership plugin for content restrictions. I’m in charging a recurring subscription for access.
[00:45:22] Matt: Everyone else. It’s a WP minute. You can support the WP minutes. If you’d like by going to a non WordPress website, buy me a coffee.com/matt report to buy me a coffee.com/matt report and subscribe there for $79 for the year. You get access to the discord. Get connected to the community. Get your hand in the weekly WordPress news every week.
[00:45:50] If you want to contribute content reach out to me, DME, or use the contact form on the WP minute.com. If you want to be a contributor, I have two. Putting some minimum requirements to be a contributor. If you want to be a contributor, this is what it looks like. You can read the weekly script which is the podcast five minutes script.
[00:46:11] We prepare the script for you. You simply read it and then you get a little call to action for yourself, promote your stuff. That’s cool. You can contribute a one minute audio clip, which goes into that weekly news every Wednesday. If you have a bigger topic and you’re like, Hey, man, I want to talk about something longer.
[00:46:28] I give you five to 10 minutes on the podcast. Pitch me your idea, and you can record your five to 10 minute monologue about whatever. I have examples. If you want to listen to them, you can contribute that as well. Or you can write. If you just want to write, you can do that reach out to me and you can become a free contributor to the discord community.
[00:46:48] I don’t want to just open it up for everybody. Everybody’s like, well, why don’t you just open up now, if I just open it up to everybody, then it’s just trolling and people hanging out and nothing happening. Like we want people committed to the news. There’s 50 of us in there now just about so if you want to contribute, reach out and let me know the WP minute.com.
[00:47:06] Thanks for listening. We’ll see you in the next episode.