WordPress Roundup: End of the year

WordPress Roundup

The latest roundup is the January version of WordPress Roundup and we are looking at end of the year posts.

The end of the year. Or, the first of the year if you prefer. This is the time we get all sentimental and think back over the previous year. We even did that here at MainWP.

This month’s blog post roundup is all about end of the year recaps. Did you make an end of the year recap for your business blog? Drop it in the comments below.

Today, we take a look at recaps from Yoast, Locke Down Designs, Sara Dunn, Barrel Roll, and TLC Designs.

WordPress Roundup for January


Yoast is my go-to plugin for Social Media. I understand how it works and it helps my writing. It may not be your favorite, but it works pretty well.

When the SEO team did a roundup, I thought it was cool. They recapped the year complete with new offices, bringing their parents to work (yes, they did that!), YoastCon, new employees, and teaching kids to code. They were busy.

Twelve most read posts

Check out the infographic they created

Locke Down Designs

If you’ve ever wondered how a pivot would affect a business, then check out this post from Locke Down Designs. John Locke has moved away from doing mostly website builds to offering SEO services.

But the biggest change that Lockedown Design went through in 2017 was to pivot our core offering.

As John explained, he was trying to build his own brand long term and this better aligned with his personal goals.

My goal was never to be merely a freelancer, but to build something bigger than myself. Where I was, however, was spending a lot of time building empires for others, with almost no ROI for my own brand. What I wanted to do was build my own empire. To facilitate that, I had make several changes.

The move seems to have paid off for him as he reported four of the best revenue months for his business. Locke also invested in coaching services for himself.

Sara Dunn

As with many people, Dunn’s year was about change for her personally and her business. She points back to WordCamp Ann Arbor in 2016 as the catalyst.

Since then, she has purposely been more involved in WordPress communities. In doing so, it led to Dunn speaking at 3 WordCamps. She explains more about it at a WordPress Round Table episode.

Additionally, Sara decided she would niche down in her business, but found little help online on how to do it (can I get an amen?).

To add to my frustration, there didn’t seem to be anyone online who was sharing how specializing their web agency really worked.  Everyone had the advice “niche down” but no one had any deep advice for how.

So, she started a blog and Youtube channel which documents her frustrations with niching, etc.

I declared that I was starting a “video series” and started making super-short update videos on an almost-weekly basis.  I shared why I wanted to specialize, the steps I was taking, lessons learned, resources I read, and just honestly how I was feeling.

Sara settled on a niche, but 2017 came with podcast interviews and a bigger influence in the design and development community.

Barrel Roll 

Our friends at Barrel Roll ended their year with the announcement that they are 3 years old! Congrats to Scott Carter and the team.

Barrel Roll is a WordPress maintenance business and has been surprised with some of the other requests from customers.

One thing that surprised me was how often people were interested not only in maintenance but also WordPress optimization. New members often come to us with slow and bloated websites that aren’t serving their customers or visitors well and we help them get things on the right track, often making significant improvements in their website performance along the way.

Wishing Barrel Roll the best in 2018!

Design TLC

Tara Claeys is a very influential person in the WordPress community, heavily involved in the Washington DC area WordPress community. Together with Liam Dempsey, she started the Hallway Chats podcast including this one which is special to me.

In this year-end roundup, Tara talks about some of the things that happened personally and professionally and outlines some goals for 2018.

Recently, Tara and Sara Dunn (see above) started the Business of WP Slack Group.

Wrapping it up

What significant changes did your business have in 2017? Did your business look like one of these five companies? Can you relate to one of them?

It is healthy to look back at the end of the year to reflect on the good and bad and how we can prepare better for the future. Planning is necessary, but also, our plans can get derailed quite easily.

Here’s to a new year!

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Donata Stroink-Skillrud
Donata Stroink-Skillrud
President of Agency Attorneys