Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include a free plugins webinar, 34 top blogs about blogging, what’s coming in WordPress 4.2, the big BackupBuddy update, how to secure your PayPal account, the power of brand awareness and personal authority and how to build both, the one name you need to know to take your blogging to the next level, and how to make time to create all that epic content. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
I hope all of my listeners and readers up in the northeast are keeping warm. I know y’all are hunkered down for this thing and hope you still have power. We’re all addicted to our time online and it can feel like you’re completely cut off from the world when you can’t get to social media or your favorite sites. So, hang in there!!! I’m sending you warm thoughts.
I want to send a big thank you to +Carrie Ann Foster for mentioning BlogAid on her short list of resources to follow on +Jeffrey Romano’s excellent round up of the 34 top blogs about blogging for 2015.
It’s a real honor to be mentioned alongside folks I follow and admire such as +Fabulous Blogging, +Thomas E. Hanna | BlogPhoto.tv, +Andrea Beltrami, and +Wade Harman. So definitely go check out the rest of this list. Lots of super folks to follow there.
Free Plugins Webinar
I want to remind you of the free, zero-pitch webinar coming up tomorrow at 3:00 pm ET where we’ll be reviewing real plugin lists and helping folks sort out conflicts and identify resource hogs.
BlogAid News subscribers were the first to receive the invitation to submit their plugins lists to be reviewed.
There’s still time to make your list and get it in!
Read Four Easy Steps to Fix Your Plugin Mess for the links to all of the steps to make your list and register for the webinar.
And then contact me for how to submit it.
You have to attend live to have your list reviewed, but there will be a replay because I know how valuable this info is to site owners.
WordPress SEO by Yoast Follow Up Tests
Some of you may have read my post on the first look at the beta of this plugin. +Joost de Valk asked me for some follow up tests. And I just got those in this past week. They are looking to improve the speed load on the plugin. It’s not high, but it is there, so I’m sure they appreciate all the info from beta testers to help them improve it. I’ll keep you posted on it.
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Client Testimonial that Made My Day
I had the nicest compliment from a client yesterday. She’s been running her site for a little over a year and has made good progress with engagement and getting her content shared and she’s ready to take it up a notch.
She found me through another top client who made a remark about working with me. And this new client realizes just how true that remark is.
She said the biggest differences made in working with me are the changes in mindset and confidence.
And that’s exactly what I aim for.
Most of my clients see immediate results and then are set up properly to play the longer game of gaining authority in their niche, except that they’re on the fast track even for that.
Beats the heck out of kluging together a bunch of generic tips.
And brand and personal authority is the theme of today’s podcast.
So, let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.
The WordPress dev team announced a minor update will be released soon. If you left minor updates on by default, it will be an automatic update. It’s just a little patch work I believe.
The target date for the next major release of 4.2 is slated for April 8. The focus will be polishing existing User Interfaces for mobile and accessibility.
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Because it hasn’t been updated in ages, I’m not sure many folks use or even know what the Press This function is in WordPress. The Codex defines it as:
“The Press This function allows quick publishing with a special web browser bookmarklet. You can create a post by quoting some text, images, and videos on any web page.”
The devs have listed the code changes they intend to make to it, which is pretty much all geek-speak. Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen anything clear on exactly why they decided to tackle this particular thing right now or what the end result will be, or how they hope folks will use it.
Maybe it will be a handy mobile thing, but if you’ve followed my advice and turned off the XML-RPC function fully to help protect your site from being used in a DDoS attack, then you won’t be posting from mobile anyway. I’ll keep my eye on this for you, but right now I’m scratching my head.
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There will be a new interface in the theme customizer that will make switching easier. Okay, you understood that sentence, right? Here’s what the dev team wrote in their blog post about it:
“The Customizer Theme Switcher feature-plugin brings theme switching into the Customizer.”
If any of you ever write a lead line that way I’ll personally find you to wag my editor’s red pen at you and send you to a blogging 101 class.
I’m pretty sure that folks on WordPress.com use this thing to modify the free themes. I hope most of y’all are on premium themes and are not wasting your time customizing a theme. That’s so not where your expertise lies and not what makes you money. If you’re still in the freebie mindset about your theme and doing this kind of sweat equity, you’ve got a bigger problem with your business.
BackupBuddy has recently been updated to version 126.96.36.199 and it has a whole page of changes. You can visit the changelog on the plugin page to see them all, but the big ones to me are:
- Database rollback wizard that takes into account SSL secured sites
- A fix for resetting plugin configuration to defaults, which is something I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to fix for a couple of weeks. I’ve got more on what that search yielded.
