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October 2020

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E118 – Accelerating audience growth through affordable accessibility (Ahmed Khalifa, Hear Me Out! [CC])

In todayโ€™s episode, Joe talks to Ahmed Khalifa of Hear Me Out! [CC]), a place where hearing people can learn how to connect and engage with deaf people better, plus work together to bridge the gap between the hearing and deaf worlds.

Joe and Ahmed discuss the level of accessibility of content in the deaf community, what makes a website more accessible, importance of Alt Text and descriptions in images, how to possibly improve WordCamp conferences, and optimizing websites with good transcripts. 

Listen in for more insight on global accessibility and transcription machinery!

What to Listen For: Accessibility of content

  • [00:01:15] Today we have Ahmed Khalifa on the pod!
  • [00:02:57] Ahmed’s deafness spectrum, backstory, and wonderful journey
  • [00:07:14] Hearing impaired is not the right word for it!
  • [00:10:34] “My accent is just my upbringing.” – Ahmed Khalifa
  • [00:12:14] Accessibility of content for people hard of hearing 
  • [00:20:35] Easy action items to make content more accessible, captions more readable
  • [00:24:40] Good audio quality is crucial to get good transcripts
  • [00:28:43] What makes a website more accessible?
  • [00:31:46] The power of Alt Text in images
  • [00:35:50] How to make WordCamp conferences more accessible
  • [00:42:24] How about post-production sponsorship to improve accessibility?
  • [00:45:05] Where to find Ahmed Khalifa

Episode Resources

Podcast Transcript

Joe:

Hey, hey. Joe here. This week on the podcast I had the chance to speak with Ahmed Khalifa. Ahmed and I had a truly awesome conversation. I always know when I do an extra good episode because I learn a lot and Ahmed and I just really hit it off and some people you just have really good on podcast chemistry with. You’re just like, he has a point, I have a point. It really ran smoothly. So I thought this episode turned out great.

Ahmed is a WordPress SEO freelancer, or at least that’s one of the things he specializes in but he is also an advocate and deaf awareness public speaker and trainer. So we talked a little bit about SEO content marketing but definitely a lot about accessibility, deaf awareness, the deaf and hard of hearing community and also the overlap between the two. For example, when it comes to alt image descriptions, when it comes to SEO. That stuff is super interesting. Without further adieu, please welcome the one and only Ahmed Khalifa.

Yo, good WordPress people, welcome back to the WPMRR WordPress Podcast. Today we have Ahmed Khalifa with us. Ahmed, super nice to meet you. Tell us a little bit about what you do online. I was super interested to see all the stuff you’re working on. Some stuff I’m actually not super familiar with but I think that’s one of the reasons I like to have guests like you on the podcast to talk to me and maybe some of audience about stuff that I don’t know enough about. So why don’t you tell folks a little bit about what you do online.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Of course, I’m happy to do it. Well there are two things that I do online. The main thing that I have my background is I focus a lot of my work on WordPress SEO. I’ve been in the industry for over a decade. I’ve been doing it on the side for a long time and I enjoy it. I love it, part of a community and it’s great fun. Then on your other side I am very vocal about deafness because I am deaf myself and I talk a lot about deaf awareness and this could be in various sector of the world. It could be in a workplace, it could be at school, it could be university. Whatever it is I give examples of what you could do to make things better for other people, make better for me and I share stories and tips and advice on just helping the world to be more deaf aware and that allows the communication to be as smooth as possible.

Joe:

Yeah, very cool. I have a background in SEO and content marketing and stuff. So we can chat a little bit about that as well but I usually like to start off, because I’m selfish. I want to hear and learn about the stuff I don’t know as much about and I’d love to dive into some of the work you do in the deaf community but first I’d actually like to hear a little bit more about your personal background. Is being deaf something you were born with? Is it something that happened when you were young? Was it an event? I guess I’d like to hear a little bit more about the background so I can really know what eventually brought you into working in this community online, really helping others.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Yeah, of course. It makes sense. I want to set the tone and make sure you understand it from stories.

Joe:

Totally.

Ahmed Khalifa:

So basically I am classified as moderately to profoundly deaf. I’ve been like that since birth. I’m wearing hearing aids as well and it’s under my headphones. I should wear it all the time but I’m quite stubborn. I’m just like, nah, don’t want to do it. Sometimes it’s a personal thing. It’s like don’t feel comfortable with it sometimes or other times just too much noise, not great. Everyone has their own experience with it but it’s been a challenge all of my life. It’s pretty much a challenge every second of your life. Really there’s no getting away from it. You have to live with it and you can’t hide from it but that’s the problem. For a few decades I’ve been hiding it. I’ve been just pushing it aside and not taking it seriously and of course, I’ve been growing up in a mainstream environment, mainstream school, mainstream world. That is all I know but then I realize I’m really making things more difficult.

When I became more vocal online in terms of website and creating content around SEO and content, all of these things. That’s all well and good but then I realized one day I wanted to let go. I wanted to come out of my closet, if you like, and just declare it to the world. It made me realize that if I was more open about it, actually make things easier for me and the other person. It took me a long time to realize it. So by being open about it I did a video on YouTube a few years ago and I said, “Here I am. This is what I am.” That kind of kick started the whole thing.

When I did that and then I did a few videos after that, the reaction and engagement and the comments has been amazing from people that I know and people I don’t know and even the people who know me, they didn’t know about this at all because I hide it very well. I decided to be more open about it using the help of content. So I do it on videos, which is captioned obviously, and I do on podcasts. I put transcript on that and of course, I write, type my blog posts on top of it as well and I do all of that on my website which is hearmeoutcc.com. CC stand for closed caption. I’m a big caption advocate.

Thankfully the content has been working so well that I get people around the world reaching out to me saying, “Thank you. This helped me a lot and to hear from a person who’s deaf, I feel less alone.” Or from another person who says, “Thank you. I’ve got a student in my class and I want to help that person. I didn’t know what to do. Your content has helped me a lot.” It’s a really nice thing that people really take good use of my content and they find it beneficial.

From a selfish point of view, yes it feels good but it’s very therapeutic and that’s why I enjoy talking about it a bit more. As you say, you want to learn about it. I’m happy to teach you about it and the listeners about it as well.

Joe:

Yeah, it’s a beautiful story. I love hearing stories about how people use the internet to become more comfortable in their own skin because there’s this … You can put out content and video without necessarily being one on one with someone just talking about this stuff and it’s … That can put more pressure on situations. I’ve been in situations like that too and being able to write a blog post about something or do a podcast about something, it creates just that little bit of separation that makes it, I think, a little bit more comfortable maybe once you’ve gotten to do it … Maybe the first time you do it it’s a little scary but once you get into the rhythm of things, a little more comfortable. 

One thing, we were actually offline before we started recording this podcast we were just chatting and I mentioned the terminology, hearing impaired, when I was just asking about some of the stuff you do and you actually gave me a little course correction there, which I super appreciated. But can you talk a little bit about some of the terminology people, or I guess terminology you feel comfortable with people using. Obviously I thing people use terminology … I personally use that terminology. I didn’t mean anything bad by it, of course, but I think people always prefer people to use certain terminology. I know I prefer people to use certain terminology when they talk about people maybe of our skin color, right? There’s obviously preferences around these things. 

So talk a little bit about that, I guess that course correction you pointed me towards and maybe some of the other terminology that you and maybe other folks in your community feel comfortable with folks using and what people should use to describe folks in your community.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Yeah, of course. I know it came from a good place. I don’t take any offense from it.

Joe:

Right, of course.

Ahmed Khalifa:

I want to clarify that for everyone. Don’t worry. I’m not having a go at Joe and say, dammit man, what are you doing? No. Not about that.

Joe:

I told Ahmed, I told you to be hard on me. I told you to make sure you course correct me. If I say something, hey maybe isn’t the right way to say something so totally but appreciate it.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Totally. The idea is that people don’t realize that the word deaf can mean a lot of things. It’s a huge, huge spectrum and it can be broken down into many things. One thing people should understand that there are people who are proud of it. It’s not a negative thing. Some people don’t see it as a disability. It’s a culture. There’s a big history around it and because of that the terminology of the word impaired implies that there’s a negative thing about it. There’s a negative connotation to it and there’s a growing movement now, people saying, “We don’t want people saying hearing impaired.” Not everyone. There will be people who don’t mind it.

Joe:

Sure.

Ahmed Khalifa:

But it seems to be more vocal now. People say, “Hearing impaired is not the right way to say it because it just adds a negative stigma to the word deafness and it’s not necessarily a bad thing”, and that’s what I’m trying to come to terms with and I’ve gotten better at is I’m accepting it as a good thing because I used to see it as negative. Because of that then the idea is you can use the word deaf. Deaf is not a bad word. It’s not an insult. It’s totally fine. 

Then there are people who want to maybe break it down. Some people prefer hard of hearing, which technically I also go under that category as well. So I’m happy with deaf and/or hard of hearing. Both is fine for me.

Then you can break it down even further. You can go [inaudible 00:09:36], you can go deaf/blind. Then you really get into the small details about the personality of a person, the deafness, the spectrum. You will then realize that no two deaf people are the same. Everyone has their own way of dealing with it. Everyone has their own identity and I think, I know you talk about that a lot on the podcast about your identity, how you label yourself, how you describe yourself. It’s up to you to decide that. Other people don’t decide for you. It’s the same thing with the topic of deaf and deafness in general. It is a proud thing and that’s what I’m being better at that’s why I’m being more open and showing my face is that I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not ashamed of it all. I’m being vocal about it because I want to talk about it.

So it’s great that people, like you said, want to learn from me about these things and that’s what I’m getting for my content. People want to learn and I love that. It’s really awesome.

