How many of you have come up with a business name because the domain was available? Well, I know it is a little more than that. That’s just one of the things that Bob Dunn talks about in this Q&A with the WordPress legend.
Anyone who has worked in WordPress surely knows Bob Dunn. If you are like me, you’ve come across one of his tutorials, a training session, listened to him speak at a WordCamp or listened to one of his podcasts.
He is well known and well-liked in the WordPress space. Today, we are fortunate to learn more about the man we call BobWP.
In this Q&A interview, you will learn:
- Bob’s previous company name
- Why he dropped printing services
- What his favorite interview is and why
- The kinds of books he enjoys reading
- What recent changes have taken place for Bob’s brand
Let’s get started.
How did you get started working with WordPress?
In our previous marketing business, I reluctantly started building HTLM sites— and I hated it. I had spent 17 years in print design. Around 2007, I became curious about this blogging thing and started looking at WordPress. I discovered that I could build and design professional-looking sites without knowing code. It was the perfect solution because I was mostly doing brochure-style sites. And the rest is history.
How did the personal brand BobWP begin?
Around 2010, we knew that print design was dying and the web was where things were happening. By then, I was comfortable with WordPress, and we took a bold step. We dropped all our print-only clients and focused on building websites with WordPress.
In the process, we gave up our business name, Cat’s Eye Marketing. I wanted something simple yet unique, and since I was already starting to become more known in the WordPress community, and had started doing training, I needed something personal. I cannot remember how exactly I came up with BobWP, but it was short, easy to remember— and the domain was available. Probably one of the best business decisions I ever made.
What is something people would be surprised to know about Bob Dunn?
I am an introvert at heart. In my early days of networking, I would break out in a sweat if I had to even introduce myself at a small table of people. I know that I am not alone in this, but it’s not apparent to people who meet me at WordCamps or hear me speak or run a workshop.
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Who was your favorite podcast interview and why?
That’s a tough question. There are are so many that stand out. It might be the episode with Henrik Sartre who ran an online store that sold stylish, handmade shoes handcrafted by artisans in Colombia. With his model, he helped these artisans build their own businesses and become self-sufficient. This interview was two years ago, and his business has grown considerably since then.
He had a unique product: stylish, ethically produced shoes created by local artisans. His passion for helping these vendors, who were basically selling their craft on the streets, was amazing. He was probably one of my first international interviews. I think people would know why it became one of my favorites just by listening to the podcast.
The funny thing is he wasn’t even on WordPress. His store was on Shopify, and he was using the services from our sponsor, Jilt. In fact, they suggested I talk to him, and I’m glad I did.
What is something you had overcome in your entrepreneurship journey? How did you overcome?
Having done this stuff for over 25 years sometimes it’s hard to pick out one or two things. But I have learned that one has to be flexible and open to new ideas. I started learning WordPress when I turned 50. And I honestly believe I could not have stuck with it as long as I have without being flexible. If something doesn’t work, I move on. And I’m never reluctant to try something new, especially when it comes to content creation.
What books have influenced you the most? Why?
Many people I know read tons of non-fiction business-related books. I haven’t read a business book for years, but I am an avid reader of fiction and tend to read a lot of mystery, psychological thrillers, and futuristic novels.
Each book has influenced me in some way because of the insights I have gained into the different ways people think. I am a curious person and love to learn. And learning about so many different things keeps my mind open and accepting.
What is BobWP doing now, and what does the future hold?
After spending all my time since March splitting up my site, we finally have accomplished our end goal: four sites and three podcasts. I recently started Podcasting with WordPress, which is both a blog and a podcast. BobWP.com is WooCommerce-focused, and the home of the Do the Woo, a WooCommerce Podcast. WP eCommerce Show has its own site, and I have a main site that I use as a catch-all, called BobWPMedia.com.
And though I have been podcasting since 2014, I am starting to dive deeper into all facets of it, including learning more about production.
As far as what the future holds, anyone who knows me knows that could be anything. Nothing specific on the horizon except to build out all my sites and podcasts, which keeps me plenty busy.
Wrapping it up
I appreciate Bob taking the time to answer these questions. His impact as a person and professional in the WordPress community has been significant. Check out his podcasts and some of the tutorials he has written over the years.
If you want to learn more about Bob Dunn, you might take a gander at his About page.