Spencer Forman of Wplaunchify

We Discuss How To Get Real Results From Automating Your Online Marketing With Spencer Forman

FIVE REASONS YOU NEED MARKETING AUTOMATION FOR WORDPRESS TODAY

1) One-directional marketing is dead
2) A CRM is the brain and WordPress is the body of your business
3) Your business should be modular, not locked into a closed platform
4) Tags & Custom Fields are the “glue” that hold all components together
5) Ignoring Marketing Automation will not make it go away

THE MARKETING AUTOMATION GOLDRUSH: SaaS Platforms v. WP+CRM (+API)
How plugins such as WPFusionPlugin.com are making it possible to use WordPress (plus one’s favorite CRM) to take on the multitude of SaaS “platforms” that have arisen lately for marketing automation.

Business owners today MUST use MA in order to survive…it’s not enough to have a simple website and do things manually. How does a WP site owner get the best of all worlds

Spencer has given use a great small pdf guide connected to this interview which you can download here:5-Reasons-You-Need-Marketing-Automation-WPTonic-WPLaunchify.com_

This weeks show is Sponsored By Kinsta Hosting 

Every Friday at 8:30am PST we have a great and hard-hitting round-table show with a group of WordPress developers, online business owners and WordPress junkies where we discuss the latest and most interesting WordPress and online articles/stories of the week. You can also watch the show LIVE every Friday at 8:30am PST on our Facebook WP-Tonic Show page. https://www.facebook.com/wptonic/

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In this show we have a great guest panelist Matt Medeiros of the Matt Report podcast.  I also have a bit of a disagreement with my friend Morten Rand-Hendriksen connected to our last story of show tech journalist Sarah Lacy of Pando. It wasn’t the main point of the article that got me a “little bit hot under the collar” it was over areas of the piece that I really objected to connected to me being highly influenced by the public views of Jordan Peterson to say that didn’t go to well with Morten would be a slight understatement.

This Episode is Sponsored By WP Fusion

WP Fusion

You can get 25% WP Fusion by using this coupon code WPTONIC

This Weeks Main Stories

1 – Gutenberg Articles of the Week

Video: A Quick Introduction to Gutenberg and the New WordPress Block Editor from LinkedIn Learning

Video: A Quick Introduction to Gutenberg and the New WordPress Block Editor from LinkedIn Learning

2 – Matt Medeiros Matt Report Latest Video: “WordPress is changing”

3 – SparkToro Raised a Very Unusual Round of Funding & We’re Open-Sourcing Our Docs

#287 WP-Tonic Show With Special Guest Rand Fishkin Former CEO of Moz

SparkToro Raised a Very Unusual Round of Funding & We’re Open-Sourcing Our Docs

4 – Tech journalist and Chairman Mom founder Sarah Lacy on the power of being polarizing

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/tech-journalist-chairman-mom-founder-sarah-lacy-power-polarizing/

Every Friday at 8:30am PST we have a great and hard-hitting round-table show with a group of WordPress developers, online business owners and WordPress junkies where we discuss the latest and most interesting WordPress and online articles/stories of the week. You can also watch the show LIVE every Friday at 8:30am PST on our Facebook WP-Tonic Show page. https://www.facebook.com/wptonic/

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LifterLMS July 2018 Total Review

Running a proper online learning business is more than just posting some course videos on YouTube. You need a complete learning management system (LMS) that packs functionality specific to online learning.

An LMS allows you to create, organize, and manage your online courses and share them with your students. One of the best plugins in this space is LifterLMS. The core plugin is available free for downloading in the WordPress Plugin Directory and you can install its premium add-ons to get access to advanced features.

With this in mind, in this post, we’ll explore the standout features on offer with LifterLMS and take a look at the different things you can do with it. We’ll also cover its pricing and help you decide if it’s right for you.

Let’s get started….

LifterLMS Features

As we briefly mentioned above, you can get the core plugin for free from the WordPress Plugin Directory and use its basic features right out of the box. And when you’re ready to kick things up a notch, you can purchase any of its individual premium add-ons or add-on bundles.

Let’s quickly step through the key features on offer with LifterLMS:

The Free LifterLMS Plugin Features

The Key Free LifterLMS Plugin Features

  • Badges and Certificates. LifterLMS comes with badges and certificates from the get-go. This allows you to actively engage your students and offer them incentives for completing your course. And once they’ve earned a badge or certificate, they can share their accomplishments with friends and family on social media platforms.
  • Data Tracking. The data analytics feature helps you track both your course’s metrics and your students’ progress. In addition to this, you’re also able to monitor sales trends. On top of this you can access complete information about refunds, membership orders, and much more.
  • Content Dripping. LifterLMS’s content dripping feature lets you schedule parts of your course content to be delivered to students as they reach some pre-specified milestone. You can add pre-requisites (such as send Part A upon subscription or based on the progress bar) to automate it.
  • E-Commerce. LifterLMS fully supports e-commerce functionality right out of the box. You can pair it with PayPal, Stripe, or Authorize.Net payment gateways and even sell your online course through WooCommerce. This easy integration saves you from having to hire a developer to set up a third-party e-commerce platform on your website.
  • LifterLMS plugin lets you set membership levels for teachers and students and manage them directly from the dashboard.
  • Student Profile. Allows you to view full student profiles at a glance. Each profile stores information about the student’s accomplishments, current courses, badges, and certificates. In addition, the front-end login area lets users access the course site without going through the WordPress login page.

The Add-Ons

  • LifterLMS Private Areas
  • LifterLMS Social Learning
  • Advanced quizzes
  • Assignments
  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Net
  • WooCommerce
  • LaunchPad
  • LifterLMS Pro for priority, private support
  • Twilio
  • Gravity Forms
  • Office Hours Mastermind
  • MailChimp Extension
  • ConvertKit

Customization

LifterLMS allows you to customize your website using its built-in widgets and shortcodes. Those of you who have been using WordPress for some time will be familiar with its customization options.

For instance, the plugin comes with a progress bar that you can post on your website to help students keep track of where they are throughout the course. LifterLMS allows you to customize the progress bar’s color, pattern, animation effects, and much more by using shortcodes and parameters.

Shortcodes also let you post your courses anywhere on your website, personalize its user interface, collect statistics, and track students’ progress.

In addition, you can choose any of the built-in themes LifterLMS comes with to increase your site’s visual appeal and personalize it to your liking.

Ease of Use

Getting started with LifterLMS is incredibly easy – even if you’re not particularly technically inclined. It features an intuitive, drag and drop user interface which makes it easy to create courses and organize them however you’d like. Overall, LifterLMS’s learning curve is pretty low and it’s easy for first-time users to set up and launch their online course.

Mobile Responsive

The LifterLMS plugin is fully mobile-responsive which allows you to deliver a seamless learning experience to your student’s. Regardless of what device they use, your online course will always be easily accessible to them. Another key benefit of a mobile-responsive LMS is that your students are able to access course material from their smartphone or tablet devices while they’re on the go. This makes it easy to consume content on daily commutes, running errands, or while travelling.

LifterLMS Front-End Interface and Learning Experience

Let’s take a look at what your student’s will see once you’ve set up and configured your online course using LifterLMS.

LifterLMS Front-End Interface and Learning Experience

When a student selects a course they’re interested in signing up for, they’ll be able to read through its basic information. This includes the course’s title, description, media (featured image or video), course information (estimated time and categories), and course instructor.

LifterLMS Sidebar View

From the sidebar, they’ll be able to view the progress bar and get a quick, high-level look at the different lessons you’ll cover in the course. For example, in the screenshot above, you can see that the lessons are divided into different categories i.e. Getting Started and Create Your Course.

From the same screen, your students can choose to enroll in your course by clicking the Enroll button. This takes them to the Enrollment screen which prompts them to sign up for the course or login to their existing account. It will look something like this:

LifterLMS Enrollment

Once the user signs up for a course, they’ll be able to view the course material. Following our example, a lesson might look something like this:

Notice how once the student has enrolled in the course, they have access to your online course content. This can include course videos, lesson resources, etc. And once the student has completed a lesson, they can click the Mark Complete button for that lesson and move on to the next lesson. This also reflects in the progress bar as shown below:

LifterLMS Progress Bar

The plugin also displays neat, notification-style achievement message once the student completes a lesson or a section.

LifterLMS Achievement Bar

LifterLMS Pricing

You can download the core LifterLMS plugin for free directly from the WordPress Plugin Directory. The premium add-ons for LifterLMS are available in the LifterLMS store.

Each add-on is priced differently. You can purchase the Personal license (for use on one website) or a Developer license (for use on 5 websites). For example, the PayPal add-on will cost you $99 for one website, and for five websites you’ll have to pay $299.

LifterLMS PayPal Extenstion

You have the option to purchase add-ons individually or buy one of the two add-on bundles. Let’s take a look at the different options available to you.

Universe Bundle

The Universe Bundle will run you $299 per year in case you are using the plugin on only one site. If you want to use it on up to five sites, it will cost you a total of $499 per year.

By opting for this bundle, you get to use ten different add-ons for the price of three. It gives you access to the following add-ons:

  • LifterLMS Pro
  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • Net
  • WooCommerce
  • MailChimp
  • ConvertKit
  • Twilio
  • Gravity Forms
  • LaunchPad

Infinity Bundle

The Infinity Bundle goes for $999 per year for a Personal license and $2,999 per year for the Developer license. The add-ons you get with the Infinity Bundle include:

  • Net
  • ConvertKit
  • Gravity Forms
  • LaunchPad
  • Advanced Quizzes
  • Assignments
  • Office Hours Mastermind
  • LifterLMS Private Areas
  • LifterLMS Pro
  • Social Learning

LifterLMS Support

LifterLMS offers support to its customers through a ticketing system. You can login to your account and submit a ticket with your query. In addition to this, there’s also a knowledge base that contains documentation, FAQs, a glossary, and other helpful resources that you can use if you’d like to take the DIY approach.