Joe:

Yeah. Super cool, man. I appreciate you sharing that. Before we forget, tell folks also where you’re from in the world because you have a super interesting accent and I want to dig into that too.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Well, I’ve got a very confusing accent. So I am currently in-

Joe:

I didn’t say that.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Well, no, no, I will say that. I’m going to put my hand up and say, dude, I’ve got a confusing accent and there’s a reason behind that. So I live in Edinburgh, in Scotland. I grew up in the UK. I grew up in Northern Ireland near Belfast. So I’ve got that accent thrown in there. Sometimes it comes out depending who I’m speaking to. I lived in England and then I lived in Scotland. So I moved around quite a lot to the point where easy for me to pick up the accents whenever I go somewhere. When I speak to a certain someone, like for example I was speaking to my friend recently from Belfast, the accent just comes out and it’s a different accent to what you hear right now. So it’s just my upbringing. I don’t know why I pick up accents and then it just get all mixed together. It’s a confusing one. My cousin called Escangladish accent. Scottish, English and Irish accent. I don’t know if that’s the word but that’s what they call it.

Joe:

Sounds right. Cool, man. Okay. Going back to some of the stuff you were talking about earlier. I would love to hear a little bit about maybe some of your experiences either attending online events or trying to honestly, even independent of events, just trying to use the internet, browse the internet and maybe some of the negative experiences you’ve had being someone who’s hard of hearing to either attend maybe an online summit or watch a YouTube video that doesn’t have the right transcripts or captioning or things like that because I think a lot of folks think about accessibility in the grand scheme of things and I think a lot of folks think of it as something that’s not always in their financial benefit to add some of these helpful things so that everybody can absorb their content. At least that’s what I’ve seen. If I’m just being honest I think I’ve gotten that vibe around … 

I’d love to talk a little bit about maybe some of the experiences you’ve had trying to absorb content online and not really being able to because something wasn’t accessible to you because I think that story is really important. So anything come top of mind or just in general? Are there some areas that you’re just like man, this totally sucks when it comes to accessibility for people who are deaf?

Ahmed Khalifa:

Totally. I think a lot of people can relate to what I’m going to say about accessing content and when I say content it could be videos, it could be podcasts, it could be a person speaking on stage, that type of content, and they are all challenging in their own way. 

so if we talked about, for example, videos in terms of either YouTube or even the cinema. A huge problem for me in terms of being able to understand what’s going on. When someone like me tries to listen to someone, your brain’s working extra harder because you are listening extra harder and it requires extra cognitive energy to listen to that person. So for example, we’re talking right now but I deliberately limit the number of calls per day because I know I will be exhausted from overworking my brain just trying to listen really, really hard. 

That happens for me when I go to the cinema. I come out from a cinema exhausted because I try to listen and most of the time I don’t. In my time of spending so much money and going to the cinema so many times I’ve only been able to understand it once in my life. That was only when they have got a screening with captions on it and that was for Star Wars, the last Star Wars movie. It’s a problem that happens everywhere in that when you look at the timetable of when they are caption screened in a cinema, it’s very limited and not only it’s limited. The options or times are not very social times. For example, a Tuesday morning or a Thursday afternoon and they just assume people can go there but like all of us, we have jobs. We work during the day and we want to be able to go on a Friday night or a Saturday night but I’ve never had that option. So for this occasion, to watch Star Wars, I watch it on Sunday night, which is okay but not Friday night or Saturday night. So there’s a problem with that alone with cinema. It’s just a big nightmare.

In terms of YouTube it’s another story. It’s a constant battle against YouTube themself and the creator to encourage them to caption their videos. You don’t realize that you get a lot out of captioning videos in terms of getting more people, more engagement and it’s better for video SEO as well because Google can’t really see what you’re saying in the video but the uploaded SRT file, which contain the captions, they can read that and they’ll understand what your video is about. That’s the benefit as well. It’s really beneficial for me.

So when people [inaudible 00:15:47] by auto caption then they say, “Oh no, you’ve got auto caption.” I admit auto caption is getting better. Google announced it back in November 2009, I believe, when they first announced it and people were making a big deal about it. It was okay and gotten better but it will never be perfect. People are really frustrated auto caption because in the deaf community it is known as craption, literally because they’re crap and that’s the whole thing. It’s just they’re crap and they’re not accurate, they’re not easy to follow and people assume that’s enough but I can promise you from someone who depends on captions, they’re not enough. They will not do at all but you have that as your draft and you can edit it and make it work really well.

Then podcasts is another problem. I can listen to some podcasts but that will be depend on audio quality and background noise and also my sanity. If I have the energy then I’ll do it but sometimes I would rather just prefer to read the transcripts. So that’s another way of doing it and again, if you have a transcript that can be converted into a blog post and that blog post will be readable by Google. There are so many benefits to it.

So a constant battle across all of these mediums. I’m trying very, very hard to talk about it and tell me about. FYI, I need it, millions of us need it but you will also get the benefit out of it because you’ll get more people who can access it and by the way, it’s not just deaf people. There are so many people who will benefit from it. That person can be, maybe have a learning disability or maybe attention deficit disorder. Maybe that person is learning the language and doesn’t know your language but with subtitles or captions, they can follow it. Or maybe like a lot of us, we’re just watching the video in silence and I’m sure we have all done that at least once in our lifetime, to watch videos in silence. So having captions just makes sense.

It’s a constant battle but hopefully the more I talk about it, hopefully people will understand that it’s beneficial for many people as a creator and as a consumer.

Joe:

Yeah. I think a lot of the things you said really rang true with me. We have a YouTube channel that Ali on our team has started and grown and she’s big into making sure all our content is accessible so we do a lot of … We do captions on all of our videos and transcripts. We get them done through a service. I think it’s Rev.com or something. I can’t remember the exact service, maybe that’s it, but we get them done there. Our podcast has transcripts. If you go to wpmrr.com/podcast and go to the page where podcast is on, we have the transcripts on that page and also, we do a YouTube video. This will be on YouTube. They’ll do a YouTube video on every podcast we do and then the transcripts and captioning is also there on those videos. 

I really like what you said about how you can expand your audience by doing this is well because I think that of course, I would love everybody to caption and to do transcripts because it’s the right thing to do and you want to make … The internet, everybody needs to be able to access everything and so just based on that it’s important that everybody, if you’re doing a podcast, you do transcripts, you do captions and with YouTube, movies should have captions more accessible to people. I’m thinking like an AR. Maybe some people have some goggles that they can watch with captions or something, I don’t know, but I like also the idea of on top of that this is what you should do because it’s the right thing to do. That’s not going to get everybody. Let’s also add a business benefit to that, which is you’re going to expand your audience and you’re going to expand your audience of people who are really going to appreciate what you did because if I-

Ahmed Khalifa:

Oh yes.

Joe:

… put captions on YouTube and you come to my YouTube channel and you’re like wow, this channel WP Buffs went out of their way to make content that was accessible to me. You’re going to have that heightened level of like for my channel. You’re not just going to like it. Maybe you’re more likely to subscribe. Maybe you’re more likely to share my YouTube videos because hey, you have this community. I want to share it with my community because it’s accessible. Your content’s accessible. I think that’s a really solid way to think about the added cost of doing some of these things but the return on investment you could also get from it in terms of building your audience, in terms of putting your content out to more people.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Totally.

Joe:

I’d love to hear, maybe a little bit also about I don’t know if I want to just say least expensive because I do want to give people like, you could go and probably spend 10s of thousands of dollars making all your content accessible but that is not possible for every small business but I think every business should at least be dedicating a small budget to making sure their content is accessible. Where are the areas that you see that people can, I guess for a good return on investment, maybe the somewhat less expensive option. Where can people go and what are the easy action items people can do to make sure their content is as accessible as possible or the most accessibility bang for their buck?

Ahmed Khalifa:

One thing people don’t realize that when you think about YouTube, for example. If you upload your YouTube video then the auto caption will then be created. That auto caption can then be edited manually and then you can just correct it, the grammar, the spelling, all the things that you need to do and that’s it. That is there for free. Now of course, for certain videos if it’s quite long then yes, I appreciate that it will take a bit more time to do it but if it’s not that long, if it’s a short video then there’s no reason why … You don’t go through the classic studio. You go to the subtitle section. You edit it there and it’s free from there. So that’s one option that if you’re doing YouTube videos it’s there. Also, you can download the file and convert it into a tech file but using any online convert assembler. You can download the SRT file, which is what you can get, convert it tech file and then that can be your transcript as well. That’s also for free. So that’s an option there for use as well. 

One thing that we say when you get your transcript, make sure you structure it and make sure you treat it like any article. Put in the heading, put in your bullet points, put in the paragraph and the spaces, images in between and embed videos. Just treat it with the love and respect of your transcript. It’s not a copy and paste and then that’s it. You will get a lot of engagement out of that because it’s not just one big long text. So from that, it’s free. That’s YouTube. You can do it from there, it’s free.

Joe:

Cool.

Ahmed Khalifa:

If you want to pay for it, you’re right you can use services like Rev.com and other places. For a short video again, it’s fine, but for the long, long videos the cost will pile up but the cost will pile up if you use the human generated version. So there’s someone there manually doing it for you. But if you can use … There are so many artificial intelligence tools out there that can caption your videos and create transcript. So Rev is one of them. Another one is [inaudible 00:23:05] AI. Another that I’m using at the moment called Happy Scribe. They use artificial intelligence to caption your videos and transcript and the idea is just like auto captions, they will give you the draft and then you go in there and edit it, check it just like you would normally do for any content and that is done much, much cheaper. I think most places it’s between 10 cents a minute or 25 cents a minute for your content. It’s affordable. Much more affordable than a dollar 25 that Rev charges for a human to do it for you because that’s expensive. 

