Stop Blogger Overwhelm: Here’s How To Finally Get Your Blogging Sh*t Together
Despite the bathing suit clad, laptop loving, beach dwelling lifestyle depicted in your daily insta feed, blogging can be a Stressful and Hectic Gig. Making time for day to day life activities like going to the post office or shopping for a loved one's birthday, while effectively balancing the workload of a full team of Journalism, Marketing, and Web Development Professionals is a nearly impossible feat to master without a host of productivity hacks, a Strict Blogging Schedule, and at least 4 cups of coffee a day. For both Professional and Part-Time Bloggers Chronic Disorganization can wreck havoc on your capacity to post on time, your ability to retain your hard fought readership, and even sponsorship opportunities, adding undue stress and making the already challenging world of blogging that much more difficult. With a healthy dose of caffeine and a well-planned set of intentions as your compass, you too can navigate the turbulent waters of blogging's tsunami of tasks before it displaces the sunny shores of your blog's laptop on the beach lifestyle goals for good. Stop Blogger Overwhelm: Here’s How To Finally Get Your Blogging Sh*t Together WordPress Editorial Calendar - One of the best ways to keep everything flowing efficiently is to start scheduling things ahead of time. This plugin for WordPress will not only save you time by allowing you to manage all of your content from a single location, but it can also allow you to pre-plan posts, start new drafts, and keep track of new ideas, all from one convenient location. Buffer - Automation of repetitive tasks is one of the most important aspects of the organization of any project, and when it comes to blogging the most repetitive actions you take will tend to be related to managing your social media profiles. Buffer is an amazingly simple way to automate your Twitter and Facebook posting by setting a pre-determined schedule for making posts and then putting new posts into a queue to be published on your set schedule. No more long, unruly lists of pages and quotes that you might one day get around to posting to your feed or sudden bursts of activity followed by long periods of silence. With Buffer, you can have a steady stream of posts in your feed to help draw in your readers and keep your content looking so fresh and so clean. Pinterest Automatic - We’ve had this handy automatic Pinterest pusher for a couple of years now, and we don’t know what we’d do without it. Automatically posting all the images out of a post to Pinterest when it publishes, this plugin is a huge timesaver and one of our favorite ways to stay active on social media. GoogleDrive - If you don't already use Gdrive, We're going to need you to promise you will start, the moment you stop reading this post. It's free, it's convenient, it syncs to all of your devices, it's shareable among teams, and it is everything We want to be when we grow up. Aside from coming with a full suite of software capable of just about everything that Microsoft Office can do and so much freakin' more, it also allows you to store resource files remotely for safety, use a full calendar that can keep a schedule for multiple users, and it has the ability to allow you to quickly collaborate and edit files with your team. GIT - Moving files around and long-term storage has been the subject of more office debates than we would care to admit, and our dev lead is always passionate about using GIT. Yes, he knows it’s for source control, but that hasn’t stopped him from using it for a whole manner of other not intended, but still handy things. Yoast SEO - Yoast is the quickest, and easiest way to set up a system for SEO on WordPress based blogs. It automates a lot of the more tedious parts of SEO and offers a somewhat set it and forget it option for most of our metadata needs. Ninja Pinner - An absolutely essential tool if you’re looking to automate a Pinterest account for business, Ninja Pinner has been our go-to tool for Pinterest automation since we first started blogging. Dropbox - While Google Drive might be our go-to for storage, it’s definitely not a “one size fits all” solution, and everyone has differing opinions on the best way to keep our files with us when we’re not in the office. One of the Stock Photography Sites that we belong to uses Dropbox as its primary delivery method for downloading its photo library, so we’ve all got Dropbox on our computer’s for storage in addition to The Google Drive Suite. Google Drive is great for making and sharing files while Dropbox is better for Sharing already made files that are not currently created on the Google Drive Framework. Our Graphic Designer prefers to use Dropbox over Google Drive for storing files like Photoshop Documents or Video Clips that need to be shared with a group or re-edited after upload, a preference which has given rise to many hours of annoying debate over which Cloud Storage service is actually the best option, and one which has caused me to question just how much I'm willing to tolerate for my love of business. SVN - We used to make fairly extensive use of SVN for our source control needs, but over time, we switched out to GIT for portability reasons. If you’re in a more fixed office environment, however, SVN gets a recommendation from us. Tailwind - Thinking about being super active on social media is a ton of fun. Actually taking the time to build an audience, create unique content, and keep up with the latest hashtags and trends on each social media platform, however, is super not fun. If there’s one thing that running multiple blogs, businesses, and websites has taught us, it’s that social media can quickly go from a fun way to relax, to a soul-crushing daily grind that consumes all of your free-time and most of your happiness. I cry more than I laugh now. Social Media Automation is imperative to the success of your business, your social profiles, and your sanity. Enter, Tailwind. Their almost magical ability to schedule a bajillion Pins in like a nanosecond and their super neat-o analytics tools make this social media savior, our champion for both Pinterest & Instagram. TFS - Microsoft’s answer to GIT and SVN, Team Foundation Server was the very first piece of source control software that our lead developer learned to use, and served as a valuable way to fix many of the issues he ran into when first getting into web development. CoSchedule - Facebook is such a relentlessly negative environment. I don’t even have a Snapchat. I hate Twitter (Unless I’m watching a show and following its hashtag.) I only use Instagram to look at pictures of other people’s vacations, and Pinterest is my free time to actually get to enjoy myself on the wilds of the net. As you can see, social media is not my bag, so given that I am in charge of all social media profiles for our brands, over the years we’ve had to find ways to drastically cut the amount of time I had to spend every day on each network. With direct blog integration if you’re on WordPress, and the ability to handle multiple platforms in a single place, CoSchedule has become our modern day Mass Planner for Social Media Management.
