Thursday, July 19, 2018

7 Tips for Securing Your Membership Site

Securing your membership website not only protects your sensitive information but also that of your members. A secure site is more likely to earn the trust of potential members and in turn can increase your revenue.

Even if you do not believe your membership site is worthy of hacker attempts, sometimes a hackers intention is to relay spam emails from your server rather than gather sensitive content.

Hacking is usually undertaken by scripts that are intelligent in locating websites with insecurities. It is important to know that the more themes, plugins and custom code you add to your membership site, the more vulnerable it becomes. This article will help you secure your WordPress membership site.

wordpress-security-for-membership-site

What is a Membership Site?

A membership website will have specific content for members of the site. The content could be tutorials, videos, ebooks, digital downloads, news articles etc. Generally members have to pay a fee to become a member. It could be a one time fee or a recurring fee (billed per month/3 months/year etc) to get access to some or all of the members only content. A plugin like WP eMember can help you create a membership site easily.

Why is Membership Site Security Important?

Securing all WordPress sites is an important measure to prevent spam and hackers attempts. More important though is securing a membership site that holds sensitive information of users.

  • Your users place a level of trust in you. Therefor, you should uphold all privacy policies and ensure their information is in safe hands.
  • Hackers that obtain information from your website can use it against you and your company. This can compromise the reputation of a company and in turn lead to a significant loss in profit.
  • Users are more likely to pay using a credit card to sign up as a member if they know the site is secure.
  • A secure site has the ability to rank higher in a google search.

Tips to Secure Your Membership Site

There is no better time than now to start securing your membership website from potential hackers and spam bots.

#1 Choose Secure Hosting

secure-website-hosting-for-membership-site

Never select hosting based on the what is the cheapest. When deciding on which hosting company is best for your website, ask yourself who has the potential to handle your data and the data of your members in the safest way possible. You can view some of the top hosting providers here.

#2 Always Ensure Your Software and WordPress Install is Up to Date

ensure-software-is-regularly-updated-wordpress

Whenever you see a new update for WordPress be timely in clicking the ‘Update Now‘ button. With each new WordPress release, fixes are addressed. Hackers are quick to abuse any known security holes.

If you are worried about something breaking when you hit the update button, back up your site first. A site that is using an out of date WordPress version is always more vulnerable than those that are up to date.

Just as important as keeping up to date with WordPress versions is keeping your plugins and themes up to date. Always ensure the themes and plugins you install on your site were developed by the top companies and are maintained regularly. It is a good practice to delete any old themes and plugins that you have no intention to use.

When downloading a plugin from the WordPress.Org website, you can check when it was last updated and maintained by the developer (see screenshot above).

#3 Create Strong Passwords for All Administrators and Urge Members to Do the Same

strong-password-wordpress-member-site-security

Passwords created for administrators of your membership site should be strong passwords that contain a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid using admin as the username.

Admin should also urge members to create strong usernames and passwords. If a hacker gains access to a members profile, damage can be caused.

Ensure all entry points to your site are protected with strong usernames and passwords. 

Adding a two step authentication to your WordPress site is another step in ensuring maximum security. This adds an additional layer of login security such as a mobile generated code. There is a number of plugins that can handle two step authentication.

Use the All in One WordPress Security and Firewall Plugin to ensure someone from a particular IP address only has a number of chances to log in to your site before they are locked out.

#4 Use HTTPS

https-membership-site-security

HTTPS provides additional security on the internet. When you are viewing a HTTPS site, you can be assured the content you are viewing has not been altered or intercepted. A HTTPS site is harder for hackers to eavesdrop on the connection. All sites should use HTTPS but in particular those handling delicate information such as credit card details.

Not only will HTTPS secure your site but it has also been proven a site with HTTPS ranks higher in a Google search compared to a HTTP site. An SSL certificate which you will need for a HTTPS site generally costs approximately $69.00 each year. This is a small price to pay to ensure your site has one of the maximum security measures in place.

If your site was previously HTTP and you are now a HTTPS site, check out the Easy HTTPS Redirection Plugin.

