The WP Minute+

From the early days of WordPress Media to the high-stakes game of balancing life, work, and passion; journey with us into the world of two WordPress veterans. Join Matt and Dustin as they reminisce about their beginnings, discuss the ever-evolving landscape of WordPress, and share insights about maintaining successful long-term projects. So buckle in, it’s time to dive deep into the riveting realm of WordPress.

Matt asks Dustin about his consistent content contributions to the WordPress community and the non-monetary benefits he derives from it. They delve into the challenges of balancing content production with a full-time job, family responsibilities, and other life events. 

Dustin discusses his aspiration to monetize his YouTube channel to generate enough income to upgrade his personal Apple devices. He explores the idea of sponsorships and generating income indirectly by optimizing his wife’s online businesses.

They also talk about the struggles of dealing with website management, as exemplified by Dustin's pain points in transferring their data from Sensei to LearnDash. Matt also commends Dustin for his maintenance of the Website Engineer brand and its informative value to the WordPress users. Toward the end, they soothe their creator challenges by reminiscing about the joy of being recognized and how they're influencing others because of what they do.

Here are some key links they referenced:

Three key takeaways:

  • Consistency is crucial in content creation, whether it's a podcast, a YouTube channel, or a blog. You cultivate credibility and a dedicated audience over time.
  • Monetizing content creation is possible, but it requires strategy, persistence, and sometimes, disruptive thinking. Connections and sponsorship can be avenues for income generation.
  • Keeping up with the evolving nature of content creation tools and platforms is important, even if transitioning between them poses challenges.
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What is The WP Minute+?

For long-form interviews, news, and commentary about the WordPress ecosystem. This is the companion show to The WP Minute, your favorite 5-minutes of WordPress news every week.

Matt: Hey Dustin, welcome to the program.

Dustin: Hello.

Hello.

Matt: Ten years ago, episode 23,
you appeared on the Matt Report.

Boy, we look young.

I don't have one gray hair, in mine.

And you are wearing the same jacket today.

Folks can't see you, but
you're wearing the same jacket.

Dustin: I'm wearing the same jacket
and I look very young as well.

That is pre kid.

So that was a long time ago.

Matt: But you have like 30
pounds of muscle on you now.

What happened?

Dustin: Well, well, that's
a little bit of work.

Yes.

Matt: Crossfit?

Alright!

I knew it!

I knew it.

How's that going?

How's the balance of life,
kids, podcasting, automatic?

Dustin: Yeah, it is,
it's a balance for sure.

And this week is really testing me
because we started back with soccer.

My son's in soccer.

He's in first grade.

So I have a first year old son
and first grade son, and my

daughter is in fourth grade.

And so soccer started back up this week.

He's like in a full year program
that they took the month of October

or month of November off, I guess.

And then basketball started.

So I am a first grade boys.

Basketball coach for the local
rec league and then my daughter's

in gymnastics and dance.

And so we've got all of these
things happening this week with a

culmination of a Christmas party on
Friday going to a, going to Topgolf.

I don't know if there's Topgolf near
you, but we've got That happens.

So there's light at the end of the tunnel.

We're going top golfing and the
kids are staying with friends.

And so we have like a
one night away from them.

So, but getting to your question, doing
all the things like, man, it is hard.

And I, I feel like earlier on, like I
was very dedicated to WordPress podcasts.

Like I host the, your
website engineer podcast.

And that was like.

I'm not going to miss ever.

Like I would go on vacation
and I would schedule things.

And man, it has been really
hard to keep consistent.

So I rely on my calendar a lot.

last night, last night I was actually even
recording, like I came down to my computer

and I was like, what can I get done today?

And like putting blocks on the
calendar and rearranging it.

And I, I mean, I got done
with the workout about.

13 minutes before we started talking
and I showered and I shaved and I'm just

like I'm here like you try to fit those
blocks of time in and get your priorities

in and I mean it is it is hard, but
I do all my work for work from home.

I work out at home and then I have a
lot of kid running to and from places

and I mean, it's It's an everyday thing.

Matt: I'm sure life at automatic
kind of affords you that flexibility.

I mean, I think Matt and companies sort of
really tout the fact that, automatic has

been like this remote workforce forever.

Right.

So they kind of like
lead the charge in that.

And, there's a lot of flexibility there.

We could chat about that in a minute,
but I'm looking at the title of our last

episode that we did on the matter report.

