Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Does inspiration have a time limit?
- Refining work schedule balance
- Replay is up on Rebranding Your Blog chat with Kate Ahl
- Graduation day for the DIY SEO workshop folks
- The difference in building and maintaining an empire
- Why you need to look at your site with fresh eyes
- Why to make it a summer of renewal for your site
- 2 new social media accounts you want to get
- What was in the WordPress 5.4.2 security release
- Why you need the Cloudflare Pro plan now more than ever
- How to create a 404 page in Astra
- What I think of the Genesis Pro plan that just went public
- The bombshell Mediavine just dropped
- Whether you want to monetize quickly or wait
- Why a better user experience makes you more money
- What to do with those fake hack emails that are going around
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Who I Help
All tips, advice, and suggestions in this, and all BlogAid posts and tutorials, are intended to empower DIY site owners who are not on hosting that is restrictive in what you can and can’t do with your site and hosting setup.
This past week was again full of unexpected issues popping up with client work that are making the projects go a little longer than anticipated. But at least there were no mini fires to deal with, and for that I am grateful.
But, dealing with those extra details did once again delay me getting done with my theme speed tests and other things I had planned for working on my business.
Inspiration has a time limit
That’s especially disappointing for my Heartwood Art plans. I was right in the middle of a making a content silo and I’ve been away from it for so long that I totally forgot where I was with it. Plus, I lost all of the creative vibe for it. Over all the decades I have been manifesting out of the ethers, I’ve found that Inspiration does have a time limit.
But, I did manage to get out one of the 2 posts and videos I had recorded. And I’ll be working on the other one this week, and that should get me back into the groove of it.
And I got going again on the theme speed tests on Monday, so I’m getting my head back into that vibe again too.
Refining my work schedule balance
Late last year I started a round-robin way of working with all projects. It made me highly productive. In fact, a little too productive.
What I do with BlogAid is mentally heavy work. And I was not taking enough breaks between projects. By 6pm my mind was mush and I had nothing left to enjoy the remains of the day.
Well, I fixed that issue. A few minutes of playing with Zak or a walk really helped re-energize me.
But, what I need to do now is ensure that I block out enough time for my own site and business work. That’s a lot easier said than done because each client project sort of sets its own demands and schedule. Same with vendor changes, like with plugins and such that have to be jumped on quickly. It’s the nature of tech work.
I would imagine some of y’all with small kids face the same issue with balancing the needs of the family with getting productive chunks of quiet time to blog or take a course or such.
How do you balance out your work tasks when so many parts of it are on-demand and you can’t control your schedule with them?
Feel free to leave a comment on the blog, or anywhere you see this post online.
One of the true highlights of this week was the livestream on Rebranding Your Blog.
I want to thank Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media for a great chat.
We covered a LOT more than just rebranding. There were a bunch of great Pinterest tips in general, plus tips on deleting content and images and such too.
So, even if you are not thinking of rebranding, this is a great show to watch.
It’s also out on the BlogAid Podcast as well.
Another big highlight last week was the completion of the live DIY SEO workshops!!
Everyone in the course now has a solid SEO foundation for their site with all of their Yoast and Google Connections made correctly.
And, they know all of the 14 opportunities they have for SEO on every post and page.
And, everyone is up to speed with how to do a content audit and revamp.
So, now the real work begins on that revamp.
My Revamp Plan
This year, my goal is to update all of the posts and tutorials on my Helpful Posts page.
That’s a really big undertaking as so many of those are video tutorials and case studies for the best plugin to use for a certain task.
But so many of those plugins have changed, or the host interface has changed, that too many of those posts are out of date.
And that’s hurting my business.
Those are the posts I use for answering questions in blogging groups, and that gives me a lot more exposure to new business.
So, it’s definitely a top priority for me this year, as I can’t send an outdated post in response.
What big task is on your content revamp plate for this year?
Building an empire and maintaining it are two different things
For those of us who have blogging for a long time, we started with a few ideas and ways of marketing and built upon that foundation.
You add a little thing here, and another little thing there.
And suddenly you’re running an empire and things are great.
But, after a few years you find that maintaining that empire is even more work than it was to build it a little at a time.
That’s where I am with BlogAid. Site tech and the info in courses changes every single day. It’s a lot to keep up with much less keep pace with getting the info out to you.
I’m betting a bunch of you are in the same boat with maintaining your site and content.
I think it’s prudent to take a hard look at our empire and ensure that all of it is up to snuff.
It’s good to spend time digging into the past efforts and shoring them up to current trends and needs rather than just constantly expanding and putting out new things.
We all have folks that have just recently found us and they don’t know anything about things we put out years ago.
Look with fresh eyes
I’d like to invite you to remember who your current target avatar is and go have a look at your site with them in mind.
Can they find what appeals to them?
Do you have clear ways for them to engage with you beyond that first visit?
Do you have other things that might interest them, or is there so much clutter that they get lost in the maze?
Is it time for you to niche down from things you tried that maybe never caught on?
Is your theme looking tired and in need of a facelift?
When was the last time you looked at the demographic of who is visiting your site? Maybe your target avatar has changed and you need to cater more to them.
Summer of Renewal
Summer may be a good time to do this kind of site inspection and make a plan for what you’d rework if you were starting all over today, knowing what you know.
And maybe that’s a good way to get some inspiration.
What kind of site would you build today if you were starting all over?
Let us know what ideas sprang to mind for you and what you’d do differently, or what you want to change.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
We’re actually a little shy on tips this week. There has been plenty of news, but it’s stuff coming down the pike for later this year. So, I’m keeping my eye on these things and will have reports for you when there’s something for you to actually do with them.
Most are going to hit toward the end of summer around August and September. So, we have a little respite from site tech and that’s why it’s a good time to focus on content and such now.
