Life as a Solopreneur is frickin stressful as hell. I'm not going to lie.
As a one-man operation, you need all the help you can get.
The goal is always to live life on your own terms, but there's only so much time in the day. Being cash-strapped and time-poor, there's only so much you can do.
As a Solopreneur your job titles includes:
And that's just the beginning!
On top of all that, you've still got to earn a living, pay the bills, raise a family etc.
It's a monumental task.
You need help. You need someone to take some of the strain, but you don't have the cash to pay them (yet)...
...what you really need is leverage.
And, that's where software comes in...
As a one-man operation, you must leverage software to reduce your workload wherever possible. Why? They're far more efficient and way cheaper than humans.
And that's why I want to spend a little time talking about a suite of premium WordPress plugins that have helped me more than any other.
For less than the price of a pub lunch ($19), you'll have access to some absolute premium plugins, that will leverage huge amounts of your lead generation, user engagement, user retention, conversion optimization, page building, online course creation and a bucket load more.
So what is it?
INTRODUCING THRIVE THEMES MEMBERSHIP
Thrive Themes Membership gives you access to 11 Premium plugins (all as part of their membership).
Here's what you'll have access to:
For just $19/pm.
WHAT IS THRIVE THEMES MEMBERSHIP?
Thrive Membership is actually a whole suite of plugins, designed to improve lead generation, increase engagement, optimize your website for conversions, plus a heap more.
In this post, I'm going to be showcasing Thrive Themes Membership. A paid service, that gives you access its entire suite of premium plugins.
When I started writing this post I didn't realize quite what a behemoth it would become (it's a beast clocking in at 4600+ words), but I wanted to cover everything.
So, to make navigation a little easier, here's a Table of content:
THRIVE APPRENTICE - Online course builder for WordPress
Up until recently, building an online course on WordPress has been a woeful experience.
With complex, ugly course builders like LearnDash and LearnPress, building a slick premium online course has been virtually impossible.
That was until Thrive Apprentice came along...
Adding Thrive Apprentice to your website will turn it into a fully fledged info-product marketplace.
HOW TO BUILD AN ONLINE COURSE WITH THRIVE APPRENTICE
Thrive Apprentice is a light-weight online course creator that is designed to create beautiful online courses, FAST!
So lets get stuck in.
For your customers to effectively navigate your online course they need an intuitive navigation structure.
Thrive Apprentice helps break up your content into an effective syntax in the following way:
- Course - Top level
- Module - 2nd level
- Chapter - 3rd level
- Lesson - 4th level
You don't have to structure your content four levels deep, but for bigger courses it'll help split up the content into bitesized pieces that are easy to navigate and digest.
To learn more and get a full breakdown of features, pro's and con's and everything in-between, go check out my Thrive Apprentice review.
THRIVE LEADS - The best lead generation plugin for WordPress
You've heard it before, but I'm going to say it again...
"BUILDING YOUR EMAIL LIST IS ESSENTIAL TO MAKING MONEY ONLINE."
Let me explain.
Did you know that 80% of the visitors to your website will NEVER return?
That's right, 80%!
So, you've done all the hard work. You've created amazing content, you've got your hands dirty and driven traffic to your website, yet, the vast majority of you're traffic will never return.
You capture their email addresses!
That's why it's important, and that's why I wanted to introduce you to Thrive Leads.
In my experience, Thrive Leads is the best lead generation plugin for WordPress by a country mile.
OPT-IN FORM TYPES - 10 High converting form types to choose from
Let me walk you through the unique opt-in forms that Thrive Leads uses to help you capture more emails.
POP UP LIGHTBOX
An un-blockable, attention-grabbing Pop-up form designed to force visitors to take an action.
Opt-in forms that sit inside your content, designed to interrupt the visitors reader flow as their reading your content.
2-STEP OPT IN FORMS
2-Step Opt-in forms trigger a lightbox pop-up upon clicking a call to action. Great for keeping your content clutter free, yet still conversion focused.
