I’ve had this idea bubbling for years. A group of local people who help each other get more out of WordPress and their blogs. Sometimes though, the longer you’ve had an idea, the harder it is to explain and get off the ground.
So this post is an attempt to do just that, and where better to start than with the question…
Who am I?
My name’s Jonathan and I build fairly marvellous websites.
I’ve been building websites for many years, but most specifically have concentrated building sites on WordPress since v3.0 in 2010. I’ve had an IT background and been a geek since forever. So over those years I’ve helped hundreds of clients grow their business, online and off, with WordPress.
Added to that, I’ve always been a keen writer, published occasionally and even read once or twice. I’ve had a series of blogs over the years, from hamsters to sports cars as well as the more obvious business related ones.
WARNING – Do not be put off by the word ‘blog’!
It’s not a particularly pleasant sounding word and has connotations of nerdiness or difficulty. But replace it with the word ‘newsletter’ and suddenly it sounds much more achievable and businesslike. See item (2) below!
Why WordPress and Blogging?
There are many, many blogging and website platforms out there, but by far the most popular is WordPress. Whether you are setting up your own free site on WordPress.com or your business is running a site built using the free software from WordPress.org, you’ve made a great choice.
From a business perspective, having a blog on your website can have a great impact on your ranking (Google juice!) and will help you attract more visitors and convert them to customers. If you’re just writing for personal reasons, a blog can be healing, empowering or just a great way to make contact with like-minded people.
So what is the group for?
I had previously thought of setting up this group / project just for my clients, but I’d rather share with the community as a whole and am not promoting this as a money making scheme.
This is one of the areas where my ideas have been in a constant state of flux and one of the reasons for me to make this group open to suggestions. However, these are some of my drivers:
1) WordPress Advocacy and Support
WordPress is a fantastic platform and there are lots of people out there who have WordPress websites, even though they may not have made an active decision to specify WordPress. I want to encourage more people to use WordPress and take the fear out of using it for those who already have a WordPress site.
2) Blogging Advocacy and Support
Because blogging can have such a positive impact, either personally or on your business website, I also want to encourage more people to take up or keep on blogging. I want us to take away the mystery and fear and help people enjoy blogging.
3) Creative Encouragement
So personally, I don’t have issues in areas (1) and (2) so this is where I want to get something back. A group that encourages and inspires creativity – like a Book Club for writers instead of readers. Which brings us nicely on to…
This is my biggest problem – practising what I preach. So far in this post I have written 553 words (and counting) telling you why you should be blogging. So far this year, I’ve written 11 blog posts. I’m 34 behind. Perhaps I’m so busy working on my clients’ sites to work on my own? Or perhaps it’s because there’s no one there asking me why I haven’t written a blog this week.
So, thanks to Nicola Lutz from NoFluff.Training for promising to hassle me if I don’t write this blog.
Above are most of the reasons that I want to do this, and I have some ideas of how. Perhaps a monthly get together (but then should it be daytime or evening?) or drop-in sessions open to anyone? A weekly blogging challenge with peer review/feedback?
I’d love to hear what you think of my ideas, and what your ideas are, either in the comments below or, even better, in the comments on this post shared in the Facebook group.
And if you haven’t got any comments to make, please just share this post.
Let’s do this!
Join the WhitPress Facebook group here!