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Interview | 25 February 2024

Interview: Ahsan Parwez of WPDots.io

Portrait photo of Ahsan Parwez

There aren't many Marketers in the WordPress ecosystem with the breadth of experience as Ahsan, both working for major brands and his ventures.

Tell us about your career – how did you get started, and what are you doing now?

I’m a Digital Marketer with a strong background in building WordPress websites, blending marketing expertise with the technical know-how to construct, secure, and optimize WP sites.

Despite holding a degree in electronics engineering, my passion for computers led me to self-learn SEO and web development during my university years. I knew back then that a field engineering job wasn’t right for me; I would rather have a career that requires staying indoors.

My journey kicked off in 2011 as an SEO/Web marketer for an e-commerce startup. By 2014, I became the first Community Manager at Cloudways, a role I secured because I had built a WordPress site for cat memes. Over my seven years at Cloudways (2014-2021), I expanded my skills, training over 30 individuals in various disciplines, including SEO, content writing, community marketing, email marketing, and more.

In 2021, I joined Brainstorm Force, the creators of the Astra WordPress theme. There, I played a pivotal role in establishing marketing processes, implementing OKRs, and enhancing organic reach through content marketing. Following that, I spent 2022-2023 at Convesio as a community and content marketer, focusing on higher-paying customers with larger websites.

In 2023, I briefly contributed to Patchstack, a WordPress security company, as a content marketer. My responsibilities involved writing security blogs, community engagement for security matters, and fostering partnerships.

Reflecting on my decade-long involvement in the WordPress community and varied corporate experiences, I recognized untapped potential. In 2023, I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey, becoming a co-owner of WPfounders, WPdiscounts.io, and WPwriters.org under the WPdots.io umbrella alongside my partner Mustaasam Saleem.

Today, my daily routine involves donning multiple hats – from making sales calls and marketing our products to writing content for our domains and clients. I also take charge of hiring and training individuals to contribute to the success of our ventures.

What do you specialize in? What’s your superpower?

I’m a Digital Marketer, and my superpower lies in my ability to perceive and interpret online content through various lenses. I excel at adopting different perspectives and adjusting my mindset based on a persona. For instance, when teaching SEO, I encourage individuals to see a website through the lens of an “SEO expert” – assessing site structure, readability, and the strategic use of key phrases valued by search engines.

Alternatively, I might shift gears and approach the same website as a “first-time visitor” – seeking quick answers, navigating through the copy, bypassing pop-ups and animations for a straightforward experience.

After years immersed in the digital realm, I’ve honed the power to navigate the web from diverse perspectives, making my approach to digital marketing versatile and effective.

Tell us about work you are particularly proud of

My answer to this question would have been different in 2023, but in 2024, I take immense pride in the creation of WPdots.io and the rapid development of our vision. Specifically, WPdiscounts.io stands out as a project that holds special significance for me. While it might seem modest from an outsider’s perspective, I firmly believe we’re crafting something exceptional.

Our approach involved taking on the challenges hands-on – from building websites and crafting content to securing partnerships. We even ventured into establishing our own Litespeed hosting servers, birthing our small startup, HostWP.io.

We are not funded, nor do we have a lot of savings, but with hard work and determination, we have good domains under us that we are sure are going to grow, and we will continue to learn.

What’s your favorite brand and why?

I do like tech brands that build their hardware and software, and for that matter, Nvidia has always been my favorite company to follow, along with others like Intel, AMD, and Apple.

I love to keep myself informed about the latest computer and gadget technology and how our use of technology is changing our lives.

Nvidia, in particular, catches my attention because of its continuous innovations in graphics technology. Now, they’re diving into AI and supercomputers, playing a big role in shaping how the internet and our daily lives evolve.

How about your favorite campaign or ad?

The best campaign that comes to my mind is the Cloudways Speed Up contest that we started in 2019; it was a contest that attracted WordPress developers and speed-up enthusiasts to try their hand at optimizing a rather messed up WordPress website.

Screen Shot of Cloudways' Speed Up Contest

Since then, the contest has still been hosted each year by Cloudways and is well-regarded for professionals to show off their skills and for Cloudways to show off how fast their servers are for a well-maintained WordPress website.

The remarkable aspect is that the idea for this campaign came to me overnight, and I had a crystal-clear vision of how to execute it.

Can you tell us about a current campaign you are running or have run recently?

Currently, we’re actively engaged in multiple initiatives across three of our domains: WPfounders.com, WPdiscounts.io, and HostWP.io.

While HostWP.io initially started as an experiment, we are now gearing up for a partnership campaign with small WordPress agencies. The primary objective is to establish agency partners who enjoy exclusive benefits for hosting their clients’ sites with us. Some key perks of the program include:

  • Grandfathered pricing plans for partners.
  • Priority support with direct access to our team.
  • A comprehensive managed WordPress hosting experience.
  • Cross-promotional opportunities through email, content, and sales calls.

For us as the hosting provider, this campaign represents an opportunity for accelerated growth and a chance to understand the true capabilities of our LiteSpeed Enterprise hosting service.

What are your favorite Marketing tools these days, and why?

These days, I am using a combination of marketing tools that help me immensely; I can’t name one, as each tool is just as important for the marketing work I do.

  • Ahrefs: I’m somewhat addicted to this tool. It’s my go-to for keeping a close eye on competitors, identifying opportunities for organic growth, and conducting in-depth research.
  • TypingMind with ChatGPT API: While I still craft all my content personally, I’ve trained GPT on my writing style. It aids me in refining, editing, and evaluating my writing. It’s a valuable assistant, though the final version always has my personal touch.
  • NeuronWriter: This tool is fantastic for enhancing the use of key phrases that competitors employ. It swiftly analyzes competing pages in organic search results, providing insights on how to elevate content.
  • SerpStat: This tool is my go-to for auditing both my own and client sites, helping identify technical SEO errors or areas for improvement.
  • MainWP and WP-Umbrella: These tools are instrumental in managing multiple websites through a single dashboard. While we primarily use MainWP, we have recently started using WP-Umbrella too.

To conclude, can you share a tip that can help WordPress businesses grow?

The WordPress market is saturated. That is correct, but you can still compete. The way we consume information is changing; the days are long past us when people would read long-form content to find their answers.

These days, the thing that works in marketing is providing solutions that are quick, easy, and defined in a few steps. The content that is liked by today’s audiences is getting straight to the point. Search engines and social media algorithms are also changing and prefer short-form content over long-form.

To conclude, I would say find where your audience is, build yourself as an authority, and produce content that matters. Do not invest time and money into all formats; work on what you think will bring you in front of your audience.

Follow Ahsan Parwez

Company Profile
WPDots.io
A Network of WordPress Blogs, Communities, and Services
Company Type: Other
Company Location: Pakistan
WPdots.io logo

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  • Great interview, Ahsan! It’s fascinating to discover that we share many similarities. I, too, have an electrical engineering background, but my professional expertise lies in digital marketing, particularly in content writing, SEO, and content marketing. Your experience is truly inspiring to me.

    Congratulations to Lawrence for the brilliant idea of conducting interviews with WordPress experts. This initiative will undoubtedly benefit individuals like me who are eager to learn and develop our skills.

  • A

    Thanks Ahsan for your time answering our questions.

    For the record, Ahsan and I worked together several months at Convesio, and have collaborated on a couple of projects since.

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