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Start Building your Website Right Part 17 – Detailed Learning Plan

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Create and Format Pages and Posts

Here’s your learning plan for all the tasks you need to accomplish for a viable WordPress website. The very first thing you have to master is creating and formatting posts and pages in WordPress. That means how to create them, how to embed media in them and how to format them for SEO.

Steve: Okay.

Rick: And I believe that’s all Lesson 9 in my beginner’s series but you want to do that.

Steve: Alright.

Manipulating Media in WordPress

Rick: The second thing you needed to do next is master manipulating media in WordPress. That is how to use the media library, how image sizes work in WordPress, how to optimize your own images before you upload them and how you’re going to use featured images.

Since you’re using the Thesis theme you’ll go to Build a Responsive Professional Website with Thesis 2. Obviously everything related to customizing your site you’re just going to ignore but Adding Content to Your Site is important. It’s using the text editor, styling content for usability, on-page SEO, WordPress Media Settings, Media Library, Inserting Images, Optimizing Images.

Steve: So that’s really what I’ve got to focus on is lesson 9?

Rick: Yes, Lesson 9 and Lesson 12 for that first task – Adding Blog Functionality to the Thesis 2 site.

Steve: 9 and 12 alright.

Working with Menus

Rick: And then How to Create WordPress Menus, this happens automatically but you don’t want the automatic menu so that’s one of the next things you need right away is How to Create a WordPress Menu. That’s one of the very first things we do under organizing the site is laying out the page layout and building the skeletons of the pages and then creating the menus.

Steve: Okay.

Understanding SEO

Rick: And then you need to know how to write for SEO, I have a whole seminar on SEO that you’re going to want to watch.

Steve: What lesson is that?

Rick: It’s actually under Specialty Seminars. You’re going to want to learn about the SEO meta. How to write for SEO and that’s not actually me, you’re going to want to go join Copyblogger to learn that. They have a free deal, just register for that and read their outstanding articles on SEO copywriting and it’s available free. I would read it, take it to heart, employ those tactics in your writing.

Theme Configuration Options

You’re going to want to learn basic theme configuration options which is something we’re going to be talking about when we do the Personified skin.

Steve: Okay.

Sales Proposition/Value Proposition

Rick: Your unique selling proposition definitely needs a brush up, “old guy in shape” is probably not really going to do it for you. Somebody here had a brilliant suggestion “the alkaline athlete”. I think that’s pretty good but you’re going to want to polish that up and probably the best way to learn about how to do that is with Marketing Experiments. These guys are really I think the world leaders. Go to Marketing Experiments’ Value Proposition.

It goes all the way back to 2008 but they’ve got great videos on this and they’ve got workshops that you can watch where they evaluate other people’s value propositions. This is a marketing experience, I’m just going to put this in the chat window. This is the site you want to look at for really refining your value proposition.

Steve: Okay.

Rick: And you’ll get some good tips on how to come up with it yourself. The other thing is how to write user benefit driven sales pages. Even though you’re not really writing sales pages right now, your Services page is going to be sort of a sales page. You have to learn how not to talk about yourself and what you do, what you offer, what you provide and talk about your ideal person. So what they need, where their pain is, how they can improve, it has to be focused on the end user and not on you.

You’re going to get that also from this copywriting section so there’s going to be some real good information in this copywriting section about benefit driven, customer focused not you focused information.

Steve: Right.

Rick: I used to think I could say on my Homepage that I’ve been teaching small business owners how to build websites for 4 and a half years. Well, that sounds like that might be a decent sales pitch but it’s not because I’m talking about myself. That doesn’t work, people don’t care about me. What people care about is how do I learn how to build my own website. They’re saying “I started trying to build my own website and I realize there’s all this crap out there, how on earth am I going to wade through this stuff?”. It’s got to be focused on the benefits that they derive, the pain that they get resolved and again, these guys at CopyBlogger tell it very succinctly and clearly.

Steve: copyblogger.com

Rick: They are really famous so I strongly recommend that resource. I put it in the chat window. You’re going to want to learn how to create effective social profile pages and that’s both Facebook, Youtube and Google+. At the moment, there’s nothing on my site about that and I don’t necessarily have a good resource for you but this is something that you’re going to want to work on. To tell you the truth I need to work on it too, but you’re going to want to work on how to customize these things and how to make them look good and what to post.