You can do it free on YouTube but then you can also use these AI tools that does it for you at very, very cheap. Then you have all this content that you can repurpose into many ways and there you go. You have so many different things to dispose of, to put on your website, on YouTube, whatever it is.

Joe:

Yeah, I love that advice because it’s already created for you and it’s just waiting there for you to use and it’s just something someone may not know about. Hey, when you upload a video to YouTube, that’s already created for you automatically. All you have to do is go grab it, download it, I guess adjust text file, edit it, watch the video right next to the content, hey just go back maybe once or twice just to correct a couple things and re-upload it and you’re good to go. It probably takes, if you have a 10 minute video it’ll probably take 15 minutes to make sure that it’s correct, something like that. So it’s not an enormous … I wouldn’t even say it’s a small thing to do. It’s a tiny thing to do to make sure that your content’s accessible to everybody. So that’s really good advice.

Ahmed Khalifa:

It would make it easier. When you say a 10 minute can take 15 minutes to caption it all. One thing I would say, if you want to make your job easier for you, just make sure the audio quality is really, really good because if the audio quality is not great then obviously the tools will not be able to pick up the words correctly and that means it will take more of your time to correct it. So just consider that option. For us to focus on improving our microphone and we make sure we’re in a quiet environment. That is the basic you can do. I’m not saying you have to have a studio or have acoustic panels around you. If the audio quality is good and you can speak into the microphone then you’re more likely to get the words come up correctly on the tool that we’ve mentioned and then you have less chances of editing, less spelling errors, all of these things. It will never be 100% perfect. That’s one thing I can promise you. I promise you that but you will go a long way if you have good audio quality.

Joe:

Yeah, thanks for bringing that up. Honestly, until 20 seconds ago I had never connected audio quality with accessibility before. I just had audio quality as a thing that was like, I want to have good audio because it’s a podcast, right, and people want to have good audio and that was the end of my thinking but that is super illuminating to me because I never made that connection and it’s obvious but until someone said it to be explicitly I hadn’t made that connection. So thank you for saying that. The audio quality is so important for accessibility because it allows potentially AI powered tools or auto transcript tools to hear you more easily and to give you a more accurate transcript or captioning and then to make it so you don’t have as much time you have to spend to manually go through. Maybe you can get it from 80% accuracy to 97% accuracy and you only have a few words to correct as opposed to a few paragraphs or something so that can make a huge difference.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Yup. It’s very, very true and even it’s not just about high quality transcript and caption. The good audio will help me to hear certain things better for some people. I will guarantee you that if your audio quality on a podcast is poor, I will not even attempt to listen to it but if it’s good quality then I will try. Hopefully I feel okay and fine then I will attempt to listen to it. So good audio quality, as you say, it can be accessibility for many, many reasons and at the end of the day, who doesn’t love good audio quality?

Joe:

I’m making even another connection here because you mentioned if there’s a video or audio that doesn’t have good quality you’re immediately going to leave because you need that quality to listen to that audio, that podcast or watch that video. We all know, you do SEO and analytic stuff. Google takes this thing called bounce rate into account. If you’re trying to rank something and someone comes on to your content and then leaves immediately, Google sees that as a bad sign. So if your content isn’t accessible to everyone maybe you’ll have a higher rate of people like you come onto this content and you’re like, oh this is okay audio but I know I can’t listen to it. Immediately I’m going back. Hey that’s not good for again, from a business perspective in terms of making your content accessible to everyone. So I’m making a lot of connections. This actually a super, wow, enlightening conversation for me. So thank you for bringing that up as well.

I’d love to chat a little bit about accessibility WordPress plugins. I’m not sure if you’re super familiar with this area. You’re nodding like maybe you have some knowledge. I’ve seen some plug-ins like accessiBe. There are other plugins out there. That’s just one that comes top of mind that what it does is it’ll give you a little button that floats in the bottom corner of your website and you can click on that and it gives you a ton of accessibility options. You may not be an expert in all accessibility across every nook and cranny of it. Maybe you’re more of an expert in the deaf specific accessibility options but just wanted to know if you’ve ever encountered a website where you’ve either used that or maybe you’ve been on a website browsing and used that and if it’s been helpful to you as a user who needs some additional accessibility options.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Well, you’re right that web accessibility, it’s such a big topic, isn’t it? It’s such a huge, huge topic that you can get into so many details and you’ve got experts out there doing that for you. So that’s why I will never ever say that I am an web accessibility expert because there are so many things that we don’t think about it in terms of what makes a website accessible. For me, I just focus on anything related to deafness, which means being able to access content most of the time. I have experimented with these tools that you’ve mentioned and I’ve even attended talks at WordCamps about accessibility just to open my mind, to learn more about how screen reader work and one thing that I’ve learned for example, which can benefit in terms of SEO as well is how important it is to make sure your images are accessible using the alt text. 

So if your images are not including an descriptive alt text then the person who’s using a screen reader or maybe your page is not loading the way you want it. It’s going to be blank and it’s not going to describe to the person what that image is. On top of that, then Google will not know what the image is supposed to be about either. Now I think Google’s gradually getting better about recognizing image but why not make it easier anyway? For example, if an image that you have of a black Labrador running on the field on a rainy day, then put that as your alt text and people will then realize that the more descriptive about your alt text then one, people access it, those who are using the screen readers, whatever and two, Google will be able to read that image and it might even come up when people search on the Google images section and then they find that image and then they will check out your post that way.

Again, we’re talking about the benefit of having accessibility. I don’t want to say you should have benefit because I should get the benefit from it but at the end of the day it’s a win win. So you win as a creator, I win as a consumer, Google will win as trying to understand what your page is about. Why not consider it? So accessibility is such a big topic but little things like that can make a difference to a lot of people.

Joe:

Yeah, I totally agree. I’d be interested to even dive a little deeper into that because talking to you who’s someone who has expertise in deaf accessibility and also SEO and on page SEO stuff. Do you run into websites where … Because the image alt tag is a factor of on page SEO. Not sure it’s an enormous factor. Probably pretty small factor but it’s a factor that people know as oh maybe this will help a little bit with my on page SEO but I don’t think most people know how to use the image alt tag. In fact, I don’t think a lot of people know that that’s what the image alt tag is for. I knew that. Just giving myself a little credit. I know that it’s for people … It’s for accessibility, for people to be able to make sure they know what an image is through something like a screen reader but it also has potentially some SEO impact as well. Do you run into websites where it’s like this is totally the wrong description and people clearly are using this as an SEO tactic and not something for accessibility. I don’t know if that’s something you run into as someone who’s in the SEO world and the accessibility world.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Well, I have seen it in two ways. One, that it’s done over the top and then the other one, they just didn’t do anything at all. 

Joe:

[crosstalk 00:32:36].

Ahmed Khalifa:

So over the top is where obviously they spam it, they stuff it, they just put in words that doesn’t make any sense. So the image example I’ve told you about a black dog, you just write in black dog or small puppy or big puppy. It’s just really, really annoying. That is not right. You’re actually annoying the people who need it properly done. I’ve seen that. I’ve seen people abusing it. It’s a very old school SEO thing isn’t it? Keyword stuffing.

Joe:

Yeah.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Very old school but people do it. Then on your other hand there are people who don’t even do anything at all with the images. You’re right that in terms of on page SEO it is a factor. I’m not going to say it’s the biggest but it’s one of many but why not do it because we’re going to do everything at the same time. So there are people out there, they just upload the image and then they’ll leave it but what people don’t think about is image SEO in general, you should have your file name should include the keywords and the description. So don’t use a default file name like jpeg01264.whatever. Don’t use that. Be descriptive and separate the words with dash not underscore and that’s important. That’s one way of making sure that’s readable.

Then use the alt text when you upload the images. But even then before you upload them make sure you compress the images as well. If they’re really heavy, really big you’re just going to slow down the website and we’re not going to go into the topic of site speed. We know site speed is important but if you have images that are 1,000 pixels by 1,000 but it’s only really covering the small space. Well then you’re making the job really hard for the browser to render that page and then you’re just going to make your whole page really slow down and it’s just not going to help anybody. That’s another factor of SEO but in a way kind of related to accessibility because the image is not loading properly. It takes ages. The information is not there.

As you say, it’s all connecting together. Accessibility can have an impact on SEO and then vice versa and engagement in Google Chrome. It’s a win win. Like I said, it’s a win win for everyone if you take it seriously.

Joe:

Yeah, cool man. Last topic or I don’t know, wrapping up topic. You mentioned here that you’ve spoken at WordCamps before. It looks like you spoke in a WordCamp Europe before, which is a pretty big deal. Most people listening probably know about the WordCamp circuit. Very sad that we won’t have any WordCamps through 2021 but WordCamp US, WordCamp Europe are probably the two biggest WordCamps every year. There’s WordCamp Asia, which will be among the biggest but we’re still getting that rolling, probably 2022 we’ll talk about that again but yeah. In terms of WordCamp speaker, you’re not just a WordCamp speaker. You’ve spoken at one of the biggest WordCamps in the world and you’re also a organizer and you were lead organizer of WordCamp Edinburgh and that was, I guess, a few years ago. 

I’d love to know your thoughts on how the WordPress community potentially do a better job, maybe they’ve done a great job in all the WordCamps you’ve organized and spoken at but maybe there were a few things you saw. Maybe WordCamps can do this a little better to either make speaking more accessible or to make the actual content from WordCamps more accessible. I guess around speaking I’m thinking about the application process. Is that fully accessible? I don’t know. I never thought that much about it until a few seconds ago where I decided oh, this is a great time to ask. In terms of that contents, I know they do captioning and transcripts but there’s not always a ton of volunteer effort or funding potentially to get all those videos done. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts as someone who’s really in this world and probably just knows right off the top of their head, oh we could do this better, we could do that better. Any improvements from organizing/speaking that you think the WordPress community could make around WordCamps and making everything more accessible?

