Hello Happy Site Owners! I’m MaAnna with BlogAid and in this week’s Tips Tuesday I’ve rounded up news on the future of WordPress themes, and a bunch of blogging tips on ways to get great ideas for your post topics, or how to uncover yourself from too many ideas if you’re overwhelmed with them. Plus, I’ve got the latest news on Genesis updates, and how to brand yourself on YouTube. And, as always, I’ve got the latest news on WordPress plugin updates and plugins you’ll want to check out. Listen to the podcast now.
Before we jump into this week’s tips, I want to let you know that over the last couple of months I’ve been doing a lot of research and testing to ensure that BlogAid is up to speed with all of the SEO changes that have been happening. While doing that research, I found a lot of misleading or incomplete info out there too. There aren’t too many people telling you everything you need to know to make the full loop with your site and social media platforms, and how everything you do on-page works with your SEO plugin. I think you need to know these things to have a successful site. So, I’m putting together a new SEO workshop and I’ll have it ready for you soon. Be sure that you’re subscribed to BlogAid News so you’ll get early notice and first dibs on virtual seats because I have a feeling this is going to fill up quickly.
On WP Daily John Saddington reports on The Future of The Twenty Thirteen WordPress Theme. the focus is going to be on usability. Now, you may not use the default themes, but it’s important to keep up with the focus of the changes because it is reflective of the trends in design as well as changes to the core underlying code of WordPress itself. And that is the basis of all themes.
Also on WP Daily, Chris Liu-Beers has a super post on 2 Easy Ways To Make WordPress Work For Your Nonprofit. It’s well worth the read for anyone who hosts events.
Some of the links below are to the plugin developer’s page, but you can find most if not all of these plugins in the WordPress plugins repository.
FlowPlayer 5 has recently been updated. If you’re embedding videos that are not on YouTube or Vimeo, then this is a good plugin to use.
The Google XML Sitemap Generator plugin has recently been updated. It’s a good plugin, but I use the XML Sitemap option in the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. Both of them do the same thing, and equally well, but this way I only have one plugin to keep updated and configured and that makes my life easier. And, these days, easier is better.
The WATU plugin lets you create unlimited quizzes and grades them. I’ve been seeing more plugins like this crop up lately and I’m thinking it is related to the growing popularity of member sites too. I run a member site for all of the BlogAid video tutorials and I’m expanding it constantly. At some point I’ll be offering a certification class where I’ll be implementing one of these quiz plugins. How about you? Have you considered offering a membership site as part of your product mix?
Plugins to Check
AnyWP MailChimp let’s you add a MailChimp signup form anywhere on your site via shortcode. You know I’m going to be checking this out and adding a review of it to my MailChimp Signup Forms, Plugins, and Widgets Review report, which you can download free on BlogAid. You’ll find it in the sidebar along with other reports on MailChimp RSS to email, and backing up your WordPress site.
The Advanced Sitemap Generator allows you to put a list of your posts and/or pages on a page via a shortcode. Now, this is not the same thing as an XML Sitemap, which is what Google and other search engines use to index your site. A regular sitemap just gives a list of clickable links in a hierarchy that can be read by your site visitors. This particular plugin allows you to exclude pages and posts too.
Hide Real Download Path is a plugin that lets you disguise the URL of the full path to your downloadable files. And, it gives you a log file of stats so you can see how many folks are downloading the file. I use a plugin called WordPress Download Manager for this. It has the same features plus allows you to set passwords on the files and such. Now, neither of these plugins will stop bots from indexing the folder where you keep these files, so they aren’t good for fully protecting a file that you sell as a download. You’re a lot better off getting some sort of e-store for that so you can place the file behind their firewall.
There’s a nice podcast on the Convince and Convert blog featuring an interview with Ann Handley, who is the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and co-writer of Content Rules. She says If You’re Looking Content Creation Moments Are Everywhere. And, she talks a lot about keeping your social media personable too.
The new mantra in SEO is to write quality content. On ProBlogger, Georgina Laidlaw has a nice post titled Redefining “Quality Content” … And Writing It that you should read. It will stir up your thoughts on this topic and give you a starting point for improving the quality of your posts.
Do you keep a running list of ideas for posts to write? I do and sometimes that list can get big and seem overwhelming. On ProBlogger, Steve of Do Something Cool has a nice post titled Clean Out Your List of Blog Post Ideas in a Blog Content Workshop. I think it will give you some great ways to sort through the pile in a more productive way than just hitting delete.
On the flip side, if you’re struggling to come up with topics to blog about, Melissa Fach has an excellent post on Small Business Trends about Using SlideShare for Research and Blog Posts. And she gives you some super tips on how to search for them by topic too.
I use the Genesis framework on BlogAid and recommend it to all of my clients. The new 1.9 version has been released recently. I’ve updated all of my sites without a hitch and suggest you do too. There are some nice new features that you’ll want to know about and I’ll be writing a more detailed blog post on it soon, or maybe making a video overview on it. In the meantime, you can get the skinny directly from Brian Gardner on the StudioPress blog.
Multi Media Tips
From my favorite guys at ReelSEO comes a video on 8 Ways to Brand Yourself on YouTube. I found at least two new tips to incorporate on the BlogAid channel.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast. You can find this podcast on iTunes, as well as Stitcher, and the Blackberry Podcast. You can also subscribe directly to the RSS via email in the sidebar of the site. Visit BlogAid.net for more tips, tutorials, and free resources to make your site better.
And I’ll see you online!