I feel like I’ve been a little out of touch recently with what’s new in WordPress, my favorite website builder Divi and other top platforms for building websites.

Are you feeling the same?

If so, I’m excited to share the latest episode of the Web Design Business Podcast where CEO of WPzone (formerly Divi Space & Aspen Grove Studios) David Blackmon shares what he sees currently in the world of WordPress, Divi and other website builders like Elementor, Oxygen, etc.

David is someone who was a mentor to me early on when diving into the world of Divi and is someone who always seems to be 12-18 months ahead of most trends in the web design world, so he’s one of the first people I enjoy getting to talk to in order to see what they think is around the corner….


In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
03:28 – Greeting to David
06:39 – Divi to WordPress
08:37 – A bigger vision
13:40 – Your own real estate
20:03 – Protect yourself
21:50 – Could WordPress do more
24:51 – Can Divi survive
29:14 – #1 page builder
31:38 – Value of community
35:46 – Vanity metrics
40:31 – Our own frequency
48:30 – Coopetition
50:08 – Find your thing
57:14 – Finding the connection
1:02:19 – Focus on marketing
1:06:16 – Content proof
1:12:48 – Focus on your genius

Get Business Coaching From Josh!

Connect with David:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #222 Full Transcription

[00:00:00] Josh: hello friends. Welcome into episode 222, where in this episode, I’m very excited to have one of my very good friends and colleagues in the WordPress in Divvy realm onto the show to talk about where things are at, with WordPress, with Divvy, with even other website builders and where things are headed moving forward as we get closer to the end of 2022 and as we head into the next year.

[00:00:25] Josh: So I’m so excited to welcome back onto the podcast, David Blackman. David is the CEO of WP Zone, which is actually a new brand that was formally Divvy Space and Aspen Grove Studios. If you’ve been in the divvy community at all, you probably know those two brands very well. Uh, he and his colleague Corey Jenkins have been OGs in the WordPress and Divvy community and these two brands, as you’ll hear, they recently kind of rebranded under the umbrella of WP Zone.

[00:00:57] Josh: And I wanted to intentionally have David on to talk about where things are at because one thing I’ve known about David, and one thing I’ve realized is he tends to look at the future very tactfully. And when I saw that he kind of rebranded to this brand of WP Zone, I was like, Hmm, interesting. I wanna talk to him, see what’s going on.

[00:01:22] Josh: And that’s exactly what we do in this episode. I think it was really cool. Get a fresh, casual take on where things are at with WordPress in particular, and a lot of these other builders like Divvy, Elementor, Oxygen, and where some of these other builders stack up, uh, and where things are headed. So I can’t wait for, for you to get a feel to help you and your business, and even those of you who don’t use WordPress, I still think this will be a really interesting conversation to help you with the platforms that you use and trusts and recommend.

[00:01:49] Josh: And it should go without saying, I am still a Dvy user. I talk about this in this interview, but I have always trusted my website on Divvy in WordPress. Those are still my two favorite platforms on the WordPress side. I also love Circle for community and, and online memberships. Uh, but my gosh, it was so good to catch up with David and hear what’s working for them and where things are at and where things are headed.

[00:02:12] Josh: Now, one thing I do wanna say real quick before we dive into this episode, You can always go to free forums and free Facebook groups and any other online groups for community support to kind of keep up to date on the latest trends of WordPress. But you get what you get when you get free. And if you didn’t know, my web design club, which is where I do all of my coaching, it’s my coaching community.

[00:02:35] Josh: The second word in that is really important. It is also an incredible community. I have not done a good enough job recently of talking about how incredible the people are in my web design club, but I wanna invite you to join because. It’s an incredible place to stay up and up on what’s going on with WordPress Divvy, other builders, and it is a community of people using all different platforms.

[00:02:57] Josh: So I wanted to make sure you’re aware of that. If you’d like to check it out, you can go to josh hall dot slash coaching. There is currently a special offer for you to join my web design club. You can go to josh hall dot slash coaching, give it a whirl. Come in, say Hey, see what it’s all about. See if will be a good fit for you to be a great resource.

[00:03:14] Josh: And speaking of great resources, here’s David Blackman, CEO of WP Zone. Let’s talk about WordPress, where things are at, where things are headed, and have some fun.

[00:03:27] Josh: David, welcome back onto the podcast, man. It has been a minute since we got to hang out.

[00:03:33] David: It has been a minute. Josh. It’s great to be here. Thanks so much for having me, my friend.

[00:03:38] Josh: I’m trying to remember when your first episode went live. I mean, I think it’s been at least a year and a half or so at least since we can maybe, maybe a couple years since we connected.

[00:03:46] Josh: Of course, we’re connect on social media. I, I always follow what you’re up to. Well, I was gonna say Dvy space, but I know a lot of changes are happening on that end of things, which I’m very curious about. But I thought it would be so cool to, to get a chance to reconnect and then also just talk about the landscape of WordPress, Dvy, all the tools that we’re using.

[00:04:07] Josh: Cuz I’ve seen a lot of changes and shifts and I’ve still used Divvy exclusively. I still love WordPress, but I’ve also really gotten into Circle as a platform for online community and then actually courses next. So, um, yeah, I’m so excited to see where you guys are at and what you’ve seen in the industry and everything.

[00:04:25] Josh: So before we dive in, uh, I was gonna, typically, I have people say where they’re at, but you’re, I mean, you’re a digital nomad. That’s still the lifestyle you live, right? ?

[00:04:33] David: It is. I, I am a digital nomad and currently, if you can see my hat, it, it looks like it’s spelled Ure, Colorado. But I found out when I got here that they actually pronounce it.

[00:04:46] David: you,

[00:04:47] Josh: Ray. Oh, you were fancy. No. Why? I’m

[00:04:50] David: like, what the heck? It makes no sense. But I’ve been corrected quite a few times cuz my brain wants to enunciate the word as it’s spelled. And you know how it is, you know. In good old America, we can change things up and it can, it can look one way and be a totally different word.

[00:05:09] David: So yeah, that

[00:05:09] Josh: was one of the worst pieces of advice I ever got in school was just say, say it like it’s pronounced, or say it like it’s spelled. Uh, no, that doesn’t seem to be right at all now.

[00:05:20] David: Right. Yeah, totally.

[00:05:21] Josh: No, I’m curious, David, on your travels, I love asking this question. Now, when you’re in your travels and you meet somebody at an RV park or wherever you’re at.

[00:05:30] Josh: Yeah. Uh, and they say, So, Mr. David, what do you do? What do you, what do you tell them? What do I

[00:05:34] Josh: tell ’em? Whoof, Um, whatever I want. . No, Dec Corey. I’m just, I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.

[00:05:42] Josh: Yeah. You say I have a guy named Corey who does everything. .

[00:05:46] David: Um, no, I tell ’em, you know, we own a, uh, I run a WordPress, uh, plugin and theme development company, um, you know, product development company, and it, and it’s based around WordPress.

[00:05:59] David: Uh, we’re technically software developers, I guess, so sometimes I’ll lead with that because we do have full stack develop. On our team, and we do build outside of the realm of WordPress. So, but it’s not our niche. Our niche is still primarily, you know, WordPress in the WordPress space with themes, um, plugins and courses for WordPress.

[00:06:21] Josh: Yeah. And that perfect segue into one of the things I’m so curious about is recently you guys rebranded to WP Zone. Yeah. And I’m kind of curious, what was the impetus of kind of widening the reach into WordPress in general, as opposed to, to getting out of just the divvy space brand? Well, from

[00:06:39] David: a, from a, a business standpoint, I, I’ve always felt like diversification is really, really smart.

[00:06:46] David: I’ve always kind of followed the philosophy of I want at least five different streams of revenue. And, you know, Dvy, I love Divvy. We’re a dvy company. Uh, we’ll be a Dvy company until Dvy is probably no more, but. I wanted to branch out into WordPress as a whole because, you know, basically just from a business standpoint for protection, you know, I mean, we’re a third party product creator for a third party product for WordPress, as opposed to being, you know, um, a direct developer on, on the WordPress platform, which we do, we do plugins for Woo Commerce is, is one of our niches.

[00:07:28] David: And we just wanted to kind of, kind of spread out and I guess if I’m honest, just protect ourselves, you know, to make sure that we’re, we’re solvent for the future and we’re not you know, one day, you know, Nick, our good buddy over there at Elegant theme. deuces. I’m retiring and this is no more. So, um,

[00:07:50] Josh: yeah.

[00:07:51] Josh: Well, you’re a seasoned entrepreneur and a seasoned business owner. It’s one reason I always enjoy getting a chance to chat with you, David, because you are business savvy, to say the least in my mind. So I think it’s a great reminder and, and maybe a great thought for people who are new into the business game that you do need to have like future contingencies in place, ju just in case.

[00:08:11] Josh: And I don’t know, was this caused by anything? Like was there anything that made you guys feel like maybe we need to, I, I don’t know. I haven’t honestly looked at the numbers as far as the, uh, the amount of divvy users versus Elementor and Oxygen and other builders. Yeah. Um, I’ve seen an increase in a lot of other themes rise in popularity as well, but what, did any of that add to it?

