Journalism in the WordPress space with Brian Krogsgard

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In this episode, I talk with Brian Krogsgard about how he started Post Status, deciding to take full-time, getting members, making decisions, and of course, the tools he used to build out the website!

One of my favorite parts of the interview is around 7:20, where Brian talks about his method for researching his stories.

Show Notes:


Joe Casabona: Hey, everybody. Today’s sponsor for How I Built it is SiteGround.

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On with the show.

Hey everybody. Thanks for listening to How I Built It, a podcast that asks, “How did you build that?” Today, I have Brian Krogsgard of Post Status with me. Brian, how are you doing?

Brian Krogsgard: I’m doing well, Joe. How are you?

Joe Casabona: Great, great. Thanks for joining me. In the interest of keeping everything tight and focused, we can just dive right in. You run a website called Post Status. It’s absolutely incredible. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that? And how you came up with the idea?

Brian Krogsgard: Sure. And thank you. Post Status is a website for, with news and information for WordPress professionals is kind of the tagline that I utilize. So I’m going after people who make their living with WordPress or at a bare minimum make a decent chunk of their revenue with WordPress, or use it as a primary tool within their business. Whether that’s agency people, product people, like in-house people, maybe it’s the web people at a university, or something like that, or a big corporation, or a publication. Those are the types of people that I go after as customers.

As far as what I provide them, it’s mostly news and stuff to make them better at their job. And that spans kinda from a developer perspective. Even some design stuff, and a lot of how to do better at your business, and what not to mix with link curation, where I tell people things they should read as well as blog posts.

And the idea came about because I had been writing about WordPress for several years. Started doing so in 2010, and started Post Status in 2013. And after two years of Post Status, being a free blog that had several iterations, I turned it into a paid thing. And now it’s a membership site where I’m serving as of right now, about 700 members. So by the time this records, hopefully, that’ll be a little higher or better by the time, it’s published is rather. And yeah. So it’s a mix of memberships from those folks that help pay the bills, and also some corporate partners. And that’s what I do every day.

Joe Casabona: Nice. That’s awesome. So you are one of the few people who have successfully taken a news website and made it profitable. Is that right?

Brian Krogsgard: Yeah. It’s pretty unique in terms of the WordPress world. It’s now easily replicable, which is good for my business model. Because making that leap to asking people to give you money, they already have to kind of trust you as a writer or as someone that’s going to inform them so I really like that component of it.

That said, the business pretty much relies on your expertise. So you can’t, it’s a little bit difficult to get away in terms of vacation or contracting it out to someone else, or if you ever want to sell the business. So those are challenges. Obviously, I don’t want to sell the business or anything like that. But it is something I have to think about when I want to go on vacation and stuff like that. So it’s a little more difficult on whoever owns it in terms of, you know, stepping away versus if you have something like a SaaS product or something. I do envy those folks a little bit sometimes because they can, they need a managed support, but that can typically be outsourced for short periods of time, and they can go on vacation or do whatever. And it’s hard for me to get my brain off of Post Status because I always want to keep my pulse on what’s happening in the WordPress space. But, yeah. It’s a lot of fun with going to try that.

Joe Casabona: Nice. Nice. And so you do have a small team of people helping you out, right?

Brian Krogsgard: Yeah. So I have three contractors that work with me. One helps me curate some of the footnotes, that’s David Bissett. That’s kind of the bottom of the newsletter where I share like a link list. And then, Katie Richards is an administrative assistant where she does a whole bunch of stuff with user onboarding. And also some of the reporting that I managed month to month. And then I have Daniel Espinoza who’s kind of a technical help for me that he’s on a, essentially a retainer where he helps maintain the e-commerce component of things and helps me with small projects where I just want to spend my time trying to be better at doing Post Status, and not necessarily having to dig into the code constantly. So Daniel’s helpful for that. So yeah, those are three people that are working with me. 

