For 8 episodes of the Travel Blog Breakthrough Podcast we’ve been talking to other bloggers and seen different aspects of what it takes to be successful.  With this episode, I decided to shake it up a bit and instead focus on some of the nitty gritty things of blogging such as hosting.  It’s a necessity for what we do but often times we quickly forget about it after we get up and running.  Shared hosting is great and all to start with but what comes after?

I’ve heard a lot of good things about WP Engine and so a few months ago I decided to find out for myself what earned it all that good praise.  The good news is that it didn’t disappoint when I finally migrated from BlueHost.

Who better to talk about WP Engine than the founder himself which is why for this episode I’m chatting with Jason Cohen.

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Learn about WP Engine’s humble beginnings from Jason’s own problems with hosting as a blogger to being one of the top WordPress managed hosting services in the world.

So what are the 4 S’s you ask?  Well in our chat, Jason talks about how WP Engine’s philosophy is built on 4 pillars:

  • Speed
  • Security
  • Scale
  • Support

In addition to using WP Engine as a host, you’ll also learn a bit more about how affiliates work and how lucrative it can be if you do it right with merchants like WP Engine.

In this particular episode, you will learn

    • Jason Cohen’s tech blogging history
      • Blogging for 8-9 years
      • Started blogging for previous startup – SmartBear
      • Blogging tips:
        • Persistent and wait for “strange” and “chaotic” events that aren’t predictable
        • Build up evergreen content over time
    • How WP Engine started
      • Blog started crashing when featured on the front page of HackerNews
      • Turns out other bloggers needed better hosting platform
      • Fundamental values – Speed, scale under traffic, security, providing WordPress specific support
      • Officially started May 2010
    • WP Engine’s breakthrough
      • No silver bullet
      • Not necessarily random but chaotic
    • Keys to blogging success
      • Post often to produce more evergreen content and give yourself more “attempts at the bat”
      • Don’t forget about your old posts
      • Improve over time
      • Find your own style by starting with copying of other people’s writing style
    • Ideal customers
      • Prosumers – part of their job/profession and making money from the blog and CARE
    • About shared hosting
      • Cheap
      • Slow
      • Shut down when you get traffic spikes
      • They don’t worry about security
      • Poor tech support
      • Get what you pay for
      • Great for when you first start off
      • ~$5/month
    • WP Engine’s support
      • If it’s WordPress related, support will just handle it
      • Interpret something in the logs that a customer can’t
    • What makes WP Engine fast
      • Average 4x speed improvement
      • Fast hardware – SSD disks
      • Less than a hundred sites vs thousands of sites on one server machine
      • Intelligent caching
      • Thousands of business rules from years of experience working with WordPress
    • Differences in WP Engine plans
      • What differentiates them is how much traffic you get (unique visitor/day)
      • Personal plan
        • No compromise in speed and security
      • Pro & Business plan
        • Phone support
        • Dedicated IP address
        • For those with even more traffic
    • Why WP Engine’s affiliate program rocks
      • It pays a lot – $200 per sale
      • Does not require volume to make a lot of money
      • Constantly also improving conversions once you send people over to WP Engine
    • Affiliate network
      • Huge marketplace of merchants (i.e. Commission Junction and Shareasale)
      • The network handles payments
    • Signing up
    • How to promote affiliate program
      • Not enough just to share links – don’t send someone blindly
      • Prep a potential customer with something like a blog post or podcast
    • Keys to success
      • Maximize chance for success by setting it up (i.e. a review)
      • Set the context and set the why
      • Link to the personal perspective and then from there link to the actual product
      • Campaign based – leverage a mailing list
      • Look on Twitter for someone asking about WordPress hosting and then outbound sell to them
    • Affiliate potential
      • $20,000 – $25,000 a month
    • Tier 2 affiliate program
      • Multi-levelled marketing
      • A person that makes a commission when they signs up other affiliates who will then sell a product like WP Engine
    • More developer tools
    • Better analytics and tracking (in beta at the moment)

Links mentioned in this episode



Current deal: Save 20% off your first payment with WP Engine. Use coupon code SUMMERSAVINGS. Expires 8/31/2016.

Thanks for listening

Thank you for listening to the show!  It’s really because of you that I do these so I appreciate all the support.

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About author View all posts Author website

Will Tang

I'm the writer behind Going Awesome Places and through its growth, I've learned a heck of a lot from trial and error. I have a passion for helping others succeed and through TBB my hope is to empower you with what works (and what doesn't) so you know exactly how you can take your blog to the next level.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Jason’s perspective on affiliate marketing I found extremely interesting. Especially, his thoughts on generating high commissions from low volume traffic when first getting started. These insights will influence the direction of my blog in the coming months. Thank you for creating a wonderful resource Will 🙂

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