119: How an Accidental Entrepreneur went from $0 to $80,000 in Five Months with Brian Gardner

Alexa

by Alexa on Oct 10, 2017 in Podcast

How to deal with competition, the benefits of using a framework, and how to practice minimalism with Brian Gardner.

Welcome to episode 119 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork talks with Brian Gardner from StudioPress about building his business, dealing with competition, and practicing minimalism.

Last week on the podcast, Bjork interviewed Gaby Dalkin from What’s Gaby Cooking about understanding your brand, developing a product line, and working with a team. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

How an Accidental Entrepreneur went from $0 to $80,000 in Five Months

Brian was the pioneer of premium WordPress themes, and it happened a bit by accident. He was balancing a full-time job and his WordPress theme business at the same time. But once he realized that it would be “financially irresponsible” to work both jobs, he decided to jump head-first into his WordPress business.

From there Brian built StudioPress, which powers over 500,000 WordPress sites with its Genesis Framework. Learn how he dealt with competition, how he built his business, and why it’s helpful to use a framework and child theme for your blog.

How to deal with competition, the benefits of using a framework, and how to practice minimalism with Brian Gardner.

In this episode, Brian shares:

  • How he went from working at an architecture firm to becoming an online entrepreneur
  • How he got started working with WordPress
  • The mistakes he made when he built his business
  • How he dealt with competition
  • Why it’s helpful to use a framework and child theme
  • How he practices minimalism in his business

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Transcript:

Bjork Ostrom: In this episode, we talk to Brian Gardner from StudioPress about how he went from zero to $80,000 in the first few months of his first online business. He’ll talk about the benefits of using a framework for your WordPress blog and what a framework is, and what he’s learned from building his own blog, and a community around that blog.

Hey everybody, this is Bjork Ostrom and you are listening to The Food Blogger Pro podcast. Today, we are chatting with Brian Gardner. Brian is the man behind StudioPress. Now, there’s a team there now and he has some partners that he works with; but he’s going to be telling the story of how he developed StudioPress and how it came out of some of the side hustles that he was doing early on in his career. I think it will be a really inspiring interview.

For those of you that are interested in this world and are just kind of getting into it, and not knowing exactly what your path will look like, and Brian talks about that for him. He didn’t know that this was going to be his path. He talks about he’s intentional about walking through doors as they opened, and continued to develop as a business owner as things changed and evolved. He’s also going to talk about some of the things he’s doing now as a side hustle, or things on the side, in order to continue to keep him creatively engaged. I know you’re going to love this interview, so let’s go ahead and jump in. Brian, welcome to the podcast.

Brian Gardner: Hey, thanks for having me. Glad to be here.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s always nice to have somebody that also has a podcast, because you don’t have to explain the mic stuff, Skype. You can get up and running right away. Can you talk actually a little bit about your podcast so people are familiar with that right off the bat? I would love to … for you to share that.

Brian Gardner: Yeah. StudioPress FM is the latest podcast that we’ve done. We’re in a bit of a hiatus; actually quite a bit of a hiatus. To be honest, I’m not sure if season two is coming back or if I’m going to switch over and use a new name for the podcast.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: The gist of it, though, either whether it’s called StudioPress FM, or something new, the gist of it is trying to teach and train small business owners, or bloggers, or marketers, how to use our stuff in particular; StudioPress, Genesis, that kind of thing. How to use that to further their business. We talk to folks and experts within that community, people who are using it either for their own business or as part of a business that they use as a service for others. Either way, it’s interesting stuff.

Bjork Ostrom: Cool, yeah. I listen to one of the podcast episodes. This was a interview that you did with Shay Bocks, who does a lot of Genesis theme designs. It was a great interview. We’ll link to that in the show notes for people that want to check it out, because there would be a ton of overlap; because a lot of people that listen to this, … given the name Food Blogger Pro podcast, are food bloggers, so that would be a good one for them to check out. Before we get into some of the Genesis and StudioPress stuff, which I’m really excited to talk about, I want to hear a little bit about your story.

If we roll back the clock, back to 2006, you were working at an architectural firm as a project manager; but there’s kind of this interesting point in your journey where you started to experiment with some of this online entrepreneurial type stuff. Can you take us back there, to that point in 2006, and tell that story of how you got started in this world?

Brian Gardner: In 2006, I was working for a, like you said, an architectural firm. We designed laboratory space for hospitals, industrial facilities, educational facilities, and so on. I was a project manager, so I estimated projects and ordered materials, and set up installation, and stuff like that. Inside our office, I was one of the younger guys. From a computer standpoint, I was kind of lent on as the …

Bjork Ostrom: Defacto computer guy?

Brian Gardner: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: “You’re the kid, you know how to fix this.”

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Brian Gardner: That kind of thing. I quickly embraced the IT kind of role within our company. I had to teach myself some stuff from a computer standpoint, operating system and Windows back in the day, and all that kind of stuff. I sort of kind of by accident got into computers. At the same time, as a creative, I was a guy who liked to write, that was sort of when blogging was taking off. At the time, I started out with a BlogSpot, as you probably remember those.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, of course.

Brian Gardner: Those free blogs from Google back in the day, Blogger. I started doing that, and as I was doing that, just kind of writing about just life. There was nothing really interesting at the time.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: One of my friends said, "Hey, you know, you should check out this WordPress thing. You can get your own domain and you can host it.

I was like, “Yeah, sure. Whatever.” I kind of monkeyed around with that. I’ve always been a self taught street smart kind of guy. I figured out how to get something out, and I negotiated my personal domain. I was like, “Okay, well I’m going to have WordPress blog on BrianGardener.com, and I’m going to write about being a dad,” because I was a new dad at the time, and just chronicling anything that anybody might be interested in; which of course, really was nothing.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: To me, it was fun.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: It was just more experimental. I went to the theme repository back then, there was a … sort of an off-branded site for WordPress themes, free themes. I pulled a couple down, and I didn’t necessarily like the way some of them looked. I figured, ‘Let me just open up some of these files and see what this looks like, and see if, you know, I can sort of tweak these things to make it look a little bit more what I want it to look like.’ I took a free theme and rewrote it so that I would … in my own language, I reformatted some of the way things were done, and enjoyed the process. It was really, really fun to go under the hood and to try things, and to have them work and sometimes not work.

