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Content Patterns: How to Create Better Content, Faster

What if there was a magic formula that could help you write blog posts faster than ever before? And what if this formula also made your content clearer, easier to follow and more engaging for your readers?

If only, right?

I don't have a magic formula for you, but I've got something just as good: content patterns.

In this post, you'll discover how to use content patterns to create blog posts in a structured way, beat writer's block and cut hours from your usual content creation process.

The Perfect Landing Pages for Affiliate Marketing

A growing mailing list is the cornerstone of a successful online business, and affiliate marketing is a very popular way to monetize your mailing list.

Depending on how you position your affiliate promotions, they can be highly effective or a total flop. Check out today's video and the article below to learn four proven affiliate promotion strategies and view the related affiliate landing page templates.

Stop Publishing Boring Articles! Use Thrive Architect to Spice Them Up

1 hour 23 minutes.

It's embarrassing to admit now, but that's how long I once spent figuring out how to get a box with a dotted line around the key takeaways of my blog post.

This shouldn't be happening anymore...but then I glance at my neighbor's screen in the co-working space and see them struggling with the WordPress editor.

For some, the struggle is still real.

It doesn't have to be! Let me show you how to use Thrive Architect to create stunning blog articles that will keep your readers' attention from the very beginning till the very end.

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  • by Matt
  • on January 24, 2019

The Conversion Optimization New Year’s Resolution Checklist

It’s the start of yet another year, which means it’s time to create some gung-ho goals for yourself, right?

But while everyone else is signing up for a gym memberships they'll never use, why don’t you focus some of that drive towards optimizing your website instead?

Because you’re a Thrive Themes Member, we know you’re serious about building both great looking and conversion focused websites.

So while the energy of the new year is still fresh in your sails, here’s a quick checklist of tasks to help you optimize your site’s backend, conversions on the frontend, and content creation systems to bring more value to your visitors.

Your 2019 Conversion Focused Website Checklist:

Here’s a list of 7 big tasks to complete — listed in checklist format — that you can start working on right now to improve and optimize your website.

If you’d like to download this checklist as a PDF for offline reading (or just for the personal satisfaction of crossing things of lists), click the following download button:

Part 1: Technical Checkup Tasks

The first 4 checkup tasks discussed below focus on your WordPress site's backend and what you can do to bump the security, speed and capabilities of your site:

☐  1) Make sure your site is SSL Secure

When your site loads in a browser, does it show http:// or https:// before your domain name?

If it’s still displaying http://you better sit down ‘cause we need to have a little chat.

Is everything okay at home?

What’s going on kiddo? You can tell me... I mean, why haven’t you upgraded your site to start using a free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate yet?

All kidding aside though, if your site is still operating in the unencrypted dark ages, Google as well as your visitors are probably punishing you with decreased organic traffic and increased bounce rates.

If this applies to you, get this taken care of ASAP, okay? Hosting companies worth their salt (like WPX Hosting) actually make this step one-click simple.

☐  2) Delete Your Old, Outdated and Unnecessary Plugins

Assess the state of your current plugins to replace and/or delete any outdated, unused or unnecessary tools.

For example, now that Thrive Architect has a built in Contact Form element, do you really need Contact Form 7 anymore? If not, out with the old & in with the new to eliminate such unnecessary plugins from dragging down your site.

Other examples of unnecessary 3rd-party plugins your Thrive Themes Membership has made unnecessary include:

☐  3) Add These Plugins to Your WordPress Tool Stack

Speaking of your WordPress tool stack, here’s a few plugins you should consider installing and deploying if you haven’t already:

All the Thrive Themes plugins — you know which ones you haven’t had time to learn yet… maybe now’s a good time!   ;-)

☐  4) Keep Your Website Up to Date & Secure

Here’s some general website housekeeping habits you should implement if you haven’t already:

  • Have a way to backup your website on a frequent basis and before you make big site changes or updates.

    Certain hosts like WPX Hosting will do this for automatically on daily basis and give you the ability to create user initiated backups before you make a big change on your site.

  • Update your site with the latest version of WordPress soon after release. However, make sure to backup your site first just in case anything breaks in the update.

  • Same goes for your plugins. Make sure to update them as soon as it’s practical for your site — always making sure to do a site-wide backup in case the changes negatively impact your business.

Pro Tip for Plugin Updates

Always update plugin-by-plugin instead of batch updating.

If a plugin update happens to break something on your site, it will be much easier to figure out which plugin caused the conflict if you update them one-by-one and check how your site looks after each plugin modification.

The flow you should follow is

  1. Create a full backup of your site.
  2. Update 1 — and only 1 — plugin.
  3. Check how your site looks including important elements such as your opt-in forms and purchase buttons.
  4. If all looks good, continue by updating the next outdated plugin on your site and then perform the same checks again.
  5. Follow this workflow until all your plugins have been updated.

