Over the last year, I’ve been changing the way I run my business.
Mostly? I’ve made a commitment to myself to use tools that work for me and not just tools that other online entrepreneurs recommend.
Two years ago, in the spring of 2015, I decided to get “serious” with my blogging. For the first time EVER, I set aside a chunk of cash to invest (and we do love the word “invest” in this demographic, don’t we??) and took a few days to research what I would need to be a Real, Six Figure Blogger.
It didn’t take long for my coin to disappear. Between ConvertKit, LeadPages, Tailwind, BoardBooster, eCourses, eBooks, Instagram giveaways, and a pre-made WordPress theme, my $$$ didn’t last very long.
It costs approximately $150 per MONTH to use all of the tools most entrepreneur educators recommend — and that doesn’t include hosting or a domain name
What I didn’t realize then was, I don’t need these things to be successful. Yes, it was fun to play around with these brand new, shiny tools, but at the end of the day, there were other services that not only would have fulfilled my needs better, but saved me money in the long run, too. Two years in? I’ve traded ConvertKit for MailerLite, LeadPages for Divi, and cut out fat wherever I could.
The only paid tools I use are Tailwind, and Divi. I pay $89 a year for Divi, and generate affiliate sales to cover the monthly cost of my Tailwind subscription.
And you know what? I’ve never been happier, and my blog has never looked (and felt) so good.
In this post, I’m going to demonstrate why Divi by Elegant Themes works better for me, and how I used it to replace LeadPages.
Let’s talk about the cost first. If you’re going month-to-month like I was, that’s $37 USD out of pocket every 30 days, which ends up being around $46 Canadian per month. That’s a lot. That is $552 per year that I could have been investing in other areas of my business.
I FEEL LIKE SUCH A DUMMY NOW, WOW.
But of course it wasn’t just the cost — if I felt like I was getting $552 worth of value per year from Leadpages, I wouldn’t have thought twice. Looking back, I felt very limited by Leadpages. I didn’t love their design options, and I really hated that my landing pages looked like every other entrepreneur in my niche.
Part of me also felt duped. All of the big name bloggers I looked up to (at the time) used Leadpages, and pushed it as a must use to have a successful business. Ultimately, that’s why I paid the money: I wanted to emulate the success of others by using the things they recommended.
Here’s a side-by-side of a landing page I built in Leadpages, and a landing page I recently built with my Divi theme:
In my opinion, the landing page that I built in Leadpages could have been built by anyone offering an email opt-in! Just switch out the colors, and it would have worked for another blogger. On the other hand, the one I built in Divi feels correct, and doused thoroughly in my brand.
I use Divi to customize the overall appearance of my blog, sure, but I also use it to build out custom pages, add interesting elements to my evergreen blog posts, and — of course — create killer opt-in landing pages.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
First of all, I create a new page in WordPress. Depending on the purpose of the page, I might also use the Nested Pages WP Plugin to give the page a tothewild.co/seo-keyword/seo-keyword-2 URL.
BONUS TIP: Why I use the Nested Pages WP Plugin
— It’s a really good way to include a second long-tail search keyword into your page’s URL. Originally I installed this plugin to organize my Pages, because she was a real mess, and it definitely helped me do that:
During the learning process, I realized that the Nested Pages plugin was changing the URL of each page depending on which group I nested it under. So, if I nested “convertkit” under a group I titled “coupon-codes”, the URL would be: tothewild.co/coupon-codes/convertkit instead of tothewild.co/convertkit. Now, if someone searched for the term “convertkit coupon codes” it’s likely that my page would rank higher because the URL contains all 3 keywords.
Back to Divi-
Once the page is created, I launch right into Visual Builder mode:
Divi’s Visual Builder mode is really kickass. I’ve used a few other drag-and-drop WordPress builders over the years (Beaver Builder and Thrive) and I will say that my experience with them led me to believe they were both truly borne of Hell. Beaver was tedious and buggy, and Thrive would show me one thing inside the builder, but publish another.
One word of warning to anyone getting started with Divi: once you build your blog using the Divi framework, you WILL NOT be able to *easily* switch to another WordPress theme should you want to in the future, because Divi uses its own code. I will use Divi 4ever and ever, so I’m cool with this. However — if you aren’t a fully converted Divi Stan — this may be something you want to take into consideration.
The thing I always do first is add my top and bottom divider:
Here are the types of pages I make most:
Divi offers a HUGE selection of modules to choose from:
Accordion, audio, bar counter, blog insert, blurb, button, call to action button, circle counter, code/html insert, comments, contact form, countdown, divider, email opt-in form, filterable portfolio, image, login form, map, number counter, person, portfolio, post navigation, post slider, post title, pricing table, search, shop, sidebars, sliders, social follow, tabs, testimonial, text, toggle, video, and video slider.
And there are fullwidth image, slider, map, menu, and portfolio modules, too.
My most-used modules are definitely the simpler ones, like image, text, html code, and button, but it’s nice to know that if and when you wanna get fancy, Divi has got you covered with their module types.
Here’s what a typical built-out page looks for me, broken down by module type: