Issue #406

Sent to members on November 21, 2022

It’s Deal Week. A Heads Up…

So, tis the week of spam.

Actually, it has been for awhile. It is Black Friday week and pretty much everybody is out there running a sale. It keeps getting longer, too, since most businesses started going into “sales mode” a week or two ago. It is more like Black Friday MONTH these days, amiright?

To be honest, it kinda snuck up on me this time. Not only that, the agency work (aka services) of the Blog Marketing Academy have taken a large portion of what I do now and I’m simply not going to put discounts on my services for Black Friday.

So, for the first time in multiple years now, I will not be participating in Black Friday as a business owner.

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Plus, let’s be real, if I wanted to run a special offer, I could do it anytime I want. Doesn’t matter what the calendar says. 🤷‍♂️

But, let’s talk about a couple things.

First, there are going to be a lot of offers out there.

In some cases, they’re not particularly special offers even if they say they are. I’ve seen my share of sales where they advertise some percentage off of normal price, but the price is still pretty much the same as always. All they’ve done is reframe the same permanent discount as a Black Friday sale. Even big sites like Amazon are doing this.

Secondly, I encourage you NOT to buy stuff just because it is shiny and on sale.

I know a lot of you will be out there looking for deals on hosting, themes, plugins and other applications for your business. I get it. But, don’t just collect these things because of some sense of urgency. I see way too many people who collect lifetime licenses to things they’re never going to use. The whole “just in case” mindset can waste a lot of money.

Just be smart about it. Don’t go crazy.

Now, with that in mind, let me mention a few deals that have come across my desk and looked interesting this week.

Thrive Apprentice 5

I haven’t yet reviewed this one, but will be. Thrive Themes has come out with the brand new version of Thrive Apprentice. And honestly, it is getting pretty impressive. You can check out the full announcement video here.

In short, there’s a new reporting engine, member engagement tracking, a course completion page as well as visual design of certificates using Thrive Architect.

Now, Thrive Themes never does Black Friday sales. I’ve just never seen them do it. However, they have announced that they are increasing the price of Thrive Apprentice after Cyber Monday. So, you can lock in the current price forever before the price goes up.

Personally, I would always go with their Thrive Membership and gain access to everything in their ecosystem. I am a Thrive member and love their tools. The ecosystem has just been getting better and better, too.

FluentCRM / Fluent Forms / Fluent Support, Etc.

WPManageNinga is the company behind these products. And, you probably know by now that I am a massive proponent of their plugins. Well, this week, they’re offering nice 40% discounts on their plugins.

Fluent Forms – My favorite forms plugin… and the one I used to build those order forms in this week’s feature article above. You can grab Fluent Forms for 40% off.

FluentCRM – Absolutely my favorite way to host your email list. I use it myself and have moved a ton of clients to it at this point. Also, they just released a brand new email builder that is going to totally modernize how you design your emails. They’re moving away from the block editor. Just amazing. And now available at 40% off.

Ninja Tables. – I have a review forthcoming on this one. When you really dive into what it can do, it is WAY more impressive than I thought. So many potential uses for this. And now you can get it for 40% off – even including their lifetime license.

Fluent Support – This is their helpdesk software. I really like it, although I don’t use it for my own business as I didn’t need it. But, if you run a team helpdesk, this thing can save you a fortune. And the deep integration with the other tools in their ecosystem make this a powerful combo. Again, 40% off.

One quick note…. FluentCRM is freakin’ awesome and it can save you a ton of money. But, there is a bit of setup to be done to connect it up to an email sending service such as Amazon. I’ve done it now more times than I can count, so keep in mind that I’m here via technical services to help you set it up. It probably wouldn’t take any more than 1, maybe 2 credits to get ‘er done.

Hosting (Some Advice)

Lot of web hosts are going to be offering discounts. I’ve already had one client ask me if she should buy Siteground’s “biggest hosting sale”.

Here’s the thing….

The big, consumer commodity hosts like Siteground are going to try to hook you up with a big “discount”. And I guess those discounts will be bigger than the normal discount, but essentially they ALWAYS have a discount for the pre-paid period. But, after that pre-paid period, they jack your rate up to normal. And in many cases, that normal price is rather expensive.

Now, the only host I’m recommending is Cloudways.

It is WAY better hosting than you’ll get on one of those commodity hosts. Plus, they don’t play pricing games with long pre-paid periods. It is rare they ever even do discounts.

But, for Black Friday, they are offering 40% off the first 4 months.

That’s about as good as it gets with these guys. But, trust me, it is worth it. Just far better hosting. And personally, I admire that they’re not doing ridiculous 80%+ discounts because, frankly, that’s a sign of a commodity host that puts marketing gimmicks over quality.

Tech Talk

As I mentioned above, FluentCRM was updated to 2.6.5 and, honestly, I don’t think the version number adequately captures the scope of the update. The biggest update here is their new email builder. While the block editor options are still there, now they’ve got a brand new editor you can optionally use. It is completely different. And it even comes with some pre-built templates! It is now clear to me that FluentCRM is taking a massive turn in their email editor experience and this is going to make it even more competitive with hosted applications. I know a lot of people value those pre-made designs and easier editor experience. It is now coming to FluentCRM.

This last week, I came across UIPress. This plugin allows you to fully customize the backend admin panel of WordPress to make it more modern and customized to your needs. Imagine if you could use a visual builder to design your site’s admin panel. That’s basically the idea. Didn’t even know this was a thing. I’m definitely going to need to test this out. They also have a 50% off Black Friday offer, but to be clear, I am not an affiliate with these guys because I haven’t tested it yet. Just looks really cool..

Divi 5.0 is on the way. As you may know, I’ve never been a Divi fan. I don’t like working with it at all. But, it looks as if version 5 might fix some of my frustrations. A biggie is that – finally! – they’re going to stop basing the whole thing on shortcodes. Bout damn time. You can check out their announcement on what’s coming in version 5.

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