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WordPress Tools That Don’t Suck: Interview with Jeremy Wright of @23press

NOTE from Phil: A few years back I was writing a blog called Slacker Manager, about what life was like as a manager. It was on a blog network called b5 Media, and we had some really awesome folks in our network. The CEO of this company was a super smart guy by the name of Jeremy Wright. I got to know him a little bit online, and then I finally got to meet him in person at SOBCon, where I karaoke’d my butt off with him. He’s got a new company that makes awesome products that I’m using with many of my clients. I begged him to give my readers a discount, as well as answer a few questions about his company, and he obliged.

jeremy wright WordPress Tools That Dont Suck: Interview with Jeremy Wright of @23pressPhil: Tell us about your background?

Jeremy: Well, I’m a blogger at heart. I no longer have time, so I’m a Very Bad Blogger, but I started blogging in 2001-2002 and ended up founding what became one of the largest blog networks in the world. I was CEO, we raised a bunch of funding, grew really big and then I burnt out cause I forgot the whole “you’re only human” part!

I’ve spent the last few years juggling between agency life and startup life – helping startups grow quickly, and helping agencies transition to more digitally-focused models.

PG: And I know it’s not just you who else is on your team and what is their background?

JW: Terry Smith is our other Founder. I actually hired Terry at b5media (that blog network I mentioned earlier!) as a Junior Developer, and over the last few years he grew into the Lead Developer at b5, up until it was sold a few months ago.

We have a few other folk involved on the team, advisory board and investors that aren’t public (yet), but we’re looking forward to everyone saying hi soon!

PG: What is 23press?

JW: We were built on one simple premise: WordPress is a pain in the ass, and it really should be easier for regular humans to use. For us, this means we currently offer an end-to-end service, as well as a couple of products. The products are BackupPress (the best premium backups out there, including the ability to Undo any screw-ups you have! Think of it like TimeMachine for WordPress.

Our second product is Move That Blog. It’s a touch niche, but if you’ve ever had to move your blog from one host to another, it’s a massive pain! It can take 10-40 hours. We do it in close to one click for $10.

And the service is something we really love. Basically you dump all of the crap of WordPress on us, and we make it really, really sing. We’ll update templates, give you plugin suggestions, host the blog, optimize it, back it up, keep it secure… And our concierge service allows you to spend our Credits to get extra services like a new design, research, tool suggestions and other stuff for free!

PG: Why did you create these products?

JW: That’s easy! WordPress is a pain. It shouldn’t be. Every business that needs a website, or blogger that needs a blog, should be able to run their site/blog easily and not worry about all the backend crap. As Terry likes to say: we help our customers get back to blogging.

PG: What problems do your products solve for small businesses?

JW: If you’ve ever wanted a concierge or a butler for your blog, that’s us. We take care of absolutely everything, and all you have to do is look pretty.

PG: What else should we know?

JW: BackupPress really is awesome, and at $5/month, it’s a steal. Our upcoming Managed WordPress service (better name is pending, sorry) is in testing now but will be priced at $25/month so if you’re interested, drop me a line at Jeremy@23press.com.

PG: What’s next for 23press?

JW: The next really big step for us is that we want to work with people who are already providing WordPress services of some kind (designers, devs, consultants) so we can help them build a passive revenue stream. Basically we will be building out a full white label solution, so you can offer all of these services to your customers, charge them whatever you want, and we process the payment and send you a big cheque every month. So for designers that launch 4-5 new sites a month, by the end of the year you could be pocketing $3-4K/month for doing no work at all.

gerbyshak wright karaoke WordPress Tools That Dont Suck: Interview with Jeremy Wright of @23press

Phil: OK, I want a discount for my readers. What can you do to hook them up?

Jeremy: Hah, how could I not spread some love to your readers after all the karaoke and other stuff we’ve been through over the years?! For those who want to join us in our beta program for website hosting, we’ll give you 20% off at www.23press.com and we’ll get you moving!

YOUR TURN: There you go folks. 20% off of your hosting, thanks to one Mr. Jeremy Wright (and Terry too!). It just doesn’t get any better than that. Go getcha some, and if you’re not 100% satisfied, Jeremy and Terry will fix it and make it RAWK!

Capture All the Information From Your Email Contacts While You Sleep

Free stuff alert: You can get a free trial of this service by scrolling all the way to the bottom of this article – but you probably don’t know or care yet. Just letting those of you that pan and scan know right up front.

