BloggingPro http://www.bloggingpro.com News, plugins and themes for blogging applications Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:12:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 How to Use Interviews & Collaboration to Boost Traffic & Sales Online http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/how-to-use-interviews-collaboration-to-boost-traffic-sales-online/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/how-to-use-interviews-collaboration-to-boost-traffic-sales-online/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:12:47 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/how-to-use-interviews-collaboration-to-boost-traffic-sales-online/ The vast majority of business people, writers, marketers and other professionals online have to start from zero with whatever venture we decide to dedicate ourselves to. Most of us aren’t born into fame and as we excitedly embark online with our new products and business, we’re practically invisible and the journey to stardom or business viability seems daunting. Especially among the noise in our present digital age; we need a little help.

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Imagine getting an endorsement or mention by the likes of marketer and influencer, Gary Vaynerchuk or a business catalyzer like ex Y Combinator chief, Paul Graham. Such exposure would no doubt be a strong boost to help propel your business into the view of valuable potential clients and add years of credibility to your name.

Therefore, we can conclude that marketing doesn’t really need to be a lonely game and there is great power to be leveraged through other well-seasoned practitioners in your niche or related industries. Collaborating, associating and acquiring endorsements from businesses and professionals who already have influence is one of the quickest ways to get your brand noticed.

Get to Know the Powerhouses in your Niche & Help them Shine Brighter

It’s quite flattering when someone approaches you requesting an interview because of great work you’ve done. It helps to validate your goals and business and gives you a reason to keeping pushing forward and delivering quality. This is what you can offer well-established professionals within your industry or complementary niches.

Offer a different interview experience

Identify the influencers in your niche, reach out and get to know them. First, study the interviews they’ve conducted in the past and identify areas they haven’t addressed and determine how you can pull more valuable feedback and content from them that would benefit the community at large. Focus your interview on a unique perspective that is not commonly found in the community as this will bring greater value to the interview experience and make it more than average. This will not only attract the attention of the audience but also pique the interest of your target influencers who may be tired of the “same old interview questions.” They’ll have an opportunity to present something different.

Your focus on delivering a great interview experience for the influencer increases the chances of them promoting and sharing the interview with their followers, customers and community; increasing exposure for you and your brand. That’s why you invest and spend the time to deliver a quality experience. Your influencer will respect it, be willing to work with you to do more and any endorsements will simply be more meaningful.

Delivering the interview

One of the most valuable methods of delivering the interview would be via a live platform like a webinar or podcast. Webinars are super easy to setup and through the use of a premium webinar service provider like ClickWebinar, you will facilitate the most interactive and real experience for the community to engage an influencer and get actively involved in the event through questions and answers sessions and chats. You’re giving your community a forum where it is perfectly acceptable to ask questions and speak their mind with an influencer they would not normally have access to; this is valuable and will add to your reputation as a professional in your industry and exposure you to the influencer’s audience.

Collaborate & Share Reach & Resources

The first thing you should do as you search for opportunities to collaborate is to ensure that your goals and areas of strength are clearly defined and ingrained in your product and business philosophy. It should be easy for potential collaborators to see the value of what you have to offer and how it can help boost their own business.

Seek out other brands that complement your products or niche and develop ways to add value for their audience. As a very simple example, let’s say you sell an e-learning course, you can team up with a company that provides material to support your course content or a technology company you utilize to deliver your course. The company could use your business as a case study to highlight how well their products work and you in return extend special deals from the company to your audience or some other lucrative approach for your audience. Here you gain exposure to a market that is already in tune and trusts the company you’re with. The key here is to ensure that your products complement and add value to the collaboration and does not deliver as a mere publicity stunt. Make the experience as fluid and native as possible.

Always Provide Value

The foundation of every collaboration venture or interview should be executed on the foundation of creating content that benefits your target audience to a great extent. It’s not an opportunity to sell but is a chance to make valuable connections and relationships with people who can propel your business and point you in the customers’ direction.

Give first, gain insight; build relationships and when the time is right, there will be no challenge in selling as you yourself will be becoming an influencer.

The post How to Use Interviews & Collaboration to Boost Traffic & Sales Online appeared first on The Blog Herald.

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Export Google Docs to WP Posts with “Send to WordPress” Chrome Extension http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/export-google-docs-wp-posts-send-wordpress-chrome-extension/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/export-google-docs-wp-posts-send-wordpress-chrome-extension/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:40:34 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30799 Send to WordPress Chrome

I don’t know how much you rely on Google Drive, but it is pretty much the easiest and most convenient way of sharing documents between team members. And even if you work alone, there are times when Google Docs is more convenient to use – say, when you’re on the road and you want to make sure you have a copy of a document or post safe in the cloud.

When it’s time to post that article to your WordPress blog, then it’s a simple matter of copying and pasting the content, right?

But what if there’s an even easier way of doing that?

Enter “Send to WordPress”, a Chrome extension that does just that: send Google documents straight to your WordPress blog. Assuming you’re a Chrome user, then you have to at least try this extension out.

The beauty of this extension is that it gives you the capability of exporting a Google Drive document as a WordPress blog post – formatting and images all included! You don’t have to worry about losing hyperlinks, tags, and all important elements of a blog post.

You simply have to install the Chrome extension, and you will see a new option in Google Drive which allows you to send to WordPress, as you can see in the image above.

You will, of course, have to link your WordPress account in order to get things going.

Now here’s a question that may be bugging you: Why not just use WordPress directly?

Three things:

  1. Collaboration. If you’re working with other people on a post, this extension will come in very handy.
  2. When you can’t access your WordPress site for whatever reason, you can still create your post and follow your schedule, and then later send the post to the blog.
  3. When you have no Internet connection, what are you to do? It seems unimaginable for this to happen in this day and age, but yes, it does happen. With Google Drive having offline mode, you can still continue working on a blog post as you normally would and just send it to WordPress later on.

Get Send to WordPress.

Also read:

Tips to Build a Solid Online Publishing Team

5 Things Your Blog Needs You’ve Never Thought Of

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How Can You Harness the Power of Soft Snippets and Improve Brand Appeal? http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/can-harness-power-soft-snippets-improve-brand-appeal/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/can-harness-power-soft-snippets-improve-brand-appeal/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:12:30 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30795 Editor’s note: This post was written by Nick Robson, an SEO expert and presently works as a consultant helping out those who need his assistance. He loves writing and combines this passion of his with his knowledge of SEO.

Every business wants to improve the number of visitors to their website and create a brand name for themselves, that’s how you become successful. But doing so can oftentimes be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with snippets and how they can be used to increase the appeal of your brand.

Snippets are small pieces of metadata that are gathered based on customer preferences and the services your business offers that are used to help bring attention to your site. Google will actually use these snippets to help provide their searchers with a preview as to what your site/ business has to offer.

snippets

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There are a number of great benefits to having quality snippets, as outlined in the Huffington Post’s Use the Power of Rich Snippets to Boost Your Google Ranking. Better snippets can help you to get more attention on search engines and make the links of your business stand out more. Customers want to click on links that offer what they are searching for and deal with businesses that have great reviews. As yourself how often you search for a business that has poor customer feedback? Never, right?!

Not to mention that, by attracting more visitors to your website and allowing them to become familiar with your products, you are building your brand.Every click that your snippet draws to your site is simply another opportunity for you to get your business name out to the public and build sales. Your snippet can bring customers to your site, and beyond that it is your job to keep them there!

Finding Beneficial Soft Inputs

One of the best ways to create pages that are snippet rich is by seeking out soft inputs from your customers and target audience. Soft inputs include the information that your customers share about your business, including product feedback, sharing product uses and customer service raves. Viewers want to see that other people truly like your products and like your business, that will make them more inclined to shop with you.

snippets

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So, where is the best place to find these opinions and inputs?

There are a number of great sources to choose from, including social media sites, customer surveys, reviews and more. It is oftentimes for this reason that you will see companies, like Apple (above) or WordPress, as explained by BloggingPro.com’s WordPress Media Features Survey, ask for user input.

While these surveys don’t have to be extensive in length, you want them to lead your customers to provide input on the service they received and your products. Other brands have actually turned to third party companies like to help reach out to their customers through phone enabled surveys and cold calling. This is a quick, simple and affordable way to reach out to all your target customers.

If you keep your eyes and ears open to this feedback from customers you might actually be surprised to see and hear feedback every day.

Building Your Brand

So, now that you know how important snippets are for your business, you can start to focus on creating and getting the input from your customers that you need to promote your brand. Keep in mind that getting the positive feedback that you want starts with having quality products and good customer service. The last thing you need is to have either of the two causing your customers to give you poor feedback and having snippets that are just mediocre. That’s no way to generate business or build your brand.

Start your search for soft input today and start taking advantage of soft snippets today!!

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, August 18, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-18-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-18-2014/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:00:40 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30789 Job board highlightsGood morning! I hope you all had a good weekend.

Here are the job board highlights to start the week on a great note. Good luck!

20 Bloggers Needed for Sponsored Posts

QuickShouts is an online marketplace that connects advertisers with social media influencers and bloggers for sponsored posting opportunities. They are currently looking for high quality bloggers to write sponsored posts regarding a range of different topics related to their advertising partners. All bloggers are welcome to apply, however they prefer those that have an Alexa ranking of below 500,000.

Japan news & culture blogger needed

JapanDiscovery.com is looking for an experienced blogger who can write about Japanese news and culture topics for a temporary 3-4 month contract.

Blogger for Compy’s Blog

Compy’s product is currently launching (it is an organic waste odour absorber), and the need help creating some rad content for the blog to promote composting, the environment, and all the rest of that good sustainable stuff. They have ideas for posts, but they are also open to your ideas and what interests you. Check out the website: www.compythat.com.

Blogging for Fashion and Lifestyle Brand

Seeking a creative blogger to create content for a fashion and lifestyle brand. They have many story ideas already and are open to hearing any ideas you have. At first they would like to have around one blog post/story per week. These may be about specific designers, events, locations, ideas, art, music, travel…

Freelance Writer

Rediscover New England, a newly-formed history magazine, seeks experienced freelance writers for regular contribution. They are currently seeking content specific to the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire.