It was the rise of WordPress media.

This is stuff you and I were talking
about over a decade ago again back in

April 23 or excuse me, April 23rd, 2013.

You and I were talking about the
stuff that you and I were both doing,

like putting out WordPress content.

Really, educating, informing,
hopefully entertaining some folks.

Has there been a drastic difference, that
you've seen over the last decade of this

business of creating WordPress media?

Like what has changed in your life?

Dustin: Yeah.

what's changed in my life is I don't
have the time to do it as much and

I, I find, and I'm, I'm seeing, like,
I used to be like, I'm not going to

re, I'm going to re, I am going to
subscribe to all the things and listen

to everybody else's opinion and thing.

You don't have time to do that, right?

You have time to keep your
kind of your head, head down.

And I see like on Twitter, I see like, Oh,
you're following some of the big blogs.

Like I do a lot of news for my podcast.

And so there's always
a segment about news.

And so I'm all the time like looking
for like, who's doing webinars on things

or what companies are in the space.

And, you know, you can tell that
the bigger WordPress companies are.

Producing that more media or they're,
you know, they're continuing to

just be out there in the space.

And I think that's, what's really
cool about just WordPress in general.

Like anybody can be their own voice.

I don't know how many people have
like started a podcast or like

just done it because why not?

Like it's a good way to give back.

That's, that's my main reason why I
continue to do my podcast is because I

don't have the time or the energy to like.

Contribute back to core or
you know, write blog posts for

WordPress news or things like that.

But I do have time to
share Here's some updates.

Here's some things that are going on
Here's some of the things that you need

to learn about when it comes to WordPress
and here's the changes and whatnot So I

think there's there's a lot more media
that's out there And I think that's just

kind of part of the times too, right?

the youtube is really big like now in
comparison to it was 10 years ago like

I don't even watch TV anymore, Harley.

It's like, Oh, I subscribed to these
YouTube people that are building

this or doing that or whatnot.

And so, so yeah, so I think that
just in the general landscape of just

how life is in 2023, like there's
going to be more media content.

Matt: you're coming up.

If you don't realize this, Dustin,
you're coming up on a 13 year

anniversary for website engineer.

Your first episode was December 3rd, 2010.

So

Dustin: Yeah.

So

Matt: you have anything
planned for 13 years?

Dustin: no, absolutely not.

It's like, I think I'm going
to publish a Matt report

podcast or something like that.

That's my, my big claim to fame.

No, I, I kind of like, I don't,
I don't think I've ever really

done like big milestone things.

Maybe at a hundred I did, I think
I'm getting close to, let's see, I'd

published last week, uh, number five 43.

And so like the, after that, it's kind
of like WordPress releases, right?

Like there's no big fanfare for 6.

0 or 5.

0, like.

Yep, this is another episode.

We're just going to keep chugging along.

And so no, don't have anything planned.

I'm approaching my, so December 3rd is
my anniversary for your website engineer

and December 2nd, which is the day before
is my 10 year anniversary at automatic.

So I got some, some big
milestones coming up.

Matt: Nice.

And there is something at for
10 years at automatic, right?

Dustin: It is a sabbatical number two.

Matt: Sabbatical number two.

And now that just, that
happens at 10 years or it just

happens to fall on you or,

Dustin: you are eligible.

So at automatic, you can get a sabbatical
after you've been there with the

company five years, and then the day
you come back from your sabbatical.

So you can take it anytime
after you reach five years.

And so as soon as that happens,
as soon as you get back from your

first sabbatical, that's when the
timer starts for your second one.

So I didn't take the
first one in December.

We were just closing on this house and
it was brand new and it was winter.

And my.

Kids were little and like, I'm
like, I don't really want to enjoy a

sabbatical in the middle of the winter.

And so I pushed mine off until
May and we took some vacations.

I worked on the house, built
a deck and stuff like that.

And then when I, and so then August
1st is 2024 is when I'm eligible again.

So I've got a.

I don't know.

What is that?

Nine months counting down

Matt: Yeah, that's cool, man.

that's awesome.

Talk to me.

Here's one thing that I really envy about
you except for the fact that maybe you

can do about 50 more pull ups than me.

your consistency with your website
engineer 500 plus episodes.

I have never been able to stay in
the lane of one project, right?

One brand as a creator.

I just, you.

Matt report was the longest
running thing, right?

So it was 10 years or so.

I stopped publishing Matt report
episodes back in September last year.