THRIVE "STICKY' RIBBONS
Easily add "Sticky Ribbons" to any page on your site.
An un-obtrusive way to grab your users attention.
Create custom sidebar and footer widgets in a few clicks.
SCREEN FILLER OVERLAY
Proven to be the highest converting of them all, the screen filler overlay literally takes over the users screen. The best way to grow your subscriber list.
Lock premium content behind an opt-in form. I've used content locks to great effect in the past. One of my favorites for sure.
Similar to the 'screen filler/ the scroll mat populates the users entire screen.
YES/NO MULTI CHOICE FORMS
Multi-choice forms add an extra step to your forms (you can actually create as many steps as you like). A great way to increase the investment from the user. The more invested they are, the more likely they are to part with their email address.
START ANALYZING YOUR CONVERSIONS
Having all of these opt-in forms working their magic on your website will boost your conversion rates dramatically.
That's not all.
The real power lies within the analytics suite. From your Thrive Leads analytics dashboard you can measure specific conversion metrics for each and every opt-in form on your site.
On top of that, Thrive Leads comes with built-in A/B split testing capabilities for every form type.
If you're serious about building your list and you actually utilize all of the features at your disposal on Thrive Leads, you will crush it.
Thrive Leads Single Licence $67 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
THRIVE ARCHITECT - Premium drag and drop page builder
Squeeze pages, landing pages, sales pages, webinar pages, in-fact, any page you want to build is made crazy simple with Thrive Architect.
If coding ain't your thing (it's definitely not mine), then a page builder is an essential piece of kit for making top-notch professional, mobile responsive pages.
I've used a tonne of different page builders in my time like Elementor, Divi Drag and Drop, WP Bakery etc. and their all good in their own right. However, what sets Thrive Architect apart from the others in this area is its ease of use, the degree of flexibility (you can literally alter every aspect of the page), and how intuitive it is.
With Thrive Architect you can literally build ANY style of page you want.
If you've found a page you like from another site you want to replicate, then no worries, you'll be able to build it yourself in a matter of minutes.
It really is that simple.
In fact, if you want to copy my exact homepage template, you can do that here:
Oh, and one more thing...
As a bit of a side-note, a lot of the page builders for WordPress create flabby code that bloats out your website, slowing down the page load times. This ain't cool.
Thrive Architect is a bit different.
Because all of the Thrive products are built by marketers, for marketers, all these fine details seem to get addressed. That's why pages built with Thrive Architect won't slow your site down to a halt.
Thrive Architect Single License $67 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
THRIVE ULTIMATUM - Create time-locked scarcity marketing campaigns
I'd been looking for a product like Thrive Ultimatum for a couple of years before I stumbled upon it.
Let me unravel it a little for you...
Thrive Ultimatum is an incredible tool for building scarcity and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) into you all of your marketing efforts.
“Every time you promote something, you want to make sure there is urgency built in. We all know it's human nature to take our time and kind of stay on the fence as long as we can. You want to make sure your audience knows it's GO time!"
Thrive Ultimatum allows you to create countdown timers for all of your promotions/campaigns eg. Product launch, Premium content access, Product discounts, Webinar registrations. Literally, anything you can think of.
It's called 'Scarcity Marketing'.
But here's the really powerful bit.
You can actually create what's known as "Evergreen Campaigns" with Thrive Ultimatum.
Let me explain.
An "Evergreen Campaign" is a campaign/promotion that never stops, it runs continuously.
But, you probably don't want to offer a 50% discount on your products/services all the time, you may just want to offer it to your users once.
So how does that work?
I'm glad you asked :)
Thrive Ultimatum has a 'Lockdown' feature so that every visitor to your site has their own customized experience with your 'Scarcity' campaigns.
Each new visitor will experience your countdowns as if they were a regular countdown with a fixed end date. And, the Lockdown feature stays true even if your user clears their cookies, uses a different browser, or even a different device altogether.