Is LifterLMS Right for You?

If you’re looking for a simple LMS to help you create your first online course or set up a training program that you’d like to offer for free, LifterLMS is definitely worth trying out. The core plugin is available for free so you’re able to take it for a spin without having to spend any money.

However, if you’re looking to sell your online courses then you’re going to need to purchase LifterLMSs’ add-ons (or one of the premium add-on bundles) to get access to the payment gateways.

Conclusion

LifterLMS is one of the best, freemium LMS solutions available for WordPress users. It allows you to deliver an engaging learning experience to your students while making it easy for you to create and manage your course offering.

Since the core plugin is available free for download, we encourage you to try it out on your own and see if it fits your needs. And once you’re ready to take things to the next level, you can purchase any of its premium add-ons to get access to advanced functionality.

Have you used LifterLMS to build your online course site? We’d love to hear about your experience so let us know by commenting below.

 

Phillip helps companies convert their static websites into lead-generating marketing platforms.

In 2005, knowing little about web development, Phillip made a promise to a business owner that he wasn’t sure I could keep – to build a website.

Phillip self-studied and painstakingly created a simple one-page site for him. Two months later, the site achieved top search engine rankings and leads starting pouring in for his business.

Soon after, he called and said “you’ve not only changed my business, you’ve changed my life.”

It was the most rewarding moment of my professional career and ignited a fire in me that rages to this very day.

This weeks show is Sponsored By Kinsta Hosting 

That ugly little Microsoft Front Page website has snowballed into a thriving digital agency that has partnered with hundreds of businesses.

Phillip have since written several award winning and best-selling books on lead generation, search engine optimization and web design. Forbes named my book SEO for Growth (seoforgrowth.com) as the #1 SEO book to read for entrepreneurs. It’s been endorsed by over 50 of the world’s top marketing experts, and listed as a top marketing book by Inc., Mashable, Oracle and The Huffington Post.

Here’s A Full Transcript of Our Interview With Philip Plus Links

Jonathan: Welcome back folks to the WP-Tonic Show. It’s our Wednesday episode, our interview show and it’s episode 309. I’ve got my great co-host Kim with me. Would you like to quickly introduce yourself, Kim?

Kim: Absolutely. I’m Kim Shivler. I’m a Communications Strategist and Instructional Design Consultant and on Wednesdays, I help Jonathan with this show.

Jonathan: That’s great. And we’ve got Phil Singleton. Oh, I apologize Phil and he’s the publisher of a great book SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs. Would you like to introduce yourself a bit more Phil to the audience and viewers?

Phil: Sure. My name’s Phil Singleton as Jonathan was saying. I run a Web Design here in Kansas City called Kansas City Web Design. Imagine that an SEO guy who named his company after a keyword. But yeah, that’s kind of how I got into the business and what kind of still ultimately pays the bills to this day. Just a little bit of background. I kind of feel like I’m the poster boy for if he can do it, anybody can do it because I didn’t build my first website until I was 35 years old and it was a struggle doing that piece of it and I actually like telling people that I got a D in Computer Science in College. So, again, I’m like the last person you would think that would be able to have like a thriving Digital Agency. And it still to this day kind of gives me a little bit of an outsider mentality even though I think I’m pretty deep into it now.

I went to school for Finance. I got out of school and had a job in insurance that I hated. I ended up moving overseas and living in Taiwan for 10 years. An opportunity fell into my lap. It was basically a software company that opened my eyes up into Google and Affiliate Marketing and basically Digital Marketing. At that point, I figured there was no turning back. And in 2005, when I was 35 years old, I did my first one-page website where I made a promise to an Auto Detailer here in Kansas City that I wasn’t sure I could keep. And I said, “Hey man. I’m going to build you a website because you don’t have one and you’re going to start selling Auto Details for $200 a car instead of $25 a car to dealerships who were paying basically nothing.”

I ended up rolling up my sleeves and doing their website. I tried to do it in Dreamweaver and I couldn’t do it and I ended up doing it in FrontPage which is now gone. But I ended up being able to push up one ugly little one-page purple and yellow small business website for this guy and 60 days later, it started to rank and his phone started ringing and he called me up and told me I changed his business and I changed his life and boom, 35 years old, I finally know what I want to do when I grow up. I want to be a small business Marketer/Web Designer and that one barter turned into a couple more barters that’s rolled into kind of the career that I have now.

