This FREE WordPress plugin can help with so many different marketing challenges including offering a super easy content upgrade, selling your products, promoting affiliate offers and helping your readers! Includes tips and ideas for any blogger who writes “how to” posts!
I have been waiting my whole blogging life for a plugin that would do all the things! In fact, I have bought numerous ones over the years to do things like make little ads at the bottom of my posts, make recommended product lists and even to make how tos for my peeps. In the past I did try to use a recipe plugin to do all this, but it really wasn't the right format (and it didn't work very well).
But now, I have one plugin to rule them all and it is FREE!
Please note there are affiliate links included! We love advertisers who help to keep this great information free to our readers!
Why Did Mediavine Make This Plugin and Why Is It Free?
If you have been in this, “find the right plugin to do shit” game as long as I have, you probably have some questions about it BEFORE you commit to adding it to your site all willy nilly, let alone spending time loading it up just to figure out it won't work for you anyways (I KNOW this isn't just me who has wasted SO MUCH TIME?!?!)
Will It Screw Up My Site?
So first off let's address the “will it screw up my site” thing. I added a popup plugin one time and it took down my whole entire site, to the extent that I had to load it all again and was down for like 3 days… argggg.
So the people at Mediavine are programmers. They work with HUGE bloggers everyday and are focused on NOT messing up our sites.
Why Did They Make It?
They own an ad network that is super exclusive (you have have over 25K views a month and get approved by advertisers BEFORE you can sign up) so they aren't tryin to lure us in with a free plugin.
Instead they are focused on helping “their” bloggers succeed and then helping grow up littler bloggers to be able to join their network. Super nefarious in a truly epic way!
From what I understand, the CEO gets wicked mad when we don't use the right things on our blogs (like using recipe cards for marketing or hiding our Pinterest pictures in the bottom of our posts). So he decided that the only way to stop the madness was to make a tool for us to use that wouldn't make Google mad.
Why Does It Matter If It Is Free? Shouldn't Everything Be Free?
One last thing before we get to the meat of the matter, knowing all this about the plugin is super important. Generally I will only use plugins that have some kind of price tag attached, even a tiny little one.
Think about it, if you are a programmer, giving something away for free with no way to monetize it, eventually all the bitching and moaning and updating and crashing will get to you and you will move on to something that will make money.
In the past I used free plugins that were never updated and which were just “spammer magnets” since they could use old loopholes to give nice bloggers viruses and then show naughty pictures on their websites.
Given the fact that this is a tool that helps Mediavine make money, I am comfortable with the free price tag… ha!
Creative Tips & Ideas For Using The Mediavine Create Plugin
As a blogger myself, I like to think of ways that I can use a tool like this to either grow my audience or make more money or both. If you have been following along, this year I have been changing over from a services model to an online marketing model so I was super excited to think of ways I could use a WordPress plugin like this!
1. Creating A Checklist of What You Talked About
So first off is the “duh” way to use this, as a purely printable checklist of the things you talked about in your post. I did this with my “How To Promote Your Vintage Etsy Listings On Social Media (Includes Printable Instructions!)” post.
Tip #1… Include the fact that you have printable instructions in your post title
There is something weird going on over at YouTube that says if you have a cute (saying) inside parenthesis, you can rank higher in search. I don't know about all that, but letting people know right in your title makes them a little curious and works GREAT when you share your post to Pinterest.
Tip #2… Speaking of Pinterest, show you have a printable in your post picture
The chicks over at Pinterest love them some printables so adding your Create prinable to your Pinterest picture will help drive traffic back to your website!
They also all like “pretty pins”, but that is a topic for another day!
2. Easy Way To Do A Content Upgrade
Just in case you don't know what a content upgrade is, it is a small digital asset that you give away in your blog posts that match the content of that post. For example, you could give away a checklist, resource list, ebook, mini class, just something that is, well, an upgrade.
I KNOW that technically a Content Upgrade is supposed to be a way to generate email subscribers.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have some upgrades where I DO collect email addresses (like my 100 Free Marketing Ideas) but what I have found is that many times when you are just giving away something little like a checklist, those people don't want to really join your list, they just want the giveaway.
And then when you do email them your amazing marketing newsletter, they mark you as spam or unsubscribe right away… sigh.
So I love that I can add a super easy-to-do upgrade without them having to commit to loving me forever!
You will have to scroll down to the bottom to see my Content Upgrade for this post…SCORE!
3. Selling Your Products
Just this morning I was talking with a gal on Facebook about selling her own products and she said she was having a hard time making sales. So I asked her for an example of a post where she was “hard core selling” and she sent over her “raising chickens for eggs” post!
Being as I was trolling for weird content upgrade ideas, I thought chicken ebooks would make a great way to start! So this is Alli Windley Kelley's bottom of her truly epic raising chickens post. It kind of feels like she is all over the place with her lead gen and sales…. just in that little space she has:
- A picture of her chicken raising course (it looked like a book, sorry y'all I am not fixing it now)… yay! But not really standing out as a “buy me” I will solve all you chicken problems
- A tiny little link that says “You can read more about it and download the table of contents and introduction by clicking here!“… hmmm not a huge motivator (AND I promise I am not picking on Alli… we ALL feel weird about pitching our own products!!)
