Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include the move to Google Apps, hiring a virtual assistant, the impending release of WordPress 4.0, a super neat plugin to show or hide content by date, what is still alive in the wake of authorship being killed by Google, a new G+ Community for blog post reviews, drawing inspiration from your own copywriting swipe file, why to break landing page best practice rules for better conversion, switching hosts and what to look for, 20 super productivity tools, email lists that create revenue, plus why some newsletters get caught in the spam folder, and for dessert this week, a Rubik’s Cube illusion that will boggle your brain. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
I hope all of my U.S. listeners enjoyed a long holiday weekend. I spent a good part of mine, and every free moment of last week getting acquainted with my new back office on Google Apps.
I want to send a big shout out to +Dave Webster for doing the bulk of the move and configurations. We actually tried to do a configuration with the email that was bleeding edge and although it was promising, it just had too many quirks and caveats. So, we rearranged that and many other apps into more of a corporate setup.
I’ve been on an accelerated learning curve and loving it. Starting with Gmail noob vid tuts and working my way up into advanced Drive setup. Plus, we’re integrating both client retention and project management systems that will really help me stay on top of things.
I enjoy long-term relationships with my clients, and the more of them I have, the harder it is to keep all of those plates spinning. So, this new setup will help enormously with that and give us a secure way to exchange info.
I also want to send out a big shout out to +Angi Shields who is my new Virtual Assistant and has already paid for herself. Until the back office setup is complete, we can’t bring her into that, but she’s been doing a ton of research and sorting for me by finding tutorials and info that I can use to make good decisions on all of this.
Plus, she’s already helping with the virtual paperwork, like getting my standard contracts online so folks can digitally sign them and such. She’s making so many parts of this go faster and easier and I am grateful for the help.
And I’ve got a sweet HOA for you to watch about hiring a VA a little later in the podcast.
New Member Sites
You may remember in last week’s Tips Tuesday I mentioned that I’m setting up three new member sites. Well, that’s been dropped to two for now. The one that’s now off the table is podcasting.
I was a pro audio engineer for 20 years and still have a recording studio. Did a lot of work in those and on the road and definitely have more years of experience in making cheap equipment sound super than anyone should. So, I definitely have a unique set of skills to bring to that niche, but just because I can doesn’t mean I should.
And here was the deciding factor. I’ve already got clients beating down the door for the other two ventures, and I have new opportunities to expand them. Those are better areas for me to spend my time right now.
So, it’s just a better business decision, not for lack of passion or knowledge, and I’ll likely come back to it another day.
I can’t let the cat out of the bag yet on the other two sites, but they are both things I’m already offering quietly and clients have had stellar success with them.
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Okay, that’s all from around here, let’s dive into this week’s tips.
News came from the Make WordPress core dev site that version 4.0 is slated to become available tomorrow, Sept 3. Since this is a major rev release, meaning 4.0 instead something like 4.1, then it will not auto update. You’ll need to manually update it.
And as always, do a full backup first.
One of the biggest new features is to the plugin search page. You’ll see new, big icons and longer descriptions. They’re also working on better search for categorizing plugins, but that will be in a future release.
Dave Clements is one of my fave developers. He runs the popular Do It With WordPress site.
Happy to report that he has recently updated one of his nifty plugins with some new features. Now you have a super customizable way to show or hide content at a specific time, even on a recurring basis.
This is fab for promotional pages, especially those where you have folks sign up to be notified when something goes live. And then you can go ahead and place the buy button or other info in the hidden section and have it display on a certain date. Plus, you can auto hide it on a specific date too. That’s super for recurring product promotions. So go check it out.
The Demise of Authorship
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve already heard that Google killed authorship, sort of.
What it didn’t kill is author authority. Google is still tracking that.
There are bunches of posts on the news and what’s next. Here are a few.
This is my take on what became of authorship, and why I still care about it beyond SEO, plus why I strongly encourage you to learn the lessons this teaches us about running a successful online business.
Google Authorship and Author Rank aren’t the same thing. Here’s why Google Authorship can die yet Author Rank lives on. See why in this post from +Danny Sullivan https://plus.google.com/+DannySullivan/posts also on +SearchEngineLand. https://plus.google.com/+SearchEngineLand/posts
And +Joost de Valk of the WordPress SEO plugin fame, weighs in with his take on it and what’s coming for SEO.