Jonathan: That’s great, Phil. What we’re going to be discussing in general folks is an emphasis on SEO around if you’re building a Membership or a Learning Management platform and you’re selling your course online. And Phil’s got a really great view on that because he’s in the process of doing that himself so I think it’s going to be an interesting conversation. But before we go deep into the subject, I just want to quickly mention our main sponsor which is Kinsta Hosting. And what can I say about Kinsta. I host the WP-Tonic website with Kinsta and I have some of my clients on Kinsta and they’re just a great hosting company with all the bells and whistles that you’re looking for as a Developer or somebody’s that got a Membership, Learning Management System or E-Commerce website using WordPress. They’ve got a great staging site, a great backup system. You get the latest versions of PHP and the UX Design, the interface design,

when you log into Kinsta, is one of the best I have encountered. And I haven’t mentioned something really important. Their support is superb and when you use their ticketing system or live messaging, you talk to somebody that is a really high caliber who can really effectively deal with any problem you’ve got there and then. And I also haven’t mentioned their starter plan starts at $30 per month and the speed of their service is fantastic. So, if that sounds interesting, go to the WP-Tonic website. There’s banners all over there for Kinsta. They are affiliate links. If you click on of those, you’ll be helping the show and Kinsta and just tell people, in general, they should look at Kinsta if they’re looking to change their hosting company. So, straight into it. So, Phil, you’re building your own Membership site so you’re in the right mindset. So, what are some of the things do you think people have got to consider when it comes to SEO when they’re building this Membership website?

Phil: Well, it’s an interesting thing to think about because I’ve done a couple Membership sites for clients and I’m actually in the process of trying to do two right now, one, where we’ve had for a long time. John Jantsch and I, who co-wrote SEO for Growth with me, we’ve been trying to build a certification program that’s basically based on courses and a quiz at the end which we actually haven’t put in fully into motion right now. So I’ve got that project that we’re putting together and then, actually, for myself, as a kind of way of, I’ve been out there doing my own Content Marketing, having a podcast, being on podcasts.

I get more and more people asking how I’ve done stuff that I’ve done, one. And two is I’ve been marketing myself as Kansas City Web Design for a long time but when you have a book that’s a global best-seller and where I’m getting out there and reaching people in other audiences and then you market yourself as Kansas City Web Design, it gets kind of tough to be able to get people to do work with you, I guess, when you’re so tied to a certain Geography. So, I’m actually coming up with a separate brand called Bare Knuckle Marketing and part of that really is to try and layout like a kind of DIY, DWI, done with you and done for you type services and part of the done with you is this course thing that we’re trying to put together. But one of the things with a course is we’re all out there trying to do the best that we can with Content Marketing, making our website a referral source for all of our best content so that we can grow it out and get more SEO equity on it. But one of the things with course plugins, for one, is most of that content, at least the way that we’ve done it, is you typically kind of gated, right? So, a lot of that, you’re not going to get a whole lot of benefit from the course itself and the course material itself inside of the program.

Jonathan: That is the key problem, isn’t it?

Phil: It is. I look in terms of a Membership plugin almost the same way I would in terms of E-Commerce. There are certain things you would do with courses in terms of maybe how you market them or even sell them on your site where there are SEO implications. And I’m going to take a step back and say about a year and a half ago or so I developed my own plugin for adding schema and structured data to your website. And I did so because at the time, there weren’t a lot of really easy to use plugins and I figured I’ve got to make one just for myself and my own clients and I did that. Schema markup, adding this additional code to your website so that Google can know what it is and add more context to it is becoming really important for voice search and getting more rich information in the search results, right?

So when you see star ratings and all these kinds of stuff. Well, another schema markup that they have in there that’s actually part of my plugin too is for books and courses so that when you have a course on your website, you would definitely have a public facing version where people would go, I guess in some cases. In my case, it’s going to be almost more like a shopping cart. My courses are going to be presented almost as kind of products on a site and then they’re also going to have additional schema markup on them so that I’ve got a chance to have better SEO markup and on page SEO for each one of my courses. And I think that could potentially be something that everybody should consider.

There’s a lot of good schema plugins out there but I think this is one of those very wide open spaces out in the Internet right now. When I see companies come to us, very few of them have even like the basics of on page SEO done and they’ve got Yoast installed. They’ve still got Home up in the page title. Just because you have Yoast installed on your website doesn’t mean the SEO is done on it and a lot of people haven’t gone to the step of optimizing even just the basic stuff on the basic plugin. So, when it gets to schema, it’s like wide open because almost nobody’s doing it. Yet, Google is getting very aggressive in showing all sorts of additional information in the search results.

Jonathan: Yeah. Before I throw it over to Kim to ask a question Phil, can you just give a quick outline what schema is? Can you just give a quick 101 of what schema is?

