Speaking About the Rainmaker Platform in Portland

I was recently approached by an organizer of the Portland WordPress meetup and invited to speak about the launch of my new WordPress for photographers website called WP Photographers. He suggested I might speak about the site design and the choices made for hosting and plugins.

WP Photographers isn’t like most other sites. It’s not hosted on a standard web host and it’s not hosted at WordPress.com. I had some choices to make regarding hosting. I’ve happily used WP Engine in the past for a couple sites, and I had a good experience with SiteGround when I launched a recent project.

The Next Generation Online Marketing and Sales PlatformBut I’d been hearing a lot about the New Rainmaker platform being built by Copyblogger Media. It looked pretty attractive and after evaluating several considerations, I decided to plop down a fair chunk of money and sign up.

At the Portland WordPress meetup on the 29th, I’ll be giving a talk where I walk through why I chose Rainmaker, what I’ve found to work well, and where I’ve found it lacking thus far. It’s a great fit for some sites and a poor fit for others… we’ll look at how it fits into the WordPress ecosystem and how it compares against traditional shared or managed hosting options.

Disclaimer: I’m an affiliate for pretty much every platform and hosting company mentioned, so purchases through those links will get me a small commission. Each is strong in their own ways. I’m certainly not making hosting decisions based on small affiliate payments.

WP Photographers: WordPress + Photography

Earlier this week I launched WP Photographers, covering topics around WordPress for photographers.

This is kind of a “duh” thing as I’ve been deep into those two worlds for quite a while, yet it seems there’s not anyone really covering that space in depth. As I floated the idea in both communities over the last few months the reaction was generally enthusiastic… so I built it and here we are.

It’s a start. Much more to come.

If you’re a photographer who uses WordPress, it’s for you. If you’re a WordPresser who uses images and photos on your site, it’s for you.

WordPress for Photographers

Save 50% + Additional 20% on New Media Expo – One Day Only

New Media Expo (NMX) continues to be a premier event each year for those involved with internet business, whether it’s blogging, publishing, or podcasting.

Returning again to Las Vegas on January 4-6, 2014, today they’re offering a Black Friday Deal for 50% off conference tickets… and as a NMX speaker and affiliate, I have a code to take 20% off of that already-awesome deal.

Just hit this banner:

Join me at New Media Expo in January 2014!

That’ll take you to the NMX Website, where you’ll find the 50% Black Friday deal in effect. Use my personal discount code HOCKLEY20 at checkout to save 20% more, and I look forward to seeing you in Vegas in January!

Seattle Talk on November 14th: From Domain to Fame

WordPress has that famed five-minute install, right? Right. And with most modern web hosts, it’s much quicker than that by using their control panel.

But installing WordPress is but one step in the overall process of launching a new website. Regardless of whether your new online venture is for a hobby or a business, there’s a lot more ot launching a new site than just making WordPress run.

That’s the topic for a talk I’m giving in a couple weeks at the Seattle WordPress Meetup. Join me on November 14th at TechStars.

Seattle Skyline as seen from Gas Works Park

Before the launch, you’ll want to think about how the site is structured and the design. You’ll need to plan for the initial content (both static and dynamic) that should be ready to go while still under wraps. And there should be some preparatory work to ensure that when you launch, someone knows.

On launch day, several things need to happen, and if they’re done in the wrong order it’s not hard to make a potentially embarrassing mistake.

Immediately after the launch, you’ll want to be ready with additional content and promotional steps to bring folks to the site and convert them in some way… whether that’s to a subscriber of some sort, a buyer, someone who’s sharing your content, or whatever other action it is that you hope for your visitors.

We’re going to walk through this in Seattle. Be there… or don’t. :)

Writing Workflow Resources from WordCamp Seattle

A few resources that I mentioned during my talk today at WordCamp Seattle about my writing workflow. Once the video of my talk is online at WordPress.tv, I’ll share that as well so you can have the complete picture.

Roughly in the order they should’ve been mentioned during my talk:

  • Field Notes – notebooks that I carry everywhere for idea capture
  • OmniFocus – task management application based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done priciples.
  • Evernote – note taking and capture application
  • Dropbox – easily synchronize your plain text drafts (or anything) between computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
  • Markdown – markup language for easy writing for the web
  • Markdown Field Guide – iBook by David Sparks and Eddie Smith with a huge quantity of information about learning Markdown including a bunch of audio interviews and screencasts
  • Byword – Mac, iPhone, iPad text editor with excellent Markdown support
  • MarkdownPad – Windows text editor for Markdown
  • Markdown QuickTags – WordPress plugin for editing Markdown in the WordPress post editor
  • Publish Confirmation Plugin – WordPress plugin to ask you if you’re really sure you wanted to mash that Publish button
  • Editorial Calendar – WordPress plugin for a, um, editorial calendar
  • Dashboard Scheduled Posts – WordPress plugins to show scheduled posts in a widget on the WordPress admin dashboard
  • Sprout Social. – Social media management system that, among other things, allows for queued and scheduled social media updates

Feel free to comment with any questions. A couple of the links above are affilate links and I’ll get a tiny commission if you buy something.

Speaking About WordPress Writing at WordCamp Seattle

WordCamp SeattleI’m excited to announce that I’ll be in Seattle on June 8th to speak at WordCamp Seattle, a conference for writers, designers, developers, and others using the WordPress platform.

First, if you’re anywhere in the Pacific Northwest and use WordPress and haven’t yet purchased a ticket for the event, go do that now because it’s on the way to being a sold-out event. Then come back here, and read more about the fact that I’m speaking about

Writing Workflow for WordPress

Having blogged for over 12 years, a majority of that time with WordPress, and having written thousands of articles for a variety of websites, I’ve figured out some tips, tricks, and methods for ensuring a relatively frictionless writing process that produces pleasing results.

This talk will be aimed at intermediate and advanced users who are already familiar with WordPress basics such as posts vs. pages, installing a plugin, adding images, and other fundamentals.

My talk will encompass a look at how I write articles for the online world. From a process standpoint, this flow will include:

  • capturing and prioritizing ideas
  • drafting articles
  • preparing an article for publication (proofing, adding media, etc)
  • post-publishing promotion and followup

I also plan to dive into specific tools for the process, including:

  • writing in Markdown (why, how to learn, and tools)
  • managing scheduled posts (plugins that help)
  • a system for ensuring steps in the publishing process aren’t overlooked
  • a quick look at article promotion tools that don’t involve spamming or sleaze

Attendees should walk away with several ideas for increasing the efficiency of their writing and publishing process using a WordPress platform.