Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for June 2, 2015 and I’m your host MaAnna.
Tips this week include:
– hanging out with online rock stars
– adding a featured image to MailChimp RSS to Email with post summary
– landing page template plugin I’m trying out
– what’s up with the missing link title attribute in WordPress 4.2
– what’s in the Genesis theme 2.2 Beta release
– how the new Sucuri online speed tester performed
– the real skinny about the work involved in a passive income website
– a super interview with Lisa Irby on passive income, YouTube, and more
Listen to the podcast
It’s been a full and fantastic week here at BlogAid.
Hanging Out with Rock Stars
I had the privilege of taking them out for dinner where the natives eat and a quick tour of town, including the Parthenon at sunset.
And I got to say thank you to Kathleen in person for giving me my first big break online several years ago. She hosted me on one of her sites during my first online book tour. And I was blown away by the power of being exposed to such a large, and faithful audience. It was my first introduction to the power of tribe and list building.
Another highlight of the evening was a special gift from Denise from her adventure in India. It was a symbol of one who breaks through obstacles. And that is so fitting for what I help folks do on BlogAid.
And as y’all know, Denise and I are each other’s clients. Her current challenges are helping me take my visibility up another few notches. And as I get there, I’m learning to channel more of what Kathleen teaches. She knows sales. And I’m service through to my bones. But if I want to take BlogAid to level I know it can go, I’m going to have to do things more like Kathleen.
So, I invite you to check out both of these online rock stars and follow them and glean all you can from them. They are both very generous with sharing their expertise and they’ll help you grow your business.
One of the things this current 30 Day Challenge has encouraged me to do is get all of newsletter opt-in ducks in a row.
And while I was at it, I fixed up the RSS to email campaigns for blog posts too.
I was absolutely amazed that sending the featured image with a post excerpt was not natively supported by either WordPress or MailChimp. So, that sent me on a hunt to discover how to do it.
I’ve got a tutorial for you in both video and written form because I know y’all like it both ways.
And, if you don’t already know why it’s so important for you to send your emails this way, I cover that in the tutorial as well.
And of course, Murphy had to come along for the ride on this one. In BlogAid, I left one of the other plugins I was testing active and it pulled in both the embedded and featured image into the RSS to email on this post. I’ve deleted it, so everything should be fine now, and the tutorial works.
The next 30 day challenge starts in a couple of weeks. It’s on blogging, so I know a bunch of you will be interested in that.
Denise has an early bird notification list. I got on this right before for the 4 month challenge and got a nice discount and a super bonus. So, I suggest you get on it too.
New Landing Pages
Because I’m doing this challenge during my site revamp, it’s got me thinking about adding some snazzy landing pages. I want a variety of them, so cost suddenly becomes a bigger factor. I’m sure I can ask +Cyndi Papia to add a few more custom templates to my theme. I already have several. But, I don’t really know what I want yet.
I like LeadPages and several of my clients use it with great success. But, I really want to keep everything local, and I’m not crazy about incurring a monthly fee right now.
I found the OptimizePress plugin to be quite buggy on a few client sites.
In my search, I came across the new Thrive Themes plugin. Now, I had heard of them, but they only had themes. It looks like they’ve done a super job with this plugin and it gives you templates and/or full customization. The best part is, there’s a single flat fee and I can create as many pages as I want on my site.
So, this is the one I’m probably going to use and I’ll keep you posted on how well it works, or if I choose something else.
That’s all the news from around here.
Let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.
Have you noticed a change to the little link box that pops up in WordPress 4.2? I did, and so did Tom Ewer. The link title attribute has been removed. I was told a few years ago that a link title helped with SEO. And maybe it did back in the day before using postname, or pretty links for slugs in the permalinks became so ubiquitous.
His post on WPMU blog confirms that if it’s a ranking factor at all any more, it’s pretty low on that long list of things Google can index. And there’s no real need to restore it. So the title of the post is a bit of a misnomer. He actually talks you out of it, and so would I.
So, adios to concerning ourselves with it. That little space has now been replaced with what will be in the text that is linked.
Genesis is the premium framework I use and recommend to all of my clients. A 2.2 beta version is now available, which means a full update is not far behind. Most of the focus this time is on usability. But, the changes will not be available on your child theme unless you update it too. So, I guess it’s very timely that BlogAid is in the process of a revamp and I’m sure these new features will be included, depending on when the final version is released.
Other features include compatibility code for WordPress 4.2 features, better Schema.org integration, and a better database upgrade method for WP-CLI.
I’m very interested in the schema updates, and to see how it changes the results in the Google Structured Data Tool Tester. Right now, all Genesis themes give a couple of warnings and one error message for empty schema spots. In other words, schema markup is available in the footer and sidebars that folks, including me, are not taking advantage of, so it leaves an empty spot.
While the tester is flagging that, I don’t know that Google is counting it against you.
On the other hand, that tool will also give green across the board for sites missing all schema markup, as if that’s okay. It’s not. It means your theme is not HTML5 compliant and you’re missing all kinds of Google juice because of it.
So, you have to take that tool with a grain of salt.
Sucuri has released a free speed testing tool. I ran the home page of BlogAid through it and got an A+ score.
It gives you 3 results, including:
- connection time
- time to first byte
- and total load time
It lists those times for multiple cities across the globe.
I’m going to have to take these results with a huge grain of salt, actually, more like a whole shaker.
It states that the difference between first byte time and fully loaded is only 0.001 seconds for all cities in the U.S. I doubt that very much. And the total load time is at worst 0.242 seconds. I doubt that very much too. Actually, the worst global time was 1.259 seconds for Tokyo.
I just can’t believe any of this is real and I think it will make site owners believe they have little to optimize. So, I ran a client’s site that’s loaded with ads through the tester and it was considerably slower than mine. Percentage wise, the times were just about accurate. But, real-world performance is so contrary to the times shown that I think this thing is pretty much useless.
And another thing to keep in mind. It has a list of Recent, Best, and Worst sites that were tested at the bottom. So, if you have a super duper fast or slow site, it might get publicly featured.
Passive Income Tips
One of my goals for BlogAid is to have my passive member site income overtake my dollars for hours services income.
I also plan to generate at least hobby passive income from my carving site, which is more in the craft/lifestyle blogging niche.
If you’ve thought about monetizing this way, Brenda Barron has a nice post on WPMU with tips and a list of plugins and resources. Now, she only covers courseware plugins instead of membership plugins in that part of the post. And they are two different things with different functions and goals. So, keep that in mind as you read through the post.
What I really liked about this post is that it helps cut through the hype of how much work actually goes into generating passive income. It’s a more real-world look at how all of this works.
If you want to get your passive income kicked into high gear, then you’ll definitely want to read this interview Ms. +Ileane Smith did with +Lisa Irby who is a full-time affiliate marketer and teacher. She’s now branching out into e-courses on places like Udemy.
And these are two folks you definitely want to follow.
The interview is ripe with good links for even more helpful info as well.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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