Phil: Sure. So, schema and structured data is basically an extra level of like under the hood code that you use to tag information on your website so that search engines, and when we say search engines, we’re talking about Google because that’s like 90 percent of the market, can go in there and know what the content is instead of having to take a guess at it. A good example of this would be having, let’s say a blog post that within the blog post might have a review from somebody. Well, Google is not going to have their crawler go in and say, “Hey. That’s a review from this guy on this date and he gave it this many stars,” and put that information in the search results. But there’s this extra little level of code you can put in if you fill in the blanks and add the code the way the standard is.

Then, you have a much better chance of that information, maybe that review, showing up right in the search results versus if you don’t have that extra layer of coding in your website. So, the easy way to think about schema is actually how you’re seeing it in the search results now. So, things like the knowledge box at the top where you get position zero, extra information about your company and branded searches is as a result of schema. Actually, inside the organic results, you’ll see star ratings, aggregate ratings, event times, things like this that are coming in there. A lot of that is the result of people putting in this extra code into their website so that it help Google take the guesswork out of what the content is.

So, for me, I look at it as, you just look at Google looking at your website as, you would be going to an alien planet and trying to figure out what the anatomy of a page is. Well, schema enables you to go in and put these little tags and says, “Here’s the head. Here’s the legs,” and it gives you kind of the anatomy of the page and enables you to kind of mark it up. It’s really a lot like, if people are familiar with Yoast. To me, it’s kind of just a more detailed version of like a Yoast plugin where you’re putting the page title, maybe the meta description. Well, this just enables you to go through the rest of the page and say, “Hey. This is a video. Hey. This is a blog post. Hey. This is a review,” and you can actually kind of tag it piece by piece and then you’re giving Google a lot more extra confidence and context to what the information on the page is. And the more you can do that, one, people think in the industry that it’s an on page SEO factor that will help your rankings go up just by having it on the site. And secondly, it gives you a much better chance of getting extra information into the search results so that’s golden for a couple of reasons.

One is, it’s real shiny and it’s got like search engine bling but having this extra like rich information in the search results increases your click-through rates by many percent points, 10, 20 plus some people say and that extra click-through rate actually help you lift yourself up through the rankings. So, coming up at bottom of the page and people see that extra information and they keep clicking because they like that one, it’s more shiny. The more they click it, the higher your click-through rates go in. A lot of folks in SEO or Google world is kind grey or denies it, the click-through rate on a search result will actually. So all these things, you know, schema has a role to play in and it is important. And all it really is, is it sounds, you know, schema, structured data, all it is, is simply putting a little bit of extra code on your website through a plugin that basically tells Google what it is so they can take the guesswork out of the type of content that you’re trying to show.

Jonathan: I think that’s great. I’m surprised at how time’s going. I’m going to let Kim take over in the second half. We’re getting close to the break actually Phil.

Phil: Sorry.

Jonathan: No, no. It’s just surprising. It’s fascinating what you’re talking about. So, let’s just continue for a couple of minutes about schema and then we’ll go for the break and then Kim can take over. So, you’ve got this plugin. Is it a bit like, you know, obviously, we don’t want to be too blatant about plugging our products but it sounds an interesting plugin. So, does it come with a nice interface and does it work with something like Yoast hand in hand?

Phil: Well, there’s good schema plugins out there and I’m going to give you the difference on some of them. The one I have is more suited I think for smaller websites where people want to get in and are familiar with the Yoast interface and you have to go in and basically manually do stuff. There’s an option to autofill some of the things once you select it. Oh, the is a blog post. If you click autofill on the Pro version of ours, it will take the information from the page and help you pre-fill. Now, some of the other great plugins that are out there and there are several. They’re some really good ones out there. They want to automate schema for you. So it’s literally like adding a plugin in the background, creating rules so that you don’t have to go too far into adding schema for every page. And if you’ve got a big website with thousands of pages, then that’s probably your only option. For an SEO tweaker or somebody like me, I have to be able to manually tweak stuff. I don’t want a plugin coming in and like applying broad rules across pages.

Jonathan: What is the name of your plugin? Is it on the directory?

Phil: Yeah. If you do WP SEO Schema, if you Google that, it will come up. But there’s other ones. There’s one called Schema that’s automated. There’s another one called Schema App that’s another good one.

Jonathan: I actually think your plugin for our audience is probably a good start and something they should really look. We’re going to make sure it’s in the show notes folks. What we’re going to do folks is we’re going to go for our break. We’ll be back in a few moments and then I’m going to let Kim take over. Be back in a few moments.

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Jonathan: We’re coming back from our break. We’ve had a fascinating discussion with Phil about schema, SEO. Kim, I’m going to throw it over to you for the second half of the show. Off you go dear.

