Hello Happy Site Owners! This is the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for March 4 2014 and I’m your host MaAnna. This week’s tips include two big posts about your site that are must reads and go hand in hand, whether or not you should date-stamp your blog posts, why your headlines suck and what to do about it, what girls can teach you about a soul crushing corporate job, a revelation about me that I believe will stun most of you, but something you’re going to want to do too, 5 big reasons why your marketing is keep you poor, 5 steps to create a balanced content marketing strategy, an update on how to figure out your Google+ Local vs. Google+ Business Pages vs. Google Local Listings mess, and for dessert, a cheat sheet that has so many tips that it makes for a great wall poster. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast
I’ve released two big posts recently that you need to check out if you haven’t seen them yet, because they really go hand in hand. And I guarantee that your site will be affected by these things in a radical way in the very near future.
The first is a full 130 page case study on site performance. The summary post gives you those three steps. The full report gives you all of the test conditions and data.
The second post you need to check out is about the imminent bot attacks that are coming and how to protect your site. It’s a long post and I made it into a podcast that you need to download so you’ll have it later too.
Please do not put off investing time into these two valuable resources. When the bots start hitting your site, it’s going to become unavailable, even if your hosting does not come all the way down. With shared hosting, your resources for CPU and memory use are limited. If your site is not optimized for performance and a big bunch of bots hit it, you’re going to hit those resource limits and your site will be unavailable.
And bot hits at that level and bigger are coming.
Are caching plugins worth it?
Not to me. And I got that 300% performance increase I show you in the summary report without using a caching plugin. In fact, some of my tests showed that using a caching plugin actually slowed the site down.
I’m not saying not to use them. I’m saying there are better ways.
But here’s what I really want you to know. If your site is loading slow or having other performance issues, fixing that problem needs to be done in a holistic manner that takes into account everything about your site, including your hosting setup.
It is absolutely irresponsible for anyone to say simply throw a caching plugin at the problem, especially when some of those plugins have so many configuration settings and/or could significantly conflict with other plugins or features on your site.
The data of what I found in several tests with multiple configuration settings of two popular caching plugins is in the full report.
If you disagree with what I’m saying about caching plugins, I’m going to ask that before you leave a comment, you read that data, and then be prepared to show me your own tests that back up your opinion. I’ve already been in forums or other posts where this became a can of worms because folks didn’t read the data or even the post. So, I’m going to ask you to have the courtesy to do that first.
Well, I could be opening another can of worms with this tip. Should You Date-Stamp Your Blog Content? That’s what Jonathan Crossfield asks in his post on the Content Marketing Institute blog. And the reason it’s a potential can of worms has a lot to do with what folks understand about the way Google indexes the date stamp on the post and the way people respond to posts that show dates or not.
Jonathan covers all of those issues in this post. But some he goes into a little detail with and some he just scratches the surface.
I suggest you read the post to see what he says about why the click-through rates on posts showing dates or not varies widely based more on the type of topic covered in the post. And, to see how different publishers deal with handling update notices for their readers.
And when you get toward the bottom, notice that he mentions post date data in schema markup, but doesn’t really explain it. So I’m going to give you the skinny.
If your theme is HTML5 compliant, it’s outputting a publish date for Google to index in a way that it didn’t before. That’s something I show you in Part 2 of my Genesis Microdata Series.
So, putting a date in the byline, and then an update notice for your readers can be quiet different from what Google indexes.
I’m going to run some tests to see what Google outputs in SERPs for original publish date and updates too.
I can hear some of you asking, “What’s the big deal with the date?” It not only makes a difference to click-through rates, it also makes a difference to the Google freshness algorithm. So, even if you don’t show a publish date in the byline for your evergreen content, you may still want to update it periodically to get Google’s attention on ranking it again.
I’m going to do the best I can to test that and will let you know what I find.
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That’s what Erik Deckers says in this post. You could spend a lot of money and time on learning to write great headlines and all of that investment would pay off.
Keep in mind that you always walk the line between writing for readers and writing for Google. And Erik addresses both. Plus, he does a little na na na na na stick his tongue out thing about one type of headline and post that you have to write whether you like it or not.
I know a lot of you reading this post or listening to the podcast still have a full-time job and are trying to switch over to doing your online work be your main gig. As Heather Lloyd-Martin says in her post on the Success Works blog, “You can have it all. You just have to want it bad enough.” I’m here to testify that is true. And she gives you solid tips for making the transition successfully. That includes ways to help you avoid burnout, and getting a cheering section.
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A Revelation About Me
I’m about to tell you something that many of you will be stunned to hear. And, for being a loyal Tips Tuesday fan, you are the first to hear this publicly.
You may already know that BlogAid is not my first or only website. In fact, I’ve had an online business presence for over a decade. And it was always on the side until now.
Yesterday I resigned from my day job career for the last 30 years as an electronics engineer to pursue what I do with BlogAid full time.
Actually, I’ve been working on BlogAid full time, and then a little more, for the last three years, building it into what it is now. It’s grown so much, and I love it so, and am blessed to work with the best clients ever, who are putting good into the world, that made it an easy choice to become my one and only career. Well, all that plus working two full time jobs for so long, right?
I know a lot of you listening and reading right now are either doing your sites as hobbies on the side, or are trying to make them successful so that you can do what I just did and flip over into a new career. You can do it if you’re willing to first, do the work, and second, invest in your success, and third, willing to change things and yourself as you go.
Let me tell you, there were plenty of times there I was willing to throw in the towel on BlogAid because it just wasn’t making enough money for all the work that was going into it. But, when I listened to bunches and bunches of podcasts from the early days of BlogCast.FM, I heard every highly successful entrepreneur say it took them about five years to really start making career-level money. And I can attest to that fact. That’s about how long BlogAid has been in existence.
Now, I would have gotten there more quickly had I known all that I know now about online businesses. You have to work it full time. And building a client base, relationships, and SEO authority takes time. I started doing all of those things in earnest, treating it like my new career, three years ago. And the changes started happening. The money eventually followed. And now, I’ve been making a full-time living from it enough to convince me that it’s time to make the switch.
And now I use all that I’ve learned from my own experiences and those I’ve worked with, to give each of my clients a super head start and become successful site owners in a much shorter time span.
If you’re climbing that same mountain of two jobs or wanting to switch careers to follow your passion, I hope that me sharing this has encouraged you to keep going and adjust to whatever changes you need to tweak in your mindset or skill set, or time and energy commitment, and make it happen. You can do it!! I’m proof.
Content Marketing Tips
+Nial Adams hits the nail on the head with every one of these tips in his G+ post.
1. There is no actual plan.
2. You’re clueless if your efforts are working.
3. Your value proposition isn’t clear.
4. Your audience is not targeted.
5. No clear, attention-grabbing call to action.
Go read the post because he gives you more info to identify how you’re doing these things plus tips on how to remedy each one.
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The power of listening to your audience. +Darren DeMatas knocks it out the park in his guest post on the Management Help blog. THE cardinal rule in marketing is to Know Thy Audience. And in this post, Darren gives you the exact steps you can take to find them, listen to them, and create the kind of content they’re looking for.
Let me tell you, this stuff works. You know all those free reports I’ve got? What Darren says do is exactly where they came from. And when everyone else in the forum is offering brief suggestions, I send folks the link to a whole book on it with everything they need to know. Who do you think gets the business? Right. So, go read this post and do exactly what he says, including the last point. Very important not to be a hit and run person anywhere, but especially help forums.
I’ve been waiting for an update on what the heck is going on with Google+ Local vs. Google+ Business Pages vs. Google Local Listing and thanks to this post on the Atlantic.net blog, now I know. It’s still a bit of a mess, but this post will give us a good way to deal with the changes and get local listings as squared away as they can be.
This post from +Rick Eliason is every tip you need about G+ rolled into one. He’s made a cheat wall. He gives you the same six top resources I would point you to for G+ tips, and then a picture of how he printed them out and made a huge cheat sheet on his wall. He’s been following it faithfully and reported that it’s working. I’ve been seeing posts from other folks that are trying it and it’s working for them too. And I’ve got my printer warming up right now to make my own cheat wall. The tips are that good.
Alright y’all, that’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. If you’ve got tips you think will help folks, send them on over to me. And please do leave a comment here on the blog, on iTunes, or on G+. I love hearing from you. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.