Interview with Rio Rocket: Grow Your Personal Website Without a Sweat
When it comes to content management systems WordPress is a gold standard. This all-in-one website tool is ideal for both beginners and experts as it integrates tons of easy-to-use features. Versatile as it is, WordPress brings endless possibilities not only to bloggers but for anyone who wants to run a website with complete ease. In this article Rio Rocket, highly-accomplished online marketer and entrepreneur has shared the best practices from his experience with WordPress. Here you will discover some great tips on WordPress tools & features and get professional advice on improving website traffic. Also, if you don’t know how to improve the user experience or need some guidance on maintaining your personal website, read on.
Do you need the advanced knowledge of WordPress or any other blogging platform to independently manage a website if you’re just starting your personal website?
WordPress can be daunting if you have no prior experience on any other web publishing or CMS platform. I would suggest anyone looking to learn how to work with WordPress efficiently take an online instructional course and to also take their time learning everything they can about the platform from the ground up. For those with prior experience in HTML, online website builders, and any other web development platform, a transition to WordPress will be very easy.
What are the most important features of WordPress that make building a personal website easier?
What are your favorite tips for improving the user experience on WordPress websites?
Optimization is the most important aspect of the user experience because it affects load times and site accessibility. Nothing else matters if the page doesn’t load for a site visitor. Images should first be optimized in a photo editing software suite such as Photoshop. Here you can utilize “Save for Web” settings to determine the highest possible quality of your images at the lowest possible file size. There are even free online websites such as Tiny PNG, JPEG Mini, and Kraken.io that can be used.
The two plugins that can reap the most benefit for your images and database are Smush Image Compression and WP-Optimize. Smush will further optimize your image files and WP-Optimize will clean up your WordPress database.
A good cache plugin such as WP Fastest Cache offers a simple and fast WP Cache system. It creates static HTML files to serve visitors instead of rendering PHP and MYSQL files again and again which utilizes lots of RAM and CPU. Finally, YOAST SEO optimizes your WordPress website for the search engines by establishing good XML sitemaps functionality, setting canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content. It also helps you write a well-optimized title and meta descriptions so search engines understand what your content is about.
From a user’s perspective, what WordPress feature needs improvement the most?
The native WordPress editor needs the most improvement just beating out a much needed native website security solution. You still have a great deal of control over site security but the current Gutenberg editor is not intuitive at all to most WordPress developers. Many people, including myself, will disable the native editor and edit the website pages using WP Bakery (formerly Visual Composer).
What are the most frequent mistakes marketers make when they try to improve traffic and ranking?
They shoot too high too soon. You’re not going to put up a website about your new Sushi restaurant in New York and immediately get to the first page for the search term “best sushi nyc.” Ain’t gonna happen captain – I love sushi btw. You’ve got to take a slower, steadier approach to ranking and find longer, less competitive, more specific phrases such as “affordable Japanese sushi restaurant soho nyc” to rank better. An accumulating high ranking for these long-tail keywords will make the more competitive, broader keywords easier to achieve.
Which areas of digital marketing must be learned if you’re just starting your own business?
Every area. I mean that seriously. Digital marketing has come such a long way that you need to know something about every aspect of it, including but not limited to: content marketing, blogging, social media marketing, video marketing, SEO, reputation management, press release marketing, image marketing, and the list goes on. You are in no position to compete with others who either have this knowledge or have hired someone who is very good at it. But also have a specialty and a focus. This is how I have managed to separate myself from other digital marketers – by knowing all aspects while specializing in certain areas where I am among the top 5%.
What is your most efficient networking strategy?
I wholeheartedly believe face-to-face, real-world networking is superior to any other form of networking out there. There is nothing that can rival the power of the chemical reaction created in an organic connection when human beings meet in person.
What are your biggest challenges in maintaining your website?
The biggest challenge is to keep everything updated: images, content, SEO, WordPress core, plugins, themes, security, etc. There isn’t one superior way to do it or any all-in-one solution that I’ve seen that can handle every aspect of it. The battle rages on.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now I’m working on updating my personal website RioRocket.com in which I’m branded as an actor, artist, and entrepreneur. I’m also lead marketing strategist for a new program that will launch this summer of 2019 called Glissten which is an entirely new way to earn and own physical silver aimed at building wealth for everyday people.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I enjoy traveling to places I’ve never been to and also to places that I’ve been to many times. The most amazing traveling experience I’ve had recently is hiking the Grand Canyon. That was a life-changing experience for me and really helped me put things in proper perspective. I’m also pretty adept at cooking and find creating amazing, delicious, healthy dishes a fun way to enjoy the fruits of your own labor.
We hope these tips for growing your personal website were helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!