wordcamp logoSunday’s talks started at 11 am with Cain and Obenland in the Morning, a comedy duo starring Konstantine Obenland and Michael Cain from Automattic. Automattic is the WordPress founding company based in San Francisco. There are many Automatticians around the world. But that’s another blog post. These two along with Mel Chase, talked about the WordPress core work they do and what we can expect down the road with the next updates.

How to Get 100 Content Ideas in 1 Hour by Nicole Kohler was a bit meatier in content and one that I can share with clients. So many people need help with writing their blogs or even generating ideas for them. With tools that Nicole shared you can generate ideas with keywords, test their popularity and even figure out if your competitors are using them too. If they turn out to be well liked but not overused, you have a winning topic!

One of my favorites, From Blog to Business Running a WordPress Membership Site, by Brian Krogsgard, will be helpful for anyone wanting to monetize a membership site. After you identify your goal, verify that it is marketable. Start with a great website, write a blog and make it good. There are different types of memberships sites: monthly, yearly or one workshop at a time. Definitely include bracketing, which will give your customer a choice in services. Also, engage with your group by email and surveys.

The Business Panel featured Amanda Giles, Jared Novack, Kate Gilbert, Kristina Romero and Sam Hotchkiss and was hosted by Annie Schmidt. I was surprised to learn the range of fees for web design and development:  $7-$15,000 per site on the low end and $30k to $70k on the high end. It’s all about what the added value is to the client. Will the website bring in 20% more customers? What is that worth? They also discussed website maintenance plans.

Power SEO for Your WordPress Website was delivered by Tom Shapiro, a very experienced SEO web developer. First things first, says Tom. It’s all about your marketing strategy. The company’s focus may be wrong or just boring. Find a niche that your competitors have not. Then Yom gave us a quick history lesson on Google and its many algorythm changes. Basically, Google just wants to bring a good, relevant customer experience. So it’s not just about adding keywords, it’s adding value to the website. And use visuals!

Setting Up Care Plans for Predictable Incomes by Kristina Romero included a lot of practical advice for the web designer who need residual income to stay in business. Today, websites need updating every week to perform well. The tools are out there to help the website providers stay on top of that. Web maintenance involves updating software on a weekly basis, backing up the site on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, doing performance tests, creating reports and being available for support calls. You can monetize these tasks by letting your clients choose the plan they want or need. It’s a wise investment.