Category Archives: Marketing

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What are your potential byproducts?

When it comes to your business, you should always be on the lookout for byproducts. Every single business has a byproduct in some way or another that, when treated properly, can add a huge boost to your bottom line. Even people who have hobbies that they do for fun (as opposed to profit) have opportunities to capitalize on their byproducts. In some businesses these byproducts are obvious, in others they may take a little bit of thought and investigation before they really become clear.

Many people have already heard the story of Kingsford Charcoal… For those who haven’t, it’s a little known fact that it actually started as Ford Charcoal. When Henry Ford built his automobile plants, he built saw mills to create the wooden parts that went in to his Model Ts. The saw dust and wood chips would begin to pile up. Henry quickly looked for a way to dispose of all of this scrap and, in doing so, learned all about the methods of compressing it and turning it in to charcoal. Henry Ford discovered a byproduct to his main product that turned in to a multi-million dollar business of its own. In the 70s an investment company purchased the charcoal portion of the business and renamed it Kingsford Charcoal.

The story of Kingsford charcoal may be an obvious example of a byproduct. They had factories and the excess wood chips just piled up. They had to stare at them everyday which eventually led to their idea. How do you spot byproducts, however, if you have no visible waste? What if you’re product is a digital product or even a blog?

Believe it or not, The WordPress Classroom began as a byproduct… I’ve been blogging since about 2006 with various other niche blogs. I learned how to monetize my blogs and make some extra cash back in 2007. I was going to build my online income through blogs alone because I had a few of them and I was good at it. Then one day, someone asked me, “Why aren’t you recording this process and teaching others how to blog?” That was a huge “Aha” moment for me. That was when I realized that I can be good at one thing and produce a byproduct by teaching others as I go along. The WordPress Classroom was born.

I don’t care what business you are in or which niche you chose to work in… Your business has byproducts. Have you ever seen DVDs of behind the scenes footage of musicians in the studio or musicians on tour? Those are byproducts of being in that industry. Have you ever gone to a live seminar and seen someone recording the seminar from the back of the room? They are creating a byproduct to sell later. Are you a dentist or a doctor or a mechanic? Is there any reason you can’t record your craft (with permission from your clients) and sell the videos as training material or use videos to overcome objections to people using your services? All of these ideas are potential byproducts of exactly what you’re doing right now. Even non-paid gigs can produce byproducts. Are you in to model planes, quilting, cooking, dirt bikes, or any other fun hobbies? Create a blog all about your hobby! It’s what you love doing, you’ll have no problem talking about it and engaging others. All byproducts.

My final example is what I’m doing right now… I’m in the process of creating a new site called LearnToBlog.com. During the entire process I’ve been turning on my screen capture software and explaining every last step that I’m taking to get this business online. I’ve recorded information about how I landed the domain, info about how I designed the logo, info about how I had the theme designed, info about having the theme coded, details about how I set up the affiliate program, how I protect the content, how I create the tutorial videos, and so on and so on… I’m thinking that, when all is said and done, I’ll be able to make just as much on the training of how I developed LearnToBlog as I did on selling subscriptions to the program itself. We’ll see.

The point is that there are byproducts that can be converted in to cash. It doesn’t matter what your business is or what your hobbies are. There are ways to squeeze some extra money out of what you do. Sometimes the byproducts just take a little hunting before they really become apparent.

Do you have any more examples of byproducts? Please leave some comments. I love the feedback!

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Why A Huge List Should Not Be Your Goal…

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my online business and the strategies that I’ve employed to get to where I am. Josh Bartlett and I have sat around for hours discussing the ways that most people get started in online business. We’ve come to the conclusion that almost everyone out there is doing it all wrong.

It seems to us that most people have this strategy that consists of basically building a list as large as possible. Their number one focus in life is to build it bigger and bigger. While having a huge list is definitely not a bad thing, most people are putting their focus on the wrong thing. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that “the money is in the list”. You’ve probably also heard the counter-response that “the money is not in the list… it’s in the relationship that you have with the list”. Obviously, the second one is probably closer to the truth. Today I’m going to put a new spin on the idea…

Focus on Building Fans Instead of Gaining Subscribers.

