Secret to Easy Content Curation

Secret to Easy Content Curation I am an evangelist frequently preaching the importance of adding fresh content to your website. This is referred to as Content Marketing and one of your main vehicles for this type of marketing is your blog.  Each time you write a blog post, it is a lottery ticket that might come up in a Google search on that topic.  I have some posts on my site that get 100 visits a day and have been getting this number of hits for four years!  In addition, and more importantly to making your site a search engine magnet, fresh content gives people a reason to come to your website. It shows that you are an active player in your niche, and that you care about educating and engaging with others.

For the most part, I work with small and medium sized businesses and there are three main reasons people give for not blogging:

  1. I don’t have time.
  2. I don’t know what to write about.
  3. I am not an expert in some of the things that our readers would be interested in.

Today, I am going to share one of my secret content marketing weapons with you so you can start getting more traffic, more engagement and build Know, Like and Trust, which will bring you new subscribers and down the road some new business. [Read more...]

Blog To Connect with People and Make Them Want to Work with You.

Blog To Connect with People and Make Them Want to Work with You.Seven years ago, when I was doing loft development in Atlanta, I Googled my business name and what came up, number one, was my dog’s blog on Dogster.

My real estate website showed up on the fourth page, number 40 in the search results – where no one goes.  I couldn’t figure how that was possible until someone told me the difference between a content management website like Dogster, which organizes fresh content in a way search engines prefer, and my bad old static website.

Hmmmm.  It only took a minute for me to realize that soon everyone was going to want a content management system, and in the meantime, I was definitely going to have to have one. Thankfully I chose WordPress for my platform, as it was the new kid on the block at the time, and I set about teaching myself how to use it and made myself a new WordPress website for my business. [Read more...]

Personalized Content Marketing to Grow Your Business

Personalized Content Marketing to Grow Your BusinessIt is cold here in Atlanta, like 5 degrees cold, and hitchhiking to Florida wouldn’t help much because it’s 36 degrees even in Orlando. Cold is cold, and since only 10% of my newsletter subscribers reside in other countries, chances are it is cold where you live too. I hope you are staying warm and cozy wherever you may be.

Speaking of readers from faraway places, it blows my mind that I have readers from all over the world.  I recently noticed a flag I didn’t recognize in my newsletter signup notification report, so I looked it up and it was [Read more...]

2014: Content Marketing is Here to Stay

2014: Content Marketing is Here to StayHappy New Years!
I am so excited that this year, that my blog posts fall on both Christmas and New Years!  I know you are busy fixing Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens so I won’t take up too much of your time this morning.

I just thought you would want to know that Radiant Orchid is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2014.

Pantone chose this color because “it blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health. [Read more...]

How to Use Iframes on Your WordPress Website

How to Use Iframes on Your WordPress WebsiteIf you don’t know how to use Iframes or don’t know what they are, you should definitely read on.

An Iframe is a ridiculously simple way to attach a form, a webpage, or piece of [Read more...]

Holiday Goodies for Your WordPress Website

Holiday Goodies for Your WordPress WebsiteIt is the time of year to give and get some holiday spirit. Here are a couple of plugins to help you jazz up your website for the season.

Let it Snow

Did you know that you can make your website snow?  Although there are lots of other snow plugins,  Simply Snow  is easy to set up and [Read more...]

Adding Recipes to a WordPress Site with Recipe Card Plugin

Adding Recipes to a WordPress Site with Recipe Card PluginAdding recipes to a WordPress site is easy. With the holidays just around the corner, you may want to share some of your holiday love in the form of delicious recipes. You could just type the recipe into the content area of a page, but, with the Recipe Card WordPress Plugin, uploading the content is simple and your recipes will have a consistent stylized look. This post will show you how to install and set-up the Recipe Card WordPress Plugin and add a few recipes of your own. [Read more...]

Adding Videos to Your Blog Posts

Adding Videos to Your Blog PostsVideo is definitely a plus for your blog posts and website. It certainly adds another dimension to your website for visitors who prefer to watch more than to read, or to do both.  Video allows your visitors the opportunity to get to know you in a way that does not come across in a written post. Even adding other people’s videos to your site can spice things up.

A lot of people think that videos must be difficult to use, but the good news is that it is really easy to add video to your WordPress site. One thing we don’t ever want [Read more...]

The Real Scoop on Website Sliders

The Real Scoop on Website SlidersAbout half the websites we do include a slider, and they are one of the hardest things about a website to get right. There are times and places where a slider works really well, like for a gallery. But doing a slider with multiple marketing messages are very tricky to do right. One issue is that planning to have a slider on a site opens a can of worms with clients. They either have no idea what they want, or they get fixated on a bad idea without realizing the ramifications of what they are asking for.

I have been conflicted about this slider issue so I did some research on the topic to help sort out what is what. [Read more...]

Find Your Online Balance

Find Your Online BalanceOn the Internet these days people expect authenticity from the sites they visit. Even Google rewards authenticity by giving better search engine ranking to those who make it clear that they are an author on a website and have a completed profile on Google+. If your site and blog posts are shared on other social media sites, so much the better. The search engines can see these things as [Read more...]

How to Add a Notification Bar to Your WordPress Website

How to Add a Notification Bar to Your WordPress WebsiteThere are times when you want to have a place on your website for an announcement such as an upcoming workshop up or a nice spot to to remind people to sign up for your newsletter. There is a easy way to do this using the WordPress plugin, Notification Bar.

It is very easy to install and configure all by yourself. Simply go to your Dashboard and find “Plugins” and select “Add New”.

[Read more...]

Don’t Search for Free WordPress Themes

Dont Search for Free WordPress ThemesWe have all done it. Stayed up for hours searching for the perfect theme. And there are many sites where you can browse and browse. I am not saying not to use a free theme. There are currently 2,043 perfectly good free themes in the [Read more...]

The Best Way to Keep People on Your Site

 The Best Way to Keep People on Your Site

If you are blogging on your WordPress website (which you should be doing for oh so many reasons) you want to keep people on your site as long as possible.  No you don’t have to resort to tying them up, but the next best thing to keep them reading is by using a related posts plugin to display a list of related posts with thumbnail images under each of your posts. [Read more...]

Beginners Guide to using Caching and CDN to Speed Up Your Site

Beginners Guide to using Caching and CDN to Speed Up Your SiteWe all know it is good to have your site load fast for two big reasons: we don’t want people to leave our sites before they get there and Google incorporates page-load time into our site’s search rankings. I recently wrote a post about the effect that image size on your site loading times since learning to resize and optimize images is one of the first steps to improving site loading performance. Now we will go on to more technical methods, Caching and Content Delivery Networks that can improve speed of loading as much as 350%.

Caching

When you first visit a website, all of the content on that website (images, text, etc.) have to be loaded onto your computer from a web server in order to display that content. What caching does, is after you visit a website for the first time and all of the content is loaded from a web server, the static content is then saved on your hard drive in your cache, so when you visit the website for a 2nd or 3rd time your browser is able load the static content from your computer’s hard drive which is much faster than loading it again from a distant web server.

The whole concept of caching can be rather mysterious to us non-geeks. It is difficult to understand and even more so to explain. I found a pretty good metaphor by Zack Tollman from a talk on this subject at a WordCamp. Zach describes the process of caching by asking us to think about the process of gathering the ingredients (images, text, etc.) we need to prepare a meal (load a website).

If we aren’t using any caching, we would make a separate trip to the store for each ingredient we need for each meal we prepare, but that would be such a slow and tedious process we probably would not cook very often. The better alternative is to go to the store and buy all of the ingredients we will need for the week and store them in a place where we can easily grab them off the shelf or the refrigerator when needed.

The process of buying groceries and storing them in our kitchen is similar to caching objects in web development in that you are moving items necessary to have a webpage display from a place of difficult access (a web server) to a place where it can be accessed faster (the computer that is accessing the website’s hard drive).

W3TC Plugin

The W3TC  plugin works to cache your site’s static pages and database queries so they are easily and quickly uploaded to your site’s visitors. Caching reduces the load time of your site so your visitors don’t have to wait for each of these things to load from scratch.

The W3TC is a very powerful plugin with many configuration options. If you are a beginner you will need to take your time and get some thorough advice on how to set it up. A fellow who goes by the name of Zemalf has a very thorough, free 45 page step by step tutorial  which will show you what settings to choose on every screen. Be aware that if you set it up wrong you could risk getting your site suspended.

Beginners Guide to using Caching and CDN to Speed Up Your Site

  [Read more...]

Enterprise Organizations Adopt WordPress as Their Web Platform

Enterprise Organizations Adopt WordPress as Their Web PlatformWhen considering a redesign of a company website,  a large scale organization must choose a stable and secure platform that will deliver the functionality and performance that it needs to meet its goals. It is also important that it be extensible so that it can grow with the organization over time. WordPress, now ten years old, has become a major contender for use for enterprise business websites.

Although WordPress started ten years ago as a blogging platform, the core team, with strong open source developer support, puts out a version updates every 1-3 months, and major version updates once or twice a year.  Since the release of version 3.0 in 2010, WordPress has become the most used CMS, while the use of the other CMS platforms continues to plummet. In addition, there are now 60 million WordPress web sites and 22% of all new websites use WordPress as their platform.

Major Concerns Addressed

There are several main concerns for those tasked with making a choice of an enterprise business web platform. The solution must: [Read more...]

When is Bigger Not Better? WordPress Image Optimization

When is Bigger Not Better? WordPress Image Optimization

The image on the right will load twice as fast. Can you tell the difference?

Do you find waiting for a webpage to load annoying? Most people who come to a slow website will just move on down the road; and page loading time is taken into account by Google to determine your search engine ranking.

There are many factors contributing to website lag, but one of the big culprits is humongous image syndrome. Just because you can take an image that could be printed out to fit on the side of your house, does not mean you should upload an image that size to your website. The problem is that to you the image will look like it is a tidy little picture that fits right into your post, when really your web browser is having to work overtime to downsize it to fit on your site.

It is a little like having heart disease; most people don’t know they have clogged arteries until they start having chest pain or keel over. Image bloat is the same idea. Most people have no idea until their site starts gasping for breath.

If you or any of your loved ones are having these symptoms, I’d like you to share this post with them!

[Read more...]

WordPress 3.6 is Out

Here is a peek at some of the new features of WordPress 3.6. Everyone says the installation is going very smoothly so I’d say it is safe to go ahead and upgrade now.

Some of the highlights include:

  •  A new default theme that was made for bloggers that is a colorful theme with a single column.
  • The revision feature has gone through an overhaul and now you can scroll through line by live to see who changed what and when.
  • Safety feature, autolock,  for more than one person trying to edit a post or page at the same time.
  • There is a built-in HTML5 media player for to play audio or embed videos without needing a plugin.
  • Changes to the menu editor to make it easier ( it was pretty dang easy before) to understand and use.

And so much more. Go ahead and upgrade. Remember to make a backup first:-)

WordPress Devotees, Take The State Of WordPress Survey

WordPress Devotees, Take The State Of WordPress Survey If you are involved at all with WordPress whether user, developer or designer, there is a survey I’d like you to fill out about your experience with WordPress.

Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, sends out this survey every year and then collates the information and presents it at the big [Read more...]

Help Others To Share . . . your Quotes on Twitter and Facebook

Help Others To Share . . . your Quotes on Twitter and FacebookWouldn’t you like people to share your brilliance on Twitter and Facebook?  I am going to tell you about two ways to help people to easily share your quoteables on social media.

Method One

I have written before about using  Click to Tweet to create clickable quotes that, when your reader clicks on the quote, the link takes them to Twitter and pre-populates your quote into a Tweet ready to send out.

I use it all the time on my newsletter to make it easy for readers to share a “Tweetable“.  I create a pre-written tweet, put it into the top of the box at Click to Tweet. When you click Generate Link, a link will appear below. I copy the link and use it as the link for the Tweet copy on my [Read more...]

Secret Sauce: Cook Up a Website That Works

Secret Sauce: Cook Up a Website That WorksSome people like to bake and others are better cooks. I have to say I avoid baking because it is so precise. Forget the one pinch of salt and everything falls flat and you can’t fix it.

Good cooks are not afraid to experiment with adding their own magic to make their dish really great.

Cooking up a good website has similarities.  A lot of people have websites that have most of the right ingredients but are not going to be winning the chili cookoff. They find that they are not [Read more...]

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