5 WordPress Misconceptions & Why you Should Ignore Them

WordPress gets a bad wrap sometimes but it a really flexible powerful platform for running your online business' websiteI love WordPress.

For me and my client’s, it is the most powerful and flexible website platform without me developing a custom website from scratch which also includes an admin panel so that you can edit your own content without having to contact me all the time.

If you want your website to be scaleable, flexible, and grow with you then WordPress is the way to go.

I know what you are thinking, I hear it all the time. But WordPress is… __ fill in the blank with concern __.

And there are a lot of concerns people have when they come to me to talk about WordPress versus Squarespace or even Wix (please don’t use Wix for your site you are going to just shoot yourself in the foot so to speak by choosing them).

One thing that I can say is that these other platforms are that they have done an AMAZING job of marketing and PR and therefore making you question if WordPress is even usable. Do you remember those commercials in the late nineties or early two thousand where they had the two people one representing PC and one representing Mac?

It’s the same thing. They made you question if PC was ever the right choice because it looked less cool, seemed dorky, and maybe more confusing than Mac. But as both an avid Mac & PC user…yes, I have both and use them all the time. There really aren’t that many differences.

The biggest difference was PR.

So today I want to talk to you about the misconceptions I continually hear about WordPress.

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

Hard to use

I hear this all the time. WordPress is confusing and hard to use. Yeah, maybe but in reality, there is a learning curve with all new things including Squarespace. And Squarespace has less of a learning curve because they tightly control what you are/not able to do with their system.

WordPress has more features and the ability to be flexible therefore more of a learning curve is to be expected.

But the power of spending a little extra time learning the “system” is that when it comes time to grow and change you aren’t hitting a ceiling and getting frustrated.

I know this because I was there.

When I started my first blog around 2009 I started on Blogger. I thought it would be easy, simple, and just what I needed. But I quickly found out that I was really limited by what I could do on the platform and I had big plans for my blog’s future. Then I moved to another service that offered more features, and I had the same ceiling again and moved a third time…

But I quickly found out that I was really limited by what I could do on the platform and I had big plans for my blog’s future. Then I moved to another service that offered more features, and I had the same ceiling again and moved a third time…

All this moving happened within a 3-month span. And when you are trying to grow and build momentum online all that changing hurt me because I was spending less time focusing on the growth of my blog and more time focusing on the platform it was housed on.

I could have been spending that month creating content rather than importing and exporting data over and over again.

So when it comes to ease of use a learning curve on any platform is to be expected and shouldn’t affect your final decision about what platform to choose.

What should you look at instead…

  • What are your long term plans for your website?
  • How much flexibility do you want or need in the future?
  • Which platform will you be happy with for a longer time?

It’s not a matter of hard to use because I’ve had friends, colleagues, and clients come to me asking for help on these platforms that claim to be easier to use, it’s a matter of your own growth.

You have to know code

If you want a WordPress site you will have to know code….

I really hate this one. Yes, knowing code helps but you don’t have to know any more code than you do on Squarespace.

The WordPress ecosystem has a ton of plugins to extend the functionality of your website without you having to look at a single HTML tag in your website. There is also a huge community of people who make themes (you aren’t limited to the handful you get on other platforms). And there is a large community of people who can help you if you do need to code something custom.

Many people want a professional website, it’s one of the pillars of standing out online. And there is a host of places where you can get free, low-cost or custom theme designs which you can customize with settings or even drag and drop.

WordPress has come a long way with builders, customization options, and even plugins so that you don’t have to crack open the code unless you really want to.

It’s expensive

Like most things, it’s as expensive as you want it to be.

If you choose to do a self-hosted WordPress account you do have to buy your domain name (but you had to do that anyway), and you have to pay for hosting.

When it comes to hosting there are several different pricing levels you can buy into you can do a shared hosting service which is on the lower end all the way up to having your own private server on the higher investment end.

When you are first getting started with WordPress and don’t have a lot of money to invest you can get a free theme and customize it or you can check out a marketplace where people have created themes and you purchase the license to install it on your WordPress.

Now here is where it can get expensive but even then it is really a trade off and balance more than it being straight up expensive. Have your site custom designed and developed specific to your needs.

If you really want to stand out, have tons of control over the strategy of your design, and get really cool customized features like a membership site then you should invest in a custom design.

The custom design can get pretty pricey. This depends on the features you want but the beauty of this is you can get started with the basic features and grow the relationship with your designer and developer then add the other features you want in at a later time.

