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Our Top 10 Selling Products Of 2014

January 23, 2015 in Blog. 2 Comments

People tell you they don’t have favorite children and while that might be true you do have ‘favorites’ when it comes to our products. These are them for the year that was twenty fourteen.


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Write Stories Instead Of Code? Five Steps to Storytelling with Canvas

January 16, 2015 in Blog. 5 Comments

If this year has shown us anything at all, it’s shown us that storytelling is more than just an emerging trend. I mean honestly, how could something so timeless be a trend to begin with? At any rate, more and more companies are embracing storytelling as a part of their marketing regime.

Any why not? It’s visually appealing, interactive, and let’s face it, with the average users attention span…ummm…what was I talking about? Oh, attention span! Hah! That was it. We have to keep people interested, and entertained. Big companies are figuring this out pretty quickly, and longform articles are already proving to have an effective ROI.

So how can we do this with WooThemes and WordPress? It’s pretty easy actually, with Aesop Story Engine a suite of open source tools that allow any theme to embrace interactive storytelling. In this short tutorial, we’ll show you how you can get Aesop Story Engine implemented into Canvas with just a bit of elbow grease.

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.05.24

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How to Launch Your Online Course Without Months of Hard Work

January 15, 2015 in Blog. 5 Comments

One thing that puts a lot of people off teaching online, is what they perceive to be a huge amount of work involved in creating the course content. I’ve seen people spend months producing an extensive course, with professionally edited video, and elaborately devised quizzes, only to find that when they finally release it, nobody wants to buy it.

There is another way

You may know everything there is to know about a certain subject. That doesn’t mean you have to cram all of that knowledge into one really long course before you can start selling it. My advice would be to follow a ‘lean production’ approach to online course creation.

If you’ve never heard of lean, it’s a set of principles derived from a manufacturing process developed by Toyota, which aims to create maximum value, with minimum waste. A key concept of the methodology is the ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP), which is ‘a product with the highest return on investment versus risk’.

For our purposes, that would mean producing a course (or courses) that deliver the maximum amount of value to your learners, with the minimum amount of time, effort and cost invested by you.

You then gather feedback on this course from your learners, and based on that feedback, gradually improve/expand your course offerings, and then repeat the whole process.

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8 WooThemes Features You’ve Never Heard Of But Need to Use

January 13, 2015 in Blog. Leave a comment

There’s a decent amount of information to digest whenever you create a new website. You need to worry about hosting, selecting a theme, getting content on the site and making sure everything runs smoothly for when visitors come knocking on the door.

With all of these distractions you might have missed some of the lesser known WooThemes features. Yes, I’m sure you’ve tried out a few and implemented them on your website, but there are new and innovative features all the time and it’s quite common to miss out on new releases, giving you a bit of a disadvantage.

Why? Because some of these features could help streamline your checkout, convert more email addresses or even improve your customer retention. Just like any tool or software, there’s a whole world of things to do. Think about Excel. Most people only know how to create some nice boxes and complete simple math in the popular spreadsheet software.

The crazy thing is that Excel is one of the most powerful tools in the world if you just take the time to understand all the features you don’t currently know about. The same goes for WooThemes, so let’s have a look at some of the features you’ve never heard of but need to use.

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A Deeper Dive Into the Shark Tank: How Open Source Technology Enables Agile Business Growth

January 12, 2015 in Blog. Leave a comment

ABC’s Shark Tank is a US television show and a favorite among American entrepreneurs. Each week, business owners offer up a piece of their equity in exchange for cash from savvy and respected investors. It’s exciting to see entrepreneurs get their dreams funded — but what do these contestants have in common? And although a majority are using WordPress, what other platforms and CMSs are these businesses running on?

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9 Conventions and Events For eCommerce Business Owners in 2015

January 9, 2015 in Blog. 5 Comments

There happen to be hundreds to thousands of e-business conventions, conferences, and events that occur every year, each of them pushing ticket sales to hopeful entrepreneurs and e-business owners who are looking for the next tip or trick to take their business to a new level.

With so many options it may seem overwhelming, and even take your focus off important tweaks and changes you can simply make with a few modifications to your site like building an email list or improving your overall customer retention.

Regardless, these e-business events and conventions are essential for connecting with people who have weathered the storms of online business and battled through some of the troubles you are currently going through.

These events offer training exercises and in-depth tutorials on which tools to use and which to drop.

The only problem is you certainly don’t have time to go sifting through giant lists of e-business conventions and events to figure out which ones you should invest more time and money into.

That’s why we checked some of the top options out for you and compiled a nice little list of the best conventions that give you a return on your efforts. Keep in mind that some of these events might be a little far for you to travel to, so don’t stretch it.

Pro-tip: Look for one of the events that occasionally stops by a location near you in order to save cash on that international plane ticket you’re about to book.

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Understanding Bounce Rate (And How to Keep it Down)

January 8, 2015 in How to sell online. 4 Comments

The bounce rate. You see this stat in Google Analytics, but what exactly does it mean? Well, it’s quite simple actually. It’s the percentage of people that come to your site and then navigate away from it after viewing only one page.

Every single time a visitor does this it increases your bounce rate, in turn affecting your search engine rankings a little bit. High bounce rates are bad, but you must understand that every industry has its own average benchmark for bounce rates, so sometimes comparing to other companies is not always the best thing.

Go Rocket Fuel explains that bounce rates have an even deeper meaning where they include all single interactions such as transactions and single events such as clicks. They explain that the average bounce rate usually sits somewhere in between 26 and 70 percent, but this is a rather large range, so what should you shoot for?