So here's what Thrive Ultimatum can help you achieve:
- Build your email list faster.
- Increase product sales.
- Increase affiliate conversions.
- Build excitement and buzz around product launches.
- Increase Up-sells.
Your countdown timers can be displayed in a heap of different locations around your site too - Sidebar widget, Floating header bar, Floating footer bar etc. In fact, you can pretty much display your countdowns anywhere with the use of shortcodes (a Shortcode is a tiny piece of code that will display your countdown timer within any page).
As with all of the Thrive Plugins it also comes with built in analytics to track your conversion metrics
I love it because it forces people to make a decision. No longer can they just be passive observers to your offers.
As the name suggests, they have an ultimatum.
Either take your offer, or not.
And as we all know, the fear of missing out is real. And that's what makes this plugin so powerful.
Thrive Ultimatum Single License $97 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
THRIVE HEADLINE OPTIMIZER
If you didn't know how important your headlines are, check this out:
"On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar."
Confessions of an Advertising Man.
Most people spend hours creating detailed 2000+ word posts, with images, quotes and links, yet only give a moments thought to their headline. This is an enormous waste.
Since 80% of people will only ever read your headline (and NEVER see your copy), this is something that you need to pay extra special attention to.
"Good headlines get attention. Good headlines get clicks. Headlines determine the success or failure of your content, more than any other factor."
SO, WHAT IS THRIVE HEADLINE OPTIMIZER AND HOW CAN IT HELP?
It's impossible to know what headline is going to be a winner. Simply relying on your gut feeling is simply not going to work.
You've got to use a more calculated approach.
Do you know what the guys like Huffington Post, Buzzfeed etc. do to make such compelling headlines that go viral?
They split test the heck out of them.
What does that mean?
It means they create multiple headlines for EVERY article they post, and they measure how effective each headline performs against its competition.
The only way to find real, winning headlines is to test.
This is what the top guys in the industry are doing, and it's why they are dominating. They are continually testing, and continually winning.
And that is exactly what Thrive Headline Optimiser is built to help you do.
Test and Win.
Thrive Headline Optimizer plugs easily into your WordPress site and lets you test against a number of crucial different metrics:
- Click through rate.
- Time on content.
- User scrolling
In addition to this, it's also tracking click throughs on your blog posts, featured posts/recent posts etc.
Even small improvements on any of these metrics will reduce bounce rate and increase visitor engagement.
Getting set up is easy too.
Once it's installed, simply craft a selection of different competing headlines and you're ready to go.
The performance tracking will measure your results and will automatically start displaying the best performing headline.
It really is so easy, that you can set it and forget it.
When you're a time-strapped Solopreneur you need all the help you can get. And a full-time headline optimization specialist that's working 24/7, is worth its weight in gold.
Thrive Headline Optimizer Single License $67 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
THRIVE QUIZ BUILDER - The best quiz builder plugin for WordPress
Quiz builders are all the rage with online marketers right now.
Because they convert like crazy!
In fact, online quizzes are one of the best ways to generate leads on planet.
Let me explain.
An online quiz leads your users through a series of predefined questions. Each step of the way the user adds more information, each time increasing their investment in the outcome, making them far more likely to convert.
It's this increased investment that can sky rocket your conversion rates.
Online marketing gurus like Neil Patel and Russel Brunson are using online quizzes to great effect. Both regularly getting 10%+ conversion rates on their campaigns.
This is the power of online quizzes.
There are a few competing plugins that do a great job, one in particular LeadQuizzes which does an awesome job too. However, the biggest difference between Thrive Quiz Builder and the rest is the price. As part of the Thrive Membership it's a total steal.
BUILD COMPLEX QUIZZES - With zero coding skills
There's a lot more to creating a good quiz than meets the eye.
Sure, if you just want to knock up a basic quiz that's fine. You can do that in a couple of seconds with any of these free quiz plugins.