So over a year ago.

and I focused primarily now here
at the WP minute, the WP minute

plus podcast, focusing on WordPress
news, short form and long form.

This is long form.

How have you stayed in
the state in the lane?

with your website engineer, how
do you just keep that core focus?

Dustin: Yeah, I don't know.

Like it is early on.

I, like I mentioned, it was kind of
like the drive of like, okay, I'm

going to be that number one show.

That's most consistent.

I'm always out there.

Things, you know, I'm just going
to continue to bring content.

And then there was a stretch where I was
doing some different things at automatic

and I wasn't on a WordPress specific team.

So I was kind of out of the
WordPress space for a little bit.

And so that's kind of where I had some
stalling, maybe 20, 2021 and 2022.

Just there, there wasn't
things that I'm seeing.

Like I work in support and now
like when you're in support, you

see a lot of stuff that probably
shouldn't happen on WordPress sites.

And so that kind of gives you some,
some fuel for, for continuing with it.

So I think it's just kind of like that.

I don't know when I started, I always
thought, Oh, this will be really cool.

Someday when I can say I
have 500 episodes of like.

Something and, and, and like you,
I'm not really good at finishing.

This honestly is like the only thing that
I am good at staying consistent about

because my wife and I have, or my wife
has a, she's a full time small business

owner and we've got two or three sites.

And so like a lot of my
WordPress stuff comes from there.

That's where I get my itch to like
build stuff and create and, you

know, do an e learning platform or
a subscription thing or do that.

And so I get to do all of that with
her, but we are very bad at like.

Finishing.

We're really good at coming up
with ideas and getting it like

a 90 percent of the way done.

And then be like, nah, we got
to move on to this next thing.

Or like, I'm very reactive in the
fact that it's like, oh, I should have

prepared for this podcast, you know,
yesterday, but it was like, oh, I've

got three minutes until I sign on.

Let me come up with some
questions that I want to add,

you know, or anything like that.

So it's, it's just one of
those things that it's.

I don't know, it's, it's hard, but I kind
of have that drive of like, I just want

to continue to create content, and this is
my only thing that is successful, I guess,

in a way, and easy for me to continue
to give back to the WordPress community.

Matt: you the type of creator
that backs everything up?

Dustin: Backup as in,

Matt: Like,

Dustin: saves everything.

Matt: save everything.

You've got disks, you've got
terabytes of NAS storage, all that

Dustin: No, not really.

I create, I keep the mp3 file and then
the mp3 files obviously uploaded to

Lipsyn or, you know, whatever host.

And that's all I really create.

I've been in the process of
like moving my life into notion.

So another thing that I'm really
terrible at is like, Oh, I need

this tool to do this thing.

So there was like a stretch
of like 50 episodes that I.

Oh, I'm going to use day
one to create my show notes.

And then before that it was
notes and then it was ever note.

And it's been like all these things.

So I've got all of that stuff everywhere.

And so like, I'm just trying
to consolidate and like

with notion is really cool.

You can, you can create like schedules
and a calendar and I'm going to publish

this here and it's got the, it's got
the template and everything built in.

So I have like my whole show
notes and I just fill it out.

And, but I have, like I said, I
have 543 episodes and I have like

back to five 18 in notion so far.

So I still have 500 more.

To go and like in the process,
like I always feel like it's a

good thing to get updated with
like the latest in wordpress too.

So like I'm so for example,
like I'll take 5 17.

I'll open that up in the editor.

If there's a reusable block I'm
using now, like I'll swap that out.

I'll fix formatting like for a long time.

I was using I was using markdown
in my show notes and so like The

markdown needs jetpack to work right.

And so like now I'm backing those out and
fixing those so they don't need jetpack.

And, you know, just like trying to like,
I don't know where your question was or

what your question was all the way back.

But, but just like continuing to, you
know, pre produce this content and like,

Oh, how do I keep everything backed up?

I don't really like there's there's
tons of like data that's out there

and it's like am I really going to use
this Thing that I created 12 years ago.

Well every all the interfaces are
different now I think that's one of the

thing that's that's hard in wordpress.

Like i've got a lot of good video
content that I created Before like

the new dashboard, right before
mp5, I think is what it was called,

like the old school, like 3.

0 dashboard.

And it's like, well, this is not
really usable at all because like,

nobody's going to watch this.

They're like, this guy
recorded it in the stone age.