Ahmed Khalifa:

Sure, yeah. I love WordCamp. I love attending and I love speaking so I’m really lucky to get to speak at WordCamp Europe. Obviously I would’ve preferred on stage but circumstances, it just changes things. 

Making things more accessible. One thing that we tried in various WordCamps whether I was volunteering or when I was organizing several years ago, we tried to work out how to make it accessible when the person is speaking. So we know that everything is volunteer run, everything is … Budget is going to be quite tight for a lot of things and that makes [inaudible 00:37:39] really, really difficult. So one thing that we experimented with is use a tool call webcaptioner.com and basically it’s your live transcript tool where if you are connected with microphone then it will automatically come up, a live captioner on the screen. So if you have a screen, connect that with your laptop and then you get the microphone hooked up, then you could watch the live captioner. Obviously it’s artificial intelligence, not going to be perfect but it’s not bad. It’s not bad. As long as, again, all your quality is good, the person doesn’t speak to fast and just speak clearly and all of these things like anybody should do. It’s not bad.

So that’s something that we experimented with although when we WordCamp Belfast we did that because we have a certain accent in Belfast it struggled to pick up certain words and obviously struggled to pick up certain technical or WordPress related jargons. So it was never going to be perfect which raises a question about, we should have funding in place to make it more accessible because people who are attending, whether you’re paying money or you got sponsored or whatever, you want to be able to access it but I struggled myself at times to the point where sometimes I avoid going to WordCamp or a virtual event because of previous experience and because I know it’s not going to be accessible. 

Yes, they might put it in the whole application form in terms of the ticket system. You talk about you have inaccessible needs and that should always be there but people don’t really think about okay, if it’s there then what can you do in terms of, what if the person really prefers sign language interpreter. Well, that cost money and then if there’s enough demand for it, who should pay for that because the volunteers can’t pay for that. So should it go back to WordCamp foundation and WordCamp people and central whether we should talk about making that available for funding in terms of having it available for people who want life captioner with a human person doing it from virtual or interpreter wherever so there’s a lot of discussion about that. But the easy thing you can do is attempt to use a tool like webcaptioner.com and hook it to your microphone. Have it on a big screen and allow the front seat, for example, to be for certain people who require to be looking at the screen because you can’t see at the back. 

The other thing as well as what you could do, it would be really, really helpful if you could also caption your videos when it goes on WordPress TV. There are thousands, I think, of videos there and a Contributor Day a few years ago in Glasgow and myself and another person, Claire Brotherton. We attempted to look at okay, let’s have a look at WordPress TV and attempt to caption videos there and how many are captioned? I have found out that out of thousands and thousands, less than a dozen were captioned and if you think about how global WordPress is you can think about people who are learning English or don’t know English but they can read it then you’re denying them access to the WordCamps as well, not just people like me. 

So I would really encourage people to make use of tools like Amara. I think Amara’s encouraged every time by WordPress to caption either your videos when it’s uploaded in WordPress TV or consider contributing, if you want to contribute to WordPress. Go to wordpress.tv and caption videos there. There is a community based around in the marketing, make WordPress marketing group, they are talking a lot about subtitles and caption and the discussion there about how can we make WordPress TV more accessible? Well, it requires a lot of resources and people but every little bit helps and if you can do that it would really make a difference for those like myself who, if I don’t attend then I at least I can watch it on wordpress.tv hopefully with captions.

Joe:

Yeah, we threw the WPMRR Virtual Summit recently and we hired a company called White Coat Captioning to do all our captioning. We got a ton of great feedback from that both from people who used it and needed it but from a lot of people, maybe people who weren’t using it and needing it. Just being like, “Thank you for doing this. I don’t see everyone doing captioning and it was really nice to see that you’re making your event as accessible as possible.”

Ahmed Khalifa:

That’s awesome.

Joe:

Yeah. Thank you. You can just thank Ali for that. She’s the one. Her and Brian are the ones who pushed that so shout out to them. I really, I’ve thought about this before but I like the idea of because every WordCamp has sponsorships. You should have an accessibility sponsorship. Someone should just sponsor the video post production and maybe a sign language interpreter to maybe appear in the bottom corner of our virtual event or something. I don’t know exactly how that would work but to me, that’s a really nice way to like, sponsored by your company in the corner of every video. That’s good for you and you’re also doing a really good service for the community. So I think there’s some good business benefit people could get for sponsoring as like an accessibility sponsorship. I don’t know. What do you think about that? Is that something you think might work?

Ahmed Khalifa:

I will always consider options of funding. It will make your job a lot easier if people want to get involved. I would encourage it. Obviously the basic thing is as I’ve mentioned and make sure that you allow the option of people giving their feedback about what do they require because there’s no point have for example, sing language interpreters, if nobody’s asking for it. So just open the conversation. Be open and receptive about it and then if there’s demand for people saying, “I require caption”, and there’s people doing it then let’s put the effort in but honestly even if it’s one person then let’s make that person feel welcome in WordCamp because that is the [inaudible 00:43:51] of WordPress, that’s the [inaudible 00:43:52] of WordCamp is that everyone is welcome and if we have people sponsoring that then that’s great. I would love to see that happen because I think funding would make a big difference and it would make it a lot easier for our volunteers.

Joe:

Totally agree. We did a pre-summit survey and asked people to fill out questions and a lot of it was about what kind of talks do you want, where’s your monthly recurring revenue right now so we can know where you are so we can help you get to the next stage. We didn’t actually ask any questions about the kind of accessibility needs people had and that was probably an oversight on our part. I’ll happy to admit if we didn’t do something right that we’ll do better next year. So that’s something I actually just took a note on. I’m going to shoot that over to Brian and Ali and make sure next year we have … We just make sure we put the effort into explicitly asking people, “Hey, what kind of needs do you have”, as opposed to being like, “Quick captioning, we don’t need to ask anybody.” You probably don’t need to ask anybody to do captioning. You probably should do captioning but additional things like, “What else do you need? Is there anything else you need?”, because, you’re right. If one person needs something and it just makes the events totally unaccessable to them, that’s a big problem.

So dude, Ahmed, thank you for hopping on. This has been super awesome. I always know when we do good episodes because I learn a ton and I’m super excited about them so I thought this was an excellent episode. I usually like to wrap up and have you tell people one, where they can find you online and two, if there are any special landing pages we can send people to.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Sure. Well, I’ve got consistent social media handles, which is @iamahmedkhalifa and I’m sure that will be available in the show notes. Really what I want to offer is for only limited number of people and limited time. I’ve got a page set up that if you want one on one conversation, talk about deaf awareness in anything whether it’s a workplace, events, maybe your videos. If you want to talk about that with me I’m willing to give you a bit of my time, which I normally charge but I’m willing to give you a bit of my time to discuss that and how to make sure that you’re getting the most out of it and make sure that you are deaf accessible as possible. So if that is what you want go to hearmeoutcc.com/bufftastic. Limited time, limited number of people. If that is something that’s of interest, check it out. I’ll be right there.

Joe:

Yeah. Very cool. I also have somebody else that I can potentially chat to in 2021 when we throw the WPMRR Virtual Summit volume two or year two, I guess. We may want to get a little extra help when it comes to accessibility and deaf accessibility so you may be getting an email from me or Slack message. So cool.

Last but not least, I always ask you are guest to ask our audience for a little iTunes review for us for the show. So if you wouldn’t mind asking the listeners for a little iTunes review I’d appreciate it.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Guys, come on now. Come on. Let’s give them love to WPMRR. Let’s give love to Joe and the team. You got to do it. Give some love simply by leaving a review in iTunes. It would be so awesome if you can do that. Even I would appreciate it as well. So let’s do it. Let’s all do it together.

Joe:

Yes, right on. Thank you very much. If you’re leaving a review in the comments leave something you learned from this episode. Leave a thank you for Ahmed so we can send him a screenshot and thank him for helping us get a little extra review. If you are a new listener to the show, were at I think this is episode 118 so we’ve got 117 old episodes for you to go and binge. It’s an easy time to sit around and binge Netflix of Hulu but come on. Why don’t you binge something that’s going to help you grow you business, grow your monthly recruiting revenue. Check out some old episodes. We’ve got a bunch back there. 

Oh, iTunes review. If you’re leaving an iTunes review, wpmrr.com/iTunes forwards you right there if you are on a Mac. If you’re not on a Mac I don’t think you can leave an iTunes review unless you have an iTunes account or I don’t know how that works but if you’re on a Mac you should do that. 

If you have questions for us at the show, Christy and I like to do our Q&A episodes. Yo@wpmrr.com is the email address. I got ahead of myself. Shoot us an email. Have any questions? We’ll do a live Q&A episode. We do them every once in awhile. We’d love to do another one. Now wpmrr.com. If you want to see the Virtual Summit, talks from the Virtual Summit, they’re all up on YouTube. Wpmrr.com. There are a bunch of links there. You can go check out the videos from the 2020 Summit and get pumped for the 2021 Summit as well. 

That is it for this week but we will be in your podcast players again next Tuesday. Ahmed, thanks again for being on.

Ahmed Khalifa:

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Podcast

E115 – Organizing the Page Builder Summit 2020, live this week (Nathan Wrigley and Anchen le Roux, summit.camp)

Today weโ€™re chatting with Nathan Wrigley and Anchen le Roux!

Nathan runs the WP&UP podcast and has been using WordPress to build client websites over at Picture and Word since 2015. Anchen runs Simply Digital Design, a boutique studio that focuses on Website and Summit Development on the Day Rate Model. She’s been an avid contributor to the WordPress community for the last 5 years.

