How To Publish Books And Create Online Courses On A Shoestring Budget

Learn how to publish books and create e-courses on a shoestring budget that will attract new clients and help grow your business.

Landing Pages for WordPress

Are you looking for inexpensive and cost-effective ways to attract new clients, promote and grow your business, or create additional revenue streams?

Publishing a book (or e-book) and creating an online course based on your book(s) provide powerful and effective ways to:

  • Drive more prospects and clients to your business.
  • Market your business and create more visibility online.
  • Gain a competitive business advantage.
  • Increase awareness about your products and services.
  • Build credibility, establish authority, and/or assert your expertise in your industry or niche market.

In this strategic guide, we’ll show you how to publish books and create online courses on a shoestring budget that will help you increase revenue and grow your business.

How To Publish Books And Create Online Courses On A Shoestring Budget

The currency of the ‘Digital Age’ is content. To participate in the digital economy, therefore, you must also learn how to become a content publisher.

Additionally, we not only live in the digital age, we also live in the age of specialization.

Specialization: The process of concentrating on and becoming expert in a particular subject or skill.

Source: Oxford Dictionary

Regardless of whatever business you are in, you probably have specialized knowledge about certain areas and a level of expertise about things that most people don’t know about.

There is a positive and a negative side to having specialized knowledge.

On the positive side, if your information is valuable and enough people want it or need it, you could develop it into a potentially profitable asset by sharing some or all of this information in the form of a book (or e-book) and/or an online course.

The negative side of running a business that depends on having specialized knowledge is that your prospects and potential customers and clients often need to be educated on the value and benefits of your products and services and trained on how to do business with you, which is another reason why you should consider publishing a book (or e-book) and/or an online course.

Publishing books and e-courses, therefore, is something worth considering as part of your business marketing strategy.

Practical Tip

Some of the additional benefits of learning how to publish an e-book online include:

  • It helps you achieve clarity about the value of your business and organizes your thinking about how to communicate your business processes.
  • If you are strategic with your content creation and plan things well, you can be publishing regular blog posts or newsletters to market and promote your business while also building up the content and chapters of a book and/or online course (much like many best-selling authors nowadays write books with a movie in mind). At the end of a certain period of time (e.g. 12 months), you can then collate all of your blog posts or newsletters together to form a book.

Authoring Vs Publishing Content

This tutorial is about ‘publishing’ content. Many people get put off by the idea of creating books to help market their business because they think that they need to be writers and authors.

There is a great difference between authoring a book and publishing it. You don’t need to create the content yourself in order to publish it. J. K. Rowling authored the Harry Potter series, but Bloomsbury published it.

Of course, if you have knowledge and expertise about a subject you can write the book yourself and there are many benefits in doing this, but you don’t have to be a writer to create a book.

For example, you can:

For this specific tutorial, we’ll assume that you already have an idea for how you will create your book or already have the content written and are ready to publish it.

If you need help creating your first book, see the tutorial below:

This tutorial specifically covers a ‘shoestring’ method you can use to:

  • Self-publish your book,
  • Turn your book into an online, and
  • Promote the above online … all at minimal cost!

Self Publishing Books On A Shoestring Budget

Before publishing your book, ask yourself what’s the purpose of your book. Are you publishing to make money selling copies of the book itself, or are you planning to use the book to create wider exposure for your business … or both (i.e. make money selling the book and attract new customers for your products or services)?

Your answer to the above will determine various strategic decisions and outcomes, such as how and where you should publish your book, to how much you should charge (or even give it away).

If you’re publishing to make money and promote your business, we recommend starting the process by self-publishing an electronic book (e-book) before you consider moving to other publishing methods and formats (e.g. hard copies via print on demand or traditional printing, contacting publishing companies, etc).

Some of the reasons for suggesting the above, include:

  • Cost – Self-publishing ebooks are the least expensive method of publishing.
  • Testing – The method we recommend using below allows you to test the market and assess your results before deciding to invest further time and effort into the process.
  • Improvement – With an e-book, you can edit, refine, and improve your content until you are happy with the results and ready (if necessary) to commit your book to print or invest in professional services (e.g. editors, distribution, publishers, etc).

To explain the self-publishing process, we’ll use an e-book we’ve recently published as an example.

The book is called “The Small Business Digital Manager” …

The Small Business Digital Manager

(The Small Business Digital Manager)

Briefly, the book explains why most small businesses end up with an unmanageable digital presence and provides a system for helping small businesses develop a manageable digital presence that will help them get better results online.

The book is written using MS Word.

MS Word lets you easily save your book as a PDF file. Most ebooks, reports, guides, etc. nowadays are created and delivered in PDF format.

More importantly, MS Word also lets you save your book in a format that will let you upload and publish to Amazon Kindle, which is the publishing platform we will begin with. This is explained in more detail further below.

Info

Additional software we used to create the book’s content includes:

  • MS Powerpoint – For illustrations and diagrams.
  • MS Visio – For flowcharts.
  • SnagIt – We recommend using this powerful tool to create and edit screenshots.
  • Photoshop – For editing and saving image files.

Additionally, the book contains photos and images sourced from various free and royalty-free image sites. For a list of these images sites and tools, go here:

As you can see from the examples above, we use and recommend creating eBook covers for your books. This can be done using software tools. For more info on using ebook cover creation software, go here:

Choosing Where To Self Publish Your Book

Once your book is written, you can publish it on your own website or use a self-publishing platform like Amazon, Apple, Lulu, etc.

We’ve chosen to self-publish The Small Business Digital Manager on Amazon through the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program to begin with. You can view the book listing on Amazon here.

Here are just some of the reasons why we chose to publish the book on Amazon KDP:

  • It’s FREE!
  • It puts your book in front of a huge global audience.
  • Books published on Amazon KDP can be read by all devices.
  • The KDP lending library pays additional royalties for books that become popular and widely read/shared.
  • KDP has promotional features that help you create more exposure for your book.
  • You have control of your book and can edit the content and pricing as many times as you like after publication.

To set up a free account with Amazon for publishing on the Kindle platform, go here:

Formatting Your Book For Amazon KDP

As mentioned before, you can create your book using Microsoft Word, including adding images and a table of contents.

The only thing to avoid when using MS Word to create your book content is using bullets, as the format doesn’t convert bullets well. Instead, use something else, like dashes.

So, instead of formatting your bullet points like this:

  • Bullet Point #1
  • Bullet Point #2
  • Bullet Point #3

Format them like this:

– Bullet Point #1
– Bullet Point #2
– Bullet Point #3

Before uploading and publishing your book to KDP, create a folder in your desktop to save the book files into (e.g. call it ‘Kindle’) and in your MS Word menu, choose Save As > Web Page, Filtered

Choose 'Web Page, Filtered' to save your book for KDP

(Choose ‘Web Page, Filtered’ to save your book for KDP)

This will save your book as two files inside your book folder (in this example, the folder we’ve created is called ‘Kindle’) …

Your book files, saved for KDP

(Your book files, saved for KDP)

One file contains all of your book’s images in a folder and the other contains the content of your book. You will need both of these files for your book to upload and publish correctly.

Next, zip the folder containing your book files and upload the zipped file to Amazon …

Upload the Zip file containing your book and image files

(Upload the Zip file containing your book and image files)

The other thing you will need to do before publishing to KDP is to create a flat book cover image. This image needs to be quite large (for image specifications, go here).

You can create the book cover image yourself using Photoshop, outsource the work to a graphic designer or freelancers, or use Amazon’s own book cover creator tool …

Amazon Cover Creator tool

(Amazon Cover Creator tool)

Amazon KDP offers loads of free tutorials on its site, from getting started, to formatting your content and promoting your book, etc. Make sure you go through some of these tutorials, especially the tutorials about formatting your book correctly and complying with KDP guidelines.

Uploading Your Book To Amazon KDP

Uploading your book to Amazon is a simple process.

After you have created your book files and registered your free account with KDP, go to https://kdp.amazon.com and click on ‘Sign in’ …

Sign into KDP

(Sign into KDP)

Log into your account …

Log into your account

(Log into your account)

If you haven’t published before, go to ‘Bookshelf’ and click on Create a New Title > Kindle eBook

KDP Bookshelf - Create a New Title

(KDP Bookshelf – Create a New Title)

Now, simply go through each of the sections described below and fill in the details (refer to the KDP tutorials and user forum if you need help or if there is anything you don’t understand).

eBook Details

Add your book title and description, author name, keywords, and categories, review the other book settings in this section (language, publishing rights, etc.), then save to continue …

Amazon KDP eBook Details screen

(Amazon KDP eBook Details screen)

eBook Content

Upload your manuscript and book cover image, select your Digital Rights Management (DRM) settings and enter your ISBN if applicable, then preview your book and click ‘Save and Continue’ …

Amazon KDP eBook Content screen

(Amazon KDP eBook Content screen)

eBook Pricing

Specify distribution settings (e.g. Global) and pricing details for your book and click the button when done to publish your book …

Amazon KDP eBook Pricing screen

(Amazon KDP eBook Pricing screen)

Your book should take a day or so to be approved and published.

Once your book has been published, it will be live on the Amazon Kindle Book store and available for purchase.

Your books are listed on your Amazon KDP bookshelf

(Your books are listed on your Amazon KDP bookshelf)

You can return to your account and edit your book details, upload a revised copy, change the pricing, etc. any time inside your bookshelf.

Important

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing offers an option to help promote your book called KDP Select. When you enroll in the KDP Select program, your eBook is locked for 90 days. During this time, you are given 5 promotional days where you can give your eBook away on Amazon for free. After your 5 free days are used up, your eBook goes back to being sold for the amount you have specified.

You can renew this option. During each 90-day period, your eBook remains available in the Kindle Owners’ Library. While you are opted into the KDP Select program, you are not allowed to publish your book on other platforms, including publishing or giving the book away on your own website.

If your website isn’t pulling in enough traffic, we recommend starting off with a platform like Amazon KDP before looking at the option of selling and promoting your books on your website.

Self-Publishing Print On Demand (POD) Books

When you are ready to commit your book to printed format, Amazon offers you a ‘print on demand’ self-publishing option through a program called CreateSpace

CreateSpace - Self-publishing POD

(CreateSpace – Self-Publishing POD)

To learn more about self-publishing POD books with CreateSpace visit their website.

Before we move on to discussing ways to promote your book, let’s take a look at the process of turning your book into an online course.

Turning Your Book Into An eCourse

After publishing your book, you may want to consider turning your book into an e-course. Here are just some of the many reasons to consider turning your book into an online course:

  • Most of your course content is already written. An online course can be a natural extension of the work you’ve already done and the time you’ve already spent writing content for your book or business. In many cases, all you need to do is organize the information you already have into a format that will benefit others.
  • Educate, train, and empower prospective customers. An online course can help train people to engage better with your business and empower them to become educated customers of your services.  For example, if you run a craft supplies business, you could create an online course that shows people how to make unique craft objects or even how to start a business selling crafts made with items you supply.
  • Expand your reach, leverage your expertise and increase revenue. Depending on your business, you may only be able to serve clients on a local level. An online course allows you to expand your reach on a global level and create additional revenue opportunities for your business.
  • Leverage your marketing efforts. Just as publishing a book can help to establish authority, credibility, and expertise in your field, an online course can take things to a whole new level and give you new opportunities to market and promote your business and your brand.

