You have a business to run, but you don’t have the time, knowledge, experience, and the resources to really turn their websites into marketing machines or sales magnets.
But that’s what you need to succeed.
Guess what? You intuitively know this.
It’s just that you couldn’t bring yourself get your hands dirty yet. You didn’t know who to ask. You had no way to know what platform you should build your website on. Even after you build a website (or get it designed from someone else), there’s no way to know if your website can manage to rack up a decent conversion score
You need conversion-focused websites that load fast. You’d need your website to generate leads for you. You’d need landing pages (in addition to any pages on your website) so that you could point visitors to specific, dedicated landing pages that make a very specific offer (so you can generate even more leads).
In short, WordPress is perfect for marketing your business. It only helps further that it’s popular, used by about 27% of all the website owners in the world, a developer favourite, resource friendly, and extremely customizable.
Here are reasons why WordPress is perfect for Marketing Your Business
WordPress Specialist Hosting (Speed & Stability)
A StrangeLoop Case Study (Involving Amazon, Google, and a few other larger sites) reveals that a 1-second delay in page load time leads to a 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
WordPress has more hosting options than you’d care to admit. In fact, there are so many that it really becomes hard to pick the right choice. Your WordPress hosting choice comes down to a few things. What do you really need in a hosting? Does your hosting provider have server clusters in the geographic area of your choice? Is the WordPress specialist host dependable enough? Does your WordPress specialist hosting provider give you everything you need, and then some more? How is the hosting support like?
Instead of spending time to do any research, I’ve already identified a few WordPress specialist hosting companies that you could serious consider (finally boiling down to a few choices like budget, costs, and others).
Since WordPress is so popular, starting with WordPress is almost stupid-easy. There’s no need to go looking for WordPress specialists and designers (unless you really need to).
Here are some of your options to fast track your WordPress website design (along with your WordPress hosting):
Start with StudioPress themes (available along with Genesis Framework as a standalone package free with both WPEngine & Flywheel). StudioPress themes — and the Genesis Framework — are no ordinary themes. Each of the themes has been built for speed, security, and for being mobile-responsive. The Studiopress themes are free from the usual WordPress theme code-bloat.
Each of the themes from StudioPress is audited and tested before release (and they have a reputation to worry about).
With StudioPress, you don’t really spend time fiddling with your website. You’d rather be better off getting into the marketing side of things as soon as your StudioPress site is ready.
Elementor has everything you’d ever need not only to design your WordPress website (without code) but also to help you with other things (which other builders usually neglect).
You could edit your entire site with Elementor (without having to do it multiple times), work with Dynamic colors, and to implement Global CSS. Some of many other features (and new features are constantly added) include a drag-and-drop editor, 300+ designer-made templates, pop-up builder, responsive editing, theme builder, full-site editor, Elementor landing pages, and so much more.
Remember that with Elementor, you don’t just design a website. You’ll also have all the tools such as the landing page builder and the pop-up builder to start doing things that matter for your business.
Divi by Elegant Themes
Divi — by Elegant themes — comes with a theme and/or a plugin (If you use the theme, you don’t need the plugin). If you use any other theme and want to use Divi’s functionalities, you’ll need the Divi plugin.
Divi Visual builder for WordPress allows you to do design your WordPress website, design WordPress themes, and do a lot more by using the drag-and-drop builder. You’ll also have access to other products from the Elegant Themes stable such as Monarch plugin, Bloom plugin for Lead Generation, and more. Within Divi, you have Divi Leads (to help you do A/B testing for each page you create — especially landing pages).
The best part about Divi is that it has a reasonable option of a lifetime purchase for their all-inclusive plan (unlike others who only have monthly or annual plans_.
It becomes a tough choice to look for bloat-free, lightweight, and capable WordPress themes (there are literally thousands of them out there, and counting). That’s when you should go looking for options such as The Astra theme.
You can use the Astra Theme, as it were, or pick any of their starter templates (made for several WordPress builders such as Divi, Elementor, Brizy, and Beaver Builder).
The Astra theme is a super-fast theme (loads in less than a second), doesn’t use JQuery, and it needs less than 50KB of resources.
