Yvette Sonneveld is an inbound marketing specialist who has been using WordPress since 2005 and has been active in the #MakeWordPress global marketing team since 2017. She is an international speaker and has shared her expertise on WordCamps and other events around Europe.
She loves crafting online strategies, content and campaigns for small and medium sized service-based businesses. After office hours, she enjoys being out in nature, stretching like a pretzel during a yoga class and traveling the world.
Q. How did you come into your current field? Share a bit of the background?
A. Way back in 1999, I worked as a product manager for a service-based business. We hired a temp to create a website for us, but he left before the site was completed. I visited the library, borrowed some books and finished the project. One thing led to another and before I knew I was creating websites for clients.
Most of those clients did not have a marketing strategy and got stuck when they needed to send me the copy for the website. Step by step I grew into an all-round digital marketer. Before I started doing this, I switched jobs every 18 months because there was not much new to learn. I haven’t stopped learning ever since I borrowed these first books on HTML, and that’s been more than 20 years ago.
Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress?
A. The most rewarding project I have been working on over the past few years is my involvement in the WordPress marketing team. It’s an incredibly friendly and nurturing group of people. I have learned tons, and it is partly because of members of this group that I found the courage to start speaking.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? If yes did you learn anything useful?
A. Yes. In 2015 I lived in a small island in the Caribbean: Curaçao. I was going through a bit of a hard time. I had been working as a freelance web designer and online marketeer for a number of years. My client base was growing, mostly by referrals, but for some reason I had trouble presenting myself as an experienced professional.
Looking back, this had to do with the fact that I had taught myself basic design and coding skills. In a way I expected to be uncovered as a fraud any moment. To get out of that pattern, I traveled to the US all by myself to volunteer at WordCamp Miami. I had lots of fun but most of all I learned that my skillset measured up with people who had official educations.
And that I was not the only one who was self taught. I now know a lot of developers in their fourties are. That first WordCamp lead to attenting and volunteering at many other WordCamps and other conferences. When we moved back to The Netherlands in 2016, I was able to build a network and make lots of new friends by becoming active in the Dutch WordPress community.
I have been an organizer for WordCamp Utrecht twice, started speaking, landed freelance contracts and even a job because of it.
Long story short: If you’re working with WordPress, your self confidence could use a boost and you’d like to meet likeminded people, go volunteer at a WordCamp!
Q. What does your workstation look like?
A. I mainly work from home. I love collecting stickers at WordCamps.
Q. What kind of tools/software do you currently use for your creations?
– Adobe Photoshop
Social Media (depending on project)
Project management (depending on project)
SEO research, tracking and reporting
– SEO Powersuite
– Google Analytics
– Google Search Console
– Hemingway App
– Yoast SEO plugin
– SKT Themes
– Thrive Themes
– Astra Theme
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
A. I’d like to see a column with page loading speed for desktop and mobile on the pages and posts overview pages.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
– SKT Themes: First let me say that the templates are amazingly easy to setup and work them out, I love the design as well. Yet that best part is the support when you need it. In my case, I have asked for support and it did not take that long to get the fix. I just want to say a big Thank You and I have received a tremendous amount of help.I certainly appreciate all of it.
– Astra Theme: I have just started playing with this theme. I wanted to do more with Gutenberg and Thrive Themes did not really support that. So far I am impressed.
– Thrive Themes: I loved how versatile and conversion oriented it is, but I wanted to start using Gutenberg.
– Google Sitekit, because it brings all Google features into the back-end of sites
– Ithemes Sync, so that I can keep sites updated from one central place
– Ithemes Security to keep sites secured
– Yoast SEO to optimize for top search engine results
– Hubspot to connect sites with the CRM
– MailChimp to generate leads
– SendinBlue to generate leads
Q. Which WordPress hosting do you use and would you recommend for your clients and others?
A. My sites are hosted through https://wpsecuritylock.com/
For clients, I also have great experience with https://www.momwebs.com/ and https://vevida.com/en/
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
A. Yes, totally!
Q. What would you like to do in the future in the current field or somewhere else?
A. I’m not a 100% sure yet. I love being at the crossroads of marketing and technology but sometimes miss coding a bit. I may dive into coding again some day.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
A. Have a chat with Alison Rothwell over at WP Fiddly Bits. She is running a WP Support Business and is lots of fun to chat with. She helps me showcase WordPress community members from all over the world on the WordPress blog. Also, reach out to Monique Dubbelman, a content strategist and web developer with a deep love for digital accessibility at BoeMedia.