Joe Casabona: Awesome. So my next question is two-pronged. I want to know what kind of research you did for taking Post Status from free to paid? But you do a ton of research for your articles. Like your article on, copyright law is one of my favorites to date. So, I mean, what research is that like as well? What research did you do starting the business? And what’s your research process like for writing your own? 

Brian Krogsgard: Yeah. No one’s ever asked me that about research for writing articles so I’m glad you did.

So for starting the business or going from free to paid, I talked with people that I felt were the type of customers that I wanted. And I asked them, “He. If this was a paid thing, would you pay for it?” Like, is this, so if I can’t get an instant yes, like this is worth paying for, to me, from what I would consider my ideal customers. So these were agency owners or people that run product businesses, or you know, people that are really hardcore developers are involved in core development, stuff like that. If I couldn’t get them to be instantly excited about it, then I would be concerned. 

I also wrote a blog post that was kind of public about what I’m thinking about in terms of the future of Post Status because I was doing pretty much all of the operations and a good bit of development at the small agency that I was working at. And I had to make a choice between am I going to continue putting in, you know, 60 hour weeks here or more and let Post Status fade as a free blog? Or am I going to go all in on Post Status? And I just decided that I would really regret it if I didn’t try. So between knowing some, at least some people were willing to step in right away in combination with having a number of corporate partners are willing to go in and do a yearly deal. But I started with those 12 yearly partners that essentially would float me revenue-wise, even if I didn’t get a single member. So that gave me enough of a buffer to go out on a limb and work for myself for the first time. I’d never worked for myself before so just that alone was scary. Much less with a completely unproven business model. 

As far as researching for articles, you mentioned one that was about copyright, which doesn’t sound very WordPress-centric. But that happens a lot. You know, like the things that ended up being conversation points in WordPress are not often like, “Oh, let’s dig into some development thing. This is going to be a hot topic because that’s what people deal with day in and day out.” But people don’t deal with day in and day out, or the other debates, controversies, or whatever that comes up in the WordPress community that often have very little to do with WordPress itself. And therefore, a lot of the conversation is around the fact that no one knows what’s going on. 

My challenge in those scenarios is to try to find resources from the people that are knowledgeable. On that one, I actually ended up contacting someone that had written a research paper for a university and they were, you know, they were online, they had a social profile. So I actually emailed the person that wrote kind of this, what I considered the landmark resource online for digital copyright, which is, and trademark in a digital landscape, and asked them their opinion, and asked them if I was on the right track with what I was drafting. So they actually kind of looked at my draft thesis. Not every bit of the article, but, you know, the primary points that I was going to say, like, “I think this, and I think that.” And they were the ones that said that I was on the right track, and that’s really helpful. So if you can go to people that are experts in those fields, they’re usually willing to talk to you. And I do that pretty frequently. A funny one that was recent that I haven’t done anything with this yet was,  I talked to a couple of investment bankers that that are pretty big into merger and acquisition stuff. And they’re pretty big into the hosting space. So I was trying to learn more about the hosting landscape. So I contacted someone I thought might have the right contacts. And between that conversation and then the conversation with these investment bankers, I feel like I have a much better lay of the land in terms of the future of big hosting, and how that can affect WordPress. 

So I spend a lot of time on that kind of stuff. And sometimes it sees the light of day through content and sometimes it doesn’t. It just kind of informs my writing and other ways.

Joe Casabona: That’s sort of research too. I mean, you know, I’m a developer. I’m like you said, I’m in the development stuff all day and I’m reading all sorts of stuff about that. But I’m not a lawyer.  I know the law based only on what I’ve seen on TV. You know, so, which is probably not great. 

Brian Krogsgard: Not luck.

Joe Casabona: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, yeah, I know the old Southern guy always wins. You know, my perception of that stuff is not great. But, it’s easy to kind of form your opinions and tweets them out just based on what you think you know, so articles like that are incredible. And the fact that you go out and talk to professionals who are in those spaces is great too because it’s actually a great transition for the next question. You know, I’ve found that I’m kind of revamping WP in One month and this podcast is a result of that. And I started to revamp it because I started talking to people like Shawn Hesketh, and Brian Richards, and Cory Miller, and Rebecca Gill, all these people who are going to be on the show at some point. And that really helped me do things, not in a silo and think like, I think this is okay. So it’s probably Okay. So I guess the long rambling part of this question has been done. So who did you talk to about features, and direction, and just general business advice? 

Brian Krogsgard: Two of the people you just mentioned are in a mastermind group with me. And those folks were instrumental even prior to our mastermind existing. You know, we kind of came together because we were friends, and I was seeking advice from other people with similar positions in life. So, people that are relatively self-employed and in an e-commerce landscape, whether it’s like mine, where it’s a digital service product, or like Shawn’s, is teaching a course product. And we, you know, I chatted with them and I asked them their advice on what they thought the right direction was, what the right features would be? I really went to people that I looked up to. You know, another example is Tom Willmot. He’s the CEO of Human Made and he’s always been a great supporter of Post Status. And, he was a great encouragement because when I was talking about the future of Post Status, he said, “Well, if you do this, I’ll buy a membership for everyone in my company.” So not only was that awesome in terms of a potential amount of business, but it was also, it gave me an idea of, “Hey, maybe I should offer a corporate deal for companies that want to provide Post Status for their employees.” So conversations like that really helped me establish what the benefits would be, what the business plan would be.

Chris Lema has been an advisor to me over the years in several capacities. And obviously, I went to him for feedback on a variety of things. But usually, I just drafted something, whether it was the pricing or the benefits. And then I would go to people and say “Hey, is this a good idea?” and I still do that today. I’m doing my first event, and when I was drafting the sponsorship agreements and like what the sponsors would get and stuff, I actually went to two people that I was then going to ask them to sponsor. But I was like, “Hey, This is what I’m thinking in terms of the sponsor landscape for this event. Is this a good idea? And is this the type of information that you value?” So I’ve always thought that transparency in what you’re thinking is going to get you a long way in terms of getting equity with the people that you want to be your customers or your sponsors or whatever.  So usually I just go straight to the people that I want to give me money and I ask them, “Are these the benefits, and are these the features that are going to encourage you to give me that money?” And that works pretty well. I’ve had a lot of success with that.

Joe Casabona: Nice. That’s great, and I’m quickly learning that. I’ve always had a problem with… a personal problem like not like it’s wrong. I’ve had personal problems with just asking people for money. And that’s always been really hard for me to do. I figured if people wanted to give me money, they would give me money. But that’s not always the case. And so I’m learning with, especially finding sponsors for this podcast just asking, “Hey, do you want to throw me 99 bucks to sponsor an episode?” You know, and more often than not people are saying yes, which is very, very encouraging. Because at the point of this recording, there is zero episodes out. So, you know, so it’s nice to know that people trust you enough to do that. So.

Brian Krogsgard: And people aren’t betting on your podcast. they’re betting on the fact that it’s you producing it, and you have a history of following through on things. So that matters in a scenario like that.

I have this thing in my head based on what you said about you have to ask. Could you imagine software or software as a service companies that charges money? If they all just said, “Here’s our software as a service and a donate button” like what would their revenue be the same? Absolutely not. But no one’s mad at them for saying you know, this is our pricing and this is how much it costs to use our service. People aren’t mad about you asking for money.  But they do expect a return on that. Some value that they’re going to get out of your service or whatever you’re providing. But if you offer it for free, most people are going to take that. So they’re in. And even if you say, “Hey, You got this for free. Now, where’s the donate button?” Like the minority of people are going to do that. Like the people in the world that use Wikipedia, very few follow through with Jimmy Wales is pleased for donations.

Joe Casabona: I know. And you’re basically looking him right in the eye when he asks for those donations.

Brian Krogsgard: Yeah. it’s right there at the top of the page.

Joe Casabona: Yeah. That’s a great point. I was talking to this actually with Chris Lema when we were out in Minneapolis. I guess there was a conference or when conferences do this, right. They’ll say you can pay X amount of money to come to the conference or you can stream it for free online. And then they wonder why they’re not selling tickets. You know, it’s like saying, “Oh, I’ll sell you the black t-shirt for 10 bucks or I’ll give you the white t-shirt. So.

Brian Krogsgard: Yeah. What they’re doing, and that scenario is they’re basically telling you, and this is why I have trouble with free streaming events. Because you’re saying the only value that you get out of the ticket price is the hallway track and the people. And there is a ton of value there. But you’re basically saying we’re not willing to showcase the value of the talks themselves. I love free streaming events, But it’s hard to say whether it would impact my decision to go to the event or just stream it because it’s a lot easier to stay at home and stream an event if it’s the talks that you’re interested in.

My theory though is, a lot of events, especially, people are just as, or more interested in the hallway track. So I understand what people are making there. But I’m all for charging for the streaming of an event because I feel like you should be assigning value to those talks.

Joe Casabona: Absolutely. I mean, you don’t want to undervalue the work that the speakers are doing, especially. So, cool.

So, at this point, we’re about halfway through our conversation.  so I want to ask the title question. You have Post Status, you’ve talked to people, you have been writing for a while. How did you build the site? 

Brian Krogsgard: So I quit my job, and I gave myself about a month between right before Christmas to January 21st. And I announced, I think I announced my launch date like I said, I’m quitting my job. I’m going to do this thing. Now I’m giving myself one month to build it. So I just went heads down and worked every day and set a game plan. And that involves the whole nine. Like I didn’t make any decisions ahead of time in terms of saying this is the software I’m going to use in terms of which plugins. I knew it was gonna be on WordPress because it’s a WordPress publication. But you know, I was analyzing the pros and cons between, you know, WooCommerce and Restrict Content Pro, and Memberful, and iThemes exchange, and trying to figure out “Hey, what am I going to use? What’s gonna work best for me?” I ended up going with WooCommerce, with WooCommerce subscriptions which allows recurring revenue.

I had some important things that I wanted to make sure I was doing. One was I wanted to create automated renewals so that it was easy for people to just not do anything, and then renew the next year. But I wanted to make it easy, obviously for people to cancel. But historically, other plugin makers and services, in general, have shown that people are, your renewal rate is going to be way higher If you just don’t do anything, and just let people renew. And I wanted to give people a reminder that their renewal was coming up so that I wasn’t like pulling one on them. So I send a renewal email a couple of days before the renewal itself and say, “Hey, this is about to automatically renew,” etcetera. So WooCommerce subscriptions help me handle that.

In terms of other stuff on the website, eventually, there will be things that are not the content restriction itself. So that’s the other big reason I went with WooCommerce is because you can do more than say, you know, just the content restriction with WooCommerce. It can be a store of any sort. So if I sell a physical product or if I sell a digital product, or if I sell an event ticket, all those things you can do with WooCommerce. It’s a very robust solution. It’s not the simplest solution. If you’re just doing memberships or something, if you’re just doing content restriction, there are probably options that will cause you fewer headaches. But for me, WooCommerce was the right choice.

I also rely greatly on MailChimp. So, creating a MailChimp template that was gonna work. I figured the only way a membership content restriction website was going to be successful is if I jumped if I delivered every piece, every word that I wrote for people if I delivered it to them in full email. Because if I make them log in and read, they’re not going to do it. And then they’re not going to gain value. But if I throw, if I send them the content in the email in full, then they’re going to open their email and read it because that’s part of their day. They read their email. Email is so valuable and a member’s only thing that I could not do without MailChimp. I could do without just about anything, but I could not do without MailChimp.