When I talk about a fan, I’m referring to the people that purchase every product that you create just because you made it. These people have so much faith in you that they are willing to blindly purchase what you are selling simply because you made it and they trust that what you made will live up to the quality that they’ve come to expect from you. These fans will purchase products through your affiliate links because they trust you and that you would only recommend the best for them. One fan is worth infinitely more to you that even 100 subscribers on your list.

Think of Apple Computers… They have thousands (if not millions) of fans. There are people out there that will purchase every single product that Apple puts out just because it’s Apple and they’ve come to expect a certain level of quality and usability from them. We call these people Apple Fanboys / Fangirls (and day by day I’m becoming one too). When they put out an iPhone 4, hundreds of thousands of people who already have perfectly fine, working, iPhone 3s drop their old phone to go grab Apple’s latest new toy. It happens with each new product they put out… They have fans.

Another example would be the gaming company, Blizzard. They do games like WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo. I’m a fan of their company. In my opinion, they’ve never released a bad game. As a result, I own every game they’ve ever released. I buy the games before even reading reviews because I’ve come to expect a certain level from them and they seem to never disappoint. I am a fan…

Let’s put some math behind the idea… Written on the white board on the wall in my office I have “1,000 FANS” written in huge writing. That goal has been on board for months and months now. It is my opinion that if I can build my business to the point where I have 1,000 fans, I will be set…

One fan can be worth any amount to you. I would say at the very minimum, 1 fan is worth $100 per year. Remember, a fan buys everything you release and also purchases most of what you recommend. You only need to sell 2 products in a year, valued at $50 each for one fan to be worth $100 per year. However, at this rate, 1,000 fans is equal to $100,000 per year to your business.

Realistically, though, one fan is probably worth more like $324 per year (or about $27 per month) to your business. So at 1,000 fans, you are probably closer to a business worth around $324,000 per year. At this rate, you only need about 309 true fans to have a $100,000 per year business….

It’s fun to play with these numbers. Obviously, people who only sell and promote really high-ticket items will have a higher value per fan. However, in the high-ticket market, one fan is probably a little harder to come by.

Are you starting to see how simple the concept of building a huge income becomes when your focus becomes building fans as opposed to building a list of subscribers?

How to create fans

There are a few simple rules that myself and Josh tend to follow. Do these things and you will be on your way to building a list of adoring fans.

1. Give tons and tons of high value content for free. Use your blog, create eBooks, make video tutorials, and record interviews. Then just give them away for free. People love to get for free what most other people probably charge to give. As long as the content is quality, people will stick around to see what you’re going to say or offer next. I do my best to share everything I know and learn and I usually give it away for free. The funny thing is, that has never hurt the sales of the products I sell. So don’t be afraid to share what you know for free. People will still pay to get even more details or to dig down a little deeper in to the concepts.

2. “Learn to love getting the short end of the stick” This is one of my favorite quotes and it comes from, fellow internet marketer, Eben Pagan. It basically means that when you do sell products, sell them for a lot less than you think they are worth. Have a philosophy of always over-delivering and make sure that when people purchase a product from you, they are always getting much more than they paid for.

3. Be customer service oriented. I still personally respond to most of my e-mails myself. I do my best to answer questions about my products or my ideas to the people who take the time to e-mail me and ask them. I’m not always the fastest at responding (I get a lot of e-mails) but I pretty much always get back to people. I hired people to manage my support desk as well. I want to make sure that even if I can’t respond quickly, you will get a quick response. No question goes unanswered and theres usually someone to answer quickly no matter what time you send it. These little details really solidify the confidence that people have in you and your business.

4. Never promote anything that you don’t know much about. Don’t jump on launches just because everyone else is promoting them and don’t agree to adswaps without knowing the product of the person you’re swapping with. Make sure that you do what you can to protect the list that you do have. Don’t violate the trust that you are working hard to build by sending crap that you don’t know much about. I’m not against promoting products, promoting launches or even doing adswaps. I just think that you should never mail anything to your list unless you are confident that it will benefit them. Don’t put your credibility with your list on the line by blindly mailing them everything that pops up to promote.

