Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

The Only Website Builder You’ll ‘Probably’ Ever Need

Are you in business? 

Do you want to start a business?

A website is an essential asset. So is an easy-to-use website builder

  • It’s where potential clients will find you, get to know you, like you and trust you.
  • It’s the first place referrals will turn to learn more about you.
  • It’s where you’ll sell your products and services, invite contact requests, brand yourself in your niche, and show off what you know.
  • It might also be where you host your webinars, offer group coaching programs, publish a podcast,.create a blog, and even set appointments with clients.


That’s a lot of jobs for one website to do.  But, it’s entirely possible, if you choose the right software. With WordPress, you can easily complete those tasks and so much more.

easy to use website builder

Free Website Builder

You read that right. WordPress is completely free to install.  All you need is your domain and a hosting service. Once you have those two items, you can install the free WordPress software.

What a bargain!

Fast & Easy Website Setup

In the time it takes to finish your morning coffee, you can have a website created and live on the Internet using WordPress. Most hosting companies offer “one-click installs” for WordPress, meaning it will take you about 5 minutes to create your website. From there, it’s a matter of choosing a theme and adding content.

Even if you’re technically challenged, WordPress is simple to use. I know, because I’ve struggled with the technical side of an online business.

What has helped me most are YouTube videos. Simply enter your issue, from “how do I install WordPress” to “how can I create a membership site” into the YouTube search bar and voila! You’ll find several videos to help you use WordPress.

Your Site, Your Style

With thousands of free and premium themes available, it’s easy to find a look that’s just right for your brand and business.

Want something more customized?

Many themes offer easy, drag-and-drop editing of layouts, colors and more.  If you want something designed just for you, there are thousands of capable developers to build you a custom design. XXX designed our new website.

Plugins Add Greater Flexibility

Originally, WordPress was designed as a blogging platform, It earned early popularity by making the technical chore of creating a website, easy for thousands of new bloggers.

Today, it goes beyond a blogging tool, and is the easiest software to set up your new website. WordPress has thousands of plug-ins that offer exactly what you need for your business website.

  • Shopping carts, such as free WooCommerce
  • Membership sites
  • Sales pages
  • Personal journals
  • Online directories
  • Non-profit fundraising
  • Video blogging, with YouTube
  • Podcasting
  • News sites
  • Recipe blogs
  • Photography sites
  • And dozens of others

The combination of themes and plugins—small add-ons that install directly into your WordPress site—make the possibilities nearly endless. No matter what you need your website to do, chances are good that WordPress and its plug-ins can handle it.






Best Email Subject Lines To Increase Your Open Rates

Is anyone opening your emails? Seriously! If no one’s opening your email, then no one is reading your emails. You don’t really have an audience and it’s time to start writing the best email subject lines … TODAY!

For me, the most important metrics to consistently watch and improve are email open rates. There’s good reason for it, too. If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, then they can’t read about:

  • Your newest coaching program
  • Your latest must-have tool discovery
  • That epic blog post you just wrote

The trouble is, you only have about two seconds to entice a reader to open your email with the best subject lines. Even worse, you have to do it in ten words or less.


That’s a pretty tall order, even for seasoned copywriters. But there are some tricks you can use to create the best email subject lines ever and improve your digital marketing funnel.

Best email subject lines to increase your open rate

How to Write the
Best Email Subject Lines

Be Ambiguous

If you’ve been on Facebook lately you’ve no doubt seen those “click bait” headlines that say things like, “She adds this to a box of Wheat Thins and I’m drooling!” The reason headlines like that work is because we can’t help but wonder what “this” is that she’s adding to her Wheat Thins.

Is it sugar? Salt? Peanut butter?

We imagine the possibilities, and in the end we have to find out, so we click.

You can employ the same technique in your email subject lines. Just substitute the word “this” for the actual thing you’re writing about, and you’ve got instant enticement.

If I’m perfectly honest, this is my favorite and most effective way to increase my open rates. My top subject line open rate comes from this one:

“Did you see this?”

When you get an email with only those four words in the subject line, you wonder what I’m talking about and click open.

It’s ambiguous and creates curiosity.

