Woowee there’s a lot to cover today because spring is in the air and new tech, tips, and to dos are blooming all over online. This week’s tips include what I found in the WordPress 3.9 Beta 3 release, upgrading to Google Universal Analytics, more visibility for images that’s given me a reason to rethink using memes, why a slow site may be costing you authorship perks, membership site success tips, some tough love on why entrepreneurs fail, why you need a strong personal brand, an amazing post on why one theme, and the content on it, will outperform another, more on the new G+ View Count thing, how to show G+ posts in chronological order, and the new joy I’ve found in managing my G+ Circles and how you can too, so let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
I want to give a special shout out and thank you to a couple of my fave followers online. +Tim Colling who always starts his Tuesday morning with this podcast and is faithful to share it with all of his G+ peeps. Thank you so much Tim!
And a shout out to Debra Simpson who consistently shares BlogAid on Twitter. In fact, she does a better job of it than I do. She’s a master with hashtags and I’d probably do better to retweet her! Thanks so much Debra!
This past weekend I dug deep into the Beta 3 release of WordPress 3.9, which has a target release date of April 16. I was making the script for a video tour on what’s new, and I don’t think I’ve used the word caveat that much in under five minutes before. So, I think they still have a few things to work through and I’m going to hold off making that video until Release Candidate 1 comes out, which will likely be sometime this week.
I dug super deep into the changes with TinyMCE, which is what runs the text editor. There is one good thing about it. You actually can paste directly from Word into the content area now. But, there are several other changes that are not so good.
And yes, the TinyMCE Advanced plugin has been affected by it too. I assume the Ultimate TinyMCE plugin has as well. I expect both of those plugins will be updated shortly after the release of 3.9.
PowerPress Plugin Updated
Blubrry just released an update to Version 5.0.7. This is in anticipation of WordPress about to upgrade to version 3.9. So, you’ll want to get this plugin updated now so that you won’t have any issues with it when you upgrade WordPress later this month. This is the premier plugin for podcasters. You may recall last week in Tips Tuesday the big shout out I gave to Michael Dell from their tech support. I won’t ever use any other way to hook up my podcast to iTunes because of that superb service.
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WordPress SEO Plugin Premium Support
With the WordPress SEO plugin’s latest update you’ll now find a link for Premium Support. You’ll see it when you go to the Plugin admin page around the area for the links to activate or deactivate the plugin. My fave WP fix-it guy, +Makis Mourelatos tells me that it’s appearing on all of Yoast’s plugins now. You may remember last week in Tips Tuesday I told you about over 20 plugins that team Yoast makes.
Google’s new Universal Analytics is officially out of Beta and they are encouraging everyone to switch. Now, you don’t have to do this immediately, but you definitely don’t want to put it off. There’s two parts to it, and Google may have already done one of them for you. All of the info you need, plus super simple and quick ways to check your analytics and site for the two parts, is in my post from Friday. So hop on over and check that out.
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More visibility from images and easy ways to create them
For years +Denise Wakeman has been preaching that using images in social media is good for visibility.
She shared two posts that caught my attention. The first is her suggestion to use a service that helps you easily create those images. The second is her share of a post about how Google might be picking up the text from them for SEO. That’s very exciting and has me thinking more about creating memes.
Thank you Denise for being so adventuresome and helping us get more visibility!
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This is a super interesting observation from +Mark Traphagan. He’s noticed several folks reporting that when they did major performance tweaks on their sites that their authorship Rich Snippets improved and their profile image next to the post returned.
One interesting metric that I’d like to see before and after on from these sites is the rating from Google PageSpeed Insights. I believe the factors they list there are what’s most important to Google. I’ve got several client sites that are nearing a perfect score since we started doing performance tweaking. But, some of it is a little vague, as are other Google explanations about how they rank.
Y’all know that I’ve gradually been expanding BlogAid over the past year and working some things quietly until I was ready to announce it publicly and take on lots of new business doing it. And one of those things is membership sites.
Chris Lema is my go to guy for finding out about new membership plugins and all the things that go with them. But no matter which one you use, it all comes down to formulas to run a sustainable membership. And in this guest post on Torque he addresses keeping up with your metrics.
Everybody focuses on the plugin specs or content creation. But very few folks focus on how to get and retain paying members. And that’s the bottom line. There are hundreds of posts out there telling you about how much money you can make running a membership site. Few to none of them talk about all of the planning that should go into it before you go plugin shopping. Or about the metrics you need to keep up with after you start. Or all of the promotion it’s going to take to get new members and keep the current ones.