Kim: Okay. You asked a lot of my questions already. We’ve talked about schema and SEO. Let’s move over and talk a little bit more, let’s talk a little bit more about the online course situation and you’ve built them for clients as well as now building one for yourself. Have you decided yet on what platform you’re going to use for your course or are you still in that process?

Phil: I have not. The one I’ve used in the past a couple times is MemberPress and there’s another one that I’ve bought but we haven’t installed yet for SEO for Growth called, I think it’s called, I’ll have to send that one to you separately. But there’s another one we looked at that’s got, I think it’s got two versions. It’s got one basically where you’re kind of up on their platform like a Shopify almost but there’s a WordPress integration on it where you can put it on to their website and I can’t believe it’s escaping my name right now because I’m sure you guys have heard of this one but I can’t think about it off the top of my head. And my other one right now for the new website that I’m creating for myself, I’m going to look into a little bit more closely.

Because we talked about schema before, I don’t want to rehash any of that but one thing to remember about course plugins or E-Commerce plugins or any plugin right now is that a lot of them are adding schema as part of their plugin. So if you’re not careful, you can junk up your website with schema. So you have to pay attention and use the structured data. So one of the things I’m looking at with a course plugin is my plugin has an ability to add course schema on it but there’s another one that does it cleaner and automatically in a way I like that I might use that. I actually haven’t gotten to the stage yet where I’ve actually chosen it because I think anybody that’s done course plugin work, you know, especially when you’re doing your own site or a custom site, it can get in there and you can get in the weeds pretty quickly with stuff that you want to do and with the things you want to add and features you want to add and extensions and that kind of stuff. I feel like we’ve got a little bit of experience with MemberPress but I almost kind of want to roll up my sleeves and maybe look at a couple other ones just to see if there’s something better out there because every one that you go into, there’s probably something missing where you would like the other one a little bit better. But my coursework, we’re getting the coursework material together. I haven’t quite even gotten to the point yet where we’ve installed it on the new website that I’m making but we’re getting there. A bit consideration for me is how it lays out of the site and what kind of schema they’re going to add as part of the courses.

Kim: Just so you know, I do a lot of combination MemberPress with other Learning Management plugins to combine membership and LMS. For example, I’m about to launch one that’s a combination of MemberPress and LearnDash.

Phil: Okay.

Kim: For somebody who’s not really in the on the SEO like you are, we don’t know, how do I look at a plugin since documentation is not usually there for this and see what schema they’re adding? How could I tell that?

Phil: Well, one would be to ask the Developer and see if they just ask. Another one, if they’ve got like maybe a showcase or somebody’s using it. If you Google, Google structure data test, they’ve got a really cool little nifty online thing where you can take a product page, plug it in there and see if there’s actually schema being generated but you would have to look to see or maybe that’s when you ask the Developer, “Is this coming as a result of the plugin or did somebody add it as a result of an additional schema plugin like I have?” But if you looked at a couple showcases and saw that it was happening over and over again, you could assume that it’s the plugin that’s generating the schema for. For courses, in particular, that’s one of the things I would definitely put. I’d want to make sure that it is in the plugin. I’m sure there is. And if you’re not, that you find some way to add it. Because if you do your SEO on as a popular course, the rich results that come up, I think if I remember correctly, look pretty cool. That’s some nice real estate to get.

Kim: Excellent. Thank you. Well, let’s make sure we get the link to that tool in the show notes Jonathan because I sure want to go check that out. My idea when you said looking at the showcase as another way to do it would possibly be to install the plugin and run it. You could see what was done. For example, I know I don’t have that other structured data plugin that you were talking about, schema plugin. Although after today’s show, I probably will. I’m your worst nightmare for SEO, believe me. I have a really good friend who’s a great SEO person also. She just cringes when she thinks of me.

Phil: I doubt that. I mean most people who are in it know a lot more than they think that they do. Actually, to me, as long as people have it on their mind, that’s really the big thing because most people just leave it out of their mind and they lose a lot of, I think, benefit that they could be doing if it was kind of always kind of sit back there.
Kim: So, you haven’t quite decided on the plugin yet but you did mention initially that you definitely wanted to have some quizzes, that type of thing.

Phil: On the SEO site, SEO for Growth, at the end of the course, the idea was to have like a quiz so they could get like a certification badge on it but yes.

Kim: Nice. What have you found so far? You said that you are still dealing with the content piece of the course. Is this the first extended course you’ve ever built and if so, what struck you as far as maybe where were challenges you didn’t expect in building out course content as opposed to blog post content? Because it’s different.