The Definitive Guide to Blog Post Inspiration for Tech Bloggers
It’s hard to believe that any Turing Worshiping cryptophile could run out of ideas for compelling posts. In the postmodern era of the information age, where just about everything from phones to toasters don the label of “smart,” (This smart vacuum has more features than my first cellphone…) it’s hard to believe that any Turing Worshiping cryptophile worth her salts in tech blogging could run out of ideas for compelling posts. However, as Tim Cook might attest, much like Apple’s product development team after the loss of Steve Jobs, there will come a day when your formerly inexhaustible blockchain wellspring of inspiration runs dry, and you too might find yourself feeling like your mind is running slower than an outdated IPhone with a bad battery. The Definitive Guide to Blog Post Inspiration for Tech Bloggers We live in the post modern era where just about everything from phones to toasters don the label of “smart”. 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The Complete Guide To Quickly And Organically Growing Your Blog Readership
One of the toughest tasks that any blogger will face as they grow their online presence is building a strong readership. You can have the jazziest blog posts in the world, but if no one is reading it regularly, Your Blog will stagnate and die. While we prefer to use Pinterest as our favorite mode of expanding our tribe, there are a number of ways that you can build up reader loyalty and recurring traffic through small actions and tricks that consistently keep fans coming back for more. The Complete Guide To Quickly And Organically Growing Your Blog Readership Going Post-al - Here's the thing doll face, so many blogs only post once a week and wonder why they don't have more views, but think for a moment about everything that happens in a week. It's super unlikely that your readers will even know that you update regularly if your posting schedule is so infrequent, let alone remember to check back once you finally deign to grace them with a post. Aim for twice a week or more to keep your content fresh and stop your fans from fulfilling their reading needs elsewhere. Creative Tip- Every Niche is different so check out how often your competitor posts to get a better idea of the kind of schedule you need to be maintaining. The S Word - Uh oh! Time to talk about the three letter S word that makes everyone all sweaty and nervous, SEO. While Most People freak out over the mere thought of having to optimize their content for search engines, the truth is that most of the things you can do to help keep your blog on the top of the charts are both simple and innate. Rename every photo you upload to your blog, use keywords in both your titles and posts, and most importantly download Yoast and let them do all of the heavy lifting. Creative Tip- Long gone are the days when getting to the top of google was as easy as front loading your content with key words and setting it free unto the wilds of the net. Today's content needs to be written with the user in mind. Get Toned up - Let's get this one out of the way right now. As a company, we collectively might just be the worst spellers in the world. Our grammar is simply meh. Our Information is basic but informative. Our pictures are lovely, but purchased, and our site's are about the same topics that everyone else so laboriously exhausts. So, you might ask, why do we excel and thrive, while everyone else just barely survives? Our real secret sauce is in Our vibrantly conversational writing tone. Unless you're diagnosing diseases or describing disasters, there's no need for super serious sounding sentences with dictionary level details, just tell 'em what you want to say in a fun and interesting way. Creative Tip- Keep a thesaurus at the ready while writing to increase your vocab in a hurry without having to search and worry. The Social Edition - We've said it before, and we'll say it again, no matter how you feel about it, it's 2019 and your presence on social media is going to be one of the single biggest influences on how quickly your readership grows. Where SEO was once king, and just showing up to the game in terms of social media was enough to take home the gold medal, the way that our potential readers find their favorite new blogs and sites has changed dramatically in the last few years. Just having accounts for your blog doesn't automatically mean your social media presence is where it needs to be. Your accounts need high quality, non-spammy, valuable content, presented in a lovely and curated way. If your potential readers feel as though your social media feeds aren't worth their time, they definitely won't be giving your site a visit, and the sad but sobering truth is that they are far more likely to make first contact with your profiles than they are with your index page. Creative Tip: Social media management is nothing if not time-consuming, and when you're trying to answer emails, produce content, and keep your site's aesthetic up to par, time is the one resource that is going to be stressed the most. When the going gets tough, even the toughest turn to automation to fix their time crunch woes. The Gated Community - While they are one of your biggest potential sources of new readership, your social media interactions aren't the only online connections you need to be concerned with. Your best source of new fans is going to be the community of like-minded people who already exist somewhere out there on the net. Rather than focusing on winning over an audience who isn't already invested in your niche, focusing on those who are already interested in your topic and are actively searching for information, will lead to deeper, longer lasting relationships, that will provide a far better return on your time investment. Search for other blogs within your niche, and take the time to read and interact with them and their readership on an honest level by leaving comments that add genuine value to the conversation to start spreading your name in a more natural way. Creative Tip: Always keep your community interactions honest and polite. Follow the rules of online etiquette, and any rules specific to your niche. While sincere comments can be a huge boon, being labeled as a self-promoting spammer is a quick way to lose any momentum you might have gained. Write Away - While a constant and consistent production schedule for your content is important, there's more to being the best at blogging than just producing more posts than anyone else. If your articles don't instantly provide your readers something for their time, then your readers can and will spend their time elsewhere. Avoid the temptation to save your best stuff for your sellables, and make sure that every piece of content you produce and promote gives your readers a solid takeaway. Creative Tip: Giving away free, high-value digital content as a subscriber incentive with your articles is a great way to show potential regulars that your blog can not only provide them with tangible value but, also convince them that your products might just be worth paying for.
This is How to Actually Make a Beautiful & Profitable Blog
Real Talk, Blogging can be the most profitable adventure you’ve ever had the good fortune to take, it can shape the rest of your life and mold you into the badass Business Woman you’ve always wanted to be, or it can be a H.U.G.E. money eating time sink the likes of which were previously only seen in bitter celebrity divorces and online-only for-profit college schemes. You ABSOLUTELY can still make a 6 figure blog, but only if you work your well-styled ass off, and not if you waste your time and energy following cheesy, outdated, and just plain bad advice. For the last decade of our lives, our team has been dedicated to building blogs, sites, and businesses, with Style, Humor, and Kick-Ass Branding. We’ve cried over mean comments on social media, wrestled with WordPress posts, and wigged out when we got our very first Affiliate Check in the Mail. We’ve been EXACTLY where you are and have come out the other side far more badass and WORLDS more successful for it, and Friend, Now. It’s. Your. Turn. The Creative Anthology Mission: It is our mission to provide you with a thorough and well-researched list of tools that come personally recommended by The Creative Anthology Team. We put a lot of time into finding the right tools and sites that we hope you’ll love and we promise to only publish opinions we fully support and believe in. Some of the Links we publish are affiliate links to the advertisers and sponsors that make this site possible by providing us a small commission at no additional cost to you, so please use our links to show your continued support for the site you Know and Love. ♥ Step 1. - Are You Blogging for Hobby or Profit? Step 2. - Narrowing Down Your Niche Step 3. - Choosing a Timeless Blog Name Step 4. - Purchasing Your Domain Name & Hosting Plan Step 5. - Selecting a Template Step 6. - Selecting the right plugins for your new blogging platform Step 7. - Reviewing Your Site Before You Launch It Step 8. - Connecting With Your Audience On Social Media Step 9. - Gathering your first crowd Step 10. - Automation Step 11. - Monetizing Your Blog This is How to Actually Make a Beautiful & Profitable Blog Step 1. So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want… ( Are You Blogging for Hobby or Profit?) If you’re serious about getting into the blogging game, it’s time for you to decide what you want to get out of it. When it