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Take your business_online (1)

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Take your business_online (1) Take your business_online (1) Document Transcript

  • Table of Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Part 1: Build Your Web Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Step 1: Name Your Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Step 2: Register Your Site On WordPress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Step 3: Claim Your Domain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Step 4: Choose Your Site’s Look . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Step 5: Write Your Tagline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Step 6: Write Your About Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Step 7: Set Up Your Site’s Tabs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Step 8: Write Your First Post . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Part 2: Set Up Email & Social Media Campaigns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Step 9: Set Up Your Email Address. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Step 10: Create a Facebook Business Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Step 11: Create a Twitter Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Step 12: Register Your AWeber Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Step 13: Set Up Your List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Step 14: Create Your Confirmation Page In WordPress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Step 15: Write a Welcome Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Step 16: Create Your Sign Up Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Step 17: Convert Your Blog Post To An Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Step 18: Connect Your Social Media Accounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Part 3: Plan Your Content Creation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Step 19: Identify Your Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Step 20: Set Up a Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Step 21: Show a Friend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Homework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Appendix A: Getting Familiar With the WordPress Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Appendix B: Running An Email Campaign Over Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Appendix C: Are These Niche Social Networks Right For Your Business? . . . . . . . . . 29 2 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Launching a brand takes an awful lot of work. Your days are a whirl of planning, permits, and inventory. And, of course, you’ve got to get the word out far and wide about what your business has available! With ever-increasing numbers of consumers researching their purchases online, online advertising methods are becoming some of the most effective. In addition, they can be remarkably inexpensive to set up. You could, of course, hire a web developer and a designer to build a site from the ground up. But that takes time and money - resources you might not have. This guide is designed to get you established as a basic online presence within 5 hours. It’s also designed to make the process as inexpensive as possible. You may have to spend money to make money, but you won’t be spending a lot of it on getting set up online. The Steps to Getting You Online This process is laid out for you in 3 parts, with a total of 21 steps. You can complete each section altogether to get your site up and running as quickly (and efficiently) as possible, or you can knock out each step as you have time. To get started, you’ll Build Your Website, getting your business’s online home base set up and running. Next, you’ll Set Up Email and Social Media Campaigns. With these, you’ll attract people from around the web to your site or store. You’ll be continually updating these over time. Then, you’ll Plan Your Content Creation. This is the content that will feed your campaign. You’ll identify resources to pull inspiration from and set up a schedule. Once you have a bit of content in place, your site will be ready for visitors and your email campaign will be ready for subscribers to sign up. You can move through the steps of this guide at whatever pace you want. Or take our recommendation: carve out a 5-hour block of time when you can sit down and blast through this list. You’ll be absolutely amazed at what you’ll accomplish in less time than a standard workday. 3 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Part 1: Build Your Website (Total time estimate: 2 hours,10 minutes) Your website will be the hub of your content marketing campaigns, the destination. By the time you close your computer at the end of Part 1, you’ll be able to type your site name into your browser’s address bar and see the finished product. Step 1: Name Your Site (10 minutes) First, you’ll choose a name for your site and register yourself as the owner of that name (also called a domain) on the web. Your site’s name fulfills a lot of functions: • • • • It’s the phrase people use to find you online. It tells search engines where to find your business. It lets people know a bit about what they’ll find if they click to your site. If you already have a business established, this part will be easy: your best option is most likely yourcompanyname.com How To Choose Your Site’s Name If your site name is already taken (or if you don’t already have a business name), you’ll need to come up with one. Hopefully, you’ve already been thinking about what you might want to name your site. This can be the longest part of the whole setup process, so if you haven’t settled on a name, you may want to wait for the actual set up until you do so. There are two different directions you can take your site name: • The Literal Site Name. Your site name says exactly what your business is. When people see your URL (web address), they know what it means. If you sell green, Irish pasta, you might call your site greenIrishpasta.com. Examples of Branded Site Names Flickr - This photo-hosting site’s name is camera-related (even though it’s not as straightforward as postyourpictureshere.com) so those encountering it for the first time will have an inkling of what it is. Brand image is also indicated here: it’s fun (suggesting the site will be fun to use) and an informal reference to photography (suggesting users won’t have to be experts to use it). Harry & David - This classic predates the web, but in terms of business success, it’s an example worth following. Though the store sells gourmet snacks, the name doesn’t mention food. Instead, it sets up the brand’s image. Harry and David are solid, classic men’s names (suggesting both respectability and nostalgia). There appear to be two owners (implying double the stability). Finally, • The Branded Site Name. You could also go in a very different direction, with a domain name that doesn’t necessary spell out what visitors will find. Instead, it leaves an impression of what your brand is all about. 