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Hey, y’all! This episode is a little different from my usually-at-least-somewhat-planned-out content.
Sometimes I actually script out entire episodes because I have a lot to say on the topic and I want to make sure I say it right or say everything I want to say. But this time, it’s the opposite.
I had 3 words written down in my notes before I hit the record button: Ads, Redesigns, and Rebrands.
The truth is that I’ve been super bogged down by a lot of difficult things going on in my personal life. Both of my parents went into the hospital around Thanksgiving of last year. My mom passed away and my dad damn near did too.
He had a stem cell transplant that didn’t go as well as expected and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster the past few weeks. I’ve been suffering from a bit of a lack of inspiration lately when it comes to work because I’ve been spending most of my time in hospitals trying to cram in 20 minutes on my laptop here and there.
Because of all of this, it’s been hard to find the time or desire to create a creative space in my business these past few months. I’ve been trying to keep my head above water and juggle a lot of personal stuff.
Long story short… this episode is just an honest chat about some of the things I’ve been prioritizing lately.
They’re not flashy or particularly exciting topics, but advertising and optimizing your products is an important part of any business–especially if you’ve hit the stage of growth that we have.
We don’t talk much about ads in our courses, since it’s not necessary for beginner bloggers; but today, I’m sharing some of our experiences with paid ads for our blog, including using an ads company for almost a year now.
I’ve also been spending most of my limited work time on redesigning our sales pages.
During this process, I’ve found a helpful work-around for improving the sales pages within Teachable, which should lead to higher conversion rates.
Finally, I’m talking about why I’ve rebranded one of the courses, and what that means for our students.
So if you’re dealing with any of these business steps right now, or might be in the future, I hope the info and experiences I’m sharing today will help you in that process.
In this episode, I’m discussing:
- Ads (webinars and more)
- Redesigns (new sales pages!)
- Rebrands (new course name change – Six-Figure Course Creator)
- [1:32] Battling with lack of inspiration
- [6:29] Trying out ads
- [10:32] Redesigns to improve conversion
- [12:33] Teachable vs Lead Pages for sales page conversion
- [14:53] Rebranding a course
- [18:15] What’s coming up next
Resources and Mentions:
- Course Mentioned: Six-Figure Course Creator
- Tutorial: How to Start a Successful Blog
- Start your first blog with our Free 5-Day Blogging Bootcamp
Full Episode Transcript:
Episode 29 – Full TranscriptDownload
Welcome to the Launch Your Blog Biz podcast. I’m your host, Lauren McManus, I used to be a full time tax accountant and CPA with a whole lot of limiting beliefs and “I can’t”s whenever I thought about starting my own business. Fast forward a few months, and I quit my job after starting and growing my first blog to six figures in just a year. This is my space to share, and yours to listen and grow, about how to build and scale your own blogging business and design a life on your terms. Let’s get started.
Hello, hello, and welcome back to another episode of the podcast. I hope that you are all doing really great today. Wherever you are, wherever you’re listening. I have a little bit of a different episode for you today. Because I honestly don’t have any pre scripted content, I don’t have any real plan, I just have literally three or four talking points. And that’s about it. And I’m just going to talk.
Now I don’t usually script all of the episodes, it really just depends. Sometimes I just write notes, sometimes. I actually do script a lot of the episode, if it’s something that I have a lot of thoughts on, it really helps me to write the thoughts down first, just to make sure that I cover everything. But this one is going to be definitely a lot different. And honestly, it’s just a little bit more of what I need today or this week or right now. Because I’ve been battling with a lot of lack of inspiration, really. And I think it’s just mostly…Well, I think it’s a lot of things. But I think right now primarily, I’m feeling it because of the situation that I’ve been in with my dad lately over the last few weeks.