5. Always live up to the standards that you’ve created. If you are going to follow in these footsteps and build a business around creating fans and trust, make sure that any products that you put out continue to be high quality. Don’t let your true fans down. It may take only one misguided slip up to ruin that relationship. Don’t blow it.

Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to creating a huge list of fans. I know people with lists of 60,000 to 100,000 subscribers that get a worse response out of their lists than people with lists of a few hundred true fans. True, sustainable wealth comes from buildings fans and creating trust, not from making a list…

If you enjoyed this post, can you do me two huge favors? Click the “Like” button to let me know that you enjoyed it and leave a comment so we can further discuss it. What are you a fan of? Do you agree / disagree with this philosophy? Get your input heard.

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You Will Need To Do This To Grow Your Business

Josh Bartlett & Matt WolfeAs many of you may already know, I work very closely with a good friend of mine named Josh Bartlett. Josh and I probably have about three to four brainstorming / mastermind type calls each week. A few days ago we were talking and it hit us, “why don’t we start recording some of these calls and share them with others?” Well that’s exactly what we’ve decided to start doing.

Yesterday, Josh and I had a pretty in depth discussion about something that everyone needs to implement in their business. You may not need this immediately… But at some point, you will find that you can no longer grow unless you follow the advice in this call.

Anyway, I’ve posted the call below. There’s nothing for sale, I’m not looking for opt-ins and you can feel free to download it and share it with whoever you want. It’s just pure content and nothing more. The call lasts a little less than 40 minutes and we drop some really good tips at the end. By good tips, I mean NOBODY else is doing this yet.

So check out the call and please leave your comments. Your feedback has been amazing and I love to hear what you think about this stuff.

 


After leaving a comment, head on over to Josh Bartlett’s blog at JoshBartlettBlog.com. Josh is one of the good guys. The topics discussed in my last post where the result of a previous call with Josh. We’ve definitely got similar philosophies about how to treat people and how to ethically market to people.

 

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What’s wrong in internet marketing?

Yesterday I sent out an e-mail to my mailing list basically pledging that I would never send them junk. I promised that if they received a suggestions from me via e-mail it would be because I had thoroughly reviewed the product and that I think it is something that people would really gain something out of. I’ve seen a lot of junk out there and even I have been guilty of mailing about products that I may not have really reviewed before I mailed. I’m turning over a new leaf…

I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about what I feel is wrong in internet marketing. My opinions here may not be shared with a lot of other internet marketers but I’m going to talk about them anyway. Maybe other people hoping to get in to this internet marketing game will read this and decide to avoid some of these things…

Mailing without actually knowing what the product is about.
This is something that really frustrates me and I know it has to frustrate a lot of other people. People do adswaps in which two people both mail out to their lists for the other person. Adswaps can be great and I think it is probably one of the best ways to grow your list when you are first getting started. I would never tell people not to do them and I even still do them from time to time. My issue comes with the fact that most people don’t even look at the product of the person that they are swapping with.

People go in to forums or chat rooms, find people to swap with, and then agree to swap based on list size. I would say that a vast majority of the people who swap don’t thoroughly look in to the product of the person that they are swapping with. This kind of behavior only ruins your relationship with your list. People end up taking the swipe copy that’s given to them, pasting it in to their autoresponder and blindly mailing out to their list.

There is a lot of junk out there. If you blindly arrange swaps, you’re going to end up sending your list a lot of crap and that’s going to reflect badly on you.

On the rare occasion that I arrange an adswap, I thoroughly investigate my swap partners product. I opt-in to their list myself to see what the page looks like after they opt-in. I look at the product that they are offering to make sure that it’s not rehashed junk. If your site looks spammy, refers my subscribers to an affiliate link, or makes it insanely difficult to find the freebie, don’t bother lining up a swap with me. I will deny you.

This same type of behavior is often seen with affiliate promotions and product launches. List owners need to make a couple extra bucks so they will line up a product promotion without ever checking out the product for themselves. For all they know, they can be sending their subscribers to a total scam or some rehashed PLR product. This will result in lost credibility and probably a lot of refunds.

If you are new to affiliate marketing, buy the product and check it out before promoting it. Once you are a little more established, you can start requiring that you receive a review copy of the product before promoting it to your list.