4 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Whichever route you take, make sure that the name you choose is easy to remember. A lot of site growth comes from word-of-mouth referrals. You don’t want would-be brand ambassadors raving about that “awesome site, but I can’t remember the name of it.” To make your site’s name easy to remember: • Use the default spelling of all words involved. Bikezntrikez.com might be more “fun” than bikesandtrikes.com, but if someone hears either site name in passing, guess which spelling they’re going to type into their search bar? • Keep it short. A shorter site name is more memorable, more likely to appear in search results and easier to type. Now that you’ve chosen your domain, we can start setting up your site. We’ll be applying your domain to your site in Step 3. “ The last thing you would want to do is spend money building up a .net or .biz brand only to drive traffic to your competitors .com site simply because that's where most customers default to.” - Inc.com ” What Domain Extension to Choose? Each site name ends in a domain extension (also called TLD, for “toplevel domain”). You’ve seen these as .com, .org, .edu, .info and more. Most likely, you’ll want to use .com as your domain extension. This is because most people are familiar with sites ending in .com, and therefore assume yours will end the same way. As far as brand recognition and word-of-mouth referrals are concerned, labeling yourself as a .com is crucial. It’s simply where most people will think to look for you. When Would You Use These Domain Extensions? .au, .mx, etc - If you’re catering to a local audience, use a country-specific domain to indicate that local information will be available in the country’s native language. .org - If you’re a non-profit organization, this extension tells people your mission extends beyond the commercial .info - Used heavily for redirection by spammers, .info’s fallen out of favor with search engines. This is one extension you’ll want to stay away from. 5 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 2: Register Your Site On WordPress (10 minutes) WordPress is where your web site will live. In technical terms, it’s the platform that hosts your site. That means you’re going to log into WordPress to write blog posts, create new pages, answer comments or make any other changes to your site. While there are many site hosting companies, WordPress is used by millions of small businesses. Why WordPress? Three reasons: • It’s remarkably simple to set up • All the basic options are free • Over 73 million sites are built on WordPress, and it’s been around since 2003, so you can be sure it’s a reliable system with the kinks worked out. WordPress offers two different platforms: one that you build and host yourself, and one that they host for you. Let’s take a closer look at each option. WordPress.org If you’re having a developer or designer build the site for you, you may want to consider the extended functionality of WordPress.org. You’d need to pay for separate hosting, install updates manually and host some files on your own computer, but you’d be able to customize your theme however you like and choose from over 16,000 plugins for extra tasks. WordPress.com If, however, you’ll be running your site yourself and don’t want to be responsible for managing (and paying for) separate hosting and security solutions, you’ll want WordPress.com. You’ll still get some plugins and 100+ themes to choose from, plus hosting is taken care of you for free and updates happen automatically. Since it has everything you need to set up your site in one simple package, we’ll be walking you through the WordPress.com setup. To set up WordPress.com, you won’t need a developer or designer. Just follow the next few steps. Start by registering your site on WordPress.com: • Go to http://www.wordpress.com and click on the orange “Get Started” button. • Fill out the registration form with your choice of site name, your chosen user name and password. • You’ll get a confirmation email from WordPress. Click on the activation link, and you’re set. If you already have a WordPress account, you can easily set up a new blog. Log in to your account, hover over “Dashboard” and choose “My Blogs.” You’ll see a button in the lower righthand corner labeled “Register Another Blog.” From there, continue with step 2 above. 6 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 3: Add Your Domain To WordPress (10 minutes) At this point, for someone to see your site, they’d need to go to: http://wwww.yoursite.wordpress.com but that’s not the site name you settled on. So we’re going to fix that. Log into your new WordPress account. In the left-hand menu, hover over “Settings” and choose “Domains.” Then, simply type in your chosen domain. If it’s not available, WordPress will let you know. If your chosen domain name is already taken, you could choose to add hyphens between the words, such as: my-site.com. Hyphens don’t affect where you stand in search rankings, but word-of-mouth referrals may result in confusion. If the name you want has been purchased by another brand or a speculator, you may have the option to buy it off them. This can be an expensive option, so you’ll want to decide how committed you are to that name. On the next page, review your information, which should be