Phil: I think that’s the biggest hurdle that we’re having right now. I’m not so worried about finding a way to deliver the course material through a plugin because we’ll get there and we’ll figure that one out. But getting the course material has been a little bit harder and part of it I think is just because, let’s say for the SEO for Growth piece, I’m literally doing this with John Jantsch right now where we said, “Okay. We’ve got 15 chapters of the book SEO for Growth. Let’s create a course based on it. We’ll go through and create a series for each chapter where we’ve got 5 or 10 minutes of each one and pull that into a course. We divvy them up.” At the beginning of this year, nobody’s really got done their pieces yet. I started to do a little bit. I was trying to do it the easy way on something like Loom, going through a screen share, saving it on there and probably not the greatest quality for video and stuff but clean enough to get the information out. The hard part for me is really getting comfortable with talking through the course pieces and it’s been a little bit of a procrastination on that piece of it. And then, we’ve also thought about going the other direction.

There’s a local video production house here that will enable us to have the place for like 2 hours a morning or whatever and really do some really nice upper-end stuff for coursework but I think that might be overkill as well. But I do think getting the content together, even for somebody who’s a professional content creator and does this for a living, it just feels like the stakes are a little bit higher with coursework you’re going to be charging money on. So that part of it, I think, has kind of held us back in terms of making sure that we’re delivering the quality of it and getting it all together. Maybe that’s a challenge for everybody but it’s certainly been for me because this is the first one. We’ve gotten books and stuff and able to execute other projects where you’re putting content together. But for some reason, creating the video content on this has been a little bit of a challenge and lends itself more a little bit to more procrastination, I guess and that’s been the hardest thing I think about getting it off the ground. Does that sound familiar?

Kim: It does. In my experience, I’ve been a course designer for over 20 years, when I work with people, if they care about the quality, that’s when they start realizing creating a course is different than just writing a blog post, etcetera, when you really want to teach something to somebody. And so, yes. It’s the same thing I hear from most people.

Phil: Ironically there’s stuff in there. I’ve got one like I did for an hour and a half on the benefits of podcast guesting that we use for this other company to train people to come on as clients for guesting. Well, that just came out in like 90 minutes. So it’s all in there for everybody that’s got some expertises. But then again, it’s like you’re organizing, you’re procrastinating, being comfortable for yourself if you’re, I guess, maybe a little bit more of a perfection. You want it to be good and you’re saying, “Hey. This is the stuff that I want to grade you one,” type of a deal. It just feels like the stakes are a little bit higher and it’s been a great excuse to procrastinate on anyway.

Kim: I love that. I know we’re getting ready to come up to the wrap-up.

Jonathan: We’ve still got about 3 to 4 minutes actually Kim.

Kim: So, I wanted to ask one more question on that because you just mentioned the podcast guesting and that’s one of my favorite things to do is to be a guest on podcasts. You have an article you’ve written about how podcast guesting can be really good for SEO. Would you explain a little bit more about that? Because as people are launching courses, of course, if it’s good for SEO, that might help drive people to their course.

Phil: To me, I’ve been in this for 12 or 13 years, never have I had a content marketing tactic that’s delivered as much benefit as podcast guesting. I actually did it originally. I wanted to set up my own my podcast. I was a little bit too scared or lazy to do it. Came back and said, “Okay. Maybe I’ll try something else and I started doing a little research and I saw guesting. Oh, this might be a cool thing.” And I did the first one actually on a WordPress podcast, The WordPress Chick with Kim Doyal, I did early last year and I was just absolutely blown away with the benefits of getting out there. You do a guest blog post. It’s like one link out somewhere that’s but you get guests on somebody else’s website. It’s about you.

There’s a whole blog post about you. There’s backlinks you’re getting to share with an audience and that kind of stuff. There’s tons and tons of benefits. Just the SEO benefits alone are remarkable but you can work it into your review, sorry, your online reputation management strategy like I have and get tons and tons of benefits. But one of the things that I think I missed, in the beginning, was not having a clear enough call to action at the end where I had something good enough or even to promote. So a course is one of those things where I’m like, “Gezz. If somebody liked what I had to say on this show, if at the end of it, I had a course ready to go that was free or the initial one, what a great funnel to bring somebody back to say, “Oh, I really liked what Phil had to say. Let me go start consuming this piece of content.” Some of it, I’ve gotten better at. Like I say, “There’s a lot of podcast listeners on a show, like say this one.” Well, I say, “I’ve got a podcast.” So, you start picking up subscribers. That’s a great way to leverage it too. You get nice backlinks. You get traffic. You get stuff from social media in the shared amplification of it. But certainly, the biggest thing I think is having a clear call to action where the people that hear and that your message resonated with had some way to enter into your kind of sales or education funnel and I think courses are probably the very, very best thing to pair up with a guesting strategy.

