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WooThemes Canvas theme Tutorial Series Part 4 – Setting Up Widgets, Monetizing, Building an Email List and Integrating Social Media Accounts

Welcome to the fourth tutorial in our series on how to build a Magazine style site with the Canvas theme.  In the previous three tutorials we showed you how to customize Canvas, setup custom navigation and we demonstrated how easy it is to turn Canvas into a magazine style site.  Continuing on with our tutorial series we’ll now cover basic widget setup as well as setup of the Subscribe and Connect functionality.  Also, we’ll show you just how easy it is to monetize the Canvas theme with Adsense or affiliate banner Ads.  Let’s start by setting up the Canvas theme sidebar and footer widgets…

Setting Up the Canvas Theme Sidebar and Footer Widgets

The sidebar and footer sections of the Canvas theme are controlled via “Widgets” in the WordPress admin.  When you go to Appearance > Widgets you’ll notice there are seven different widget sections on the right side of the screen.  The seven widget sections are as follows; Primary, Secondary, Footer 1, Footer 2, Footer 3, Homepage and “Widgets” Page Template.  In this tutorial we focus on the Primary and Footer widget sections.  Follow the steps below to setup the sidebar and footer of your Canvas theme site…

In the WordPress admin go Appearance > Widgets > open the Primary widget section > drag and drop the widgets you want to show up on the right sidebar of your site in the Primary widget section > next open the Foot 1, Footer 2 and Footer 3 widget sections > drag and drop the widgets of your choice into each of the footer widget sections > go out to your site and refresh the page > your sidebar and footer widgets should now display on the site

Important Note: You’ll inevitable change your sidebar and footer widgets as your site grows so don’t get too caught up in this step.  Just find a few widgets that work for each section and move on.  You can always go back and tweak them later.

Monetizing the Canvas Theme

The fact is that it takes hard work to build and grow a quality site.  Countless hours (and potentially lots of money) go into producing informative content, upgrading the site functionality and basic site maintenance.  Therefore, you need to be rewarded financially for the time and money you put into your site.  Here’s how to quickly monetize the Canvas theme…monetizing canvas theme

468 x 60 header Ad unit setup:

Built into the Canvas theme header is space for a 468×60 banner Ad.  It’s perfect for Adsense or for an affiliate banner Ad.  Here’s how to setup the 468×60 header Ad…

In the WordPress admin go to Canvas > Theme Options > Advertising > check the “Enable Ad” check-box > either paste your 486×60 code in the “Adsense Code” box or upload your 468×60 Ad image > enter the “Destination URL” (typically this is your affiliate link) > Save All Changes

Important Note: Code other than Adsense can also go in the “Adsense code” box.  It’s common for affiliate banner Ads to be available in HTML format so you can paste that in as well.  That will allow you to bypass the process of uploading a banner Ad image and pasting in a destination URL.

Setting up WooThemes “Subscribe and Connect” Functionality for the Canvas Theme

Subscribe and Connect is a WooThemes designed widget that makes it easy to build a list of subscribers as well as link your social media accounts to the site.  Building an email list and connecting your Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media accounts is essential to any modern day site.  It’s even more crucial when building a magazine style blog which is what we’re doing in this tutorial series.  Follow the steps below to setup the WooThemes Subscribe and Connect functionality…

Subscribe and Connect Setup Step 1:

In the WordPress admin go to Canvas > Theme Options > Subscribe & Connect > S&C Setup > check the “Enable Subscribe & Connect – Single Post” check-box > check the “Enable Related Posts” check-box > Save All Changes

Subscribe and Connect Setup Step 2:

Go to Canvas > Theme Options > Subscribe & Connect > Subscribe > if using Feedburner Email then paste in your Feedburner ID (video below demonstrates how to setup Feedburner Email) or if using MailChimp paste in your List Subscribe URL (found in your MailChimp account) > Save All Changes

Subscribe and Connect Setup Step 3:

Go to Canvas > Theme Options > Subscribe & Connect > Connect > paste in the URLs to your social media accounts > Save All Changes

Subscribe and Connect Setup Step 4:

Go to Appearance > Widgets > drag / drop the “Woo – Subscribe / Connect” widget into the Primary widget section > check the “Enable in Posts” and “Enable in Pages” check-boxes > Save > go out to your site, refresh the page and and the Subscribe & Connect widget will appear in the side-bar of your Canvas theme site

Benefits of FeedBurner Email

Notifying subscribers of new content via email is a fundamental task almost all successful blogs use.  With hundreds of millions of sites to choose from, people typically won’t go back to your site unless they are notified of new content.  Therefore, unless you want to manually send out an email every time you post content, you’ll need an automatic solution to accomplish this exercise.

FeedBurner Email is a great option to go with when starting a new WordPress site.  It is a completely Free service (powered by Google) that allows you as the site publisher to deliver your new content via email to your subscribers.  The best part is that it’s all done automatically.  FeedBurner will send a “Daily Digest” email to all of your subscribers every time you post new content which will save you a ton of time in executing this important “new content notification” task.

If you use Gmail then I recommend using the same Google account to setup your FeedBurner account.  Simply do a Google search for “FeedBurner” and log-in with your Gmail credentials.  Follow the steps in the tutorial video above to implement FeedBurner Email on your Canvas theme site.

Notes on FeedBurner Email

  • FeedBurner won’t send an email unless you post new content so you don’t have to worry about spamming anyone.
  • Your list / subscriber database can be Exported at any time when you’re ready to move to a paid provider like Constant Contact, Awebber or MailChimp.
  • You can customize the FeedBurner emails.
  • It’s easy to manage your list.
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