#5 Use Trusted Scanning Software Plugins

all-in-one-security-plugin-for-membership-site

The All in One WordPress Security and Firewall Plugin by Tips and Tricks HQ enforces crucial security practices on a WordPress site. This plugin constantly checks for insecurities on your site and implements preventative measures.

Additional features of this plugin allow you to easily maximize the security of your membership site with no developer knowledge. Benefits of having this plugin active on your membership site include:

  • Strong password creation
  • Prevention of bots discovering information via the author permalink
  • Login lock down features that allows admin to block certain IP addresses and receive details of failed logins via email
  • Force log out of users after a set time period
  • View who is currently logged in to your site
  • The ability to add captcha to the login form
  • Admin registration approval
  • The ability to change the ‘WP’ prefix
  • Block the user behind spam comments with the click of a button

This plugin is constantly updated to ensure any new security risks are dealt with. This is a free plugin that works with all the top WordPress plugins.

#6 Protect Against Cross-site Scripting

avoid-cross-site-scripting-on-membership-site

Ensure comments must be approved manually before appearing live. This prevents spammers from posting active JavaScript content on your site.

#7 Only Store Data that is Needed

do-not-clog-membership-site-with-uneeded-information

Ensure you site is clutter free. Only data that is needed should be kept on your WordPress site. Storing additional data will give potential hackers more incentive to attack your specific site.

A Secure WordPress Membership Site

After completing these tips, your WordPress membership site will have maximum security measures in place. Now hopefully unwanted bots and potential hackers will not be able to access your sensitive data. Although your site is now secure, back ups are still just as important in the rare case that a hacker bypasses your security measures.

Read further tips and tricks on securing a WordPress site here.


7 Tips for Securing Your Membership Site originally posted at TipsAndTricks-HQ

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

SPI 327: How to Write Copy that Sells with Ray Edwards

CONTENT WARNING: You’re going to want to have a pen and paper handy for this one. Today we’re talking with Ray Edwards, a fan favorite from Episode 182 and Episode 300 and a member of my mastermind group. Today he’s going to teach us how to write copy that sells—written words that encourage readers to take action and result in profitable sales. Stick around!

Knowing how to write solid marketing copy for your business isn’t nearly as simple as it might seem. In fact, it’s really one of the most important parts of running an online business, particularly when it comes to selling. So how can you do it well? How do you write engaging, strong, and convincing sales copy?

Ray is here today to give us techniques, hints, and blueprints for doing exactly that! Like I said at the top, you’re going to want to take notes. In this episode you’ll learn how techniques like the PASTOR model and If, Then, Lead can help you outline and craft powerful copy, connect with your audience, and drive successful sales. Did I mention that you should take notes? Scroll below for a special, twelve-step infographic from Ray for understanding The Buyer’s Journey!

If you’re looking to hire a professional copywriter for your business, check out Ray’s ESP (Endorsed Service Providers) list. It’s in the navigation bar of his website, RayEdwards.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, look out for Ray’s book, Permission to Prosper, coming out in March 2019.

The Buyer’s Journey, courtesy of Ray Edwards

A twelve-step infographic of The Buyer's Journey, by Ray Edwards

If your business has anything that includes a subscription model of any kind, recurring payments and the like—you’re going to want to pay attention to this. Commonly we entrepreneurs experience failed payments, which can be frustrating. I didn’t even realize how much I was losing until I got on board with a company called AllGravy.io. That might sound familiar if you listened to Episode 312 with Casey Graham, who put the company together to help people recover failed payments. A lot of shopping carts use auto features to try and recover payments, which is pretty standard, but AllGravy.io is a team of real humans who get involved with your brand and reach out to customers in a friendly, very non-scary way. They’ve recovered tens of thousands of dollars for me from failed payments I didn’t even know were happening. I’m sure they can make a huge impact for your business too. Check out AllGravy.io/pat—it literally pays for itself. I love this company and what they do for others.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes.

Special thanks to Ray Edwards for joining me this week. Until next time!



You'll Learn

  • How the PASTOR model can help you make successful sales.
  • Why including different types of urgency in your copy is huge for increasing sales.
  • Why you should write your copy when you're in an excited state.
  • Why 80 percent of your sales copy should be about connecting with your audience.
  • How to use the Instant Empathy Exercise to write incredible sales copy.
  • How to use the If, Then, Lead technique when writing copy.
  • Why your job is to be Yoda (rather than Luke Skywalker) on your buyer's journey.
  • Why you should prove to buyers that your solution is worth 5-10x more than you're asking for it.
  • How to craft the perfect bonus for your pitch.
  • How to hire a professional copywriter for your business, and more!

