In episode six of Podcaster Stories, I sit down with Bob Dunn, founder of BobWP and host of Do the Woo Podcast.
After making his name in the WordPress community, Bob has continued to grow his reputation in the WooCommerce space, showcasing the platform’s features and benefits when it comes to e-commerce using the WordPress platform.
In this week’s show, I sit down with Bob to talk about pivoting your brand, where WooCommerce is headed, how he and his wife beat IKEA’s marketing department, and more.
Topics on the menu include:
- Why he made the pivot from purely WordPress to WooCommerce
- How he’s grown as a podcaster from launching different shows
- Why he chose the WooCommerce platform to concentrate on
- Where he sees the future of WooCommerce
- Why you should pinpoint exactly what you want to do when launching a podcast
- How he and his wife beat out the multi-national retailer IKEA for a marketing award
Settle back for an informative show about the WooCommerce platform, building a niche, finding your passion when it comes to podcasting, and more.
Connect with Bob:
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rode Podmic
- Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen
- TRITON AUDIO Fethead In-Line Microphone Preamp
- Denon DJ HP-1100 Over Ear Headphones
- RockJam MS050 Adjustable Mic Suspension Boom
- Dragonpad Pop Filter
The following transcript has been created using an automated service, so may not be 100% accurate.
Hi, and welcome to Podcaster Stories he would show up, we will have a conversation with Podcast that was across all mediums and share their story of what motivates them, why they started to show up as a group to show off and More, but also talk about their personal lives. And some of the things have happened. I’ve made them the person in the afternoon. And now here’s your host Danny Brown Hey guys. Welcome to today’s episode of Podcaster Stories where we take you behind the scenes to talk to The people behind the voices. All of the show is to be listened to it today. I’ve got someone that I’ve known online for about, I guess, 10 years know, maybe more. And that’s Bob, Dunn who I’ve known from the WordPress community and the blogging community.
And, you know, Bob’s move on to the, I guess, the podcasting community. So we’re going to talk about that move in a short today. So, Bob, thanks. We’re going to have to show I’m I’m going to hand it over to you to tell us about yourself on your show.
Really appreciate it. Danny yeah, it has been, I think it’s been a good decade and we’ve been through a lot of them, a lot of the interesting, what do I want to say? Ups and downs and the industry. So I’m glad to be on here, but yeah, I write now I I’m known kind of in the WordPress space as Bob WP and my site, Bob the bp.com. I have a podcast called Do the Woo podcast. And what it is focused on is WooCommerce, which is if you’re not familiar with WordPress is an e-commerce one of the, probably the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress to build an online store and to sell online. And that kind of transpired over a period of time.
Bob (1m 39s):
How I got to this point, because to be honest, I think I’m at number seven or eight in the number of podcasts I’ve done, but I thought I was going to ask you about this because obviously, as you mentioned so the WP is short for WordPress on your main site is Bob wp.com. So he started from blogging and start, as you mentioned, moved more towards the Podcast and medium, what have you found has been the biggest difference between say, you know, a written word and spoken word?
Danny (2m 7s):
That’s interesting because I was actually inspired, but I thought about podcasting as far back as 2009, because I had a couple colleagues that were into it and it just didn’t seem to fit at the time, you know, to do in blogging the whole thing, but it was like, Hmm, no. So in 2014, I actually started my first one. And since then, I think it’s just, it just, for me, it’s another medium, it’s another tool to get your content out there.
Bob (2m 38s):
I’m still, if I have a preference of what I really enjoy doing, I enjoy podcasting, but I always enjoy writing first and I’m reaching a different audience. Of course, I think that’s why, you know, a lot of us do this because there is a different audience personally, I, as well as it sounds, I’m not a huge fan of podcasts because I’m more of a, a visual I like to read rather than an auditory. So it was just, yeah, I think it’s just, there’s, there’s a lot of differences. There’s a lot of preferences people have. And I mean, I know I’ve talked to a lot of people that, you know, they listen to podcasts all the time, other people that just, you know, I won’t touch them just because they don’t work for me. So I guess my observation is really, it’s another tool it’s like a video came in and videos all big and everything is just another way to communicate.
