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Is a website more important than your shop or warehouse?

123ezy website design and hosting services for cheap websitesI’ve recently attended some business building and networking events and have been fascinated at the number of people who speak about the importance good first impressions and having a professional website. What’s most amazing is that many of these people have a website that hasn’t changed in 2 years!

This is amazing because there are some very powerful and free website content management systems (CMS’s) like WordPress and Joomla and very inexpensive but professional templates (also called themes) where all you need to do is add hosting and a domain name and you have a website that you can change whenever you want. You can also easily update the news section of your website (usually called a blog these days).

The most important thing about a website though is that it is often the first time potential customers get to know something about you and how you operate your business. Your warehouse and office are things that they may never see, plus, you can use your website to give them some important information that makes them buy from you straight away.

Our WordPress course contains all the training you need to setup a professional website and start adding and modifying the images and words when and as you please. Plus, we have cheap student hosting through 123ezy online services. If you are an MYOB student that wants to start their own business, this is the next course you should take.


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Should we offer MYOB Training Courses to group buying companies?

Image from Choice website

We’ve been approached by many different Groupon type companies. There seems to be hundreds of these sites popping up every day and they are famous for offering you almost unbelievable discount coupons for almost anything but most commonly services like pedicures, restaurant and cafe meals etc. We’ve always ensured our prices are competitive and bookkeeping students receive good value for money, but our Training Partners have tried them and we’ll share their opinions with you.

For business owners (or merchants as we are called) group buying sites promote the possibility of receiving hundreds of sales of your product (so you better make sure you can service the demand) but what do they want in return. Here’s a classic scenario:

Normal Price: $200

Group Buying Price: $100

Saving to you: $100

Margin that goes to the Group Buying Site is typically 50% of the discounted price, ie. $50

This means that a merchant that would normally receive $200 for something, will now receive $50! Is it worth it? Then why not just sell it on special for $100 and spend some money advertising it? As you can see, we are pessimistic about the future of group buying sites. Our training partners offered a discount on their Microsoft Excel training courses only to receive a handful of sales.

choice_group_buying_reviewAnd there are hundreds of these group buying sites. See if you can recognise some of these names: Cudo, Groupon, AlltheDeals, Spreets, Living Social, Grabone, BizzBuzz etc. At the beginning of 2011 a local Australian startup in the space was sold for $40M! If you have time read a review by Choice Magazine.

The main reason we don’t like the big group buying sites is because of some of the conditions imposed.

When you buy the discount voucher the group buying site earns the money. Some of the more selfish sites will then only pass this money to the merchant when the customer uses the voucher. In other words, if the  customer doesn’t use the voucher within the “valid period” the merchant earns nothing and the customer loses the benefit!

By the way, I was at a software training function last week and a birdy told me that consumer protection laws might come into affect that provides protection for buyers of these discount vouchers – if you buy a $50 product then you can receive $50 off after the offer period has expired. Watch this space…

As far as discount coupons, we make them available to you. Just tell us what you are looking for in a training course and you’ll automatically receive a discount coupon code for our MYOB, WordPress and Excel training courses.

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Online is the way to go according to Woolworths

I was having a chat with a rehab consultant the other day and we discussed the benefits of online services like our online MYOB Training Courses and he reminded me about online shopping and having your weekly groceries delivered to your home.

We dug a little deeper and discovered that Woolworths announced a 118% increase in online sales for the December 2011 half year (July to June). When we went to the Woolworths Online Shopping site we saw all their branding for their Click and Collect service, but entered our postcode in the top right hand corner to discover that they would deliver to your door for $11 or less if you spent more than $100 with them. Do you think that is high?

I remember speaking to an Amway seller back around 1999 when the first online shopping “craze” began as part of the dotcom revolution where he mentioned that they sell all the products that are traditionally in the centre of the shop, the products that aren’t fresh and have long expiry dates. He pointed out that most people buy the same products every time they shop, that if you wrote up a list of things you need you could simply tick boxes and re-order all those products very quickly. Compare that to taking a trip to the supermarket!

A trip to the supermarket could involve the following steps and cost a lot more than $11 delivery:

  • Bringing children with you
  • Driving to the supermarket and looking for a parking space
  • Walking around the supermarket to get all the products you need
  • Waiting in a queue to pay and have your products bagged
  • Taking the shopping bags to your car to load up
  • Unloading the shopping from your car at home

It was at this stage that we realised also, why online computer training courses offer so many benefits over traditional courses held in training centres in Sydney or Melbourne. We recall that we needed to pay rent, wages, advertising and find good quality trainers. We had to schedule the courses 3-6 months in advance and try to guess the best date, day and time for students and THEN if we didn’t have at least 4 students attend a course we had to cancel it because it we wouldn’t cover our costs!

We realised we could give students more training (our current 5 MYOB training courses for example would take the equivalent of 4 full days of face to face training) if we delivered it online, and like a new student said to us just this week, the training is delivered consistently to every student. Every student learns exactly the same information the same way every time so it is great for franchise operators.

The best part is that we divert all our earnings into generating new and updated training content, and ensuring that our online training servers are operational and secure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means we can also focus on our LIFETIME student access offer and ensure that students can get on with the bookkeeping and administration tasks they need to do rather than having to do MYOB courses again and again to get the parts they missed.

We believe 100% in online services and look forward to helping your learn MYOB and other programs like Microsoft Excel and WordPress (website builder and blogging platform) online.

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Want to create your own email newsletter for free?

Create your own blog and newsletter using WordPress and FeedburnerAll the tools you need to create a newsletter that is emailed to subscribers is available to you for free, you just have to know how to use them. Section 5 of our online WordPress training course gives you the skills you need to get it started.

This website is built on the WordPress Content Management System using a professionally designed WordPress theme. We can change the look and feel of the website in a very short time by simply uploading and activating a different theme and (unless we made some complicated changes to the coding) we wouldn’t lose any of our pages or blog articles.

The best thing about the Tools we use for our EzyLearn Online Training blog newsletter is that we simply use WordPress to write and manage the blog posts and Google Feedburner to provide automated delivery to any subscribers. The best part is that it’s fully anti-SPAM compliant. Here’s an extract from our online WordPress training course.

Section 5: Blogs, Posts and RSS Feeds

Syndication gives you the power to be many places at once. When you write a blog that article can be made to appear in your readers inbox, on other websites and of course at your blog. Articles from our blog also appear at Twitter and our Facebook Page.

Google have a range of tools to help you gain exposure on the world wide web and one of these tools is called Feedburner. This tool will enable you to have your own email list subscribers attached to your blog.

Nareev Bhatt was one of Australia’s top bloggers back in 2009 and he and other top bloggers like Karen Cheng use a simple website with Google Feedburner to deliver their news to anyone who wants to read it. This course will show you how to have your own newsletter using your WordPress Blog and FeedBurner.

If you want to see what’s included in our online WordPress Training Course (with LIFETIME student access) visit the WordPress Course section of our website. Remember you can enrol today and start by 5pm tomorrow.

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Google Apps is now Google Drive. Is it better than dropbox?

Google Drive and smart devices storage in the cloudAs users of Google Apps, the EzyLearn Team are always interested in learning about new technology and how it can be used to increase productivity, reduce cost and allow us to do great new things.

We recently received a message that Google Docs is now Google Drive. They’re tying it all into Cloud based storage and services and it looks like a great move, but will we use it instead of Dropbox?

We recently wrote about MYOB in the Clouds, we use a small business telephone service that is in the cloud, our training courses are in the cloud and our website are built using a cloud-based website builder (WordPress) so it’s natural that we try to keep abreast of what the big technology players like Google are up to.

Below is a simple video (if you are reading this blog post via email, click on the heading to see the video at our blog site) that shows what you can do with Google Drive and all your devices including smartphones that are connected to the Internet. How does it compare to Dropbox? I agree with Ed Bott from the prolific technology writers at ZDNet.

Feel free to share your experiences on our Facebook Page

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Get a WordPress mobile site because Google says 75% need it

Google Smartphone mobile usage stats - get a WordPress websiteWe recently wrote about WordPress plugins that are available for websites built using the WordPress CMS (Content Management System) that enables the website to be viewed better on a mobile phone and statistics provided by Google (which you can check out and dive into yourself) show that we are one of the world leaders in mobile phone adoption.

Interestingly just under 25% of Australian smartphone owners used the website browsing capabilities of their phone to perform job searches!

We made the decision to use WordPress for our website several years ago (and build a WordPress Training Course) because it is:

  1. An open source solution
  2. Used by millions of website owners around the world
  3. Supported by plugin and themes developers

With the importance of Google searches to bring inquiries to your business and the adoption of Smartphones every business needs to have a website that:

  1. Looks Professional (using inexpensive WordPress themes)
  2. Can be viewed easily on a smartphone
  3. You can update yourself!

Check out the Google OurMobilePlanet website and get all sorts of interesting stats for yourself.


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Every WordPress website can look great on a smart phone

WordPress Plugin WPTouch shows your website on smart phoneIf you have read our blog on your Smart Phone lately you might notice that it is reasonably easy to read on a smart phone. The images in this blog post show the difference between a WordPress website and a WordPress website that uses a free plugin that makes them easy to read on a smart phone, it’s called WP Touch.

We mentioned the great service from Google earlier this week that shows you what your website looks like on a mobile and how it’s also linked to the partnership that Google have with MYOB Atlas in Australia.

We mentioned also that WordPress is a free software program used by Millions of website owners around the world. We installed a simple free plugin to create a much better reading experience (see the image on the left).

Our online WordPress course with LIFETIME access shows you how to install Plugins to get much more functionality out of your WordPress website and blog system.

The best part of WordPress is that it is used by Millions of developers around the world, who are developing Plugins, themes and many other exciting tools to enable you to create great websites, cheaply.

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We’re real people, really!

mums returning to work looking for online MYOB and Excel training course to upskill to find workThere are many questions that we get asked each day and one of them is “Can I start the course tonight?” I’m writing this blog to let you know that we are all people at EzyLearn and if you have an urgent need we’ll try to help you.

Rowena called and asked this question today because another company that was advertising an MYOB online training course was experiencing difficulties with the person that manages their online system, they couldn’t even get her enrolled and started!

The good news is that there are several EzyLearn team members that can get you started and using our online training system and we manage the whole process ourselves.

Why is this important? and why do I blog about it? Because we promote “Enrol today and start by 5pm tomorrow”. We actually perform enrolments EVERY DAY and we only make the “5pm next business day” promise as a safety net if we get excessively busy.

We also say that “our online training courses are the best online training offer in Australia” and what this means is that we offer EzyLearn ANSWERS and the Student Community and Tutor Support because we are constantly adding content to our MYOB, Excel and WordPress courses. If you are one of our students and there is a topic you are experiencing that is not covered in our course content, we will commission the relevant expert to create a training guide and make it available to you!

Oh, and have a great Easter long weekend. Remember you can enrol today and start after Easter if you want.

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How do you look to others?

There are some pretty interesting stats that should convince you that having a website that displays nicely on a smart phone is worthwhile.

  • 2/3 smart phone owners use their phones back-light as a torch
  • 2/5 people use their phone to avoid a social encounter
  • 56% of smart phone owners use their phone to browse the web in bed at night

These are actually important facts to consider when you get your website designer to make modifications to your website and Google have created a fantastic online tool that helps you understand what we’re talking about. This tool also helps to answer some rudimentary questions that you should be able to answer about your website design strategy.

These are some interesting questions:

  • Can you read text without zooming or scrolling
  • Can you search the site
  • Is your address and phone number easily visible
  • Can you click to call?

See What your website looks like.

Oh, by the way, if you opt to get the full report about your website you will get re-directed to MYOB’s Atlas website and hosting solution (we were not actually presented with a report) 🙁

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MYOB Training Course and Support – bank reconciliation

MYOB Training Course - Undo Bank Reconciliations using MYOB version 2011In January 2012 we introduced the Student Community and Tutor Support service and we’re announcing some new training guides that have been placed in the Student Support area.

Bank Reconciliation can be a tricky task to master, and that is before you master the motivation to get started! We have a project in our MYOB Bank Reconciliation course where you have to create a new company file, import accounts and transactions and perform a bank reconciliation. It’s a lot like a real world scenario and it causes some grief for existing students so we added an extra guide to help.

Student Support for online MYOB, Excel and WordPress coursesWe’ve also receive requests in our EzyLearn ANSWER service from students who want help and instructions on how to email invoices using the latest version of MYOB (version 2011) so we have created a guide about how to do it.

Stay tuned for more Student Support Guides over the coming weeks. Enrol to start now and learn at your own pace. Take advantage of LIFETIME student course access and great student support features like EzyLearn ANSWERS and our Student Community and Tutor Support.


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Your domain, your email

Domain names and email addresses from Domain Name BeginnersWe are constantly amazed at the number of businesses that are enrolling their staff into our online MYOB training course that use a Yahoo or Hotmail email address.

From my experience in the last 15 years domain names have come down from $135 per annum when I used to buy them from Melbourne IT to  just $25 per year from companies like NetRegistry. Hosting can also be very inexpensive for micro and small businesses.

When you enrol into the WordPress online training course you can:

  • Choose the micro business hosting option (through 123ezy) for only $100 pa and that enables you to setup your own email addresses as well as a WordPress website. Plus,
  • They’ll install the WordPress software and
  • We’ll provide you with a premium WordPress theme for no extra price!

Oh, and when you use WordPress you can have a mobile phone ready website in less time than you think by using a free plugin. This means that your website will look professional even on the small screens of iPhone, Android and other Smart Phones.

All you have to do is add the words and pictures and you can have your own professional website (and blogging system) and professional email address.

If you are interested in enrolling into our online WordPress training course with LIFETIME student access feel free to enrol here.

PS: You might be interested to know that the blog post you are reading is created using WordPress and distributed using Google’s Feedburner and we demonstrate how to do all of that in the course.

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Do you need more customers, more people, or more time?

Professional bookkeeper and online WordPress training course and hostingI was going through our EzyLearn blog library of articles today. In doing so, I was reminded that we started blogging back in 2007.

This was one year after we closed our three Sydney-based computer training centres to focus solely on online training courses.

After reading some of the old posts, I again realised just how much work is involved in maintaining a blog!

The Necessity of Blogging

When I analyse the workload of the EzyLearn team members and the hours we spend creating step-by-step training workbooks, training videos, knowledge reviews and assessment tasks, I realise that it is all very necessary.

Back in 2007, blogging wasn’t new. In fact, many people had heard of it but most small businesses (or large ones) weren’t really doing it much.

We at EzyLearn wrote a workbook to teach people how to use WordPress and it highlights one of the most important parts of being a training organisation. This being, to study what is new and understand how it will affect businesses and employees that use technology into the future.

This blog you are reading right now is read by a lot of other people and it highlights:

  1. Our commitment to keeping you informed
  2. The range of skills our team has
  3. The number of customers who come to us as a result of reading this blog

Why Blog?

Why am I talking about this? One of our most popular online courses is the MYOB Bookkeeping Course and a lot of people who complete this course want to start their own business.

These same people are keen to build their customer base enabling them to work their own hours, use their brains and earn a good living.

Having a website with built-in blogging functionality based on the WordPress Content Management System is a fantastic way to tell people what you know and drum up new customers. It enables you to keep in contact with people, keep giving them information with no strings attached, and remain top of mind.

Blogging and “content marketing” just takes a bit of time to learn and then keep up to date, but you’ll end up with more customers and won’t have to pay for Google Adwords! 🙂

Read more about why we do content marketing

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What do you want in a training course?

Dr Evil - Need the info - what do you want in an online training courseSometimes we use the EzyLearn blog to learn more about what you are looking for in a training course, particularly if you have not done a course with us before. As a thank you for sharing your opinions with us you’ll receive a discount coupon for one of our courses and updates about special offers.

We’ve assembled a simple Course Needs Assessment to understand what you are looking for. With online training courses and support for MYOB bookkeeping software, WordPress website design and blogging software and Microsoft Office, we cover a wide range of topics.

Our courses are for:

  • Job seekers,
  • Those already in a job and
  • People seeking skills to operate their own business

Each category of student has slightly different needs and we want to make sure we are catering for your training needs.

Complete this brief questionnaire to join the “specials” list and receive a discount coupon code for one of our online courses.

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Is your WordPress website secure?

WordPress Training Course malware scan toolThis is a general announcement to anyone with a WordPress website. We have a WordPress Webmasters course to help small business owners setup their own website or blog and also to help individuals learn about WordPress so that they can earn a living creating websites, blogging and participating in social media.

You may recall that this EzyLearn Blog was actually affected by a WordPress Malware attack back in mid November 2011. It’s a known fact that there are occasional vulnerabilities in all sorts of software and that includes online software (they call them scripts rather than programs), like WordPress.

The recent issue with WordPress was caused by the TimThumb.php script for inserting, cropping, editing images etc and rather than go into the details here are some links that you’ll find interesting.

Why are we writing this post? Because it highlights the importance of using a theme club or theme maker that constantly updates the themes they create.

We recommend ElegantThemes and Woothemes and they both wrote articles about the vulnerability when it was discovered and provided updated themes with the risk removed.

See the articles from ElegantThemes and WooThemes.

If you want to learn more about our WordPress online Training Course contents, pricing etc please visit our WordPress Course website:

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Using Google Adwords – Step 1 – choose a budget

The Google Adwords market is constantly changing depending on who is bidding for the keywords you want, how they are bidding and how much they have to spend. Keeping this in mind you will have to make some simple decisions before you can get started.

I sat down with a business owner today and she wanted to bid for every keyword she could think of, everything relating to her field of business, but the problem with that is that you are then competing with everyone else for a whole lot of words. We ended up choosing fewer words and decided to spend more to get people to our website using those keywords. If website visitors who come to your website from a Google Adwords advertisement and stay and explore your site Google will recognise your site as a good result for its searches and this will end up elevating your position in the “relevancy based” search results. That should be a significant goal, but I am now just digressing.

So, the business owner agreed that she was going to spend $1200 per month. The next step is to figure out which services she is going to promote and she gave me a list of 15 different services,which we then categorised into 4 main categories… Phew. We then looked at the relative weighting for each category of her business to decide how much they will receive of the $1200 per month and it came to a relatively simple 25% split each or $300 each category (division) per month. These were good figures because that comes down to $10 per day and that is how you can limit the amount of money you spend on Google Adwords…. by setting a daily limit.

The next step is a little more time consuming and involves choosing the right keywords and keyphrases to use for each category of the business. Once you’ve discovered this you choose how much you are willing to pay per click… hence the term Pay-Per-Click (or PPC) advertising ( You may not get this part right the first time, but you will soon realise that you can pay for anything from 9c to over $20 per click to be on the first page. The more generic and popular the keyword the higher the price, the more words you combine together (keyphrase) the fewer people will be promoting it so the price will be lower. I’ll cover this in another blog post.


Learn about alternatives like using relevant keywords in a blog for your business to make your website more valuable and ensure it becomes a trusted resource for customers.