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Brian Gardner: More importantly, to learn why they didn’t work. One of the things I really loved about that was not only could I do the writing that I wanted to do, but I could also … craft the way the front end of, back in the day, the blog looked. I got into WordPress stuff. I started liking it a little bit more and more. The community was still new at the time. It had just been started within the last couple of years. It was really, really just a blogging platform. I found a lot of fun in not only just doing all of that, just writing about it, what I was doing with WordPress. As somebody who is trying to land on the Techno-Ready Top 100 Blogs, I thought, ‘Maybe if I create a couple of free themes and put it a little link down at the bottom that goes back to my site, maybe that will help boost my rankings on Techno-Ready,’ which back in that day was a huge badge.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you explain for those that aren’t familiar what that is?

Brian Gardner: Yeah. Back in the day, it was a blogging … indexing sort of site which ranked people based on links and things that are completely useless and arbitrary right now.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: It was the best of the best bloggers were on this top 100. Normally, it happened by just people with organic links; but I duped the system by getting these links from these free themes that I distributed. At that point, the infrastructure wasn’t smart enough to realize that this is just a guy giving away free themes and link backs…

Bjork Ostrom: Sure, and then has the links, yeah.

Brian Gardner: Nonetheless, I thought it was cool. It helped sort of … I don’t know, not kickstart or catapult; like people paid attention because I was on this list.

Bjork Ostrom: For sure, it was like credibility or … not necessarily social, but a form of social proof.

Brian Gardner: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure.

Brian Gardner: Like the early days of Clout, right?

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brian Gardner: I started to do a little bit of work. People would download my themes and started getting a few people who said, “Hey, I like this theme. I downloaded it. I’d like to tweak a few colors. Can you help me?” Not having had a business degree at the time, I still even anticipated the fact that, that could become something. I thought, ‘Let me just say I’ll charge the guy 20 bucks to make a color change.’

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: It started my early days of dabbling with being an entrepreneur. The first few months I was monkeying around. I was just making pocket money; Starbucks money, or small vacation money, by just doing some tweaks and stuff like that. A little bit more of that continued and a couple people came back to me, so it was more of a client relationship at that point. I had built a little bit of a rapport that my name, within the WordPress ecosystem, was on the rise as a new theme guy, developer/designer type thing. I continued to make free themes, and then I had this one real estate agent from Boston who wanted to hire me to do a whole theme; not just tweak a few things.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: He said, “You know, would you do a custom design for me?”

I was like, “Sure, yeah. 500 bucks,” or whatever I threw out there back in the day. I created this theme, which was a little bit more than a blog. It was a … had a home file, which had hard-coded sections that made it look more like a website than a blog. That’s sort of what I presumed a real estate agent would want. I created a demo for him. I set it up and sent him a link.

He wrote back and he’s like, “Ah, this is gravy.” He’s like, “But it’s overkill. I just need a blog theme.”

I was heartbroken, because I was like, “Wow, this is really awesome.” I thought he would be raving about it, so I was a little bit let down. Then I had a following on the blog, and WordPress, and my email list. I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I’ll just see if people would buy something like this.’ I had no idea what I was doing or more importantly, what it would lead to.

I went out onto my blog and I said, “Would anybody buy a premium WordPress theme?” Arguably, that was the start of the premium WordPress theme market in the space. Hundreds of people wrote back in the comments. I linked to it and said, “Hey, this is … what I’ve done. Would you buy this type of thing?”

A lot of people who said, “Yeah, that’s great. I’d buy it and hire you to tweak it.”

At that point, I realized, ‘It’s like wow, this is something interesting here. This is not just … a hobby.’ I wrapped it up in a bow. I called it ‘Revolution Theme,’ because I thought, ‘Hah, let’s cause a revolution within WordPress.’

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: I launched it, and in the first month that I launched that theme, I made $10,000 worth of sales. Then, the second month was 20, the third month was 40, the fifth month was 80. At that point, I realized that this was a significant opportunity.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s kind of the, ‘I think I’m onto something,’ at that point.

Brian Gardner: Yeah. You know what? I told my wife. I’m like, “You know,” because the plan was she was going to stay home because of our son. The idea was for her to quit her job first at some point.

So I said, I’m like, “You know, I think it’s financially irresponsible for me to stay here and try to do this. In other words, I feel like I need to take the step first so that I can really get this to a point where you can go as well,” which seems really, really scary at the time.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: Because we both had jobs that had 401ks and insurance. We just had Zach, and stuff like that. It was like a whirlwind of ‘oh my gosh.’ I like to call it the ‘accidental entrepreneur,’ because that’s really how it came to fruition. Five or six months in, I left my job and maybe a month or two later, Shelly left hers. I’ve been in this space ever since.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting, because you say ‘accidental entrepreneur,’ but there’s this interesting reality with your situation in that the decisions you were making were very entrepreneurial. Your view …

It’s almost like without even knowing it, you have this kind of DNA where you said, “Hey, I’m going to,” … and I’ve heard people, when they screen candidates for Y Combinator, they look for these types of things; like how do you hack the system when you talk about Techno-Ready and showing up higher. You create these free themes that have a link at the bottom. That’s all kind of stuff that people would put under this category of growth hacking right now. I think it’s something that I think about a lot when people talk about being entrepreneurs. Or, when I look at successful entrepreneurs like yourself. A lot of times, there is that characteristic of creative thinking around how to solve a problem.

One of the things that I think is really interesting is it sounds like, in a lot of ways, this was the or one of the first premium themes; meaning a theme that you would charge for, for WordPress. Is that right?

Brian Gardner: Yeah. My memory is really, really good. I don’t want to necessarily say-

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: -With 100% certainty, because there’s always that guy that’s like, “No way, I was there first.”

Bjork Ostrom: “That was me.”