comes to blogging, there are two primary schools of thought about your possible end goals, Blogging as a hobby, and Blogging to make a profit. Blogging as a hobby is a great way to gain new industry insights in your chosen niche, meet new people, and it’s relatively low pressure. You won’t have to specifically focus on pushing products, building a massive audience, or creating your own sellable, and you’ll be free to publish what you want when you want. The downside, however, is that you’re probably not going to see much in the way of cash flow no matter how stylish your blog looks. Blogging for profit, on the other hand, is a full-time job (and then some) where you’ll be responsible for juggling social media, content creation, and monetization on a pretty much constant basis. Unlike a hobby blog, you can’t just set it down and walk away when you get frustrated. The upside, however, is that regardless of what you may have heard, there’s some serious cash to be made as a blogger and with a little hard work, the payout that you get back will be more than worth the effort you put into it. Either way that you choose to take your new blogging baby, be aware that you will need to know from the start whether you’re looking to end up with a full-time blogging career, or just a fun side project, because once you’ve gotten into it, it’s going to be tough to switch gears. Adding or removing monetization systems late in the game is the sort of fight you don’t want to get into, and switching content patterns after you’re already established is the perfect way to alienate and lose the attentive audience you’ve been carefully cultivating, so consider just how deep down the blogging rabbit hole you’re ready to dive. Step 2. What cha Talkin’ Bout? (Narrowing Down Your Niche ) Now that you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking to get in return from your blog, it’s time to figure out what it's all about. Finding the right niche for you can be a challenge that feels next to impossible. Even if you’ve already got the perfect idea in mind, don’t assume that what’s fun for you to write about is going to be just as interesting to your potential audience to read. Aim for a Goldilocks balance of selecting a topic that is broad enough to attract a substantial audience, capable of supporting your fiscal blogging goals but narrow enough to give your content a focused and cohesive feel, all while ensuring that the topic will remain engaging to you. Step 3. What’s In A Name? That which we call Your Blog by any other Name would Sound as Clever? (Choosing a Timeless Blog Name) Now that you know what your blog’s all about it’s time to get some of the little details out of the way. First and foremost, you’re going to need a stylish name that’s timeless and easily recognizable for your new bouncing baby blog. List as many potential titles as possible and know that you can always tear them down to combine the pieces into the ideal words later on. At this stage there’s no need for perfection, so don’t waste time getting caught up in the drudgery of the details. While Farmhouse Living is ideal for a lifestyle blog with an emphasis towards rural life, unless you’ve got some odd chicken-based workout routines, it’s probably not such a perfect choice for a fitness blog, so make sure that the name you choose is related to your niche in a way that your readers will naturally understand. Your name should be timeless and free from modern slang or references to current events, unless you’re ready for a painful rebrand in a year when that trend makes your blog look old and outdated. Just as with a real baby you’ve spent nine months cooking up, you’ll live with this name for a long time to come, so if you’re not 100% in love with it, then it’s not the right name for your blog. Step 4. My Compliments to the Host… (Purchasing Your Domain Name & Hosting Plan) Now that you’ve got a better idea of what you want your blog to be it’s time to begin it’s buildout. Start with a digital home to call your own, and that means two things, finding a host and purchasing a domain. Your hosting is where all of your blog’s files are stored, much like the plot of land where your home is built, while your domain, is the street address, guiding your soon-to-be audience on their way to your new site. First, figure out which host best suits your needs. Unless you're technically minded your best bet is to purchase your domain from the same site that you get your hosting. Your level of technical expertise is the main factor in host selection, but as a basic rule of thumb, we recommend you avail yourself of the hosting Google Cloud Services offers if at all possible. You’ll see a lot of free, and super “low cost” hosting options out there, but when it comes to server space, you get what you pay for, and going in on shady dealings will almost certainly mean downtime, crashes, and tears later on down the road, so do yourself a favor and start with a well-tested, highly professional option. Pick your host from the list below and follow the instructions for assistance with your domain and server configuration: Google Cloud Services (GCS) - The most powerful and difficult to use of our suggested providers, Google’s answer to hosting puts you in complete control of your own site storage with customizable virtual servers that can easily scale with your blog as you grow. The only downside is that you’ll be playing the role of both blogger and sysadmin, meaning that you’ll need to know a bit about managing your own networks, and some benefits that other hosts offer, like built in email and SSL certificates are things that will have to be manually added on. Though there is tech support available, it comes at an added cost, which may be a sticking point for those who aren’t technically inclined. Access to your very own virtual server leaves you in complete control of all of your settings, but that means that an errant flip of a switch can cause your site to fall offline, or worse, so you’ll need to take precautions. If you’ve got some cash flow concerns, GCS offers one year or $300.00 worth of service for free when you first sign up, giving you the best at a rate you can afford so that you have the chance to set things up, build them out, and perfect your aesthetic before the bills begin to roll in. Amazon Web Services (AWS) - The closest to GCS in terms of structure, AWS is Amazon’s response. Fully customizable, non-shared virtual servers mean that you get exactly the power you need, and pay for nothing more, and real time resource scaling means that you won’t get hit with sudden, unexpected throttling the moment your posts get popular. Because this host puts you in control of your entire technical structure, make sure that your IT skills are up to par in order to manage everything from server design to development stack. While there are some pre-built deployable containers that can get your blog up in short order, support costs extra which can leave you out in the cold if you don’t know the first thing about server management. To get things fully off the ground, you may need to get down with your server’s command line, so if GUIs are more your game the investment to have tech support take care of it may be worthwhile. Much like GCS, AWS comes with a year's worth of free service after start up, so as long as you're ready to commit to the climb of tackling that technical mountain, you’ll have plenty of time to learn everything that you’ll need to know to get your network engineering skills up to speed before your big launch. Bluehost - The first of our more traditional hosting options, Bluehost is a well-trusted, highly -recognized, long standing business, extensively-versed in meeting bloggers’ needs. They offer a combination of virtual servers, shared hosting plans, and dedicated server space, and since you’ll be getting your hosting from a company with a team of technicians and prebuilt containers to deploy from, you don't need anywhere near the extensive level of knowhow or expertise that AWS and GCS both require. Bluehost also offers pre-configured WordPress optimized hosting which comes built in with all the goodies you need to get your blog started. The downside is that scaling can be complicated and you will see limits that more open ended hosts don’t have. Certain settings won’t be accessible, and you may find less customization options in terms of network and system management. Additionally, file limitations may be burdensome to those hosting a large number of images or datafiles, and while 1 Million nodes may sound like a far off figure now, you’ll soon find that all those uploads add up. At the shared hosting tier you may also experience throttling causing your traffic to drop down to an exceedingly slow pace if the system so deems that you’re using more than your fair share of resources. For a service that “Just Works”, even with its downsides of potential throttling and inflexible resource management, Bluehost is our recommendation to new bloggers looking for a safe place to host their site that will take the technical weight off their shoulders. GoDaddy - While they lack some of the prestige that Bluehost has built up within the blogging community, GoDaddy’s name certainly carries some considerable weight as one of the most well-known hosting sites online today. They offer a full range of virtual and physical servers, and their modest price point makes them an attractive option for brand new bloggers. They also offer WordPress optimized hosting, and have a plethora of other features that are included, like free SSL certificates from highly trusted sources, and an email system built right into your management suite, but they are vulnerable to many of the same flaws that hosting services all too often fall prey to. Throttling resources when traffic is high can be incredibly detrimental to your readership, limitations on the number of files hosted restrict site size, and difficulty upgrading on the fly makes scaling more problematic, especially when it comes to special requirements like running multiple instances with load balancing. This means you’ll need to keep a careful eye on visitor count and resource usage to upgrade as appropriate, stay ahead of major rushes, and prevent your site from going down. HostGator - This traditional hosting service has both virtual private servers that offer you full root access and WordPress specific shared hosting. They blend in some of the nicer features of their more modern rivals, like scalability and root access with tech support teams and one of the lowest costs in the industry. You’ll still find that there are definite downsides though, with support coming at an extra cost to VPS and Dedicated hosting users, and many of the management features restricted to their WordPress specific tier. While they may not be forthright about it, our sites were also taken down several times due to resource throttling. Additionally, Root access is not available to WordPress optimized users, making configuration difficult, and directly ruling out some common fixes to potential problems that might crop up as you’re preparing your blog. Overall we would not recommend anyone use HostGator, but if you do, here is our tutorial on how to get WordPress running in the quickest and easiest way possible. WordPress.com - WordPress.com is a site dedicated to one thing and one thing only, WordPress blog hosting. While the technical management that other hosts offer isn’t as strong with this one, a bevy of host specific themes and plugins developed in house by their team may make up for it. There is a free tier for their hosting, but it comes with a .wordpress.com domain, which will cripple your blogs legitimacy right out of the gate. Hosting through Wordpress.com is easily the simplest option on our list technically speaking, but that can leave a lot of the changes that you may need to make to fix common issues with WP well out of reach. Step 5. Make It Nice (Selecting a Template) Now that you’ve got your blog ready to run, it’s time to dress it up so that you can finally get down, and in WordPress “terms”, that means that it’s time for a stylish new theme to get your aesthetic up to par. While a tech blogger will more than likely rely heavily on words and code, a food blogger is more liable to need a template that favors images. A travel blogger may need a more sequential display of posts to track their way through their scenic trips, but a beauty blogger will want galleries to display their carefully curated collection of looks and tips. The overall layout of a theme can also influence the type of niche in which it best fits. A simple, single-column theme can keep the focus on individual pieces, styles, and looks for a fashion blogger, while a more complex layout may be a necessity for a site that posts more often to ensure that a reader doesn’t miss some freshly published content hot off the “Press.” If at all possible, we recommend grabbing a great theme from our Feminine Wordpress template building friends at Blu Chic because they are built on the solid framework of Genesis and provide an added sense of stability, as well as a stylish and modern aesthetic, but there are a lot of themes available on Etsy, Creative Market, and Theme Forest that could also suit your new blogger needs. Each theme will have a variety of features like built-in recipe cards, galleries, sliders, and customizable pages, that are highly blog-specific, as well as ease of use features for you and your readers, like built-in dropdown menus and ajax loading for your post categories. Once you’ve got a few favorites narrowed down within your niche, start thinking long term with considerations like support for an e-commerce platform such as Woocommerce or Easy Digital Downloads and automatic ad placement. For a step by step guide on how to install the template of your choice, check out this tech tutorial on how to install a WordPress Theme. Step 6. Plug It In, Plug It In (Selecting the right plugins for your new blogging platform) With your theme installed, it’s time to take a look into the wide world of plugins so that you can extend your site’s basic functionality and turn it into your dream blog. While your initial copy of WordPress will come with all the handy little tools you need to write and publish your articles, if you want your site to offer more than just a few posts, you’re going to need to explore plugins. From the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered by an expert security team, to the ability to make a little cash by selling your very own wares on your blog, the WordPress plugin library has the extra code required to keep your corner of the web stocked up and on track, all without needing to know even an ounce of PHP. No two blogs are alike, and there’s no one size fits all set of plugins that we can recommend, but if you’re on the hunt for a few generalized starter options, we always suggest WordFence, Akismet, and WordPress Editorial Calendar. For your blog’s more specific concerns, however, make a list of functionality that you want your site to have, and do a little research to figure out which plugins meet the needs you’ve specified. Usually, the plugin search in the control panel of WordPress is more than enough to find what you’re looking for, but if it doesn’t return a result that suits your requirements, a quick trip to Google can often turn up a third party site that does. Step 7. Getting A Second Opinion (Reviewing Your Site Before You Launch It) If your build-out is done, but you’re blog’s not quite ready for the fun, it's time to get a second set of eyes to take a closer look over everything that you’ve designed. Building a blog is anything but a simple process, and while it may be easy to rationalize away a small error here or there, your highly discerning readers won’t be as quick to write off unpolished imperfections. A link that leads to a 404 page or a menu that drops below the edge of a reader’s device could push a previously enthusiastic first time visitor beyond their breaking point, and if your carefully chosen pictures aren’t making the impact you once imagined, sooner or later, even the most exceptional content won’t make up for the chaos. Don’t lose out on readership due to careless mishaps, well before you set your sights on conquering your niche, get some backup to make sure that everything functions the way that it should. Just looking at the same device over and over again is a great way to catch only the errors visible on your tech, while leaving a plethora of navigation, usability, and even aesthetic problems behind for your newly-won readers to find on their own. Instead, have as many of your family and friends check out your budding blog on their computers, phones, and tablets as you can, or run the risk of surprise cross-browser and mobile incompatibility after your long-awaited launch. If you’re worried about getting a genuine response from your loved ones who may be willing to be slightly less than honest in order to spare your feelings, a little scared to show off your blog while it’s still got potential issues to your judgemental friends who already don’t believe that entrepreneurship is a “real” job, or if you feel like your sample size might be leaving blind spots in your analysis because it’s too small to get a comprehensive picture of everything going wrong, you can opt to have an external source look things over and give you the full breakdown of where your problems may lie. Our Show & Tell service offers an exhaustive 158 point unbiased evaluation of everywhere that your site is lacking, so that you have the complete picture of everything that you still need to work on before your blog is reader ready. Knowing exactly what your blog’s weaknesses are now gives you the opportunity to catch bugs and dysfunction before they become full scale disasters later, so that you’ll feel less loss further down the road as your site starts to become popular, and readers start checking into those long forgotten corners where potential problems have come to rest. Step 8. It’s time for an Engagement (Connecting With Your Audience On Social Media) Where once SEO ruled the worlds of blogging and business, a modern audience is more likely to locate your latest content via Pinterest or Instagram than they are via Google. Any excuse you once could have used to avoid joining any of the plethora of social media platforms out there has long since been outdated. If you want to keep up in the modern era you need to ensure that you’re available on any platform where potential customers might want to access your newly established brand and that you provide the information that your customers are looking for in an easily consumable format. Always seek to inform instead of promote. Don’t be spammy. Don’t be insincere. Don’t be salesy. JUST BE AUTHENTICALLY YOU. Step 9: Come Together, Right Now, Over me... (Gathering your first crowd) It doesn’t matter what your niche, content, or monetization method looks like, if you want your blog to succeed, the number one resource you need is readers. Thankfully, there