My only exception to this rule is for new product launches from people that I really trust. The Frank Kerns and Mike Koenigs of the world have proven themselves to put out quality products. These types of promotions, however, are the exception and not the rule.

Sweet Ferrari
This has almost become comical to me. You get people posting pictures of themselves in front of “their ferrari” or sweet new ride. The internet lifestyle has been good to them and now they need to show the world how good their life is by standing in front of their new car.

Does this even work anymore?

I don’t mind the people that go out and buy the awesome car because it was their dream and now they can finally do it but do they really have to pose in front of it on their sales pages? I see someone posing in front of a Ferrari on a sales page and I think “What an asshole”. Half the time, I know for a fact, it’s not even their car!

When you start studying copywriting and the psychology of selling, you learn that you want your customer to relate to you. You want your customer to see that you are just like them. How does posing in front of your rented Ferrari make me relate to you? I know that you’re selling the lifestyle but, in my opinion, the time freedom is a much better selling point than the car that’s most commonly bought by middle aged, recently divorced, men who have some sort of anatomical deficiency.

The car is an ego thing and nothing more. It’s someone saying “look at me, I’m better than everyone else”.

One day I may have a flashy car too so I can’t talk too much crap about them. However, you’ll never see me posing in front of it at night with my shades on for the sake of selling a product.

Selling “how to make money online” products without ever having made money online.
People think that the easiest way to make money online is to create a product about how to make money online. Do people really think that others can’t see through this? I can spot a product from someone who has no idea what they are talking about from a mile away by now. There is so many things wrong with this career path.

First of all, if you do this you are a scammer and a con-artist. This is like someone who has never made a single investment in their life selling investment advice to others. You will quickly be found out about and exposed as a liar and a scammer.

Second of all, these people are completely wrong about how easy the “make money online” niche is. In fact, it’s the most over-saturated niche on the internet. Everyone is out there teaching their systems and customers have thousands of options of what the best formula for them is.

If you’ve made a good income online and you have a system that honestly works then, by all means, teach it… And charge a lot for it. Otherwise, start out in a niche that you may know something about.

I created income-generating blogs for three years before I ever decided to create my first product. When I did create my first product it was about how to setup blogs. After a year of documenting everything I had done to make money online I finally released my product about how I did it.

With that being said, I don’t even know if I would make another product about how I make money. It’s a tough niche and a lot of people just don’t take action. You end up with a lot of people claiming your methods don’t work when, in reality, they never took the action to make it work.

It’s a tough niche to be in and there are a lot of people who have absolutely no business being in it.

I guess that’s enough of a rant for today. I’m sure there’s many more things that I can come up with that really frustrate me about what’s going on in the industry. Please give me your feedback in the comments below. I really appreciate all of the comments.

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Turn G-Mail Into An Autoresponder

So here’s a cool technique that I discovered not too long ago about how to use G-Mail as an autoresponder. If you get a lot of e-mails, you can use G-Mail to automatically send a response based on the subject of the e-mail. It’s a really cool trick!
Watch The Video

Do you have any cool tricks with G-Mail? I love G-Mail and I want to start posting random posts about how to get the most out of it. What are your tips?

A Small Triumph

I don’t promote many products to my mailing list. I usually just promote free stuff that will give my subscribers value. It’s usually free eBooks, free videos tutorials, free apps, and things like that. Well Mike Filsaime is relaunching his amazing product called The 7 Figure Code. He’s actually giving it away for free.

I decided that I would try my hand at promoting a launch. This is the first time I’ve ever done it before. I had no idea how my list would respond. I figured it would be good because Mike is giving away a free video to check out immediately. I never imagined that I would end up in the top 10 for generating leads!

He posted today the leaders that are promoting the product… I managed to top a bunch of really big name players. I’m really excited about this. I had no idea that my list was capable of actually being a “player” in the launch game.

