Sample copy for your lead magnet email (MailChimp’s “Final welcome email”):
Okay, you’re all set.
As promised, here is a link to download your free e-book. Just click here.
I hope you’re blessed as we [connect the Bible and its lands to life].
Advanced Blogging Techniques
You’ve come far this week. Just glance at the sidebar at all we’ve done together—representing a whole semester. But where do you go from here?
Here are some advanced blogging techniques you’ll want to consider as you move forward.
6 FREE Advanced Techniques
There are some actions you can take that cost you nothing.
Post more than once per week—perhaps making use of your mini-posts. Most posts = more traffic = more subscribers and more ministry.
Set up an automation sequence in Mailchimp that connects with each subscriber over the course of time. (Go to: Reports > Automation > Welcome New Subscribers > Onboarding Series) Some Ideas:
At week 3, ask them to recommend your blog to others (include subscribe link).
At week 5, tell them you’re praying for them.
At week 7, offer to sell them something.
Do a survey of your readers each year with SurveyMonkey. You can look at some surveys I’ve done for ideas. A follow-up post is a great way to summarize your survey for your readers. (SurveyMonkey is free for 10 questions and 100 responses.)
Sell products through PayPal. (Not very easy to set up, but it’s free.)
Start a podcast where you broadcast your teaching, your posts, or interviews with others. You can see how to do with help from Pat Flynn or the Podcast Answer-man. (Some of their recommendations may cost.)
Set up sub-domains in your Bluehost account for your courses, web store, and other sites unrelated to your primary blog. You can also buy URLs that point to your subdomain. This way, you can have unlimited Websites for the cost of a URL.
5 Paid Advanced Techniques (that pay off)
If I was going to invest in my blog ministry, these are the priorities I would make and the services I would use (because I use them):
Get OptinMonster to increase your subscribers. It also allows you to do “Content Upgrades”—or Lead Magnets specific to particular posts. My “Judge Not” post is an example.
Get a paid email solution like ConvertKit that allows automation and smart marketing with your email campaigns.
Get a social media manager like CoSchedule to easily manage promoting your posts and social media calendar. (Note: Post a review of CoSchedule each year and get HALF off the cost!) See my example and review.
Join Platform University for a complete course FULL of great content to help you get your platform up and running. You can begin by subscribing to their free blog.
Sell your products online with an e-commerce store like WooCommerce. It’s pretty easy to set up, mobile friendly, and provides an elegant experience for your buyers/donors. This is a free solution, but if you sell on your site, you’ll want to upgrade your Bluehost to include an SSL (Secure Site License).
Create an online course to sell or as a lead magnet (or content upgrade). Get a plugin like Wishlist Member (what I currently use for my membership site) or Kajabi to make the experience more elegant.
Do a free live webinar, record it, and set it up to run 24/7 as an evergreen marketing tool to generate leads or make sales. See my “Top 6 Lessons from the Holy Land” as an example. See Amy Porterfield’s course on “Webinars that Convert” for how to set this up. You can buy Facebook ads to get folks to sign up for it.
Buy Facebook ads to drive folks to sign up for your lead magnet, webinars, and anything else.
What to Do When You Want to Shred Your Blog and Quit the Whole Thing
Blogging is ministry—and hard work. Sometimes we want to toss the whole thing. When you’re ready to quit blogging (or anything), re-connect to your “Why.”
Why did you start your blog?
Is that reason still valid?
Perhaps pull back some or get someone to help you.
Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.— Brené Brown
Create an online course from your content (speaking, writing, etc.).
Create a membership site that pays you each month. This actually can work! It’s currently how I earn my living through Walking the Bible Lands. Here’s a sample video of what my subscribers get 3-4 times per month.
It’s Overwhelming! Where Do I Start?
What’s your quickest win?
What’s your biggest opportunity?
Make a list of steps and just do the next step.
Resources to Help You with Repurposing Content and Monetization
To insert the title of the post, rather than the name of the blog, use the *|RSSITEM:TITLE|* merge tag instead of *|RSSNAME:TITLE|*.
To have your campaign display the full post, rather than the short excerpt, click the post to pause and edit, go to the Design step, click the RSS Items content block, and select Full Content from the dropdown in the Edit pane. Here’s a screenshot for reference: cl.ly/3B2T2I3l0S37.
Unlike a post, which has content current to the day you post it, a page contains static content good for all time. Think of pages like your standard Web sites you see. The pages you want at minimum:
Begin with the user’s interests. (Remember, your blog is for your reader, not for you.)
Tell them a little about your blog and what it will do for them.
Tell them what they can expect from you (how many posts a week)
Invite them to subscribe in the middle of the page AND at the end. Do include a subscribe form. This will prove one of most-visited pages on your blog.
Show them your top posts with links. (Update this as time goes on.)
Tell them about yourself, your brief bio, background, writings, and hobbies. Keep this current.
Tell them how to contact you (link to your contact page).
Optional: include a “colophon” or technical info paragraph as well as a disclaimer. Feel free to borrow mine.
Contact Page – use the plugin WPForms Lite instead of Contact Form 7.
Archives Page – install plugin Clean My Archives. Insert the following shortcode where you want the archives to begin on your page: [clean-my-archives]
A Landing Page represents a page dedicated to one call to action: sales, signups, subscriptions, etc. It should use the “wide” template and incorporate testimonials. Example from my blog.
Menus and Your Footer
Set up your menus for pages and categories. My suggestions:
Put your pages as the Top Menu.
Put your top 4 categories as the Category Menu.
Put your pages again in your Footer Menu.
Set up your footer widgets with anything you’d like (or nothing). My suggestions:
A mini-bio that takes the reader to your About page
Your recent posts
Another subscribe form
Commenting and Contact with Readers
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Or you will also be like him.