are a few places where newly-minted fresh faces can find the following that they need to start making it legit. Look to the idols who originally inspired you to take an interest in your niche and see what some of the biggest names out there are posting, commenting, and sharing in their feeds. Find their most popular recent post and start scrolling through the lists of those who have liked it and those who have commented on it. Like at least three posts that you can genuinely provide honest commentary on from the feeds of everyone who’s interacted with the original post, and leave those users a comment or two directly and meaningfully discussing the content of their posts. If you’re only in it for the followers, your potential fan base will be able to tell as soon as you start interacting, and nothing will drive them away quite like having your blog foisted onto them. These followers may not even be interested in your content for its own sake, and some may simply ignore you outright, but as long as you approach the situation with sincerity and be authentic in your interactions, you’ll start to see a return on your time investment. No one likes to hear that success won’t be instant, but one afternoon of liking and commenting is not going to be enough to turn you into a viral sensation. If, however, you’re willing to keep at this somewhat tedious labor, you’ll soon find that your numbers are starting to look a little more lively. Once you’ve got them interested, don’t leave your new followers out in the cold, or you can easily find your follower count shrinking just as quickly as it rose. Keep responding to comments, like your followers latest posts, and absolutely respond to every single non-spam message that you get. Though all that interaction may be time consuming, building blog loyalty now means readers who will stick with you later, vouch for you within the community, and who will genuinely care about your blog’s lasting success. Step 10. Machine Head (Automation) The biggest obstacle that any new blogger faces is the hectic schedule that comes with running a digital empire, while you’ve still got your own life to work around. The sooner you start using automation tools to take over some of the tedious tasks your days are filled with, the sooner you can get on with the things you actually started this hustle in order to do. Tailwind – Thinking about being super active on social media is a ton of fun. Actually taking the time to build an audience, create unique content, and keep up with the latest hashtags and trends on each social media platform, however, is super not fun. If there’s one thing that running multiple blogs, businesses, and websites has taught us, it’s that social media can quickly go from a fun way to relax to a life-sucking daily grind that consumes all of your free time and most of your soul. Unfortunately, Social Media Automation is imperative to the success of your business, your social profiles, and your sanity. Enter, Tailwind. Their almost magical ability to schedule a bajillion Pins in like a nanosecond and their super neato analytics tools make this social media savior, our champion for both Pinterest & Instagram. Planoly – Instagram is such a visual platform that it needs to be perfect every time. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to mentally visualize what photo is going to look good next to another photo. Being the organization loving control freaks we are, we set out for a solution and found one in the well-recommended Planoly. It enabled us to see how all potential posts will look in our feed BEFORE publishing, let’s us get most of our post planning for the month out of the way all at once, and with the right permissions, it can automatically post all of your Instagram content, leaving no possibility of errors in your carefully planned out designs. Plluuuss There’s a free version with less importable photos that’s the perfect size for small accounts. Ninja Pinner – An absolutely essential tool if you’re looking to automate a Pinterest account for business, Ninja Pinner has been our go-to tool for Pinterest automation since we first started blogging. Ninjagram – Just as helpful as Ninja Pinner, but built for the gram, this simple to use tool has enabled us to automate growth of our Instagram accounts to focus on more important things. Fiverr – When running not just one, but several blogs, time is definitely at a premium, and good help is hard to come by. We use Fiverr to get some freelance assistance with the tedious little things that take up to much of our team’s time. For a few bucks, we can take something off of our plates, giving us back our time to work on the things that really matter. While it may not be automation to a machine, any task that you can distribute to someone else is more of your time saved, making those extra helping hands an absolute must. MailChimp – Our Newsletter management tool of choice, MailChimp was one of the first mass mailers we used, and while we’ve given a few others a try since then, we’ve found that there just aren’t any options out there that we enjoy quite as much. Easy to use, with a built-in editor that’s saved us hours of frustration in designing and building newsletters and opt-in forms, MailChimp get’s our approval. The ability to schedule automated emails, push newsletters to lists of your readers, and keep up with a pre made contact schedule all make MailChimp invaluable to any new blogger. ClickFunnels - Though we don’t currently use it on any of our sites, ClickFunnels is a well renowned solution to the dreaded game of how to collect leads and upsell products and services. As a purveyor of digital goods it is often hard to manage the fineness of a live sales person suggesting addons to customers carefully curated baskets. ClickFunnels has managed to take the guesswork out of getting your customers to purchase more. WordPress Editorial Calendar – Scheduling can be a rough game for bloggers, and while paper might work when you’re small, when you have multiple blogs running at once, a posted post-it of posts just isn’t going to do the trick. Having our editorial calendar attached to our blog made sense at the time, and has been a boon ever since, and being able to schedule posts to push automatically whenever they’re needed most is a handy way to ensure that you never miss fulfilling your publishing schedule. Yoast SEO – Yoast is the quickest, and easiest way to set up a system for SEO on WordPress based blogs. It automates a lot of the more tedious parts of SEO and offers a somewhat set it and forget it option for most of our metadata needs. Not every blog will have the exact same requirements, and depending on your niche you may find more or less tools out there to fit your exact needs. Check out the myriad of options available for automating everything from your blog’s security to keeping track of an increasingly complex set of publishing dates and times, and remember that every hour saved is time you can use doing the things you love most about running your blog. Step 11. I’ve got My Mind on My Money and My Money on My Mind (Monetizing Your Blog) Though we can’t predict how much money your blog will actually make, we do suggest a “the simpler the better” mindset when initially starting to monetize your finally finished framework. There will always be fads and ever-evolving tricks that promise to sky rocket both your blog and your pockets to the fullest of your dreams, but we believe that a steady and straightforward approach to blogging, by treating it like an “actual” business is the only way to see true and lasting progress toward building your brand. Services- Offer knowledge to others in the form of a service that specifically appeals to your target audience and directly pertains to the information you share within your niche. Consult for other businesses if you’re a business blogger, develop websites if you’re a tech blogger, and offer your styling services to your followers for a fee if you’re a fashion blogger. Sell Your Own Products - If your blog is focused on things like DIY or being a maker, you may already have a number of prior projects that you have created leaving you with products that could easily be sold. Add in a link to your stylish store or your Etsy or eBay page and start selling your chic wares to make some extra cash and get a little more mileage out of those projects. Affiliate Products - For blogs with a focus on other people's products, like fashion, beauty, or home decor blogs, affiliate programs are a great way to make cash off of the items that you already review and show off. Your readers come to you to get your opinion and curation on the seasons latest and greatest, so why not make some money off of those recommendations. Share a Sale, CJ, Pepperjam, and even Amazon are all excellent choices for affiliate networks and will provide you with a massive repository of the sort of sleek and stylish companies you'll want to work with, including many of the biggest names in just about any industry that you can imagine. Ads - While a lot of modern day bloggers write off adsense and the like completely because of the minimal amount of money you make per click, we strongly recommend using ad networks as a secondary or tertiary way to bring in revenue to your site. There are numerous ad networks that you as a blogger can implement on your site to take the guesswork out of trying to sell ad space, without breaking your stylish design or having your home page overrun by the sorts of spam we all hate. Ads provide