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February 2021

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E135 – A Deep Dive into Cloud Computing, Finding 1,000 True Fans & the Movie Biz (Morgan Lucas, RUN TCP/IP)

In today’s episode, Joe talks to Morgan Lucas, a network engineer and author of RUNTCPIP.com – a blogging site that specializes in writing about tech, email marketing, and blogging with humor and informative style. She’s also a technologist well-oriented on Azure Cloud, Cisco, Juniper, Remote Support, and Programming.

They discuss freelance end-user consultancy, genuine connections through networking, the movie animation industry, as well as technical blogging and social media presence. 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:16 Welcome to the pod, Morgan Lucas!
  • 03:07 The Cloud technology
  • 05:10 Freedom working as an independent consultant
  • 06:37 User testing for a streaming site
  • 08:02 Pulling back from weekly blogging and social media
  • 13:12 Working to make technical blogs more accessible
  • 17:20 Connect to people online with sincerity
  • 19:40 Why networking works 
  • 21:59 Warner Media’s marketing department
  • 23:54 Animated movies mostly reflect our society
  • 29:14 Full-time consulting for 2021?
  • 29:51 Consultancy for larger companies while still helping small businesses
  • 31:40 Find Morgan online!

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] Hey folks, Joe Howard here this week, I got the opportunity to sit down with Morgan Lucas. Morgan is a systems engineer near a cloud engineer network engineer. You all know I’m not super technical, but she does some seriously technical stuff. It was really cool to get to set, sit down with her, hear about just some of that work and what she does as a consultant in these areas.

This was a very wide ranging conversation. We got to chat about that. Uh, we talked about, uh, really like how to. Genuinely network, how to do it in a way that really builds community and not just about handing out, you know, business cards at a, at a get together, something like that. And we talked about the movie business, we talked about, you know, some of our favorite animated shows and movies.

It’s we talked about a lot here, so I hope you enjoy this week’s episode. Uh, Morgan was a real joy to chat with and I think you’ll get a lot out of this conversation. All right. Without further ado, please. Welcome Morgan Lucas. Enjoy.

All right. We are live on the pod this week. Uh, we’ve got a great guest this week. Morgan Lucas, Morgan, why don’t you? Uh, give folks a little intro for yourself. Maybe some of the stuff you do with WordPress and maybe some of the stuff you do outside of WordPress, too.

Morgan Lucas: [00:01:25] Hi everybody. My name is Morgan Lucas.

First. Thanks for having me here, Joe. And second, what I do on WordPress is occasionally I will open it up. I will look around, I will say this webpage looked different two weeks ago and then I will close it and just kind of move on. So normally what I do is work on a lot of different tactical things, just because I like.

Putting my hand in things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. And I also do consulting work for some companies I’m working to work. I’m looking to work with some major companies in the future. I’ve already done some in 2020, so that was pretty cool. And I blog about it on my blog, which is run TCP, ip.com.

And I’m happy to read here.

Joe Howard: [00:02:06] Yeah. Yeah. It’s cool to have you. I, as someone who’s like, not as technical, I actually always really enjoy my conversation with technical folks because I get to learn a little bit more, even if I don’t totally understand everything. I’m always trying to do a better job, you know?

Cause I do run a technical company. I want to make sure that I am. Somewhat up to speed on some of these things. Tell folks a little bit, maybe even more about the technical aspects of some of the work you do. Do you kind of like, I don’t even know if this is a question, do you like specialize in certain like languages?

Or do you like, do you kind of prefer like more front end work or backend work? Where’s your kind of like area that you’d like to play in when it comes to technical?

Morgan Lucas: [00:02:40] So my area is basically network engineering and network administration, and that includes the cloud. Like most people. When you think of cloud think, Hey, it’s Amazon, AWS, which runs half the internet, but most of the time I’m working in Microsoft Azure and I’m learning about Google GCP and stuff like that because the cloud is the future.

Most of the things run on the cloud, but I can’t get away without saying this, that the cloud is really just someone’s computer. And so cloud technology is just an extension of in-person hands-on physical networking, but I also do a lot of other things. Another thing I’m working on is a review of the galaxy beach that I got for Christmas and that’s going, but floor that I thought it would, but it’s still fun to go, Oh, Hey, I have to change 500,000 settings and windows just to be able to talk to somebody with the microphone.

Joe Howard: [00:03:28] Yeah. Yeah. I hear that. Uh, I’m always, I feel like I always have some content to Brite or update and the list never seems to. Go away. It always see there’s always something on the list, but also it’s interesting what you’re saying about the cloud. I think about the cloud when I’m using my iPhone and just kind of like, Oh, I can have as many pictures as I, as I want to on my phone, but I don’t have to have the biggest saving space on my phone because I can just like have all my photos on the cloud.

Like that makes it easier. But I think what you’re saying to me is the cloud, is it sounds cool, but it’s really just like a big Apple server. That’s hosted, that’s holding all my photos. It actually is a computer and hardware that is, is holding all that, does that somewhat correct? Yeah,

Morgan Lucas: [00:04:13] basically it’s just the cloud.

There’s also things like, imagine. I have an Amazon Alexa that I use sometimes. So I don’t use it. I’m probably, I’d probably just unplugged it. It’s like a little box somewhere, but whenever I talk to Alexa is going to take that stuff and it’s going to kind of sit it to Amazon, AWS, and they have all these functions and other pieces of technology that will parse what I say.

And then they will return. What I asked for because nine times out of 10, I’m saying, Hey, Alexa, play Paul Hardcastle radio on Spotify. And I’m sorry if anybody’s Alexa just started playing Paul Hardcastle radio out there. Nice. Got them.

Joe Howard: [00:04:52] Yeah. The cloud stuff is not something I have really like a super.

From grasp on, but I’m always interested to learn more, uh, especially just from, from people like, you know, a little, a little more than me and yeah. Sorry for the curve ball. This, we always kind of go off on a few tangents on the show. Cause someone says something really cool and I’m like, Oh, I want to talk about that more.

And so it sounds like you do some work in this area. When I think about this work, talk about more like fortune 500 companies, like bigger enterprise companies, most of the consulting you’re doing for like bigger companies or do you maybe work with some smaller companies as well?

Morgan Lucas: [00:05:22] So. A company, they actually reached out to me and they said, Hey, we noticed that you use our stuff.

And I was like, do you want to do some research for us for a week? And I said, Hmm, sure. Okay. I can put that on a resume. And then they said, well, no, you can’t because you can’t actually use our name, but it was like, but they said, you can say that we are a major screaming service. So I’m like, okay, cool.

Close enough. And so when I did that, that just kind of opened the door to me, really enjoying consulting work, as opposed to working for a company like nine to five. Like I respect the people who do that, but honestly, most of the time I do most of my work from like 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM. So I’m like that just doesn’t work with most people’s business hours.

And so she gave me the freedom to just do. Well, I want to do what I like to do, what I have to do around the clock. And I’m probably just going to have a great time working for you.

Joe Howard: [00:06:10] All right. So like streaming stuff. So I’d be interested to know like where that, where does that intersection happen?

Because it sounds like you’re more, you’d like to be a little bit more flexible with your schedule. Um, kind of the same way I like to work when I like to work. I’m not really working when I’m not working. That’s how I do things for a streaming service. So what kind of like work is going on from your perspective, in terms of the, like some of the consulting stuff you do?

I, maybe you can talk. Like about again, like exactly who the company is, but like what kind of work happens from like eight to 11:00 PM, uh, consulting work for a streaming company? Like what kind of tech stuff’s going on there?

Morgan Lucas: [00:06:43] Okay. So this part was a little less tech, but a little bit more user friendly.

Like, can you test our user interface if you want to see how you use this? And you want to hear any feedback you have. And so since I listened to podcasts most of the time, but I’m trying to sleep, I know most people are like, Oh, the pandemic, since I’m not telecom, I’m not commuting anywhere. I don’t listen to podcasts.

And I’m here like, well, I was supposed to go to sleep. And so there’ll be like, Hey. Is there anything that our interface could have done better to make this a little easier for you to use podcasts? Because they’ve started buying a lot of podcasts companies, which, you know, good for them, because I’m not going to say that some of my suggestions were implemented because it was a few months ago and they could still very well.

Be in development, but they were very interested in my feedback, how easy I found it to use the service, the play podcasts. And so it was just a lot of user testing. How do you use this? Why do you use a, like this there’s something another company is doing that we could be doing? Like she’ll be by them or should we just use what they use?

Joe Howard: [00:07:43] Yeah. We’re a little bit more in my area of expertise now. Just more like user experience stuff. Yeah. I think a lot of that is, is so important, especially where like, Coming from, from someone like you, who has probably used a bunch of different tools. You’re like, you know, what’s gonna work and what’s not gonna work.

So that kind of work sounds important for them. Yeah. I’d love to hear more about some of the technical blogging you do too, or just like the blogging in general. I think we talked a little bit before this. It sounds like you’re doing some blogging. That’s not as tech specific. So that sounds like you’re doing maybe a little bit of both, but the thing I wanted to talk about first was last year, you were blogging once a week.

Or I guess that was your goal is to blog once a week. And this year, a lot of people saying, okay, what more can I do? What else can I do to get in front of people? You know, grow my audience, that kind of stuff you are taking the opposite approach or a different approach. You’re actually. Stepping back a little bit and blogging a little less frequently.

I thought that was super interesting. I’d love to hear a little bit more about that and kind of the reason behind that

Morgan Lucas: [00:08:42] I’m basically on social media. I’m basically stepping back from a lot of things. Not only from blogging, I still enjoy blogging. It’s just. Quality or quantity, you know, I’m not going to say the work I was putting out once a week was bad, but I do realize that it was pretty short.

And at that point you can just add things to a post over time, keep it in the drafts and then push it out. So when people see that as new posts, they get really excited because there’s something they can sink their teeth into and pulling back on social media because I was on LinkedIn and I’m still on LinkedIn.

If you want to connect with me, just, just tell me where you’re from. Cause people don’t and I’m like, Hey. Stranger. So they say that you have to post once a day to all LinkedIn, to be in front of the algorithm. And I thought, you know what, man, I don’t feel like that. So I’m going to post like, Two or three times a week, but it’s just not going to be something I’m trying to say this diplomatically.

It’s not going to be something boring and businessy that’s about as diplomatic as I can get it. Like I will just post something like, Hey, I just totally made an HTML CSS, JavaScript gallery of the 4,500 Disney mocks that I own in my pantry. So come look at it. And I actually did that. So. Like, so I was just like, Hey, I’m going to make stuff that I like making.

And I’m going to play around with stuff that I like playing around with and you can stick around for the ride. And a lot of people have stuck around and I deeply appreciate that. It’s was like, even people. Because in our world, people are bombarded 24 seven with their on Tik TOK. They are on tech talk.

I’m not on Tik TOK. I am old at 28. I have no idea what the children are doing. So they’re on Tik TOK. They’re on napChat they’re everywhere. Like I use Twitter, LinkedIn, and a bunch of Slack communities. And that’s about it. My people are being bombarded. It’s like. The way to stand out is to not bombard somebody, like let them come as they are, let them hang around for as long as they want to.

And you don’t always have to be in somebody’s face. That’s what I find the most difficult part about networking is I don’t want to be in your face. I just want to be paid and be left alone and maybe make a friend or two down the road. Like I don’t really being in someone’s face all the time. It’s not my style.

That’s why I’m a network engineer, because I don’t have to do that in theory. Like you still need to have people skills, but I’m not going to be on a stage or anything.

Joe Howard: [00:10:58] Yeah, I think that is one of the most important things anybody can learn about themselves is what you said about LinkedIn. It’s like, okay.

A lot of people are going to say that. Okay. I read this thing about LinkedIn algorithm. I got a post once a day. Okay. I guess I’m going to go post once a day because I want to whatever, expand my network. But you said. Like man, screw that. Like I’m, I’m going to do what I want to do. And that to me is like most important piece of anything that anybody does, because I feel like people think I got to get everyone in my audience.

I gotta like, do grow this as fast as possible. I like to think about it more as the there’s like a popular book out there, or just like concept about a thousand true fans. I’m sorry. I can’t like quote exactly who it’s from or who thought of it, but it’s the idea of like, if you have like a thousand true fans, you can.

Do whenever you want to, you can actually like make a good living. You can do what you want to do instead of quote unquote what you’re supposed to do. Right. And you can have that audience of people. Like be the kind of people who want to follow you as opposed to the kind of people who may want to follow me, as opposed to kind of people who may want to follow other people.

You don’t need 7 billion people to follow you. Yeah. You need your thousand people and you’ll be happier probably if you hit those thousand people or like people who you really like, and you really wanted to connect with and they are following you because of the genuine stuff you’re doing. Not because of.

The stuff you’re supposed to do, quote unquote, because LinkedIn told you to, you know, so I think you’re on the right track with that stuff. Right. And

Morgan Lucas: [00:12:26] people who are like, I’m trying to gain the algorithm on LinkedIn. I’m like, dude, Microsoft owns LinkedIn. They probably change the algorithm every five minutes.

And nobody knows. So you might just want to give up right

Joe Howard: [00:12:36] now. Yeah. Yeah, totally. We do a lot of content marketing, so like we’re pretty dependent on Google for like sending us a lot of traffic to, you know, the WP buffs blog, uh, and. Yeah, same thing. They probably change our algorithm 50 times a month.

Probably a little micro changes all the time and the thing where we can do well, we can put out really good content. You know, we can optimize and do that kind of stuff. But a lot of it is just like, do you have the best content out there? Are you answering people’s questions? Are you adding value to people?

So we really try to focus more on that and less on the like gamification of SEO stuff. So yeah, I’m with you. All right. So you talked, I’ve done a little blogging and correct me if I’m wrong. Do you kind of keep your technical blogging on to your own website, which is just run TCP, ip.com and the technical writing happens there, and then you have.

Another blog where you write some not so technical stuff on medium, sort

Morgan Lucas: [00:13:28] of, kind of like I have exported of like blog posts to a medium, and one of them was about, and I had originally written this on Ron TCP, ip.com. Right. It was about the commercialization of animal crossing, new horizons, like companies are buying copies of this game and making their stuff and they’re using it to advertise to people.

And I’m like, and I wrote about that in July and I just made my medium blog and I think December, and I was like, So it’s about what I feel like writing. Sometimes I’ll put it on both. Sometimes I’ll put it on neither, but I think I am trying to keep it technical on my blog, but I’m working on making it more accessible for people because I will go back and look at what I wrote and I’m like, okay, I can barely understand this.

How is the person, what they’re they’ve got to understand. So I’m like, so I’m honestly trying to. Right to my audience to make sure that everybody’s understanding another industry I feel is really interesting. I followed for years at this point is like movie marketing and the business of making movies and all that stuff.

And so I actually wrote about that when Warner brothers, they said, Hey, we’re still going to release tenet in August, 2020 movie theaters were closed. Be damned. We’re going to release this movie because too. So, and I wrote about that and I’m like, okay, cool. Yeah. But funnily enough, I did not write about how Warner brothers decided to put all their movies and HBO max in 2021, along with the co theatrical release, I probably should have written about that.

I think at this point it’s been beaten in hammer to death though. Helps write about what’s interesting. And the key point of that is because I would like to work with Warner brothers one day. I would like to work with Warner media. That’s why I care enough to write something like that. But if it’s just an industry I don’t care about, then I’m probably not going to keep an eye on their business.

And if I don’t keep an eye on their business, I’m not going to write about it because I just don’t think it’s interesting. But Warner brothers is one of many companies I do think is genuinely interesting and I would like to support them.

Joe Howard: [00:15:21] Yeah, that’s cool. I mean, it’s really cool that you’re. Thinking ahead.

I think a lot of people have companies in their mind that are like, Oh, that’s a cool company that I want to work for one day, but they don’t, they don’t really know the procedure of like, how would I get a job at like my dream company? I like this idea of like doing some stuff on your own writing about them, you know, starting to do some blogging and like getting into that world with the tools you already have in your tool belt.

I’ve hired a few people at my company who they were on my radar before I ended up hiring them. Like one is like, I’m thinking about it came from like some Twitter DMS and some stuff that happened on Twitter. One happened, you know, I recently hired someone who I’ve been talking to for like almost a year, you know, on and off, not serious conversations the whole time, but like, It happened.

It doesn’t have to, you don’t just like apply for a job. And then a week later, like you have that job. Like a lot of times it takes time. And I think like getting into that world yourself is a good way to one, like potentially get noticed. But also even more than that, I think just like get into the world and learn more and maybe like meet some people who are connected to that space because someone wrote, read your articles, who like, well, I know a person at Warner, can I introduce you?

And you never know what will happen. And so I think like optimizing your luck. Maybe it’s how I think about it to like, Hey, who knows what could happen in the future? You know? Right.

Morgan Lucas: [00:16:46] Just like another thing I do with people is I have a spreadsheet is it’s not particularly organized, but it’s a spreadsheet.

It has people at companies and industries that I would like to be in. Yes. You’ll link to their LinkedIn and get, check it maybe once a week, if they have a post, you like the post, you don’t go all the way back. And like every post from the past five years, because not only is that insincere it’s creepy and it shows you don’t know how to use your time very well, but you could probably automate that.

But either way, they’re not going to know what’s automated. It just looks weird. And so I’ve actually made, I’ve actually met quite a few people at like large companies, like Warner brothers, like Disney. I have connected with people just because I hung around. And genuinely liked what they had to say, because there’s some people they’re going to find every person who works at this company and they’re going to either follow them or try to connect with them, or they’re going to put them in a list and they’re just going to go down there and just like everything they say, and like, that’s not sincere.

Like, look, I’m one of those people who think that if you’re capable and competent for a job, you should be able to be hired for it. You should be able to apply and be hard for networking. I actually hate networking. I think it’s insincere only, and it should be about your talent and not going to know, but I understand that’s the world we live in.

And unfortunately we just have to play the game, but you can kind of play it on your own terms. You don’t have to like everything that somebody posts, but you can didn’t we just find the people at a company that you like, the people that you like, not just the company and you can just follow them. I was like, isn’t it a lot better to like the people to find people that you click with even rarely or on occasion, and then just interact with their content, leave them a post, say congratulations and actually mean it.

If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. There’s going to be other opportunities for you. So don’t feel like you have to jump on the first one that comes around when it comes with interacting

Joe Howard: [00:18:36] with somebody. Yeah. Yeah, totally. Um, yeah. In some ways I feel a lot like you do. And one of the, probably one of the reasons that I ended up in the WordPress space, because I feel like the WordPress space, it’s a great community of people.

