Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for July 14, 2015 and I’m your host MaAnna.
– the BlogAid site revamp launch
– making your business web centric
– why I’m taking my own advice to evolve my business
– how to properly rate your site design
– getting your priorities straight
– the new bad bot hit and hacked site wave
– why you need to check on your backup file storage
– hackers redirecting your PDFs
– how to create an include filter in Google Analytics and why you should
– 20 small biz apps you have to check out
– freebooting on Facebook and what you might want to start including on your YouTube videos
Listen to the podcast
I’m thrilled to say the BlogAid site revamp has been launched, including:
- new theme
- new content
- lots more CTAs and conversion points
We swapped out a lot of plugins too. I’ve added a couple of premium plugins, including:
- Social Warfare
- Podcast Pro
The home page now has videos, and the Videos page underwent a significant overhaul and has more videos on it too, as does the About page.
I’ve added testimonials and more social proof, including some of my top clients featured on the home page.
I’m delighted with the nice clean look that +Cyndi Papia designed. She finally talked me into the trend of more white space. And, she gave me some super custom page templates and admin side functionality, like a super easy way to add all those videos.
Please do poke around the site and have a look at all the new features and offerings.
And I appreciate you letting me know if you see anything goofy or missing. There was so much change that I might have missed something.
I’ll be adding more things to it over the next few weeks. But I’m pretty stoked about the way it’s functioning already. I started seeing more conversions the first day.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The purpose of your site is to be found, read, and acted upon. ~ BlogAid” quote=”The purpose of your site is to be found, read, and acted upon. ~ BlogAid”]
It should be your biggest business asset.
And that’s what this HOA was all about. If you didn’t get to attend live yesterday, be sure to catch this replay. Super points from a stellar panel including me, +Stephan Hovnanian and +David Kutcher.
Now that the new site revamp is launched, my next big project for this summer is to get at least my first course launched on Udemy. Getting more eyeballs on my excellent video tutorials is the next evolution for BlogAid.
Udemy has over 6 million students and they are aggressively attracting more. I intend to get my piece of that pie.
I’m taking my own advice and investing in my education. Instead of just jumping in and figuring it all out the hard way, I’m doing what I advise my training clients to do.
Avoid those expensive pitfalls in time and money. Get educated.
I’ve chosen my mentors and I’m doing my homework. Lots of it. And I know I will get every bit of this investment back, and then some.
You can read more about it on my G+ post.
That’s all the news from around here.
Let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.
After you watch that HOA on how to make your site a business asset, then go read this post from +Cole Wiebe.
It’s about setting your site priorities. His tag line for it is, “Does your website get a “B” for pretty, but on “F” for generating new business?”
Get Your Priorities Straight
What’s in Cole’s post is exactly the order of things I teach my training clients. And it’s exactly the order Cyndi and I followed when revamping BlogAid. Conversion goals and then content are what drive theme design.
[clickToTweet tweet=”One of the biggest mistakes I see new site owners make is to start with the theme. ~ BlogAid” quote=”One of the biggest mistakes I see new site owners make is to start with the theme. ~ BlogAid”]
I have two consult clients right this minute who were both concerned about the look of the site. Not after our initial chat. Now they are getting clear on what is going to make them money. Ultimately, that’s why they have a site. And yet, that was the last thing on their mind.
After me showing them the money, now it’s the first thing on their mind, and that’s the minute they decided to hire me. It’s like a splash of cold water to their mindset. Sometimes it jolts folks out of limited thinking and helps clear the way to set priorities, make a plan, and get things done with a goal in mind.
We’re just a few weeks away from the final release in August. They made over 100 bug fixes and adjustments just since the Beta 1 release. Honestly, that doesn’t do much for my confidence. There are a bunch of core changes in this release, and it’s likely I’ll delay updating my sites until we see what hits the wall from early adopters. You know I’ll keep you posted about it.
Shadows on the Wall
I’ve been keeping close eye on some odd behavior around the web. Something is definitely up, I just don’t know what yet. That’s why I’ve been quiet about it. I’m breaking silence now because I’m seeing more reports of hacked sites.