Use and Configure Social Integration Plugins

You’re going to have to learn how to use and configure social integration plugins. Now, my website has lots of videos on that but I strongly recommend you just use the DIY themes social networking and AWeber boxes. Although I’ve not released it publicly, I have an addon to the DIY themes that allows you to place them more than once on a page. I will be releasing that publicly soon. Anyway, learning how to use those, how to configure those, how to set them up is going to be one of the steps that you’re going to have to take.

Steve: Okay.

Use and Configure AWeber for Email Marketing

Rick: It’s not in the basic class, it’s in seminars. You’re also going to need to learn how to use AWeber both how to create list, create auto responder emails, create broadcast emails and opt-in forms.

Steve: Yes, that’s on my list already.

Rick: I do have a series on using AWeber in my Membership course. I do show how to set up an opt-in form, how to give a product in exchange for an email and that kind of thing.

Steve: Okay.

Rick: And that is actually all there including how to do it in AWeber. I also do it in MailChimp but you’ve chosen AWeber so that’s fine.

Steve: How do I find that, just search AWeber on your search box?

Rick: You can certainly do that. You can search in the search box for AWeber or you could look under the lesson subjects for AWeber but this Learn About AWeber Email Marketing for WordPress would be good. This is the lesson subject page which has all the videos that I have talking about AWeber, it’s quite a bit actually.

Steve: Okay.

Use and Configure SEO Plugins

Rick: And then you’re going to have to learn how to use and configure the SEO plugins. Now unfortunately, I have not taught that yet but I may in fact teach it and just use your site as an example. You don’t have to learn it I’ll just demonstrate it and then I’ll have that for my site.

Steve: Okay.

Rick: I currently don’t have anything on how to use and configure Yoast. I don’t always recommend Yoast but because you’re doing the videos you’re going to want a video sitemap and at that point I think Yoast outshines everything.

Steve: So that video sitemap will allow Google to really get what’s going on with my videos then huh?

Rick: Well, it’s not just that. If Google’s going to show videos in a search result they require it to be in a sitemap.

Steve: Really?

Rick: Because they require a bunch of information.

Steve: Okay.

Rick: So otherwise they’re not going to show it. They may return the page but they won’t show it as a video.

Steve: Really?

Rick: Yeah.

Steve: Okay, so Yoast is essential for me then.

Rick: Yeah, I think Yoast is essential in this case.

Steve: Okay.

Integrate Your Site with Google

Rick: And then finally you’re going to have to learn how to integrate your site with Google. You need to install the plugins and that’s Webmaster tools, Analytics and Google Authorship which you’ll find in Lesson 13 – Integrating Your Site with Google. Really, much of this class is important to you, it’s just that Setting Up the Appearance of Your Site is irrelevant to you.

Using the Skin Editor – Lesson 11 is also again not important to you but knowing how to use plugins, how to use boxes, widgets that kind of stuff that is actually important because you can’t really configure the plugin until you know how to use it.

Once you get through this learning plan you’ll know everything you need to do all of this. In terms of the order of priority and what you need to know first, these are the things you need to know first, right? You don’t really need to know how to integrate your site with Google until you’re ready to integrate it with Google once you’ve got the content on it and it essentially become public.

Steve: Right. Because Google’s not really searching the site now or should I make it invisible while I do all this?

Rick: No, I don’t think you need to make it invisible. You’re just not going to publish the sitemap until you’re ready. And you’re not going to set up the site in Webmaster tools until you’re ready.

Steve: And setting up the sitemap tells Google, “Hey, I’m here take a look”, right?

Rick: It is. Right now, even though you’ve got the site, I don’t think there is a way for search engines of knowing where you are because there’s no path to you. But if there is a link to your site from somebody else’s site like if you posted a question on my forum with a link to your site, then Google would have a path to your site and it might get indexed. But without the link to your site some place else, Google doesn’t know about it and it’s not going to know until either there’s that link or you’ve submitted a sitemap to them.

Steve: Alright, good.

Rick: My site gets indexed constantly so often my stuff shows up in search engines within 30 minutes of it being posted on the forum. So the forum on my site is going to be a good place for you to post about your site and it may mean in fact, that you do get indexed or some parts of your site get indexed before you do everything else. But Google really start taking you seriously as soon as you’ve done that.

I’m going to share the learning plan with you right now. What’s your gmail account?

Steve: Can you just send it to my regular email?

Rick: Yeah, that’s fine. I’ll send it to you there.

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