When it comes to making an online income, E-commerce will always be a big part of the equation for people looking to get their foot in the door. Entrepreneurs can easily develop their own websites to start generating money off their ideas. WordPress plugins are usual extensions of software that can help make running your site more functional and help you make more sales and more money. Are you thinking of trying to earn some cash off your idea? Then you should consider incorporating these 5 WordPress Plugins on your site to increase your chance of success!

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1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress and it’s one of the most popular too. It’s loaded with features to help turn your site into a money-making machine. One of the best things about WooCommerce is that they offer a ton of cool features. They allow PayPal Standard integration, sales and reviews reports, many different shipping options, a couponing system, and inventory management that is made easy. It’s always nice to have a plugin that other companies have verified is good, and that’s exactly what WooCommerce is – solopreneurs as well as the big brands like Harley-Davidson, Entrepreneur Magazine and Cosmopolitan all use WooCommerce. It’s a very simple plugin to use and it’s easy to customize everything to make it look exactly like you want it.

2. Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is another free plugin on WordPress that is easy to setup and provides a lot of features. It’s useful for selling digital downloads, and keeps everything simple. EDD also allows you to access a reporting system that shows you all of your earnings and sales. Their reporting system even goes more in depth by providing you with interactive graphs and data tables which can help you understand which products are selling better than others and trends within your store. It’s very developer friendly, so if you have knowledge of coding it is very simple to make changes to the codebase. With many different themes and extensions, you can find the best layout for your site easily.

3. iThemes Exchange

iThemes exchange is a plugin that helps make the product creation process easier. It takes advantage of user systems that are built in to WordPress to create database tables for customers and in general makes it easier to manage customers by viewing what they’ve purchased or downloaded. It’s very easy to get started with this plugin, you just need to install it, activate it, and then select your payment process. After this you will add your products and begin selling. The fact that Exchange supports PayPal as an add on and there is even a pro pack you can purchase that provides even more features might as well be one of its greatest selling points.

4. Zopim Chat

Handling your customer’s objections is essential when it comes to online sales. Ideally, you should be writing copy that addresses any objections or concerns your customer might have before they even have a chance to think them up – this is how great copy is written – but another easy way to ensure you’re not losing questions due to unanswered questions or concerns is to have chat functionality on your site. There are a host of plugins you can use, but Zopim chat is one of our favorites. You can see this plugin implemented really well on Statement-Matching.com, a software service for automatically reconciling vendor statements. With a complicated software product like that, potential customers are undoubtedly going to have questions. Questions and objections create friction in the sales process, and having a button on the home page where to prospect can get those questions answered is the easiest way to reduce those frictions and ensure those customers aren’t lost.

5. WP eCommerce

WP eCommerce is another awesome plugin that can help boost your sales. It allows you to customize the HTML and CSS on your site, which allows you to change the design of your store. Some knowledge of coding is recommended for this plugin, but it is more than useful for ensuring your store is exactly how you want it. WP eCommerce has been downloaded over 2.9 million times, so it’s definitely a pretty popular plugin that many other sites are taking advantage of.

You’re looking for a virtual assistant, an independent contractor who provides administrative, technical, and personal assistance to clients virtually on an as needed basis? Many entrepreneurs and small business owners such as coaches, realtors, and healthcare practitioners look for assistants who are able to help them increase their productivity and avoid the whole variety of mistakes that can be made.

Some of them work on a retainer, the others only the hours you need, but it really depends on the type of work you need and the Virtual Assistant’s personal preference.

There are a couple of crucially important things that you need to do as an employer when looking for the assistant. First of all you need to make one good description of your daily and weekly activities. All the expectations should be set in advance, with a bit of your personality. One great tip is to put a specific request in the job description to enable you to screen out all those VA’s who are spamming the applications without reading them. For example: “please include the word Sunflower in your reply” – you then filter out all respondents who don’t include the word sunflower. This is a big help in ensuring all your candidates have read the job description and have an eye for detail.

When it comes to paying your employee, you should know that higher prices don’t necessarily mean higher quality, but also that the result of the cheapest options is often disappointing. So, getting something for few bucks is not a smart option. Virtual assistants should improve your productivity and therefore the income to your business, so he has to be well paid for the effort.

