When to Use WordPress Pages and Posts

Pages and posts seem similar when you look at your WordPress dashboard, but there are some important differences.  To create a new page or post your simply click on posts and choose ‘Add New’ or do the same for pages. Simply add your content – this is also the same for both pages and posts.

pages vs posts

As far as content goes, you can create pages and/or posts (and you will want to do both) in your WordPress blog.  There is no limit to the number of pages or posts that can be used on your site, but in most cases you will have many more posts than pages.

Since WordPress was designed as a blogging platform, it stands to reason that the emphasis would be on posts rather than pages.

Posts

Blog posts are intended to be timely in nature, so they are displayed in reverse chronological order.  That means that your newest posts is always at the top of the page.  You can set the number of posts that appear on your blog page, but over time, they do ‘fall off’ the blog page. These posts can still be found if you use categories and tags.  Categories are a great way for you readers to find all the posts you have written on a specific topic.

Most of what you want to share with your audience will be in the form of blog posts.

If you plan to use your blog page as your home page, you will want to consider creating a sticky post.  This is a post that you write that summerizes you and your business, then you ‘stick’ or ‘pin’ it to the top of your blog feed.  This allows your visitors to develop a relationship with you and/or your site right away.  For example, if your domain name is your name, you want to explain what your site is about in your sticky post.

The other big advantage of posts is that they allow your readers to comment and blog posts are easily shareable on social media sites. We have all heard about content that goes viral, pages don’t go viral, but posts do.  You want to make sure that comments are enabled on your site and that you ask for comments at the end of your post to encourage engagement.  Please, make sure that you reply to comments in a timely manner too.

And the other benefit, social media sharing.  If you have a recipe site that offer a conversion table of measurements, this is a post that will likely have great social sharing value.  Be sure to include images and provide that ability to let your readers easily share content that they like.

Pages on the other hand, do not have all these same features.

Pages

Pages, are static, that is to say that they don’t appear in chronological order.  You can have a ‘static’ home page, rather than having your blog display on your home page.  Pages can be added to your navigation menu to help people find the information they are looking for.  Another common way to display pages is to have a widget in your sidebar that shows the most recent pages.

The most common types of pages are:

  • About Page
  • Contact Page
  • Legal Disclaimers
  • Privacy Policy
  • Services Offered
  • Resources
  • Landing or Opt-in Page
  • Sales Page

Now the other big difference is that pages do not allow comments and are not as easily shared on social media.  In the example above, I mentioned a conversion chart for a recipe site, this is better as a post simply because of the abilty to easily share the content.  This content could easily be a page rather than a post, but the intent of the content makes it better suited to a post.

Pages are permanent and posts are too, but not always visible.  Think about the intent of your content before you create your next post or page.  Please comment below if you have any additional questions.

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.

Plugins For WordPress Sites Allow Your Site to Work For You

Plugins like themes can easily get people confused.  The theme is the basic look and functionality of your site.  Plugins can help your site be more user friendly and can even provide additional functionality to your site.  Plugins for your wordpress site are similar to apps for your smartphone.  They allow you to do more in one place.

A word of caution – not all themes are compatible with all plugins and not all plugins are compatible with all themes.  Most current themes and plugins do work well together, but sometimes an update to one can cause issues on your site.  

Plugins like themes can be free and/or paid.  I personally use both free and paid plugins on my sites.  Connie Ragen Green and Adrienne Dupree have a great report on the Top 20 WordPress Plugins for Business – offering both free and paid recommendations – click here to get your copy.

The easiest plugin for most people to start using is Askimet.  Askimet blocks spam comments, so you don’t have to waste your time and energy on all that junk.  Askimet is already installed on your website when you install wordpress.  You will have to take the steps to get your key, but this is free to do, just follow the instructions in the settings area of the plugin.

One of my personal favorites is the Pretty Link Plugin, it allows you to make your links – well – pretty.  You can name them whatever you like and make them unique as well as easier to remember.  I mean let’s face it our affiliate links don’t look nice, so this is an easy way to make them look nice.  Another great benefit of Pretty Link is that you can start with the free version and upgrade to the paid version when you are ready.

Beyond the Basics

Once you have the best plugins for business, you may still need something specific to your industry or just something you want your website to do.  For instance on some of my niche sites, I use a plugin that automatically posts content, so in case I get behind, my site never looks stale.  This is not a plugin I want on all my sites, but it is helpful for some sites.  As ecommerce continues to grow, there are many plugin options to turn your site into an ecommerce site too.  

I have also tried some plugins that help you build sales pages, but I find them overwhelming and tend to forget to actually use them, so I have stopped trying.  But you should see what works for you, and know that you can deactivate and delete any plugin from your site if it is not doing what you want it to do.

A word of warning about plugins

Don’t add too many to your site, it can slow down your site and that can drive away visitors.  It also is seen as slow site by Google and that is said to get you less exposure.  You don’t want to do anything that deters Google, or any other search engine from showing your site to eager viewers.

The WordPress marketplace is a trusted marketplace to shop for plugins.  Make sure any plugin you choose has been updated recently, if there are no recent updates, you should probably make a different choice.  The other way to add a plugin to your site is to upload it directly to your site.  When using this type of plugin make sure it has come from a trusted source, you don’t want anything you upload to your site to do harm.  I try to make sure that I know someone who has used the plugin or that I know and trust the developer.  

There are thousands of plugins for WordPress, you can get lost in all the options.  Start with Connie and Adrienne’s Guide to get you started, then branch out slowly when you are ready.  If you can’t find a plugin that does what you want you may be able to have one built just for you.  

Good luck and use the plugins to help your site make you more productive.

Understanding WordPress Theme Options

WordPress has the ability to be customized using themes.  There are many options of themes both free and paid options.  Themes make your site look different from other sites and also the themes can allow you different functionality.  This is one of the main reasons that WordPress became and remains so popular, the ability to make it your own quickly and easily.

I am using a paid theme here on this site, but usually start with a free themes when I start a new niche site.  A theme can be changed as your site grows, but be aware that since the theme also controls functionality your site may not work the same once a change is made.  You don’t have to be committed right now.  I do suggest that you start with a free theme to get an idea of what you do and don’t like.  Start a wish list so that when you are ready to upgrade to a paid theme (or a different free theme) you will know what you are looking for.  Unless you already know of a theme that will be perfect for you needs, then go ahead and jump on in.

Choices, Choices, Choices

Themes can be a subject that can stop people in their tracks.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Use the theme that comes with the initial WordPress download, especially if you have never used WordPress before.  The theme that comes with the download is updated often and has lots of features to get you will likely want to get started.  The current theme even comes with an image already in place until you decide what you want your site to look like.

Some considerations when deciding on a theme:

  • Simplicity
  • Cost
  • Compatibility (for plugins)
  • Recent updates/support

Just because you can have all the bells and whistles,doesn’t mean you should.  Google likes sites that load quickly, so make sure you don’t choose a theme that will slow your site down.  A site that has too many plug-ins can also slow down your site, but some plug-ins are going to be useful, so make sure your site is updated to the latest version of WordPress to keep your site running as smoothly as possible.  There are lots of paid themes out there and lots of marketers will tell you that you must have a paid theme to get the functionality that you need, but don’t fall for the hype, make your own informed decision.

Once you have made your choice of theme, you want to get it customized as soon as possible, but again – don’t get to caught up in this step.  To customize your theme, you will want to add your own image to the header, or change the header to text.  If you have color options, or want to make a color change do that now.  Once your theme is looking good, you are ready to get more customization by adding plug ins – which we will talk about in the next post.

If you would like to know more about why I recommend WordPress, please read this post.  

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.

WordPress Keeps Your Blog or Website Organized

WordPress is a Content Management System, currently the most popular in the world.  It allows you to create completely custom sites with great functionality options.  This allows you to have an organized website or blog right from the start. 

Why WordPress?

WordPress was created by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003, and is currently the largest self-hosted blogging platform in the world.  There are actually millions of sites using WordPress and tens of millions of visitors.  You are reading this blog post on…you guessed it…a WordPress site.  

The dashboard is the ‘heart’ of your site and where you can see all kinds of information and where you can navigate to various parts of your site.  From your dashboard you can make changes to the appearance of your site, add content and upload images, and much more.

Let’s Get Started

Now, if WordPress is new to you, it will seem foreign at first, like all new things, but you will quickly learn your way around your dashboard.  I had used WordPress many years ago, or I should say that I tried to use it, and it wasn’t the streamlined system that it is now. I find that if I have a question or get stuck, most of the answers can be found on YouTube.  The true advantage of WordPress is that you don’t have to learn any code to have a beautiful and unique web presence.  WordPress allows you to customize your site with themes and plug-ins, both of which have many free and paid options.

