Today I’m going to talk about part of my “empire” and reveal a number of my own websites which I rank in Google and then set-up to loan to other companies. This tactic of ranking websites in various industries – with the plan to give the traffic you receive to other businesses – is commonly referred to as Rank and Rent. I’ve been utilizing this tactic since 2012 and despite how many people were telling me it was saturated back then (don’t people say that about everything?) it still works very well today in 2017.
How to Pick Your Next Bootstrapped Business Idea
Most business ideas are neither objectively good nor bad. The quality of an idea for you (as a founder) depends on your goals, your skill set, and your risk tolerance. Even the quintessential lousy idea of trying to “build the next Facebook” is not necessarily a bad idea. Someone will eventually pull it off – it just comes with an enormous amount of risk and requires one hell of a skill set. So given a list of potential ideas, how should one go about picking The One?
How to Go from WordPress Freelancer to WordPress Agency [Interview]
How do you go from dropping out of university and paying bills by doing odd freelance jobs to running an award-winning WordPress development agency? 93Digital founder and managing director, Alex Price, is here to tell us how.
Should You Use Support as a Service for Your WordPress Theme or Plugin Business?
The goal for all WordPress plugin and theme businesses should be to provide 5-star customer support. From a marketing perspective, this is one of the best ways to build long-term customer relationships and loyalty. However, it’s not easy keeping every customer in your support queue perfectly happy – there are inevitably frustrations you can’t always resolve right away.
Plugin Developer Stories: PixelRockstar by Vita Valka
PixelRockstar attempts to solve these problems with a unique plugin that gives you access to a stock photography catalog directly inside of WordPress. Photos are purchased with a simple credit system and all have proper licenses to avoid confusion or legal concerns. Vita Valka, one of the team members behind PixelRockstar, answered my questions about the plugin’s initial creation, challenges the team has run into during development and about the plugin’s unique pricing structure.
How to Build an Empire Out of Your Side Hustle
At some point, everyone has been told don’t quit your day job, meaning that they’re never going to earn a living based on something they love or enjoy. Some of you, however, may want to quit your day job to pursue whatever your dream is. So you work on it tirelessly in your free time. You pour blood, sweat, and tears into your side-hustle to create something out of nothing. So, if you’re looking to go from hobby to hustle to how you make your living, we can give you some tried-and-true advice.
Don’t Make These 10 Mistakes with Your Membership Business [List]
Getting your membership site up and running in the first place can be quite a substantial feat – and it can be easy to fall into some common mistakes because there are just so many things to create and manage. So, what are some of the mistakes membership site owners make? Here are 10 of them to think about!
How to Turn Your Customers into Affiliates
When looking for the right people for your affiliate program, you may find that they’re right in front of you; in fact, existing customers can make some of the best affiliates! But, how do you approach the subject and actually get them on board? In this post, we talk about converting customers to affiliates, so you don’t miss out on untapped potential – and they don’t miss out on affiliate opportunities!
6 Ways to Reward Affiliates Other Than Money
Affiliate marketing runs around the central concept of reward – and empowering your affiliates to perform at their best is a must if you want your program to thrive. However, rewards don’t have to be monetary.
How to Earn Extra Money Building Websites
Being a part-time web pro is a great “side hustle,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job.” Building websites as a side hustle is one of the most common side hustles nowadays due to the flexibility and sense of control that comes from it. A web pro side hustle allows you start up with very little to no upfront costs, work at your own pace, and gives you the power to make it as large or small as your lifestyle allows. Let’s dig deeper into some of the key benefits of making money building websites as a side hustle.
How to Manage Client Expectations on WordPress Projects
You want your clients to love you, you want to make them happy, and you want them to tell all their friends about you when the project is done. Communicating exactly what you expect of the client and how specific situations will be addressed can sometimes feel like we’re putting that at risk. But in reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Setting clear expectations and being upfront about what your client will need to do will make them feel more comfortable. Taking the time to set expectations also reinforces the fact that they are working with a professional, not their buddy, and shows them that you take their project and the relationship seriously.
The Ultimate Checklist for Starting a Content Marketing Agency [Guide]
WordPress consultants come in a bunch of varieties: developers, designers, writers, strategists, marketers, support personnel, and so on. For some WordPress experts, though, the day-to-day focus on these specialised tasks isn’t enough – they want to take on a role more closely resembling that of a CEO. In that case, it’s time to consider starting a content marketing agency using this checklist to guide you through the steps, from initial planning all the way through marketing your business.
Should You or Your Client Maintain the Hosting Billing?
