Hello Happy Site Owners! In this week’s podcast I’ve got a lot of WordPress news for you including what’s coming down the pike in new versions and with themes, info on plugins that have had security updates, and a heads up on what’s coming down the road for Twitter plugins, plus ways you may want to revamp your blogging habits to get with today’s trends both with readers and to rank better in search engines. I’ve also got some huge news from YouTube and a post on the future of guest blogging that’s sure to hit the online rumor mill. So let’s get started. Listen to the podcast now!
In WordPress news, just last night it was announced that the new Twenty Thirteen theme is in the core and ready for feedback. I’ll keep you posted on what’s coming. Work on version 3.6 also continues. I’ve been watching the progress reports, which include a shuffling of project managers for each task, as well as an overhaul of their workflow. This should help streamline all the different parts of upgrades they are tackling. And, this runs parallel to one of the upgrades they’re making to the core, which involves your workflow. You know I’ll keep you posted on updates of how the changes to the code will affect you, as well as posting tutorials on the new features.
The great thing about WordPress is that it is open-source software and that it has always had a dynamic community of developers involved. This didn’t just come from the brains of a few talented individuals looking solely to make a profit. And that’s important because we’ve seen other platforms birth and die from being that way. Recently, The Posterous platform announced it’s closing. They’ve given their 15 million users plenty of notice, and even supplied a few tutorials for moving to other platforms, especially to WordPress. So, pat yourself on the back for getting your site on a stable platform and one that is sure to be with us for a long while to come.
I was pretty stupid happy to see this post from Eric Dye on WP Daily about The Importance of Educating Clients. It recalls the days when developers both built and maintained sites and how most have not made the transition to training their clients on using the site, much less maintenance and such. As an old coder, I appreciate where Eric is coming from. I started out teaching folks to code their WordPress modifications, but then I made the transition fully into teaching end users. I can tell you from first-hand experience that most developers, and even a lot of designers do not make good end user trainers. It’s just not their passion or forte – coding is.
I can also tell you that 85% of my clients don’t know WordPress fundamentals when they first come to me, even those that have been blogging for a couple of years or more. Yet, almost all of them think they’re ready for an advanced class. I’m probably going to put together a webinar on this in the near future to help folks see how they are suffering from what they don’t know that they don’t know. If you want an idea of what may in that webinar, read my post on How I Spot an Amateur Website Owner in 2 Seconds Flat.
In the past couple of Tips Tuesday posts, I mentioned a domain security issue that Regina Smola recently brought to light. Well, she was kind enough to reply to that post with this tip:
“If your domain is stolen, the person to contact immediately is not your own registrar but the bad guy’s registration company it was moved too. Contact them immediately and let them know it was “stolen” and they will act FAST. When you get your site back to your registrar it will be back in business since it’s hosted elsewhere.” Thanks for that follow up, Regina. And be sure you check out her WP Security Lock blog for more great tips too.
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.
If you use the BluBrry PowerPress plugin for your podcasts, the 1 Pixel Out Player is back. It had a bit of security issue for just a little while, but the developer was right on it. So, you’ll find an upgrade for that plugin.
The Sucuri blog reports that there was a security flaw with the Easy Digital Downloads plugin. It has been patched, so make sure you’ve updated it, if you use that plugin. The developer, Pippin Williams, had it fixed within the hour of it being reported to him. Pippin has a lot of great plugins and it’s super to see him right on top of support like this.
Back in September of 2012, Twitter announced that they would be releasing a new API. That’s the code that lets plugin and app developers interface with Twitter to do things like send your tweets to other places, such as your site and other social media platforms. Recently, Twitter announced that the current API will be retired on March 5th. So, if you rely on apps and plugins that use it, you may want to check their blogs or development pages to ensure they have a new version ready, if they haven’t switched over already.
