Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- The deep dive I’m doing into extra video SEO
- Why I have to make time to do woodworking posts
- The price of success
- The caveats and rewards of mixing pleasure and business
- Why I don’t monetize my passions
- Finding your creative balance
- What’s up with a rash of connection, purging, and image issues lately
- My first look at the new cPanel WordPress Toolkit
- What’s in the new Collections for Genesis Blocks
- A preview of Gutenberg as a full theme builder
- How to take just a database or limited set of files backup in UpdraftPlus
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 8pm ET / 5pm PT on the BlogAid Facebook Page. It’s a great way to get the deeper story on what’s reported in Tips Tuesday. And, I almost always have breaking news for the day too. So come join us live for the party.
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 serious about making money with their sites and are not on hosting that is restrictive in what you can and can’t do with your site and hosting setup. If you have any doubts about what type of host you are on and if the tips I give will work there, see this post on What is Managed Hosting?
I sure hope you’re having a good week.
The weather in my neck of the woods has been perfect and I find that truly energizing.
And, I’m looking forward to a continuation of decent weather for my short vacation that I’ll be taking soon.
I’ll be deep in the woods and totally unplugged this coming weekend while I visit my brother who lives on a lake in the southern part of the state. It’s a beautiful drive too.
Deep Dive Into Extra Video SEO
Last week I started all of the research and testing into the extra schema markup for embedded videos.
This week I’m doing a deep dive into coordinating the SEO of videos that come from multiple sources, like video ads, videos in recipe cards, and more.
Then I’ll be starting my new tests on speed when videos are in use on the post.
It takes a LOT of deep digging to get all of these answers.
But it’s going to be well worth it as I will have a video SEO course like no other, and one that will be especially appealing to folks who run ads. Those video ads are very lucrative. But, those site owners also want to get their YouTube videos, as well as videos for social media platforms working for them too.
So, this is a rather complex thing to accomplish, and I will find how to make it all work together.
Making Time for HWA Posts
If you saw my recent post in the Hobby to Money-Making Site series titled Does a Try This, Try That Blog Strategy Work, then you know I’m 3 woodworking builds behind what I’ve been posting.
These past few weeks I’ve struggled to keep my new office hours and so that I can have a little time away from BlogAid and its client work to do other things that interest me, and have a wee bit of time away from my desk for at least half days.
And part of that time is hacking away at new posts for the builds I already have. While that means being at my desk, it also means that I’m making progress on these posts so I can get past them and begin implementing my new strategy of making fewer series posts that will allow me to get more posts out quickly and still satisfy my ultimate goals with this side-gig site.
It is a big proving ground for the courses I teach on Gutenberg, SEO, and the new Video SEO course that is underway.
The Price of Success
There is a Jerry Rice quotation I see paraphrased a lot by online business coaches:
“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I will do what others can’t.”
I see that paraphrased as doing what others won’t so I can have what others can’t.
And there is a quotation from Walden that I’ve seen paraphrased a lot lately:
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
Mixing Pleasure and Business
I’m a very accomplished person
- Composer with music that has played in 14 countries
- Author of a book that took 4.5 years to research and was featured in Publishers Weekly
- Internationally recognized woodcarver
- Owner of my own business that I literally invented from scratch
I poured years of my life into each of those endeavors, and so many more that don’t come with so many accolades.
So, if it seems that I work all of the time, I don’t.
I’m simply hardwired to pursue things at an intense and high level.
Right now, some of the outlets you hear about for that urge are BlogAid and Heartwood Art.
I’m not driven as much as I am called to satisfy my curiosity and creative nature.
While website stuff has some tensions and frustrations with it, so did my day job as an electronic engineer for 30 years that I did while pursuing that whole list of things I just mentioned.
There are things we do for work and things we do for pleasure. I’ve just mixed those two things now, and that’s my life at the moment.
Has Your Pleasure Become Your Business?
I know many of you have turned your passions into your online business.
You may recall from the very beginning of my Hobby to Money-Making Site series I had struggled for years trying to figure out how to flip my Heartwood Art site into something I could use to get into the online game that so many of my clients have with their foodie and DIY sites without turning my carvings into a business.
It’s the same reason I got out of the music business. The business end of it nearly ruined my love of creating music.
So, I stopped selling it.
I did not want to prostitute my true passions, and still don’t!!!
I like what I do with BlogAid. I like what I do with Heartwood Art.
But I do not have a deep sentimental attachment to either. They are not the soul of me.
I have not monetized my passions.
That is the advice I hear from so many “how to build a blog” gurus, and I think it is a mistake.
Or, the “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life” cliche. I don’t believe that either for most folks.
You get too locked into the need to make money from it to have the freedom to just explore it.
To me, it’s better to monetize what you enjoy, not what you love.
Finding Your Creative Balance
How are you finding your creative balance with what you enjoy doing, and what you have to do to make money with your site?
Are you in a rut with things?
Have your projects become a chore?
Or do you get inspired by what new things you can explore and share with others?
I invite you to take a look at your joy level as we come to the turn of the year and see if it could use a little tweaking to ensure you stay excited about sharing what you know and do with others.
Make a new plan, or take a new direction if you need to.
Joy is contagious. So is stress.