You could be up and running with your new website (depending on your business) with The Astra Theme in seconds if you use the Astra Starter Templates
If you happen to use Elementor but if you want to squeeze even more out of your Elementor package, consider using Crocoblock which comes with several WordPress templates you can use for Elementor. Plus, you also get access to Crocoblock’s Kava theme (along with Kava Pro). By itself, Kava theme has several more layouts inside that you could mix and match.
Make Anything Happen With WordPress Plugins
You can possibly do anything with WordPress. No matter what of a website you need, you’ll have a way to build it with WordPress.
If there’s a functionality you need or if there’s a feature you are looking for, there’s a plugin that can do it for you. You just have to know what you need and you need to have enough patience to look for the right plugin for the job.
Take the Crocoblock plugins, for instance. With plugins like JetAppointments, you can manage your appointments (with a lot more features built-in than anything else you’d ever use).
With JetBooking, you can practically build a travel website like orbitz.com or booking.com. Since we are talking about marketing, using a plugin like JetPopup is enough to launch stellar looking pop-ups for lead generation.
Talking about Lead generation, there are several other plugins for WordPress that can help you with marketing. OptinMonster, for instance, provides you with several ways to generate leads (exit intent, slide-up, between or under blog posts, spinning wheels, and so much more). There are several other marketing plugins for WordPress that just work.
While we are talking about plugins, don’t forget to use Yoast SEO Plugin — it’s just one WordPress plugin you can’t afford to miss.
Everything Just Connects With WordPress
WordPress connects with most business apps, business tools, CRM tools, and SaaS applications. In most cases, there are dedicated plugins deployed by the SaaS companies or other vendors themselves. You’ll never find it hard to integrate your favorite marketing tool, CRM, email marketing service provider, or any other app that you’d use when it comes to WordPress.
Thanks to this dedicated product build connected to WordPress, most of what you need to do marketing with WordPress just happens to connect with WordPress.
For instance, if you use WordPress, you could:
Instantly connect your website with your landing page builders such as Unbounce or LeadPages.
Easily integrate your email service providers such as MailChimp or Drip.
Connect an entire Inbound Marketing Software such as HubSpot to make it work with your WordPress website.
In rare cases when you don’t see direct integrations with WordPress, there are tools like Zapier which can still help you bridge your WordPress website to several other tools, plugins, or business apps that you might need.
In most cases, there’s never a need to get external help paying thousands of dollars (like you’d have to if you were to use a website built with PHP by some designer or developer) just to connect WordPress websites with other tools such as CRM systems, Landing Page builders, Email Marketing tools, and more.
How does your WordPress website help you with marketing? Tell us about it.
Were you thinking of generating leads with email course lead magnets?
While the whole world thinks that it’s one of the best types of lead magnets around, it really isn’t (at least not entirely). There’s a twist to creating email course lead magnets for it to work well. There’s a way to future-proof your email course lead magnet strategy (Read on to the end to find out).
From a strategic point of view, email course lead magnets do make sense. They are easier to create, quick to launch, and you can go to market faster than anything else. Perhaps they make more sense than creating short (one-page) PDFs, checklists, or other types of lead magnets.
Using email courses as lead magnets is a fantastic email marketing strategy and you should do it. Just not the way you thought you’d do it.
Email courses — which you’d focus on a single topic with the aim of enabling learning through emails dripped in sequence, spread out over a period of few days (such as 7 days email course, 14 days email course, or a 28 days email course) — will include only text, text + visuals, or text + videos.
From a digital marketing perspective, email courses as lead magnets not only make sense from a lead magnet point of view but also from the point of view of lead nurturing. Just the fact that you’d continuously send emails to your subscribers allows an open communication window with built-in nurturing over the next few days as soon as your subscribers sign up for the course.
Thinking into the future though, email course lead magnets will lose their sheen.
If all that you’d send is a bunch of emails with just text and/or images, there are problems that you’d need to think through:
The Email — As a Medium — Is not for Teaching or Training
There’s only so much value you can provide with 7 different emails (with text and images) sent out over a period of time. The nature of email is such that there’s no space for you to train or teach in an email. Sending out an email with 250+ words is already too much.
Visuals barely make it through the Gmail (or other email clients) filter.
