BloggingPro http://www.bloggingpro.com News, plugins and themes for blogging applications Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:00:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 10 Twitter Tools That Save Your Time and Sanity http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/18/10-twitter-tools-save-time-sanity/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/18/10-twitter-tools-save-time-sanity/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30901 Editor’s Note: This post was written by Tim Soulo, who calls himself a blogging experimenter and conversion junkie. In case you’d like to read more of his awesome articles, consider visiting his personal blog at BloggerJet.

When you have a business online and you are relying on social media to get information to your audience, it seems like there’s not enough hours in the day. But never fear, because there are tons of amazing tools that can help with that!

twitter tools

Source

With the right tools, you can accomplish lots of stuff in no time: monitoring your niche, automating tweets, posting at best times of the day, authenticating via social networks, displaying selected tweets on your blog, etc.

Actually, the amount of Twitter-related tools that you can use today might seem overwhelming (especially if you’re a Twitter Marketing dummy), so to save some of your precious time we’d like to suggest you a list of only 10 Twitter tools that truly deserve your attention.

1. Minimalist Twitter Widget

twitter tools

If you’re searching for a widget that displays tweets on your sidebar without a lot of flash, this is the one that you want. It definitely falls under the less is more idea and it’s hard to tell that it’s actually for Twitter.

2. Nextend Twitter Connect

02-nextend-twitter-connect

This is a great plugin for those who have a lot of followers. This plugin can be put on your website to allow people to login your site using their account with Twitter.

3. TweetDis

03-tweetdis

Do you love writing content and you want to make it easier for people to tweet your content? Well, with TweetDis it’s simple. This WordPress plugin lets you turn any writing passage into one that can be tweeted. Your reader only has to click on it once so that it can be easily tweeted. The result is a professional looking tweet that engages readers and encourages them to visit!

4. Random Tweet

04-random-tweet-widget

Just because your tweets are old, it doesn’t mean they don’t need some love, too. This widget allows you to preselect a certain amount of tweets in your sidebar and then it will rotate them. This will ensure that your visitors are able to see both your new and old tweets.

5. Rotating Tweets

twitter tools

Want people to have the latest news from your Twitter account? Or maybe you want to encourage everyone to go and look at your account? This is a very basic widget but it lets you display your latest retweets, tweets, and it also includes a button so that visitors can follow you too.

6. JetPack

06-jetpack

Everyone wants things to be easier for them, and that’s one thing that JetPack does – it makes life easier. If you have Twitter followers who are commenting on your blog often, it lets them access your blog’s comments section using their Twitter, Google+, and Facebook profiles. This makes commenting on your blog much easier for everyone.

7. Evergreen Post Tweeter

07-evergreen-post

If you are always creating a lot of content for your blog and you want to reduce your tweeting load, this is a plugin that will help. It will automatically tweet the posts that you make when they’re published and it will also automatically tweet your older posts.

8. Twitter Hover Tweet

08-twitter-hover-tweet

Use lots of images in your WordPress site? Then you are going to love this plugin! It allows your images to be easily tweetable. Just imagine the possibilities if you are a photographer!

9. Twitter Alligator Plugin

09-twitter-alligator

Are you following anyone who is always sending out tweets that you think your audience will enjoy? With this plugin, their tweets are going to be displayed on your WordPress blog. Your audience will appreciate it and so will the person whose Tweets are displayed.

10. Twitter Tools

10-twitter-tools

If you feel as if you can’t get enough time on Twitter, this plugin will be a lifesaver. It lets you tweet your posts automatically, tweet right when you’re on your blog, and archive your tweets into an area so that your audience can view.

These Twitter tools absolutely deserve your attention, and we advise you to try them on your own website. However, it has been said numerous times that nothing beats real communication on Twitter.

Don’t forget that your Twitter followers are humans and they are looking for communication with other humans, not just automated responses. So make sure your Twitter Marketing is a mix of both: tools and natural communication.

Good luck!

