Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Google Blogger vs Wordpress

As you know ... I use Google Blogger for all of my blogs. This article is written from the standpoint of a (proudly) untechnical person.

When asked in the past why I use Google I told everyone:

"I am of the opinion that Wordpress has way, way more features, and possibilities. But everyone I know who uses it has constant trouble and spends a lot of time on fixing issues.
Google can do less but what it can do it does without problems. Also, I never need to fear changes of Googles' extensive book of rules. With a Google blog, you're good."

Now look how pretty my WordPress entrance page is already:

WordPress Aurorasa Coaching

WordPress and a sea of tears

Wait, let me think ... how did it all start? What made me so reckless? Ah, I know. I needed a hosting contract and it came with WordPress. I clicked and it asked which kind of site I wanted.

"None", I thought. But I still clicked on "store". Wow ... it seemed so easy. Within minutes I had a store. It looked ugly, but if you can build it in a few minutes, how hard can it be to make it cute?

Very hard, my friend, I tell you.

I fell in love with idea that I can separate my digital products from my coaching services, and I decided to use this WordPress store. The store was missing a few features so that I tried other e-commerce options.

And soon I was one of them. A WordPress user activating and deactivating plugins ... trying and crying, searching nerdy help-forums. And sure enough, I even had to touch code. You have to buy a service here and a missing feature there. That costs time.

The same happened with other seemingly great and simple to use features:

  • Membership site
  • Affiliate program for the store
  • Booking system

I already had to deal with comment spam, setting up a firewall for my WordPress site, installing my own SSL, and and and. All of this is alien to a Google and "out of the box product" user.

My worst fears came true when the second person emailed me that they cannot purchase. "Sorry, .... has been removed from the cart, the product cannot be purchased anymore". I realized that there were no orders for a few days.

I do not want to learn how to code. Or become an expert in anything else than my craft. To me, all time that I cannot spend to serve people or enjoy life is wasted.

At first, it seems like there is just a small issue to solve. Then the next. Turns out that the issue is not that small after all. Without you noticing you get pulled into a sea of tasks. And once you're in production you have to fix issues right away.

Long story short:

I purchased a plugin for $ 150 to get rid of my most severe issues (and naturally I also had to purchase a "professional" theme, SSL certificate, "pro" features, integrations, etc). Not a lot of money but enough to expect professional communication. The reply to my support request:

WordPress versus Google Blogger

Ahhhh. Polemic. Gotta love it.

An interesting point is, that one of their USPs seems to be that "it does not break".

Google Blogger wins

Yes, WordPress has a ton of options and functions. Endless possibilities. And an endless potential for trouble.

You`ll end up with a collection of maybe compatible plugins from developers with different skill levels.

Not counting the time and potential loss of sales - until you're done creating a halfway secure and functional WordPress store/site you spent more money, time and nerves than with a ready-made solution. And it will potentially still look "WordPressish".

In my opinion, for a simple blog, Google is the better solution. And for a more complex scenario I prefer an integrated ready-made tool.

Your WordPress store/site can break with every new update.

Next time I'll listen to me. My "she's right" ratio is pretty impressive. I just have to work on my "she listens" ratio.

But if you don't mind fiddling with technicalities, WordPress might be the right solution for you. Just keep in mind: There is no such thing as free lunch.

It's not free when you have to spend time you could have used to generate sales.

You can either pay a fixed price upfront or an unknown amount of money, time, nerves and possibly even reputation later.

Would you like to see where my WordPress store for my digital products is at after switching to a new theme a few hours ago?

It`s still work in progress ... but, hey, the checkout is working already - and the affiliate links are too.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Are you a digital stalker?

Are you a digital stalker? Remarketing, Privacy, Retargeting

About remarketing, privacy and intrusive advertising

Most of the time, I am using an aggressive script blocker. I don't see a lot of advertising. But now and then, I pause my script blocker to use the full function of a site.

Isn't it funny? Most of the "free offers" are not free - I offer my data in return. With my background in data mining, I am aware how much small pieces of data tell about you. When I quantify the perceived value of my data, the marketer offering me a free book loses.

The value of your data

Do you have any idea how much marketers (or anyone else) can learn about you through a few pieces of seemingly irrelevant data?

I am not talking about obvious things. For instance, that an insurance company knows the minute you get diabetes what your next diseases will be and what you will cost until the day you die. Oh, and when you die.

Knowing your favorite wine and which book you purchase might allow me to know your gender orientation. Your browsing history, which social networks you use, where you live and at which time you post adds to the picture.

Why not just use your real name when you go to that shady site? I can buy the data to see if you were there.

"I have nothing to hide", you might think. In 2009, the then CEO of Google, Schmidt famously said:
If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
Yet, he is not live streaming when he is using the bathroom, or is he? If you have something that you don't want people to see, maybe you should not be using your bathroom in the first place.

There is a difference between having dirty secrets and exposing yourself to exploitation. The opposite of privacy is transparency - not "shady person".

The first rule of data is: Every piece of data that is stored anywhere can and will be hacked at some point.

A law has just passed that allows ISP's to sell your data, including browsing history without your consent. What if the government tomorrow decides they want to get rid of gays? Or any other grouping or minority?

What if your insurance cancelled your policy for you unhealthy lifestyle?

State Farm offers their clients a discount if they agree to install some thingy in their cars that transmits information from your board computer and your driving. Insurances pay the experts well for NOT paying out claims. Why collect this kind of data if you are not planning to use it?

Do you want your insurance to know you did go to the checkup your board computer suggested after you caused an accident?

Would you want everyone to know where you've been? If you were speeding? If your "check engine" light is on?

You better say "yes" if you are using retargeting, remarketing or intrusive ads against your buyers.

We must stop differentiating between "real life" and the internet. There is only one life. If we are jerks on the internet we are just jerks.

Hunter or the hunted

The mindset of most marketers is that they have to hunt their prey. And that's what you are really doing if you use mechanisms to break through ad-blockers.

How about remarketing and showing ads to people who left your site? They would have signed up to your newsletter if they wanted to hear from you, wouldn't they?

Maybe a few people will buy after you digitally stalked them. How about all the people who will never buy from you for it?

Being interesting and trustworthy enough is the way to go. Do that and clients will be interested in the value you offer.

Quality content

There is no sustainable shortcut to providing value. That is all to say about that. If you treat potential clients like prey, you might have a quick sale - a sustainable relationship with a client you have not.

We all feel that we have something our clients need to see and it IS hard to grab someone's attention nevertheless create a lasting bond that makes them come back.

That's why it's called selling.

How can you expect your potential buyers to care about you if you clarify that you don't care about them? They'll trust you as much as the next bully or thief.

There is a long way between a man raping a woman and a marketer forcing his ads on people. But, think about it, it's kind of the same mindset, isn't it?

People love to buy. But we as sellers take all the fun out of buying.

Some of us go as far as creating fake social proof, buying fake reviews and much more - as if we know that we are not trustworthy.

Or are you different?

Learn how to become a great salesperson HERE

88 % Of New Business Fails In 90 Days

Train your brain for success

If you feel like:

... click on the nose below to access the payout desk.