WordPress (WP) industry is full of smart folks and Kim Doyal is one of them. She is also known as “WP Chick”. Kim is well known in WP industry due to her generous attitude. She has been ever so kind from the day we first talked on Twitter.
From the very first tweet till now, we developed a nice working relationship. I am really happy that she gave our platform a go and sent back great feedback which would help us in making our services better. (By the way, Kim is now part of our Board of Contributors and you’ll see her short profile on Contributor’s page very soon.)
I hope everyone would love this candid interview as much as I do.
Cloudways: Kim, tell me about yourself. Was your entrance in the WP industry accidental or was it all planned?
Kim Doyal: Haha… I wish I could tell you that it was a well laid out plan, but it wasn’t. I started my business in March of 2008, simply with the intention to build an online business so I could stay home with my kids. I was widowed in 2003, and I was tired of commuting and being isolated from them so much. I had a little bit of a financial cushion in 2008 and I just went for it.
My plan was to create and sell products, although I wasn’t exactly sure what that would look like. I was in a social media course and connected with people in the forums who suggested WordPress for a website. Once I started playing with WordPress, I was hooked! I hired a couple of people to do some one-on-one training with me and I just fell in love with it. I bought the domain name “The WordPress Chick”—and later “The WP Chick” because I didn’t know I couldn’t use the full word WordPress in the URL—and the rest is history. I grabbed the domain name before I really knew what I was doing, but it was fun and it fit me. It took me a long time to figure out what it was I wanted to do with the site, but while I was figuring it out I started creating client websites with WordPress. More than anything I simply stuck with it.
Cloudways: At what stage you noticed that customers are getting engaged with your services?
Kim Doyal: When I started doing video tutorials. And trust me, they weren’t that great! 🙁 I wasn’t very good with Camtasia when I first started but I was able to explain things in a way that made sense to the everyday user. Not coding and programming, just how to use their site, certain plugins and later on I worked on StudioPress themes then the Genesis Framework. I started getting email questions and comments for my videos on my Youtube channel.
Cloudways: How do you foresee the competition in WordPress industry?
Kim Doyal: I think because of the community that exists for WordPress, it doesn’t really feel like competition. Of course that might be because I don’t develop software for WordPress users (although I’ve had some plugins developed and my hat goes off to people who create, sell and manage plugins and themes). A ‘competition’ requires innovation in order to succeed—and resultantly, it benefits everyone.
As WordPress continues to grow, the amount of users is growing too. Hence there’s really plenty [of effort] to go around. Someone who is just starting out with a WordPress site has a completely different need for premium products [than a more proficient user]. It all depends on individuals and their goals with what they’re doing.
Cloudways: What is the most common question you have been asked from people related to WordPress?
Kim Doyal: This is kind of a tough one because there isn’t really just one question. One of the most common types of questions I get are usually about integrating a specific functionality into WordPress, whether it’s email marketing, a gallery plugin or even just changing a favicon. My audience tends to be the everyday user or other WordPress business owners (or those who teach about WordPress).
Cloudways: Can we hear about your future plans? 🙂
Kim Doyal: Outside of continuing to grow the site and the podcast, I’ve got a ‘Sell with WordPress’ course coming out with Jonathan Perez of SureFire Web Services. It won’t be just on how to add e-commerce to your site, but determining which solution is best for your business and your customer. Too many people forget to look into the steps involved for the customer (or audience) and pick the solution they want to use as opposed to what is the smoothest checkout process for their customer. We’ll focus on two major solutions (WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads) as well as a handful of simpler solutions.
During the last year, I launched a coaching program, aimed at coaching other WordPress business owners to help them leverage their business (build a team, create products and courses). That’s transitioning into a group program so I’m excited about getting that launched as well.
Cloudways: While using WordPress, which theme, plugins, and framework would you suggest to work with?
Kim Doyal: Without a doubt, it would be Genesis [framework] by StudioPress. I fell in love with the StudioPress pre-Genesis themes and when Genesis came out, I fell in love with that too. I have a course for users called WordPress Genesis 2.0: A User’s Guide. I have a few different packages. A common thing I was hearing about was: “I installed the child theme and it looks nothing like the demo.” So, I created a product around it and it’s done really well. I’m considering licensing the videos for other Genesis developers for their clients.
I have to say though, I will be testing the new Divi theme by Elegant Themes. It looks amazing and I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.
Also, just as a little disclaimer, in addition to loving Genesis, I haven’t really worked with other themes or Frameworks simply because I really don’t have the time.
Cloudways: What are your views about the WordCamps being organized throughout the world?
Kim Doyal: I think it’s fantastic! Because of what I do, I’ve connected with people all over the world. We live in a global economy and the WordPress Community is a huge testament to that. I would like to see more marketing and blogging tracks and WordCamps. I’ve only been to a handful of them myself, including San Francisco—a few times—which is pretty big since Automattic has offices in San Francisco, but it tends to be very developer-focused. I love that I’ve been able to connect with people in person whom I’ve only known online.
Cloudways: We are coming towards the end of this interview. Tell us any secret app or software or tool you are using that can help me and other folks.
Kim Doyal: Well if I told you it wouldn’t be secret, would it? 🙂 Kidding.
I do a lot of screencast video tutorials, but I also know the power in ALL types of videos. I recently found an amazing video software called VideoMaker FX. It’s probably the easiest piece of video software I’ve ever come across. You can create whiteboard videos, explainer videos, typographical videos, lower thirds, intros, you name them, and you can create them in less than 10 minutes. It’s pretty brilliant.
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Cloudways: Can you please share your views with our readers about Cloudways platform with WordPress?
Kim Doyal: I just recently signed up with Cloudways and have done one WordPress installation with the platform. It was super-easy to set up and what I loved about it was that there were links to additional tutorials that you may need with each step. As I continue to work with the platform, I’ll keep my readers and subscribers updated with how things are going. The step-by-step instructions make it easy for even the beginners to do their first WordPress installation.
You can follow Kim Doyal (@kimdoyal) on Twitter.