For somebody that’s trying to build up their personal branding and authority and get out there, there’s nothing that beats this medium of guesting because you get out there and just by definition, you’re building upon your expertise and authority and some of your trust on stuff and you’re reaching people that, if you thought about going out and speaking in front of like a physical workshop or a meeting, a room of 50 or 100 people is a lot of people, right? Well, an established podcast might have hundreds, even thousands. So, it’s basically like a virtual speaking tour. Well, if you have that course or something to draw people back on the end, huge benefit where you’re getting that traffic, you’re getting that backlink. But you’re also being able to kind of funnel that real traffic maybe into real sales and real followers, that can turn into a way to monetize that effort later and that’s one of my big motivators. So, when you said that, I totally lit up because I was like, “This is the one piece that I’m missing.” To get people that will maybe do the free plugin on WordPress. I’ve got people that will maybe listen to the Local Business Leaders podcast. I’ve got people that might come to the site, buy the book, download an e-book, that type of thing. But I think the course is a really great way to get people that are really serious about listening and learning more about you to get started and this is a perfect way. Like I said, I’ve been doing this for 13 years. I’ve never had one single tactic give as much bang for the buck as getting on somebody else’s podcast and I’ve been on over like 70 now and it’s just totally changed my business.

Jonathan: That’s great. We’re going to close our audio part of the podcast. Phil’s agreed to stay on for another 10, 12 minutes which is bonus content folks which you’ll be able to hear and watch on the WP-Tonic website. I can’t talk today. I don’t know what’s going on. Phil, how can people get a hold of you and learn more about what you’re up to?

Phil: Check out kcwebdesigner.com. That’s kind of the little website that could. Pays the bills still to this day for the most part. SEO for Growth, that’s the book and everything that we do for ourselves and our clients basically in there. And we talked podcast guesting. Podcast Bookers is something I started with John last year, really based on the success that I’ve had on myself and that’s been a big part of my business. I just do stuff for myself and that works for me. I try and like bundle that into my own thing. But you can check that out. Podcast guesting is really cool because you can hire a service like mine. There’s other ones out there. But really, if you wanted to bootstrap, you can do it yourself. You can wrap yourself up in a nice little one sheet and pitch yourself to a lot of different audiences and it’s definitely a way somebody could go do that. But check out Podcast Bookers if you want to learn about a service like that or get some tips on how to do it and that’s really it.

Jonathan: And Kim, how can people find more about you and what you’re up to Kim?

Kim: They can find all about me at kimshivler.com.

Jonathan: That’s great. And if you want to learn more about WP-Tonic, go to the WP-Tonic website, we’ve got some very extensive posts that we’re writing this month that should be really good stuff and we’ve got some great interviews like with Phil around experts that will really give you some great insights about how you should run your online course membership site and anything to do with Online Marketing. And we do our Round Table shows on Friday which are enormous fun and we’ve got Matt from the Matt Report joining us this Friday. It should be a lively conversation. We’re going to wrap up the audio part of the show folks and we’ll see you next week. Bye.

Here’s a List of Links we Discuss During the Show

 

WordPress Schema Plugins (20% off coupon)

Every Friday at 8:30am PST we have a great and hard-hitting round-table show with a group of WordPress developers, online business owners and WordPress junkies where we discuss the latest and most interesting WordPress and online articles/stories of the week. You can also watch the show LIVE every Friday at 8:30am PST on our Facebook WP-Tonic Show page. https://www.facebook.com/wptonic/

SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES

 

#308 WP-Tonic Round Table Show July 06th 2018

In this show we have a interesting general conversation. The one story that I personally feel we had the most insightful and powerful discussion was “John Maeda: Designing Inclusive Teams and Products” and how the panel got very different views connected to the key message that they got from John’s core narrative!

Jonathan comment: I’ve got some some great news next week Friday (13th at 8:30am PST) Matt Medeiros of the Matt Report podcast will be joining us on the panel WP-Tonic round-table show!

This weeks show is Sponsored By Kinsta Hosting 

This Weeks Discussion Stories

1- WordPress 4.9.8 to Introduce “Try Gutenberg” Callout

WordPress 4.9.8 to Introduce “Try Gutenberg” Callout

2 – WCEU Panel Discusses Progressive WordPress Themes, AMP, and Gutenber

WCEU Panel Discusses Progressive WordPress Themes, AMP, and Gutenberg

3 – How Old Are Successful Tech Entrepreneurs?

https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/younger-vs-older-tech-entrpreneurs

4 – The Demand for Gutenberg Is Not There. Yet

https://tommcfarlin.com/demand-for-gutenberg-is-not-there

5 – John Maeda: Designing Inclusive Teams and Products

https://99u.adobe.com/videos/59401/john-maeda-designing-inclusive-teams-and-products

6 – The Best Image Compression Tools for the Web

https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/07/the-best-image-compression-tools-for-the-web/

Every Friday at 8:30am PST we have a great and hard-hitting round-table show with a group of WordPress developers, online business owners and WordPress junkies where we discuss the latest and most interesting WordPress and online articles/stories of the week. You can also watch the show LIVE every Friday at 8:30am PST on our Facebook WP-Tonic Show page. https://www.facebook.com/wptonic/

SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES