Affiliates Guide to WordPress

WordPress is a great content management system (CMS), that has changed the game for online marketing and allowed so many new people to become bloggers and webmasters. But, it is not without fault, like anything else in the world and there are some things you should know to make your experience as an online marketer better.

guide-to-wordpressBack in the 90’s and even early 2000’s, most websites were more static then they are today. Some websites were even written in html by hand coding. Then, came along software like Dreamweaver and Microsoft Front page. These were the start of making things easier for people to start websites. But, something still lacked in the industry and it needed something to make things even easier.

So, in 2003 Matt Mullenweg created and released WordPress and things were forever changed. Wordpress is a complex but yet easy to use cms for webmasters. Most people just getting into something like affiliate marketing will usually choose it because it can be so easy to setup and write your first article.

But it doesn’t always go that way when you are first starting to use it and there can be a learning curve.

So, here is a handy little guide to WordPress for anyone who wants to use it to it’s fullest potential.

While website design and a professional look can be very important, getting your message across with content is your ultimate goal. And, content will be the number thing you will be creating while using a system like WordPress.

So, always learn as much as you can about things like WordPress, seo, cro, traffic etc. But, if you are new it will take some time to learn these things. But, for now let’s say you are putting up your first website and using this awesome cms and your no doubt have questions.

So here are so of the important things when you are first getting started.

WordPress and SEO

Straight out and in the open, Wp can be a terrible nightmare when it comes to seo. But, fortunately it can be manipulated in a way that makes sense for search engine optimization.

It usually also depends on what theme you are using and or plugins. It’s best to use plugins designed for seo like Yoast Seo or the all in one pack plugins. either one of these two plugins are essential to getting seo correct for WordPress. There are other but these are the top two these days.

One of the biggest problems with WP is, it creates duplicate content with it’s tags and categories. And, while some may recommend using these and leaving them open. I myself do not usually. It all depends on what the categories are though. The more categories and tags you create within the system, the more chances you have for duplicate content.

So, make sure you pick a theme that will play nice with either one of these plugins and allow you to take full advantage of them. If you will be relying on search traffic, this is important.

You will want to configure each one also. You will need things like a sitemap and breadcrumbs from the plugins. Breadcrumbs are not necessary but, can be very helpful to a search engine. You just have to be careful your breadcrumbs are not creating keyword over optimization on your site however. If you are using Yoast seo, you can read their install and use guide.

One thing you will want to keep a watchful eye on when using Yoast, is the sitemaps feature. There has been a problem with this for a while now, where the sitemap get wiped out and you have to either re-save it from within the plugin or or re-save your permalinks to fix the problem.

One day you will be searching your Google Webmaster counsel account and you will see your sitemaps stating zero pages indexed. If this is the case, check the Yoast sitemap feature of the plugin.

Site Speed

Website speed is very important. Not only to keep Google crawling your site correctly, but also for your users. No one likes a slow websites and the average user will wait only a few seconds for a page to load. Having a speedy website helps with conversions and everything else in between.

You will also want to use a cache plugin to help with your blogs speed. The 3 most used today are: Wp-Super Cache, Wp Total Cache and Zencache. Each one has it’s advantages and disadvantages. But they are all very useful for speeding up the WordPress experience.

You may find yourself switching between the 3 because each one can have problems with other plugins, server etc.

And, your work is not done just because you set everything up and started writing your pages. You will need to go into your Google or Bing webmaster accounts and check individual pages for speed problems. A page can have a problem for many different reasons. It could be a plugin conflict, a resource you used on your page, such as a YouTube video, your server or somethings else.

So, always make sure your cache plugin is playing nice with everything as you go along and create your website.

Using the right Theme

Picking a good quality theme is important also. You don’t just want something that was coded like junk. Picking such a theme, can really slow down your website. So, always looks for theme that are well coded and follow all html industry standards. It only makes sense, if you have to shell out a few bucks in order to accomplish this.

There are many good themes on the market today. I tend to usually use Studiopress genesis as my theme and framework of choice. The reason I use a framework is everything else is there I need like pagination choices and more.

The only problem with using a platform such as Genesis is, you are limited to their designs or whatever designs you can find if you can’t code. But, if your just starting out it’s not a bad choice as you will mostly be focusing on your content in the beginning.

Technical Issues

WordPress is defiantly not without technical issues. Again, if you are just starting to use it, these will be ups and downs you will go through especially on the technical side. New users can often break themes from installing way too many plugins.

If you do have problems after installing a plugin, don’t panic as usually you can go in and disable your plugins folder and get everything working again. If you are not sure how to do this, call your web host and they will help you.

Always think lean and mean when it comes to WordPress. While there are very useful plugins that can really help with marketing your website. Loading way too many is done by many and usually most beginners.

