Tips for Students: How to Become a WordPress Professional

Have you ever wondered how to generate real income and especially through WordPress?

Well, first things first, the fact that you are here with us today means the following two things:

  • Firstly, you understand that WordPress is notably the largest and easiest to use blogging site on the internet right now, furnished with frequent new subscriptions and publishing tools useful to businesses and individuals alike.
  • In addition to that, you understand that you can professionally earn from WordPress, both on a full-time and part-time basis.

But you’re caught in a loop where you have the willingness and readiness but don’t know how to go about it as a matter of fact. You are on the right track, so grab your seat and tighten that belt, the ride might be bumpy!

Understanding WordPress

Understanding WordPress

Each day, news reach you of ordinary people making an extraordinary living on the internet! Perhaps you have been a victim of this magnificent employment platform, maybe not. The reason, however, why most gigs don’t work out for people on the internet is because they don’t have a good understanding of what the internet is and how to go around it. This can especially be frustrating if patience isn’t your strongest suit. You might end up languishing in despair.

The same goes for WordPress. A deeper comprehension of what the site is all about and what it entails goes a long way to straighten one’s path. In order to get in proper line and maintain a steady route:

First, recognize your niche

The fundamental reason why WordPress is the number one choice for a majority of consumers is the availability of different opportunities on the site including:

  1. Backend (PHP) or front-end (HTML, JavaScript or CSS) development.
  2. Content Creation or blogging which is the most recognized service.
  3. Education Courses using plugins such as CoursePress Pro for teaching students online.
  4. Marketing that goes beyond e-commerce, conversion optimization, and SEO.
  5. Designing either in or out of the browser.
  6. Monetizing your site eliminating the need to work for clients through paid-for articles.

So if you thought you could only blog and write on WordPress for dough, well, we’ve got more surprises in store for you!

Build up some confidence, you deserve it

After clearly understanding what you really want or what best works for you, now it’s time to get down to it. But hold on right there! You don’t want to lose psyche before accomplishing your goals now, do you? We have to finish what we’ve already started. If you are still with us, it means you’re ready to become a WordPress student. So, curb your insecurities!

Lack of confidence can limit one, especially when they develop impostor thoughts. These are thoughts of inadequacies and feelings of being insufficient, especially if your understanding of WordPress is at intermediate or beginner level at best. Cool off! It’s not a competition with anyone and you’re seeking to improve yourself at the end of it all. So trust yourself with the little knowledge that you have and face the bull. After all, with confidence and a dedicated heart, the galaxy is the limit!

Grasp the technology

Seek to be all round for a much easier and fulfilling time at WordPress. For marketers and developers, there is a need to maximize on this knowledge. It cuts on costs of hiring developers. Also, why hire when you can do it yourself at your own convenience? You require an understanding of the classes, functions, and hooks specific to WordPress.

  • Explore PHP and MySQL from sources like Lynda.com, tutsplus, and BobWP for a firmer command of development concepts.
  • Read books for developers and writers such as WordPress: Pushing the Limits.
  • Technical resources, for instance, WordPress Codex.
  • Workshops, seminars, face-to-face training, and other local and international groups relevant to your niche could all be useful learning and growing sources.

It’s much better to create a checklist for the things you will need to learn. Your checklist should look somewhat like shown below:

  • Website hosting requirements
  • WordPress Semantics
  • Versions of PHP and MySQL
  • Web host compatibility
  • Text editor
  • FTP Client Software

The list is endless. You are best suited to understand what knowledge you need and which you don’t. In any event, make sure that you read on a daily basis. It’s not vanity placing experience and the best teacher at par; ensure that you’re getting it then on a daily basis. You will remain a student for life, and you can rest assured that at the very least, you will be a better student each day than the previous.

Form a plan

You need a solid plan. You are now building your portfolio. This is only possible with a working experience in play. You want your portfolio reflecting on your skills and strengths. Thus, there is a need to focus on these. Talk to friends and family to land you working opportunities. Take care at this stage not to bite off more than you can chew. If at any point you take on tasks which you cannot handle, you only create the impression that you are inadequate and highly unreliable. Therefore, work on projects that you are sure to see to the very end.

You could also take on personal projects meant to showcase your set of skills. Not only do you enjoy more control and experience, but it also identifies you as a professional.

For those who seek clients and working relationships, and those in the marketing sector, a consistent blog should come into play. Get your blog known out there on social sites and especially LinkedIn. You really need to sign up now if you haven’t already.

Generate network

This might be the last point of understanding WordPress but it carries with it as much weight as the rest. WordPress is basically a networking platform; you also need to network. Attend WordPress meetups and WordCamps where you’ll find all sorts of agencies looking to hire talent. Not only this, but you also gain more knowledge and the ability to cruise this WordPress ship more swiftly.

You have a great portfolio; you surely don’t intend to keep it to yourself. Attend parties and events where you’re likely to meet your clique. You don’t know what opportunities await you unless you go for them.

