Matt Report: Client Onboarding, Automation, Growing a Business

Sacramento designer Jennifer Bourn Interview on Matt Report

Recently I joined Matt Medeiros for an episode of the Matt Report Podcast, where we spoke about what it takes to go from freelancer to agency and the shifts you need to make, how to leverage more of your time using automation, and we also spend some time chatting about getting new clients, payment terms, and those pesky red flags that pop up!

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DradCast: The Bourn Creative Identity

Jennifer Bourn Guest Hosts DradCast

Episode 057: The Bourn Creative Identity

Every episode of the DradCast begins with a monologue by the guest host, which means I needed to write a monologue! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I wanted it to be something meaningful, something that means something, not just to me, but to those important to me.

As I was contemplating my opening monologue, I read a tweet that inspired my message:

This tweet really hit home. When I started designing websites, I had no clue what I was doing, but I learned. I learned because my friends were willing to take time from their weekends and evenings to sit at my kitchen table and work on projects with me and teach me. I learned because the WordPress community responded when I asked for help and advice.

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How to Optimize Blog Posts For Maximum Results And Visibility

On Page Optimization To Get Better Results From Blogging

Every time I speak to a group or organization at about blogging for business, I share the same simple, but often eye-opening statements:

  • Every time a new blog post is published, a new searchable URL is added to your website
  • Publishing a new blog post just once each week for a year, will add 52 new searchable URLs to your website
  • That action creates 52 new ways people can find you online — that’s 52 new chances you have to appear in the search engines results when someone is looking for what you do

If audience members were skeptical about blogging before, they usually then agree that it’s worth their time to take a second look about how blogging for business could help grow their business.

The Problem With Blogging For Business

I speak to a lot of people who think blogging for business is a waste of time, ether because they tried it and it didn’t work, or someone else told them that they tried it and it didn’t work.

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Prestige Conference: A WordPress Conference On Business

Prestige Conference 2014

A Premium Conference Focused On Business And Career

Taking place October 3-4, 2014 in Downtown Minneapolis and streamed live wherever you are, Prestige Conference is a new and intriguing addition to the WordPress conference ecosystem, including WordCamps and Pressnomics. Created by Josh Broton and Kiko Doran, the conference is hyper-focused on growing a business and building a career with WordPress.

First, let me say that I love WordCamps. They are positive, helpful, educational, fun events that pull local wordPress communities together. They give community members at all levels the opportunity to share their knowledge, give back, help others, build relationships, and improve their own skills — and with tracks/sessions on design, development, content, blogging, getting started, and business, there truly is something for everyone.

With that said, I do think there is space for additional WordPress centered events, especially those tailored to one specific subject like this one on building, and growing businesses, and cultivating careers in the WordPress community.

I look forward to seeing the landscape of additional hyper-focused WordPress-centered events evolve, and I am excited to experience the inaugural Prestige Conference.

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Bourn Creative Pulls Triple Duty at WordCamp LA 2014

WordCamp Los Angeles 2014

WordCamp Los Angeles — locally organized three-day conference covering everything related to WordPress — is happening September 5-7, 2014, less than a month from today.

I’m so excited for this event — The schedule and sessions look awesome, the attendee list is full of amazing people, and Brian and I will BOTH be speaking! While Brian and I have both presented at WordCamps before, this is the first time we’ll both be presenting at the same one!

So, if you are in or near the Los Angeles area, I highly encourage you to snag a coveted ticket before they sell out — and at only $45 for all three days, a party, a t-shirt, and food, this is an amazing opportunity to network, improve your skill set, learn more about WordPress, and have fun.

Get A Ticket

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Why Keywords Still Matter In SEO

Keywords As Part Of An SEO Strategy

You may have heard that while the keyword meta tag used to be super effective and highly regarded, nowadays pretty much all search engines don’t even give the keyword meta tag another thought! A lot of websites, even some top authority sites don’t even bother to use the meta keywords tag anymore for this exact reason.