We talk about challenges during summit preparations, driving engagements to increase attendees, the role of sponsors, and what people can expect from the summit.

Digital Summit for Page Builders

  • [00:01:33] Who is Nathan Wrigley?
  • [00:04:05] Meet Anchen le Roux
  • [00:06:07] The Page Builder Summit
  • [00:10:18] Organizing digital events 
  • [00:11:50] The website for the page builder summit
  • [00:13:50] Summit branding and behind-the-scenes process
  • [00:17:16] Sponsorships enable summits to happen
  • [00:20:28] Page Builder Summit financial overview
  • [00:26:22] Challenges during the preparations
  • [00:30:00] Live and Pre-Recorded presentations
  • [00:33:44] Driving engagements and more attendees
  • [00:37:52] Tips to increase registration 
  • [00:41:55] Good content, good outcome, people listen

Episode Resources

Podcast Transcript:

Nathan:

What would be on your laundry list of things to watch? There is founders, developers, marketers all sorts and some of it you’ll think that sounds good and maybe bits of it you might want to attend but go and have a look at that page and see what you like.

Joe:

Yo, good WordPress people. Welcome back to The WPMRR WordPress Podcast. I’m Joe. 

Nathan:

I am Nathan. 

Anchen:

I’m Anchen.

Joe:

And you’re listening to the WordPress business podcast. We’ve got Nathan and Anchen. On the pod this week, we had three people. So we just kind of decided to skip characters this way. Because it was like, we’ll just introduce who folks are. We have Nathan Wrigley, Anchen le Roux. Anchen did I pronounce your name correctly? 

Anchen:

Yeah. It’s right.

Joe:

All right, perfect. Well, we’ve got two wonderful folks on the podcast this week. You two do other things with WordPress too, we’re going to talk about your virtual summit you’re throwing here. This is coming out next Tuesday. So it’ll actually I believe be the second day of the summit when this podcast comes out. So folks who keep listening to they can actually go and probably maybe live right now go check out what’s going on at the Page Builder Summit. But first, let’s do quick intro before we talk summit stuff, maybe both of you like, quick, what do you do with WordPress so folks can get a little background? Nathan, how about you first?

Nathan:

Okay. Hi, I’m Nathan Wrigley. I’m based in the UK for the longest time I’ve been building WordPress websites. Well, not the longest time I use Drupal and Magento and things for quite a while. And then about six, seven years ago, moved over to WordPress, and I’ve been using it ever since. And then about four years ago, I decided I wanted to start a podcast. So it’s a little bit like this only it’s got a different name. And I do that quite a lot. And I’ve kind of moved into creating content, which you’ll obviously, Joe, know all about and enjoying that at the moment. So yeah, primarily building a few client websites, but mostly creating content and podcasting and that kind of stuff.

Joe:

Yeah, very cool. And what’s the name of your podcast? You can say we want to shoot some listeners over there.

Nathan:

Okay. So it’s called WP Builds, and you can find it at wpbuilds.com.

Joe:

I think that I’ve seen WP Builds around but I think at WordCamp correct me if I’m wrong, Was it you who was at WordCamp Europe? I think it was 2018. And I saw you with like your podcasting setup at a table there, maybe recording some episode with folks. I can’t remember, I don’t think I’d started the WPMRR WordPress Podcast. So maybe Nathan, you may actually be one of the ones who I should thank for the motivation behind getting started with this podcast. I don’t think it was like that moment. I was like I’m starting a podcast. But I remember seeing that and being like, that’s so cool. He’s doing like Live podcast recordings. I’ve seen people like Joe Casabona do his things like that too. So, you were one of those people who started that fire in me to say, hey, maybe I want to chat and do some audio too. So appreciate that.

Nathan:

Yeah, you’re right. I mean, I just want to say now, No, that wasn’t me. But it was me.

Joe:

Okay. [crosstalk 00:03:15] I was like- [crosstalk 00:03:20]it was embarrassing to say it live on the podcast.

Nathan:

I should probably explain why that happened. Because the slightly disingenuous, if I let you leave that story floating in the air, because I was actually doing a podcast for a different organization called Big Orange Heart. At the time, if you’ve come across them, they’re a charity, or nonprofit in the WordPress space. And for just over a year, we did a podcast together that has taken a pause during COVID as the charity works out in new directions and new angles, but hopefully it’ll be coming back. But I was actually under their auspices at the time. So that’s over at bigorangechart.org/podcasts. That’s a different one.

Joe:

Got you. Cool. I know Big Orange Heart well, honestly didn’t even know they did a podcast. So now, hey folks, should go listen to that podcast too maybe some older recordings, but still probably good content over there.

Nathan:

Yeah.

Joe:

So cool. Nathan, thank you for the intro. Anchen, how about you tell us some of the stuff you do about WordPress?

Anchen:

Cool. So I’m here in South Africa. And I used to be a C sharp developer, but also about seven, eight years ago, changed over to WordPress and yeah, just loved it and started my own agency. So yeah, I do mainly WordPress websites and have now started to focus on the whole direct model where we try and do or work with clients just for one day like a VIP, etc experience. I think that’s mainly, I also do a lot of WordCamps. I’ve organized Johannesburg WordCamp twice now and Yeah, just love being involved with the WordPress community.

Joe:

Nice, very cool. It’s always nice to meet WordCamp organizers on the show much respect for folks who put so many hours and so much work into putting together these awesome events. And yeah, kind of sad that these are paused for no real life meetups here this year and all of next year, but hopefully, figuring out some more virtual things to do and tell folks Anchen the name of your agency, so folks can go check it out.

Anchen:

It’s called Simply Digital Design.

Joe:

Yes, and I know Simply Digital Design, I believe, because I think that’s where I saw the Page Builder Summit for the first time, I think I actually got an email from you. And I was like, this looks cool. I hadn’t heard about this either. And so thank you to your email list for shooting it out to me. And I checked out the website, which is summit.camp, which is an excellent, beautiful domain name. I remember landing on being like, nicely done. And yeah, Page Builder Summit. Which again, this is coming out Tuesday, what date will this come out? [crosstalk 00:06:14] Tuesday, the sixth of October. So today is the sixth. And today is going to be the second day of this summit. 

So maybe we could start off and I’d love to learn a little bit more about why you decided to start a Page Builders Summit specifically? Because there’s folks on this who listen this podcast regularly. No, we just through the WPMRR virtual summit. So I’m like just coming out of summit mode right now we’re like, publishing all our videos on YouTube and all this stuff. And man, it was a lot of work to throw that summit. So I’d be interested to hear all of that about the summit. But I’d love to start a little bit about just like, why Page Builder Summit? How did you two come to the decision about that’s the focus of the summit we want to do?

Nathan:

Should I go? Or shall you go Anchen, how do you want it?

Anchen:

You can go.[crosstalk 00:07:06]It was your idea to do this specifically Page Builder Summit.

Nathan:

Yeah, well, a little while ago, probably as much as two or three years ago, I had the idea of doing a Page Builder Summit, and I got fairly far down the road of organizing speakers. That is to say, I reached out to a variety of people and said, “Would you be interested in speaking” I got a lot of people saying, “yes, I’d be interested in doing that.” And for reasons that, we’ve all been there, right? Just stuff gets in the way life moves on, and you sort of drop the ball. And that’s exactly what happened. I just put it to one side and basically forgot about it. 

And then yeah, [crosstalk 00:07:44] Yeah, just stuff happens, right? And priorities change and things. And then about, I don’t know, about six months ago, probably now. I mentioned to Anchen that this was something that I had looked at in the past. And would she like to join forces and do it together? And the reason that I picked Anchen out? Because she’s done summits before. And as a podcaster, I’ve done podcasting before. And you know, you get fairly familiar with how that works. But as you’ll know, Joe, it’s a fairly straightforward process, putting a podcast together, you kind of organize one episode and deal with that episode and move on and do the next episode. And I was conscious that a summit was going to be more than that. And frankly, anything more than that is out of my comfort zone. 

So I mean, having the information that Anchen had run a successful online summit before and I asked her if she’d like to do it? And very kindly, she said, “Yes.” So I sort of dredged up the Google Doc from a few years before, and we began thrashing the idea around, we actually met in-person at the WordCamp Europe that we mentioned earlier, which was really nice, but I think we’d certainly been meeting in Facebook groups prior to that, but it just seemed like a good idea. I’d got a few people that I could contact Anchen has got all the skills that I certainly lacked, and still lack and she’s done all the heavy lifting with actually making the summit and event and I’ve kind of just ridden on her coattails.

Joe:

Yeah, very cool. I think the… I see a lot of similarities between the two summits that we’ve talked about because WPMRR Virtual Summit. Brian Richards, was the person who I partnered with on that who’s done WooSesh and WordSesh. Because maybe, Nathan we are kindred spirits and having some good ideas and like knowing the things we want to do, but when it comes to actually implementing a live event, so we kind of freeze up and say, “I could definitely use some help here.” And it sounds like we’re both pretty easygoing in terms of admitting where some of our weaknesses are. Because if you asked me to, like do all the technical background stuff of throwing virtual conference, I don’t think our conference would have gone very well and it went very well because Brian was handling it Yeah.

Nathan:

I am weakness all the way down. It’s just a weakness after weakness with the tiny glimmer of I know a few people.

Anchen:

That’s not true.

Joe:

It sounds like he’s eating his humble pie over there. But Anchen it sounds like you’ve thrown digital events before? So it sounds like, when it comes to maybe some of the more technical aspects of here’s how we need to throw this event sounds like that’s a little bit more your wheelhouse. I’d love to hear a bit more about kind of your history throwing digital events and kind of how it led to this Page Builder Summit?

Anchen:

Yes, I did The WordPress Virtual Summit last year. I think it was in August. I think that’s where on the list that you were. That was August and then I just what I did is when COVID hit in March, I think it was in March or start of April. I did like a re-run of it. I didn’t like a host a whole new summit but just but all the recording so it was like a re-run of the summit. That’s basically the history but both of those were on HeySummit. So I used the platform because it was organized fairly quickly so the whole thing was like done in a month or two months. So this time around we wanted especially because it’s WordPress based we wanted to do it on a WordPress website. And but, we used it’s like almost like a summons in a box like a starter websites found from Christa Ray. Yeah, so that’s the main take that we use but it’s pretty much straight forward with price.

Joe:

Yeah, very cool. I love the website we put a site together for obviously the WPMRR summit thought it was a good site I’m on your site now and I’m like, this gives me some good ideas for next year they’ve done some really cool stuff did you use a page builder to build the actual website of the Page Builder Summit?

Nathan:

Yeah, we did. [crosstalk 00:12:14] We have several people to thank actually one of whom is a chap who’s speaking at the summit called Shane Riley. He was instrumental in making our site look as nice as it does he comes from Lonely Viking you’ll see his branding because he’s very kindly been a sponsor and it is built on using a Beaver Builder.

Joe:

Yes, I love the folks from Beaver Builder. I’ve had two maybe three episodes of folks from Beaver Builder on I talked with Robby, right when the podcast started because he was going fully remote for a year and so I wanted to talk to him about and I was going to be doing Beaver Builder stuff? And you’re really like nomadic. And then I talked to a couple other folks as well, I think a bit more of like a technical like, what’s up with the page builder sort of conversation later on. So yeah, and I know a lot of folks who are like, I don’t know if they consider themselves like Beaver Builder agencies, but like people who really use page builders to kind of power their website builds, which is actually why when I saw this conference, I was like, “This makes total sense.” Like in my mind, it totally clicked. There are so many people out there who love WordPress, but who are really like, Page Builder people. Gutenberg adoption is becoming more and more frequent, but there are a lot of big communities around there, Beaver Builder Elementor just name a couple.

There’s big audience out there for folks like that. I kind of wanted to ask also a little bit about the branding of the summit? And kind of the overall design, I guess of the website too, but also like the logo is really cool. Was that kind of a combo project between the both of you or did you get a little help with that? Or was that like one of you kind of focus on that part of it because WPMR seminar that was pretty good. It kind of just uses our WP Buffs brand name because like we through the conference, we were like, well use our branding, like it’s our conference. But this is kind of seems like a standalone conference. I love the branding. So I’d love to learn a little bit more about like that. And then like the process behind like putting together really good branding behind a summit like this?

Anchen:

[inaudible 00:14:29] So the branding was all from the Lonely Viking from Shane. So he-

Joe:

Nice. Shout out Shane.

Anchen:

He came up with the logo concept and then main brand colors and things. So the layout and stuff, mostly followed our own ideas and some of the templates in this summit in the box. But yeah, branding was mostly on Shane.

Nathan:

There’s a nice little nod, if you look the branding in some of the areas for example, where there is images of speakers, you get like a mix up a little mashup of a few Page Builder bits and pieces thrown in. [crosstalk 00:15:13] So for example, there’s like a little bit at the bottom where their name is, and that alludes to the elemental interface. And then there’s these little blue bits going around the edge, which have got little dots that you can grab and widen and narrow. You can’t actually it’s an image, but if you were in the Beaver Builder, Page Builder, you could so is very clever. He’s remarkably clever chap, Shane, and he’s done us proud, I think.

Joe:

Yeah, I mean, those are the things that if you hadn’t added those, I don’t think it would have taken away from it. But the little attention to detail, things like that, to me it tells me I mean, honestly, maybe one of the reasons why I wanted to have you two on because I was like the attention to detail was paid. And it shows that there was care put into every aspect of the summit, which I thought was cool. I love that. The first time I saw it, I put my mouse over it, I was like, Whoa, can you really like drag and drop? Just an image. But the design of that I think is really cool. I remember seeing that being like, that’s a great nod to the Page Builders that we’re doing. And again, that attention to detail to me is like, you can get things really right, like functionally and design wise, without every single detail being paid attention to but like that, really, I think is like the cherry on top like makes me really like, of course, I’m gonna go attend this summit. It’s gonna be awesome. 

One thing I did want to say, because you talked about sponsors, WP Buffs is a sponsor of the summit? I just want to throw that out there. I don’t know, for full transparency. Another reason you have an awesome website and an awesome sounding summit. I remember seeing and being like, “we should sponsor this.” And then I think Nathan we like chatted in like for slack messages. And then we’re sponsoring so yeah[crosstalk 00:16:55] Yeah, for anybody throwing virtual events out there. Yeah. And you’re very welcome. But anybody throwing virtual events like these little attention to detail things are the things that get folks like me to say like, they really care about the summit, they’re gonna throw a great summit. Well, I’d love to be involved. That sounds really cool. 

Nathan:

Can I just interject there, do you mind? Because, I’ve got this bee in my bonnet currently about the sponsors of which you are very happily one. And that is that until I was part of this event, I had a really interesting and difficult relationship with sponsorship, shall we say, it was a thing that kind of it was there to be avoided. In a sense, I don’t mean that the way it’s just come out, but you know, it was something that could be avoided. Now that I’m sitting on the other side of the fence, I really want to impress upon people that without sponsorship, and without there being some reason to do it, you cannot put the amount of time in that something like this needs to be put into. We’ve spent a long time doing this. 

And so we made the decision, we’ll put sponsorship in place. And we’ve just been blown away by the amount of people who have sponsored it. And although I won’t list them individually, you can go and find that out by looking on their website. I am deeply, I don’t even have the words. I am enormously humbled. And this could not happen without those people, those companies, those organizations who have enabled it, and I’m just delighted that they’ve come on board, and I really am hoping that we can give them something in return.

Joe:

Yeah, that’s a perfect segue into what I wanted to chat about next, which is the sponsorship piece because, there are few different ways to throw away virtual summit. So let me talk quickly about how we threw the WPMRR Virtual Summit, we did not really have sponsors, the way that we made things financially viable was we kept the conference pretty lean. I mean, we didn’t spend $50,000 throwing virtual conference or $100 000 on a virtual conference, we tried to keep it, as lean as possible. And then we funded it through WP Buffs. I mean, it was an investment of our company that we put into creating the summit, didn’t have sponsors, so we weren’t able to kind of recoup our costs that way or make the event profitable that way. But we do have a nice list of folks who we can reach out to see if they’re interested in our let’s say our White Label Program, this was for WordPress professionals, right? So maybe folks want to sell care plans and have our team do the fulfillment on that. 

So we kind of look at our like lifetime value of an average client and say, Hey, if we get to people who sign up for a White Label Program, the lifetime value will easily cover the cost of the summit and kind of full transparency. The total cost of our summit was probably like 15K, I’d say. So some of that costs was on Brian, just because he was a big consultant on the project. And he could just make sure everything ran smoothly. And there were some other costs as well. I’m not gonna do a full breakdown here, because I actually probably don’t know off the top of my head. 

But around 15K was probably what we invested into, throwing that summit, I’d be interested to hear kind of what your model is, in terms of the Page Builder Summit? Is this an event that you’re trying to make profitable? Is this like an event that you’re trying to make something that actually makes you money via sponsorships to actually come out ahead of the summit? Or maybe you’re trying to like break even this year, and throw a good event, and then maybe next year, you’ll think about making it profitable? Or maybe it’s just like, this is a breakeven event for you that you’re interested in? Maybe potentially getting clients from in the future? I’d love to know kind of what the like financial thinking is behind the summits? I think there’s a lot of different approaches to it. But I’d love to know kind of what yours is, in terms of in terms of your summit?

Nathan:

Do you want to go Anchen, or should I?

Anchen:

Yeah, I can and then you can just add to it. So I think for both me and Nathan, the audience isn’t really specifically our audience that we usually see as clients. We didn’t do it. I know, there’s plenty, that’s one of the biggest list building things that you can do as far as summit. But in our case, it’s not really. So we did from the start wanting to make it as profitable as possible. And mainly because we put so much time in it. So at least, covering the time that we actually spent doing, because we did for most of it, we did it ourselves. So we have a little bit of outsourcing few things. So but we really try to, as you said, keep it lean and then not spend a lot of money outside of our own time on it. Yeah. That’s what I think. Nathan you can add to it.

Nathan:

Yeah, I think also, it’s fair to say that we didn’t… Because we’ve got this new brand, which we’ve described earlier, summit.camp is the URL. Right at the very beginning, we didn’t really know which way to go with that. That is to say, I’ve got a podcast. And there was a potential maybe we could hook it up with the podcast, but the decision was made both of us I think felt it was the right decision just to have something totally separate that could maybe be a summit thing going into the future. It’s fairly agnostic, isn’t it? If you’ve got the domain summit.camp, you can go in all sorts of directions with that. But this is the first piece. And I don’t think either of us had any expectation. But we knew that there was nothing coming off the back of it in terms of an upsell. That is to say, at the end of the summit, there was going to be no further thing. After the summit had concluded it was just going to be here’s the summit, this is what we’ve got for you. And three months after, that summit, it’s all wrapped up. 

Whereas It sounds like you had a different set of permutations and thoughts in mind for your summit. So we thought to ourselves, well, let’s try not to lose money. And let’s get some sponsorships and good grief totally surprised and delighted, as I said earlier there’s so many sponsors, it’s been remarkable. And so that’s kind of how it worked out. There was no thought to have this as something that would lead back into further business for us, or anything like that. Because it’s just completely disconnected from what either of us do. And so yeah, that’s how it’s worked.