- An ad for another product… yay ads! I have ads on my site so I can afford to write epic blog posts like this, will NEVER be mad at a woman for making a couple of bucks on ads
- Email signup – so first off… Signup to get the ebook isn't a great call to action but that not withstanding, it feels a little weird to have all these different things all hanging out at the end of the post.
So what if Alli was to do a Create How To Card with a list of recommended resources at the bottom? It becomes way easier to see what her offerings are!
This makes it WAY easier for Alli to show what the next steps should be! In the left one she is getting an email signup, in the right one she is obviously selling a course on raising chickens and then I threw in a chicken feeder as an affiliate product (more about this later!)
Using the Create plugin allows us to show very clearly the products that we are recommending for our readers!
4. Recommending Affiliate Products
I frequently see bloggers asking how to increase their affiliate sales! It becomes super easy when you include “recommended products” in the bottom of your posts that are specifically targeted to affiliate sales.
For example, at the bottom of this post I used a Mediavine card to put a link to the plugin, then an affiliate product and then a link to my blogging planner! Win, win, win… the peeps reading this post get to learn about a product I love, then I get a chance at affiliate income and then I have a chance to double dip. (I can sell my planner on Etsy where I am an affiliate… oh my gosh, all the winning!)
Tip #1… Your affiliate recommendation can match your AUDIENCE not your post!
Okay, hear me out! YES, Create is actually a main part of this post so OF COURSE I would have it in there as a recommended product and since we are talking about blogging, I wanted to get my blogger planner in there. But that middle one, that is a fun way to add value to my peeps and get a chance for affiliate income down the road!
The blog traffic bonus guide is lead magnet from one of my favorite blogger/teachers, Lena Gott. If a blogger reads this post and downloads her guide, I am SURE it will help them. BUT it will also set them up in her referral system as MY customer so any subsequent sales she makes will earn me a commission! Whoo whoo!
Tip #2…. You don't have to feel weird and skeevey
I am an affiliate marketer from way back so I am not a shrinking violet about recommending things to my peeps if I love them! But some bloggers who are just getting into affiliate marketing can feel gross about recommending products.
Using the Create card is about as innocuous as you can get! It just gently, at the end of all the great information you gave, says “hey, before you go check this out!”
Using this technique has a real marketing value… it is called the Law of Reciprocity. You gave them great info and now they see there is a way to repay you by signing up for your stuff or clicking your links!
5. Share Across Multiple Posts Easily
I don't have any great examples of this (yet), but my goal is to have a few cards that are perfect for the difference audiences of my site. You can figure out your broad ideas by using your blog “Categories”.
So in this case I would make a Create card for “Pinterest Marketing” that would have some general Pinterest tips and tricks that would be applicable to my regular Pinterest posts readers and then be able to plop them in at the ends.
Here are some general things you can include:
- Links to your category page
- Links to your social media properties
- Links to affiliate marketing products
- Links to specific blog posts you are trying to boost
- Your favorite things that your readers all love
- How to do something that everyone asks about (for my Pinterest posts this might be how to hide images at the bottom or how to make a pin using Canva, which I would then include in tools)
- For Alli and her chickens, she might have a “how to make a chicken feeder” or a “how to set up your chicken coop”
- Make sure to use the notes section as a call to action
- Give them a way to contact you in the future… I like email, my business besty wishes everyone would just text her
BONUS Increase Ad Revenue
Last but not least before you go, Mediavine is an ad company so they do have things that make this plug work particularly well for ads! For example you can:
- Include one (or more) ads in the how-to prinatble area
- Embed a video that will increase ad revenue and time on site
- Get more visitors to your post by being able to promote that you have a bonus printable
And that is all cool, but what I really wanted to leave you with is this…
Stop apologizing for having ads on your blog. I waited 9 3/4 YEARS to put ads on my site and one person has said that she really doesn't like them and it keeps her from reading. Okay, I can live with that because ads allow me to take 4 hours today to write a blog post about a topic I love that will help the kind of people I love.
Without ads, I wouldn't be able to take this time, so thank you Mediavine for the fabulous product and especially for this fun little tool!
- Blog post title With "Printable" in parenthesis
- Pinnable Image With Printable Included
- Your products you want to promote
- Affiliate products you want to promote
- Can make a checklist for your post (include printable in your title, in your post description and on your Pinterest image)
- Use as a simple Content Upgrade
- Recommend your own products
- Recommend affiliate products
- Make a category specific Card to include on appropriate pages
- BONUS - Increase Ad Revenue (don't apologize for having ads on your site! )
Well I hope this helped out! I know I struggled to find a great Wordpress plugin that would do all the things I needed and now I am in hog heaven!
If you have any questions about how to use a Mediavine card in your blog post, the tools I use to market my blog or any other marketing questions, shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
(I love getting questions! That is how I get ideas for my blog posts and products!)