[00:08:33] Josh: Or was it just time to add this part as a, as a future thing kind of thing? No,

[00:08:37] David: it, it, I don’t really think that that really affected it. Um, I think that, you know, our long term goals, you know, needed to line up with what we’re working on and stuff. And our long term goals is, well, WordPress powers what, 43, 40 4% of the internet currently.

[00:08:57] David: Um, WordPress isn’t really going anywhere. But again, divvy could go somewhere. And I’m kind of a, a proponent of, you know, making sure that you, um, You know, kind of, kind of protect yourself and, and it wasn’t like, oh, we saw the numbers dip with Divvy or anything. Divvy is still going really, really strong.

[00:09:16] David: And, and the company is still doing really good and stuff currently, but we wanted, we had a bigger vision for the whole, you know, for the future. Um, we wanted to primarily focus, and I guess I’ll give you a tease, you know, somewhat of a tease of what’s coming post. You know, at the latter end of this year, we’re gonna dive back into development on, uh, a, a SaaS platform that we’re launching for the e-commerce analytics for data, and, you know, several of our plugins, uh, product sales report, pro export order items, Pro or some of the top WordPress plugins for analyzing your data on your eCommerce, your WooCommerce store.

[00:09:56] David: Well, we wanted to, I, as a eCommerce store owner, couldn’t really. , there wasn’t really any, um, anything out in the marketplace that would allow me to get the data that I wanted to go as granular or as deep as I wanted for recurring subscriptions and, you know, churn. All of these, these things that happen naturally occurring and we’re, you know, the data that I want my team has to pull in like spreadsheets and stuff and we’ve gotta download the database, pull it into a spreadsheet, analyze it, just do a bunch of Riga arose.

[00:10:33] David: So, you know, we kind of want to focus on e-commerce platforms and not just WooCommerce, Easy digital downloads. I don’t know if you, Pretty sure you’ve probably seen where they’re partnering with site ground to, it looks like to possibly take on WooCommerce. Oh, I didn’t, didn’t see that. No. Okay. They may even be doing like physical products as well, I would assume.

[00:10:56] Josh: Uh, secret side note. The, the reason I do this podcast, the absolute main reason is to stay up to date and just hear from people so I don’t have to read news articles anymore. Plus I have a young family and a baby on the way or at this time. Yeah, Josh, you’re busy, dude. Yeah, I’m busy at this time. I’ll, I’ll be, I’ll be sleep deprived with a newborn, so, uh, yeah, I, I love hearing what everyone is, is, is up to date on.

[00:11:17] David: Yeah. So, you know, it’s, it’s kinda where we wanna focus. We wanna, you know, I think, I think the future obviously is online more and more, uh, e-commerce based sales, whether it’s digital, physical products or services, is the future. More and more people are gonna be online, so I’d love to be positioned in a place where we can provide services for them to.

[00:11:43] David: You know, do better in business online and stuff with their e-commerce stores and stuff. So now this

[00:11:49] Josh: might be out of what, you know, but the, the thing with easy digital downloads and SiteGround, is that still gonna be on WordPress exclusively? Like, I can’t imagine wanting to take on Woo Commerce if you’re gonna stay on their platform since Woo Commerce is.

[00:12:03] Josh: Honestly,

[00:12:03] David: I don’t know. I’m assuming that they’re wanting to take on Woo Commerce with this with partnership and full transparency. I just found out about this yesterday. Okay. So, and, and it, it, it excited me because we’re on e d D, you know. Gotcha. We’re very familiar with the platform. You know, we’ve, we’ve got tools and stuff that we use internally to manage our own business that we’ve created and stuff to get this data, as opposed to having to, you know, pull in all of the data outta your database and do all this crazy stuff.

[00:12:38] David: So I got really excited, like, Oh, wow. Plus I see potential and opportunity. In that marketplace, if they do come into the word press space or not, a lot of our products, we could pour it over into, you know, e d d is that, that we already have for Woo Commerce. So it’s just kind of a, a natural expansion and stuff.

[00:12:58] Josh: Well, it makes sense that you guys would really wanna position yourself even further into the online store and e-commerce realm, right? Yeah. Cause yeah, I mean that’s definitely where thing, I mean, I, I had one of my good buddies, Dan, she of a company called Val Star. They’re based in the uk they’re Shopify exclusive, right?

[00:13:15] Josh: Um, I had him on the podcast a while back and he even said 2020 expedited online stores by like, Like 10 times faster than it would’ve been. Right. Uh, or he basically said, We’re propelled where we are now, that we probably would’ve been in five to 10 years. So it’s online shopping is, is by far. I mean, I’ve even seen a ton of changes Yeah.

[00:13:36] Josh: In how things work over the last, you know, even just couple years. So I think it

[00:13:40] David: was a, I think it was a huge eye opener, especially for small businesses who were on the fence and like, ooh, you know, even though, let’s, let’s, let’s, let’s face it, you know, we’re, this is an online world, even if they’re a small business in a small town.

[00:13:58] David: I think that over the last couple of years with the pandemic and stuff, it just really opened their eyes to make ’em realize the importance of being able to transition and stuff. I’m sure nobody ever saw, you know, businesses shutting down in the us. and, and closing, you know, because they were forced to, uh, even businesses that had been in business forever and who were well known in the town had to pivot really quick and stuff.

[00:14:27] David: Yeah. Because, uh, their doors were closed. And I personally am very passionate about, um, educating people on the importance of owning their own digital real estate, because I really feel like. You know, it’s gonna be the equivalent of owning physical land in, in the real world, as you and I know it right now.

[00:14:48] David: I think that that real estate’s gonna be super important. So WordPress is a great platform for that because a self hosted WordPress website you own, you know, and you control and you can, you can do what you need to do with it and stuff. So

[00:15:03] Josh: I actually wanted to ask you about that. How do you think WordPress has done over the past few years, stacking up against Squarespace or Web Flow or some of these other platforms that may have decent tools, but at the end of the day, you’re renting, you’re renting your space

[00:15:19] David: from them?

[00:15:20] David: Well, I don’t think it even compares. Um, now if the only place that it, that it probably wins slightly is on the US user friendly side of things. So like a novice who knows nothing about, you know, online or how to build a website or anything. It may have an edge, you know, in regards to ease of getting online quickly and stuff.

[00:15:47] David: But I would dispute that cuz I did a video during the pandemic to show people how fast they could get online with an e-commerce website with WordPress by using child themes. Mm. You know? So, um, I think it doesn’t even compare. You know, when you look at the aspect of you don’t own it. So I’ve got some friends that were heavily invested in Pinterest, for example, and Pinterest pivoted did something.

[00:16:16] David: And, and, and I’m gonna tell you, I know nothing about Pinterest other than people pin things on it. But I’ve got good friends in the RV space who are full-time digital nomads, and they’ve built businesses up and, and they built a business up around Pinterest and Pinterest changed their business model and stuff.

[00:16:35] David: Mm. And they’re, they lost their revenue overnight. Yeah. And it was just like a perfect, you know, example of when you invest all of your time, energy, and money into a rented platform, a platform that you don’t own and you don’t control, and they change their business model. Look, these, these big platforms like Squarespace, Wicks, Weebly, they’re not driven by the consumers.

[00:17:03] David: We’d like to think they are, but they’re driven by the board members or the stockholders who own, you know, they want a return on their investment. So if it’s not working the way they think it should and they wanna make some changes, guess what? They’re making some changes. And you’re not in their mind about, Oh, is this gonna hurt the small businesses or anybody that’s on our platform?

[00:17:27] David: They don’t care. They’re about

[00:17:29] Josh: making money. It’s, it’s why WordPress, I think, has stood the test of time for the last. What, 12 or 13 years since it really started getting some notoriety, is the reason it is almost half the internet is because it is such a, again, open source tool. Yeah. Meaning you can use it however you want.

[00:17:47] Josh: You don’t like you own it, you own your content. You can put it on different hosting companies. Right. It is also very community driven, which is a really big, I mean, I don’t, I’m sure there are groups for Squarespace and stuff. I don’t know how many people are going to the, you know, yearly Weebly meet up. I don’t know.

[00:18:05] Josh: Maybe people, you know what I mean? Like many people have

[00:18:07] David: a yearly we meet up. That’s

[00:18:08] Josh: kinda funny. Somebody probably knows is gonna email me, which is fine. Let me know. I’m not hating on, I just, I don’t know. I don’t think that community is strong like it is with WordPress and that’s, but that’s the benefit of it.

[00:18:19] Josh: It’s people driven. Yeah. Which adds to profit when you do things right. It’s also one reason that you and I love divvy. They are such a community empowered type of tool. It’s also why my new favorite tool is Circle. I don’t know how much you know about Circle David. I don’t,

[00:18:35] David: I don’t know much about it. I would love to hear more about it.

[00:18:39] David: I know that it’s, you know, a social platform basically, where you can have your community and stuff, So it’s

[00:18:45] Josh: becoming much more for sure. Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s, So I run my student center, which is a support group, and then my web design club, which is my high tier, my membership as of right now, and it’s all run through circle, but they, they also made it open source, so you can take the code and manipulate it.