If you want to see other good, ambiguous subject lines, watch the news headlines. The ones that pop up on your browser when you first open it. Those people are masters at getting you to click their box to read more.

best email subject lines

OR . . . you can grab a copy of my 37 Best Email Subject Lines. It’s free right now, so enter your name & email below. I’ll send it on over.


Use Numbers

7 Hidden Benefits of Waking Up at 5am
3 Unlikely Ways to Close the Sale”

5 Social Media Platforms You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring”

Why do numbers work so well to get your readers to open up?

Numbers work in subject lines are great because we are ego-centric and curious. We simply must know if we’ve been using those three ways to close the sale. We will either feel good for being a marketing maven, or we learn something we need to do. Both are compelling reasons to open an email.

Split Test – Case Study

About a month ago, I conducted a split test in my homeschool niche with these two subject lines:  

Subject Line 1: 22 Ideas to Celebrate First Day of School  

Subject Line 2: It’s back . . . did you get it? 😉😉😉  

Subject line #1, the one with numbers, was opened 1% more times than subject line #2. To take it  a step further, 17% more readers clicked my link inside email #1.  

Over the next month, look for ways to use numbers in your subject lines to increase both your open rate and your click-through rate.

Here’s the bottom line!

If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, they’re not buying. Paying closer attention to your subject lines is the single most important thing you can do for your email marketing campaigns.

In my next post, I’ll share more tips on writing subject lines that get opened.

What tips do you have to create the best email subject lines so your increase your open rate?


P.S. I highly recommend this free email writing course to help with all areas of your email campaigns.  Grab it here today! Why not? It’s completely free!

In the free email writing course, you’ll also get fill in the blank templates to personalize your own emails.



Automate Your Digital Marketing Funnel with 3 Quick & Easy Website Tweaks

When it comes to leveraging your time, automation is the sharpest tool in your toolbox. It allows you to get more done in less time, and to smoothly move people through your digital marketing funnel.

How can you automate parts of your business?

How can you spend more time on important areas of your business?

As a small business owner, you may have overlooked your website and the easy tweaks you can make to keep your digital marketing funnel working for you.

I’ve got 3 easy website tweaks for you. We’ll look at the first one today. It’s one of my favs.

As a small business owner, you may have overlooked your website and the easy tweaks you can make to keep your digital marketing funnel working for you. Let’s take a look at 3 website tweaks you can make this week.

Automate your digital marketing funnel with 3 quick & easy website tweaks

Digital Marketing Funnel Tip #1:
Grow Your Email List with Your Blog

When I was preparing for a huge giveaway, I decided it was time to improve my follow up sequence … to review my digital marketing funnel in that category.

I completely revamped my funnel after a reader took advantage of my free offer. In addition to updating my funnel, I updated all my blog posts in that category.

How did I updating those blog posts help to build my mailing list?

I added an opt-in form for my free giveaway item on each blog post. Once my new readers claimed their free item, they started down my digital marketing funnel which made sales for me.

Like any smart business owner, you likely have opt-in forms on your website. They’re in the sidebar or footer.  You might even have a pop-up to capture attention as visitors as they arrive.

But do you have a solid call to action in each of your blog posts?

Your readers come to read your great ideas. That’s where they spend the most time. When a new reader is consuming your posts, he’s primed to learn more. Give him the opportunity by offering an opt-in at the end of each & every post.

Even better, make it a logical next step by offering a free resource in each  & every post. I call these a loss leader. They are similar to what grocery stores sell at a loss, to get you in the store.

Each loss leader gets your reader more invested in you, your brand, your website.

These offers typically consist of a simple checklist or worksheet and should capture attention by providing even more information about a topic they’re already interested in. When your reader signs up for that offer, they enter your digital marketing funnel.

Digital Marketing Funnel Tip #2:
Related Links Keep Them Reading Your Blog

To be honest, I don’t do this often enough. In fact, I’m working on related links this week. What’s a related link?

When you mention something in your post that you already wrote about, you should include a hyperlink to that blog post.

For example … on my homeschool blog a few weeks ago.

I wrote a new post about the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon called Moon Videos for Kids. In that post, I mentioned a subscriber favorite: Oreo Moon Phases activity.  So, I linked the words “Oreo Phases of the Moon” to the previous blog post. I included those exact words because that is my keyword for that page.

This is an important maintenance job that will help provide visitors with the information they’re looking for by linking related posts together.

Not only is this strategy good for keeping visitors on your site, but Google likes seeing related (interior) links.  Posts that link to each other encourage search engine bots to crawl your site more thoroughly, and help boost the rankings of your most relevant posts.

Hint: Don’t have time to hyperlink to other pages on your site? This is a perfect job for your virtual assistant. In fact, I’m adding this task to my VA’s doc after I finish this blog post.

Hint 2: Don’t have a VA? Work on this while you’re watching TV in the evening.

Digital Marketing Funnel Tip #3:
Make the Best of Your Giveaway Pages

I’m super excited about this last website tweak to put your marketing on auto-pilot.  I use this auto-pilot tweak all the time in my homeschool marketing.

Whether you’re giving away a free report or paid product, your giveaway pages can pull double-duty by offering visitors a “what’s next” option.  If you’re enrolled in our Magic of OTO course, this will sound very familiar.

I offer items as giveaways. Yes, you read that right.

For a limited time, I give away an item that I normally sell on my website on a regular basis.  Why do I do this?

When I join with other bloggers in a huge giveaway, I have hundreds of people grab that resource and get on my marketing list. Wouldn’t you like to add hundreds of people to your list in less than a week?

As soon as they sign up, they automatically land on a page with an incredible offer. What type of offer?

For free giveaway pages, a related, a low-cost product is best.

It gives readers the chance to learn more about you with a small investment. Generally speaking, I use the strategy of Magical OTO. The strategy of one-time offers at incredibly low prices. 

I’ve been surprised and happy how many sales I’ve made through one-time offers at the low price of $7. In fact, you may have seen one of my OTO’s when you landed on our Niche Pro Tool Kit for only $7 after enrolling in our Magic of OTO E-Class.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The magic of this offer is the timer … which does not let you see the page again after the offer expires.

The cool thing about this entire system is it’s all on auto-pilot. It’s all set up ahead of time, so I don’t need to manually make this happen.

Now, for paid product pages where your customer does pay you for a resource, consider offering a complementary product instead.

It’s the same idea you see on big business pages. Since you bought that item, you’d like this resource. Or, another way is to say, “Other people who bought this item, also bought these incredible resources.”

What’s a good rule of thumb to follow on your website?

Whenever a reader lands on a page, he should be offered the next logical step. When you write your blog posts or create your giveaway pages, keep that in mind your digital marketing funnel. If you follow these strategies, your funnel will practically fill itself. Mine does!



How to Get Web Traffic When You Borrow Someone Else’s Audience

Ask nearly anyone who runs an online business what their biggest struggle is, and chances are they’ll say “more web traffic.”

You need traffic to build an email list.
You need traffic to make more sales.
You need traffic to fill your coaching programs.

So the big question is, where do you get all that web traffic?

Sure, you could buy ads, but you might spend more money on ads than you get with the new traffic.

Or, if you aren’t careful, you might just fill your list with a less-than-ideal group of readers and that does nothing for your sales. You might focus your time and energy on search engine optimization, but if you don’t have years & years to build your business, then SEO should not be your top choice.

 What in the world should you do?

Let’s take a look at your other options.

How to get web traffic

Be a Guest – Guest Blog Contributor

Everyone needs content. It’s the one thing that remains consistent among all content creators—there is never enough. That’s where you can help.

I know because I’ve written many guest posts for other bloggers.

By guest posting on other blogs, you can “borrow” some of their web traffic.

How in the world will writing for another blogger help YOU?

  • Create custom content designed with the other blogger’s unique audience in mind.
  • Provide stellar value with actionable ideas and strategies not found everywhere else.
  • Inject your personality so those new to you will instantly connect with you.
  • Offer a compelling reason to click through to your website or blog for more information.
  • Yep . . . link up to your website so their readers head on over to your website.

Partner Up – Free Event for Your Friends

No list?

Here’s a quick way to “borrow” someone else’s list to kick-start your own: Schedule a free event with a partner. I’ve done this so many times and it always works.

Here’s how:

  1. You (the one with the small list) create a compelling, free training which leads naturally to a low-cost, no-brainer product.
  2. Install an affiliate tracking system such as ejunkie.
  3. Offer your best affiliates a higher percentage of profits in exchange for co-hosting your webinar and bringing their traffic along for the ride.