I’ve alluded to some of this in the podcast, but really in a nutshell. So y’all can understand a little bit more of what’s been going on in my personal worlds. As I said before, on a different episode, my mother passed away in December in mid December. She had been the hospital for a few weeks, and had been battling many things. But it still came as a bit of a surprise just in that when she took a downturn. You know, we weren’t expecting it that much. And right around the time that she went into the hospital back then around Thanksgiving of last year, my dad also went to the hospital for a stem cell transplant. And long story short, you know, that was no Thanksgiving, and he is still in the hospital now. And the transplant did not go well. And he almost died about two weeks ago, three weeks ago now.
We actually my brothers and I stopped his treatment based on some things that he had said, some issues with his mental state with the medications, based on conversations with doctors. Anyway, I won’t get into all the details about it. But it wasn’t going well, we actually stopped his treatment. And then being off of the treatment for 24 hours, his mind actually cleared up just a little bit. And he said I still want to keep fighting. And we told the doctors we said put him back on treatment. You know, it’s been such a roller coaster. And I’m really happy to say that he’s actually doing a lot better now. He just got out of the cancer center a couple weeks ago. And he has just moved to a rehab facility and should be released again to go home next week, I will be flying back to Florida again. And it’s just been a huge whirlwind.
My dad is 69. And he was so healthy before all this started. I mean, he was still hiking mountains with us in Seattle. So healthy. And this is all just been very unexpected. He had such great odds to beat this thing. And it just didn’t go the way that we expected. So I have been mostly in Florida since last Thanksgiving. My husband and I have taken a couple of trips. We went to Poland for Christmas, a couple of smaller trips in between there. But I’ve been mostly in Florida and I actually just got back to Germany about a week ago. And I leave again on Tuesday to go back to Florida for really the last three weeks of spending time with my dad and really being his caregiver. And thankfully, I have two brothers that have also helped a tremendous amount during this process. So as much as it has been a lot on me and my husband, I also have two other people helping, so it’s just been a lot on everybody.
And again, long story short, I’m just so happy to say that he’s actually doing a lot better, and over the last few weeks or now months it’s just been difficult because there have been weeks at a time where I’m at the hospital every single day for a few hours a day. And I’ve really only been able to focus on work for an hour or two a day. And it’s just been getting to this point where I’m not able to really work on anything that I want to anymore. And I’m not able to really have a creative space anymore. It’s just these things that I have to do I have to work on ads, I have to update this content. You know, it’s really just been a lot of scrambling over the last few months.
And I guess I’m really just sharing this long intro about my personal life to let you know what’s going on. And, you know, sometimes shit just happens in your life, and you have to just deal with it, you have to put things on hold, and you have to reprioritize a lot of things. So between my dad and family and my business, and also my husband, it has just been a lot to reshuffle everything and to really just make time for everything. And I’m sure that many of you can relate in other areas in your life, maybe even in a similar area. But yeah, sometimes it’s just hard. And again, long intro to just really segue into what I am working on, what I’m trying to make time for, and what I am prioritizing right now, I have plans to do some other things in the next few months. But right now, I have been over the last few months really been working a lot with an ads team to get some profitable ads going.
And I want to talk for a few minutes about ads, because it’s something that we don’t talk a lot about at Create and Go. We don’t teach about ads, we teach about organic traffic. And the reason for that is mostly because our audience is generally new business owners and most people don’t have a budget for ads or the time or inclination to really think about it. And you know, unless you do have a budget or really know what you’re doing, it’s not really something that you should focus on in the very beginning.
But ads have been a really great way for us to scale what we do. And really how we’ve started is that we’ve gotten organic traffic and created a system that worked. So you know, we drive traffic to articles that then have opt ins. And those opt ins are connected to funnels that then send emails and sell our courses. And that’s been the way that we’ve done it for years now. It works great. Now, of course, when you’re driving ads, you can do things a little bit differently, you can drive traffic straight to opt in pages rather than to articles. But the way that we’ve done it is that we have been able to create a system that is pretty consistent. And that works. You know, these email funnels work to sell the products. And you get organic traffic from Pinterest or YouTube or Instagram or wherever you’re getting traffic from. But you’re getting trickles of traffic from different sources. And ideally, that can start to build up over time, whether it’s from one or two channels or multiple channels.