However, if you're looking to introduce a bit of branching logic into your quizzes, then I think you'll be really impressed with Thrive Quiz Builder.
Branching logic is where you ask different questions based on the previous answer.
As with all the Thrive products, they make it super intuitive to use. So you'll find that you'll have all the skills necessary to create incredibly complex quizzes in a very short space of time.
THE HIDDEN POWER OF QUIZZES
Sure quizzes are fun, and they're proven to convert. But, there's something going on beneath the surface, even more powerful than lead generation.
Want to know what it is?
Customer insights and segmentation.
Let me add a little clarity...
As your users meander through the different logic branches of your quiz, each step of the way they're disclosing valuable data.
It basically gives you the opportunity to direct each of your new leads through a detailed questionnaire, uncovering all of their pain points, wants, needs and desires.
It's the perfect tool for creating an insanely optimised segmentation of your audience.
Once you've collected all the data, you just got to give them what they want.
QUIZ PAGE SPLIT TESTING
As you've probably come to expect by now, once again this plugin has A/B split test built in.
Split testing your quiz page designs, questions, images, colours etc. will have a direct impact on your conversion rates. A/B testing like this is definitely not an industry norm, it's a full professional grade feature which comes as standard, which is pretty crazy if you ask me.
To learn more, go check out my in depth Thrive Quiz Builder review here.
Anyway, enough about online quizzes, you've got the picture.
On the the next plugin.
Thrive Quiz Builder Single License $67 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
THRIVE COMMENTS - Boost user engagement & much more.
You write an epic blog post and send it out to the world, and your readers love it.
In fact, they love it so much that they want to let you know. They may even want to express their pain points and how you've helped them, or they may just want to say thanks.
Either way, these are likely some of your most engaged readers.
And what do they get in return?
"Your comment is pending approval".
That's it? Is that really the best you can do?
It sucks right? And it leaves so much value still on the table.
Thrive Comments are kind of ahead of the curve on this one and they've built an awesome commenting plugin with some killer features that'll increase engagement, conversions, and social shares.
WHAT DOES THRIVE COMMENTS ACTUALLY DO?
Well, it replaces your ugly default WordPress comments section for starters, with an interactive comments section that's feature packed.
Thrive Comments allows for:
- Nested comments.
- Up vote & Down vote.
- Sharing direct to social media.
- Featured comments.
- Badges for commenting achievements.
These are many of the features that make sites like Facebook, Reddit and Quora so popular and 'sticky'.
They make engaging fun, by 'gamifying' the whole process.
We all know what it's like to post on Facebook and anxiously wait for likes and comments. It kind of just makes you feel good.
And now, your users are starting to feel good about their interactions with your content, and they'll be more inclined to engage again in the future.
THRIVE COMMENTS SPECIAL SAUCE…
Having a sexy looking interactive comments section is rad and all, but there's more...
Here's that special sauce I was talking about:
- Re-direct users to a specific url (could be a squeeze page, sales page, sign-up page).
- Ask for a social share (if they liked your content so much as to comment, there's a decent chance they'll share it too).
- Open an Opt-in lightbox (whilst they're there, get them to sign up to your list).
- Display similar posts (drive them to your money pages).
- Display a custom message (not too sure why this is good, but hey, better than "Your comment is pending approval").
That's some special sauce right there.
And that's not all.
You can even reward new commenters with 'welcome messages' or free gifts etc.
Now you're starting to build a real community!
COMMENT MODERATION - And reporting
Thrive Comments has two separate reporting areas. One for performance and analytics, the other for comments and moderation.
The analytics section helps you aggregate all of the different data points of each and every post on your site.
- Number of comments.
- Most popular etc. etc.
Armed with data like this, you can begin to start creating more content that your audience actually wants. That's the sign of a successful blog right there.
And, responding and moderation is made super simple, with everything within the same interface too.
In fact, when it's made nice and pretty like it is, it actually makes replying kind of fun.
