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WordPress is the preferred blogging platform for over 35 million bloggers, and this WordPress Tutorial will show you some very interesting (yet uncommon) ways to use WordPress. Although the majority of users choose WordPress’ easy-to-use software for blogging, its power extends far beyond building blogs and static websites. In fact, with over 12,000 plugins available today, you can make your WordPress site do virtually anything you can imagine (well…. except for maybe cutting your grass)!
Not only is it dynamic and capable of doing what you want, WordPress plugins do exactly what they are described to do and “plug right in to your WordPress blog”. This means that with simple configurations a world of opportunity is open to even the most basic user. To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve put together a list of our favorite uncommon uses of WordPress.
DISCLAIMER: We try to recommend the best FREE tools available to you in this WordPress tutorial, but sometimes the best require a purchase. Throughout this post, various affiliate links are used to suggest premium tools. If you end up buying something by clicking one of these links we’d like to thank you in advance for helping to fund our company!
Squeeze Pages, Sales Pages, & Landing Pages
The OptimizePress plugin creates high-converting squeeze pages that allow you to capture users’ information with an ethical bribe. For example, “Give me your name and email and I will send you my free ebook on how to make money online”. Once you have your page set up, you can drive traffic to the page and easily capture email address, pre-selling your future customers on your paid products through your email marketing list. You can also create Sales Pages using OptimizePress – giving you the best of both worlds. Create a high-converting sales page with no technology background by combining WordPress’ ease-of-use with OptimizePress’ advanced technology.
Maybe you have premium videos and articles, and you only want to give access to only select users of your site. The Wishlist Member membership plugin creates protected content, different levels of user access, easily allows both free and paid members to register through your site, and even integrates with your shopping cart to sell access. Your website continues to appear normal to the rest of the world, so you can continue to draw traffic in through your blog and automate your marketing funnel.
If you are passionate about a certain niche and interested in finding the best products and services, a great thing to do is to create a review site with MyReviewPlugin. Find and review products, compare them side-by-side, and when people search for product reviews in the search engines, you review will show up with your affiliate link attached!
If you’re like most of us, writing doesn’t come naturally to you! Grab a camcorder and film a daily show or some YouTube videos that are featured on your blog. People like Gary Vaynerchuk and Chris Pirillo have become massively successful through their video blogs. With the right theme choices like VideoZoom Or Groovy Video, you can easily embed your videos right to your blog and, most importantly, they are displayed in a way that is easy for your viewers to watch and interact on your videos. Also check out the collection of Multimedia Themes from WooThemes.
With only seconds to make a good first impression, it is a great idea for artists, photographers, and web designers to have a theme accommodating to easily uploading and showcasing your work. Portfolio themes allow you to do exactly that! We highly recommend the Aperture Theme and ProudFolio Theme. Or, you may not be able to choose which one you want! At WooThemes you can Join the Theme Club and Get All WooThemes for Just $125!
Forums are considered one of the early forms of social networks, and have been around since the beginning of the web. Naturally the creators of WordPress wanted to make it easy for you to add a forum to your WordPress site! Enter bbPress, a 100% FREE, Open-Source WordPress Forum plugin, from the creators of WordPress themselves! Easily create, following, and manage discussions on your website with this free plugin.
Using E-Commerce Plugins, you can easily turn your WordPress site into a online mall, allowing your customers to add your products to their shopping cart. Let’s say you don’t have actual products to sell. You may have a great niche in mind, and using an E-Commerce Plugin you can aggregate specific products that you are affiliated with and use your website to sell affiliate products. You’d make a smaller percentage this way, but it allows you to get in business fast, build traffic and a reputation, and later you can increase your profit margins by bringing in products that pay you higher margins. You can also connect your new shopping cart to multiple different merchants, including popular options such as PayPal and Authorize.Net. For a free E-Commerce Plugin, check out WP E-Commerce. It’s powerful but lacks some of the options you’ll only find in a premium plugin, such as Cart66.
Almost everyone has heard of Wikipedia by now. A wiki is a collective of information that is created, edited and maintained by the users. Basically you have your users writing all your content. Obviously this is a pro being able to crowd source your website, however the accuracy of the information can be in question, and you should keep an eye on the information your readers are adding to your website. If you want a Wiki-style WordPress website, check out the FREE WordPress-Wiki.
Most likely, you’re not going to duplicate the success of Facebook. However, the success of that behemoth Social Network leaves massive opportunity to build your own niche social network! By integrating with Facebook, you can bring your users to a private social network where they can talk about things they have in common. One of my favorites that is not a WordPress site is Give It to Me Raw; a vast growing social network for raw foodists. With the FREE BuddyPress Plugin, you can build your own social network on your WordPress site!
A business directory is a great way to increase your website’s SEO and build revenue. Imagine building traffic and having other business owners pay you to list and review their business! Business Directory Plugins do just that. For a FREE Business Directory Plugin, check out the Business Directory Plugin. For something a little bit more fancy-pants and easy to use, visit WPDirectory Pro.
Looking to hire a new helping hand? Maybe you’re a startup looking for interns, or a local non-profit looking for helping hands. There is no easier way to publish an online job board than by publishing one on your WordPress site. Using a Job Board Plugin, you can focus on creating content and attracting your ideal hires – all while easily listing your positions and getting your job in front of the right eyes. Check out the FREE Job Manager Plugin or the Premium WP Job Board.
Daily Deal Site
As you’re reading this post, the hottest thing on the Internet is the phenomenon known as “Daily Deal Sites”. More specifically, sites like Groupon and Living Social have ‘exploded’ by connecting businesses with special offers to the right customers. As these sites with huge waiting lists are tapping into the local markets, it creates a whole new untapped marketspace for niche daily deal sites like Gather Green, which provides health conscious offers to the greater Los Angeles Area. Now with the Group Buying Site Plugin, you too can create your own daily deal site!
What’s Your Favorite New Idea?
We’d love to hear your feedback on the ideas listed above, and any other incredible websites you can build with WordPress. Leave a comment under this post and let us know what you think : )
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