So you landed the client, built out the site, did all the testing, and it’s time to wrap up this project. But first, someone’s gotta pay the bill. While there are many different ways you can take care of hosting, the best option for you and your business is dependent upon how you run the show. Let’s dive into the details and find the clearest solution for you!
How to Launch an Affiliate Program [Guide]
Affiliate marketing is widely considered one of the most effective means of online monetization. It can be greatly beneficial for all parties involved, and as such, setting up an affiliate program is often a good idea for a product-based business. There’s a lot to consider to ensure that you get the most out of your […]
How to Create Successful Membership Sites with WordPress [Guide]
Membership sites are different from standard digital product stores in that they depend on recurring income to be successful. Check out our top tips for creating meaningful memberships for long-term success.
4 Ways to Make Living with WordPress [List]
With WordPress powering 8% of the websites in the world, the demand for WordPress related services is increasing exponentially. Not every WordPress website is owned by a developer. After the users get familiar with basic WordPress usage, they would need more specialized services to enhance the way their website looks or to add new features. If you offer your clients WordPress based websites or are involved in any WordPress based development, then this article is just for you.
How to Start Selling Video Content Online
Do you have video content that you want to monetize? Setting up your own business might be intimidating, but it’s totally possible with content restriction. In this post we cover the basics to help you get your video content business up and running using the content restriction model.
The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Freelance WordPress Developer [Guide]
I’ve had many people tell me they want to get started in WordPress development—most commonly on their own as a freelance WordPress developer—but they don’t know how. The more I think about it, the more this makes sense: WordPress development is an enormous subject, and one that reaches far beyond the (also very confusing) WordPress technology itself. In this article, I list and outline the major topics in WordPress development that I’ve needed to figure out myself to work as a successful freelance WordPress developer.
4 Steps to Writing the Perfect Proposal [Checklist]
If you’re selling yourself like a painter, and estimating out how much time it’ll take you to complete a project and then multiplying that time estimate by an hourly rate, I’d seriously encourage you to ditch your line-item quotes and move toward selling a story. Here’s how.
Should You Sell Digital Products Through Your Own Site or a Marketplace?
Want to sell your own digital products but not sure whether you should use a marketplace or run your own store? Well, we have some insights to share! Marketplaces have their benefits, and running your own store does, too! Depending on the types of products you sell (or want to sell), the technical skills you have (or have access to), and some other important factors, the option you choose won’t necessarily be the same as another digital product seller – even ones in your own niche. But, looking at the most important differences can help guide you toward the right choice. Let’s do it!
How to Regain Members Who’ve Churned From Your Membership Business
You’ve accepted that churn is an inevitable part of running a membership site, but what should you be doing to win back lost members – and how? It’s important to remember that members have lives of their own, and may cancel their memberships for a variety of reasons. Your job is to find out why they cancelled, what you can do about it, and to offer them a solution. Here’s how to do it right!
How to Put Together a Promotion Plan for Your Affiliate Program [Guide]
You’ve got the products, the skills, and the will to succeed with your affiliate program, but where do you start when it comes to promotion? Maybe you don’t consider yourself a marketing “natural”, or you don’t do many promotions for your brand to begin with. Or, you might be ready to go full-force promoting your affiliate program, but you want to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row first! Making a promotion plan for your affiliate program isn’t just for keeping yourself organized and accountable; it can mean more efficiency, more growth, and better returns on your investment – time, money, and effort included!
Plugin Developer Stories: GFChart by Ben Ramsden
GFChart is the first WordPress plugin I’ve posted about here that is an extension for Gravity Forms. This plugin lets you take all of the information you collect from Gravity Form submissions through your site and present the data in a visual way for your visitors or yourself. Ben Ramsden, the owner of GFChart, answered my questions about how he found himself selling a WordPress plugin as a non-developer, what it is like to build a product dependent on Gravity Forms for success and some really interesting discussion about how he prices his plugin.
How to Handle Refunds for WordPress Themes & Plugins
Unlike with hardware or consumer products, people who purchase your WordPress software product don’t actually have to go back to your store and physically return it to get a refund. For digital WordPress products, it’s usually a simple email or a click of a button to ask for a refund, involving no extra cost for neither the customer nor the seller. Offering a refund policy has it’s cons to it as well, but ultimately, it helps reduce friction, making the decision to go ahead and purchase a license much easier.
How to Setup Affiliate Commissions (the Right Way!)
Affiliate commissions are an important part of running your affiliate program, but how do you decide on the right commission rate? In this post, we discuss some of the main factors to consider so that you can settle on the commission rate(s) that feel right for your affiliate program!