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How to Get Through Low Revenue Periods http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/get-low-revenue-periods/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/get-low-revenue-periods/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:00:13 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30780 A blogger’s professional life is more uncertain than conventional employees. We may have several revenue streams, which is good, as we don’t put all our eggs in one basket. There may be months when we’re flush, maybe even with too much work to handle.

The Quest for Change

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Then there are those low revenue periods, which are inevitable. Just as awesome months always happen, periods with little revenue coming in are also to be expected. No matter how many clients you have, no matter how many blogs you run, you’re bound to have low revenue periods.

How do you protect yourself from – and get through – these periods?

Prepare.

There’s no better way to make sure you get through low revenue periods than to prepare for them. Knowing they will come at some point, the smart thing to do is put away cash every time something comes in. Consider that your emergency money, untouchable unless it’s absolutely neccessary.

Take out a loan.

When low revenue periods strike, you may or may not have prior warning. In any case, you have the option of getting a loan from various sources, which can be a godsend. In the economic downturn, title loans have become more popular. This is due to a variety of reasons:

  • Title loans have fast processing times.
  • Title loans don’t have a lot of requirements.
  • There are a lot of title loan providers.

City Loan, for example, offers convenient auto title loan services based on the value of the vehicle with no credit check. That in itself makes their services very attractive, especially when you find yourself facing something totally unexpected.

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Whether you’ve lost a big client, and your revenue stream suffers a serious hit, or you get into an accident, or you get ill, you can take out a title loan as long as you have a vehicle which you can use as collateral.

This market is really growing, and as Bryan Gilloly, VP of Sales and Operation of City Loan, says:

We are excited to bring The City Loan difference to new markets. We have built excellent relationships with many customers in California and look forward to providing the same level of service and financial help that many people need in these new states.

Spend the minimum you can.

You may have a nest egg, or you may have gotten some cash via a loan, but that doesn’t mean you should spend left and right. You still need to get through your lean period, and until you are sure your revenue stream is at a level that you’re comfortable with again, the best thing to do is to cut back on expenses.

It may seem scary and uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re used to a certain lifestyle. It’s not that hard to adjust, though, if you psych yourself into spending less. You might even find out that living more simply is better for you.

Keep looking for jobs.

When you’re having a bad period, you might be tempted to sink into a rut. That’s the easy thing to do. However, the better thing to do would be to keep going. If you’ve lost a client, look for new ones. Scour job boards. Even if you don’t find a new job immediately, or you don’t get a response, just keep going. Keep sending out those applications.

Additionally, take time to visit freelance writing resources, where you may be able to find contests, jobs, and calls for submissions on top of writing tips.

The bottom line: don’t despair. Make a few adjustments, and continue what you do. Sooner or later, the revenue will start coming in again.

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Boost Your WordPress Skills with the 0-100 WordPress Starter Kit http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/14/boost-wordpress-skills-0-100-wordpress-starter-kit/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/14/boost-wordpress-skills-0-100-wordpress-starter-kit/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:00:41 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30786 WordPress Starter Kit

WordPress has become the blogging platform of choice for many – individuals and businesses alike. With the host of features integrated, not to mention countless plugins that can be used to customize and enhance the final product, WordPress is certainly not to be ignored (although it has its fair share of naysayers).

If you are starting a WordPress site, or even if you already have one, but you want to take full advantage of what the platform has to offer, then you will want to catch this deal from Cult of Mac.

I normally stay away from copy that promises you’ll be an expert on a subject matter in X number of hours, but after perusing the 0-100 WordPress Starter Kit, I do think that the deal is something that one who works with WordPress shouldn’t pass up on.

The 0-100 WordPress Starter Kit includes themes and tutorials:

  • 10 “Plug & Play” WordPress Themes
  • Building Custom WordPress Sites from Scratch
  • WordPress for E-commerce Tutorial – a Definitive Guide
  • Create a WordPress Website – No Coding Required
  • WordPress Theme Selection & Customization
  • Web Guard Dog WordPress Security
  • Design, Develop & Sell WordPress Themes

All these (normally) amount to $816. With the sale, you only have to pay $49. 

What’s the catch? You might not need all those tutorials, and you probably won’t be a WP Pro in a weekend as the page says, but at this price, it’s really a good deal. And you can always go back to the tutorials when the need arises.

Make sure you go over to the 0-100 WordPress Starter Kit deals page NOW, though, as the offer is ending in one day.

More WordPress tips:

Top Free WordPress Themes of 2014

6 WordPress Plugins That Make Migration & Mass Content Creation Simple

How To Transfer A WordPress Site To A New Host Securely & Without Downtime

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4 People Who Got Rich Blogging http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/12/4-people-get-rich-blogging/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/12/4-people-get-rich-blogging/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:00:58 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30771 Editor’s note: This post was written by Larry Alton, an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

When you were an angsty teen posting on LiveJournal, you probably never thought your love for blogging could turn into a very lucrative career one day. However, there’s more than one way to be successful at blogging: You can become a famous blogger with throngs of followers, all based on your skills/personality/talents or a mixture of them all, or you can learn to monetize blogs. Monetizing blogs is much more technical with little creativity, and those who make millions are rarely famous.

Unsurprisingly, it’s much more fun (and inspirational) to focus on the rich and famous bloggers. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, these wealthy bloggers have it in spades and they’re not shy about sharing their secrets.

1. Arianna Huffington

get rich blogging

Yes, The Huffington Post is a blog but it’s also become a go-to reputable news resource. Founded by Arianna Huffington along with Kenneth Lerer, Jonah Peretti and Andrewe Breitbart, it was created in 2005 and just one year later got a $5 million investment from a bank. Hard core fundraising and savvy investing led to $15 million in funding a couple years later, then was sold to AOL in 2011 for a shocking $315 million.

The lesson here: Focus on mass appeal, don’t go to extreme, and there’s no substitute for smart investing and fundraising.

2. Gina Marie Trapani

get rich blogging

The founder of Lifehacker, Trapani isn’t a household name like Huffington but she doesn’t need to be. Also launched in 2005, she made her millions largely from advertising and depending on something everyone wants: Easier ways to do just about anything. However, it was the Sony sponsorship that really sealed the deal, and today the blog is worth an estimated $109 million.

The lesson here: If you have a strong sales/marketing/ad background, use it. If not, learn it.

3. Kevin P. Ryan

get rich blogging

As the founder of Business Insider, Ryan’s blog is worth a cool $3 million. Balancing business with entertainment, it sidestepped the boring approach that many biz blogs use. Today, it’s considered one of the best sources for business news, but Ryan focused on wooing the right investors who wanted their products and services featured.

The lesson here: It’s always wise to play to the egos and wallets of wealthy investors.

4. Pete Cashmore

get rich blogging

It seems that Cashmore’s name was a sign from destiny, so it’s no surprise that his Mashable blog is one of the most popular blogs around. When he first launched the site in 2005, he was just a teenager. Today, it’s one of the biggest websites around the globe (that’s “website” not just “blog”) and although the actual dollar amount for his sell to CNN in 2012 is hush-hush, it’s estimated to be around $200 million.

The lesson here: You’re never too young, old or broke to have a multi-million dollar idea. If a teen boy can do it, so can you.

For those who have a penchant for technology and a desire to make a living doing what they love, a successful blog doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. You do, however, need total commitment, and you just might get rich blogging like these four people.

Images via Photopin

]]> http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/12/4-people-get-rich-blogging/feed/ 3 The Key Foundation for Using Content to Transform Your Website into a Close-Knit Community http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/11/content-marketing-community-building/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/11/content-marketing-community-building/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 23:12:18 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30762 The phrase,” content is king,” resonates on so many levels with whatever you’re trying to sell via your online business; whether you’re in marketing, manufacturing or in the world of software-as-a-service. Your target audience is online because they want to consume something, they’re hungry and your goal should be to find out what they want, need and what their major concerns or problems are in that particular niche. Know your customers and target market.

online-community

Regardless of all the valid statistics that are floating around the web from detailed and in-depth research, your experiences and client base will be unique and vary from what’s set in black and white. You need to go a step further and building a community around the problems or issues your brand solves, the topics and fields in which you specialize and establishing a position of leadership that commands trust and respect will be vital.

Your ability to sell will not depend on the traditional characteristics of an aggressive salesperson but on your ability to influence and rally an audience behind your cause and eventually the stuff you sell. This is achieved through your community.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Focus on Your Audience, Not Your Brand

Provided that you already have a product or service to solve a particular problem or a blog focused on a particular niche, it’s time to get to know your audience. This means getting over your anxious itch to sell to everyone you come in contact with online. “Selling” is the fastest way to turn someone off from you and your company and that bad impression won’t be forgotten and the fact that 89% of consumers who experience poor service with your brand will leave for your competition – (Forrester) is warning regarding your approach. The reality is that nobody wants to be sold to but most consumers are looking for experiences that provide value first without being forced to make a buying decision.

So here are your solutions regardless of whatever type of business you’re in:

1. Don’t publish content to glorify your company unless it’s a relatable story on how your product or service is changing lives and solving problems. I’m not talking about dry testimonials but content that takes the user through the step by step experience with you and your product. Bragging is frowned upon by all.

2. Keep in mind that your market is not paying your products but the experience and joy of having their problems solved or thirst quenched. Publish content which helps your audience to clearly visualize the end result. Give insight into the industry, not your products. Lead your community through content they won’t find elsewhere, stuff that brightens up their days and show that you care.

3. Be generous with your content and product. Find unique ways to reward your audience for consuming your content. Whether it’s through free e-books, free merchandise or free service. Remember DropBox was able to grow their cloud backup service to 4 million users in 15 months simply by offering existing users free disk space for referrals. DropBox didn’t spend anything on advertising during this period and were not try to “sell.”

4. Entertain whenever you can.

5. Respect the fact that you’re now in the age where without digital content you’ll be practically invisible. Treat your blog or favorite social network as you would a media company responsible for publishing a weekly magazine. Your ability to push relevant content will massively improve discover-ability for your brand.

6. But always remember that your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. ~ Damon Richards

Leverage Powerful Tools

Let’s face it, you will not be able to manually manage all aspects of building your community and pushing content with traditional tools. You will need to work smarter by employing tools that multiply your efforts for superior reach and efficiency. Building a community will require a lot of one-on-one and one-to-many interactions.

Here are some tools to get you started:

ClickWebinar

ClickWebinar is a powerful collaboration and webinar tool that enables you to get very close, direct and personal with your audience as you need to be, anywhere in the world. With integrated features like questions and answers, polling and FAQs, recording live content, private and public chats and screen sharing, the service delivers everything you’ll need to reach and serve your online community of readers and customers. It’s a premium service that allows you to deliver your brand and customer experience precisely the way you want it with everything your audience needs.

There’s nothing better for a niche or community of clients and professionals where they can directly connect with others to share knowledge and gain insight on how to make some aspect of their lives better. A webinar is the perfect medium for accomplishing this and integrating this into your marketing will yield positive results.

HootSuite

HootSuite starts as a free social media marketing tool that allows you to seamlessly manage multiple conversations across a variety of social networking platforms. The app helps you to consolidate and manage your social media accounts and monitor hashtags, keywords and conversations in real-time and listen to what your community is saying.

HootSuite positions you to both publish to social media efficiently and gain a real view of what matters to your audience as they express themselves online. This is where you absolutely need to pay attention. The fact that the app allows you to automatically monitor key topics that matter to you, means you’ll have the information you need to take advantage of opportunities to provide value. As you provide value, your profile and community grows.

Disqus

Disqus is an amazing free commenting system that transforms the basic discussion section of your blog into a networking and disqus-communitycommunity building powerhouse. The product allows users to create an account that enables instant commenting and interaction with users on your site or whichever site that uses Disqus; users can follow other interesting commenters in the community, activity notifications to keep the community engaged, story and discussion recommendations and email notifications to pull readers back to your site for new content. It takes care of the technicalities of building a community based on discussions. All you need to do is provide the content and guide users to what you have to offer.

The service is built to keep users on your site.

Shift Your Focus From Selling

To conclude, it’s time to rid yourself of your piercing intent to sell. Certainly, sales are important but the traditional sales pitch is grossly out of date and ineffective. Consumers make buying decisions based on the perceived trust factor and capabilities of your business to deliver and unlike a few decades ago, the internet provides all this information for the potential customer to vet. The consumers of this age are liberated and if you want to win them, you’ll have to court them. It’s not about purchasing clients but building real relationships and making them feel valued – this is the starting point for creating a closely-knit community online or off.

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, August 11, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/11/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-11-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/11/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-11-2014/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:00:31 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30756 Job board highlightsSo it’s the start of a new week! I hope you all have a lot on your plate, but here are more jobs from the job board highlights to look at.

Good luck!

Freelance Copywriter

WANTED: A skilled copywriter with a lively, witty voice and a proven track record in brand positioning.
for a creative agency in Venice looking for an exceptional copywriter to come up with a unique voice for an organic, fun kids’ drink targeted at children 8-10 yrs old and their parents.

Education News Site Editor

A fast-growing education news site is looking for an editor who can assign and edit stories for iSchoolGuide as well as manage the homepage. iSchoolGuide is an essential voice for readers who are passionate about public education.

Content Writer

Looking for a blogger to write weekly for the blog on the website DIY Genius (http://www.diygenius.com). The topics would include stuff like digital media skills, self-education, learning on mobile devices, meditation, mindfulness, focus, productivity, personal branding, professional networking, MOOCs, online learning resources, etc.

Buzz Writers for Mstars News

MStars News Buzz Writers needed in the realms of Sports, TV/Film, Fashion/Beauty and/or lifestyle. Need an amazing sense of staying ahead of the curve on the latest celebrity news and being among the first to break it. Writers must be capable of catching hot topics and write numerous articles, meeting deadlines and goals.

Copywriter/Income Investing E-letter Editor

Are you passionate about writing? Are you interested the economy, financial markets, and stocks? Do you have the ability to write engaging copy about world and national events and how they impact the financial markets? Can you connect with an audience of older investors, including retirees? This job’s for you then!

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Why Your Job Application Gets Ignored – and What to Do About It http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/job-application-gets-ignored/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/job-application-gets-ignored/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:24:39 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30751 People who put up ads looking for freelance writers or bloggers receive tons of replies, many of them fluff. You may know that you are the best person for the job, but you have to make sure that you can convey that to the “employer” as quickly as possible in your job application.

job application

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We already know that people have very short attention spans these days, and professionals going through cover letters only take several seconds to decide whether or not to look more closely at your email. It is thus crucial that you make sure your job application goes straight for the jugular.

Here are some reasons your job application gets ignored, and what you can do to fix it.

1. You don’t follow instructions.

As I said, job applications come in droves, and the person who has to sift through them doesn’t have the luxury of time. If you miss just one specific instruction (example: Add the word “sugar” at the end of your subject line.), chances are that your email will immediately be trashed.

The fix: Read the job ad thoroughly, several times if you must, and make sure you get every instruction right.

2. You write your autobiography in the cover letter.

Sure, people/companies looking for bloggers want to know something about potential hires. Some ads even ask you to share something about yourself. That doesn’t give you the license to go on and on and write your life story – even if it’s somehow related to the job – in your cover letter.

The fix: Keep it short and straight to the point. Introduce yourself, your relevant work experience, and why you think you are the person they need for the job. Done!

An Open Letter to Potential Bloggers

3. Your cover letter has a typo or grammatical mistake.

typo

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You may know your grammar, but we all make mistakes when typing. Typos come in all forms – from misplaced (or missing) punctuation marks to misspelled words. It is perfectly understandable if you make a typo or two in your job application. But it is not excusable. If you let these mistakes pass, your chances of being ignored skyrocket.

The fix: Proofread. Do this once after writing the initial draft. Make necessary changes. Proofread again. And then maybe do it once more just to be sure.

4. Your closing statement is boring.

There’s nothing wrong with conventional closing statements. People usually use “Best regards”, “Sincerely yours”, “Warm wishes,” and so on. There is nothing wrong with using those statements. But they’re boring. Standard.

If you’ve gotten the hirer that far, why not close the deal with a closing statement that really hooks them in and makes them get in touch with you? Your choice of closing statement may make the difference between you getting hired or someone else getting the gig.

The fix: Be bold. Be confident. End your cover letter with a call to action, asking the hirer to get in touch with you without delay. (Word of caution: tread that thin line between bold/confident and arrogant.)

Your turn

What mistakes do you think have prevented you from landing a gig? What best practices for job applications can you share?

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Tips to Build a Solid Online Publishing Team http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/tips-build-solid-online-publishing-team/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/tips-build-solid-online-publishing-team/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:00:44 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30736 Editor’s note: This post was written by Martin Stephens, corporate spokesperson for Action Days who also manages a team of freelance bloggers based in the UK. He believes in building a team spirit in spite of people working remotely. He recommends managers in similar positions to consider team buildings ideas for Leeds to enhance teamwork.

The number of online workers has grown exponentially in the past few years, and while the United States has been leading in this sector, other countries, including the United Kingdom are following suit. With Internet connection being easily available practically everywhere, online publishing teams, for example, with members scattered the world over are becoming more popular. There are also companies which work in a more localized manner, with team members based in a more restricted geographical location but able to work remotely.

team spirit

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Whichever the setup may be, the onus to build and nurture an online publishing team is on the manager or editor. While workers may physically be apart from each other and work alone, a sense of being part of a team is still an important factor in achieving success.

If you’re managing an online publishing team, here are some things to help you build a solid group, even with members working remotely.

Set the ground rules.

As the team leader, you have to have some ground rules. Remote workers are not always within arm’s reach, literally, and communication may become an issue. Here are some ideas.

  • A specific time window every day wherein team members are required to be online for communication.
  • Responding to every email, even if it’s only to acknowledge its receipt.

Ground rules will differ depending on your company and policies, of course, and you can also add your own personal touch which you think will make for a more cohesive team.

Set up a team chat room.

One way to encourage communication between you and your team – and between team members – is to have a chat room that is constantly open. Skype is perhaps the most common software which you can use. Set up a group chat, and use that as a venue to interact with each other. You can even use this as a channel akin to “water cooler” talk in physical offices.

Interaction doesn’t always have to be about work. Encourage chitchat and fun talk, as long as work is not hampered. Encouraging team members to connect aside from work will contribute to a more solid team.

Use project management software.

There are tons of these that you can use, but what you need to focus on is the goal: to be able to manage team members and their tasks without necessarily resorting to micromanaging. Assigning tasks, setting deadlines, ticking off completed tasks, helping with time management, etc. – all these are part of managing an online publishing team.

online publishing team

Sure, you can always hit your team up individually, but having a central place where you can keep track of everything is more efficient. You can take a look at Basecamp for this purpose.

Be the first one to reach out.

And encourage your team to reach out as well. Make sure that everyone knows that speaking up is more than welcome, and set an example yourself by being the first one to reach out, even if it’s only to say hi or ask about one’s day. Setting this tone will build a culture of open communication, which will lead to a team that performs better.

Tip: If it is possible to actually get your team together physically, do not hesitate to do so! Chats, emails, and voice calls are all great, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction, even for online publishing teams. Even if your team is scattered, you’ll reap benefits if you can hold a physical team-building activity – even if it’s only once a year.

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Why Checking the Content Of Professional Writers Is Important http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/checking-content-professional-writers-important/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/checking-content-professional-writers-important/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:39:34 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30732 The business landscape has been drastically re-shaped by the influence of the online world. In order to move forward and take advantage of lucrative opportunities, business owners find the need to not only improve on their traditional business principles but also diverge from them.

plagiarism

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There are various strategies that are being implemented by business owners to gain a foothold online, especially with the goal of crossing geographical boundaries and gaining the custom of clients on a global scale. One of them is starting a business blog.

At the end of the day, however, the “old” adage that “content is king” still applies, no matter how clichè it has become.

Original content and its importance

Upholding the idea that content is of utmost importance is well and good, but there is also another important consideration: providing authentic, original content.

Saying this is not merely paying lip service to the idea, but actually implementing measures to ensure that business websites and blogs provide original content that provides value. The obvious reason: clients want value.

Another just as important reason: search engines have standards with regard to original content and plagiarism, and they do impose penalties for those who do not comply.

What about professional content developers?

Hiring professional content developers is common practice among business owners, as they usually don’t have the time to spend on constantly coming up with ideas for content and publishing them. Furthermore, professional writers know what they’re doing, ensuring that the final product is of high quality, right?

Yes and no.

These days, it is easy to call one’s self a professional writer, and sometimes, if you’re unlucky and you hire a rotten apple, then you might get into more trouble than if you had written your content yourself. Sometimes, writers can unwittingly commit plagiarism, too. That’s why it is important to make sure you hire a professional writer with a good track record. After all, you’re entrusting the reputation of your business to him!

Professional writers are not immune to plagiarism

Take the story of Evan Ross, co-founder of a travel company providing services online. He felt the need to hire professional content developers to design and maintain the business blog. Good idea, right?

However, after a few weeks, they received a search engine notice/warning them of plagiarism. Having hired a professional writer, this came as a surprise to Ross, but he was soon able to trace the root of the issue. It was a little too late, however, as the travel web site had lost its rank in the SERPs due to search engine penalties.

Lesson learned: the work of professional writers also need to be checked for plagiarism.

One way to do this is to use online tools such as http://plagiarismdetect.org/, which give you information as to the originality of the content your writer has produced. This will ensure that you do not have copied material on your site, which can lead to dire results, as Evan Ross found out the hard way.

How do you determine the worth of content developers?

That being said, hiring a professional to create your content is still a good idea. The trick is to measure the worth of the writer before you commit to a working relationship.

Here are some important things to consider before hiring a writer:

  • Ask for sample work – live URLs of previous work will give you a good idea of the quality and originality of the writing.
  • Ask if they have an portfolio. While some of the work may not be live posts, you will still get a feel for the writing, and you can run the material through plagiarism checking tools as mentioned above.

Once you have decided on a writer, it is also a good idea to have a trial run to see how they work and if they are a good fit for your business. Another good practice is to continue checking their work for plagiarism – even spot checks will do, especially if they have proven to be trustworthy after a while.

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5 Tips for Press Release Distribution Success http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/5-tips-press-release-distribution-success/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/5-tips-press-release-distribution-success/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:30:04 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30741 Press release distribution success

Press releases are the perfect way to get your message out to a wide audience. Getting your press release in front of a wide audience is one thing, but once it’s there you need to make sure it’s amazing and that it makes a great first impression or else all the distribution in the world won’t mean a thing.

From headline writing to distribution submission, working with press releases is tricky but with the five tips below you should have press release success.

1. Headline

The headline is the first and often the last thing that someone reads when your press release comes in. You need to write a headline that is both indicative of the contents of the release as well as attention grabbing so the person reading it wants to know more.

Keep it short and simple, staying on point as much as possible. Include an action and a solid subject so the reader knows what he or she is getting into and what action was taken or will take place.

Blog_Headline_Writing_Tips1

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Give your readers a reason to open the message or click the link and use trending words whenever possible. Finally, focus on emotion when writing your headline. If your brand or company has a lighthearted feeling to it, make the person laugh. If it’s serious, really tug at those heartstrings to make sure the reader feels the emotion.

2. Include all the Basics

The basics of news reporting are simple: who, what, where, when, why, and how. By sticking to this tried and true method of reporting, you can craft your press release so that when the reader is done, he or she has no major questions.

Remember, the goal of a press release is to inform the reader of something, so if they are left with questions at the end, the press release didn’t do its job completely. Answer each of these questions in the first paragraph so even if that’s all the reader is exposed to, he or she will come away with at least the basics.

Content Marketing for the Little Guys

3. Use Quotes

Quotes are great because they distill large ideas into a single sentence, two at most. This helps busy people to feel as if he or she grasps a concept without reading an entire article or release.

Also, quotes help the reader to see that at least someone else understands the contents of the press release and agrees with them. When including a quote, try to make it something useful and insightful and less specifically about the topic of the press release itself.

4. Focus on the Day

The contents of your press release are definitely important, but that’s not where the attention to detail ends. You must make sure you submit your press release for distribution on a day that it’s going to be seen and not buried in an already filled inbox.

For the best reception and open rate, send your press release on Tuesday through Thursday only. Mondays are terrible because everyone is catching up on emails they missed over the weekend, which means they’re in a hurry to get through anything that’s not vital to them. Fridays are out because most people are thinking about the weekend and not focusing on superfluous emails, which many consider press releases to be. The weekend is out for obvious reasons.

In regard to time, aim for 10 AM to 2 PM so you hit the sweet spot of a hopefully inbox zero. This means they might just open your press release when it’s the only email in their inbox.

How to Write a Post That Goes Viral

5. Follow up on Success or Failure

Finally, you need to monitor how the press release worked and how successful it was. This means checking social media, email replies and inquiries, and open rate.

This can be a difficult task, which is why you need to make sure you use media analysis and measurement tools like those from iSentia. Tools like these can help drive better decisions and assure that your press release distribution gets the most views and impressions as possible while still being effective.

7 Types of Headlines That Will Turn on People’s Attention Like Magic

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5 Things Your Blog Needs You’ve Never Thought Of http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/06/5-things-blog-needs-youve-never-thought/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/06/5-things-blog-needs-youve-never-thought/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:24:07 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30715 Editor’s note: This post was written by Karol K. (@carlosinho) , a blogger and writer for hire. His work has been published all over the web, on sites like NewInternetOrder.com, Lifehack.org, Quick Sprout, ProBlogger, Six Revisions, Web Design Ledger, and others.

Here’s a quiz question for you. When building a blog, what additional “things” do you need to have in order to make the venture successful?

A Twitter profile?

An email newsletter?

How about a contact form plugin?

And let’s not forget about a search engine optimized theme, right?

Yes, those are all correct, and they will all come handy at some point during your blogging journey.

But at the same time, they are just the tip of the iceberg and lots more stuff is sitting below the surface (both from a management, as well as money making perspective).

Here are 5 things your blog needs that you may not have thought of.

things your blog needs

1. Image optimizer plugin

Images are among the core types of content that almost all blogs use on a regular basis. Of course, there are some sites out there that are primarily text only (like Zen Habits), but those are very rare. For the majority of us, making a blog look professional without the use of any images is very very difficult.

However, images, as great as they are, consume quite a lot of bandwidth – your server’s ability to deliver a website to your visitors. What this means in plain English is that the more images you use, the more it will cost you to run the site in the long run (and especially if your blog becomes popular).

Now, in order to still be able to use images, and to minimize the costs at the same time, what you can and should do is get yourself an image optimization plugin. Luckily, the best one out there is free. It’s called WP Smush.it.

things your blog needs

It’s a complete hands-off solution. After downloading and activating it, it will work quietly in the background, processing every image you upload through the Media Manager and making it smaller in disk space (with no loss of visual quality).

2. Security plugin

WordPress – which is most likely the platform you’re using to run your site – is just a piece of software underneath. And like any other piece of software, it’s vulnerable to hacker attacks, viruses, and other threats of the 21st century.

Although the platform is very well built in itself, you can still improve the default level of security by installing some quality plugins. Actually, you only need one.

Wordfence Security has been downloaded over 2 million times and the average rating is 4.9/5. This means that whoever gets it, loves it. And not without a reason. Wordfence performs a range of tweaks and lets you patch many holes that could become a possible breach point otherwise.

things your blog needs

Let me emphasize that having a secure site should be of your highest interest. I’m sure you don’t want to wake up one day to find out that you’ve been erased from Google because of some malware on your site (it does happen). This plugin will save you from such a thing.

3. “Hire Me” page

Everybody has an “About” page on their blog. It’s probably the most obvious page you can have (and it’s one you absolutely should have, by the way). But “Hire Me” pages are much less popular.

It’s probably because bloggers who are just starting out generally don’t think that their blog can turn into a career anytime soon. And even if they do, the idea of earning passive income seems much more attractive than going after clients and offering services directly.

In reality, however, a good “Hire Me” page can become a true life-changer. Even if your blog is relatively new, some people who see it can still be interested in working with you directly. By having a “Hire Me” page, you’re letting them know that you’re open for opportunities.

Creating this page is easy too. It’s basically just a standard WordPress page, only with specific information on it. Namely, you should try providing the following:

  • What type of service you can offer (freelance blogging and writing is often a good starting point, as well as blog management).
  • Why anyone would want to work with you (your strong points and what makes you different).
  • What the benefits you can offer are.

(Later on, when negotiating with a client, it’s a good idea to learn some tricks of the trade, so to speak. Securing a valuable gig isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. For instance, if freelance blogging/writing is what you’re after, feel free to check out these resources.)

things your blog needs

4. Link cloaking

The term “link cloaking” refers to putting a sort of invisibility cloak, if you will, on the URLs that you’re linking out to from you site. For example, what Bitly gives you apart from URL shortening is basically link cloaking.

Now, why would you want to use such a thing? You ask.

As a site owner, you should do whatever you can to get as much data as possible about your visitors behaviors, especially when it comes to clicking various links that are important to you.

This is where a plugin called Pretty Link Lite comes into play. Here’s what it gives you:

  • You can redirect both internal and external links and make them prettier during the process. For example, a link like someothersite.com/index.php?someparam=value&other=12 can be turned into a simple yoursite.com/checkthisproduct.
  • You get info on how many people clicked your links, when, and from where did the clicks happen. Very useful for tracking.
  • You can manage your links from one accessible place.

things your blog needs

About that last thing. Imagine that you’re linking to your newsletter signup page from 20 different posts (a fairly possible scenario). Then, some strange thing happens and you’re forced to change the signup URL. In a normal situation, you’d have to go to each of these posts individually and adjust the links by hand. With Pretty Link, you can do this in bulk by changing just the destination URL on the plugin’s settings page.

5. Shortcodes

Creating visually attractive content has always been a challenge for all bloggers, even the experienced ones. The biggest problem with this is that not everyone is code-savvy and knows their way around HTML or Photoshop.

One plugin that makes this content game a lot easier is Shortcodes Ultimate. It offers more than 30 amazing shortcodes that let you create elements such as: custom designed headings, tables, pullquotes, lightboxes, dropcaps, highlights, columns, image carousels, and many more.

things your blog needs

The best part is that all of it can be done with ease, not only through the shortcodes, but also through an accessible graphical interface.

Your turn

Please be honest with me here. How many of the things described above you’ve already integrated into your blog?

Also, one other thing, what else do you have on your blog that could be considered unusual? Feel free to share in the comments.

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Retail on the Web: Managing Costs and Overhead http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/05/retail-web-managing-costs-overhead/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/05/retail-web-managing-costs-overhead/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 12:00:45 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30710 Editor’s note: This post was written by Laura Brown, who considers herself a a modern entrepreneur. With a handful of small businesses to her credit, she enjoys writing about her career and insights into effective business practices.

So you want to start an online store. You’re brave. Very brave. In fact, you think you might be a little crazy. The costs to start an online retail store aren’t insurmountable, but they are enough that they should give you pause and make you look before you leap.

Retail on the web

You have to get your overhead right, stock inventory, and understand how to effectively manage employees’ hours or freelancers’ contracts. Fortunately, a lot of people have come before you, and have figured most of this out already.

What Business Are You Going Into?

The type of business you plan to get into will drive a lot of the costs. So, for example, if you want to start a retail genetic testing company, you’re going to have to pay a lot more in overhead, research and development, and then the expensive medical testing. If you’re starting a gopher delivery service (a service that “fetches” whatever a customer wants), your costs might be a little less – maybe $50,000 to $100,000 total. If you’re shipping greeting cards, then you can probably get the job done for about $30,000.

Your Website

retail on the web

Designing a website doesn’t need to be difficult, but this isn’t an area you want to skimp on either. Professional designers can cost $60 to $80 per hour, and many charge more – around $100 to $150 per hour.

Expect to pay in the $100 per hour range for a professional job. Again, your exact business will determine how expensive the site will be. If you need expensive design elements, a members only area, or a dynamic front page that’s customized for each visitor, expect to pay more.

If you’re designing a simple site with a splash page, your typical “about,” “legal,” and “contact” pages with an “order page,” then the cost may be much less – about $2,000 to $3,000. In some cases, you can have a very stunning and very functional site done for around $1,500.

Creating a Good Product

retail on the web

The online world does not eliminate the need for a good product. In fact, you almost need to overcompensate for being online with your product. For example, let’s say you plan on selling t-shirts or button-downs online.

How would you make a business like this work? It’s a crowded space. Indeed, you’re competing against the likes of J.C. Penny, Banana Republic, Armani  and everyone in between. But, small startups like UNTUCKit kill it in this space by artfully blending humor and a killer product.

What sets a company like UNTUCKit apart from its rivals is that it’s the only major company out there right now that only makes shirts that are designed to be worn untucked. You’ve probably seen people try to pull this look off, with varying results. Some guys can do it, some can’t. Actually, most can’t because they can never get the length right. And, here’s where UNTUCKit comes in. They’re figured out a demand in the marketplace based on fashion trends that aren’t widely advertised in the fashion industry.

They capitalized on it by creating a superior product. Indeed, the fibers they use are super 120s or better for most of their shirts. They also have an excellent design team that refused to sacrifice on quality. They even dug into details that most people and businesses would bother with – they researched a button spacing that would allow wearers to unbutton the top button without looking like Rico Suave.

This is the kind of painstaking detail you have to go into to outperform in a crowded market. It does take a lot of work, but it’s almost always worth it. People pay $100 or more for shirts sold by this company.

Marketing

Marketing presents interesting challenges. One of them is tracking results. Fortunately, this is an uber-easy problem to solve. Basically, you don’t have to worry about it if you’re using iPad POS software solutions from a company like Shopify. Now, you don’t have to use Shopify specifically, but something like that will go a long way to simplifying your life.

A good POS system, that incorporates an iPad and a cash register plus software, will sync your online and offline catalog, your inventory, your sales and marketing efforts – including tracking promotions and sales – and will even allow you to integrate your employees’ time card, even if you only have a small staff.

Direct marketing campaign results are difficult to track without an integrated system like this, since all you have are receipts, but you don’t have a way to connect inventory with those sales in a seamless manner. With a POS system, the problem is solved elegantly and without a lot of fuss.

Images via Picjumbo and Flickr

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, August 4, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/04/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-4-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/04/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-4-2014/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 12:00:02 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30704 Job board highlightsGood morning! Here are the job board highlights to help you get off to a good start.

WordPress + Web Design Blogger

Elegant Themes are looking for a professional writer with Web Design and WordPress experience to create high quality resources and tutorials on their blog. Your posts would be WordPress and Web Design related, so you would need to have years of experience in this field. Someone who has been, or is currently a freelance web developer would be perfect for this position. Creating resources for their community will often require coding experience.

Freelance Writer

The FP Group Business Department is seeking experienced freelance writers in Washington, DC to produce sponsored content for their custom publishing division. This division, which is separate from FP’s editorial staff, is responsible for working with external clients to develop unique, innovative sponsored reports on a variety of topics. The sponsored reports will be published on ForeignPolicy.com and in Foreign Policy magazine.

Gofundme Campaign Blogger

An individual needs a pro blogger to drive interest to his gofundme campaign.

Naming Copywriter

A client specializes in baby products and is looking for a freelance Naming Copywriter to assist their team on a project starting the end of this week (7/28) or the beginning of next week (8/4).

You will be working OFFSITE and will be helping them name a new set of baby clothes and other products.

Part-time Editor for Red Tricycle

Red Tricycle is seeking a part-time temporary New York editor who will assume full responsibility for local content. The ideal city editor will be an adventurer at heart with a passion for exploring the NY Metro Area with his/her kid(s). They’re looking for someone who knows what makes each neighborhood unique and cool, lives in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens, and can easily adapt to the Red Tricycle brand and editorial voice.
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The First 5 Things You Need to Hear Before You Start Blogging http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/31/the-first-5-things-you-need-to-hear-before-you-start-blogging/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/31/the-first-5-things-you-need-to-hear-before-you-start-blogging/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:18:31 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/31/the-first-5-things-you-need-to-hear-before-you-start-blogging/ Editor’s note: This post was written by Danny, a blogger for Instant Checkmate, one of the world’s largest people search engines. He is passionate about writing and is currently a student at the University of San Diego studying English and Business Administration. Find him on Twitter or  Google +.

Not too long ago I started blogging for Instant Checkmate. I thought it would be pretty easy. I thought to myself, “I am a good writer; I did well in all my English classes at school; I often teach people how to write; I am passionate about writing. What could possibly be difficult?”

start blogging

Well, unfortunately for me blogging is not an English class. Writing is an important part of the deal, but there are so many factors that go into blogging that the average person has no idea about. The amount of surprise I faced in the first week alone was enough to make me think I had no chance in this field. 

There are a number of articles out there that will tell you the best strategies you can use when writing, the best ways to conduct outreach, and the best ways to utilize your social media, but before you read all of those there are a couple reality checks you need to have. Check out these five tips and you will be able to enter the blogging field with no surprises.

1. You’re Not Going To Do It Alone

This type of work will not be similar to anything you have done before. You are going to have to adjust to new styles and strategies of writing. Not only that, but you have to learn a ton of new fields. SEO, marketing, and web development are vital to a successful blog. It’s hard to be an expert on everything, so getting tips always helps. Every blogger started where you started, so ask them about their successes and failures to avoid making any unnecessary mistakes.

Who should you ask? Reach out to a couple of your favorite sites, to people who write about topics you are interested in, and most importantly to people who have been doing this for a long time. The best thing about the blogging world is that most people are pretty nice. If you are looking for some advice or a friendly conversation, most bloggers will happily answer your questions.

2. You’re Going To Be Turned Down

Notice, I said that most ofthe people in the blogging world are nice. When conducting outreach, you’re going to market your ideas in multiple ways (email, Twitter, etc.) and most of the time people will not respond. Even if you have the perfect idea, it is hard to market it in a way that facilitates responses. Or even if they do respond, a lot of the time it will be a polite, “No thank you.” Efforts will not always meet expectations, and that’s just something you have to fight through.

It’s a harsh reality, but top sites get thousands of submissions a day. Try new techniques to get responses, but more importantly (without becoming a spammer) never stop trying. Remember, persistence pays off and patience is a virtue.

3. Your Social Media Accounts Are Crucial

When I started I did not have a Twitter or a Google+. Both of these are high priority tools you need to use. If you do not have a good reputation online, many sites will be unwilling to let you guest post. Also, this is the easiest and most efficient way to market your material. Without a noteworthy social media presence, your site is doomed.

4. Be Yourself

Don’t blog just to make money. You have to write about what you are passionate about! Trust me, it will show in your work. It is very easy to tell when someone is indifferent about their own writing and website.

BUT, make sure you’re not passionate about everything. I love movies, current news, sports, and freelancing. Unfortunately, I cannot write about every single one of these things on my blog. Your blog should stay relevant to a certain niche. So be yourself, and write about what you’re passionate about, but don’t get out of hand. I had to realize there is a shortage of readers looking for a movie, news, sports, and freelancing blog.

5. There Is No Right Answer

Blogging is constantly evolving. Not too long ago, Matt Cutts’ decision on guest posting changed the entire way this field works. It is important to remember that as blogging changes, you need to change.

There is no one way to write, market, or converse. Constantly try new strategies, techniques, and ideas. You could come up with an idea that completely changes the game. Since you can do it your own way, it allows for your creativity to thrive. Don’t search for the one key to success, search for your key to success.

Now What?

It’s up to you! Check out the archives for social media campaigning strategies and much more, but remember these tips so you are not caught off guard while doing your work.

The post The First 5 Things You Need to Hear Before You Start Blogging appeared first on The Blog Herald.

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I Miss My Face: Why Did The Google Authorship Markup Disappear? http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/30/miss-face-google-authorship-markup-disappear/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/30/miss-face-google-authorship-markup-disappear/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:00:59 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30670 Editor’s note:  This post was written by Zack Rutherford, a freelance copywriter. He contributes web content and especially snappy articles to TemplateMonster. Combat sports enthusiast and poetic soul, Zack endeavors to create beauty through syntax, sentence structure, and the liberal use of hyperbole. Follow him on Twitter (@zack_rutherford) or visit his website (Zackrex.com) to read all of his innermost thoughts and unfounded opinions.

Seriously, where did my face go? Googling my name used to turn up such gratifying, ego-boosting results. Now I get words and more space for ads I’ll never click. Darn you, Google! Why must you be so useful and frustrating at the same time?

Google Authorship Markup

So in case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, Google had been pimping its Authorship markup for months. “It will build credibility,” they said. “It provides a personal connection with your audience,” and I loved this one: “It’s important for your search rankings.” Well, I did my part, I signed up for Google+ and put my beautiful bearded mug up for all to see, and what do I get? Annoying questions on my YouTube account, and another social network I don’t feel like keeping up with.

Cue the under the breath cursing and a whole lotta grumbles.

Still, there are plenty of folks out and about that don’t have much of a mind as to why this is a big deal in the first place. As usual, I’m here in all my Arthurian, authorial glory (the once and future blogger) to try and make some sense out of the storm. Prepare your eyes, my cutie pies, and read on for some good ole fashioned education.

The Importance of Authorship

First off, you need to know that people are freaking out about this change. Next you need to know why. Luckily the initial announcements provided us with plenty of illustrative perspectives:

Exhibit A: The Emotional Responses.

announcement 3

SMH

It’s notable that not everyone considered this a bad move:

announcementreaction1

Exhibit B: The Rational Explanations.

Google Authorship Markup

Exhibit C: Speculation.

Google Authorship Markup

announcement reaction 2

As you can tell there was a lot of public outcry, debate, confusion, and nigh-apocalyptic levels of casual discussion!

There were agreements, disagreements, and immediate speculations as to the hidden meaning behind the almighty Google’s actions. Google works in mysterious ways, however, and though they seem to be transparent on the surface, there are often deeper levels of opacity behind their superficially translucent outer veneer. At least that’s what the tin foil hat crowd like to claim, and let’s face it, those folks can be a lot of fun at parties.

So what was the initial announcement like that got everyone so riled up? Let’s take a look at the words and see if we can’t decipher some meaning, or interpret an illuminati-esque hidden agenda.

The Company Line

Google Authorship Markup

Above you see John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, made the initial announcement that the Authorship markup would be undergoing some major changes. Top among them, the author’s photo and Google+ circle count would be omitted in search results going forward. The reason why? For a cleaner, less cluttered, and mobile friendly design.

This is certainly a plausible enough explanation. It seems as if every major change we’ve witnessed on big web services lately are all connected to RWD and/or flat design in some fashion. These two trends are becoming the go-to scapegoat reasoning for any relaunch, revamp, and/or website renovation that garner’s the most miniscule of media coverage. I don’t have a hard time swallowing this part of the company line at all.

Still, my inner poet, wants to explicate a little more meaning out of this text. Thus I dig deeper.

Making search results more mobile friendly, I get. The real estate is limited and you have to make the most of it. Simple and true.

Where I have trouble with the facelift, is in the aesthetic explanation. Why, pray tell, is Google overly concerned with the minimalist/flat look? Sure, it’s got appeal, and it’s certainly the hot look right now, but just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean it’s always going to work better. Then again, Google’s always had an affinity for minimalism, so perhaps I’m off base.

But then why add the faces in the first place? They should have known that photographic reality wasn’t the best choice if they preferred minimalist elements like white space and typographical focus. The original idea concerning the content creator’s headshot was to ground their cyber-prose into physical reality by establishing a corporeal connection to a real author.

Flat design, at its heart, is the antithesis to skeuomorphic (art imitating life) design. They’re Yin and Yang. Flat is designed to take the physical reality out of user interfaces.

Did the mesh of real life and digital destinations really end up like oil and water? I always thought the author photos looked great. It was an interesting graphic element that broke up the textual tedium of search results. But according to Mueller, removing the photos made the page look “less cluttered” and they’re goal was to “clean up the visual design” of their search results. Is that the kind of thought process that Google really bases big decisions on? A design preference determined the actions of a tech giant?

Is there something more here that we’re not seeing? Could there be a man behind the curtain with an alternate agenda?

Conspiracy Theories

rand agrees

Alright folks get your tin foil hats ready. This is the section in which I enumerate in great detail the many theories about how Google is actually trying to fool you into thinking this was an innocuous design decision, and not a harbinger of massive change, an appeasement tactic to placate profit-hungry shareholders, or some other secretly seedy scheme.

Above, you can see notable SEO guru, Rand Fishkin, voiced his dissent. Graphic on-page elements (author photos) have a tendency to distract from the paid advertisements. This is by far the most popular theory as to why the author photos were removed.

 

Of course, 105 Retweets do not a compelling case make, even if they did originate from respected authorities in the field. Fortunately for their cause, there are gratuitous amounts of data supporting their claim. Larry Kim, a blogger for WordStream, recently wrote an article which explained that the CTR for a paid advertisement produced by his company increased by more than 44% after the author photos were removed. Results like these further corroborated the supposition that authorship photos were important, from eye tracking studies conducted in times past.

Pictured here, with courtesy of Searchenginejournal.com, is a heat map of some search results featuring the Author photos:

eye tracking

As you can see, the hottest part of the page is not the paid advertisements as one would normally expect since they’re at the top of the page, but instead the author photo near the bottom of the pic is the hottest part of the page. These sorts of quantifiable results, statistics, and data bytes held sway in the talking points of SEO aficionados who supposed the real reason Google changed up its look was to increase ad revenue.

“Don’t be evil,” indeed.

Still this wasn’t the only undercurrent in the realm of conspiracy. Many believed that Authorship markup removal would be the first step in eliminating Google+, as shown in our “Speculation” subheading. The evidence there, however, isn’t as compelling. Joel Klettke seems to think that the abandonment of Authorship markup is designed to stem the tide of authoritative voices within a given space.

This is an interesting theory, as it indicates Google wants to limit the platform for everymen with vocal opinions, preferring to promote industry authorities instead. This would be a marked departure from their radically democratic approach to promoting content by popularity. Though not necessarily an unhealthy departure, because it would seem to favor accurate data—or at least that which is generally accepted to be accurate.

These are but a few of the various discussions that have boiled over in the wake of Google’s Authorship announcement, but they’re more than enough to make you think. So wherein lies the truth? Is Google being aboveboard here, or do the accusers have it right?

My Perspective

It’s probably a little of column A and a little in column B. Mueller said that CTR wouldn’t fall, and we’ve just cited studies that show that’s not the least bit truthful. CTR for paid ads has already increased, and a company that prides itself on providing access to the totality of human experience isn’t likely to have overlooked that as an outcome. And Google+ isn’t as popular as Google would have hoped, and I personally wouldn’t be sad to see it go. I think the chem-trail promoters are probably on to something.

On the other hand, mobile is indeed growing more important every day, and the omission of headshots does fit Google’s MO as far as design is concerned. I think the fact that Mueller’s announcement didn’t support what we know about CTR was more a bit of crowd control than an exercise in dishonesty. Google’s got an image to maintain, and being beholden to the almighty dollar doesn’t portray them as the user friendly bunch of techno-hippies that they want to be seen as. Not to mention you’d have a bunch of author’s getting all butt hurt about not having their gorgeous faces adorning search results.

By leaving out these details, Google mitigated the squalling to a dull roar. Meanwhile, Authorship is still around, it’s just not such an exercise in vanity, and the photos did serve the purpose of getting people to adopt Google+. Now that their gone, you won’t see people abandoning that ship in droves. It’s too much trouble, and the connection between online authorship and real world authority still exists, it’s just not represented in HD next to your name anymore.

Overall, this is a big change that means big things, but life will go on, and everyone will be talking about Google’s next big move in a month or two. I think this was a P.R. stunt gone as well as can be expected, and an opportunity for the inquisitive to play sleuth and feel clever. I’m patting myself on the back as we speak.

Then again, I’ve been wrong before. What do you think? Has Google left authors out to dry in favor of fat cat advertisers? Is it all a secret plot to get Obama’s birth certificate out to the public? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section.

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How to Reshare Old Content Without Annoying Your Followers http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/30/reshare-old-content-without-annoying-followers/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/30/reshare-old-content-without-annoying-followers/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:00:29 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30653 Most bloggers don’t realize that resharing old content is just as important as sharing new content. Just because you’ve shared a topic or post before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do so again. This is especially true of sites that host tutorials, guides and how-tos. Some content will always be relevant and timely.

frames-reframing
The problem with adopting a regular share schedule for old content is that you may aggravate and annoy your followers if you don’t handle it properly. For example, employing an automated share system that creates a shoddy social post with a drab call-to-action, and then continuously spamming that over and over is not going to work. It is ineffective and it will reduce your audience, if you even managed to build one using tactics like that.

There are strategies you can use to reshare content without being a nuisance. This list of tips that will help you do that, in addition to boosting engagement for your content – new and old.