Bob (3m 27s):
And it gives a different feel. There really is something different than even watching a person and watching them talk versus just hearing them talk. And that, I think it brings out more the personality of the individual. And it brings you, you seem to be more focused on what they’re actually saying rather than watching them, especially if they are, you know, tried to be rather entertaining on the video. You’re getting that MS, you’re interpreting that message differently. And it, I think that’s something that’s unique that podcasting brings is that audio only, I mean, you know, it’s like radio we’ve been, you know, been around forever and how many of us grew up or lived on radio’s or whatever that was.
Bob (4m 10s):
And it is still in a sense it’s still an important piece of our culture. So I think it just, yeah, I think it just brings a different, different perspective to content just being AUDIO.
Danny (4m 21s):
And I think T to your point about, and be in visual creatures, and it was a Bob Reed who was on last week show up. So I was speaking to you, he’d mentioned that, that his sweet spot four, like a podcast listen to, for example, it would be about 20 or 30 minutes because people tend to, you can switch it off and have it on in the background. Do you work or go to grocery shop and whatever you want to do, as opposed to having to concentrate on, you know, our video that you have to physically watch or a written water, you have to have your eyes focused on. And I think maybe to your point, that’s definitely where the differences of the audience has come in and, and how they prefer to consume the content. Yeah.
Bob (4m 57s):
And I think that looks just like you said, it’s how you can do it in when you can do it. I mean, we found, you know, another way to fill a gap, whether its a commuting, whether its, you know, cleaning your house, whatever you’re doing, this gives you the opportunity. If that’s your style to listen to some content, to, you know, whether its educational or entertaining or whatever it may be.
Danny (5m 21s):
Now that you’ve mentioned that you’ve had about seven or eight Podcast now, or this is your notes about central worries and your first podcast is back in 2014. So what was that first podcast and why that particular show or that particular topic?
Bob (5m 36s):
I think I forced myself into it was called WP break down and I thought of as a real clever cuz you know, either I was, I was, it was a short talking head Podcast, I’d talk for like 10 or 15 minutes about some plug-ins or something like that. And I thought, well, that’s really clever, you know, it’s like the WP break down on breaking down the, but a lot of us have a breakdown when we are working on WordPress. So yeah, I mean, in my mind that was it. And I don’t know whether anybody interpreted it that way or not. I did it just to get my feet wet and it, it was like, finally, I’m ready to do this. I’m ready to dive in. And I did it for about 12 or I don’t know, 12 or 14 months.
Bob (6m 16s):
And it really was when I look back on it, it was really a lame podcast and be totally honest. I don’t even know how many people I had listening to it, but I felt like I was just regurgitating what I was writing about. And even though it is a different medium, it just, it wasn’t exciting to me. I mean, I, it doesn’t have to be exciting, but there was just, this is like, what am I talking about? This stuff I write about it. It’s like blah-blah-blah. And, and finally I just said, you know, I’m stopping this Podcast because I need to find something else. I need to find something that clicks with me and I’m not gonna say that is going to happen in two months. Are they were or a year or whatever it took about a year before I started in the other one again.
Bob (6m 57s):
But you know, that one was just, I mean, it was fine. It, it got me used to it and understanding it. And then it also helps me to understand that I think I want to do more interview style. I don’t want to be the talking head because I’m really not sure if I’m able to capture an audience for a long amount of time by myself. I mean, I was, you know, really questioning myself or even realistic or is this, you have something people want listen to it. And if a few people, you know, when I quit, they were bummed. They said, Oh, you know, enjoy it. It, well, you know, that’s great. We’re going to move on. So so I so I ended that one then I don’t know.
Danny (7m 32s):
I completely understand the ice onset in my own personal Podcast where the last couple of weeks to concentrate on this one, because to your point I was doing it just as the soul power. So now, and again, I have people on a day to talk with us, but primarily it was my soul at my soul person and myself and I just, I couldn’t, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as it was always questioning. Well, how do I want to talk about this topic, that topic, et cetera. And I find this for my, I enjoy di the, the interviews, the charts much, much, much more than doing it myself. And if I, in this format or to your point a lot more, you know, entertain a and a lot more fun for me to take our end as well.