a set it and forget it revenue stream, and while you most likely won’t strike it rich off of ads alone, there’s no reason to look gift profits that you don’t have to work for in the mouth. Sponsored Posts - Paid posts are another way to make some money from the companies you are already blogging about. These are reviews or features of products or services that you are paid to write by the company offering the items. This is an area that can be quite lucrative but comes with several pitfalls, most notably that there are legal items you will need to read up on to be sure that you have properly disclosed to your readers that you are writing a paid post. Another trap to avoid is writing positive reviews for features that you don't personally believe in, as driving your readers to products or services that are sub-par can lead to you making some money, but losing a large portion of your readership. Always be as transparent as possible with your readers and never recommend a product that you wouldn't use yourself. Write Ebooks - The time and research that you are already pouring into writing your blog will give you the stores of boss level knowledge you need to quickly and easily create a book on your chosen topic, and while in the past getting a book to print would mean finding a publisher and going through editing, e-books can be published through channels like Amazon in an incredibly short period of time. E-courses -Tutorials and guides can easily be written using your existing knowledge base. No matter what your niche is there is someone out there looking to learn more about it, and if you can provide the knowledge that they are looking for, many of them will be willing to pay a price for access to it. Bootcamps - Your readers are coming to your blog to learn more about your niche, and hosting your own Bootcamp or class can be a great way to get them the information that they're looking for, and get you the money you're looking for. If you plan on selling classroom time, you need to make sure that your students see you as an expert, not just a novice. To do so, make sure that the content you provide on your blog has value to your readers, and resist the urge to save all the best details for your seminars as it will be difficult to attract the audience that you need without first proving to that audience that they need you. Speaking Engagements - Once you have yourself firmly established in your niche, and are finally seen as an expert, you can turn that expertise into a monetization method, made for networking. Most public events will need keynote speakers, and presenters to draw in sponsors and crowds, and that is where your expertise can really shine. Be sure to offer contact information on your site for anyone who is looking to book you for an appearance, even if you aren't big enough to get many offers yet, attend conferences on your own if possible to get your name out there in your community. With the last pieces of your burgeoning empire firmly in place, you’ve got all the ingredients you need for success, with only time, and your hard work standing between you and your blog based end goals. Stay persistent, keep learning, and never stop working to grow your blog into the digital powerhouse you dreamed of as you first looked into purchasing your own domain.
6 Essential Must Do’s for Your First 6 Months of Blogging for Profit
The well-worn path from publishing your first post to life as a full-time blogger is a long and winding road marred with breakdowns, fueled by bad gas station coffee, and musically accompanied by your friends and family incessantly asking you to stop for a break. While it is technically possible to get there without a roadmap, it's always easier to follow the detailed directions of someone who's taken this road before. 6 Essential Must Do’s for your first 6 Months of Blogging for Profit 1. Crank Out Quality Content - A blog without posts is like a car without fuel, it may look nice, but it's not going to take you very far. As soon as you start your blog, you also need to start cranking out quality content that is insanely useful, while adhering to a Very Strict and Rigid schedule. No exceptions. Focusing on putting out a large volume of garbage or, over on the opposite site of crazy town, just one artfully written post a month, isn't going to do anything for your blog. Regular readers crave new and ever more engaging content, and one time viewers need valuable information at the ready if they're ever to be transformed into subscribers. Creative Tip: Pair down Your efforts by bulking up Your actions. Doing similar tasks like writing and photographing in dedicated bulk chunks of time enables you to stay organized and not miss a day of posting when you're not feeling in the groove. 2. Build Your List - This is a PSA to every Blogger, Business person, MLMer, Youtuber, Social Media Influencer, Marketing Maven or Grandma who just accidentally clicked on our site and can't figure out how to leave. If you have built your audience through ANY platform that is not an email list, You can and will lose it all if the algorithm Gods decide it's time to smite you. (See Facebook.) Don't let your hard fought blogging business become just another dusty mummified ancient relic of an internet gone by, build your list, and build it now. Put in multiple ways to sign up on every page and offer completely kick-ass opt-in incentives that not only get your new found reader to give up their digital dets, but get's them excited to keep coming back for more. Creative Tip: Always Giveaway Usable Goods. Just because you can trick someone into giving you their info once, doesn't mean they can't click the unsubscribe button once they realize your goods aren't that great. 3. Get Money Minded - Take the Time to Incorporate a strong monetization strategy from the ground up. If you’re going to be using an affiliate heavy strategy, start writing incredibly long and highly targeted posts that detail how to do something your audience needs help with. Include affiliate links to high dollar items that are incorporated directly into the subject matter. If you're using ads, learn how to optimally place them on the page where they will get a lot of clicks but not annoy your readers (also please don’t solely rely on ads for revenue.) If you're planning on selling courses, start building that course RTFN. Putting off the monetization stage is an easy way for people who think that their blog isn't "ready" to avoid the scary feeling of potentially failing. Your blog can make money, but not if you don't let it. Creative Tip: Find an Accountability Partner who's going to hold you to your blogging promises. You'll never know just what you are capable of doing if you don't get out of your own way long enough to do it. 4. Get your branding Together - I’m not going to take fashion advice from someone who’s wearing gauchos with Birkenstocks and your readers aren’t going to take life advice from someone who can’t even get their blog's theme together. Can you make it with an ugly blog? Yes. Is it going to be much harder? Obviously. Before you ever even start to put yourself out there as an authority on your topic, you need to look, sound, and act like you know what the hell you're talking about by getting your blog template, logo, web assets, and social media feeds All. The. Way. Together. to create a professional and cohesive look. Creative Tip: If you can't make it, buy it. Places like Etsy, Creative Market, and Blu Chic make affordable feminine blog themes, which means that even if you don't have a huge budget to blow on your business, there's no excuse for your blog looking unprofessional and tacky. 5. Get Your Social Media Going and Growing - You can't just ignore social media because it sucks, make and adhere to a set social media schedule for posting, commenting, reposting, and replying. Buy or Design beautiful posting templates for each platform you intend to participate in and coordinate your feed's color scheme with your brand. Build your audience without being cheesy, spammy, or any other calorie ridden social faux pas by engaging with followers as you would want them to engage with you, genuinely, frequently, and without an agenda. Creative Tip: Keep track of what filters you are using for each platform so that your feed actually looks unified rather than like you snapped a bunch of pictures at random and then picked them out of a bin to post. 6. Know Better So You Can Do Better - As any good business woman knows, the learning doesn't stop when your business starts. Even Marketing demigods like Neil Patel and Gary Vaynerchuk consistently immerse themselves in the newest and most up-to-date information, and sweetie, if it's good enough for Neil P. and Gary V., then rest assured it's good enough for you and it's good enough for me. Strive to thoroughly and relentlessly continue to educate yourself about Business and Blogging through quality sources. To paraphrase an old saying, a wise man knows that he knows nothing. Bad information will kill your brand new blogging baby and, unless you want the obituary to read "Time of Death: That time you took major business advice from the Rando on Quora," It’s time to stop reading the Cliff Notes version of blogging for dummies and start truly educating yourself like the big boys. Creative Tip: Audio Books are by far the best source of career information for busy professionals with too much sh*t to do. Listen to them in the car, listen to them at the bar, listen to them in the house, listen to them with your spouse...