Resources

SPI 327: How to Write Copy that Sells with Ray Edwards

CONTENT WARNING: You’re going to want to have a pen and paper handy for this one. Today we’re talking with Ray Edwards, a fan favorite from Episode 182 and Episode 300 and a member of my mastermind group. Today he’s going to teach us how to write copy that sells—written words that encourage readers to take action and result in profitable sales. Stick around!

Knowing how to write solid marketing copy for your business isn’t nearly as simple as it might seem. In fact, it’s really one of the most important parts of running an online business, particularly when it comes to selling. So how can you do it well? How do you write engaging, strong, and convincing sales copy?

Ray is here today to give us techniques, hints, and blueprints for doing exactly that! Like I said at the top, you’re going to want to take notes. In this episode you’ll learn how techniques like the PASTOR model and If, Then, Lead can help you outline and craft powerful copy, connect with your audience, and drive successful sales. Did I mention that you should take notes? Scroll below for a special, twelve-step infographic from Ray for understanding The Buyer’s Journey!

If you’re looking to hire a professional copywriter for your business, check out Ray’s ESP (Endorsed Service Providers) list. It’s in the navigation bar of his website, RayEdwards.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, look out for Ray’s book, Permission to Prosper, coming out in March 2019.

The Buyer’s Journey, courtesy of Ray Edwards

A twelve-step infographic of The Buyer's Journey, by Ray Edwards

If your business has anything that includes a subscription model of any kind, recurring payments and the like—you’re going to want to pay attention to this. Commonly we entrepreneurs experience failed payments, which can be frustrating. I didn’t even realize how much I was losing until I got on board with a company called AllGravy.io. That might sound familiar if you listened to Episode 312 with Casey Graham, who put the company together to help people recover failed payments. A lot of shopping carts use auto features to try and recover payments, which is pretty standard, but AllGravy.io is a team of real humans who get involved with your brand and reach out to customers in a friendly, very non-scary way. They’ve recovered tens of thousands of dollars for me from failed payments I didn’t even know were happening. I’m sure they can make a huge impact for your business too. Check out AllGravy.io/pat—it literally pays for itself. I love this company and what they do for others.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes.

Special thanks to Ray Edwards for joining me this week. Until next time!



You'll Learn

  • How the PASTOR model can help you make successful sales.
  • Why including different types of urgency in your copy is huge for increasing sales.
  • Why you should write your copy when you're in an excited state.
  • Why 80 percent of your sales copy should be about connecting with your audience.
  • How to use the Instant Empathy Exercise to write incredible sales copy.
  • How to use the If, Then, Lead technique when writing copy.
  • Why your job is to be Yoda (rather than Luke Skywalker) on your buyer's journey.
  • Why you should prove to buyers that your solution is worth 5-10x more than you're asking for it.
  • How to craft the perfect bonus for your pitch.
  • How to hire a professional copywriter for your business, and more!

Resources

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

SPI 326: From $50k in Debt to Business Success in Less than a Year—How to Be Mindful and Ruthless

Today’s special guest is Sagi Shrieber, coming at us from Tel Aviv, Israel, who bailed himself out of $50k worth of debt by taking massive action. Today he’s sharing his journey, why he hired a coach (even though he was deep in debt), and how he’s building an amazing community in the design and entrepreneurial spaces now. Sagi’s also breaking down some of his favorite design tools, as well as quick and easy tips so you can boost your design game and maximize conversions for your business.

Sagi is what’s known as a Full Stack Designer, a designer who also knows how to get great results for sales and conversions (he uses the metaphor of an MMA fighter). It’s that kind of mindset—Sagi calls it the Full Stack life—that got him through some of the tougher times. In the end, he managed to push through the discomfort and learn to trust his gut instinct, which is where the name for his Facebook community comes from—Mindful and Ruthless. There’s a lot that we can learn from Sagi’s story, and if you want to learn how to take your design strategy to the next level, you’re going to want to stick around. Put that device in your pocket and let’s get started!

