Near the end of the 00’s, I was going through a very dark period in my life.
As I approached the end of my college career I struggled to come to grips with some of my life decisions.
I decided I needed an outlet for my thoughts. I needed a place where I could express myself creatively without judgement.
I found blogging to be a meditative experience
Not more than a few years earlier the word “blog” had entered the English lexicon and everyone wanted to jump on the blogger bandwagon.
Thus began my first foray into WordPress, but I did not care about the platform. WordPress was merely a means to an end.
The true value that WordPress provided me was that it made something that was previously inaccessible to me available at my fingerprints.
Namely, the ability to self-publish my content on my own domain.
The very fact that I could publish under a moniker that was truly my own was symbolic.
It wasn’t just my content, it was my domain. It was truly mine and not Tumblr’s, or Livejournal’s, or Facebooks, etc..
Nobody ever visited my blog.
My works have since faded into the ether of websites come to pass, but that’s besides the point.
In many ways, WordPress saved my life.
It gave me an outlet to express myself I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Around late 2010/early 2011, I quit my job working as a food server after reading the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris and decided I was going to get rich on the internet.
My four hour work week turned into an 80 hour work week as I discovered the world of SEO and affiliate marketing.
Once again WordPress entered my life, this time as a tool for building affiliate marketing websites.
I was not a web developer or web designer. If it were not for WordPress building my affiliate empire would have been impossible.
I used WordPress to grow my affiliate marketing business and was eventually making a near six-figure income.
Between acting as a facilitator for me to publish content, and being the platform that I trusted to run my business WordPress has given so much to me.
However, there was something that I neglected to do.
I never gave back.
I eventually went on to building websites for clients.
Guess what my tool of choice was for this?
Needless to say, WordPress changed my life.
In spite of the tremendous impact WordPress has had on my emotional, and financial health I still didn’t give back.
Over time, I came to discover that there were many others whose lives had been changed by WordPress.
I began attending WordPress meetups and met many like-minded individuals.
What I Learned From Attending WordCamp
I’m not talking about code snippets, or what plugins to use either.
In September of 2015, I attended and spoke at my first WordCamp in my hometown of Las Vegas and discovered that WordPress has given so much to others as well.
It’s truly incredible to be surrounded by others and hear their stories. Whether they are bloggers, marketers, developers, or business owners WordPress has affected so many lives in so many ways.
It’s important for freelancers, and work-from-home folks to get out and meet people that are doing well…. WordPress-y things.
It’s even more important that folks like yourself give back to the WordPress community in some form or another.
Whether it’s through speaking at WordCamps, helping others with their WordPress problems, or contributing to the WordPress plugin, theme, or core ecosystems.
The greater WordPress world isn’t without it’s cliques, it’s controversies and pain points.
However, there’s something truly special about WordPress that makes it so much more than just a CMS.
If you’ve never pryed your dry eyeballs away from your computer screen to interact with other people using WordPress in their day to day lives there’s a piece of you that’s missing and you don’t even know it yet.