The Blogging Buddha, an initiative by Mike Brown, is an affiliate marketing site focused around teaching people how to setup, configure, build, start, and use a WordPress website or blog. The main goals of the site are to move visitors through his WordPress tutorial, enroll them in The Blogging Buddha Academy, encourage affiliate sales, and build an email marketing list.
With his new logo design and brand illustrations in hand, Mike hired Bourn Creative to design and develop a flexible, WordPress platform for his online sales and marketing efforts that could easily integrate membership site features and learning management system capabilities.
The site is built as a custom, responsive, HTML5, WordPress website powered by the Genesis Framework with retina support and schema.org integration. It includes:
- Five unique custom page templates, including templates for the Home page, About page, Tutorial pages, Academy page, and Toolkit page, that each use a custom publishing interface.
- A call to action announcement bar across the top of the site to promote his ebook and email marketing offer.
- Conditional sidebar logic to display widgets on a per page and per post basis.
- A custom tutorial menu with drag and drop reordering and automatic numbering of steps.
- Simple affiliate link management capabilities for better tracking and administration.
- Secondary membership menu for specialized member content delivery.
- The graphic design of the ebook cover, interior content design, and link integration.
The Home page (shown below) is designed to give visitors a introduction to The Blogging Buddha, pique their interest about the Academy, and get them started with the WordPress tutorial. The publishing system uses custom fields, image uploaders, a video uploader, and a custom step-by-step tutorial menu, allowing the client to quickly and easily add content and benefit from automatic content formatting and styling upon page save. All content and images are directly editable on the Home page.
The custom tutorial menu (shown below) that appears on the Home page is carried through the custom template created for the Tutorial pages, but in this instance, it appears in the page sidebar. The menu displays the numbered steps in order and the current tutorial step in the bold brand blue.
Integrated into the blog templates and default page templates is conditional sidebar logic.
In addition to the default sidebar widget design, Bourn Creative added three unique widgets, including a bold blue feature widget, an about the author widget, and an orange “sticky” widget (all shown below). Conditional options, give the client the ability to display the custom widgets on a per page or post basis, or hide the custom widgets and only show the regular sidebar widgets.
With the primary opt-in offer call to action already in the announcement bar at the top of the site, and the main goal of the site to encourage visitors to move through the tutorial then enroll in the Academy, keeping the opt-in at the top of the sidebar became less important.
As a result, Bourn Creative moved the opt-in to the bottom of the sidebar in a “sticky” widget. When the visitor scrolls down a long page or post, and the orange sticky widget reaches the top of the browser window, it sticks to the top, staying visible throughout the continued scrolling and giving the opt-in maximum exposure.
The Toolkit page (shown below) is used to feature testimonials and products, programs, and services recommended by Mike. The Toolkit content is broken up into several sections, organizing the resources by topic. To create a clear, visual break between sections, a testimonial is displayed that reinforces the helpfulness of the recommendations.
To create this functionality, Bourn Creative developed a custom WordPress publishing interface with repeating content blocks. Each topic section and subsequent testimonial box is a single content block. Within each content block, the client has the ability to add the section headline, add the recommended resources, and add the testimonial.
The page template is flexible and expandable, allowing the client to add as many content sections as desired, add as many or as few resources as needed to each section, and add the logos, descriptions, affiliate links, and testimonials in custom fields with automatic formatting upon page save. Once added, all individual resources and content blocks can be reorganized with drag and drop ordering.
Integrated into the design is a secondary navigation menu (shown below), visible only to logged in Academy members. This menu allows the client to provide quick and easy access to special, member only content.
Upon the completion of the site development, and move to a live staging server, Bourn Creative continued to work with and provide consulting to a third party development team on the integration of the membership and learning management features. Prior to site go live, we provided a technical audit of the theme code, and today continue to work with Mike, providing ongoing consulting, support, and website maintenance.