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The 6 Best Free Tools for Building eCommerce Landing Pages

January 7, 2015 in How to sell online. 9 Comments

It’s essential that your website has a strong landing page for each goal action that you want your visitors to take. However, that can quickly get expensive…

…if you go with the immediately available options, that is. With a little inventiveness and some research, you can find plenty of ways to build one for free.

Today, I’ve done some of that research for you. Here are some tools that you can use to design, build, and track a perfectly competent landing page with no money out of your pocket.

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How To Sell Online When You Don’t Have A Product

January 5, 2015 in Blog. 4 Comments

I tell people about WooCommerce all the time. When I explain to them how easy it can be to set up your own online store and start selling, they will often look quizzically at me, and say “That sounds great, but I don’t have a product to sell.”

Here’s the thing. They do have a product, they’re just not aware of it yet. They have one, you have one, almost everybody does. And that product is knowledge.

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How to Build a Brand Image That Pulls Customers to Your Online Store

January 2, 2015 in How to sell online. 1 Comment

I’m going to name a few design elements. Tell me what companies come to mind.

  • A red and white color scheme.
  • A smiley face.
  • Two black circles overlapping a larger black circle.
  • Product names beginning with the letter “i.”

I’m willing to bet that you can figure out at least two well-known brands from those elements alone.

It’s no coincidence that the biggest, most influential companies often have the most iconic brands. That’s the reason why branding is universally considered one of the most important parts of running a business, and why people who can create iconic brands are often the biggest influencers in the business world.

Your brand is comprised of a story and an image, so before we get into the “image” part, we really recommend this post we’ve previously done on how to write the story. Your brand image is directly tied to your brand story, in fact, you could say it’s a visual complement to it, and it’s very important that you have one worked out if you’re going to work on the other.

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How to Drive Customers to Engage with Your eCommerce Blog

December 31, 2014 in How to sell online. 1 Comment

customer-blog-engagementSometimes, it seems like there are more blogs out there than readers.

This has gotten to be even more of a problem with the rise of community content sites like Tumblr and Reddit that give blog readers one-stop shops for information on specialty topics that interest them.

Only a small percentage of blogs have a regular readership. The high rates of abandonment among new bloggers is part of the reason why, but a much larger part is that too many of them are taking Field of Dreams literally and assuming that simply writing quality content will magically draw viewers.

So, if building it doesn’t ensure they’ll come, what will?

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SEO Beyond the Basics: An Introduction to the Technical Side

December 30, 2014 in How to sell online. 5 Comments

SEO Beyond the BasicsWe’ve all heard about SEO basics, but what about those areas that require you to have just a little bit of technical knowledge?

This is what we call technical SEO. Yes the term is quite technical, I know. In short, it’s less about focusing on keyword optimization and more about understanding how search engines work to index your site. It’s less about ensuring your images are ready for the search engines and more about things like rich snippets, sitemaps, and URL structure.

But, wait a second. If it’s so technical, why is it so common for people to implement these tips on their sites? Well, the good news is that it’s not all that technical. Everyone has a chance to use these tips, and plenty of companies are going out of their way to work on these SEO tactics. The only thing is that many people don’t want to take the time to learn about these slightly more technical SEO topics, creating a huge advantage for you.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more technical areas of SEO and how to implement these tips on your own online store.

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‘Twas The Night Before WooMas

December 24, 2014 in Blog. 8 Comments

Thank you to all our customers for a great 2014! We’ll be a little quieter over the next week as we take time off to spend with our family and loved ones. We’re still helping you in our tickets, and our knowledge-base and documentation are still available.

Happy Holidays!

How to Promote a Service E-Commerce Business

December 23, 2014 in How to sell online. 2 Comments

promote-service-ecommerceFor the purposes of this article, there are three categories of online service business:

  1. Businesses offering services that can only be delivered within a certain range (e.g. startup ISPs)
  2. Businesses offering services where distance isn’t a factor (e.g. freelance coders)
  3. Businesses that offer both types of services (e.g. design firms)

This article focuses mostly on the first type, but there’s some advice in here for everyone.

For example, no matter what type of service you offer, the first step to marketing it is to identify your target audience as precisely as possible, whether it’s through a buyer profile or just careful analysis of your analytics data. This will dictate where you should be looking for them and what methods work best to find them.

The second step is to register your business with Google Places. Yahoo Local and Bing will also help. Why? That brings us to our first step…

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How To Complement Your Online Store With a Powerful Social Media Strategy

December 22, 2014 in How to sell online. 1 Comment

Social Media StrategyCustomers have more opportunities than ever to engage with stores they love, and you’d do well encouraging your customers to take full advantage of all the opportunities they have to talk to you.

However, most retail stores are missing the boat when it comes to connecting online shoppers with offline information. They display their locations and hours on their websites, but less than 4 out of 10 provide information on their products and services on social media.

It’s a shame, since the e-store owners who do effectively use social networking have found that it is a very efficient way of discovering what their customers want. They also enjoy more control over their businesses’ reputations, as they can respond to complaints and controversies instantly.

So today, we’ll show you how to leave the first category and enter the second.

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Tools for WordPress Contributors

December 19, 2014 in Blog, WordPress tips & tricks. 13 Comments

Contributing to WordPress is an exciting and rewarding task – no matter how you go about it, it’s incredibly satisfying knowing that you’re giving back to a platform and community that dominates nearly 25% of the internet. That being said, it can be very tricky to know where to start with contributions. There are so many different avenues that you can go down when contributing that it would be incredibly helpful if you had a guide to show you the way.

Well, you’re in luck – here are a few tools that are designed to help new (and old) contributors find their way in the world of WordPress.

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