BloggingPro http://www.bloggingpro.com News, plugins and themes for blogging applications Tue, 27 Jan 2015 13:00:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Tips to Increasing Security of Your Personal Info in Social Media http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/27/tips-increasing-security-personal-info-social-media/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/27/tips-increasing-security-personal-info-social-media/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31771 iStock_000035258498_Small

Internet security is a funny thing. But not too funny for these industries that were hit by data breaches this past year.

Despite the extra precautions taken by these companies, their security were no match against the cyber criminals who passed through the cracks to steal personal information.

Big or small, your online business is a target to such threats.

According to IBM, there were 1.5 million monitored cyber attacks in the U.S. in 2013. From a business standpoint, security breaches cause 29% reputation and brand damage, 21% lost productivity, and 19% lost revenue.

Part of the lost revenue may come from your social media activity. Considering that social media is bound to unlock $1.3 trillion in value over the coming years, this channel must be included in your marketing plan.

But just like any online account, there’s a risk in getting hacked on social media. Just ask Burger King. Or Donald Trump.

As an online user, you need to keep your social media security tight to prevent data breaches from occurring. Here are some tips to keep your accounts safe.

Develop password management strategy

Come up with a strong password that includes symbols, numbers, and ambiguous characters. You can use a password generator for this.

To increase social media security, change your password every few months.

Also enable two-step verification. Upon entering your log-in details, the site will send a code to your smartphone. You will have to enter the code on the site to complete the process.

Streamline social media operations

It is normal for your social media team to register for different accounts to increase your reach. But there must be a way to moderate creation of new accounts. Get them to document all registered accounts so they can be accessed later on for editing. This also allows the team to delete social media accounts that aren’t working for you.

Assign point persons to be accountable to passwords of specific social media accounts. This way, when problems arise from your social media activity, you will refer to them.

Clean up apps linked to your social accounts

Signing in using your Google or Facebook when registering to apps is easier than creating an account and filling up your information. But apps connected to your social media can be culprits of security breach.

Snapchat experienced a breach when an unauthorized third-party app SnapSaved.com, which saves the messages sent on Snapchat, was hacked. The breach led to 500MB worth of images leaked to the public.

To prevent third-party apps from leaking personal information and data, use MyPermissions.org to see apps that your social media accounts are connected to. You can disconnect third-party apps you’re no longer using to decrease the chances of security breach.

Prepare for the worst

As mentioned, there is always a risk for your social media to get hacked. If it does happened, your best defense is a best offense.

Delete posts or tweets that slipped through the cracks and post a message explaining to your followers what just happened. Take the breach in stride and reply to those who were offended by the posts in a calm manner. Get your relations manager to fix the damage with your customers.

For more suggestions on how to prepare your crisis plan, download this free guide by HootSuite.

More on social media security:

How To Destroy Your Blog With Bad Social Media Engagement Practices

Follow Me: Social Media Solutions for Website Promotion

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, January 26, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/26/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-26-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/26/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-26-2015/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:30:11 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31754 Job board highlightsGood morning, job seekers.

Here are the BloggingPro job board highlights to start the week. Wishing you the best of luck!

BloggingPro job board highlights

Freelance Reporters

The Real Deal is looking for freelance reporters to help us expand our award-winning coverage of the New York City real estate industry. Experience in business journalism is a must, as is the ability to write clean copy with flair and on deadline.

Watch Blog Writer – WordPress Experience Required

An online watch e-commerce retailer is looking for an ongoing blog writer to form an integral part of a new content creation team creating high quality, relevant content. The goal is to take the level of content on the website to the next level by creating lots of unique engaging content which is not specifically aimed at selling.

Proofreader/Editor

ProofreadingServices.com hires part-time and full-time proofreaders who demonstrate superlative proofreading and editing skills.

Write WordPress Plugin Reviews

This is a quick and easy one-time job for anyone with WordPress experience.

WPscoop is a site for WordPress plugin comparisons. Recently, a user reviews feature was added to the site and to get it off the ground, the site is looking for people to write and submit paid reviews of WordPress plugins they have used or are using themselves.

Copywriter and Editor

Rate: Up to $50 per hour

A fitness tech company is looking for a talented and versatile copywriter and editor to help with their company text.

You can work either ONSITE or OFFSITE.

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Now’s the Time to Move Away from Facebook and Use Google+ for Your Business http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/22/nows-time-move-away-facebook-use-google-business/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/22/nows-time-move-away-facebook-use-google-business/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:00:57 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31724 iStock_000017315007_Small

Facebook has been active in updating its algorithm ever since. Some of the changes have brought good (less spam and ads, showing fewer hoaxes).

Others have cost the livelihood of some businesses.

The social networking site slashed organic reach of Pages to 1-2%.

If you have 100 fans on your Facebook Page, only two of them will see your updates on their News Feed.

This is a blow to businesses who use Facebook Page to share their posts and communicate with their audience. They can still reach out to all followers, but only through the site’s paid ads.

Because of the algorithm change, industry experts like Copyblogger denounced Facebook from their marketing strategy. (For perspective, Jon Loomer explains why Copyblogger’s Facebook Page wasn’t doing well in the first place and what it could have done to make its Page better.)

Many have provided guides on how to combat the change in organic reach and continue to deliver content to fans.

But instead of pulling hair for solutions to a problem that’s here to say, why not think outside the box?

Why not Google+?

iStock_000019475105_Small

When Google+ was launched in 2011, pundits declared it to be the Facebook killer. But over time, Google+ ended up as just another social media site.

Online users have been torn with Google+. Many saw the site as a ghost town, while some debunk this myth.

Its failure stems can be traced from the person to managed it – the unsociable and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

But the real problem with Google+ the perception of how it should be used. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Google+ is a different beast altogether. It may be not be used by people you know, but it doesn’t mean it’s useless.

This is where your role as publisher comes in.

Consider the following benefits that this social media site can offer you:

As a blogger or business owner, you won’t be using Google+ because your friends or family aren’t in it.

You should use Google+ to tap a segment of your audience that you haven’t engaged with before.

The features above give Google+ a certain edge over its contemporaries. These are something that you can use to further build an online community and interact with your target audience – something that Facebook may no longer offer.

In fact, here’s a challenge: replace Facebook with Google+ in your marketing strategy. Get your site and blog visitors to follow you on Google+ and take your interaction there.

This may take awhile, but your business will benefit from using Google+ in the long run. You sidestep the algorithm changes that take place in Facebook and get your entire audience to see your updates.

Google+ will never live up to the “Facebook killer” moniker. But if it will come close to the hype it got when it entered the social media scene, now is the chance for Google+ to do it.

More on Google+:

A Look Back: How Bloggers Can Optimize Google+ Hangouts Efforts

Using Google+ Sparks to Find Content to Blog and Grow Your Traffic

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5 WordPress Plugins for a Mobile-Friendlier Blog http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/20/wordpress-plugins-mobile-friendlier-blog/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/20/wordpress-plugins-mobile-friendlier-blog/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:00:48 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31715 iStock_000016305696_Small

Google is cracking down on mobile-unfriendly sites.

The search engine sent a warning on Google Webmasters Tools to site owners who have mobile ranking issues. This new algorithm has hit the news as early as November but will take shape in the coming weeks and months.

The age of mobile has arrived and it’s only growing stronger. According to this free guide from Smart Insights, mobile devices have outgrown desktop computers in Internet usage in 2014.

These reasons should empower you to set up a mobile-friendly version of your blog.

If you have a WordPress blog that still needs to be optimized for mobile viewing, use the plugins listed below.

Jetpack

06-jetpack

This free plugin offers a vast array of features to supercharge your blog. One that optimizes your blog for mobile viewing is the Mobile Theme feature.

By activating the Mobile Theme, you can either (a) show the excerpts or the full content of your blog posts on the homepage or (b) show a link at the footer of the page to the mobile-friendly version.

You can customize the header and background of your blog’s mobile version.

WP Touch

Create a beautiful mobile version of your WordPress site.

This paid plugin lets you choose from different WPtouch themes, all which loads 5x faster than a responsive blog design. WP Touch also gives you access to extensions that increase the mobile viewing experience such as Infinity Cache,  Responsive Images, Mobile Content, and more.

For a WordPress blog, you can buy a WP Touch license worth $59. If you own many blogs and website, you can order a license bundle at a higher price.