Brian Gardner: Yeah; but for all intents and purposes, yes. This was the actual start of the WordPress premium theme space where … and there, of course, were seasons of licensing issues and questions, and mistakes I made in rebranding, and a lot of other things that weren’t quite as happy-go-lucky as this story I’m painting.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: But that’s with any business; you have ups and downs, and things you don’t expect and what not. But yes, this was ultimately the … as far as I know, and no one has proven me otherwise, this was the creation of an extremely frothy market within the WordPress ecosystem.

Bjork Ostrom: Let’s talk about that a little bit, because you have this point where it’s essentially doubling every month within the first four months. I would also assume that with the success of that, it’s maybe hard to see from the outside; but that opens up the potential for other people then to join the market. Where there’s market inefficiencies, then people will find those and try and correct those by then introducing another theme. Or, WordPress is interesting where you’d maybe be able to create another similar theme because it’s open source and because of the licensing, the way that things are licensed. Did you find that to happen relatively quickly? Or, were you able to ride that wave of growth with the Revolution theme for a while?

Brian Gardner: I rode it longer … long enough that I needed to make enough money to where if it just absolutely fell apart, I would been okay for a while. It didn’t go as nearly as long as I had hoped or wanted, mainly of my own fault because there were a few other people at the time, Jason Schuller of Press75 and Cory Miller of iThemes. iThemes is still around. Both of which are still good friends of mine. We started to share what was going on. They were both theme guys, and Cory was doing free themes. He was watching me start this, and sell it. When I started to sort of just confiding and sharing with him the numbers.

He was like, “Whoa, here’s an opportunity. Do you mind if I try it, too?”

I’m like, “Yeah, yeah. Go ahead. More money, you know, whatever.”

The big thing that I did, there was a guy, and he’s still in the space a little bit, Chris Pearson, who came up with a theme called Thesis. He as a big theme guy back in the day who I looked up to, sort of in a weird big brother kind of way. I was trying to get on his radar. I did a little bit, and I started talking about Revolution, and how much it was doing. I was just trying to do the ‘Hey, look at me. I’m cool,’ kind of thing. What I did was introduce to him the idea that he should get into the space, too. That was mistaken number one, way back in the day.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: Which is, I shared too much with the wrong people.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: He became a competitor very quickly, and I realized, ‘Wow, that was kind of stupid,’ but-

Bjork Ostrom: But you got on his radar.

Brian Gardner: Yes, this is true. That has a story of it’s own, the whole Chris Pearson and WordPress thing; but anyway.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and is Thesis still an actively developed theme? I know for, this was maybe five years ago … four or five years ago that I was aware of it. I think that even Pinch of Yum, it was maybe on ‘Thesis’ for a while. Yeah. Yeah, five or six years ago, it was. Is that still an active theme? Maybe it’s hard for you to talk about because it’s competition.

Brian Gardner: Yeah, no. I don’t ever mind talking about it. He, Chris is still sort of actively, when he has time, I think, doing stuff with it. He did a big 2.0 release, I don’t know, three or four years ago; which was a complete rewrite. Which I think maybe backfired a little bit on him. He, of course, had partnered with Brian Clark of CopyBlogger a long time ago. That was the first partnership. They dissolved that relationship. Brian and I then partnered up with Genesis. I don’t think Chris is actively doing anything.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: Huge with it, but yeah, it’s still around.

Bjork Ostrom: Great. A follow-up question related to that, because I think it’s important, and you have learned this because you’ve been actively acting as a internet entrepreneur, somebody who builds businesses online for over ten years. You’ve had to evolve a lot, I’m guessing. You’ve had to not only be aware of the market shifts, but then react to those. Can you speak to that a little bit? How you are both balancing maintaining the thing that is successful, along with developing, or reacting, or changing, based on the future?

Brian Gardner: Yeah. The two things that I had to go through, neither of which I had a ton of experience with, was this reaction to what was happening within the market. There’s that, which is I create the theme, sells lots of themes, I make lots of money. I start blabbing. Other people start coming in it, so there’s the competition thing. People who come in and recognize the opportunity, there’s no reason or nothing that says that they are not able to do this. They start doing it. All of a sudden, I’m in a sea of not just my boat anymore.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: In other words, other people are there. Yes, there are things to have to figure out. Someone’s doing something better than you, or they create something. Competition comes up with a product that all of a sudden, you’re like, ‘That’s a threat, because I like it better than I like what I did for myself. Other people might, too.’ There’s that … horse race then where you see necks are going faster, and slower, and reaching out, and trying to hit something. There’s that sort of dynamic of it.

The scaling was another issue that I had to, because of that insane growth and how quickly it went. When you sell $40,000 worth of themes, you’re doing thousands of transactions a day, which means hundreds of thousands of people are now asking you how to do things. When you didn’t think to write documentation, that all of a sudden becomes a problem. Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, can you talk about that a little bit, and how you responded to that? Did you, on your own, look for the bottle necks and try and remove those?

Or, did you bring people in right away and say, “Hey, I need to hire.” Or, was it kind of like, ‘I’m going to go into a phase of life where I’m working 19 hours and sleeping five.’

Brian Gardner: Yeah, it started that way. I didn’t know anyone who I could hire. I had to do a lot of the stuff early on, on my own. Going back to that … the entrepreneurial mindset of ‘hey, let me solve a problem by trying to come up creatively with a solution.’ Back in the day, there was a forum software called PHPBB.

I was like, “You know, maybe if I created a forum, people could ask questions in public, and either I could answer, which means other people may see that and then not have to ask the same question.” That was about 80% of my strategy.

The other part of it, which sort of really worked more than the 20% I anticipated was, community members would go in and answer the questions before I even got there; so I didn’t have to do it. That’s the crowdsourcing approach.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: So there was that. It got to a point where certain people within the community … and this is true of a lot of different communities online. You get these … I wouldn’t call them ‘fanboys,’ but just sort of like your street team. People who believe in what you’re doing and they want to help you. A few folks were on the forums a lot, and answering a lot of questions. Through that, we developed a relationship, and trust. These were some of the first few people that I hired into StudioPress back in the day. People who were developers, or support people. Or, this guy Craig, who sort of was like my COO.

