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How To Open An Online Store With WordPress In Less Than 30 Minutes

Written by Brett McKay

A while back ago, I asked for reader help on what to do with my wife’s and I’s side business, Kate’s Calendars. I got some great feedback from several of my readers. One of the things I decided to do was revamp the Kate’s Calendars site. Because I’ve fallen in love with WordPress ever since I made the switch from Blogger, I decided to create the Kate’s Calendars store using the WordPress format. It took me all day Saturday, but that was due mainly to looking for plugins that will help. I thought I’d give back to the WordPress community by showing how they can easily create an online store with WordPress in less than 30 minutes. I have all the links and steps you’ll need to create an online store in less than 30 minutes.

  1. Downloand and install the WP E-Commerce plugin. This is the backbone of your WordPress online store. It’s really slick and really robust. The WP E-Commerce plugin allows you to easily create product pages, an online order form, and a cool shopping cart.
  2. Setup WP E-Commerce. Click on “Shop Options” in the WP E-Commerce Plugin and fill out the necessary info. You’ll have to enter which country you’re selling in, which currancy you’ll be using on your site, and other such information.
  3. Open PayPal account. If you don’t have a PayPal account, open one up now. You’ll need it to take care of online transactions.
  4. Set Gateway Options to PayPal. Under “Gateway options” in the WP E-Commerce Plugin, select PayPal. You’ll need to enter in your account info.
  5. Download WP-Email Plugin. This plugin allows customers to refer your product to your friends. Viral marketing at it’s finest.
  6. Create static front page. Instead of using posts, you’ll be using pages in your online store. Create a static front page for your store by going to your WP dashboard—>Options—>Reading Options and select “static page.” Select which page you’ll use for your static page.
  7. Create a Contact page. This is essential. Make it easy for your customers to reach you.

There you go. You now have an online store. Now get out there and market it.

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Featured Resource

Many companies have had great success with Online Stores and other companies like PriceGrabber have made their fortune by creating Shopping Feeds that allow consumers to compare and contrast prices on various items they are Shopping for.

The Frugal Law Student Month In Review- June 2007

Written by Brett McKay

June was a great month for The Frugal Law Student. We had over 12,000 visitors plus several new subsribers. Thank you to all my readers as well as fellow bloggers who have helped spread the word about The Frugal Law Student

Most Popular Posts

Here are June’s most popular posts based on the number of visits:

  1. Massive Personal Finance Resource List– This is what brought in most of the new traffic and I have JD Roth at Get Rich Slowly to thank for it. He was kind enough to include this post in his daily links. From there, it got the crap del.icio.used out of it and ended up at the top of the del.ico.us hot page for a day. When all was said and done, over 3,000 people came by in one day. Since then, I’ve had daily residual traffic to this post. Thaks, JD!
  2. 180 Money Saving Tips That Will Turn Your Life Around 180 Degrees– I wrote this in May, but it’s still a popular one. It was included in The Frugal Life newsletter recently. As a result, I had several new people stop by.
  3. 10 Ways To Make Money and Save Money On Facebook– As a big fan of Facebook, this was a fun post to write. Check out how you can take advantage of Facebook’s social network to help your bottom line.
  4. Better Than Netflix– This post was written by my lovely wife, Kate. It’s about how the library is way better than Netflix. Not only can you get free books at the library, you can get free CDs and DVDs. Boo yah!

In Case You Missed It…

Here are a few of my personal favorites from the month:

  1. Ideas For Homemade Father’s Day Cards and Beyond– written by my awesome wife, Kate. Lots of great ideas.
  2. Interview With Saira Rao, Author of Chambermaid– This was my first interview with a big time author. Check out Saira’s new book, Chambermaid!
  3. Frugal Experiment: Brushing Your Teeth With Baking Soda– This is my experience with brushing my teeth with baking soda. Result: it made my breath smell like poo.


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New Side Project: Best Facebook Applications

Written by Brett McKay

I’ve decided to start a side blog called Best Facebook Applications. The purpose is to provide people with reviews and news on the new Facebook Applications coming out.

My goal with Best Facebook Applications is to see how fast I can make it grow using all the SEO and marketing techniques I’ve picked up while writing The Frugal Law Student. So far it’s not doing too bad. Today over 200 visitors swung by the new blog. It still hasn’t been indexed by Google and I don’t have any authority on Technorati. So, if you have a blog and you ever plan to write a post on Facebook, a mention would be appreciated.

It shouldn’t take any time away from The Frugal Law Student. Each post takes about 10 minutes to write. I’m going to try and pump out about 5 posts a day on Best Facebook Applications so the Google spiders have something to read. I’d appreciate any feedback you all can supply on the new blog.