Part 2: Conversion Optimization Checkup Tasks

The next checklist item 4 focuses on what steps you can do today to get a conversion optimization bump with the least amount of effort:

☐  5) A/B Tests You Should Start Running Today

A/B testing is another habit you should make a habit of launching for your Headlines, Opt-in Forms and Landing Pages. Of course, the Thrive Themes plugins make it super easy to create and launch A/B tests for each of these scenarios.

Here’s some great resources to help you identify low effort, high potential reward A/B tests on your site right now:

Part 3: Content Creation Checkup Tasks

The final 2 checklist items deal with how you can improve your content creation process to boost your loyal fan base and audience consistently throughout the upcoming year:

☐  6) Publish QUALITY Content Consistently

Building a loyal audience of fans that actually care about your business and root for you to succeed is crucial for small businesses like yours.

Don’t believe me, watch Content Marketing expert Joe Pulizzi talk about why this is so important, big companies are starting to buy up audiences like yours since they’ve done such a bad job at it:

If you need some assistance coming up with content ideas, getting it written and then shipped on time every [month / week / day]don’t we all! — here’s some great articles from the Thrive Themes Blog to help you do just that:

☐  7) Must Have Pieces of Content To Create if You Don’t Have Them Already

Finally, there’s some cornerstone pieces of content your site needs to deliver for free to start bringing big value to target readers and customers in your niche.

The following posts will make sure you’ve got these covered to ultimately get more organic traffic, grow your list, and boost your conversions in the long haul:

Now It’s Your Turn

Don’t let the positive energy the New Year provides pass you by!

Jump into this website New Year's Resolution Checklist now so you can get as many of these website optimizing tasks checked off the list as soon as possible.

Have any comments, questions or need help from our team with some of the steps? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

The Smart Way to Make Your Opt-In Forms & Email Marketing GDPR Compliant

The new European data protection regulations (GDPR) are right around the corner and many website owners are in a panic. There’s been a lot of talk about rules, regulations and hefty fines that await those that don’t comply.

Most “how to GDPR” content seems to suggest that you have to add multiple checkboxes, prompts and extra steps all over your website.

In this post, we’ll take a look at what GDPR actually means for small business entrepreneurs and email marketers. And you’ll discover ways in which you can make your website compliant without sacrificing your visitors’ user experience or your conversion rates.

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer and this post does not contain legal advice. Always work with your legal counsel to determine the right decisions to make about regulations.

How to Customize Your Website Header (Custom Color, Custom Image Background)

To change the style of your theme’s header, go to the “Theme Customizer” by clicking on “Appearance” and then, on “Customize” in your WordPress admin dashboard:

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Once you access “Theme Customizer”, click on the “Header” section to open it:

At the bottom of the “Header” section, there are several options available, that let you change the header background. In order to access them, click on the “Header Type” field to open the drop-down:

 

Custom Color

Select this option to choose a custom color. You can do this by using a color picker or entering a color code in the field next to the “Select Color” box. The color that you choose here will display uniformly across the entire header background.

Background Pattern

Select this option if you want a pattern to be displayed as the header background. Click on the arrow next to the “Pattern” field  and choose one of the many included patterns that will be opened under it.

Background Image

Select this option in order to have an image used as the header background.

 

You can upload an image by simply clicking on “Select image”. Your WordPress Media Library will open. Choose the image you want to upload and then, click on “Choose Image”.

After the image is uploaded, you can set a header height (in pixels) in the “Header height” field to show more or less of the image.

Furthermore, there are two ways in which an image can be displayed in the header: “Full-Width” and “Centered”.

When you choose the “Full-Width” option, the image will be scaled to fit the entire width of the screen. 

When you choose the “Centered” option, the image is shown at its full width and full height, centered in the header area. This will look best when the header image has the same width as the total content width.

Once you have set a header style you are happy with, you can use the menu link color pickers at the top of the “Header” section to make sure that the menu items are visible on the chosen background.

Hopefully, this article was useful for you. If so, please give us a smile below :)

How to use the Background Section element

The user interface of the Thrive editor has been upgraded!
Please, check out the changes here, before proceeding.

Start by dragging & dropping the element to you page. At first, you will see no major changes, only a blank element added to your page.

You will need to use the options of the element that can be found in the sidebar to customize the background section to your liking and then, add content to it.

1. Section options

‘Stretch to fit screen width’ (a): this option helps you set up the size of your background section. After turning it on, you can adjust the 'Content Maximum Width' (b), as well as the 'Section Minimum Height' (c) by using the slider under these sections.

You also have the possibility to choose the content to cover the entire screen width and to match the height to the screen by checking the boxes next to these option.

Customizing the ‘Vertical Position’ (d) is another option that you have here. After you have added some content to your background section, you can choose how to align it (top, bottom or center) inside the background section.

2. Background Style

This option allows you to add different types of layers to your background section. You can add a 'Solid color', an 'Image', the 'Gradient' option, a 'Pattern' or even a video as a background.

These work well on their own, as stand alone backgrounds; but they could also be used in a more complex way. The 'Solid color', the 'Gradient' and the 'Pattern' could serve as effects for an image background for example.

Image

To better understand what this means, first add an 'Image' to the background section. Click on the respective icon, then, add the image (a). You will be able to choose where to display it (b) and whether or not you want it as a static background (c).

Note: if you choose to make the image a static background then, the image itself will not move when visitors will scroll down on your page.

Only the content will be dynamic, whilst the background will be static. This is very similar to creating a parallax effect.

Solid color

The next step is to add a 'Solid color' as another layer. Select the color you like (a) and then, start to drag the line (b) to set its opacity. You will see that the image behind it appears and by choosing the opacity of the color you actually choose the color effect for the image. When you're satisfied with the effect, just click on 'Apply'.

Gradient

If you wish, you can customize this image background even further, by choosing the 'Gradient' effect as the next layer. This can be linear or radial. Select it from the 'Orientation' option(a). If the effect is linear, you can also choose its angle (b). As with the other options, here you can also set a color and its opacity (c) in order to make your image background suitable for your needs.

Pattern

Last, but not least, you also have the possibility to add a ‘Pattern’ as a layer for your image background. You can choose a pattern (a), and same as before, you may set its color and its opacity (b). 

If you wish to use any of the background style options on their own, you are welcome to do so by following the same steps as mentioned above, individually for the respective option.

The 'Background Style' also lets you add a video to the background section. In order to do this, you only have to turn on the 'Video Background' option, select the source you want to upload the video from (YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia or Custom - from your own device) and you're done. The video will be played in the background.

Tip: if you wish the video to be even more visible, you can increase the 'Minimum Height'

3. Decorations option

This option allows you to customize the sides of the background section. You'll have to select which side you want customized (a), then, the decoration type you want to add to it (b).

This can be either a 'Slanted edge', a 'Pointer', a 'Divider' or a 'Fancy Divider'. Each of them come with their own set-up options, like width, height, tilt, invert etc. that you can use to further customize them.

If you would like to find out more about how to use the 'Decorations' option, as well as the set of options for each decoration, please click on this link.

Adding content to the 'Background Section'

When you have finished customizing your background section, you can start adding content to it. This is pretty easy. All you have to do is select the element you wish to add and then, drag & drop it inside the background section.

Tip: make sure the content you add is visible and you don't use too intense colors when setting up the background itself.

If you wish to find out more about the Thrive Architect elements, please click here.

Hopefully this article was useful for you. If so, please give us a smile below :)

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  • by Hanne
  • on October 6, 2016

Blog Content

Content marketing can be a very important strategy for your online business, but you have to do it right. Creating boring content will not help your business grow.

​Our Method for Creating Better Blog Content

Use a Repeatable Format

The best way to create an engaging blog post is to use a repeatable format.

This works for list posts, but it works just as well for any other type of post.

You'll start with a teaser introductions, add a "Read More" tag and from here, you'll start your repeatable format.

In the demonstration we use the following format:

  • Title
  • Picture
  • Paragraph: What's good
  • Paragraph: What's bad
  • Summary box​: This is a Thrive Architect content box that you can save an re-use every time. This will save you time and help you keep the format consistent.

We end the blog post with a conclusion title and paragraph.

In the video, we show the pattern for a list post, but it can be used in any circumstances. You should always ask yourself: "How can I break this topic down in repeatable chunks?"

Mix Your Text Up With Visuals

To find free stock photos and icons, take a look at the guide: 25 Free Resources Every Content Creator Should Know About.​

If you're looking to learn how to use stock photos on your website without looking like everybody else, check out the post: How to Use Free Stock Photos on Your Website Without Hurting Your Conversions

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  • by
  • on January 19, 2018

Blog Content

Content marketing can be a very important strategy for your online business, but you have to do it right. Creating boring content will not help your business grow.

​Our Method for Creating Better Blog Content

Use a Repeatable Format

The best way to create an engaging blog post is to use a repeatable format.

This works for list posts, but it works just as well for any other type of post.

You'll start with a teaser introductions, add a "Read More" tag and from here, you'll start your repeatable format.

In the demonstration we use the following format:

  • Title
  • Picture
  • Paragraph: What's good
  • Paragraph: What's bad
  • Summary box​: This is a Thrive Architect content box that you can save an re-use every time. This will save you time and help you keep the format consistent.

We end the blog post with a conclusion title and paragraph.

In the video, we show the pattern for a list post, but it can be used in any circumstances. You should always ask yourself: "How can I break this topic down in repeatable chunks?"

Mix Your Text Up With Visuals

To find free stock photos and icons, take a look at the guide: 25 Free Resources Every Content Creator Should Know About.​

If you're looking to learn how to use stock photos on your website without looking like everybody else, check out the post: How to Use Free Stock Photos on Your Website Without Hurting Your Conversions

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