Get started with a lower investment and scale. The beauty of it is that the system grows with you.

That you can’t get help

WordPress takes a lot of heat for not having a central location to get help. Specifically having a WordPress support line that people can call.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get help from the WordPress community. I’m not sure someone has ever counted up how many forums, blogs, conferences, workshops & communities exist that offer support for WordPress core, plugins, or themes.

Spoiler: it’s a lot.

Not only is there a large online community there are lots of people who develop for the WordPress platform. They are happy to help you out. I being one of them am always here to answer anyone’s questions.

Come check out my free Facebook Community. I hop in to provide support to the community on a wide array of topics one of them being WordPress.

If you choose WordPress you will not be left alone high and dry trying to understand that error you are getting.

Updates are hard, time-consuming and or dangerous

This misconception I get a lot from people who are in the ecosystem already. They are worried that the updates are going to break their website.

Breaking your website is a legitimate concern. But with a few tips, you don’t have to worry about it.

You want to make sure you are installing plugins that have

  • a lot of active installs
  • they are getting good star ratings
  • and the support forum for that plugin is getting resolved by the developer

Now let’s talk about it being time-consuming. You don’t have to update every day. You can update once a month and use the bulk updater to get them all at once.

This is true unless there is a security risk you don’t have to be a slave to the update notifications as they roll in.

When it comes to updating the core WordPress they very rarely break support because they are conscientious about how many websites are running WordPress. They don’t want to break them.

If you’ve installed good plugins you don’t have to worry. The plugin developers are keeping an eye on core WordPress updates and applying updates to their own code as necessary.

The only trouble you may run into when you update is when it comes to your theme. If you made customization to your themes main files you will loose those with future updates. The safest way to adjust the code and not loose your customization is with the use of a Child Theme.  A good theme developer will have this as a part of the theme you purchase or if you use a completely custom theme you don’t have to worry about that either.

The bottom line…

WordPress is a long term game. It’s got the ability to grow and scale with you. Spend a little bit more time now learning the basics. Then when you have more to learn you aren’t starting from scratch.

Now it’s your turn!

I’d love to hear what you’ve heard about WordPress so we can bust some WordPress misconceptions together. Let me know in the comments!


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WordPress gets a bad wrap sometimes but it a really flexible powerful platform for running your online business' website
WordPress gets a bad wrap sometimes but it a really flexible powerful platform for running your online business' website
70 Experts Share Their Visibility Tips to Increase Your Influence and Impact Online, part 3

Hot Visibility Tips from Industry Experts to increase your visibility online

Are you ready to go from invisible to influential?

Visibility online can help you make the IMPACT that you desire by leaving your mark on the world. It is more than just posting content on social media multiple times a day. A strategy, content, consistent messaging, and branding are just a few things that can help catapult your visibility online to put you in the spotlight.

But what else?

As part of the 3-part visibility tip blog roundup, you’ll hear from 70 experts who share their insights on what it takes to get visible. Each expert tip is unique!

These 70 expert tips can help you go from invisible to INFLUENTIAL with your online visibility.

We want to help YOU make the IMPACT that you desire.

If you haven’t already read the first two blogs, feel free to click the appropriate links below.

Part 1
Part 2

Now, let’s dive into the last part of this series so that you can increase your influence and impact online!

Visibility Tips

Hot Visibility Tips from Industry Experts to increase your influence and impact online
Hot Visibility Tips from Industry Experts to increase your influence and impact online
Hot Visibility Tips from Industry Experts to increase your influence and impact online

Read The WHOLE BLOG SERIES Part 1Part 2, & Part 3

5 Reason You Need to Track Analytics as part of your social media strategy

Is social media a big mystery to you? How are people making decisions that are helping them grow? So many questions and so few answers.

Well not really…

A lot of online business owners want to make smart effective decisions about how they spend their time online. But I keep hearing from people that they

  1. Don’t know what is working
  2. Don’t know where to spend their time
  3. Or they don’t have a clue about how to know where their people hanging out online

The answer? Your Social Media Analytics.

Your social media accounts are constantly collecting data. Data about your potential clients, the audience you are reaching, and what they are interested in. Just to name a few.

What makes social media analytics so valuable to your social media strategy?

Literally everything!

They help you know

  • what is working so you can do more
  • what isn’t working so you can make adjustments
  • they tell you where to spend your valuable time
  • they tell you which content got the most engagement so you can create more
  • help you set better goals for your growth

So what are you waiting for? Tracking analytics for your business are going to be a game changer for your business. It’s time to stop ignoring your analytics and learn these 5 things about YOUR business’ social media.