Anyway, just wanted to make a quick post because I’m excited. :)
Mike Contest

Last Night My Blog Crashed

So I woke up this morning and jumped over to my blog. I noticed that my theme was still installed and that I could still log in to my dashboard but that there were no posts on my front page. All I saw was a “Page Not Found” error. I logged in to my dashboard and saw that every single post and page that I have ever created had been deleted. I have no idea how this happened but everything was gone. The database that held all of the information on my blog had apparently crashed. I freaked out a little bit and then remembered that I had taken some actions to safeguard against situations like this. I spent about 5 minutes reloading my last backup and everything was back to normal again. I may have lost one or two comments that may have come in over night but, for the most part, it’s like it had never happened.

It is scary because if I hadn’t have taken a few certain actions a few weeks ago, I would have been unable to recover my blog. I figured that there are probably a lot of bloggers out there that may not know how to backup their blog or how to recover their blog from a backup. It is really scary because your blog CAN go down at any time for no apparent reason whatsoever! Read this post and maybe you can put yourself in a situation where a database crash is nothing more than a 5 minute fix.

The very first thing that you should do is download and install the WP-DB-Backup plugin for wordpress. It’s a free plugin and can usually be searched for and installed from directly inside your WordPress Dashboard. Get that installed today. Once it’s installed set it up to backup daily and send you an e-mail with the backup. By doing this, you can jump back to any point in time and recover all the information that crashed. If you don’t update very frequently, you can also opt to backup weekly. I prefer daily because I know I can restore comments from the previous day as well.

Now… If your blog ever goes down and you have been doing a good job of backing it up, here is how you restore your blog.

1. Login in to your CPanel account and scroll down until you find phpMyAdmin
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2. Find the database that your blog is installed on. The backup files that are sent to you from WP-DB-Backup will share the same name as the database you need to recover. So if you are unsure of which database to open, refer to the filename of your backup file.
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3. Click on the tab that says import at the top of the new screen that just opened.
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4. Click on “choose file” and find the backup file that you are going to use to restore your blog.
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That should do it. Your blog should be back in all of its glory. Having a database failure can be extremely scary! Fortunately, if you take the right precautions from the beginning, it can be a very quick and painless fix. If you only have one plugin installed for your blog, make sure that it is a backup plugin. It will save you someday!

Please feel free to make comments. Have you had your blog crash? Do you have any questions about making sure you are protected against your blog crashing?

The Fastest Ways To Grow Your Mailing List

biglistToday I want to explain how I build my list so fast.
It’s been a while since I have posted a tutorial type post on my blog. Everything I’ve been doing lately has been about personal stuff. You’ve seen my Crib, learned 25 things about me, and met my new puppy. Today I want to talk about the one thing that will grow an internet marketing business faster than any other thing that you could possibly do. Of course I am talking about growing that mailing list. The bigger you can grow your mailing list, the more success you are going to have online. Whether you are promoting your own product or you are promoting other people’s product as an affiliate, the larger your mailing list, the larger your audience.

About eight weeks ago I had no mailing list. I had zero subscribers. I made it my 100% focus to build that mailing list as fast as possible. In a period of about seven weeks, I went from not even having an Aweber account to having a mailing list with over 1,000 subscribers. The cool thing is that I know for a fact, that I will double my list in less than one more month. My list grows at a rate of about 50 new subscribers per day. So it really should only take about 20 more days to completely double my list.

Why has building my list been my number one goal over the last several months, you might ask… You may also be wondering why I made the statement that building a list is the fastest way to grow an internet marketing business. Well, to answer both of those questions, internet marketers much wiser than myself have said over and over again that one subscriber on your list is worth one dollar per month. So if I am growing my list at a rate of 50 subscribers per day, I am growing my business by about $50 per month! If you do the math, I should have about a $3,000 per month business in no less than 40 days time at the rate that I am going.

So now that you know the importance of growing your mailing list. Let me share with you the top 3 techniques that I have used to grow my mailing list.

JV Giveaways -This was the absolute first thing that I started doing after I had a free product created. You can enter your free product in to these JV Giveaway events and every single person that has submitted a product, promotes the JV giveaway. This causes a massive flood of traffic to the JV giveaway and some of that traffic finds, and opts-in for, your product. JV Giveaways usually have an option to upgrade for a price. I tend to like to upgrade as well. Upgrading gets your product in front of a lot more people. I have done about 50% of my JV giveaways without upgrading and about 50% with upgrading. When I upgrade, I usually get about four times as many subscribers from the event than if I didn’t upgrade. JV Giveaways are the best way to start building your list before you really have many people on your list to leverage. For the sake of?convenience, I have started to compile a list of current JV giveaway events. I will make sure to keep this list updated as new ones come up and old ones shut down. You can find JV Giveaway Events Here. Bookmark that page because you are going to want to access these JV giveaways as soon as they come up.

