Women in WordPress
Look around the tech community and WordPress community and there are some big names to follow but most are men. All of whom are incredible and highly valuable. However, I think there are also so many women who have made a very large impact on the WordPress community and are worth following. Even though recent stats show female developers quadrupling in the last ten years, we are still a minority in this group. I remember pursuing my BA in Computer Science and being the only female in all my CS courses. All of them with the exception of the senior-level research course that was open to all the Natural Science students. I evened things out by pursuing a minor in German studies, MA in Liberal Studies, and PH.D. in Learning Technologies. I have always felt the struggle of being female in this industry but am hopeful for great things that are happening.
In August of this crazy year 2020, WordPress announced that the last big release of the year is a development team led by all women! This is incredible! This all women development team will be launching WordPress 5.6 in December. Check out the article from WPTavern, WordPress 5.6 Development Kicks Off with All-Women Release Squad and the official announcement on make.wordpress.org.
Women have been contributing to the WordPress community for a long time! We even have an amazing Wapuu for our efforts! Some noticeable efforts include:
- Women in WP is a bi-monthly podcast about women who blog, design, develop, and market in the WordPress community created by @amymasson, @askwpgirl, and @tapps.
- Women Who WP is a community and specialty WordPress Meetup Community for all who are women in the WordPress community. The mission states, Women Who WP inspires, connects, challenges, and educates women throughout the WordPress community, through referrals, networking, workshops and mentorship focused on professional development and WordPress.
There are also some amazing articles featuring some even more fabulous ladies:
- Ask WP Girl – Women of WordPress to Follow
- 18 Wonder Women of WordPress
- 20+ Women in WordPress You Should Be Following
- Where are the Women in WordPress?
Mompreneurs Using WordPress
I started working with WordPress in 2005, after watching Matt Mullenweg at SXSW Interactive. I built my own sites, built sites for others, and used it extensively in my full time job as a web developer at my Alma Mater. I even taught folks about WordPress and Web Accessibility. In 2013, and then in 2016 though my life changed. I met the love of my life and then became a mom. Just like for many (if not all) becoming a mom changed my life and my dreams. Instead of just freelancing and working for my own good, I was following my dreams for my boys. I started Techie Mamma, which started as a mom blog, documenting motherhood for me, and expanded to a full brand. Now I help Mompreneurs all over who are just starting out or going to the next level change their lives by becoming DIY Mompreneurs and following their dreams.
I knew from the lists linked above there were many of these incredible women who were also mompreneurs. I found it fitting to do a little discovering and uncovering and finding a list of my own of these Women in WP who are also moms, making them Mompreneurs! (I scoured the web so my apologies if you do not want to be on this list please let me know, either way my admiration goes out to these ladies). Check out my list of Mompreneurs Powered By WordPress to follow!
Amy Masson (@amymasson)
Amy Masson is one of the founders of Women In WP Podcast. She is also co-owner of Sumy Designs, a web design company she founded with her sister in 2006. I think she is my kindred spirit, teaching herself HTML by looking at the source code on other websites 🙂 She found her passion in education and computers and focused on teaching middle school computer technology. After having kids, Amy wanted to stay home and was asked to create a website for a friend. Soon Sumy Designs was born when her sister a graphic designer was also burning out and looking to move on.
Nancy Lane Santillan (@fireflygraphicdesign)
Nancy and I met online and then met in person at the DFW WordCamp! She has been amazing taking all life threw at her and running with it. On a visit back to the US her family suddenly realized they were not going back to Peru. They were starting over in the US. She purchased a laptop and taught herself graphic design and web design and has since soared! Nancy writes in the survey I sent out, “Graphic design and web design 🙂 I started building my WordPress site for my graphic design business and fell in love with it! I love connecting with other local business to help them make their WordPress sites really visually appealing and customer friendly.” Her work is incredible and catches the true essence of every business she works with. Nancy also design the Techie Mamma logo which I am still in love with!
Follow Nancy Lane Santillan
Siobhan McKeown (@SiobhanPMcKeown)
Siobhan McKeown is a writer, editor, event organizer, public speaker, and free software contributor and advocate. She writes about technology, web development, work, and free software. She recently published her book, A Life Lived Remotely: Being and Work in the Digital Age. Siobhan often speaks at WordCamps and you can watch her speak on WordPress.tv.
Rachel O’Reilly (@ImRachelOReilly)
Rachel and I met online and we have yet to meet in person but she is a kindred spirit. She is from England, transferred to the US with twin boys. I have two boys different ages that I can’t keep up with, I can’t imagine twin boys. She is an inclusion and belonging specialist working with online entrepreneurs who want to do their business in inclusive and anti-racist ways. Rachel says about WordPress, “WordPress is what helps me get the word out!”