What about your expectations? You certainly shouldn’t ignore the time it takes to successfully onboard a new member to your team. Also note that the new assistant should be trained and well informed about the current project. The instant reply is not something you should expect all the time, especially if your assistant is a content writer or a designer. Just think about how often are you available for your assistant. The assistant is not always versatile, so he’s probably not able to write content and design your logo at the same time. In case you need multiple different tasks to be done, you should acquire more assistants, each specialized for one particular role.

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How do you manage your assistant? Assuming that you have already set the expectations in advance, it is also important to be very specific in explaining tasks. The result of good management will allow you to see the bigger picture quickly. It means that your assistant will eventually learn more about your work style and that you’ll be able to give him or her some more responsibility, encouraging that person to keep up the good work. By doing so, you’re also showing your assistant that good results can bring some bonuses and even some job position improvement.

Writing or using a web cam as the best tool for successful conversation? This can be a sensitive subject for employers, but it’s proved that the non-verbal conversation can often tell you much more about the employee than the verbal one. When using the web camera, you cannot actually document the agreement between you and your assistant which can be crucial in later stages of the project. In written language it’s always possible for both sides to get few steps back and take another look at the agreement and to change some details if needed. When using camera, even the misunderstanding between people from the same speaking area is possible. So, writing would be the best method for exchanging details of the job – ideally skype or slack. Written chat is almost always going to be a better option when your VA is based offshore in somewhere like the Philippines or India, where you have to not only factor in the language difference but also the time difference.

Those are my top tips on hiring a VA, Check out Chris Ducker’s top tips in the infographic below!

Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

Outsourcing

Have you ever watched, “Mad Men,” if you did then you’d understand that copywriting is a huge part of the marketing world. At that time the show told a story that the only way one can learn copywriting was to get a job in marketing or Ad Company, generally, you’d start in the mailroom, and from there you climb the organizational ladder. In that show no one has a formal marketing education – they just worked hard and try their best to be innovative with the goal of delivering better service or product.
If you choose to start a business online and you commit to bring your product or service to your target market, you will have to learn how copywriting is done. Time is of the essence and you want results, you want to learn then implement. Copywriting, AKA persuasion via the medium of words (and sometimes pictures and video) is a huge part of online sales – when it comes to getting people to buy from you, the layout and words on the page are your biggest asset. It’s not good enough to throw a WordPress template together and hope for the best, you need good copy in order to sell. Here are some options you may consider when it comes to copywriting.

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1. If you have the time to spare and a budget, then you could consider  a degree in marketing, advertising, creative writing, or a degree in English. With any of these degrees, you will have the ability to improve your earning capability as well as have the ability to come up with more efficient copy. With that stated, you need to understand that it is not about writing a good structured piece, it is more than that. Having said that, I never studied copywriting or the English language formally and I was absolutely fine, so this isn’t necessary at all.

2. You can learn copywriting by attending copywriting workshops. These are commonly offered by local colleges (there should be one in your area), and they will enable you to come up with a copy, present it, and be evaluated. Typically, these workshops are more targeted at fiction authors, however, you definitely will learn a lot with the exercises and critiques you will have from your peers.
3. You will not discover a lot of copywriting books in book shops or libraries, but you can find a vast resource online usually by those who have been successful in the field of digital marketing, or even old school direct marketing copywriters like Eugene Schwartz, Gary Halbert and Chet Holmes. These guys have all written material that has been tried and tested for years and years, has truly stood the test of time and sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of product. Studying any book by one of the aforementioned authors should be required reading for anyone starting to learn copywriting.

Outsourcing your copywriting is an option, although the quality of copywriter you will find online will vary considerably, and you may not have the budget initially. My suggestion is to invest time into learning how to become a top-notch copywriter instead, as it’s a skill that will serve you for years to come.

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I’m always asked by individuals that are not familiar with Infusionsoft if they should choose it over a much simpler software application like MailChimp for e-mail marketing use. But they do not really understand that these two applications are hard to compare because they are very much different.

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When you try to compare the two, you’re basically comparing a bicycle and a car, the bike as MailChimp and the car as Infusionsoft. MailChimp offers features that are basic like e-mail auto-responders, ability to track some click throughs, with some ability to identify exactly what is working and not working (You can run MailChimp on your mobile phone too). It is pretty simple, it looks clean, and yes, you can rely on it up to some point. The concern here is when should you migrate to Infusionsoft. It’s when you wish to move far from the fundamentals and begin discovering the best ways to manage all your campaigns, you may then think about changing. With Infusionsoft, it is possible to run your whole company from your marketing, e-mail, affiliate protocol, online buying cart to CRM and many others.