Friendly people who want to build something cool together in the form of open source software. And I feel like a lot of people don’t like that networking vibe of like, here’s my business card. Like you bring a hundred business cards to a meetup and you’ve got to hand them all out. And then like, that’s what networking is.

Like people in the WordPress space are not about that kind of networking. It’s much more about like the community and because everyone has that common feel, I feel like. Whatever the networking that happens in the WordPress space is a lot more genuine. It really is just like most people who are like, again, like quote unquote in my network in the WordPress community are really just my friends.

Like, they’re just people, I like hit up with a Slack DM or like, we shouldn’t email to you, like, Hey, what’s up? Like, how was your family? Like, how’s everything during, during COVID you’re doing okay. Like it’s that kind of community. And that feels much better and much more genuine to me. So yeah, maybe like the pursuit of.

Community over networking or just, yeah, maybe like updating that vocabulary. It could also be helpful for people who are like, feeling like you. I agree with you. I’m not like I used to do that networking thing because I thought I had to and it turns out like,

Morgan Lucas: [00:19:56] yeah, I also hate the rhetoric of, but what’s in it for me.

If I help you, it was like, In fact that you help somebody get to live in a capitalist society and make money. That shouldn’t be what’s in it for you. I mean, I did, to an extent that maybe you’re not going to recommend somebody for a CIO job that you barely know, I guess that. Who does it hurt for you to pass along a link to somebody like on Twitter, actually follow somebody who works at this grocery company.

I don’t want to like drop him off here. I’m going to drop into amen. If they don’t like it, I’m sorry. At zero grocery. And there’s some California where they like have all these good products that they’ll, it’s like. Being a milkman, but it’s with groceries. If that sounds kind of odd, it’s like they will send you things in glass containers.

They’ll send you things in glass containers to eliminate waste. And that’s a really cool concept. If I lived in California, I would try it, but I don’t want them in Florida. So actually I sent a referral link that somebody had posted because I follow a recruiter on there and I just stuck it on a Slack channel.

I didn’t know these people in the Slack channel. I just thought, Hey, maybe you can do this. Cause I know I can. It was like, maybe you can do it. So if you want me to make an introduction to you, I totally will. And I actually did find like two or three people and I let the recruiter know and quite a few of them got interviews.

Like it didn’t hurt me to do that and nobody paid me for, but okay. Someone got

Joe Howard: [00:21:17] helped. Yeah, I think that’s a good outlook. Everyone has that outlook, but we could use more of it in the world, I think. And yeah. It’s you pass along enough. Goodness. Externally, you will get good in this back. You know, I, I know that it may not be something you’re like I’m doing a quid pro quo for or something like that.

But if you put out good in the world, usually you get good back as well. So, um, I’m with you on that. Um, I wanted to dive more into that. Warner brothers thing, it sounds like you’re like really into. Movies, obviously like you’re a technical person. That’s kind of like a professional background, but you’re really into movies stuff.

I want to know, like what your what’s your dream job at Warner? Maybe not Warner brothers Warner media is what I think you said it, but maybe like the movie side of things at Warner, what would be your dream job there? Is it more technical stuff? Like, is it in like their streaming department or like doing engineering work for them or is it maybe more.

Actual like movie stuff. I don’t know.

Morgan Lucas: [00:22:15] Okay. Fun fact. Before I decided on this background, I was about to set up this interview with my Spider-Man at the spider verse poster, because I have one in my room, but I know it’s not Warner brothers, but I’ll say, can I use, cause I have like five or six movie posters in my room.

And I was like, do I use this one, this one or this one? I was like, no, I’m just going to use this. I just liked the idea of supporting a movie company because movies have been a big part of my life for absolute ages. The part of their company that I really Oh, I, I, I’m sorry. I’m not trying to advertise everything, but go for it.

Birds of prey. I really love birds of prey and I wish I’d gotten more attention in the greater scheme of things, but then COVID came

Joe Howard: [00:22:51] and what are those, what are the, what are those figurines called there? I can’t really Funko pops. Funky. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Nice. But the

Morgan Lucas: [00:22:59] part of their company that I really admire is like the marketing segment.

I was like, They haven’t done some really great marketing campaigns, especially with their monster verse and their DC extended universe stuff. Like it would be an honor to just be able to support any one of those, any aspect of their company. But those are the parts that I really pay attention to whenever they have a new movie come

Joe Howard: [00:23:18] out.

Yeah. Would you consider yourself like a comic book person and like, Superhero nerd, so to speak. Is that kind of your area of fandom?

Morgan Lucas: [00:23:28] Absolutely not. The most I do is I watch, like I watch like two comic book YouTubers on YouTube and that’s about the extent of my knowledge. All of my knowledge comes from them.

So I’m like, I like the movies, but I can’t say I’ve read a comic book in about. 10 or 11 years. I’m sure. They’re great. It’s just, I a to look at the movies and I can’t keep all that paper in my house.

Joe Howard: [00:23:51] Yeah. Yeah. I hear you. I’m like, what are some of the movies that you’re, you’re more into? Um, yeah. Like, are you into like specific like genres or just like, are there some Warner brothers specific or Warner media specific things you were enjoying?

Morgan Lucas: [00:24:05] I really like animated movies. Those are, I know it’s not a genre, so. Medium. I really like animated movies and breaking down how they actually kind of reflect our society because really recently. So if you kind of noticed animation has been mainstreamed, animation has been super, super wide and yeah. Hey, Hey everybody who watched this far, I’m one of those people who concerned with social justice.

So. There’s a warning. I’m going to start talking about it. So like a lot of animation is it’s super white and they have definitely okay. And they have definitely improved over the year. It’s like, like I said before, I have movie posters in my room. They’re all animated. I have marijuana. I have Kung Fu Panda and I have my favorite movie, which is Spider-Man into the spider verse.

They’re all animated and. There’s such a scope of Chandra’s that you can do with animation. I know I mentioned mainstream ones just now, but there are also some really cool in the animations, like, look at cartoon saloon. If you have Apple TV, plus go look a Wolf walkers, because it’s really good. And it’s really sad.

I was like, so the more indie animation that comes to the forefront, the better it is for everybody. Because again, I like Disney. I like Warner animation group, but they’re not the end all be all of animation. You really have to expand your scope and you really have to look beyond their defined a bunch of diverse, interesting movies that can open your perspective.

Joe Howard: [00:25:23] Yeah. I used to watch some, some anime growing up, some of the stuff was like kind of mainstream. Like I watch a lot like dragon ball Z when I was, when I was a kid, like, I remember like five o’clock every weekday, like God. Got it, check out the new drag Mozy episode. And so that was like a big thing for me growing up when I was, when I was younger.

And then I watched the, you know, I I’m having trouble remembering the names of all the movies, but like the, something about a maid, like the maid service, something maid service, and like tote, Totoro. Like I watched all those movies when I was a kid and they still actually like, hold it like really. Fun place in my heart.

Whenever I see, like, as someone who watches anime, they have like a Totoro backpack. And Mike told her I like love is so cool. So I don’t know if you were into that stuff as well, but I remember fondly that stuff.

Morgan Lucas: [00:26:14] Yeah. I will watch an animated movie before I walk in and may series because I feel like, I mean, it’s totally fine.

It’s just not my thing. Cause they take like all the too long, I was like, look, I don’t watch a whole bunch of television first. So anything that has like 30 episodes, I’m like. Cool. All right. So maybe I’ll walk, maybe I’ll finish it in like two or three years. So

Joe Howard: [00:26:34] yeah, actually that was the one thing I remember about dragon Bozi it was like, you have to watch like 10 episodes for like anything to like actually happen.

Like it’s like an episode would start with like one of the characters, like powering up and then it would end like with them finishing, pairing up and you’re like, nothing really like happened in this episode. Like, okay, it’s all cliffhangers and stuff, but anyway, still enjoy the show. I, we talked, just talked about like anime for 10 minutes.

This is great. And I love talking about random stuff in the show. I want to come back a little bit to the what the next kind of year for you looks like in terms of 2021. Cause we talked a little bit about you maybe blogging a little less and maybe with higher quality this year, which I think is a really good move.

And I think. Most audiences will take that trade off, you know, maybe a little less frequency and announcements or content, but maybe some higher quality content. I think a lot of audiences would, would appreciate that. What else is 2000? What else is 2021 hold for you? Do you think, do you think it’s, um, you know, you’ll continue to do a little consulting here and there continue to blog.

Anything else? That’s kinda big on your calendar. I know it’s COVID stuff. Most people would have a lot of stuff paused, but anything else, digital, maybe you’re thinking about this year.

Morgan Lucas: [00:27:43] Just because I logged once a week, it doesn’t mean that it was bad quality. I mean, after all I was in an article for tech target and I actually won a fully paid conference trip because of my blog.

And the funny thing is, yeah, if you’ve ever heard of Grace Hopper

Joe Howard: [00:27:57] convention, I haven’t, but tell me about it. I was like,

Morgan Lucas: [00:28:01] it’s the world’s biggest collection of female technologists and it’s mostly software oriented and like front end, which is still a very important part of technology, but they saw my hardware networking blog, and they liked me enough to give me a four day pass.

I just had to get to Orlando. And this was in 2019 where we could still get on airplanes and go places. So 20, 21, I would like to do consulting. Full-time just two or three companies a month. You pay me, I’ve looked at your user interface. I see what needs improvement. Look at your backend. I see what needs improvement.

I help you migrate to a cloud or help you. Or I work with small businesses and I help you. Well, I guess I really can’t help small businesses this year because it’s COVID. So besides that, in theory, I could help you with your Juniper stuff, because even though I’m certified in Cisco and Microsoft and comp Tia, I’m working on my Juniper Junos certification because a lot of vendors like that, smaller, more our cart system to what Cisco offers.

No offense, Cisco. I love them. You’re great. So I want to do consulting full time. And I just kind of want to stick to my smaller micro-communities and build some more genuine relationships with people and just help them out where I feel the need to. Yeah.

Joe Howard: [00:29:14] I think you have a good goal for 2021, continuing the work that you do that allows you to work flexibly around your schedule.

I mean, I love that. So it sounds like you may be looking to continue to do consulting, but the flexibility in the like timing and. All of that sounds like it’s sounds like it’s pretty important too. When you’re talking about working a full time consultant in this year, is that, are you, are you interested in like, like a, a full-time job or continuing, just consulting for multiple companies and maybe not working 40 hours a week?

Um, and working fewer hours,

Morgan Lucas: [00:29:52] I turned to consulting simply because I could not find a job in my field after college. And this is like networking. This is the biggest deal. Like. So I turned to consulting out of necessity other than want. And at this point I look at a 40 hour work week and I think, you know what, I’m good.

I can still help people and probably make more money with freelance without having to work 40 hours a week somewhere. So if it comes along with a reasonably flexible company, because there are, there are good companies out there who understand that the job has a, it’s not a replacement for an identity or personality.

They understand that. Hey, even though we have money to make an, a business to run, you’d probably rather be somewhere else than sitting here for. Like 75% of your week doing. So if a company is open and reasonably flexible life ad, I’m not against talking with them, I’m not against working for them, but I prefer consultancy where I build up a relationship with these larger companies where they can pay me large flat fee straight up so I can give more concentrated, appropriate, help.

To a few companies, as opposed to helping everybody everywhere all at once and wearing myself thin. And most importantly, you know, giving bad services, something that I don’t want to do. So five people paying me $2,000 is better than 20 people paying me. About $200.

Joe Howard: [00:31:11] Cool. I think that’s a good place to wrap up.

I wish you the best of luck this year. Honestly. I don’t think you need much luck. You sound like you’re doing great. I know a lot of people, I know a lot of people in the WordPress space have kind of like turned to consulting maybe because they couldn’t find a full-time job. And it was like the best thing that ever happened to them because they’re like, Whoa, this is great.

I can work when I want to. I can do the work I like, and I can still. Make good money doing it. So it’s kind of the best of all, all the, all of that. Um, so I don’t have any doubt that you’ll continue to rock it this year. Why don’t you tell folks here on the podcast where they can find you online, maybe links to your blog or social media, that kind of stuff.

Morgan Lucas: [00:31:47] I am on Twitter at Ron TCP, ip.com. And if you want to follow me on LinkedIn, the URL, like the end part, where you put the name is L L Morgan, and just told me that you come from the WordPress podcast and I’ll be happy to connect with you. If you want to review the podcast on iTunes, definitely, definitely be appreciated.

Joe Howard: [00:32:06] Uh, WP MRR. Dot com slash iTunes redirects you right there. If you are on a Mac or Apple device, I read every review. So I will give you a big hug next time. I see you, hopefully later this year, if you give us a review and if you are a new listener to the show, uh, we’ve got 120, 130, something like that, old episodes in the hopper.

Uh, go ahead and binge some old episodes of the podcast. Uh, if you’re looking to learn something specific, just go to WP mrr.com forward slash podcast. We have a search bar right there. So you can search for pricing pricing. Uh, and yeah, go ahead and up your game in that area. If you have questions for the show, just shoot them into yo Y o@wpmrr.com where you can find me on Twitter at Joseph H.

Howard. That is it for this week on the pod. We will be back in your podcast players again next Tuesday, Morgan. Thanks again for being on. It’s been real. Thank you for asking

Morgan Lucas: [00:33:04] me to be here, Joe. I’m glad I took some time out of my

Joe Howard: [00:33:07] day. Excellent. See everybody.


E134 – A Hyper-Tactical Content & SEO Masterclass (Maddy Osman, The Blogsmith)

In today’s episode, Joe talks to Maddy Osman, Founder and SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith. She creates content optimized for onsite SEO, handles keyword research, and picks feature blog images, among other SEO content writing strategies her agency offers. 

They discuss SEO and content optimization, old school SEO strategies, competitor analysis, and winning clicks in search results.

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:36 Let’s welcome back, Maddy Osman!
  • 03:06 How to start dominating content and SEO
  • 09:19 Keywords and content optimization
  • 13:28 Identifying the reading level of your target audience
  • 17:51 The importance of word counts in SEO
  • 21:30 SEO ranking and relevant search
  • 27:22 The first experience someone has on your site
  • 28:40 Video embedding is an engagement metric
  • 31:03 Tips to content exposure and audience reach 
  • 33:30 How to win clicks in the search engine results
  • 38:12 Target keywords still work when added in the meta description
  • 41:00 Find Maddy online!

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] Oh, do you folks, Joe Howard here. This week on the podcast, we have the one and only Maddie Osman, Maddie and I have been friends for a while now. So it’s always a pleasure having her on the podcast. I think this is her second time being on anyway. As folks listening know I’m pretty big into the content and SEO and marketing world.

And sometimes you just get two people together on a podcast who really vibe. And this is just one of those episodes. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount we were able to fit into this episode. It’s super. Tactile, super tactical, tons of strategies, tons of actionable content for you really you’ll be able to, if you pull out your pen and paper or whatever, your note taking app of choice from how to create the right title tags, to how to do some competitor analysis, what tools to use.

All that’s included in today’s episode. So before Moe gets a little more mad, go ahead and enjoy today’s episode.

All right. We are live on the pod. We’ve got Maddie Ozmen on this week, Maddie. What’s up? Uh, tell folks a little bit about you. I already know a little bit about you because we’ve been friends for a little while, and I know all this stuff you do with WordPress, but I, and we were talking about before you’ve been on the podcast before, so people haven’t gone back and heard that.

First episode, lot of great stuff. And I should go back and listen or not. You can listen to this episode because you’re on with Maddie right now. So yeah, without further ado, Maddie, just tell folks who maybe haven’t heard the last episode that you were on a little bit of your background and stuff you do with WordPress.

Yeah. So

Maddy Osman: [00:01:42] I run this company called the blog Smith and we create SEO content for B2B tech brands, which mostly live in the WordPress space. So. You might recognize my byline on websites like WP buffs. Hints does another favorite client of mine that, and just like a lot of web hosts that kind of tends to be my main clientele in the WordPress space.

If you’re ever looking for an answer to a WordPress problem, I probably we’ve written about it.

Joe Howard: [00:02:11] Totally. I’m on your, uh, Website right now, it’s just the dash blog smith.com. And I

Maddy Osman: [00:02:17] also own the non-data.

Joe Howard: [00:02:19] Okay. Okay. So just the blog smith.com. Okay. So either one of those works, people are going to check out your stuff, Maddie.

I was just going to say, I’m on the website now, and I know that you practice what you preach because. It has on the landing page here. It’s like SEO content written and strategy for B2B technology brands. I can tell you do SEO content because your website, I can see the little, you can see what the title tag is in the tab of your website and it’s, it starts with SEO content.

So clearly you want to be found for SEO content because that’s you do so you’re doing it. You preach when you you’re, you, you do what you preach, which is, uh, is always refreshing. So cool. I mean, I’m, I’m always super stoked to talk about. Content and content marketing and all of that. Maybe we could start just around like content basics for people.

If people want to get found online, if they want to write content, that is, you know, obviously the quality of the content is kind of a little bit up to the writer or people they hired to help with the writing. But in terms of getting that content found, using SEO, maybe using some other tactics, what’s like the lowest hanging fruit for people, where should they start?


Maddy Osman: [00:03:27] think that a lot of people build up SEO content in their head is something that’s difficult and technical, and there’s so many steps and there are a lot of steps that you want to. Be conscious of that. You want to, you know, sort of plan for, you can kind of create some guidelines for yourself in terms of like a checklist that you could follow, you know, using a primary keyword in the URL using it and the method title and things like that.

A more technical nature, but I think a good place to start, especially if this is something that’s new to you is to go into Google search and take whatever your primary. Keyword is that you think it should be, or that you’ve done keyword research to validate. And that’s kind of getting more to the intermediate advanced level of the stuff, but let’s just run with whatever your idea is, type it into search and see what comes up.

First of all, you know, before you even hit enter, you get some suggestions from Google, Google. Autocomplete is what it’s called. And it’s basically using whatever that term is and adding extra words onto it. And these are this data’s based on what actual searchers are searching for. So, you know, in that light it’s based on the things that they actually want to know, they want answers for.

So then you can hit, enter and get into those search results. And you’re going to have two other places you can look for really great ideas in terms of how to flush out your content, you know, different sections to add or different questions to answer. So in about the top or the middle of the search results, you’ll see a section called people also ask, and these tend to be phrased as questions.