This is a win/win for both of you, as your affiliates drive web traffic so you have a bigger payday. Just be sure you have a Magical OTO and good follow up sequence in place so that your new readers can benefit from all that you have to offer.

Get Interviewed – Become an Expert

Want to really show off your expert status and bring web traffic back to your site, too?

I sure do!

The easiest way I found to be an expert is to get on some interviews. Just like authors with new books and actors with new movies, online business owners can get in front of new audiences simply by answering questions about what they know.

Of course, you’re probably not going to appear on the Today Show (although that’s not impossible) . . .  but there are still plenty of opportunities out there for business owners and consultants in any and every niche.

Look for interview and speaking opportunities on:

  • Podcasts
  • Online conferences
  • Other blogs
  • YouTube
  • Periscope and Blab
  • Local events
  • Industry conferences
  • Telesummits

Start by reaching out to your online business friends, bloggers and others that you most admire. Don’t be afraid to get the word out with your blogger friends and your list that you’re looking for opportunities.

One place I found most helpful is a social media group of bloggers in my niche.  As I posted in the group, I got to know them and found opportunities to be interviewed.

Even if you don’t yet have a list of your own, it’s easy (and fun) to jumpstart traffic andyou’re your own readers.  Simply make yourself available for these and other opportunities. Each guest post, podcast interview and webinar is another chance to get in front of a whole new market, so take advantage of it!











how to be a successful entrepreneur



How to Promote Affiliates Without Hype

Over the next few weeks, my wife – Kerry, is going to share some ideas to make money with a blog. She’s been doing just that for the past 5+ years.

Let’s face it, earning affiliate commissions helps support your blog and your family. But, most readers do not want to read blogs with a lot of hype about buying products. They want to know more about you & read stories about your life or your niche.

So, how can you include affiliate links without a lot of hype?

Basically, I recommend writing posts that are helpful to your readers. Show them you care about them and want to let them know what is working for you & your family. Here are 3 ways I’ve included affiliate links that are very natural.

Hyperlink Products in a List

One of my favorite type blog posts are lists. Lists of our favorite books to read aloud. Lists of my favorite homeschooling books. Lists of our favorite activities.

Each list includes items that are available on Amazon. I hyperlink those items with my Amazon affiliate link. To be honest, I haven’t made a lot of money. But a few clicks here & there add up over time.

Tell Your Story

When you review a product, tell your story. Include ways you are personally using that product.

• If you are reviewing a curriculum, show how it helped your family in your homeschool.
• If you are reviewing a book, tell stories about the impact the book had on your life.
• If you use the product, tell stories how you’ve used the product.

As you tell your story, be sure to include images that “show” your story. Hyperlink each photo with your affiliate code.

The Advent Calendar, Table Runner & Flip Chart worked well for me during the holidays. You’ll see the advent calendar on our refrigerator and the flipchart next to our centerpiece. Click on the image to see how I shared ways to use these items.

how to use affiliate links in  blog posts

Or, click here to see how I told my story about the Easter Countdown Puzzle that had an affiliate program.

Videos Share Affiliate Links

Videos work like a charm for me. Yesterday, I had a homeschool mom message me from eBay about a writing resource. She mentioned Bryan, Texas and I replied saying we used to have a curriculum store in Bryan. A few hours later, she left a phone message asking about more writing resources.

I called her back and shared my thoughts about the three resources. During our conversation, she told me she had been watching this lady on youtube talk about the writing resources. In the middle of watching the videos, she realized it was me.

The videos on my website are also on youtube. I earn money when people buy from those videos. It doesn’t matter if they are on my site or on youtube. I still get paid. Here’s an example of one of my video reviews:

Best Affiliate Marketing Tip Ever

In closing, let me share one tip. I try to call my affiliate products, resources. Resources sounds like an item that will help you. Products sound like an item to be sold. It is a subtle difference, but people are more accepting of resources than products.

As you plan your next blog post to promote an affiliate item, remember to be natural & encouraging. Your readers will be glad & you’ll make more affiliate commissions.


.Question: What is your best affiliate marketing tip? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


Skies of the Cross - Easter Family Bible study from
NOTE: This post may include affiliate links.