Welcome to the newest edition of our Pirate Interviews series. Today, we have another interesting chat for you. This time we’re speaking with not only a WordPress expert, but also a dedicated blogger and podcaster who spreads his knowledge to help people reach their goals.
We hope to take part in this spreading of knowledge a bit too by sharing our interviewee’s perspective on WordPress and things related. Let’s welcome Bob Dunn!
But before that, have a look at our previous interview, in which we learned Mario Peshev’s story with WordPress and how he built his business.
– better known as BobWP – has made his name by teaching WordPress to anyone who might benefit from having the skills. Although he no longer does workshops and one-on-ones, he continues his passion through his blog where he helps people on their path of life-long learning.
Designer and WordPress connoisseur of 20 years, Bob has a weekly podcast where he shares advice on… podcasts (more precisely on how to start and grow a podcast). He also blogs about e-commerce and various WordPress matters on his blog at BobWP.com.
Let’s hear the rest from the man himself in this Bob Dunn interview:
Bob Dunn Interview – WordPress Blogger and Podcaster at BobWP
When and how did you start working with WordPress? Is there an interesting story here?
I discovered WordPress in 2007 and by the next year was using it and starting to blog. I had originally looked at it because blogging piqued my interest. But as I dove into it more and more, I realized this was the perfect solution, for my clients as well as myself. As a graphic designer of 20 years, I loved doing design, but hated working with HTML to build sites. It was an answer to my prayers.
Why are you teaching and not just blogging? Blogging is also a way to teach, after all.
To be honest, I’ve always done both. But, yes, they can be two different animals. Blogging, done right, is teaching. But working with people one-to-one, in workshops and other training situations, well, that is a totally different experience. I believe that anyone can blog, but not anyone can teach.
Online versus face-to-face training – pros and cons?
For me, as a trainer, the pros and cons can vary with the situation. If you are doing in-person, time and the location of the course are critical. If you are doing it online, well, that makes it much easier for you as the trainer. Also, there is an art to working with someone face-to-face. And, of course, there are two critical pieces of the puzzle you must have: empathy and patience.
As far as the person doing the learning, they have their own pros and cons. Some people need that face-to-face training. Others prefer watching videos. It’s all about their personal learning styles.
How much time and money would you say is needed to build up a simple WordPress site if you are a novice?
That is a loaded question; there are just too many variables. The perception of exactly what a “simple” site is, will skew this considerably. I have never felt I could give a straight answer to that question until I talked to the person and learned more about their needs.
What’s your technique for staying productive throughout the day?
I’m a random person and I easily jump from one project to another. If I were to explain the method to my madness, most people would shake their heads. Probably the best way for me to stay productive is to not venture into Facebook or get buried in conversations on Slack.
How do you define “being successful”?
Success is defined differently for each person. For me? I don’t define it by how much money I have accumulated. I measure it by waking up excited about life, holding on to one or two of my passions and feeling that I’ve been able to help other people along the way.
Who’s doing things that are just cutting-edge and incredible in the WordPress space right now?
WordPress, and the community are in such constant flux that I never really stop and think, “Wow, that’s incredible.” Not trying to cop out on you here, but there is so much going on that in one sense, I take it all in stride, while other times, I have moment of “that’s cool” before I move on. If I were to name someone, I would guess that by the time this was published, there would be a name to replace it.
Describe the WordPress community in one word.
What’s the one thing you’d like to change about WordPress?
I have been asked that a lot and hopefully no one is holding their breath for my answer, because there is nothing I would change. Sure, some things I may find frustrating. Or I might wonder why didn’t they do it this way. But in the end, I tend to go with the flow, accept it for what it is and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
There’s this person who wants to build a site but never heard of WordPress before. How would you present WordPress, how would you guide them to choose it?
This is something I used to spend countless hours doing when I was coaching and training. As I mentioned, my approach would be different for each individual based on a bunch of variables. There is no silver bullet when it comes to winning anyone over to WordPress. And to be honest, when I see a lot of red flags in the beginning, sometimes, for sanity’s sake, I decide to move on. So to answer your question, no hard and fast rules for me.
What do you like to do when you’re not WordPress-ing?
I spend time with my partner of over 34 years, Judy, taking walks, laughing, eating healthy and watching classic movies. I also love to read fiction, lots of it… mysteries, horror, and thrillers. And in-between all of that, giving some love to our rescue cat, Chester.
This wraps up our Bob Dunn interview! I don’t know about you, but the main thing I learned today is the true value of success in teaching. In other words, if you can make a living by teaching others what you’re passionate about, it is a true win-win for you and your students. I think every one of us is a teacher, it’s just that we don’t always realize it.
Do you have any questions that you’d like to ask our guest?
Also, if you have any suggestions for our next interviewee, please let us know in the comments.