Like it's

Matt: yeah.

Dustin: it's not even legit now,

Matt: Is this 480p?

Like, where, where was,
how old is this guy?

yeah, I, I often, I often joke, you,
Probably a mutual friend of ours,

probably is WP Tuts, from, from YouTube.

And, he, he was just posting the
other day on Twitter, or yesterday, in

fact, that, he's like, Oh, I'm back.

I got, I'm backing up all
of my, my catalog of videos.

It's taken me all day, all this stuff.

And I'm like, here's the easy mode.

Don't back anything up, Paul.

Like.

Just don't, I don't, you know,
but he's, you know, obviously

everybody has different.

And it's just, I'm always curious
to, to peer into the mindset of other

creators, because I think there are
those who back everything up script.

Absolutely.

Everything storyboard,
everything are super organized.

they have their content calendar out.

Like two or three quarters, you
know, and it's, and I, I super,

yeah, I super appreciate that.

but one life with kids, I have three
young kids and two, I have a full time

job, just like you, I work at gravity
forms, you work at automatic, and this

is just like the side hustle, you know?

So it's just like, I'm
getting this stuff out there.

If I ever need to download it again.

I'll go to my web host and I'll,
and I'll download it, or the podcast

host and I'll download it or I'll
go to YouTube and download the VOD.

And you know, what am I going
to do with this video later?

No, one's going to want

Dustin: right.

And in a terrible game to play terrible.

And I'm in the midst of this,
like we were talking before we

started that I've got new machines
and like hard drives are full.

And like the Synology that I have
that backs everything up, that's not

super readily accessible right now.

And so like my wife does some photo
editing as part of her side gigs.

And like, she's always like, I
need more space to do this thing.

So then I've got to back things up.

And then I always feel uncomfortable.

Like, Oh, I've backed
this up to a Synology.

That's got.

It's rated so it's on there twice, but
I don't feel comfortable deleting it

from another machine because we might
lose, you know, like there's all these

things and it's just like the, like
you said, if you don't save things,

it just is easier on your brain and
you don't have to worry about it.

Matt: Yeah, yeah.

talk to me about staying
in the lane of just audio.

is it really a, a, a
time and resource thing?

Or, I mean, you have some videos
up on your YouTube channel.

as of this recording, there
was one three months ago.

Why full site editing is the real deal?

is it just a time and resource thing?

You know, going into YouTube,
creating other content?

what's up?

Dustin: Yeah, so I, I have this
aspiration for like actually

making money from YouTube someday.

Will that happen?

Who knows?

But, and, and I started, I was
going to do like short form videos.

I've done longer webinars that you're
that one that you just referenced was

like a webinar recording that I did.

So it's a little longer form content.

And, and honestly, I used to
do that when I was full time.

It was like, I'm going
to prepare once a month.

The first whatever day, I think
it was always the first Friday at

noon, I was going to do a webinar
and just kind of teach something

and just having like that consistent
schedule, I find is really helpful.

one of the things that makes it
difficult is like my schedule

always changes based on like I
have to put my availability and so.

So you referenced earlier that
automatic is super flexible and it

is, but it's not, spontaneous is one
way that we like to say in support.

Like it's super flexible and you can
pick your hours, but you have to pick

them two or three weeks in advance.

And so one of the hard parts is
like, I'll have an idea and it's

like, Oh, I really want to do this
podcast or I want to do this thing.

And it's like, well, let
me look at my schedule.

The next time I have a two hour block
of time when there's no kids around.

So it's quiet and, and it's not bedtime.

I'm like, That's in two weeks.

And so like two weeks go by and
it's like, oh, well, I'm not really

interested in that right now.

And I always found that.

Audio was always just so easy for me
to do a lot of times probably of the

500 episodes There's probably like 300
of them that I never edited like well

I would go in and I would edit like
my show has four or five sections like

if I messed up a like a segment of the
show like I would just Start the whole

thing over again, and so I would just
like out and now I've been editing these

last, I don't know, 15 episodes, 20
episodes, quite a while with the script.

And now like I can just highlight
the, all the texts and I'm actually

starting to work with the script
and doing some audio things.

So it's also like, you can see my
background here is like boring.

I'm like, I don't have
anything to show behind me.

Like I don't have a setup
that looks good for video.

Plus a lot of video
content is like even just.

Even like a talking head, right?

You, you talk a little bit and then you
show something on the screen and then you

talk some more like just that setting all
the stuff up to get a good camera angle.

