Are Creators Free Riders? Plus, Building Your Mailing List With and Without WordPress

Episode 54 August 05, 2022 00:20:26
Are Creators Free Riders? Plus, Building Your Mailing List With and Without WordPress
WP Review
Are Creators Free Riders? Plus, Building Your Mailing List With and Without WordPress
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Joe Casabona

Show Notes

Are creators (and anyone who doesn't contribute to WordPress) free riders? I look at that question and wonder why there's such hostility towards non-contributors, even though they are essential in the march towards that mother of all vanity metrics: 50% market share. Plus, A bit of news about an upcoming series on this show, and a deep cut from an old podcast I used to host about why you need to build your mailing list. 

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

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Episode Transcript

Hey everybody. And welcome to another episode of WP review. This episode is going to be a little bit different. Uh, because it's essentially a three segment episode. I'm going to tell you what's coming down the pike for this show. I'm going to give you my thoughts on the make blog post about. Open source and the free rider quote, unquote problem. And then I am going to play a deep cut. From my old creator toolkits podcast about building your mailing list with and without WordPress. So first what's coming down the pike, I've mentioned here before that. I'm trying to position this more at less of a news show and more as a, how does WordPress work in, in the greater world? Show as, and specifically creators because the creator economy. Is growing. And so with that in mind, I'm working on a series called WordPress versus where I pit WordPress against a bunch of platforms designed for creators. And then talk about how I would do it with WordPress, weighing the pros and cons. So for example, One of the first ones up is the platform, buy me a coffee, a simple donation. Platform. Uh, very simple, to be honest. Uh, and then how I would do it with WordPress with say, give WP. Uh, and then another one perhaps is teachable. And then how I do it in WordPress with LearnDash or sensei. So that's what I'm working on. It's taking a little bit longer than I expected, uh, but I want to thank GoDaddy for their support. To be able to make that content happen. I'm really excited. And those episodes will drop kind of, as they're done. Less on the weekly cadence, since the show has been on a little bit of a summer break. So that is what's coming down the pike in this episode, again, this is going to be a deep cut from creator toolkits. Uh, where it's building your mailing list with and without WordPress, but I do want. To have a little bit of relevant. News. Because I have strong opinions about, again, kind of what this means for. The. Creator economy. And honestly, the, the economy outside people who can physically contribute. To WordPress. So, uh, Josepha has this post over on make dot WordPress. wordpress.org called open source and the free rider problem. And she cites the tragedy of the commons, which I've talked about. And you know how I feel about that. Or you can look at my state of the word coverage to figure out how I feel about that. The free rider problem is a little bit different. And I'm reading this directly from Wikipedia. In social sciences, the free rider problem as a type of market failure that occurs when those who benefit from resources. Public goods or services of communal nature. I do not pay for them or underpay free riders are a problem. Because while not paying for the goods, they may continue to access or consume it. Thus the good may be under produced. Over used and degraded. So first of all, First of all, I think there is a strong, false dichotomy here. Because open source software. Is not a diminished, double good. If I'm a free rider, who's eating apples. I'm not paying for. There are fewer apples for other people to eat. If I am a free rider, who's going to a hospital. Because I'm sick. I am taking up a bed and a doctor and a nurse that someone else now who is paying for it. Can't. Open source software is developed and released and can be downloaded as many times as possible without. The product being under produced overused. Or degraded. So already the free rider problem. Is, I'm not going to say offensive, but it's certainly a false dichotomy. The other reason I have a problem with this. Is because. WordPress the WordPress community, the WordPress foundation. Celebrates every time we get a single percentage increase. In market share. And Matt himself has said that he wants to get to 50% market share. You cannot. Have that goal and complain about free riders. And I know it's a complaint about free riders because this post talks about how do we solve the free rider problem. We don't solve the free rider problem. If you want, if you want to democratize publishing. You're going to have free riders because you don't everybody who uses WordPress doesn't know how to code. Everyone who uses WordPress is not as deeply embedded is in WordPress. As the people who use make.wordpress.org. But