And that’s interesting that they’re phrased as questions because another way that you could potentially rank in search is by answering questions and getting what’s called the featured snippet, which is like that top box that you see on some search results that highlights. Like a certain answer

Joe Howard: [00:05:21] before it’s like position zero is what some people would call it.

Right? Correct. Yeah. So

Maddy Osman: [00:05:25] some people call it position zero because it ranks at the top of organic search. Sometimes it’s under ads, so it’s not position. Zero is the first thing that you would see, but it’s the first organic result you would see and that’s, that’s invaluable. And so people also asked is a good place to look for those questions that you could answer to potentially rank in that spot.

And just to make sure that your content. Is answering the questions that people, you know, actually have about the topic. Um, the last thing that I would say in terms of low hanging fruit is on that same page. If you go to the very bottom, there’s a section called searches related to whatever that keyword term is that you input.

And these are things that may not use the same words. Like you would see an auto-complete, but they use related words and related terms. And so those are. Good ideas for either related topics that you could write about separately or that you could write about again, within that same piece of content. So you don’t need $100 a month SEO tool to be able to create great content.

I mean, I would still say you need some sort of tool for keyword research and that’s another topic, but. In order to validate your ideas and create great content, you can definitely use what’s available to you even within Google search.

Joe Howard: [00:06:37] Yeah. I love that. So you and Lindsay Halsey, who does a lot of SEO and are in and around the WordPress space, YouTube of people I’ve like worked directly with.

Around content and SEO. And I love both of your approaches because if they’re actually like both of your approaches seem to be, go and get the data from Google’s first, there’s all sorts of tools out there that can help you do X, Y, and Z. But like what kind of data is that really? Like, even if they tell you what kind of like is the data is coming back from Google, like, Oh, I don’t, I don’t know exactly where it’s coming from, but.

Right. Google clearly, like is showing you something directly from what their algorithm is giving you in search results. So I like the idea, like, like Lindsay uses a lot of Google search console, just like literally data from Google, which I’m always like, great. It’s like, I just want to know what Google thinks so I can make Google think better of me and continue to, you know, rank for different stuff and all that.

So I love the idea of the checking out the autocomplete for searches. Once you do a search, just scroll to the bottom and you’ll see a bunch of related searches. And also in the middle there mean it may not show up on all searches, but in a lot of searches, it’ll say it’ll have that auto or not the auto, but the what other questions people ask around this topic.

And that’s a really good idea for like, if you’re doing a general topic, well, what should your, like your H one tag you may want to have is like, You know, the general topic of the keyword you’re going after, but what other H two questions could you answer? What, like FAQ’s, could you answer in that content?

Those are maybe some good ones to, to add to your keyword research for a content to write. Yeah. Also interesting to hear about the like positions, zero stuff you were talking about. Cause I think a lot of trying to rank and position zero seems to be like, I’ve seen a lot of search results where the positions zero.

Result that Google auto gives you. It’s not the first organic search in a lot of cases. Not in some cases I’ve seen content. That’s not even on the first page ranking on the first page auto completed, which I think is like totally crazy. It’s like you rank number 30 for keyword, but still you’re technically ranking one because you get pulled into this first result.

Yeah. A lot of that seems to be from the organization of your content. Like, how did you have the right OnPage tags? Like schema markup and or each one, like nested content. So like H2O is all go under.  like having all that really easy for Google to read and understand makes Google think it’s well organized and I think helps get an auto answers like that.

I don’t know if you’ve been involved in more pure SEO, stuff like that, or if you’ve run across anything like that. But. That’s a topic I’m always like, it’s a pretty easy way to rank. First is just rank in position zero, but it’s not always easy. You got to figure out how do you get Google to answer that question for you?

So I don’t know if you have any other thoughts on that.

Maddy Osman: [00:09:19] There’s definitely a lot to think about in terms of how to format your page in a way that’s going to be helpful to Google. And that’s going to get your content index, especially in terms of these different features. And you brought up one thing which was schema, and then another thing, which is FAQ’s.

And so that’s been an interesting, like sort of newer way to rank in search and to like Mark up your content accordingly in a way that it’s sort of helpful in signaling to Google that you have the answers to people’s questions and you can. Implement FAQ schema using tools. Like I think Yost has a feature on their plugin where you can set like questions and answers and Mark them up as FAQ schema.

And so that’s just one thing to keep in mind as sort of extra. Thing that you can do to make your content better and make your content more indexable to Google. Another thing you brought up are things about, you know, what should you put in headings in order to come up full for your snippets and just for others, Google search features.

And so kind of getting more into like the tools side of things. Now I’ve been using this tool called clear scope, which I love have you heard of it, Joe?

Joe Howard: [00:10:30] No, I have not heard of this, but I love hearing the new tool. So tell me about it.

Maddy Osman: [00:10:34] The sign. So clear scope basically works. If you’ve heard of surfer, SEO or market muse, it’s very similar to the types of things that those tools do, but it focuses specifically on content optimization.

And so what you do is you take a primary keyword, ideally, something that you validated because clear scope is not a cheap tool. It’s something like. $8 and 50 cents to run a report for any new content that you would create. And they have plans that start at like $170 a month for their lowest plan. And so unless you’re creating a lot of content, I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you’re like me and you’re creating a ton of content for clients, Or if you’re like Joe, and you know, you have a blog that you’re trying to maintain with a lot of new topics.

This is a really great tool because what happens is clear scope goes through. I want to say it’s like the top 20 to 30 results for that primary keyword. And it basically reverse engineers. What was rankable about those things in terms of this specific entities? Like the nouns, you know, the people, places, things like the wording, basically within these articles.

And then it makes suggestions to you. So basically you have this content editor and you can use a Google docs add on if you prefer to work in Google docs versus their editor. And it basically tells you like yours, a bunch of terms you should make sure to include because that’s what these top ranking articles included.

And furthermore, it gives you direction in terms of where those terms should be used. So should they be just like body content? Should they be in a heading what’s the order of importance for all of these terms listed clear scope can give you all that information. It also tells you what’s the ideal word count of the top ranking articles based on that.

And what’s the ideal reading level, which is also super important in terms of just like. Matching intent and, you know, reaching your audience the right way. So that’s been a tool again, it’s not necessarily for somebody who’s like a hobbyist or who’s just not creating enough content to justify using it.

But for me, for someone who’s a high content volume producer, it has really revolutionized my workflow.

Joe Howard: [00:12:48] Yeah, that’s a cool tool. Clear scope.io. Anybody from that? Team’s listening. You’ve got to reach out to Maddie and get her. Oh, we’ve yeah. Nice. Nice. Yeah, that’s a cool tool. I, you know what I really like about the couple of things you said, one was what you said around reading level for like what your content is reading levels should be about.

I bet if you use that. Software for like four or five, six pieces of content. You’d see a pretty uniform reading level across, not just like what that topic was for, but like the entire. Focus of your blog. So for like us, it’s like WordPress stuff. I would love to know like what reading level I should be writing for to write to WordPress people in general, maybe it wouldn’t be the same for like a new WordPress users or would be a developer or, you know, I’m sure there are differences, but I need to know that so that I can, we can write good content for people.

If people, I haven’t looked into this, but I think I’ve like read some stuff that like the reading level you should be writing to is always. Probably lower than you think it should be. Like if you’re writing to like a college level audience. I mean, that’s more advanced than a lot of people potentially to like, to be able to easily digest.

And so you may be missing some people who may not have gone to college or may not have that level of sophistication. I’m not trying to like, say anybody’s better than anybody else. I’m just saying you want to write content. That’s really accessible to everybody. Okay. I’ll include myself in this. Like I went to college, but I’d probably rather read on like a sixth grade level than a college level.

I just want to like, read something and understand it. Like, I don’t need like. Some crazy advanced topic, like I’m from Googling something to fix something. I don’t need it written at that level. And nor probably do I want it, I just tell me how to fix the thing I need. Like that’s all I need. And then maybe, Hey, I’ll join your email newsletter or I’ll, maybe I’ll become a customer in the future.

Who knows? Because you gave me the answer I needed. So I think that level of. I like the reading level is a super important thing that we’ve actually like not focused on. I just actually hit up Alec and Slack to ask him, Hey, should we like, think about using this tool and maybe like, think about reading level more in our content.

That’s a definitely an interesting

Maddy Osman: [00:14:54] idea. Yeah. I want to expand on that for just a second, the reading level, and I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of whenever you are looking for an answer to a question, how most of us use search, we’re looking for a quick answer. We’re looking at least for a guide for how to find it.

We’re not interested in reading a novel. We’re not interested in reading a textbook. We want to be able to skim and that’s going to be impossible if the reading level of our content is so complicated and verbose, I mean, I love to write, I love to read and I love to use colorful language, but there is a time and a place and reading level, the way that the metric is composed, like the way that clear scope measures it.

It’s like the average number of words per sentence, but it’s also the average number of syllables within the words. So obviously that’s like a very like bare bones way to judge reading level, but it is a pretty effective one when you consider, you know, multi-syllabic words and, and the fact that you could probably use simpler language if your reading level gauges getting pretty

Joe Howard: [00:15:59] high.

Yeah. I’d agree with that. I think. When I think about things like a short tail SEO keyword versus a long-term SEO keyword, really all I’m thinking about is like how many words are in that keyword phrase. So if you’re looking for like Nike shoes, that’s two. So that’s pretty short tail. Like it’s going to be hard to rank for that.

I think because Nike is probably gonna rank for that. But if you do a search, you know, if you’re trying to rank for Nike high top is high top one word, I think it’s one word, Nike high, top yellow and black. Basketball shoes. In DC, that’s like nine words long. So that’s a much longer tail, obviously there’s probably less volume, but it’s more targeted keywords.

Someone who’s looking for that, like probably looking like, Hey, I want to buy like that specific shoe. And if they land on your e-commerce store selling something like that. Hey. Well, who knows Nike may not be happy if you’re selling knockoffs. Nike’s this is just an example. If the longer tail keyword has better intent as well.

So I’m with that. Another thing I wanted to touch on what you mentioned that that tool provides is like an optimal word count for a certain piece of content. And you were just talking about, like, people are looking for an answer. They don’t want to novel, they just want their answer, but there’s also this balance you have to find of, Hey, if the top piece of content is like a thousand words, but how do you do better than that piece of content?

Obviously, if you write piece that’s half as long, but twice. Good. That’s great. But there’s also like Google does just like, see how many words on a page. You can probably dictate at least to some degree, maybe it’s yeah. Correlation, but there’s causation that a longer piece of content is going to be, I don’t know, better informed is going to be more in depth.

So if someone’s writing a thousand word article, maybe you want to write a 1500 word article, but I’ve also had people give me feedback on that. Like. That’s bullshit, Joe. Like you don’t need to do that. Just write a good piece of content and it’ll outrank. So I don’t know exactly the right answer to that.

Like I look up recipes all the time when I’m cooking something. And the thing that bugs me so much about when I look up a recipe, I’ll Google something it’ll come up like great. I just, I just need to know. I just looked up the recipe and there’s like, 2000 words before the content is like, here’s some other recipes you might like, like here’s the history of like this soup.

And I’m like, I just want to, like, I just need to know like what ingredients I need to mix in this thing. And then I have to scroll on my mobile phone, like all the way down anyway, I’m sure other people have encountered this as well. So I want to know your thoughts as someone who writes a lot of content.

That’s SEO specific. You’re trying to outrank other content. How do you guys deal with board count and like, how do you dictate how important it is in certain contexts? Well,

Maddy Osman: [00:18:36] first of all, I want to give you a hack for the recipe situation, which is I just go to the recipe button and just get rid of everything else.

And then I just keep that.

Joe Howard: [00:18:48] Number one tip we’ve ever had on the podcast in a hundred plus episodes just hit the print recipe button. You get the recipe right there. I’m actually going to use that. So thank you.

Maddy Osman: [00:18:58] I’ve been using that a lot lately, so it’s very top of mind for me. And I do feel for the people who run recipe sites, who.

Or trying to follow whatever they think the best practice is. And much respect to the people who offer, give us the jump to recipe button, because that’s also quite invaluable.

Joe Howard: [00:19:18] Yes. You can write all the content. Just give me a little button, just go to the thing you need.

Maddy Osman: [00:19:22] That’s great. Yeah. You can still have your content and maybe I’ll read it, but right.

So you got to think about the user no matter what, and that’s what content is. It’s finding the balance between. How do I make sure I provide the best user experience, but how do I hit my minimums kind of with like, whatever I need to do for SEO. So my thought in terms of how to correlate the SEO best practices with content length is.

If a piece goes longer, that extra word count can be used to address like those extra semantic keywords that I want to make sure to include. So, so that’s the correlation. It’s not that longer. Content is better. It’s just more opportunities to fit in your keyword, your related keywords, answer those questions for people.

Also ask. Maybe cover some topics from searches related to stuff like that. So that’s, that’s the only correlation there’s, there’s no other correlation between, you know, content length and content

Joe Howard: [00:20:23] quality. Okay. So if I’m writing a piece of content, I just want to make sure I understand exactly what you said.

If I can write a longer piece of content, as opposed to a shorter piece of content. I should do that. Given the fact that the longer piece of content is still fully focused and adding value throughout the length of that content. And that link to the content is not just long quote unquote, because I added some fluff to the end and it is 2000 words.

Instead of 1000 words, that’s all, as long as it’s like adding value and it’s valuable content and good content, then it’s good to be longer. Is that right? Pretty right.

Maddy Osman: [00:21:00] Absolutely. Yeah. I’m a huge believer that you don’t have to add stuff just for stuff’s sake. And again, going back to even like word choice and being concise and not using, you know, overly verbose words that plays into it too, you have to say it, you have to add to content in a way that still gets to the point.

That still leads people to the answer quickly. So yeah,

Joe Howard: [00:21:24] exactly. Yeah. I agree with that first one to answer people’s questions and add value to them, but there’s also this, like, I want my content to rank well, and I want to, like, I’m sure you’ve heard of like skyscraper approach, right? It’s like that, like Backlinko like strategy of.

Okay. You want to rank for this keyword? Pretty much all you have to do is, I mean, obviously it’s more complex than this and takes more time than this, but if you just do a search and you find it and you’re like, like, look at the first page of all the results and you gather all that content together and you spend half an hour, like picking out all the good things about all those pieces of content and then put those all in an article.

That’s obviously not like plagiarized. It’s obviously like you wrote it all, but it just takes the best from all the other content. And like, now you have the best piece of content. Obviously it takes more than that to rank number one or rank high for a keyword phrase. But in general, if you can follow that strategy and execute it well, you can have.

Theoretically all the best content out there. And so I feel like the back of my brain is telling me, like, this is a strategy that you heard about like seven or eight years ago. And maybe it’s just, it’s not exactly the same anymore. So maybe I need to get updated on my SEO stuff, but just around like, Competitor analysis and writing content that is the best content out there.

Is that something that you and your team focus on? Are you just starting from a fresh palette? Like, Hey, we want to just do what we want to do and write the best content, or are you looking at all the other content already ranking and saying like, Oh, this is good. We should include that. Oh, this was like not good.

Like if we don’t include that, it’ll probably actually make our content better. I don’t know if you use competitor analysis around content. It’s like a way to be able to write. Great content.

Maddy Osman: [00:22:57] I think if your goal is SEO and ranking and relevant search, then you have to compare your content to competitor content and make sure that, you know, you’re covering all the things that people sort of expect to see in that piece, you know, trying of course, to be bothered than it and to add more value.

And I think that something that you made me think about while you’re talking is just the idea that a lot of stuff has been done to death. You know, like there’s, there’s just so many different variations of content on the web. And so you want to be thinking about what can I do to add sort of like an original opinion or to add original content to the way that you’re going to cover that topic.

And so just to give a couple ideas, it’s things like, you know, considering. Doing like an expert Roundup where you’re asking questions to like a targeted group of people who could submit their answers. And there’s definitely like an art and a science to doing it well, but you know, not just regurgitating what those experts say, but formatting your article in a way that weaves in those perspectives to whatever, like the other points you were trying to make are.

And so complimenting. W whatever research that you can get done on your own with original, extra stuff that you could get from other people who are experts. Another thing you could do is like, if you’re working with a client or, you know, if you’re a content marketer on a team, In-house or something like that is to hold interviews with subject matter experts on your team, on the client’s team.

And, you know, I think it’s useful to just say, like, I’m limited in the knowledge that I have in my head. And you know, like me personally, it’s like, I focus a lot on content writing and SEO best practices and stuff like that. But then when it gets like deeper into other topics, you know, I just don’t really have the mental capacity to.

So to commit that to memory. And so it’s stuff like, you know, realizing that you’re not the only one who has knowledge and that you might be surrounded by some people who have really cool things to say and share, and maybe they’re not even used to being asked their opinion, you know, but if you do that, then you can create some really awesome original content with the right questions.

Joe Howard: [00:25:13] I think that is. Totally right. I like the idea of really trying to be unique around the content you’re writing. It continues to be more important to be able to stand out because there’s so much content online to be able to like write content that stands out is becoming harder and harder. Like I’m going to be honest, like some of the content on the WP bus blog is like not really super original.

Written just to kind of rank for a search term. Like there’s some listicles on our website. Okay. Honestly, I think a lot of the writing on our site is very good. Like it’s good writing and it’s good content, but is it’s really unique. I don’t know. I don’t know. Like if you go to the second article in some of those, is it like about the same article?

Maybe that’s the case. We’re actually, we just hired a head of content. So one of their projects, one of her projects when she gets started is. To come up with some really good ideas about how to continue to differentiate us and like, how do we evolve the listicle, you know, because I don’t think we’ve done anything bad.

We’re adding value to people. We’re giving them all the options out there, but like, how can we evolve it? How can make it better? And so I like that. Idea of coming up with content and maybe some different content formats that people haven’t seen before. And I think another reason why that’s valuable is if you’re competing in SEO to try and rank well in Google, like you’re just, you’re not always going to be the first search result.

Right. Especially as you scale, right? It’s like you have a hundred pieces of content that not all a hundred, it’s going to be like ranking number one. So it’s important. If someone comes to your blog and read your blog, If they think like Schmidt or whatever, that was fine. If they do another Google search in a month and they see your website ranked number one and someone else ranked number two for us at different search term, maybe they’ll just go to click the second one because they remember, Oh, that’s I gave me an okay.