It just it feels like it's a lot of work.

Matt: Yeah.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

It is a lot of work.

and by the way, for the listener,
I, I'll be appearing on, or you'll

hear me on Dustin's, podcast as well.

Maybe I can talk to you on your
channel about, how much money you

can or cannot make with YouTube.

because, I do have, AdSense enabled on
the channel and we can chat about that.

yeah, it's, it's, it's
certainly a lot of work.

The, the landscape of going back
to what we originally talked about,

again, a decade ago, WordPress media.

You know, hats off again to folks
like you who have, been consistent,

persistent, with creating this content
because there's a lot of folks out

there, especially in the YouTube
landscape where they look at WordPress.

In fact, I was just before we hopped
on, I emailed you said, Hey, I'm

gonna be a couple of minutes late.

I was having a meeting with another
sort of like YouTube brand in the space

and, There's a lot of folks out there
on the YouTube world that are just

like, Hey, get this hot affiliate deal.

It's a WordPress plugin.

Here it is.

Like I'm going to talk about that.

And then next week, another hot
affiliate deal came through.

So I'm going to talk about that.

And, you know, listen, I, I, you know,
I don't knock, I can't knock the hustle.

As long as you're like,
Hustling for the right reasons.

Like you're trying to build like this,
whatever, passive income business.

It's okay.

Like I have some degree of, forgiveness
in, in, in that realm, you know, but

if you're just like, I don't even
care and I don't care what happens to

these WordPress users after they use
this cheap plugin or terrible theme,

like that's where it really bugs
me, but it's also, I realized that.

This passion for WordPress, like the
folks that maybe you and I talked to,

I would say is like the 1 percent of
WordPress who actually like really care.

Maybe not your content, but my content
is probably like 1 percent of WordPress.

It doesn't make any money, right?

Like I'm talking to a limited audience,
not on my YouTube channel, but on

my podcast for sure, because it's
analyzing the WordPress industry, the

community, the business side of things.

The YouTube channel is like You know
the sports section of the newspaper

people come like, oh, this is cool
Show me how to do this wordpress thing,

but the podcast in the newsletter.

That's me analyzing the industry and
in my opinion Is a maximum of 10 000

english speaking people in the world
who care about what's happening?

At automatic with WordPress core
with the economics of WordPress.

That's my cap.

I don't have a question here

Dustin: yeah,

Matt: all that, but like, what,
what do you see those pockets

Dustin: yeah, I think that's kind of like
I always saw that kind of as a limitation

of like, I know that there's really no
like ceiling as an entrepreneur Like you

could make a bunch of money doing you
know things but again like to get a free

audience to listen again We are in this
weird space where it's like, okay, we do

have It's people that are interested in
WordPress and they're kind of geeky enough

to want to listen to WordPress podcasts.

And, you know, so that's not even like
even a lot of store owners or whatnot.

So it's, it's hard to really know whether,
whether you're talking to, and I've

always had the, the challenge of like.

Is my podcast made for beginners?

Is it made for like people
who are store owners?

Is it for developers who
want to learn more stuff?

Like, where is that?

And I always found that that was kind
of a, it was, it was a hard thing.

And it was like, ah, man, if I
would have chose a different thing,

like remodeling my house, like.

There's a ton more people who, even
if they don't ever have the desire

to remodel a house or like build
this thing, like they might watch the

channel because it would be interesting.

And, and so, yeah, so it's always like,
Oh man, like, did we pick the right thing?

Like, again, we're doing it
because it's a passion thing.

Like we enjoy talking about WordPress.

We enjoy like seeing the improvements
that especially, you know, like all the

things that have changed in the last.

15 years, like it's been really
cool to watch and see and kind of

like, Oh, I'm kind of an influencer.

Like it's kind of one of those influencer
things where it's like, Oh, you go

to work camp, people know who you are
and you know, you'll talk and you'll

stop in, but you're at the grocery
store and nobody knows who you are.

And that's exactly, exactly
the way that I like it.

Matt: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

I, I, you know, I have a joke.

Joke about that.

I was doing a lot of mentoring in a
local, business accelerator pre covid,

when they had a lot of in person stuff.

And, you know, my podcast
was the wordpress podcast.

You know, a lot of those folks
that would bring me in to talk

about wordpress was, you know,
because they knew I did a podcast.