And then several months after I launched, I had been contemplating maybe a forum or something. And Slack was really gaining a lot of popularity a year and a half ago when I launched. And I decided after a couple of months, I did a poll and said, “Hey, would you all be interested in a Slack channel, or a forum, or both, or neither?” And I got mixed feedback. But there was a little bit of a trend saying I would use a slack channel. And that has turned into both a great sales tool and probably the biggest benefit for at least half the members because not everybody reads the newsletter. Even though that’s where I put my heart and soul into trying to make good content, not everybody reads it. But, A lot of people use the Slack channel and love it. And what’s fascinating is it’s provided a venue for people to connect with one another. Something like 75% of all messages in my Slack channel is through direct messages, not even in the public channels. So out of, however, many, six, 7,000 messages per week from the members of the huge majority are direct messages. So people are talking to each other and finding value in the slack, even outside of the public channels.

Joe Casabona: Man, I could tell you that when I got my membership, it proved its worth in the first week. And the Slack channel is what did it. I just asked questions, and got great feedback, and made connections with people. So everything you’re saying there is absolutely true. And like the newsletter is also excellent. But I was immediately immersed in the Slack channel first. So, you know, I started using that before the first email came. So just right off the bat, I knew it was worth the 99 bucks a year because it ends up saving me however much money in doing research, and finding tools, and stuff like that. I can use their feedback. So, did it take you a long time to start getting members? 

Brian Krogsgard: It depends on how you phrase that. The first like a hundred to 150 came very quickly. Because I was…the whole month that I was building this, I had told people, “Hey, I’m leaving my job and going full-time on Post Status, and I’m going to launch the sucker in about a month.” And then people knew what to expect in terms of that, it was coming. So when it did come, it wasn’t a surprise to people. And some people were prepared to join. So I think the first day was like maybe 70 people, something like that. And then the first 150 words within a few weeks, and then things started leveling off.

But if you look at like January, February, March of my revenue, it’s really high. A little bit lower, a little bit lower, and then it creates, and then there’s a trend that starts to happen in terms of how many new members I should expect a month. So my goal is like, basically, I want a new member every business day. It is like a decent thought process for me. So if I get 25 new members a month and that’s pretty good. But I didn’t even know what the trend line was gonna be until like July and August after launching in January. Because it’s a yearly thing, and you just don’t know what it’s going to be like. And then you don’t know what it’s going to be like, because you don’t have any renewals for a year. 

So now that we’re in August of the next year, now I’m getting a better understanding of what it looks like in terms of long-term new memberships versus long-term churn of people that decide not to renew. And that gives me an idea for, “Hey, is this something that can grow and scale? Or am I always fighting to just catch up with churn?”

So those are some of the interesting business model things that I’ve been able to finally get a feel for. And it’s still not perfect. And I’m starting to see some of the work to do. But if you’re considering any sort of recurring revenue business, that’s super important to look into.

Joe Casabona: Gotcha. Yeah. I mean, I saw your tweet a little while ago that, you know, we’re past the first year for a lot of memberships and you’re seeing people renew which is great. So, I guess that kind of implied that the first year people were betting on you, right, as a person. And now people are actually starting to see the value in Post Status. Is that right? 

Brian Krogsgard: They’re seeing the value enough to not cancel it. In terms of the first year, certainly those first, like probably 200-250 members there weren’t enough people like getting the product. And then,  like you don’t know how, why to bet on me in order to make that purchase unless you know me. So the first couple of hundred people, absolutely. After that, it was kind of a recommendation engine. So one person, let’s say, Tom McFarland. He’s been a great, I think he was the second person that joined. So, Tom McFarland, he’s great. But yeah. Not only did he trust me, but then once I hopefully validated his trust in terms of delivering good content, he would then tweet or blog about or whatever and say, “Hey, Post Status is great. If you’re a WordPress professional and you’re not in this, you’re losing out on value.” So that recommendation engine is what subsequent people would rely on. And sometimes it takes people hearing that once, or sometimes it takes them hearing at 25 times. But once you get them in the door, the sale is hard for an annual membership. Once you get them in the door, then hopefully you can prove your worth through the membership itself. And then you see if that pans out with whether they renew or not. And if they renew and fortunately I’ve been able to maintain about 85% renewal rate, which has been pretty good. If you get them to renew that lifetime value of a customer is pretty good once you hit two years. Because if I was monthly, I can’t remember where I saw this, but I think the average person sticks with a monthly service for like, I don’t know eight or nine months.  Because I’m giving up on easier sales, because I’m not offering a monthly thing, so it’s harder to sell yearly. But if they buy yearly and then renew at a high rate, then I get a lot of value in terms of lifetime value per customer. Because it’s 24 months if they renew at a minimum. And some of those people will continue to renew. 