Blog post, but it wasn’t that great that like affects your click through rate and your other rankings. And so. If you make your content really good people click through, Oh man, WP, boss.com. That article had a video in it. It answered my question exactly how I needed to boom. You could maybe be ranking number four for another search term and they see you below three other articles.

They’re like, I remember WP bus. I’m going to go back and read that article. That’s like part of like, I think the. I don’t know if I’d call it the forgotten piece, but like honestly, the piece, I think a lot of people don’t pay attention to in searches like that user experience part. Because if you give people a good user experience, they’re going to come back to you.

They’re going to remember your name, you know, companies like HubSpot, you know, it’s like you see HubSpot in search results. You’re like guests I’ll read the HubSpot article. Cause it’s probably good. Like they’re content machines. Like they literally invented inbound marketing and like, this is what they do.

So that’s super powerful. So I’m totally with you in terms of creating. Good user experiences that also you may not do initially because you want to get into it. Not everything’s going to be amazing all the time, but eventually you want to keep improving, improving, and try to get to a place where you can really write unique content and be one of the best in your area.

Cause that’s the only way you’re going to stand up. I was

Maddy Osman: [00:28:05] just agreeing with you in that, like, it’s an aspect of branding that first experience someone has on your site and maybe the second and third until you start to become a familiar name to them. And yeah, I mean, it totally. Influences a searcher and the choices in front of them and who they’re going to pick.

And I agree. I think WP bus does a great job of incorporating multiple visuals. Like I remember that about working with you that that was something that was really important to you. And even just like the gifts, you know, like it’s just like fun to have engaging visuals, multiple different mediums from which to consume that content.

So like you mentioned video and I think. That’s something that’s going to be more and more important and it’s like video, you can turn that into audio. Like you can meet people wherever they are in terms of how they like to best consume content while also, you know, satisfying the things that you need to do for SEO.

And I think that video only adds to that, especially because YouTube is owned by Google and it’s like the second biggest search engine in the world.

Joe Howard: [00:29:08] Exactly. Yeah. I mean, that’s one of the biggest reasons we started the YouTube channel so we can compliment. All of our written content with video content, you know, Allie’s like literally going through analytics, Google analytics is just like going through the list of like blog posts, got the most traffic over the past three months and like creating video content for it.

So that people who come on to the blog post, maybe they want to read it. Maybe they just want to watch the video. That’s cool too. And if they watch the video embedded in the website, man, their time on page skyrockets. So that’s great for us.

Maddy Osman: [00:29:34] Right. And that’s engagement. It’s, it’s an amazing engagement metric to embed your video.

It could be someone else’s video too. I think that’s what people don’t realize is like, even if you don’t have the capacity on your team, like. You know, like something that’ll do for clients is just like explaining a concept. Somebody else did it. Or, you know, here’s a tool in this like, list to call and here’s a video about how to use that tool.

It doesn’t have to be your video. It’s great.

Joe Howard: [00:30:03] That’s a super good point. I think probably a lot of people don’t think about that. I think that’s a great opportunity once, like increase your time on page two, it’s like make a cool connection with someone like, Hey, I just included your video and this just so you know, like, Hey, good video.

It’s in my blog post to people read it. They’ll watch a video, more exposure, free exposure for you. Maybe now we’ve become friends. Maybe now you do a video and like include us in the next one. You know? So there’s a lot there. I think recently I did a guest post on, I think it was like torque. Blog. I can’t remember, but I included embedded video of, I can’t remember.

I don’t even know who it was, but it was a friend of mine in the WordPress space. I found his video and I was just like embedded it in my, in my guest posts. That was just like, maybe I could have embedded our own video by embedded his, and I pinged that person afterwards. I was like, Hey, include your video in here.

Just so you know, it was a good video. Nothing else. That’s all. Thanks for shooting the video. And that person got back to me. I was like, thank you so much. Like, that’s so cool. Like. Hey, and that, you know, that’s good for like relationship building as well. So yeah, I’m done with it. Yeah.

Maddy Osman: [00:31:05] I want to expand on that too, because I think that’s a really good leaping off point for any links that you include in your content.

To just go through and what I like to do with content, I’m creating for myself and definitely with content I’m creating for clients is at the very top of the article before getting into the content itself is just a link of any links, referenced, any links included as external links, and then also internal.

And since I want to show them, you know, that we’re kind of covering our bases in terms of all the different SEO. Pieces that are important, but, um, to take that a step further, not only doing links, but also taking the time to grab like Twitter handles of any brands that you’ve mentioned. So say like you have just examples, you know, in your article or sources that you’ve referenced for statistics, quotes, you know, whatever.

I think it’s, it’s a really good idea to take that extra time. Write down their Twitter handles. And then when your article is live, just tweet at them. Hey, so-and-so, so-and-so so-and-so, you know, just included you in this article, check it out.

Joe Howard: [00:32:10] Yeah, I love that strategy. That’s something we do. We’ll include 10 outbound links to different companies.

I have. Let’s just say it’s like listicle thing. Or if not, just to say it’s like 10 outbound links, we’ll go through grab Twitter handles and do like 10 tweets scheduled over the next month. Each one, tweaks that article. But it just tags the single person with like maybe a quote about them from the article, or just saying like, Hey, we learned about this person, like this new article and sometimes six out of 10 times.

So, you know, whatever, no likes, no retweets just kind of disappears. That’s fine. But four out of 10 we’ll get maybe a, like maybe a retweet, maybe a reply. And then like that creates more like, okay, that person liked it. Whatever. Thanks for liking, I guess there’s not that much more. Oh, that person retweeted, Hey, maybe we should send them a DM and Twitter or email them and say like, Hey cool.

This little thing could lead to maybe more working together, maybe in the future. You’ll link to us, more willing to do more. And now we’re talking about like a bigger opportunity and more of a network and opportunity to do more offsite. SEL in addition to the onsite SEO. So yeah, I think that adds to that strategy nicely.

I’m totally sending this episode when it goes live to our new head of content. So she can just listen in and just like take all these strategies and literally implement them because, uh, this is like a super tactile, like, just like all this stuff you should do around SEO, which leads me into the next thing.

I want to talk about, which wasn’t on my list of stuff, but now I’m thinking about it, which is just like, Title tags stuff. And maybe not just title tag stuff, but like meta description stuff that shows up in search results that would affect the conversion or click through of someone who’s coming to your, Oh, who’s doing a Google search and maybe your website appears next to two or three other websites.

So, um, the reason I’m thinking about this is because. I think there’s a lot of opportunity to win clicks, even if you’re not ranked in like the first or second position, maybe you’re in the third or fourth position, but people see something that says, Oh, That’s kind of a unique thing that’s in that, that title tag, but it’s not in those other title tags or, Ooh, maybe that little thing in the meta description caught my eye.

That that’s something I wanted to read about, but I didn’t see that in the first two articles. So I’m just going to go right down to your blog and let’s click on the third article, even though it wasn’t technically ranked higher. Um, like I tried to put like numbers in my titles, cause that usually is good for click-through it like draws people’s eye, maybe a little parentheses, like how to do this in parenthesis.

Three simple steps. You know, there’s a lot of like parenthesis. There’s a lot of, uh, data showing that like adding little, like hints at the end, a little parentheses or something helps improve click through, or like parentheses video included something like that to draw peoples towards wanting to click your article more than other people.

So like as content folks, how do you make titles? And honestly, like maybe do a little bit of experimentation with titles to see like what. What works and what doesn’t work. Obviously there’s some best practices out there. People can go look out 30 best practices for how to create a good title tag. But I’d love to hear straight from you as someone who like writes so much content, what title stuff seems to work for you under your clothes?


Maddy Osman: [00:35:14] brackets thing is a good idea. The parentheses and I think the WP buffs blog is definitely a good resource to look at. That’s a tactic that you’re considering, but haven’t done yet. I think. Where I first learned about that technique was Backlinko. So another great resource to look for ideas for like what you would put in those brackets or parenthesis, but like, just that, it’s kind of like, what’s kind of like the extra included with this article.

Like here’s the title. And then just so you know, like there’s an original interview or special video, or, you know, there’s some, it’s a new study. There’s some original reporting, like whatever. Whatever is kind of unique. Like we’ve talked a little bit throughout this podcast about like, how can you make your content unique?

So whatever it is that makes your content unique, that would be a great thing to put in that title tag or in the meta-description too. I think it’s a good idea to use heading analyzer tools. Like CoSchedule has a really good one and you can embed it as a Chrome extension. So it’s just like really easy to access if you’re creating content all the time in it.

It sort of analyzes like every word and the combination of the words and like, you know, a bunch of different ways. And so it makes you really think about the composition of how you’re putting things together. So that’s, that’s a good practice to not just put something out there without testing it. And maybe I think Buffer’s trick is they test out all the different possible titles that they’re considering by like tweeting them out and seeing which tweets get the highest engagement based on whatever title that they used as the copy for the tweet.

That’s a good pro tip and to sort of proceed that or proceed that. Is to just sit down and write a bunch of different ideas down because some of it is just kind of like getting it, like out of you, you know, and just kind of like, like the creative writing process. It’s just like, even if it sounds dumb, like just write it, get it out, you know, give yourself maybe 10 options.

If you have time, give yourself, you know, 20 options and then yeah. Maybe test them out by tweeting out the article with those different ones. And then, you know, going back after the fact and saying, okay, this one looks like it’s the winner. It’s worth noting, you know, that you can have a different page title, what the human sees when they go to your blog versus the meta title.

You know, w when again, a human is reading it, and that’s the person that you should be creating it for, but you’re also kind of creating it for Google so that they can understand the context of the content. But, you know, take advantage of that because maybe your SEO title is just like a little bit off, like what you really want it to be on your blog.

And that can make a big difference for the people who are coming in from other, uh, you know, like from social or from email or from referrals

Joe Howard: [00:37:57] or stuff like that. Yeah, totally. I, I like to make my Mehta title or my SEO title, the same as my H one title. Because I like to slightly lean in the direction of user experience.

And I liked the experience of people clicked on a title in Google and they see the same title on the website. But I think there are, I think there are situations where like with the meta title or the SEO title, the best practice remains, even though it’s kind of old school, it’s like, you want to have a lot of the main keywords you’re going after, towards the front of your title.

Maybe there’s some cases where it’s like how to do X, Y, or Z, but you want the focus to be on. Those keywords, you know, fast WordPress themes. Like if I’m writing about that, like I’m not going to be like the 13 best ways and methods and situations in which you want to potentially have fast WordPress themes.

No, like you probably want to have like fast WordPress themes. In your first, like five words of the article, you know, because that, the first word of the SEO title, because Google still is going to see, like, that’s, you know, you want Google to know, like, that’s what I want this to show up for. So in some cases you may slightly change the title to have maybe your keywords a little closer to the front, but I don’t know, part of me thinks that that’s kind of like old school and.

Maybe not going to be super helpful for like ranking in 2020. I don’t know. What do you think? Or 2021? I don’t even know what year it is. 2022 is 21. Yeah.

Maddy Osman: [00:39:21] I, I don’t, I can’t keep track anymore. They’re all the same, but yeah. I mean, Google is, currency is speed, right? Cause they’re trying to quickly show you the best search results.

And so as a result of that, you want your page to load quickly and get to. You know, with these new core web vitals metrics, they want your page to be like quickly interactive and, you know, showing, you know, whatever it is that the person went there for. And I think the same can be said with the way that you compose your meta titles.

You want to quickly, you know, tell Google what is. Again, the context of your content. And so yes, by using your keywords early on, I think it is old school SEO, but in that it doesn’t really change. Right? I mean, people have said, SEOs have said maybe even Google has said it’s not as important to put. The keywords in the Metta title and the meta-description anymore.

But like, I don’t believe that I still do it.

Joe Howard: [00:40:15] Yeah. I like from a click-through perspective, because if you have the keywords pretty much focused keyword in the meta description, I believe Google is still like bolds. It it’s a very slight little thing, but I think it still like shows up as bold. Yeah. In the meta description that shows in Google.

So, you know, it’s a tiny thing, but it is a little advantage. It could catch someone’s eye and maybe one in 20 times it’ll catch someone’s eye. But Hey, if those one in 20 times gives you another click, then that’s that’s excellent. So cool, Maddie, this has been like a super. Excellent episode, one of the best we’ve done.

I think no mean anything further. Other people who’ve been on the show, but this was like a super tactile and super like strategy driven. Like people could come in and like have like a list of like all the most important stuff they should do around content and SEO. Um, so let’s wrap up ish. Now, why don’t you tell folks where they can like find.

You online website, social media, all that stuff. Totally.

Maddy Osman: [00:41:09] So you can check out my website, the blogs with.com. And like Joe was saying earlier in this episode have been trying to practice what I preach. I haven’t blogged on my website and like a year, but the last three weeks I have blogged consistently and I’m trying to keep that up.

So I get out to the latest posts and you can always hit me up on Twitter. I’m just at Madea, Yasmin my name. And I, you know, I love to talk about this stuff. So if you have any questions that you’re struggling with, please hit me up.

Joe Howard: [00:41:40] Excellent. Love it. Last few articles on the blog. I’m checking out how to conduct a kick ass content interview for SEO content clients.

That sounds like a good one. How I quit my nine to five, started a freelance business and turned it into a marketing agency. People can. Learn more about your story. We kind of just went straight into the tactile SEO stuff and people didn’t get to hear too much your background, but Hey, people should go to the blogs, smith.com and check out the blog post about it.

They want to learn more about you personally. Maddie. Cool. Last thing I always ask our guests to do on the show is ask our listeners for a little iTunes reviews. If you wouldn’t mind asking listeners, I’d appreciate that.

Maddy Osman: [00:42:14] Please leave an iTunes review. That means the world to content

Joe Howard: [00:42:18] creators. Absolutely.

I couldn’t agree. More. WP, M R r.com forward slash iTunes Fords you right there. If you are on an Apple or a Mac, I read every review. So I will check it out if you leave it. If you are a new listener to the show, man got a hundred plus 120 plus episodes would go and listen and binge some old WP MRR WordPress podcast episodes.

Use the search bar on WP mrr.com forward slash podcast search for any topic you’re interested in. I’m sure we have talked about it before on the podcast. If you have questions for us on the show, hit me up. Yo, Y o@wpmrr.com or you can hit me up on Twitter at Joseph H powered. I’m probably more likely to see it on Twitter, even though I’m not on super frequently, but I like when people tweet at me and I’ll get a little endorphin boost and Hey, hit me up and I may quote your tweet and talk about some.

Answers or just about it here on the show that is all for this week on the pod, it will be in your podcast players again next Tuesday, Maddie. Thanks again for being on. It’s been real.

Maddy Osman: [00:43:22] Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me. See you have a buddy.


E133 – How to Hire Convincingly via Job Boards and Recruitment (Alex Harling, Dynamite Jobs)

In today’s episode, Joe talks to Alex Harling of Dynamite Jobs. Alex handles Account Management and Operations, focused primarily on remote jobs hiring. Launched in October 2017, Dynamite Jobs is an efficient way to connect companies in the Dynamite Circle with remote job seekers to thousands of remote jobs posted each week.  

The discussion is focused on remote hiring, the right way to post successful job listings, top hiring tips in a remote setting, ways to announce a job opening, and the latest updates at Dynamite Jobs.

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:49 Welcome to the pod, Alex Harling!
  • 03:38 How Alex started at Dynamite Jobs
  • 04:52 Common ways to announce job openings
  • 08:01 Top tips and changes in the hiring process 
  • 13:15 What makes a job posting successful?
  • 21:54 Hard skills and culture fit lead to better hires
  • 25:56 Typical clients at Dynamite Jobs
  • 30:10 What is Dynamite Jobs Hiring Pro?
  • 34:36 What will be the team’s focus this year?
  • 42:12 Get discount to use Hiring Pro, use code: WPBUFFS

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] Kind of Woody folks, Joe Howard here this week, I got to sit down and chat with Alex Hartley. Now Alex comes to us from a job board called dynamite jobs, where they focus on helping people, uh, hire and recruit, uh, remote workers for their companies. And that’s actually how I met Alex. Um, I was, uh, posting a bunch of different job boards.

They posted the done at my jobs and then Alex personally reached out and was like, Hey, what’s up? Uh, how can I help? Can I reach out to my network to try and fill some of these positions? Hey, can I like posts? Some of these other jobs too, like really not just nice and friendly, but really wanted to help and put the extra time.

And they’re just like reach directly out to me. I thought that was really cool. Not a lot of other job boards did that. Um, and so I thought it was a cool differentiator. And so eczema over the last, I don’t know, month or two of has been emailing a lot now it’s just like, yeah, Alex, you’ve got to jump on the pod.

I got a lot of questions about hiring and how to onboard someone, how to go through the hiring process. What do I need to do to like recruit people better? Uh, you can enter some of my questions. I’m sure, sure. Those answers will be really helpful for our listeners as well. So. Uh, having Alex on the pod this week was a ton of fun.

We got along really well, super easy guy to, to get to know and talk to, uh, and yeah, and answered a lot of my questions. And we talked about some stuff I wasn’t even planning to, but all of it was super valuable. I took a bunch of notes during this episode so that we can level up some of the stuff we do with hiring.

Here at WP bus. All right. That’s it for the intro of without further ado, please. Welcome Alex Hartley.

Hey, what is up folks? We are here on the pond this week. Uh, with the one and only Alex Harling, uh, Alex, tell folks a little bit about yourself. We know each other a little bit jokey before you have gone today. Like we emailed a lot and this is actually the first time I’ve like met each other in like a video call.

So, um, yeah, I know what you do, but tell folks a little bit about what you do online.

Alex Harling: [00:02:08] Thanks for having me. Yeah. So I’m Alex Harling from that on my jobs. And I handle account management and operations over at that time of my jobs. And what I do is I help people hire all day, hire remote workers all day.


Joe Howard: [00:02:22] Nice. Oh, you got your elevator pitch like down. Cause I feel like I’m still working on mine, like WP blocks. Okay. We do website management for folks and we do white label. It’s like, it’s a little bit too long, but you got your it’s down to like a few words, which is nice. So helping people hire remotely, which is totally.

That’s how we met. We do a lot of hiring remotely and dynamite. My is like one of the, we we’d probably post to like 10 different job boards for dynamite jobs is a one where I can I come to where I feel like we’ve gotten really good results. Then my job posting. And to every time I post a job, you always emailed.

