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How To Run A Global Summit Teaching WordPress

March 25, 2015
Global WordPress Summit

Currently there’s a global virtual event going on, called WP Summit. It’s running until March 25, bringing together 28 experts on WordPress and online business.

I created this event, because I felt the need for it when I started my career in online business in early 2013. There were blogs about WordPress, but no comprehensive resource, presenting the information I needed like a step-by-step walkthrough.

What I wanted was having some of the best experts on WordPress giving me their advice on how to build a great WordPress site (whatever that means), how to build a list and a raving audience, and how to monetize a WordPress site. Of course there were paid memberships. But to that time my online business was a side hustle, I still worked as business consultant. So I didn’t want to invest money in it, only time.

Boiling it down, I was searching for a free, comprehensive resource walking me through the process of building a WordPress website from scratch and scaling it to a profitable online business. And that’s exactly what I set out to create.

The Secret Planning Phase Of The WP Summit

Why secret? Because only very few people besides my friend and mentor Navid Moazzez knew about my plans. I didn’t even tell my girlfriend.

The speaker line-up for the WP Summit had to be incredible, to meet my own standards. I like learning from the best, that’s just how I’m wired.

The topics I wanted the WP Summit to cover should range from WordPress fundamentals to advanced techniques like split-testing landing pages or protecting your WordPress from being hacked.

I wanted the round-up resource that I was missing myself. So I wrote down the list of topics I wanted to interview people on:

  • WordPress fundamentals
  • Web hosting
  • Online business strategies
  • List building
  • Website design & WP themes
  • WordPress security
  • SEO
  • Social media marketing
  • Conversion optimization
  • Sales funnels

I’m by no means an expert in those fields, but after messing around with online business and WordPress for almost two years, I know enough to interview an expert on them and ask the right questions.

So, knowing what I wanted to talk about, I started reaching out to influencers and really popular entrepreneurs. Really really popular ones. This is an excerpt of the line-up I got together:

  • Jason Cohen (founder of WP Engine)
  • Rand Fishkin (founder of Moz)
  • Tony Perez (co-founder of Sucuri)
  • Dan Norris (co-founder of WP Curve)
  • Oli Gardner (co-founder of Unbounce)
  • Navid Moazzez (host of The Branding Summit)
  • and many more

Call it perfectionism, call it persistence. I wanted to have A-level speakers on the WP Summit, and I got them. Of course not all speakers are on that level, but every single one has proven his or her skills in running highly successful online businesses.

The Tools Behind The WP Summit

The WP Summit is built on a few pillar tools, that extend the functionality of WordPress to the level that’s needed. First of all the theme. It is The Ken by Artbees (it’s on Themeforest), which is extremely flexible thanks to the Visual Composer and easy customization options for colors, fonts, and custom CSS / JS. Here’s a list of all plugins that are installed on the WP Summit website:

  • BackWPUp
  • CrazyEgg Heatmap Tracking
  • Easy Social Share Buttons
  • YoaST SEO and Analytics
  • W3 Total Cache
  • OptinMonster
  • Kraken Image Optimizer
  • Redirection
  • Wishlist Member
  • WPBakery Visual Composer

The combination of these plugins is extremely powerful. Let me just share a statistic about the conversion rate of OptinMonster. I configured it to function like a lead box, opening on the click of a button. This is it’s conversion rate:

Roughly 70% of all visitors who click the button that opens the opt-in form, subscribe to the free interviews. To put these 70% into context, here’s the traffic graph from your Cyfe dashboard:

You can see that the traffic really started when the Summit launched on March 16. Until now we roughly have 4,000 visitors on the website, 1,300 of them converted into subscribers. That’s a conversion rate of 32.5%. Pretty good if you ask me. Of course the conversion rate heavily depends on copy, call-to-action, context of the button, etc. – but with testing around I think 32.5% are a solid result.

In the plugins you can also see CrazyEgg, which I use for heatmaps and scroll maps. These show me exactly where people click on my website, how far they scroll, and which topics they’re most interested in.

As you can see, many people clicked on “Design & Themes“, and indeed those interviews received a lot of love from the attendees. Knowing how your audience behaves on your website is a great way to tune your offer!

Free Interviews, And A Global Vision

The WP Summit is my aim to create something that has impact on a global scale. Before I started working on the WP Summit, I worked as web designer with companies mostly in Singapore and the US.

My business already was more global than 99% of the residents in the small town I live in ever could imagine. The town is Emden, Germany – most of the people living here are 2 years behind the German technological evolution, which again is 5 years behind to what’s happening in the US or Asia.

I was a bit selfish to create the WP Summit. I wanted to blow people in my hometown away, when telling them about what I do for a living. I wanted to tell them that I created a global virtual event, that helped WordPress users everywhere around the world. The residents here would have no idea what WordPress is, yet I like the idea 🙂

So, I decided to give away all interviews for FREE for 48 hours after they’re released. That means, you can sign up for free, and will get a daily email including a link to the latest interviews.

By offering the interviews for free, I hoped to attract people from all over the world. And boy did I achieve this target. To the time writing this, the website gets traffic from 102 countries and more than 1,000 subscribers got free access to the interviews already.

This is the power of WordPress. I’m just a regular guy, passionate about building online businesses and educating others on using WordPress. I’m not special, yet I know how to use WordPress and now I also learned how to pull off a global event like the WP Summit.

You know what’s so great about this? If I can do it, you can do it too. I know, that phrased is used way too often. Yet it is true. Getting the most out of your WordPress site will help you generate more traffic to your site, get more leads (that result into more sales), and have a bigger impact on the world.

That’s why I love blogs like WP Explorer, because they already contribute on a large scale to this movement The WP Summit is yet another contribution, and hopefully in a few years as established as WP Explorer is now. Now go out and build a WordPress site that takes you a step closer towards your goals!

Here’s your free ticket to the WP Summit!

To your success, Jan

Article by Jan Koch guest author
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  1. SherylAnne54

    I learned more than I ever imagined. I have connections now that will encourage me as I gained the confidence to pursue my goal. Thank you to all the experts including Jan Koch. God bless your day, see you … out there.

    • Jan Koch

      Thank you so much Sheryl!
      I’m glad you find the interviews helpful 🙂

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