If you want to check out Sagi’s design course for 50 percent off, go to DesignPrinciples.co/pat. Sagi will also be offering a three-hour webinar soon—you can get more info on the site. If you want to learn how to communicate better with designers and developers, and create designs that stand out and create emotional connections, you won’t want to miss out!

Thank you so much to everyone who’s left a review for the show, it goes a long way toward helping convince someone who hasn’t heard the show whether it’s worth their time or not. If this podcast is something you’ve enjoyed, please leave a review on iTunes and subscribe if you haven’t done so already.

A lot of people have been asking me how I do my online courses. I don’t have a course on how to create an online course (yet), but I can tell you that it makes it really simple when you have an all-in-one platform. I host all of my online courses on Teachable. If you want to learn more about the platform, try it out, and get some free goodies to along with it, check out Teachable.com/pat. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for Teachable.]

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Sagi Shrieber for joining me this week. Until next time!



You'll Learn

  • How Sagi got started in design and entrepreneurship, and why he quit his day job.
  • Why Sagi doesn't regret not having a salary for six months.
  • Why Sagi decided to hire a coach even though he was $50k in debt.
  • How Sagi launched a design course in Tel Aviv in four months and nailed it.
  • What a vision map is, and why it can be a total game-changer.
  • What a Full Stack Designer is and how to take advantage of design principles in your business.
  • Tools, plugins, and templates for creating amazing landing pages and websites.
  • The one simple rule for creating fantastic design compositions.
  • Quick and easy tips for designing your web pages to maximize conversions, and more!

Resources

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

SPI 325: How to Be an Amazing Coach with Michael Bungay Stanier

Today’s guest is Michael Bungay Stanier, author of the Wall Street Journal Bestseller: The Coaching Habit—my choice for top business book of 2017. Why, you ask?

Because everyone is a coach. Seriously. Think about it. If you tell anyone how to do anything, you are a coach. If you are helping anyone else in any sort of way, you are a coach. But here’s the trick: You aren’t supposed to just tell someone what to do, if you want to be a great coach. You have to listen and ask the right questions. I’ve directly applied lessons like these—not just in AskPat and this podcast—but in every aspect of my life, personal and business-wise.

I’m just going to say it: This is the most useful book I’ve ever read. In today’s episode, we’re going to dive into the principles of the book and I’m going to ask some followup questions. This is probably one of the most important episodes of the podcast. The Coaching Habit has been a huge game-changer for me in terms of how I help others, and I’m directly applying these lessons to my business (on AskPat, for example). My goal is to help as many people as possible, and this book has been huge in helping me progress toward that goal.

As Michael puts it, “If you interact with other human beings, this could be useful for you.” Let’s get rolling!

You can find Michael’s organizational, corporate-based training at BoxofCrayons.com, and his personal site is MichaelBungayStanier.com. In this episode, Michael also mentions his new app—Ask More, which uses a Tinder-like interface to help you track your behavioral changes when coaching.

If you want to potentially win a signed copy of Michael’s book, leave a comment below answering the last question in the seven questions of The Coaching Habit: What was most helpful for you in this episode? I’ll select ten winners at random to receive 1 copy of the book each in the mail.

Make sure you subscribe, because we’ve got more content and fun giveaways coming your way and we’re trying to do more as a community. And speaking of community, if you haven’t yet joined the SPI Community yet, you can check that out on Facebook.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Michael Bungay Stanier for joining me this week. Until next time!



You'll Learn

  • How Michael persevered and self-published The Coaching Habit.
  • Why most of us are so advice-happy, and how to break the habit.
  • Why everyone should strive to be more coach-like in their life.
  • The best question to ask when coaching anyone, and why it's so effective.
  • What steps Michael follows during a coaching session.
  • How Michael's coaching strategy applies to being a better podcasting host.
  • Why it's important to slow down the coaching process in order for it to work.
  • The three principles of being more coach-like: Be lazy, be curious, be often.
  • Why the rescuer-mindset often does more harm than good and makes negotiation difficult.
  • What to do if you get stuck when you're coaching, and more!