And you’re like, Hey, like, thanks for posting. Like, Hey bro, that’s at the shop. We can post that. We’ll just throw that one up there too. Like I’m like, Oh, Alex is awesome. I know my job is awesome. So you guys do a really good job just to. Making customers happy, but yeah. So dynamite jobs, where, where is that dynamite jobs.com?

Alex Harling: [00:03:13] Yeah, we became a.com uh, this past year, actually, you know, we were.co for a while now we’re on.com level. Um, so after two, two, half years, three years with the Dakota Maine, uh, we went all in on.com. So dynamite jobs.com is where you can, you can find us and you can see the latest, uh, WP bus jobs on there.

Yeah, you can. Yeah,

Joe Howard: [00:03:31] you can. Sweet. Um, alright. So, um, for my. Personal selfish, wanting to know what, tell, tell me a little bit about like how you came to dynamite jobs and kind of how you became that kind of an account manager. The operations guy there in

Alex Harling: [00:03:47] 2017. I was, I was working for a digital marketing agency, uh, during the, uh, the cryptocurrency ICO.

Boom. Um, so I was helping with some marketing plans, mostly doing cold outreach to different companies. Um, and the job was fine. Um, but I was looking for new opportunities and I found, uh, uh, the tropical MBA podcast, which, uh, started dynamite jobs.com. And so that was during 2017 when they launched the site.

So I followed all of the site from prom since day one, and I was actually using the site to apply to jobs on there. And I didn’t get any jobs. I was applying to jobs on there. And then, um, the, the owners of dynamite jobs.com wanted to hire. Different there was the first hire. And so, um, it was an apprentice ship style role.

It was, uh, yeah, gentle operations, uh, trying to figure out, uh, where to take the company and working directly with the founder. So I applied to that and, uh, yeah, I started working with them in 2018. So this is my, uh, my, my third year, third year there now.

Joe Howard: [00:04:44] Nice, nice. Okay. So the dynamite jobs have a dynamite jobs, job listing on dynamite jobs, or what did you kind of like just, did you do it to the emailing with the founder and then you found out like, Oh, they’re hiring.

Maybe I should talk to him more about that.

Alex Harling: [00:05:00] They, they, I believe the way it worked was first, they announced it on the podcast as a way to get the most, uh, the people who were following their audience first, which I think is smart. If you have time to hire, I’ll try not to get too much into hiring strategies in this, maybe the subject matter.

But, um, uh, that’s how I first heard about it. Yeah. I found the job listing through the podcast episode, um, applied that way. And then after, um, they listed it on the site, I was fine. A while back, we were looking through old listings and we found those, we were doing some SEO work on the pages and, um, we were looking at listings and someone said, isn’t this, the job that you applied to?

Oh my gosh. Yeah. That’s the job three years ago that I applied to.

Joe Howard: [00:05:36] Very cool. Yeah, I’ve done some job announcements here on the podcast too. Um, we do like a little intro for every. Episode now. And sometimes the intro, if we have something, you know, we’ve done like, Hey, we have this like little survey about around community, you know, I’ll take it.

Or, and then we’ve also done job stuff there. Hey, you know, Christie and I had done jobs, went forward, both talked about like, Hey, we’re hiring for this kind of position at our companies. Uh, and if. Do you have any interest can talk to us? Cause I think you’re right, like that, like a podcast is like, it’s like in a lot of ways, your most intimate audience.

And so, you know, those are the people who like, maybe they’re not just reading your content or videos or like demos some of your podcasts, like they’re like seriously, like in your circle. So that’s a good place to reach out to folks. I think, I think you’re right

Alex Harling: [00:06:21] about that. Yeah, I see the podcast announcement, a Twitter announcement, and then an email list announcement as common ways before going to the public.

Um, because it’s kind of like a referral. People are most comfortable with referrals before a cold applicant.

Joe Howard: [00:06:33] Yeah, totally. And now we’re getting into like more of the, kind of like hiring strategies or maybe recruitment strategies. This is a lot, this is honestly why I wanted to have you on the pod today because.

I have a lot of questions about this stuff, and I’m sure a lot of our listeners will be able to like, get, hear these answers and it’ll help them as well. So I’ve found as our company has grown, the WordPress base is very, um, it’s a, it’s like there’s a community around it because WordPress is open source.

And so the community in essence kind of builds WordPress, uh, and the code bar code based behind it. So I found a lot of our best people that I have found hire, like really. Core parts or their core members of the WordPress community, because they care about open source software. They cared about, you know, democratizing, publishing, they care about WordPress.

And so those, I find a lot of are my most dedicated people I can find in order to bring on to my team. So like I’ve started to do, it’s kind of a combo. Like I sometimes I’ll post on. You know, on job boards, if you want to get a good number of candidates in, but also like as the CEO of a company, part of what I feel like my job is, is to talk to people and use my network a little bit to find people who are good fits for certain positions here.

Somebody we don’t have to go through the whole, like get 500 applicants and sort through them all, but I can just like find it. The best people and kind of plug them into what we’re doing. So, yeah. Maybe you could talk about that a little bit. Maybe how you see people doing hiring, I guess in both those senses, you know, both job boards and also kind of like the recruiting aspect of it.

Alex Harling: [00:08:02] Yeah. I mean, hiring has changed. So at least in our little remote work world, um, which is now a big remote work world, um, hiring has changed so much. And every time someone asks for hiring advice, you know, it’s, they ask for advice. I felt a lot of questions to figure out what is what’s, what’s the best situation because everybody hires differently.

And, but one thing that’s pretty common to start is that, um, looking to your referrals or looking to your network first, because I mean, opening up your, your job is it’s like a to, to the world is not like opening up your home in the way, but you’re opening up your company to. Who, who knows who and you’re, and you’re signing yourself up for a lot of work.

Um, looking at applications, talking with candidates, distributing the job. It’s a lot to do it. So I do recommend that people start with their initial network, um, when they, and that’s open was coming CLCs. Someone will post a Twitter status and say, Hey, I’m looking for a marketer who you recommend it, but that the issue with that is it can also lead to so many referrals and without much context.

So I always recommend if you’re going to go to your, your network, would that with whatever platform, have that job ready first. Because if, if it’s just a project, if you need someone to, uh, we’re going to do random examples. Okay. For WordPress, for example, um, you’re having an issue with a. You need a theme update and you’re worried about updating your theme.

And so you want to have a developer in there to check everything when they update the theme, that’s could be a small term project. So have that mapped out and know exactly what you want. And then ask around. I need a WordPress developer. Who’s very comfortable with this theme type, instead of saying, I need a WordPress developer, because that will narrow it down.

And the responses you get will be more, um, targeted, uh, to, to you though. People will not just say I’m WordPress developer, they’ll say WordPress developer. And all I do all day is theme updates.

Joe Howard: [00:09:39] Yeah. I think that’s really. Smart. I think whenever I’ve tried to do some recruiting, kind of outside of posting a job description and it’s, it’s worked okay to have conversations with people who I think are good candidates, but it’s missing a little bit of that.

I’m not quite bridging the gap between like, Are you good in the general area that I know you’re in now that I talked to you and are you a really good fit for this specific position? Because for every job position we post, like my big thing is wanting to have outcomes. For the job description, like, what do you need to do in your first year, in this position?

Like that needs to be really clear on the job description to me. So it’s like, yes, like right now we’re hiring an operations person. It’s like an operations manager and operations assistant. Um, yeah. So shout out people who are listening, if you’re looking for an operations position, come and talk to me.

Um, but in that position, like there’s people who are generally have been in operations, but like, what do you need specifically to do at WP boss? Okay. You need to handle this and like, Some people ops work, we need to handle like, even like more specifically, like need us to create like really rigid and systemized, like onboarding and like hiring documentation and like best practices we can use.

And then there’s like, there’s more actual like systems implementation in terms of like the software. We use a WVU bus, um, which off the top of my head. Can’t think of exactly what that stuff is. Nick is our head of operations. He’s the stuff that I am, but in suffice to say, I want to know like exactly what people want to get, like needed, what outcomes they need to accomplish.

If they’re thinking of joining this job so that when they see that, you know, either say, Ooh, that’s not really my skillset. Maybe I’m not the best fit for this position, which is fine. Obviously you want people applying who are like going to be effective. And then the people who apply, they say, Oh, like, this is my bread and butter.

Or I at least feel confident I’ve done similar projects in the past that I can accomplish that outcome. I’m with you on the job, on having at least like a basic job description to together before kind of throwing it out there, or else you’re going to get a whole bunch of people in who are like, totally, I can help with that.

Uh, probably. Well, you’re not really sure.

Alex Harling: [00:11:53] Great. And you have those plans. She’s ready to make sure they’re a right fit. You know, if you had to jump on the phone with them right after seeing their resume, you could ask them, what’s your familiarity with SLPs similar roles you’ve been in. You can ask them about the day to day of that job and then, you know, faster that’s the right fit.

Um, I see a lot of people get in the trap of they start hiring and then they realized they don’t. No exactly what they want. So having that ideal, uh, like a customer persona, like a candidate persona in your mind that will really help.

Joe Howard: [00:12:20] Yeah. We’ve never hired people that we didn’t know exactly what we wanted for the position.

Of course not. I’m totally joking. Like we’ve definitely, definitely done that in the past and it has more depth and we’ve we’ve, I know I’ve hired people on who I’ve made that mistake before and I kind of hired based on gut feeling. And it didn’t really work out, not necessarily because I thought my gut feeling was wrong.

Like they were good, maybe in certain aspects of like digital marketing, for example, but they weren’t very good at exactly what we needed for our position. They were more of a generalist and less of, they didn’t have the exact expertise needed. To do what we needed them to do here at our company. So that was, I think, where the, where the gap was.

Um, but I, I’m always interested to hear, especially from. Someone who runs a job board. What, what do you usually see from like the most successful job postings there? Cause you see a bond. Yeah. You probably see hundreds of job postings, you know, probably thousands, maybe tens of thousands of job postings over your career there.

Right. So. What are like some, this is kind of a hard question because it’s like, every company is different and every remote company, especially a lot of things are contextual, but I’m sure you’ve seen some things. One needed at that work that worked pretty well in your job description in order to effectively hire someone from, from Denmark jobs.

And that person is a really good long-term employee and does really well for you. So maybe some things that have worked and maybe some things that like, Oh, you definitely don’t want to have that in the job posting. I don’t know if you can say positive or negative, it’s kind of, I’ll leave you the choice to you.

But anything that pops out to you is just top of mind, I’m going to be really helpful for people. I. Oh, a lot of listeners trying to hire great people and maybe like me, they’ve struggled a bit in the past. So what can they do in terms of job descriptions when they’re posting to, to improve that conversion?

Alex Harling: [00:14:22] Yeah, I think, uh, it’s I always try to think of some universals, I guess, universal job rules, um, when helping people hire and a lot of clients will ask, they’ll say, I’m interested in hiring a marketer. Um, what kind of job posts, uh, perform the best. And I’m happy to share some that have performed the best, but there’s different.

Performance metrics that we can measure. And I mean, some of them will get a lot of, Oh, I look at John, I’m trying to think of a thinking out loud, what we were looking at in terms of what performance. Well, because some, we could get some job posts, a ton of clicks and tons of use. And then, um, You spent time on pages longer.

Um, and then, uh, just like you would for a, like a normal marketing campaign, but then we always look for the, the application conversion. And then after that, the quality of the applicant, I’m trying to equate it to like marketing charts, maybe like the lifetime value of that application, you know, who is actually a good fit.

And so I think some of the universals we started is one is, is, is getting that. Uh, candidate persona down is, um, when you say you need to hire like, uh, you need hire for a certain category, but who are you looking for? Uh, what, what do you want them to do day to day? What is some of their a month long, three month projects?

Where do you see them a year from now? Is this budgeted are all the stakeholders involved when all those initial pieces are in place, we have a good foundation to hire, and that’s when I get, I’ve posted a lot of jobs where it’s missing something, maybe the partner, uh, wasn’t quite ready to hire, but the other partner said, no, no, we’re going to do this.

And. Drop fell apart, um, because the foundation wasn’t set or even the day to day where you ha we had a lot of good candidates, but as the candidates came in, we realized the company realized they needed a different skillset. Projects were changing. And that’s okay, because we can, we can adjust when, when, when the job is live and perhaps some of the candidates have already received, um, they, they might be a good fit.

So the first thing I would say is getting the foundation after that, it’s the, um, the job post itself. I mean, it’s got to look good. We hit, uh, I hope I don’t insult anyone. When I say we get a lot of jobs, scriptures that are really short and it looked like project, project jobs, descriptions. That’s fine.

If you’re hiring for a project, you do that on our site. But if you want someone to be around for the longterm, I think you really want to, um, You know, excite them, you know, if they’re about to spend time submitting application, um, tell them why. And I think that’s going to give you guys a shout out, you know, WP buffs.

They have, um, you guys have an amazing, um, page that shares all the, uh, why you should be on the team. Not only do you, do you define the job and what the job is, but the, uh, people can, kids can imagine themselves working on the team. They can get excited about it. The work that you do day to day. I mean, that’s like, yeah, it’s exciting, but that’s not everything.

It’s also the people you’re around. It’s, it’s what you’re representing. That’s what the company is. All those little things out to the job as a whole. So when we always, we share resources when we’re creating job descriptions, because that’s what I really encourage. So that’s the other piece is having a well-defined job, a good job description after that would be the application itself.

And this is where things have changed the pre COVID now and how we can say that pre COVID world when there were more candidates than there were remote jobs, people were very hungry to give it their all and applications. And maybe you can tell what you’re seeing Joe on your end, but were we, we were seeing a little at the end of last year, less applications, whereas in 2019, 2018, we were seeing.

Ton of applications, people would bend over backwards and do whatever you wanted to, um, to apply to a job. So I’m not sure if you’re seeing something like that and all this applications or,

Joe Howard: [00:17:36] yeah, I haven’t talked with Nick about that because I don’t know he’s reviewing the applications cause it’s an ADAPs operation session right now, but, um, do you think that’s related, do you think that’s like COVID related, do you think that’s like a, some like.

People. I see, this is interesting to see some of these trends. Cause sometimes they’re the opposite of what I think they were like, I would think if there were like a significant amount of people out of work right now that people would be putting more time in. So do you think like the work, the remote work industry is like just grown so much over the past, like 18 months that it’s, or maybe not 18 months, but 12 months, the last 12 months, that application that applicants are not.

Or people are not as, quite as like. Needing to find a job because maybe they already have one or

Alex Harling: [00:18:25] something. Yeah. I think, well, dynamite jobs and the other people that are in our remote work world, we work remotely remote. Okay. All of us are doing really well. Um, because we were ranking for some of the top agents for different remote work categories.

Joe Howard: [00:18:39] That’s what I was going to ask. Have you seen a lot more applicants or a lot more job postings over the past year or so? A lot

Alex Harling: [00:18:46] more. Yeah. Everything and everything’s become so much more saturated. So we were doing when March, April hit, we were doing really well in terms of getting traffic and then indeed LinkedIn monster.

It didn’t take long for them to switch over, add in remote, remote work from home. Um, and so they were, they start getting a lot more traffic as well, um, for that search. And so. I think what I, what I was saying about the application side is it was great. It wasn’t, it wasn’t great for people with, uh, for, for, for everyone.

And it was a very difficult time. Um, April may, and it’s still a difficult time, but for someone who was hiring, you really did have your pick of the litter. Um, there were so many applications coming through, but then it’s summer the, um, the applications that the amount of candidates looking and the amount of, um, Job.

They seem to have a been about even because we’re seeing less applications, still the same amount of traffic, but less applications. There were people were becoming more picky. And so our site had a lot more longer applications with, uh, video intros, cover letters, multiple, uh, questions, um, uh, and, uh, it’s longer applications.

But if you’re a candidate who can just apply to 20 jobs in indeed with one click over and over again, you’re going to go for that. And I don’t blame candidates for that. So that is what people are now competing against when they’re hiring is you want to make it easy enough for Qantas to apply? I mean, well, I guess I go different different directions here.

I mean, you can make your job easier to apply, um, by having very few fields and we can just get the resume. What have you, and, and apply, um, or. You can give your job extra, extra promotion, wait longer to increase that top of funnel with the most amount of applicants, have a few more application questions.

So you get like, I guess, like less candidates and presumably you’ll have more targeted, interested people.

Joe Howard: [00:20:22] Yeah. That’s so I think about conversion optimization, I think about like, how can I. Get the most bang for your buck, really? Like how can I make this specific funnel, the most effective and to me, and it’s not always just like getting the most like lead generation, like I don’t want to get the most leads necessarily more leads is good as long as they’re high quality leads, but like I want to get more high quality leads.

So in the job posting, I might say. I would actually personally, please tell me if I’m wrong. I want to like learn from you. I might add more job, feel more fields, more questions. Uh, and because I’d much rather personally have like a hundred people apply to a job. We’re all really pretty well qualified. And I’ll clearly like put the effort in to put a good application and then like 500 applicants who maybe a lot of them are not as high quality.

So I might actually like. Anti conversion optimization. Like I might like make it a little bit harder to apply. And I might ask for like a loom video that goes through some answers to some questions specifically for a role that’s maybe you’d have to like hop on calls for that role. Like, it’d be, I might not ask for a video.

So like, And like engineer role, maybe that kind of role doesn’t need to like be on video all the time. And maybe that’s not specifically their skill set for someone like that, but for like a marketer, who’s doing webinars, like clearly you have to do video. So like, okay, shoot me a little video with like X, Y, and Z.

And for people don’t do that, maybe they’re not a good set that’s for people that do do that. They went through the extra effort to say like, I want to work here enough to like, Jumped through a few hoops. Um, so yeah, I don’t know if you, what do you think about that? Or if you’ve seen people successfully hire based on like maybe adding more fields, making it actually a little bit more difficult to hire?

I don’t know. Yeah.

Alex Harling: [00:22:01] Yeah. I think that people who have more fields, um, and sometimes I’m for that, uh, this is very, again, it’s hard to have universal rules for hiring, so these are all. Like, these are kind of general General’s things and I’m oftentimes we post roles, we try different, um, test different things out to see what works well.

But yeah, if you’re hiring for a specific skillset, uh, I guess we call them hard skills internally. If it, the hard skills are the most important thing. What I do is I, I encourage the company to make it easy, to apply and ask about that specific skill, because that’s what’s most important. But if, if attitude, uh, there, the person’s, um, uh, how long they’ll be around like the culture fit.

