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.

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. :)

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.

Interesting Links Roundup: October 17th

As I wander the web I find interesting things. I share:

What have you seen lately that’s interesting?

Interesting Links Roundup: April 16th

As I wander the web I find interesting things. I share:

What have you seen lately that’s interesting?

Hitting the Road to Talk Social Media for Photographers

SMUG LogoI’m excited to announce that I’ve begun working with SmugMug; they’ve added me to their roster of speakers available to talk at their local meetup groups (which are affectionately referred to as SMUGs – SmugMug User Groups). With SMUGs located all over the world including pretty much every mid- to large-sized US city, odds are that there’s a meetup group covering your area. Topics usually aren’t SmugMug-specific; if you’re interested in learning about lighting, equipment, technique, business, or anything else photo-related you’ll probably find your local SMUG to be of interest.

I’m available to speak on a few topics but it sounds like the one of most interest is Social Media Tools & Techniques for Photographers. After an overview of services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, niche networks and blogging, I’ll dive into how to best use those tools depending on your goals (hint: there’s not a single recipe that works for all photographers). My goal is for each attendee to walk away knowing which tools are a good fit for their needs, how to best use those tools as part of a photographer’s overall strategy, and which tools (and techniques) should be ignored.

If you’re interested in having me speak to your SMUG in your city, have the leader of your local group contact me via email.