But really, ads are great to be able to scale what you’re doing. Because all you really do at this point is just turn up the volume, when you already have a great course that’s selling, you already have an email funnel that’s selling it, you just really need more traffic and ads are a really great way to get that traffic. But they’re also very expensive. And these days ads are very competitive. When we first started, we were running a lot of ads on Pinterest, and that platform over time has gotten a lot more competitive. Now, it’s still not nearly as competitive as Facebook and Instagram and other you know, Google. YouTube, but it’s still more competitive than it used to be.
And I don’t know about y’all, but now when I’m on Instagram, every other freaking post is an ad, every single one of them. And I’m seeing so many more by content creators and you know, not just businesses that have the budgets for them. But influencers content creators, especially after the pandemic, so many people started their own businesses, and changed careers and were at home to take the time to learn these new skills. So I do think there’s a lot more competition out there.
And you know, I’ve tried so many different webinars over the last few months. And some other things. I have a team that’s been helping me to create the content and test out all this stuff. And I’m really at the point where I’m ready to throw in the towel, at least for right now. I’m kind of feeling burnt out on this project because we hired this ads team almost a year ago, and they’re a fantastic team. They’re pretty expensive, but definitely have been so amazing. But I’ve had a lot going on and just as things haven’t really been working out the way that I wanted to with these ads. I think for me, it’s about time to really throw in the towel on that. We’ll see, we’re testing on a couple more and we’ll see how they go and you know, maybe I’ll pick up back up again in a few more months when I have more of the capacity, or have some fresh ideas.
But as I said right now, because of all these things going on, I’ve just really lost my ability to create a creative space lately. And I know that I just need a little bit more time. I’m feeling very behind on a lot of things in my life right now. I have not been able to practice German, and study German at all over the last few months, because everything going on. So anyway, I might pick that back up when I have time to really reprioritize things and create more time.
But right now, some other things I’m doing besides that ad stuff is really trying to make some improvements on the overall conversion process, to be honest, because these ads are driving a lot of traffic to sales pages. And I’m taking a look at our sales pages, and I’m like, you know, these really need an upgrade. And it’s funny because you create content. And at the time, it’s so great sometimes. You’re like, I did such a great job with this article or this sales page, this is going to knock it out of the park. And then give it a year or two, and you look back and you’re like, What was I thinking? I mean, I know what I was thinking. And it was so good at the time. But you see these obvious eyesores, and obvious places where you can improve on things. And I’m definitely at that point with a lot of our content on the website, and definitely our sales pages.
And you know, updating the article content on the website is going to be a whole different project that I don’t have time for at the very moment. For me, I definitely would rather prioritize something like a sales page, or definitely the paid content that we offer. So you know, we regularly update the courses. And I would I’ve been prioritizing that over prioritizing the free content, which I’m sure that my students would appreciate.
But anyway, I’ve been redesigning all of our sales pages. I just finished them, and I’m so excited about them. So go take a look at them if you are one of our students, and you do look up to our sales pages for ideas and inspiration, because we do have a course in creating courses we teach about sales pages, I do need to update that module now that I have updated our own sales pages. And honestly, they aren’t a whole lot different than what they used to be, they still tell stories and show a lot of the principles that we teach about in our courses. They just really have had a new facelift.
And that’s because we sell our courses on Teachable, and I don’t have enough good things to say about Teachable, they’re an amazing platform. But one thing they’re not good at is sales pages and conversions. They’re not a landing page software like lead pages or click funnels that really optimizes their software for conversions. Their software does a plenty good enough job. We’ve been using them for years now. But really Teachable is so much better as a course platform for teaching. Right? That’s what the purpose of it is for.
And I’ve been thinking about moving off of the platform just because of the sales page and conversion issue, I feel that using another software might result in more sales. Although we’ve also tried other ones like Click Funnels and the membership area to access the course was just horrible. But I found a pretty cool workaround with the sales pages that was pretty excited about.
