I Asked A Number of WordPress Movers & Shakers two questions with surprising results.
A while ago I asked a select amount of top bloggers & developers within the WordPress world a couple of questions via email. I sent out quite a few emails and a number of them come back with some really interesting answers.
The questions were thus:
Q. What’s your favorite blog post of all time? One that lead you to change the way you work? Most inspirational that sort of thing.
Q. What blog post that you’ve created are you the most proud of?
Whilst some were busy on other projects and simply didn’t have the time (understandably) the world does not revolve around my little blog, many come back with their input. For which I am incredibly grateful to them for taking the time.
There now follows a number of answers to my questions from some influential people in the WordPress world. Enjoy their answers and find something new to inspire, read or simply a new blog to follow.
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Head of the ManageWP content strategy. – Visit ManageWP
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I never was a fan of writing because I had a typical case of impostor syndrome. An article by Chris Lema helped me tear down the barriers in my mind and start blogging: Four stupid Reasons People Dont Blog.
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My favourite article is about WordPress developers grossly undercharging their services. I had a lot of conversations in real life where people referenced this article, so it makes me particularly proud that it made a positive impact on the WordPress community: WordPress Maintenance Are You Worth Less Than A Cup Of Starbucks Coffee?
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WordPress Developer – Visit Bill Erickson
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It’s really hard to think of my favorite blog post of all time, but I think Megan Gray’s How to Stop Being a Stupid Freelancer is the best I’ve seen in a while.
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The post I’m most proud of at the moment is How long does it take to build a website.
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WordPress Blogger – Visit WPLiving
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There are many blog posts that I go back to for inspiration, but one that comes to mind right away is “The Death of the Boring Blog Post” by UX designer, Paddy Donnolly, published on Smashing Magazine in 2009. The post does two things very well.
First it throws a big punch in the face of all bloggers. It asks why all blog posts look the same despite the fact that they cover vastly different topics, practices and ways of thinking.
It forces you to think about blogs as an experience and not a standard routine in text and images. What experience do your blog posts offer your readers? Does that experience add value to the topic you are covering in that post? In what ways does that experience stand out above the competition?
Secondly, the post actually exemplifies the point being made. It’s not just empty rhetoric. It’s an argument in action and that’s quite a rare quality today. I try to keep both of these points in mind when writing a new blog post.
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One of the posts that I’m most proud of is called “How to create an inventory, archive or special collection website using WordPress“.
A reader sent me an email back in 2012 asking me to recommend a WordPress theme that would be able to run a library archive or special collection site. When I read the email, my first thought was I have no idea how to answer this, but rather than just letting it drop, I began to think about what an archive actually is and how WordPress might be used to create one.
The reason I like the post is that it got me into thinking about WordPress from a new angle. Just like Paddy Donnolly’s argument about shaking up the way we think about blog posts, this post shook up the way I thought about WordPress. It’s that sort of left of field thinking that I look for today when choosing new WordPress related topics to cover on my blog.
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WordPress Developer – Visit Jeremy Herve
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It’s hard to pick just one! 🙂 I can think of one website though. I started learning about WordPress through the WordPress.org support forums, the Codex, and tutorials I found through Google. After a few months, one particular developer started to stand out:
Justin Tadlock published great tutorials. It included all the details you needed to not only learn about a new feature, but discover how it was built, how to implement it in your plugins. It made me curious and pushed me to dig into WordPress Core to understand how things worked, instead of just copying and pasting from tutorials around the web. It really changed the way I worked with WordPress.
If you like these posts, you might want to subscribe to Justin’s site, Theme Hybrid. He continues to publish great tutorials there. Here is the last one: Introduction to WordPress term meta.
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I like this one, and I think people found it useful: Customize the list of modules available in Jetpack
I work on the Jetpack team, and I try very hard to uncover some of Jetpack’s little secrets for developers and WordPress freelancers. I believe Jetpack can be a great tool to help you save time when developing client sites.
Many WordPress developers don’t know that yet, though. I think that post helped some of them discover that Jetpack wasn’t just a set of useful modules; it can also be customized to fit your exact needs.
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Tran Ngoc Tuan Anh
WordPress Blogger – Visit Deluxe Blog Tips
I’ve been working with WordPress since 2006 and I couldn’t remember which post was actually changed my life because there are many of them 🙂
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This is the post I wrote in 2010 How To Create A Better Meta Box In WordPress Post Editing Page which is the one I’m the most proud of.
It’s a tutorial that I wrote to guide people to create a custom meta box for WordPress post screen. This technique was unique at that time, no one knew about that before.
And after this tutorial, I’ve created a series of posts to improve the technique and finally I made a good product – Meta Box plugin.
Now the plugin does the job very well and it can help developers do more than then can imagine – from creating custom meta boxes for posts to terms, even create settings page. I also successfully turned it into a commercial product highly-rated by users.
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WordPress Developer & Blogger – Visit WPKube
Not a blog post, but two YouTubers: Casey Niestat and Gerard Adams. Most inspiring thing has to be Gerard’s latest video.
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Nothing huge but a roundup post on 10 Of The Best List Building Plugins For WordPress In 2016
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CMO at Kinsta WordPress Hosting – Visit Kinsta
The most inspiration blog post of all time is the Skyscraper Technique written by the SEO expert Brian Dean. Content saturation is a real problem, millions of blog posts are published each day. You really have to think outside of the box and create something outstanding in order to get high-quality traffic.
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You have to focus creating engaging and high-quality content and also pay attention to design. Quality over quantity. The Skyscraper Technique suggests you to find link-worthy content, create something better and than reach out to as many relevant people and website as possible. It’s not an easy process, but I can confirm that it’s worth every minute and dollar you invest into this technique.
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Our most successful piece of content was inspired by the Skyscraper Technique, it’s called The Beginners Guide to Website Speed Optimization.
It’s a six chapter in-depth guide covering everything you need to know about website speed. How does it affect online businesses and conversions, most common mistakes to avoid and we also provide you a lot of actionable tips to improve your page load times. We also created a custom design for this guide.
The results are outstanding. It has generated tens of thousands of page views, it has been shared over five thousand times, earned a ton of editorial links and mentioned on high-authority sites like Smashing Magazine, Kissmetrics or Convince & Convert. Of course, it generated us a lot of high-quality leads.
Thank you to all who responded
I have to say I was dumbstruck when I got a response from the people above, absolutely dumbstruck. I thought by reaching out I’d be rebuffed left right and center.
However the individuals above not only responded but some went into great depth about their favorite blog posts and the content they have created as a by product of being inspired. No matter how succinct an answer above maybe it nonetheless highlights something worth looking into.
To those who did not have the time to respond or were not interested etc I understand completely. However with answers like the above maybe next time you’d like to get involved?
What’s your favorite blog post & whats the best YOU have written?
Yes that’s right I’m throwing it over to you, would love to hear from you with a blog post that has inspired you. As well as one you have written, get involved with a comment below and let’s get some interesting content highlighted for people to view. 🙂