Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the BlogAid Podcast for Nov 27th, 2012. I’m MaAnna I hope all of my listeners in the U.S. had a happy holiday weekend. More importantly, I hope you had some specials on your site for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. As you know, I ran my yearly site evaluation special. I get to celebrate Halloween a little later than most, scaring the beegeebees out of a few folks when I showed them just how fast I could hack their site and every other site they had on their hosting package from there. Yes, we’re getting it all fixed. Look for a blog post on it soon. This week’s Tips Tuesday includes multiple ways to do image galleries, the rising importance of AuthorRank and what you should be doing to capitalize on it, predictions for 2013, and more. Listen to the podcast now
This week’s feature is not a post. It’s a graphic I saw on Facebook that said, “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur!” If you don’t believe that is true, speak with any of my clients on the Portfolio http://www.blogaid.net/portfolio page. The majority of them are second site owners who also learned the hard way about taking the DIY route on the cheap. Most of them wasted a year and ended up over-paying for substandard work. Here’s the thing. No one is born knowing this stuff. For a couple of years I made a real effort to help first-time site owners not get ripped off. What I found is that most of them were high demand, low paying clients who expected everything for nothing. It’s a mindset. These are the same folks who think they can have a six figure income without making any investment into their site or their education. Yet, I hear the opposite from every successful online entrepreneur. For the first two to three years they work 18 hours a day so they can make money while they sleep. Online business ownership is an odd bird. It’s the only kind of business where folks feel they can get away with zero investment in much of anything and still be successful. Maybe you’ve got a year and at least a couple thousand dollars to waste. If you don’t, consider investing in yourself. Take a course, get a mentor. If you’re ready to become a successful, confident, and profitable site owner, consider taking a Scratch to Published course with me and get on the path to earning back that investment right away. And then keep earning.
The WordPress 3.5 Release Candidate was announced on the 22nd. This is the final form the new revision will take and nothing new will be added to it. The call has gone out to all testers to help debug it before the final release on Dec. 5th. I’m putting it through its paces and seeing the need to update several of my WordPress video tutorials, especially those involving the media uploader. So, you know how I’ll be spending a lot of my time over the next couple of weeks. The good news for you is, I’ll also be expanding the number of videos in the free library while I’m at it. So, look for announcements on that soon. Those who are already subscribed to that library will get the news first. And, I just finished up about 40 new pages that are for the new MailChimp Course and the new affiliate program, so be looking for announcements on those very, very soon, and a whole new look to the whole library.
Plugins to Check Out
Did you know that WordPress natively supports placing a gallery of thumbnail images on any page or post without a plugin? Yep, and it’s easy to do. John Overall has a great tutorial from his presentation for Social Media Camp titled WordPress Photo Galleries Made Easy. He shows you the native way, and then how to do the same sort of inline gallery with a little more pizzaz using the DM Albums.
Now, if you need to step up to a more professional gallery, the NextGen plugin has been the defacto standard, until now. There’s a super post on WPLift for How To: Add Responsive Photo & Video Galleries to WordPress and it is a full tutorial on the new Max Galleria plugin from Max Foundry. I hear a lot of folks complain about the complexity of NextGen. So, this new premium plugin may be just the ticket to solve that problem, plus it will work properly on a fully responsive theme.
In last week’s Tips Tuesday I mentioned Gravity Forms as one of the best premium plugin for creating forms. Well if you want to have a look at some of the things it can do, you’re going to flip over this post from John Pratt on WP Mods with 50+ Gravity Form Hacks, Plugins, and Code Snippets. Scroll down to the end and you’ll see a super duper list of all Gravity Form extension and add-ons.
Plugins Recently Updated
The Automatic Updater plugin was recently updated. And it will automatically download and install plugin, theme, and core updates as soon as they become available. I’m not thinking this is a good idea. Yeah, I know if you run multiple sites it’s a pain to log into each one to update things. If that’s your situation, consider another plugin instead of this one called ManageWP. It allows you to manage multiple sites from one dashboard.
Kim Gusta has a nice guest post on Denise Wakeman’s blog about What Blogging Can Teach You About Yourself. She found that consistency was the key to success. If you struggle with blogging consistently, you’ll definitely resonate with the journey Kim shared in this post, so be sure to go check it out.
Do you actively listen to your customers, even the potential ones. Boy, I do! It gives me super blog post ideas. When I see the same question being asked over and over, I’ll make a post or video tutorial about it and put in my Site Owners Resource Guide. Barry Feldman has a nice post on Vertical Measures titled Good Questions and Great Answers Amount to the Best Content with some super tips on setting up fruitful listening posts.
It’s getting to be that time when folks are making their predictions for what will be hot in 2013. Adam McLane voices his picks with Four Things We are Moving Towards. The first is Stripe, which intends to become PayPal’s rival. It’s very promising and when integration gets adopted by the things I’m already using, I’m going to be very tempted to switch. So, I’ll be keeping my eye on this one.
His second prediction is that membership sites will become more popular and I totally agree. I use WishList Member for the BlogAid Video Tutorial library and it’s going big and getting bigger. It is becoming a more substantial staple in my passive income portfolio, especially now that I’m adding webinars and an affiliate program.
The last two predictions, mmm, not sure that I agree with. The third one is the move toward Mandrill, which is the elite version of MailChimp. I think this is going to remain a need of the few, not the many. And I definitely don’t agree, at least in part, with the last prediction, which is the death of frameworks such as Genesis and Thesis. I’ve heard nothing but complaints since Thesis made their latest update. Even seasoned users and designers are struggling. But, I’m seeing Genesis update their stable of themes almost daily with more fully responsive themes. And they’re making a bold departure from their previous philosophy to include more user interfaces for changing the design elements. I was struck dumb when I saw all of the options in the Prose theme. And I’ll probably be doing a video tutorial on it soon so you can see too. I think this is a super move on the part of Genesis and will make their themes even more popular than ever.
Pat Flynn is not someone you hear admitting to failure much. But, he has a reason for doing it in this post on his Smart Passive Income blog titled The Sad Truth About Your Half Finished Projects. There are some important lessons here for creatives and bloggers with a million business ideas about not looking for your outs, as he calls them. We all tend to get hyped up with the energy a new idea brings. But, it takes a full commitment from you to make it a reality. As he says in the post, you can’t earn 50% income from a half completed project.
On Search Engine Journal, Marc Purtell gives his prediction of SEO in 2013: The Rising Influence of AuthorRank. It’s important to remember that Google has been indexing rich snippets for over a year now and has built up a catalogue of posts from authors who have been taking advantage of using the rel=author tag and connecting their profile to their G+ account.
In the post, Marc mentioned that bringing in authors with a high rank was a good idea. I asked him to clarify how that increases the brand’s AuthorRank. Does this type of guest posting also increase the author’s standing too? Does any engagement that follows contribute to the brand or author’s score, or both?
He replied You get the author brownie points wherever you show up online. This brings a whole new twist to seeking out guest posting opportunities. If you can get on sites that attract a lot of engagement, it’s good for your AuthorRank.
If you want your site to rank well with Google, you’re going to have to start taking AuthorRank more seriously. Tyson Stevens has a nice post about it on his Right Hat SEO site title a Discourse on Google Authorship and AuthorRank a la Charles Dickens. It’s a bit whimsical, but there is good info from experts on this topic in it. More importantly, there are super duper links at the bottom with the how to info you need. Below those, and the last picture of Dickens, is a list of WordPress plugins that will add the rel=author tag to your site. Now, you want to be careful here, because plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast include this option. It’s on the list too. So be sure to check your site to see if the tag was hardcoded into the head of your theme or if another plugin is taking care of this for you before you go and add something.
If you’re still confused or not convinced, see this post contributed by Steve Claridge on WP Hacks titled Why Google’s Author Tag will Change the SEO Game Forever.
And, if you’re still not convinced, and I can’t imagine why you aren’t taking this seriously yet if you want your posts found and clicked in SERPs, here’s another post on Hubspot with the whys and hows titled How to Sex Up Your Google Search Results with Authorship Info.
And here’s a super, duper, extra easy tip from The How 2 Girl, Carol Dodsley. Do you have a G+ account that you setup using a non Gmail email address? Carol has the skinny on the quick fix for that.
Once you do get this connection set up, Amit has a nice post on his Digital Inspiration log about the bonus stats you can see from your G+ account about how many of your posts appeared in SERPs and more. Google+ Shows How your Website is Performing in Google Search Results.
Do you use WooThemes? You’ll be glad to read Michael Scott’s post on WPMods about WooThemes To Enact Support Changes Before New Year. They’re moving to the ZenDesk format and hiring a few new support techs.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast. You know you can find this podcast on iTunes, as well as Stitcher, and the Blackberry Podcast. You can also subscribe directly to the RSS via email in the sidebar of the site. Visit BlogAid.net for more tips, tutorials, and free resources to make your site better.
And I’ll see you online!