Reframe Your Content Each Time You Share

Repeating the same message, question or call-to-action every time you share your content is not going to work. In fact, that’s being annoying – exactly what you don’t want to do.

In order to share your content more than once, you’ll need to reframe your posts each time. The first time you can simply share the link, along with the title of the content. The second time you can share an image taken from the post. The third you can share an interesting fact or quote taken from the content directly. You get the point, hopefully.

What this means is that you won’t want to feed your reshares through automatic platforms or sharing plugins. For the most part, you’ll need to create it manually unless you use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule it in advance.

By reframing the content every time you share it, you are increasing the social value of your post. You’re also pulling attention from different audiences each time. Never reshare the same post over and over, at least not through your own page or account. Let your followers handle all the simple resharing.

clock-timezones

Use Time Zones to Your Advantage

It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or an international one, fans will connect with you through social media from all over the world. Furthermore, there are many different time zones across the globe, which means when you’re awake some of your audience may be asleep or at work.

With each reshare of your content make sure you are scheduling posts at different times, that way you pander to all time zones and maximize your content’s visibility. You also have to remember, posts can become trendy or featured several hours after they have been published to social networks. Try to give yourself enough time between what’s considered your primetime and when you publish your content. That will give each post enough time to circulate, and your audience enough time to see it.

Never Use the Same Headline

Find several headlines that you believe will perform well and use all of them instead of recycling the same one over and over. Remember, you can edit the meta title and description for your content on social networks such as Facebook. Using this feature you can make old content look like it is brand new.

In addition, try different types of headlines. For one share, use a question to pull interested readers in. For the next share, borrow a quote and use that as the headline. There are so many different things you can do for the title, the possibilities are seemingly endless. This point is very similar to reframing your content, in that you can continuously use old posts by changing just a few elements.

adopt-me-maybe

Watch Pop Culture and the Headlines

Every so often, a topic will become timely and it’s one that you may have covered in the past. Even so, you can often take an unrelated topic and make it timely by integrating pop culture references. Pay attention to what’s going on in the world around you and use your observations to your advantage.

For instance, a smaller company like Safer Brand could use the growing awareness of fitness and health right now to offer healthy eating tips in ways that pertain to their brand. Since they specialize in gardening, they could offer videos, media and how-tos on cooking the best meals to go along with a popular fitness routine. If they really wanted to strike the nail on the head, they could just produce a video using pop culture references – like one that parodies the infamous Call Me Maybe.

It’s also important to keep your actual content as evergreen as possible, that way it never seems outdated, even when your readers see it much later on.

Follow These Tips to Boost Traffic, Engagement and Revenue

If you follow these tips and reshare your content at regular intervals it will definitely boost your social engagement levels and traffic to your blog. Of course, you have to be smart about your social posts, and that means avoiding recycling the same messages over and over. Don’t be afraid to try something new and innovative. Visual content generates more reactions from social followers, so incorporate that into your sharing strategies, as well.

The point is, don’t just throw out new content and neglect the old. If you want consistent traffic and steady readers, remember to reshare any useful content from time to time – even if it is extremely old to you.

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How To Transfer A WordPress Site To A New Host Securely & Without Downtime http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/28/wordpress-transfer-new-hosting/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/28/wordpress-transfer-new-hosting/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 01:17:50 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30658 As a follow up to my article last week on some useful WordPress plugins that make website migration simpler, I thought I’d give a quick overview on how to get it done safely. The route I’m about to describe is not necessarily the shortest route as some of those plugins did make it less technical. However, I’ve chosen to share more details about the process allowing more readers the opportunity to learn more about how WordPress and how it’s file and database works. Plugins and tools are great but having a deeper understanding and experience will set you apart and give you more knowledge with which to troubleshoot.

WordPress 4

Hopefully, your reason for moving your website is due to a substantial rise in traffic and you require greater resources to handle it, and not because of an unreliable hosting provider. The availability of your website is crucial and there is no room for errors or downtime while building your your online business, since this can translate to missed opportunities.

If you’ve been publishing online for some time now it’s very likely that it will be beneficial for you to make a host switch as cloud hosting technology continues to advance and become more affordable. Usually, basic hosting providers such as BlueHost and HostGator are sufficient but as your online business grows and require more resources, providers such as WP Engine and FortyCloud become more viable options. FortyCloud for example, is a security and software as a service platform that provides powerful end-to-end encryption, deep monitoring and auditing features and everything you will need as you move your online business beyond a simple WordPress site and start offering a vast portfolio of services. Services that rely heavily on network availability for your clients. You need to be ready to scale.

Here’s a simple tutorial to help you complete the web host transfer with absolutely zero downtime and without hiring a professional to take care of the task for you.

Task 1 – Backup All WordPress Files

Once you have your new hosting account ready and activated, you can start creating a copy of your existing files with your current web host. Login to your old web host’s control panel and navigate to your File Manager. The folder you will need to backup is the one that contains all WordPress content including images and core files. This is usually within the public_html folder and the WordPress root will usually look like below:

wp-directory

The simplest method for backing up these files is to select all files and folders within the directory and execute the compress command which will compress all files within the folder into one manageable zip file. The option usually looks like the image below:

You can also use an FTP client like FileZilla to login to your FTP account and transfer the files directly to your computer. This requires that you have a valid FTP account setup with access privileges to the folder you’re trying to backup.

Task 2 – Optimize Your Database

You will be creating a backup of your WordPress database but before you do, you it’s good to optimize your database tables. An easy way to do this is to use the optimize tables option with the WP-DB Manager plugin. This is necessary to reduce the size of your database backup.

Task 3 – Disable all Plugins

Login to your WordPress dashboard and disable all plugins. Although plugins are smarter these days, there’s still a possibility that errors may occur when fiddling with their files while active.

Task 4 – Backup your WordPress Database

There are 2 ways to do this – either via phpMyadmin, which is a tool provided by your hosting provider or using the WP-DBManager WordPress plugin, the simpler method.

To use phpMyadmin:

Login to your old hosting account and select your phpMyadmin or manage MySQL option to gain access to your databases. Create a backup of your WordPress database and download the SQL copy to your computer.

backup-database

To backup your database within phpMyadmin:

Once you’ve completed the steps in the diagram scroll to the bottom of the screen and select “Go.” This will download the SQL file to your computer.

To backup with WP-DBManager:

Once logged into your original WP installation admin, hover over the “Database” menu item and select “Backup DB” and the options below with be shown. I blocked out some of the details for security reasons as revealing information about database names and paths publicly is a good way to get hacked.

wp-backup

Then select “Backup.” Once the backup is done, navigate to “Manage Backup DB” where you’ll be able to select and download your backup file.

Task 5 – Upload the Downloaded Zip File

Login to your new hosting account and upload the compressed file you downloaded in Step 1. This should be uploaded to your root directory. Once uploaded, go ahead and extract the files to the directory. You will then see that your WordPress folders and other content are now present.

Task 6 – Create The New Database

Within your new hosting account, you will need to create a new database. Most web hosting accounts provide a “Database Setup Wizard” that will take you through the steps for creation. Use this option and it will allow you to assign the database name, user, password and account privileges. Ensure the user is assigned all privileges and copy all these details to your notepad for use later.

Task 7 – Restore Backup Database

Within your new host, select your phpMyadmin option and select the database you created in Step 6. After selecting the database, you will notice that it has no tables. Then you should select the Import tab to import the old tables into the new database.

Click “Browse” to search for the database backup file you downloaded in Step 4, then select “Go.” This will begin the upload process which can take a while depending on the size of your database backup file.

Take note of the maximum file upload size on this screen as you will not be able to upload anything larger. If it is larger then you would need to contact your new host’s tech support to increase it.

Task 8 – Edit the wp-config.php File

wp-config

Browse to the file manager of your new hosting account and search for the wp-config.php file within the root directory. This is where you will enter your new database details. As shown above, edit this file with the new database credentials and save.

Ensure that you download a backup copy of the wp-config.php so that you can revert to the backup in case you make any major mistakes.

Task 9 – Assign The New Name Servers

Now that all files and database tables have been transferred to the new hosting account, it’s time to change the name servers so that they point to the new host provider. Usually, the name server is displayed along with general statistics and account details. However, if you can’t find it then contact tech support.

The name server normally takes the format of ns234.hostprovider.com & ns235.hostprovider.com and sometimes up to 4 entries. you should only need 2.

Your host provider will tell you that it takes up to 72 hours for the new names to propagate but it usually takes about an hour or two. As long as you following the steps above accurately you will not even notice when the change is complete.

Conduct Thorough Testing

Ensure that once the transfer is complete you conduct a thorough testing of all plugins and features of your site and WordPress dashboard to spot any potential problems.

That’s it, you have successfully transferred your WordPress site to a new host.

Troubleshoot

If you receive the error message “Error establishing a database connection” after the transfer takes place then you will need to check to ensure that you entered your database credentials correctly in the wp-config.php file and that it is uploaded to the new host directory.

If you experience any difficulties or would like to contribute a better idea for making this process more efficient, feel free to leave us a comment below.

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Can Online Publishers Be Held Legally Liable for What They Publish? http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/28/can-online-publishers-held-legally-liable-publish/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/28/can-online-publishers-held-legally-liable-publish/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:30:54 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30644 Online publishing is a booming niche, and while the competition is stiff, there are still many who flock to the Internet to try their hand at it. Yes, it is not too late for anyone to enter the online publishing realm. Whether you’re new to the game, or you have been at it for quite some time now, one important thing you ought to realize is that just because you’re publishing online doesn’t mean you can be held legally liable for what you publish.

legally liable

Source

Of course, legal obligations of online publishers depend on where they are based or registered, but the short of it is this: you can be taken to court because of what you publish on your blog or web site.

What are the common legal threats an online publisher faces?