Get New Social Media Accounts
There are a few new social media platforms emerging that your peeps may already be using.
I would suggest you go get an account to at least claim your own name and that of your website.
Are there any others you see emerging where we need to claim our handles?
Leave a comment on the blog, or anywhere you see this post online.
The WP 5.4.2 update rolled out last week with multiple security fixes for XSS, or Cross Site Scripting vulnerabilities.
Going up from 5.4.1 to 5.4.2 is a minor, or point release, and should have auto updated for you.
Major releases, like 5.4 to 5.5 will not auto update and you’ll want to follow me here on BlogAid to know when it’s safe to do those.
Now, don’t get too excited about all of these XSS issues. Multiple plugins a day have them too. It’s one of the most common coding issues for everything related to sites. The other is mySQL injections, which is an issue with database access.
About 15 plugins a day have at least one of these 2 issues. And on occasion, WordPress has them, and themes also have them too.
Get on the Cloudflare Pro Plan
This is why I won’t sleep without my money sites being on the Cloudflare Pro plan, which is $20/mo. It has extra security to bridge your protection against these issues until a patch is rolled out.
And $240/year is not much compared to the cost of a hack site repair and your site being down during it, not to mention the inconvenience of it happening at inopportune moments.
I take my site audit clients through the Cloudflare setup live, on their own Cloudflare account opposed to doing it through the host, as I’ve never seen a host do it fully or properly yet.
We do this in a live session so you don’t have to share any logins with me.
And if you’re already on the free Cloudflare plan, contact me for a quick session to upgrade to the Pro plan and get all those extra WAF (Web Application Firewall) settings made. It will only take us about 15 minutes.
I am so happy to see this new tutorial from Michelle Phillips of Codefetti on how to create a custom 404 page in Astra.
There’s no direct route from Astra on this, and thanks to Michelle, they now have it as a future feature request.
But in the meantime, and since we have no idea how long that will be in the making, I strongly suggest that you see Michelle’s tutorial and build out your 404 page in Gutenberg.
A custom 404 page will keep visitors on your site instead of slamming the door in their face, so it’s most definitely something you want to have on your site.
And Gutenberg, Astra, and Michelle are going to help you do it.
For my webmasters, you’ll want to have a look at the video on Genesis Pro, which has just been released to the public on StudioPress.
But I have to say, I’m not too impressed with the deal or the plugin yet.
But I am happy Genesis is moving in this direction. In fact, I think it’s the only way the framework can survive in the age of Gutenberg.
I’m not sure it’s ready for end users, though.
But designers most definitely need to keeping an eye on these changes and getting familiar with how to work with them.
Holy freaking cow y’all!!
Mediavine dropped a bomb.
With 7,000 publisher partners, and due to the changes CoVid brought to the industry, Mediavine has decided to raise the minimum sessions to qualify for their program.
They doubled it from 25,000 to 50,000!!
In their announcement they said that the change is so they can focus on quality over quantity.
That’s not just in sites, but in support as well.
Now, if you’re already in the program, or you already have an application in the works, then nothing has changed for you.
This new minimum applies to all new applications only.
Do You Monetize Quickly or Wait?
One of the things I see posted in blogging groups all the time are folks who decided to monetize their site quickly and regretted it later.
They got AdSense on their site only to discover that it slowed page load like crazy and they really made only peanuts with it.
Or, their traffic finally took off enough to qualify for Monumetrics, which is 10,000 sessions a month, I believe. But then they had to wait 3 months or more to get accepted.
And by the time they did, their traffic had continued to spiral up and they suddenly qualified for Mediavine when it was at 25,000 sessions a month.
Then they had to lose the $99 they had paid to Monumetrics for the application process, and/or had another month or so delay to wait for Monumetrics to take ads off before Mediavine could put their ads on.
But the worst part of all of it was that in trying to monetize too soon, they actually stunted their growth due to having a slow loading site with a horrible user experience of too many ads.
And when you first get on Mediavine, you have to endure full ad placement for 90 days, which doesn’t help solve the problem of poor user experience either.
After that 90 days you can back off how many ads are displayed and you actually end up making even more money with less ads.
And now with Mediavine raising the minimum requirement to 50,000 sessions a month, I think we are going to see a lot more AdSense and Monumetric ads.
And we’re going to see more site owners working too hard for their traffic because of it, meaning they get one-off hits and have to go get another 10,000 viewers a day.
Instead, they could be building a tribe of loyal visitors and getting way more repeat visits that they don’t have to do so much work to get. Those folks are on the newsletter and/or following them on social media.
And, more folks will be scrambling to find other ways to monetize other than ads too.
The printables market is already pretty crowded, and I’m betting it’s about to get even more so.
Plus, several of my clients agree that the heyday of Pinterest is over.
So, I think the rest of the year and into next is going to be very interesting with seeing what emerges as the biggest traffic generation sources, as well as the best ways to monetize your site.
Better User Experience Means More Money
All this to say that user experience should be your top priority now.
This is THE main focus of the new Google Web Vitals checks too.
So, if you hope to do well with SEO, you most definitely have to pay attention to it.
I hope to have more details for you next week as I take a super deep dive into all the new Web Vitals checks and into what triggers a bad score on with them.
That’s not easy for me to do, as my site audit clients are all getting good scores.
I’ll be working closely with my webmasters on this, as well as the folks in my DIY SEO course too.
I’ll have more for you as I get it.
This past week I’ve heard from multiple bloggers that they are receiving scary emails stating their site has been hacked and to send bitcoins to keep it from being further exploited.
Scammers have been sending these emails for years, but there seems to be a big uptick in them lately.
I know they are unsettling, but they are fake.
Your site has not been hacked and you can mark that email as spam.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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