Picture this: You just got back from a networking event, and you exchange e-mails with someone you want to schedule a meeting with, because you know how important it is to connect the offline to the online back to the offline. And you’re busy, so you never find the time to enter that person’s contact info into your contacts – and you need to call them right now because you got lost on the way to see them at their office and the GPS directions you have aren’t quite right – you’re going down Oakwood Avenue and you need to be on Oakwood Road. So you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, and you vow to never let that happen again!!!!

And yes – this has happened to me PLENTY. I vow to update my contacts as soon as I get back from a networking event – but I never do. It often stops at the first email back and forth, and yes, I occasionally get lost.

So I’ve been looking for a better way.

For a LONG time.

About a month ago, I found WriteThat.Name, a web service that scans all my incoming emails and automatically creates contact cards from email signatures. Helpful for me – and helpful for my contacts.

And the best part… it’s done while I sleep!  How cool is that?

WriteThatname thumb Capture All the Information From Your Email Contacts While You Sleep

I signed up for WriteThat.Name on March 28th and have already had 56 contacts automatically updated. I’m on their premium plan which is $20/yr and will continue to update any new contacts I have without an ounce of effort from me. (Anyone that tries out the service gets the premium plan the first month then moves to freemium).

I also tried out their extra service, HistoRecall, and got a whopping 540 updates (culled from 52639 emails!), hence all of the people from last year whose info I didn’t have, and all of this instantly went into my address book. Pretty cool, eh, and all that for a mere $20!

And according to Brad at WriteThat.Name, I am in their Hall of Fame (for top 20 updates ever). Most folks get between 50-250, and the most ever was 1456. Pretty cool!

If the service was just awesomely helpful, it would be worth the small investment I made in it. But the best part is the personalized service I got when I realized I signed up for the wrong service. Brad emailed me to reassure me everything would be fine, he pointed me (with a link RIGHT to the page on their site) that was for the right service. And I got a personal email when the process ended so I would know all my updates were done.

Because I love this service so much, I asked Brad if I could give away a subscription to all my readers. He said no (dang it!) but he did give me a 1 year premium subscription of each service to give away – to 2 lucky commenters.

ENTRY RULES: Leave a comment between now and May 11th, 2012 at 5 PM central time on this post with your BEST email story (anything related to email will work). I’ll pick 2 winners at random and connect you with Brad so you can give this service a good shot for the next 12 months or benefit from HistoRecall.

And definitely check it out, either way, as EVERYONE gets a free basic account of WriteThat.Name, just for signing up.

 

Social Media on my Mobile Phone (top row)

This week’s tool is actually several tools that I use on my mobile phone to manage my social media life for me – and for my clients. Many you may recognize, but others you may not. Believe it or not, before they worked with me, some of my clients think they need to go to the website of the social media service to manage them, and explaining how I use them may help others understand how they could better use them – or share how they use them so I can be better at what I do.

NOTE: All of these applications are free to use. I am currently using an iPhone 4s, but all of these applications are available for the Android – and may even be better on the Android that on the iPhone. These are my top row. I’ll be posting the rest on future Tuesdays.

social mobile on my phone top row Social Media on my Mobile Phone (top row)

Google+- I use Google+ to post to Google+, to find interesting things that I might share on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and to upload interesting photos I find or take. Mostly a consumption application, though occasionally I will post something from the mobile application – or at least I can re-share the good stuff. You need a Google account to use this application.

LinkedIn – I use LinkedIn for finding connections in common, for accepting LinkedIn requests and for responding to e-mails people send using LinkedIn. I do NOT decline connection requests via the mobile app (unless it’s an obvious spammer). Seldom do I make connection requests. Reason: I like to reply to those I don’t know who send me LinkedIn invites and find out how I might know them – or how we might benefit each other. I don’t make connection requests because I can’t personalize the invitation – and I don’t want anyone (even if they know me SUPER well) to think I’m a spammer!

Facebook – Great for managing my personal profile, accepting friend requests, managing a group and replying to Facebook messages. Can be a challenge to manage my client’s pages, as I’m never sure if I’m logged in as the page or as me – and I normally need to be logged in as my client if I’ll be posting on their wall.

Foursquare – I like Foursquare a lot, as it helps me see where my friends are, helps me explore neighborhoods I’m unfamiliar with, and allows me to stay connected to my friends and clients and show them how they could use it for their businesses. I also try to upload photos of locations I’m at or people I am with. I don’t post everywhere I check in to Twitter or Facebook but I do post some pictures and some check-ins if I’m trying to build buzz for a location or if I’m going to say something I think may be helpful to others.

YOUR TURN: How would YOU use these 4 tools for your small business social media efforts?