Devesh Sharma, the young founder of WPKube, took some time out and got into a conversation with Kunal Tatiya, Director of Growth, Metagauss. Check out what interesting facts and anecdotes he has got to share with us! Thanks, Devesh, for joining us for an interview. Here are the questions;
Kunal: Let’s start from where it all begun! How did a 15-year-old go on to become the founder of WPKube? Tell us about the driving force which propelled you on this journey, and where do you see yourself going on from here?
Devesh Sharma: Hey, thanks for having me.
I started working online when I was 15; at that time, I was just looking to make quick money online. I tried different ways to make money, from offering WordPress services to starting my own social bookmarking website for bloggers & internet marketers (more / less like Digg but for Internet marketing).
I also ended up starting a blog about blogging / MMO, but ironically it didn’t make any money. As it was a blog about blogging, I was also publishing some tutorials about WordPress, which generated more interest than other topics. So next thing I did was to start a blog focused on WordPress with the help of a good friend.
In the beginning, the driving force was to earn 100-200 USD / month so that I could pay my own expenses, but later it was more about freedom and being able to do things I want.
It has been good so far; I made some great connections through the blog. I also started or acquired a couple of new projects, including but not limited to MeridianThemes.net, Optin Forms, etc.
My main goal for the next few months is to focus on one project, i.e., WPKube, and make it a go-to resource for WordPress. So we will be publishing a lot more posts in the coming weeks and months. Also, potentially launching a plugin business.
Kunal: If not WordPress, what would have been your next choice? As a full-time career, I mean.
Devesh Sharma: To be honest, I never really considered any other full-time career. I did realize early on that I don’t want to work for someone else and want to have my own business & freedom.
I was very lucky to be able to stumble upon online business early on. If I hadn’t, I would probably try my luck in the financial sector.
Kunal: How about your social life? What do you love to do while away from WordPress? How do you spend your weekend?
Devesh Sharma: Sure, I currently live in Bali, Indonesia, and spend most of my time at the beach or hanging with friends (or both at the same time).
I think one of the “perks” of working online every day feels the same, so most of the time, I end up working/checking emails even on the weekends as well, but now I try not to and relax or do something else, instead.
Kunal: After dipping your feet through the WordPress ecosystem for so long, you must have a list of favorites or essential plugins, while setting up a new site? Would you please share it with our readers and also the reasons behind your recommendations.
Devesh Sharma: Pretty Links or Thirsty Affiliates – both are fantastic plugins for affiliate marketing
- WP Rocket
- JetPack – I mainly use it for their daily backups
- Sucuri or Wordfence
- Yoast SEO – This is the first plugin I install on all my sites, but there are many other options such as Rank Math & All in One SEO
Kunal: When you started, it was still early days for WordPress. Did you foresee its current undeniable popularity? And now that we are here, how do you see WordPress’s evolving in near future?
Devesh Sharma: It was inevitable, seeing how quickly it was growing. When I first started using WordPress, there was so much interest (not that there is no interest now) and how developers were building so many new themes, plugins, and applications.
As for WordPress.com offering website development, I didn’t imagine it, but it seems fair as they are trying to compete with other website builders.
The future of WordPress looks very bright, seeing how everyone has adopted Gutenberg, and it would be exciting to see what new applications/software will come up based on the Gutenberg editor.
Kunal: More than anything else, WordPress is synonymous with content publishing. Being associated with the creative process for so long, do you prefer to take a side when essentially the scribe camp is divided into the long-form and compact but succinct format? What length and style do you think works best?
Devesh Sharma: Content is definitely king, but you still need to do marketing. There is no doubt you need to produce high-quality content, but on the other side, you can’t just write content and expect it to rank without some sort of marketing.
In my opinion, the best approach would be to put 60% on producing content and the rest on marketing. If you don’t have the budget to start producing large amounts of content, then focus on writing 1-2 posts/month and spend the rest on marketing.
Kunal: Apart from good content, what do you think are fundamentals to running a successful WordPress blog? How to gain traction, select subjects, and devise strategies?
Devesh Sharma: I’d say the key to run a successful blog is having a solid team.
For generating traffic, there are plenty of things you can try:
- Triberr: I’ve been using it for the last 5+ years, and it helps me get shares without doing anything. It does require a bit of effort in the beginning to become part of the communities (or tribes)
- Quuu.co Promote: This one is a premium platform, costs $75 / month, and lets you promote 10 posts/month
- Release Freebies: Release freebie products in exchange for email or share. For example, if you are running a design blog, you can release icon sets or other design elements & ask for an email or follow in exchange.
- Guest Posting: It is still an effective way to generate traffic & links. Adam Enfory used this to create a blog that now generates 500k views/month.
- Create Link-worthy guides/resources: Create an epic resource; for example, we just put together a list of top stock photo websites on WPKube. It is at least 4k words and longer than any other articles on the same topic; this will increase the chances of getting it shared online.
- Email outreach: A simple outreach still works; we wouldn’t have published a roundup of best user registration form plugins if it wasn’t for Kunal sending a simple outreach email a couple of months ago.
Kunal: What is your secret recipe to put together splendid content? And what do you think are the essential aspects for writing excellent content, since these days the competition in the content writing space is at an all-time high?
Devesh Sharma: There are a few things to consider:
- You should start with research around the topic you are planning to write about.
- See if you can approach the content/topic with a different angle because chances are someone has probably already written about it.
- Make sure to format the content properly, so it is easy to read and skim; not everyone wants to read the full article. Some people just like to skim.
- Lastly, it is good to have people who are better at things on your team. For example — writing content is not my best suit, so having a team of writers who are great at producing quality content helps.
Kunal: It has been great knowing you, Devesh, the last question that we have in our bucket – what is that one piece of advice that you would like to give out to our readers (these include upcoming WordPress developers, content creators, marketers)?
Devesh Sharma: It’d be, focus on one project or site and approach it as a business/startup.
Thanks a lot again Devesh for joining us and sharing your views!