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Plugged Into Programming - From WordPress Plugins To Micro SaaS

Plugged Into Programming - From WordPress Plugins To Micro SaaS

By Jamie Robe
We are exploring what it means to be a creative solo-programmer / solo-founder, and how to harness the power of WordPress by developing our own custom plugins. Plugins can be stand-alone products, all the way to the core of a micro SaaS, WaaS, or even XaaS bootstrapped business. Along the way we will learn how to code in PHP, JavaScript, and leverage the cool functions and hooks and libraries that come with the WordPress framework. The potential for creating new experiences and value for users is limited only by our creativity. Hosted by Jamie Robe, solo-founder of PluggedIntoProgramming.com
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Creating and Selling a WordPress Plugin as a Software Product

Plugged Into Programming - From WordPress Plugins To Micro SaaS

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Overcoming Complexity
Is the complexity of your project hurting you and your users? We all tend toward making our creations more and more complex, but we should all be asking if the complexity adds value to the user or not. The complexity of our creative processes can also add up until it paralyzes us. I was inspired to talk about this after listening to one of my favorite podcasts Copyblogger. Tim and Ethan cohost it mainly about writing and marketing ideas. This one was about overcoming fear as a writer. But it struck me that it can be the complexity that creates the block for so many of us. Programming code and writing thoughts are similar IMHO. So I am exploring this topic here and deciding to go simple.
09:28
June 02, 2022
Focus on Impact
As creatives, and that could mean engineer, programmer, writer, artist, teacher, solopreneur - we can get bogged down and discouraged by focusing on the money side. Take a few minutes to think instead about your impact. What does your idea, project or product do that makes an impact on others and yourself.
09:30
May 20, 2022
You are in control so do not stop!
We are programmed to take the safe way. The safe path. But if you let that stop you from moving forward on your project, you are not only depriving yourself but also your future customers, users, and audience. We are going to do a quick coaching on restarting.
07:00
March 17, 2022
Stop thinking about your Micro SaaS and just start doing it
We all fall into the planning and thinking trap. It can actually be addictive to keep sketching out business plans, flowcharts, user interfaces, content outlines and on and on. But if we never get those great ideas off the drawing board and into practice, it is not good. The way to move forward is to get started...today. What you do is less important than just doing something. When we take a risk and take action steps, we can learn, pivot, and reach toward success.
08:03
February 18, 2022
A paper and pencil hack that might help you create some creativity and thinking space
We talk about eink and enote technology, which allow you to write on a paper-like screen. But those can cost $600. I free scan app and some ingenuity can create a cool way to hack your old paper and pencil into a cloud based organized tool.
20:49
February 11, 2022
Finding your micro SaaS customers using time, money, or audience.
We talk about three strategies that can be used by a solo founder to get people to come to your website landing page. Many people think of paid advertising when it comes to marketing, but a bootstrapper can leverage time instead of money. Time means time spent developing good content and time waiting for the organic process of SEO. Other entrepreneurs find that building an audience on a podcast or social media channel helps them find the people who are most interested in their micro SaaS. Lets look objectively at all 3.
17:30
February 04, 2022
How customers perceive the value in your micro SaaS products
In todays episode we look at one method of analyzing value. Value is used by customers as they make a judgement on purchasing a product, be it a pack of gum or a monthly subscription to a micro SaaS.
25:07
January 31, 2022
Pivoting like a ballerina or a bull in a china factory?