if they see stuff like this, right. If I'm going to go download WordPress and I'm like, what's the, I'm a free rider for downloading this free software. I'm just going to go to teachable. And use that instead. It's. It reminds me. I am thinking about the tale of two keynotes episode. I did a few weeks ago. Where. In the creator economy. It's yes, let's help everybody make money. We value work. And we value that you want to make money. And this post is just another post. That makes me think. We only value you in so far. As you can contribute to us. So the post ends with this, I'll read it directly. The builders and extenders of WordPress are invested in the software, being the best for everyone using it. Collectively we support the creation and maintenance of WordPress through our community and contributes. How can we rebalance the tenacious need? For contribution with the immense benefit, WordPress brings EV to everyone, including our free riders and contributors. Again, I think if you're. I think this is a false dichotomy. Or a false analogy maybe is the right word. Um, because. The code is not diminished. Double code. And. Yes, maybe there's more support. But I don't think this support growth is exponential on the word on the contributors in the WordPress foundation. Um, And maybe I'm wrong. And if I'm wrong, somebody telling me that. But. I, you know, somebody, somebody made a comment. They're not convinced. I think they're making the same. The same point I just made. Uh, it was a very long. But. I just, I'm not sold and it just continues to push the narrative that the only valuable people in the WordPress community are the ones who contribute to the project in some way. And if you're going to keep talking like that fine. But when you continue to lose market share because of it. Don't wonder why. So there you go. There's my hot take. The hot takes. I promise not to give, but again, I, you know, I. I'm doing this WordPress versus series, because I think that WordPress is incredibly valuable for creators. And it just kind of bums me out. That. Creators or that people who can't contribute to word press or Buda are viewed as pejoratively. As free riders, right. He's using the term free riders and saying free rider problem is a pejorative term. So. I want to see WordPress continue to grow. What I want to see less of. His complaints about more people using it with those people not contributing. Because if you really want to democratize publishing. Then you can't expect. Everybody. To contribute. All right. So that's my, those are my thoughts. On that. Keep an eye out for the WordPress versus series. That's coming down the pike. Uh, before I get into the creator toolkit episode. Uh let's hear a word from our sponsor godaddy pro In this episode, we're going to explore what should be a fundamental tool of any business. The mailing list. We'll look at some of the best services out there and how to integrate them as well as some simple techniques for building your list. Hey everybody. And welcome to creator toolkit the podcast about building stuff on the web I'm Joe Casona. And today we're gonna talk about the mailing list and mailing list services. So why should you build a list? I think that's what we should first talk about. Why should we even collect email addresses? When I first started my blog, I wasn't very diligent about this because I didn't see the. But those emails are the people who become your biggest fans. And those are the people who you can sell your products or services to. They're also the people who will give you feedback in short, they'll become the community that you can build your business on. So in this episode, we'll explore a few tools for email list, building a regular email form, MailChimp convert kit, and. There are tons more, but I think that these do a nice job of covering the various feature sets out there. So let's get started first. We'll look at the regular email form. If you're looking to start off simple and free, you could start with a simple homemade form. Using WordPress offers, lots of solutions where users can fill out a form and you can get their email address and the submission will be logged into word. The two I recommend are ninja forms, which is free and gravity forms, which starts at $39 a year and offers a lot of great features. But you can do the same thing with a Google form if you're not using WordPress or another website, building solution, the benefit here is that you don't have to pay for anything to get started, no matter how many people sign up. So where convert kit, for example, limits you to. 1000 subscribers in the basic tier or MailChimp limits you by a certain number of subscribers. Uh, you will never be limited by the amount of people who fill out your form, but there is a big drawback. You have to manage the entire list yourself. That means if someone unsubscribes, you need to delete them off the list, you'll also need to import any new addresses into your email program. When you do send out mailing. This can get unwielding after just a few dozen signups. So you might want to start this way, but moving to a mailing list tool is something you'll wanna