A lot of the help that I got was homegrown, and that’s how I felt comfortable relinquishing some of the responsibility to them when I was tired of doing absolutely everything by myself.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s interesting you say that. Food Blogger Pro’ is the same way. We have our membership site. We have a forum within that, community forum. A lot of people on our team are from the community forum, people that were active and engaging. It was like, ‘Man, we know these people. They know us. It just makes a lot of sense to bring those people in and become officially part of the team.’

Brian Gardner: Yeah, for sure.

Bjork Ostrom: At what point did it change? You had the Revolution theme. Part of the evolution of Revolution, I’m guessing, was the formation of Genesis. This is my question. The Genesis of Genesis, I would love for you to talk about that.

Brian Gardner: Very quickly, in between Revolution and Genesis was the need to rebrand to StudioPress. That was something I had not anticipated. It was a cease and desist letter from a software company in the United Kingdom. As a quick plug for anybody who’s starting out online, either … with a small business or as an individual, creative entrepreneur, whatever it is, do a little research before you really launch a brand. If, in fact, that brand goes somewhere and becomes something, it becomes on the radar of a lot of other people; especially those within your space. You might be infringing on ground that you did not expect.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: Yeah, really quickly, Revolution rebranded to StudioPress. Most of the community responded well and moved over through that. As we were working through, as I was working through the competition thing and creating multiple themes to do different things, because I had to now that there was competition, I realized a lot of the core code within the themes was the same. It was more the front end, the skin or the template itself that was changing. As I was realizing that, and I would update a code in one theme, I had to go across the ten or 12, or other themes.

I thought to myself, ‘Let me just reach out to a developer and ask if it’s even possible to sort of compartmentalize the code into one being and put something over the front of it so that way when something functionally had to get updated, I just had to do it once.’ That’s when I reached out to Nathan Rice, who was a developer in Genesis back in the time. He is still with us today and still the lead developer of Genesis.

I pitched him this in English conversation, which is, “Hey, is this even possible within WordPress?”

He says, “For sure.”

I said, “You want to build it?”

He said, “Yes.”

I said, “You’re hired. Let’s do it.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and I’m guessing a little bit lengthier than that.

Brian Gardner: Sure.

Bjork Ostrom: But essentially, you’re bringing this person on to help with it. Before we get too far away from it, I want to go back to that trade marker infringement piece that you talked about. How would people figure out if somebody else is using their name? Is there a database that they can go to, or a search area where they have to work with an attorney?

Brian Gardner: Yeah, if someone’s using a name that you own the trademark to, then it’s more just Googling around and seeing what people are doing. What I ultimately did after I was served the cease and desist, is I hired an intellectual property attorney to just make sure that this claim was right.

In other words, I had no idea what I was doing, so I call a lawyer and said, “Hey, I got this letter. What do you think about it?”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: After doing a little research, he says, “You know, slippery slope. Gray. It could be. You know, you don’t necessarily want to go to court,” that costs lots of money. At that point, I knew at the time, Revolution theme was the brand. I thought, ’I may want to grow outside of that, so this actually might be a good opportunity to think ahead and come up with something that could be used for more than just WordPress themes. I started throwing around words and names, and landed on StudioPress. The domain was something I had to buy from somebody.

Before that, I said, “Hey, look. I’m thinking about using this name. I want to buy the dot com. I want to use this as the brand. Can you do sort of like a trademark search?” Which either you can do online on your own, but I felt more comfortable with him doing it.

He says, “Within that space,” i.e., I don’t know, computer services, templates or whatever.

Bjork Ostrom: Yup.

Brian Gardner: Because they have different categories for that kind of thing.

He says, “This looks free and clear, so I would advise you to go ahead and do it.” That’s when I went ahead and did it. I think a lot of people do stuff like that, whether it’s WordPress themes, or blog titles, or names, or whatever. They just come up with …

Like even like a Food Blogger Pro, just, “Yeah, I’ll come up with this product, and I’ll just put it out there.” Then all of a sudden, they realize somewhere, somewhere else has already done that.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes.

Brian Gardner: They lose the trademark, and oops, and stuff like that.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it was probably three or four years into the process where we were like, “Eh, we should probably get a trademark.” This was for Pinch of Yum at the time. I was surprised. We hired an attorney to do it. I don’t remember how much it was, but maybe in the realm of 1200 to $1500. He did exactly what you said where he went through the process of first searching, and what I learned in that process, like you said, was somebody could be using that name; but if they’re not in your category, which for us was online food publication, or something like that, then you could still use it. That’s why there could be companies that use Apple as their name, but then it’s like a food company as opposed to a computer company.

Brian Gardner: Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: Which makes a lot of sense, but I didn’t realize that. Great thing to do. Obviously if you’re first getting started, it might be a lot of money to spend; but I think down the line, it’s worth it to know that you don’t have to worry about, in your case, doing a redesign and a rebranding. Which obviously takes a lot of time and energy.

Brian Gardner: Yes, it does.

Bjork Ostrom: Let’s zoom back on Genesis. StudioPress is the overarching umbrella. It’s the brand. Under StudioPress is this framework called Genesis. Can you talk about … There’s a lot of different pieces to the puzzle. There’s WordPress, there’s Genesis, and then there’s these things called child themes. Can you explain to people why it’s beneficial to use a framework like Genesis, and then how those pieces all work together?

Brian Gardner: Yeah. There’s two analogies that I use interchangeably when people try to understand the idea of what is Genesis and what’s a child theme, and all of that. Very quickly, either we can use the iPhone analogy, which is the iPhone, which is the core piece of technology we use for our phones. We have the iPhone cover, which is what makes the iPhone look pretty. In other words, you can have a blue cover, a black cover. You could do camouflage, whatever. If you get bored with your cover, you just take it off and buy another one. You still have your phone, and it works like that.

The engine of a car is the same thing also, where we like to use Genesis as the engine of the car. Then of course, you have the exterior, so if you need to … You want to repaint your car, you can repaint your car; but you still have the core engine. Those are the two analogies. In essence, Genesis is a framework of code that really handles the functionality of a theme or how it pertains to WordPress. WordPress is just the whole platform, the whole content management system where you go in and enter your posts, and pages, and categories, and tags, and all of that.