Bob (8m 9s):
Yeah. And I think you kind of find that group too. It’s like, but I’ve talked to people about podcasts. I said, I’ve had a lot of people that have come back to me. He said, I love your interviews with me or the interview you did with me. It made me feel comfortable. We had a good conversation. You’re a good interview in our, I didn’t consider myself, you know, some good interviewer. It was like, I didn’t have experience in that. But on the other hand, I thought, okay, maybe I’ve found that sweet spot. And this is what works best for me.
Danny (8m 38s):
No, you had mentioned, I will say it that you concentrate and no one WooCommerce, which is the eCommerce, you know, they are the primary e-commerce platform for WordPress when you moved over to that. Cause I know you started to do that first on your blog, you moved to talk in a lot more about WooCommerce as opposed to WordPress in general. And so when you had launched a podcast where you have a concern, it could be too niche because it was a very specific to an e-commerce plugin. Or did you find out like maybe a, a, a bonus and that was an opportunity to own that niche then?
Bob (9m 8s):
Yeah, that’s interesting because when I started the podcast up again, after that first one, and that was in 2016, I decided to start, it was actually the Do, the Woo podcast. And I started it as a niche down to WooCommerce after about seven months, I thought, Hmm. I don’t know if I want that much of a focus right now. I don’t know if it’s right. So I switched it over to the WPE commerce show to talk about it all e-commerce on WordPress. So it, it kind of opened up a lot more. And I ran that for, for years as that particular Podcast up till this last March and I ended up, but then I got in my turmoil of, Oh, I’m going to try this podcast.
Bob (9m 55s):
I’m going to do this podcast. I decided to bring, do the loop back and I have bought a co-host in and we were doing it twice a month and I was doing it simultaneously with the other e-commerce podcast. And it came to a point where my whole site and a lot of what I determined when I would decide on a podcast is this is my business. My website is my business publishing as my business. So its kind of fit in to my business and it can’t always be, Ooh, I just wanted to do it because its cooler, it was fun. So I looked at WooCommerce and the direction my site was going and made some changes, talked to a lot of people and thought, okay, WooCommerce is back on the front plate.
Bob (10m 41s):
And, and you know, some people did come to me and say, ah, boy, you’re seem to be putting things all in one basket. And I said, you know, I’ve pivoted a lot over these last 13 years since I use WordPress and I can pivot again if need be. But right now that is a sweet spot. So there was never really any concern. I think it was the growth and building my sight around that WooCommerce audience, the Podcast just seemed natural. So the more I talked to people on the more opportunities I saw me to talk to people as guests on the show versus back when I first started it, it was a little harder to find people kind of a deeper into WooCommerce they were more available now.
Bob (11m 23s):
And it just, it was almost just a natural segue that fit for the entire model I was creating. And as a result, even I started just this last a two or three weeks ago, I was doing a WooCommerce round up and I decided that, well, why don’t I make that a little Podcast too is just simply, it’s just another way to get it out there for somebody who would rather listen to a two to three minute thing, then my little news post and I put it up. And so I started that one. So yeah, it, it never in a way, in a long about way it’s never really was, am I going to be stuck in, this is just too niche.
Bob (12m 5s):
In fact, I think that’s the way to do it now. And if you are going to try to monetize yours, Podcast that you got to niche down on this year, some celebrity in some space that you just automatically have a huge following and people throw money at you. Okay.
Danny (12m 21s):
Oh yeah. And it’s funny at the end of the podcast hosts, I used, they have a weekly, a call and like a live call where the customers can, you know, ask the biggest questions about Podcast and grow a show or et cetera, et cetera. And the number one question, you know, rightly or wrongly as about monetization, when can I do it? How soon, how big, how many downloads, et cetera. And it was interesting to see The the CEO and the founder or co-founder of the platform mention that, you know, its not your usual approach and at the wrong way or when it comes to monetization as a boat being useful first providing great content and then start thinking about what can I get back from this? So to speak.
Bob (12m 58s):
Right, exactly. And even when I started the do the Woo as it was in 2016, I started it out the gate saying I’m going to monetize this thing. And it was risky as far as sponsorships, but I looked at it as I’m not looking at numbers, I’m not looking at whatever, I’m looking at a niche and I’m looking at my brand and that’s what I’m going to sell it on and see how that goes.
