In the interview, Jim mentioned that he recognized the significance of CMS and then he found WordPress in 2006-2007.
My name is Jim Galiano, and I started doing business online – way back in 1998. Originally, I was in the offline/online publishing business. I wrote and published newsletters, small paper and ink booklets and things like that for myself and other authors.
I primarily published “How-To” types of information products during the early years.I became one of the “original” eBook publishers. Before PDF files became the norm, some eBook publications where html-based publications. Afterwards, we adopted PDF files – and they became the norm.
In early 2001-2002, I realized that paper and ink publishing would be on the decline in the years ahead… and I decided to gamble by gradually taking my business from paper publishing + online publishing to online publishing ONLY within the span of a few short years.
It was a tough decision to make because I had so much invested in the offline publishing world. Plus, I also realized that change doesn’t happen overnight.
Q. How did you get to know about WordPress? Share if there is an interesting story.
Ans: I first learned about WordPress around 2005. I realized the future of website design and development was about to change. Website development during the early years was primarily static HTML pages and tables to help align objects and content. This was before the days of CSS.
Website design and development were both integral parts of online publishing. And the way content was being organized, published, and syndicated was changing incredibly quickly.
It wasn’t long before I recognized the importance of adopting a CMS (content management system) for my company. Between 2006-2007, I found myself going back and forth as I experimented with Joomla and WordPress.
By late 2007, I recognized that I had to pick a lane. I felt that Joomla was more powerful than WordPress… but I also felt 10x more comfortable working with WordPress. And so, in January of 2008, I went all-in with WordPress and never looked back.
Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress? What were your responsibilities?
Ans: One of my most interesting projects to date was the creation of an online Boxing Magazine. It started as a hobby (sort of) and within a few years, I’d received national attention from both the mainstream media and the boxing world.
As I was saying, this started out as a hobby site. My Grandfather was a Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer from back in the old-days. He worked with world champion fighters, including the oldest Heavyweight Champion of the world at the time (Jersey Joe Walcott).
I had so much knowledge about the sport, creating the content was almost effortless. Even back then, 2009, there were a lot of competing websites. So, I decided to concentrate on what boxing enthusiasts call, “The Dream Fight.” I wrote biographical articles about fighters and their most memorable fights.
But, I also wrote articles about what would happen if two all-time greats fought each other. I used a software program to do this and then wrote round-by-round descriptions on how the fight played out.
I used what you might call a story-telling format, but the story was actually a “report” on how the fight played out. Boxing fans found it really entertaining.
I monetized the site a little bit, but it wasn’t a huge money-maker. It was a lot of fun, though. I stopped updating the site several years ago, but one day – I may re-launch it again!
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? Share your thoughts on WordPress Community.
Ans: I have only been to one WordPress meetup (locally where I live in Sarasota, FL.) My schedule is so full, I usually don’t have the time to travel to WordCamps or any other kind of event.
Q. How does your workstation look like? Can you send us a picture?
Ans: Sure, I’ll attach my home setup.
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
Ans: I can’t think of any missing features off-hand? If anything, at least at the time of this writing, I wish WordPress handled video a little easier? Maybe I should experiment with the WordPress hosted video option next?
Another thing that just came to mind is the hassle of getting an image (or the right image) to show up on social channels when sharing a link from a blog article.
Although there are fixes for that (Editing open graph settings and Twitter card tags with Yoast SEO, SeoPress, etc.), it would be great if those settings were built into WordPress.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
Ans: Over the last few months, I’ve really grown to love MailPoet for sending newsletters from within WordPress. The plugin keeps getting better with time.
I believe Automattic recently took over the plugin? Anyway, it makes it easy to create, manage, and send newsletter, blog post updates, newsletter archives, WooCommerce emails, cart abandonment emails, and more – all inside WordPress.
Best of all, it’s not a resource intensive plugin. If you have a large database of subscribers, you will have a bigger database… but a large database won’t be a slow database as long as you keep it optimized (See WPOptimize and WPSweep for that).
Q. Any awesome technology you want to share other than WordPress?
Ans: I recently started using a platform called Profi (https://www.profi.io/). Profi is an all-in-one solution that I started using for my consulting business about a year ago. It handles everything from course creation, video conferencing, booking and payments.
I prefer using a 3rd party service for this and keep my WordPress site for brand-building, blogging and general “authority-building.” WordPress is perfect for this and (at least for me) always has been.
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
Ans: Yes, I really enjoy what I’m currently doing with/in WordPress. I’ve been in business for just under 25-years now. In my business, we’ve built websites, developed marketing plans, launched email campaigns and a lot of other things.
Currently, I’m helping Solopreneurs build their personal brands and become effective with things like marketing, scaling their businesses, using better strategies, etc.
Burnout isn’t an issue for me. I have always had a faith-based lifestyle that’s influenced how I run my business. It’s worked for almost 25-years so there’s definitely something to it! Basically, there are things I have control over and things I don’t. I don’t fret over the things I don’t have control over.
I leave those things in God’s hands. I pray for the success of my clients, too, because their success is also mine. All the above has provided me with a lot of peace in the midst of life’s storms (when the come my way).
Q. Where do you find yourself after 5 years
Ans: I see myself doing the same thing I’m doing right now, but helping even more people find online success with their businesses.
Q. Share something about your life other than work
Ans: I grew up as an only child. Their are pros and cons to this. On the plus side, it’s just you. You don’t have to share your toys when you’re a child! But on the other side, you don’t have a sibling to learn from. You’re own your own and you learn through personal trial and error.
I grew up in an Italian American family. My grandfather was born on the last boat than landed in New York’s famous Ellis Island. My family settled in New Jersey, but I always wanted to live on the West Coast of Florida. As soon as I got married, I moved here and have been here ever since. I don’t enjoy the cold weather!
Q. To whom you give credit for your success?
Ans: I thank Jesus Christ for my success. I say that, but I don’t like to be thought of as a traditional “religious” person. When you say that (“Thank you, Jesus”), in our culture here in the USA, many people automatically think, “Oh, he’s one of those right-wing wackos.” But that’s not the case at all.
Personally, I don’t try to force my views and opinions on anyone, but if they ask – I won’t be shy about telling them.
When it comes to strictly business-related things, I learned a lot from my father and mother about the practical side of running a business. Especially the little things like being reliable and staying (at least somewhat) organized.
I’ve learned a lot from many of the “historic marketers” as well. For example, The Charles Atlas direct marketing campaign (which started in 1929) influenced my own approach to marketing – possibly more than anything else that comes to mind.
The simplicity of the campaign and its longevity show the power of direct marketing and building a personal brand type of platform.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
Ans: My friend Paul Lacey, over in the UK. He’s a popular WordPress designer, developer and now marketer, too. Here’s his email address: Paul Lacey. Tell him Jim Galiano sent you.
Q. How do you reward yourself?
Ans: I love good food. That always makes for a good reward. I’m a big fan of really good popcorn, too, (with real butter). Sometimes I’ll go to the movie theater that’s around the corner, just to buy popcorn to take home.
Q. Any suggestion for WordPress beginners?
Ans: Learn everything you can from more experienced people. Take it one step at a time. Learn how to write good blog posts. Learn how SEO fits into the picture and take advantage of one of the better SEO plugins that are out there (I like SEOPress Pro).
Maybe befriend a few developers and learn what Themes and plugins are more reliable than the others and why?
The technical stuff, and even things like properly resizing and optimizing images before you upload them – all these things get easier with time. Eventually, it’s like second nature.
Being able to build, manage and maintain a site for your own business is a huge plus in today’s business world.