You might get to a point in your project where you ask yourself this: How and when should I change course on my micro SaaS project?  Are you pivoting like a ballerina or a bull in a china factory? Yes,change to a complex online business or software product can be scary. But you can make a rational decision and execute a pivot. And it just might save your project. Concepts - pivoting, why I did  it a few weeks ago, changing my whole website and branding - from the old wpplugincollege.com to the new pluggedintoprogramming.com.  I did it to save confusion of the audience of my podcast and YouTube channels. Why was I promoting 2 different brands? I decided the new domain name made much more sense to my target audience, who were responding well to the podcasts.  And even google was ranking my podcasts very highly, right away. That surprised me. So I acted. What to watch out for - pivoting... Too soon Too late Tips on how to execute Think things thru - write or graph it out It can take time Recover and reuse as much as you can from old to new Coaching Don't be afraid to keep trying Don't be afraid to change At an early stage You are probably the only one who will notice At a later stage, you might have to talk to customers / users and explain changes, refund money, even shutdown something Have confidence in yourself and your creative decisions - there is no right or wrong - as long as you keep motivated Main thing is to keep in motion and keep spread out your opportunity surface area So visit me at pluggedintoprogramming.com and take a look at the changes - and good luck with your project - I know you can do it :)
17:40
January 27, 2022
The biggest advantage of building a microSaaS using WordPress
There are many factors to consider when choosing the framework or platform you are going to use to build your microSaaS product.  Solo-founders-programmers who are considering to use WordPress often ask the question: What is the biggest advantage of building a microSaaS using WP?  Answer:  You will 100% own and control your platform. In this episode I look at some objective factors to demonstrate what an advantage this ownership is for an entrepreneur. If you are interested in learning more and WordPress, plugins programming, and microSaaS, join us at wpPluginCollege.com Leveraging WordPress as a Development Framework We have already discussed this in detail in a previous article, but to summarize, here are 3 big advantages to using WP: #1 – Robust, Flexible, Reliable Tech-Stack #2 – Benefits of Open-Source #3 – The Gigantic WP Ecosystem = Thousands of plugins / themes / consultants / companies generating $600 billion But when you talk to successful solo-founders / solo-programmers, they will often reply that the number one thing they value the most is ownership and control - both of their online products and businesses, as well as their time and attention. So does WordPress offer this advantage? Yes it does! To demonstrate how WP enables this ownership, let’s look at 4 factors we can use to evaluate this objectively: Startup-ability Scalability Sustainability Sale-ability Startup-ability By startup-ability I mean the difficulty level of getting a microSaaS project up and running as a bootstrapped startup. With 100% control, you can run your SaaS virtually anywhere (shared, server, VPS, cloud) Theoretically the lowest possible startup costs (mostly hosting) Contrast with bubble.io (hundreds $/month) Scalability This relates to the number of users you will have, the amount of content/data stored, the number of visitors, etc. With lower recurring costs, WP allows you to keep scaled down and still be profitable Also allows you to easily scale up with cloud servers WP is demonstrated to be able to handle incredibly large projects (wordpress.com) Sustainability This means the long term stability of the product / business you are creating. The main thing you need to watch is risk caused by your development choices. WordPress offers a huge advanatge in that you control everything and can move the entire system to any server or system. Reduced risk from the platform (like bubble.io) from:going out of business flagging your usage, users, content raising prices Sale-ability Even though we are focusing most of our energy at developing long-term, sustainable, micro-scaled businesses, we also should look at possible end-games. One of the rip-cords you can pull is the sale of your microSaaS. Developing it in WordPress gives you some real advantages. You own a tangible propertyyour configurations your custom plugin code your domain and intellectual property You can easily backup, export everything
26:32
December 17, 2021
An update on the learning design and community structure of the wpPluginCollege.com
In this episode, Professor Jamie talks about the project that he has been developing for the past several years, and has evolved into the wpPluginCollege.com.  This is a learning platform/community for solo-founder-programmers who want to make new streams of income from plugin products or SaaS applications. The project is getting closer to launch, and Jamie shows off the structure for the curriculum. Everything is divided into learning centers. Most centers will have courses, forums, and live online events.  Those centers, such as Plugin Programming, will also have the hands-on learning lab that he has been developing. This helps get the student into learning mode almost instantly. He will release more information as the material is built out and we get closer to launch. For now, if you are interest I highly suggest you visit https://wpPluginCollege.com and sign-up for the Free Subscription to the newsletter.
24:53
December 05, 2021
A data driven web app created using WordPress
As part of our series from https://wpPluginCollege.com on 7 different products that can be created using the WordPress plugin programming framework, we are looking at a type of web app.  Data-driven, web applications are software that helps businesses, corporations, non-profits, and government organizations collect, store, and analyze data. These are usually complex in terms of data storage and customer requirements. The programmer that has the right skill set can develop these applications for clients, and this can be a very lucrative business.     I have built many of these data-driven web apps for use by large organizations.  The beauty of using WordPress is that you can make the app mobile friendly very easily.  You also have access to a lot of useful database functions for storing and accessing any type of data.   I finish off the episode with a short coaching section where I talk about thinking outside of the product box. Please visit the website to get the visuals.