So 3, 4, 5 years of renewals is far better than I could expect with a monthly one where eventually people, you know, they have a couple of busy months in a row and they’re not using it as much. So they cancel it. I’m going after the Amazon prime model of you don’t know exactly where you got the value of Amazon Prime, but you know, you shipped yourself a refrigerator for free and surely that was worth the $99 you paid for Amazon prime. I want it to be like that, to where you can remember one Slack experience or one newsletter where you got a tip or whatever that was enough value. And that those things, those trigger points of what creates the value are going to be different for different people. But my goal is there’s something within your year of Post Status that’s going to make you feel like it was worth subscribing. And therefore when their renewal reminder comes up, you’re going to be like, “Yeah. I’m going to stick with this for another year.”

Joe Casabona: We talked a little bit about how Post Status has transformed. So, I’m going to skip over that question and move right to the, what are your plans for the future?I know there’s a lot of inside jokes in the Post Status room. But I mean, you know, what’s kind of on the docket for the next year or so?

Brian Krogsgard:  Sure. So there’s a few things that I desperately wanted to do that I just pulled the trigger on. And,  I always thought it would be cool to bring Post Status to real life in terms of community-wise. 

So, I’ve done a couple of parties at WordCamps, which has been a pretty decent marketing tool. So people might join just to come to this party where they can have a couple of beers and hang out with other people that are in Post Status.  I took that a step further this time by planning an event. So I’m doing a one-day conference and there’s pretty low commitment this time around because I piggybacked on the same date as WordCamp US. So about half my customers went to WordCamp US last year. So if that happens again, then it should be pretty convenient for them to have an add-on event to come to my thing. So having a full-day conference of Post Status events is one thing that’s in December. And I’m really excited about that. 

Another one I’ve been promising this basically since I launched, maybe before I launched a year and a half ago, that eventually one of the features was going to be a job board. I’m on the verge of launching this job board, but it has not happened yet. And it’s not a technical limitation. But adding the job board adds a whole lot of things because I know it can be a good resource. There’s a lot of people ready to post jobs there. But I also have to bring potential candidates to actually be visiting the job board. I also have to be managing the admin communications in terms of the job people applying or,  submit, you know, posting their jobs. I also have to be doing a good job with email campaigns in terms of sending it to not only my members list but my free list. And making sure those jobs are getting properly marketed to the broader world.

And generally, I wanted to make sure like my life is in order otherwise so that I’m ready to run a job board.  Also my editorial assistant, Katie Richards, she’s going to take on a lot of the duties of running a lot of the day-to-day administration on the job board. So that will be incredibly helpful. But I didn’t want to launch a job board and then not properly market it, bring people to it. All that kind of stuff. 

So I get trolled a lot about, “Hey, where’s the Post Status job boards vaporware”. But it’s something that I want it to be ready to be run smoothly when it launches. So that’s why I’ve waited. It’s not because of technical limitations. So I’m really excited for that to finally launch.

I have several more things that I am always wanting to work on, but I can only do one thing at a time. I will admit one code thing you asked earlier. I didn’t really talk much about code, but it was all custom development, a lot of custom post types. So like the private content as a custom post type, the profiles were a custom post type. And that’s one where I’ll admit, I made a mistake. I should’ve just used the users. Cause everyone that signs up as a member is a user. They become a registered user. For various reasons, I decided to make their profiles a custom post type so I’m not getting the advantages that WordPress offers in terms of editing a regular old profile in WordPress when they’re updating their profiles. So they submitted it, but I’m actually one of my projects going forward is to actually convert profiles back to just the user’s information. So all the custom meta, and fields, and everything that exists, the taxonomies, all of these Interesting things that are happening with profiles, I’m going to be converting those to the native WordPress user ecosystem. 