[00:19:01] Josh: You can also embed it in websites if you want. So instead of having a Facebook group, you can have spaces in a, in a circle platform. They’re, they’re adding course, uh, functionality here soon, which I’m very, very excited about. Um, Dude, so, uh, yeah, it’s really, so you’ll have, you’ll be able to have coaching.

[00:19:19] Josh: Community and course is all in one place without separate sign-ons, which is super exciting. And it’s open source and you can get into it. Yeah, yeah. Like that. It’s a little bit different when they do host it. So I should say like you can’t use Circle on site ground or something. Yeah, yeah. But they’re really open.

[00:19:35] Josh: It’s from the same folks from Teachable. So they’re very similar to Divvy and WordPress. Very community driven and they’ve intentionally like built up a community around the product to get realtime feedback. So anyway, I say all that to say, this is a good point that when you are deciding on the tools that you’re gonna use, would you agree with me, David, and saying you’ve gotta look at the company and you gotta look at the community behind it, because those two things are going to really determine where it goes in the.

[00:20:02] David: Yeah, 100%. And I don’t want it to sound like, you know, Josh and I are saying, Hey, you gotta get on WordPress today. And my main thing is ED education and helping people understand the importance of owning that platform. Have a plan, you know, if Weebly or Squarespace or someplace, Kajabi, Shopify, whatever the platform is.

[00:20:28] David: Is your starting point. Make sure that you plan on your roadmap to be able to migrate to a platform that you eventually own. Because let’s face it, a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs, which were in kind of in that community and stuff, and they, they kinda look up to us, you know, for advice and stuff.

[00:20:48] David: They may not have deep pockets. And let’s face it, even with child themes and, you know, a lot of the tools, wonderful tools that come with WordPress, you still need to have some type of development chops or at least have somebody that can help you to, to take care of some things. And if you can’t financially support that, just make sure that you have a plan in place.

[00:21:16] David: Move to that down the road and stuff, so

[00:21:18] Josh: yeah. That’s great. Sage advice for sure. Yeah. Have a plan, maybe, maybe not a built out plan B, but at least have an idea of like, okay, should something happen here, what’s, what’s the next step? Um, I’m kind of curious, we’ve talked about some of the benefits with WordPress and Dian stuff.

[00:21:34] Josh: I actually want to maybe look at both of those one by one. What are some things that you feel like WordPress maybe hasn’t done a great job on recently or maybe could do better at? Well, and I’m not gonna send this to Matt Mullenweg or something, uh, but I’m just gonna, let’s,

[00:21:50] David: Matt, if Matt’s watching you and me, Josh.

[00:21:53] David: Hey, Matt. What’s, That’s good, dude. Yeah, right. Thank you. Thank you. You know, , um, here’s what I will say. I, you know, I guess because I am a, a word. Product company, and I’ve been in WordPress for almost 10 years. I do have a good understanding of how hard it is to move, especially when you have as many customers as WordPress has.

[00:22:15] David: And you know, we’re, we’re a fraction, I mean, a very small fraction of the customer base that they actually have. But everything that they do has a ripple effect. It’s gonna affect all of the users on WordPress. So as much as we’d like to say, Hey, why doesn’t WordPress do this or that, and how come they’re moving so slow?

[00:22:37] David: They really have to think about what is this impact this is gonna have on the entire world? Basically, 43 or 44% of the internet is built on WordPress. Last time I checked number two was less than 5% of the internet. Oh, no kidding. It’s not even close to. And I wanna say it was Weebley or Squarespace, one of them.

[00:23:05] David: Um, and so when you have that type of responsibility, it does make it hard. What would I love to see, or what do I think? I think that they, they made a really good, um, decision to move into like the React base, you know, Gutenberg type kind of framework. But I think I would’ve loved to have seen more or would love to see more of the page builder aspects of the Davies, the elementaries, the beaver builders, the oxygen ease of use to where that market share can continue to grow.

[00:23:40] David: And I’m sure Matt and his whole team knows this and they’re looking at it. Um, what would it, you know, take to make it possible to, um, you know, Make the ease of use for even more small businesses or side hustlers want to be, you know, entrepreneurs and stuff to create with this platform and stuff. Um, that’s where I kind of think, I wish that it would, you know, kind of, and maybe it’s because I’m a page builder guy and maybe it’s because Josh is a page builder guy.

[00:24:14] David: We know the power of this thing and, and the ease of use, you know, for the end users and stuff.

[00:24:19] Josh: So it is tricky. It’s such a double edged sword because if you make things really easy to use, usually that means you’re gonna limit some of the other options potentially. And I think that’s why I do like having divvy and these other builder options.

[00:24:35] Josh: I guess the caveat to that might be like if WordPress gets to the point where it is so built out natively, right. Do you think there’s a time where divvy, Elementor and these visual builders would potentially just not be able to compete with WordPress itself?

[00:24:51] David: I don’t think so. I don’t think that that time’s ever gonna come.

[00:24:54] David: Um, just because the, the companies like Divvy, Elementor and stuff, they can move a lot quicker than WordPress based on basically what I just said. So, um, they’re going to be, it, it’s kind of my philosophy in business and stuff. So, you know, Nick Roach, elegant themes. We’re friends, we’ve, we’ve been friends with these guys for years and, and I knew when I started creating third party products for Divvy, for example, that there was a possibility.

[00:25:23] David: You know, one day some of these products may be integrated into the theme itself, and I’ve never had a problem with that. I’ve been okay with that because I knew that if there was a need right now, that I was gonna be able to move quicker and, um, and benefit from that for however long. It took elegant themes to get to that place where they could integrate this functionality or feature into their theme or platform.

[00:25:52] David: And, and it takes time. It takes a long time. They have, yeah. Their customer base, number one WordPress theme in the world.

[00:26:00] Josh: They still are, right? I think David is, or uh,

[00:26:02] David: did he assume? Yeah, almost, almost a million. Users, you know, that’s a lot of people using that platform. They can’t just say, Ooh, let me grab this, let me grab this, let me, cuz it’s gonna affect every single user on the platform.

[00:26:19] David: So, so I know that they can’t move as quick. So I don’t think that any of these page builders or anything are ever in any danger of WordPress. Coming out with, with, you know, uh, comparable platforms on, on, on WordPress itself to basically kill Yeah. Nor I, I don’t think Matt Mullenweg, he’s, he’s smart enough to understand the value of the community and he doesn’t wanna cut their heads off, you know, because the community, as you know, is one of the huge driving forces of the platform itself,

[00:26:51] Josh: so, Well, it’s a good point.

[00:26:52] Josh: WordPress by itself is just a great platform to build off of and make it your own. That’s what has made it what it is without being a fully fledged, like, built out thing where, again, like I said earlier, you’re limited to what you can do with it. So Right. You’re, you’re, you’re limiting the creativity and, and economic options for all the people behind it who make more with it.

[00:27:15] Josh: So that’s great. That’s relieving to hear and, and realistically, I. I would love, I, I hope to get Matt on the show, uh, at some point in the fear feature here. Cause I’d love to hear his thoughts on this, but I don’t know how much the team at WordPress would want to try to figure out like what Divvy has learned in the past 10 years, for example, or elements or, you know what I mean?

[00:27:35] Josh: Like Nick and the team at Elliott Themes have worked tirelessly with people, uh, a big company of people over the world for 10 years making dvy what it is today, so. Right. Totally. You imagine you wouldn’t wanna recreate that wheel? Yeah. In a way.

[00:27:50] David: Totally.

[00:27:50] Josh: 100%. Well, what about Dvy? Let’s turn the, uh, question to, like, we’ve talked about something Dvy does well, but similarly, what do you think are some things that maybe they’ve missed out on, or maybe they.

[00:28:02] Josh: Capitalized on the, even, especially over the past few years. Cause I’ve seen a lot of people, quite frankly, leave Divvy to go to Elementor in particular. Yeah.

[00:28:09] David: Yeah. And I, full transparency, I don’t have a tremendous amount of experience with Elementor or any of the other page builders. We do build products for it because it’s, uh, we have a hosting platform that caters to page builders.

[00:28:26] David: So we did make sure that our, you know, so from a programmatic standpoint, you know, we, we function with these platforms and stuff, but, um, I don’t really know if I can say that there’s anything that Nick and the team have done that, that they’re not doing, that they should have done comparatively to these other platforms.

[00:28:50] David: I think they’ve done really, really well, honestly, with their, their approach, their, uh, the way that they’ve, um, Kind of handled their user base and their growth and stuff, and they didn’t allow themselves to get, to change the direction of, of, of where they knew their company was going based on outside influences.

[00:29:14] David: So, and I’m gonna say this, so they all say, Hey, we’re number one, we’re number one, we’re number one. Well, from a business standpoint, I look at it from, okay, paid users, you know, who has the most paid users? You know, I, I get it. It’s, it’s, it’s wonderful to put out a free product. Everybody’s gonna download free and to tout, you know, Hey, we have all these numbers, all these users and stuff.

[00:29:44] David: We’re number one. But when you, when you look at the true. Thing that matters is like, who are the companies really investing? Who are the people really investing their money in, You know? Yeah. And I think elegant themes has done a really fantastic job of, um, continuing to improve the product, you know, sharing the roadmap with the community, embracing the community, trying to help the community grow as it grows.