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And if you really want to start digging into the future of where all of this is headed, drop in on the replay of this HOA with +David Amerland and +Mark Traphagen where they discuss this move by Google in context of semantic search.
Content Marketing Tips
In this week’s Marketing Skinny round up from +Ana Hoffman she announces her new Spinach in your teeth Community on G+. It’s filling up with serious bloggers who will give you the real dope on whether your blog posts are up to muster or not.
If your blogs aren’t getting traction or shares, you might want to post a link to them here and let the constructive criticism begin. Might just be the thing that helps turn your site around. And if you join the Community, be sure to give back and help others improve their posts.
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Need a little inspiration to get you in the mood to write super headlines or posts? Start a swipe file! There’s an excellent post on the Copywriting.com blog about what a swipe file is, how to start one, and why you want to do hard copies and not all digital. It will soon become the equivalent of your personal Pinterest board of things that inspire you.
I originally found this gem of a post on SEO Copywriting Top 10: Aug. 13 to 19, 2014 by Tracy Mallette.
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Landing pages are all about conversion. And you’ll find lots of posts on how to create good copy for them. But, this post from Unbounce has data to backup why you shouldn’t always follow best practices.
Here’s my take on it. Follow the practices that resonate with you. Then, track the metrics for how well it’s converting. Then change it up and see if that works better. I’ve been pushing on myself to create more aggressive CTAs and it’s working. Now, aggressive doesn’t necessarily mean in your face. It means making them more prominent and frequent.
And I found this Unbounce post on SEO Copywriting Top 10: Aug. 20 to 26, 2014 also by Tracy Mallette.
So, if good SEO and Copywriting tips are your thing, Tracy posts some awesome roundups each week.
Hosting plays a critical role in your site’s performance. And there is no one size fits all, as exemplified in the vlog from Chris Lema. He’s switched hosting from Pagely to WPEngine, and now back to Pagely. I don’t use and don’t advocate managed hosting for my clients, but I can understand the appeal to some folks, and for some, it is appropriate.
But, what really got my attention, and why I follow Chris, is his deep knowledge of member sites. Toward the end of the video he speaks specifically to those performance needs, especially the role of caching, which is very different on both member sites and e-comm sites than it is from regular blogging sites. Definitely worth your time to have a listen if you run either type of site.
One of the reasons that I decided to incur the expense of setting up a new back office and hiring a VA and expanding my team was to give me more time. That is my single most precious commodity. And anything that helps me be more efficient and productive is worth a look.
On Blogging Wizard, Adam Connell has put together a superb list of 20 tools that will definitely help you be more productive. I bet you’re already using a few on the list, and betting you’ll find several more to try. I sure did.
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In it, Rebekah discusses the process she went through with getting her expectations in line with reality and finally honing in on the right tasks to outsource and then matching those to the person with the right skill set.
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Social media platforms are going to come and go. But, that’s where most of the conversations are happening. Unless you already had a big following that was used to commenting on your blog, or your primary social media is something like Pinterest where there is no conversation, and all of it has to be on your blog, you’re putting yourself at risk of losing touch with your audience when that platform changes the rules or is no longer popular.
It might be worth your while to get an email list going sooner rather than later. And MailChimp is a good choice.
Have a look at this post by +Luke Guy on the Convince and Convert Blog about how to use your email list to convert and you’ll also see there the big names that use MailChimp.
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I wasn’t too impressed with the email examples in Luke’s post on Convince and Convert, but and he’s got much better ones in this post on his own site.
And you definitely want to read it and see the screen shots for examples of the emails that get caught in Gmail’s Promotions tab, which is their equivalent of a spam folder.
Like Rubik’s Cube? You’ll be delighted to know that +Erno Rubik is on G+. And there’s an awesome drawing of cube that changes shapes when rotated in such a way that you’ll have a hard time believing your eyes. So go take a look.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Please take a moment to jump on over to iTunes, and leave a review. I really appreciate it and your review means so much in helping get the word out about this podcast. And drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. I love hearing from you. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.