All of you images will be saved in one central location on the WordPress platform.  All of your posts are saved automatically in date order of the most recent being at the top, so you can always see what you have been working on most recently.  You can also have pages on your WordPress site, these usually consist of your about page and your contact page, or whatever you want your pages to be.  You decide what goes on your navigation bar and even where that navigation bar goes.  Now the most common problem is to get overwhelmed with the amount of options, but the trick, as with most new things is to just try it.  Or in the words of Nike ‘Just Do It’.

I like knowing all my work is saved on my site and to better protect yourself, you can also clone or copy your site, so that if something unexpected were to happen, you would still be able to retrieve your information.  Getting organized and staying organized is dependent on you knowing where to find information when you are looking for that information.  Having a WordPress site allows you to do that by design, no extra work required.

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.

Overwhelm Can Keep You From Getting Organized

The internet is a wonderful place filled with lots of very smart people willing to share all that they know, some for free and others for a fee.  So, how do you keep from getting overwhelmed.

Overwhelm often plays out in one of two scenarios:

1.) You are trying to organize everything all at once.

If you have multiple areas of your business that need to be organized, that is okay.  Let’s just clean things up from here.  You have to start somewhere, so I want you to choose ONE area to work on right now. You can’t go through everything all at once. Implementation has to be progressive, to be successful.

And don’t try to do more in a day that you really can. You’re going to suffer burnout if you overload yourself with information and tasks. At the same time, if you want to move forward, you have to start taking action steps seriously.  And daily.

2.) You already have a plan, and know exactly where you want to start, but you haven’t started.  You are letting fear get in the way of your success.

This is troublesome because it’s hard to gain confidence in yourself when you don’t take any action. You may have failed in the past, and honestly you may still have failures going forward.  But taking action will teach you how to handle success and failure.  You can get your busienss organized in a way that works for you.

The first thing you want to do is set aside a certain amount of time to work each day on implementing your organizing plan. You can break it up into small chunks of time, or put in a couple of dedicated hours, but try working all day – from sun up to sun down and end up in frustrated and in tears because you’re exhausted.  This will not help you gain in confidence, but hopefully if you do go down this path you will learn this is not the best solution.

As you continue to take action, do it step by step, just like you planned.  Don’t jump around, you will end up with too many balls to juggle and they will likely come crashing down. And don’t skip the parts you don’t really like, find a way that helps you get through, you know find your spoonful of sugar.

Take your business organizing in bite sized steps. Don’t try to organize an entire business in two hours. Even, if you succeed, it’ll be shoddy, and very unlikely to continue to stay organized in the long term.  Before too long, you will just be overwhelmed all over again, and tell yourself that you just can’t get organized, but if you do it smartly, the results will last.

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.

When Distractions Are Beneficial

Sometimes its okay to get distracted.  This weekend I had to take a break from my regurlarly scheduled programming, aka my to do list to finish a non priority project that I had started quite some time ago.  I love magazines, but I don’t like to read them right away.  I let them gather into a pile, then I pull out the articles or tips I want to read and have a tiny pile of what actually interests me when I’m ready to indulge in my magazine time.

But Friday afternoon, I was all ready to sit down and write my blog post and continue outline a product I’m planning.  Yet as soon as I walked into my office there was an eye sore.  My pile of magazines.  It had been building for while and it was time, I could just feel it.  It wasn’t an important project, I didn’t need to finish it right away, but I did.  And I’m so glad I did.

I could have walked right past the magazines without taking any action.  I could have decided to put them on my to-do list or even onto my calendar.  But instead, I stopped what I was doing, put aside everything else and ripped apart magazine pages aka finished the project.  Physically it is now out of my site.  I don’t have to pass the ‘unfinished project’ anymore when I walk in the room.  Once I finished that project, I was so motivated, that I finished several more projects around the house and even a couple for business.

I feel so accomplished.  And if I had let the pile sit for another day, I may not feel so light.  So sometimes breaking a date with ourselves can be a good thing.  It can be tough to know when to push through and when to follow your instinct to switch gears.  The truth is, you don’t always know, but the more your practice listening to your intuition the more your will be able to trust your gut.

Do you have non-priority projects that nag at the back of your mind?

So while I did not get the items on my to-do list done yesterday – I am more focused today, because I don’t have those small little tasks pulling at my brain.  I know that can be a real problem for you as you get your business organized.  As I have said before, getting organized won’t necessarily make you money, but you can easily lose money if you are not organized.  So how do you decide when to spend your most precious resourse, time, on non-priority or non-income generating activities?