prepopulated from your WordPress registration, and hit the button to register your new domain. At this point, you’ll need to pay for your new domain. The cost at this time is $25. Unless you choose to pay for premium design or plugins, this will be the only thing you’ll pay for your site. What is the $99 bundle? WordPress is currently offering a $99 option with extra options. If you’re going to need a significantly customized design or if you plan to post videos frequently, you may want to choose this option instead. Hit the button to purchase and register your domain. From now on, when someone goes to your chosen domain name, they’ll be taken to your WordPress site. 7 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 4: Choose Your Site’s Look (1 hour) To start working in your site, go to WordPress.com and log in. (You’ll also be able to log in at http:// www.yoursite.com/wp-login.php and log in to WordPress.) You’ll be able to see keep checking what your site looks like at http://www.yoursite.com. The first thing you’re going to do is choose a theme: a pre-designed collection of fonts and colors that will give your site a professional feel. WordPress.com has nearly 150 free themes available and over 25 premium themes you can purchase. Free vs Premium: How Much Do You Want to Edit? The difference between free and premium themes varies for each individual theme. In general, premium themes allow you to make deeper changes to your site’s layout, offer more formats to highlight different kinds of content and are considered, by the designer at least, to have more attractive designs than free themes. However, it is certainly possible to find a free theme that works for you. Some of the free themes do allow you to edit (or have a designer edit) the site’s layout using CSS. Which theme you choose, whether paid or free, is going to depend on: • The look you want for your site • The depth you want to be able to edit • The plugins you want to be able to use ...as well as the price you want to pay. It is possible to switch themes at a later point. WordPress will retain all of the posts and pages you have written, as well as readers’ comments. However, by the time you have a substantial following, you’ll want to be careful about the changes that you make. The key colors and basic layout should, for the most part, stay similar so visitors recognize your site when they land. 8 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 5: Write Your Tagline (15 minutes) It’s important to convey to visitors what your site is about as soon as possible so they can decide if it’s a place where they want to stay and read further. That’s what your tagline is for. Listed at the top of each page, it tells people what they’ll find on your site in just a few words. Right now, your site’s tagline reads, “Just Another WordPress Site.” Most likely, this isn’t the impression you want visitors to get, so you’ll want to write your own. When writing your tagline, you may want to choose from a few different approaches: • Summarizing the kind of content readers will find. For example, Practical Ecommerce’s tagline is “Insights for online merchants.” • Describing the heart of your site’s mission, like Yada Yada Marketing, who’s tagline reads, “No excuses. Just results!” • Introducing the kind of product or service you have available. Bill Erickson, a WordPress Consultant, uses the tagline “WordPress Consulting.” To set your tagline, hover over “Settings” in your left-hand menu and choose “General.” Near the top, you’ll see a field where you’ll want to fill in the tagline you’ve written. Once you’ve saved your changes... ...your new tagline will be visible on your site. 9 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 6: Add More Pages To Your Site (15 minutes) Your web site is more than just a blog. Most company sites have at least several pages. Adding additional pages to your site gives your visitors all the information they need about your business. For this initial setup, you’re not going to worry about filling in every detail of every page you’ll have on your site. Instead, we’ll just get you familiar with the page editing process. Make a quick list of the pages you already know that you want. For example, you may want: • a page that explains your company’s mission • a page that displays all of your products • a contact page with address, email, phone number or a contact form (You already have an “About” page - WordPress has set one up for you by default.) You’re going to put a quick placeholder in place for each of these pages. To do this, hover over the “Pages” button in your left-hand menu and choose “Add New.” Fill in the title of your page, as well as a bit of placeholder text (or perhaps a quick outline). Don’t worry about formatting or using any of the buttons in the design panel across the top. Then select the “Save Draft” button. Once your page is ready, go ahead and click the “Publish” button. (Don’t worry; no one will see these pages until you invite traffic to your site.) Repeat the process until you have placeholders for each of your planned pages. Step 7: Set Up Your Site Navigation(15 minutes) If you want your site visitors to be able to click to a page from your home page, you have to add links to them. WordPress makes this easy - each theme provides a navigation menu that you can fill with links to other pages. Some menus appear as tabs across the top of your site, some appear as sidebars, and some themes offer the option of using both kinds. To set up your navigation menu, hover over “Appearance” in your WordPress menu and select “Menus.” 