Genesis, as a framework, extends WordPress and provides a few other layers of options within that. Some relate to search engine optimization. Some relate to the front end of the way a website or blog can look, whether it’s layouts, content, and side bars, and whether you want to have just a full width content or a sidebar content layout. There’s layouts and then there’s just a number of other things that Genesis extends. Of course, the themes are ultimately the eye candy. In other words, what does your website look like? Does it have a full width header? Does it have a blue footer? The fonts, the typography, and things like that.

The themes are easy to change, from Genesis child theme to Genesis child theme. Genesis the core functionality updates automatically behind the scenes. It does not affect the front end of your website. I’m trying to think of if there’s anything I’m missing on a quick on the surface level.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Well, and a follow-up question would be, maybe compare and contrast. Why is it beneficial to use a framework like Genesis versus there’s a thousand free themes are available when you install WordPress, that you could easily go and install one of those? What would somebody be getting in purchasing a framework like Genesis?

Brian Gardner: First and foremost, when you purchase Genesis, you get support from our team. That’s one thing, a huge delineator between that and getting a free theme. A lot of times, and I learned this way back in the day. Free themes don’t scale when hundreds of thousands of people are using them, and you’re not generating money, so ‘I don’t have the time to support them.’ First and foremost, you have the security of knowing that our team is there to help you work your website, and so forth. There’s that.

Number two, like I said, there’s some extensionalities within Genesis, mainly things like search engine optimization pieces to Genesis that don’t come with free themes. Additional just deeper functionalities, things that deal with schema, and mark-up, and that kind of thing that Genesis handles. As well as just having the ability to change the way your theme looks without losing the benefits of the underlying code and framework.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Idea being with that last point, if you have the engine of your car in place, you don’t have to rip it out each time if you want to change how … the paint job on the car. You can keep that engine in there, and change child themes. It will look different, but you’re not taking the engine out; which, as people can imagine, huge deal to take the engine out of a car. Same with WordPress, where if you’re completely switching it out, that could potentially be detrimental.

Brian Gardner: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about two different things that you had mentioned there? The first being SEO, search engine optimization, showing up higher in Google, or, to be fair, Bing, search results. What are some of the things within Genesis that help somebody’s blog with their SEO, and advice that you’d have for people specifically in the food space, or for the food and recipe sites, for implementing some SEO tactics or strategies.

Brian Gardner: Genesis, on all of the edit post and edit page screens, injects what we call a meta box, which is a box below the post editor, which allows you to enter custom poster page title, meta description, keywords, that kind of thing. When you write your post, whether it’s a recipe or just a regular blog post, or an article, or an essay, or whatever. You get it all complete and then you’re able to optimize it a little bit more with the extension of these features. You can … Social sharing, too, is another huge thing that uses the custom title and the description where you write a sentence or two about what your post is about, or your recipe is about. It just gives you that quick fix.

Now, we had decided early on with Genesis that we were going to offer not the bare minimum, but just elementary SEO functionalities; because at the time … and even to this day, Joost de Valk, he has … a very, very famous plug-in, what was called Word SEO. Now it’s Yoast SEO. That really, for the really geeky, nerdy SEO people, has a lot more features, and functions, and all that kind of stuff. With Genesis we thought 90% of the people who are using our stuff are new to this space. They don’t need necessarily that granular level of control. We thought at the very least, let’s offer them the things that make the most bang for the buck, which is just, like I said, the custom title and description, and stuff like that.

Now, on top of that, on category and tag archive pages. In other words, if you’re a food blogger and you have pancakes as a recipe category, we have the ability to write … Do the same thing, first off, which is on that archive page, you can customize the title and description, in hopes to rank even for that particular result. Then, there’s a few other things that we have in there as well, is the ability to write what we’re calling intro-text; which means on top of just the list of blog posts below it, you can write a couple paragraphs about pancakes to help rank that page better, too.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and that’s something that I think is a really good tip for people to not think about your blog just as posts, but also to think about the other pages that exist and how you can optimize those. Maybe you are really well-known for your cookie recipes, and you label all of your posts with the category ‘cookies.’ You can go to the archive page for that, meaning the category page where all of that is compiled, and try and rank that for maybe the keyword ‘cookie recipes.’ Obviously, that would be a really competitive keyword; but I think that’s a really important takeaway for people is understanding that.

What you were saying within Genesis, I think Yoast has this well, where you are able to put some text on that page. If it was just a bunch of images, or just the posts gathered all together, then there’s not going to be a lot of content on there for Google to search. You can really intentionally optimize those pages. I think that’s a great takeaway.

Brian Gardner: Yeah, there’s a … Ray Hoffman, she’s really, really well known in the internet marketing and SEO space. She has a page on her blog and it’s a category page. It’s called ‘affiliate marking.’ If you google affiliate marking, she lands on page … and that’s a very competitive word. Of course, she knows what she’s doing when it comes to linking and text links, and all that kind of stuff. Her affiliate marketing category page is the one that indexed on Google’s first page. These category pages within context can be really, really powerful.

Bjork Ostrom: Great tip. For those that haven’t heard it, we actually did a podcast interview with Yoast. It is both his name, and the name of the plug-in. That’s episode 91. It’s called ‘Optimizing Recipes for SEO.’ The second thing that you mentioned was schema, and I think that’s also important. We actually talk about that a lot, so we won’t jump into it here. We talk about that with Yoast and specifically with recipes. Again, that’s episode 91, FoodBloggerPro.com/91 will redirect you to that episode.

For those that aren’t familiar, the really important thing to know for schema is that there are things that you want to enter in or ways that you can mark-up your posts and your blog content in a way that communicates to Google. It kind of creates a little insider information for Google on the content that is on your page. A really good example of that, for people that are listening, is recipe schema. If you were to Google ‘chocolate chip cookies,’ you would see there’s some information on the top post, like a recipe image. There’s a recipe … If all of the information is on the post, correctly marked up, there would also be the total cook time for the recipe. There would be calories. There’d be all these little additional pieces of information. That comes through schema.

Shameless plug here. We have a recipe plug-in that we’ve been building and optimizing called ‘tasty recipes.’ That’s at WPTasty.com. That’s an example of a plug-in that works to enter in schema, specifically for recipes. As Brian was saying, there’s also general schema that’s available for WordPress that has to do with lots of other different categories, which we won’t jump into. That would also be something important to point out that you had mentioned, a really important part of SEO.

