Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include new audio support coming in WordPress 3.6, a new testimonial plugin, a new Feedburner replacement, a sneak peek at the Genesis 2.0 update and who they just hired as the new Creative Director, a new offer from VaultPress for backing up your site, a real niche site example for spring, tips that work to move your site ranking up, tips for building authority, news on upcoming Google Webinars, and big changes coming for MailChimp. So let’s get started. Listen to the podcast.
The Google I/O 2013 Event begins tomorrow, May 15th. This used to primarily be a developer’s conference, but they’ve also used the platform in the past to introduce new products or a new operating system. Not this year. They will be live streaming each day and I’m positive there will be a glut of reports on it. I’m particularly interested in the talks on Chrome and Apps, especially Instant Mobile Websites and PageSpeed, and then every presentation on the G+ platform. And I’ll be very interested in seeing what’s coming for YouTube as well, especially Semantic Video Annotations. All of that is just in the first day. For more, go see the full three days of sessions on the Google I/O site.
In WordPress news, the Beta 3 testing version of 3.6 was released on the 11th. According to the development site, there were about a hundred changes. Among them is oEmbed support for the popular music-streaming services Rdio and Spotify. One of the things I noticed on my testing sandbox was that they changed the styling of the text editor and it knocked some of the icons wonky in the TinyMCE Advanced plugin. Hoping the developers of that plugin notice and get it fixed soon. It made me have to skip making a couple of new video tutorials for the BlogAid Library. That’s okay, I got several new ones posted already and jumped down the list to make a few more that don’t involve the text editor. Be sure to go visit the library and see what’s new.
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.
There’s a new plugin called One More Pageview by Keepify. It offers a pop up window after folks decide to leave your site, and you can customize the offer you see. To me, that reeks of a scammy tactic, but the fact is, it works. So do pop ups that appear just after you get to a site. Everybody I know says they hate them, both of them. But then, everybody I know is a professional website owner. You are not your client. And these things do work. Yeah, I know, I just bring myself to use them either.
Here’s another new plugin called Simple Testimonials and the developer states that he created it to make it easy peasy for his clients to display all the nice things folks say about them. I think I’ll give this one a test drive.
And yes, I’m behind on my plugin testing duties because I’m still making new vid tuts for the WordPress library. But I will get to them soon.
And one more new plugin for you today called FV Feedburner Replacement. This is an okay idea, but I do see a couple of issues with it. The okay part is that it attempts to be a direct replacement for Feedburner and offer equivalent services such as a burned feed and RSS via email.
The issues with it are that they are advertising it as a perk that you own the feed and are no longer reliant on a third party service. Yes, you can send all of those emails from your site, but that’s not a good idea in the long run. Hopefully your list is going to grow, and you’ll need to step up to a better system, like FeedBlitz, MailChimp, or Aweber. And guess what? Yep, you’ll have to ask all of your subscribers to move again.
Here’s another issue. If you use WP Super Cache, you have to exclude feeds from caching. They have instructions for it, but I just don’t care for the whole idea of it. So, I’m going to have to pass on this one as being a good alternative.
Remember that Google Reader is shutting down on July 1st and most folks are seeing that as a further indication that FeedBurner won’t be far behind. So, now is the time to start promoting your RSS to email subscriptions and get folks who follow you moved over to that. If you need help setting that up, I have full tutorials in the MailChimp video course. And there’s big news on that too. More in a moment.
If you use Genesis themes for your clients, you’ll want to get a sneak peak at the Genesis 2.0 update that will be rolling out soon. Keep in mind that this is what all future child themes will be based on.
And that’s not all that has changed. Copyblogger Media has hired Lauren Mancke as the new StudioPress Creative Director. Go to the post and have a look at her work. It’s pretty evident to me that she comes from a graphic arts background. Let’s hope. StudioPress themes are super functional, but they don’t have much diversity. And that’s something Lauren has in spades with her layouts. I’m expecting big things from this new venture with her at the helm.