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With all that clearly laid out, let me start by presenting to you what I think: Infusionsoft offers you a game changing opportunity to managing your company. The capability of MailChimp is simply one piece of what Infusionsoft can do.
When you are new in e-mail marketing, MailChimp can be a decent choice. This service is great when you have fewer than 2000 customers and 12,000 e-mails to manage. For a new business, MailChimp is enough but as your business grows, it wouldn’t be able to cope with your needs. If you have a vision of your company getting bigger, go for Infusionsoft right away rather than deal with the pains of migration later on when you choose to start with MailChimp.
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MailChimp was developed with the developer’s purpose in mind which are:
1. broadcasting
2. automated e-mail follow-up.
MailChimp is not a fantastic CRM tool. It doesn’t give you the option for a shopping cart or the comprehensive monitoring systems that Infusionsoft can offer. What MailChimp can give you is a method to do automatic e-mail follow-up and easy analysis.
Furthermore, MailChimp provides reports on your traffic which should be synced with Google Analytics, enabling you to do so basic tracking of your customers’ internet activities but this feature is also present in Infusionsoft.

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I’m a skilled online marketer, but I do not know anything about coding and the likes For individuals like me, this suggests that making use of numerous systems will either lead me to do lots of things or I’d hire designers to do the coding which could be difficult as it needs a gifted designer not to mention the fee.
Infusionsoft takes away the need for several systems because Infusionsoft does all the things I need: email marketing, a CRM, online shopping cart, and affiliate protocol– all in one.

The downside here, obviously, is the cost. Infusionsoft is far more expensive than mailchimp, to the extent that it’s difficult to justify purchasing infusionsoft unless you’re already making decent money online from your campaigns.

Mailchimps cheap costs make it a great option for a beginner, but be wary that you will most likely have to invest time and money to upgrade to a superior marketing system eventually.

 

If you want to get your business name out there then it is vital that you give SEO a go.  SEO is the only method by which you can make your site noticeable to organic search, i.e. people who are searching for related keywords on search engines, rather than paid advertising routes.

SEO required you to structure your site in such a way to include all the elements that Google looks for  in a well-designed site (on-page optimization), as well as utilizing backlinks and social signals from other sites (off-page optimization).

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If you are interested, before anything else, you need to understand what SEO can do for your business, and what’s new in SEO in 2015.

  • The first and foremost advantage is you will get the targeted traffic by choosing appropriate keywords. Choosing keywords will give you the ability to increase the number of the right kind of visitors to your site. Transforming these visitors into actual sales is the art of CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization. In other words, when you have more traffic coming in, the more sales you should make.
  • SEO typically offers one of the best returns on investment for your marketing budget. Search engines are so ubiquitous in people’s daily lives that ensuring your site is visible in the search engines is one of the best ways to bring in new visitors when compared to traditional advertising like radio or magazines.
  • Despite the widespead use of search engines, studies have shown that over 70% of users who search in Google visit a result on the first page (top 10 results). This means you’re still invisible to the vast majority of potential customers if you’re SEO isn’t up to scratch.
  • It assists in enhancing exposure of a website to the internet search engines. When a website is correctly designed/developed with numerous SEO structures, it will climb the rankings and improve your brand recognition. Usually, searchers would click on what comes first in the searches.  Every business wanting to get more online presence wants to be at least in the top 10 results for their keywords to ensure that they’re not leaving money on the table.
  • The targeted traffic and presence in internet search engines will make your service or products recognizable by big time companies worldwide. For that reason, you have to be able to incorporate various SEO techniques and implement them as much as possible.
  • An effective SEO campaign should have the ability to bring a significant return on investment compared to other marketing strategies you are using. Other forms of advertising usually offer a very poor ROI in comparison.
  • Unlike Pay Per Click, a site will get the top rank on online search engines, if and when the SEO is effective, and it will stay there without any additional costs. It’s the very best marketing technique since SEO has no ongoing costs and offers a long term solution.