They didn't listen to the wordpress
podcast because they weren't Like users,

but they were like, Oh, I know you do this
thing about WordPress consistently come

in and talk to the group about building
a WordPress site for their, you know, for

their business that they're just starting.

And, And so then eventually I started
like, Hey, I'm talking to all.

And my family has run businesses
in the local community for.

50 plus years.

So I have a strong sense of like
community and entrepreneurship

and tying those two together.

so then I was like, Hey, I'm talking
to all these local businesses.

I'm going to start this
local business podcast.

Now, again, this is pre COVID.

and then I started it literally two
episodes in, I walked into a coffee

shop and somebody was like, Hey,
you're that guy that does that podcast.

So I was like, I'm like,
you, you use WordPress?

And they were like, no, you do.

Oh, it was called South Coast FM.

You do South Coast FM.

I'm like, how, how did that even happen?

How did that happen in like two seconds?

It took me like 20 years in
WordPress to be like recognized.

And, and like, but, but it's weird.

Like when you, I.

God, as a creator, always look at the
other side of the fence and say, if

I just did something else, I might
be a little bit more successful,

Dustin: Yeah.

Matt: right?

You know, like if I didn't
cover WordPress, right, maybe I

would have a different audience.

And sometimes it really pulls at
you as a, as a creator, right?

And as a business person at the end of the

Dustin: I watch a lot of like YouTube of.

Like house projects or like some builders
and creators and I've started, I don't

know, maybe in 2021 maybe is when I kind
of really got into like, okay, I'm going

to start watching a lot of YouTube and
it's just been incredible to see that I've

done nothing that's outside of, you know,
I've barely done any WordPress or YouTube

stuff and I've watched these creators
go from, you know, they went from 500,

000 to 800, 000 to a million subscribers
and they're just like the one guy that

I follow is, His name is Jason and he
does bourbon moth is his brand name,

but he does like woodworking projects
and basically he'll he has somebody that

just edits everything that he does and
then he just watches it and then does a

voiceover like so his editor puts it all
and he just sits there and he watches and

he's like, Oh, this is when I did this
and this and just he's got a dry sense of

humor and just really kind of a funny guy.

And now it's like, Oh, I'm
getting sponsored by this thing.

And he has a, a, yeah.

A non woodworking podcast that basically
him and another creator just talk

about like what they've been doing.

It's so interesting to hear like, oh
yeah, I got this deal from so and so.

And it's like, you know, when you
have that many subscribers and that

many things, it's like, man, you
know, if I had went down the other

path, like, could I have had a, a
Home Depot sponsor that helped me

turn my fireplace into, you know,
something amazing or, you know, build

out all these things that I wanted to.

And it's like, Oh man, you
know, is that the thing?

I don't know.

Matt: so we probably talked about
this a decade ago, but is is

there a business model right now?

Do you sell sponsorship on the podcast
or you're not allowed to because of the

YouTube because of the automatic day job?

Dustin: I've had a few people
reach out and say they were

interested in sponsoring.

I don't think.

I don't know if it would
be a conflict or not.

I've always kind of like just pursued,
like, can you give me a free account?

Let me see what they're like.

I don't want to just say like, Oh,
this spot, this is brought to you by

factor foods or, you know, whatever.

Like, I think it should be
WordPress related and it should

be something that I actually use.

And so I haven't taken it, but I had.

I had a goal in 2023, which didn't happen
because the year's almost over, but

like, I wanted to at least as a hobby
project, like I don't really pay for

anything like the, the hosting is, you
know, like hosting costs for, for, for

my website is all through automatic.

Cause I use a product I
use pressable for that.

And then, my hosts, like that's a few
pennies or whatever for the podcast.

So, so I don't really have
like a lot of expenses.

Every plugin I use is like one
of our products or whatnot.

But like, I have a goal, like I
would really like to be able to like

upgrade my personal Apple devices
with just income from my podcast.

So like, that was kind of where my
goal was like, if I could go to YouTube

and get enough, like I have enough
subscribers to start getting ads,

but I don't have enough watch time.

So that's like where my,
where my problem is right now.

And.

So I think like there is some, there is
some drive to like try to make money.

But on the other hand, my wife
has successful things going on.

And if I can optimize her sites to
do things, to make more money, like

it's all kind of the same, right?

Matt: Yeah, so that's not the
leading metric by the way pressable

fantastic sponsor of the WP
minute, thank you Pressable.

yeah, I mean, it's, it's tough.