do quickly. Once you grow beyond just a, a couple dozen and I recommend MailChimp as your next step, MailChimp is the perfect tool for managing your email list and it's free for up to 2000 users or 12,000 emails sent per. It gives you everything you need, including simple forms, landing pages, and the ability to maintain multiple lists. So if you have, uh, your blog subscribers as one list, and people who have purchased from you as another, you can keep those separate and send separate emails. And the like, it's an excellent tool that served me really well while I used it. And there are lots of great companies that use it. There are beautiful templates and it's easy to use. I personally think it's the easiest one that I've used of the bunch you can integrate with e-commerce stores. And when you get to the paid tiers, you can do advanced tagging segmentation and all sorts of split or AB testing. So you can see what titles work. If certain images work better than others and things like. I'll be the first to admit that I did not use MailChimp, uh, to its full potential before I made the jump to what I currently use, which is convert kit. So convert kit has been tagged as something for bloggers, right. Uh, but in my opinion, convert kit is for those looking to take their email list to the next level, I was able to import my MailChimp list, tag users, according. And build out all sorts of different segments. So I have one email address and they are tagged as a student, someone who's interested in my coaching program, someone who listens to my podcast, et cetera. I also have lots of different forms and automated email sequences to give my subscribers the most value without bombarding their inbox. For example, instead of emailing my entire list. About my HTML and CSS course, I instead only email those who've expressed interest in learning HTML and CSS. And I can filter out those who have already purchased the course to boot convert kit starts at $29 a month for up to a thousand subscribers. So there is no free tier for convert kit, but if you are serious about making money with your email, I think convert kit is hugely helpful for that. I can already see it paying the returns on its investment to me while I have a modest following, I can segment my list the right way and target the right people. And it's already paid for itself over the last year. I've been using it doing just that in this next year. I plan to take it to the next level with convert kit, but. If you want every automation and event tracking tool under the sun, there is something even more powerful. And that's drip where MailChimp lets you send emails and convert kit, lets you know about your users. Drip allows you to know what your users are doing. It acts as both a mailing list and a CRM. One of the super cool things about drip is its purchase intent score. So by tracking your user's actions through email and on your website, they'll give them a score on how likely they are to purchase from you. This is immensely helpful when you're trying to delineate between those who are on the cusp of ready to become a customer or people who are just kicking the tires and signing up for email list because they like the free inform. If you're ready to take your selling to the absolute next level. I think you should try drip. It's free up to 100 users. Then pricing starts at $49 a month. That makes it the most expensive option we've talked about so far, but it has the potential to be the most valuable. You can experiment. If you're using convert kit or MailChimp, right now, take a segment of 100 people from that list. Move them to drip and see what happens. If it starts to pay dividends for you, then perhaps the $49 a month is totally worth it. I know that if drip helped me sell one course a month, it would pay for itself. So wrapping up, uh, that's it. For this episode, we talked about four email list, building tools. A form on your website, MailChimp convert kit and drip. If you're just starting out your own form or MailChimp offers some great features for free when you're ready to start selling to your list, consider convert kit or drip. And if you wanna try your own form first, you can head over to my YouTube channel and see a video on building an email capture form with both Google forms and ninja forms for WordPress. So in this episode, we talked about the tools, but we didn't really talk about the techniques. And I, I wanna try to keep these episodes short. So you can look for techniques for building your email list in a future episode. I'm perhaps not the best at that, but I'm trying to be better. And I know that there are a lot of tried and true things out there. So I hope you enjoyed this episode, uh, for the YouTube channel and the videos and all of the show. You can go to creator toolkit.com/ 0 0 3. If you liked this episode, be sure to leave a rating and review an apple podcasts. And if you have any questions or want me to put together a specific toolkit, email me, Joe casabona.org, or follow me on Twitter. J Casabona. Thanks so much for listening and until next. Get out there and build something.

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