Brian, thanks for diving into that. The talking about Genesis, I think it’s a really important concept for people to understand that it’s not just themes. It can also be these things called frameworks. We use Genesis for Pinch of Yum. We have loved using it. I know there’s a lot of other influential people that use it. Do you have … Is it possible to see how many different installs of Genesis there are? Do you have any estimation?

Brian Gardner: We do and don’t. Obviously, our customer list, that’s our first indicator of how many people have bought it. Now, how many people are using it and more importantly, how many sites it’s on, we don’t have a phone home … part of the framework, perse. But, we have do know part of Genesis is any time a dashboard page is hit, it does dial to see if there are any updates. When a site is updated, we get a tabulation any time someone goes to update Genesis. There’s just a little tick mark that happens.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: I know that I would say fairly confidently that over a million websites right now, if not much more, are running Genesis.

Bjork Ostrom: Does that ever … Do you ever, right as you’re about to fall asleep, think about ‘Oh yeah, a million people are running Genesis,’ and keep you up at night? Or, do you feel like you’ve been doing it long enough where you don’t feel that pressure of Genesis, something you and your team have created, powering so many websites?

Brian Gardner: Yeah. Maybe I used to back in the day. Now it’s just kind of the way it is.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: I don’t take it for granted, but I do, from time to time, like to come across sites that I’m like, “Whoa, check it out. They run Genesis.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: Or, I can recognize parts of their template. Of course, I’ll go under the hood and I’ll be like, “Aw, man, the actor is using Genesis, and that’s so cool,” and stuff like that.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: That’s the kind of thing that keeps me up at night is which cool sites, which …

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: When somebody new, back in the day when Chris Brogan went on Genesis, or Darren Rowse at ProBlogger, when those people went on Genesis.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: I was really, really happy to see.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure.

Brian Gardner: Then you’re like, “Okay, then it’s really impactful.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and ‘up at night’ in the sense of being excited about somebody influential, really influential, using it. That’s great. The last thing I wanted to talk about, Brian, is something that i really appreciate about you and your outlook on life, personally as well as within your business. That is this idea of minimalism. It’s something that I’m fascinated by. I’m definitely not a minimalist. I think people that don’t know minimalism would call me a minimalist, but then it’s like, ‘Ah, I know that I’m actually not.’

I was reading through some of your articles on your, and really appreciate those. First, before we get into that, I would love for you to talk about why, as somebody who is a business owner, running StudioPress, full time gig, plenty to keep you busy. Why did you decide to start your own content site? Can you talk a little bit about what that is?

Brian Gardner: What he’s referring to is a site called ‘No Sidebar.’ That site … Well, there’s a number of questions you ask there; and all of which intermix with each other.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: Originally, let me just start with the origin of No Sidebar. I had been wanting to start a personal, not just at BrianGardener.com, talking about Genesis type of thing. I had been wanting to start a content site for a number of years.

Mainly because I had spent so much time producing software and templates for people who do content sites, to where, I was like, “You know, it’d be nice to actually use our own stuff and see what people … almost as a customer goes through, and the pain points, and things that sort of get in the way.”

I was like, “Okay, I’m going to start something. I don’t know what it’s going to be. It’s going to be a movement.” I’d stay up late at night trying to think of witty ideas and things, and how to … what might be interesting to the existing audience that I can kind of lean into, rather than starting a new one. For whatever reason, this phrase, ‘No Sidebar,’ came into my head. I’m like, “Wow, that domain’s available. This is interesting.” That came and went, because work crept back in. I got busy.

While surfing the internet, which is what I do a lot during my day job, just to look at design trends and things like that and what bloggers are using. I got really, really frustrated with my experience on the web and how lots of lifestyle blogs, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, fashion bloggers, internet marketers, anybody, had so much on their website. As a person who’s always liked to do the Robert Frost, the ‘road not taken,’ to do things different, and not sort of … the sheep thing.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: I was like, “Why does everybody … Their sidebar is like 10 times the length of their content, because there’s so much crammed in their sidebar.” I started thinking more and more about that. I’m like, “Maybe that ‘No Sidebar’ thing, maybe there’s something there.”

Accidentally, on my own blog, I had just removed the side bar; because I’m like, “I don’t have a need to have a …”

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: “I’m not selling ads. I don’t really care about email sign-ups. I just want people to read my stuff.” I took the sidebar off. I was listening to one of the rainmaker podcasts that our CEO, Brian Clark, was doing about landing pages. He was talking about Further.net, which was his project. He was talking about what he was looking for people to do, which is get there and sign up. He’s like, … he literally, in his podcast, and I can probably direct people to the exact point where he said. He was talking about the landing page.

He says, “On my landing page, I don’t have any header. I have no sidebar,” and it clicked.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, you’re like, “There it is.”

Brian Gardner: I was like … I stopped it right there. I bought the domain. I squatted all the socials.

I said, “There’s something here. There’s this movement I want to do.”

Bjork Ostrom: Cool.

Brian Gardner: Which, at the very much at the time, was sort of web and design focused. Literally, let’s talk about No Sidebar, taking the sidebar away and just having content, and all that kind of stuff. At the same time, I started working with Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist fame, because I had reached out and asked if I could redesign his blog. I always look for opportunities to further my own name and just get into different spaces. Part of his redesign, which ironically was on Thesis back in that time, was …

I said, “You know what?” I said, “Hey, let’s remove the sidebar on your website. You’re minimalist guy, this will work. Let’s sell your books after the post, and think intentionally where a reader would want to take action.” We removed the sidebar from his site. We launched his redesign. It went really, really well. He’s still using it today, BecomingMinimalist.com.