Teaching and training — especially for online course creators, bloggers, and even businesses — need more words, more space, and a lot more wiggle room. Whereas some of the best emails in the world are short, crisp, succinct, and straight, your emails will be unwieldy if you send in 1600 words (along with visuals) in an email body.
Purely from a “method of teaching” perspective, emails sent as lessons are risky.There are considerable risks that regular emails already carry on their shoulders as Kayla Carmichael of HubSpot points out.
For instance, chances are that you’d not be using personalization within your emails and that already puts up your email marketing to fail. On top of that, there are other risks such as not complying with GDPR standards, sending out emails without proper thought to UX/UI, poor email design, and more.
Email Courses Aren’t a Complete Learning experience
You have a personality and that’s what really makes your courses unique. If there were 10 different courses on Quora Ads, the only reason why my Quora Ads course can sell is only attributed to how I teach the course, the examples I use (which come from my own experiences in life and in business), and my unique style of teaching.
You do know about conversion rate. But you really didn’t give it the importance that you should have given it.
Did you ever think about “a good landing page”, a “beautiful landing page”, or a “landing page that kicks ass”? You’ve been thinking in the wrong lines. The only thing that makes a landing page good, bad, ugly, worthless, or just alright is the “conversion rate” of that landing page.
The average conversion rate of a landing page (if at all there exists one, and if you are using landing pages in the first place along with metrics, tools, and features available for you to measure) is about 4.02% (source: Unbounce Conversion Report)
The 4% is just a little more than the average “website conversion rate” — complete with the code bloat, content clutter, extra information, and the usual slow loading nature of websites — is at 2 – 3% (that too for eCommerce stores, built for purpose).
What about the average conversion rate of a “website” that you use for your business right now? It’s horrible and I don’t even want to go there.
Don’t know how your landing pages stack up? Use this landing page analyzer and see how your landing pages are stacked up. Pick the industry benchmarks from this Conversion Report (with Conversion rates across industries worldwide).
Build Landing Pages With a High Conversion Rate (Improve over time)
It’s true that conversion rate is not the greatest way to measure your success as Dan Barker writes. He advocates using the conversion rate in a way that is in line and in context with other parameters as well. He right in pointing out that not all visitors to your site are equal, higher conversions don’t always mean more sales, and that your conversions decrease with increase in traffic.
But Dan is talking about websites that are already established, get millions of visitors in traffic, and have a history of data to analyze performance.
For most other businesses, there’s nothing to talk about — no landing pages, no traffic, no data, and no conversions.
If you haven’t done it yet, stop right now. Go ahead and create landing pages (use Unbounce or LeadPages) and create landing pages with the sole purpose of growing your conversion rates. A great idea is to give away something of value (called Lead magnets), coupons, or access to your products for free.
The best part about all of the examples above (and below)? They look good and they convert really well. There’s no dearth of inspiration if you really look around. The next time you go about creating landing pages, take a cue or two from these landing pages that you wish you’ve built them.
All this talk about conversion rate won’t even matter if you don’t even have landing pages or sales funnels to begin with. In fact, if you just had a regular web page and if you call that a landing page (you don’t even have to read this).
Audiences are everything when it comes to your PPC campaigns (it holds good for your Facebook Campaigns, Google Ad Campaigns, LinkedIn Campaigns, and also for Quora Advertising Campaigns).
Without audiences, you are literally shooting in the dark. You don’t know who you are targeting, you have no control on your PPC campaigns, and you’ll only drain your ad budget before concluding that it won’t work for you.
When it comes to Quora Advertising, it’s important to get traffic to your website first so that you have an opportunity to create laser targeted, smart, and effective campaigns that’ll work for your business.
As Joe Martinez of WordStream writes, you’ll have an opportunity to know the population of your own audiences who are also on Quora. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to build custom audiences (based on traffic or by loading the Quora Pixel on specific pages).
You’ll also be able to “list match” your audiences, build lookalike audiences on top of existing audiences, and so much more by just uploading the Quora Pixel properly.
On top of everything else, it’s important to note that Quora advertising is contextual advertising. Your ads show up on pages that have people discussing burning questions that relate to your business.
