Interview: How to Teach Audio Skills with WordPress
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Björgvin Benediktsson is a musician, audio engineer and writer based in the US. Besides his own audio projects, he helps other musicians create better music and promote themselves more effectively. How does he achieve this? WordPress!
I’m an audio engineer, musician and entrepreneur. I help artists and entrepreneurs make a greater impact with their creations by teaching them how to produce or promote themselves on the web.
We caught up with Björgvin to discover how he has moulded WordPress into such a productive business tool. Read on to learn about the lessons he’s learned over the years, the plugins he’s currently using, and the plans he has for the future.
Hi Björgvin, congratulations on your growing online business! How has your website contributed to your success?
My main business website is Audio Issues where I help home studio musicians make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to record, mix and produce. It’s where I post all my content and collect email subscribers. It’s basically my business hub—the place I lead everyone to.
I spend a lot of effort trying to convert traffic to subscribers, so I offer a lot of great exclusive content through email as well. It’s my full time business and I make a full time income from it.
I also have a portfolio website that acts as my personal website/portfolio as an entrepreneur, BBenediktsson.com. I also talk about business, work/life balance and entrepreneurship through my newsletter, 10Weekly.
What are the goals of your online business?
Audio Issues has been around for a while and it fills a variety of roles:
- my storefront,
- my magazine,
- my content hub
- and my business brand.
My goal is to help as many home studio musicians get better sounding music, whether that’s through my free tips on the website or with my premium Audio Issues products.
My mission has always been to give you easy-to-use, practical tips you can use right away to improve your productions.
How do your WordPress themes and plugins help you achieve that?
My theme is an old Genesis child theme called Epik. I’ll probably completely revamp the website soon, because I’m tired of my theme and that look and feel is getting old—almost four years I think now.
I run a bunch of plug-ins on the site. The most important ones are:
- Thrive Content Builder, which I use for sales pages and landing pages,
- SumoMe, for social and email capture,
- Gravity Forms,
- and then all the usual ones used by everyone who Googled “most important WordPress plug-in (insert year here)”.
Did someone help you set all of that up?
I hired a developer to help me migrate and tweak the theme when I set it up years ago. Whenever I need something very specific I either look to Upwork or get someone to do a quick job through Fiverr. Other than that I can handle everything myself.
What lessons did you learn through that process?
So many! One of the first versions of Audio Issues was hard-coded HTML/CSS. Thankfully I don’t have to deal with that any more, but it did teach me some basic web coding with those languages.
Other lessons include:
Things break all the time, so make sure you have good hosting with awesome support.
Plug-ins don’t always fit or work with your theme, so sometimes you have to hunt for the right one.
Your website is just a front-end for the user, so make sure it’s easy to find stuff. Have goals for each page, and a path you want the reader to take (sign up, share, comment etc.).
Make sure you double check the language-barrier when it comes to outsourced help. Spend more money to get peace of mind. Shortchanging yourself can lead to tearing your hair out.
Tell us about your platform and hosting choices.
I chose WordPress because of its user-friendliness, versatily, and the number of themes there is to choose from. Everyone knows WordPress, so it’s easy to find people to help when you need work done.
I have over 100,000 pageviews/month, so I have a VPS so I can support the traffic. Some of my other domains still reside on a basic shared plan because they don’t really need the extra bandwidth.
How do you maintain your sites?
Honestly, I’m pretty bad at it. I just make sure to update my plug-ins regularly, and update WordPress whenever I need to. My hosting provider takes care of most of the rest, including backup.
And your future plans?
Hopefully a revamp by the end of the summer! I’ve finally found a feel for my brand and voice, and I think I need to revamp my design to create brand consistency across the board.
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