WP Mobile Detector

Websitez.com   WordPress Mobile – WordPress Mobile Themes – WordPress Themes

For $50, you can install this plugin to customize a mobile version of your blog.  The plugin also has 10 mobile themes to choose from that fit your brand.More importantly, your mobile-friendly blog will be shown on more than 5,000 devices.

More importantly, your mobile-friendly blog will be shown on more than 5,000 devices. WP Mobile Detector will show the version that best appears on each device. It automatically formats blog content and layout to fit any screen size. The Advanced Mobile Statistics will track blog visitors and mobile bots to see how much traffic you’re drawing with your mobile theme.

WP Mobile Edition

WordPress › WP Mobile Edition « WordPress Plugins

This plugin lets you create a speedy and lightweight version of your blog without compromising its design. It will adapt to any kind of device that shows your blog. Whether the device is in vertical or horizontal position, the nTheme feature will show the correct version of the blog.

You can set up the mobile version to load in two ways: (1) once visitors go to the blog or (a) once visitors enable the mobile version from the desktop version that loads on their device.

WordPress Mobile Pack 2.0

WordPress › WordPress Mobile Pack « WordPress Plugins

The plugin’s basic version will allow you to create a customized version of your blog for mobile viewing. The Premium version will give you access to unlimited content resources, themes, and applications.

Do you know other mobile-friendly plugins for a better viewing experience of your WordPress blog?

More on mobile-friendly:

How To Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly

3 Ways To Monetize Your Mobile Loving Blog

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5 Reasons Your Company Blogger Needs IT Training http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/20/5-reasons-company-blogger-needs-training/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/20/5-reasons-company-blogger-needs-training/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:30:48 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31708 img_20140513_221055

Everyone thinks blogging is easy, until they try to do it and the results are dismal. That’s hopefully why you’ve hired a permanent blogger, whether as a freelancer or a permanent employee, but are they getting the support they need? They might not be used to your platform, the analytics you prefer, or the technology surrounding them in general. Bloggers, just like everyone else on your IT team, need both initial training and ongoing training in order to perform their best.

However, it’s easy to leave this on the back burner until it dries out and goes stale. Is your company blog really so important that the person in charge of it needs special training? Of course, especially considering the shocking business blog statistics Yahoo! recently released. Since companies with blogs have 97 percent more links and studies show users are 81 percent more likely to trust a business with a (good) blog, you can’t consider this a fun side project.

Here’s why your company blogger needs training pronto:

  1. Fake it ‘til they make it?

It can be pretty embarrassing for someone in an IT field like blogging to admit they don’t know something. However, it’s not just techies that will pretend they know more than they do and try “shortcuts” that can actually be a huge waste of time. A lot of people don’t know how to ask for help, and Inc. reports that there are some really common mistakes people make when doing so. Avoid any mis-communication and take care of training.

  1. They’re new to your technology

The odds of your blogger using the exact same technology, the same generation, and all in the same combination at a previous position is nil. Plus, even if they were in an identical environment, what are the odds that they got good, ongoing training there? It’s up to you to associate all your employees, including your blogger, with your tech and how to optimize it. If people don’t know how to make the most of it, they’re wasting your time and money.

  1. They’ll be more productive

Obviously, right? However, the more skilled your blogger is, the more productive they’ll be which can be a huge boon if they’re paid by the hour. Plus, the lack of frustration means they’ll be a lot happier, and that bodes well for your company, too. Productive employees aren’t easy to come by, but training provides a great foundation to get started.

  1. What if they’re not a one trick pony?

If it’s not in the budget to hire a blogger, and only a blogger, there’s a good chance they’ll be performing other tasks from social media optimization to tech support. In this case, this might be an entirely new job description and landscape for them. You never know when you might need to lean on your blogger to multi-task, and while it’s not a permanent solution (multi-tasking never works) it will be very helpful in a pinch.

  1. Tech is always changing

Is your blogger working with the latest generation of whatever technology you’re using? Even if they are, did they undergo adequate training for it when the upgrade was made available? Probably not, and now is a perfect time to acquaint everyone in the office with the latest changes. They could be minor, or they could be as big as Windows 7 vs. 8 (and as anyone who made that transition knows, it was a steep learning curve).

Your blogger is a key part of your IT team, so give them the support they need. In turn, they’ll provide you with the speed and quality you expect.

Top 30 Responsive WordPress Templates for Your Business

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5 Instant Blog Killers http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/19/5-instant-blog-killers/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/19/5-instant-blog-killers/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:05:13 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31703 flatline

When most blogs get abandoned and fail, you clearly need to stack the odds in your favor as a blogger. There are a lot of things you should be doing when creating a blog, but don’t forget about the things you shouldn’t be doing, too. Some seemingly innocent things can kill a blog faster that Kim Kardashian can break the internet. Speaking of the internet, that’s killer number one: If you don’t have reliable, fast internet, you’re probably not going to blog as much as you should.

Make serious considerations before you commit to a blog, because just like a marriage it will ideally go on for the rest of your life. Of course, this is only true if your blog is to build your business or brand (if it’s just to share your cat’s photo shoots, you can come and go as you please). To make sure you get your blog started on the right foot, make sure to avoid these common faux pas:

  1. Not enough time

Be honest with yourself and figure out if you have the time to commit to a blog (an ideal blog is between 3-7 postings per week, and it may take up to an hour from research to posting). Do you have 3-7 hours to spare each week for such a task? This can be especially difficult to gauge if you tend to pile your plate high, even if you are following Forbes’ tips for managing your time as a Type-A. If attending to a blog squeezes you too tightly, shelf it until there’s more room in your schedule.

  1. The wrong platform

There are many platforms for blogs, and some of the best ones are free such as WordPress or Blogger. However, choosing the wrong platform for you, your capabilities or your business can set you up for failure. Recently, Creative Bloq released their idea of the best WordPress themes of the year, and choosing both the right platform and theme can dictate the success of your blog.

  1. Expectations that are too high

You need to adjust to the fact that it could take weeks or months before you get your first comment, but that doesn’t mean your blog’s a failure. It takes time for any blog to gain traction, so tap into your patience well. However, ignorance isn’t bliss so also make sure you’re tracking your analytics. There might be a number of lurkers checking out your blogs but not sharing or commenting, and it’ll take some changes to encourage them to participate.

  1. Poor writing

Even if your blog is largely video- or image-based, there will be some aspects that depend on the written word. You don’t need to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer to have a great blog, but you do need spellcheck and preferably someone else to look over your work before you post. However, remember to lean on your talents whether it’s writing, video creation or graphic design. There’s no rule that blogs have to be mostly text.

  1. Not sharing

There aren’t many ways for people to find your blog if you’re not sharing it on social media, newsletters, your website, etc. and making the content shareable for others, too. Creating a blog is just part of the process. You also need to spread the word so you get as many eyes on it as possible. Otherwise, you might as well be writing a diary in an notebook then tucking it under your bed.

Not all blogs will succeed, but there are certainly ways to up your odds. Most importantly, make sure a blog is complementary to your goals, whether it’s becoming YouTube famous or upping your SEO factor.

Practice Being a Blogger Daily

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, January 19, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/19/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-19-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/19/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-19-2015/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:30:18 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31698 BloggingPro Job board highlightsGood morning, BloggingPro readers!

I hope you all had a great weekend and that you’re ready to send in applications for new jobs. Here are the BloggingPro job board highlights. Good luck!

Celeb/Pop Culture Writer

Starcasm is a rapidly growing pop culture blog currently averaging over six million page views per month. They are looking to expand our staff with additional full-time freelance writers to cover celebrity and pop culture news stories and non-time-sensitive informational posts of interest.

Applicant should be able to come up with story ideas and write about them succinctly and with a positive vibe. A degree in Journalism, English, or another field with a writing emphasis is preferred, but not required. Possessing some photo editing skills is a plus, as is a joyful appreciation of reality television programming and celebrity foibles.

Freelance Female Fashion Finder Writer

Mail Online needs writers. Requirements:
* Solid fashion-based writing experience
* Sound knowledge of high street-style trends
* Able to write quick, tight fashion copy
* Flexibility regarding night shift patterns

IT Blogger – Freelance – IT and Workforce Management Topics

Can you write knowledgeably about the IT industry?

Can you create content that busy executives can’t resist?

Do you have a voice that will stand out from all of the noise on the Internet?

Haley Marketing are seeking experienced writers who can research and write engaging, relevant and timely blog posts and short articles for their clients in the staffing industry.

Legal Blogger – Freelance – Legal and Workforce Management Topics

Can you write knowledgeably about the legal industry?