Joe:

Yeah, it’s super cool to hear, like the different ways you can monetize something like this. I think it’s always interesting, when you’re throwing a virtual summit. I’m sure you guys went through this in a lot of the decision making process before you launched, before things really started moving. And we went through this too, is kind of like, how can we throw an awesome event and bug people as little as possible with extra stuff? Because like me, we reach out to people afterwards to see if they want to join a White Label Program. Like there’s some like sales and marketing in that. And of course, our team is super respectful and all that. And people can unsubscribe from emails if they want to, and we’re not sending like 10 emails to people afterwards being like, sign up, sign up, sign up. 

But like, that’s how we decided to say like, we’re going to throw this event that like, literally you’re going to jump in and like you’re just going to see content. And like then you’re going to maybe get a few emails from us afterwards. And that’s your payment for coming to the free summit. But I can see why some people might be like, bugged by that I did this free thing. Now, they want a little bit more from me I totally understand that. We didn’t have to like, one like deal with sponsors or have like big slides up that have sponsors and stuff and have to like promote sponsors the whole summit but and that I’m not saying like there’s one right decision or one not right decision, I think the other way is, sounds great. Also, you put some slides up and you promote sponsors. And you actually, I think there’s a lot of great ways to be able to promote sponsors, without bugging people, and like really do it in genuine, good, positive way. I’m sure you guys have thought a lot about that. But then you don’t have to bug anybody afterwards, right? So there’s always trade offs to make. And no matter how you’re going to monetize a virtual summit like this. 

There’s going to be something you have to do to monetize it. Right. And not everybody may be totally happy with that all the time. And that’s just kind of how it is. But yeah, okay, let’s talk about a little bit more like technical aspects of the summit. Because it’s next week, you guys are probably thanks for hopping on by the way. I’m sure you guys are like doing all this last minute stuff here and there. We got to get this figured out. The last week for us was like, our Slack channel for the summit was like, it’s totally crazy. It took so much stuff happening. But what do you think its been the hardest part of throwing the summit so far anything either really gone wrong, or any big challenges? You felt like, that was the thing that was the biggest stepping stone for us?

Nathan:

Should I go first this time? 

Joe:

Yeah. 

Nathan:

I think for me, because I’ve never done it before. And the timelines were not entirely clear to me, that’s been my biggest issue is just figuring out how far back you’ve got to go in order to make things happen in a timely way. And it’s the usual tripwires of you fail to do this thing by week, three, or whatever it might be. And then the consequences of that tripwire being missed. And just lots and lots of things like that, where you know, you miss it by a couple of days, and then there’s an impact slightly later down the road. And all of a sudden, you’re in the point where you’re trying to do four things at once, instead of two things at once. 

So that’s been quite interesting. And also, because Anchen had done this before, and is really familiar with the process that she has got. I’ve had to learn that, I admit, pretty badly. But I’ve tried to learn the process that she’s got, I think I’ll be better at it if we do another one. Because I’ve probably learned things like email sequences that need to be done and documents that need to be filed over here and documents that need to be filed over there and so on. But it’s been the timeline has been a real surprise to me.

Joe:

Yeah, timelines are challenging. It’s hard to know, timeline for the actual summit. Like when are we throwing it? How are we going to format all this? What’s the schedule look like? Like, that’s the whole thing. And then there’s working back from that and being okay, how many weeks do we need to prep for this? Like, what are all the things we have to do to get here? And I’m sure, I don’t know about you. But every week for us, we were like, we forgot these three things. Like God add them into the schedule, there’s always new things to do, that you hadn’t quite figured out. And probably for us, it was like 30% of it was like planning out everything. And 70% was like reacting and like figuring out things to correct or just like make sure, think about things we hadn’t thought of in order to make sure we do them. So I totally get that challenge. Anchen anything for you that you felt like was a big challenge for prepping for next week?

Anchen:

I think it’s always a challenge when doing a summit. It’s been like that every time. It’s the speakers, but not that there’s obviously we are it’s awesome. And we’re so grateful for the speakers without them there wouldn’t be a summit, but it’s just we’ve got so 37 presentations, and it’s so huge and just individual people that you have to work around with deadlines and getting them scheduled and we also we are like all over the world timezone wise from America to Australia. Everything around that. It’s just challenging, it’s fun.

Joe:

Yeah, that is a Super Challenge. I mean that for us. The way we tried to get around that a little bit at the WPMRR VS was we only had 14 or 15 speakers. So the hurting of the cats was a little bit less voluminous. But you’re working with more than two times that many folks. And so I know, I didn’t do any of that wrangling myself. But I know Brian did it. I know how much time and energy it takes Brian to put in just to… He has a huge Google Doc of like all the speakers and their descriptions and their title talks. And then there’s all I mean, a million details for every single speaker and then they have to go into the calendar and the schedule and it all has to work out right at the end. I mean, a ton of organization around that, so totally. Are you doing everything talk live on the summit or some pre-recorded or are most pre-recorded and then it’s goes up how is that working?

Nathan:

We decided to tape because there were 37. We decided to take the approach that we would ask for submissions to be in advance. So we now are in possession of a significant amount of the content that we need to put out for the summit next week, we’re getting there. And then what we’ve decided to do is we’re going to introduce pre-recorded like a video, I’ve been doing it like moments before we got on this podcast, pre-recording. And in that way, I think we’ve just decided we want our anxiety levels to be less.

So it’s going to be an introduction live at the beginning of the day. That is to say, just sort of introduce what’s going on that day, and nice little chats, a bit of a chance to get to meet people and whatnot. But then each presentation is simply going to be the video available for the remainder of the day that it’s published, I should say. And it’s pre-recorded, we just decided that was the most effective way. But there is going to be a live chat and the speakers have committed to be available during the live chat. Should people have questions that they wish to be answered.

Joe:

Yeah, very cool. I think that’s super smart. I think your anxiety levels and stress levels will probably be through the roof right now. If you were doing every session live, and everybody had to be online at a certain time you had backup plans for everybody. Just make sure you can hop on if that person can’t bump. No, I don’t think that’s possible. We were doing 15 speakers. So when we started I was actually like, we should just do it live like, it’s like different than other people do it. Like it couldn’t be live like the stuff you do Brian, right, like WooSesh, and WordSesh like you do those live? Because I’ve been and it seems very live. And Brian just looked at me. And he said, Nope, we pre-record everything. 

And I’m just good at editing and putting on the production. So it feels live. And of course, we’re not trying to like lie anybody to tell like it’s live? Not really. It’s just he makes it feel like you’re really engaged in the content. And it’s happening right now. And I think that… And I was like, well, then let’s just do it that way. Because that sounds easier and less stressful. I think that’s really smart at the end of the day, because you have the content, and you can pretty much, maybe minus some technical aspects of day of running it. Everything’s like ready to run and roll through. So yeah, [crosstalk 00:32:54] Still more that we did it.

Nathan:

Yeah, I think that also, there’s quite significant pieces of the content, which it would actually be quite beneficial to pause perhaps now and again, there may be a bit that wish to hang on, what, how did they do? What was happening there? We’ve got various people who are presenting their screens and their writing code, and they’re doing all sorts, fiddling with Page Builder settings, often and perhaps there’s a benefit. I mean, it’d be nice if people just press play went through to the end live with us during the hour that the speakers there, I think that would be the ideal, because then we could all chat about it, but equal equally nice to have those options.

Joe:

Yeah, totally. One other thing I did want to chat about was kind of like driving engagement and driving attendance and driving registrations kind of like, throwing an event where people will register and show up. We did some focus on that in terms of like marketing the summit, obviously, I have my podcast, this podcast where you know, I was chatting about it, during pre roll and we push it out, we have good traffic on the WP Buffs blog. So we were throwing it out there. And we shot some emails to our email list with like, who speaking and some prep stuff. But I saw some stuff come from Page Builder Summit that we sure did not think of, and I’ve actually never seen it in another virtual conference before. One of those emails I’m looking at right now. I just got this email from Page Builder Summit. 

It was yesterday, it was 22 hours ago. It’s like a quiz people can take so that they can choose which attendee, excuse me, which talk they should attend. And I clicked on it. And I was like I want to grow my business. I want to focus on sales. And it comes up with you should attend these talks. And I thought that was really smart. And it’s a great touch point for people to show again, we talked about the images on the website with Page Builder stuff attention to detail, like this is another super attention to detail thing. Maybe it’s just throwing a good summit thing. But I think that like I thought that was really cool. Whose idea was that? And who’s doing the email stuff? Most emails I see. I’m like, I gotta steal some of the stuff for next year.

Anchen:

Yeah, so well, it’s not really my idea, because I didn’t see it in other summits before.

Joe:

Okay, cool.

Anchen:

I’m just copying what I’ve seen before. But I didn’t have to figure out where the difference at the beginning, I wasn’t sure that we would be able to have these different categories. But it was actually really awesome how it worked out and how there is like, a certain amount of, towards each of the categories, so we’ll be happy with how that turned out.

Joe:

Yeah. Very cool. I mean, one of the things, at least I’m seeing as a difference between Page Builder Summit and WPMRR Virtual Summit, is because we threw the summit ourselves, and we made that decision, and it was kind of self funded. We had limitations in terms of the things we could do and the hours we could put in, because I’m seeing so many sponsors on the homepage. I assume that Page Builder Summit has a little bit more leeway. I think in terms of time you can dedicate to it and resources you can dedicate to it than WPMRR Virtual Summit had. And I think there are a lot of advantages to that. Honestly, I think like if we had had, I don’t know, $25,000 and sponsors, or $50,000 in sponsors, I don’t know how much we’ve could have expected. If we had had some funding, we could have put more time into do more things. 

