Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include two ways to improve author resource box conversion, a book that will be in my stocking this year on how to build habit forming products, why this year’s LinkedIn Challenge is at the top of my list to do, how to create a custom vanity URL for short links, how to turn one piece of content into eight, site launch success stories, and for dessert, beautiful wintery fractal art. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
I’m thrilled to announce A2 Hosting as a Tips Tuesday Podcast sponsor!!! And we’re celebrating in style.
Thank you to A2 for the special deal and for the exceptional Guru Crew who have gone above and beyond on so many occasions to help me and my clients with stellar support. Clinking a virtual beer with you guys.
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I’m also delighted to announce the launch of a new site from Portuguese language teacher Ligia Fleckenstien! I simply could not be more proud of her. She was fairly new to WordPress and my classes were actually a lot to digest. But she stuck with it and did the work and has an amazing new site.
Her work ethic and willingness to learn and try new things was so inspiring to me as well. It was a sheer delight to work with her.
Be sure to drop by her new site and learn some new interesting tidbits about Brazilian culture and the beautiful Portuguese language. I learned something pretty fascinating about cashews, but you’ll have to go check out the site if you want to know what it is.
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More Client Sites Happenings
I’ve got another client launching tomorrow with a super duper delicious site that I’ll talk about next week. And then two more clients coming to the final stages of their training and site revamps. One is a huge membership site rework. And the other is for a CPA firm.
And, I’m meeting today with a client who has a couple of sites, one of which is older and needs a theme and back end overhaul so we can bring it up to current security standards, else it puts her whole hosting account at risk.
And I have two more meetings with a former training client who has a super site foundation now and is ready to add either a membership or courseware section. The second client meeting is also for a new membership site for a former training client too.
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New Client Portal launched
I want to send out a huge thank you to +Mark Vang who setup and trained me on how to use Google Sites as a portal for my site management clients. I launched it this past weekend for my designers and a test client. Plans are to bring the rest of my clients on board this week, once I get the initial feedback from the testers.
Moving to Google Apps has revolutionized the way I work with clients and this new client portal is one more step in that direction.
If you would like to see an example of it, check out Mark’s +Sanctuary Networking Community where we’ll be showing it off in one of the community Hangouts next month.
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Switching gears at BlogAid
With the recent release of the Webmaster Training site, it’s time for me to switch gears here at BlogAid. For the last couple of years I’ve been building the foundation of the core business. Sometimes that felt like cracking through six stories of bedrock with only a jack hammer. But it was worth it because now I have the foundation for the skyscraper that’s coming.
I’m switching from building to sales. That’s what skyscraper contractors do. They start the construction and before it’s even finished, they begin renting out the office space.
And as the building begins to get higher visibility, sales boom.
That’s my goal for the entire next year. In fact, I met all of my financial and building goals a month early, so I’m getting a jump start on my plans for 2015 starting this week.
I’ve got bunches of blog posts in the wings, along with more video tutorials for the member sites and on YouTube, and lots of plugin reviews and site case studies on the way for you.
Plus, I’ll be adding interviews with my clients as well as industry professionals to my podcast.
Those will give you real-world examples of what it’s like to turn your site and your business around by loading up on the kind of knowledge and skills you gain in my consults and training classes.
My goal is to be of service, be helpful, and put as much know-how in the hands and minds of site owners as possible.
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Site and Business Revamp Courses
A solid 80% of my clients do not know the fundamentals of WordPress, SEO, and conversion when they come to me. That includes folks who have been online for years.
When you’re ready to get confident about knowing what you’re doing and why, plus get a real plan in place for your editorial calendar and higher conversion, contact me.
I can only take just so many folks a month because each class is uniquely tailored to each person. There’s only two slots left for December and I’m already starting to book into January.
And, keep in mind that this is a business investment, so you can write it off your taxes, which is another reason to book soon, even if you don’t want to start the classes until 2015.
Whew, okay! That’s all the news from around here.
Let’s jump into tips this week from around the ‘net.