Plugin Developer Stories: ShortCode Cleaner by Mohamed Abd Elhalim
I have been part of several WordPress projects for clients over the years that involved major switches in themes and plugins. Sweeping replacements like that can often lead to broken content that needs to be fixed by hand or carefully corrected with search and replace procedures on the database. These situations frequently include shortcodes inside of post content that are no longer functional and need to be removed. Mohamed Abd Elhalim experienced the same problems while he was developing WordPress themes so he decided to build an easy-to-use plugin that would automatically remove broken shortcodes from his sites. His plugin, Shortcode Cleaner, is a simple solution for cleaning broken WordPress content.
How to Sell Video Online with WordPress [Guide]
With YouTube ranking as the second largest search engine in the world, video has become a digital content juggernaut, with projections that it will grow to make up over 80% of internet traffic by 2021. Content creators build entire businesses, brands, livelihoods, and legacies off of video, providing eager audiences with easily-consumable content that engages the senses even more than audio or visual content alone. And as modern culture shifts more and more toward digital life, video continues to be an effective way for people to pursue education, self-development, community, and entertainment. Are you ready to start selling your own videos? In this post we’ve created a quick guide to the basics, so you can get things going with confidence!
How (& Where) to Find Quality Affiliates to Grow Your Affiliate Program
Creating an affiliate program is one thing, but finding quality affiliates who are going to be the best match for your brand (and convert sales!) is another. If you’re gearing up to launch a new affiliate program, you’ll know that it’s not as simple as offering kickbacks and publishing an affiliate page online. You can have the best products, platform, tools, and creatives, and your revenue still won’t be significantly affected if you have the wrong people on board! Finding the right people is key, but how do you know where to look?
How to Collect Content From Clients (the Right Way!)
I say this a lot and will say it once again: if you truly want to elevate your WordPress business, then it needs to have the right processes and procedures to support it. One of those processes that many consultants don’t think about? As a WordPress developer, you’re hired for your expertise in building websites – strategy, design, coding and testing. Those tasks all fall on your shoulders. There are times, however, when you can’t move forward on a website without your client’s help, like when you need content from them. Here’s how to do it right.
How to Improve Churn in Your Membership Business
According to Harvard Business Review it costs between 5 and 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Wow! Are you putting exponentially more effort, care, and attention into nurturing existing member relationships relative to acquiring new members? That exponential effort can be reduced over time if you put the proper infrastructure in place now. Laying a solid foundation for churn optimization poises you for scaling later. Here’s how to do it.
Plugin Developer Stories: Sunshine Photo Cart by Derek Ashauer
Developer Derek Ashauer was kind enough to take time to talk to me about his WordPress plugin called Sunshine Photo Cart. With Sunshine Photo Cart, professional photographers can easily add client proofing galleries and photo cart options on their websites.
Need to Decrease Affiliate Commissions? Here’s How to Do It the Right Way (Without Losing Your Affiliates!)
There may come a time when you want, or need to lower your affiliate commission rate – but how do you do it without sending your affiliates running for the hills? In this post, we discuss some possible scenarios, and talk about how you can decrease your affiliate commission rate without losing all of your affiliates!
How to Sell Your WordPress Blog
A plethora of bloggers have written terrific pieces of content about setting up a WordPress blog. These guides are golden for less trained users who want to create a blog. But bloggers have written significantly fewer blog posts about selling your WordPress blog. Here’s how to do it.
Plugin Developer Stories: Meta Box by Tran Ngoc Tuan Anh
Meta Box is simple on the surface: it lets WordPress users and developers quickly construct custom meta boxes and fields. There are other plugins on the market that do the same thing but Meta Box is interesting to me because of its large install base, variety of premium extensions and it’s Vietnamese developer. Tran Ngoc Tuan Anh, from Hanoi, is the man behind Meta Box and he was very kind enough to sit down and answer my questions about his successful plugin. We talk about pricing in bundles, how his customers help inform him on matters ranging from pricing to which extension he should build next and more.
Plugin Developer Stories: Post to Google My Business by Koen Reus
Before Koen Reus, the developer of the Post to Google My Business plugin, contacted me I didn’t know much about the My Business service at all. Koen was nice enough to explain what Google My Business is as well as discuss how he got started building a WordPress plugin that integrates with it, the pitfalls he ran into during that process and what he is doing to market and sell a premium version of the plugin to customers.
Improve Your Affiliate Program’s Returns with Better Affiliate Communication
Are you missing this one crucial step to running a successful affiliate marketing program? Affiliate marketing is a pretty simple concept. It’s a sales and promotion cycle that is mutually beneficial for both you (the site owner), and the people you recruit to promote your website or products (your affiliates). It forms one part of your overall marketing strategy, and can be highly profitable.
