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Build a WordPress Site for Your Business

You want to get online and establish your brand but…

Buying a domain and setting it up on a host, like SiteGround, may seem out of reach for you right now, but by the end of this guide you’ll be able to accomplish it in under 30 minutes.  Whether you want to grow your current business or create a totally new one, this guide will help you.

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Get your business website or branded blog up in 30 minutes

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There are a lot of reasons to create a site, no matter the reason, there’s one thing everyone I meet runs into…

Where the HECK do I start?

It get’s confusing fast when you’re trying to figure out…

  • Automation
  • Social Media
  • Website Hosting
  • DNS Zones
  • Registars
  • Lead Generation Software
  • Security
  • Email Marketing

…and still somehow stay motivated to take on your next project while mantaining your day-to-day.

It doesn’t seem like there’s enough time to figure it all out.

Now you don’t have to scratch your head or worry about what you’re supposed to be doing and how to do it!

Throw the learning curve out the window and let’s jump into this “no fluff guide” that will teach you how to build a branded website…

*for people and businesses that want to start a website without the learning curve or high costs


Table of Contents

  • Step 1: Getting The Best Deal on Your Domain
  • Step 2: How To Look For Promo Codes
  • Step 3: Use The Best Code
  • Step 4: Purchase Your Domain (usually for less than a $1.00)

  • Step 1: Choosing a Host
  • Step 2: Choosing the Right Plan
  • Step 3: Getting Your Host DNS (you’ll need this later)
  • Step 4: Pointing Your Website to Your Hosting Account

Part 3: Claiming Your Website and Installing WordPress

  • Step 1: Navigating to Cpanel
  • Step 2: Using Cpanel to Claim Your Site with Addon Domain
  • Step 3: Installing WordPress on Your Site and Going Live

Part 4: Setting Up Lead Generation on Your Site

  • Step 1: Setup Your Free Account
  • Step 2: Add The Code To Your Site
    (2 options that take less than 2 minutes)
  • Step 3: Creating Your First Form
  • Step 4: Setting Up Your Success and Display Options

Resources I’ll Be Using for This Guide:

  • Domain Name: CityofGrossePointe.com (purchased from GoDaddy for $0.99)
  • Hosting: SiteGround (or Bluehost, it’s up to you, approx $3.95/mo)
  • Framework: WordPress (Free and Awesome!)
  • Lead Generation: Sumo (Free and Awesome!)
  • Email Marketing: Mailchimp (Free and Awesome!)

Part 1: The Name (what is a registar?)

You’ve heard of Godaddy I take it. That’s a registar.

You buy your domain name from these companies. I recommend Godaddy (shocking I know) for purchasing your first domain name, but any registar will do.

Here you can buy on price alone, there is no difference in domain name “quality” so it doesn’t matter where you buy it.

RobertMcMillin.com is the same at Godaddy or Namecheap. I like Godaddy for one reason…

Promo codes for days!

When you’re ready to scoop up your domain name follow these steps…

Step 1: Go to Google.com

Step 2: Search for “Godaddy Promo Code” if you’re not getting good results try something like “Godaddy Promo Code 2018”, you should get plenty of results though.

Step 3: Find the steepest discounts

Robert McMillin Digital Marketing

Step 4: Go to Godaddy find your domain name, add it to your cart, enter the promo code and checkout! Congratulations you now own your own domain.


Pro Tip: Nearly every other product Godaddy has is not useful for our purposes. They will add many things to your cart, say “no”, remove them and only buy the domain name. Everything else is a waste of money *with the exception of private registration which you do not need at this time.

Part 2: Website Hosting (where your website lives)

Don’t buy Godaddy’s hosting, everything they offer besides domains, is expensive.

If you’re just getting started you’ll want to go with Bluehost or Siteground (both offer oneclick wordpress install).

If you’re really green when it comes to this online stuff, pay the little extra and go with Siteground.

They have hands down the best customer service in the industry and will fix most things for you within minutes.

Your hosting account is where the files for your site live.

In my opinion I always keep the Registar (where you bought your domain) and my Hosting (where your site and it’s files live) SEPARATE.

I don’t want one company holding all the cards for my online businesses and you probably don’t either!

For the purposes of this guide I will cover how to setup your Blog or Website with SiteGround and Godaddy

Now, that we have our domain name purchased the first thing we’ll need to do is to setup our hosting account.

*NOTE you can skip this step if you’ve already purchased hosting.  If so, proceed to Step 2 below.

Setting Up Your Hosting Account on SiteGround

Step 1:  Click here and head over to SiteGround to sign up for your hosting account.

For most people the “Startup” package will be fine and allows for one website and is suitable for 10,000 monthly visits.

If you have more than one website OR think you’ll get more than 10-11k monthly visitors the “GrowBig” package will be a great fit.

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SiteGround Hosting Plans (the BEST VALUE in hosting)

Step 2: After you’ve signed up for your hosting account on SiteGround you’ll be redirected to your dashboard and Cpanel access.  It looks like this…

SiteGround Hosting Dashboard
This is what you’ll see when you login to your account on SiteGround

The next thing you’ll need to do is…

Step 3: Click “My Accounts” then click the “Information and Settings” tab like in the image below.

SiteGround Hosting Review
Your DNS will allow you to point your site to SiteGround from GoDaddy. Look at it like your site’s new home address.

You’ll see two DNS addresses.  You’ll only need the part that looks like this:

EXAMPLE DNS:

ns1.siteground168.com

ns2.siteground168.com

*you can forget about the part in brackets with the IP Address (174.112.555.12) You’ll just need the DNS like the example above.

Step 4: Changing your DNS Nameservers on Godaddy to point to your SiteGround host.  What that means is we’ll login to Godaddy and take the DNS information we got in step 3 from SiteGround and enter it into Godaddy.  It’s very easy and should only take a minute.  Check the image below for more details on setting up your Nameservers on Godaddy.



Taking the DNS information from SiteGround we’ll change our domains nameservers to point from Godaddy to our new hosting account on SiteGround like so…


Part 3: Claiming Your Site on SiteGround and Installing WordPress

Step 1:  Go to SiteGround and head over to “My Accounts” and click “Go to Cpanel”

Step 2: Once in Cpanel click “Addon Domains” type in the name of your domain (without www) like in the image below.

SiteGround Cpanel
This is how you get to Cpanel from Your SiteGround Account

SiteGround Addon Domain
SiteGround Cpanel

Step 3: Installing WordPress on your new domain in SiteGround.  Luckily SiteGround has a oneclick install feature that we’ll use now.  First go back to Cpanel in SiteGround if you’re not already there, I’ll wait 🙂

Using One Click Install in SiteGround:

  1. Go to Cpanel
  2. In the search bar on the left or under “Auto Installers” OR “WordPress Tools” click WordPress Install or WordPress (either will work) like in the images below.
  3. Setup your username, password and choose your domain.  Everything else will be done for you automatically.
  4. Click Install!  You’re now rocking a new site and a fresh WordPress installation.  You’re ready to start building your site.
Install WordPress SiteGround
1 Click Install for WordPress on SiteGround

 

 

WordPress Site Live
Your Site is NOW LIVE! Nice Going!

Part 4: Adding Lead Generation to Your Site

Once you get your site up and running, you’ll want to have a way to capture information from prospective clients or customers. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to get started with SUMO. It offers several free tools to get your online business going and can generate results right out of the box. So let’s get started…

Step 1: Opening Your Free Sumo Account
The first thing you’ll need to do is head over to Sumo and sign up for a free account here.

The free account will have everything you need to add optin forms to your site and get your lead generation efforts moving. The most effective optin form, generally speaking, will be the welcome mat form. So that’s what we’ll use for this example.

SiteGround Sumo

Next you’ll have the option to install the code on your site manually or use the WordPress Plugin. We’ll cover how to do both. If you’re not sure what you’re doing install the Plugin that will be the simplest option. I prefer dropping the code in myself so I’ll do that as well in the example below.

Step 2: Adding the Sumo Code To Your Site Manually

After you’ve entered your URL into the signup form you’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this. It will have the snippet you need to drop into your site just before the closing tag of your HTML.


*NOTE: You only need to use ONE of these methods. Either install the code manually or install SUMO via their WordPress plugin, both are a breeze and should take less than a couple of minutes. If you’re fast you could probably have it done in less than a minute.