Resources

How to Use Regional Sales Tax Using Simple Shopping Cart

Using PayPal and the Simple Shopping Cart with regional sales tax is pretty simple. In this tutorial I will show you how to do this step by step. You will need to set this option up in your PayPal account. Once you have set this up, PayPal will automatically charge the appropriate customers tax based on their region.

Step 1 – Finding the Sales Tax Option in Your PayPal Account.

First, you will need to log into your PayPal account.

Once you have logged into your PayPal account, you need to go to Tools > All Tools > Scroll down to Tax Calculator.

PayPal Regional Tax Simple Shopping Cart

Step 2 – Configuring Your Tax Options in PayPal

After you have selected the tax calculator option you will come to the following screen. You will need to configure the tax options you want.

PayPal Regional Tax Simple Shopping Cart

  • Domestic Rate – This will let you set the rate for the country you are located in as a whole.
  • International Rate – This is where you can set regional tax options.

Click on the add new sales tax link to add a new tax option and select the country you want to set the tax for.

In this example I selected the United States and you can now see there are options to set tax based on states or by postcode.

It will look like this:

PayPal Regional Tax Simple Shopping Cart

Now all you have to do is click the continue button and save this entry.

You can repeat this process for each region you need to charge tax for.

Now when your customers click the checkout button when you are using the Simple Shopping Cart, PayPal will automatically charge them sales tax if they are in one of the regions you have specified.

Note: Tax will be applied once they have landed on PayPal’s site and login or choose to pay with a credit card. This will not show up in the cart on your site. This is so PayPal can calculate the appropriate tax based on the customers location.


How to Use Regional Sales Tax Using Simple Shopping Cart originally posted at TipsAndTricks-HQ

Monday, July 2, 2018

BONUS: A Huge Announcement (& Lessons on Evolving Your Business)

Today we have a very special and important announcement from ConvertKit’s founder Nathan Barry, who’s here to talk about how to evolve your business by making critical decisions and getting uncomfortable . . . which ties in perfectly with the big news that Nathan’s about to drop. Stay tuned! [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

Last time I had Nathan on the show (Session 244) we talked about how he bootstrapped ConvertKit from nothing into one of the best email service providers out there (the best email service provider out there, in my opinion). And actually, Nathan was on the show all the way back in Session 75 (!) talking about how he was making six figures by self-publishing books.

ConvertKit reached an incredible goal recently, hitting $1 million a month in monthly recurring revenue. If you want to read more about how Nathan got his company to that level, read The Million Dollar Tweet: 8 Lessons to Grow a Successful Business on my blog. But Nathan is determined to take ConvertKit to the next level–even further than the success he’s already achieved—and that’s part of what his big announcement is all about.

If you want to see Nathan’s video announcement for this big change, you can watch it right here.

Even if you don’t use ConvertKit, you can still take away a lot from today’s episode because the truth is this: What got you here won’t get you there. If you have bigger goals and aspirations for your business, you’re probably going to have to change something to get to that next level.

By nature, change is never easy. It’s hard, even scary, and there’s always that voice in the back of our heads saying “what if.” What if the change makes things worse, or what if our audience or customers don’t like it? All of these what-ifs can really hold us back if we let them get under our skin. We can’t predict the future. The only thing to do is to move forward and make the changes that we think will make things even better. If it doesn’t go so well, hey, we learn. If the changes are successful, we start thinking about what we have to do next to grow even more.

Nathan has a lot to teach us about navigating change so that we can grow even more. Stick around! [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Nathan Barry for joining me this week. Until next time!



You'll Learn

  • How Nathan grew ConvertKit to epic proportions.
  • Why you shouldn't be afraid to reinvent your business and start from scratch.
  • What hardships and stresses Nathan has experienced and how he's overcome them.
  • Where ConvertKit's mission—"We exist to help creators earn a living online"—comes from.
  • How ConvertKit identified the core of its mission and built successful projects out of it.
  • Why ConvertKit is rebranding and how they landed on their new name.
  • What new features ConvertKit is introducing under its new branding.
  • The nitty gritty of rebranding including legalities, design, planning, and marketing.
  • How ConvertKit is shepherding its affiliates through the rebrand, and more!

Resources