Setting Your Career to Sail

Setting Your Career to Sail

Having discussed WordPress tutorials for beginners, alas! Now you can eliminate ‘beginner’ from the equation.

Now you seek to establish a profitable career with WordPress. Even if you are a meddler and are only in it for the short-run or part-time, you want success to spring forth from all your efforts.

A dozen sites are made available for bloggers and developers looking for jobs such as:

  1. WPHired and WPMU DEV Job Market to access WordPress specific opportunities.
  2. ProBlogger for bloggers and content writers.
  3. UpWork for developers and designers.

Social media platforms bring clients to you. Endeavor to at least be present on both Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure to advertise your brand on whatever social platform you are at; whether you’re a marketer or writer or both, let them know.

Tell a friend to tell a friend! Word of mouth can go a long way toward generating promising hookups.

Building your network base is a daily project and should not be abandoned at whatever cost.

Maintaining the Fray

Maintaining the Fray

You’ve gathered the eggs in a tray, how good are you at balancing it? Do not for one minute think that you’re past the hard job. Gaining a following or a few clients is not all that there is. You need to keep in touch with the industry as well as keep updating your skills and knowledge.

Tips:
  1. Newsletters like The WhiP help you stay in touch with trends and goings-on in the industry.
  2. Identify new trends and incorporate them into your set of skills.
  3. Don’t get comfortable. You can enhance your productivity by acquiring other skills. If you’ve successfully learned design and developing, try out marketing and writing. Seek out other opportunities under WordPress that you’re not well vested in. You won’t know which door Ladyluck might come knocking.
  4. Prepare for change. The digital world calls for flexibility. Do not resist change.
  5. Don’t get stuck in WordPress. For sure, it is an amazing site; not the only website although. Check out new trends and developments from other sources now that you have a primary understanding of the internet and how it works.
  6. Training is not for starters! GET THAT NOTION OUT OF YOUR HEAD!

Maintenance in WordPress

Maintenance in WordPress

Sometimes, you’re working and doing your project even on protected sites until you are stopped dead in your tracks. A problem comes up that even you find it impossible to handle. Maybe your page is constantly hanging and you don’t know the root cause. Sounds familiar?

You require constant maintenance. But don’t be taken aback, it’s pretty easy.

  • Review recent changes by either undoing them or alternatively restoring a prior backup. Don’t lose sight of the changes made.
  • Turn on WordPress debugging to generate and identify errors as they occur. This can be done from your wp-config.php file. Afterward, reload your website for any notices, warnings or errors which may pinpoint the exact themes or plugins causing the defect.
  • Disable plugins generally as they are commonly known to bring about errors. Do so one by one to identify the specific weed that needs to be uprooted. You can effectively disable them all at once by renaming your plugin folder, basically disabling WordPress from locating them.
  • Revert to default theme if all the above fail to work. New themes might carry bugs with them that automatically injure the computer.

If all the above methods fail, try the official WordPress support forums or post the problem to the WordPress Development Stack Exchange.

Why All This?

Now why all the sweat in a bid to perfect skills in WordPress? Skillful developers, content writers, and marketers experience several advantages:

  1. As of 2014, projects that demanded WordPress developers stood at a strong $30 to $50 million with numbers expected to triple in the next 2 to 5 years. This statistic serves only to highlight the increasing demand for such skills, particularly under WordPress. As competition rises, so will the rates and pay-outs. Some bloggers on WordPress earn more than six figures just from writing alone. Imagine how much you would earn as a professional designer and web developer! Imagine what sales you could make as a marketer with a large network base. Imagine the endless possibilities.
  2. Work with the best of clients. An added advantage of experience and top-notch skills is that you get to decide who to work with and which offers to turn down. Great clients allow you to incorporate your thoughts albeit different from theirs. They also pay great for better accomplished projects. You essentially become your own boss.
  3. New business startups in themes and plugins. Now you have the ability to create themes, alter them according to your specifications and sell them at your own rates. If this is tantamount to a load full of work for you, rest easy, you can explore the plugins market. Whichever way, you are sure to find something to do in WordPress.
  4. What better way to create popularity and increase influence! Whatever it is that you are doing on WordPress, you now have the chance to illuminate and shine and ultimately get noticed. What’s more, you can develop totally new codes for WordPress and risk getting noticed by the creators of the site! Now tell us, isn’t that being handed the golden keys to the kingdom on a silver platter?

Conclusion

Where alpha is present, you can be sure to find omega. Being on WordPress professionally should not, in any case, be option B for you. The opportunities available to make a decent living are endless. You only need a little focus and determination.

So, what other opportunities have you identified in WordPress that work for you?

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3 Comments

  1. It was great to read your article. It gives me a good information regarding making my first WordPress site.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Hey Jake, I really appreciate your efforts for writing such an amazing article regarding student tips for WordPress.

  3. Thanks for sharing valuable tips Jake. This artilce is really helpful.

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