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WPW#2 – Mason James – Making Money With WordPress

WordPress Wednesday is sponsored by zoing.ly


Last week I (Raymmar Tirado) interviewed Mason James, the founder of Valet.io (formerly WordPress Valet) as part of our WordPress Wednesday Interview Series.

The interview explores his personal WordPress journey, and is filled with insights on how to run a successful WordPress based business.


Valet.io works with brands like Etsy, TimeInc, Nvidia, Harvard University, Mixergy, and more, and is well respected in the WordPress community for top tier development and support services.

If you are looking to start a WordPress business, or want to learn more about how to grow and scale your WordPress business then this might be a good place to start.

If you are in Sarasota, you can attend these MeetUps in person. Learn more on our MeetUp page.


Show Notes

1:45 – Starting out as a freelancer

We start out by talking about the path from freelancer to entrepreneur.

4:15 – Picking WordPress as a platform

I asked Mason how he decided to pick WordPress as the platform for him to build his online business.

6:10 – Getting involved in the WordPress community 

Mason and I dive into the importance of the WordPress community, and talk about how people can get involved in the WordPress community, and why it is such a large part of WordPress success.

13:30 – Breaking the freelancer gap

I asked Mason how he made the jump from freelancer to full fledge business owner. We dive into how he landed his first clients, how he hired his first employees and more.

15:30 – Getting your first customer

We dive deeper into prospecting, networking and getting started as a small business owner.

17:25 – Biting off more than you can chew

Sometimes you have to get a little ambitious when you are trying to build your own business, but that can definitely backfire on you in the online world. Get advice on staying within your core competencies, and how to learn as you grow.

20:18 – To pick a niche or not

Some people swear by the idea that you have to specialize in order to be successful, so I wanted to know what Mason thought about being a generalist, or picking a specific niche.

20:54 – The main goal of any website

If there is one part of this interview which you should listen to, it is this section. In it Mason goes over his process for assessing websites, and outlines the order in which they approach website optimization.

24:29 – I hire people to do the things I suck at

Mason explains how he hires employees, and more specifically, how he hired his first employee. He also dives into his philosophy on how he hires people, and how he vets candidates.

28:48 – Internet freeing people to become their own boss

Mason and I discuss the power of the internet, and how it is empowering more people than ever to go out and become their own boss.

30:07 – You have to fail a lot

It wouldn’t be a proper interview if we didn’t spend some time talking about failure. Listen as Mason explains why failure is such an important part of starting and running a successful business.

34:49 – Creative processes deserve their own brain cycles

Towards the end of the interview, we dive into the creative side of running the business, and talk about the importance of spending time creating quality content, and connecting with a social audience in order to grow your online business.

44:55 – Quantifying the value and getting the money

We end the show by talking about how to stand up for what you are worth, how to set your rates, and discuss how to make sure people understand the value you are providing.

Boys & Girls Club Wins First #GiveBack Website From Clear Idea

Clear Idea is happy to announce the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee County as the winner of our first Give Back Campaign.

The voting for our first Give Back campaign was incredibly close, but at the end of the day, our team felt that the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee County would not only benefit greatly from a new website, but would also be able to effectively leverage that website as a tool for greater good throughout the community.

Serving more than 4,000 kids and operating a number of club locations, the Boys & Girls Club will primarily benefit from a brand new, responsive web design, which will eliminate the need for them to continue managing two different websites. One for the web, and a secondary mobile website.

Tech note: Having a seperate mobile websites was very common years ago when the mobile web was in its infancy, but now the two website system is outdated and inneficient. Not to mention it can negatively affect your overall online performance. Learn more about the importance of responsive web design. 

Additionally, the Boys & Girls Club has a large real world audience, who will immediately benefit from the ability to explore all of the information, services and events that they have to offer.

“We feel confident that our investment in the Boys & Girls Club website will pay off exponentially for the organization as a whole, but by no means, does that mean this was an easy decision.” Said Teddy Matheu, CEO of Clear Idea Labs.

The stories submitted by each of the nonprofits were extremely compelling. And we wish we could have helped each and every one of the applicants, but in the end, there could only be one winner.

The good news is that we plan on doing it all over again in 6 months, and we might even talk a few other digital agencies into joining us in giving back to the nonprofit community.

Who knows, maybe we’ll start a trend!

But wait… That’s not all!

In an unexpected turn of events, we have also decided to create an unofficial runner-up prize.

As we learned from their heart-felt submission, the webmaster over at Rob’s Rescue Foundation passed away, leaving them locked out of their website and unable to update it, or collect online donations. It didn’t take us long to decide as a team that we wanted to help them get ther website back on track, regardless of the final vote.

It won’t be a comprehensive web overhaul like our grand prize, but we wanted to give them a fresh start online, and provide them with the chance to grow their small yet effective organization.

I don’t think we’ll make a habit of picking two winners for each Give Back campaign, but this time around, we couldn’t help ourselves.

Thanks for following us on this journey… Please share The #GiveBack Campaign with a nonprofit who couldbenefit from an online boost! Thanks for sharing the love.

Fill out the short form below for notifications about future Give Back campaigns.

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