How to Sell WordPress Maintenance [Guide]
With WordPress currently powering over 30% of all websites, there is no doubt about its dominance. However, this fact alone is not enough to ensure that your WordPress consulting business flourishes, or that clients will come pounding at your door with their urgent WordPress website needs. Here\’s how to be successful with WordPress maintenance plans the right way.
How to Grow Your Membership Business with Tiered Memberships
Pricing your memberships is an important part of running a membership site – and the tiered membership model is a popular choice. But, how do you know if it’s right for your site? What makes tiered memberships so popular?
Plugin Developer Stories: Heroic FAQs by Chris Mooney
Heroic FAQs, the latest plugin release from the folks over at HeroThemes, offers simple but powerful management for frequently answered questions. While the concept of an FAQ page is almost as old as the web itself, with Heroic FAQs the time involved in setting one up is diminished greatly which leaves you with more time to work on your product and less time handling support. Chris Mooney was willing to answer my questions about the creation of Heroic FAQs.
How to Cut Costs & Grow Margins [Worksheet]
Have you ever considered how much more money you could keep just by cutting down on overhead costs? No matter how well business is going, there\’s always something you can to do to increase profit margins. The following guide is going to focus on how to use this awesome little trick to increase profit margins overnight.
Web Developer Roadmap [Guide]
Here you\’ll find a set of charts demonstrating the paths that you can take and the technologies that you would want to adopt in order to become a frontend, backend or a devops. I made these charts for an old professor of mine who wanted something to share with his college students to give them a perspective; sharing them here to help the community.
8 Reasons to Start a Membership-Based Business [List]
Subscription models have been around for a long time, but modern digital content consumption (along with the increasing dominance of eCommerce) has created a unique demand for consistently fresh content – and a membership site is the perfect solution!
How to Build Your Email List with Free Downloads
Building an email list from scratch is no easy task and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. But offering a free download will always result in conversions: customers love freebies and a free download will pave the way undoubtedly for more sales. Giving away a download is one of the most powerful techniques for customer acquisition. Here\’s how to do it right.
An Interview with WP Buffs, a Top WordPress Maintenance Service [Interview]
WP Buffs seems to be striking a nice mix of branding, marketing, content, and of course services. The WordPress support business is an easy game to get into, but a lot harder to win. Jere\’s an interview with WP Buffs, a WordPress maintenance service.
Plugin Developer Stories: Iconic by James Kemp
Iconic offers quite a few plugins designed to improve WooCommerce-powered store fronts. The founder of Iconic, James Kemp, answered my questions about how he got started building WooCommerce plugins, what his switch away from Envato’s CodeCanyon was like and the hazards (and advantages) of building a plugin business reliant on a third-party product.
How To Generate Recurring Revenue with WordPress Maintenance Services
How would you like an extra $100-$300+ per client every month? If your WordPress development, design or marketing business isn’t offering a WordPress site maintenance package you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Give your clients peace of mind and spare them the horror they would suffer if left to their own devices, all while establishing yourself as their go-to, one-stop web solution. It’s a win-win!
7 Steps to Starting a WordPress Business [Guide]
Whatever your area of expertise, you’ve made a good choice to start a WordPress business. Considering how popular and versatile WordPress is, there’s no better platform to build websites with. WordPress will certainly give you a competitive edge. However, it’s up to you to make the smart business decisions that will affect how successful and profitable your business becomes. Here\’s how to do it.
Web Developer’s Guide to Project Management [Guide]
“How long is a string?” is the question that pops into my head when a potential client asks how much a website will cost. A string can be any length, maybe it’s four inches, or maybe it’s 40 miles. You won’t find out until you measure. Websites are the same way — to learn how much one costs you have to measure (scope) it. Then you measure along the way to be sure you’re on track. This is just one best practice to follow when you’re learning how to manage a project successfully. We’ve got more tips for you below.
Plugin Developer Stories: GD Knowledge Base Pro [Interview]
WordPress seems like a natural fit for people looking to build out knowledge bases and documentation for their projects, clients or reference materials. GD Knowledge Base Pro makes that process even easier by offering a suite of features and tools that lets you construct a knowledge base fit to exactly meet your needs and requirements. Milan Petrovic, from Dev4Press, was kind enough to take some time explaining how his plugin came to be.
6 WordPress Commerce Business Easy to Start Without Inventory
There’s a reason why WooCommerce + WordPress make for a winning combination — getting your online shop up and running only requires you to pick a hosting platform, set up the plugin and get started. We want you to start thinking of new possibilities to expand the reach of your business — your next big idea! Not only that, we want to get you thinking about setting up your online business, even if you don’t have any physical product to sell. Here are 6 ways to do it.