It’s been nearly four years since I discovered WPHacks – or Hack WordPress as it was called back then – and it was here Kyle was kind enough to offer me the chance to have my very first blog post published. At the time I was using WordPress to power a small video games review site I ran with some friends, but when I found Hack WordPress and by extension the whole WordPress community, I was immediately hooked. This was where I wanted to be.
After a couple of posts here I decided to create my own “WordPress tutorials” site, which I called WPShout. Since founding the site in March 2009, I’ve nurtured the site into a 3000 strong community for WordPress enthusiasts. And in that time, whilst building that community, I’ve learned a thing or two about blogging. I’ve been on a journey, if you will, and that journey started right here.
So I thought it’d be fitting to come back here once more just to let you know that I’ve recently published a 45 page free eBook on WPShout and you should totally download it right now.
Those forty five pages of The WordPress Blogging Guide contain six thousand words of content, which are broken down into three sections:
- Blogging essentials
- Social & Analytics
The book’s release post tells you more, should you wish for a more detailed synopsis.
That’s all from me. I just want to thank Kyle again for starting me off on my blogging journey and graciously allowing me to return to publish this short piece. And of course don’t forget to download the eBook. It’s free!
WordPress has become a favorite platform for many ecommerce sites: it’s easy to set up a sale button for an ebook or any other file in a matter of minutes. But while WordPress can be a decent ecommerce platform out of the box, there are ways to transform it into a great platform with some relatively simple tweaks.
Update Your WordPress — And Keep It Updated
The downside to using a well-known content management system for your site is that more people will be looking for security flaws to exploit. On the other hand, there are also more people working to resolve any security issues. Provided you keep your WordPress installation current, adding each new update as soon as it rolls out, there’s significantly less risk of something happening to your site. Considering that it only takes one malware issue to destroy any trust you’ve built with potential buyers — no one wants to run the risk of putting their payment information into a compromised site — keeping your site up to date and preventing potential security issues has to be a priority.
You can also prevent security issues by carefully vetting any plugins or themes you add to your site. Even if you aren’t able to evaluate the code on a line-by-line basis, do some research into the problems others may have encountered with anything you’re considering adding to your site. Personally, I have a preference for using premium themes and plugins that are well-known for the simple reason that I’m more likely to have support available.
Set Up Clear Permalinks
Built into the core WordPress settings are options to manage your permalinks. Make sure that you’re using links that aren’t just a bunch of numbers or dates, especially if you’re going to be sharing direct links to your sales page online anywhere. Direct links look more trustworthy to buyers, and they also help eliminate problems when people retype a link into their browser. During a longer sales process, you may be surprised by how many times exactly that will happen. In fact, it can be a good idea to have an individual domain that goes directly to your sales page, particularly if you have a lot of other content on your site.
Make Your Shopping Cart, Payment Processor and Everything Else Match
Depending on the themes and plugins you might use to set up different ecommerce elements on your site, you can wind up with a site that sends people off to far-flung parts of the internet to complete the sale. Even if they stay on your site, pages can wind up looking very different.
With only a few exceptions, though, you can make sure that each step of the purchasing process looks identical. Most payment processors will, at least, allow you to add your own logo to the page, if not add CSS styles or other elements to make offsite pages look the same as those that are actually on your site. The more times you ask a buyer to trust an entirely different website (particularly in terms of visual cues) the more likely that buyer is to stop the purchase process and close the window. You need to prevent that as much as possible.
For a couple of years now I’ve been a very active affiliate marketer, but when it comes to the subject of affiliate marketing, I always feel there is more I can learn. Techniques change, new products are released, and the internet goes through a number of trends. As a result, when I learned about a new WordPress eBook called WordPress for Internet Marketers, I felt I had to get my hands on a copy and see what new things I could learn.