ListJoeListJoe is a cool little site that I found that I don’t think is very well known yet. Basically, when you sign up for ListJoe (100% Free), you will be able to send out a mailing to 2,000 people immediately. That’s right, you will mail 2,000 people within 10 minutes of signing up. From that point on, you will begin receiving e-mails from other ListJoe members. For each e-mail you open, you will receive a certain amount of points. One point is equal to one person mailed to on your next mailing. You will receive a lot of e-mails per day but you can build up your points and send out to a list of about 3,000 per week. You might think that this doesn’t sound too effective because you are just sending to other ListJoe members. However, I have only sent 2 mailings so far and it has accounted for over 150 new subscribers. I would definitely not downplay the ability of this service. If you are interested in playing around with ListJoe check it out here.

Adswaps – Adswaps are probably the absolute fastest way to build your list up. However, adswaps are difficult unless you already have a little bit of a list built up. Basically, you are telling someone that you will promote their opt-in page to your list if they promote your opt-in page to their list. Most people will only do adswaps with people who have similar list sizes to their own. Adswaps are basically a way to leverage the list that you currently have. I have, however, asked people with lists much larger than mine to do an adswap and been surprised that they had accepted. So I would say that even though your list may be smaller than someone else’s, it never hurts to ask. You might be surprised at some people’s generosity.

Because I have made list building my complete focus over the last several weeks, I have decided to dive in deeper and explain some of the advanced techniques that I have also learned that I have used to boost my list exponentially. I want to teach people how I manage to grab about 50 new subscribers per day. To do this, I have created a two-week course that dives in to list building. The course is 100% free and each lesson is delivered to your e-mail. There is no site to log in to and you can save all of the information to your hard drive as you go. The course digs in to everything from the initial setup of a mailing list all the way in to super advanced techniques that can potentially build your list by hundreds of subscribers overnight. I also cover several resources to find things like adswaps and JV partners. You really don’t want to miss out on this free opportunity to explode your list over the next 2 weeks. To get started with the first lesson today, simply enter your e-mail address in the form below. Otherwise, please leave a comment with your list building tips or your thoughts on my list building tips.

Please Enter Your E-Mail To Receive Lesson 1 of Rapid List Building Today!
Email:

How To Schedule Posts For Later

It is important to make sure that your blog doesn’t get stale. You want people to come back and see that you are keeping up with it. Sometimes, however, you are going to be away from your computer for long periods of time or you have some pressing matters that are going to make it impossible to keep up with your blog. If you know about these circumstances in advance, there is a way to make sure that it looks like you are keeping up with your blog without you having to log in and keep posting.

You can actually schedule posts for later. A lot of times, when I know I am going on vacation or something, I will write several blog posts and then que them up to post over the next several days. This allows me to be “hands off” on my blog while making it appear that I am constantly updating.

Here’s how you do it:

Login to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Posts”, and then click on “Add New”. Then go ahead and write one of your posts like you would anyway. Now, under the “Publish” area on the right hand side of your screen, there is an area that says “Publish: immediately”. Click on the link that says “Edit”.
Schedule 1

Now you can change the date and time that you want this post to update.
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That’s it. That is all there is to it. You can do this as many times as you want to schedule up as many days as you want.

It is something that is really quick and simple, yet a lot of people ask me how to do this. So there you go. That’s how it is done.

Do you have any burning WordPress questions? I can probably help you out with any questions that you have or anything that you’ve been trying to figure out how to do. I want to get back in to doing a couple of blog posts a week. Post your WordPress questions and what you would like to learn and I will make more tutorials on how to do them. But first, don’t forget to check out my free WordPress video tutorials at The WordPress Classroom.

Ask your questions in the comments below and I will help you out if I know the answer!