10:30
November 28, 2021
The pro and cons of building a microSaaS product
MicroSaaS is a type of Software-as-a-Service product, and today's show looks at the pros and cons of creating one as your business model.  This is part of a series looking at 7 different types of products that can be built using the WordPress Plugin Programming Framework.  This is what we focus on at wpPluginCollege.com with our shows and courses. MicroSaaS are specifically engineered to be built and operated by a solo-founder or perhaps a tiny team.  It is often the choice for those seeking to build a sustainable, lifestyle business.  They can also be scaled larger if circumstances dictate. I feel that this presents a lot of cool opportunities to programmers and founders who are bootstrapping and need to go after a tightly niche market. We use SWOT analysis to take an objective look from the solo-programmer or solo-founder's perspective.
13:11
November 22, 2021
Creating and Selling a WordPress Plugin as a Software Product
At wpPluginCollege.com we are exploring 7 different ways for solo-programmers to develop income producing products and businesses using WordPress as the development framework. This is the first in a series covering a detailed SWOT analysis of each idea.   Selling or licensing plugins is what I call the "traditional" business model in the world of WordPress programming.  There are over 50,000 free plugins found in the WordPress.org/plugins repository, all open source.  Many of those have up-sells to paid, premium versions.  There are also hundreds of premium plugins sold directly from websites and other commercial marketplaces.    To some, this would sound like a "saturated" market, but that is not a correct way of looking at how the plugin market functions.   Many of the plugins that exist are outdated or aging rapidly.  New features in WordPress and other technologies (like APIs) now enable more feature-rich and advanced plugins to be developed.  - The so-called "Bread-and-butter" plugins, like form builders, are not 100% locked in by the existing products. There is always room for the brand new approach, especially since there are so many new businesses and users coming online every day.  - Inventive and creative programmers can find new ways of doing the same thing faster, easier, cheaper... or just plain more fun.  - The WordPress admins and developers are constantly seeking new features and capabilities that will help make what they provide or sell more interesting and desirable to their users.
15:49
November 14, 2021
What is the DOM? From code to eyeballs :)
In this episode we are exploring an important part of web programming that is hidden in plain sight to most of us - it is called the DOM. This stands for the Document Object Model, and it is created to represent the html document in the web browser every time code is sent from a web server. The DOM also has a programming interface called an API, which can be manipulated with languages such as JavaScript. I will be going over these concepts, as well as showing what it all really looks like using php and js in the wpPluginCollege.com hands-on learning lab.  At the end, I will give you some coaching about dealing with the complexity of learning how to code. You can see the slides I created for this episode on the wpPluginCollege.com website, along with the YouTube version.  We also have a free mini-course on 7 ways you can use the WordPress plugin programming framework to create unique products and online businesses. Hope you can join us for some learning and conversation. 
30:47
November 06, 2021
When Working Backward Can Actually Move Your Software Product or Business Forward
It is very easy for a solo-programmer and solo-founder to get overwhelmed or side-tracked when developing a software product/business, such as a WordPress plugin or a micro-Saas (Software as a Service). In this episode we will looking at a planning technique called backward planning or reverse planning. I originally learned it from a professional business coach many years ago, and it really gave me some "aha" moments. I will be giving you some concepts, with real-world examples how it has helped me with my side-hustle projects, such as wpPluginCollege.com.      Even the best laid plans can sometimes unravel.  Everyone who has ever created a software product or business has gotten "stuck".  I have a segment of coaching in this podcast where I give you strategies to get yourself focused on what is really important. Remember, done is better than perfect.  You can do it!  Enjoy.   Be sure to visit us at https://wpPluginCollege.com to get show notes, join in the discussion, and to register for our free mini-course on 7 ways to make money using the WordPress Plugin Programming Framework.
22:49
October 30, 2021
Concepts, Creativity, Code, and Coaching - Laying the groundwork for learning to create programming products.
I have seen a lot of changes in technology and computer languages. I found 4 elements that have helped me in my journey and evolution as a solo-programmer and solo-founder, now concentrating on micro-SaaS and other products using the WordPress framework. In this episode, I want to lay the groundwork for all my future shows and online courses.  I will always incorporate as many of these 4 elements... concepts, creativity, code, and coaching into everything I make for you.
14:37
October 24, 2021