Manual Installation
You can accomplish this a few ways, but the easiest would be to simply use the WordPress Customizer –> Theme Settings –> Header Footer Scripts, like in the example below:

Plugin Installation
In your WordPress Dashboard (located here yoursite.com/wp-admin) click Plugins –> Add New Plugins –> Search for “SUMO” –> Click Install and Activate –> Follow Sumo Prompts to open an account or login. That’s it. You’re done.

If you don’t already have a free account you’ll be prompted to create one, if you do have an account click login. The account creation takes only a second. In the video above I was already logged in so the plugin worked immediately, which is pretty cool.

Step 3: Creating Your First Welcome Mat to Collect Emails

Go to sumo.com and sign in or use the plugin or badge on your site to access the dashboard. Any of those three ways will accomplish the same thing. In SUMO navigate to Forms –> List Builder –> Add New –> 1) My Goal –> Collect Emails –> 2) Form Type –> Welcome Mat –> Have Fun and Start Designing Your Welcome Mat.

Step 4: Setting Up Visibility and Success Options

For some pages you may not want your welcome mat to display you can edit those options in this step as well as determine what happens after a user completes your welcome mat form.

For visibility: You can leave this on Smart Mode or switch to manual mode to exclude or include specific pages on your site. For example you may not want your welcome mat to popup on your privacy page or product page. You can change that under the “Visibility” section in “Manual Mode”.

Cold Traffic
Learn how to drive new customers to your business

For Success: Here you can set a redirect URL for your welcome mat. This would be where you want to send the user after they complete your form, maybe a thank you page, or upsell would be appropriate for this page.

Six Digital Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business

Use These Effective Digital Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business

Here are six of my favorite digital marketing tools that I use everyday.

PixelMe
What it does: Allows you to embed your Facebook, Adwords and other tracking pixels into any link. This is super helpful when you’re curating content. You can share the most viral content from any source or medium and also reap the benefit of growing your custom audience and pixel tracking data. It leverages any link into a data driven marketing tool.


Visme
What it does: Visme is a mature infographic SaaS (software as a service) that allows you to make engaging, animated and beautifully crafted infographics. The time to create is drastically reduced by the block editor and other useful features, like section resizing. Another thing I really like about Visme is their knowledge base. Usually these are straight up tedious. With Visme’s KB (knowledge base) you can learn more about elements of design than from many art or design classes.


Rocketium
What it does: Want to make killer 10 second video ads? Maybe a mock newscast? What about Buzzfeed style listicles? Rocketium has all that covered and more. Features I enjoy: music collections to use in your video, branding options, beautifully animated slide transitions, no need for video of your own. With Rocketium you can show up at the party with some copy and a few images and leave with a killer video for your website or social media profiles.


BuzzSumo
What it does: We all want to share great content, right? With BuzzSumo you can do just that. Find the most viral content for nearly any keyword. Another useful feature of Buzzsumo is you can filter content by engagement, popularity, virality and platform. This is a serious game changer for your social media. It’s doubly effective when you pair it up with PixelMe above. When you do that, everyone that clicks the links you share, is now part of your pixel audience. Feel free to start serving them relevant ads (based on the content they click of course).


QuuuPromote
What it does: Sharing other peoples viral content is a good strategy, but what if you want your own content to go “viral”? Enter Quuu Promote. Send your content to them and watch the likes and shares start rolling in. Has this happened to you? You have a killer piece of content, you share it, but it’s just not getting the reach you need on social media. It’s a problem we’ve all probably faced. The people who are seeing it are liking and sharing it, but there’s just not enough eyeballs on your content. Quuu Promote fixes that by sending your content into the feeds of it’s Quuu Content Curation users (a separate service provided by them). Once your content is approved, it’s loaded into the hopper and boom you’re engagement just doubled, tripled or quadrupled.


Book Like a Boss
What it does:The Simplest Way to Schedule Appointments and Sell Your Products & Services. End frustrating email tag and make scheduling meetings and selling your services effortless with an all-in-one simple booking page. The integrations are also spectacular! BLAB has the perfect blend of technical functionality and ease of use that makes it a great choice for most businesses and solo-entrepreneurs. Another thing I really enjoy about Book Like a Boss is their embeddable widgets. Embedding a calendar on your site that shows your availability for bookings is a breeze (and super useful for closing). Share you link, add it to your email footer or start driving traffic with ads. The possibilities for getting traffic to your booking page are endless. Throw in the easy to use Facebook pixel integration and you’re ready to start serving ads and tracking results.