Of course, you also have the option of actually writing out thoughtful answers on Quora first and then use the “Quora Promoted Answers” ad unit to promote your answer (instead of an ad).
Quora Advertising holds promise. But then, it won’t work if you don’t put in the effort first. ( Learn more about Quora ads from my online course on Udemy now)
Watch this video to learn more about what you need to do before you jump into Quora Advertising:
TL;DR: This Podia review will prove that Podia is a slick, inexpensive, and all-inclusive choice when it comes to a comprehensive platform for launching your online courses, digital downloads, or membership sites.
There’s nothing else like it in the market. I already did the research for several years before I wrote this Podia Review. I tried everything. Pick your options from among third-party sites such as Udemy (not recommended although I do have my courses there as well). I explored self-hosted options such as WordPress + LMS or creative options such as Shopify+ EDD (easy digital downloads) or Webflow — Podia beats them all both in terms of features available and in terms of cost as far as online courses, membership sites, and selling digital downloads is concerned.
Podia was built from scratch for online creators. Looking for hosting your online courses? Want to start a membership site? Want to sell digital downloads? Podia is your answer.
Podia comes with LMS. The LMS itself is Podia.
There’s no need for subscribing to some other LMS and then dig your head deep in the sand trying to make it work. Just work on creating courses, upload your content, and you are ready to sell online courses.
There’s no need for you to worry about hosting (Podia comes with hosting included for your main Podia storefront, for each of your product landing pages, and also for the pre-launch landing pages).
Of course, you can add any kind of page you want, including a storefront, sales pages, contact page, about page, product pages, and any other custom pages — there’s no limit! You’d never have to worry about hosting, space limitations, bandwidth, or anything of that sort.
The Podia platform also optimizes your sales funnel by connecting your website, products, email marketing, customer lists, and sales in one place.
Note: At the time of reading this, you might be looking for a new home for your existing online courses, memberships, and digital downloads. Or you could be looking to migrate from Kajabi, Thinkific, Teachable, or any other platform. Podia makes migrations easy (you can do it yourself or you can ask for the ever-so-helpful folks at Podia support to do it for you.
Podia Storefront: A home For your online courses, Digital Downloads, & Memberships
Podia provides you with a proper store-front for your online courses, memberships, and digital downloads. You have the ability to edit your storefront and to design it based on your brand and how you’d like it to be.
There’s no need to design anything new (except for editing your Podia storefront to match your brand or to create a layout — at the click of a few buttons — as you deem fit).
As you keep creating courses, memberships, and digital downloads, your storefront is automatically populated in grid-style (one course next to the other) or in a list format (as above). Of course, you can edit your storefront to make it look like it’s your own.
By using several pre-built blocks, you can add intermittent layers of blocks within your storefront too (such as testimonials, images, and more).
You can keep your Podia storefront as a standalone website (connect your domain with Podia) or you can have your existing site (on WordPress, for instance) and just connect a subdomain to your actual website as shown below:
By doing it this way, you get to keep your Podia storefront for all the good stuff such as:
Hosting & showcasing your digital products on a storefront (which can be created on-brand and is completely editable).
Deploy landing pages for each digital product.
Create pre-launch landing pages for digital products that you are still working on.
Meanwhile, you can keep the rest of your website on WordPress that has advantages as follows:
Your WordPress website remains as your central, marketing hub. Use the right hosting partners such as WPEngine, FlyWheel, Pressidium, 10Web, or Kinsta and your WordPress website can remain bullet-proof while loading fast.
Use tools like OptinMonster, ConvertPro, or several others to generate leads on your site or to start growing your email list.
Take advantage of the familiar and powerful tools such as SEMrush to make your WordPress website rank well on search.
Use Podia embeds as Calls to action within every post
If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll recollect seeing Podia embeds in the middle and at the end of my posts. For each product (or even pre-launch pages) you create, you can easily create product embeds which look like this:
Podia allows you to embed a tiny custom HTML code that will automatically pull in some information (such as the image, the title of your product, and a call to action button). This works as a cool call to action button that you can place in the middle or at the end of your blog posts as you set out to do some regular blogging as a part of your SEO or content marketing strategy.