10 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Name your menu, then press the “Create Menu” button. Use the “Pages” selection on the left to select which pages will be included on the menu. Once they’re checked off, click “Add to Menu.” As you create more pages in the future, come back here to add them to your menu if you want them to be easily accessible from your home page. Then, on the right-hand side, save your menu. 11 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Your menu is now created. You won’t actually see these tabs on your site, however, until you set your theme location. Use this drop-down box to select your menu and save it. Depending on the theme you’ve chosen, you may have that option to create several menus. In that case, you may want to come back and create menus of blog post categories, services you offer or any other site information you’d like to categorize. What If I Don’t Want My Home Page To Be My Blog? Q. Can I have a static page as the front page of my site, with the blog hidden unless you click on its tab? A. It depends. WordPress, as blogging software, shows your blog page as your landing page by default. If the template you’ve chosen allows you to edit the CSS, you can change which page visitors see first. Just follow the instructions here. 12 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 8: Write Your First Post (time estimate: 5 minutes) We’ve filled your site out with pages for visitors to click on and learn more about your business. Now let’s work on the blog section of your site. Let’s take a moment to familiarize you with posting. WordPress already has a default post set up for you. You can get to it by hovering over “Posts” in your menu and selecting “All Posts.” You’ll see the post saved with the title, “Hello, World!” Hover over the title, and go ahead and click on the “Trash” option that appears. We’ll start from scratch. To create your first post, hover over that “Posts” tab again and select “Add New.” For now, you’ll just want to put down some placeholder text. You can even leave the default text, but we suggest adding a bit of text to plan out what you’ll want to say. If you want to take some time to get familiar with WordPress’ visual editor, head to Appendix A on page 29 (unless you’re well-versed in HTML, in which case, click the “HTML” tag, skip the next page and have at it.) Now that you have a website and a way to publish content to the web, let’s set up the channels you’ll use to spread it around and attract readers. How Will These Display On My Site? As you publish each post, it will appear on the front page of your site, stacked above your previous posts. Each of your posts won’t just be visible on your main page, but on its own page that you can link to and share. To get to it, click on the post’s title from the main site page. 13 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Part 2: Set Up Email & Social Media Campaigns You have your site set up, your business’s online presence and the hub of your online marketing efforts. Now, we’re going to set up channels to direct traffic there. An email campaign will allow you stay in touch with your customers and message them periodically to keep them coming back to your site. To see what your email campaign will involve, check out Appendix B. Social media campaigns add a ripple effect, with your follwers sharing your posts with their own followers, and so on. Here, we’ll set you up with the two biggest networks out there, Facebook and Twitter. To explore more social networks, check out Appendix C. Both are important to growing your customer base, and both take just minutes to set up, and minutes at a time to maintain. But first, to set all three up, you’re going to need a domain-based email address, by which we mean an email address in the form of you@yourcompany.com. You’ll also need such an address to use in your email campaigns - it helps get your mail delivered. Besides, it looks much more professional to potential customers. So let’s get you one. Step 9: Set Up Your Email Address (5 minutes) Wordpress.com has created an easy way for you to register your domain-based address and check the mail you receive there with Google Apps. This means we’ll be setting up a Google Apps account for that domain you just registered in WordPress. The process is quick (under 2 minutes) - simply go to this link and fill out the registration page that appears. As part of the registration, you’ll create a new Google Apps login. Here, enter the primary email address you’d like to use for your business. Once you fill out the page and accept the terms and conditions, you’re registered! You can now use the domain-based email address you’ve just created to receive and send email (at gmail.com your new email address is your username), as well as to sign up for your social media accounts. If something goes wrong (you want to change your primary email address, you misspelled something, etc), and you need to cancel your Google Apps account, log into your account, choose “Domain Settings,” then “Subscriptions & Billing,” then the option to delete your account. 14 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 10: Create a Facebook Business Page (20 minutes) All set with your email address? Let’s proceed. We’re going to set up a Facebook Page for your brand. This is a place where you can attract followers, whom you can then build a relationship with by posting helpful content and responding to their questions and feedback. In addition, if you share content from your site on Facebook, it ranks higher in search results. Facebook Pages are always tied to the Page owner’s personal profile, so first, log into your personal Facebook account. (If you don’t have one, you can create one here.) Then, go to Facebook’s Create a Page page. Choose a classification and a business name. Then choose a category and type your brand or product’s name. This name will become the name of your Page. Note: Once set, these cannot be changed without deleting your Page (thus losing your fans) and creating a new one. Upload your photo and cover photo. Fill in your website URL and a brief bio in the “About” section. Later, you can invite your friends to become fans and start posting status updates. Want Your Page to Have a Custom URL? Rather than facebook.com/a-bunch-of-numbers, your page can be found at facebook.com/yoursite-name. Just follow the instructions here. Step 11: Create a Twitter Account (10 minutes) To set up a Twitter account for your business, go to twitter.com and fill out the form to register for a new account. (Even if you have a personal account already, it’s best to create one for your business as well in order to be able to push the appropriate content to your different audiences.) On the second page of the registration process, you’ll choose a username. Keep it as close to your site or brand name as you can get. Enter the email address you registered in Step 9 and choose a password. You’ll be taken to a new page, where you’ll choose a username. From there, you can click through the “Twitter Teacher” to learn how to send and follow tweets. From here, you’ll be able to tweet links, pictures, quotes or thoughts to your followers. You’ll also be able to auto-tweet your email newsletters and invite your followers to subscribe for regular emails. 