Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include special plugins for hiding your site, how to get your content shared more, a new reputation management tool from Google, ways to make your business your top priority, a free ebook on marketing metrics, the hot trends for next year, the best length for your YouTube videos, and ways that podcasting can make you money. Listen to the podcast now.
This week’s feature is a guest post on ProBlogger from Tara Wagner of TheOrganicSister.com with 6 Practices to Overcome Your Fears of Playing Bigger. Tara is a life coach who “works primarily with women looking to overcome fears, blocks, beliefs, and barriers.” She says the reasons our fears come up is “because they need to.”
She says, “They need to be seen, heard, and dealt with. They need to be examined and released. Life will hear our desire to step up to the plate as a desire to step away from the dugout. Our fear is not meant to be our saboteur. It’s just an emotion we’ve attached to the thoughts that go swirling through our head on overtime we go to hit that Publish button, or send out a tweet. Digging deep to overcome that fear can be both a long, mindful process, or as fast and life-changing as a simple Aha! moment that forever changes the lens through which we see the world.”
I’m playing a bigger game on BlogAid than I was this time last year, way bigger. It takes risk. Very often I throw things against the wall to see what sticks. What my readers and clients respond to and need, that’s where I go. Some things don’t work out, most do these days. And that’s the kind of confidence I help my clients achieve. Not the confidence that everything will work out exactly as they planned, but the confidence in knowing what they know and being prepared to step up to the challenges of running an online business because they have a solid foundation with their site and their marketing mindset and they can take that in any direction they need to go.
So, go read Tara’s post because she has a lot of super tips that will help you see the good purpose in dealing openly with what scares you and why that’s necessary for success.
In WordPress news, well, there really isn’t any much except that we’re drawing ever closer to the release of WordPress 3.5, which is slated for Dec. 5th. In the next few weeks I’m going to be a video making whirlwind updating several of the WordPress video tutorials in the library. And, there are big changes coming to that library, including a new MailChimp video course and a total price restructuring. If you’re on the BlogAid News email list or Video email list, you’ll be the first to know when that takes effect.
Some of the links below are to the plugin developer’s page, but you can find most if not all of these plugins in the WordPress plugins repository.
Have you ever wanted to offer quizzes on your site? The Watu plugin was recently updated and allows you to create exams with unlimited questions and answers, and define grades based on collected points. There are other quiz plugins too, it just depends on what you need one to do.
The Login Security Solution plugin was also recently updated. It is simple way to lock down login security for multisite and regular WordPress installations. I haven’t checked out this plugin yet, but I will. However, I’m not all that fond of adding a bunch of plugins to make up for a lack of security measures being taken at the core of your site. If you used the 1-click install of WordPress, it’s very likely that you have some security holes that plugins can only patch, not fix. And, if you use admin as your username and/or display your login username in the byline of your site, you’re just inviting hackers to attack. But, even if you lock everything down, the host where your files are stored could be attacked. If you don’t have a real backup and recovery strategy in place, you can kiss your site goodbye. Plus, WordPress is going to have a big update in early December and you need to ensure that your site is ready. Next week I’ll be running my annual special for a 20 point site inspection and tune up.
Plugins to Check Out
Have you ever needed to hide your site during a launch or for a little bit of tweaking? There three really good plugins for it that allow you to make a custom coming soon page where you can tell your fans your site will be live soon.
The first is Ultimate Maintenance Mode and it displays a screenshot of your website with an overlayed window and the reason your site is down.
The next is the Ultimate Coming Soon Page plugin which allows you to set up a coming soon or launch page for your website.
And the last is WP Maintenance Mode plugin which adds a maintenance-page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. Now, this last one has some nice features, but may not be quite as easy to use as the other two.
Of course, if you just need quick and dirty for a new site launch that no one knows is there anyway, there’s still the trusty old Under Construction plugin that lets you put a simple message on a page.
I’ve seen several posts lately about making your content more shareable. Jonathan Goodman of Viralnomics has a guest post on ProBlogger that pretty well sums up Why People Share … and How You Can Get Them to Share Your Work. He says, “It boils down to four things. Everybody wants to show off to their network that they are intelligent, intellectual, attractive, and funny.” The gist of the post is, if you write content that makes folks feel one or more of these four things when they share it with others, then you have a better chance of getting it to go viral.
Have you ever considered talking your way out of a case of writer’s block? That’s exactly what Katy Ryan Schamberger suggests in her V3 post on How To Solve Writers Block: Conversation. She tells the story of how chatting with one of her buddies on what she needed to write about brought focus, clarity, and energy back to the project. Do you have a sounding board for your ideas, maybe a mastermind group or someone else in the biz? It’s amazing how powerful talking something out can be.
Google has released a new reputation management tool and good thing too, because Google Alerts hasn’t worked very well in over a year. And, unless all sites that link to your posts use the WordPress built-in feature for trackbacks and pingbacks, (see what these are) you won’t see those notices in your Dashboard. Back when Penguin first hit, I dug down through my Google Analytics to see what sites were linking to mine and was shocked at how many I didn’t know about. Hoping this new tool will provide better alerts.
Super post from Sydni Craig-Hart on her Smart Simple Marketing site asking Is Your Business Really Your Top Priority? It took me a while to realize that it’s a good idea to say no more than you probably do. And my business has grown since I started to say no to some things. Read Sydni’s post and you’ll see why this works. You’ll also see why Sydni is one of my fave bloggers because she consistently gives you good tips that you can actually do and they work.
On the Content Marketing Institute site, Michele Linn reports on the new ebook out by them and Jay Baer titled A Field Guide to the 4 Types of Content Marketing Metrics. It gives you the how to and why to and the tools every content marketer needs to measure to ensure their writing is hitting the mark with readers and helping them reach their goals. And if you want to know more about what’s in the free ebook, hear from the horse’s mouth. Jay has a post with details on Convince and Convert.
Many of you know by now that Tom Ewer is one of my favorite bloggers and he has a nice guest post on ManageWP about What to Include in a ‘Services’ or ‘Hire Me’ Page on Your Blog. I think I’m going to have to disagree with him on whether or not to post rates on your page, but I do agree with him about emphasizing the value. So, read his post and then go have a look at your services page because it’s probably been a while since you’ve seen it any way, and perhaps some things have changed in your business, or your copy writing has improved since you first posted it.
Yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking about setting yourself up with what’s going to be trending in the coming year. John Jantsch has a post on his Duct Tape Marketing site that originally appeared in his column for American Express OPENForum about 5 Trends That Will Shape Small Business in 2013. I was particularly drawn to number 3, which is about the fact that we are all drowning in information and service providers who help folks cut through the noise will be in high demand. That’s exactly what Tips Tuesday is all about. I read over 100 blogs to find the information that I know will be most helpful to you in creating, maintaining, and promoting a successful online presence. Another tip of his that caught my eye was the role of tablets vs phones and how folks are preferring the bigger screens and the role responsive design has to play in it.
While you’re on John’s site, he has another post you’ll want to read about the 5 Google Analytics Reports and Tips You Should Embrace Now. The reason you want to read this post is because it doesn’t really help to do a lot of SEO work on your site if you don’t measure the results. So, if you start by paying attention to just the five reports he mentioned, it will help you become more aware of what’s really working well on your site and what’s not.
The nice folks at Reel SEO have a great post on the best length for your YouTube video, and believe it or not, the top 10 videos are just over four minutes. The guys at Reel SEO are great and if you’re not already following this site, you should, if for nothing else, to learn about the marketing potential YouTube is for your business. Making videos of all kinds is easier than it’s ever been and you don’t have to do talking head or screencasts like I do. You can make a great promotional video of pictures and music. And, there are lots of affordable production houses to create one for you. So, start thinking up your storyboard and message and find a way to get a presence on the second biggest search engine in the world.
Jaime Tardy has a nice guest post on Social Media Examiner for 3 Ways Podcasting Can Land You Customers. She not only covers why hosting a podcast can be good for your business, she also covers examples of why seeking out guest opportunities are great. She even provides tips for finding potential podcasts and a template for you to use to contact the host. After you read the post, perhaps you’d like to contact me to consider being a guest on the BlogAid Podcast, hint, hint.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast. Did you know you can find this podcast on iTunes, and has been accepted to both Stitcher, and 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!