There is not always an easy answer.  I know that even though the project I let sit there was a non-priority project, if I had put it in my calendar to finish the project rather than think, ‘I will just finish that later, when I have time.’  I feel like those are my famous last words, ‘when I have time’ the truth is, with an open ended thought like that, nothing will ever get done.

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.

 

Clarity for Your Business Goals and Organization

If you lack clarity about your business, you are likely to be stumbling along rather than growing your business as you had planned.  Getting clarity about your business and your business goals will help you to get your business organized.

These are some clear signs that your business is not working.

  • You have lost track of what you own (domain names and products you’ve bought being the biggest offenders)
  • You don’t have time to update things that need to be updated
  • You don’t have time to take courses you invested in—or even attend webinars you signed up for
  • You don’t have time to plan for tomorrow because you ended up working late and running on empty
  • Your outsourcing is disorganized and you lose contractors through not being ready for them and wasting their time
  • You are so busy dealing with the day-to-day that you have lost sight of goals for the future (which have become fuzzy and vague)

Heck, if you aren’t able to get organized maybe you have not even been able to outsource anything so far.

But losing track of what you own, scrambling to catch up, losing sight of your goals to the point where you are no longer actively moving towards them every day and don’t even realize it… all these are common problems for solopreneurs—often because of the high level of reactivity that solopreneurs are unfortunately subject to.  

In an traditional job, one is expected to devote every waking minute of the workday to the job at hand. You are expected to limit personal calls and contacts on company time.  But when you work at home, everyone expects you to be “flexible.” They expect you to be wife, mom, sister, daughter and friend—first.

Even if you set your boundaries, there are always emergencies (and those who don’t respect those boundaries).  Often times part of the problem is they don’t really understand what you do.  And trying to explain it yet again feels like you are banging your head against a brick wall.

That is why it is crucial to make sure your business is not just organized but that your organizational system is easy to maintain no matter what life throws at you.

 

The good news is… you can organize your business.

One of the most important attributes you need to have as a solopreneur is clarity. You need to be able to assess your entire business model—what its mission is, where it is right now, where you’re heading—with a single thought.

To achieve clarity, you need to do four things:

  • Decide on or reconfirm your true business focus and goal
  • Take inventory of where your business is at right now
  • Purge any unnecessary distractions
  • Set up an organized, clear routine

Do these effectively, and it won’t be all about staying organized (which can cost you money if you are always in this mode): It will be all about moving forward, taking action and growing your business—without even having to think about it.

To help you gain clarity, here is downloadable worksheet to help you: Clarity Goals Worksheet

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.

 

 

 

Plan For Higher Profits

Smart business owners know that planning is the key to higher profits. But creating a long-term plan doesn’t come naturally for many people. You have to not only have a vision for where you want your business to go, but you also have to know what you need to create (and when), be able to assign the tasks to your VA(Virtual Assistant) or other team members, work in some additional promotions for complementary products, and still leave room for last minute offers.

Whew! No wonder we get so overwhelmed when it comes to planning.

The “seat of your pants” business plan seems so much easier! And less profitable.

So let’s get planning and make your business as easy (and profitable) as possible!

Take Stock

Before you can clearly see what direction you want to take, you need to look back at where you’ve been. You’ll find lots of useful information in your stats and sales figures for the past 12 months, and you might even discover that you did much better than you initially thought.

If you has set goals for last year – and you should have, let’s review.

What milestones did you hope to hit? How did your results stack up against those goals?

For example, you might want to look at things such as:

  • Overall sales figures
  • Sales figures by product
  • Traffic numbers
  • Social media growth
  • Mailing list subscribers
  • Affiliate sales figures

Even if you didn’t set a goal in each of these areas, make a note of where you are right now, so that you can measure your progress more accurately as you work on your future marketing plan.

As you’re looking at these numbers, do any of them surprise you? Are you pleased with your list growth, but disappointed with your Facebook reach? Did you sell more of that product than you thought you would, or earn less in affiliate commissions than you expected?

For each item that surprises you in some way, ask yourself what you could have done differently, or what may have caused the difference. These answers will help you set more realistic goals for next time.

Now, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

Keep in mind, though, that you don’t have to tackle everything at once. In fact, you’ll be much more successful if you focus only on the next few weeks.

Keep the big picture in mind, but when it comes to where you spend your time, only be worrying about what’s coming up in the next 45 days.