15 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 12: Register An AWeber Account (5 minutes) (If you already have an account, skip ahead to page 20.) You’ve probably signed up for email newsletters and promotions from other businesses. AWeber is an email software that lets you send the same kinds of newsletters to your own customers, keeping them connected to your brand. We have easy-to-use features to save you time, including pre-made email templates and blog post-to-newsletter converter. Beyond that, your customers and prospects can respond to your emails to ask you questions and provide feedback, giving you a glimpse into your target demographic. To set up your email campaign, start by going to aweber.com. Use the green “Order” tab to order an account. It will be just $1 for the first month, during which you’ll have plenty of time to get familiar with the system. Choose your pricing plan. Note that when you have over 500 subscribers, prices will increase. Full details can be found here. Fill out the rest of the registration form to get your account details squared away. Once you confirm your registration, you’ll get an email with your login information for future use, and you can start setting up your campaign. Step 13: Set Up Your List (10 minutes) In AWeber, you’ll be able to create a list for each email series you want to create or each group of people you want to send newsletters to. Let’s start with your first list. When you log into AWeber, you’re automatically in this first list. The first thing you’ll want to do is choose the settings. Hover over the “List Options” tab and choose “List Settings.” 16 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Fill out your basic information, following the advice of the tool tips that appear as you move through the page. Then move on to the second tab, “Personalize Your List.” Here, you can list company information and upload your logo. Finally, move to the “Confirmed Opt-In” tab. When someone signs up for your emails, they’ll get an email asking them to confirm that they’re address is correct. It’s a good idea to customize the text in this email. Use your company or site name in the subject and signature so readers can recognize where it’s coming from. See the box for your confirmation success page URL? You don’t have that yet, but we’re about to go create it. Leave this page open and sign back into WordPress in another tab or window. Step 14: Create Your Confirmation Page In WordPress (10 minutes) In WordPress, add a new page that will act as your confirmation page. When someone clicks the link in your confirmation email and is officially added to your list, they’re taken to this page. It’s the perfect place to tell subscribers they’re now confirmed and give them somewhere else to click, like your blog, a featured product description or your social network profiles. 17 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • For now, you can just drop notes or an outline of what you’d like the page to say. You can come back and edit it once everything’s set up. Write your title (perhaps something like, “You’re In! Thanks for Subscribing to Our Emails.”) Save the page. Now, copy the URL of your page (the “Permalink” beneath the title). To make sure you’ve got the whole thing, first click on the highlighted section, then drag your mouse over the whole link, from the “http” to the ending slash (/). 1. 2. Got it copied? Perfect. You’re finished in WordPress for now. Go back to the AWeber tab. Paste the URL into that “Confirmation Success Page URL” box. Go ahead and save your settings. Note: You are not going to want to take that extra step we discussed in Step 7 to add this page in your WordPress menu, since you only want readers to see it after they’ve confirmed to your list. Step 15: Create A Welcome Message (10 minutes) A welcome message is the first email a new subscriber gets from you. This email sends itself automatically right after a new subscriber confirms. You only have to write it once, and then it sends itself. This gives you a chance to formally introduce your business and let subscribers know what to expect. To create your welcome message, hover over the “Messages” tab in AWeber and click “Follow Up Series.” (You can later create other follow ups you want sent automatically.) Give it a subject. Take a moment to scroll through the templates on the right to find one you like. Click “Apply.” The templates already have filler text, but it needs to be deleted and replaced with your own words. Here are some ideas of what you may want to write. Save your message. 18 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 16: Create Your Sign Up Form (20 minutes) Now, you need a form where visitors to your site can sign up for your emails. Follow these instructions to put your web form together. When you reach Step 3, choose the option, “Have AWeber Host My Form.” In WordPress, create another new page that will act as your “subscribe page,” where you will invite site visitors to sign up for your emails. Jot down a quick invitation to subscribe, and link the text (by highlighting it and using the chain-link button) to your hosted web form, using the link you were provided. Go ahead and save the page. Go back to your menu (“Appearance” => “Menus”) and add this page into your main navigation - you’ll want this page to be highly visible. Step 17: Convert Your Blog Post To An Email (10 minutes) This step can can actually save you the time and hassle of creating emails on the same topics as your blog posts. As soon as you publish a post on WordPress, AWeber will pull the post into your account, arrange it in the template you choose and send it at a time of your choosing. This may sound complicated to set up, but the technical details all happen behind the scenes. All you have to do is choose the options you prefer. Start by hovering over your AWeber account’s “Messages” tab and choosing “Blog Broadcasts.” Select the “New Blog Broadcast” button. 