While posting online has a lot of differences as compared to print publishing, there are laws that govern the former. The most common things you can be held legally liable for are as follows:

Copyright infringment

legally liable

Source

The United States Copyright Office is in charge of setting the rules and regulations to protect the owners of original material. From written text to photos and images to music to video – these can all be copyright protected.

When can you be held legally liable? When you use material that is not yours and claim it for yourself. Additionally, you can be held legally liable when you use copyrighted material that requires permission from the owner. If you use this material – even if you cite the source – and you don’t have the permission, you can still get in trouble.

Defamation

Defamation may very well be the umbrella topic for legal liability for online publishers. Specific definitions and rules will vary depending on location, but the essence of defamation lies in harming the reputation of a person or entity. If you write about another blogger, for example, and criticize him for one reason or another, and this leads to damaging his reputation, you can face defamation charges.

Privacy

Privacy is another broad topic, but it all boils down to one thing: if you collect any information from your readers, you have to ensure that you do not share or sell it to anyone else – unless you have clearly stated from the get go (before the readers give their information) that you reserve the right to do this. If you do the latter, the chances are people won’t be giving you their information anyway.

Additionally, you have to disclose it – loud and clear – if you do collect any kind of information from your readers.

Lawyer Daniel Perlman advises online publishers to not only know about these “threats” but to also take active measures to avoid getting into legal trouble. This brings us to the next point.

How do you avoid these legal issues?

law

Source

It’s really simple: know the law, and stick to it.

The three common legal threats outlined above are not the only things you can be held legally liable for, but it is a good start. Make sure you don’t plagiarize or commit any sort of copyright infringement. It is easy enough to find royalty-free or Creative Commons licensed material online. Stick to those.

Before you let your blogger’s rage lose on the Internet, make sure you are not defaming the object of your rage. The problem here is that your intent may or may not matter when it comes to court. If your published material is found to harm the reputation of your object of criticism, you will be held legally liable. So be careful before you start bashing.

Last, respect the privacy of others as much as you want your privacy to be respected. Simple as that.

Related reading:

Do You Have These Bad Online Publishing Habits?

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Is Your Password Really Protecting You? http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/28/is-your-password-really-protecting-you/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/28/is-your-password-really-protecting-you/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:11:47 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/28/is-your-password-really-protecting-you/ Editor’s note: This post was written by Danny, a blogger for Instant Checkmate, one of the world’s largest people search engines. He is passionate about writing and is currently a student at the University of San Diego studying English and Business Administration. Find him on Twitter or  Google +.

Take a second to think about what your password is protecting. If someone knows that simple word they can hack your email, your social media accounts, your blog, your bank account, and much more. Your password protects your conversations, your money, your secrets, and who knows what else!

BHpass

Do you think your website is too small, or your account doesn’t have enough information to be worthwhile for hackers? Many think this way, and that is exactly when one falls victim to hackers. Even simple Spotify accounts fell victim to hackers recently, putting large amounts of payment information at risk.

Cybercrime is a growing threat. Over 30,0000 websites are hacked every day, leading to an astonishing 378 MILLION victims a year.

There are a number of simple, yet crucial, steps that can be taken to protect your information, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Your password is the gate to all of your information. If it is weak, your site and your private information will fall victim to a hacker. If it is strong, you are putting yourself in a good position to fend off these cyber criminals.

Check out this infographic from Instant Checkmate, and learn the best ways to protect your information from hackers!

password

The post Is Your Password Really Protecting You? appeared first on The Blog Herald.

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, July 28, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/28/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-july-28-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/28/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-july-28-2014/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:00:03 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30650 Job board highlightsGood morning, folks! I hope you’re ready to finish the month with a bang.

Here are the job board highlights from the past week. Good luck!

eCommerce Writer/Blogger

Are you interested in eCommerce? Do you have any knowledge of inventory management, reputation management and product research tools? Are you curious about what’s next for the Amazon marketplace? Do you also have blogging and white paper writing experience?

eComEngine are seeking a skilled writer who also has a taste – or can acquire one – for eCommerce seller tools and related market trends. Expected initial output is 1-2 original blog articles per week and 1 additional piece every month, for three months.

Resident Blogger

Their mission at TrustedPages.org is to help webmasters establish an effective, authoritative website that is worthy of ranking; whether they are starting a new website or transforming an existing one.

They’re just starting out and they need the help of an experienced writer to kickstart their content creation program.

Sport betting expert – writer freelance

Sports betting marketplace www.bettingrunner.com for international tipsters is seeking a detailed oriented person to write new articles for the website. The ideal candidate will have some sports betting background to aid them in providing accurate content pertaining to sports handicapping and gambling issues.

News Writer/Editor

Flocabulary is seeking an ongoing freelance News Writer / Editor to research, write and edit educational content related to current events for students.

Blogger for Consumer-Focused Medication Information Site

MedShadow is seeking a blogger to write 750-1,500 word blogs about the side effects of prescription and OTC drugs to inform and empower consumers when making healthcare decisions. The topics can be selected by the blogger with input from editors. They should be opinionated while maintaining balance. The blogger will research the topics using multiple sources to provide an accurate and well-balanced piece. The ideal blogger will have several published blogs, essays, articles, etc.

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4 Things Online Publishers Need to Know to Avoid Legal Trouble http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/27/4-things-online-publishers-need-to-know-to-avoid-legal-trouble/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/27/4-things-online-publishers-need-to-know-to-avoid-legal-trouble/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:00:24 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/27/4-things-online-publishers-need-to-know-to-avoid-legal-trouble/ Online publishing has made it so easy for anyone to express his thoughts and opinions online, as well as share experiences and expertise. With online publishing being relatively new, some people who are only starting in the niche may not be aware that there are laws that do apply online.

legal trouble

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Print publications have traditionally been regulated by the government, but depending on where you are based, online publishers may get into legal trouble on various counts. Lawyer Daniel Perlman advises that online publishers should know the specific laws governing online publications in your particular area, but in general, here are things you need to know to avoid legal trouble.

Copyright legal issues

Copyright laws have been set in place to protect material created by entities. This includes written work, images, video, and audio. Plagiarism falls under copyright laws in that if you use another person’s blog post, for example, and claim it as your own, you are held liable.

There are different copyright licenses, ranging from you having to ask permission from the owner before you can use his material to using material without permission as long as you link to the source.

Before you use any images, videos, etc., make sure you know their copyright license.

Protip: Always go for Creative Commons license or royalty-free license.

Also read: The 3 Most Common Copyright Mistakes Bloggers Make

Trademark legal issues

legal trouble

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Isn’t trademark the same as copyright? Nope!

Trademarks are the realm of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which protects brands, names, and logos from being used by unauthorized entities. Once you have registered your trademark, you can sue others who use it. The reverse applies. If you use someone’s trademarked name/logo/etc., then you will be held liable.

The important thing to remember about trademarks to avoid legal trouble is that you should not use trademarked brand names or logos to mislead readers into thinking you are affiliated with that particular brand. Otherwise, if you’re just using the brand as part of your opinion piece, for example, that should be okay.

Privacy legal issues

Privacy is one of the most controversial issues these days, and as an online publisher, you have the legal obligation to protect your readers’ privacy. One of the first things you should do is write up a privacy policy which will let your readers know exactly how you deal with their data.

Basically, if you collect any data – email addresses for newsletters, for example – make sure that you have a policy set in place that will protect that and that you let your readers know.

Tortious interference issues

Tortious interference sounds so legally scary, doesn’t it? It is defined as:

encouraging a breach, infringing on another’s agreement, interfering with contract, interfering with contractual commitments, interfering with contractual obligation, interfering with contractual rights, intermeddling, intermeddling with business activities, obstruction, work against anothers contractual relationship, wrongful interference with business relationships, wrongful interference with contractual relationships

In short, tortious interference means that, because of your blog post, you hamper the ability of another party to do business, or if you encourage someone to break a contract.

This can easily happen when you’ve been ripped off by a seller online, for example, and you write about it. If your post is a call to arms to your readers to boycott the seller, the seller might have a legal case against you.

What you can do to avoid falling into this trap: word your post very carefully so as to avoid coming across as actively inciting readers not to patronize an establishment.

For example, instead of saying “Don’t ever buy from this deals site because they sell fake products!”, say, “I wish I hadn’t bought from this deals site because it seems that the product I receive is not genuine.”

Knowing the above can save you from legal trouble in the future, so make sure that you take them in consideration as you write your next post.

The post 4 Things Online Publishers Need to Know to Avoid Legal Trouble appeared first on The Blog Herald.

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Are You Managing Your Social Media Presence Properly? http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/24/managing-social-media-presence-properly/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/07/24/managing-social-media-presence-properly/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:48:38 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30634 Social media is an excellent tool for various purposes. Online marketers extend their reach, and engage their followers to achieve their goals. Bloggers use it to get more traffic and network with other people. For others, social media is merely a venue to share what they find interesting, voice out their thoughts and opinions, and engage in discussion with others.

social media presence
For the latter group, there is the danger of unwittingly “using” social media in a way that adversely affects their image. For anyone who wants to advance in their career, no matter in what sector, one’s social media presence should be managed properly. Call it self-censorship if you may, but we’ve all heard the stupid horror stories of employees calling in sick and posting photos of themselves partying at a beach on Facebook. Of course, it’s only a matter of time when HR finds out.

Freelance writers and network bloggers face the same danger. You may tell your client that you can’t deliver because you’re feeling under the weather and yet you keep tweeting. If you’re really feeling that bad that you can’t get work done, should you be online?

There are countless negative scenarios that can bring harm upon yourself because of your social media presence: drunk posting, angry posts, photos that should be kept private, and the list goes on.

Have you googled yourself lately? What did you discover? Of course, anyone – employers and clients included – who does the same thing will see what you see. Do you like what you see online about yourself?

Are You an Annoying Person on Social Media?

I think the above is enough to convince you that you might want to take a look at your social media presence and footprint – if you haven’t recently. Here’s an infographic that will give you insights and practical tips on what to do.

Manage Your Social Media
Source: BestMastersPrograms.org

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