Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include the release of WordPress 4.0, big sites that were hacked last week, what’s next after Authorship, a new site links search box from Google, a super HOA on content marketing, including controversy in your blog posts, whether sensational headlines work, content marketing myths, a free get unstuck webinar, why you need to cut the info on your site, setting time available boundaries, and for dessert, gorgeous visual art I look forward to seeing every day. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
I’ve just about got the new back office all squared away and I’m amazed at how much more productive and organized I am.
I’ve already told you how hooked I got on Google Calendar.
My new favorite thing is the online scheduler. I’m using ScheduleOnce and it integrates directly with my calendar. But the main reason I chose this app over others is because it can also integrate directly with GoToMeeting, which is something I use 4-5 times a week. So, not only does this save a lot of emails back and forth trying to find good times to meet, it also saves me the step of creating the meeting and emailing that.
So far, my email load has been cut to one third of what it was, and that’s really saying something.
And a super big plus is that it integrates with WordPress too. Now folks can stay on my site and chose their best meeting times. And no, I’m not going to share the link with you because I want to keep it private for client use.
Drive for Project Management
Another thing I’ve implemented is using Drive for project management. I had looked into full apps for this, like BaseCamp, and others that integrate with Google Apps. But they are better for teams, and all of my team members that need things like that already have their own, like my designers. But, just for trading info between me and a single client, they are really overkill.
So, I have a company folder in Drive. And then under that I have folders for Classes and Services. And then in those, I have folders for each client that are shared with them. Makes a super duper way for us to work on documents and spreadsheets together. That’s especially helpful for membership site projects.
And, Drive gives us a secure way to trade info because of the encrypted connection. So, I’m thrilled with that.
I’m on the trial version of SignNow and I’ll let you know how it goes.
New Member Sites
And, I’m creating the content and videos for one of the new member sites. I’ll have more for you on that when the launch date comes near later this month.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.
I hope all of you have made it through the WordPress 4.0 update okay. I’ve actually elected to hold off on updated my sites and my client management sites that are also rather complex, due to a few bugs in the new version that have caused some minor issues with a few plugins or methods that those clients use.
There are some pretty cool new features in version 4.0. Be sure to watch my quick video tour to see them all.
Big Hack Attacks
Several big sites got hacked last week. They include:
A few weeks ago, Target was hacked too.
I’m still doing lots of site audits and uncovering all manner of things in the hosting accounts. I find an average of 26 security holes and most of them are not on the site. So, don’t think that running an online security sweep on the site alone, or throwing a bunch of security plugins at your site is enough to keep it safe. Far from it.
+Robin Strohmaier has an excellent post on the topic. Authorship is not as dead as many sensational blog post titles would make you think it is. Definitely still worth you verifying yourself with Google via G+ so that Google can identify you as the author of your content and credit you with what is now being referred to as Author Authority.
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Google has introduced a new way for folks to find posts with specific topics on your site. But, there are a few things that have to happen for it to work. First, you need some special schema markup code on your home page. I’m currently checking into the best way to add this to Genesis.
Second, it’s imperative that Google has indexed your site properly, and especially important that it knows the canonical address of your domain. This is just one more reason why it’s so important to verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools and to set up the canonical address on your site properly too. You’ll find the configuration for that under Settings > General. You’ll also find a setting for it in the WordPress SEO plugin.
Third, you can also make or break this feature with the way your robots.txt file is configured.
So, this is something I’m definitely going to be implementing for BlogAid and I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
Content Marketing Tips
There is a seriously good HOA with +Eric Enge +Mark Traphagen and their guest +Ryan Hanley that has enough content marketing tips to keep you going for a solid year. If you do each one of them, you’ll have way more audience and way more conversion. They only get into the G+ marketing in the last half. So, super to watch for general audience building tips all the way through too.
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I don’t intentionally try to stir up controversy on BlogAid. It just comes with the territory. There are always 14 ways to do anything online and some folks are very passionate about how their way is the best. Ah ha, right.
Well, there’s passion and then there’s the maturity to have civil discourse, and some folks don’t know the difference. And then there’s the ability to fire off a text message without having to feel those words and that vibe coming from you and hitting another person. Or looking them in the eye. Or the fear of being cold cocked in response. Yeah, posting online makes some folks seem a lot braver than they really are.
In this post, Sarah Arrow explains why controversy can be good for business, even when you don’t mean to stir it up.
To me, it just means that I’m doing something right. I’m okay with folks expressing a different opinion respectfully. We all learn.
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And on that note, +Ryan Hanley and +Jason T. Wiser have been engaged in quite a dual over whether sensationalism works as a long term strategy. They have an HOA scheduled for Thursday that will definitely be worth watching as they discuss further.
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Things change. Online, that’s daily. The purpose of your site is to be found, read, and acted upon. How all of that is done keeps evolving too. In this post on the Content Marketing Institute, Ann Gyn has gathered an excellent collection of quips from the top dogs in the industry comparing what they used to think to what’s actually working today. Go have a read because it just might help you break out of habits that are no longer productive.
In this week’s Marketing Skinny, +Ana Hoffman invites us to a free webinar this Thursday, the 11th, to help get unstuck from whatever is holding you and your business back. She is cohosting with Laura Leigh Clarke. I’m going.
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I do this a lot. A couple of years ago I removed both prices and buy buttons from BlogAid and replaced them with a link to contact me. My reply to those emails always included an invitation for a live chat so I could get the details on what the client needed. Business boomed. And both me and the client were able to decide if we were a good fit too. And if not, then I had the opportunity to guide them toward what or who would be a good fit from those on my team or my network. Even if my offerings weren’t a perfect match, I still maintained my standing as a trusted resource, which is why they were contacting me to begin with.
So, if you’re in consulting or coaching or training, or anything that involves 1-on-1 time with a client, jump over and read this post from Fabienne.
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Too much info on site
And on that note, I want to add my own tip. A year and a half ago I hired my favorite SEO copywriter to take a hatchet to the content on my most important conversion pages. I had way too much info on them.
I was shocked and amazed how business doubled with less info and a clear call to action to contact me.
And I go through this same severe editing with my full training clients all the time too. You really don’t need a lot of content to convert. Give folks the minimum info needed and get to the CTA or buy button quickly. Then if you want to include more info, do it below that, and repeat the CTA or buy button. It works!
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I’m extraordinarily happy about how much more productive the new back office has helped me become. And working with an online calendar and self-scheduler has required me to set office hours, sort of.
The title of this post by Wendy Kerr is a bit of a misnomer. The boundaries are really about creating a work schedule, which I’m betting a lot of folks who work from home have trouble with. And, it is geared toward women, but the tips apply to everyone.
Now, in my biz, some website things are better done late at night or across weekends, like site launches and some maintenance chores. And, I have a global client list, so provisions have to be made for meeting times with others around the globe. So, my routine has to be flexible. But overall, I do have some sort of routine and I do set boundaries for when folks have access to me.
Now I just need to ensure that I start carving out more time for me to do fun stuff too, not just down time. Things like that don’t apply for startups, but at some point you pass that phase and need to get a better balance going. This post will help you with that.
I want to send a big shout out and thank you to +Hoda Maalouf for the beautiful curation of visual art she shares with us on Google Plus every day. I always look forward to them.
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 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.