So I actually created new sales pages in Lead Pages, which is what we use for our opt ins. And I’m gonna link Teachable, Lead Pages, everything I’m mentioning in the show notes with affiliate links. So if you do care, check them out, please do us a favor and use our links. But we’ve been using Lead Pages for years, we’re on the cheapest plan, it’s only about 30 something dollars a month. And we use that to build our opt in pages because they’re just more customizable. And we go over all of this in our course on creating courses. But I’ve recently built out our sales pages on Lead Pages as well, because I’m paying for the software anyway.
And what you do is you actually build the sales page in Lead Pages. And then you can export the HTML file and just copy it into an HTML box right into your Teachable sales page. So it really just replaces your Teachable sales page. It still looks like it’s on teachable, but it’s actually technically hosted on Lead Pages. A little bit hard to explain over podcast but anyway, it’s worked out really well and my sales pages in my opinion just look so much better now. So I’m really excited about them. And do check them out if you are one that has been following our sales pages or just need some inspiration.
And one other change that I have made recently is also I talked about rebranding in one of the last couple of podcasts episodes, and I haven’t done any huge rebranding. But one thing I wanted to do first of all now before any other major rebranding is I actually just did a small rebrand and changed the name of our very popular Six Figure Blogger course to Six Figure Course Creator. And I did this for a couple reasons, really. The content hasn’t changed at all, it’s always been a course on creating courses. It also teaches you about a little bit about ebooks. But really the primary focus is on courses. And it has a section on selling affiliate products to test out before you create your own product. But it’s really about creating courses.
So to me, this name makes a lot more sense, because when you hear it, you immediately know what the course is about. And there has been some confusion in the past between Launch Your Blog Biz, and Six Figure Blogger. Because if you look at those names, without any information about them whatsoever, you don’t actually really know what the differences between these courses. So to me, changing the name from Six Figure Blogger to Six Figure Course Creator, also just really makes it stand out. And immediately you can tell what it’s about. And also, you know, generally, we used to market Six Figure Blogger as this course that you should only take once you’re more advanced, you’ve already built your audience, and all this stuff, because this course doesn’t teach you how to build an audience at all. It teaches you how to create and how to sell. But the way that it teaches you how to sell is really about learning from your audience, learning who they are, what they’re interested in, and using this information to create and sell your course.
And it used to be that we’d recommend people to wait and to do it when they’re ready after testing on affiliate products, after doing all this stuff. But we’ve had quite a few students now who are taking our bundle and have access to all of our courses right away, that have actually dove right in to creating their own products and courses almost right away. And they’ve had really, really great success with it. So I wanted to also rebrand it as just a standalone course that you can take at any point in time of your journey if you’re ready to create courses.
Now, as I said, I’ve had some other thoughts on combining certain courses and doing bigger rebrands. But I think that this is the first step, at least in the direction that I want to take. And yeah, a small rebrand, but I’m excited about it. So if you haven’t checked it out Six Figure Course Creator, go ahead and check it out. It’s got a make over lately. And yeah, I think that’s about it for this episode.
I also, now if you’re going to check out the pages now, as of right now, they don’t have sales page videos yet, that’s also on my list and really has been on my list for a while. So I have scripted out my sales page videos. And I’m going to be recording those hopefully in the next couple of days. So they might be up by the time you check out the sales pages. I’m not quite sure. But that is on the docket for next.
And yeah, I’m excited about these changes, because I really like to do work that can have an immediate impact on my bottom line. So things like changing sales pages can immediately raise or lower your conversions. So while maybe it’s not the most creative, it is something that does excite me. So I’ll be focusing on that. And yeah, I’ll be back to Florida next week. And we’ll be spending a lot of time taking care of my dad again and helping him really get through the last bit of his rehab and hopefully independent to have his own again. And from there. I will go back to Germany and really start thinking about what the next steps are for me and in the business and everything and yeah, all right. I will see y’all on the next episode.
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