Susan Pearson

Welcome back to this new section of interviews to businesses using WordPress and, of course, some of our plugins. This month’s guest is the blogger Susan Pearson from England. Susan is passionate about craftsmanship, productivity, and genealogy. When Susan was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a painful and disconcerting illness, she decided that she would face it in the best possible way by creating the blog Living Creatively with Fibro in which she regularly publishes about her passions. Let’s welcome Susan Pearson from Living Creatively with Fibro!

Thanks for joining us to share your experience, Susan. It’s a pleasure to have you here! For those who might not know you, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Having had a varied career including public service and a stint as a teacher, I have been interested in blogging for some time but not really had a clear niche to blog about. When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia there was so little formal information about it that I learned from other bloggers with the condition. That is when I had my idea for my blog Living Creatively with Fibro to share my love of crafts alongside Fibromyalgia information, sharing the benefit of creativity for mindfulness and hints and tips for remaining creative with manual dexterity problem.

Susan, regarding Living Creatively with Fibro, what are the biggest challenges that you face with your readers?

I think the biggest really is converting social media followers into readers of the blog, there are many people who like what they see on social media and start following me but this doesn’t always translate to them visiting the blog.

As you know, at Nelio we specialize in WordPress and we often write about it on our blog. Your business uses WordPress on your site. Could you tell us why you chose WordPress among the different CMSs available in the market?

I have previously used Joomla for other websites but became frustrated by the major upgrades to whole new versions. I find the continuous updates of WordPress much smoother. Add to this the fact that WordPress is the largest platform and it was not a difficult decision to use it for my new website.

Many of our readers are plugin developers like us. One of the problems we all have is reaching our target audience, as the plugin marketplace is huge. What process do you follow to find the plugins you’re looking for? Any recommendations on how to help developers reach potential customers?

Sometimes, especially in an “emergency”, it’s as simple as searching the plugin store. And I confess I usually end up using the most popular choices. Social media advertising is effective—that is how I found Nelio and it helped me realize that sometimes it’s beneficial to use newer and less established developers, because the customer service is superior to the market leaders. Finally I would have to say influencers, be it bloggers or YouTubers—if somebody you have chosen to follow recommends something you pay attention. This seems to be the future of advertising.

Speaking of how to reach your target audience… You’d probably agree with us that, first and foremost, you must offer a product or service that deals with a pain your customers have. So, let’s help our readers here: what problem(s) do you have right now with WordPress? Is there anything you’d like someone to improve (or even create from scratch)?

I think at the moment one little bugbear is working with images and social media, especially when it comes to resizing them. I’m aware I could pay for Canva and they will resize my images for me but then there is all the moving around of these files, but it would be really beneficial if there was a way to auto resize images within WordPress itself—I can do it up to a certain degree because I use the Extra theme, but not for social media optimization.

How the images in WordPress are treated and the problems it entails is quite recurrent, yes. In Nelio we aim to help our customers succeed with their marketing goals. To do so, we offer two services: Nelio A/B Testing and Nelio Content. You’re currently using Nelio A/B Testing and Nelio Content on your own website, but that’s only one part of the equation. How do our plugins help you? What other marketing actions do you take to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns?

The biggest thing I achieve using Nelio Content is to not just share posts but to continue re-sharing them. Previously I was very much once and done. I’ve learnt the impact of continually promoting content.

You learn more from failure than from success. There’s plenty we might be doing wrong with our marketing campaigns and it’s quite common to carry out marketing actions that are less effective than what we’d expect. Could you share one of your worst experiences on this subject with us?

I haven’t actually ran a whole marketing campaign as such—I have just relied upon organic growth. In the coming months I am expecting to start working with a large crafting retailer being provided with their goods to create projects to share as the products launch on TV. I think this will hopefully be the time to take Marketing really seriously.

Finally, did we miss something you’d like to point out? Any final words of advice?

If you mean advice for developers I would ask them to look at their pricing structures and consider new bloggers financial limitation. I will use myself as an example. I am now blogging as my job but, as a slowly growing blog, I am not yet making any money from it so to pay for plugins—I have to rely on others for funding. If a plugin adds true value it will enable someone to grow their reader base and therefore their finances. Rather than a month’s free trial and then expecting a full subscription, I would suggest a pay scale where the cost grows with the users reach and funding, enabling new bloggers to have access to quality products.

Thanks, Susan, for answering our questions and your great contribution. Take care!

And thank you all for following us and reading these interviews. Stay tuned for the next one!

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