Can you create content that busy executives can’t resist?

Do you have a voice that will stand out from all of the noise on the Internet?

Haley Marketing are seeking experienced writers who can research and write engaging, relevant and timely blog posts and short articles for our clients in the staffing industry.

Freelance Copywriter

For those of you looking to break into the advertising copy industry, or want to supplement your current income, you can get started networking with international clients and building your portfolio right away through a new platform called CopyShoppy, which holds copywriting contests for clients.

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6 Accoutrements Bloggers Need http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/16/6-accoutrements-bloggers-need/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/16/6-accoutrements-bloggers-need/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 06:29:22 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31694 repair web icon

The vast majority of blogs get abandoned, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Assuming you’re a blogger (or blogger to be) that’s ambitious and committed to blogging, you need the right tools and technology to keep up with your reader’s demands. However, start by remembering that it’s very common to get little or no action on your blog for weeks or even months. Keep an eye on your analytics, tweak your voice as necessary, and welcome comments by ending with open-ended questions.

Here are a few things bloggers need to enjoy online success:

  1. The right blogging platform

WordPress (WP) is a leading blogging platform for a reason, and it’s free, user-friendly and widely accepted as the go-to option. Find out what Creative Bloq considers the best free WP themes of last year and use it as a starting point for selecting your own design. Plus, WP has oodles of plug-ins that can help make your content shareable, easier to access, and better looking.

  1. A thick skin

You can’t buy or download this, but it’s critical for bloggers to get used to flamers, trolls, baiters and more. Not everyone is going to love your blog, some will use it to spam their own goods, and others will start fights just because they can. If you’re particularly sensitive, remember that it’s a good trait but check out Real Simple’s tips on growing a thicker skin in a hurry. You’ll need it for those hi-jacked threads.

  1. Time

Everyone has the same time in the day (even Oprah), but it’s all about how you manage it. If you can’t commit to at least three blogs per week (and ideally one each day), then it might not be the right time to start a blog. Otherwise, you may need to shift your schedule, practice better sleep hygiene, or cut back on one of your hobbies in order to make time to blog. Depending on the complexity of your subject, it shouldn’t take more than 30-60 minutes for a text-based blog.

  1. Gadgets and gizmos

A laptop alone isn’t enough to bolster your blogging success. Bloggers need quality smartphones on a budget like those from Cheap Phones and the right software to make crafting and publishing a breeze. While you can technically squeeze by using a public computer with maddeningly slow Wi-Fi, that’s not conducive to your sticking with a (preferably daily) blog.

  1. Cloud storage

The easiest way to back up your blog (and you need to!) is with cloud storage, and there are plenty of free options out there. In fact, Google Drive is one of the easiest, most intuitive free options out there. You can also use it to share with others, let others edit, or simply keep it as your personal vat of content that won’t ever be lost. Unless you end up with thousands of blogs, you probably don’t need to pay for cloud storage.

  1. A great host

Web hosting can play a huge role in the quality of your blog, including uptime and site speed. Unfortunately, many people go with the default web host that’s offered when they register their domain name. This is usually a free or cheap option because it’s on a shared server with as many clients crammed on each server as possible. Do your research and choose a web host with over 99 percent uptime, great reviews, and around the clock customer service.

There’s no guarantee that any blog will success, but with these accessories you stand a fighting chance. Don’t start a blog just because everyone else is doing it, but if it seems like a good fit then go in prepared.

 

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The Proof is in the Social: How to Get More Social Proof to Increase Blog Authority http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/15/proof-social-get-social-proof-increase-blog-authority/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/15/proof-social-get-social-proof-increase-blog-authority/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:00:20 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31689 Check List  Awesome

Social proof in online marketing helps shape the public’s opinion about your product or service. These include  but not limited to:

  • Social media shares
  • Endorsements from industry experts
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Press releases

A strong social proof for your blog encourages visitors to form a positive opinion about it.

Having lots of social media shares, positive customer reviews, and celebrity endorsements will compel first-time visitors to believe that your blog is an authority within its niche.

Visitors will then return to your blog to read your latest posts, subscribe to your mailing list, buy your products or services, and others!

If you want to enjoy these benefits from your blog, then you need to leverage your social proof to increase the authority of your blog.

To generate more social proof to your blog, below are things that you can do.

Power by numbers

Social Media Examiner  Social media marketing how to  research  case studies  news and more    Social Media Examiner

If you have lots of social media followers and fans, feature these on your homepage. This shows to visitors that online users follow your blog due to the high-quality content published on your blog.

Social shares is another form of social proof that shows how many users have shared your post on social media. For this, use the Share feature of SumoMe (for non-WordPress blogs) and Flare (for WP blogs).

Blogger outreach

Effective blogger outreach will help you build relationships with authority bloggers related to your niche.

One way of doing this is by contacting authority bloggers and sharing relevant blog posts that their audience will find useful.

Another tactic to generate social proof is to send out exclusive content to authority bloggers for free and ask for a testimonial from them. The content can be for sale or is still up for publishing on your blog.

If they enjoy the content you sent out, bloggers will be more willing to send you a positive review. You can use the review on the landing page of the exclusive content.

Feature as many positive reviews from bloggers so visitors who will read the reviews will be encouraged to download or purchase the content.

Blog Comments

If you have existing blog comments from readers that gave glowing reviews to your blog , you can also use them as social proof. Feature these on your sidebar, newsletters, and sales pages to get the desired effect from visitors of your blog.

To get more blog comments from your posts, follow the tips and advice featured here.

“As seen on”

Linkfluencer   Learn to master LinkedIn   Linkfluencer

This part shows the popular sites that linked to the posts of the blog. This is a convincing form of social proof especially if sites like CNN, The Huffington Post, Forbes, and other sites linked back to any of your blog posts.

It goes to show that your blog has achieved the authority it deserves, which is why other high-profile sites have linked back to it.

To find out which popular sites link back to your blog content, use Ahrefs and Open Site Explorer to get a preliminary list. You will have to upgrade your accounts on either to get more results.

Once you have the complete list, create an “As seen on” part on your blog’s sidebar so everybody can see. Use the company logos to make the part more attractive and eye-catching.

Link back to the page on the popular site where a backlink to your blog exists.

Question: What are other ways to generate social proof for your blog?

More on social proof:

Which Social Buttons Should Your Blog Use?

How To Destroy Your Blog With Bad Social Media Engagement Practices

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Follow Me: Social Media Solutions for Website Promotion http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/13/follow-social-media-solutions-website-promotion/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/13/follow-social-media-solutions-website-promotion/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:30:23 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31669 Editor’s note: This post was written by Ricardo Ortizcazarin, who started Cazarin Interactive from his basement in 1998. In the following 16 years, his company has grown to a full-fledged Digital Marketing Agency, helping clients from every industry build and leverage their online presence. Ricardo takes a results-based approach to every project, designing marketing campaigns from the ground-up to meet his client’s real-world objectives and goals.

social media solutions

Studies show that Internet users spend roughly 25 percent of their time online using social media.

That’s a lot of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn time, right? Well, 80 percent of marketers are promoting their content on social media sites to try to capture all of this traffic, but many are finding that their efforts are being wasted. Here’s how to break through the noise and be heard.

Images and Videos Work, Mostly Images

In most cases, images work a lot better than text in terms of sharability. Videos also work well, but be careful here. Videos aren’t always shared more often than images. On Facebook, for example, memes are some of the most shared content on the site.

Memes are images or graphics with a short bit of text which is usually indicative of some underlying ideology or principle. They’re short, usually meant to be funny (though not always), and highly sharable because they can be consumed in mere seconds.

Videos that are more than a minute long aren’t nearly as sharable on sites like Twitter, where the average tweet has a 30 second lifespan.

Interlink Your Social Profiles

social media solutions

According to Cazarin Interactive, a web design agency in Minneapolis, MN, you should try to interlink your social media profiles. In other words, you should link your Facebook account to your Google+ page, which should be linked to Pinterest. Twitter should be linked to Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Google and YouTube can also, of course, be linked together.

Having this “network” of social networking sites only makes sense. When someone finds you on Twitter, they may want to stop tweeting at some point and listen to what you have to say on YouTube. Or, they may want to learn more about your company on LinkedIn, or they may want to see some of your photos on Pinterest.

Give people more access to you, and you’ll increase potential engagement – definitely a good thing.