And I’m doing what I need to do to balance my work and private life in a new way these days.
And that change is pouring out into my sites and into what I share with you whether it be little chats like this, or in the tips, courses, and services I provide.
Do You Enjoy These Site Owner Tips?
This year I’ve been sharing more of my online business owner journey with you in Tips Tuesday.
I’d love to hear your feedback in a comment anywhere you see this post online.
If you’d rather just have site owner tips here and see these more personal things in separate posts, I’d love to know about that too.
Tips Tuesday is for your benefit, and I’d love to know what benefits you the most, as I want to be super respectful of your time with it.
So, do leave me a note and let me know. You’re feedback directly drives what I share. And the folks who speak up are the ones who get what they want.
That’s all the happenings from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Connection, Purging, Image Issues
I’m seeing some site issues, and y’all have been reporting them too.
- images not showing
- 520 connection errors
- inability to update/save posts/pages
- cache not clearing
Those security measures are at both Cloudflare and ModSecurity at your host if you are on cPanel.
Or, there could be something going on with the latest WP 5.5.3 update that is causing these normal security measures to trip a wire.
I’m troubleshooting with a few clients today to try to get to the bottom of it.
And just because temporarily suspending the security measures at Cloudflare/ModSecurity makes the site work, that does not mean they are at fault.
It means that something is tripping their security wires and we need to get to the bottom of that – no matter where that source is. Or, request that the security measures be tweaked.
I’ll keep you posted.
cPanel has created a new tool that mimics something that Plesk offers, called the WordPress Toolkit.
It’s an interface that allows you to install and manage a WP site.
Now, the installation is no better than the 1-click install tool that cPanel has had for years. So, I’m not advising that Webmasters, or any site owner use it, as there is zero security.
But, it does have some promising backup and update features that will appeal to webmasters who manage multiple client sites on their WHM account.
The interface comes in 2 flavors, and the free version is what is installed in cPanel by default. I have no idea how much the Deluxe version license costs, or if we can even get it yet.
And I have not dug into all that it can do yet, either.
So, for the folks in my Webmaster Training, I hope you’ll jump into our private Facebook group and let us know what you think if you have time to try it.
You may recall in last week’s Tips Tuesday that I reported Atomic Blocks now has a migration tool for you to switch to the new Genesis Blocks.
Well, this may give you some incentive to make that switch.
They have released a whole set of what they call Collections into the Genesis Blocks plugin.
Basically, they are full page layouts already done for you.
I assume these things are created with a mix of native Gutenberg blocks plus the specialty blocks in the Genesis Blocks plugin.
They are promoting it as the new way for theme designers to provide demo content.
As you’ve also heard me report in last week’s Tips Tuesday, WordPress 5.5 came with a new set of Block Patterns that serve this same sort of function, and now they are building a repository for it.
So, this new Collections thing in Genesis Blocks is along those same lines, but will be more specific to Genesis themes and their unique specialty block set.
For my Webmasters, most of whom are also designers, please do let us know if you have tried these new Collections and what you think.
When I circle back to updating the Gutenberg Ninja course for the upcoming WordPress 5.6 update in December, I’ll be having a look at these things and putting them into a tutorial for you.
On WPTavern, Jason Tadlock has a super overview of what’s in the Gutenberg 9.3 plugin that is giving us a good look at where Gutenberg is headed as a full theme builder.
As you know, the Gutenberg plugin is basically the beta tester for what will eventually be rolled into the WP core and the native Gutenberg editor.
I strongly suggest that you do not use that plugin on your live site, as it truly is a beta of new stuff and is not stable.
What the bulk of this post discusses is how themes are going to handle FSE (Full Site Editor).
It’s going to come down to whether you’re using a traditional theme or a fully block-based theme and if the FSE can detect that or not.
If you have a traditional theme, it is going to be in full control of things like the menu and widget areas. And it would not be good to show the FSE block options for those things, as there would not be any real support for those customizations in the theme.
But, if you are using a fully block-base theme that does have total support, then you would want to see those FSE customization pages.
There aren’t many, if any truly viable block-based themes for us right now.
So, if any of this stuff does get rolled into the WP core, how it detects the theme you’re using is of vital importance.
But, having these options in the core is going to help more theme devs create a bunch of fully blocked-based themes.
Here’s what I would advise you to do for now. Treat all of this exciting theme builder stuff as a beta, even when it rolls into the core.
For at least the next 6-12 months, stick with stable, traditional themes.
Maybe by late 2021 more of this new FSE stuff will be stable and maybe there will be more reputable block base themes for us to consider using, like from Genesis and Astra.
Lately, it seems to me that most every time there is an update for the Redirection plugin, or the Yoast SEO plugin, that they need us to take an extra step and update our database.
I have no idea why they don’t just do that in the plugin update itself.
I advise that you always take a backup prior to doing your updates anyway, or do them right after your regularly scheduled backup has run.
But, for these 2 plugins, you may want to just make a new database backup right before you do that extra update.
So, I created a tutorial for you on how to do a partial backup with UpdraftPlus.
It shows you how to get just your database, or how to take a bigger backup, but exclude the big thing that makes it take so long, like your Uploads folder with all of your images.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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