[00:30:15] David: What’s, what’s the saying? A rising tide raises all ships. And I think elegant themes has done a fantastic job with that philosophy. Whether or not that’s Nick’s philosophy, it’s what they’re doing because they have, I mean, look at all of the third party product creators just around the divvy theme, who have built businesses, raised families, um, hired people.

[00:30:38] David: You know, the economic development just from that little ecosystem has been, has been incredible. I know it. Yeah. I wonder our family

[00:30:45] Josh: life, I wonder if like elementary has. Any, like a big set of third party developers? I don’t even know.

[00:30:53] David: Well, here’s what I will say in the beginning, and it may have changed by now, but in the beginning and stuff, Elementor, so first of all, Elementor was, um, I want to say that they were, you know, a concept that they pitched venture capitalists and they got a ton of money to build this product out, which is great.

[00:31:16] David: But when you go that route, they want to see return on investment. They want to protect their investment. So they’re not like Nick, where it’s like. Come here, let’s go hang out and spend the night in an Airbnb together and stuff. Gotcha. Right. I remember when we were going to create products, cuz we looked at it, we were like, should we create, you know, third party products, Formentor?

[00:31:38] David: And they were very adamant about, you can’t use their name, you couldn’t use their brand, you know, their trademark stuff. So there’s no

[00:31:47] Josh: Elementor space or Elementor life.

[00:31:48] David: Yeah, they would, they would cease and desist right then and there, you know, know. Gotcha. And that mentality is, Wait a minute, do I wanna, And we just chose not even to go down that road.

[00:32:00] David: I think if they would’ve had the wherewithal or the, the understanding of the value of that community and what it could really do for your business and stuff, you know, maybe would be different. Yeah. And if it was more individually owned or group owned as opposed to, you know, business venture capitalists and stuff who are looking for return on investment pretty quickly and stuff, it, it might have been different.

[00:32:24] David: That’s

[00:32:24] Josh: fascinating. That’s very interesting. I think that goes back to the importance of looking at a community and the company itself. Uh, as far, cuz the reality is, particularly if you are a web designer or a web design business owner, like the majority, everyone listening to this right now. Yeah. The tools you choose are going to run your business.

[00:32:43] Josh: Right. True. Like, you can’t underestimate the value of making sure you choose really good tools. Otherwise it, like, if you, for example, If I had built my business on Jula, uh, I’d probably have way less hair than I have right now, first of all. But like, what if I’m like, Okay, now I’m gonna switch over to WordPress, but I’ve got, you know, dozens of clients on Jula.

[00:33:06] Josh: Yes, you can migrate them one by one, but, uh, I mean that’s the, that’s the risk of technology now. So it is a risk, anything you choose could one day change, but um, it is really worthwhile making sure that you look at all the components buying these tools. Right, because I totally agree, David. There’s even that fact like somebody getting investments for a tool that’s gonna change the way they run the community or allow other people to, to make the product something other bigger than it is.

[00:33:35] Josh: WordPress and Divvy are so similar. I feel like where Yeah, they are, you know, there was like community from the start and it was like, again, the rising tide thing. Like everyone kind of rose together. Yeah,

[00:33:45] David: I think, uh, cuz I was here in the very beginning, uh, of Divvy and was. I don’t know, maybe the third or fourth member of the divvy theme user’s Facebook group, you know?

[00:33:58] David: And, and I saw that, you know, I just witnessed the power of that. And I think Nick was just really, really wise in not stamping that out and not protecting his new baby that he was creating and stuff that he, he had. Um, and when you have venture capitalists and they’re in a boardroom over there and they’re looking at ones and zeros and dollars, and they’re not looking at the people and understanding their audience and stuff.

[00:34:29] David: They’re just like, Okay, what, how can we get, We need to get more money and stuff. We gotta protect this. It’s, it’s totally different vibe and energy, you know? And people, people love that communal aspect, you know? It’s huge. It’s, it’s, it’s very, very important. It’s, well,

[00:34:46] Josh: it’s also, the distinction you made a little bit ago is huge with like, okay, maybe they have more downloads of the free version of something, but yeah. How many paid users are paying for this or have paid this? That’s right. I’ve experienced that in the course world cuz I, I’ve known some. People who do like marketing and website courses and stuff, and they’ll be like, Yeah, I have 50,000 plus students. And I’m like, Whoa, 50,000. Yeah, you

[00:35:10] David: must have a yacht somewhere.

[00:35:12] Josh: Then I go, Yeah. Then I go to their site and it’s, Oh, you have a free course. I see, I see. So when I say I have 1300 plus students, they are paying students, not that. Absolutely. It’s huge.

[00:35:24] David: It’s a big difference.

[00:35:25] Josh: Totally different. It’s, it’s kind of a, uh, in this world, it’s really easy to get wrapped up in quantity and, and numbers, but have you experienced as a, a seasoned online entrepreneur, have you experienced the need to like sit back and just focus on quality over quantity and not Oh, absolutely.

[00:35:43] Josh: Pay attention to the vanity metrics that can come with some of this stuff. Oh,

[00:35:46] David: man, I, I, I, That’s a great question, and I’m honestly, I’m glad you asked it because you’re sitting here talking about, You know how many students you have, and I’m sitting here thinking, Man, how many students do we have? You know, I honestly couldn’t tell you the exact number or ballpark number.

[00:36:04] David: I think I know, you know? Um, but it’s never been about, you know, and building my business and stuff. And my philosophy is it’s, it’s never been about, um, the dollar signs not, don’t get me wrong, we’ve gotta all gotta eat, We’ve gotta keep the lights on, we’ve gotta keep the roof over our head. But I’ve always believed in the philosophy of just trying to be a service, help the audience that I’m, that I’m serving, and the money comes.

[00:36:34] David: And guess what? It has, it has come. So, um, yeah, the vanity metrics mean nothing. It’s, it’s funny because I’m in this personal place where I’ve been the last few years and stuff, kind of really evaluating what I want. What I want from the public’s facing side of things, for me personally, you know, I, I, um, I travel around in my Airstream full time.

[00:37:02] David: I hit the road in May, you know, for the first time in a couple of years because of the pandemic. And I absolutely love it. I love going, I love being in nature. Um, and I thought for a long time that I wanted to share that journey with the world and stuff. And this past summer, I’ve almost not shared anything with the world.

[00:37:29] David: It wasn’t intentional, like, Oh, I’m gonna not post anything. But I, I was telling people I’ve had the best summer I’ve ever had, I think, in my life. So, I think we can get tied up in, in things that aren’t really, really important, like the vanity metrics and stuff. And if we invest in more, in, in things that are important, like people and relationships and the time we have and the way we spend it and stuff like, you know, I, I, I love watching your journey and stuff with your kids and your wife, and from a friend’s standpoint.

[00:38:09] David: It’s big cuz I li it brings me joy. I like to see it and stuff. So I get the balance. And, and I guess that’s kind of been my, my mantra this, this past summer is like, there needs to be balance in all things and stuff. So I don’t know if I answered the question, Josh, but, uh, Well, no,

[00:38:28] Josh: I, I like that those are some like, personal thoughts against the idea of just like sharing every positive thing, right? Or sharing every win or sharing numbers. And I think those things can be important, especially if you’re in a position of influence and you want people to, to get a certain thing. But I think the idea of just focusing on you and not needing to share if you don’t want to or not needing to display certain things is, is important.

[00:38:53] Josh: It is good to just think about. I, I found in my case, like I think about my family, I think about what we need and what I want to take home monetarily in my business to live comfortably and have enough to invest and do things and get a pool here one day. Like those are the things I’m thinking about. And then everything on top of that I can build my business around whatever the heck I wanna do.

[00:39:13] Josh: And it’s funny, it’s like the worst question ever is for somebody to ask how many clients have you worked with? Because who cares? Like, yeah. Like, would it be better if I worked with a, uh, like a thousand, thousand dollars clients or would it be better if I worked with $110,000 clients? I don’t know the math on those, but you know what I mean?

[00:39:32] Josh: Like, it doesn’t matter the number of of clients. And I’ve actually, this is hidden home so big time with me right now, and I think a lot of my students who are offering five, 10, $15,000 packages now, right? You are going to get less clients. So don’t worry about getting a ton of clients. Good news is you don’t have to sell as much.

[00:39:53] Josh: Better news is you can have deeper relationships with your clients. The really better news is that they’ll buy from you over and over and over again, but you’re gonna have less clients. So I think it’s a really important message to, to hel. Um, I’m, I’m even in the process right now of offering some higher end, like I’m building a mastery signature web design business program.

[00:40:12] Josh: Yeah. I’m not gonna have 1300 students in that. Cause it’s a high ticket type of program. Yeah, totally. So that’s a metric like I’ve had to remem remind myself, remember. I’m good friends with like Darl Wilson and Adam Fraiser and these guys who have massive YouTube channels. I’m not gonna have that with my setup.

[00:40:29] Josh: Right. I have to always remind myself of that.

[00:40:31] David: Yeah, totally. Yeah. I, I have, um, you know, a few things that I, you know, are important to me and understanding and stuff. It’s like I, I’ve, you know, I feel like we’re all energy, you know, and we’re all. And people always ask me, Oh, I can’t, I can’t start that. Uh, somebody else is already doing that.

