Episode 52: A startup, some themes, a bit of freelancing and a full-time job

You’re an entrepreneur still trading time for dollars —  how do you get out of that?

You launch a new WordPress website for a client and everyone is excited to go live — but wait, they wanted you to upload their 1,000 pages of content.

It wasn’t your responsibility.

Months later you realize you’ve been teaching them the same steps over and over — when will it end?

Cliff Seal joins us to talk about automating your way out of these tasks. We’ll look at it from the actual practice of training someone all the way to bending WordPress to do the job for you.

But that’s not all.

Cliff is a super smart guy and we’re going uncover his entrepreneurial drive and what new projects he’s launching.

Interview with Cliff Seal

Listen to the audio version


So much stuff, so little time

You know exactly what I’m talking about.

You’re going to amazed at how much Cliff can handle at once and hopefully you learn a thing or two along the way. How does a guy build themes, amazing WordPress SaaS products, freelance and work a full-time job?

Guess what, he also refuses to work nights.


He also wrote this epic summary for my show, so I’m just going to repurpose it for the blog. Hope Cliff doesn’t mind 🙂

Who is Cliff Seal?

1. I left the position I automated myself out of about a year and a half ago. I basically worked on the idea behind the scenes for 6 months or so, knowing I could either move on to work elsewhere or shift my duties (as I did design, some marketing, and some video animation as well). I literally attached a proposal to dissolve my position to my two-week notice, breaking down how to move forward without losing productivity and calculating the amount of money they’d save.

2. I work at Pardot which is a part of Salesforce. I’m a Senior User Experience Architect, but I’ve also led (and built) a total redesign and rebuild for us (with one sort-of mini-redesign recently)—all our external sites are built on WordPress, so I get to dabble and do fun things every day. I’ve released a couple of plugins that came from small projects at Pardot, and I’ve also built some other really cool plugins that aren’t quite ready for public release. On top of that, we have an official Pardot plugin which I picked up development on when I arrived, and I get to maintain it and build new features into it.

3. I’ve been doing WordPress development for about 5 years now, and continue to do contract work. I’ve been working completely off referrals for all those years, and I’ve never had a lull in business or had to lower my rates or work on projects I don’t want to.

4. I’m the Product Lead at MusicGrid.me, a project that my friend Kyle and I co-founded back in 2010. It’s a miracle of modern WordPress. 🙂 I built in on WP simply to see how far I could stretch the capabilities of the platform, and it’s amazed me every step of the way. On top of it being a cool community of music lovers, we also use the platform to provide paid advertising services in the form of embeddable widgets that record stores put on their website.

5. I’m probably going to be releasing a sweet, free theme between now and our interview. It’s not a secret, but I’m not ready to push ‘go’ just yet, so I’ll spare you the details. As well, I’ve been doing market research on a WordPress-based ‘product’ for the entire year, and have begun the pilot program with interested clients. It’s a product designed specifically for clients with sub-$5k budgets who need to use the power of WordPress, but may not be able to afford extensive custom research and design. As well, it’s built to allow them to grow in WordPress later on without having to start over (as you might if it were built wrong, or you used WordPress.com or SquareSpace).


5 responses to “Episode 52: A startup, some themes, a bit of freelancing and a full-time job”

  1. This was a great interview with Cliff Seal and my first listen to your podcast. If this is any indication of the quality of your program I am now a regular listener. Thank you for the time you take to put this together. I also liked the violin piece at the end but couldn’t find a credit. I am sure it’s somewhere but I don’t know where to look for it in your notes. Is that something you can post? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Georgia, I appreciate it!

  2. Hey can you just post transcripts of the cast? You ask a person in the case of one pod cast to sit for 50 min.. I could read much faster than that….Of course this is probably not going to register but I thought I would comment that I prefer to read..I’m sure i’m alone in this..

    1. Beth, thanks for listening and for your recommendation. I’d love to do transcripts, but it’s quite costly. even at $2 a minute, that would run me nearly 400/month to transcribe all my posts. I certainly want to add it, it’s just covering the cost I’m concerned with.

  3. Music at the end – who is that? BTW, loved the show. Definitely bring Cliff back for that freelancing discussion.

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