This gives you plenty of time to finish up any product that’s not quite ready for sale, plan a launch, and get all the content in place that you’ll need.

Still feeling overwhelmed?

Even the most well-planned and organized marketing calendar won’t get the work done for you. Now is the time to hand off those tasks you don’t want to or cannot do. Using your task list, make a new list that includes only the tasks you must do. These might include things such as writing your emails, recording videos and podcasts, and intake calls for new clients.

The rest can—and should—be outsourced.

Keep the Momentum Going

Even the most well planned marketing calendar won’t produce results without ongoing care and feeding. Schedule time each week to:

  • Review tasks assigned to your team
  • Review tasks assigned to you (consider hiring a project manager if you’re bad at personal accountability)
  • Review current promotions from your colleagues, contemporaries, and competitors: Do any of these fit with your existing calendar?
  • Look ahead to the next few weeks to spot the holes in your schedule

In addition, you’ll want to do a more thorough review each month, which will include:

  • Your next 45 days of planning for profit
  • Scheduling time to update/create products and programs
  • Review your long-term calendar for changes and updates
  • Review new technology related to your market (Do you need to move things in your calendar to accommodate that hot new social network?)

Remember, your plan is a living document. It’s not written in stone. You can (and should) rearrange it to fit your current needs, new offers from others, and in answer to feedback and suggestions you receive from your customers or clients.

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.

Purging is the Place to Start

I love how graphic the word purging sounds.  And I love how good I feel when I have purged my office, and my home of items that are no longer serving me.  Getting rid of stuff can be as liberating as losing weight.  That is why I always suggest, or even insist that purging your home office is the first step to getting your business organized.

One of the reasons I love books like The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is that it helps us to allow ourselves to let go of stuff.

I feel that our Western culture places too high a value on stuff, that we need to put more of an emphasis on our life experiences rather than accumulating more stuff.  But lets be honest – not all “stuff” is bad.  We like to have stuff like clean clothes, and for us to have those clean clothes, we need to have a place to keep the clothes, like our closet or dresser and a place to clean our clothes, either in our own washing machine or at the local laundrymat (do they still have those?), these all require a bit of stuff for the stuff – so not all “stuff” is bad.

Back to your business, what is in your physical space that doesn’t need to be there.  What is broken?  What really belongs in another room of the house?  Is there items that are still in good shape, but aren’t useful to you anymore, you can donate those items to a local charity.  Purging is a great place to start because often times it is obvious what you can get rid of, and you can see a visible difference right away.

Now, the next place to purge items is your computer desktop.  Icons, icons, icons, is that all you see when you open your home screen?  Now what do you really use, and what can be put into a folder of like items?  Get rid of stuff that is old.  Do you have ebooks from 2013 taking up space on your desktop?  These are the first items to go.

This should also be an ongoing project.  I like to set aside some time about 1 hour every month, to see if there are items that need to be purged from my office.  This will help you to keep the clutter from building back up, once you have had your own purging.

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.

Without a Plan, You Will Not Meet Your Goals

Whatever you decide you want to accomplish, it will be easier and be accomplished more quickly if you have a plan.  Having a plan allows you to know what to do and when to do it.  When it comes to getting organized this is also true.  If you jump around from idea to idea and never see one to completion, you will not get the results you desire.  If you dabble here and there and don’t have a plan you will not see much progress and get discouraged, confirming your own belief that you can’t get organized.

So, now you know you need a plan.

You want to be able to wake up each morning and know what you are going to do that day.  You should have an overall plan for the week, month and year as well.  I know that getting organized is often a task you fit in when you have time, but let’s change that.  Start with small blocks of time and find specific tasks for those times.  For example, if you have 30 minutes on Thursday, you can organize documents into folders and sub folders.  That hour on Saturday morning can be great for labeling photos, and sorting into folders.  Put it on your calendar.

Before you can be that specific though, you will need to have an overall vision or plan.  Are you looking to get your physical space in shape?  Are your computer files chaotic? Do you miss appointments and deadlines?  All of the above?

 

Be realistic about your plan.  If you know you will need more time for emotional attachments, plan for that.  Play to your strengths, but allow for your weaknesses.

Now remember, things will grow and change over time, this is to be expected. In order to be able to roll with those changes you need to be able to adjust your plans, and the best way to be able to do that is to have a clear vision in place.  Having a plan actually will make it easier for you make adjustments as your business grows, as your personal life evolves, you will be ready.  You will be organized.

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.