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Archive for December, 2009

Elegant Themes Membership Giveaway!

We know that most of you don’t want to be bothered while counting down to midnight (At least, we don’t. Hehe), so we’ve decided to make the final part of our giveaway short and simple.

For today, we will be giving away four club memberships to Elegant Themes, a popular themes club for WordPress owned by Nick Roach. As a member, you’ll get unlimited access to their premium and high-quality elegant themes!

How To Enter The 2009 BloggingPro End of Year Giveaway?

To participate to today’s competition and win one of the four memberships, all you need to do is to follow BloggingPro on Twitter (we will check) and tweet about the BloggingPro giveaway (Click this link to have both links included!).

Today’s competition will be closed on December 31st, 2009 at 23:59PST. Winners will be randomly chosen and announced here on January 3rd 2010!


Simple, ain’t it? Now if you would excuse me, I’ve got to prepare myself mentally both for the booze and the fireworks.

Advanced happy new year!

Categories: General
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Triggers That Make People Click

One of the books I’ve read in 2009 that I think is very helpful to bloggers is “Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click” by Susan M. Weinschenk. Although the title suggests a focus on web design, there’s a chapter there that talks about three triggers that enables web folks to”speak” to the unconscious mind. It may sound like psychobabble, but the the thing is, it is grounded on psychological research.

The three triggers are danger, food, and sex. If you notice, these are the basic elements that fire-off red flags in our collective instincts. This is because the way our brains are configured due to millions of years of evolution. All three items relate or our self-preservation instincts.

The premise is that the brain is hard-wired to get immediately attracted to words, images, and videos that pertain to danger, food, and sex. And if people are aware of these content, there is a higher likelihood that interest will be developed and the desired action, which is clicking (if it’s a hyperlink), will follow.

Here’s a few suggestions in incorporating the triggers:

  • Danger - Make the wordings of your links to be more active and, if appropriate, place “threatening” images or images that convey cautionary measures.
  • Food – The author of the book says that people pay attention to food (and that’s why there are plenty of food bloggers out there). If possible, place food items or benefits people can derive from your blog and blog posts.
  • Sex – I’ve mentioned this is in the past and that sex is always a powerful attention getter.

2010 is just around the corner and it may be a good new year’s resolution to make your content more interesting. Just rememebr the three key triggers: danger, food, and sex.

Happy New Year!

Categories: Blogging Tips, Opinion
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R. Bhavesh, Founder of Templatic Interviewed and Exclusive Ecommerce Theme Giveaway

One day closer to New Year 2010 can only mean one thing here at BloggingPro: it’s Giveaway time again!

Today Bhavesh Radadiya from Templatic joins us and explains why they rebranded from PremiumThemes to Templatic, as well as shares his ideas on the future of WordPress. Templatic also gives some licenses for their recently launched, excellent WordPress ecommerce theme ‘Store’ for our readers.

Hello Bhavesh, thanks for taking time for our interview. You have been long involved in the WordPress and theme community but somehow are not one of the ‘brands’ out there. Could you quickly introduce yourself to our readers?

Hey everybody. This is R.Bhavesh. A 27 year young net entrepreneur from India. I love to design websites with a blend of usability and a perfect architecture, helping the end user achieve to their goal. Creating products at Templatic.com allows me to do exactly that and that’s why I am working full time at that.

Congratulations on the successful relaunch and rebranding of PremiumThemes/Templatic. Why did you decide to ditch a long standing name and a great URL? Does it mean that we can expect themes for other platforms from Templatic in the near future? Read More

Categories: Interview
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Jeff Starr, Star Behind ‘Digging into WordPress’ Interviewed and Giveaway

In the second part of our BloggingPro End of Year Giveaway we are happy to interview Jeff Starr, co-author of the popular Digging into WordPress book. Some weeks ago we interviewed Chris and now it’s Jeff’s turn. We asked Jeff to dish up all juicy gossip he knows about Chris but more important to share his views on WordPress’ popularity, its marketshare and Expression Engine.

Hello Jeff, thanks for taking time for our interview. You have become part of the select crew of ‘WordPress Rockstars’, how did you come to WordPress?

I actually began on the WordPress path with b2evolution, which was a precursor to WordPress. At some point, there was a mass exodus from b2 to WordPress and I decided to go with the flow. Working with WordPress 1.2, I began designing many different themes, each of them pushing my knowledge as a designer and WordPress’ capability as a blogging engine. Back then, there was much that was not possible using default WordPress functionality, and at the time, the number and variety of plugins were far less than what we currently enjoy. So, achieving design goals required LOTS of WordPress hacking — themes, plugins, and even the core itself. Fortunately, the many talented individuals working within the WordPress community have, over the course of the past five years, helped WordPress evolve into a much more powerful and robust piece of software. With all of the time and effort that I have spent working with WordPress, I am stoked to see how popular it has become. This is one case where going with the flow turned out to be the right decision.

‘Digging into WordPress’ is hot commodity and seems to be the WordPress Bible right at the moment. We recently interviewed Chris here at BP, how was it to work with Chris? Any interesting things we should know about Chris? Read More

Categories: Interview
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Movable Type Monday: Smileys, GPS, Title Length, and More

Happy Monday, folks! This week we’ve got a handful of new plugins for you. I have not had a chance to try these personally, so if anybody has, please let us know what you think in the comments.

AutoSmileysSebastian Böthin has written a plugin that replaces text-based emoticons with images. The plugin comes with a default list of emoticons to replace, but you can customize that list as much as you want. And AutoSmileys can be used just about anywhere — entries, comments, pages, and more.

