Horkey HandBook Blog

Tips for Launching an Online Business from a WordPress Pro

Every Friday I host (and record) a live Blab with someone I’ve met that has helped me along in my freelancing journey. For those of you who can’t catch it live, want a review or just prefer reading a blog post to watching a video, here’s a recap of my recent chat with Grayson of iMark Interactive.

I first met Grayson Bell through my freelancing coach, Carrie. Carrie referred him to me when I was transitioning from a free theme on my website to a new one I was purchasing. That was over a year ago, and we’ve been working together ever since.

Grayson is my go-to guy when I have website question or I need something done for my online presence.

If you aren’t familiar with Grayson’s background, you might be surprised to find out that he has been blogging for 11 years. Can you believe it?

Grayson started working with WordPress a couple months after it was first released. Since then, Grayson has side hustled his way to owning his company, iMark Interactive, which offers blog setup, technical assistance and hosting migration. This is what he now does full-time.

Here are a few of the things that we chatted about during the Blab and Grayson’s tech recommendations.

1. Landing Pages

What We Use

Leadpages is a popular choice to use for landing pages, and also what I use for this website. Some webpreneurs are turned off by the monthly fee, however, I believe that it adds a lot of value to my business. Grayson uses Optimize Press, but he is also considering switching to Thrive landing pages because of their comprehensive offer.

Choosing the Best Option for You

Do your research. There are a lot of great options out there, so it’s worth looking for one that will meet your needs.

Once you start using something, it will be harder to switch, so pick an option you think you will need for the longer term (rather than the first one you come across or the cheapest one out of the gate).

Pro Tip: There is a lot of competition in the landing page space so you should be able to find what you need in your price point.

Why Should You Use Landing Pages?

There are so many things you can do with landing pages. As an example, I set one up before my last course launched. It allowed people to opt-in to receive updates about the course going live, as well as access to the beta version before I launched it to the public.

Pro Tip: Landing pages can be great for blogs, product offerings and affiliate marketing.

2. 3 Things to Consider as a Newbie Blogger

  1. Protect your website from day one! Here’s a scary thought! Within five minutes of setting up your WordPress site, hackers will go after it. Even if you don’t have products or any kind of e-commerce set up on your site, it is good to take precautions. Whether you install a security plugin or use a two step authentication process, know that your site could be a target and plan accordingly.
  2. You don’t need a new construction page when you are building your site. No one is going to see it unless you are giving people the address. When you are ready for visitors, start promoting it and the traffic will come. If you decide to use one during a relaunch, do it at night when traffic to your site will be low.
  3. Make sure you don’t get caught in the “launch when it’s perfect” trap. If you want to start promoting your business or your blog, you can even put up a free theme (there are plenty available). You can always tweak it as you go, but don’t let perfection hold you back or become an excuse for not building your business. Get something up, pitch clients and make changes as you go.

Pro Tip: If you’re a newbie blogger, check out 7 Days or Less to Branded Website Success to get a new site launched in a week or less! We walk you through step-by-step what you need to do to ship your site fast, so you can start referring prospects to it!

Our Top Three Tips for Your New Site:

  1. Take off the meta login widget. It appears on your homepage and will let others know quickly that you are a newbie. In most themes you can remove it my going to appearance, click on widgets, select primary sidebar and then delete the widget.
  2. Please remember to delete the first post and comment that come with your new site.
  3. Always go self-hosted with WordPress.org.

3. Launching a Tech Business

One of the questions we received was about starting a business to help website owners with their tech issues. The steps involved are really the same for any business you start.

  1. Start with your network. Grayson has built his business on referrals. Networking both online and offline by letting people know what you can do will help you to make connections and get your name out there.
  2. Be helpful. Join groups and forums where your ideal clients hang out and answer their questions. Be seen as an expert. When they decide to hire, they will remember you.
  3. Pitch. If you decide to go the cold pitching route, there are a couple things to keep in mind.
    1. Know the business you are pitching and make it personal. Both Grayson and I receive daily emails from people wanting to help us with our websites, but they obviously don’t know our businesses.
    2. Be specific. Know exactly what you can provide and how you can help. Get into a conversation to figure out exactly what their pain points are and how you can fix them.

Pro Tip: While I am definitely all about bootstrapping your business, sometimes you just have to hire out the work when someone is better than you are.

I.e. Even though I can figure out some website stuff on my own, the time that it would take compared to the time it takes for someone like Grayson is something to think about. My return on investment is much better paying Grayson to handle what he does best while I use that time to do what I do best.

If you want to learn more about WordPress, or coding in general, check out these resources:

If you would like to connect with Grayson to see if he can help your business, check it out his website. You can also connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Grayson BellGrayson has been a blogger for nearly 11 years. He runs a large personal finance blog, along with other blogs in that same niche. He also runs a blog management service to help other bloggers and site owners focus on their business and not worry about technical issues. When he’s not online, he’s enjoying the outdoors, family life, and brewing beer at home. Let’s face it though, there aren’t many times he’s not online!

If you missed our live blab you can catch the replay here:

Don’t forget to catch this Friday’s live Blab where I’ll be interviewing Joe Dyton, a true pitching machine! Don’t forget to subscribe to let us know you’re coming! (PS: You can email me any and all of your pitching questions in advance.)

This post may include affiliate links. If that’s not kosher, we might not be friends. Kidding of course, but this is my due diligence disclosure notice.

Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey

FOUNDER & CO-OWNER

Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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