This is How to Write a Newsletter for Your Blog that Gets Opened
After all your hard work and dedication to your budding blogging career, someone has finally picked up what you've been puttin' down and settled in to sign up for your newsletter. Huzzah Friend, someone finally cares about your blog besides you. Huzzah Friend, someone finally cares about your blog besides you. Nothing is more fulfilling than knowing that not only does another Actual Human being enjoy your posts enough to read them at the moment they found them but, that they liked what they read enough to want to read more in the future. Unfortunately, what most bloggers and small business owners don't realize is that even though you feel like you've just been handed the keys to the kingdom with that fancy new email address someone just gave you, without the proper understanding of how to avert the dreaded spam filter, your key won't be opening any doors for you and your blog any time soon. The sad truth is that even when using professional newsletter generating tools from legitimate companies, a large portion of your hard-fought list will never even see your email. This is How to Write a Newsletter for Your Blog that Gets Opened If You use salesmen like phrasing in your email the All Knowing Keepers of the Inbox will banish your newsletter. Careful With Content: Be super careful when writing your Newsletter. Spam filters work by reading the content of incoming emails and tossing the ones that have phrases that match certain patterns. If You use salesmen like phrasing in your email the All-Knowing Keepers of the Inbox will banish your newsletter to the darkest corners of the spam folder, never to be seen again. Creative Tip: Try removing words like "special offer," "buy now" or "Sale." Other topics to avoid mentioning include large sums of money, free cash, and most importantly the Prince of Nigeria. True Story, malformed html in your newsletter is often seen as a possible indication of a hidden attack. Watch Your Formatting: Another HUGE problem that sends tons of bloggers right into the cold, dark grasp of the spam filters is the use of improper formatting. True Story, malformed HTML in your newsletter is often seen as a possible indication of a hidden attack within the code, and will often be filtered out or stopped by the email client before even entering the inbox. Because most of the malformed code comes from places like converted Microsoft Word documents or other files that have gone through a converter to HTML display, try using professional email services instead of converting your own documents, as they have a number of pre-built templates that are both standards compliant and world's easier to use. Creative Tip: Some of the most popular email services are Constant Contact and ConvertKit, but because we love doing things on the cheap, we still manage our entire 5 Site Empire through Mail Chimp. ♥ The trick is to keep your content interesting enough that your readers will be willing to follow it back to your site. Be Exciting, Not Excited: Alright, Truth time, while it may be tempting to do things in your Newsletters like write your new and amazing subject line in all caps, add in a ton of exclamation points after a sentence, or use super bright colors with a cool font, these are all super quick ways to earn your Newsletter a one way ticket to spam land. The trick is to keep your content interesting enough that your readers will be willing to follow it back to your site to read more, while avoiding pitfalls that, if sent by someone else to you, would make you immediately reach for the hand sanitizer and run for the virus protector. Creative Tip: Though your newsletter isn't in all bold, it's anything but basic. Use Pretty Templates to Jazz up its look, or better yet, pair it down with a simple heart to heart format for a full proof inbox hero. Spam filters will whip your little letter right off into oblivion if they suspect you of being an advertisement. Friends Don't Send Friends a Ton of Links: Here's the sitch peeps, keep your link happy self under control when trying to get your Newsletter to its goal. Spam filters, (especially Gmail) will whip your little letter right off into oblivion if they suspect you of being an advertisement, and what do most advertisements provide in their newsletters? A ton of links. Keep your linking to no more than 1 or 2 at the very most if you want to keep your email in their inbox. Creative Tip: If you want to be able to easily link them to multiple products or services, add what you want to offer to a single custom page, and then link to that to keep your link count low and your view count high. Since the filters don't see any difference between your shady deeds and theirs, your lonely little email will be left at the losers table once more. Picture Perfect: One of the most common ways that people try to get around these spam filters is by using one large image, rather than formatted HTML. Alright, so the logic is sound, after all, the spam filter can't scan your text if there isn't any... but, my friend, the problem with that devious thought process is that we bloggers aren't the only ones to try that strategy. Many spammers, scammers and other ne'er do wells try the same tactic pretty regularly and since the filters don't see any difference between your shady deeds and theirs, your lonely little email will be left at the losers table once more. Creative Tip: There’s nothing wrong with using smaller images, and in fact, a newsletter with no images is bound to get far less interaction than one with them, but be careful to balance. If someone is too dim to like your stuff, let them go. Simply Marvelous: I don't care what blackhat tricks you think you know or what bad information has been given to you by another blog, by now, you should know that you always need to put your unsubscribe link in your email. It's Excessive, it's annoying, it's unfair that not everyone does it, but if someone is too dim to like your stuff, let them go. You don't need them anyway. If they flag you as spam, it can cause you issues with other readers who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. Creative Tip: We understand the temptation to try to keep your readers in by leaving your unsubscribe link out, but losing a few subscribers who weren’t going to read anyway is a drop in the bucket compared to the legal repercussions you could be facing for not including it. If you’re not giving your subscribers a reason to open your emails, there’s 0 chance of them wasting their time. Opulent Offerings: Your newsletter is one of the biggest traffic drivers you have for your site, and one of the biggest drivers for newsletter signups is a solid, high-value optin. If your optin isn’t on point, or, even worse, non-existent, then your readers aren’t going to have any reason to fill their already too full inboxes with yet another time-draining newsletter. If you’re not giving your subscribers a reason to open your emails, there’s 0 chance of them wasting their time by going to see your actual content. Make sure that whatever your offering, it gives your readers some reason not only to open your beautifully branded emails, but to also follow your links back to your stylish site. Creative Tip: Up your optin game with a multi-email experience, spreading that welcome out across multiple days with a mini-course. In one quick burst, you’ll have shown them that you can offer valuable content, gotten them in the habit of reading your emails, and offered up a memorable intro that is sure to keep them coming back for more.
