3 Things To Remember If You Start a Site About WordPress

Oli Dale has an article on WPLift that describes what subject matter he’d focus on if he started a site devoted to WordPress today. Throughout the article, he mentions niches that are already well covered such as WordPress news and tutorials. He concludes the article suggesting that new sites about WordPress be narrowly focused on a niche, such as Church blogs or freelancing/product owners.

I’d Still Write About Whatever Interests Me

After reading his post, I started thinking about what I would write about if I started a WordPress site today. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I wouldn’t be able to limit myself to just one topic of interest. Writing about whatever interests me is what makes the process of blogging enjoyable. Over the years, I’ve learned that one of the hardest things to do is write about something I have no interest in.

Repeat Bananna
photo credit: Sister72cc

Before deciding on whether to start a new site about WordPress, consider whether you’ll be doing it for fun or for profit. This decision will help determine which types of content you write. It’s also easier to monetize a site up front rather than making the change at the height of the site’s success.

When I launched the Tavern, it was a labor of love more so than an opportunity to make a buck. However, there came a time when the light bulb went off and I discovered I could combine my love for writing about WordPress and make money doing it. It also helped that I had the support of my audience to make that decision.

People Want To Know About The Business Of WordPress

For my day job, I read a lot of material about WordPress from all over the web. One of the topics I’ve noticed that people have an insatiable appetite for is the business of WordPress. Five to six years ago, there were fewer businesses and consultancy agencies around WordPress.

Today, it feels like there are a ton of 1-5 person shops ready to grow their business and are looking for mentors to provide the information they need to make informed decisions. The business of WordPress is definitely an area that could use more content written by experienced and professional consultants, agencies, and enterprise level companies.

Showcase Sites and Products That Give WordPress That WOW Factor

A very narrow niche that could be tapped into is showcasing websites or products that give WordPress that WOW factor. There are so many sites built with WordPress, that it would be nice to see a site devoted to the cream of the crop. Sure, there is the WordPress showcase but it doesn’t tell you all of the juicy details that were involved in the making of the site. A site in this niche could focus on case studies, interviews with decision makers, etc.

One of the reasons I think a site devoted to this niche could be successful is this feeling that WordPress has reached a point where it’s boring. We know that WordPress is used to build websites, large and small, and that it’s capable of doing much more.

But there is not one site that I know of acting as a living archive that showcases how people are pushing the boundaries of the software. Common terms being used today to describe WordPress are, platform, application framework, and development framework. What does any of that mean and what are some concrete examples that define those terms?

Using WordPress For eCommerce Is Growing In Popularity

eCommerce is a WordPress vertical that continues to grow in popularity. I almost feel as though you could do no wrong by starting a website devoted to the eCommerce space. Although I haven’t come across one just yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are sites dedicated to the WooCommerce ecosystem. WooCommerce has turned into a cottage industry and there are always interesting things happening in the space. Not to mention there are plenty of affiliate program opportunities with several of the popular eCommerce systems.

Three Pieces Of Advice

WordPress as an open source software project is 11 years old. It’s used on nearly 23% of the web. There are plenty of podcasts, watering holes, and sites devoted to it. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that there may be one or more people covering a niche. Determine what sets you apart from everyone else and go for it. It’s possible to make a dent in the WordPress sphere of influence, Chris Lema is living proof. In early 2012, Lema was an unknown in the WordPress community. Thanks to his hard work, consistency, and ability to educate readers using the power of story telling, he’s become an influential voice. This is why I jokingly say he “came out of nowhere“.

If you decide to start your journey today, I have three pieces of advice. Be yourself, share your experiences so others can learn, and try to help others. It’s amazing how far these three things can take you.

What other verticals or topics are under exposed in the WordPress community? What additional types of content would you like to see on the Tavern?


21 responses to “3 Things To Remember If You Start a Site About WordPress”

  1. Hi Jeff, I think you’re dead right that you’ve got to write about the things that interest you.

    There’s no doubt though that the WordPress News category is well-covered ( the Tavern and Post Status leading the way in that category imo, no doubt others will have their personal favourites that speak to them).

    A newcomer in that category would struggle to get traction, unless they are doing something extraordinary.

    Delighted to see you mention Chris Lema – an inspirational blogger and a great example of a WordPress non-News site.

    Personally, I’d love to see more sites focusing in detail on how WordPress is used in a specific vertical, even though it might not be one that is directly within my sphere of interest there’s always something you can learn from it.

    So far as content for the Tavern – it’s great as it is, don’t dilute the beer!

    • Concerning WordPress news sites, WP Candy had one of the best recipes for success, they just needed to keep going. WP Daily is a close second but if you research how John Saddington reached success with the site, it required a ton of effort to the point that he essentially became a content machine. You can only do that for so long before something has to give, either hiring help or slowing down.