[00:40:51] David: There’s too many people doing that. And, and I, I just want to tell ’em, you know, I want to say, Hey, no, no, you can’t. You gotta quit thinking that way. That’s not the proper way to think because we’re all energy and we’re on our own frequency. So if you’ve ever, somebody’s ever told you something and you’re like, eh, you know, and you just doesn’t register, and then all of a sudden somebody else tells you the same exact thing and you’re like, Oh, wow, man, that’s amazing.

[00:41:15] David: Thanks for sharing that with me. And like 10 other people have been telling you the same exact thing. Well, it’s not because you’re cut off from them, it’s because you’re on a different frequency energetically. So whether you call it your tribe, your community, your people, your family, your group, or whatever verbiage you put on, We are like that.

[00:41:37] David: And we’re more connected globally now than ever before in history, especially with the internet. And we’re able to, I’m sitting in U Ray Colorado, Josh is sitting in Ohio, you know, and we’re having a conversation talking to you about WordPress and web development and stuff. But you know, it, even that frequency transcends the need or necessity to be in person.

[00:42:00] David: We don’t need that. And I have always felt that way. It’s like, oh, I had it happen this week. You know, A week ago I went to a conference here, this is why I know about this place. I came to the RV Entrepreneur Summit Round table. Oh, that’s cool. Which was, Which was really cool, you know? That’s awesome. It was a really small event, and there’s.

[00:42:22] David: Pretty big podcaster, you know, and he’s in there and he’s talking about his revenue and you know, and I have, like, I, I do a podcast, done a podcast for a long time and, um, it wasn’t my business model to make revenue from, you know, ads and stuff like that. It’s basically to, you know, educate users and if they wanna look at some of our other products, then they can where courses and stuff like that.

[00:42:48] David: And, you know, I have one of the biggest RV podcasters that’s been a client and a really good friend of mine for five, six years now. And he’s always telling me like this one specific thing about podcasting and for whatever reason, I’m just never hearing him. And this guy was just sitting in here, in this room right next to where I am and he shares the exact same thing that this friend’s been telling me for five or six years and my to get you.

[00:43:16] David: And my whole mind went. Wow. Yeah,

[00:43:21] Josh: it’s a great point. I think it’s also really, it’s a really good point when it comes to the idea of website designers being like oversaturated. I’ve had a lot of people say like, Well, there’s just, there’s ton of web designers now, but one reason I’m extra passionate about zoning in on the business side of things, it’s like, yes, a lot of people can design websites, but there aren’t that many people who are successfully building a six figure freedom-based business.

[00:43:47] Josh: Correct. Around what’s design. That’s totally, That is a very unique thing, and I did it. I’ve got a lot of colleagues who have done it, including yourself. Now a lot of my students are doing it. That’s what has led me to feel. And this is something that I learned in my journey. You gotta find like where you are uniquely positioned, and it might be very similar to everything else, but what’s unique about like your perspective and Right.

[00:44:09] Josh: Do that, add that like, oh gosh, it’s such a good point, David, particularly in website design, because yeah, a ton of people build websites, but you might have a perspective or you might know an industry that you came from that no one else knows as well. There’s your lane, there is your option to, to dive into that.

[00:44:26] Josh: Uh, so many ways that you can build something. Yeah, you can have quote unquote competition. But number one, you and I both subscribe to the idea of cooperation. Absolutely. Which I absolutely love. And there’s no reason you can’t jump into a crowded pool, but you. Do your own thing and make it uniquely yours.

[00:44:44] David: Absolutely. Totally. 100%. I mean, we’re a perfect example. I mean, technically, Josh, myself, and even Tim and I, Who’s my podcast cohost . Oh,

[00:44:55] Josh: we’re all competitors. Competition. Yeah, we’re all competitors. Competitors,

[00:44:58] David: Yeah. We’re all going after the same audience for the most part. And yeah, it’s just, there’s, we’re on our own frequency and the, and the to people that Josh connects with, and that connects with Josh and, you know, he gets to share his knowledge and, and myself and all the others.

[00:45:19] David: Vice versa. The world has 7 billion people on here. You know, We’re not getting all of ’em. One person is not getting all the business. Yes. As soon as, as you remember that, it, it like takes the pressure away and you have, you don’t have to worry about. , this person or that person or what they’re doing. You just focus on what you’re doing.

[00:45:43] David: The people that you’re gonna get it are attracted to you and your message and how you do things, it’s gonna, it’s gonna resonate with them, and they’re gonna spend money

[00:45:50] Josh: with you. So I think it’s such an important thing to remember too, when you become a web designer, or as somebody listening who’s been at it for a while, you’re entering the next level, or maybe you’re diving further into an online community and WordPress or whatever it is.

[00:46:04] Josh: You have got to look at those people as your support system in your, and you wanna help them too. You, you wanna share what you’ve learned because they aren’t the ones who are gonna pay you’s unless that’s you are a plug-in creator or a child’s great, or a course creator, the people who are gonna pay you or your clients.

[00:46:20] Josh: So I’ve, This is such a great point when you’re thinking about like, the people you’re gonna interact with as a web designer and business owner, you’re gonna have the people beside you and you’re gonna have the people who you want to become clients who to pay you. Right? So treat ’em like that, like totally.

[00:46:35] Josh: David is not my enemy. Yes, we have some, we have some, uh, courses that are similar and some resources, but we also have our own lane of things. And I’m not a plugin creator, and Tim is actually taking a deeper dive into the divvy, the dvy realm where you guys are kind of branching out a little bit, right?

[00:46:52] Josh: So we’re all able to work together very well. Right? We’re not paying each other, you know, like Right. That’s right. Where I shouldn’t say that. I bought your products and Tim has bought. You know, I bought some tennis, but you know what I mean, Like Yeah, totally. Focus on the client. They, the, your colleagues are not your competition’s.

[00:47:07] Josh: Troy, Jean. Jean. I had him on the podcast a while back. He said it was the same kind of statement that I’ve heard before, but the way Troy said, it just hit me like a hammer across the head. And he said, Same frequency. Same frequency. Just a cooler, cooler accent he has. Yeah, that’s right. But he said, You don’t need to be the best web designer period.

[00:47:26] Josh: You just need to be the best web designer in your client’s sphere. And I was like, Ah. That’s the perfect way to sum that up. Like, you don’t have to compete with every other web designer, you know, or even that’s in the same city, but you’re a little networking group. If you can get 20 or 30 people to be your clients through your networking like that, and they like you more than you know this fancy developer who’s not a great communicator, boom.

[00:47:50] Josh: Yeah, you’re good. That’s your client. They’ll pay over and over and over again.

[00:47:53] David: Absolutely 100%. 150%. You’re speaking my language, Josh the

[00:48:00] Josh: idea of Cooper Competition. Now, do you feel like, um, do you feel like with the rise of different theme builders and, and, and let’s face it online communities now, we were not all centralized on Facebook like it was, even when I started the Divvy Facebook group that I run, um, even back in 2016.

[00:48:19] Josh: It’s much more segmented now in different places. Do you feel like that’s added to competition more or do you still feel like competition is, is still prevalent as it was.

[00:48:30] David: No, I, I, I think Cooper competition is, um, is still really good. I think all these different, you know, places and stuff, people are just kind of finding where their place is and I think that’s important in any business or, or life in general.

[00:48:48] David: On a personal level, you know, we need to find out where we thrive the most and if, if we’re, we thrive on Facebook, if that’s our jam, then that’s where we need to be and that’s where we’re gonna be and stuff. But like, so I’ll, I’ll give you an example for me personally and stuff. Um, you know, I thought for a long time that I wanted to be on all these, these platforms, sharing all this knowledge, doing all this stuff, and.

[00:49:17] David: I just, I never have been, you know, it’s never been my thing. Well, why is that? Why do, why do I not, It’s not because I can’t, It’s not because I don’t have the knowledge. Um, but this summer or this year, I jumped on TikTok, and for whatever reason, that platform just like resonated with me. It was easy.

[00:49:39] David: Really? It was, Oh, it was ama It’s amazing. Yeah. It’s like, uh, I wanted to do everything with this, this thing that’s recording my face right now. My phone, I wanted to be able to edit everything and do everything mobile because I’m traveling. So space is important. I’m in a 23 foot Airstream. I live in 144 square feet, Josh 144.

[00:50:02] David: Can you imagine that? I think

[00:50:04] Josh: it’s a section of my home office and I’m in, It’s a closet

[00:50:08] David: probably in your, in your house, you know? Yeah. Um, and. And I absolutely love it Now, you know that minimalist, minimalistic and, you know, I just wanted, So I think that, I like the aspect that there’s multiple places and stuff for people to kind of find their jam because, you know, if, if Instagram’s not your thing, if Facebook’s not your thing, if YouTube’s not your thing, if whatever.

[00:50:40] David: Keep going until you find your thing, because Yeah, I, I will, you know, I’m a perfect prime example, you know, I just have loved that platform. For whatever reason, it’s resonated with me. That’s interesting. And I’m, I’m gonna be sharing some WordPress stuff there, you know, so quick, short. Things, WordPress tips, WP Zone, you know, on our TikTok channel when we launch it and stuff, I’m gonna do it.