Answer a fool as his folly deserves,
That he not be wise in his own eyes.
Some general rules for comments:
Comment on other blogs, offering genuine ministry without spam. Copy content from a post you’ve written. (Hey, why not?) Just don’t write too much.
Connect with them emotionally and validate their pain
Point them to the Bible. You always want to point people to the Scriptures as your authority. If they have a problem, make sure it is with God’s Word and not with how you share it.
Point them to the DTS counselor link.
Beware of the danger of immediate response. Think of your own email habits (or key relationships). Best to pause, pray, and consider before responding—especially to critics.
The Disqus plugin allows you to connect with readers individually and to respond via email at your convenience. Occasionally, you’ll want to included a link for them to read further (i.e. for salvation, for specific posts, etc.).
To embed a link in your comments, use this code (I suggest you save this code in your text expander for easy access):
Homework before next class
Write and/or post a full post plus 2 mini-posts.
Write and post your “About” page, “Archives” page, and “Contact” page.
Mini-posts represent a unique feature of the Get Noticed! Theme (GNT). They allow for shorter posts on a variety of topics, and they look pretty cool. Here are some examples of mini-posts from my blog:
search engine optimization: (noun) the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. (Apple Dictionary)
Why fuss with SEO? Because 75% of your traffic will come from searches.
After we install your Lead Magnet, I recommend you get OptinMonster to help capture those leads. (I estimate that 70% of my subscribers come in this way.)
Make sure your post has:
At least 300 words
Put keyword in title, once in a heading, several times throughout body
An internal link in first paragraph
Several internal links throughout
Alt text in all images
People linking to you helps a lot.
Follow guidelines Yoast SEO gives you.
You’ll also find a good checklist in Syed Balkhi’s posts:
In this session, we’ll tour the “back end” of your blog, particularly the details of your Get Noticed! Theme. We’ll install some plugins, fine-tune some theme settings, and take a whirlwind tour through the widgets that go in your blog’s sidebar and footer.
If you’d like to borrow the code to add a reader subscription to your RSS feed, here you go! Copy/paste at Get Noticed > RSS Feeds >Continue Reading Text (Just be sure to add your subscription page to the URLs.)
<strong><a href=”[permalink]”>Keep reading this post. >>></a> <p><p>Better still, get my full posts the easy way when you <a href=”http://www.waynestiles.com/subscribe-via-e-mail-2/”>SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG.</a> When you do, I’ll also send you <a href=”http://www.waynestiles.com/subscribe-via-e-mail-2/”>my FREE e-book!</a></strong>
Getting Started with Email for Your Blog
Email remains the best way to connect to your blog readers. Why?
People check their inbox daily.
Email gets more attention than social media.
It takes action to deal with it.
Before we get your email list started, we need to create a few pages on your blog:
On your blog (in Pages), customize the pages we made in class:
Thank You Page (upload the Twitter and Facebook images if you need to)
Signup Page–Tell them why signing up is a benefit to them: they don’t miss a post, get posts easily, can share posts with friends, etc. Eventually, you’ll include your lead magnet on this page as an incentive.
At some point, you’ll want to customize your MailChimp account, customize your email series. If you want some sample copy, subscribe to this list (and then unsubscribe) and customize the email series content you receive for your own use. Remember, you customize these in your MailChimp account: Lists > (your list) > Signup Forms > General Forms. When you’re done setting it up, subscribe and unsubscribe until the process works the way you like it.
optin confirmation email
final welcome email
unsubscribe success page
Make sure you’ve completed the homework for session 1 and session 2.
Design your blog name and tag line in your identify graphics. Install them in your theme. (Particularly your touch icon and logo/header graphic–which should include your Blog name and tag line.)
Select your headshot and create your Avatar image for use everywhere.
Connect all of your social media accounts in Get Noticed! > Social Media
Sign up for a Google Analytics account. Follow the instructions here to “set up a property” (your blog). Then install your Google Analytics ID in your theme: Get Noticed! > Integrations
OPTIONAL: Install plugin: Search for “WP Database Backup” and follow instructions here. (You’ll probably find WP-DB Backup in Tools on your side panel.) Eventually, you’ll want to get a paid backup system like VaultPress so that it’s all automatic and worry-free.
Contact Form 7
Disqus Comment System
Forage for your tribe and Buffer 5 posts. In other words, look through your RSS feeds and share 5 posts with your readers via Buffer.
Reading: Hyatt—pp. 81-122, 225-229
Subscribe to other students’ RSS feeds.
Write your first blog post! Feel free to use previous content.
Choose 3 mini-post types and post them.
OPTIONAL: Watch virtual interview with Mary DeMuth
Title/headline/subject (create last unless you have a great reason not to)
Illustration or elaboration paragraph(s)
Curiosity line. Set the hook.
Keep content scannable and interesting:
– short sentences and paragraphs
– Tweet quotes
Call to action: question, link, purchase, etc.
Sign up for a Bit.ly account that will help shorten long URLs as you share them. We’ll connect this to your theme soon.
Sign up for a Feedly account and subscribe to some RSS feeds relevant to your niche and your interests. We’ll review this again next time. (Search Google for a Feedly extension for the browser of your choice.) Some feeds you might consider subscribing to:
*Note: After you sign up with Bluehost and your domain goes public, you’ll likely get some solicitations you can just ignore. For example, you’ll get a bogus one that says:
As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your registration. Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Get Noticed! Theme. (Private link for our class only.) This premium WordPress theme is available at a special discount to you as a student of this course. This highly customizable theme is required so that the class can work on the same page while learning blogging tools, techniques, and strategies.
You’re welcome to contact me here or via Canvas or leave a comment in a post if you think others could benefit from your question. (When you’re ready to leave a comment, sign up for Disqus.)