If you decide to turn your book or ebook into an online course or training program, the next step is to decide on the platform you will use to publish your eCourse.

Choosing An eCourse Platform

Your choice of ecourse platform will depend on factors like how much online exposure you can provide for your course, what kind of content formats you plan to use to create, present, and deliver your information, how you plan to handle payments and course registration, etc.

For example, you can publish your eCourse on a platform like Udemy, or decide to run the course entirely on your own website.

Online Course Platforms

Online learning platforms like Udemy let you publish your course for free and can expose your information to thousands of potential new customers.

Udemy

(Udemy)

To learn more about Udemy, download the FREE report below:

Publish Your eCourse On Your Own Website

Publishing your course on your own website is a great way to build an asset on your own domain name.

You can add your course to your existing website or set up a new domain name to promote and run your course.

We also recommend promoting your course inside your book, as the book is a perfect tool for generating leads and driving potential new course members.

Practical Tip

If you plan to add links to your course inside your book, consider driving visitors to your website, not to an external URL. Sending people to sites where you have no control over what happens can result in links that point to dead destinations. You can still run your course on an online platform – just refer people to a page on your website promoting your course and the course URL.

Alternatively, you may want to publish a link to your course using a link redirection tool. This way, you can choose where to send traffic to and if anything changes, you don’t need to edit and republish your book or search everywhere for places where you’ve added your links. Just change the destination URL in your link management tool and all instances where you’ve added a redirect link will automatically updated with the new URL.

Consider using a link redirection tool to refer your book readers to your online course

(Consider using a link redirection tool to refer your book readers to your online course)

Publishing Your eCourse With WordPress

Let’s show you how to publish your course using a setup that lets you automate processes like online marketing, content marketing, payment and registration of new members, affiliate marketing, email marketing, etc. and that gives you complete control over all aspects of creating, delivering and promoting your course.

The platform that lets you do all this and more is WordPress.

WordPress not only can be used to set up a website or blog for your business, it also lets you easily set up and run e-learning courses that integrate seamlessly with your website, plus add payment and registration facilities, a private member’s area, an affiliate management system, and a whole lot more.

Best of all, WordPress is FREE, easy to use and lets you do almost anything you can imagine online with no technical skills required and at minimal cost.

To learn more about all the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, see this section:

If you haven’t built your website yet, use WordPress.

If you already have a website that wasn’t built using WordPress, then we recommend adding a WordPress blog to your site to drive more traffic and market and promote your existing site. You can do this all yourself using our WordPress step-step installation tutorials, or ask a professional web developer or web designer to help you.

For more information on the above, go here:

The important thing after installing WordPress, is to expertly configure your site. This will automate areas like search engine indexing and distribution and syndication of your content to social media and other traffic-getting sites and online directories.

After your WordPress site has been installed and configured, the next step is to install and configure the addons (called ‘plugins‘) that will add the functionality and automation you need to:

  • Create and organize your online course
  • Accept payments online
  • Register new course members
  • Add course members to your email marketing system, and
  • Give them access to your course content

Other than your time, creating a professional online course with marketing automation using the plugins described below should only cost you a few hundred dollars to set up.

eCourse Plugin

To create and deliver your online course, you can use an e-Course plugin like WP Courseware

(WPCourseware – WordPress eLearning Management Plugin)

WPCourseware lets you easily set up and configure training modules, course units, quizzes, include certificates of completion for course members, and more.

You can also specify how to deliver your course content (e.g. make all content available at once or only after previous modules have been completed, drip-feed content, etc.)

For a detailed tutorial about this plugin, go here:

Membership Plugin

If you want your course to be private so only paying customers can access it, then you will need to use a membership plugin.

A membership plugin automates the process of registering customers, delivering content to registered users, adding customers to email lists, etc.

There are many membership plugins available for WordPress.

For example, you can use a plugin called Wishlist Member

Wishlist Member - WordPress Membership Plugin

(Wishlist Member – WordPress Membership Plugin)

Go here for a detailed tutorial on WordPress membership plugins:

WordPress Membership Plugins – A Comprehensive Guide

Accepting Payments Online

To accept payments online (e.g. PayPal), you will need a PayPal account and an e-Commerce plugin.

You can just add a PayPal “buy now” button to your site, but then you will have to manually register all new course participants and give each of them private access to your content (i.e. set up individual logins and passwords for every new member).

An e-commerce plugin can automate this process and send new members to your registration page after payment has been successfully processed.

There are many WordPress e-commerce plugins you can choose from. Some, like the WooCommerce platform are FREE and you pay for additional premium features as you need them (e.g. automated invoices, product enhancement features, etc.)

Certain WordPress themes have built-in payment processing features and there are also various merchant networks that will integrate affiliate marketing, payment processing, and member registration with your site.

To learn more about e-Commerce plugins and selling your course online, see these tutorials:

Promoting Your eBook & Online Course

Online marketing is a huge topic. As we explain in “The Small Business Digital Manager,” many small businesses are too disorganized and unmanageable to market themselves online effectively. Without a strategic digital plan and the right systems in place, most tactics and methods never seem to be implemented or done effectively.

Here are some very effective ways to promote your book and online course:

Content Marketing

With an expertly-configured WordPress site, most of your content marketing can be automated. Just publish new content on a regular basis and WordPress will do the rest.

Publish your content and let WordPress do the rest!

(Publish your content and let WordPress do the rest!)

Here’s a simple, inexpensive, and highly effective plan we recommend using to promote your books and online courses:

Promote It On Your Website Or Blog

Publish educational content on your WordPress website and refer readers to your book or online course in your call to action.

The more great content you publish, the more opportunities you have to attract new customers and sell your books and courses. If done correctly, every new post you publish is like another salesperson working for your business 24/7.

Useful Tip

If you need help coming up with great content ideas, we recommend subscribing to our FREE Content Creation course here:

Here are some additional things you can do to promote your book and online course on your website:

  • Add promotional banners to your site using a banner management plugin,
  • Offer visitors a FREE sample chapter of your book or access to videos as an incentive for them to sign up to your newsletter and promote your book and online course in your newsletter or email updates.
  • Use the data gathered from your site to improve your content marketing, test online ads, create promotional and educational videos, etc. You can obtain this data from your site by installing a plugin like Google Analytics for WordPress.

News Releases

Announcing the launch of your new book or course using a news release is a powerful and effective way to promote your course on media outlets and news websites.

You should definitely announce the launches, but for a truly effective campaign, consider sending out monthly news releases.

We recommend using the news release service at DistributionPress.com. They offer a complete done-for-you service that will get your news release distributed to hundreds of media sites and indexed in Google in less than 24 hours.

Promote your book and online course using news releases with DistributionPress.com

(Promote your book and online course using news releases with DistributionPress.com)

Affiliate Program

An affiliate is someone who gets paid a percentage of any sales they help to create through their recommendations and promotional efforts.

An affiliate program lets people register as an affiliate to promote your product or service and assigns them a unique affiliate URL to use in their email and website promotions. When people click on this special link, the affiliate program software identifies where the referral came from and if a sale is made, it then works out how much commission to pay the affiliate, makes the payment to the affiliate and deposits the balance of the sale into your bank account.

Affiliate Management Platforms

You can run an affiliate program on your own website or use an affiliate network to promote and recruit affiliates for your program.

If you decide to run an affiliate program on your own website, there are a number of WordPress affiliate plugins you can use.

If you’re just starting out, however, we recommend using an established affiliate network like JVZoo or ClickBank to promote your online course.

The reason for this is because these affiliate networks:

  • Have tens of thousands of members who can instantly find your offer and contact you to request approval to promote your product as an affiliate or automatically start promoting your offer, and
  • They process all payments and sales on your behalf and automatically pay your affiliates, saving you from having to manually administer affiliates and manage the affiliate payment process yourself.

For more information about affiliate networks and WordPress affiliate programs, go here:

Email Marketing Service

If you plan to add course members to an email marketing list, then you will need an email marketing service that integrates with WordPress.

A number of WordPress membership and e-commerce plugins will automatically add new members to your email marketing list and have settings that make this easy to configure.

To learn more about email marketing services and integrating these with WordPress, go here:

Live Events, Workshops & Seminars

Everything described so far will allow you to set up and automate a robust and cost-effective system for marketing and promoting your book and online course.

If you plan to run live events like workshops and seminars, you can also use an event management and registration plugin to help you manage events, add event listings to your website, automatically process booking registrations, assign tickets, etc.

WordPress offers various event management plugins and we have written a couple of detailed tutorials about these here:

Summary

Publishing a book and creating an online course allow you to profit from your expertise and are also powerful ways to attract new clients, increase revenue, and grow your business online.

Best of all, this can all be done inexpensively, as shown above.

We hope that you have found the above information on creating ebooks and online courses on a shoestring budget useful to help grow your business.

How To Publish Books And Create Online Courses On A Shoestring Budget

(Source: Pixabay)

***

"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

Disclaimer: WordPress and its related trademarks are registered trademarks of Automattic, Inc. This site and the services and products offered on this site are not affiliated, associated, sponsored, or endorsed by WordPress, nor have they been reviewed, certified, or tested by WordPress. The owner, contributors and/or advertisers may derive financial benefit from sales of items reviewed, advertised, or linked to this site.

***

Did you enjoy this article? If so, please consider using the links below to share this article with anyone thinking of starting their own business online.

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

Learn how to keep your website and web content manageable and organized to stay on top of your digital business presence.

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & OrganizedToday and more than ever, businesses are feeling the strain of trying to stay on top of things despite growing pressure from competition, information overload, rapid technology changes and demands on their time and resources.

To remain competitive in the Digital Age, your business needs a digital presence, but more importantly, you need a digital presence that will help you get better results online without adding more chaos and unmanageability.

Many businesses end up with a web presence that quickly becomes unmanageable not because of poor web design or lack of content organization and structure but because the business itself lacks digital planning and education.

In this guide, we explain what it takes to stay on top of your digital business presence and show you how to keep your website and web content manageable and organized.

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

Most of us struggle to stay on top of things. The more we try to keep things organized and manageable, the harder it seems chaos wants to fight back.

Keeping your business manageable is difficult!

(Keeping your business organized and manageable is difficult!)

Keeping your business organized and manageable is difficult if you lack planning and systems. The same thing applies to the digital aspects of your business.

Having an unmanageable web presence results in:

  • Web pages with outdated information.
  • Content not being regularly published.
  • Neglected web management and maintenance tasks.
  • Increased vulnerability and exposure to security risks.
  • Missed opportunities to market and promote your business.
  • Missed opportunities to get found online.
  • And more.

Having a manageable website, on the other hand:

  • Creates a better user experience for visitors and allows site users to find what they are looking for faster and more easily.
  • Helps search engines like Google to better understand what your site is all about and to index your site and pages faster and more accurately.
  • Allows you to stay ahead of online competitors who cannot manage their web presence.
  • Allows you to grow an effective digital presence that will help your business get better results like more traffic, leads, sales conversions, etc.

Getting a website built for your business is the easy part … you can build your own website or get someone else to build it for you. The difficult part is keeping your web presence manageable and organized so it can work for you effectively and deliver your business better results.

We’ve posted previously about the need to create order before progress. No business can progress online until some form of order has been established.

For practical purposes, we’ll use the model below to help create order and manageability in our digital business presence …

Manageable digital business presence model

(Manageable digital business presence model)

The model we’ll use to create a manageable digital business presence is built on five successive and integrated layers:

  1. Digital Plan & Strategy
  2. Website Planning
  3. WordPress Website
  4. WordPress Posts & Pages
  5. Digital Content

Let’s explore each of these layers in more detail.

Digital Plan & Strategy

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

Alan Turing – Computer Science Pioneer

As mentioned earlier, many businesses end up with a web presence that quickly becomes unmanageable not because of poor web design or lack of content organization and structure but because the business itself lacks digital planning and education.

Digital business planning comes before website planning. It asks questions about the capabilities of your business to manage and grow a digital presence.

Most businesses lack time and resources and operate under considerable financial strain. They want immediate results to meet their needs and objectives in the short-term. The reality, however, is that creating consistent results online requires strategic planning and the implementation of great systems and processes.

A sound strategic digital plan has a direct impact on your website but it’s not all about your website. It also needs to takes the short-term needs and long-term growth of your business into account.

Digital Planning, then, is the first step toward creating a manageable digital presence and begins with formulating a clear digital vision for your business and developing strategies for setting and achieving the overall goals and objectives your business has set.

Businesses need a lot more digital planning before building a website

(Businesses need a lot more digital planning before building a website)

You should have clearly specified digital strategies before getting your website built, and these should include various actionable plans, such as:

  • A Digital Systems Plan specifying the systems you will need to implement manage, measure, and improve your results online.
  • A Digital Organization Plan defining the kind of team you will need to assemble to help you run and manage your digital presence.
  • A Digital Vehicle Plan defining the type of digital vehicle(s) you will need to build to realize your digital strategy.
  • A Digital Management Plan outlining how you are going to manage your digital assets and processes (including outsourcing).
  • A Digital Marketing Plan outlining how you are going to promote your business online, who your target audience is, etc.
  • A Digital Content Plan that will help you define what type of information you will publish to reach your target audience and how you will create and deliver this information.

Providing detailed information on the above areas is beyond the scope of this site. To help small businesses plan an effective digital presence, we have published a book called “The Small Business Digital Manager.”

‘The Small Business Digital Manager’ looks at why most small businesses end up with an unmanageable web presence almost as soon as they take their business online and why this leads to poor results, and shows you how to be in control of your digital business processes and get better results online using a systematic and doable approach.

In addition to the book, we have also developed a comprehensive online course that will help you implement a practical and effective digital plan for your business.

Website Planning

As stated in the previous section, planning your digital business presence should be done before planning your website. Your digital plan will not only help you understand how you will be able to manage and grow your business online, it will also help you plan the type of web presence you will need to build in order to achieve your goals and realize your digital vision.

Digital business planning is important because planning your website involves different types of planning, such as:

Website Organization Planning

This involves not only planning the aesthetic components (i.e. web design, page layout, color scheme, etc.) and functional elements of your website (i.e. technical features), but also its structural form (pages, content, site navigation, etc.) taking into account how all of this will affect things like usability, user experience, SEO, etc.

The above is the obvious kind of website planning most people do when they think about getting a website. What’s not so obvious to many people until after their website is built, is …

Website Management Planning

This type of website planning doesn’t focus on how your website will look or what it will do, but on how you will manage it.

For example, let’s say that your business needs a website with:

  • Full e-commerce capabilities to sell products or services online,
  • members-only area where customers can view their order details,
  • private login section where resellers or affiliates can download confidential information such as price lists or marketing materials,
  • marketing blog for traffic generation where your staff members can post news and special announcements about your products or services,
  • backend administration area with individual logins and passwords that grants special privileges to different groups of users so only certain people can add or edit information, while only others can view reports, perform administrative tasks, etc, and
  • support helpdesk to handle customer issues and provide answers to commonly asked questions.

You could get a web developer to help you plan and build a web presence that integrates all of the above features and functionality, but they probably won’t help you with the planning involved in figuring out how you are going to manage all of the work involved in running and maintaining the above.

To figure out how you are going to manage all of the above, you will need to have a clear understanding of your business resources and capabilities, which is a function of the digital planning process and not the website planning process. Hopefully, you will get this done first before spending time or money getting your website built to avoid having an unmanageable web presence.

Website management planning also involves planning the integration and management of external services and features in your web presence.

For example, let’s say that in addition to all of the features discussed above, you also want to be able to monetize your website presence by allowing other businesses to advertise on your site or list services on a directory and that you plan to add various affiliate links throughout your web content.

This requires planning and systems. You would need to integrate the following systems with your website and manage these as well:

For all of the above reasons, when planning your website we recommend working alongside the specifications of your digital business plan.

Website Planning Process

(Website Planning Process)

We have created an entire training module to help you plan your website with detailed step-by-step tutorials, downloadable templates and checklists, and more. For more details, go here:

Useful Information

Planning your digital presence and website is important. Even if you already have a website, we recommend checking out the above links and resources, as these provide essential information that will help you avoid making costly mistakes.

Let’s now turn our attention to a digital system that will allow you to build and run an effective and manageable web presence … all at minimal cost and without technical skills required!

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

WordPress

For just one moment, try to picture what it would be like to have access to a tool that lets you easily build anything online you want for whatever purpose you need.

Imagine too, that you can also add any function you like whenever you want and even turn this into something completely different, all with just a few clicks of the mouse, no coding skills or technical expertise, with minimal cost and without having to start from scratch every time you want to change or add things.

That’s WordPress!

WordPress is a powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use free software application that lets you build any type of website you like for any purpose you want, for commercial or personal use. You can start with a simple and basic website and add more functionality only when and as you need.

So … let’s think of WordPress as a digital ‘system’ that can help bring order and manageability to your digital business presence using three basic sublevels or subsystems:

  • Subsystem 1: Website
  • Subsystem 2: Posts & Pages
  • Subsystem 3: Content

WordPress can bring order and manageability to your digital presence

(WordPress can bring order and manageability to your digital presence)

WordPress Website

We provide hundreds of detailed step-by-step tutorials devoted to helping you understand all the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your website or blog.

If you’ve never heard of WordPress before, we recommend starting with our Introduction To WordPress tutorials.

If you know a little bit about WordPress already, the rest of this guide is going to help you understand WordPress from a different perspective. We’ll begin by exploring some of the features of WordPress that will make your web presence manageable and allow you to grow your business online in an organized manner.

WordPress Post & Pages

Posts and pages are the main ‘containers’ in WordPress that hold all of the content you want to display on your website.

Once your WordPress website has been installed and configured, almost all of the work you will do will involve using WordPress posts and pages.

To learn about the main differences between WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages and when to use each type, see the tutorial below:

Depending on the type of website you plan to build, modified versions of posts or pages called Custom Post Types may also be used.

For example, if you plan to sell products or services online, you would probably choose an e-Commerce theme for your website with posts that have been modified to display product or service information to potential buyers. Other custom post types used to display specific information in WordPress websites include testimonials, portfolio pages, real estate property listings, directory pages, forum pages, etc.

Some WordPress Themes also allow you to choose different post formats (e.g. videos, images, quotes, links, etc.) when creating a post to display specific types of content.

WordPress posts, pages and custom post types and formats not only help keep your website manageable, they also include features and functions that allow you to keep your information and data organized as well.

For example, as a website administrator, you can view, edit, and manage all of your posts and pages inside your WordPress dashboard using the Table of Posts and Table of Pages

The WordPress Table of Posts keeps all of your posts organized

(The WordPress ‘Table of Posts’ keeps all of your posts organized)

WordPress also provides features called ‘widgets‘ that let you organize information for users and visitors and display these on your site in areas like the sidebar, footer, and header sections. Widgets lets you group, organize, and display information on your site, like a menu of specific pages, or a list of recent or archived posts, links, content categories, tag clouds, etc.

To learn how to use widgets to keep your information organized in WordPress, see our tutorial series below:

Digital Content

Your web content is contained inside your posts and pages, which are contained inside your WordPress website.

The key to having an effective and manageable website with organized content, then, is to understand the main features of WordPress and how these all work seamlessly together …

WordPress: a system of systems

(WordPress: a system of systems)

WordPress: A Digital System Of Systems

If systems and processes bring order and manageability to your business, then think of WordPress as a digital ‘system of systems’ for bringing order and manageability to your web presence.

Many of these digital systems are built into WordPress itself in the form of features and core functionality, and other systems can be configured and seamlessly integrated with the WordPress platform to add new features and functionality, such as WordPress Themes and WordPress Plugins.

Let’s take a deeper look, now, at the three basic levels of WordPress described above and drill down into the other subsystems that exist within these.

Practical Tip

We discuss many WordPress features that can put you in complete control of your website here:

WordPress Website

Starting at the highest level of order, in terms of organization, WordPress has a number of subsystems that allow you to control and manage all areas of your web presence:

WordPress Content Management System (CMS)

WordPress not only lets you build any type of website you can imagine, it also comes with a very powerful built-in Content Management System …

Want a manageable website? Use a CMS!

(Want a manageable website? Use a CMS!)

WordPress is, in fact, the world’s leading CMS application. The WordPress CMS provides an invaluable system for keeping your website manageable and your web content organized.

The WordPress CMS not only lets you easily manage your website and keep all of your content organized, it also stores all of your website data inside a database on your server, which allows you to easily backup and restore your data and perform tasks like global search and replace and other maintenance and upgrade tasks.

To learn more about the benefits of using the WordPress CMS, see the tutorial below:

WordPress Settings

Knowing how to expertly configure WordPress settings after the installation process is one of the keys to creating and running an organized and manageable website.

Many aspects of marketing and managing your web presence with WordPress can also be automated simply by choosing a good web hosting environment, knowing how to configure various core and plugin settings, such as traffic generation, SEO, and backups, and integrating these with external services to access statistical reports, social metrics, and more.

Some of the more useful WordPress system settings that are specifically designed to help make your website more manageable include:

Media

The WordPress media settings and WordPress media library allows you to store, manage, and organize your media files (e.g. images, audios, videos, etc.)

To learn how to configure WordPress media settings and use the WordPress media library, see the tutorials below:

Permalinks

Permalinks let you create search engine friendly URLs and help keep your content organized for search engines and visitors.

To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress permalinks and how to set it up, see the tutorial below:

Tools

WordPress provides various tools that allow you to add content to your site while browsing the web, transfer content from one WordPress site to another using export and import features, and more.

To learn more about the WordPress Tools section, see the tutorial below:

Users

WordPress lets you assign different roles and capabilities to users (e.g. Author, Editor, Administrators). This not only helps you to better manage your web presence, it also prevents other users from turning your site into a disorganized mess.

For example, if you assign users the role of ‘contributors’ or ‘authors,’ they can add to and help grow your site’s content, but they cannot edit or change the parameters that help keep your content organized, only ‘editors’ and ‘administrators’ can do this.

To learn more about assigning users different roles and capabilities, see the tutorial below:

WordPress Themes

Many website building applications nowadays use web templates to speed up the web development process. WordPress takes this concept much further through the use of Themes.

Themes provide an effective and efficient system for organizing your site’s web design and the layout of its pages and web elements. The basic concept behind using WordPress themes is that you can completely change (i.e. ‘morph’) the ‘look and feel’ of your entire website with just a couple of mouse clicks without affecting any of the underlying functionality or content that you have already set up for your site.

To learn more about using WordPress Themes, see the tutorials below:

WordPress Plugins

Another powerful type of organizational system for your WordPress website are WordPress Plugins.

Plugins are like ‘modular addons’ that plug into your website and instantly add all sorts of functionality to your web presence with just a few mouse clicks. Many plugins work right out of the box and some require configuring additional settings.

The basic concept behind using WordPress plugins is that you can start with a very simple WordPress installation and instantly enhance and expand your site to do just about anything you can imagine very inexpensively and without touching your site’s underlying code just by installing a plugin.

Plugins, therefore, not only add additional functionality to your site, they can also integrate complete ‘management’ systems and many of these will also automate most of the processes involved.

For example, earlier we talked about integrating various management functions within your website. With WordPress, this can all be done using inexpensive plugins that are simple to install and easy to configure and use.

So, to add a complete e-commerce management system to your website, just install a WordPress e-commerce management plugin. Want an affiliate management system to go with your e-commerce site? Then add an affiliate management plugin. How about a private membership area where your customers can download information not available to regular visitors? Just add a membership management plugin.

You can also add WordPress plugins for managing advertising banners on your site, keeping your website legally compliant, managing online courses and event registrations, running customer support helpdesks and training, running directories, tracking and managing content links on your website and adding loads of other functionality and enhancements.

To learn more about using WordPress plugins, see the tutorials below:

Site Navigation

The better you can organize how visitors and search engines find content on your website, the better the user experience and search engine rankings, which can translate to more traffic and more profits.

WordPress provides a number of management systems for keeping your site’s navigation organized. These include using custom menus, widgets, breadcrumbs, and adding both visitor site maps and search engine sitemaps to your website.

WordPress Posts & Pages

As mentioned earlier, WordPress posts and pages are the main form of ‘containers’ used to provide information to your website’s users and visitors.

WordPress posts and pages, however, also provide systems for managing and organizing your content and information. These include:

Unique Post/Page ID

Every post and page you create has a unique ID. This lets you perform a number of management functions, such as grouping and displaying certain posts or pages by ID, filtering out posts or pages from menus, etc.

To learn more about post and page IDs, see this tutorial:

Post/Page Date

Posts and pages can be organized and sorted by dates. To learn more about using this feature and some of its benefits, see the tutorials below:

Post/Page Status

Posts and pages can be organized and sorted by their status (e.g. Published, Draft, Private, etc.).

To learn more about using this feature and some of its benefits, see the tutorials below:

Post Categories

Post categories are a powerful management system for keeping your posts organized by related topics on your website. They also provide benefits for site visitors (easier navigation) and search engines (better indexing).

To learn more about post categories and their benefits as an organizational and management feature of your WordPress site, see these tutorials:

Post Tags

Like post categories, tags provide a system for managing and organizing content on your site at a more granular level.

To learn more about setting up and using WordPress tags, see the tutorials below:

Post Authors

Earlier, we discussed how WordPress allows you to assign different roles and responsibilities to users, giving them access or restricting access to various management features and capabilities on your website.

WordPress also allows you to have multiple authors for your posts. This not only provides certain benefits in terms of being able to search, sort, filter, export, and organize content on your site via post authors, it also adds a collaborative dimension to how content is managed and created in your digital presence.

To learn more about post authors, see the tutorials below:

Post/Page Settings

WordPress posts and pages include many additional settings that let you administer, manage and organize content and information on your website. These include built-in WordPress functions such as scheduling posts and pagespost excerpts, comments, featured images, and post revisions, as well as functions that can be added using plugins, such as SEO features, social sharing, custom fields, and more.

Web Content

The last level we need to explore is how to keep your web content organized and manageable.

So far, we have seen that if you create and follow a strategic digital plan for your business, plan your website with attention to important details like how you will manage things, and learn all you can about all of the WordPress features that allow you to easily manage, organize your digital presence and automate your marketing, then all you should be left with is planning, creating and publishing content.

WordPress provides many features inside your Posts and Pages that allow you to work efficiently and in an organized manner to create and publish content quickly and easily. This includes separate fields for adding and editing post titles and content, word counters, a visual content editor that lets you easily create, paste, or format text and insert media into your content such as videos, audiosimages, and image galleries, built-in features that let you add hyperlinks to internal content or external sites, eliminate distractions while writing, and perform various functions within your content editor, and the ability to perform additional tasks depending on what plugins you have installed (e.g. adding tables or adding scripts and codes to your content using shortcodes).

WordPress even lets you organize and present content that you have published in different areas of your site inside a new post or page.

For example, if you copy the URL of one of your posts or pages (or any WordPress site) and paste it into your content on a separate line, WordPress will turn the link into a reference like this:

Index Of WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

Go here for a step by step tutorial on how to do the above:

Now … what if you want to display a directory or a list of all of your content on a separate page or post?

Easy, you can use a plugin to create a site map for your readers like the one we use here, or if you want to create a nice visual content directory like the one we use here and throughout our site, then use a plugin like ContentViewsPro

Display other WordPress posts and pages inside a post or page using ContentViewsPro

(Display other WordPress posts and pages inside a post or page using ContentViewsPro)

As you can see, with WordPress you can have a manageable website and organize your web content at a macro and granular level.

Idea

If you need help creating a content strategy or content for your business, we recommend subscribing to our comprehensive and 100% FREE content creation course:

Summary

Many businesses develop an unmanageable web presence because they do not start by creating a strategic plan to manage their digital business effectively and don’t implement systems that will allow them to get better results online in an organized and manageable way.

