Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include what you may not know about the BlogAid Newsletter, a new case study on site performance, more on sliders, a self-assessment that will show you where you might need a little help, the insanity of the big image fad and what may really be behind it, how to consistently have clients, and for dessert, an ebook that is slathered in so much awesome sauce you just have to get it. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
This may come as news to many of you, but Tips Tuesday is not my newsletter. It’s a weekly roundup of tips from me and the folks I follow online. I know a lot of you subscribe to the RSS feed via email. And because it comes to your inbox, you think it’s the newsletter.
I do have a newsletter called BlogAid News, and I hope you’ll subscribe to it too. I usually give newsletter subscribers first crack at any limited specials I offer, or discounts. I also use it to get the word out about anything significant you need to know, to ensure you see it, like site vulnerabilities and such.
And, you can also subscribe to all of my blog posts, not just Tips Tuesday.
If you’re already subscribed to any of these things, just click the link at the bottom of the email you receive to update your subscriptions.
And go to this link if you’re not subscribed yet.
Plus, if you subscribe to any of the BlogAid Video Tutorial Libraries, they each have their own email list so I can send notices to just those folks.
I promise I’m not one of those folks who bombards you with emails. In fact, I only send out BlogAid News when I have something important to tell you.
I apologize if it seems confusing to those of you who subscribe to everything I’ve got. I try to make all of the subscriptions look a little different, and definitely title them differently so you can tell them apart. And this type of list segmentation is a big part of how I’ve grown my business. I can send targeted messages to the folks who can best benefit from that info. And I teach how to do that type of segmentation in my MailChimp Video Course too.
They’re in the nitty gritty of it now, so if you’re a developer, you may want to read the post. For users, the only relevant info I’m going to highlight is that they removed over 1000 lines of code from the backend by combining a couple of things.
And they really do need to continue making it as skinny as they can for performance.
As most of you know, I’m in the middle of creating several case studies on performance.
And what I’m doing right now is getting a solid baseline on exactly what improvements most folks can make that really do significantly improve performance. I started by running all the performance tests with a fresh WordPress installation using the default Twenty Fourteen theme and no plugins or additional content. You’ll be as shocked as I was at just how inefficient it is.
Then I started adding things, like a premium theme and then some caching help. You’ll be shocked as I was again at what a performance difference it made.
I’ll be releasing the full case study in sections with summaries so you can see exactly what you can do to improve performance and what’s killing your site.
Yoast just released his first batch of premium child themes made for the Genesis framework. This is the guy who makes the awesome WordPress SEO plugin that wipes the floor with everything else out there. Check out my post from this weekend to get a review. These puppies are made for business.
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And as a followup, the folks at Yoast wrote a post on why their new theme’s don’t have sliders, saying that sliders suck. You may remember the post from +Darren Dematas that I featured in last week’s Tips Tuesday with a great way to set up a split test to measure the impact of sliders on conversion. And his own test showed a 75% drop on the slider page.
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And here’s another post from Search Engine Land on the topic that tells you just how bad sliders are for SEO and performance. Thanks again to +Darren for bringing this one to my attention.
I hope all this puts the debate to rest. The slider fad is over.
Content Marketing Tips
Okay, this is just fun. On the Convince and Convert blog, Holly Regan of Software Advice has come up with super tips on How to Recruit the Content Marketing Dream Team. Now, if you’re a solopreneuer and you write all of the content for your site like I do on BlogAid, you are the whole dream team, right?
But what’s great about this post is that Holly breaks it down by personality type. It may be a great way to help you identify why some parts of the content marketing process are easy for you and why other parts are so darn hard. And that will help you see your weak points and get the help or support that you need to improve them. If you want to join a group or take a course, or even hire a coach this year, a self-assessment like this can help you choose the right one.
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This image thing is getting completely out of hand
Y’all know I don’t rant much. But I’m brewing one up.
Just saw a post to use a 1200×600 image as your main blog image because that’s what Facebook and Twitter prefer. Have seen other folks post that 600×900 is best for Pinterest.
Somebody’s going to have to cough up the data to show me that the extreme hit you take on site performance by doing this is worth it.
Where in the world do these gargantuan images display full size? The content areas of most themes is 700px. The bootstrap default for tablets is 768px. The columns on social media sites are half that.
Can you keep the image ratios and cut the size in half and do just as well? Has anybody tested that?
I’ve put this out to a few of my online communities, and boy hidy did it ever turn into a long thread among the developers and designers I hang with concerning responsive images. There are lots of ways to deal with the resizing thing, and there is no one size fits all.
The worst part of it is, most responsive theme owners have no idea that they should have a responsive image strategy, and most are simply taking the hit on their sites while not getting any real benefit.
Now, for other site owners, the images are the money draw. And they really have to know the best way to deal with this stuff.
You can bet I’ve been gathering all the info I can and am in the process of testing these things out. And I’ll share it with you when I’m finished.
But right now, I’m asking everyone listening to this podcast or reading this post to help me trace down the origins of these myths about huge file sizes. I need to see the data to back up the claims.
I’m also going to spend a bit of time chasing down the validity of other reports I’ve seen about the real reason why some of these social platforms are asking for unbelievably big images. They’re selling them. And the only reason that I’m even entertaining such a notion is because they are asking for images bigger than what they can display. They severely hard crop them. You’re welcome to share what you know about all this too. Leave a comment for us.
If you want clients in 3-6 months, you need to be marketing for them now. That’s what Fabienne says in her recent post. And she goes on to tell you in the video on the post, about how consistent marketing keeps you consistently in clients.
That’s true for most businesses, but some, like BlogAid and every other business attached directly to website creation, is somewhat seasonal or opportunistic. So, you have to plan your marketing around that as well.
Is your business seasonal? Do you end up doing a lot more marketing during the slow times? I hope you’ll take a moment to leave a comment either on the blog or on this post in G+ and tell us about what’s working for you.
+Stephan Hovnanian knows how to cook! He slathered this book in the best awesome sauce tips for making your G+ profile, posts, and activity sing. I just finished my first read through and now off to do them.
Doesn’t matter if you’re new to G+ or have been here a while. You’ll find plenty of ways to make it better for you and your audience.