Follow Rachel O’Reilly
Lisa Sabin-Wilson (@LisaSabinWilson)
During business hours, Lisa is the Chief Operating Officer and partner at WebDevStudios, a full service website development and design agency.
Prior to her role with WebDevStudios, Lisa owned her own freelance business for 10 years. She provided custom WordPress design and development services, technical support and hosting, to clients. All together Lisa has 14 years of experience delivering WordPress solutions to clients, both large and small.
Laura Jafarkhani (@lalatomama1)
Laura Jafarkhani has a long career in Human Resources and Recruiting and recently started her own firm to helping many across the board find jobs in fields of administrative, finance, accounting, sales, marketing, IT, customer service, hospitality and human resources. Since then she has worked on building her own career coaching business that helps women who are looking for entry-level to manager level positions. She explains her work with WordPress in the survey, “I also have a parenting blog at LalatoMama.com. Both of my sites are run through WordPress. I am able to be a Mompreneur because of WordPress.”
Follow Laura Jafarkhani
Kim Doyal (@kimdoyal)
Kim Doyal is all about Content Marketing. Kim you and I need to become friends because I need help!! She has shifted from her past freelance company and podcast, The WordPress Chick, and move forward with her passion #ShowingUP. She creates content planners, courses, coaches, and podcasts. She spends her time teaching others how to build and scale their businesses on their terms, or as she puts it, without “dulling your shine.” I love that!! Her expertise comes from many years of running her own businesses, working in web design, coaching, and more.
Follow Kim Doyal
Gill Hill (@gillhillwritingservices)
Gill Hill is a content and copywriting strategist for businesses who need to rebrand their voice or update their copy. She does amazing work and recently also spoke at WordCamp Boise! A Scottish transplant who has lived in Boise for 4 years, Gill now uses WordPress daily as she writes and edits for a living while wrangling her two small boys and getting them into the Idaho outdoors as much as possible.
Follow Gill Hill
Sara Rosso (@rosso)
I just love Sara’s last name, Rosso, red in Italian. I love red and my Apple watch’s name is Rosso! Although she touts full time jobs in big tech companies such as Automattic and CloudBlue, she has also ventured on her own creating World Nutella Day, her blog Ms. Adventures in Italy and more. Sara also publishes and speaks frequently on technology, WordPress, personal branding, writing, and much more.
Follow Sara Rosso
Vanessa Kraft (@quebuenobakery)
Vanessa and I go way back. I actually knew “Kraft” from the WordPress community before Vanessa. Vanessa is married to an Auttomatician and WordPress developer but she has made strides with WordPress in her own way with her business Que Bueno Bakery. A mom of 6 girls, she uses WordPress for her site and e-commerce for her subscription boxes and more. From my survey for Mompreneurs Powered By WordPress, Vanessa writes, “We’re a cottage bakery that specializes in food allergy and vegan baking. WordPress has been great during the pandemic. Since people are not having big parties we’ve been able to do weekly mini-sales easily through our WP website and WooCommerce.”
Follow Vanessa Kraft
Lisa Work (@Lisa_Work)
Lisa is another kindred spirit teaching and a talented WordPress expert! Lisa runs Be Bright Studio (love the name) where she makes it possible for all to build their own amazing website with WordPress. She has courses and workshops but also has many downloadable kits and free resources to help DIYers get started. Oh yea DIY Mompreneur right here! Lisa we need to become friends!
Follow Lisa Work
Sara Graybill (@saragraybill)
I first met Sara at WordCamp DFW in 2019. We instantly chatted and found out our kiddos are about the same age. Sara leads the Tulsa WordPress Group and has contributed to leading various WordCamps including DFW and Oklahoma.
Sara is a WordPress developer focusing on creating engaging, responsive websites. She focuses on standards and WordPress for its ease of use and clean code.
Follow Sara Graybill
Megan Jones (@jonesblogs)
Megan is a Freelance writer, blogger and copywriter extraordinaire. She currently lives in Brighton with husband and two youngsters. She writes for WPExplorer, PremiumWP, Elegant Themes, WPLift, and more. She has an extensive portfolio writing about WordPress, Social Media, Blogging, and more. Megan has also been featured in a growing list of articles about women in WordPress 20+ Women in WordPress You Should Be Following and The Super Girls of WordPress – 29 Influential WordPress Women You Should Follow.
Follow Megan Jones
Kelly Åkesson (@AkessonKelly)
Kelly is an amazing stepmom to older boys and mama to her three year old. She writes at Cake and Munchkin her lifestyle blog that covers intentional living. She says, “WordPress is my platform, and I love it! I also provide services through my WordPress site, which is seamless and versatile for my specific reach.” She is offering services with the holidays coming up and I am so excited! Christmas Card VA she is a genius!