19 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Enter your site’s RSS feed URL. (You’ll find it here.) Next, choose the template you’d like to use for your blog broadcasts. Each template is already designed to pull the proper parts of your post (the title, the beginning of your post, the link back to your blog) into place. Add your logo and your signature, if you’ll be using those. Once they’re in place, they will appear in every broadcast generated by a new post. Tip: If you’d like your entire post to display in your email, find {!rss_item_description} in your template and replace it with {!rss_item_content}. Finally, choose how many blog posts you’d like pulled into each email and whether you’d like the email sent automatically once it’s pulled (otherwise, it will be saved in your account for you to adjust before sending). If you choose to have the email sent automatically, you will be able to specify a specific time of day for the system to send it. If you choose to have the email saved in your account until you’re ready to send it, you’ll be able to manually set the day and time for each blog broadcast to go out. Step 18: Connect Your Social Media Accounts (5 minutes) Remember the Facebook page and Twitter profile you created a few minutes ago? We’re going to link them up to your email campaign. This way, when you send an email out, you can choose to have it automatically tweeted or posted to Facebook without having to log in to those accounts. Go back into your AWeber list settings (“My Lists” => “List Settings”). Choose the second tab, “Personalize Your List.” 20 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • In section 2, “Social Media Settings,” you’ll see the options to connect with Twitter and connect with Facebook. Click the “Connect with Twitter” button. On the next page, go ahead and authorize the app to tweet for you. If you’re still signed in to your new Twitter account, the app will automatically connect. Otherwise, you’ll have to log in. Now, choose the “connect with Facebook” option. Again, if you’re logged in to Facebook, your profile and any pages you’ve set up will automatically load. Set your brand’s page as the “default” here. Now, when you send out emails, you’ll be able to check a box to have them automatically shared on Facebook, Twitter or both. 21 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Part 3: Plan Your Content Creation Keeping all these channels running might seem like an awful lot to do, but there are a few things that make it much easier than you may expect: First, your blog, email and social media accounts all feed each other. With this setup, a blog post is automatically turned into an email, then tweeted and posted to Facebook. You’ve already set this up. Second, you may be wondering what you’re going to write in all of your blog posts and emails. Don’t worry, we’ll discuss resources to help you out with that. Third, marketing’s not something you want to have to think about constantly, but you also can’t ignore it for weeks on end or your audience will pack up and move on. Thus, we’re going to set a schedule to help you stay on track. Step 19: Identify Your Resources (25 minutes) Who’s going to create your marketing content? And what will you write? You may be looking down at your own two (empty) hands, but you have more resources than you might think. Other people can contribute by writing posts for your blog, which you can turn into emails to quote from or post on social media. If you have staff, consider the perspectives they might be able to share. Have contacts in your industry? You could post as guest authors on each others’ blogs, giving you exposure to each others’ readers. Go ahead and make a list of people who might be interested in being published on your site. Along with your contributors, you’ll likely be writing a good number of posts and emails yourself. But you don’t have to pull them out of thin air. You can write about things that are happening in your business, creative uses for your products or services and, of course, any sales or exclusive discounts you are offering. You’ll find lots of content examples on blogs with topics similar to yours. Set up an RSS reader if you don’t have one already - here are instructions on how to set it up and how to use it. You can also read about how others are marketing, then ask yourself how you can translate their ideas to apply them to your own brand. We’d recommend following: • • • • AdFreak Television commercials - observe how other brands capture attention (or fail to!) Magazine covers - study the headlines on popular magazines to get ideas for your own subject lines And of course, the AWeber blog 22 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 20: Set Up a Schedule (35 minutes) Some sites publish marketing content every day; others just send out monthly (or even less frequent) newsletters. How often you’ll publish depends on your own time constraints. Once you decide that, though, you’ll need reminders to keep you on track. So let’s create an editorial calendar. You can use any calendar you like, whether it’s a paper-and-pen planner, a desktop application like iCal or an online calendar like Google Calendar. If you want to keep things organized by channel, you can even create a spreadsheet (Google Docs keeps everything accessible online, or you can use a word processor) with daily entries in the appropriate rows: On your calendar, schedule times for: • Updating your blog. You can either write one post at a time time or schedule sit-down, write-out marathons to get a group of posts written and prescheduled (How to pre-schedule in WordPress). • Sending out emails. With the blog broadcast you’ve set up, you can publish an email automatically after each post, or you can save them up to edit into newsletters. • Posting to Facebook and Twitter. Again, your emails can be set to post automatically, so you’ll just have to round them out with any other content you’d like to share. When you’re going through • Writing an autoresponder (follow-up) series. This is something you’ll do at the beginning of your campaign. Follow ups are messages that would follow on the heels of your welcome message on a schedule that you set. You may choose not to use follow ups, or you may want to use them to introduce your brand, or you may want to fill them with your best content, the kind of content you want to make sure every reader sees, no matter when they subscribe. Whatever they contain, you’ll want to set some time aside to write them. Get them set, and then you can forget them - for awhile, at least. You’ll also want to schedule regular check-ins on your follow ups to fix any outdated information. 23 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Step 21: Show a Friend (For Quality Assurance and Celebration) (10 minutes) Call a friend. Ask them to go to your domain name. Explain that for now, they’ll just see placeholders instead of your usual content. Ask them to check out your site, to sign up to your web form, to “like” your Facebook page and follow you on Twitter. Make sure the entire process goes smoothly, and write down any ideas you or your friend have for your site or your email campaign. Celebrate how much you’ve accomplished. In 5 hours, for $19, you’ve set up an online marketing campaign. Congratulations! 24 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Homework You now have the entire framework in place for your online marketing campaign. When you get a chance in the near future, you’re going to want to go through and flesh out these details before presenting your new online brand to the online populace. 1. Replace Filler Text Go back and write out what you want to communicate to your subscribers in your: • • • • Confirmation page Thank you page Welcome message Subscribe page If you’re really not sure what to write, you’ll find some ideas here. 2. Choose Your Template Designs If you didn’t take the time earlier, choose your sign up form template and your email template. You’ll see the sign up form templates right inside your sign up form generator, and the email templates can be found in this library. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the email template library, there are other free templates available for free across the web - try here, here and here. 3. Build Out Your Profiles You’ll need to make sure your Facebook and Twitter profiles are loaded up with descriptions of your brand, links to your web site and appropriate pictures. In the future, you’ll be able to update these, but starting out with a clear reflection of your brand is going to help you attract the right audience, so spend a bit of time making sure these are just right. 25 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Appendix A: Getting Familiar With the WordPress Editor The visual editor in WordPress has 22 buttons for customizing your messages. This may seem like a lot, but each performs a simple task, as described below: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. As in many word processors, this gives your text a bold font. Italicizes your text. Strikes a horizontal line through your text. Inserts an image. A window will pop up, allowing you to upload a picture from your computer or enter the URL for a picture online. Adds a poll to your post. A window will pop up walking you through the process (may not be available in some themes). Allows you to create a custom contact form. Also allows you to set email notifications for when the form is used by visitors (like polls, may not be available in some themes). Turns your text into a bulleted list. To use this, type out your list first, hitting “enter” after each item. Highlight the entire list with your mouse and click this button. Your list will immediately be reformatted. Turns your text into a numbered list. Works the same way as the bulleted list, but assigns numbers to each item in sequential order. Creates a blockquote by centering your text and putting deep margins around it. Again, type your text first, then use the button to apply the blockquote style. Aligns your text to the left side of the screen. Centers your text. Aligns your text to the right side of the screen. 26 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • 13. Creates a link. To link a word or phrase to another page, highlight the text, hit this button and type or paste in the URL of the page you want to link to. 14. Breaks a link. If you’ve created a link that you want to remove, highlight the text and hit this button to make it disappear. 15. The more tag. Insert this tag, and only the content above it will appear on your blog’s home page. A “read more” link will appear that readers can click to be taken to the whole post. 16. Runs a spell check over your entire post or page, highlighting errors with a red underline. To remove the underline, right-click on the error and either select a different spelling or choose the option to ignore the suggestions. 17. Cleans up your editing page. If you need to focus on writing without all the buttons and tabs, hit this button to see a clean white screen, with your post the only thing on it. Moving your mouse causes a small set formatting options to appear.To return to the default editing page, move your mouse and choose the “Exit fullscreen” option on the top left. 18. Allows you to edit your URL. This is especially handy when your post title is long, since your URL automatically includes your entire post title. Not only do shorter URLs have a slightly better chance of appearing in searches, they also fit into tweets. 19. Shows a preview of your post in a new tab so you can make adjustments as you go. 20. If you want a very short link to your post for the purposes of tweeting or sharing, you don’t have to go to bit.ly or goo.gl - just hit this button. 21. Allows you to work directly in the HTML of your post. 27 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Appendix B: Running An Email Campaign Over Time There’s a lot email marketing can encompass, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Here’s an overview of the tasks involved and how you may want to spread them out over the first year of your campaign. The First Day (If you’ve completed the steps in this guide, you’ve done all these already!) • • • • • • Fill out your list settings Create a thank you page Create a confirmation page Create a welcome message Create a web form Set up your blog broadcast The First Week • Make sure you’ve chosen a template for your broadcasts and your web forms (click to see broadcast templates and sign up form templates) • Fill out the text of those pages and messages (if you haven’t completed the homework on p.28) The First Month • Write up a series of follow up messages (click for instructions and a bit of advice) • When your pages and messages are finished, put your web form up on your site (click for instructions) and Facebook (click for instructions) The First Year • As responses to your emails accumulate, study your reports to analyze how effective your messages are (click for instructions). • As your list of subscribers grows, divide it into segment to send more targeted messages (click for instructions). • Create split tests for your broadcasts (click for instructions) and web forms (click for instructions) to find the best ways to attract business. • Continue sending out broadcasts or blog broadcasts to keep your subscribers engaged with your brand. • If you have any questions, we’re here to answer them 7 days a week! 28 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Appendix C: Are These Niche Social Networks Right for Your Business? We’ve already discussed Facebook and Twitter for marketing. They have high numbers of users and broad, universal appeal. However, it’s often said that for strong marketing strategy, businesses should establish their target customer niche, then market directly to that group. With the proliferation of today’s social scene, a network may already exist for your particular niche. Let’s run over a few of today’s more popular networks for niches. Pinterest What it is: Each Pinterest account is a collection of online virtual bulletin boards, usually used for gathering ideas and making plans for diets, gardens, fitness plans, parties, school lessonsanything that can be illustrated through images. Businesses it’s good for: To use Pinterest, your business needs a strong visual component. Since users are looking for ideas to help with their plans, you’re in the right place if you’re in the business of food, clothing, photography, fitness, home decorating, landscaping...you get the idea. Also, keep in mind that 80% of users are female. How to use it: Trends on Pinterest suggest that users are looking for novel, imaginative ideas - the next new thing. To capitalize on this, show how your products can be used in unexpected ways, or create a surprising visual with your items. All of your pins will link back to the original source, so use the “Pin It” button provided to pin them from your site. Etsy What it does: Etsy goes beyond social; it’s an online marketplace for handmade or vintage goods. Users can purchase items, mark them as favorites or add them to collections called treasury lists, thus sharing them with other users in the “circles” they’ve created. Businesses it’s good for: If the focus of your business is selling handmade items, vintage pieces or made-to-order designs, this site can be an invaluable way to attract customers. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, you can list them on Etsy to attract out-of-town business, like Whimsy and Spice does with its baked goods. How to use it: Start by creating a profile and listing your products for sale. Make sure to link to your Etsy shop from your site and Facebook page, and conversely, include a link to your site from your Etsy product listings. You can also take advantage of Etsy’s promotional options. SoundCloud What it is: Musicians can create profiles and list their tracks. Others can then follow the musicians feed and play, comment on and share their tracks. Businesses it’s good for: Independent musical artists. How to use it: Upload your tracks to SoundCloud and if you wish, sort them into albums. Use the built-in extensions to push your music to Facebook and Twitter. You can also use the integration with Mobile Roadie to create an app of your music for iPhone or Android. 29 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • Forums What they are: Forums are communities that grow up around message boards. Each forum has a particular topic of interest, such as the Soap Making Forum or BodyBuilding.com. Businesses they’re good for: Because each forum tends to attract a smaller audience focused on its specific topic, these may be good for you if you’re just starting out or if you rely on referrals. These networks are going to take more effort and probably more time, because rather than just pushing your own content out for the masses to consider, you’re going to want to find, read and respond to conversations. How to use them: Rather than blatantly announcing your products or services, the better strategy here is providing quality, detailed answers to others’ questions. This establishes you as an authority in your field. Anyone looking for more information from you will click your on name listed with your answer, which is usually linked to your web site, and since they already have a good opinion of you, that will carry over to their experience on the site. 30 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com
  • About AWeber What do leading sites such as Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger, Which Test Won, ProBlogger and Harvard Business Review all have in common? They rely on AWeber for easy-to-use email and social media tools to cultivate relationships with their readers. Since 1998, AWeber has been the email engine powering the growth of organizations around the world. Today, more than 120,000 small- and midsize-businesses, entrepreneurs, agencies and nonprofits are making the most of AWeber's sophisticated segmentation and analytics capabilities, social media and testing applications, extensive template libraries, and industry-leading deliverability and live support. For marketing advice, examples and inspiration, please join us here: l p . l i v a g a p e . Blog el ep p. cl i a a e v g p . e e p c Webinars l p . l i v a g a p e . e e p c l p . l YouTube i a a e v g p . Twitter e e p c livepage. apple.co mlivepag e.apple. Facebook l a a e i v g p . e e p c p . l o Pinterest 31 AWeber.com • 1-877-AWeber-1 • help@aweber.com