Last week, I attended the third annual PressNomics conference in Phoenix, AZ. The event focuses on the business side of the WordPress ecosystem and provides opportunities for business owners to learn from those who are blazing a path towards success. On the evening before PressNomics, I joined several business owners for dinner.
A half hour into the meal, I listened intently to various conversations taking place around the table. Topics of conversation included: market segments, customer satisfaction, and business partnerships. At this point I realized I was definitely at a business conference.
The Family Delivers Opening Remarks
Joshua and Sally Strebel along with their kids, appeared on stage and delivered the opening remarks. It’s as if the family invited every attendee into their home for a family reunion.
— Brian Krogsgard (@Krogsgard) January 22, 2015
Despite several competing businesses, companies, and products under one roof, I witnessed so many small groups of people discussing strategy as if they’re all friends. I felt a positive energy amongst the crowd and several attendees left the event in high spirits, ready to take their businesses to the next level.
The room was packed with attendees for every session since PressNomics chose not to record or live stream the event. The following is a list of memorable points from the sessions I enjoyed most.
Joshua Strebel interviews Dre Armeda
Joshua Strebel interviewed Dre Armeda on stage with a bottle of scotch. Aremda described how he became involved with WordPress and founded Sucuri, where he turned a two-person part-time hobby into a multi-million dollar, 30+ employee company. He also talked about his role as Vice President of Operations for WebDevStudios.
Ben Chan is the Director of Growth and Revenue at Envato. The statistics he shared confirm that Envato is a huge player in various markets such as WordPress themes, audio files, and plugins. His slides are not available online, but I archived a few stats using Twitter. “Note that the earnings are before Envato takes their cut.”
- In the first 30 days, the Automotive theme on ThemeForest had 300+ sales generating over $15K in sales.
- In less than 10 months, the WPlus theme had over 4K+ sales.
- In 2014, Visual Composer was the best selling plugin on CodeCanyon. The second best product is built on top of it.
- Easy Social Share buttons plugin by Appscreo has over 6K+ sales on CodeCanyon.
- Of the top 50 selling WordPress themes in 2014, 67% are new to the list versus 2013.
- 79% of themes describe themselves as responsive, but make up 93% of overall earnings.
- Only 4% of themes in the ThemeForest marketplace have earned less than $1K in their lifetime.
- Envato supports initiatives in the WordPress community. One example is funding John James Jacoby to work on GlotPress, bbPress, and BuddyPress full-time for six months.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 23, 2015
Selena Larson who writes for the Daily Dot, shared tips on how businesses can receive press by improving their pitches. I agreed with pretty much everything she said on the matter and hope those in attendance took notes. Here are a few highlights:
- Stop using jargon to pitch a product because no one talks like that.
- Describe your product, service, or business in two sentences or less.
- Balance your innovation with something that’s familiar. Don’t talk to reporters as if they’re investors because they’re not.
- Product Hunt is a good way to test the market or pitch a product without involving the press.
As bonus material, be sure to read our guide on how to promote newly released plugins.
Danny Sullivan, who is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land, presented on the topic of SEO. It’s a topic I’ve stayed away from and don’t talk about much, but Sullivan’s presentation was not only entertaining, it was enlightening. He showed a brief history of the Google homepage and described why numerous claims of SEO being dead are false.
The one thing I took away from his presentation is that SEO will never die, but continue to evolve. Because of Sullivan’s presentation, I’m going to open my mind to SEO instead of writing it off.
— Remkus de Vries (@DeFries) January 23, 2015
The CTO and Chief Strategist at Crowd Favorite, Chris Lema, is one of my favorite speakers. He knows how to tell a story and keep the audience engaged. For this presentation, Lema shared tips and disciplines for getting things done. My favorite tip from his session is to start the day writing a list of three things you need to get done. Getting 2-3 items finished each day builds confidence and provides a historical record of things that are done.
His stance on putting family first is an important strategy I need to work on. So far, listing three things to accomplish each day is working. I feel better about myself and it’s helping me figure out when I’ve had a good day.
The last session featured Joshua Strebel interviewing Matt Mullenweg on stage, but I’m going to dissect that session in a separate post.
A Lot of Fun
Not only are the Strebels great hosts, they donated over $10K of proceeds from the event to the CureSearch for Children’s Cancer charity. If there’s a PressNomics 4 and you’re involved in the economics of WordPress, I highly encourage you to attend.
My goal was to be a fly on the wall for as many conversations as possible and I feel like I’ve accomplished that goal. I wouldn’t be surprised if several strategic partnerships are announced in the next few months with PressNomics being the birth place of the conversation.
If you can’t wait for PressNomics 4, consider attending Prestige Las Vegas, NV, February 27-28th. Similar to PressNomics, it’s a conference focused on the business side of WordPress.
Here are a few other photos from the event.