Garmin Connect Action StreamGarmin Connect is a social training log that lets you track and share your training activities using Garmin GPS devices. This plugin from Scott Hill adds those activities to your Action Stream. Read More

Categories: Movable Type News
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Interview With Designer and WordPress Book Author Thord D. Hedengren and Exclusive Giveaway

In the first part of the first ever BloggingPro End of Year Giveaway we have an interview with no one less than Thord D. Hedengren. Thord is most known for his WordPress designs and his time as Editor of The Blog Herald.

Thord has been rather quiet in the international WordPress scene over the last months but now is ready to return to the front stage with his soon to be launched book Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog. We were lucky enough to interview Thord and are exclusively giving away a copy of his book for 3 of our readers!

Thord, thanks for taking time for this interview. You have been rocking the WP design community for years with your very own signature style but recently you disappeared. What happened?

It’s my pleasure. As to me disappearing from the scene, well, it’s a mix of work and personal life that switched my priorities. I’ve been doing a lot of writing the last year or so, the book as you well know, as well as doing freelance work for magazines like MacWorld. I’ve also worked with Swedish newspapers to roll out a local blog network, and projects like that. It has been nice to return to my own backyard so to speak, being Sweden of course, at least for a little change in work scenery. It was never a conscious decision to slide out of the WordPress community, and I’ll remedy that by giving the Notes Blog theme a boost early 2010.

You are the next of a very elusive group to publish a WordPress book. What motivated you to write a book about WP and what can the reader expect from your book and when will it be released? Read More

Categories: Interview
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Sunday Morning SEO: Will Twitter and Facebook Be More Important to SEO?

twitter-facebook-logosRand Fishkin has an interesting prediction in his recent post, 8 Predictions for SEO in 2010. He believes that Twitter will become a part of Google’s ranking algorithm.

His argument is that Google has a history of innovating their algorithm to take account the most relevant link sources. And now it seems that Twitter has become the top place to share links instead of blogs and social news sites.

Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, Blogging Tools
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In a Giving Mood? Focus on the Benefits Your Blog Offers

In the spirit of the holidays, it’s a good time to focus on the warm, fuzzy feeling of giving.

But as a blogger, how do you get into the whole “spreading the wealth” business?

But let’s get some things straight first: for a lot of professional bloggers, the content being written is focused on a particular niche.  So try putting yourself on your readers’ shoes and ask the question “What’s in it for me?

This may sound too mercenary-like (and the last thing about the holidays), but think about it– why should your readers care about your blog? If your blog is one thing that leads to benefits, such as wealth, a better life, or  more informed way of doing things, then there are reasons people will come back.

So, as a blogger, be generous in pointing the benefits and making sure your readers know that there is a benefit to reading your posts. Here are three ways to highlight the benefits:

  1. State the Obvious – If there’s a benefit your readers should find worth getting, say it! This may entail having an approach that’s more direct to the point and being clear with the benefits. Apple is very good in this because they are able to put the key benefits of their products very concisely.
  2. Reinforce with Images – Blog posts will always look a little shinier and spiffier with images (provided the image will provide the proper context.) The images can also reinforce the tangible benefit your readers can derive.
  3. Make the Benefit Scarce – Create a sense of scarcity with what you are offering because people respond to loss and scarcity in a more natural way than abundance. If you think the information contained in your blog post is only good for a season, then make it clear.

Remember, make the benefits clear, obvious, and worth getting. The benefit for you may be a better performing blog.

Happy Holidays!

Categories: Blogging Tips, Opinion
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Get Ready for The BloggingPro 2009 End of Year Giveaway!

The BloggingPro team is proud to announce the first BloggingPro End of Year Giveaway.

Next week, from Monday 28th December 2009 to Thursday 31st December, every day we are giving away different prizes. A big thank you to all our sponsors who have made this giveaway possible.

Templatic

Templatic recently rebranded from PremiumThemes to Templatic and and are offering our readers several free themes to celebrate the end of year, rebranding and the launch of their elusive Store e-commerce theme.

Elegant Themes

Elegant Themes, maintained by designer Nick Roach, is another popular themes club for WordPress
Nick Roach will be giving away several club memberships during the BloggingPro End of Year Giveaway.

Digging into WordPress

Digging into WordPress author Chris Coyier was recently interviewed here at BloggingPro. Now it’s Jeff Starr’s turn to answer our questions and the crew is giving away several copies of the popular ‘Digging into WP’ book.

Smashing WordPress

Last but not least Thord D.Hedengren will announce his upcoming ‘Smashing WordPress’ book exclusively on BloggingPro and copies will be given away for our readers. After he finished his new design!

Follow BloggingPro on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss the competitions next week!

Categories: BloggingPro News
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Blog Entries We Do Not Want To See In 2010

Blogging has become a major force in the last decade and we have seen many new uses for blogs. Many of us have successfully managed to make a living from blogging and there is no doubt that blogging will stay popular in the next decade.

But as blogging continues to mature, we have also seen several ‘content trends’ over the last years and hope that these trends will disappear as soon as possible again.

‘Twitter is down’ Entries

There are two reasons why we do not want to see these entries anymore. The first one is of course because we do not want our favourite networking platform to be down too often.

But the real reason why we do not want to see these posts is because there is no news value in this kind of entry. Maybe if you are a highly frequented tech blog or social network watchdog site you can get away with it, but the general rule is: we know that Twitter is down. If Twitter’s down, we can see it on the Twitter website, read all about it on Facebook, forums and our desktop client will notify us that something went wrong. Thanks for stating the obvious and adding to the noise.

If you really need to report that Twitter is down, tweet it! Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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