      I’ve said this several times, but if I were going to start a WordPress news site, I would need capital to invest in a good looking website and hire enough people to cover the broadest aspects of WordPress. Preferably, the people I hire would have interests in multiple subjects. For example, BuddyPress and bbPress. eCommerce and the business of WordPress, along with everything else. I think you’d be able to get by with 5 or 6 writers tops, to cover the gamut and cover it well. Not bombard people with content, but deliver a variety with videos, audio, and long/short form posts. But then, what would the return of investment be in all that. Where is the real opportunity to make my money back? Bah, I digress.

      And yes, very specific sites focusing on one vertical probably have the best chance at achieving some sort of success at this point. They could even become the authority site on the subject.

  2. Good point. Any project that is lucrative but uninteresting to you is destined for failure.

    I’d love to see a blog that focuses on promising new WordPress products and services. Something with the personality of Matt Report’s WordPress Startup Challenge.

    I also imagine a WordPress blog geared entirely for common WordPress users. No code, no business. WP Beginner gets massive traffic and I can’t help but think there’s room for others.

      • I see common users as WordPress users that never code, don’t work for clients and don’t run a business. They just use WordPress, themes and plugins as is. I imagine them being interested in practical tips, reviews and news to help them with their one or two sites. I see them as being more interested in WP Beginner and WPKube than WP Tavern or Post Status.

        It’s hard to compete against established sites but there are tens of millions of WordPress users and most are common users. Yet I know of maybe 10 successful sites targeting this audience. Is that number so low in proportion to the size of the audience because those sites squeeze out the competition or is it so low because competitors are simply not consistent?

  3. Hi Jeff, really nice article where you hit the nail right on the head. It is pretty important to write about things that you are interested in and that you are enthusiastic about – otherwise it won’t take long until you get bored or your readers realize that your are not authentic. So everyone starting a WP blog should really think deeply about what to write about – and for those still struggeling: Just ship it :)

  4. Hi Jeff
    “Writing about whatever interests me is what makes the process of blogging enjoyable.”

    That’s the main reason I subscribe to the Tavern: you cover most aspects of WordPress, not just code or themes….

    I’m not interested in everything you cover but I do read and leave comments on the posts that interest me.


  5. The WP eCommerce blogging space is definitely heating up.

    As Phil mentioned, Beka does a great job at SellWithWP covering all the exciting things happening in the WP eCommerce sphere. It’s quickly becoming the encyclopaedia of eCommerce on WordPress.

    We just kicked off our new blog a couple of weeks ago which is (mostly) WooCommerce focused. We’re still finding out voice, but hope to regularly showcase WooCommerce sites that include a “WOW factor”, like Smiles For The People, which we featured in our first interview with a entrepreneur.

    WooThemes also seem to be beginning to showcase more great WooCommerce sites on their blog, as this cool WooCommerce Case Study signals.

    • I hope that Beka keeps it up because she has an awesome site right now, but if you loses the momentum or decides to shift focus, it’s incredibly hard to get that back. Also glad to see you getting into the mix. I love that WooThemes does case studies of actual businesses running their eCommerce software. That’s a winning strategy for them. I’d like to see more of that from product companies.

  6. I can see a lot of opportunities in the “business of WordPress niche.” Every week I stumble upon new theme stores, plugin stores, WP design agencies, you name it. I guess all those people will come looking for specific WP business advice … on top of the general marketing blogs that there are thousands of.

  7. Very timely post, Jeff. I appreciate the advice. I’ve been scouring the net for resources that make it easy to use WordPress as a platform for developing web and SaaS apps, a topic you guys have covered in the past, and was surprised that there really wasn’t one site covering this niche. So, for my personal benefit, I’ve started cataloging what I’ve found on http://wpappworld.com.

    I think it’s interesting that this topic has gotten time on Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word keynote for two years now and there are still some that have strong feelings against the idea. I’m writing about what I find for purely selfish reasons and I wouldn’t mind seeing more coverage of this discussion throughout the web.

    Thanks for your great coverage of the WordPress ecosystem.

  8. Exactly the thing that I was looking for.

    I have been using WordPress for over 7 years now. I have a blog about Chrome and Chrome OS which is doing good, but wanted to do something around WordPress. (I did try writing a blog about Firefox, but that did not take off because I do not use Firefox much after switching to Chrome)

    And, the blog niche that you suggested, that’s the thing that I have in my mind. I have selected a domain name, and I am writing down possible topics, and (almost) decided on this: A site about what WordPress can do other than creating blogs.

    I am a technical writer by profession, and I installed WP internally as a knowledge base, and that’s when I started thinking about this niche.

    Wish me good luck!! :) (and your mentorship if possible!)


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