Thrive Comments Single License $39 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
COMMENTS FOR SEO BOOST AND AFFILIATES OPPORTUNITIES
Slightly off topic, so please forgive me.
But, comments are a great way to get a little SEO boost. Each comment adds extra content to your posts (with long-tail keyword opportunities), shows Google that your content is still relevant, and also shows a high level of engagement.
And, here's a sneaky tip for you too.
If you make use of the Thirsty Affiliates Pro plugin, you can automatically convert selected keywords into affiliate links to your affiliate partners. So every comment is potentially a new affiliate opportunity.
Not bad hey :)
Thrive Comments Single License $39 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
THRIVE CLEVER WIDGETS - Increase user retention
Widgets are little snippets of information that sit in your websites sidebar or footer. They're used to promote certain content to increase engagement with your users.
A key feature of a successful blog is good user engagement.
That's stuff like:
- Number of page views.
- Bounce rate.
- Time on your site.
- Conversion rates
- Bounce rates etc.
Widgets are an important way of showcasing relevant content to your readers to encourage them to spend more time on your site.
More engagement = Higer conversions.
So, how does Thrive Clever Widgets fit into all this?
What the f*&k does that mean?
Let me explain.
The sidebar on your website is currently static. That means that the information that is displayed, is global ie. It's displayed on every blog post on your site.
Lets say for example you write a travel blog, and you've written a post about "The best travel cameras".
People reading this post are obviously interested in cameras.
With a static sidebar it may be filled with links to your other posts about "How to rough it in Bangkok" or "Best travel recipes on a budget" etc.
It's not relevant at all. A totally wasted opportunity.
However, with dynamic widgets you can determine precisely which widgets and content to show your users (based on categories, tags and post types).
You can now display highly relevant content like "Best travel tripods" or "How to insure your camera on holiday" etc.
Much more relevant, and much more likely your users will consume more of your content.
Check out the below images as an example.
With a static sidebar your users will always see the same sidebar everywhere they go:
And this is how your sidebar can work when it's dynamic:
And if you're concerned that it might slow your site down (which you totally should be), then you needn't worry.
Only widgets that need to be loaded on any given page are loaded. It's no slower than displaying static widgets the old way.
Thrive Clever Widgets Single License $39 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
THRIVE OPTIMIZE - Build and A/B Split test Landing Pages
If you're trying to make money online, then you'll know all about the importance of landing pages.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a specific page on your site, designed and optimized specifically to prompt the user into a specific action. It's often one of the first stages in your sales funnels.
That action could be:
- Email sign-up.
- Buying a product.
- Up-selling a product.
- Booking a coaching call.
Basically any page on your site that's tailored to a specific outcome could be considered a landing page.
Still with me here?
Landing pages are like the backbone/framework for all of your sales/conversion funnels. If they convert well, you will make a lot of money. If they don't, you won't.
But how do you know if your landing pages are performing as good as they could be?
It's impossible to know unless you A/B Split test.
This is probably the biggest things that the majority of newbies fail to do, yet it could be the one thing that's separating them from success or failure.
Up until Thrive Optimize was released, it'd been a nightmare to split test pages. I'm talking really fricking expensive (upwards of $100p/m), or, some crappy WordPress plugin, full of bugs, that you need a computer science degree to operate.
I consider myself pretty good in this area, not a full geek (I have had sex at least once in the past 12 months), but pretty up there. And I haven't for the life of me been able to figure out a good cost effective way to split test my pages.
That was until Thrive Optimize came along.
WHY IS THRIVE OPTIMIZE GOOD?
It's very, very easy to use. It's very quick and easy. And, it's very cheap.
Very good all round :)
Here's how simple it is to start running your first split tests:
Step 1 - Create a page.
Step 2 - Create a variation of that page (all 100% visual editing, no custom script or short code nonsense).
Step 3 - Pick a conversion goal.
Step 4 - Start the test.
That's basically it.