WordPress 4.1 Beta Released
The new version is ready enough for developers to start testing. Smart plugin creators grab these beta releases and check their plugin functionality with it. And the only other big news is that they will be postponing the inclusion of the new taxonomy handling until the 4.2 release next year. They want to give time to get the word out about the coming changes. This is a pretty big thing and will definitely impact theme design down the road. I’ll keep you posted when I have more specifics on the changes.
The two big changes coming in WordPress 4.1 are to distraction free writing and a new inline image editor. I’ll have a video tour for you as we get closer to release.
Content Marketing Tips
End of the year is a super time to write the kind of posts that really drive readership and business. +Marko Saric has a super post with several types to write including:
- Best posts of the year
- Predictions for the new year
- Year in review
Those are just a few on his list and he gives several good tips for each one too. So be sure to go check out the whole post.
And you better believe I’ll have one of each this month.
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+Jay Baer is the dude. In a recent post on his Convince and Convert blog, he gives us the whole enchilada on how he creates his Jay Today videos, including:
- all the gear
- the format
- the post production
- and the 8 pieces of content he creates from that video
Definitely a post worth your time, even if you don’t make videos. You could do the same sort of thing with your blog posts or even podcast.
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One of my goals for 2015 is to completely revamp my social media presence. Honestly, I’ve pretty much neglected them for a couple of years now, and they really look like it.
And the first thing I want to get for use on every one is a short vanity URL.
+Ana Hoffman has a super duper post on how to do just that. You know what I love most about Ana’s posts? She writes rubber-meets-the-road posts just like I do. It’s not a bunch of fluff. It’s how to and why to and when you’re finished with the post, you have something accomplished that you actually understand too.
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I used to do pretty well with content marketing and conversion on LinkedIn. But then it seemed to turn into a link dump. But that’s really turned around in the last year or two and I plan to jump back into using it more.
+Sarah Santacroce is running her annual LinkedIn Challenge to help folks learn all about the platform. It started yesterday, so there’s still time to keep up with the daily tips.
FYI, super SEO dude +Mark Traphagen says that LinkedIn has become one of his favorite places to micro blog and is turning into the highest conversion source too. I tend to follow Mark like a puppy because I’ve gotten good results from his advice for several years now. I’m listening to him once again on this. Hint, hint folks.
“If your work is centered around building products or services that require consistent engagement on at least a weekly basis, there are a few key steps in designing the user journey to take into account.”
That’s the lead paragraph in this review and overview by Jake Cook of a book by researcher Nir Eyal, who “has made a career blending technology and psychology to achieve such results.”
It’s titled, Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products and covers in detail how to plan and design for such experiences.
Here’s the hook framework in a nutshell:
“Eyal goes on to map out four distinct parts in a habit forming product experience: a trigger, an action, a reward, and finally an investment. If your goal is to build a returning user base for a product then coordinating each one of these experiences is critical for forming ongoing engagement.”
Definitely a book on my holiday list this year.
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Your author resource box resides at the end of your post and tells readers more about you as the creator of the content they just read. It’s also a super place to add conversion points, like social follow buttons and newsletter subscription.
+Mike Hemberger has a tutorial for adding a widget area to the existing author box in Genesis. And the great thing about that is you can reuse plugins and widgets you already have instead of hard coding them into the content of the author box, like I’m currently doing on BlogAid.
So, this is going on my theme revamp list for sure because I intend to be much more aggressive with conversion from here on out.
I’ve already got most of the conversion points in my author resource box, but they are just lost in the text. And this change will really help each point stand out.
I highly recommend that you use Genesis, but if you don’t want to have this coded into your theme, there are several author box plugins that have attractive CTAs too, especially for the social follow links.
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And if you do want to have a look at author box plugins, the nice folks at WP Beginner have 7 of the best free ones available. They’re good for getting layout and styling ideas too.
Now, keep in mind that there are paid plugins that have even more conversion options, which is why adding widgets to your Genesis author box is so appealing. You can bring in several of the options that are in the paid plugins.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. If you’re listening on the podcast, be sure to jump over to the post with full show notes and links, and any news that may have broken after the podcast was recorded on Monday.
And thanks so much for giving this podcast a big star rating on iTunes, and please leave a review and let me know what you think of the show. I really appreciate it. And do drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. That’s where I hang out. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.