Industry Experts and Pro Bloggers Come Together to Inspire, Teach, and Help You (and Your Site) Succeed

Get to know some of the speakers and presenters at next month’s official WordPress.com conference from August 11-13.

At the Official WordPress.com Growth Summit, the two-day virtual conference running twice from August 11-13, you’ll have access to about 50 speakers and presenters across 90+ breakout sessions and keynote conversations. The varied lineup will appeal to new and established bloggers; professionals in tech, media, and marketing; and anyone ready to build or expand their presence on the web.

Event highlights include a talk from Smitten Kitchen creator and cookbook author Deb Perelman; panels with Newspack founder Kinsey Wilson on the state of independent and local journalism amid a struggling media landscape and in the age of COVID-19; and sessions with founders and representatives from companies and organizations like Xbox, Google, Sandwich, African Queer Youth Initiative, Out in Tech, Looka, and more.

Wondering what to expect? Here are 10 entrepreneurs, founders, bloggers, and developers scheduled to speak at the summit.


Jason Snell

Jason is the founder and editor-in-chief of Six Colors, a site that covers Apple, technology, and the intersection of tech and culture. Previously, as the lead editor for Macworld, he covered every major Apple product release for more than a decade.

In a breakout session on content and community with web designer and A List Apart founder Jeffrey Zeldman, they’ll share blogging and podcasting tips, advice on growing your audience, and making money with paywalls, stores, advertising, and more. “Membership programs can build loyalty and provide the most enthusiastic portions of your audience with more of what they love,” says Jason. “I switched to WordPress in order to build a richer — and more marketable — membership program, and the results have been excellent.”

Tina Wells

“The 4Ps of marketing — product, place, promotion, and price — have changed dramatically,” says Tina Wells, the founder of Elevation Tribe, a community and lifestyle publication focused on helping women of color launch, grow, and lead their businesses. In her breakout session, Tina will talk about creating a marketing plan for beginners and small businesses. “We’ll go back to basics and discover how we can make the right changes to help your business not only survive, but thrive.”

A business strategist and passionate entrepreneur, Tina believes in the power of an effective online presence. “Your website is your first storefront, and it tells the story of your brand,” she says, noting that a strong visual identity and fresh design are critical. You can see both in action at Elevation Tribe and on Tina’s website.

Kristin Smith

“My authenticity is what allows me to share my brand with others. Being yourself — and transparent — is what people see and keeps them coming back. There’s only one of you, and that alone is enough,” says Kristin Smith, food blogger at Krisp X Kristin and podcast co-host of At the Bar.

In Kristin’s breakout session, you’ll find out how she turned her passion for cooking into a popular blog and podcast. She’ll share what she’s learned, giving you a set of actionable steps to inspire you to overcome your fears and get started on your website.

“Sometimes in the beginning it’s hard to see a finish line. But, keep your head down and keep working. Throw yourself into it, network with other likeminded people, and continue to learn,” says Kristin. “It all will pay off in the end.”

Paul Bakaus

“The web used to be the best platform for content creation, distribution, and consumption,” says Paul Bakaus, a senior staff development advocate at Google. “But today the walled garden — closed social apps and platforms — are drinking our milkshake. I say it’s time we stop letting them! We need to, as a community, work on making the web more visual, frictionless, and bite-sized. Web Stories are our approach to help with that, and we can’t wait for you to join us.”

In his breakout session, Telling Web Stories with WordPress, Paul will introduce you to Web Stories — a mobile-first tool that allows storytellers to create visual narratives with engaging animations and tappable interactions — and show how you can use them on your website with the Web Stories for WordPress plugin.

Anton Diaz

“We want to contribute to an awesome post-COVID-19 world,” says Anton Diaz, traveler, founder, and creator of Our Awesome Planet. “We’re helping food businesses to connect with foodies and travel destinations to engage with travelers.”

In his breakout session, Anton will share the principles that have guided his food and travel blog for 15 years. “There are core beliefs that have helped Our Awesome Planet stand out,” says Anton. “We make sure that all the food and travel experiences we feature are based on first-hand experience, grounded on our original vision: documenting the food and travel adventures of our family as our four sons — Aidan, Joshua, Raphael, and Yugi — have grown.”

Deb Perelman

Deb Perelman, the longtime food blogger at Smitten Kitchen, is a WordPress.com community favorite. What started as a food blog and side project in her tiny New York City kitchen has grown into one of the most popular food blogs on the internet, as well as a series of best-selling cookbooks.

“I just really, really enjoy blogging,” Deb said in an interview with WordPress.com several years ago. “I love having a place where I can share what I’m working on in an immediate way and have a conversation with people who are equally excited about it, and who encourage me to try more stuff that scares me in the kitchen.” At the conference, Deb will share her story and the journey of Smitten Kitchen, from start to present.

Kim Newton

Kim Newton, a global marketing executive with over 20 years of experience working with corporations and brands, is the creator of The Intentional Pause, a project that empowers women to follow their dreams using the power of pause. “I give every woman permission — yes permission — to just stop and think,” she writes on her website. “I want to help women to embrace pausing as a powerful way forward, with intention, to achieve their dreams.”

Kim has had many successes in consumer marketing, corporate strategy, and business development, and will share her insights on marketing and PR at the summit.

Chris Coyier

Chris Coyier, the co-founder of CodePen, is a front-end developer and designer. He’s also the creator of CSS-Tricks, a resource that’s all about building websites, mostly from a front-end perspective, and was built on WordPress since day one. “I’m a solo developer for the most part on CSS-Tricks. Just me over here. I don’t have the budget for a fancy development team. But I still want to feel powerful and productive. That’s one of the things that WordPress has given to me. I feel like I can build just about anything on WordPress, and do it in a way that doesn’t feel like a mountain of technical debt that I would struggle to maintain.”

In his breakout session — Putting WordPress to Work — Chris will take us behind the scenes at CSS-Tricks, sharing “just how powerful WordPress can be as a platform to run a publishing business on.”

Amy Chan

For Amy Chan, blogging provided the path to a publishing career. Amy is the founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp, the world’s first breakup bootcamp, and the author of Breakup Bootcamp: The Science of Rewiring Your Heart. “Heartbreak is something that affects everyone, so people were able to connect quickly with the company’s offering,” says Amy.

In Amy’s breakout session — How I Accidentally Became a Thought Leader By Blogging — she shares her own story, and how you can transform your side gig into something bigger. To start, Amy says to just do it: “Stop hiding. Stop waiting. Stop perfecting. Perfection is procrastination in disguise,” she says. “Start the blog, launch the event, put your creation out in the world. Whatever it is, just get in a mindset of taking action. Create as a way of being. Launch it now and develop it later.”

Danica Kombol

Danica Kombol founded Everywhere Agency to help brands tell better stories through social media and influencer marketing. As CEO, she leads a team that works with brands to launch content-driven campaigns and to create meaningful conversations with followers in powerful, measurable ways.

Danica also launched Everywhere Society, a network of about 5,000 established influencers and bloggers, which powers the agency’s influencer campaigns and brand ambassadorships. Her session will cover blogging for purpose and profit.


Browse the agenda for all sessions, demos, and talks. Buy your ticket now for early bird pricing of $79, which expires after July 31!


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25 Comments

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  1. novelyahya

    Nice article and photos. Would be better if all of the photos of the 50 speakers and presenters are all listed here. Thanks

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Patty

    Hi…
    This looks great, but did I miss something or is there something missing from the presenters?
    Are there going to be persons speaking about how blogging and accessibility for those with print disabilities who use screen reader technology can better use their blogs for promoting?
    Yes, it’s important for blogs to be visually appealing. It’s also important for blogs to be accessible to blind and print disabled readers.
    There are people who have problems with certain font size and color. There are people who need specific backgrounds to read more comfortably. There are those using screen reader technology who are always running into blogs with links that aren’t labeled so we know what they’re going to lead to when we click on them, and there are sometimes buttons which don’t read or don’t work because they’re not created so that they are compatible with screen readers.
    So, are you going to offer speakers who can help bloggers use their blogs to promote to those who may visit with specific needs?
    I see the Apple people represented and this is good, but will they tackle the needs of Windows computer users who are using screen readers such as Jaws For Windows, or NVDA?
    Not complaining, just want to know if all bloggers are represented here.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Cheri Lucas Rowlands

      Hi Patty — thanks for your input. You can see more speakers and all of the sessions on the event site. There isn’t a session in this conference on accessibility; however, our team is working on offering a separate one-hour webinar in August on accessibility (for online education environments). Any updates on that will be published on this blog. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Patty

        Well to me that’s discriminative. And certainly not good enough. First of all bloggers should be educated on how to correctly set up and make their blogs accessible for screen reader users. Blind people buy products, write books, and owned businesses just like everyone else.
        I am very disappointed. But it doesn’t surprise me. No I’m really starting to think the EDA needs to hear about word press and it’s lack of participation with the disabled.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Cheri Lucas Rowlands

          I’ll forward your feedback to the event team. I agree that there’s more work to be done in general on making conferences as inclusive as possible.

          Related, if interested — we shared best practices recently on making your WordPress site more accessible (and you can also explore the WordPress and accessibility page to see the WordPress community’s larger efforts around improving accessibility).

          Like

          • Patty

            I have been working with one of the technicians when I have time on the test site that was created at my suggestion when I spoke of the block editor not being easy to use.
            And of that I am appreciative. But I feel extremely excluded on many occasions by WordPress and so do my peers you might do well or those who are in charge might do well to explore just how many blind persons and other persons with print disabilities which does not always mean visual impairment use WordPress.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Cheri Lucas Rowlands

            Hi Patty — another update: we’ve added a session on accessibility, held on August 11, called “Creating Accessible Content” that will be hosted by two WordPress.com happiness engineers. The description from the event schedule:

            Learn how to create accessible websites with the WordPress editor, allowing you to reach more people than ever. We’ll explore common accessibility issues, how to spot them, and why it’s important.

            Thanks again for your feedback.

            Liked by 3 people

  3. happyme5763

    I am not a pro yet but have the insight to learn more

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Hired

    It’s really amazing to have a place where we could express ourselves better and more engaging. Am an entry level blogger and a digital marketing professional.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. Deborah

    Looking forward to learning and gaining insight from this presentation

    Liked by 7 people

  6. ochelijustice

    I want to learn and excel

    Liked by 4 people

  7. SillyShruti

    Inspiring speakers 👍🏻👍🏻

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Onyeije Esther

    Looking forward to learning more

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Dollar Queen

    This looks like a great line up & informative event! Can’t wait!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. daveajak

    Very impressive

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Muhammad Amin

    I always Need That type of Help.
    Thanks for Sharing.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. deepanilamani

    Very interesting and educative. I have learnt a lot by reading through and will go into some of their websites that are useful to the Blogs I am doing. Thank you very much for all these conferences that are organized and all the updates and the information on how to grow and develop our website further!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. shazelgreen

    Looking forward to this I recently posted my forest blog post and I would like to take in as much as possible to perfect this craft.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. undomestic doodles

    AMAZING!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Sameera Shekhar

    Wow! That sounds great👏

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thrivingwithannab

    This is fantastic. A very good read. Agree with @novelyahya though!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Rithesh Raghavan

    This is pretty cool. Looking forward to getting some real insight from them.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. affected1

    I’m new to blogging. Looking forward to learning more!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ace Infoway

    Great Stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

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