Danny (13m 22s):
And, and when you mentioned, I mean, I think it’s fair to say Bob to it. Like I said, we’ve known each other for a long time and I’ve seen You to your point about pivoting from, you know, different gangs Topics and where are your expertise lies? And I think it’s pretty safe to say that you are very well respected in both the WordPress and the WooCommerce, you know, arenas as a user of the platform and as someone that’s respected and you know, a share of the expertise, either on your Pop your, your blog or your podcast, where do you see WooCommerce going as a platform to expand beyond WordPress? Do you think it would just stay within that market? Or what was your take on that buy? That’s a good question because
Bob (13m 60s):
It’s weird. I’m kind of this, what do you call it? I don’t know if any of your listeners can relate to it, but I was talking to somebody the other day about the old 1970s, FM disc jockey. So we’re laid back, but throw on a whole album and you wouldn’t hear from them until they flipped over this side. Just merely did tell you to flip all the way or the other side. And they were mellow and they just kind of flowed with their music. And
Danny (14m 26s):
With WordPress, people
Bob (14m 28s):
Are asking me, you know, where do you think it’s going? What’s the direction of it. And I’ve, I look at it as even though obviously a huge part of my life. And there is a community that is involved with it. I look at it as just as this tool that’s constantly changing and I’m just kind of along for the ride and I change with it. So I don’t have not real critical of a change, you know, if something really bugs me or something or, you know, if I saw some direction going in the future that wasn’t wouldn’t fit my model anymore. Yeah. I would look at it. Okay. What can I do here? What can I change? What can I tweak?
Bob (15m 8s):
How can I pivot? But
3 (15m 10s):
I don’t really. Yeah. It’s I don’t really know
Bob (15m 13s):
No where it’s going, you know, I’ve tried to figure it out. And maybe that’s part of the thing I like about technology is I can’t predict when I’m involved with any kind of technology where its going and it kind of surprises me and maybe some change kind of freaks me out a little bit initially like, Oh, I’ve got to learn this now, but how many times do we had to learn something over and over and over dealing with any kind of technology? So its kind of a non-answer because I don’t really know what, what around the corner, because it’s constantly changing and there’s so many and you kind of look at it from the outside user and then you look at it from this community or that sometimes it has its own little bit of turmoil in it and people are, you know, this is being done that this being done wrong.
Bob (15m 60s):
So I, I just sit back and I, I’m almost like at a movie, you know, I’m just watching what’s going on and I wait for the next scene and then, okay, well this was kind of something I didn’t expect, but Hey, I’m, I’m here. I’ll deal with it. So I don’t even know if that’s an answer, but that’s how I take it. That’s my perspective on even where we’re going, you know, it, it could change to the point where I’m not interested in it anymore, but I don’t really see it. And at the age I am, I’m not really in the mood to change. You either know that.
Danny (16m 33s):
And that’s for COVID I know I’ve used a couple of different e-commerce like WordPress e-commerce plug-ins over there. The last time we have five, six years maybe as I’ve helped my wife and a couple of people get online stores up and running. And I remember there was a couple of like a car, six to six and E C S w I D D I think it was another one. And they obviously you got digital download, but WooCommerce, it always seems to be the one that stuck around. It’s actually an improvised and it expanded Europe to the product line in et cetera. So it will be interesting to see, you know, who knows maybe that will become like a Shopify of WordPress and a half of their self hosted, maybe to do that. Now I’m not sure that I haven’t used WooCommerce for a while. Do WooCommerce host sites on their own platform as all of, you know, the, you know,
Bob (17m 13s):
Introduced to it into wordpress.com. So you can install WooCommerce easily on that. Where I don’t know at one point they did that, but I think that’s a lot of the prediction is that there will be some kind of self hosted WooCommerce platform that we would press does. And to me, you know, if that’s the case, I mean, there’s some people there are pros and cons. Everybody has an opinion to me, I’m thinking, Hey, you know, that would probably help. A lot of people get online even more and be able to sell online. And, and they’re kind of doing baby steps to that already, how they integrate jet pack and different other, you know, onboarding experience and easily, they’ve just created their own Woo payments and as a gateway, but they are using Stripe.
