WordPress Publishing: A Panel Discussion ft. Elegant Themes, Torque, Post Status, & WordImpress

Posted on October 1, 2016 by in Community |

WordPress Publishing: A Panel Discussion ft. Elegant Themes, Torque, Post Status, & WordImpress

In today’s blog post I’d like to share the video recording of a panel discussion I had the pleasure of participating in this past week on the state of WordPress Publishing. Or, more specifically, the state of publishing about WordPress.

The primary goal of this panel was to identify and discuss the challenges facing WordPress publishers large and small. The central theme of the talk seemed to be “blogging about WordPress as a community service” and each of the participants spent a decent amount of time talking about how the publication they represent attempts to do that.

I’ve embedded the video below and included some of my post discussion thoughts. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as we did. If you’d like to share your own thoughts, please join the discussion in the comments section below.

The State of Publishers in WordPress

This panel was organized and moderated by Matt Cromwell of WordImpress and included Brian Krogsgard of Post Status, Marie Dodson of Torque Magazine, and myself as a representative of Elegant Themes.

In addition to watching this chat, I would encourage everyone to check out these publications and say hi in their comments 🙂

On Serving the WordPress Community

wordpress-community-service

Describe briefly how your publication serves and enhances the WordPress project and community.

  • Marie: Torque focuses on being a broad, objective news and WordPress educational source for the WordPress Community. They write for WordPress users of all skill levels.
  • Brian: Post Status is a publication geared toward WordPress professionals; people who make their living through WordPress.
  • Nathan: At Elegant Themes we focus on providing WordPress beginners, DIY business owners, and Web Designers incredibly useful (and almost always free) tools, tips, and resources.
  • Every publication about WordPress exists for a reason. Each one has an ROI (return on investment) model that reflects that. Understanding the underlying objectives of each publication can help you decide which one will be most helpful to you.
  • Editors who are creating content that is not targeted at an audience which provides them a clear ROI path will likely struggle as a publication. It seemed to me that each publication represented here had figured that out.

On Editorial Challenges

editorial-challenges-1

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a publisher?

  • Nathan: Bandwidth. It’s always a huge concern on my part that our community knows we are listening to them and responding to their problems and concerns with excellent content as quicky as we are able.
  • Brian: Marketing. Balancing free content that grows the community with premium content that enriches his current community.
  • Marie: Distributed team. Dealing with the logistics of a remote workforce can be quite the challenge for publishers. Especially editors who end up being the main point of contact for everyone. Tools like Slack have been invaluable for the WordPress Publishing community.

On Fostering Loyalty

wordpress-community-loyalty

What do you do to generate loyalty with your readers?

  • Brian: started a slack channel that unexpected became a fan favorite and key feature of Post Status’ membership.
  • Nathan: social outreach. We have a really passionate community and instead of trying to control or even manage it all, we focus on participating and listening.
  • Marie: social engagement and humor. Examples include “Doc’s News Drops” and “Torque Toons”.

On Editorial Decisions

tough-editorial-decisions

What has challenged you as an editor recently?

  • Nathan: Striking the right balance between general WordPress/Web Design content and Divi specific content. Along with all of the new changes involved in the transition from one post per day to two posts per day (with videos).
  • Marie: Objectivity when comparing WordPress to other platforms.
  • Brian: Balancing what you publish with the full extent of knowledge that you know. Specifically, knowing when not to share certain elements of a story to protect individuals and long term relationships.

On The Biggest Problem Facing WordPress-Focused Publishing Today

wordpress-publishing-problem

What would you describe as the biggest problem with WordPress-focused publishing today?

  • Nathan: Insufficient or mismatched economic incentives.
  • Brian: Really qualified people within the WordPress community not giving back by sharing what they’ve learned about WordPress (often for free).
  • Marie: Agreed with Brian on this point. Noting that perhaps the lack of inclusivity in the community may contribute to some people not feeling comfortable with sharing.

Final Thoughts

I couldn’t be happier that this type of conversation is going on between major publications about WordPress. To sit down and talk shop with other like-minded individuals about how we approach serving our respective “slices” of the broader WordPress Community was a real pleasure. In case you couldn’t tell, I was ready to talk for hours!

But now it’s time to turn the mic over to you.

What are your thoughts on the state of publishing about WordPress?

Featured image via ProStockStudio / Shutterstock.com

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