And, if you have a slow blog and have a good caching plugin configured properly, always check your plugins. Some plugins call so many requests to a My sql server it’s not funny. Most cheap hosting providers will not show you these things. But again, you can always call them and ask them to run a plug in report to check if any plugin is bogging down your site.

Finding A good Web Host

Last but not least on this list is finding a good web host. There are so many hosting companies out there today it can be hard to choose one and find one who offers quality. If you are just starting out you really don’t have to worry too much unless your blog is dead slow.

You can also, always switch up later to a better server or host after things get going and if and when you figure out is blogging for you.

Many cheaper hosting providers do not really care as long as you give them money. So just beware. You will want to check what other recommend and start there. You can check out my page for more information about web hosting.

Bottom Line and ending

WordPress is a great system for pros and beginners alike. You just have to learn how to Manipulate it properly to get the most out of it. And, if you are new, take your time and learn all you can. There will be issues you will have along the way. So choosing a good web hosting company can make all the difference.

11 Factors for Custom Landing Page Design

11 Factors You Must Consider For Custom Landing Page Design

custom landing page designWhen it comes to making a sale, the landing page is the most important part of your site. Landing pages are required for single products, large inventories, services, and memberships, so almost every online business needs to take them seriously. Unfortunately, there is no single template that will work successfully across all businesses, but it is possible to focus on a number of key factors that will heavily influence your conversion rate.

Design

In the earlier days of the Internet, people were more forgiving of a badly designed website. However, quality design is essential if you want visitors to stay on your site for any length of time. Choose a clean, readable font, space out your content, and use sub-headings within your written text. Good design will often go unnoticed, but this is a positive thing for a landing page.

Logo

While a logo is part of the overall design, it should be able to stand on its own as a recognizable symbol of your business. A logo can help to inspire trust, creating an appearance of professionalism and authority. Let a professional graphic designer create something that can potentially represent you for many years.

Offer

A landing page can have all the key elements, but if your offer is not compelling you won’t make many sales. In some markets, an offer might simply be a single product. However, in other markets it might be necessary to explain exactly what buyers are getting. Information products, membership plans, and complex services are all examples of where you have to make the offer compelling.

Call to Action

A call to action might seem insignificant, but it can have a major impact on your conversion rate. Your call to action should be prominently displayed, making it impossible to miss. Place a number of buttons and text links throughout the page, with the length of text determining how many occurrences are required.

Benefits

While a landing page should detail clearly what is for sale, it is also important to explain the benefits of making a purchase. Benefits are more intangible than features, but they are typically the reason for choosing to buy. Performing market research should uncover a lot of information about your potential purchasers, enabling you to speak directly to the consumers.

Multimedia

A sales page could at one time be largely text, but Internet users are far more used to multimedia in their everyday life. Video has become the preferred way to digest information for many people, while others still like to read longer text if it is formatted well. If possible, try to create a page that can suit as many people as possible, with video, images, and text being used to get your message across.

Above the Fold

A good impression is always important, but it is particularly important for a landing page. From an SEO perspective, if your page gives a negative impression, you will lose visitors quickly and have a high bounce rate. For paid traffic, losing visitors will result in an increased ad spend. Make sure the first things a visitor observes is intriguing, whether this is a headline, a discount offer, or the opening image of a video.

Pricing

Pricing, including the way it is presented, is extremely important for a landing page. For an eCommerce site, you might want to show how much of a discount is being offered, whereas a service or membership might come with different price structures. Aim to make your pricing clear, with any shipping costs always being transparent.

Testimonials

Testimonials and reviews can help sway opinion. People are reluctant to buy anything that is unproven or untested by others. By providing testimonials and reviews you can show the unbiased views of people who have already used the product. This social proof is powerful in assisting a buying decision.

Guarantee

A guarantee helps to increase conversions, but you can also benefit from fewer customer service queries. If you stand by your product, most of the time there should be no reason not to offer a complete refund. A guarantee can even be more elaborate, such as a lifetime refund or double your money back, if you are looking to make a statement.

Testing

Finally, your landing page is unlikely to be perfect from the start. Testing will be required to see what works, with the aim of getting small increases in your conversion rate. Test individual elements, monitor such factors as conversion and bounce rates, and aim for a landing page you are happy with.

Each of these factors can make a difference to your landing page conversion rate, but only testing will show how well they work. However, in most cases these factors can be used to positive effect, resulting in improved conversions, a better user experience, and an increase in product sales.

Landing Page Software

One thing you can do is if you are using WordPress you could always make a page and depending on the theme you are using is select landing page from the back end.

Or you could also use landing page software. There are several companies today that offer good, drag and drop editing that’s easy to use. You could use Unbounce, Lead Pages, Thrive Pages or Instapage. These are all good platforms and all will work with WordPress.