But we were focused on throwing it pretty lean. And making sure that like we’re just doing a great summit. And if the content was excellent, which it did, we did that. And to put some emails together, it’s not the biggest dedication of time or resources, but it’s just another thing to do, right and you have 100 cool things you want to do. Maybe we can only do 10 of them all, but maybe Page Builder Summit, because you have a few more resources from sponsors, you can actually do maybe like 50 of those 100 things or 60 of those hundred things. 

So anyway, I just want to call that out because I thought that was really cool. Thank you for being honest and saying you saw it elsewhere. That’s pretty much all of us. Right? Anything cool we do most… Everything cool I do. I’ve probably seen it somewhere else. Right. So I got the idea from somewhere else. So yeah. And anything else in terms of like driving attendees, and driving like registrations because that was the part that I think we were pretty focused on it.

But again, we were more focused on throwing a great event. And we were using our resources to get folks there any strategies you too used in order to like drive registrants? Or were you kind of just like, well, we got sponsors, maybe we can ask them to throw in their newsletter or like, how do we get in like Tavern? How does WP Tavern, throw out in a blog post about this or any strategy? Or is it kind of just mostly organic?

Nathan:

I’ll say my piece and then I’m sure Anchen got things to add. As you will know, Joe, if you’ve been doing a podcast in the WordPress space for any length of time, you become friendly with some people who you may not have met in a different life. And I’ve been extremely lucky to have interviewed many of the people that I was just like, starstruck by several years ago. And a lot of those people have been very kind in return in offering to put things in their emails that they send out, or speaking to their list or mentioning it on their own podcasts and what have you. And that’s probably the most I’ve got to say on that. I’ve just been very fortunate in that I’ve met some people who are able to well, how to describe it just philanthropically saying nice things about the summit, because I think they think it’s a decent event.

Joe:

Good to hear Anchen, how about you any? Anything else you did?

Anchen:

We also asked all the speakers to be affiliate so we are paying out affiliates a percentage to them. So they are motivated to share with their own audiences as well. And we are running a little bit of Facebook ads as well. It’s not a lot, but I think, honestly, getting spiritual streams is definitely one of the biggest challenges. So, that’s definitely something that we could maybe hint out to be there next time. But what we’re we doing is still doing very well?

Joe:

Yeah, there’s always more you can do. And that’s good. You should always be learning about different things you can do. Next year, we didn’t do any Facebook stuff. I’m very averse to like paying Facebook money to do stuff, which I’m sure most people are. And I think that… But I heard a lot of people get really good results from it. So I almost did it. And I just kind of at the end of the day, I was just like, I don’t, maybe next year, like I just don’t want to think about it right now. But I think that, like I’ve heard people like you even spend like $1,500 you can get like 1000 registrants and like, that’s okay. Well, that’s great.

So I don’t know exactly what your numbers are and stuff. But I think Facebook ads are definitely interesting experiment that people can try if they’re trying to drive especially like free registrants. Not something you have to do. Hey, book a call with us, hey, pay us for this. No, it’s free thing. It’s super awesome. Here are the speakers register. So I think it’s cool. The one other thing Nathan, I wanted to touch on was, I mean, you’ve been very humble in this podcast, which I very much appreciate. 

And saying that you have all these guests who you’ve had in the podcast were very nice to be able to share, some of the content that you’ve put together, like this summit, I don’t want to short change you in terms of the time and the effort you put into building your podcast and to building your network, whatever, quote, unquote, “building your network,” but just like being part of the community, you’ve been doing this for years, and those years of time and energy and dedication that you have put in, to being a good person to being someone in the WordPress space who people are like, “Nathan’s great.” I mean, that clearly has led to people wanting to share your stuff, right? There are people in the WordPress space who if they asked me to share, I probably wouldn’t share their stuff. I mean, I don’t know, some people. Just not, I don’t connect as well with those people. Right? I guess put it nicely. 

But most people I really like and if someone wanted me to share their stuff, just this morning, someone emailed me and was like, Hey, can we do this team up thing? And I was like, Yeah, I like you, your stuffs good. So I think, I don’t want to take away from the fact you put yourself in a good position for people to do good things for you. So nice job. 

Nathan:

It is an unexpected consequence of trying to produce content for four years. It wasn’t the intention. It still isn’t the intention. But it is a delightful, unexpected consequence. And I’m very, very happy for that. 

Joe:

Yeah, I think it’s those kind of outcomes that tell you’re on the right track. It may not be your goal, it may not be your points for people to give you stuff back. But it means people appreciate you, means people appreciate your content, means people think what you do is valuable. And because they’ve given that back to you. It shows that you’re doing something. Right. And I think, a lot of times that’s the hardest part, which is just like, Am I doing this? Right? Like, I don’t know, I guess I’ll keep going and keep going and getting some of that feedback is good. Like, every time we get an iTunes review, I’m like, great. We’ll keep doing episodes, because one person thought it was good. I’m revamped, and we’ll keep rolling our stuff. 

Nathan:

Yeah.

Joe:

Cool. Okay. Summit is this week, summit.camp go register, attend. There was some stuff we didn’t get to chat too much about today. I mean, I get to talk about like, every single aspect of the summit, but I think we touched on like, big points of it. And yeah, I mean, I’m excited to be a sponsor. And honestly, I guess I’m excited for our company to be a sponsor. But me personally, I’m just excited to attend and learn more about Page Builder stuff and things people are doing with Page Builders, so that we as a company can do a better job helping folks like manage Page Builder stuff and know what’s coming down the pipeline. 

So we can even do a better job as a company as well, because we’re definitely not perfect. We have got our ways to go. And so that’s why I love attending these things, because I get to learn about this stuff. So let’s start wrapping up. Obviously, like summit.camp is where folks can go to register for the Page Builder Summit 2020. Anchen where can people find your stuff online? If they want to reach out and I don’t know if you’re on social, website, that kind of stuff?

Anchen:

I’m going to start with the agency website is just simplydigitaldesign.co.za it’s South Africa.

Joe:

Very cool. And Nathan, how about you? 

Nathan:

The best website that I could mention would be wpbuilds.com. That’s where the podcasts lives and where all of our episodes reside. And yeah, just one last URL would be, go and look at the summit camp website with the speaker’s schedule, which is summit.camp/schedule, because it might be good to figure out what would be on your laundry list of things to watch. There’s founders, developers, marketers, all sorts and some of that you’ll really, you’ll think that sounds good, and maybe bits of it you might want to attend, but go and have a look at that page and see what you’re like.

Joe:

Yep, I am on there right now. Great cast of characters, a lot of folks. I know, mostly summits I go. And I see a lot of folks I know, but then there’s usually a lot of folks, I don’t know, and I think that’s great, too. It’s like folks who are, I’ve been doing WordPress stuff for seven, eight years. I’m starting to be one of like, the OG WordPress people. And there’s a new crop of WordPress people coming up and doing new stuff. And I am always interested to see like, who are the new people that I haven’t met yet, or I haven’t seen their stuff yet. We’re probably doing some incredible stuff. So yeah. Some of the people who are speaking, folks like Chris Lemma. Folks like Pikia Pichia. I’m sorry, if I’m getting your name wrong.

Nathan:

Yeah. Picky, yeah.

Joe:

Picky, I got it. Yeah. Robby, obviously Beaver Builder, some folks people will know, but some new faces as well. So I’m excited to… I’m gonna put on my calendar to attend, not just the folks I know, but some of the folks I don’t know, as well. So cool. Last thing I like to ask our guests for is to ask our listeners here for a little iTunes review for us. So maybe Nathan, if you wouldn’t mind asking our listeners for an iTunes review, I’d appreciate it.

Nathan:

You would like me to do that now?

Joe:

Yes please.

Nathan:

Sorry. Just to clarify you would like me to get your listeners to give you an iTunes review. That’s cool. That’s a great thought. What a brilliant genius thing at the end. I like that. Okay, so I think if you have an ounce of common sense, you should head over to iTunes right now. And there’s a splendid review engine there. And actually, if you use that review engine, you will enable this podcast to reach a much bigger audience and this is not trifling stuff. It makes a huge difference as a podcaster. If people review you, whatever algorithm is at play from Apple. They seem to control the case of the kingdom one review enables the podcast to have a much bigger reach. So if you’re enjoying this podcast, please it takes you four seconds but it will make a big difference.

Joe:

Appreciate that, Nathan, if people have or excuse me, if people leave an iTunes review for us make sure you leave a comment. You can always leave a five star if you want to. But a comment helps us know, this episode was really good. Or maybe something you’ve learned from this episode. So that we can send a screenshot over to Nathan and Anchen so that we can thank them for the nice review. If you are a new listener to the show, I don’t know what episode this is going to be. I think, we’re like 110 or 100 and something 100 plus, so we’ve got 100 plus old episodes during this semi quarantine time. 

Don’t go binge or whatever new HBO show or your Netflix show. Why don’t you binge old WPMRR WordPress podcast episodes and help yourself grow your business? iTunes reviews we talked about that but wpmrr.com/iTunes redirects you right there makes it super easy to leave a review. If you are a listener who wants to have your question answered, we do Q&A episodes Chrissy and I do some Q&A episodes every once in a while we’ve itching to do a new one. So you can shoot an email into yo@wprr.com. And you’ll get your question answered live on the show. Isn’t that fun? Those are some of your favorite episodes. So any questions you have shoot them in wpmrr.com. The 2020 summit is over. 

So if you made it great, if not sorry, you missed it, but we’ll do one a 2021. Until then, we’ll have every session is on youtube for free. And they were really good. I was super impressed. I was more impressed than I thought I would be with the content, honestly. And so I think people want to go and subscribe on YouTube, or check out some of those videos. You’re more than welcome too, there are probably a bunch of buttons on the homepage that will send you right there. So that is it for this week. We will be your podcast players again next Tuesday thanks again for being on Nathan and Anchen appreciate.

Nathan:

Very much.

Joe:

Good bye.

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