Hello Happy Site Owners! This is the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for April 29 2014 and I’m your host MaAnna. This week’s tips include a scientific guide on hashtags, making content that goes viral and a super Game of Thrones video that did, how to improve shares of your visual content on social media, setting boundaries with freebie clients, the premature death notices on G+ and the surprising blowback, and for dessert an interview that will inspire you to dare greatly. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
I’m in video tutorial making heaven. And happy to report there are lots of updated and brand new videos in the WordPress portion of the BlogAid Video Library. In fact, the $1 Library will practically double in size when I’m finished. And I intend to make this the premier WordPress Library on the Internet. If you have used it, I’d like to ask you to help spread the word on the quality and depth of info you received from it and help me make it the go-to destination for folks who want to get started on the right foot with WordPress and more.
You’ll also be seeing more short posts and videos on little tidbits that I’m finding as I go through these updates. Those videos will be on YouTube and embedded in my blog posts instead of on the member site. I’m betting these are settings and such that you haven’t checked in a while and may need to change since you first launched your site. So, it’s a good refresher on all of the things that WordPress can do, and how you can harness the full power of it.
It’s been a relatively light week for happenings online, thank goodness. I think we all need to catch our breath after the latest two or three meltdowns, including severe botnet attacks and hosts being down and major security breaches like Heartbleed. I do have a few security tips for you, but this week I was also able to focus more on all the other things you need to know to run a successful site, like what’s happening with content marketing and online business tips. So let’s jump into the tips.
WordPress 3.9.1 is in the works
After a major release to the public, there is bound to be a new flood of reports about what isn’t working. And the devs were on them immediately.
You’ll be happy to know that captions on images are being addressed.
There are also a few more tweaks to TinyMCE and tweaks to the audio/video layout that integrates with it. I’m betting those tweaks will be ongoing for some time, as those areas experienced the bulk of the overhaul with this release.
And, the copy paste function of Excel spreadsheets as tables is being tweaked. I haven’t tried that yet. Have you? I’d be interested in knowing if those tables hold format on a responsive theme. To date I haven’t found a good way to add responsive tables that are easy for my clients to do yet. There are ways, they are just not easy. And most still don’t look very good. Please do let me know if you have suggestions on that.
The nice folks at WordFence are helping hosting companies identify the sources of mass Brute Force attacks. There was another big one on April 18, 2014. The report summary says that the majority of IPs that were participating in the attack were compromised WordPress sites in France, the USA and Germany. The main culprit in the U.S. came from a hosting company with servers in Michigan. The WordFence folks contacted all of the hosting companies to help them identify the affected servers.
The big takeaway for you here is the clustering of the IPs. It’s likely that those hosting companies suffered some sort of attack recently where the WordPress sites on them were compromised. And then all of those sites were forced to participate in the attack via that server. Or, perhaps the server was infected by a site owner who installed a plugin that wormed its way onto the server and infected all of the other WordPress sites that had weak security.
The point I’m making is that when you are on shared hosting, it’s like living in an apartment building. You need to be a responsible site owner and take measures to help protect yourself and all the other sites on that server too so that you all stay safe.
And it’s likely that hosting companies are going to get more proactive about ensuring you do your part because they have an uptime guarantee to protect. Cyber security is just not something you can put on ignore anymore.
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And perish the thought that you’re using Internet Explorer for your browser. But if you are, there is a serious security issue. My advice, patch it and then move on to a better browser. My top three, in order, are FireFox, Chrome, and Safari.
The reason you might want to patch it first is if some file type is still set to use it and opens it. The better bet is to set the new browser as your default.
Content Marketing Tips
Looks like two hashtags are optimal for sharing on most platforms. That’s according to a post on the BufferApp blog. And hashtags are super important. So much so that G+ will assign the one it thinks is the most relevant to your post if you don’t include one of your own. I don’t know about you, but I need to get better, and more consistent in using hashtags.
Thanks to +Denise Wakeman for finding this.
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+Rachel Parker totally nailed this content marketing video. I mean totally. On so many levels, with this video she exemplifies the very things she is telling you to do. And it’s a well done video at that. All of it are stills, with great text and appropriate music. There are a lot of online apps that help you create such things. So, if this inspires you, and it should, consider making a video like this yourself using all of the points that she mentions.
I want to thank +Darren DeMatas for turning me on to this video.
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There’s more to getting visual content to go viral than just creating a good visual. Much more. If you’ve caught the Canva craze and started creating your own memes, here’s a post by Buddy Scalera on the Content Marketing Institute blog that will help you get so much more from them.
He covers sharing numeric info, how to tell a data story with pictures, and gives an example of a post that could have done better. It’s not to pick on anyone. It’s just a teaching opportunity. You’ll get a lot out of it.
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And to help you settle down with going overboard on Canva, Social Media Examiner has a nice post for using it in ways that keep your branding in mind.
I want to add that I saw a few posts from professional graphic designers saying that having nice free tools like Canva is no substitute for the kind of knowledge that a pro brings to the table. And that is true. For something like your logo and anything that is connected to it, you definitely want to hire someone who knows what they are doing, including the marketing side of it. But, for creating memes and such to get more attention on social media, Canva could save you a lot of money. And that’s when it’s worth pinching pennies, not on the big stuff, like your logo and permanent site graphics.
Freebie clients are something that all of us face in business, especially in the web-related industries. On her Client Attraction blog, I think Fabienne has some very helpful tips for dealing with them. You’ll want to read the whole post for details, but the highlights are:
- Use an agreement
- Place a cap on extras
- Investigate other forms of payment
- And don’t get caught up in the drama
I have to admit, I’m one of those folks that learned all of this the hard way and lost my shirt for a couple of years before I decided to do the exact things in this list from Fabienne. Every one of them. And I can’t say enough about enforcing a contract. I’ll have more on this in an upcoming post this week or early next because it has everything to do with running a successful service oriented business.
This past week all of G+ was totally buzzing with rumors of its demise. There was a simple change at the helm for that department, and some of the tech media went off the deep end to claim that G+ was closing up shop. I believe +Ana Hoffman has the best synopsis of how it all played out.
And the blowback just keeps rolling. I’ve seen several new posts and even whole Hangouts dedicated to this topic.
But the most interesting thing is the content of that blowback. It has really brought forth the fact that G+ is like no other social media platform. It’s where folks are real people making real connections with others. It’s all about the relationships. I’ll have more on that in post in the coming week as well.
I’ve probably mentioned that I’ve been reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. There are so many parallels in it for being successful online too, especially on social media where it’s all about being authentic and building relationships.
Well, Brene has started to do interviews with folks that inspire her to “show up, be seen, and live brave.” And this is one of them.
I think it will do everyone good to read it, but especially those who may be a bit shy or introverted, or who are new to blogging and social media and the way it makes you feel like you’re baring your soul sometimes and talking to the wall at other times. It’s a great read and fun comics.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. Feel free to ping me on G+ with tips you know will be helpful to folks, or news I cover. It really does take a village to keep up with all of the changes and I appreciate the folks who I follow for sharing such wonderful tips too. And please do leave a comment 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.