Customize Your Message For the Platform

Customize your message for the platform. You only have 140 characters to play with on Twitter. So, you can’t really say much. On Facebook, you have a lot more room, but people tend not to pay as much attention to the message if you write so much that the final output forces people to click on “see more.”

Images work well on both Facebook and Twitter, while long-form content works better on LinkedIn, blogs, and YouTube (oddly enough).

Videos are obviously going to be your strong suit on YouTube, where both long and short videos rule, as long as the quality of the content is there.

Choose Account Names That You Can Use Across Multiple Platforms

If you can’t have the same account name across all platforms, choose different account names that are similar to each other. The reason you want the same account name is for continuity and branding purposes. A company with the same account name across all platforms is more memorable.

It’s also easier to keep your own accounts straight. Imagine having to remember 20 different names on 20 different social sites – what a mess.

Update Old Videos, Blog Posts, and Infographics

Content gets stale after a while – even so-called evergreen content. You should periodically sweep out the old stuff and redo it or trash it. If it makes you look dated, it’s time to revamp what you’ve got. If you don’t, someone else might, and steal your prospects, viewers, readers, or clients.

Ask Users Questions

What happens when you ask a question? Hopefully, someone answers. And if you’re asking a lot of questions, hopefully you get a lot of answers. But, you’re not going to get any answers if you never ask questions.

Engaging customers is an old marketing tactic that arose out of the blogging platform. At the end of posts, if you ask your readers a question, you’re likely to get responses in the comments section. It works. It’s proven, so use it.

The types of questions you can ask on social media platforms might be more limited, because you don’t have a lot of space to work with. Still, you should periodically ask people about something related to your brand, your services, or a problem that can be solved by products or services you offer.

For example, let’s say you sell industrial-sized fans. You serve up a post on your blog about how the right fan can replace air conditioning, keep the air from drying out, while also lowering electricity bills by 40 percent. What do you do with that information? You ask people what they’re paying right now for electricity.

When they answer, you have just upped your game on social media. Rinse. Repeat.

More on social media:

How Social Media Is Being Used for Recruitment
Most Popular WordPress SEO and Social Media Plugins
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Things to Know Before Freelance Blogging http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/13/things-know-freelance-blogging/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/13/things-know-freelance-blogging/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 08:35:42 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31675 Development and internet service. Human resource and self employment

If you have dreams of becoming a successful freelance blogger (successful financially), there are a few things you need to know. First, it’s very unlikely that you’ll earn a lucrative salary if you accept a permanent, full-time blogging position. Those are very few and far between to begin with, but bloggers also need to focus on defining what their “hourly rate” is without actually accepting an hourly rate. Bloggers should determine a per word rate, or a flat rate per project based on an average word count, and then determine what “hourly rate” that adds up to.

Sound confusing? It doesn’t have to be. Remember that you’ll be paid the same for a $20, 500-word blog whether it takes you 15 minutes to write or five hours. A great writer and blogger must marry speed with quality in order to make this a feasible living. Here’s how to discover if blogging is for you, and how to make it happen.

The equation

A great blogger adapts the speed plus quality approach. Obviously, there will be a steep learning curve when you first start out (and it can be in your best interest to take a lower rate to learn a lucrative new industry like SEO, medicine, etc.). Luckily, The Wall Street Journal reports that there are an increasing number of benefits for freelancers, including writers. However, making your career worthwhile is still in your hands.

You’ll quickly be able to gauge how long it takes you to write common pieces, whether it’s blogs with no image curation, product descriptions, articles on web hosting, meta tagging, and the like. Work on increasing your speed, and figure out what your minimum per word/per project rate is to survive. Next, figure out what the minimum is for your goal income. Increase your goals each year by at least five percent.

Also read – The Blogger’s Quick Guide to Emergency Cash

Tricks to speed and quality

If you’re interested in blogging to begin with, you’re probably already a strong, natural writer (which gives you a competitive edge). That’s great, but you can always do better. If you didn’t learn how to type on a QWERTY keyboard correctly as a child, it’s not too late to take a lesson. Typing over 100 WPM with high accuracy will dramatically increase your speed and ultimately how much you can earn.

You may also want to hire a freelance editor yourself, and Hongkiat gives you tips on how to do so. Most writers aren’t the best editors and vice versa. Once you get high paying clients above a certain benchmark, giving a good editor a cut for copy editing and fact checking can help you increase speed and projects you can manage while still reaching your personal “hourly rate”. Only you can determine if and when you reach the point where you benefit from a personal editor.

Good to know…

When it comes to payroll, taxes and determining how big of a slice Uncle Sam gets, freelance bloggers are in a unique situation. Technically, you’re a sole proprietor (which doesn’t require any IRS paperwork). Work with a CPA year-round for quarterly taxes, maximizing your deductions, and remember that taking on just one more project might put you into a new tax bracket (which means you’ll ultimately be paying for the “privilege” of working for them).

It can take months or even years to make a decent living as a blogger, and it may never happen if you don’t match your quality with speed. Make sure to keep that equation in mind, and be honest with yourself if you’re not making a certain amount per hour. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck spinning your wheels with no exit strategy.

Freelance Blogger? How to Create an Invoice Template

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5 Ways to Drive More Blog Comments and Greater Engagement http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/12/5-ways-drive-blog-comments-greater-engagement/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/12/5-ways-drive-blog-comments-greater-engagement/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31677 iStock_000040337738_Small

A mark of an engaging blog post is the number of insightful comments made on it.

While this may not be a high priority to most, bloggers nonetheless must need to make a concerted effort to drive more comments into their blog posts. This way, they can cultivate their relationship with these commenters by replying back to them and building off something from there, among other benefits.

If you want to receive more comments from your blog posts to enjoy the advantages of having lots of engaged readers, then here are tips that you should follow.

Write authoritative content

There’s nothing that attracts reaction from your readers more than a really well-written and all-encompassing content.

An example of an authoritative content is evergreen content. From the word itself, this type is an expertly written content that remains relevant and searched over time. Examples of such are how-to guides, list-type articles, and frequency asked questions, among others.

Also refer to the Skyscraper Technique in writing your content. This tactic requires you to research for popular and viral content using BuzzSumo and Topsy and make a much better content than those.

End post with a question

question

The problem that most blog posts have is that they end without posing a question to readers. Without a question or any cue to encourage readers to interact and comment on your post, there’s a great chance that it won’t receive any comments at all.

By asking readers a question related to the topic of your post, you turn over the table to you readers, which gives them more incentive to chime in with their thoughts.

Run a blog contest

If your problem is that you don’t have an audience to begin with, then running a contest would solve this. Aside from following the tips listed here, here’s how you can run a blog contest that will drive more comments to your blog :

  • Write a post asking your readers a question relevant to your blog topic.
  • Ask them to answer the question by commenting on the post below.
  • Reward the best commenters with a freebie or exclusive content from your blog. If you don’t have anything to give away, you can feature their business on your blog and link back to their website, an offer that savvy marketers will find appealing.
  • Promote the post on social media to drive more visitors and awareness to your contest.

Find the best channels to promote your post

Promoting your posts is not limited to social media. If your efforts in promoting your posts on social media isn’t getting you enough traffic and comments even if you are observing its best practices, then it’s probably best to try out other tactics.

You may need to optimize your posts even more by choosing the best keyword for each post and build more backlinks so that your posts will rank on search engines.

Use a different commenting system

If your blog still isn’t getting comments on your posts even though you’ve observed all the advice mentioned above, then the problem may lie on the actual commenting system.

disqus-commnts

Since most users have social media accounts, you could use commenting systems that allow your readers to log in using their Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ accounts. Examples of such are Disqus, IntenseDebate, LiveFyre, and others.

Question: What are other ways on how you encourage more blog comments to your post?

More on blog comments:

Should You Close Comments on Older Blog Posts?

Kill Blog Comment Spam in 5 Easy Steps

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, January 12, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/12/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-12-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/12/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-12-2015/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 13:00:23 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31679 Job board highlightsGood morning, everyone. We’ve got some interesting jobs for you in this week’s edition of the job board highlights.

We hope you get a gig or two this week. Good luck!

Web Writer for HealthyHearing.com

Healthy Hearing is looking for a freelance writer to join the Healthy Hearing Editorial team. This position is responsible for gathering information online, writing articles about hearing loss, hearing aids and related topics, entering copy into their administrative portal and maintaining best practices for SEO as set forth by Healthy Hearing.

Freelance Copywriter

Are you uncontrollably curious? Does the thought of learning about the latest technical advances and then writing short, snappy, clever copy about it appeal to you?

Chempetitive is looking for an experienced copywriter to assist their creative team in Chicago on a freelance basis, so apply now!

Freelance Editors

If you are a freelance editor with expertise in historical, regency, erotica, contemporary, scifi, and fantasy genres, apply for this job. You’ll be responsible for copyediting a variety of manuscripts at the mechanical and substantive level and have experience using the Chicago Manual of Style (16e); minimum 1–2 years copyediting experience; proficient knowledge of electronic copyediting in Word; BA/BS from accredited 4-year college or university.

Intellectual Property, Branding, and Startups Blogger

Innovation to Profits is a startup poised for growth. With multiple new products in the pipeline, 2015 will be a year of building a solid foundation. They are currently looking for a blogger to write two blog posts per week related to trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, branding, marketing, and other topics of interest to startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs, inventors, and creative people (such as graphic designers, writers, artists, musicians, and so on).

Writers Needed for Trending News Topics

CDA News is a startup company looking for trending news writers. They are currently working on building up their article base and daily views so they can get indexed in Google News.

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Web Design Trends From 2004 – 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/08/web-design-trends-2004-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/08/web-design-trends-2004-2015/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 00:40:09 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31662 Web design has gone a long way since the public was introduced to the Internet. The origins of web design can be traced back to the early 90s, soon after Tim Berners-Lee proposed to create a global hypertext project. Around 1993, there were already several browsers, but those were really early days, with interfaces being basic and heavy on text. In that period, access to the Web was limited to a certain niche – let’s just say that it was the domain of nerds.

web design trends

Today, everyone can go online, and web design is a very different landscape, with many trends coming and going. And while designing web sites and blogs used to be the domain of pros, today, practically anyone with the desire can design his own blog. To maximize the results of your design efforts, you need to know about web design trends – what works and what doesn’t.

There are scores of articles you can read about web design trends in 2015, but we’ve got something a little more comprehensive for you. Something that will give you a wider perspective of the web design landscape. So, why not go back a little further and see how web design has evolved over the years? It just might give you a deeper appreciation for what you have to work with now.

web design trends

The guys at TemplateMonster have created an interactive infographic about web design trends spanning the last decade, from 2004 to 2015. From mere horizontal navigation and script fonts to minimalism and typography-based designs to code-free designs and full-width pages, you’ll find yourself going on an interesting journey.

Explore the infographic here. To get the most out of it, click on each year to get the full details, complete with sample images and descriptions of each trend.

What do you think of this infographic? Does it capture the web design trends of the past decade? What’s your favorite trend?

If you have something to add, let us know!

More on design: How to Design Your Blog Like Painting a Room
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Going All in On Big Data: Ways to Successfully Leverage Blog Analytics http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/07/going-big-data-ways-successfully-leverage-blog-analytics/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/07/going-big-data-ways-successfully-leverage-blog-analytics/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 14:07:03 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31656 Workstation, web analytics information and development website s

It’s time for bloggers to pay attention to big data.

A recent study launched by Conductor182 Marketing Executives Reveal Their 2015 Success Tactics” surveys 182 execs on these core areas in marketing: customer targeting, performance measuring, interaction within the organization, and technology valuation.

Among the valuable findings featured in the white paper, one thing stands out the most that not only marketers should take notice, but also bloggers: 61% of marketing executives believe that big data is much more important now than it was 12 months ago.

Why is this important for bloggers?

As a blogger, your primary role is to provide high-quality content that abides by your goals and objectives and promote them across all your social channels. This way, your post receives traction with your target audience and drive more traffic to your blog.

While there’s nothing wrong with sticking to this responsibility, it is also important to be able to track and measure the performance of your blog content strategy in order to produce optimized posts based on the data from your previous content.

Using the big data you have accumulated using your choice of analytics tool – Google Analytics and Clicky being two of the most popular – you can see what sticks with your audience, which posts receives the most visits and converts the most, and which referral channels drive the most traffic.

Cool…so how should bloggers go about this?

Assuming that you already have the tracking code of your analytics tool into your blog, here are some things that you need to keep in mind when managing and using the big data you will have accumulated:

  • Determine and track your goals based on the available data – Revisit the blogging goals you developed in your content strategy and see how close you are in meeting them by referring to your analytics data. For instance, if you have set for yourself a specific and reasonable number of conversions within the quarter, look into the different factors that may affect the performance of your blog in meeting the baseline.
  • Amplify what works, improve those that don’t – For content that generated the highest traffic, replicate the content types of each (evergreen content, how-to post, newsjacking, etc.) and the tactics you implemented (link building, social media, etc.) that allowed you to drum up visitors to this page on your blog and them on your upcoming blog posts. For referral traffic, identify which social media sites are giving you the most traffic and amplify your promotions from these. For content and referral sites that aren’t driving you the traffic you want, you may want to revamp your approach for both or abandon your campaigns for the time being.
  • Train yourself on becoming more ‘metrics-based’ – Using your analytics tool, you will need to learn how to launch and track the performance of your content and social media campaigns with the help of big data. Therefore, when preparing content on your editorial calendar for the next few months, take cue from the big data you’ve gathered and based your upcoming strategy from there.

Question: What are tips and advice that you do with your blog analytics data to improve its performance?

More on blog analytics:

Blogging Pitfalls: How Worshiping Analytics Can Kill Your Blog

5 Ways Your Stats Are Becoming Less Useful

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Turn Your Old Blog Post Into…a Video File http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/05/turn-old-blog-post-intoa-video-file/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/05/turn-old-blog-post-intoa-video-file/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 14:00:17 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31647 This post is the fourth part of the “Turn Your Old Blog Post into…” series where we share tips and advice on how to recycle old posts that you’ve written on your blog into someone better to increase your traffic.

HiRes1

Video marketing is arguably the best and most effective content marketing strategy you can implement on your blog to meet your online goals – whether it’s to drive more traffic or increase sales of your products or services.

Consider these eye-popping statistics from the Small Business Video Marketing Guide by Digital Sherpa:

  • 75% of users who viewed your video will visit your website
  • There is a 74% increase in knowledge of your products and services after viewing your video
  • 80% of users will watch the video while 20% will read the entire content

If you are not familiar of these facts before, among others mentioned here, then you should definitely harness the potential of video marketing to your business. Aside from incorporating this into your content strategy, you can begin by turning your old blog post into videos!

Why turn blog posts into videos?

If your blog has published hundreds and thousands of posts, there will be a couple of posts in there that didn’t generate the traffic they deserved. Instead of continuously promoting the same post in the hopes of driving more visitors and awareness to them, you can just repurpose them into a different type of content.

In the form of video, you can enjoy the benefits of increased viewership, brand awareness, and customers down the line.

How to turn blog posts into articles?

Bloggers may find it inconvenient to learn the skill of turning written content into a video. However, if you’re serious in making the most out of your blog, then follow the different and easy to follow methods below.

Method #1: Turn post into slideshow first

We have covered the process of turning your post into a slide deck at “Turn Blog Post Into…a Slideshow.”

Once you have created the presentation, you can turn it into a video using Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 and later versions.

While using a stock mic is a good start just so you can get your feet wet with regard to creating videos, make sure to use the best microphones in the long run so you can record your voiceover with clarity. Once done, you can upload the video file to video hosting sites like Youtube and others.

Method #2: Use third-party services

There are websites that help bloggers turn their posts into video. Three of the more popular ones are as follows:

  • Wibbitz – One of App Store’s Best of 2013, Wibbitz automatically summarizes the posts in your blog in video format. As with auto-generated tools, Wibbitz has its limitations. However, the video created by this tool is great for mobile viewing. More info on how to use this tool can be found here.
  • Google Hangouts – Arguably the most efficient way to create a personalized video, Google Hangouts lets you record yourself using a camera and invite people as you present your blog post in video format. Interaction with the guests is also possible in Hangouts for a more dynamic presentation. However, if you simply want to create the video without any guests, you can do so as well and upload it directly into your Youtube channel. Here’s a link to the best practices of using Google Hangouts.
  • Screencast-o-matic – If you are repurposing a how-to postm then Screencast-o-matic is a good choice for you. Below is a video by Ileane Smith on how to use this tool properly:


How To Use Screencast-o-matic To Make YouTube… by MsIleaneSpeaks

Additional resources:

  • SEO is an important aspect of video marketing if you want your videos to be found on search engines. You can simply follow the guide we featured at “How Blogging Retailers Can Improve Online Video SEO.” (While the article is geared towards online retailers, the SEO tips shown there apply to all video marketers.)
  • To add more personality to your videos, you can include music to them. Since you can’t use copyright and licensed music, you can simply download free stock music from these sites and find the appropriate ones for your videos.

More on old blog post:

Turn Your Old Blog Post Into…an Audio Podcast

Turn Your Old Blog Post Into… an Image

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, January 5, 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/05/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-5-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2015/01/05/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-january-5-2015/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 13:00:13 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31642 Job board highlightsHappy New Year!

Here are your job board highlights. Good luck!

Freelance Food Writer

The Daily Tea is an online magazine for tea enthusiasts. They’re looking for experienced food writers to write recipe headnotes (the short, descriptive blurb which precedes the ingredients).

Each headnote is approximately 75 words. The objective is to create irresistible content, so the copy should be descriptive, evocative, intelligent and concise.

Technology Blogger

Scrubly is a SaaS software application that helps you clean up and remove duplicate contacts from Outlook, Mac and Google Contacts.

Their blog (http://www.scrubly.com/blog/) is growing rapidly and features more than 350 articles focused on technology how-to and personal productivity related posts.

The job will involve writing 1,000 – 1,500 word posts relating mostly to these topics.

Freelance Proofreader

Artisan Creative is looking for a freelance Proofreader to join a corporate in-house company.

Duties include proofing ongoing work including postcards and letters to complex documentation. The Proofreader will be reviewing projects in various stages of completion to ensure accuracy across spelling, sentence structure and typographical errors.

Social Media/Online Publishing/WordPress Blogger

Blogging site is looking for a blogger:
-with experience writing about the web, WordPress, social media, content marketing, and blogging/writing
-who keeps tabs on the latest Internet/social media/blogging/WordPress trends and news
-who is committed and reliable.

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A Blogger’s Resolution Checklist for Better Content in 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/31/bloggers-resolution-checklist-better-content-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/31/bloggers-resolution-checklist-better-content-2015/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 14:00:20 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31617 Goals 2015

2014 is coming to a close. And with 2015 hours from now, we at BloggingPro would like to greet you a HAPPY NEW YEAR in advance!

As the New Year is associated with new beginnings, it has become customary for people to come up with a list of resolutions to commit to in the coming year. Most of the resolutions involve people doing something that they weren’t able to do properly this year such as hitting the gym, losing weight, quitting smoking, and others. Through the resolutions, people are encouraged to become better versions of themselves and live life to the fullest.

As a blogger, you will have to come up with a list of things that you could do better in 2015. This way, you will be able to lift the performance of your blog (drive more sales, increase traffic, and other goals you have set for it) by practicing better blog habits.

Below are some suggestions that you can include in your blogger resolutions.

Developing your content

Writing your content

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  • Apply and use the different headline psychologies that work best to your readers. By writing the best headline possible, you can increase the click-through rate of the post if shared in social media.
  • Practice this layout for your blog post.
  • Break down the content of your post by using subheadings.
  • Follow the guidelines found in this post for write a “perfect” blog post.
  • Learn how to create images for your posts so social media users (especially those in Pinterest) can share your content much more convenient.
  • If you have old posts that didn’t receive the traffic you think they deserve, then you can repurpose them into slideshows or images. By doing so, you get to deliver the same content to your target audience in different ways in the hopes of driving more blog traffic.
  • Make evergreen and skyscraper content to supercharge your blog visitors and engagement.
  • Curate content to easily produce content, educate your audience with high-quality posts from other sites, as well as reach out to industry experts. Here’s how you can do it.

Promoting your content

  • Shave time from your marketing tasks by automating content promotion to social media. Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn’t completely put your promotion tasks into auto pilot mode. Balance automation with manual posting for increased reach.
  • When sharing content, use the best applicable hashtag on social media. Also mention users that you want to share the post to by using the ‘@’ sign before entering their usernames.
  • Join Facebook Groups and Google+ Communities related to your niche to build authority and relationships with other bloggers. You can achieve these by commenting on posts by others and asking questions on the groups, aside from simply promoting your own content.
  • Build up mailing list to automatically send out newly published blog content. Use an email marketing platform to create a signup form that you can embed on the sidebar of your blog.
  • To help you with building a list, you will need to give them something in return to encourage them in signing up. For this, you need to create downloadable content such as white papers or e-books that you can send out to subscribers in exchange for their contact details.

Are there any blogger resolutions that we missed out above? Let us know by commenting below!

More on blogger resolutions:

How to Transition Smoothly from Blogger to SEO Blogger

Blogging Pitfalls: How Make Better New Year’s Resolutions

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The Difference Between Single and Double Opt in for Gated Content http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/30/difference-single-double-opt-gated-content/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/30/difference-single-double-opt-gated-content/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 13:00:05 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31632 Editor’s note: This post was written by Barrett Dastrup, a writer in the tech and business space. When he’s not writing you’ll find him listening to podcasts, reading up on digital marketing blogs, or learning how to cook. You can also connect with him on Twitter: @barrettdastrup.

gated content

The idea is simple. You want to increase marketing leads for your business, which means you need information, names, emails etc. And in order to get that information, you offer some form of useful content that visitors to your site would like to have. The only thing they need to do is fill out a form that asks for this information, click submit, and voila, the content is theirs. This concept is not new, and many posts have already been written about gated content. A recent post right here on BloggingPro even mentioned a WordPress Plugin, MailPoet, that helps you do just this.

But what does a service like MailPoet mean when they advertise “single or double opt in, your choice” as a feature? This is also very simple. After the user fills out your form and clicks submit, one of two things can happen. The user can be directed to their email where a confirmation email awaits. After clicking the link in this email, they are led to the promised content. This is called a double opt in process because the user is required to say yes twice.

gated content

 

The second option bypasses this confirmation step, and sends the user to the promised content directly after filling out the form.

Obviously, MailPoet is not the only service providing this type of functionality. You might consider Mailchimp for WordPress or the WordPress-to-Lead for Salesforce CRM. These options are especially beneficial if you want a painless process for visualizing the data that you pull in from your on page forms in a data dashboard.

gated content

So, now that you know all about single or double opt in process, which one is right for you and your needs?

This question is really best answered by clearly defining and considering your goals for the project.

If your purpose in gating content is to collect leads for an automated mailer you will be sending, the double opt in process might seem more attractive. You will have made it clear to the user before they fill out your form that by doing so, they will be added to an email list. But sometimes users won’t see or process that disclaimer. And users who aren’t aware of what they are getting themselves into, and that then begin receiving your emails, will view you as invasive and pesky.

If you, however, have a double opt in process in place, this problem will be avoided. Users who miss the disclaimer the first time around will most definitely see it when they are prompted to visit their email to confirm their decision to trade their email address on a mailing list for content. And can decline the option once they’ve understood more fully what it is they’re agreeing to. And users who knew exactly what they were getting into will have no problem going one more step in order to seal the deal. In short, the double opt in process ensures the quality of your list.

But what if you are collecting emails and information, not with any automated mailer in mind, but rather for the sole purpose of sales? You want your site’s visitors to provide their information in return for the useful, quality content you promised, and that’s it. End of transaction. You don’t want them to have to jump through one more hoop in order to receive what they thought they were getting, and for you to receive their information on your backend.

In this case, you might be better off with a single opt in process. That way, the user gets what they want and were expecting, and you do too. After all, you aren’t going to be constantly emailing them company newsletters and updates, so making sure they meant to give you their information is not as crucial. However, considering the quality of the leads you are getting should still be a priority, and if using a double opt in process seems to a good option to filter through poor leads, don’t rule it out.

There you have it, a quick overview of the single and double opt in processes, and the reason that each exists. If you have decided that gated content is the route you’d like to go (it isn’t always the best choice), make sure to sit down with your team and agree on the type of process you feel will be most beneficial in accomplishing your overall goals.

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Turn Your Old Blog Post Into…an Audio Podcast http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/29/turn-old-blog-post-audio-podcast/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/29/turn-old-blog-post-audio-podcast/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 15:00:59 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31622 iStock_000039601126_Small

This post is the third part of the “Turn Your Old Blog Post into…” series where we share tips and advice on how to recycle old posts that you’ve written on your blog into someone better to increase your traffic.

Podcasting is a great way to establish your authority within your niche as a subject matter expert by discussing news, trends, and tips to your target audience. While podcasting shares the same goals with blogging, the advantage of a podcast over a blog post are as follows:

  • Easy-to-digest form of content. Instead of reading the content as with a post, users can simply grab the file and play it while doing something else. This is especially true with audio podcasts, where users can listen to the track on their smartphones while traveling to and from work or doing menial tasks.
  • Better way to communicate your ideas. If you are a non-writer, you may find it difficult to show your enthusiasm about the topic you’re discussing in the blog post. This may reflect poorly on your communication skills, which makes it harder for you to achieve your blogging goals. However, if you feel much more comfortable in talking than writing, then podcasting is the ideal platform for you.

Given the reasons above, you should recreate your old blog posts that weren’t able to generate traffic and engagement from your audience as expected into an audio podcast!

Learn more about podcasts

To start off, you need to understand that the process of creating an audio podcast is drastically different than writing a post. Since your intention is to translate the ideas and content from your old blog post , you should listen to some of the most popular podcasters in blogging and digital marketing to get a better idea how to approach podcasting.

One of the most popular podcasters is Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. He has developed a dedicated following by providing people who are looking to start up a business online with valuable tips and advice in his podcasts. Below is one of his episodes hosted in SoundCloud.

Develop your process in creating your podcasts

Just like with any type of content, you will need to develop an editorial calendar or something similar so you can space them out equally in your publishing schedule. Since you will be recycling old posts, you can categorize each post and set them in your calendar a month in advance so you can give yourself time creating them.

Don’t just read your post and convert it into a sound file – it will best if you adapt the content of your blog post that’s suitable to turn into an audio podcast. The embedded example above should serve as your template or model when creating your own.

Use the right tools

Once you have created a method and publishing schedule in turning your posts into podcasts, you will need to choose from the best tools – free or paid - to use in order to create them. These include the microphone, editing, noise reduction, and collaboration software to use in order to achieve the best sound quality of your podcast, which lends to better and more effective communication of your ideas.

Upon creating the podcast, you will need to find the appropriate podcast hosting service where you can upload the files. Almost all of the sites in the list offer free and paid options, but those who register for a free account will only get to enjoy limited privileges.

Assuming that this will be your first time to do a podcast, it would be ideal that you try out the free tools first to get acquainted with the process of podcasting. Once you have successfully built dedicated listeners using this content platform in recreating your blog posts, this will only be the time when you should upgrade your tools and services to provide better sound quality and publishing capabilities for them.

Questions: How were your experiences in creating podcasts out of your old blog post? Are you using particular tools that you’d like to share to us? Let your voices be heard by commenting below!

More on audio podcast:

Podcast Theme Music

Talking WordPress: Another WordPress Podcast

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, December 29, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/29/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-december-29-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/29/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-december-29-2014/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:30:09 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31637 Job board highlightsIt’s the last week of the year, and I hope that you’re looking forward to next 12 months. Before we end 2014, let’s look at the last of the job board highlights.

See you on the other side!

Reporter

As a free community news source in San Benito County — just south of the San Francisco Bay Area — the BenitoLink website gathers content from a growing cast of volunteer citizen journalists. Specifically, they are seeking resumes and professional writing and/or photography samples from journalists looking to join their team on an assignment-by-assignment basis.

Blogger with design/web development background

PSD2HTML needs a creative person that is web design and development savvy and really enjoys this stuff. The perfect candidate should be a designer and/or front-end web developer having passion for writing, having his/her own blog and ready to write 5-8 quality articles per month.

Columnist/Blogger

Paper News, a new online publication of Canadian news and opinion, is looking for contributors. They are looking for interesting articles about local, provincial or national issues that help make up the story of the country. They are hoping to build a pool of regular contributors, but they are also interested in one-time submissions from writers located all across Canada.

Politics Contributor, The Hill Talk

John Anderson, the creator of TheHillTalk.com, a community that provides fluid, aggregate political news and video feeds that are supplemented by a light and entertaining breakdown of current political news is currently recruiting contributors to join him in creating this modern and innovative way to consume all of your political news. The ideal contributor is somebody that regularly follows multiple feeds and news sources, and is able to call the situation like they see it.

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Email Marketing: How to Leverage the Ever-Evolving Gmail to Your Advantage http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/26/email-marketing-leverage-ever-evolving-gmail-advantage/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/26/email-marketing-leverage-ever-evolving-gmail-advantage/#comments Fri, 26 Dec 2014 14:15:57 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31611 Editor’s note: This post was written by Francois Bondiguel, who works for Vend, a point-of-sale, inventory, and customer loyalty software that helps over 12,000 retailers manage and grow their business. Connect with Francois on Google+ and LinkedIn.

email marketing

Email marketing hasn’t changed since 2005 – not in principle. You craft a message you think your audience will love, you affix an attention-grabbing headline, and then you wait, and wait, and wait some more.

The basic problem with this approach is that, while it’s faster than waiting for snail-mail, it can still be slow-going. But, that might all be changing now with Google’s updates to its Gmail service.

Gmail’s New Feature

Google made a subtle, but important, change to the way it delivers emails. Photos that are synced from your Google Plus profile will now appear inside Gmail, but there are a few caveats to be noted. The change to how emails display isn’t entirely new, but the way it’s being implemented is.

One of the first things you learn when reading about how to start a retail business is that email is your best friend when it comes to nurturing leads. If you’re using Gmail, you can use your Google + profile to subtly advertise your products and services without ever talking about them directly in the email. How clever, right?

The tabs feature is in a test phase right now, and it includes 5 of them – “Primary,” “Promotions,” “Social,” “Updates,” and “Forums.” The tabs automatically sort incoming emails, sort of like how filters used to work. If you never used filters or tags before, then you used to get all your emails lumped into one huge pile of messiness. Yuck.

Some people believe that this would put the nail in the coffin of email marketing. The truth is that promotional material now gets its own section and, believe it or not, some people really like reading it (or, at least, scanning it before deleting it).

But, and here is the cool thing, you can now take advantage of inserted images within those emails so users can be “wowed” by them and (hopefully) open and read your email.

The functionality doesn’t just apply to images though. This will also show posts in the sidebar of emails within Gmail. The catch, as it were, is that this only works with brand pages. So, if you’ve been dawdling on that, here’s your chance to get your page up to snuff.

Start Using Google Plus Again

email marketing

If you’re not using Google Plus because you think it’s lame, try using it now. That’s right, send your blog posts here to live, start posting images, and try to interact with people via this social networking medium. It may not be as popular as Facebook (depending on who you talk to), but Google has some secret sauce, and connectivity that other social brands just don’t have.

Google can (if it wants to) link all of its properties together in interesting ways, aggregating data across its properties. Most people typically use at least one thing Google offers, whether it’s search, Gmail, Google Drive, or something else. Now, you have an “in” with those people.

Link Your G+ Page To Your Website

You have to link your Google+ page to your website for this to work. And, the website has to have the same domain as the emails you’ll be sending out. So, for example, if you’re linking your site to Google+, you’ll want to use “youmoneysite.com”’s email – ‘you@yourmoneysite.com’ instead of ‘something@gmail.com’ or ‘you@yourothersite.com’.

Sign Your Email

Your email needs to be digitally signed with a DomainKeys Identified Mail. Alternatively, you can do it with the Sender Policy Framework (SPF). The DomainKeys Identifies Mail authenticates email. Why do this? Because spammers have gotten really good at spoofing – forging the email “from” address so that emails look like they’re coming from one person when they’re really coming from someone else.

You’ve probably seen this before. A spammer will send a phishing email from what appears to be a legit brand and, when you open it, you’re asked to click a link inside the email. When you do, you’re caught by the spammer.

Google Apps’ digital signature protocol allows you to generate an authentication key that conforms to the DomainKeys Identified Mail standard so that people know for sure that the email comes from you.

Alternatively, the Sender Policy Framework record is a type of DNS (Domain Name Service) record that identifies what mail servers are allowed to send mail on behalf of your domain. So, in other words, you would specify which servers can send mail posing as you.

Many businesses have multiple email addresses, use forwarding and other consolidation techniques to send mail through one server from multiple email addys. But, spammers forge signatures, posing as you. This stops that dead.

When you’re first starting out, gaining the trust of users is hard, but it seems Google is making it a little easier while also giving you a leg up in your marketing.

