Hello Happy Site Owners! This is the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for June 3 2014 and I’m your host MaAnna. This week’s tips include 3 ways to find the best plugin, a new Google page previewer, what the Google Panda update means for your site, why you can forget about creating content for search engines, the science of calls to action, creating content that converts, creating a better contact form that helps conversion, 56 blog post ideas, the courage to publish quality content, and for dessert, site success inspiration from seven travel bloggers. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
Big Member Site Launch
Remember that big member site I told you I’ve been working on for a month? It’s live. We did a soft launch yesterday. And, this client is about to be featured on a Showtime documentary, which is very exciting too. She’s thrilled to have her new site ready for when that hits too. I’ll keep you posted when I can release more info about the public launch.
– – – – – – – –
The Best Member Plugin
And, I’ve just started building another big member site. And this one will be with the MemberPress plugin instead of WishList Member because it’s just a better fit for the job. I’ve got a new post started on how to run a successful member site, including plugin choice. So look for that later this week or early next.
– – – – – – –
I don’t rant much but dadgumit, I saw a post the other day that just set me off. I’m sure it was meant to be helpful but it just opened a can of worms instead. Somebody declared to a non-techie group that he was obviously the WordPress expert there and offered to answer questions, including how to protect against bot attacks. The advice was so generic and so poor that no one got helped. And that happens a lot. So I wrote a post about it and the role that you, as the site owner plays in soliciting such advice, and how to protect yourself from getting bad info.
I’ve been seeing that post get shared all over the place online by other folks like me who get fried on trying to help folks that make it hard to do. Don’t be that.
Development for WordPress 4.0 continues and they’ve got some good ideas for improving the install plugin admin page. Instead of just Newest and Popular links at the top, and then a crazy tag cloud, they’re hoping to add more useful category listings like image gallery and contact form. And they’ve got several suggestions for improving the info you see when you look at the details on any plugin in the repository too.
While all of this is definitely needed and wonderful, it won’t replace getting recommendations from folks you know and trust. There are 31,388 plugins in the repository as of this weekend, and about 100 being added or modified weekly.
Here are a couple of ways to help you find the good ones.
Next time you are in your site, go to Plugins > Add New and then click the Favorites link at the top. In the name field, type in blogaid. You’ll see most of the plugins that I won’t do a site without.
For the rest of my recommended plugins, visit the Plugins page on BlogAid. You’ll see the plugins broken out by category and my top pick when there’s more than one choice.
I know most of you are using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, but for those using All in One SEO Pack, you need to update immediately. This is especially true for those with multiple folks logging in.
Now you can see your site pages like Google sees them. This is going to help you fix issues with your pages too. So go give it a try.
– – – – – – – –
Google is about to roll out a major algorithm update that is specifically looking for “thin content” that looks spammy to them. One of my fave folks, +Eric Enge has a nice video interview with +Carmen Rojas that will tell you all you need to know about what’s coming.
– – – – – – – –
There’s a lot of buzz about the old ways of SEO being dead. In my opinion, it’s half dead. Keywords still have a place in all this new-fangled semantic search business. But the real trick now is to answer questions with authority. After all, most searches on Google are to find answers to questions. And most click-throughs in search and on social media is the same. While I won’t go as far to agree with the title of this post, I think the points David Schloss brings up will help you rethink how and what you write about on your blog so that readers and search engines think you have authority on a topic and that you’re best person to answer the questions they have.
CTA stands for Call to Action. You may feel like you’re asking too much or screaming at folks with big, in your face, CTAs. But what I’d like to ask you to do is just try it. This article on kapost Content Marketeer covers:
- Your copy
- and Testing
Plus, there are lots of screenshots to show you exactly what they’re talking about. So go check it out.
– – – – – – –
If you have any doubt about whether you can be viewed by others as an authority in your field, I want you to go to this post on the Content Marketing Institute blog and scroll down to the image in the 5th section on Reduce Anxiety. It says that folks like me and you are trusted above industry analysts. Think about that. And we’re almost tied with both technical and academic experts on any given topic too. What you know and what you think about a topic matters because you’ve been spending time in it. The folks who are reading you haven’t. And they’re counting on your trusted voice to help guide them to the most valuable information you can gather for them.
Will you always be right? Nope. But neither is any other expert, no matter what they’re credentials.
What you will find are folks who hold their positions with passion. That doesn’t make them any more right. It makes them louder, which helps them get heard. And the vibe coming from passionate people is contagious, which makes their message sticky. And that’s pretty much what the rest of this post is about.
Remember the goal of your content is to be found, read, and acted upon. Being as honest and accurate as you can be is only one part of the equation. Being perfect plays no part in it.
– – – – – – – –
For those of you that offer services and products like I do here on BlogAid, one big part of your conversion is your contact form. First, I would suggest that you periodically check to ensure that it’s working, especially if you haven’t received an email from it in a while. Plugins can have glitches too, or an update could make them go stupid.
Second, go read this post on the Convince and Convert Blog. Jay goes well beyond the usual and makes you think about some things that may not have occurred to you.
One of the things that caught my attention was the mention of using social login on the form. He cites one case where they saw a 500% conversion increase. Social login is catching on and something I’m following for you. And I can tell you that we’ll all be considering whether to add it to at least some part of our sites before the year is out.
Content Marketing Tips
THE Pro Blogger, +Darren Rowse, has 56 ideas for you to write about. And if this list doesn’t jump start your creative juices, you might want to check your pulse. It’s a good list.
– – – – – – – –
I appreciate and applaud +Marilyn Moore for publishing this post. So many folks struggle with both feeling they are not expert enough, or writer enough, or speaker enough to really help folks via the content they can publish. The fact is, if you’re in business, then you are all those things enough to help who you can help. The right folks will find you out of the pack, even if it’s eventually after they blow through experiences with more high profile folks who were not a good fit for them first.
And for dessert this week, I want to leave you with a little site success inspiration. On How To Make My Blog, Daniela Diamare collected tips from 7 popular travel bloggers and I found them all to be very inspirational. The questions ranged from how they started their blog to how many hours a week they work on it. But the best tips are from the question about the lessons they have learned, their biggest success, and their biggest mistakes. I believe everyone, no matter where you are with your online journey, will appreciate these perspectives.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. Feel free to ping me on G+ with tips you know will be helpful to folks, or news I cover. It really does take a village to keep up with all of the changes online. And please do leave a comment on the blog, on iTunes, or on Google+. I love hearing from you. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.