WordPress is more than just a web platform. It is a digital ‘system of systems’ with many powerful features that allow you to have a manageable website, organize your content at a macro and granular level, and help you manage your web presence effectively at minimal cost and without requiring coding skills.

If you find that trying to stay on top of your digital business has become too chaotic and unmanageable and you would like to start getting better results online, then we recommend beginning with just two simple steps:

  1. Download and read ‘The Small Business Digital Manager‘ to learn why small businesses end up with an unmanageable digital presence and how to turn things around, and
  2. Educate yourself as much as you can about the benefits of using WordPress to planbuild, managegrow, and automate your digital business. To help you do this, we provide hundreds of detailed WordPress step-by-step tutorials for FREE covering all aspects of WordPress.

We hope that you have found this guide on how to keep your website and web content manageable and organized useful.

The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Website Manageable & Organized

***

"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

Disclaimer: We are not directly associated with WordPress or any WordPress products mentioned or reviewed on this website. We may receive financial benefits or affiliate commissions from purchases of third-party services and products mentioned on our site. All images and information sourced from product websites remain the copyright of their respective owners and are used only for illustrative or training purposes.

***

Did you find this article useful? Feel free to share this page with other WordPress users using the links below.

The Small Business Digital Manager – How To Get Better Results Online

Small business owners need someone who will step into their business, get things done, and deliver results … like a Small Business Digital Manager!

Before taking your small business online, we recommend downloading  “The Small Business Digital Manager” and completing our Website Planning tutorials.

The Small Business Digital Manager: Build A Profitable & Rewarding Career Helping Small Businesses Get Better Results Online!

(The Small Business Digital Manager)

Take Control Of Your Small Business Digital Presence And Get Better Results Online

Many small businesses are ‘too busy’ and lack the skills to manage and grow an effective digital presence. As a result, many struggle to get better results online.

Small businesses often turn to outsourcing for help. Without systems to manage the outsourcing process, however, many businesses can end up as “hostages” of their service providers.

Small businesses need more than help, support, and advice with areas like digital management and digital marketing. They need someone who will step into their business, get things done, and deliver results. Someone who will actually manage their digital processes and ‘do the work’ that they are too busy or lack the skills to do themselves.

Small businesses need a Small Business Digital Manager.

A Small Business Digital Manager (SBDM) provides small businesses ‘hands-on’ digital services and delivers ‘done for you’ results. Their services include understanding the needs of the business and developing a sound digital strategy, implementing effective systems to organize and document digital processes, and personally looking after the digital areas of the business areas like digital management, content creation, and digital marketing to drive more traffic and leads to their website, improve search engine rankings, and increase sales conversions.

This seems like a tall order. As you will see, however, “The Small Business Digital Manager” provides a systematic approach and proven methods that anyone can use to help any small business get better results online. The author has spent over a decade teaching small businesses how to build an effective digital presence using the systems and methods described in this book.

The role of the Small Business Digital Manager (SBDM) represents an immense and untapped global opportunity for people everywhere to build a profitable and rewarding career helping small businesses get better results online.

A small business digital manager doesn’t need technical expertise to excel in this role. All that’s required is someone who is self-motivated, organized, and willing to embrace challenges. Anyone looking for full-time, part-time, or flexible employment can become a successful SBDM: school leavers, students, stay-at-home, work-from-home, semi-retired, unemployed, professionals, consultants, contractors, freelancers, etc.

If you own or plan to start a small business and can’t afford yet to employ someone to look after your digital management or digital marketing, this book will show you how to become the small business digital manager your business needs to get better results online.

If you are currently employed to help a small business with their marketing or website or looking for employment in the digital sector, the information and methods in this book will help you deliver better results, significantly improve your performance, and boost your value and contribution to any business that employs you.

About The Book

“The Small Business Digital Manager” is divided into two parts:

Part 1 looks at why most small businesses take their business online using the wrong approach, why this leads to poor results, and why they should consider hiring a small business digital manager to manage their digital processes.

Part 2 explains the role of the Small Business Digital Manager (SBDM) and the services an SBDM provides to help small businesses be in control of their digital processes and get better results online.

Why You Should Get This Book

One of the core systems described in “The Small Business Digital Manager” that are used to help small businesses get better results online is to set up an expertly configured WordPress site 

Expertly Configured WordPress Site

(Expertly Configured WordPress Site)

WPCompendium.org provides the tutorials on how to install and expertly configure a WordPress site, and “The Small Business Digital Manager” explains how to do the strategic planning and build the other systems that will allow someone to manage all of the digital processes for a small business and create better results online.

Additionally, a Small Business Digital Manager online course is available, that provides additional resources and information (video tutorials, downloadable templates, checklists, and documentation) to anyone interested in learning more about the role.

Download ‘The Small Business Digital Manager’

The Small Business Digital Manager: Build A Profitable & Rewarding Career Helping Small Businesses Get Better Results Online

(The Small Business Digital Manager: Build A Profitable & Rewarding Career Helping Small Businesses Get Better Results Online)

To learn why small businesses need a Small Business Digital Manager and how you can build a profitable and rewarding career helping small businesses get better results online, download “The Small Business Digital Manager ” from Amazon.com using the links below:

Note: Even if you don’t own a Kindle device, you can still read “The Small Business Digital Manager” on your Apple or Android smartphone, tablet, or computer by downloading the free Kindle app from the Apple App store, Windows store, and the Android app stores on Google Play and Amazon.

WordPress For Beginners Can Be Read Without A Kindle Device

Please feel free to share this page with anyone who may be thinking of starting or taking a business online or is interested in learning how to build a profitable and rewarding career helping small businesses get better results online.