There are a lot of blog posts and articles online about sites powered by WordPress. Instead of writing “just another one” of those articles, we here at WPExplorer have decided to start a series that dives deeper than just the website. In People Powered by WordPress we’re going to cover people who are able to run businesses with the help of WordPress, the impact that WordPress has on their business processes, and the sorts of lives that they are able to live because of their business.
In the first installment, I got in touch with my friend Kevin Graham, a digital Nomad that I met in Chiang Mai in Thailand, and asked him a few questions to give you a closer look into his life and business.
Please introduce yourself, and what you do…
My name is Kevin Graham and I’m the founder of two web hosting companies for Private Blog Networks – LaunchCDN and Bulk Buy Hosting. I also run a portfolio of product review web sites and a Software as a Service product called Fresh Feedback, that allows business owners to collect feedback from their customers and direct their happy customers to leave reviews for them on the review sites that matter to them.
When did you get started?
I’ve been full time in this space since 2014, but have been building web sites since 1999 and first used WordPress in 2008 which was around the time of WordPress 2.6.
Why did you decide you wanted to start an online business?
I’ve been running online businesses offering web design and earning advertising revenue since I was about 14 years old. I started because I had a keen interest in technology and the internet and wanted to be a producer of new content for the internet, rather than just a consumer.
When/why did you choose WordPress?
I first chose WordPress for its ease of use as a pure blogging platform – that is, to keep a blog and post updates about new things that I’d found online and updates from my life and career in education.
In more recent times, I’ve transitioned to using WordPress as more of a simple Content Management System and site builder for more static marketing style sites, and really appreciate the convenience of picking a great WordPress theme and using it as the base of building a great looking web site.
What are WordPress’s strengths/weaknesses compared to competitors?
The strength of WordPress comes from the large community that exists around it, who develop amazing themes and plugins to help extend the core functionality of the platform. This makes it fast and easy to bolt on new functionality and use WordPress for a wide variety of things including running an e-commerce store with WooCommerce membership or training sites with plugins like S2 Member or pretty much anything else that you can imagine.
I’ve tried several other content management systems in the past, like Drupal and Joomla, but none have been as easy to get started with as WordPress.
Tell me a little bit about your current lifestyle, (and how it differs from when you were working your last job.)
For the last 4 years, I’ve been a digital nomad which has allowed me to travel the world while running my businesses. I’ve based myself in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand and my home town of Adelaide in Australia during that time and traveled to a large number of the countries across Asia/South East Asia as well, including extended trips to places including Vietnam, Japan, South Korea as well as a lot of Europe including long stays in Germany and the Azores, a remote archipelago that is off the coast of Portugal.
Do you think there is a technical barrier blocking people who aren’t computer engineers from doing what you do, or creating other businesses online?
With specialist WordPress hosting companies like WP Engine, Kinsta and Flywheel, it’s very easy to get started with WordPress. I think that the days of needing to be a computer engineer to build a functional online business are well and truly behind us and WordPress is definitely at the forefront of making it easy to build a beautiful web site and start selling almost anything you want online.
What do you feel the lack of such a barrier means for most people?
It means that it’s super easy to start a side hustle online and earn a few hundred (or a few thousand) dollars a month from your own blog or online store. There are plenty of people doing it, and podcasts like Side Hustle School are helping to showcase people doing exactly that.
It costs less than $9 to buy your own domain name, and a high quality WordPress host like Flywheel (note: we’ve covered Flywheel and other top WordPress hosting options on the blog) costs $15 a month – about 50 cents a day. Add on about $60 once-off for a premium WordPress theme and you can get your own web site online in an evening.
Where can people find out a little bit more about you and your business?
You can find my Private Blog Network hosting companies at LaunchCDN and Bulk Buy Hosting. My web service that allows business owners to collect feedback from their customers and direct their happy customers to leave reviews for them on the review sites that matter to them is called Fresh Feedback. And you can find my personal blog at KevinGraham.com.
In closing, do you have something to say to people who dream about starting a business online, but aren’t pulling the trigger?
Go and check out the Side Hustle School podcast, find some inspiration from the daily episodes of people just like you who are building online businesses and then most importantly, take action on that and get started.
Thank you so much for being the very first interviewee in this series Kevin. Your answers will definitely inspire some of our readers to take action, and start their very own web-based businesses, and hopefully, even change their lives.
And to our readers: If you have any questions for Kevin, any questions you think should be added to the upcoming interviews, or if you have someone you want to be interviewed in mind, we’d love to know. Please leave a comment with your questions below.