This is How To Protect Your Blog From Hackers (A Must Read)
Hackers don’t care about your feelings. Beat the buggy blog blues by adding some serious safegaurds. They don’t care about how long you’ve worked on your latest post. They don’t care about how many hours you’ve put into your marketing and social media, and they certainly don’t care that you think of your blog as a very personal extension of you. Unfortunately, there are a variety of reasons why someone might want to hack into your blog, some involve money, some may be your rivals, some are even just because they can, but one truth holds firm, regardless of the hackers motivation, if they succeed, you will be left with a huge pile of un-fixable pieces or a hefty ransom to pay. This is How To Protect Your Blog From Hackers The Name of the Game- In our current age of internet privacy breeches and network security flaws, one of the most dangerous and prevalent problems on the net is the Socially Engineered Malware Attack. Once a hacker has gained access to your site, they force your site to display requests for your trusting readers to install software. Once downloaded, the software will then destroy data, steal personal information, or lock up your readers' computers and hold them for ransom. If a hacker takes a fancy to your lovely little slice of the net, they're already halfway to hurting you in a hurry if they know your username. If you wouldn't make your Password "Password" then don't leave your Username as Admin. Change Your Username to Something more Specific and Change it RTFN. Creative Tip: Hackers will read your blog to find things you talk about often so don’t make it a relative's name, pet’s name, your favorite food or the city you live in. Strong and Long - Not only is a tough to guess username important, but a difficult password is equally imperative. One of the most popular ways to Hack into a WordPress Blog is called a Brute Force attack, during which, a computer tries to guess the password repeatedly by using different word and letter combinations related to your site. The longer and more complex your password is, the better chance you stand of avoiding attacks, and the less risk you and your customers are in. If you need to store your password, write it down and keep it in your desk. Never store your password on your computer, and definitely don't store it anywhere online or on your phone. Creative Tip: If you're having trouble remembering your password, try making a story out of it. Use four of five words that form a cohesive narrative for added security and ease of memorability. For a little password humor with your lesson check out this fun comic from one of our favorite sites, XKCD. Wordfence - They say the best defense is a good offense and Wordfence is the single best offensive line that Your WordPress site could Draft. Vigilantly allowing you to detect malicious software that could be installed on your site by a hacker who is looking to gain additional access to the more highly secure areas of your blog, it can also be setup to run scheduled scans of your site and theme to ensure that they are functioning as expected and haven't been altered by someone without your knowledge. With features like the ability to blacklist known problematic IP addresses, and the option to limit access to the admin section of your blog, Wordfence is definitely our pick for a simple solution to a prevalent problem. Creative Tip: There is an amazing lite version of this incredible plugin available for free if you are a small blogger or organization. Just search "Wordfence" in the WordPress plugin directory for more details. ♥ Back that Thang Up: Backing up your site is essential to the success of your blog and your sanity. The amount of man hours you can lose if someone decides to break into your site and delete all of your posts is absolutely staggering and completely avoidable. There's no excuse for not having a backup in 2019, so make like your outgoing friend in the club and back, back it up. Creative Tip: Don't set up your back up through a WordPress Plugin. Back it up through your host WITH THE DATABASE INCLUDED so that in the terrifying event that your site is disabled, you can still restore all of your hard-fought Data. Gotta Keep 'em Updated: So here's the thing, as a blog owner, The Kardashians aren't the only thing you should be keeping up with. During a SQL injection, hackers override database information on your site by exploiting Wordpress vulnerabilities caused by plugins, themes, or WP editions that have not been properly updated. The team that makes WordPress is amazingly diligent in keeping up with the latest in security flaws, and patching any issues in super short order, but all of the patches in the world won’t do your site an ounce of good if they are sitting in the install queue waiting for your permission to help you. Creative Tip: Upgrade your site at night after pulling down a copy so that if something goes wrong, you can fix it before a ton of your readers find the flaw.
These are the Essential Free WordPress Plugins Every New Blogger Should be Using
As the simplest solution to the larger problem of how to create and manage a website with no programming experience, more than any other blogging platform, WordPress dominates the space like a mother lion on the prowl. When WordPress stops working, however, or needs a customization beyond the bounds of a normal blog, both budding bloggers and proven professionals turn to the pre-packaged problem solving of plugins. Offering an all in one solution to getting the functionality you need from WordPress while still being able to bury your head in the sand and not learn php, plugins provide the blogosphere with a host of site saving options without the time-sink of custom dev. These are the Essential Free WordPress Plugins Every New Blogger Should be Using Click to Tweet – We’ve been using click to tweet for the last few years to increase social shares for our posts. The plugin lets us quickly create tweetable blurbs embedded within our articles so that we can highlight our favorite passages and make them easily shareable for our readers. While we don’t use the plugin anymore due to Twitter’s dwindling popularity, its a great plugin if you’re in a Twitter heavy Niche. Akismet – Coming Pre-installed on most standard WordPress installations, for as long as we’ve been making sites on WordPress, we’ve been using Akismet to keep spammers at bay. Free of charge for smaller bloggers and businesses, this plugin provides quick and easy protection from spam, and is completely automated, meaning that we don’t have to take time out of our busy days for the tedious task of filtering out nonsense comments on our blogs. Yoast SEO – Yoast is the quickest, and easiest way to set up a system for SEO on WordPress based blogs. It automates a lot of the more tedious parts of SEO and offers a somewhat set it and forget it option for most of our metadata needs. CommentLuv – The quick and easy way to draw in commenters from other blogs while adding extra links to your pages, we’ve used CommentLuv for years on nearly every site we’ve produced. Automatically pulling the commenters latest blog post, giving them an incentive to comment and you a higher likelihood that they will leave a comment, we love using it for our new blogs that need a quick comment surge in a well-read, but not highly engaged niche. WordPress Editorial Calendar – Scheduling can be a rough game for bloggers, and while paper might work when you’re small, when you have multiple blogs running at once, a posted post-it of posts just isn’t going to do the trick. Enabling us to Post on the regular while keeping track of the progress of our upcoming articles, editorial calendar has been the organizational boon we needed, ever since we first began. WP to Twitter – A few years back we decided to look into automation tools to cut down on the amount of time that we were spending pushing new posts out to social media. For Twitter, we found WP to Twitter, a simple to use, super lightweight plugin that automatically pushes all of our latest posts titles and excerpts, and since then we’ve made sure that it was installed on every site we worked on. It’s a great way to fill up your feed without having to Actually visit Twitter. Pinterest Automatic – We’ve had this handy automatic Pinterest pusher for a couple of years now, and we don’t know what we’d do without it. Automatically posting all the images out of a post to Pinterest when it publishes, this plugin is a huge timesaver and one of our favorite ways to stay active on social media. Heartbeat Control – As content management systems go, we’re pretty big fans of WordPress, but if there was one tiny issue we would take with it, it’s that it sometimes freezes solid and eats 4 hours worth of work. Sick of slow load times and out of nowhere crashes, we decided that it might be time to cut back on some of the more resource intensive functions of WordPress, namely, the Heartbeat. This slick little plugin lets us turn the heartbeat process on or off at will, ironically enough keeping our WordPress from dying right in the middle of writing an article. WooCommerce – While on the hunt for a solution to a store building issue in WordPress we came across a young WooCommerce only a couple of years out from its initial release. While we ended up going with a different solution to that particular problem, we were impressed enough to watch it grow into the staple of WordPress blogs that it is today, and even include it on a few of our other sites. Google XML Sitemaps - Providing more SEO goodness to enjoy in the form of a sitemap created to Google standards, this search engine supercharger allows spiders to more easily traverse your blog, adding a little boost to your Google search ranking without any added effort. Wordfence - If you have a blog, you need Wordfence. With the ability to scan files to determine if they have already been infected, and allowing us to limit login attempts while blacklisting problematic IPs, free of charge, this plugin gives us enterprise level security on an entry level budget.