Also read: How to Easily Build a Real Twitter Following

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/18/10-twitter-tools-save-time-sanity/feed/ 0
We’re Giving Away 3 WordPress Themes From 7Theme! Want One? http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/15/giving-away-3-wordpress-themes-7theme-want-one/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/15/giving-away-3-wordpress-themes-7theme-want-one/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:00:27 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30894 WordPress themes are easy to find, but to find the perfect one for what you have in mind for your blog or web site is sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack. We’d like to think that by working with 7Theme, a WordPress theme shop – a space where you can get stunning designs and professional support.

7theme

Founded in 2012 in Italy and Germany the site was formally launched in May 28th 2013. It is now a professional Premium Theme company, which has been designing more than 300 websites with WordPress. All of their themes are released under the GPL license giving you freedom to use them as you want, just like WordPress. Through their generosity, we are giving away THREE of their WordPress themes to lucky BloggingPro readers.

Paris

The 7Theme Giveaway

Let’s make this easy for everyone:

  • Anyone can join the giveaway, no matter where you are.
  • The winners can choose any theme from the web site, so better browse 7Theme to get an idea of what you want.
  • Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below to send in your entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember: The giveaway starts today, Monday (September 15) and ends on Friday, (September 19). You can tweet every day to get more entries, and also check out the other options for additional entries.

Happy tweeting, sharing, and commenting!

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/15/giving-away-3-wordpress-themes-7theme-want-one/feed/ 5
Why Social Media Monitoring is Vital for Companies in Asia–Pacific http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/15/social-media-monitoring-vital-companies-asia-pacific/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/15/social-media-monitoring-vital-companies-asia-pacific/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30886 Editor’s note: This post was written by Elizabeth Victor, Brand Advisor for iSentia Media Monitoring. She enjoys sharing tips on social media monitoring and analysis, especially in Asia Pacific. You can find her on G+ and Twitter.

Social media monitoring is important for every business in order to keep tabs on what people are saying about your company; however, it is especially important for Asia-Pacific companies who are very conscious about their brand image. Many Asia-Pacific countries are gun shy when it comes to launching social media campaigns for fear of negativity from customers in addition to abiding by strict guidelines and laws imposed by different countries.

social media monitoring

Companies like this who are concerned about what people are saying about their brand online should absolutely be using the tools available to monitor online activity. This allows them to venture into social media marketing, where there might not be as much competition present and still keep close tabs on their brand reputation and image.

As experts in social media monitoring, reporting, and creating connections with key influencers, we understand how important company image is for companies in Asia-Pacific companies including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and China. For as important as social media monitoring can be to companies, it can be incredibly easy, automated, and even free.

Benefits of Social Media Monitoring

Even if you have not established your own social channels, consumers, customers, and employees will be talking about your company and your brand online and in social media. Monitoring these channels allows you to not only know what people are saying, but also react to it.

Setting up your own channels, website, and blog allows you to control the conversation and lay the groundwork online for the types of information that you want current and potential customers to read about you. Social media monitoring tells you when, why and how to get in on the conversation. Beyond just listening to what people are saying about your company, you should actively engage with the people that are talking about you. Finding tools that are easy to use and geared towards your specific market are also vital to ensuring a well-executed media monitoring effort.

Social Monitoring Tools

The next step is known how to listen and discern all of the social chatter online. There are quite a few different tools available that will monitor online activity on certain keywords and even people. Once you set them up, automated information can be sent to your email or your mobile device to ensure immediate alerts and allow for a quick response. Some tools even go beyond just social media and can also alert you activity on your competitor’s websites or blogs. Here are a few free tools to consider using:

  • IFTTT stands for If This Then That. On this website, you can make “recipe” combinations that will alert you to different things. There are far reaching capabilities of this tool in addition to social media monitoring. It allows you to set up an RSS feed that scans industry websites you want to keep a close eye on via the feed URL function and have the alerts emailed to you.
  • Me on the Web is a free service offered by Google that allows you to search for your own name, but also any other person or keyword and instantly get Google’s results. Google Alerts is the way to automate this feature. You can set up alerts for any keyword or key phrase to be emailed to you. You can also set the frequency as often as you want.
  • IceRocket is free and allows you to instantly search social sites for mentions of keywords, phrases, or names you are interested in monitoring. It will search blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. There is a wide range of filtering options of the results so you can narrow down the information you are looking for to very specific parameters.
  • Topsy is a very powerful Twitter search tool. This free tool goes beyond Twitter’s search feature and helps you find key influencers in your industry. Identifying influencers not only allows you to see what they are saying but also opens to door to connecting with them to see if they are willing to talk about or review your product or service.
  • Social Mention is another tool that helps identify sentiment in social media mentions about your company online on websites as well as social sites. Searches on SocialMention.com are done in real-time and they include sentiment, top keywords, top users, top hashtags, and last mention.
  • BuzzNumbers is a social media monitoring service available in Australia and New Zealand that provides an easy way to conduct real-time research and uncover data and insights into what your customers and end users are saying online.
  • Social Express is a media monitoring and reporting program that is available in Asian countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. All countries where businesses must keep a close eye on social conversations. The tool provides you with insights and analytical reporting that includes statistics, trends, charts, and more and keeps your team in the know about any trending discussions or reputation management crisis that might be affecting your bottom line.
  • SinoPortal is a media monitoring product that is exclusive in China. Businesses in China know that media and social media are quite different. Playing by a different set of rules, this product provides you with fast access to information and returns information for you based on the criteria you filter in the search.

Conclusion and Takeaways for Your Business

social media monitoring

Monitoring social media is important all over the world, however it is vital in certain cultures where company image is important and social media is still growing. Different tools are available for different countries. Finding a social monitoring tool that is most compatible with the culture and laws governing your country will make the process easier for your company.

Once you have a media monitoring campaign set up, there are some universal guidelines to go live by.

  • Ignoring social media comments (whether they are bad or good) is never a good idea. Interacting and further engaging consumers are the best ways to keep the conversation going, fix any problems as they arise, and create a positive social image for your brand.
  • Even if the comments from customers are negative, a quick response and apology shows not just the person posting the complaint but anyone else reading that your company cares and takes the time to address and fix any issues.
  • When you are dealing with a particular customer problem on social media, the best thing is to address the issue and take the complaint offline to a more private phone call or email situation instead of listing details right on the social network.
  • Reacting quickly and professionally should always govern your interactions. Do not let emotions or anger guide your reaction. Follow customer service best practices on social media just as if you are speaking with a customer or client in person.
  • Never ignore a social media problem assuming that it will just “go away”.
  • Do not assume that social media does not correlate to sales. A recent study showed that 69 percent of consumers are more likely to patronize a business if they can find them on social media. Therefore, your social media presence not only allows you to monitor and control the conversations about your company, but can increase sales and creates a forum of trust where you can connect with your target audience.

Once you familiarize yourself with the tools that are available to monitor online and media mentions about your business, you will see that you can fully take advantage of growing social media campaign in a market where there is very likely to be less competition. Develop your plan of action and detail a social media and media monitoring strategy. Let your competitors fall into the fears of social media while you succeed and surpass them in reputation and sales as a result.

 

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/15/social-media-monitoring-vital-companies-asia-pacific/feed/ 0
BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, September 15, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/15/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-september-15-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/15/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-september-15-2014/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:00:34 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30891 Job board highlightsIs your Monday off to a good start? I certainly hope so!

And here are the job board highlights, which should help you have an even better start to the week. Good luck!

Job Board Highlights

Overnight Writer

Everyday on PSFK.com, the look for and share the most innovative, creative and remarkable trends, people, projects and ideas. They’re looking for people who want to help inspire others by assisting with writing articles that capture this tone and style of content. Professional writing experience is required.

Culinary and Hospitality Educational Writers

A company is currently looking for freelance Subject Matter Experts and Educational Writers to write and develop curriculum materials, such as assessment questions and ancillary materials (PowerPoint presentations, lecture notes, etc.), to accompany textbooks for high-profile educational publishing clients. Content may be developed for online or in-class delivery.

IT Professional needed for ongoing writing job

An IT services and cloud firm located in Brisbane, Australia is looking for an IT professional turned writer to assist with ongoing articles, blogs and writing. The ideal writer will have experience in the IT services space and be very familiar with terms like IaaS, BYOD, SaaS, Private Cloud, Office 365, SharePoint and Cloud backups.