That relationship took over and took No Sidebar from a literal standpoint, and then evolved it into more of a figurative thing which was what are the things in our own lives? Not just our websites, but our own lives that are there in our way, that get in the way of what we want do and who we want to be. That’s really when No Sidebar took a spin towards the minimalistic, intentional living, simple living, that kind of thing. Obviously, through my relationship with him and my friendship, and his spreading of the word, No Sidebar grew into what’s sort of known as a minimalism or simple living blog, rather than a design blog.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Can you talk about how you balance that? I think that’s one of the things for people that are creatives, that are entrepreneurs, that see potential for different ideas. One of the very difficult things is that there’s all this potential. For you, you see this potential and the community has grown. You can see from the social standpoint and the following that you have there, the email list. People are interesting in it. It’s growing. Then you also have Studio Press. What does that look like as a creator and as a creative to balance those things?

Brian Gardner: Well, the really good thing about our company as a whole is that we’ve grown, we’ve evolved, we’ve hired mid-level management who are essentially right now running the company for us. Which sort of by design has allowed the partners, the core partners of our company, to not have to do everything.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: Which has freed up a little bit of time. Most of us are pursuing our own side projects. Some of which use and continue to market and advertise the software that we have in the company, like a lot of what Brian does. I just needed something more personally out there. When No Sidebar made that shift, … and yes, there have been times when working on No Sidebar … and the ongoing joke in my head is at some point, No Sidebar became the sidebar.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, right. Yeah.

Brian Gardner: It grew to a point where it was so successful that it was becoming something that was actually … not getting in the way.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: Because I never want to look at it like that, but it literally was the thing that was starting to cause me stress.

Last summer, I actually wrote a post saying, “Hey, for a month, I’m not doing anything with No Sidebar. No new content. I’m not touching social. It’s just going to sit.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: I wrote an open letter to the community, said, “Hey, look. Ha-ha, this became the sidebar. And I’ve got a lot going on, I need to take a step back. Just hold tight,” type of thing. First of all, amazing how communities and people who are in your army really, really respond well to things like that.

They’re like, “Oh my god, this is so great, so respectful. Take whatever time you want.” Of course, I took a month off and I regrouped.

I said, “okay, now I just have to be strategic with what I want to do at No Sidebar.” Back with the StudioPress days, I couldn’t do it all. I couldn’t do support. I couldn’t do accounting. I couldn’t do this. I had to realize I had to outsource … not to the extent that Tim Ferriss talks about in the ‘Four Hour Workweek,’ but you have to outsource in order to grow and take steps, and all of that. You have to relinquish control. As a creative and somebody who gives birth to something, an idea, that’s something very, very difficult. I talk to bloggers all the time. I’ve got a good friend, Rebecca, who has a huge blog and a huge Facebook page. We talk daily. She talks about how she can’t do it all.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: I’m like, “Man, you got to hire a content person, or an editor.”

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Brian Gardner: “you have to offload some of this, or you’re just going to sit and spin your wheels because it’s jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.”

Bjork Ostrom: Yup.

Brian Gardner: “You have to realize in order to take that next step.” I did it with StudioPress. I’ve done it to some degree with No Sidebar. I re-engaged back into that. No Sidebar’s going on three years. The Facebook page is almost at 100,000. A lot of what we’re doing is community-based now. The blog went from me writing to multi-author; because I figured, ‘Hey, I have an audience. Why not solicit that to people who might want access.’ They give me free content and they get exposure. It’s symbiotic.

These are all little nuggets that anybody, whether it’s a food blogger. Maybe somebody who’s doing their own food blog, and they think their brand is autonomous with their name. They don’t realize, ’Hey, bring some people in to help, whether it’s behind closed doors. In other words, just working behind the scenes. Or, use your platform, your brand, as an opportunity to give exposure to somebody else, and in return, you get free content; which helps build your brand and stuff like that. When you start to break it down, you can see that intentional actions really can help further the growth of a small business or a blog.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. When you say ‘intentional actions,’ do you mean specifically like reaching out to people, taking steps towards building a team? Is that what you mean by that?

Brian Gardner: Yeah, yeah. Even with StudioPress, the growth of StudioPress, some of that happened by me realizing we can’t, as a company, produce themes every month. Why not offer to our community, Shay Bocks is a perfect example. That was a very intentional decision where I saw something that I thought was better than what we had. It was an opportunity to A) help her make lots of money, which it has, but B) bring it back to StudioPress and tie them together. Yes, intentional steps like that, whether it’s hiring somebody or identifying an opportunity to work out a joint venture, or whatever. Sitting around, kind of ‘Ugh, this isn’t working. What am I going to do?’ You got to take steps at some point. You can’t do it all.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I’m reading a book right now. I actually think it’s one that you’d really like. It’s called ‘Designing Your Life.’ It’s about approaching your life from a design perspective.

One of the big take aways that I got from reading this book, … I’m still reading it, … is designers look at problems from multiple angles. That was really inspiring for me to think about the things in my life that are holding me up, or the problems that I have, and saying like, … It’s not either … like A or B, or even just A. It’s like A through Z. That’s the potential for the different ways that I could solve a problem.

To not get stuck in it, but to creatively say, “What are the ways that I can address this problem, and looking at all the different options?” I think that for me, that was a big take away. I hear you kind of saying that as well.

Brian Gardner: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: As somebody who embraces minimalist thinking, how do you bring that into your business, knowing that your business, as a business owner, is a big part of your personal life? How does minimalism impact the decisions that you’re making day-to-day as a business owner?

Brian Gardner: The minimalists, the guys that coined … not the term ‘minimalism,’ but just are known for that, really talk about minimalism is more of a mindset and a tool to achieve a certain type of freedom. In other words, there’s no set criteria for what is or isn’t a minimalist. I’ve written about that recently over at No Sidebar.

For me, and I think that when you say, “I’m not a minimalist,” I don’t think we’re minimalists. We have minimalist thinking.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Brian Gardner: Which is really more about, like I said, the intentionalness or the intentionality of our decisions and our thought processes, and whatever. From a StudioPress standpoint, when I realized I want to go do something and can’t do it all, I … or, from a minimalism standpoint, can’t afford it all. You got to dial back. You got to pair down. You got to use the essentials.

There are times where I have to realize I need someone else to help me. I need someone to help carry out stuff that I don’t have time in my day to do. I need to identify my role, especially now that we have grown and have people underneath us. That has become self evident. I have an idea. I bring it to our designer. I don’t necessarily have to do the design. I allow him to do the design. I have a developer who does the developing that I would have normally done back in the day. I have to identify my role as idea person, an overseer of the process. That might be … In our example here, with what you guys do, maybe there’s a certain type of recipe blogging, or certain type of something that might be interesting, or is a fad.