I really don’t know if there is a pattern to how the hackers are doing it yet, so don’t know if there is a new attack vector, or these are just the typical method and there’s simply a new rash of them. I’ll continue to keep you posted, though.
Secure Your Site
What I will say is that now is the time to be sure your site is secure.
This past week I’ve been working with a site audit client and gave him super strong warnings that he just couldn’t get away with having multiple sites on a single shared hosting account, especially if he was going to keep setting them up himself in a way that was not secure.
I finally talked him into doing something about it, but unfortunately he didn’t take action in time. He thought it was going to cost too much. Well, now he’s paying out even more than that to get his hacked account fixed.
Let that be a lesson, and don’t let that be you.
Backups You Can Count On
I have another site audit client right now that the account is so messed up, I can’t even get a good backup before I begin the fixes. Asked if she would sign a waiver that we would rely on her backups.
All of a sudden, she wasn’t positive that her backups were solid.
Folks, if your site is toasted, you have to know that you have a good backup.
You have to know that you can restore your site from it too.
Make a site recovery plan!
Be sure you know how to get to your backup files and that you know how to put them back on your hosting account.
Do it before you need it. That’s called prevention. And it’s a whale of a lot cheaper than trying to restore a hacked site that didn’t have a good backup.
Both of these clients can tell you just how real that fact is.
Check BackupBuddy Remote Destination Settings
During my monthly site checks I discovered that backups are making on schedule, but none have been sent to Amazon S3 for storage since late June. I tested the connection from within the plugin and it shows good.
Since May I’ve been getting multiple bogus notification emails that backups either weren’t making or being sent, even though they were. So, I’ve been deleting those emails since, especially after I checked multiple times and discovered all was well.
Then I stopped checking. And now discovered this.
I’ve also heard that folks are getting notices to recycle their secret keys on AS3. +Cyndi Papia told me about it first. And then one of my VIP clients forwarded me an email she received from AWS.
It said that they annually send this request. I’ve had an account for years and have never received one. But, may be a good idea to do. But is not the cure for this current BackupBuddy issue.
You may remember me reporting in a June Tips Tuesday about all this, and how I’ve been trying to work with support and the CEO of iThemes to get this fixed. It’s been over 2 months now. And it’s gone from bad to worse and put my sites, and those of my clients in jeopardy.
That’s all I’m going to say about it right now, but do expect a full post on this later. This is a serious issue and I want to wait until I can write something constructive, instead of just a rant because that’s not going to get us anywhere.
The folks at +Search Engine Land reported that “Hackers use PDF documents to inject links and keywords and — through cloaking techniques — scam searchers to go to other web sites.”
I checked all of my sites and all of my clients sites, and I didn’t see this being done on them, which is great. But, you might want to check yours anyway. Just find a post with a PDF and click on it to see where it goes.
Oh, this is a super idea. You know I’ve been talking about the ghost bots and referral spam skewing your Google Analytics, right? Well, all of the tutorials I’ve seen for filtering them out involved excluding them one by one. That’s a whack a mole game no one has time to play.
The other day I heard about using an include filter instead, for only your site links and such. And then +Randy Milanovic sourced this nice post from +Professor Chaos on how to do it. Yay!! I’m going to give this a try later this week if I can squeeze it in.
For those of you running ads and who require super accurate analytics, please let me know if this helps you out.
One of my fave fun folks, +Ingrid Cliff collected up a list for us of 20 super useful apps for small business. I already use about half of what’s on this list, so that lets me know that I need to check out the other half too.
Video Marketing Tips
Have you heard of freebooting? I hadn’t. But it’s a growing trend of downloading a bunch of YouTube videos, stripping out all references to the originator, and passing it off as your own.
After reading this post, I think I want to start watermarking my videos.
I’m no legalize expert, but I think the YouTube TOS states they can make derivatives, but end users can only share. If that’s true, then all those funny cat compilations that never give the original poster credit are out of compliance too.
What do you think?
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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