Bob (18m 0s):
And the reason they’re calling it Woo payments is its very easy to do the onboarding experience when you’re setting up. If you set it up to the wizard, if you set up Stripe, you’ve got to go ahead and grab the API and everything like that. Like it would do a PayPal and a lot of instances, but this is you just basically Connect you give The you open up an account on Stripe, through their platform and you’re ready to go.
Danny (18m 25s):
That was called us to check that out. Like I say, I have not used WooCommerce for a little bit, but I do have a project coming up that I will need some form, you know, of of a payment gateway payments, drug store. So definitely be checking out a note as someone that’s launched between seven and eight podcasts over the last 10 years or longer 15 years, I guess, what would it be? You know, as it was like one piece of advice that you could give a new podcast or if someone even thinking about coming into the Podcast is basis being a blogger or whatever, what would that be?
Bob (18m 55s):
It’s kind of a two part and I’ll cheat because I’m going to have it too, but I will make them quick. First one is I always tell people, know what the heck you’re going in to this for. I mean, why, why are you starting the podcast? And is it meeting those expectations down the road? Do you know reevaluate? And it simply, you know, if you are going, if you’re starting a podcast to build your brand to monetize, to just hear yourself talk, you know, if you say, okay, I’m going to start a podcast because I’m going to really enjoy it. This is going to be fun. Well, five episodes down the road, are you still having fun? Are you enjoying it? That’s the only reason your podcasting and you have the time and resources to do it then.
Bob (19m 38s):
Great. You, you hit it on the spot, but don’t just do it to jump on the bandwagon and you and I have both been through the blogging days where everybody, you know, blogs, Hey, got, everybody’s got to have a blog. Everybody’s got to have a blog jump on the blogging bandwagon. All of these blogs just started. They get abandoned. Then the same thing happens with podcasts. So, so know that and know your limitations because with all the technical stuff, the post-production, however you decide to do things in producing a podcast, figure out if you’re going to have somebody help you or are you going to do it all yourself? Because again, I think that’s a big reason. People abandon them.
Bob (20m 19s):
They think it’s going to be so easy and they haven’t found the right tools or the right work flow to make it easier for them or are they haven’t reached out to somebody to maybe do, if they need post-production work. Maybe they need somebody to do that for them rather than them trying to learn audacity or GarageBand or you know, any other AUDIO software. So it’s a question of, you know, why are you starting this podcast and decide you are going to put into it as far as resources.
Danny (20m 49s):
And you know, I think that’s a great piece of advice. I know I was just checking on five Rode the other week. They are a tape to get some a post-production a specialist’s for our, our clients are Podcast because I’m, I don’t mean to do my own editing and stuff, but when it comes to a certain, you know, certain qualities that you need, I do not have them. So as you are checking out five and there there’s a huge industry there for post production specialists’ of podcasts that are what designers show hosts as marketers, people that will market your podcast and help you grow it. So I think that’s a great piece of advice. They know your own weakness or your, or your limitations and, you know, outsource to where you can go to the people that can do the stuff that you cannot do.
Bob (21m 30s):
Exactly. And that’s it, there’s that marketing. Those are other things even thrown into the mix that you really got to look at. You know, this, isn’t just getting on there, talking into your microphone, hitting and, and its all done. You know? So yeah, I think that’s just knowing what you want to do and what you may need help doing
Danny (21m 51s):
Now just to swing things around a little bit, we’d known each other for a while. We keep sending it out there for people that are either, I don’t know you or maybe do you know your pet? Is there something that not a lot of people know about you that may surprise them if they found out out of the newer it, you know, I love, yeah. Oh, okay.
Bob (22m 13s):
So, you know, business-wise, I’ll give you a bit a personal on a business wise. Business-wise probly people didn’t know we have a marketing company like 17 years, my wife and I, Judy, which you know very well. He had a marketing company for 17 years in a kind of a suburb of Seattle, a good Mount of those years. And when things people didn’t know is we were actually, we beat out IKEA in a local business awards, which I Kia wasn’t really thrilled with. But if they had the chamber of commerce In are in the town. When we lived, we were up against IKEA in a couple of businesses for community award dumb communities I can say is like a business community business committed to community of the year or something.
