And while you don’t have to know the techie aspects of WordPress code, you do need to know HOW you can use WordPress to grow you online business.
In working with online business owners and start-ups, I find that most people are either unclear about how WordPress can benefit their business or they are intimidated by the thought of learning about a new technology.
So in this post, I’m going to get you started on understanding how WordPress will benefit and help you grow your online business; and focus on the benefits, not the features of WordPress. This will help you decide which is the best use of WordPress for your online business.
7 Ways To Start Using WordPress to Grow Your Small Business
Business Blog. While you’re familiar with WordPress blogs, many small business owners still don’t see how it will benefit their business. Many start-ups think they’re too new for a blog. Others protest they have nothing to write about.
So here’s the bottom line: a business blog is your home on the web. It’s not an option, it’s a requirement to do business online these days. Just like you need a professional email address and a logo to be taken seriously as a business owner; customers, colleagues and business partners will look to see if you have a blog. They want to find out what you’re all about. No matter what you sell or where you sell it, your customers want a sense of who you are as a company. You can’t give them that in a one page “About Us” spiel. Today’s consumers expect more. They expect a blog. If you want to be taken seriously as an online business owner, start even a simple blog now.
Content Marketing. Content marketing IS the future of marketing on the Internet. Google demands it. Your customers expect it. No matter what you sell or where you sell it, you need to combine the powerful marketing package of WordPress and content marketing.
In fact, this topic is so important that the industry leading publication AuctionBytes dedicated a significant amount of space for me to write a two-part series on the topic. If you haven’t read the series yet, you don’t want to miss it:
- In Part 1 of the AuctionBytes series I explain what content marketing is, how to use it in your business, why you want to pair it with WordPress.
- Part 1 is also chock full of examples of businesses successfully using WordPress.
- There’s even a step-by-step guide on where to host your WordPress blog and how to install it.
- Part 2 of my AuctionBytes series continues with simple steps for creating great content (even if you hate to write).
- The series sidebar gives you the names, descriptions and links to the top plug-ins for WordPress optimization.
The series is jam packed with information and a must-read for all online business owners!
Quick and Easy Web Pages (of all Kinds). WordPress is quickly replacing HTML for every type of web page. And while HTML code itself won’t go completely away, websites coded in HTML are fast become extinct. Need to create an opt-in page to build your mailing list? Put together a brochure site for your brick and mortar business? Create a portal site or gallery for your artwork? Maybe you want a directory site or to build an online community. WordPress can do all of this for you simply by choosing the right themes and plugins! One of my favorite theme sites is Woo Themes. They offer a very polished class of business themes that are easy to use.
Ecommerce Websites. A lot of people are shocked when I tell them you can take WordPress and turn it into a fully functioning ecommerce site that integrates with the most popular payment processors such as Authorize.net or PayPal. And while there are a lot of companies that create ecommerce themes that require your own shopping cart, ShopperPress has full integration with PayPal, Google Checkout, Authorize.net etc . Not only will ShopperPress manage your inventory for you, it allows you to easily integrate content marketing in with your product pages giving you built in SEO. While it’s not designed for big etail stores, ShopperPress is perfect for start-ups and small ecommerce operations selling physical or digital products.
Another big benefit of ShopperPress for physical product sellers – Many wholesale suppliers will ask to see your website before they open an account with you. Even if they allow you to sell your products in a marketplace like eBay or Amazon, they still like to see a website focused on your niche. A quick and easy ShopperPress website lends immediate credibility to your business. All for under $100! You can easily have your ShopperPress site up in a day or so and have a professional presentation before you make your next supplier contact.
Membership Sites, Courses and Information Product Sites. A few years ago, if you sold an info product or an online course, you delivered the MP3 and PDF files via an HTML download page. Membership sites were created in ugly turn-key software. With WordPress it’s the dawn of a new day in digital product delivery! You can set up a paid or free membership site and manage your member accounts easily with Wishlist. And it doesn’t take you weeks to set up. Using the step-by-step video training from Dr Jeanette Cates at One Hour Membership Site, I was able to set up three separate membership sites in one day! (In 2004 it took 30 days to set up and configure my first membership site.)
Even if you’re selling an information product, eBook or online course, you want to put that digital data inside a membership site set up. By putting the files inside a protected site, you can add updates at any time – you don’t need to email the updates to your customers.
Build Your Customer List. Because WordPress can easily be themed and turned into any type of website, you can easily attract targeted traffic to your site and by adding a simple opt-in form generated by an Email Service Provider like Aweber. For example, a vintage car-parts seller who travels the country taking videos at vintage car shows and posts them on his WordPress blog could build a huge mailing list of interested followers by simply adding an email opt-in form right there on the home page of his blog. Sites like Money Saving Mom have built a massive customer list by combining the power of WordPress, money saving tips and an email opt-in form placed strategically in the header of the site.
Become Your Own “Internet Traffic Controller”. This is one of the benefits of WordPress I love the most. Because your blog is your home on the web, you can attract all sorts of traffic and then direct it anywhere you want. You become your own Internet Traffic Controller. You can send people to your online store, individual product pages, affiliate product sites – anywhere you want to send people. From within this single blog post, I can direct interested readers to my Power of 10 Product Sourcing Home Study Course, my latest training audios on the eBay Fall Seller updates, or people who are interested in learning how to set up their online business to work with wholesale suppliers.
Now that you’ve read through the 7 tactics that any business owner can use… tell me how you’ll use WordPress in your online business?