Are Content Products “Real” Products to WordPress Developers?

Episode 53 July 15, 2022 00:13:35
Are Content Products “Real” Products to WordPress Developers?
WP Review
Are Content Products “Real” Products to WordPress Developers?
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Hosted By

Joe Casabona

Show Notes

I've been a developer for 20 years. I've been a content creator for almost as long...but it wasn't until a few years ago that I started making more money from my content than from my development work. 

Both are crucial for a growing, vibrant WordPress community. But to some, it seems the job of development is more important than the job of content creation. Here's why those people are wrong. 

Brought to you by GoDaddy Pro. Get all of the show notes, and a written to-be-read article over at https://wpreview.io/53

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Episode Transcript

For those of you who don't know my background is in development. I've been making websites for over 20 years. I've been using WordPress since 2004. Less than one year after it launched. I have my master's degree in software engineering. I've written four books about web development, and I have worked on some of the biggest WordPress sites in the world. But I don't do any of that today. Today, I'm a lowly content creator who makes his money with podcasts, courses, coaching and articles. And according to Carl Hancock, founder of gravity forums, I've committed a terrible offense. Hey everybody. And welcome to WP review a show that provides analysis on what's happening in WordPress and what it means for creators and business owners in the ecosystem. This podcast is brought to you by GoDaddy pro. My name's Joe Casabona and today I want to talk about what makes a real product. And how developers should spend their time. So, what is this terrible offense? I've committed. In all likelihood, Carl, wasn't speaking to me or even about me. He was speaking more generally. And he was doing so in a tweet. So here's the original tweet. And then the follow-up. In the original tweet. Quote, what WordPress needs. Isn't more newsletters, podcasts, news sites, or courses. It sure as hell doesn't need more dev advocates employed by web hosts. What WordPress means is more people to actually build and ship shit. Instead of talking about it. And he followed that up with this quote. I'm not saying WordPress doesn't need newsletters, podcasts, new sites or courses. It does. But when I see people that I know have the talent to create great products, focusing on these types of things, rather than channeling their energy into building great products. I wince and quote. So ultimately the question is what does WordPress need? And who should do it. I think it's fair to say that Carl realized his original take was bad and followed it up with clarification. Because a community does need content focused businesses and developer advocates. Not everyone is as entrenched in the WordPress community. S some in the community would like to believe. Most people don't know what the heck is going on with the block editor or full site editing. Most people don't know, they can find a meetup nearby to work with other WordPress users and frankly, the source material make the codex and the developer site that is kind of like the codex. That's not very good. So WordPress does need quote, more newsletters, podcasts, new sites and courses and quote. This content is crucial to bringing new people and WordPress hobbyists deeper into the community. The new students I reached on LinkedIn learning every day would agree. In fact Carl's company and flagship product gravity forums is a beneficiary of my efforts. As far as I can tell my courses, the most comprehensive video course created for gravity forms in the last 10 years. Surely that is helping people create better things with gravity forms. So who should make this content and these content based businesses. Let's look at the followup tweet. Which I think is an even worse take than the original. And I recognize this might be me taking the follow-up a little personally. As someone who has the ability to create a great product and is instead focusing on a content business. But, Hey, this is my show, right? Again, to reiterate. But when I see people that I know have the talent to create great products, focusing on these types of things, rather than channeling their energy into building great products. I wince. The implication is clear. If you can write code. You should write code for your business instead of focusing on content, because that's the better way to spend your time. I'll elaborate more on this after a word from our sponsor. A couple of things here. One. The idea that content products can't be great. Products is laughable. Gravity forms is a great product. So as WP 1 0 1. Paid memberships pro is a great product. So as the Matt report, Easy digital downloads is a great product. So as WP beginner. We have great software products. And great content products. And they are equally important. Too. While this followup tweet specifically mentions quote the talent to create great products and quote. I think it's important to note that talent. And the ability to write code does not mean you can create a great product. It increasingly, it takes a small team of people to do that. From code to design, to market research. There's a lot you need. To stand out. Mostly gone are the days of building a six-figure plugin business off of something you threw together over a weekend. And even if you have all of the things you need to build a great product and you truly do have the talent. It definitely. Doesn't give you the ability to definitely run a business. Running a business is hard. And I think most plug-in business owners will agree. If you got in early, you got the benefit of being first to market. But it's easier to lose customers than to gain them. And building a product is only part of the battle. And number three. Not everyone wants to spend their time creating great software products. The need to create market and support a great product is a ton of work. That requires many talents. Throw in the capriciousness of WordPress core development. And it can be downright stressful. Then throw in the entitled nature of WordPress customers who think just because they duked you 20 bucks. You should give them hours of support and development for free. And it's a downright nightmare. But let's take a step back and look at something more objective and less. I don't know, ranty. We need developers to create content products. We meed. Developers to create contents products. That's how knowledge transfer happens. That's how we get other perspectives, important perspectives. That's how we build a better community. If you want to help bring new people in and prepare the next generation of WordPress coders. What you need is good content. What you don't need is shit posting on Twitter. At least that's what I think. And I'd love to hear what you think as well. You can leave a comment [email protected] slash five three. Or send me a message on Twitter at J Casabona. Thanks so much for listening. Mostly gone are the days of building a six-figure plugin business off of something you threw together over a weekend. And even if you have all of the things you need to build a great product and you truly do have the talent. It definitely. Doesn't give you the ability to definitely run a business. Running a business is hard. And I think most plug-in business owners will agree. If you got in early, you got the benefit of being first to market. But it's easier to lose customers than to gain them. And building a product is only part of the battle. And number three. Not everyone wants to spend their time creating great software products. The need to create market and support a great product is a ton of work. That requires many talents. Throw in the capriciousness of WordPress core development. And it can be downright stressful. Then throw in the entitled nature of WordPress customers who think just because they duked you 20 bucks. You should give them hours of support and development for free. And it's a downright nightmare. But let's take a step back and look at something more objective and less. I don't know, ranty. We need developers to create content products. We meed. Developers to create contents products. That's how knowledge transfer happens. That's how we get other perspectives, important perspectives. That's how we build a better community. If you want to help bring new people in and prepare the next generation of WordPress coders. What you need is good content. What you don't need is shit posting on Twitter. At least that's what I think. And I'd love to hear what you think as well. You can leave a comment [email protected] slash five three. Or send me a message on Twitter at J Casabona. Thanks so much for listening. To get even more insights into the intersection of WordPress and the creator economy. And to subscribe this show, head over to WP review.io/five three. You can find all of the show notes and a written to be read version of this episode there as well. And if you liked this episode, share it with a friend. Especially a friend. Who's a coder as well as a content creator. Thanks to GoDaddy pro for sponsoring. Until next time i'm joe casabona and i'll see you out there

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