VaultPress is a backup service from Automattic. They are the company that brings you WordPress.com too. It was a great service, but too pricey for most. Well, they just fixed that problem and introduced VaultPress Lite. The new plan is $5 a month and includes a daily backup WordPress database tables, plugins, themes, and uploads. It features one-click restore, and access to support. And the backups are saved for thirty days.
This was a good move by Automattic to give a lower price option for VaultPress. But don’t let $5/mo be the decision maker for you. I’m sticking with BackupBuddy (aff link) as the best option still. You get all the same things, plus a malware scanner, plus a full site backup including the core files outside of WordPress. You’ll need those too if you ever restore. It’s only $6.25/mo. And that’s for a two-site license.
Spring is in the air and planting season is upon us. And the Niche Twitch blog has a very timely post titled Interesting Niche of the Week: Growing Blueberries. It talks about how popular gardening sites of all kinds are, and a few affiliate products that are available for them, plus a good keyword research example.
I know a few of my clients will be interested in this post. In particular, Deanna Naddy, because she grows blueberries. I created her original HTML site years ago and she called on me again when she got ready to convert over to WordPress. Then I called on the talented wordsmith, Pam Coyle to help revamp all of Deanna’s content and SEO it out the roof. So, be sure to go visit HighlandRealm.org and see it. We’ll be including this site in an upcoming post on instant success site launches that Pam and I have teamed up on together. So watch for that.
On Social Razor, Ian Cleary has a post titled How To Move Your Blog Post Up in Search Results with six tips to do that. I’m not doing the second one yet, but actively working toward it, and that’s getting some of my video tutorial content onto SlideShare. I’ve been working with Ellen Finkelstein to learn more PowerPoint tips so that my slides look polished. Look for an upcoming podcast interview and webinar with her too.
Content Warfare has a must-hear podcast titled Building Authority Online using Google Plus with Mark Traphagen. He’s one of the stratosphere level guys in SEO knowledge and I follow him around like a puppy.
Let me tell you something, you can do more SEO on G+ in a few months than you can on your site in two years. G+ is now becoming my top referral source of traffic to my site. I’m working overtime to create the resources you need to do the same thing. And you need to do it quickly.
Did you know about Goggle Webinars? http://vshow.on24.com/vshow/learnwebinars They have a wide variety of topics for a range of folks from beginner to intermediate. You can attend live or see the replay. There is one today on Driving Direct Response with Video and another that is delivered on demand titled Google+ and enhanced campaigns. There are several coming up this month for making better use of mobile too.
A New MailChimp is Coming. That’s the title of the latest post on the MailChimp blog. They will be rolling out some big changes in June. And yes, just as soon as I finish making all of the WordPress video tutorials for 3.6, I’ll be revamping the MailChimp Video Course. Look for more blog posts on this topic too as they tell us more about the changes. I’m hoping they let me get a sneak peek.
The nice folks over at DIY Themes made a bunch of custom optin forms that integrate with MailChimp. You ought to go check these out, they are really nice looking. You can download all seven for free.
If you’re just getting started with G+, here are a few tips to help you be successful.
- Leave your Facebook and Twitter habits behind. G+ has its own culture.
- A lot of folks on G+ are Circle snobs. Everyone started with a clean slate there and are being picky about who they add.
- Fill out your profile and make some posts if you want folks to follow you back.
- Vanity numbers are truly meaningless. It’s not how many folks follow you, it’s who.
- Great content wins on all counts above. That’s what Google is all about these days. Folks who create great content rising to higher visibility.
If you’re still on the fence about getting into G+ and thinking your potential clients aren’t there, think again. It’s all about community and conversation on G+ and not like the culture on Facebook. Go listen to that podcast I mentioned with Mark Traphagen on Content Warfare about building your authority on G+ whether your clients are there yet or not. You have to do that first, and then they’ll come, not the other way around.
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. http://www.blackberry.com/podcasts You can also subscribe directly to the blog posts to get them via email. Visit BlogAid.net for more tips, tutorials, and free resources to make your site better.
And I’ll see you online!