Upcoming Class: Mastering WordPress for Business & Blogging

When I first started blogging in 2007, it was for an employer. I was working for a nonprofit and didn’t know the first thing about running a blog. I went to a class to learn the basics of blogging and did my research. I knew a blog was a great way to drive traffic to our website and to get the message of our mission out to the world. I pitched the board of directors, and they gave me their vote of confidence.

Eight years later, I still help maintain that blog.

Prior to starting the blog you are reading now in 2010, I wrote a private blog for family and friends. It was mainly updates of what me and my family were up to. Nothing too earth-shattering or inspiring. Another Jennifer was created when I realized I needed a creative outlet than was entirely my own. It has certainly grown since my first blog post five years ago this month (clearly I’m not good at remembering anniversaries, as I had to look that up!).

I’m not kidding when I say this blog has changed my life dramatically, taking me to amazing places, connecting me to world changers and helping me get published, among other things. I’ve written more than 800 posts and have over 10,000 comments on this blog. It has gone from a thrown together free WordPress.com blog, to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog with a free theme, to two re-designs with a professional web developer and graphic designer. I’ve had different hosting companies and experimented with countless plugins.

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I’ve used WordPress from the very beginning of it all. On Wednesday, March 4th and Thursday, March 5th, I will be sharing my knowledge of WordPress and how I maintain my website and blog for my business when I teach a special class with Samuel Strickland of Vesica Design.

Mastering WordPress for Business & Blogging will cover everything you need to know to build and maintain a WordPress website and/or blog. From the wpcoach.co website:

WordPress is powerful platform that can give the smallest of businesses and blogs a powerful marketing punch. An easy to use blogging and website content management system, WordPress powers about 19% of all self-hosted websites. The problem is that many small business owners, entrepreneurs and beginner bloggers don’t know where to start when it comes time to manage an effective WordPress site.

This 2-day interactive class will take you through every step of the process of operating and maintaining a WordPress website and/or blog. Taught by a professional web developer and a copywriter / blogger, Mastering WordPress for Business and Blogging students will learn the technical side of WordPress along with the practical side of creating content that is search engine friendly. Students are required to bring a laptop so that they can work on an actual website in real-time.

We will dive deep into each topic and cover every aspect with hands on (this means you!) training in a live WordPress environment.

Day 1:

  • WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
  • Your Working Environment – The tools you will need to maintain your Wordpress site
  • Your Site Environment – The basic components of a self-hosted WordPress site
  • The Basic Site – Designing and branding your site

Day 2:

  • The Content – The text and images that make up your site
  • Extending Functionality – Taking your site further
  • SEO and Analytics – Becoming search engine friendly and tracking site stats
  • Monetizing (Advanced) – Making money from your website/blog

This class will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, Maine. To get all the details and to register, visit wpcoach.co. I hope to see you there!

What is your experience with WordPress?

Philanthropy Friday: Global Impact Summit

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.

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The Global Impact Summit, an online event happening November 10 – 28 on your computer (if you so choose), includes 30 thought leaders in 15 Inspiring days. It is “all about Purpose, Strategy & Action and how you can create a profound difference in the world with your business through the IMPACT of giving.”

When I received an email from my friend Paul Dunn of B1G1, I had to share this event. Not only does it sound incredibly insightful for entrepreneurs and change makers, the Global Impact Summit is free with a donation of as little as $5. True to the B1G1 giving model, you can select a giving project that you’d like to support when you attend the summit. As you can see in the screenshot below, I chose to give a child access to life-saving water for 5 years. With just $10!

globalimpactsummitFrom the Global Impact Summit website:

We believe that businesses have the power to change our world.

All of the speakers at this Summit are here to empower you and the businesses you’re a part of to create greater results and at the same time give back to create the real change we want to see.

So we ask you to implement the learning into your daily business practice so that you inspire others to create a positive impact too.

The line up of speakers sounds pretty great too. You can find each of the leaders featured on the the B1G1 Facebook page.

Find out more about the summit, take a look at the schedule, and register.

Will you join me at the Global Impact Summit?

Philanthropy Friday: Giving Back at Firehouse Subs

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.

Disclosure: My two boys and I received a free lunch from our local Firehouse Subs while we discussed the ways in which the company gives back. I had the Turkey Bacon Ranch sub, in case you were wondering, and it was really good. As per usual, all words and opinions expressed are my own. 

The counter at my local Firehouse Subs in Topsham, Maine.

The counter at my local Firehouse Subs in Topsham, Maine.

With more than 800 restaurants in 42 states and Puerto Rico, chances are you have heard of Firehouse Subs. They are the only sub shop around that steams their meats and cheeses, releasing a “rush of flavors” and serves them on a private recipe sub roll.

To be honest, I’m usually skeptical of chain restaurants, preferring to support a local eatery instead. However, I was recently invited to visit my local Firehouse Subs to learn more about what the company calls “the heart of their brand,” the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. After reading about recent donations to a local technical school and fire department, I was intrigued.

Chris and Robin Sorensen, the co-founders of Firehouse Subs, founded the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $11 million to 790 public safety organizations across the country. I’m told more than $25,700 has been donated in the state of Maine.

According to the website:

I had a wonderful lunch with Dave Tucci, the local area representative for Firehouse Subs, his lovely daughter and my two boys. Dave’s wife and her parents also showed up at one point, making for a nice family meal on a school holiday.

Dave told me about the foundation and the different ways customers of Firehouse Subs can contribute to it when they visit the restaurant. He also told me that a local representative of Firehouse Subs, like himself, always meets with the fire chief in the town in which a new restaurant is to be opened. The goal for the franchise is to partner with people who have both restaurant experience and an intimate knowledge of the local community. 

One of my favorite things about Firehouse Subs is that you will always be greeted by someone at the counter when you walk through the door, even when it gets busy. Dave says they want everyone to feel like they are at home when they visit the restaurant.

Pickle buckets at Firehouse Subs cost just $2 and the money goes to their public safety foundation.

Pickle buckets at Firehouse Subs cost just $2 and the money goes to their public safety foundation.

There are several easy ways to give back when you eat at Firehouse Subs. You can drop your spare change into an acrylic canister (as you see in the second photo in this post). You can “round up” your purchase to the nearest dollar when you complete your sale. You can also purchase a recycled 5-gallon pickle bucket for $2, with proceeds going directly to the public safety foundation.

During the month of October, also Public Safety Month, customers can purchase a $1 or $5 medallion to support the foundation. Medallions (seen on display behind the pickle buckets above) are on display for the entire month.

The foundation has most certainly made an impact in Maine and around the country. Dave told me a story of how two employees of Firehouse Subs were in a bad accident that required the use of jaws of life equipment donated by their employer. Luckily, the employees were OK in the end. While Firehouse Subs is newer in the state of Maine, donations have been made in the past through a grant process.

You can read more about the local impact the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has made on their website. Or visit their brand new interactive website that shows the lifecycle of a quarter when it is donated to the foundation.

How will you give back at Firehouse Subs?

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