[00:51:05] David: I started on a personal level just doing some, some stuff that, uh, you know, I, I wanted to do that. Some people thought, Oh, you, you should, you should probably do this, David. You might help some people. So, Well, it’s a great, that’s why I started doing it.

[00:51:18] Josh: It’s a great tip to align yourself with like what you’re comfortable with.

[00:51:23] Josh: Oh, I mean, I do recommend getting outta your comfort zone, particularly those getting on camera, but you can align your marketing efforts with what you like to do and Yeah, totally. We’ve been, this is, we’re beating a dead horse with this statement, but like, if you do all the things and try to be everywhere for everybody, you’re burnout and it’s not gonna be sustainable. Yeah.

[00:51:43] Josh: You definitely need to get to a point where you get really good at one platform and then get some help generally to, to kinda like delegate the rest. I’m doing that now with my social media. Yeah. I, I’ve enjoyed my time on Instagram, so I’m there a lot more now.

[00:51:56] Josh: Um, so Facebook and Insta are my two, but, um, it’s only because I’m able to like, not do everything now. Uh, I, I’ve, I had to catch myself spending too much time on Instagram in particular, whereas like, this is just not, it’s obviously not supernatural to me. I still don’t quite understand the difference between a real and a story.

[00:52:16] Josh: Like, I don’t know how it all works together exactly, perfectly. I’m like 82 years. When I’m on Instagram, but there are people who know way better than I do. You know, what I can do though is have conversations and share what I know and share my processes and share my experience. So I’m doing what I do, get some help with the rest.

[00:52:33] Josh: I think it’s a important message for folks who are trying to figure out how to market their business, but you don’t want to be doing all the things to everybody. Yeah,

[00:52:41] David: it’s hard. It’s, it’s, it’s almost impossible to do all the things. And here, Josh, I’ll make it really simple for you. The difference between stories and reels and all that stuff, it ain’t so TikTok past Facebook, number one website in the world, you know, I mean, that was huge.

[00:52:58] David: Well, what do they, you know, Instagram did the reels, they’re all just competing. YouTube’s got shorts, you know, And they realize, Oh, this one over here is doing this. We gotta add that into our platform too. It’s not like there’s any big secret of like, you know, why they’re doing this in our platform.

[00:53:18] David: They’re competitors. They’re doing. We’re saying, you know, don’t do, don’t worry about your competitors and stuff. And yeah, they’re business people again, run by people that need to make money and boardrooms and stuff. And um, and that’s why, you know, there’s YouTube shorts now and reels and, you know, it’s because this thing called TikTok came along and just said, Hey, you know what?

[00:53:41] David: Here’s our lane. This is where we’re gonna do, we’re gonna allow people to come on, create the short form content, blast it out there. And it just blew up.

[00:53:49] Josh: Know, it’s funny though, like trying do it, so with YouTube shorts, I haven’t really, I haven’t dove into that too much, but from what I’ve heard actually recently had, uh, one of my mentors, Pat Flynn on the show to talk to YouTube.

[00:54:00] Josh: And he even said like, shorts kind of fizzled out because it just became a knockoff of TikTok or, Yeah, or generally it’s like if you’re, if you’re running your own thing and then you try to do something that somebody else is doing, it’s never gonna be as good. Maybe that goes back to like our, our talk with like WordPress trying to create a visual builder.

[00:54:19] Josh: It’s probably gonna be absolute, it’ll be like divvy, you know, 0.1, you know? You know, like it’s gonna be version one of whatever somebody else has already capitalized on.

[00:54:28] David: Totally. 100%. Yeah. So

[00:54:31] Josh: I love that idea. I love that idea of just having, particularly social media, like when I think about it, I think of Facebook being a little more community minded, more discussion based, Instagram, more picture based.

[00:54:42] Josh: I know they’re really pushing video. I’m not on TikTok, but I know TikTok is more video entertainment based. Um, LinkedIn, more networking based, more connection based, Twitter, more thought based, more witty based. You know, like there’s like all these different, at least in my mind with the main socials, that’s how I’m viewing all these different places.

[00:55:03] David: Well, I think what I realized, especially with TikTok, is it’s probably the most granular platform and learning platform that’s out there, and that’s why it’s so. Visited and powerful. Most people think that it’s, it’s just about funny quick videos and funny, funny stuff because that’s what people share, you know?

[00:55:22] David: But the reality is, is it’s, my experience is it’s the most easily searchable, granular platform. If I want to go learn about WordPress, I can, I can dive down that rabbit hole and stuff. If I wanna learn about whatever medicine, the, the, everything that you can think of, they’ve, they’ve found a way, and maybe that’s why I, I like it so much cuz it’s not so, you know, just, just focused.

[00:55:51] David: It’s, you know, and their algorithms are pretty on point because they start feeding you the things that you’re really, really passionate about. So, me being in nature, hiking, travel. Um, technology, um, you know, mental health, these kinds of things that are important in my life. Those are, you know, positivity and optimism and stuff.

[00:56:14] David: Those are the things that are getting served to me occasionally. Every now and then I’ll get the, um, you know, super funny video. And guess what? I freaking love those two , man.

[00:56:24] Josh: They’re is, they’re, they’re great. Dammit. David, don’t make you want to sign up for Twitter and take more of my time or, Yeah. Uh, TikTok.

[00:56:30] Josh: Sorry.

[00:56:31] David: Oh yeah. Don’t do it right now. You got, you got kids right? Do not do it right. Unless you want to video them and throw ’em on. TikTok the gonna blow up cause your children are adorable. So.

[00:56:42] Josh: Well, it’s . It’s so funny. I just met with my social media guy who’s doing my social media now, and, uh, we literally categorized all of my post types, like if it’s personal or business related, whatever.

[00:56:53] Josh: And all of my top, Actually what’s really funny is my, my top engaging posts. You wanna guess what my top engaging posts included? It

[00:57:03] David: probably Your dogs. Your

[00:57:04] Josh: dogs. It was, it was my goldens . It was like anytime I would post a picture of my goldens. Yep. Those were the top posts. Even over, over my little sweet little girls.

[00:57:13] Josh: So, uh, yeah. Well,

[00:57:14] David: it makes sense logically, you know, it’s not, I mean, when we connect with human beings and stuff, that’s what we really, really long for is connection. So if, if I can connect with you on a personal level and I aspire to, you know, be on a, on your business level as well, that just makes it that much better.

[00:57:36] David: So I, I do think that it’s really, really important. At least for me and my experience and stuff is be willing to put yourself out there, be willing to be vulnerable and stuff. It’s not gonna hurt you. You know? It’s gonna help you. You know, people are gonna connect with you and stuff. And then if you’re also here on a business level and they aspire to be there, then, you know, versus a guy that’s just constantly, Hey, I’m the guru.

[00:58:03] David: I’m the guy. You come, you wanna know, come see me. Yeah. And that energy is just, You know, it’s off putting and stuff,

[00:58:11] Josh: so Yeah. I feel like they should be a car salesman. Yeah.

[00:58:14] David: So you’re, you’re, It totally makes sense to me. I would’ve thought, you know, the, the dogs and the, and the girls. I mean, come on man, your kids.

[00:58:22] David: I know, right? The dogs are

[00:58:23] Josh: amazing. That’s what’s so funny. Like, if I do a post about how to get to six figures, that’s like the least, uh, engaged post, but, uh, here’s my dog sleeping on my couch in my office. Everyone’s like, Oh. Cause people aren’t,

[00:58:35] David: people aren’t thinking that way, Josh. Yeah. They’re not constantly thinking about, you know, how do I get to six figures?

[00:58:42] David: You know, there’s entrepreneurs that want to do that, but, but in the big scheme of thing, you know, when you connect with a person and then they start going down your message, rabbit hole, then it’s like, Oh, wow, this, this, this might be my teacher. You know, This may be the person that, That’s a good point.

[00:58:58] David: Six figures.

[00:58:59] Josh: It’s a good point. I need to hear that because I, I know there’s such a, a good. There’s, there’s so many good things when you balance the different types of categories with social media, with personal business, educational, promotional, they do need to be balanced. Cuz one of, you know, like if I just posted picture of my, of my goldens, they’re just going to, people are eventually gonna be like, Is he selling a calendar or something?

[00:59:21] Josh: Or what’s, you know, like it is a good mix, but it adds that personal element that does totally make people more human now, I think even more so on social media. This is really important. This actually leads me to something I was curious about with your guys’ marketing strategy. Mm-hmm. , how are you weighing in on social media versus like webinars and education and lives and things like that?

[00:59:43] Josh: Like, are you, are you gonna try to do a good mix? Are you gonna take one or two channels at a time? What’s your approach, especially now with this rebrand of WP Zone?

[00:59:51] David: Yeah, I mean, the reality in today’s day and age in the online digital space is, It’s a lot of work. You know that and you, you’ve gotta really pick and choose where you feel like what’s gonna be, you know, most useful and best for your audience and stuff. Um, don’t try to be everything to everybody and stuff. Kind of pick your lane, figure out where you want to be, where your audience resides, and then spend your energy and time there. So, I love the concept of, of teaching and helping entrepreneurs build businesses and stuff.