Follow Kelly Åkesson
Brenda Barron (@digitalinkwell)
Brenda is a writer for WordPress giants like Envato, Torque, WPMU, and WPExplorer. She runs Digital Inkwell Digest which is a roundup of world news and events. On her blog by the same name she shares social media tips, freelancing guides, infographics, and more. Brenda also writes creative fiction and poetry. How cool is that!! Find her for those genres under the name Brenda Stokes Barron.
Follow Brenda Barron
How Do We Use WordPress to Make Money
Mompreneurs are moms who are also running their own business in some form or another, whether it is a hobby-grown to full-time agency empires. I created a survey that I sent out to my audience and the Twitter-verse to find out how we all used WordPress specifically to make money as an entrepreneur.
Many of us blog, whether as the main focus point of our business like Nicolle with Tales of a Messy Mom, or a side focus to bring in more traffic. Tales of a Messy Mom is a site dedicated to helping new and expecting moms through the messiness of pregnancy, babies, and toddlerhood. Nicolle gets enough views to qualify for the premier ad network MediaVine and works hard with social media and more to get her site out into the world.
In all the examples above, there are a lot of services. Freelance writers, designers, and developers are super common. Other services from my circle include copywriting, book publishing, Virtual Assistants, Social Media Managers, and my favorite a Christmas Card VA (you know you want to hire her!).
WordPress is primed for services such as these to showcase a portfolio, link to blog posts written, and keep track of clients, and even sell the services right inside WordPress.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include more traditional products in this listing. WooCommerce is an amazing platform for eCommerce and runs many profitable websites. From sites for brick and mortar stores to completely online stores, WordPress can power it all. Erica has a WooCommerce shop, Customized by Erica J, where she showcases all of her custom shirts, mugs, and home decor. She is able to combine the customization preferences of her clients and easy check out for all her items. Nicole a local in my area has an indoor playground, cafe, and party hosting business. She runs Almost Grown Play Cafe as well with WooCommerce, booking and selling party packages and punch passes to the cafe.
The Ultimate Holy Grail – Passive Income
There are so many ways to start a profitable business, though all businesses take a lot of time and effort, which is difficult when also raising your little ones. As a Mompreneur we figure out how to work out the best we can at all the different directions. There is one more way that WordPress is great at helping grow a business and that is via some passive income.
What is Passive Income?! Making money while you sleep? Clarification is needed here that passive income does not mean no work whatsoever, passive income means a lot of hard work at the get go and then working on to build an audience that invests in your work. Some accomplish this via ads, having super high traffic and being accepted by great ad networks like MediaVine. There are a few other ways to accomplish this too and in the Mompreneuring World and beyond this has been a huge topic. Many are starting to create courses for passive income. Courses are a great way to do this and have becoming increasingly popular. Teaching your passion and what you know well and having it on autopilot so you launch on a regular basis or as an evergreen product your audience comes to you on a regular basis. Memberships are another way to work in some passive income. Memberships offer a way to have recurring income on a regular basis. This may be for courses or stock photos or many other things. Providing value on a regular basis that is exclusive to the membership. Affiliate marketing is another big contributor especially for bloggers. Whether you are selling your favorite host or favorite cookware, you can be passionate about the products while making some money promoting your favorite things. Lastly, digital products are a big money maker. We are living in a world that is ever increasingly digital and online, why not consume more things online. Whether writing eBooks, guides, templates, planners, workbooks, and more, there are a lot of things that could fall into the digital products category.
WordPress & Passive Income
Many in the online business world turn to outside sources to run their passive income endeavors. This is not needed though. If your site is already running WordPress why not stay in that ecosystem. It may be a little more technical but in the long run it is likely to be cheaper and you own the content to a higher degree when it is on your brand and your own hosting.
Let’s take a deeper look:
Memberships – There are a variety of membership plugins that work with several eCommerce platforms.
Courses – There is no shortage of Learning Management System plugins that help with organizing and producing your course.
Digital Products – This is a favorite of mine because all of the above are digital products and there are simple ways to sell these products.
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is a great way to get started with passive income without having a huge audience. Very direct focused marketing can earn a pretty penny.
Ad Management – If just getting started with Ad Management there are some nice tools to keep track of everything and even integrate Google AdSense.
There are many women who contribute to WordPress and many who use WordPress to power their businesses. Who are your favorite Mompreneurs Powered By WordPress?
This blog post was written to go along with my talk Mompreneurs Powered By WordPress presented at WordCamp Austin on October 9th.