So that’s a code project that’s going to be coming up probably towards the end of the year. And, you know, that’s the type of thing where I just learned a lesson that a custom post type for profiles really wasn’t the best solution even though it was a little easier to do right out of the gate. Long-term doing what I want to do with profiles will be better as WordPress users.

So, I’m always learning stuff like that. So, not letting your codebase get stale is pretty important. That’s happened a couple of times. So I try to make sure I’m always acknowledging the code base that Post Status is built on and making sure things are relatively up to date there. 

Joe Casabona: Nice. That’s a good lesson. That’s a good lesson learned. And I’ll say I’m going back to the job boards thing like I bought the domain or whatever. And I like technologically, I set up the job board and like a night. Right. I use BeaverBuilder and like some lists plugins. But like you’re exactly right. The management, the bringing the people who want to post jobs, the bringing the people who are looking for jobs and just the whole administration aspect of it is not easy. So I have something in the back of my mind that is less a job board for WP careers because it’s not easy. But,  I think with the rest of the Post Status community we’ll be looking forward to the Post Status job board. Not because I’m looking for a job, just because we’re excited to see it. Just to be clear, I’m not looking for a job.

Great. So, one more question, and this is probably my favorite to ask. Do you have any trade secrets for us?

Brian Krogsgard: Oh, man. So what kind of trade secret? I always carry a lot of secrets. I feel like that’s important if you’re in the news business. I guess one of the things that I see a lot is people assume that they can make something and then it’ll just happen. And really, you know, what you hear people say like, that overnight success that only took three years to materialize, that’s definitely very true. And everything takes a lot of work, you know. And it’s so easy to want to just throw something out there and see how it does. Most of those things are going to be destined to fail unless you just really hit the nail on the head. Like for example, take the 2007, 2008 theme makers. So commercial theme makers could literally throw something up there and people were desperate for better WordPress themes. It’s not that time anymore. It’s not a gold rush for WordPress products, and for most people that are making WordPress products, there’s a lot of work upfront. And you have to be willing to do the marketing, the SEO, the time, and the investment. And you might put in a hundred hours that you could have charged a hundred dollars or $150 an hour for client work. And you put it into a commercial plugin, or product or SaaS or whatever. And It takes you a month to get your first five customers. So you make five, say it’s a hundred dollars, say you make $500 in that month that you could have billed out a hundred hours at $150 a month. 

So you have to be willing to play the slow game when you’re releasing stuff in WordPress. And if you’re expecting it to be fast, then I think you need to reset your expectations. So it’s not exactly a trade secret, but it’s a mistake that I see over and over again where people are expecting, “Oh, I launched. Now give me all the customers like you all will obviously want this right now because that’s when I made it.” And in reality, they’re gonna have to discover it. And it takes a while to be discovered. So that’s my trade secret. Be patient. Do the work. And play the slow game.

Joe Casabona: That’s excellent. That basically recaps the last two episodes. I talked to Jason Coleman and he said, you know, be patient. It’s not going to be a gold rush. And Rebecca Gill, you know, she and I talked about the exact, it takes however many years to become an overnight success. Right. You watch the Olympics, you see the gold medal performance. But you don’t see all the pain, sweat, and sacrifice that went into getting to the Olympics. So.

Brian Krogsgard: Yeah. It only takes you saying a bolt like nine and a half seconds or whatever, to win a gold medal. But it took him, you know, a lifetime of training.

Joe Casabona: That’s right. Well, Brian, thank you so much for joining me today. We had such a great conversation.

And thank you everybody for listening. Once again, this episode was sponsored by SiteGround. So go ahead and check them out over at

Next week, we’re going to have Cory Miller talking about iThemes and all the great things he does.

So until next week, get out there and build something.


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