[01:00:31] David: Um, so I, I, I do think webinars are gonna be more prevalent in our future. Our website, obviously, we’re gonna, we’ve always been a pretty good content producing company in that, you know, sharing our knowledge, you know, teaching people. Plus I understand the value of that from a search perspective for like

[01:00:53] Josh: blogging

[01:00:54] David: and for like blogging and, Yeah, yeah.

[01:00:56] David: Teaching people learn something, they want to know something, finding out the pain points. So I think blogging will continue to be a, a very mainstay for us. Um, webinars will definitely be much more prevalent in the future. And then the social platforms, we will share the information. To all of the platforms so that our audience, if they’re, depending on what platform they’re on, but we’re not gonna really focus on a specific social platform, um, unless something just tells us to.

[01:01:28] David: But there’s nothing like pointing us to right now. Oh, we need to focus all our energies and dive into TikTok even, for example. Gotcha. You know, So

[01:01:36] Josh: that, for you, the TikTok thing’s a little more personal as opposed to branded as WP Zone kind of thing? Absolutely. But

[01:01:42] David: I do see value in sharing knowledge there and helping people and, you know, uh, Building an audience there as well to bring into your ecosystem.

[01:01:53] David: Yeah. Um, but also email marketing. That’s gonna be probably the thing that, um, we’re gonna do even try to do a better job of, cuz I feel like that’s an area that we’re, even though we’ve been really, really great at user acquisition and, and we’ve done really well with email marketing and it’s still our number one driving force for sales for our company.

[01:02:18] David: You know, I think, you know, there’s so much because we try to focus on all of the things we’re not doing as, as good a job on the things that are truly the most beneficial to our company and stuff. Mm-hmm. and I think over the last year, evaluating that, seeing where the most value is and doubling down and focusing our time and energy there.

[01:02:41] David: And email’s, one of them, website, email, and, um, Webinar type kind of teaching and stuff. Yeah, like live streaming. I love live streaming and stuff, but yeah,

[01:02:51] Josh: live is extremely powerful. Yeah, that’s very well said. It’s a, it’s a great reminder for everybody, like don’t get trapped in the rat race of doing all social media stuff where, Yeah, it’s a lot of work.

[01:03:03] Josh: I mean, really social media is like the. The, the top layer, First of all, social media is interruptive because people aren’t searching for something necessarily. Maybe they are in TikTok, depending. That’s the beauty about YouTube is like, people are searching, How do I do this on a WordPress site? And then they get your stuff.

[01:03:19] Josh: They’re primed, they’re ready. Right? However, social media I’ve found is extremely valuable from the sense of like keeping you top of mind. And like there’s all, a lot of times I’ll be like, Oh, I completely forgot about an email I got from somebody, but seeing their story reminded me, Right? Go sign up for this.

[01:03:35] Josh: Or, or, or do something like that. Totally. So I think it all, it can all work together, but it does, I think a lot of people tend to put emphasis on the, like the social media aspect of marketing, but if it doesn’t go anywhere, That’s a problem for all the reasons we’ve talked about, like focus on the meat, focus on the big, the big things you’re working on that are gonna be the highest converters, and then add in like the, the layers

[01:03:58] David: around.

[01:03:58] David: Totally it. Yeah. And we hadn’t even talked about what we’re doing right now. Podcasting, you know, that’s another major platform and stuff that’s, that’s truly beneficial for businesses and stuff. So

[01:04:10] Josh: yeah, I like that. We’re having this, this is gonna go, this will go live later in October, likely after. We’ve had a lot of conversations around some of the different options for marketing because this is just one of the most common questions I get.

[01:04:22] Josh: Where do I spend my time and how do I market my business? Yeah. And when it comes to online, I think it’s just so tricky cuz it’s so dang overwhelming. It is like, personally, it’s, it’s a lot easier to find a networking group and build those relationships or meetups. Your options are a little more limited pe like people to people in person nowadays.

[01:04:41] Josh: Right. Whereas online, It’s like, do you wanna sign up for 17 services, like social media services, , and forums and groups. Like it’s, it is extremely overwhelming, but I, I honestly, I think they can all work, uh, in different levels for some, but I think it’s a matter. I’m curious for you, like, getting out into more of the WordPress realm.

[01:05:02] Josh: Has that made you rethink or change up some of those marketing strategies? Like, like maybe different groups on Facebook Are, are WordPress people active elsewhere? No, I, no,

[01:05:13] David: I, I think if, if expanding out into WordPress as a whole, cuz obviously we started out as a, a dvy company and a third party product creator for Divvy.

[01:05:25] David: And then when we expanded out into the WordPress space, I think all it did was it, it, um, It confirmed that we were doing the right things on the right path with what was really important. So I’ll sh I’ll share with you a little story and, um, you know, in regards to this, when we launched out into WordPress, so obviously, you know, we acquired Dvy Space.

[01:05:53] David: God, I don’t even remember when it was back, maybe six years ago or something. See, I

[01:05:58] Josh: was gonna say like

[01:05:59] David: 17, 16 or 17. Yeah. Probably around 16, 17. And we acquired Divvy Space and we already had an insanely high ranking divvy website in Aspen Grove studios.com. Well, we acquired Dvy Space and it just made sense.

[01:06:14] David: And Dvy Space was not a high ranking website, um, but we, you know, transitioned all of our dvy content over to dvy.space because of the name and the brand, and it just made. And we transitioned Aspen Grove Studios to our WordPress platform where we focused on, on WordPress content because we knew we were gonna want to eventually expand out into the WordPress, the greater WordPress as a whole, as opposed to staying niche with Divvy.

[01:06:47] David: And I’ll never forget, and it really brought home the value of content marketing and the power of content marketing because we were doing it anyways. We were putting out a minimum of at least one blog post a week. And it was tutorial based, helpful information. It wasn’t about, Hey, come check our stuff out and come buy from us.

[01:07:06] David: It was, you know, Hey, here’s, this is how you do this with Divvy, or this is how you do this with WordPress. And when they come to the. They see, Oh wow, they’ve got plugins and themes. Maybe I can, it can be helpful. That’s kind of been my model. Um, but I’ll never forget when we transitioned the divvy content over to divvy.space.

[01:07:26] David: We wrote our first WordPress article. Can you guess what that article was,

[01:07:32] Josh: Josh? So you read a WordPress article? A

[01:07:36] David: WordPress article? Yeah. No. On Aspen Grove Studios, we decided to turn Aspen Grove Studios into our WordPress, WordPress site. And divvy space is the Divvy. So our first article over here on Aspen Grove Studios on WordPress.

[01:07:52] David: Now you gotta understand, we were creating a lot of content in the WordPress space for Divvy. Mm-hmm. . So search engines were already seeing us as an authority in I

[01:08:04] Josh: was just gonna say, I would imagine, I would imagine it would be like best. Theme for WordPress or something. So

[01:08:12] David: listen to this, this is gonna blow your mind.

[01:08:13] David: So it blew my mind. I don’t remember when it was or when the year was, but, um, we wrote an article, Matter of fact, WordPress has been out since 2003. And I wanna say we wrote this article in maybe 2017 ish, so 14, 15 years later than WordPress. And the article we wrote was How to download and install WordPress.

[01:08:41] David: Oh. And there were like, I mean, there are tens of thousands of blog posts already on how to download and install WordPress, but I was like, you know what? We need to start producing some WordPress content. Well, let’s just put helpful content. We had our, you know, our target, our list of content that we wanted to create.

[01:09:00] David: And I’ll never forget. We wrote this blog post, How to download and install WordPress, and we, within a week we were page one of Google for how to download and install

[01:09:12] Josh: WordPress. I think it originally came out November of 18. It looks like that’s what the comments are saying. And

[01:09:19] David: I was like, Holy crap. And I wanna say we’re like top 12 or maybe even still page one for it.

[01:09:27] David: But what it did for me was it made me realize the value of content marketing and really how search engines work. You know, as far as like valuable, relevant content for the end user and stuff. And what I saw was like, holy crap, Google sees us as an authority in WordPress because I see, because the only.

[01:09:49] David: People that were on page one at that time for how to download and install WordPress was automatic and wordpress.org. Okay. Wow. And the, the company that owned and created. And then here’s this, our little website, aspen grove

[01:10:04] Josh: studios.com. I just, well still today, I know you guys updated the article last year, but as of today, I did an incognito search.

[01:10:12] Josh: Yeah. Under WordPress and yeah, under WordPress is GoDaddy and then Theile, WP Beginner, and then Aspen Grove. So those are huge. I, I’m not familiar with Theile, but my gosh, WP Beginner and GoDaddy pretty much has some of the top breaking. Huge, But I mean, they have a, a massive team behind that kind of

[01:10:32] David: stuff.

[01:10:32] David: Yeah. And we’re not, we’re this little company that, you know, but it just kinda really, it really, really opened my eyes to how, how search really works. Yeah. And it’s not about, All of this stuff, you know, like at the keywords and the titles and the this and the page and the this, it’s just, it’s about being valuable, relevant data to the searcher.

[01:10:56] David: What made you wanna, whether or not.