What is working

Doing more of what is working on your social media has only positive benefits. When you use your analytics to build on content that is getting engagement, driving traffic or increasing your presence it’s like having a crystal ball that tells you what people want to see from you.

Now that you can see what people are reacting to you no longer have to come up with completely new content all the time. You can create content that supports the original topic.

There are a lot of details hidden in your data about what is working…like are you reaching the audience you want and what content they are responding to. By avoiding your analytics and not using the rich amount of data that your social media analytics you are making decisions blind.

What isn’t working

Just like having the crystal ball to see what is working you can see what isn’t so hot. And then not do any more of that if you want.

Or you can take the what isn’t working stuff and make changes or tweak it in a way that may resonate with your people better. You are constantly reviewing and adjusting and doing the whole process over again.

No more wondering why your posts didn’t get engagement because you are constantly learning about your people and creating with them in mind.

It may not be that the entire topic isn’t working it could be that you aren’t making it clear enough to your dream clients that you are talking to them. And the only way to find out is to look into that crystal ball and make your content work for you.

Your time is limited and your analytics will tell you where you make the most impact

When we are running our own businesses we often don’t have the time, energy or resources to sit on social media all day posting.

We want to make sure that what time we are posting is used effectively. And your analytics will tell you that too.

Recently I started pulling back from Instagram. I LOVE Instagram but my analytics were telling me it wasn’t as effective as Pinterest is at supporting my goals. So I am able to save myself some time each week by putting my limited amount of time into the platform that is giving me the BEST results.

If I hadn’t reviewed my social media analytics I would still be hammering away at Instagram wondering why I’m not seeing an ROI on my time and energy.

Better Goal Setting

I don’t know about you but sometimes I get stuck with goal setting because I either don’t know what is possible for me and I don’t want to limit myself and on the flipside, I don’t want to be unrealistic and disappointed.

So in the past, I sometimes skimped on the goal setting stage for my online presence. I’d say I want to grow my following by X number of people. And leave it at that…

That goal, while measurable, wasn’t specific enough for the overall business goals I had. But I was too afraid to say X number of people on my email list. Or converting X number of sales on my tripwire pages.

It was just too much unknown.

I got stuck.

And while we all start somewhere (pst…meaning 0) we have to get started. I could go review my analytics I could start developing more specific goals to my business and my audience. I could set numbers that would provide a challenge but not overwhelm or discourage me.

Set your own benchmarks

Comparisonitis is a problem that we all face when we are on social media. We are constantly being bombarded by other’s social media successes. The only way to combat this is by setting your own benchmarks and comparing your data to your own historical data. Not someone else’s especially when you are unable to dissect their data…because you are an outsider.

The only person you are supposed to compare yourself to is your past. By looking at your data you can see a clear picture of how you are performing and how you can improve.

This is the best measure of your success and if you aren’t using your analytics you will never be able to see these details.

Now it’s your turn!

Let me know in the comments if you are currently using analytics for your social media strategy or if you are not yet! I’d love to hear where you are at currently for your business!


Ready to get started learning about your social media analytics? Get my free Evernote Social Media Tracker in the free resource library. Get access below!

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5 reasons to track analytics for your social media strategy
70 Experts Share Their Visibility Tips to Increase Your Influence and Impact Online, part 2


Hot Visibility Tips from Industry Experts to increase your visibility online

Are you ready to take your visibility to the “next level”?

Visibility is not about posting random content on social media. It’s about posting on the RIGHT platforms where your dream clients are hanging out. It’s about providing meaningful value as part of a long-term strategy. It’s about connecting with other influencers and spending time in their space to build brand recognition, credibility, and boost your exposure!

The following experts share some insightful tips on how to take your visibility game to greater heights. You’ll hear from a variety of experts in various industries that share their hottest visibility tip to help you get insanely visible and gain influence in the process!

If you haven’t checked out PART 1 or PART 3 of this 3-part visibility tip blog roundup series, feel free to click HERE so that you can read all the amazing tips that 70 incredible experts provided to you.

Are you ready to get insanely visible?

Let’s dive in and get VISIBLE!