So, stop listening to all of the hype about membership sites and go read this post from Chris to get a reality check on what it takes to build a sustainable and successful member site. I do all of this with my member site clients.
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This is a superb meme from the folks at Guess Who’s Balyhoosing on Balyhoos.com that answers that question. And before I read these to you, I want you to consider hearing them as tough love. Okay, here they are:
- They debate over technology & work on their product features rather than revenue model.
- They offer FREE services for too long & hope that they would eventually make money.
- They are proud of their services that do not align with their customer’s mindset.
- They always want to say something but often fail to have something to say.
- They want to change the world but don’t like to change themselves.
- They focus more on the problem instead of finding the solution.
- They don’t step in and out of their customer’s shoes.
- They fail to fail fast.
Now about that last one. On BlogAid, I failed fast every six months while keeping the same website. I just literally retooled my business model to be in line with where the business was coming from, and to take advantage of new opportunities. I’m still tweaking BlogAid, but it’s not from failing. It’s from such extreme success and even more opportunities opening up.
And all of my failures came from the first seven things listed. You’ve got to be willing to learn, grow, and change to create a successful business online. That’s just the way it is folks.
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Personal branding. Years ago BlogAid was a sister site to my main site gig, which was a site mainly dedicated to building websites. So, I built no personal branding on BlogAid because I had intended to flip the site at some point. But, when I changed my business focus strictly to successful site ownership, then I threw all of my eggs in the BlogAid basket, and I put my picture and name on it and started building a personal brand. That changed everything.
+Cam Munro has a most excellent post on his Persuader blog about this and why it’s so important to build a personal brand. And before you go read it, I want you to think about me. What do you associate me with? What do you think of my authority and trust factor on those topics? Whatever you came up with is the direct result of me deliberately building a personal brand. See? It works. And it’s never been more important than now, when everything about online success comes down to authority and relationship marketing. So, go read Cam’s post and see how to start building your personal brand or strengthen it.
Several of you have heard me say how underwhelmed I am by several of the new StudioPress Pro theme redesigns. They are simply too focused on fashion and not conversion. For any of you thinking about, or already using one of the splash screen type themes, I want you do go read this post first on how GrooveHQ Grew Conversions 100% by Rethinking Our Design Strategy.
Here’s just one of the takeaways.
“Takeaway: I’m not disparaging good design; hell, I obsess over the stuff. But focusing on design at the expense of content can be deadly. To find a balance, we had to reverse course and put design in the back seat, taking a “copy-first” approach.”
You’ve heard me say over and over that one theme will outperform another. But there’s more to it than the theme. In my Scratch to Published classes, we don’t even think about looking for a theme until we’ve had two classes that are three hours each on WordPress, content, SEO, and conversion. So, it’s not just the theme choice either. It’s knowing what to put into that theme that will convert your readers.
I hope you will take the time to read the whole long post on GrooveHQ. And take some time to see how you can apply it to your site because it truly does impact your bottom line.
We can always count on +Mark Traphagen to give us a balanced analysis of what’s up with changes on G+ as it pertains to SEO and such. Lots of folks are saying this is nothing more than another meaningless vanity number. And at the end of Mark’s rather long post, he gives an example of the difference in View Count between himself and +David Amerland.
It really does describe why you can’t just go by this number as a true indicator of comparative value.
But, you know as well as I do that if Google is going to show it like that, folks are going to try to game it. And Mark speaks to that in his post as well.
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Thank you to +Luiz Fernando for this super tip. It’s an easy thing to do and really contributes to a lot of joy when reading your stream.
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And I want to say a special thank you to +Stephan Hovnanian for creating such a wonderful book series on G+ Pros Tips. I finished the first book and have been on Step 1 of the second book for a few days now. I really had my Circles in a mess and the first step is to clean them up. It’s already made a world of difference to my enjoyment of G+. And, it even helped me uncover some real gems in the folks I follow, but rarely saw much in my stream from them. In fact, several tips today came from those folks.
I’m really looking forward to finishing this book before he releases the next one in the series. If you haven’t started on these yet, I suggest you do. Stephan is my go-to G+ guy.
Whew! Alright y’all, that’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. Told you there was a lot to cover this week. If you’ve got tips you think will help folks, send them on over to me. And please do leave a comment here on the blog, on iTunes, or on G+. I love hearing from you. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.