Good Fonts and Typography “Hacks” That Increase Readership

Good fonts and smart typography matter

Choosing a Good Font – Serif or Sans Serif?

When choosing a good font for your website, print or advertisement it’s important to choose one that people can read.  Serif or Sans Serif is a pretty tired argument that hopefully we can put to rest here.

The fact is, Serif fonts are easier to read.

There I said it. With that said, the rest is up to personal preference and project specifics.

One of many reasons Serif’s make good fonts is because each letter incorporates small decorative lines that embellish the character, and thus make it easier to read.  People with dyslexia also commonly report that they prefer Serif fonts as they make each character individually legible. Just because Serif is “easier” to read does not mean it is the only good font type.

Serif’s are easier to read but that doesn’t mean they’re “better”

There are plenty of good Sans Serif fonts out there. Montserrat is among my favorite Sans Serif fonts and is very legible.  If you’re opting for Sans Serif fonts pick a font that has been crafted with legibility in mind.

Kernelling and line height can play a big role in how well your users can read the content as well.

Examples of Good Fonts

Georgia is a good font for Serif’s.  Georgia font was created not only for traditional legibility but for clarity on computer screens, even small ones.  This intentional design for screens makes Georgia one of the most popular serif fonts for web and print design.

Georgia is a Good Font for Serif

Garamond is another good font if you’re opting to go with serif font types.  I like the way it looks and it is easy to read.  Another reason Garamond makes a good font type is because it can be used across the board in magazines, print advertisements and websites.  If you’re considering using a serif font, Garamond deserves a serious look.
Garamond is a good font for serifs

But what if you don’t want to use a serif font?

Serifs aren’t the end all be all when it comes to good fonts.  These Sans Serif fonts will get the job done too!  Here are two of my favorite sans serif fonts.​​​​​​​  Montserrat and Proxima Nova.

Monterrat is a good font for sans serifs
Montserrat
Proxima Nova is a good font for sans serifs
Proxima Nova


Proxima Nova is another excellent choice for a Sans Serif font.  I prefer this font (as do many others) over Futura for it’s crisp and geometric typeface.

If you want to check out more fonts, or get some of the fonts mentioned in this post you can head over to https://fonts.google.com/


Here are a couple more free font resources:

 

10 Typography Hacks to Get Your Content Read From Beginning to End

Like most things, our eyes are creatures of habit and good font selection helps that, but there’s even more we can do to improve our typography.

If you’re using long copy as part of your content marketing strategy,  here are ten typography “hacks” that can help you get your pieces read from beginning to end. With these tips you’ll be able to squeeze the extra mileage out of your content.
Use these tips to create an engaging reading environment for your users.  Not only do these suggestions increase readership, they lower bounce rates, improve user experience and send positive SEO signals to Google (time on site, content depth, intention matching etc.) Ready to improve your copy?

 

  1. Include a subheading of two lines.  This goes between your headline and your body copy.  Let your readers know what they can expect to get out of your content.

  2. A drop initial to kick off your body copy increases readership by approximately 12%
    This is a drop initial. Here you can mix two good fonts.  A sans serif and a serif, if you so desire.

  3. Opening paragraphs should be limited to eleven words, maximum.

  4. Every 3 inches or so, include cross heads to continue engaging readers. Use them throughout your copy.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Aliquam sem et tortor consequat id porta. Dignissim cras tincidunt lobortis feugiat vivamus at.

    This is a Cross Heading Use Them Throughout

    Tincidunt vitae semper quis lectus. Pharetra massa massa ultricies mi. Neque gravida in fermentum et. Tempus egestas sed sed risus pretium. Tellus molestie nunc non blandit massa enim nec.

  5. Square up paragraphs and use short line to increase readership.

  6. Highlight important paragraphs in bold or italics.

  7. Entice readers into your paragraphs with arrowheads, bullet points, asterisk’s or other symbols.

  8. If you have a lot of facts, that don’t compliment your copy, avoid using connective words.  Simply number or bullet point them, like I’ve done here.

  9. What size font should you use?  11 point is about right.

  10. If you use leading and line spacing between paragraphs readership increases by approximately 13%.

 

Src. Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz, Ogilvy on Advertising, Robert McMillin