Also read:

Premium Content Marketing Tools to Boost Engagement with Your Blog This 2015

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Premium Content Marketing Tools to Boost Engagement with Your Blog This 2015 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/24/premium-content-marketing-tools-boost-engagement-blog-2015/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/24/premium-content-marketing-tools-boost-engagement-blog-2015/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31599 Content is the king message on blue background

Content marketing is a buzzword no longer. Due to its effectiveness of attracting your target audience using the content you produce, this marketing tactic has become part of an online marketer’s lexicon. In fact, businesses are taking notice as well – 71% of marketers have more budget to spend on content marketing.

As more premium is placed in marketing your content, it’s also high time that you should use premium content marketing tools to help give your blog a head start, especially getting your target audience engaged with your blog. While free tools used by content marketers prove to be just as effective when used the right way, the advantage you possess against your competitors will dwindle once they soon find out how to correctly use these tools.

Therefore, if you are one of those marketers who received additional compensation to aid their content marketing efforts, you might want to try out these highly touted tools.

TrenDemon

TrenDemon   Automatically Boost Revenue from Your Content

Cost: $199 for Pro Marketers, 30-day free trial available, FREE for publishers

By adding a line of tracking code from this site on your blog, you will gain access to a host of data and personalized suggestions that will give you a better understanding on how to reach your goals from the content you have created, as well as turn your blog visitors into converts.

Other features:

  • Integrate TrenDemon to 3rd party tools such as WordPress and Google Analytics to access data much more conveniently
  • Actionable insights to help you improve blog performance, from producing and promoting your content

KingSumo Headlines

KingSumo Headlines  Headline optimization for WordPress

Cost: $99 Lifetime for Bishop (50,000 visitors/month), $499 a year for Queen (500,000 visitors/month)

The site understands the importance of as well-crafted headline, which is why it offers WordPress bloggers the opportunity to write multiple headlines for each post. KingSumo Headlines then tests out all the headlines to your visitors at random. Over time, you will be able to see which headlines were clicked on the most and performed the best. From here, you can remove the headlines that aren’t performing well and show the best ones instead!

Other features:

  • Kingsumo Headlines is SEO-friendly as it won’t mess up with your permalink regardless of how many headlines you enter
  • WordPress plugin is free for updating and can be used to an unlimited number of sites

CoSchedule

Content Marketing Editorial Calendar for WordPress   CoSchedule

Cost: $10/month for every WordPress blog, 14-day free trial available

For those collaborating with other bloggers and social media marketers in a content team using the WordPress CMS, using this editorial calendar plugin will help you and your team place all things pending for publication on your dashboard. The drag and drop interface of CoSchedule makes it easier for people to enter the data onto the calendar. More importantly, the tool simplifies communication with others by making your tasks transparent to all.

Other features:

  • Automates publishing on specified social media sites
  • Allows for more organized publishing of articles and social media updates to drive more traffic to your blog

BuzzStream

Link Building and Digital PR Tools   BuzzStream

Cost: $29 for Starters (Link Building and PR & Social Media)

As Google enforces websites to gravitate away from poor link building practices due to the Panda updates, it is now the age of relationship building that gives way to acquiring natural backlinks and building a social media presence. To help you perform both and achieve both tasks successfully with your blog, BuzzStream is the weapon of choice. This tool focuses on creating meaningful relationships with fellow bloggers and influencers that you can leverage into a backlink to a social media update later on.

Other features:

  • Research for influential people within your industry or niche, keep track of their online activity, and find those you can connect with
  • Grants access to multiple users to help them delegate and finish tasks much easier and faster

Curata

Content Curation   Content Marketing Solution   Curata

Cost: Prices not shown on website

If creating content isn’t getting it done for your blog, then you ought to curate content as well. Thankfully, instead of hiring new people to do this for you, Curata helps you find high quality content related to your niche to organize and annotate before delivering them to your target audience.

Other features:

  • Automates search of content so you can jump straight into organizing them
  • Allows to track and measure performance of published curated content depending on your goals

More on content marketing tools:

How to Create Viral Content Using the SkyScraper Technique

4 Striking Things Bloggers Can Do to be True Game Changers & Increase Engagement

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Turn Blog Post Into…a Slideshow http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/22/turn-blog-post-slideshow/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/22/turn-blog-post-slideshow/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31588 Early Work Ethic

This post is the second part of the “Turn Your Old Blog Post into…” series where we share tips and advice on how to recycle old posts that you’ve written on your blog into someone better to increase your traffic.

Did you know that you can drive more traffic to your old blog posts if you repurpose them into different types of content? We have covered how you can turn your posts into image files last week. This week, we will cover the process of turning them into a slideshow or slide deck file.

This content type is a dynamic way of presenting information and is normally delivered during seminars by speakers. Bulk of the content in a slide deck are composed of images, tables, videos, and other forms of visual content. The words will be provided by the speaker during a presentation. However, an effective slideshow does not require lots of words to express its ideas. The visual content should do the job for them.

Below is an example of a very good slide deck created and presented by Geraldine DeRuiter that’s uploaded by her husband Moz’s very own Rand Fishkin.

Flipping through the slides, you will notice that the deck gets its ideas across very well with just a sentence to describe each slide. In fact, the slideshow feels more like there’s a story being told by how the entire content is presented. This is precisely why you should go for creating slideshows to your post – you provide your target audiences a different platform to read and consume your content that can potentially be more effective than a regular blog post.

Steps to turning your blog post into a slideshow

First, you will need a office suite that will let you create a slideshow file. If you don’t have Microsoft PowerPoint installed in your desktop or laptop, download the OpenOffice instead, a free productivity suite, in order to use the OpenOffice Impress.

Unlike most slide decks, you will recycle ideas from your old blog post. Don’t make the mistake of copying the content of your post word for word into your slideshow. Make the effort of providing visitors a unique experience of reading your post in the form of a slideshow. Reform the information in your post and fashion them so that they fit within the context of a slide deck. In other words, don’t make readers read the slide – make them see it instead.

To better understand what makes a slideshow great, read up on Seth Godin‘s timeless e-booklet below about how not to create a slideshow.

For images to use on your slide, you can download from free stock image sites if you don’t have the budget to sign up to the paid ones.

Another important thing to note when creating the slideshow is to link back to the old blog post that you used as basis. Use a URL shortener like Bit.ly to create a memorable shortlink to your old blog post that you can include and embed on the slides, ideally the first and last. If visitors weren’t able to click on the link while viewing the slide, at least there’s a great chance that they saw the easy-to-remember link and type the URL on their browsers.

Once you have created a slideshow that’s similar to the one Geraldine made and by following Seth’s advice, you can create a SlideShare account if you haven’t yet and upload the file there. Make sure that you optimize the file by typing in a compelling title and a detailed description on what people can expect to see from your slideshow.

Upon uploading the file, you can promote the file as you would your blog post on social media or even create a new post embedding the created slideshow on SlideShare!

If you have tried creating a slideshow out of your old blog post, then let us know of your experiences and opinion about it by commenting below!

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BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, December 22, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/22/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-december-22-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/12/22/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-december-22-2014/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:00:02 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=31589 Job board highlightsHere are the job board highlights to start the week off.

Freelance Social Media Editor

Shape.com is seeking an experienced and enthusiastic candidate for a freelance position. Candidates must be familiar with social media platforms, general social media strategy, social scheduling tools such as Sprout Social and Curalate, and have a strong interest in health and fitness.

Freelance Writers

InsuraMatch.com seeks experienced freelance writers who can write interesting stories involving home, auto, renters, umbrella, motorcycle, RV and boat topics, which have strong or loose ties to insurance. Stories can range from featurey and “listy” type pieces to in-depth, thought-provoking articles.

Blogger wanted for Insurance and Personal Finance for Australian Market

This is a freelance opportunity for personal finance writers and bloggers to provide a minimum of 15 articles per month on personal finance, banking, personal insurance and business insurance topics.

Blogger

Advantage Service Company is a full service business that offers heat, air, electrical, plumbing and refrigeration to residential and commercial residents in Central Arkansas. They have just launched a new website and are looking for a blogger to help with posts. They would like to do this temp-to-hire at first where they pay you to write 2 posts in January to see if they like your writing style. If they do, they would extend the contract and pay you for more posts (1-2 a month for a year).

Financial Writer

Investimonials.com is seeking a writer who can write super engaging content on many finance subjects. Subjects that cover: personal finance, ETFs, stocks, options, investing, trading, forex, and day trading.

Your job is to a.) Create compelling headlines b.) Write a bank of articles like investopedia and thestreet.com – some informational, some relevant to what’s happening now in finance c.) Write awesome relevant content! :)

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