On the New Internet Order blog, Karol K. has a nice post asking How Often Should an Online Business Redesign Their Website. She brings up super points about trends and changing goals. So go read this post, especially if it’s been a couple of years since your last redesign. And, if you want to try a premium Genesis theme risk free, I’ve got a special package that you’ll want to know about. So, be sure to visit the BlogAid site and look under WordPress training http://www.blogaid.net/wordpress-training for that special.
On Weblog Tools Collection, James reports that Automattic Releases WordPress.com Theme Guidelines. Automattic is the company behind the free hosting for WordPress.com sites and a major contributor to the WordPress.org code that is available for self-hosted sites. The theme guide they have put forth directly affects the free themes that are available in the WordPress theme repository, meaning that themes there are manually inspected to ensure they meet these guidelines. This will spill over into other theme providers as well, which is a good thing. If you use a free theme, be sure it’s one from the repository. Do not use free themes you find elsewhere online, as many of them contain malware and sneaky scripts. I advise all of my clients not to use any free theme and to consider premium themes like Genesis that have sleek code, awesome features, and are well supported. You’ll never have to worry about them breaking when WordPress updates, which is at least twice a year now.
On The Sales Lion, Marcus Sheridan has a nice post on 5 Reasons Why Long Content and Blog Posts Are Once Again the Future of Content Marketing. And I just saw a post on ProBlogger last night that they are going to longer, more in-depth posts too. These are two really big guys in the blogosphere and if they’re making these changes, you should sit up and pay attention.
Google looks for two things: authority and relevance. As Marcus says in his post, if Google has the choice to show two links on the same topic, which do you think it will prefer, one that readers average 45 seconds on the page or the one where readers average 4.5 minutes on the page? Now, of course, there are exceptions, and Marcus cites popular blogs with short posts, and a few editorial policies that make some blogs popular. So, go read it and see if you need to adjust the length of your posts.
And you may want to follow that with this post from Joe Pulizzi titled Content Marketing: The Fallacy that More Content is Better. He’s not talking about length here. He’s talking about frequency. Instead of creating a lot of content, he suggests creating less, and making it something worth reading and sharing.
A couple of years ago, I saw a stat that was being passed around that blogging two or three times a week would bring you better results than posting just once. And then you had to jump to posting at least ten times a week to see any real difference in your ROI. The only sites that can post that frequently have a host of staff writers or guest bloggers.
But things have changed since then. The trend now is to write one super piece of content and market the beegeebees out of it. That means posting links to it everywhere you can and recycling it into other formats like videos, audio files, and slides.
What’s working for you? I hope you’ll take the time to leave a comment and let folks know what you’re doing and why because I think it will be helpful to all of us to share our experiences.
Now this is one that will make you go hmm. On ProBlogger there is a guest post by Jeff Foster of WebBizIdeas titled Why Blogs that Allow Guest Posts Will Be Penalized in 2013 and the posting itself breaks at least half of the new guidelines that Jeff says to avoid. If you guest post, or if you rely on guest posts for your own site, you’ll want to stay attuned to the whims of Google, but it looks like much of this post is just speculation. Still, you’ll want to read it so you can know what’s what when pieces of it start hitting the online rumor mill, and they will.
Thanks to everyone who came to the live SEO and AuthorRank Workshop last week! And I want to let everyone know that I’ve made it into a new Video Course that you can access anytime. I know that it’s difficult sometimes to rearrange your schedule to make a live event, and this way you can access it when you like and do a little at a time. There are four videos and they are about 20-25 minutes each. You’ll go through every step of the process just like we did in the live event. So, be sure to go check it out.
This is definitely worth your time to watch. It’s a video of Pat Flynn’s presentation at NMX this year titled How to Use FREE In Your Business to Get More Traffic, Subscribers and Customers. Pat gives you the mindset behind your client’s decision making process as they enter your sales funnel, and actionable tips you can take.
This is huge. YouTube is now offering external link annotations. That means that folks can now click a link in your video and go straight to your site. James Wedmore has a full tutorial on his blog and I’ve already set one of my videos up with it. Now I’ll be planning for it as I make new scripts.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast. 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!