These will all make it easy to design the actual page you want. And, if you are spending money for traffic then a landing page is a great place to send your paid traffic to.

Why use Landing Page Software?

Plain simple for, features. If you take the time to visit some of these websites you will quickly see they all offer many features. Some, may be better than others and it all depends on your needs.

With many of them you will be able to design the page you want quickly with their editor. This is a little harder to do in the regular WordPress editor.

Another great feature is A/B split testing. This is a must for any serious online marketer, who wants to make the best of their business and sales.

Good landing page software should also come with a number of templates for you to choose from. While, you will always want to be able to make your own pages, a template gives you a nice head start for designing. And, will help out a great deal if you are new to page design.

You will also want software that can connect into whatever services you are using. This will be email providers mostly but should include easy connections to any popular analytics also.

Always consider mobile also. In fact mobile traffic is beating out regular desktop computer traffic by leaps and bounds these days.

Final Thoughts

Custom landing page design is important for any business or serious affiliate marketer. It’s a great way to collect leads and send your pay per click traffic too.

The reason it works so go is, with a landing page you can easily get rid of distraction like menu navigation and other things that will easily send your visitors down other paths. While this is good for SEO, paid traffic is a different story.

Best Web Hosting for WordPress

WordPress is an awesome content management system for bloggers and web masters alike. It really changed the web design and development. People with very little web design skills now have an easy way to start a blog or a website. All they have to do is pick a theme or template, write some content and they are able to attract search engines.

However, one of the most misunderstood things about WordPress is what web host should you choose? After all, almost every hosting company now says they are built for it. And, there are many options each one provides.

So how do you choose?

Things To Consider When Choosing

If you are just starting your first blog and are not really sure about what host you should choose. There are a couple of things you should keep in mind.

Many people get started and wished they would have thought of some things sooner. One thing to consider is if you will be making more than one blog or website in the future.

best web hosting for wordpressFor this reason alone, you want to choose a web hosting company who is flexible and able to easily grow with you as you grow. If you get started and then want to upgrade to another more powerful server, you want to be able to do that quickly and easily.

And if you chose a good company to host your blog, it will be very easy for them to move your website to another server in house. Moving from one hosting company to another can be a real pain. Especially if you do not have all the technical skills needed to perform a site transfer.

So, when you are calling sales for any company, always ask them how easy will it be to move to another server and upgrade your account.

You also want the most powerful server you can afford at the time.

Types Of Web Hosting

There are a few types of web hosting you should be aware of. These types are shared, VPS, cloud and dedicated.

Shared Hosting

Shared web hosting is fine if you are just starting out and just want to get a blog going. It’s cheap and can really help save on your costs. However, many hosting companies today are filling up their shared hosting accounts with many other websites. For this reason, shared hosting can be very slow and problematic.

So if and when your website starts getting a good amount of traffic, you will want to consider upgrading. You are also very limited with shared hosting. You do not get full access to the server as an admin.

VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is usually a great option for beginners and pros alike. VPS allows you much more control and flexibility on a server. The speed is also much better than on shared hosting.

VPS stands for virtual private server. They do not pack as many people on a VPS as they do with shared hosting. Will will get a full server that is shared with other full server accounts. You will need to check with you host provider about how many servers they actually allow on a VPS.

If it seems they are adding too many people then it may be time to move. A VPS server is usually much more powerful than shared also. You will also be able to pick how robust you want your hardware to be.

If you have a site with a good amount of traffic then you will usually want to pick as robust a server as your budget allows.

Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated hosting is usually top tier web hosting. The price all depends on what company you decide to go with. Some dedicated hosting can start usually around $100 a month and go up from there.

With dedicated you have full control on the server and you are the only one who is on the server.

Usually you will not need a dedicated server until your website starts making you enough money to afford the cost.

What About WordPress Hosting?

Many hosting companies these day are offering hosting made only to host WordPress websites. Many times these servers come with plugins for wordpress and make it easy to install a new WordPress installation.

Again, this all depends on what host provider you choose and some do offer more features than others. You will need to read over the sales material when choosing.

Dedicated WordPress hosting is usually not a bad option if all your sites and in WordPress. However, you may not have full control of the server.

What Web Hosting Do You Recommend?

We have been doing internet marketing for a long time and have seen some good web hosts go from being very good to very bad almost overnight in some cases. The ones we recomend today are siteground and liquidweb.

Summary

WordPress is great and when you start out for the first time you really don’t need a lot. But, you do need to be aware of your options if you are considering growing your online content business.

Take your time and choose a web host that fits your needs and one that will allow you to grow.

Make sure you ask sales questions before you go with any host. Taking the time to do your research can pay off later down the road, especially if you want to upgrade or move to another hosting provider.

You don’t need all the bells and whistles when first starting out. Just make sure your host provides good support and your server is fast and powerful enough to handle your blogs needs.