Tech Bloggers

Looking for few accomplished content writers to write on tech blog (excluding gadgets). Requirements of the job:
1. Experience in writing for tech blog
2. Unique
3. Good English
4. Post submission on time

Blog Writers Needed for International Film Production & Photography Services Company

Do you have a way with words? Can you make a blog article come to life? A global media services company is looking for engaging, creative and talented blog writers for their newly launched blog. They are interested in dynamic individuals who are internationally minded with knowledge of film production and/or photography.

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/15/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-september-15-2014/feed/ 0
WP Couch Mode Plugin: For Readers Who Want to Focus on Content http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/12/wp-couch-mode-plugin-readers-want-focus-content/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/12/wp-couch-mode-plugin-readers-want-focus-content/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 12:30:01 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30879 We may be bloggers, content providers, writers, or whatever you want to call yourself, but at the end of the day, we are also consumers. If you think about it, when we’re not writing, we’re reading. Or playing games, in some cases. ;)

WP Couch Mode

Source

Some that reading time may be because we want to be at the top of our game when it comes to the niche we write about. Some of the time may be reading for the simple pleasure of reading.

Whatever the reason, it cannot be denied that reading is an inherent part of the Internet experience. And that’s where the highlighting of content comes into the picture.

For many people, they just want to see the content of the article or blog post. They want to see the text, the words, and perhaps the accompanying images.

Distraction-free reading.

That’s why posts like this on Medium appeal to readers. The content is the focus of the post, and while photos break up the text, there is flow that still highlights what is to be read without distraction.

Understandably, however, some sites need to have ads and other elements that may distract the reader from the content.

What can you do to balance these needs out?

Enter the WP Couch Mode Plugin.

This plugin gives the reader the option to forego all the ads and other distracting elements that may be found in your site. What it does, basically, is to add a link – which is customizable – to content. When this link is clicked, a lightbox pops up, showing only the content.

Developer Ritesh Vatwani has incorporated several options, as seen in the screenshot below.

WP Couch Mode

When the reader chooses “Read Mode”, this is what he will see.

WP Couch Mode

Obviously, that distraction-free mode is more appealing to readers. Unless you’re one to actively seek ads for some reason.

For a more in-depth analysis of how WP Couch Mode performs click here.

If you want to download the plugin or check out the developer details, click here.

Here are more WordPress tips for you:

Export Google Docs to WP Posts with “Send to WordPress” Chrome Extension

6 WordPress Plugins That Make Migration & Mass Content Creation Simple

15 Functional e-Commerce WordPress Blogging Themes to Start Raking in the Sales

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/12/wp-couch-mode-plugin-readers-want-focus-content/feed/ 0
4 Actionable Strategies For Boosting Sales & Engagement on your Blog http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/10/powerful-tactics-boosting-sales-engagement-website/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/10/powerful-tactics-boosting-sales-engagement-website/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 19:20:13 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30870 Finding the perfect formula for driving sales, subscriptions and readers to your website who actually engage is a task that grows more difficult as the web continues to develop and grow. It’s quite easy to hit a plateau whether you’re trying to create fresh and appealing content for your personal or corporate blog; or creating a new angle that will attract buyers to your new product or startup. Successful online business is hard work and in reality it’s not for everyone. The defining quality that is proven to set winners apart from losers simply boils down to persistence.

shutterstock_163307801

The ability to launch winning traffic generation and business booming strategies does not necessarily require that you master every skill possible but more relies on you knowing your target audience’s needs and being honest with what you can and are willing to provide. A blog that covers social media marketing for instances, does not necessarily need to publish on every possible topic under it’s umbrella but should narrow the focus to where the impact is greatest based on the marketer’s skillset and targets for ROI. Especially in cases where a small business or blog is managed by one individual, the stakes are higher regarding using marketing time wisely for maximum effect.

So, what are some oftentimes ignored and underutilized techniques that can create success online for marketers and how do you enrich your content marketing efforts for greater ROI?