You know, you look at the, you
look at what's available out there.

I spent two and a half years in
the podcast industry working at a

podcast host after I left, Pagely,
which was another WordPress host.

I got sold to GoDaddy and As somebody
who helped folks start their podcast,

a lot of people come in jaded to this
industry and they go, Hey, I saw, you

know, Mike Maron, Joe Rogan, you know,
Whitney Cummings, like your favorite,

whatever, like comedian podcast
that have been literally beating the

streets and going to comedy clubs for
decades before starting a podcast,

already famous in their own circles.

Making money and then people go,
Oh, all it is is plugging in a

microphone and talking and then get,
you know, and getting sponsorships.

It doesn't work that way.

And even harder in the audio landscape,
than it is in the YouTube landscape,

although the YouTube income has dropped
significantly because of YouTube, right?

They're really starting to
tighten that belt around.

income, which is just this complete
reset to owning your dot com, right?

Owning a WordPress website, driving
traffic to that, building an email

list while you can, before that gets
squeezed, because that'll be the next

thing that big tech companies go after.

and.

It's important to, like, build your brand,
roll up your sleeves, get to work, and the

decrease in, in Google, organic traffic
also hitting creators a lot this year,

and it's like, hey, did, you know, did,
did, did the algorithm in the traffic?

Did we, were we supposed
to get this to begin with?

Was this like a steroid
injection to creators?

And guess what?

It's hard.

Just like it's running a traditional
brick and mortar business is hard.

So is this.

And you're going to have to drive
people, create amazing content.

And now you get a fraction of that traffic
that you used to get pre AI and pre

COVID and you know, all of this stuff.

So it's it's an interesting,
an interesting world.

What do you think held?

You know, I don't want to say held you
back because you kind of answered it.

You, you're not really looking for
that money, but are you going to put a

plan in place that makes 2, 500 to 5,
000 bucks next year with your content

to pay for a new Apple laptop or

Dustin: Right, yeah, yeah, yeah, I
think that Like, I don't know what that

number is, like, you think when you
back it out for a year, like, oh, if

I make 2, 500, 2, 400, right, that's
easy math, that's 200 bucks a month,

like, okay, like, I could probably do
that with a sponsorship here or there,

you know, like, some small little, some
wins there, so, the hard part is, like,

with, with working at automatic, like, I
can't really charge for anything that's

WordPress related, like, that's part of
the conflict of interest, and so, yeah.

I don't know.

So it just kind of makes that a
little bit of a sticky situation.

So, but yeah, if I can continue to like
pump out some, some content and get the

views or, you know, whatever, like I do
want to have it play in a place to like

be more consistent for next year and just
kind of like, I think what's hard for me.

Is like, since I do the news
part of the show, like I can't

batch record very easily because,
cause you know, like it's okay.

There's no news because I
just recorded 10 seconds ago.

Like that doesn't really make sense.

But, yeah, I think it's just
kind of like sitting down and

just really kind of focusing.

It just, I don't know.

Next year, I think is a big quote
unquote, I'm going to say big year.

I turned 40 next year.

And so it's kind of like, I'm trying to
like line all these things up to like,

okay, it's going to be a sweet year.

Like,

Matt: That's why you
don't have gray hair yet.

I was, you know, so jealous of your,

Dustin: Yeah.

So, so yeah, so I, I think that money's
not the driving factor, but like, it

is kind of nice to say like, oh, hey,
there's money set aside over here in

my quote unquote business that I can
use to upgrade, or I can pay for the

subscription, or I could do this or that.

And so like, it's not, okay, this
is going to Financially contribute

to the household, but two or
300 a month is certainly nice.

Like I have, I have affiliate
relationships with like convert kit

and you know, some of those things that
we still use, but I don't know, like

it's really hard as like, I don't have
as a happiness engineer at automatic.

Like I don't get my own personal
referral code to use wordpress.

com for stuff

Matt: Oh, the money you would

Dustin: because yeah, so, because
we, we now offer this on wordpress.

com we offer like the.

It's called built by or built and it's
499 for like a business site with five

page site and this is what a lot of my
friends need when they need a website and

it's like, well, this is all you need.

Just go over here and do it.

And they're done like
in four or five days.

But like, I don't get any kickback from
that, even though like, I don't know.

So I don't know.

So your whole story point, like
it would, it'd be great to outline

a plan and it's one of those
things that I'm always behind.