Visibility Tips

Hot Visibility Tips from Industry Experts to increase your influence and impact online
Hot Visibility Tips from Industry Experts to increase your influence and impact online
Hot Visibility Tips from Industry Experts to increase your influence and impact online
Visibility strategies come in all shapes and sizes try these different visibility tips to find out what works for your online business and attracts more leads for your business.
Visibility strategies come in all shapes and sizes try these different visibility tips to find out what works for your online business and attracts more leads for your business.

Read The WHOLE BLOG SERIES Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3

Are you ready to increase your influence?

 

Want to know more about the series? I’ve got you covered! 

What Makes an effective Brand Strategy + 6 Tips

Effective Brand Strategy + 6 tips

It’s not enough to have a pretty logo. You need some real meat behind your brand to help it grow and flourish online.

Now when it comes to making an effective brand strategy for your business there are lots of components involved and lots of trial and error. Like most parts of running your online business, you try something and then evaluate so that you can make smart adjustments.

But there are 5 essential parts to creating an effective strategy for YOUR business. You can build on these and add in other strategies. But when you are ready to grow and attract more qualified clients to your business start here!

Clear Brand Definition

Having a crystal clear definition that you’ve written down and can reference will help you stay true to that vision. So go ahead and start writing down your ideas. I’ll wait, seriously. This step is really important.

Why?

Because having your brand definition written down helps bring it into reality. It helps make all those ideas floating in your head concrete. It will help you find the gaps in your branding.

Defining your market

For your Brand Strategy to be effective at all you have to have defined your market.

The people that you want to connect with and serve. Knowing them like the back of your hand will help you answer all those hard questions like…

Where do they hang out online?
What content should I create to help attract them to me?
Determine if people you get on the phone are a good fit for working with you.

You have to clearly define who you are trying to target or else everything you put out there will fall flat. You’ll be hearing crickets. And you won’t increase the leads to your business.

So if you are STILL saying, “but Michaela, I can help everybody with my business”.

I’m going to say no and that you need to define it. Whatever it is that you do there is a specific time, place, problem, person for it. It isn’t all people at all times. And defining when it is and who needs it is going to help you create content that gets noticed.

How you are different from everyone else

Want to stop the comparisonitis and competition? This is how you do it. When you leverage your unique qualities, experience, and processes your light shines brightly.

You no longer have to compete with all graphic designers because you’ve clearly illustrated that you are the graphic designer for game designers. Or whatever your business is.

Niching down may seem like it is going to cut you off from a lot of potential customers but the more defined you get with your differences the better your potential clients can connect their problems with your solutions and identify if you are the right person for them.

How you are going to grow your visibility

Your visibility strategy is always going to be changing. That’s a fact.

Have a clear idea of what strategies you are going to try and how they fit into your overall plan will come in handy when you are working on the last tip in this post.

There are a TON of different ways to grow your visibility, you can…

  • guest blog post
  • participate in collaborations
  • create a strong SEO strategy
  • optimize your Pinterest
  • participate in Facebook Groups
  • use targeted hashtags on Instagram
  • Test out different social media profiles
  • comment on other blogs in your industry
  • pitch to be on podcasts
  • create Live Videos on Facebook
  • grow a Facebook Group
  • engage with your audience

Now this list isn’t nearly an exhaustive list. And you don’t have to do everything on it to start growing your visibility.

You can start by picking one or two strategies that feel in alignment with your goals and test them out. Try the strategy for 90 days before making a final decision on if it works for you or not. And this 90-day rule will also help you stay consistent and not jumping from strategy to strategy.

Sometimes all it takes is a little time for a strategy to show results so be patient.

Be curious

Be constantly curious. How can you do it better? Different? Innovate ideas in your industry?

Being curious in life and for your brand is going to show you opportunities to grow that was not necessarily expected.

Review your strategy

I’ve said this before when it comes to goal setting as the first step in a solid strategy, which is true. But the last step of any good strategy is to review it.

Spend time evaluating how it performed and identify any areas that you need to tweak or adjust.

It truly is a moving target. When you are setting up your brand strategy make sure you’ve set measurable goals for everything you’d like to accomplish. One of the things I keep hearing from clients and colleagues alike is that they stop being consistent because they don’t see any results.

Well, when you are setting your measurable goals it becomes a lot clearer when you are starting to see results so you can keep on trucking.

Now it’s your turn!

What questions do you have about effective brand strategy for your online business?


If you want 1:1 support with setting up an effective brand strategy for your online business set up a free consultation with me to see how I can help you and if we would be a good fit!

Effective Brand Strategy + 6 tips for optimizing your branding
Effective Brand Strategy + 6 tips