Maybe it’s like, “You know what? Let’s either hire out, either someone to help write some content, or do something, because we can’t do it all.” You and Lindsey cannot … film. You can’t take photos. You can’t do this, and this, and that.

Bjork Ostrom: Right.

Brian Gardner: You get people who are better than you. That was the early days of StudioPress. I realized that not only could I not do it all, but there were people in our … in my world at that time, and especially now that we’ve grown, there are people who do stuff way better than I do it.

It’s sort of ignorant and selfish, and stubborn, for me to say, “No, I’m going to do it all,” when it’s a disservice to the company. Being aware of that has really helped.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. In some ways, it can be, in a lot of ways, a win-win-win, in that it’s better for you. It’s better for the community that you are creating whatever it is for. It’s also probably better for the person that is doing the work, because if they’re really good at it, chances are, it’s because it’s something that they’re interested in or passionate about. Yeah, I’ve found that same thing to be true, where I feel like I’m really good at something, until I bring somebody in who’s actually really good at it.

Brian Gardner: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: I’m like, “Oh.” I’m humbled by the reality of where I am compared to where other people are, in terms of their skills and abilities. It always feels really good when somebody’s able to take that over, and help out with something they’re truly good at.

Brian Gardner: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: We’re coming to the end here. Brian, what would your advice be for somebody that is entering into this world? The world of creating content online or building a business online. Maybe they’re kind of green to this whole space, a little bit nervous about getting started. You’ve been doing it for a long time. What would you say to this person?

Brian Gardner: I’m going to use the running analogy and the marathon runner. In the context of a 26.2 mile run, there is this thing that’s called the wall. That usually happens about mile 17 to 20. It’s this out of body part of the race where it just is where you want to throw in the towel. Strangely, two years ago, I actually ran a race that long. For the first time, I actually … It’s kind of weird when you hear about the wall, and when you actually experience the wall, like really running.

I was running and I was like, “Oh my god, I’m in the wall right now. This is really, really, really, really strange.” If you want to finish the marathon and enjoy what’s on the other end of it, there’s a season and it’s shorter and longer, depending on the situation or the person, where you have to break through. When it’s not fun, when you want to throw in the towel. I’ve seen many, many bloggers. I’ve almost done it myself. I almost did it with No Sidebar. I’ve probably wanted to do it 20 times with StudioPress.

There’s a point where it’s not working, or it’s plateaued, or it’s not fun, or someone’s doing it better than me. As cliché as it sounds, do not give up. Anybody who is in any sort of space, whether it’s acting, or professional blogger, or whatever, or an athlete, there’s a point where they were … and probably many points, where they asked themselves, looked in the mirror, do I … am I good enough? Do I really want to do this? All that kind of stuff. If you want to be that person, it usually just doesn’t get gifted to you.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Brian Gardner: You have to go through that point where it’s not fun. There is light always at the end of the tunnel. I’ve experienced it on a number of levels. It’s the one thing that I just tell people is just don’t give up. Plow through it. Train for it. You know it’s coming.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. Yeah, and don’t be surprised when it hits. I feel like that’s a big piece of it. Even hearing you say that, I think will be encouraging for people when that does hit, much like for you running the marathon.

You’re like, “Oh, this is a thing, and I know what it is, and I can give it a name.” That allows you to go through it, as opposed to being like, “Uh, ambulance? Take me away. I can’t run anymore.”

Brian Gardner: Yup.

Bjork Ostrom: To expect it, and to know that it’s coming. I think that’s great, and a good note to end on. Brian, we’ve talked about a couple different projects, a couple different businesses you have; but where can people follow along with you online, both from a business standpoint and personally?

Brian Gardner: From a business standpoint, obviously StudioPress.com is where we have our WordPress themes. We have StudioPress sites, which is a new-ish endeavor for us. It’s a hosted version of our themes where we have optimized environments, and you can get a website up and running very, very quickly. There’s StudioPress.com.

From a minimalism, simple living standpoint, there’s NoSidebar.com. My new adventure, which is called Authentik.com, that’s spelled with a ‘K.’ Maybe we can stick that down in the show notes.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay.

Brian Gardner: That’s taken over what I was doing at BrianGardener.com. I realized after going through No Sidebar and realizing I had created an audience and just using the experience there, I want to then take what I know and what I’ve learned, not just through StudioPress, but also from a content and an audience, and a brand basis, what I’ve built at No Sidebar and take all of that and offer up advice to folks who want to learn how to do it … and sort of always been a fan of authenticity, as you and I have talked about. My tagline there is ‘Create an Honest Brand,’ which is basically running a business with integrity and showing the human side of you; which I’ve had to do a number of times at StudioPress and over the years. My hope is to inspire creative entrepreneurs and give them some firsthand knowledge, good and bad, of things that I’ve gone through, to help prepare them for their wall and how to get past it.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome, great. We’ll link to that in the show notes. That’s Authentik with a K dot com, as well. Brian, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. Really appreciate it.

Brian Gardner: Loved being here.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s a wrap for this episode. Another big thank you to Brian for coming on the podcast and sharing about StudioPress, as well as some of the other things that he’s working on. I hope that you’re able to take away some actionable items. That’s the big thing with this podcast, right? You don’t want to just listen for the sake of listening. Well, I guess it’s okay if you do; but the real awesome thing is that if you’re able to listen and have something that you learn, take away, and then apply to your own day-to-day.

One of the really big things for us in this podcast is to get feedback and to get reviews and ratings. If you’d be up for doing that, I’d really appreciate it; and would actually love to hear from you. That’s one of the biggest things is sometimes we’ll get an email and it’s nice to interact with that person. Other times, people will leave a review and we don’t actually know who it is. If you’re able to leave a review for the podcast on iTunes or another podcast aggregator of your choice, go ahead and take a screenshot of that and send me a note: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I would love to hear from you and to connect with you. We’d really appreciate that.

Thanks so much for tuning in. We will see you back here in seven days. Until then, make it a great week.


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