Theme Scheme

To Theme or Not to Theme

The Age Old Question

If you are new to building a website, “Welcome aboard!” (Support meetings are every other Tuesday at Tina’s.)

As a small business, it can be a bit overwhelming looking at cPanels, hosting accounts, urls, Linux, and more. It is enough to make your head hurt.

Recently, whilst I was researching my competitors, I discovered an article that was rather amusing.

It was in favor of having a custom coded site. The person vehemently discouraged using themes because of the cookie cutter look. Of course, the goal was to scare small business owners into thinking they needed to dole out 5K for a custom site with only five pages! That’s a $1000 per page!

Holy Mackerel! That’s a lot of money for five measly pages.

But wait, there’s more nonsense….

With a customized theme, you are going to need customized support. Which means you will never be free of the monthly maintenance charge. NEVER. All themes have weaknesses and vulnerabilities. If someone says their website coding doesn’t, they are either incredibly stupid or flat out lying.

The Cookie Cutter Myth

Yes, if you make zero changes from the original WordPress free themes, your website will look like anyone else that has that same theme and didn’t make any changes. However, a premium theme with a photo here, a logo there, great graphics, some awesome share-worthy content, changes to the color scheme, change the background, and more – you can have a site that appears custom made.

The Lowdown on Premium Themes

First, let me say, “I love StudioPress.” I’ve been building websites since 2002 and is my go to favorite.

I use StudioPress because there are plenty of themes to shop from and the themes are maintained with regular updates to the Parent Theme as well as the Child Theme. And, you don’t have to pay a monthly “maintenance fee” for the updates.

It works like this: Buy the StudioPress theme. Get support and updates.

Simple. You gotta love simple.

Click here to take a gander at some of the themes.

By: Tammy York, owner LandShark Communications LLC, The Zero Bullshit Company. If you need someone to build your site and not bleed you dry, contact Tammy at 513-319-2649.

LIVE Training: How to build your own evergreen funnel from top to bottom.

In case you haven’t heard me say this yet…

LeadPages™ is a company that continues to impress me.

It seems like almost every week, LeadPages™ is releasing a new valuable feature, landing page or lead-gen tool that becomes absolutely essential to our business.

With all these new landing pages and features coming out, it’s easy to forget exactly what you can do with all these tools inside LeadPages™.

For example, right now marketers are building entire sales funnels with LeadPages™ — that automatically sell products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

On Wednesday, LeadPages™ is hosting a brand new live training to show you how it’s done.

I’ll definitely be at this live training on Wednesday. As my subscriber, you’re also invited to attend free.

Inside this live training, you’ll discover…

  • How to Build One Sales Process to Sell Your Products Forever: A sales funnel doesn’t have to be complicated. LeadPages™ will show you how to create a simple sales process to automatically sell your product or service from now on.
  • What You Should Give Away to Grow Your Email List: Part of growing your business is building your email list. LeadPages™ will show you exactly what you should be giving away to grow your list fast. (Hint: It’s the highest-converting lead magnet they have ever seen — and it’s out-converted videos, ebooks and free consultations.)
  • How LeadPages Went from Zero to 25,000 Customers: You’ll see the sales process that LeadPages™ has used to continually grow their list and their customer-base at an incredible rate over the last two years.

This is all happening in Wednesday’s live training at 3 pm Eastern (12 noon Pacific). I highly recommend you mark your calendars right now and plan on attending.

You can go here right now to register.

We’ll see you at the webinar.

~ Tammy

P.S. Only 1,000 people can be on this webinar at any one time. So I recommend you sign up now and show up early on Wednesday to be sure you get a seat. But first, don’t forget to register

Tools: LeadPages

Like you, I have several projects rolling at the same time and therefore I’m always looking for a tool that is going to make my work easier and get me the results I want.

I found  LeadPages  and have fallen in deep like with it.


Well, I can easily make a landing page that makes people want to sign-up for a newsletter, buy a product, or register for a webinar.


I can choose from a variety of templates on LeadPages and customize the page to what I think the audience will respond to best.

I can easily track the conversion rate. Yes, you read that right — easily track conversion rates!

That is the number of people who see the offer and then sign-up for the list.

That way, if I see a page that has a high conversion rate, I can use that page in other projects.

I could wax on but the peeps over at LeadPages do a better job of  quickly explaining all that LeadPages can do for you.

Here is a quick free video that covers all that you can do with LeadPages.

BTW: I only promote stuff I use.

Cobbler’s Son’s Shoes Complex

If you delve into the online marketing world you’ll hear this one word: Content.

Content. Content. Content.

I’m guessing you have the same issue most businesses have including even mine – you spend so much time taking care of your clients that you sacrifice taking care of your marketing.

It is easy to overlook when you are busy.

I get busy developing a website or managing an email marketing campaign for my clients and whoosh – my clients are happy, but meanwhile my site is out of date and I haven’t added anything new in weeks.


Especially with how voracious the online world is for content.

You need good content.

But, what exactly is good content?

Good content is information your readers can use and, because it is so helpful, will want to pass it along or at least bookmark your page.

Content SEO mills and any number of sites that offer a bid system where freelance writers bid to write your content – might sound appealing but it will wind up costing you more in the end:

  • SEO mills are an easy way to get blacklisted by Google. You’ve seen this crap horrible writing before, it is loaded with keywords and makes no sense. “Blue benches has blue benches sitting next to blue benches on the blue bench sidewalk.”
  • Is that content original? Yep, you have to worry about this when you go with someone who is producing content at such a ridiculously low rate. After all, if they can swipe the content from someone else and sell it to you, they’ve made an easy buck and you are on the hook for stealing content.
  • Is your content yours? Another problem is your content being repackaged and sold to your competitors.

That leaves you with the task of creating the content yourself or hiring a reputable company like LandShark Communications LLC to create the content for you.

A reputable company will work with you to develop an editorial calendar as well as the content to go with the calendar.

Think of it like a long-term plan. You know what is being focused on each month so you can focus on your sales and running your business.

The next level is using that content to drive traffic to your website and you do that via email marketing, social networking, and good old fashioned networking.


What is your process?

In a creative meeting, I had the new art director turn to me and ask, “What is your process?”

“I sit and write,” I replied while finishing up my notes from the meeting.

“Yes, but what is your process?” He wasn’t being rude. He was trying to figure out how I work at writing.

“I find out what the client wants, what their customer wants, and I write to fit the outlet.”

“Yes, but what is your process?”

“Okay. I find out as much as I can about my client and their customers. I ask a lots of questions and take a million notes. I look at their competitors. I read the industry magazines. Then, I sit down in my office in front of my computer and I write whatever comes to mind while I’m focusing on what the client’s needs are.”

“Yes, but how do you write?”

“With the keyboard and headphones with a Pandora station on.”

“Yes, but what is your process?”

“I sit down and don’t get up until I have something decent on the page. Then, I go for a walk, work in the garden, or work on something completely different. After I’ve taken a break,—then and only then, do I look at what I have written and tear it apart and make it better.”

He blinked, “Okay.”

I’ve been writing content for 20 years and my process is part of my daily life. I never thought about it until he kept digging into the guts of how I worked. Now that I have spent some time thinking about it, I am more efficient and effective because I have specific steps I follow.

What is your process for communicating with your clients? Have you thought about it? Do you have a plan? What are you doing to make sure you stay on track?