- A way to limit the number of local backups based on type. This is great if you do daily database backups and then a full weekly backup.
- A new option to delete the local backup after sending to Dropbox.
- A fix for fatal PHP errors outputting to log files
- Backup and Restore Status logs highlighting important info in red.
- Some cron status check and error reporting. More on that in a moment too.
- Additional logging and improved testing for crons passing their run time.
- And a fix for the cron missing test not running.
Okay, that’s the short list of changes.
For the last couple of months I’ve been having fits with BackupBuddy running on some sites and not others. Have seen plenty of reports of others having the same issues. When I reported the resetting to default issue to iThemes, they said it looked like it might be a database connection issue.
Well, that sent me down a rabbit hole for weeks. I didn’t find the issue specific to BackupBuddy, but found all kinds of other issues with the databases on client’s sites that I inherited. Those included some sneaky little plugin things as well as fragmented databases. So, it was actually a good thing and solved other issues on the sites too.
I updated BackupBuddy on a few sites and had zero issue. But, on sites where I had custom settings, it went haywire. So, I’m gathering all those combos up and will have a post on it as soon as I can to let you know about the alternate settings I’m using and what’s not working well with WordPress in general, like using a system Cron job instead of the one that comes with WordPress. So, stay tuned for more on that.
The Webmaster Level 5 members got all this info first during our last webinar, and that’s where I’ll be posting videos and deeper tutorials on all those combos and such too.
This is the first report I’ve heard of 2-step authentication being a bad thing. And of all places, it’s on PayPal. +Ryan Satterfield at Planet Zuda found a methodology used by PayPal that has a weak spot. He notified PayPal about it, and here’s the scariest part of the whole story.
PayPal decided to mark it as a feature request instead of a security issue. And then told Planet Zuda it was okay to make the story public.
So, here we have white hat hackers doing the right thing, and folks that so many of us use to handle our online money transactions doing the unthinkable.
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I’ve spoken +Ryan we’re in a few groups together. And he says if you already have 2-step authentication, you should be good. If you don’t have it, read his follow up post on how to do it and put that on your account today.
I’ve been hearing good things about Stripe and stuff like this just may help it grab some business away from PayPal.
But, here’s the power of brand, and let all of us who run an online business learn from it. I’ve had plenty of clients tell me they don’t want to use Stripe or other services because their purchasers don’t trust who they don’t know.
So, you and me get to hear about this issue at PayPal, but most of the folks who use it don’t. And most folks rather use a system they’ve heard of.
Brand awareness means money, no matter what.
The last time I looked, Toyota was still selling cars left and right. So, even when a problem is widely publicized, brand loyalty and prestige will trump it.
I saw this exact thing play out over the weekend in a coaches group. One asked what hosting company was recommended. Only the big name ones were even considered like GoDaddy, HostGator, and BlueHost. No matter how many folks tried to warn them off, nobody budged. They went with who they knew.
I see this same thing play out in all kinds of groups all the time.
They listen to who they know instead of who knows what they’re talking about. I’ve been handed my hat and shown the door in a couple of non-geek groups where I was new and someone else there had already been recognized as the voice of authority. Didn’t matter about the accuracy of what they said. If I disagreed or challenged it in any way, even just asking a question, I was the one put on ignore.
So much of conversion comes from people knowing people. And they don’t vet what you know because they can’t really relate to that. They vet how you make them feel.
I once heard a marketer say to a group of SEO folks that there were no conversion opportunities for them at an SEO convention. They’d do a lot better if they attended a convention of dentists.
How are you building brand and personal authority?
Are you stepping outside your circle now and then?
I hope you’ll leave a comment with how you’re doing that, maybe through social media, forums, or perhaps in person activities. Let us know how you’re achieving results.
Content Marketing Tips
Speaking of personal brands, +Mike Allton, Mike Allton, and Mike Allton.
If you only know one name associated with content marketing, make it this one. And start with his amazing pillar post on G+ for how, when, and where to create blogs, and then how to promote them.
What I know has taken me this far. What I’m learning from Mike is that I’ve been doing a few things right and how to take all of it higher. I like systems I can work. It’s efficient and effective. And that, to me, is what Mike teaches.
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Creating high quality content is a must now. But finding time to write those epic posts can be a real challenge. I know it is for me. Mike Fishbein has a nice guest post on the Convince and Convert blog that can help. He covers lifestyle and mindset changes, but he also covers why we need systems and tools to help us get things done. Otherwise, we are prey to falling into the overwhelm trap.
One of the systems that helps me avoid that is keeping a running To Do list, or todo as I call it because I like that little doggie. I do one line at a time. And it feels so good to delete those lines too!
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.