And then it's like, oh, well in
January, now I'm going to create the

plan for the year, but now it's almost
February, you know, like, so I just

need to sit down and like today is
actually a, probably a good day because

it is a, it's a flex day from work.

I've got to work on this weekend
because 24 hour support and whatnot.

So it's like, maybe I should
just sit down and just kind

of plan the year a little bit.

Yeah.

Matt: Now, couldn't you,
I just signed up for.

actually a wordpress.

com account for a side
project that I have.

And couldn't you put ads, through jetpack
or, oh, your site's on pressable, right?

So you wouldn't be able to maybe get
into that ad network, but wordpress.

com has a bunch of tools
for creators where you could

monetize and that would be ads.

Just like you were getting YouTube ads.

You're not really competing against
WordPress because you're using the

Dustin: right,

Matt: that could be a thing that you

Dustin: I think you can
do that with jetpack.

And again, it's one of those things that
like jetpack has 32 features that I don't

even know about, like, because I just
don't have time to like play with it.

And, and it's, it's always like, I always
say on my podcast too, like this is a

do as I say, not as I do show, like,
you know, keep your plugins updated,

keep your stuff like ready to go.

And it's just like, as a small
business owner, like there's a lot of

times it's like, I know that people
have had issues with this latest

version of, you know, WooCommerce,
like we had to have a hotfix release.

Like I'm not up to date until
I know that this is ready.

And so there is some good stuff from
coming behind the scenes and seeing those

types of notifications, but man, it's
just hard to keep like all the things

updated and running and looking good.

And I just did, I went through this
account, like, We, let's see, my

wife has an e learning business where
we sell like virtual CE for, for

pharmacists for continuing education.

And again, it's a niche
of a niche of a niche.

So it's like people that are pharmacists
that, that are interested in functional

medicine and they want to have, like,
they want to pay for CE to set in a thing.

All right.

It was really good before COVID happened.

And then COVID like kind
of locked everything down.

We, it was an online thing
before and we were selling like

a hundred tickets per event.

And now it's like, now
we can sell like 25.

Tickets to an event.

It's just like what happened here.

But anyways, getting to the long
story, but the like I was using

sensei for a while and then I'm like,
Oh, this, learn dash looks better.

So let me go use learn dash
because I knew behind the scenes

sensei wasn't getting any updates.

There was no team working on it.

But now like sensei is a viable product
and there's lots of development and a

lot of cool stuff that they're doing.

So now it's like now I want to move back
to sensei and now I've got 800 people

that have accounts that Some have stuff
in LearnDash, some have in Sensei, some

have, like, marked things as watched
in LearnDash, and now I've gotta, like,

open up two windows, and, like, log in
as them, and, like, mark them as watched.

I mean, it was, it was a full two
weeks, like, working one to two hours a

day, like, to go through this process,
to keep everything updated, and so,

like, my life is easier in the future.

But, like, sometimes it's just, like,
that really big pain point of, like,

oh, man, this is gonna stink, like
I have 500 podcast episodes and I

want to add these two blocks to them.

Like it's going to take a while to do, but
in the end, like, I think it's worth it.

Matt: and your wife's just
looking at you like Dustin.

Why are you touching my website again?

Just leave it alone

Dustin: She's like, I was just so excited.

I'm like, I only have 500 left.

I've done like 300.

She's like, okay.

Like, I don't think it really, all my, all
my other work got piled up and piled up.

And so, but I'm like, I, this was
one thing too, that it was like.

It has been this way for like a year,
but there's people like, Oh, I'm looking

for my course and I can't find it.

Well, they're looking in the
LearnDash area, but it's in Sensei.

And it's just like, okay, this will solve
like a lot of our customer support issues.

It will solve a lot of
things to be in one system.

But man, it was a real pain.

Matt: awesome stuff Dustin.

It's been a pleasure
catching up after 10 years.

Hey, let's do it again in another
10 years We're actually in a couple

minutes, but let's do it again
over here in 10 minutes, man.

Thanks.

Thanks for hanging out today
Your website engineer anywhere

else folks can go to say thanks

Dustin: And that's the main place.

If you want some outdated YouTube
content, that's over at youtube.

com slash your website engineer.

But

Matt: Oh, 2024 big goals.

We're going to see a hundred
thousand subs by the end of 2024.

Dustin: do it.

Matt: All right, Dustin.

Thanks for hanging out