Narrowing Your Focus

Let’s face it, there’s a strong possibility that what you’re publishing on your blog has already been said and dissected somewhere on the web by a few other bloggers. It’s extremely difficult to be unique when content is being produced across the world at its current rapid pace. How do you create a unique voice for your brand and standout in the noisy crowd? The best strategy you can employ here is drilling down on your niche topics and narrowing and deepening your focus to go a step further with the general topics being discussed frequently on the web.

There are 3 benefits here:

1) You become an expert in a rarely discussed field – Many websites typically discuss the obvious facts and do not dive deep into the “how’s”, “why’s” and “if’s” of the industry. For example, Google launches a new product with “x” cool features. Everybody talks about that; you should then dive into commentary on the potential impact on users, use the service and offer detailed reviews and simply look for opportunities to provide and focus on various angles that aren’t evidently addressed. That’s how you create unique share-worthy and link-worthy content.

2) Benefit from valuable long tail keywords and niches – SEO is alive, will always be alive and you still can win. There is great value in long tail keywords. For example, you simply cannot compete with general, broad keywords like “social media marketing” or “increase sales.” However, you may discover greater opportunities and value for something more narrow like “how to increase sales without a zero budget” or “creating a social media marketing plan for small businesses.” The keyword competition will be less. Use a tool like Keywordtool.io to discover ideas for narrowing your keyword focus.

3) You save time and energy – Focus means that you strip your days of unnecessary work on things that do not add value to your bottom line and objectives.

Engage Your Target Audience Off Your Website

Promoting your website and getting feedback from readers and users is not all about you and your site. Advertising your latest blog post on pitchingTwitter each chance you get will not attract meaningful traffic and engagement unless you’ve already built a reputation through relationships on social networks. Simply put, people won’t be interested in your stuff if they have no idea who you are or what you stand for. Sure, you’ll get a few clicks from readers here and there but the results are negligible.

If you’re trying to get influencers to engage and share your content you’ll need to engage them as fellow human beings without strictly pitching to them. A recent study by Buzzstream reveals that 64% of writers and editors of popular websites think it’s important to establish a personal relationship before pitching a story to them.

Treat your target audience as a community and start interacting and building relationships on social media as well as taking advantage of meeting people offline. Share interests and add value to their daily lives by contributing things that they’ll find useful. Pitching is not your priority here. If an influencer knows that you always add value and always engaged with them on a human level, your profile, work and content will have more value in their eyes. Use tools like Commun.it, Hootsuite and Oktopost to effectively manage your social network relationships.

Build the relationships and you’ll find that you’ll achieve higher clickthrough rates on social media and engagement from the readers you acquire.

Evoke Curiosity

For whatever reasons visitors are coming to your site you should try to have something that directly addresses that. For example, if your website is directed at teaching readers how to play a musical instrument, you could collect emails from subscribers who would be highly engaged with what you have to offer; like a pop-up that says “Do you want to learn how to play the piano like Beethoven?” or something else the average aspiring student can relate to.

Therefore, how you present your content is very important and your wording should address a need the reader may have leading them to explore further. Writing a strong headline is an art worth perfecting.

Optimize Your Site’s Usability

Usability is something you should never take for granted. The more enjoyable and user-friendly the experience is for your readers the greater the chance of them spending more time to consume and use your content. They’ll keep coming back for more.

Make your readers’ experiences better with simple strategies like:

  • Making key information easier to find
  • Keeping relevant info above the fold
  • Optimizing site load speed
  • Eliminating dead-end pages that link to nowhere else on your site

websiteusability

Source

Here’s a list of free usability testing tools to help assess your site and determine what improvements you can make.

To conclude, increasing engagement relies heavily on your ability to communicate solutions effectively to your target audience with the help of a few tools. While also narrowing your vision to help produce unique products and content users will love and share.

