My name is Todd and I live in Conway, AR which is the home of American Idol winner Kris Allen and Toad Suck Daze (yes it’s a real thing). I grew up in Batesville, AR which is the home of former NASCAR driver Mark Martin.
I have a Bachelor’s degree and some graduate work, all in Theology.
The Journey Began
Almost 15 years ago, I was running a football (American) blog. I was using Blogspot at the time and a static site I had built with some software. I decided to put them all together and one blog I followed used WordPress.
I already had a hosting account and I noticed that it had a push-button install for WordPress. I clicked install and learned how to use WordPress for my site.
At the time, I worked for a bookstore and used my discount to buy “WordPress All-in-One for Dummies” by Lisa Sabin-Wilson. I learned that I could customize category pages and such and I was off and running.
I found a magazine theme for free in the repository and used that. Additionally, I learned some very, very basic template editing such as changing the number of articles viewed in a section on the homepage.
It felt powerful.
Having a dynamic website is what I always wanted to have, so I found my eureka.
WordPress was the piece of my website-building experience I was looking for plus it put focus on blogging and publishing. I used that to learn enough that I started creating them for other people.
The Need for Copyflight
For me, Copyflight was all about changing my focus to copywriting. There are some companies that do Copywrite in the WordPress area, but not many. They either focus on content writing or something like that.
But I like the messaging and helping companies sort through the noise to find the core of what they are and do. I like helping them pull out the story and use it to connect with their target audience.
I had been building websites and going in that direction so making the change wasn’t easy. For one, I still have some clients from building sites. I continue to manage those, but I have been slowly moving more to the messaging side of things.
Another challenge is helping companies see the need. For many, it’s all about getting a website up, and they forget you actually have to say something on the website.
In fact, most realize knowing what to say first is the best course of action.
I created the Website Copy Framework a couple of years ago to help other WordPress consultants help their clients know what to say. It is a series of worksheets that walk them through writing a homepage, about page, and a service or product page.
I then created a white label version so that consultants can put their names/logos on the worksheets for their own clients.
My latest vision is for brand storytelling. I am starting with About Pages, the second most visited page on any website. I created a productized service for this and, long term, I am working on my own brand storytelling process.
Myself with my Brilliant Team
This is a pic of my home workspace. I am a company of one, so no team.
Todd Jones Workplace
Advice for Business Owners
Be sure to make time for the internal workload. For example, you need to do outreach, prospecting, reporting, admin work, and such. Often these things are done when there is time left over and that is a recipe for problems. Devote at least half your time to these tasks.
Treat people like humans. We are building relationships and solving problems for people, not robots, AI, or algorithms. Remember this and it will help.
Embrace boundaries. You are self-employed and people will think that means you can do stuff at the “drop of a hat.” They will push these boundaries, friends and families alike.
Create your own manifesto. This is a document or a series of paragraphs that communicate your values and vision. You have to communicate this to yourself first, and then you can to others.
For deciding a niche, I would say that everyone is different and has different skills, talents, and passions. There is a solution for every niche and there is a niche for every solution.
Starting is hard and few people have a built-in niche like my friend Darrell did when he started. Start where you are. Learn to work with different types of businesses and then evaluate what you liked, what you did well, and who really liked working with you.
Over time you will find your niche or your tribe and partnering with other agencies can help you get to experience as well.
WordPress & Beyond
I have embraced storytelling as a central point of my copywriting business. I love the stories of entrepreneurs and I love helping them simplify their message so their customers understand. I have just launched a productized service. I will utilize podcasting and live streaming more going forward.
In the next five years, the WordPress-dot-com ecosystem will be much more used and mature. It will compete with Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly and make it a natural fit for small companies who want the power of WordPress with an all-in-one solution.
Additionally, I think large hosting companies will do the same, making them great white-label options for many small agencies and consultants.
As for competitors, I think that Webflow is just that. They are proving to be a viable option for brochure types of sites. This may be great for less dynamic and more small local business sites.
My Love for the WordPress Community
I have attended a couple of WordCamps in Fayetteville, AR. For a time, I ran a WordPress Meetup here in Conway.
I have been fortunate to participate in several virtual summits over the past few years including the Atarim Web Agency Summit, The WP Agency Summit, and an iThemes Training presentation.
I also try to participate in the GoWP Agency WordPress group. They have been very warm and accepting (and sent me shirts!)
I have several friends in the WordPress space and we help each other out. I like the camaraderie there. Among my favorite WordPress people are Davinder Singh Kanith, Rob Cairns, Ryan Waterbury, Colleen Gratzer, Mor Cohen, Kim Doyal, Jason Vance, and Chris Bourne. We all have a good relationship and can chat whenever we need help or just someone to talk to.
How I Keep Myself Updated
One thing I do that helps me stay updated is write a roundup post at MainWP. This definitely keeps my radar available.
One resource I use a lot is Davinder’s The WP Weekly newsletter.
Just working in the space and being constantly connected with other WordPress professionals helps keep me updated.
Another thing that helps is being part of the many WordPress Facebook groups I am a part of.
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
Well, of course, I love storytelling. I watch a lot of movies, some TV shows, and yes, professional wrestling. This goes back to me being a kid. I love the characters, the storylines, and the athleticism. I would love to attend Wrestlemania one day.
Holidays are mostly spent here with my family. That has always been how we do it and it works pretty well. I am fortunate to live in the same town with many of my immediate family. My nephew and nieces are getting older so we get to see them make some adult decisions. Last year, my niece got married.
Travel destinations for me would include Canada and India (globally) and perhaps Australia. There are many places in the world that would be fun to visit for a WordCamp or something. If I have a friend in another country (I have many) I would love to visit.
In the US, I would love to go to the Northeast to visit as well as the Northwest like Oregon. I have a bucket list item or two.
I am involved in organizing a Geek Breakfast in town. It’s fun to visit with geeks in other industries and just talk tech and maker stuff.
I had a cat but she passed in February of 2020. She was a sweet cat. These days, a rabbit that I call Harold visits. We are entertained by Harold.
Todd Jones Pets
I Reward Myself by
I love listening to music. I have Youtube going a lot when I’m working. Actually, I’m listening right now. And I love to use lyrics from songs in emails and blog posts.
I like spending time with friends. I like getting a cup of coffee with a friend or colleague.
I like watching my favorite college football (American) and basketball team, the Arkansas Razorbacks.
I love local non-profits. Some that I like to support in Conway are City of Hope Outreach, Conway Ministry Center, and Children’s Advocacy Alliance. We have so many worthwhile organizations, right here in our community.
And I love coffee. Did I say I love coffee? I especially love local coffee shops that roast their own beans. I am, you know, the Redneck Coffee Snob.
Connect With Me
- 25% off of the Website Copy Framework Agency White Label – use coupon code “wpfounders”