Upon downloading the ebook, I was surprised to see that this book is an amazing 950 pages! In fact, the author did readers a favor and broke it down into a few PDF files for more convenient reading. If that sounds like a lot of pages, that is because there are a number of screen shots included by the author which inflates the page count a bit, but helps readers to learn and follow along with what the author is saying.
One thing I really liked about this ebook is that the author really goes out of her way to provide options to readers. Most sections take the time to explain a variety of options to the reader and allows them to figure out what plugin, theme, etc. works for them. Here are some of the sections within the book that I really enjoyed:
- Creating Membership Sites with WordPress
- Integrating Podcasts into your WordPress Blog
- Creating a Sales Page with WordPress (this is a big part of what affiliate marketers do!)
- Adding a Help Desk to a WordPress Blog
- Building a Jobs Board with WordPress
Some of the sections which could use a little improvement in my opinion:
- More Bookmarks – This ebook comes with some bookmarks, but not as many as I would have liked to see due to the huge size of the ebook. This of course is not a knock on the book itself, but rather with how the information is presented.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This section has a lot of good but basic SEO information which is geared specifically towards WordPress users. This is great for someone learning WordPress, but I would have liked to see some more advanced techniques included as well for WordPress veterans.
- Improved Forums Section – I’ve always felt forums are an important part of any successful WordPress blog. After reading the forums section, I felt like a few more pages could have been dedicated to this section. It covers WordPress plugins which create forums, but doesn’t appear to cover things like vBulletin or PHPBB, which are probably the most commonly used forum software for WordPress blogs.
Overall, I have to say that I am pretty happy with the WordPress for Internet Marketers eBook. If you are interested, all 950+ pages are available for only $77.00. This price includes a document filled with WordPress resources, free updates to the ebook as future versions of WordPress become available, and 100 WordPress themes which can be used to put some of the tips provided in the ebook into practice.
Back in late January 2008, I asked our readers ” Would you be interested in a WordPress eBook?” Along with that question, I also took an informal poll of whether people would prefer to get a free eBook or purchase an eBook. That may seem like a silly question, but there is a significant increase in the quality of an eBook that you buy over a free eBook, so I needed to know what people wanted.
In my poll I got a variety of answers, but between the comments from that post and the emails that I received, I was given the impression that people would rather I write a more advanced eBook with a fee attached, rather than releasing a free one that was thrown together quickly and just rehashes stuff you can find in our archives.
Over the past 6 months since that post, I have focused on building an eBook that collects my WordPress experiences, techniques, and other tips and put them together in a new eBook titled Success with WordPress, which is currently available for $24.95.
Because I knew this book would come with a small price tag, Success with WordPress was designed to cover all aspects of WordPress. In the beginning, you’ll find some general information about installing WordPress, finding good WordPress plugins, etc. Then it gets into the more advanced stuff that most of you will be looking for:
- Building a Multi-Author WordPress Blog
- Using WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS)
- Building a WordPress Forum
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips designed specifically for WordPress
- Maximizing CPC Income with Google AdSense
- Advanced Affiliate Marketing Techniques
- Building a Niche Blog with WordPress
If you are looking to find success with WordPress, this eBook is definitely for you. Also, if you’d like to promote this product on your website and make some money, you may also be interested in the Success with WordPress affiliate program. It currently pays out an amazing 33% per sale and we have a 125×125 banner available as well, so you can promote it on your WordPress blogs and start generating some extra income.
As WordPress Hacks continues to grow and expand, I’ve been digging through the archives and found a lot of great information (I know I’m a little biased). While I want readers to dig through the archives, it seems at some point that the natural progression is to create a WordPress eBook for readers to get a bunch of information in one convenient location.
So my question is this…..Would you be interested in a WordPress eBook? Let me know which of the following applies to you:
- I would be interested in purchasing a WordPress eBook at an affordable price. (Price would be $10.00 or less)
- I would be interested in downloading a WordPress eBook only if it was free.
- I would not be interested in downloading the WordPress eBook.
Update: This post launched what would eventually become the Success with WordPress eBook!