Once the test has started, Thrive Optimize will drive traffic to each of your competing pages, analyze the results and give you data-driven feedback. Helping you choose the best landing pages for your campaigns.
It's super important stuff, that has probably one of the biggest impacts on your bottom line.
Here's what else you can expect with Thrive Optimize:
- Fast A/B Testing.
- Unlimited Tests (run as many tests as you like)
- Unlimited Test Variations (run test with 2,3,4,5 or however many pages you like).
- 3 Conversion Goals (Page views, Opt-in rate or Revenue).
- Custom Traffic Distribution (Evenly distribute traffic, or choose your own ratios).
- Automatic Winner Feature (Chooses a winner for you automatically).
- One-Click Cloning (Clone any existing landing page to make quick modifications).
- 100% Visual Editing (No coding skills needed).
If you're obsessed with optimizing everything (like me :) to get the maximum 'bang for your buck' for every action you do, then you need to be A/B Split testing.
Thrive Optimize Single License $127 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
This is probably one of the least useful plugins within the Thrive Membership Suite, especially if you're a Solopreneur just starting out.
However, let me share with you what Thrive Ovation is all about, and you can make your mind up for yourself.
WHAT DOES THRIVE OVATION ACTUALLY DO?
It's built to help automate the collection process of testimonials across all the comments you get on your site. It then organizes them and helps you display them when needed, with one click.
I'm sure if you run a massive site with thousands of comments this tool would really come in handy.
But, this post is built for Solopreneurs, so I'm guessing at this point you're probably not in that bracket.
Still, I'll do my job and show you what this plugin can do for those of you that are interested.
Let me run you through the feature set:
Transform WordPress comments into testimonials with 1-Click
Save comments to your testimonial library with one click.
Leverage the power of social media testimonials
Thrive Ovation integrates with Facebook and Twitter so you can now easily transform comments from social media into ready to insert testimonials.
Finding testimonials is simples
You can tag your testimonials to make them easy to find when you need them.
Post testimonials anywhere on your site that look amazing.
Quickly insert good looking testimonials with the click of a button into landing pages, checkout pages, sales pages etc.
Fully customisable testimonial template designs.
There's a tonne of nice testimonials templates to choose from. All fully customizable.
After writing about Thrive Ovation, it has kind of grown on me a little. I don't think it's going to make or break your online business, or save that much time in reality, but it could be a handy little add-on I guess.
And, it's part of the Thrive Membership Suite anyway, so what the hey!
It's there if you need it, but it's optional.
Thrive Ovation Single License $39 or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership).
THRIVE THEME BUILDER - In Beta, coming soon.
Thrive Themes used to be a selection of 10+ pre-built premium themes, all optimized and ready to go.
Thrive Themes is having a complete overhaul. It's being rebuilt from the ground up to be complete visual editor at the theme level. This is important for a few reasons...
WordPress is built to operate from with the. theme as a basis, in fact, it can't run without it. The goal is to bring truly visual front end editing to your whole website.
Eventually, Thrive Themes + Thrive Architect will provide you with everything you need to build and edit every aspect of website.
It's not ready quite yet, so you're going to have to hold your horses.
Beta release date is July 25th 2019.
If you want to register to participate in the Beta testing stages, you can do that here.
Until then, here's a sneak peak of what to expect.
Thrive Theme builder Single License $unknown or Free (as part of Thrive Themes Membership)
When I started this post I already thought that the full Thrive Membership was pretty good value, but after writing this 4000+ word behemoth of a post I've be re-sold ten times over.
Any one of these plugins could be sold for at least the $19p/m they're charging for the entire plugin suite.
With the help of a few tools like this, you can start leveraging multiple areas of your online business so you can maximize your output as a start-up Solopreneur.
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did writing it.
I'll see you in the next post in the series.
To grab yourself a copy of THRIVE THEMES MEMBERSHIP Click here.
This comments section below is powered by Thrive Comments (as mentioned in this post). Have a little play around with it, and leave me a comment to get a good feel for it.