Yes. Yes. And I, I think we should have more fields and we should ask a few more things that I think that’s totally cool. And that, that leads to hiring honestly, necessarily faster, but maybe a little more straightforward because you know, who’s the most interesting, whereas I think the bolts will take ’em up, uh, both ways we’ll take the same amount of time.

The other option that we’re seeing lately is instead of having one long form to start or, or. Part, one of them, one long application to begin with, uh, companies are trying out, uh, two parts of the application. So just the very basic, a few, few, few questions just to bring, just make sure the person has the, the main skill necessary for the job.

And then an automatic email. After applying with automatic email, after they, the initial applicant applies saying thank you for applying you pass part one, you are invited to part two. Sometimes the CEO, the CEO, or the founder will be CC’d on there and it will look. It’ll look good or it’ll be signed by them.

And that gets a lot more conversions because again, like maybe do not want more conversions, but in terms of if, if the skillset is really important, the best candidates are getting picked up very fast. Um, okay. Another example is actually pretty crazy that the beginning of the summer or mid summer, there was a few Google spreadsheets going around.

And they, they had the list of all these of developers and people from really talented, uh, candidates. Um, and from, from companies that were shutting down, for example, it was, that could be, uh, could be that video app that just failed. They had amazing people on the team, so many amazing people, anyways, that spreadsheet was going around.

I’m not sure how many people saw it, but I would go on and try to invite developers to certain roles and try to share with the different opportunities they were getting picked up so fast. I’ve never seen so many head hunters, so many recruiters moving around. So the other part of, of the, of the application part is whether you want it long or short is to think about that is people are getting picked up pretty quickly.

And even now for, um, other roles, I mean, here we are almost a year later, um, Are six, eight months later, what have you on, uh, at least, um, like one or two jobs a week that I work with, one of the top candidates get, gets picked up somewhere else. And, uh, so you could have only applications, but I guess there’s also the sense of urgency, you know, keep people engaged.

Uh, yeah. I’m, I’m going all over the place. There’s so many, it’s so situational, but it’s, it’s interesting.

Joe Howard: [00:24:47] Yeah, totally. You mentioned kind of the world of like head hunters and recruiters. That’s not something we’ve ever engaged now. I don’t know. It’s because we just didn’t necessarily need it. Honestly. I just never even really thought to do that.

Have you seen that? That is, you know, it’s kind of a weird time with COVID because hopefully we’ll be like turning the corner in 2021. I’m doing better this year than we did last year fingers. Cross. Yeah. Yeah. You can’t get very much worse, but that’s whole another conversation. What I want to talk about is, I mean, just the world of head hunters in general, is that something you’ve seen companies engage in and it’d be effective for them?

This is maybe we can talk about this in the context of like smaller businesses too. Probably more than people you work with. More people I’m connected to. I don’t know, you know, CEOs of a lot of fortune 500 companies, but I do know a good number of people who are, uh, you know, and maybe the fortune 50,000 or something, you know?

So I noticed some people who are maybe running some smaller businesses, maybe doing, you know, half a million dollars a year, or, you know, maybe up to like $3 million a year, which is like a bigger for small business, but still small in the grand scheme of things is that the kind of size business that you’ve seen.

Use recruiters to really find talent or is that really, maybe more with like, I don’t know, a VC funded company, as opposed to someone bootstrapped

Alex Harling: [00:26:09] in our space, in our space, um, with our work we have, we offer technical recruitment, um, as a service and yeah, they’re mostly, uh, VC backed, um, at the, at the minimum or the, um, there’s a few C-suite.

Executives, um, usually a CTO and there or a COO. Um, I’m trying to think of two people that we usually work with. They’re most likely to want to work with us because, um, yeah, they, they want to save time, um, and recruitment, head hunting. It’s expensive. It takes time and. But, um, I think a lot of people are opting towards that as a it’s talent.

It’s still very competitive. I mean, there’s a lot of talent on the market, but it’s so easy to connect with. W w with candidates, um, job boards, Twitter podcasts, LinkedIn, that, that person that you might find, uh, they might be contacted on. Some other way. So things are very competitive still. And, um, we’re seeing a lot more interest in that.

Um, but yes, mostly, um, VC back, you know, the larger companies, maybe they’re 20 to 30 employees. Um, but generally there’s an exec team and they’re trying to grow out their, their, their team. Um, but they’re pretty involved in recruitment process. We’re not placing well, we do there. There’s very many types of recruitment when we’re doing it.

We’re not just saying here’s the best person on the scale. Here’s the best person with the skill you need, you know, Put them in your company. It’s this is this, these are the people based on your parameters. And then the company will take it from there and speak with them some more after we’ve spoken with them and assess them.

Um, so there’s still very much involved, um, as they’re technically early hires in a company. Yeah.

Joe Howard: [00:27:37] It’s interesting to hear that most of that is done by VC backed companies. Um, you know, I’m a big, uh, like member of the indie hackers, um, Very much for, you know, revenue funded company, like run a revenue, funnel the company, if you can drive your company, if you can.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with raising VC funding. I think it’s necessary in some areas for some businesses, but this would be like, actually what I might think of as an advantage for running a VC funded company. Like as a Reverend fund a company, we really have to like be cognizant of like the revenue we’re bringing in.

And like, there’s not a lot of waste. Which probably is how every company should run, but if you’re VC backed and you raise $30 million, like you can spend a little money, like recruiting a good people and you can actually, it’s actually probably beneficial to maybe waste a little money or to like, I guess over pay like recruiter like you to help, help you put good people in those positions, because like, you have to grow fast as a VC backed company.

So like, you better have like really good people who are ready to like do that. Whereas for me, it’s like a little bit more laxed, which is good for me. That’s how I want to run the company. But. It would also be nice to be able to like, Hey, in a month to have like five awesome, perfect candidates for a high-level position hiring for.

So maybe I’m stuck between two thoughts there, but, um, yeah, I wanted to also just talk a little bit about dynamite jobs pro, which I believe correct me if I’m wrong, but this is something that I signed up for now at dynamite jobs. Um, and I’ll give a little backstory because I mentioned the beginning of this episode, I’ve hired a bunch of jobs sites.

Most of them, you post a job, you have to format it differently for each job posts, just like totally tedious. You go through, okay, blah, blah, blah. Posted. You get an email with your invoice. Maybe you get a thank you email. And that’s kind of, that’s kind of all your jobs there and they’ve been maybe linked to your website so they can apply there.

But like, that’s, that’s all you get. But when I hire dynamite circle, you personally reached out to me and you were like, Hey, like, how else can I help? What else can we do to like, get you more candidates? Oh, I have a pool of candidates, Joe. Like, I can, like, I am dynamite jobs. I can actually go and talk to people and see, I’ll give you some of our best folks to like, come potentially apply for this position.

And that was like super refreshing, like way. Better services. And most job boards I talked to or, or posted jobs did so kudos for that. But that’s a reason I signed up for dynamite jobs pro, which maybe you can tell folks better about everything you get in that. But to me, it was like a no brainer, like, Oh, okay.

Like I get to work with Alex and he gets to help me in like, Do a better job hiring, like, all right, let’s do it. But maybe you could tell people a little bit more about what dynamite Johns

Alex Harling: [00:30:13] pro is. Thanks. Thanks Joe, for mentioning that. Um, yeah, we, when we first started working together, it was, we were doing, um, that job moose still do job listings.

Um, but job, job posts and, you know, as you pay on and we sent your candidates and hopefully it works out. But we were trying to figure out, uh, for the past two years, you know, what’s a more personal touch and also more useful. Um, it’s one thing. Anyone can send emails and follow up, but we wanted to do something that was useful.

We found is following up and asking, how’s the job performing, we’ve got so much feedback and we’re able to, you know, adjust listings, you know, send candidates and w. We are not just working with the clients. We’re working very closely with candidates too. As we have a database of candidates, we handle interviews for certain roles.

So I I’ve got lists and lists of, of, of runners up, um, candidates for, um, that that we’ve personally spoken with. And so. Having, uh, having a WP boss as, as a hiring pro member, you’re able to post as many jobs as you want, which is, it was just, it was just cool. Um, and, uh, you can also browse a database of candidates.

And so what, um, my favorite thing about the job have about this about hiring pro is we’re able to go. You signed up, I think two or three weeks ago. And, um, the initial emails between us was, uh, Oh, these are the, these are the roles you’re hiring for. They’re live on the site where we’re sending candidates, this application form.

But, um, we were discussing the cans. We had the database, you know, you got in there and the database messaging people, it’s still very much in beta mode. It’s. Yeah, hence it’s affordability and flexibility with everything we’re testing everything. Uh, but we were able to share a cancer with each other to discuss them.

And then when I’m discussing with, uh, we’re, we’re hiring for other WordPress developer roles right now, I’m able to share your role with those candidates and vice versa. Um, and also the, the operations assistant role. Um, so it’s, it’s kind of an ecosystem. And that’s what we’re trying to do is allow our hiring pro companies, Postmate jobs, as they’d like Rouse candidates messaged them, but then also work with us, um, cause even like, I mean, as you said, it’s not good for, to give a WP off right now to bring on a big recruiter or an agency to do all this hiring hiring is still very much personal part of the company.

And I think that’s, I think that’s excellent. Well, we can help give a little extra support, whereas your team members are busy running the company. You now have a dynamite jobs in your side to help with these things. Um, and that’s uh, yeah. That’s, I guess that’s hiring pro in a nutshell or a few nutshells.

Joe Howard: [00:32:25] Yeah, there you go. Uh, cool. I thought it was, uh, I think it’s a great idea. I think about like, honestly like a fortune 500 company, or like a VC backed company, like. People with a lot of money to spend to do it this, but I think there are a lot of people out there. A lot of remote companies, a lot of smaller companies who need like a level of that down version or that maybe they don’t need all the bells and whistles, but they would love like something that’s like, Hey, I run the BP was a productized service company.

Like, Hey, something multiple subscription too, which is good for you because someone pays you on a month monthly basis and they can hook into someone who can maybe on a slightly lower level, like help them to do something like to find good candidates and like fill positions. As a company companies with good people, which actually I think works for everyone because I think about like playing by like the best possible candidate for every job I could have, like past those people, I probably can’t afford.

Anyway, if I’m being honest, it’s like, again, we’re running that company. Like we’re not DC that we don’t have. We’re not paying like huge salaries to people. Like our salaries are probably average for, you know, our industry or whatever. So we’re maybe not like, so we have to. Be a little bit more flexible around a 10 out of 10 person for a salary way out of our range.

Or maybe I want like a nine out of 10 person who fits our salary range. And sometimes we have to make those a better fit anyway, and maybe a better fit for like the kind of like price range of what then my jobs pro cost is one thing about recruiter, I think about expensive. So. So my job is pretty, somewhat affordable for us, you know?

So, you know, to me it was no brainer. I was like, yes, let’s do it.

Alex Harling: [00:34:02] That’s good. No, it’s really great to have, uh, have you as a hiring pro client. And, um, I worry that I’m annoying that my emails sometimes, cause I’m, I used to check it a lot. I check it a little less, but I want to make sure people are getting the best out of it because the company’s return and they keep hiring with us.

So I really encourage you and other pro clients is let me know what’s working. What’s not working. You know, if the candidates aren’t turning out well, we’ll make adjustments. It’s. Um, more often than not we have who, who, who you need. Um, you just gotta get their attention and, and send them your way.

Joe Howard: [00:34:32] Yeah, totally.

So, is that, what, uh, is that what you think your, your biggest focus is for the rest of 2021 or for like the foreseeable future? Are you going to keep, like, is, is the pro the pro thing, something that you just want to keep growing on and getting more people in there? Or like what’s the, yeah. What does the future look like for dynamite jobs for up or down the jobs, Joe?

Alex Harling: [00:34:54] Oh man. That’s the funny thing about having a company with a two-sided marketplace. We’ve got the companies, we’ve got the candidates, so we’re trying to, we’re trying to help them both. And there’s limited resources to grow up both sides of it. So our team has expanded, um, A lot this past year and I’m actually hiring right now.

I’m gonna bring another person on to help me enter this week. They’ll be brought on. And the whole purpose of that is we’re trying to expand both sides. One person is, is our CTO. Um, and he he’s building out that, the platform that you’re on right now. So our main site is based on WordPress, which has been amazing for our flexibility as.

For the past three years, but the, the back it’s like called the backend, the cult of the database or the platform that’s been custom built, um, by the CTO right now. And that’s for companies and candidates right now, because candidates are in there that you, you can message them and, and companies are in there.

They making message candidates, but. There’s not much connecting the two parts. And so we were trying to build out more where you still have to submit your jobs through a form and then we’ll get them live, but you’re not able to, you have to do everything through email, uh, with me, if you’re a company, um, you know, just send me messages and say, Hey, can you pause listing or, or let’s change this.

You cannot. If we don’t have a dashboard set up like that or a really, really good, um, system set up. So I want, I would like that to be built, uh, sooner rather than later. But on the candidate side, we’re getting almost a, I would say just around between 1000, 1,200 new people signing up for the platform. Um, on the candidate side, we have a decent audience for our email list and our, our social media, but.

People joining the platform, giving us their information that is growing a lot. So we’re also building out options for them. So candidates can now sign up for candidate pro there’s, hiring pro and then there’s candidate pro and with candidate pro. You are, you show up on the top of the search results in our database.

When companies search for your skills, you can also list offers or services. So if you’re, if you’re a designer, you can, you can list your design services. If you’re a developer, you can list your hourly rate, some things on there right now, as you have sales people listing their rates. We have, um, I was just looking through them yesterday.

They were showing them around, uh, social media audits, um, different kinds of, uh, SEO work. So that has been built out. It just needs some improvements. Um, but. Candidates are really liking that as they can, they can share their offers. We share those with companies. Companies can find them when they search for candidates.

So. What’s so, yeah, to answer your question, what are we going to focus on this this year? I would like to build out more things for my hiring for our clients, but then I also, I love helping the candidates as the user platform more, um, they’re getting hired on there. They’re starting more conversations. I mean, the emails we get from candidates who say like, I’ve, I’ve gotten more messages, more valuable messages on here than on LinkedIn, and it means a lot.

Um, and that’s, you know, something’s working. Um, so rest of the year is we’re building out that platform. And we may connect the WordPress site with our database sooner or continue to build out the database and the key functions within, within there. But no matter what, there’s a lot happening. So if you’re following down on my jobs, if you’re a client of ours, you’re going to see a lot of changes and a lot of updates, which is exciting.

Um, I, nothing should, should hurt our clients or candidates. I think everything is going to. Help everyone. And most of the people like that, they feel really happy to be a part of a beta project and to give feedback, um, you know, it’s still a little, um, uh, duct tape and bubblegum, but it works. That’s what’s going on there.

Joe Howard: [00:38:13] Yeah, cool, man. I, I know I could like potentially find candidates to hire on LinkedIn, but honestly there’s never once crossed my mind to do that. And I think the reason is like, LinkedIn is not cool for me to me. I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone, but I’m not like got a recruiter on LinkedIn.

Like that doesn’t sound. Like fun for me. Like I’m much rather go to like, like a indie site, almost like a, like a, a remote specific, like, honestly, like run by you kind of site to like hire or promote higher end. Like LinkedIn does not sound like something I’d want to do for that. I think that you’re going about building things out the right way.

Cause I think the most important thing. Is to see if people will pay for something and see if you can give good value. People, get feedback from people to keep building things out, but to launch something, this is a great example for anybody listening. You’re not have to have everything fully automated and fully built out when you start.

Like I have no problem, Alex, like emailing with you. Like when something. There’s there’s a little thing in the dashboard. Like I can’t do. That’s fine. I literally don’t care. It’s nice, actually. Cool. I get to email to Alex. If it was automated, maybe that would be nice, but like, it doesn’t, I don’t personally care that much.

If I need to email you, I think you took the right step. So like, okay. Joe paid for it. As did 50 other people. Okay. Now we’ve got a little revenue coming in the door. Now we can pay some, a developer to come and build some of this stuff out to make it better for people, but the proof of concept and the company grow into something bigger.

It’s more important to answer that question than to actually build it. And. Let me say, I’ll cross my fingers to see if this is something people want, because you’ve done it. Probably the hard part. Now everything’s hard, right? Every, every step you’re like, this is the hard part, you know, but you’ve passed a hard part and now you can do the part where a little bit more automation, a little bit more dashboard control.

Um, the things people want to see, but honestly, the thing is your early adopters, like me will be like excited to give you feedback on like, Oh, that dashboard is cool. Like you should totally be sending me emails when you’re working on stuff. Like, Hey Joe, I just built this. Like thinking sketch, how does this dashboard look like?

Oh, it looks cool. I’m glad you’re making that. So I think you’re on the right track for that kind of stuff.

Alex Harling: [00:40:25] That’s great to hear. Yeah. I love hearing the feedback on that. Um, but be careful and I’ll be sending you emails every, all the time now know, and I’m going to expect you to reply, like what should we do?

Joe Howard: [00:40:38] Uh, Oh, here we go. And here we go. Yeah. I’ve asked, I’ve asked for too much. Now you can hit me up. I’ll I like giving, I like giving feedback on that stuff. I like seeing what people are doing. Honestly, it gives me ideas. I’m not running a job board or anything, but it’s funny when people come to me with challenges, whether they’re like WordPress website support 24 seven specific, or they’re like, totally like they’re making chairs.

I had around deck chairs out of their garage. Like. There’s always something I learned from those when they ask, Oh, what is this I think about? How does that affect us? Like, there’s like an operation sort of thing. Okay. Now, I mean, that’s interesting because that kind of applies to this part of our operations here.

And it gets me thinking. So selfishly, you can email me when you want to, and I’ll try and give you feedback because it’ll help me as well. It helps everybody. All right. Cool man. Well, we have about 45 minutes now, so we’re going to start wrapping up, but this has been awesome. I learned a ton just from hearing about like some of the best practices around posting job board on job boards.

How I can use my network a little bit too in like the correct way, like find candidates, good potential candidates for my network. Maybe I should have a job description up. I should have a real focus on my job. Descriptions about maybe the outcomes, like I mentioned also, when you mentioned just like have a really good persona for what that job is.

And that seems like a big differentiator between places that have maybe more successful recruiting pipelines in one and one center, still working on improving them. So let’s wrap up now, but let’s, uh, tell folks about where they can. One finds you online. And two, if you’ve got a little discount code, so people could post jobs or sign up for stuff at dynamite jobs.

Why don’t you tell folks about that too? Great.

Alex Harling: [00:42:24] Yeah. Please head on over to dynamite jobs.com or just search down dynamite. My jobs. We should be the first result. There have questions specific to hiring. I’m happy to happy to help email me at, uh, alex@dynamitejobs.com. Um, we’re always, we love discussing hiring just like we are now.

Um, and then for the discount code, uh, w if you sign up to be a hiring pro a member on the site, and you can find that through our sales page, on the site, you get $10 off your first, first month with a WP buffs code. That’s capital letters, WP buffs.

Joe Howard: [00:42:56] Nice, nice. I watched the, uh, social dilemma recently, so I.

Pushed off my Google search engine and doctor go, but I had you come up first and talk that go search engine as well. If you didn’t know. So yeah. Dynamite jobs. Yeah. Then my jobs.com for folks who want to everything from, so it’s both sides. So the candidate and looking for a remote position, go check it out there and apply to some WP, loves jobs as well.

And if you’re hiring as well, if you’re a WordPress company, great place to go hire, you can post a job or you can like actually get some. Recruiting efforts to help you run your business and scrap one of Alex’s subscriptions there. So totally cool. Alex, the last thing I ask our guests on the show to do is to ask our listeners for a little iTunes.

So, if you wouldn’t mind asking listeners right now to give us a little review on iTunes, I appreciate it.

Alex Harling: [00:43:43] All right, listeners, it’s time to, uh, to give Joe’s iTunes review. You know, we know how helpful they are and how easy they are to give. So let’s give a little five stars. Yes,

Joe Howard: [00:43:52] appreciate it. People can go to WP mrr.com.

Forward slash iTunes. If you’re on a Mac or an Apple device forwards you right there, it can leave a little review. Uh, you can just leave a star review, but we like when you leave comments, tell us a little something you’ve learned from this episode. Then we can send a screenshot over to Alex and say, thanks for the review.

Here’s what people learned. And also gives us a lot of good feedback into what people really liked about the show. But if you left a review, it means like you liked this episode a lot, so we’ll know, Oh, we’ll do more episodes around hiring. We’ll do more episodes around how to hire, how to be a good candidate and all that kind of stuff.

How to build out your team, remote team, all that stuff. So, uh, leave a comment and it also kind of gives us motivation to continue going. So the more, every time I see a review, I’m always like, Aw, Thank you so much. Like it was a personal thing. I appreciate some of it took even two minutes out to go do that.

So go leave a review, WP, mrr.com/itunes. If you are a new listener to the show, I don’t know exactly what episode this is going to be 120 something I believe, but we’ve got 120 something odd episodes on the sorts of topics around WordPress about growing your business about running the business or around hiring.

Team building and that kind of stuff. So go through and use a search bar on WP MRR Ford slash podcast, and go find an episode you want to listen to, especially now you don’t have to go and be in that new Netflix show. Queen’s gambit I heard is pretty good, but other than that, you should feed bingeing WPM or podcast episode.

So don’t hesitate to go and do that. Uh, if you have questions for us at the show, feel free to shoot us an email at yo. Y o@wpmrr.com. So we can do some Q and a episodes. Do you like to do those occasionally here? So shoot those in, or you can just hit me up on Twitter at Joseph H. Howard on Twitter.

That’s it. For this week’s episode, we will be on your podcast players again next Tuesday, Alex. Thanks again for being all, man. It’s been real. Thanks, John.


E132 – Christie’s Last Episode (and Her Takeaways from 2 Years of Hosting)

In today’s episode, Joe and Christie pick out the top episodes they hosted together for the past two years, why these episodes made it to their favorite list and the stories behind the guests. They also talk about their individual growth in podcasting and the benefits of being a host. 

Sadly, this is also Christie’s last episode as co-host in the WPMRR podcast. Listen in to learn what will change and what to expect in the coming weeks! 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:49 What’s up, Joe?
  • 04:09 Sad news: This is Christie’s last episode
  • 07:53 The truth about why Christie is leaving
  • 11:50 Don’t do a podcast if you aren’t passionate about it
  • 14:03 Some of the best moments happened off-record
  • 17:10 What’s it like recording a podcast for the past two years?
  • 19:57 Podcast is just a conversation between 2 to 3 people
  • 22:20 The benefits of being a podcast host
  • 26:30 Pod episodes on our favorite list
  • 37:15 Parting words from Christie Chirinos!

Episode Resources:

Favorite Podcast Episodes:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] How would he folks Joe Howard here? So today’s episode is unfortunately a little bit of a sad one, as you probably already know from the title of the episode that you clicked to hear me say this, uh, we have. Some news today from Christie, uh, that we’re gonna really get into in today’s episode. And Chrissy doesn’t know that I’m recording this as a little intro, but I just wanted to send a quick message to her.

That man, it’s been a fantastic couple of years getting to record with you, Christie. You’re one of my best friends in the WordPress space, but really just one of my best friends period. And I’m really happy that. This podcast got to bring us closer together. And yeah, it’s something that is really, I think, made my life better to, uh, to get to do this podcast with you.

And also just to chat off-air about all sorts of stuff, WordPress or non WordPress. So thank you, Christie for everything also, just so listeners. Now we say this in the episode, but the podcast is not ending. Christie’s time has come to an end, but podcasts will continue to going out. We’ll be continuing to host.

We’ve got actually some really exciting guests coming up in the near future. So stay tuned in, and maybe if we’re lucky Christie we’ll hop in to a few episodes in the future, I’ll be sure to pull her into a few episodes. Cause we all know how great she is. Anyway, without further ado. Enjoy today’s episode.

Christie Chirinos: [00:01:38] Oh, WordPress people. Welcome back to the WP MRR WordPress podcast. I’m Christie. And you’re listening to the WordPress business podcast. What is going on in your life this week, Joe?

Joe Howard: [00:01:51] Let’s see, uh, I am in Mexico. That’s kind of like, I guess the big thing, uh, listeners probably know, um, uh, my wife and my son and I are taking a little time in Mexico for the winter.

It’s a little warmer here than it is in Washington, DC, as people can, could probably see if you’re watching on YouTube, you can see I’ve got some nice sunshine coming in and got some nice. This is, but that’s like in my house, that’s not outside of my house. Like that’s inside my house. And then like the front door is.

Past that. So half of my houses nature. So it’s, it’s great. Everyone here is super we’re in Marietta, Mexico. Everyone here is super friendly. The weather is great. Food’s awesome. We’re not doing a whole much different honestly, than we were back in DC. We’re being pretty safe. Um, everyone here is super safe around COVID like everywhere you go is like Tran sanitizer.

Taking temperatures, like stepping on mats with sanitizer to sanitize your shoe. Everyone’s like masked up. Yeah. Yeah. It’s really, uh, people are intense down here in a good way. So yeah, staying pretty safe, enjoying the warm weather. So that’s, what’s going on with me right now and we’ll be here through March, March ish.

So yeah, nothing much has changed besides just location, but that’s a big change. So it’s

Christie Chirinos: [00:03:07] been good. That’s so nice. I mean, DC. It’s not the coldest plates. But it’s cold and frigid and uncomfortable during the winter. And

Joe Howard: [00:03:18] it’s hilarious. I talk to people who were in like way colder places and, um, I have to be like, I have to admit like, yeah, I’m a weenie.

I know, I know it doesn’t get that calls, but like, I really just like warm weather more than I like cold weather. So even though it’s like gets into the thirties and DC, Oh my God. I’m so cold. I would still rather it be in the eighties.

Christie Chirinos: [00:03:37] I think that’s cold. I think that’s cool. And I, and I lived in colder places and getting into the thirties and getting into the upper twenties.

Fahrenheit is cold. If it’s cold enough for me to pull out my parka and wear it over my clothes, that’s cold because you don’t have to do that in Meredith, Mexico.

Joe Howard: [00:04:01] No, you do not. And I am thankful for that for sure. So that’s, what’s up with me right now. Now we shift to what’s new with you, which is something definitely now

Christie Chirinos: [00:04:14] big pausing for dramatic effect.


Joe Howard: [00:04:17] roll, please. We

Christie Chirinos: [00:04:19] have some sad news drum roll, please. We have some sad news and it is that my time on WP MRR. It’s coming to an end.

Joe Howard: [00:04:32] Oh man. Oh man. Obviously I’ve known for a little while. Since we were like doing this, she got everyone. She just surprised me on the podcast, but I didn’t even know that I had, obviously I’ve known about it for a while, but it’s uh, yeah, sad for me.

And also. Full transparency to the podcast will continue. I’m going to keep doing the podcast. We’ll keep having guests on twp. MRR podcast will continue. So this is not the end of the WP MRR WordPress podcast in its entirety, but it is the end Christy of your time here, which does like, it changes a lot.

You know, we’ve been doing this for a long time, so I’ll let you go ahead. I mean, interrupt your announcement.

Christie Chirinos: [00:05:11] No, that’s extremely important and yeah. I have had so much fun doing this podcast and moving on is so bittersweet. I’m so glad that it’s going to continue and that guests will continue to come on because.

We’ve had some amazing guests so far, and there are so many people still left to have on. And part of that is that the community more sun changes and gets new people and lets go of other people and other people move on. And same thing with podcasts companies, teams, it’s all the same, right. People come in and people come out and I think what’s really cool is just making sure that.

We all stay in touch. Uh, Joe and I were talking before we started the recording about the way that in a work in 2016, we heard this idea that I honestly had never even considered up until that point that every single podcast either gets passed on to a new group of people or it eventually ends. And then you grieve and its own way.

Those are the only two ways that. A podcast can finish. And I had never considered that about the shows that I love and that I listened to when I’m walking and cooking and doing all the different things where I consume podcasts. But it’s true. We heard that at work camp 2016, right? From, yeah, from the folks over at apply filters, which then.

Published that’s last podcast in 2017. From what I see on the website,

Joe Howard: [00:06:47] I remember that I remember thinking like, cool, like almost like it hadn’t occurred to me. Like you would, and like you would just end the podcast. I think probably cause back then, like we, they, weren’t doing this podcast so podcasting, like this big cool thing.

And it was like, why would you end it? You could you have a podcast? Did you not want to do it anymore? But I think we’ve learned obviously over two years that. You know, running a podcast is awesome. We’ve had a lot of fun doing this together. We’ve gotten to know each other really well. Like we’ve become good friends because of the podcast, which may be like the best benefit.

Oh man, I’m going to tear up because Mike we’ve gotten from the podcast. It’s just like becoming really good close friends, but at the same time, not everything has to continue on. Forever. Right. I think about like professional athletes that like played for like two or three years too long. And it’s like, you should have stopped when you were doing, you would like stop on top, you know, and not go into those sad last two or three years of your career.

You know, we’re stopping on top and at least for the two of us on this podcast, and I think that’s special in its own way.

Christie Chirinos: [00:07:52] Yeah. And you know, for the listeners, I want to tell you the truth about why I’m moving on and how I had this conversation with Joe. And the reality is that over the last two years, my life has changed a lot.

And my perspective on what I need to focus on has changed so much. Three years ago, work was my entire life to a point where I never want to live in a God and I have found more balance. And right now at this moment in time, I’m putting a lot of attention into other parts of my life. That are still work because I have a very demanding job within the company, but I’m trying to look for more balance.

I’m trying to look for what’s going on in those eight hours that I’m not working in sleeping every Monday through Friday and think about how that time is also filling my values and other ways. And, um, that just means. Paying attention to other stuff. And it feels really bittersweet because I have loved doing this.

And it’s interesting to see the ways that things more from change. And, um, okay. I know I’m going to cry

Joe Howard: [00:09:11] this wasn’t the point.

I always like to think of. Uh, you know, listeners know I’m a big scifi fan and, you know, I love the matrix. And I always think about this quote, when I think about things ending, you know, everything that has a beginning has an end, Mr. Anderson, and it’s a little bit more intense in the matrix movies because it’s like the end of humanity, but like that’s quote itself always stuck with me because it is true, you know?

And it also, like when I think about that core, I think about, you know, an ending isn’t necessarily. A bad thing. Like it’s a change and change is always going to happen and it’s okay to embrace change and to embrace things in the end. Because again, you know, like I already said here, like we’ve had a great run, we’ve done a hundred plus episodes here on the podcast.

Like we should be proud of what we did and we are proud of what we did. And yeah, just because your time on the podcast is coming to a close doesn’t mean our friendship is coming to a close. I told Christie before. Well, you know, while she was telling me this, I was like, okay, yeah, full transparency. I was like, totally fine, Christie.

Like, I support you in whatever you’re doing, but we got to hop on like a monthly call or like try to, because like, we have to like, keep in touch and keep like the friendship going. Cause that’s been the most important part for us. So, you know, that will continue. I have no doubt of that. And, um, yeah, we’ll be able to look back, I think on all the episodes you’ve done together, I already do.

And I’m like, wow, like what a collection of content we have, you know, not to toot our own horn, but like, wow. Like, it’s great. Like. Enormous value. It provides, you know, probably, Oh yeah. Hundreds of hours worth of content for people who are new to WordPress, we flew, want to learn about a certain type of thing can come in to snore show.

And that is a huge accomplishment and definitely something I’m not a, you know, don’t have to necessarily just be sad just because, you know, your time has come to an end. So we

Christie Chirinos: [00:10:56] want all the listeners to know that while our co-hosting of the podcast may be wrapping up our BFF friendship, but. Is strong and continuing.

So that’s extremely important for everyone to know, but. Yeah, I don’t know. I think that that’s actually one of the biggest things from the last two years that I got out of this podcast was just getting to stay in touch with you, Joe, and also with everyone else. The guests that we’ve had on the episodes that we both had, the conversations that have come from the podcast, right.

People messaging me being like, Hey, this was really great or good job on this episode. Or this episode taught me something. I didn’t know. It’s just an incredible way to. Stay connected. Right? A podcast is such an incredible example of just enjoying the journey, because let me tell ya for those of you who may be listening, thinking, should I start my podcast?

You’re not going to get rid of doing a podcast. You got to do it because you like it. And it’s fun. I’m sorry to break it to you. And especially their independence, just having this outlet to. Stay connected and talk to people and just make sure that people are doing okay. And then record that people are doing okay.

Has been really important.

Joe Howard: [00:12:22] Yeah. I totally agree with you. I think, you know, looking back and it’s like, what is WP M R R like, we could have done this podcast, like under WP bus as a brand, we could have done it. Like under liquid web is a brand like there’s, there were other like, kind of more, probably like business related ways that we could have.

Probably, I dunno, push more business towards our podcast or towards our businesses, or just made it like monetize the podcast better. Like we definitely could have done that. But the thing I enjoy about seeing like on my Google calendar, like doing a WP MRR recording episode, whether it’s with you Christie or whether it’s with the guest or whether it’s with you and a guest is that it’s.

Time in my calendar, like I’m pretty busy. I like to stay involved and WP buffs. I like to find new people to hire and I like to bring in new folks and I like to. Do work. Like I like working at Ws, but it is nice to have a thing on my calendar that is kind of independent of that. And that is much more, it’s more focused on, like, I get to have a cool conversation with someone and I get to kind of like relax for a little bit, even though it’s recorded and people are listening to this, it’s a relaxed thing.

That’s why this podcast is so informal. And that I think has been great for me because to have your calendar so filled up with all business stuff all the time, like. Again, I like all that stuff, but you got to change the pace sometimes. And so it’s refreshing when, you know, Thursdays would come along and I’d be like, Oh, cool.

So like part of my day is like, woo, I got an hour Kristy and I get to hang and hang out or any other day of the week, I get to just sit down with the guests for a week and just kind of like shoot the shit a little bit. So I think that’s been nice to have that as like a built in. Breather, you know, into the day-to-day is hectic life of, you know, business stuff.

Christie Chirinos: [00:14:00] Right. And there were so many times that we got onto that scheduled recurring event and we didn’t even record. We just talked to process 2020 was insane. And how many times did we just sit back and say, let’s not record, are we surviving right

Joe Howard: [00:14:18] now? And listeners should probably know. This is honestly, this has been one of the hardest parts about doing this podcast is that so many, like, I very much enjoy recording this podcast and all podcasts episodes with you, Christie.

But some of the best conversations we had were the times where we said, we’re not recording today. Like something is going on, or maybe we just have, we just wanted to like sit down and chat. And like, sometimes those are the best moments, but those moments wouldn’t have happened. Had we not had a podcast spot where we said, we’re going to come in.

And then we just happened to decide, Oh, we’re not gonna record a day. Cause there’s something else you want to talk about that honestly, we didn’t. Sometimes we just didn’t want to talk about it on air. Like it’s not something you wanted to record or it’s something as much as we want to be honest and transparent about everything in our lives.

Like there’s some things it’s like a better conversation. That’s probably not recorded and uploaded online. So, but those are some of the best times, and we wouldn’t have had those opportunities. Had we not been doing a podcast and then skipping out on same, ask her the podcast this week. Let’s just, uh, let’s just chat, you know?

So I’m thankful

Christie Chirinos: [00:15:20] we stayed up to date on big life changes. We had so many big life changes. You became a dad.

Joe Howard: [00:15:29] Can we start recording before? Like Sterling was even pregnant? Like, I don’t even remember. Like we must have, it was like two, two years ago now. Right. So man. What happens? I don’t even remember what episode that was.

I think it was called Joe’s big news or something. Big something. Yeah. I’ll try to look it up here, but man so much has happened. Uh, you know, you’ve moved from one WordPress company to another, so like new professional things happening

Christie Chirinos: [00:15:59] too. Yeah, the job change was big. You know, some of our listeners know some more, none, or one of the details of a serious health situation that I went through while we were recording this podcast.

And so, so much has happened.

Joe Howard: [00:16:16] Lots of changes. And this is just another, another one of those changes. Right? And like, no one goes through a year of their lives, especially 2020 everyone’s goddamn wife changed, but nobody goes through a year of life regardless. And like, has nothing changed in it. Right. And so, yeah, I mean, we’ve been through, you’ve been through a lot in somehow.

We’ve remained the consistency over two years of doing a podcast together and releasing episodes every week. And I know that there are podcasts out there who have done five years or 10 years and never missed an episode and like good for them. I’m happy for those people. I’m proud of those people.

That’s great. But I’m proud of two years also. You know, I think that two years is a huge accomplishment with so many life changes. Like it’s hard to stay completely consistent through that time. And like, we did that. So kudos for us, I think, round robos, Pat ourselves on the back for that one. That’s right.

Yeah. Cool. I I’d honestly like to dig into maybe some of the, I don’t know if you had anything else you wanted to say about like things that you enjoyed about recording a podcast, so you can think back to, or like, Things that you benefited from about recording a podcast. We may have, I’m not looking at our show notes right now.

I apologize. Maybe you went through them all already, but that part is really interesting to me. Like just reflecting and thinking, like transition time. What am I taking away from this? No, I have a whole list.

Christie Chirinos: [00:17:35] The ability to say in touch with you and was everybody was big. And I think that’s the biggest reason to start a podcast, right?

If anybody here is listening and you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast, starting a podcast about work, about some other interests about whatever you might be thinking of as such a good way. To stay connected and that’s been a big one, but also having this podcast forced me to learn how to talk on podcasts, to learn how to talk on video, to up my camera and microphone skills and set up an understanding of how to.

No, those things right at those sort of hard audio skills, weren’t something I had when we started doing this podcast. And the other part is just how to present on a podcast. This week. I also recorded an episode for Bob WP, who is also a podcast host for very popular. I will commerce podcasts. And yeah.

Whew, exactly. And so that episode will be coming out on to stay after this. So it’s going to be next Tuesday, whatever date that is. And we recorded this podcast with a guest, the owner of recaptured Dave, and after the podcast ended, all three of us were like, That was the perfect podcast

Joe Howard: [00:19:09] often. You’re like, Whoa, that was an insanely good episode. And you just kind of know it like innately, you know, I totally get it.

Christie Chirinos: [00:19:17] Perfect. That’s an overstatement. It wasn’t perfect, but it definitely was a piece of content. It was about an hour long that all three of us innately knew we were proud of. And then Dave says, That’s because we have three podcasts, so that are experienced on this podcast.

And I was just like, wait, hold on. There’s two podcast hosts that are experienced on the podcast. Who’s the third one. And then I was like, Oh,

Joe Howard: [00:19:45] still faking it to a naked. Yeah, I am. I feel that way too.

Christie Chirinos: [00:19:48] Totally making it, you know, and that’s a skill. That I think is going to come in handy for the rest of my life.

Joe Howard: [00:19:55] Totally with you. I think it may not be exact same skill as public speaking, because there’s something about like getting in front of people and having their literal eyeballs on you that can make you nervous. That can make you forget what you’re saying, that kind of thing. And it’s a little bit different with like an online webinar.

Like a live webinar, you know, people are watching you, but it’s to their computer. So there’s another level of separation there. This podcast is even like another step back. I think it’s like, yes, we have an audience. People are listening to this right now, but not live. And we can kind of treat this as just a conversation between two or three people.

And then the audience just kind of gets into the guest to listen to them afterwards. And I felt like doing, you know, a hundred plus episodes on this podcast that I learned to. I think about it as like my brain usually moves pretty fast. And so trying to get my brain and my mouth to sync up in terms of like speed people who are on YouTube or watching the, like, do this weird thing on my face with my mouth and my brain.

But I think that kind of makes it makes sense. Like my brainwaves, my mouth have to be able to move at the same tempo in order to like actually say meaningful things in those podcasts that make sense and add value to people who are listening to help them do what we try to do, you know, grow their MRR, grow their small businesses, run a comfortable business, you know, that kind of thing.

So I think that. When we started the podcast, you know, we go back and listen to the first 10 episodes. We were probably okay. At talking, I’m sure we were a little janky and we were kind of like, you know, the here and there and yeah. Thoughts were floating around a little bit. Now. I think we do one. I think we probably do a better job now of just speaking more, a little bit more eloquently and thoughtfully, but also.

I think just like we’ve developed a good rapport together to where we kind of, I don’t know when you’re saying something, I kind of like can predict where you’re going. Sometimes that feels like this magical thing, but it’s because we’ve done so many episodes together, you know, it’s not just not just a random thing.

So I think we’ve also like develop the sense of how to do that as well. And that’s a really valuable skill because listening is so important, you know? Instead of trying to think about the next thing I want to say on this podcast, because I have to say it, I’m trying to focus more on what you’re saying and then go off what you’re saying and not come back.

Just so the thing I was thinking of, just because I like have to say that thing and sound smarter, something it’s like, no, like, listen, and then move forward. We don’t have to say things just for the hell of saying them. Let’s. You know, keep a good template going. So I don’t know. That’s some of those are some of the things I feel like I’ve learned them.

It’s right there with you in terms of what you were

Christie Chirinos: [00:22:17] saying. That’s been huge for me too. I think that I’ve learned a little bit more about how to hook into a conversation. That’s not something that I felt very comfortable doing two years ago. And I think I just learned how to fix a move my bad habits in speech.

Now, obviously, honestly, when you talk to me in person and it’s not even something I have an outline for in, and I’m just talking about stuff, especially if you’re asking me for my opinion or my ideas, I’m really going to struggle to finish my sentences. I’m going to be like, but what about this? You know, I’ll go in like three different sentence fragments.

I do this when I write too, if I ever write just sort of stream of consciousness to get all the ideas that I want to do in there. My writing has parentheses around all these weird ideas. It’s just how my brain works. But in podcasts, especially listening to myself, look, I just did it. It’s frustrating. So I had to learn over time to stop myself from doing that.

And that’s going to help me for the rest of my life because it’s a really annoying

Joe Howard: [00:23:23] habit. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I didn’t know that about you look at this, our last episode together. I’m still learning new things about how you write and how you think so. Um, yeah, I liked also what you said about the gear situation.

I never like would have had an excuse to get like a nice nicer microphone. Not too expensive, a hundred buck microphone, but like sounds so much better. And some, when I’m not mobile here, like my home setup, I had stuff pretty laid out pretty nicely, but just to get a good tech setup at home, it was kind of just an excuse to do that.

You know, we started off, we were just like, whatever, equipment’s fine. Whatever equipment you have is probably fine. And then like, you know, over the course of time, we kind of upgraded things a little bit and now we kind of have a, it’s like a little bit more built into our day-to-day digital life, regardless of podcasting stuff, you know, we kinda know, Oh, maybe need a nice camera or, and that can be talking on this crappy MacBook camera, sorry.

Uh, but you know, usually we want to try and get a good camera and we’re not as mobile and, you know, a nicer microphone for good audio. And that’s just really important, especially if you’re working. All the time digitally. So I think that helped like cement in that piece of like, you know, if you’re going to work digitally, if you’re going to work remotely, like.

Do it, you know, invest a little bit in it when you can and when you’re, when you’re able to. So

Christie Chirinos: [00:24:37] if you have the money, it’s totally worth it. You know, gear hadn’t even been on my list that I made, but it’s actually huge. And it has also helped me in other parts of my life. One of the things that I am making room for in this effort to find more balance in my life and to allocate more time to things that aren’t work and living is music and I’ve written.

So much in 2020, because we had nothing else better to do. Everybody else is doing something everybody’s life has changed in some way due to this completely unprecedented event. And the way that my life changed, one of the ways in which my life changed was I started writing a ton and I have so many interesting things coming out this year that you’re going to see as you follow me on social media about.

Art and creativity, but one of the people who has been helping me grow in that area asked me what I have at home to record vocals and record demonstrations of the things I’ve written. And I told him, and he was like, what?

And I was like, I mean, I did this podcast. Yeah. So I have this microphone and he’s just like, Okay, so you’re ready to go. You don’t need to buy anything. And I was like, yeah,

Joe Howard: [00:26:00] it feels good. Already leveled up. So yeah, I’m with you. We wanted to get through on this episode is just some of our favorite episodes from the podcast.

We have a nice little list here of some of our favorite ones. So maybe we can do a little lightning round of some of our favorite episodes of the podcast we’ve done together. So Christie, you want to start us off or maybe you can just present them and I’ll just, you know,

Christie Chirinos: [00:26:21] Yeah. Oh my gosh, absolutely. I’ll present them, especially because I had strong stances on the selection of this list.

Um, but the first one that I put on here was episode 94, which was the future of funding and WordPress. I, I love this episode because it’s the thing that I’m passionate about. I think that we’re going to watch this industry mature and expand in ways that nobody could have imagined when WordPress started.

And I’m a huge advocate for getting excited about it and thinking that more entrance and more attention is good. And it’s an opportunity to get the really great parts of the WordPress open source project, more embedded into how the web works. So I’m really excited about it. And I just thought it was such a fun episode to talk about.

And. Play around with the ideas about how to make sure that that development is good and that we push it in the right direction. So I don’t know. I love that one. What did you think?

Joe Howard: [00:27:25] Yeah. I’m with you. Those are always fun conversations to have too. Think about not only like the businesses we work in or the sectors we work in, but how does the whole industry we work in affect our business and how does our business affect the industry as a whole?

How does the industry fit into tech as a bigger ecosystem? And how does that fit into the world as a bigger ecosystem? Those are like bigger 30,000 foot conversations. Like really get my brain like. Woo. Like I’m in my happy zone when I’m talking about that stuff. And especially when I’m talking to somebody who’s like super knowledgeable in this area, like you, like, you give me all sorts of like the light bulb moments.

And so that was a great episode is actually interesting time to talk about it. I think a little bit about like acquisition stuff in that episode, as we’re recording this, it is not announced yet, but when this episode goes live, we WP buffs will have made an announcement, Christie that. You know, we launched our acquisition unit last year.

We’ll be announcing our first acquisition soon, next Tuesday. So keep an eye out for that. Well, I guess it will have already gone live once the podcast comes out. So WPZ is now part of the WP buffs family. It’s another care plan company and yeah, more details about that. Will you, people can find it anywhere.

So I’m not going to talk about it here on the podcast, but. That is exciting. And so WF is kind of becoming part of the, like this word for sequences. And we talked about, so like, man, like a lot of moving pieces, but I anyway, I enjoyed that episode a lot and I thought that was, that was really fun. So cool.

Episode 94, the future of funding in WordPress, any other. What are their favorite episodes that you

Christie Chirinos: [00:28:55] have? Wait, I have final thoughts on the future of funding and word WordPress. You know, one of the things that I, I just love that episode so much. And one of the things that I know will be true for my life and probably for everybody’s life.

People just have varying degrees of comfort with this idea is that chances are, you’re not going to be doing the same thing from the time you start working to the time you retire. You’re probably going to do all kinds of different jobs that you couldn’t possibly imagine. Many people change careers, many people change levels of income up and down and up and down, up and down.

And for me, I know that I just want to be able to pursue the things that I’m passionate about and I want to not be afraid of change and embrace it. And something that I have thought about in the past is I want to document. Things like episode 94. I want us to really have an understanding on this fundamental and academic basis as to what happened and how WordPress was born and how it evolved into an industry and how an open source project like that.

Evolved into this ecosystem of plugins and automatic and web hosting companies. And I think there’s something so fascinating about that because it has broken down the traditional model of commerce, right. Buy something, sell it for more. That’s not quite what’s happening here. And I think it’s so interesting to think about it that way and think about the fact that we’ve participated in something that is pretty revolutionary, even if right now that revolution feels largely undefined.

Joe Howard: [00:30:47] Well, you’re not allowed to say big, awesome stuff like that. And then make me want to record like 10 more episodes about that. So often not to the pockets anymore. So yeah, you’ll have to, you’ll have to come back and do some guest appearances so we can, yeah, we’ll

Christie Chirinos: [00:30:58] start a new podcast. I will do guest appearances.

So. Because honestly, we’re going to have this monthly catch-up and you know, there’s going to be new. So I’m going to be like, I really want to talk about this and then we’ll start a new podcast. Yeah. So I don’t know. I just think that that episode was so cool because I’m so interested in that particular topic.

So I loved

Joe Howard: [00:31:22] that. Of our favorites episode one 19 that we did with, uh, Brian Krogsgard, who runs post status and who, uh, uh, does the post status podcast, although I’m not sure if he does the, all the podcasts still, but you know, one of the premier podcasts in the WordPress space as well. So people should go tune into that one as well.

But we didn’t episode with Brian, uh, that was what an automatic IPO in 2021 means for WordPress professionals. And that was really good. Brian, super smart dude, watching YouTube, like. Just boom. Talk about financial stuff. It was like super eye to me. Who’s like fly on the wall. Like I’m cool. I pretty much know what you’re saying.

I know, I know what Bitcoin is and I understand, you know, that stuff, but that was a great episode and really cool to hear about again, bigger picture WordPress based stuff. Yeah. That

Christie Chirinos: [00:32:09] one was fun because I like dreaming about the future and I think that’s what a lot of that episode was about. Right. It was what could happen.

What if this happened? What would. This look like if this event preceded it and that was kind of a blast. I think that Brian is someone that likes to do that kind of thing, and successfully built a community around. Thinking about the future and believing in the future. And so it was closely related to episode 94, and

Joe Howard: [00:32:41] I liked that.

Agreed. I don’t mean to rush us through the end of this podcast, but I have to watch Mo in seven minutes. So we’re going to run through these last couple of episodes, quickly episode 122, a sugar business take political stances. That was super interesting. Really good question. You know, there’s, I don’t know if there’s a right answer.

But it was really interesting to have the conversation and think about all the different aspects of it. Yeah. You liked that episode

Christie Chirinos: [00:33:04] too. I love that episode because so much of my work so far has related political stances and activism to technology. Right. I think WordPress is an inherently political thing.

I say that in episode one, 22, and I also explicitly used WordPress in political non-profits. Settings before caldera forms and then liquid web. And so I love talking about that episode. I think that it’s worth thinking about it. Um, definitely. I think my views on this have evolved and morphed since we recorded that episode.

And that is part of what is interesting and fun about this podcast. And I think evolved and morphed often sounds like change. I don’t think it’s really changed, but it’s definitely evolved and become more nuanced.

Joe Howard: [00:33:55] Yes. Agreed. And then we go back to listen to episode 50 episodes ago. We’ll probably look back and hear ourselves and be like, I don’t necessarily a hundred percent with what I said before, or maybe I totally disagree.

Maybe we have totally changed her mind, but definitely you will evolve. And you’re thinking in terms of what you used to think and what you think now. So cool. Last favorite that you had down, and that’s definitely a favorite of mine too, was what it’s really like to be people of color in the WordPress community and that’s episode 99.

Very important episode for, you know, 2021. Why’d you have that one down, just one of your favorites that you did or that we did, honestly,

Christie Chirinos: [00:34:32] I think that for me, episode 99 was a turning point in the kind of thing that I felt I could say, because one of the things that we discuss in that episode is that a lot of the time you, as a person of color, do not protest what you see around you because you have a mission to accomplish.

So you figure out. Which fights to fight and which fights are going to get delayed for later. And for me, it was a very powerful experience to know that I’m in a position in life where I can get on the recorded podcast that I co-host and say, this are the things that I don’t think are right. And that was a really powerful moment.

Uh, and I think that a lot of our listeners felt that because I, I don’t know about you, Joe, but I probably got the most feedback on that episode of all the ones that we’ve.

Joe Howard: [00:35:25] Yeah, it was a lot. I also got a lot of people saying I’m really glad you to do this podcast. Um, because I’m not trying to talk down on white males who also run WordPress podcasts, but most of the people who run WordPress podcasts.

Look pretty similar. And again, I’m not trying to talk down on anybody. I absolutely know what I’m doing, but we do stand out, I think a little bit from the crowd in terms of like what we look like compared to what other WordPress podcasts do and our perspective, it makes our unique perspective, importance on a host of issues, whether they’re business or whether it’s race or whether, you know, anything like that.

It’s important to hear unique viewpoints from the perspective of people who may not look like you, or may not act like you were, or just. Different than you in a lot of ways. And so that’s important. So I’m with you. Very good episode there.

Christie Chirinos: [00:36:13] Yeah. And the last bit on that, for me, that is so important to mention is that for the last two years, I was so proud of this.

We have been a podcast hosted by minorities that isn’t about being a minority. We’re talking about hustling, about business, about running our teams about the future of the technology. And this was the only episode that we ever did. That was about being minorities. And we did it because this summer we saw a significant.

Protests about these long and systemic injustices in the United States. And it’s just been so amazing for me to be a part of this. I’m not going to cry for

Joe Howard: [00:36:53] real stop. My gosh, I was going to do our usual ending here, but people know, people keep listening, you know, how we end the show. So I was going to hand it off to you, Chrissy.

I wanted to just, I wanted to see if there was anything. That you wanted to kind of say in partying, this is not goodbye forever. Again, you’ll be back on the podcast. Don’t worry. We’ll will come back on. But like for now taking a breather, anything you’d like to say listeners over the past hundred plus episodes that have been here for us and anything.

Yeah. Anything you want to say? It’s honestly

Christie Chirinos: [00:37:22] been an honor. I feel like we just spent an hour saying everything I wanted to say about why is this happening? Where my life is going and just. How grateful I am to have been a part of this experience and extremely clarifying that Joe and I are staying in touch and keeping the awesome going.

So actually, I’m going to end the episode the way we normally do, which is I’m going to tell you where to find money for the rest of the time being. I won’t be on the podcast, but seriously. Find me, you can reach out to me on Twitter. I’m at  that’s X, T I E C H I R I N O S. My DMS are open and I just want to know what you liked about WP MRR and what you’re thinking for the future.

You can also find me on my website, Chrissy cherry.com, C H R I S. T I E C H I R I N O s.com and send me a message. There’s a contact form over there. There’s several things out there that just, uh, let you know a little bit about me, what I’m doing, where I’m going. Uh, I’m on LinkedIn, but LinkedIn is blessed.

Joe Howard: [00:38:38] That’s still a thing.

Christie Chirinos: [00:38:43] I don’t remember. I would have to look. Yeah, well, you know what. I, I probably still own it. So you can probably also go to business.business. Honestly, I’m just going to replay it through my personal website and yeah, send me an email. Um, my email is on my weapon. It’s on Twitter and, um, yeah, it has

Joe Howard: [00:39:06] been an honor.

Yes. Well, we will be in your podcast players again. Next Tuesday, WP MRR, WordPress podcasts. We’ll be Christy will be in your podcast players in the future of this. Maybe not every week, we’ve been forward, but as always, thanks for listening. And we’ll catch you next Tuesday.

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