In this episode of the Within WordPress podcast, Lesley Sim, the co-founder of Newsletter Glue, shared her journey of becoming a prominent figure in the WordPress community. Leslie started off as a website builder and digital marketer, eventually transitioning into the world of WordPress plugins. In this article, we will explore Leslie’s story and her experience with building Newsletter Glue, a plugin that allows users to seamlessly create and send newsletters directly from their WordPress site.
Becoming a WordPress Expert
Lesley introduction to WordPress came in 2016 when she was looking for an affordable way to build a website. She quickly realized that WordPress offered an easy and cost-effective solution, so she started using it for her own projects. As Lesley gained more experience, she began building websites for clients through her digital marketing agency.
However, Lesley started to feel burnt out by the agency work and decided to venture into plugin development. She closed down the agency and partnered with a developer to work on a membership plugin. Although they faced challenges and the membership plugin didn’t gain much traction, Lesley experience led her to discover a demand for newsletter-related features.
Pivoting to Newsletters
After realizing the potential for newsletter-related features, Leslie and her co-founder decided to pivot their focus and create Newsletter Glue. They wanted to make newsletter creation and distribution seamless for WordPress users, particularly medium to large publishers. By connecting email service providers to WordPress, Newsletter Glue allows users to write and send newsletters directly from their WordPress editor.
Lesley approach with Newsletter Glue was customer-centric from the start. She invested significant time in talking to customers, gathering feedback, and understanding their needs. This enabled her to tailor the plugin to meet the specific requirements of different types of users, such as individual bloggers and large publishers.
Launching and repositioning Newsletter Glue came with its share of challenges. One significant obstacle was determining the ideal target audience and catering the product to their specific needs. Newsletter Glue found its niche in medium to large publishers, offering them a solution that seamlessly integrates with their existing email service providers and allows them to manage newsletters from within WordPress.
Another challenge was pricing the plugin appropriately. While some customers questioned the higher price point, Lesley recognized the value Newsletter Glue provided to its target audience. As a more specialized solution, the plugin justified its higher cost by offering features and functionality that competitors couldn’t match.
Building a Supportive Community
One aspect that pleasantly surprised Lesley is the supportive nature of the WordPress community. She found the WordPress community to be helpful, open to sharing knowledge, and supportive of each other’s endeavors. This supportive environment made it easy for Lesley to connect with other plugin founders, gather insights, and receive honest feedback.
The Future of Newsletter Glue
Looking ahead, Newsletter Glue has two major developments in the works. The first is the rebuilding of core WordPress blocks to enhance the “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) experience in the newsletter editor. This update will provide better styling control and mobile responsiveness while reducing support issues.
The second development is the introduction of multiple newsletters. This feature will allow users to easily manage and create newsletters for different brands or categories within their WordPress dashboard. This is a significant improvement over traditional email service providers, which often offer a single linear campaign structure.
These upcoming features and improvements demonstrate Newsletter Glue’s commitment to creating the best possible experience for its target audience and further solidify its position as a reliable and innovative plugin for WordPress users.
Lesley Sim’s journey from a WordPress newbie to building Newsletter Glue showcases the entrepreneurial spirit and adaptability required for success in the WordPress community. By actively listening to customers, constantly iterating on the product, and remaining customer-centric, Lesley and her team have created a plugin that meets the specific needs of medium to large publishers.
As Newsletter Glue continues to evolve and introduce new features, it aims to provide an intuitive and seamless experience for WordPress users, allowing them to easily create and distribute newsletters. With Lesley commitment to building in public and engaging with the WordPress community, the future looks bright for Newsletter Glue and its expanding user base.