But why did it come to this? Why has the keyword meta tag lost its luster?

Because of keyword abuse (also known as keyword spam). Website owners were stuffing keywords into this meta tag like crazy, sometimes even repeating the same ones over and over, thinking that it would make the page more relevant for that specific keyword.

Many sites even stuffed keywords into the web page keyword meta tag that didn’t have anything to do with the actual page content. It got out of control and soon the keyword meta tag was no longer a viable way to assess what a web page or blog post was really about.

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What is the Genesis Framework? (And Other Genesis FAQs)

Hands Raised To Ask Questions About The Genesis Framework

As Genesis recommended developers, we get asked a lot of questions about the Genesis Framework and Genesis themes — and it seems like there is some confusion about what it is, how it works, what you can do with it, and more.

We work with Genesis every day and all of our custom WordPress sites are powered by Genesis. We’re proud StudioPress affiliates too. So to help clarify a few things, I’ve gathered together this list of our most frequently asked questions about the Genesis Framework.

If you have any Genesis Framework or Genesis theme questions that I don’t address in this post (other than how to write code — we charge for that), feel free to ask in the comments below!

Now let’s get on to the questions …

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WP Unicorn Project: Content Strategy With Jennifer Bourn

WP Unicorn Project Episode13 with Jennifer Bourn

One of my favorite things to do is talk shop — to talk about business, design strategy, marketing, getting clients, content, blogging, WordPress — and recently I got to do it again with Suzette Franck and Natalie MacLees on Media Temple’s WordPress Hangout, WP Unicorn Project.

I originally met both of these incredibly smart women at Word Camp Las Vegas. We stayed in touch through Twitter and I connected with Suzette again at WordCamp Phoenix.

Suzette Franck is Media Temple’s WordPress Evangelist and she travels to and speaks at a lot of WordCamps around the country. Natalie MacLees owns Purple Pen Productions, is organizer for WordCamp LA, and is a published author, working on the second edition of her book jQuery for Designers.

Now, about that hangout …

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WordCamp Seattle 2014 Recap

WordCamp Seattle 2014

Thank Yous All Around!

This past weekend Brian and I traveled to Seattle for WordCamp Seattle and we stayed a little extra to see the sights and explore the city on foot!

First, I just want to give a huge round of applause for all of the WordCamp Seattle organizers and volunteers. This non-profit, completely volunteer event of almost 700 people was incredibly well run, smooth, and organized — and as a speaker, I felt supported and really appreciated the hands-on friendliness of everyone involved.

Second, I want to say thanks for drinks all day long (no dehydration!), a diverse lunch menu, including vegan and gluten-free options, and delicious goodies at the after party (those vegetarian sandwiches were awesome)!

And third, a big thank you goes out to ALL of the WordCamp Seattle sponsors, including University of Washington for a gorgeous venue.

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Writing an Effective Meta Description

Write great meta descriptions to increase traffic from organic search

Believe it or not, now you almost have all the basics of natural, organic search engine optimization at your fingertips! I’ve covered how to optimize content, optimize images, and optimize links. We’ve explained what HTML page titles and meta descriptions are, and how to use page titles for SEO — and today, I’m covering how to use meta descriptions for SEO.

Writing a simple, effective, compelling meta description is no harder than writing a simple, compelling, effective sentence or call to action. In fact, your meta description, at the most basic level, is a just short summary of what your web page or blog post is about.

Like your HTML page title, your meta description is very important in attracting new visitors to your website from organic search. Often, but not always, the description shown by the search engines for your web page or blog post is the HTML meta description you write.

So when someone is viewing a list of web pages in a search engine results page (SERP), they scan the list, quickly reading the descriptions for each listing. They then decide which results are closest to what they are looking for or which are the most interesting — and those links are the links they click.

Needless to say, a well-written, compelling, unique description written for every web page or blog post, can help persuade people to visit your site and increase click-throughs from search.

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