Bob (23m 2s):
And we want to turn it over. I can. So we can actually say we won and beat out IKEA. And we actually were in competition with Boeing for another award, which is really odd to think about, but we of course didn’t win that one in the us. And on a personal note, maybe the thing that people don’t know that my very first entrepreneurial job was driving an ice cream truck. And so that was one of those annoying things to go around and play music all the time. I think people kind of know currently every kind of my personality, but I mean how I am a very much of a passive is a very much of a, a, a low key mellow guy, very accepting water, you know, glass, half full type of guys.
Bob (23m 51s):
So, but yeah, business wise, I think people would know that. And Bobby there’s plenty things they don’t know about me that there are probably glad they don’t know. So yeah.
Danny (24m 2s):
That’s interesting to hear about IKEA and born and I care special could imagine, you know, the, the Swedish executor, I was pulling their hair out at sea and who’s this little mom and pop stores and just take it as a business away. And you know,
Bob (24m 14s):
I mean, we were at the award with Boeing. We were just, and they, again, it was I’m, it was true of the school district and that was businesses are committed to the kids. And we had done a lot with the school district’s as far as a lot of helping them support and stuff like that, but it was kind of obvious. We just sat there and thought, you know, this is really funny. They even have both of us competing it to each other because realistically they’re we knew that they weren’t going to pick us ’cause yeah. It’s like Boeing. He had given them, I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars and all this stuff. So it, it was kind of hilarious, but, and then another way it was kinda nice to hear, you know, and these are the finalists Boeing and our company name back then was cat side marketing.
Bob (24m 57s):
And at that, well, we got, I mentioned in the same breath in competition of Boeing, I guess that’s a win
Danny (25m 3s):
And that’s pretty cool. You’ve put it on your website, as I mentioned in the same breath as boring. Yeah. Very cool. Mark. And so Bob, this has been an absolute pleasure having you on, I know of the lessons, I was gonna get a lot of, you know, values and takeaways about Podcast and the WooCommerce platform. If you’re interested in a, learn more about you or a podcast and our WooCommerce on it, you know, because I know that you do WooCommerce, I believe we do WooCommerce consultant. Correct. Are we commerce training?
Bob (25m 30s):
I don’t, I don’t know what I, what I’ve found is that I used to do a little bit of it, but I’m, I’m kind of an expert by osmosis. So I learned from all the people I have on my side, but sometimes I don’t really feel like I’m always though, you know, the best fit to give WooCommerce advice specifically on, you know, creating your store and stuff. So I have a nice, a, a team or a band of people that I can refer people to do. So I, I basically just publish in podcasts these days.
Danny (26m 2s):
Okay. So for people that we’d like to do to land more than others, as you mentioned, you can send a referral to relevant, you know, based on Topics or queries, et cetera, where are the best place people can find you online, either a website or social, et cetera, as well.
Bob (26m 17s):
Bob wp.com is a website, and I’m probably most active on Twitter, which is Bob WPP. So if you go to on any social platform, you can search for me there. If I’m there, that’s where you’re going to find me.
Danny (26m 30s):
Awesome. I’ll make sure to drop the, the links to all the, the, the platforms, et cetera, and the show notes. So as mentioned, guys, this has been another episode of a podcast disorders. I really enjoyed having Bob Dunn on the show today. I hope you enjoyed listening to him and make sure to check the show notes for the links out or drop a note. You have to find a job where he lives, but not where he lives, but what if it were to lose some weight and I’m not going to send to people, you know, especially with the social distancing over your house, like crazy at times. Again, thanks for listening guys. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe, to make sure you get the new shows who wants a published a you can either find the list episode on Podcaster Stories dot com or on your favorite podcast.
Danny (27m 12s):
App include an Apple podcast, Spotify and Google Podcast until the next time take care and we’ll speak soon. You’ve been listening to podcasts or stories. If you enjoyed this week’s show, be sure to subscribe. So you don’t miss an episode and feel free to leave a review on iTunes to help others trying to show it to, I will see in the next time on Podcaster Stories.