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[tags]Facebook, Facebook applications, Best Facebook Applications[/tags]

Blogging Metaphor Writing Project

Written by Brett McKay

I recently took part in a group writing project hosted by Liz Strauss at Successful and Outstanding Bloggers. The goal of the project was to create a metaphor to explain what blogging is to people not familiar with it. It was a lot of fun to participate in. I submitted my post “Behold, A Blogging Sower Went Forth to Sow Links.”

Here’s a list of the other submissions. Go by and check them out. They’re a lot of fun to read.

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[tags]Liz Strauss, blogging, writing project[/tags]

Pay Per Post Direct Launches

Written by Brett McKay

This is a sponsored post.

Many of you are probably aware that Pay Per Post has just launched their PPP Direct Program. From what I’ve read about it, it looks like a really great deal.

What is PPP Direct and What’s So Great About It?

PPP Direct is much like ReviewMe. Companies or bloggers can hire you to write a review of their site or blog to help in promotion. However, the problem with sites like ReviewMe is that they charge a 50-100% markup and keep up to half of your money. This is a win/lose situation with ReviewMe winning big time. Companies or blogs who want to be reviewed are getting ripped off. Consequently, fewer people use ReviewMe, which results in fewer opportunities for bloggers to make money.

PPP Direct solves this problem by cutting out the massive overhead. PPP Direct only charges a 10% fee, 5% of which goes to transaction fees for PayPal and credit card processing. The lower prices should encourage more people to seek reviews from PPP Direct affiliates. More potential clients mean more opportunities for authors to make money blogging.

I haven’t installed the PPP Direct Button on The Frugal Law Student, but will do so shortly. I’m looking forward to new opportunities making money blogging with Pay Per Post.

[tags] Pay Per Post, Pay Per Post Direct, ReviewMe[/tags]

Behold, A Blogging Sower Went Forth To Sow Links

Written by Brett McKay


One of the more well known parables of the New Testament is the parable of the sower. In it, Jesus tells a story of a certain sower:

3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

The parable is about who would accept the Gospel and who wouldn’t, but I think it’s just as applicable to blogging. In the parable, there are three kinds of people: those who flat out reject the gospel, those who accept but because of persecution or tribulation later give up on it, and those who accept and become faithful followers.

In the world of blogging, readers can be divided into three similar groups: those who never read your blog; those who read it once, but never come back; and those who read it and become blog subscribers. In the end, we all want blog subscribers. Not only do RSS subscribers read your content consistently, they’re more apt to share what you write with others. Thus, in the long run, more RSS subscribers mean more readers.

What can the parable of the sower teach us about getting RSS subscribers?

If you noticed in the story, the sower wasn’t very methodical about where he cast his seed. He was just throwing it around everywhere. Some of it landed in good soil and some of it landed among rocks and thorns.

We should be like the sower. Instead of seed, we have links to our blog. Our field is not only the entire internet, but also the real world. We should be “sowing” our links everywhere. If sowing links is like sowing seed, then only a third of the people who check your link out will become subscribers to your blog. 2/3 of the people who see your link won’t be coming back. If you want to increase the number of RSS subscribers, you have to increase the number of that 1/3 of potential subscribers.

Let’s do some math:

Let’s say you have 1 link floating out there in cyberspace and 100 people see it. 66 of those people won’t become subscribers, but 33 will.

Let’s increase the number of links to 10. Each link is seen by 100 people, so we have 1000 people who are aware of your blog. Now you’ve increased the pool of potential subscribers to 333! Of course 666 of those 1000 people won’t be coming back, but who cares! You’ve got 333 possible RSS subscribers.

Of course, the math is very simplified. It doesn’t work exactly like that in the real world, but I think it shows the principle. The more you expose your link, the more you increase your chance of getting regular readers.

So, How Can I Sow My Links

The number of different ways you can sow your links is only limited by your imagination and creativity. Here’s a short list of ways you could possibly sow your links:

  • Put your blog site as your e-mail signature
  • Comment in forums and put site address as your signature
  • Comment on other people’s blogs and make sure to put your site in the “Website” box in the comment form
  • Include your blog address on your business cards
  • Just tell people you meet your blog address

I’ve been putting several of these into practice. The sowing technique I found surprisingly fruitful is commenting in forums. I’ve received a nice increase in traffic to The Frugal Law Student ever since I started posting regularly in forums. I have well over 100 comments on one forum, so that’s 100 sown links.

The Harvest

At the end of the parable of the sower, Jesus talks about how those who accept his message bear different amounts of fruit:

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

The same goes with RSS subscribers. Some will just subscribe to your blog and read it regularly, which is great! We want regular readers. However, some of your new subscribers possibly could bring new readers to your blog by a hundredfold or sixty by sharing your blog with people they know.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start sowing those links!

[tags]blogging tips, parable of the sower, RSS, [/tags]