At the time of writing this, Podia is the only platform that has this cool feature — something that can help you tie in all your content marketing efforts with actual results that you can measure.
Use Dedicated Landing Pages (For each of your digital products)
If you were to use WordPress for creating and launching your online courses, you’d have to resort to plugins or ninja-level WordPress skills to create landing pages on WordPress.
Or, you’ll need access to robust WordPress page builders such as Divi or Elementor. Another option is to use landing page builders such as Unbounce or LeadPages.
Podia, however, allows you to create dedicated & individual landing pages for each product (online courses, memberships, or digital downloads).
Plus, each of these landing pages can be edited for design, layout, colors, etc., as well.
Generate a Pipeline With Pre-launch Landing Pages
When you run a business of any kind, waiting for the results to kick is an agonizing wait.
If you don’t like waiting, you should start earlier than others. Normally, you’d want to launch landing pages, build sales funnels for your online courses, dedicated Facebook ads campaigns and then wait to see results.
Instead, you could utilize the power of pre-launch campaigns which will make use of pre-launch landing pages, sales funnels, and the power of email marketing.
All that, plus FOMO.
56% of surveyed adults admit that FOMO impacts their media usage habits, for example, compelling them to look at social media again and again.
Marketers can harness FOMO by creating an impression of exclusivity through the use of waitlists, limited supply, and time limits.
FOMO is the principle that makes giving early access to users so important on pre-launch campaigns.
Even before you launch your online courses, you can create pre-launch landing pages to start building up traction (without having to wait for your launch day).
As you create your course on Podia, you’ll have an option to create a pre-launch landing page which will allow people to enroll in your course (even before you actually create anything at all).
Email Marketing: Baked right into the platform
By the year 2022, the number of email users is pegged at 4.3 billion users (about half of the world’s population) and more than 333 billion emails will be sent daily by 2022. The average ROI of email marketing is at $32 for every $1 spent, according to Maryam Mohsin of Oberlo
The single best way to make sales happen with your Podia storefront (and for your digital courses, memberships, and digital downloads) is to use the power of email marketing.
Use email marketing to send out well-timed broadcast messages to keep your potential students engaged, send out drip emails, or send out automated sequences to bring in the money.
The Podia advantage is that you can send out Drip messages (in a sequence) or broadcast messages (to everyone or to pre-segmented lists).
When you use Podia’s email marketing function, you don’t need to pay extra for third-party email marketing tools such as Drip, Convertkit, Mailchimp (and that saves you several hundreds of dollars).
However, if you do want to use a robust email marketing tool such as Drip or Converkit, you certainly can. Podia integrates well with Drip and Converkit. If Podia doesn’t integrate with something just yet, you can use Zapier, of course.
Sell More With Built-in LiveChat
Did you know that over 97% of global consumers say customer service is important in their choice of a brand? More than 95% of customers rate high-quality support over speed. At least 47.5% of US internet users feel the greatest challenge with chatbots is they provide too many unhelpful responses.
According to Forrester, channel preferences are changing rapidly. More customers (about 24% of them) prefer live chat usage.
Make the power of high-impact selling work for your business. A LiveChat widget comes with your podia account so that you can engage with visitors and make sales.
They don’t come for free and they have an ongoing cost associated with each of them. They are a great fit for you if you were a physical product-based business, a productized-service business, a SaaS business, etc.
You are an online creator without precious money or resources and you are just starting out. For creators, online trainers, and new entrepreneurs, starting an affiliate program could be an expensive proposition.
Once you start getting your own raving fans as customers, use the built-in affiliate Marketing tool to launch your own affiliate program to multiply your profits, scale-up revenue, and grow your business.
This Podia review won’t be complete if I don’t mention the extraordinary support you get at Podia. At the time of writing this, there are several others who are now responsible to make Podia customer-friendly with a whopping 2-minutes TAT for support.
I still remember the friendly chats I’ve had with Spencer Fry who is the founder of Podia. Spencer would actually talk to you, help you out with your questions, and even give you ideas for product launches.
That was several years ago (when Podia was called Coach). Even today, Spencer actually talks to his customers. So do several others on their team. When a founder (or co-founder) takes the trouble to actually talk to potential customers (and really care), you can imagine how well they serve paying customers.