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WordPress FAQ Plugin - FAQ-Tastic: Origins «

FAQ-Tastic: Origins

June 24th, 2009
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The Origins of a WordPress Frequently Asked Questions Plugin

FAQ-Tastic LiteAs an idea, FAQ-Tastic Lite - the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) plugin for WordPress - isn't new. The original idea for the plugin came from a really cool guy called Dave Taylor. If you've not heard of him, that's okay - the only thing you really need to know is that Dave used to be a StomperNet faculty member (still is?) and is a very, very, smart cookie. Another 2 guys that I'd like to mention are Frank Kern and Ed Dale for helping to inspire a feature found in the new FAQ-Tastic Pro plugin (released soon - cart issues).

In this series of posts, I'll be revealing why I owe Dave Taylor, Frank Kern and Ed Dale a beer (I have done for over 2 years now!). You'll discover one of the main concepts that make FAQ-Tastic an extremely powerful plugin (when used properly) for any WordPress website used for business or that generates an income from advertising.

Before I explain to you why FAQ-Tastic can help generate income on your WordPress site, it's useful for you to understand the origins of the plugin.Why is it important for you to know this? Simply by understanding how FAQ-Tastic evolved will give you a better insight into ways that you *could* be using this plugin and fully maximising it's potential.

I'll try to keep it short but if you know my writing style... that's not always possible! (Skip ahead where necessary!)

FAQ-Tastic Conception

Just over 2 years ago, I'd quit my job as a Project Manager for a large ISP over here in the UK and wanted a change of direction. Having completed an NLP course and looking for a change in career, a friend introduced me to something amazing called Internet Marketing. Having been online and on the Internet for about 10 years, doing a web-based 9 to 5, I was shocked and surprised to discover that there were people - individuals - making money from home. I'd never even considered doing that before. Admittedly, I was reluctant to be sucked back into a life online - after all, I'd just left an Internet-related job and still had a particular distaste from the position I'd just left behind. However, the prospect of being able to make money without needing to travel to a job I hated was *extremely* appealing.

It was around this time when StomperNet exploded onto the scene. I got an email from my friend about the launch 2 days before Stomper went live. Their marketing was exceptional. Their videos demonstrated an understanding of how to utilise the Internet to create markets, customers and start selling from home. As an ex-Developer, I was hooked. I love technology - I'm a geek - so the idea of making money from what I loved (for a change) appealed to my techy side. Fished in? I was hooked and reeled in. They definitely got me. I was probably one of the first in the queue on launch day, hitting refresh for a course that I didn't exactly have much knowledge about (but knew it would change my life). I do believe I was one of the first few hundred to get in :) and I've not looked back since.

I have to say that the training I've had from StomperNet has been unbelievable. The content I received was mind-blowing (and I thought I'd seen everything on the Net!). The skills they taught, I'd never considered - being stuck as a Developer/Project Manager in a 9 to 5, I hardly ever saw how Marketing fit into the company site I was building. Their "StomperNet faculty" consisted of some exceptionally talented, proven, Internet Marketers - one of them a guy called Dave Taylor.

During my time learning new skills and hanging out in the Stomper forums, one particular website caught my attention. That site was Dave Taylor's "AskDaveTaylor.com". This was the site that originally inspired the creation of FAQ-Tastic.

So, what was it about Dave Taylor's site that was amazing? I'm going to break it down for you, so that you can understand how powerful this site actually is.

AskDaveTaylor.com: The Underlying Principle

AskDaveTaylor.com

AskDaveTaylor.com

At the time, AskDaveTaylor.com had a huge red button on the right hand side which said "Ask Dave" and encouraged readers to submit their questions. Dave then replied to the questions and these would appear on the site. Simples.

This principle, in itself, is pure genius.

What Dave Taylor actually created was a massive site which, in essence, is a huge list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). FAQ's are probably the most under-used section on most websites I see. However, they're probably one of the most powerful sections you can have on any website (when used properly - I'm guilty of this too, don't worry!).

Frequently Asked Questions: Why Create An FAQ Section?

So, why should you build an FAQ for your site? Let me put it this way:

Dave didn't need to think up of things to put on his site. All he needed to do was just to answer the question. At the time, I was having problems coming up with ideas for my site(s) - so what better than to get readers to just ask their questions and then answer them? Brainstorming headaches? Not any more.

This is actually a win-win situation for both Dave and his readers. Users that asked questions would have it answered and so were happy as they now had the solution to their problems. Dave was happy as he now had great content for his website. This content would attract new visitors who had the same problem (and were looking for the solution!). If you're looking for an easy way to create high quality content that drives traffic from search engines, then you'll probably now understand how powerful this simple technique really is.

I'm still amazed that a lot of webmasters have yet to realise that something as simple as an FAQ could have a impact on the traffic to their site. Basically, the more questions your readers submit, the more you can answer, creating more high quality content for your website and generating more traffic as the search engines pick up on the answers. As one user of FAQ-Tastic once said, this process of just answering questions is "pure white hat content generation in a box!".

Quite.

FAQ-Tastic: The Birth Of An Exceptional WordPress FAQ Plugin

When I realised how powerful this strategy was (as did many other StomperNet members), the question was - where can I get a plugin like that for my site? As you can imagine, a lot of people in the StomperNet forums asked about a plugin for WordPress that could do the same thing as on the AskDaveTaylor.com website. However, Dave's site runs on TypePad and most people were setting up their sites on WordPress.

Well, at the time, I was in the process of building a site for a client and thought something like this would be great. And so, I spent a few months hunting down an exceptional WordPress Plugin Developer (John) and getting FAQ-Tastic built. The irony was, I never got to use FAQ-Tastic on that particular site but at least the development costs for the intial plugin were covered in the site build! It was fortunate, as it meant that FAQ-Tastic could be released to the world as my way of saying "Thanks" and contributing back to the WordPress community.

Want To Build FAQs On Your WordPress Site?

If you're reading this and now feel that you've discovered a new strategy that's easy to implement,  great! It now means that you've found yet another simple way of attracting visitors to your WordPress website. All you really have to do is to let your readers ask their questions... and then answer them. And that's really why I created FAQ-Tastic.

If you'd like to try out this strategy on your WordPress site, click here to register as a member and download your  FREE copy of FAQ-Tastic Lite (that's right, it's FREE). Grab the FAQ-Tastic Lite plugin and start generating more high quality content, just by asking your readers what they want to know about. To make things even easier for you, I've even created some videos on the homepage of this site that will help you to use FAQ-Tastic. Check them out and you'll see how easy it can be to create new content for your WordPress site.

FAQ-Tastic: New Beginnings...

It's now been 2 years since I started this project but it's now gaining momentum. Now that I've managed to overcome some personal obstacles and put some issues to rest, FAQ-Tastic is now (finally) starting to receive the attention that it deserves from me. This new site and the latest version of FAQ-Tastic for WordPress 2.8 has started to receive some welcome attention.

FAQ-Tastic ProI'm thankful for the users who have sent me extremely positive feedback and kicked my butt into getting the Pro version out (mainly as it helps me to continue to pay John to develop and build a better plugin!). It's nearly here and will be available in the FAQ-Tastic Lite members section in the next few days (I'm just ironing out a few bugs in my shopping cart system and we should be ready to go!).

Why am I making the Pro available in the Members section only? Basically, 1) for most people the Lite version is more than enough for what they need to do (no point buying something you don't need!) and 2) using the Lite version helps to identify any issues even before you buy the Pro version!

Let's face it, I *am* trying to sell you something... Well, only in as much as it helps me create a better plugin. I've tried the donations route and, to be honest, it simply didn't work. I've no idea why other WordPress plugin Developers keep up their project when very few people show appreciation. But that's another story.

If this project had just been about the money, then FAQ-Tastic Pro would probably have been released for sale 2 years ago. I could've simply ripped off someone else's code and re-labelled it as my own product. But, for me, that simply has no integrity. As faithful FAQ-Tastic users know, I like to provide value when it comes to this plugin.

FAQ-Tastic is about something entirely different. There is an ideology, a framework and also a biological principle behind this FAQ plugin that is probably a bit too intense to reveal in one go. For most people, FAQ-Tastic is a great little time-saving tool for building FAQs on their WordPress site... but it actually has more to it than meets the eye.

In the next few posts, I'll be showing you other aspects about this FAQ plugin that will make you realise that you're probably not using your Frequently Asked Questions section properly! Wouldn't it be great if you could fully maximise the traffic potential of your WordPress site?

Remember to check out the FREE FAQ-Tastic WordPress FAQ plugin and start building your WordPress FAQ section right now.

Cheers,

Zain

PS: Dave Taylor - if you're reading this: "I owe you a beer". I tried meeting you 2 years ago at a StomperNet event but you were ill and had a throat infection or something. Thanks for the inspiration and the solid foundation that this plugin rests on!

PPS: If you'd like to know more about StomperNet, then why not click on my affiliate link and have a look at some of the great FREE tips from StomperNet (aff) which can help with your Internet Marketing efforts?

PPS: I'd definitely recommend getting the StomperNet monthly magazine "The Net Effect". Great content in bite-sized pieces, ideal if you travel or just fancy a quick dip into improving your site without getting soaked...


These affiliate links helps support the FAQ-Tastic project.

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Written by edith on June 24th, 2009
{ 3 comments }


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3 Comment on “FAQ-Tastic: Origins”

  1. Luca says:

    Any issues about WP 2.8 and Faq-tastic?

    Luca

  2. admin says:

    None that I know of. Issues with WP2.8 were fixed in version 1.0.15 of FAQ-Tastic. Still seems okay in WP2.8.2 & we're now up to version 1.0.16 of the plugin.

    All you need to do is to replace the old FAQ-Tastic folder with the new one (just to ensure that the new files take). Your old questions and answers etc. will be fine - the fix simply addresses a few issues with some files.

  3. Zain says:

    No issues with WP2.8 and FAQ-Tastic. The _weak_escape error was fixed with the latest version of the plugin (1.0.16).

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