[01:10:58] Josh: Sorry. What made you wanna do that article? Uh, like was there too much thought or was it just like, Yeah, let’s just make it simple how to

[01:11:05] David: No, there was, there was intention behind it. Mm-hmm. , I mean, we knew that we wanted to transition Aspen Grove studios.com to a WordPress.

[01:11:15] David: Greater WordPress as a whole, because we had also acquired a second company Potent Plugins that was focused on, um, Woo commerce plugins, you know, product sales report, pro export order items. Pro we had some BB press plugins that were like some of the most, you know, downloaded, used plugins in that space.

[01:11:35] David: So we just, we, we came up with a, a content calendar and we wanted to establish ourselves as WordPress. And in my mind it’s like, okay, well how can we establish that? And we just, we chose some of the most common basic, you know, helpful things that we could create our own content on, because again, we’re all on our own frequency and stuff.

[01:12:00] David: So if, if people resonate with, it doesn’t matter that 10,000 other businesses or companies that already written how to download and, you know Right WordPress and install it. The people that we’re gonna hear and read, were gonna get, were gonna get value from our article. Yes, yes. We were just intentional about choose, trying to choose some, some basic WordPress topics, but then also trying to choose like Woo commerce type, kind of kind of content so that we could really start drawing that type of, those type of users to our

[01:12:33] Josh: websites and stuff.

[01:12:34] Josh: Another great lesson in content creation. Look at Yeah. You know, understand your, your audience, your ideal clients, and create some stuff on what’s gonna help them. And start with a blog post. Start with long form, then chop it up and go

[01:12:48] David: social. Yeah. And don’t be worried about. You know, Right. The thousands other people that are already doing it, who cares how?

[01:12:57] David: I have never done that. I’ve been at blinders on.

[01:13:00] Josh: No, I think that’s one. I can’t do it. That’s one reason I like, uh, that’s one thing I like about you, David, is like, you, you, first of all, you don’t seem to care. Second of all, you don’t look at people like I, One reason I’ve always appreciated you from the early days when I met you is you were always really intentional about helping other divvy creators, even if they had the exact same product as you did and you were helping them.

[01:13:22] Josh: Like, I remember one of the first times I met you, you asked how much some people made on Black Friday, and I was like, Oh my gosh, Dave’s just, he’s just going for it. He’s just asking everyone what they made. And he is like, Well, maybe next year you can double that or whatever. Like, that’s awesome. That’s so cool.

[01:13:34] Josh: But yeah, it goes back to the idea of like, maybe you could have researched the how to install and download. WordPress and felt like, Oh my gosh, go daddy WordPress to be beginner. We’re never gonna compete with them. But you did and you didn’t look at them. Yeah. People get stuck

[01:13:50] David: in the, they go to the keyword analysis tools and they look at the rankings, and then they have all these amazing tools.

[01:13:58] David: Now that’ll tell you, this one is very hard to rank for because you’ve got all of these people that you’re mentioning and stuff. If you are intentional about, you know, just trying to help your audience and stuff, and it doesn’t matter, you know, it’s, it’s amazing to me. It just blows my mind. I, I, I try to help people and I share, and I educate them and I tell ’em, you know, don’t worry about all that other stuff.

[01:14:27] David: And I think a lot of people are too focused. That kind of stuff, those metrics.

[01:14:32] Josh: Yeah. There’s also, there’s a lot of benefit with being somebody who is bipartisan and who isn’t working for another, a big company. I, I was just having this conversation with we West McDowell on the podcast who was, uh, live shortly before this one will go live.

[01:14:47] Josh: And he said the same thing. It’s like, If you see a tutorial by Dvy, by elegant themes, right? You know, you’re gonna have an unbiased opinion because that person is working for elegant themes. But if you see one of my tutorials about Dvy, I’ll tell you what I like about it and what I’m doing, and maybe one thing that I may could be better or give you my honest opinion.

[01:15:08] Josh: I think that’s really true with probably what you’ve seen. Like, yeah, you could look at the tutorials from WordPress, GoDaddy in some of these big companies, but this Aspen Grove Studios, these guys who, you know, they’re just an honest WordPress company, they’ll probably tell you, uh, you know, uh, again, kind of a non-biased approach to something.

[01:15:27] Josh: So I think there’s a lot of benefit. I say that say there’s a lot of benefit to like being small, being real, and just being you because you’re not controlled by a bigger entity with the content you produce. Yeah. And

[01:15:38] David: just be intentional and stuff, and, and, you know, money matters and you need, you need to have some plan and some strategy and, you know, um, All of that stuff is important.

[01:15:50] David: I’m not saying, Hey, don’t ignore all these other things because there is value to all of these things. My point is that all of this stuff can get insanely overwhelming for a business owner. Focus on what you, your genius and how you can help your audience and stuff and, and fit in all these things as you can and stuff, you know, as you grow, hire someone like you.

[01:16:18] David: I probably need to hire a social media person just for me, you know? Oh, I

[01:16:22] Josh: just, we just met the other day and then we got the content calendar set up and I was like, I already love this. This is exactly what I needed. Instead of just winging it, doing an ad ho, spending my time tinkering around with reels and stuff.

[01:16:36] Josh: Yeah, .

[01:16:38] David: Yeah. That’s awesome.

[01:16:39] Josh: Well, Dave, I’m excited. Yeah, I was gonna ask you for a final thought, but man, I feel like that was a great message to end this off on. Oh, thank you. Yeah, that’s great. But thank, yeah, thanks again for your time and I really, like I said, I’ve, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you years ago and then seeing your journey progress and what you guys have done with Aspen Grove and Divvy Space now.

[01:16:59] Josh: WP Zone. Yeah. Are they all combining as one? Are you gonna keep Aspen? Yeah,

[01:17:04] David: so, no, they’re all combining. So we’ve had two websites, ma main e-commerce websites for, you know, a long time and it’s a lot of work. It’s double the work, double the content, double the, you know, just, it’s a lot of

[01:17:20] Josh: work. You’re a double stuff Oreo of

[01:17:23] David: WordPress stuff,

[01:17:24] David: And we finally decided, That’s it. We haven’t wanted to combine them because both of them, you know, each Aspen Grove Studios and dvy.space, if you look at like the global quote unquote rankings, hfs, emm, Rush, Alexa, wherever you kind of take your, your global rankings, you know, we get a ton of organic traffic.

[01:17:45] David: Both sides are sit somewhere in the neighborhood of 20000th in the world, out of billions. I mean, that may sound insanely high, 20,000, but when you think about billions of websites, It’s really high and I understand it. Um, and we just haven’t wanted to. So we’re bringing them all together now under the one brand of WP Zone and, and it will focus on obviously all things WordPress and then divvy.

[01:18:15] David: Will be a big part of this site as well. So they’re coming into one, they will cease to exist. You’ll redirect if you come to, Yeah. Aspen Grove Studios or Divvy Space, it’ll, It’ll go to wp. That

[01:18:25] Josh: makes sense to me with where had, and initially when I saw the announcement, I was like, Oh, that’s interesting. I was kind of surprised that you’d want to give up a domain like divvy space for the divvy stuff.

[01:18:34] Josh: But it makes sense with particularly where you have had things and the challenges of running both. Kind of where you’re ahead at keeping it all encompassing under WordPress. So Yeah, and I think

[01:18:44] David: that’s cool. Yeah. We have a good enough understanding now to where we can not lose a lot of the authoritative ranking and, and the SEO value that we have.

[01:18:53] David: Right. So, got a really good plan in place. So we’re, we’re excited about the future and we’ve got some. Amazing stuff coming for the WordPress community and stuff, so, Well,

[01:19:03] Josh: and it sounds cool. WP zone.co. Obviously I’m a fan of Dot cos don’t confuse this. Everyone with zone wp.com that is something different.

[01:19:12] Josh: uh, I just googled it. I know what that is. I know I just Googled WP Zone and that’s what I found. Um, but you guys will outran them here soon. Uh, so yeah, that’s, man, that’s super cool. So I’m excited to see what the next chapter looks like here for you, David. Thanks for your time and for sharing what you guys have learned.

[01:19:28] Josh: Always transparent. Always appreciate that. And I, man, I appreciate personally your support for me, I mean, I, again, I, you probably said some stuff that you didn’t even think about, but some of the things you said early on, particularly when I met you at the Word camp in, uh, 2017, I think it was. Yeah. You said some stuff where I was like, Man, that’s so cool and encouraging that you, you know, saw something in me to really inspire me to just go for it.

[01:19:51] Josh: I mean you to, you told me. You know, you started this Facebook group and there was a ton of other daily Facebook groups, but it’s one of the largest out there still, so, Yeah. Uh, a lot. Thanks to your inspiration and encouragement, man.

[01:20:04] David: Thanks, Josh. It’s been, it’s been great to watch your journey unfold and your family grow and your business grow, and it’s been, it’s been really kind of cool.

[01:20:12] David: So glad you’re, the universe has put, you know, us together in our lives and paths and stuff, so, Absolutely.

[01:20:20] Josh: Yeah. Very cool man. David, thank you. I’m gonna go, uh, take a picture of my dog and post it to get some likes. So , uh, we’ll talk soon.

[01:20:27] David: Take care, Josh.

[01:20:28] David: Thanks my friend.


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