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/10/powerful-tactics-boosting-sales-engagement-website/feed/ 0
Eliminate the Need to Set Up Multiple Affiliate Accounts http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/10/eliminate-need-set-multiple-affiliate-accounts/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/10/eliminate-need-set-multiple-affiliate-accounts/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:30:31 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30863 Editor’s note: This post was written by Tim Hinchliffe, an American journalist who has written for such publications as the Ghanaian Chronicle and Colombia Reports. His articles have been featured in FOX News, BBC, NBC, Al-Jazeera, and the Washington Post, among others. When he is not working on the next story, Tim enjoys fishing, cooking, strumming the guitar, and exploring his new-found love, Medellin, Colombia.

Every blogger faces the challenge of trying to make money out of their passion. At the same time, there are online retailers who just can’t quite seem to find the best distribution channels for their products.

Affiliate programs or referral links are some of the best ways of getting revenue to your blog, according to many of the most successful bloggers.

multiple affiliate accounts

Referral links are sometimes controversial because visitors feel that they are tricked into using them or that bloggers tint their reviews differently based on whether or not they can earn money from referrals.

However, if you do them right, namely disclosing them directly or using them in a way that makes it clear, they can be a good source of revenue.

A new advertising platform has been launched that seeks to change the way bloggers and publications monetize and approach online retail by making it easier to to connect to more affiliates through a single algorithm.

Founded by Dutch startup pioneer, Steven Lammertink, Cirqle is a new platform that enables bloggers to connect their content with thousands of popular brand name products while earning revenue on every sale inspired.

“Anytime you recommend a relevant product or service to your audience, check to see if they have an affiliate program. If so, sign up and use your affiliate link,” says David Risely of the Blog Marketing Academy.

“The idea for Cirqle came when we saw that bloggers, many with very large audiences, were having challenges with monetization. At the same time online retailers were not finding the distribution channels they were looking for. Cirqle was designed from the start to solve both of these problems. This is a market that has not yet actualized, and our goal is to create it out of nothing,” says CEO Steven Lammertink.

According to Kevin Muldoon of Elegant Themes Blog, one of the best ways to earn money through blogging is to use an affiliate program that pays commissions on generated sales.

“For one of my old blogs, affiliate income represented around 75% of my total income,” says Muldoon.

A platform like the Dutch startup makes room for commissions to be paid to the blogger without having to setup multiple accounts with different companies. This can be profitable to not only both the author and the retailer, but readers can benefit as well because they are already viewing content that interests them.

Author of “4 Easy Ways to Monetize Your Blog,” Elaine Pofeldt, says that affiliate programs “will reward you for driving traffic to a particular marketplace by giving you a percentage of the money made from each sale. The trouble is that it can be time consuming to set up each account.”

The Cirqle platform was designed to speed up that process through its algorithm that connects to thousands of different brand accounts through a single application.

As suggested by the WordStream Blog, “Many people have trouble with affiliate links because it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Getting sales from affiliate link clicks involves some knowledge of affiliate marketing. If you don’t know the proper way to promote your affiliate links, you’ll end up frustrated from lack of sales and will probably end up pushing away many of your visitors.

To eliminate this type of frustration, using one platform to handle all marketing strategies seems like a sure way to go.

With a program that would eliminate the need for setting up multiple affiliate accounts, like Cirqle’s, bloggers wouldn’t need to spend as much effort and will be able to focus on revenue for their blogs, as well as focus more on sharing their passion for creating quality content.

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/10/eliminate-need-set-multiple-affiliate-accounts/feed/ 0
BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, September 8, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/08/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-september-8-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/08/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-september-8-2014/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:00:08 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30860 Job board highlightsI hope you’re all having a good Monday morning. Here are the job board highlights, which will hopefully make your start to the week even better.

Good luck!

Arts Writer

Artsy is looking for freelance writers with existing art writing experience, and a background or passionate interest in the arts, to craft editorial pieces around gallery and museum exhibitions, artists’ practices, artist biographies, and art fair coverage.

Legal Writer/Blogger

Experienced legal writer or blogger required. Aust_law are looking to hire someone to write 10 news pieces or articles on law and legal related issues per month.

Outreach Expert and Blogger

TrustedCleaner.com.au are looking for someone who can help:
1. Get the word out there about upcoming content scheduled to be published soon (new infographic, industry study, training guides etc)
2. Organise guest posts and develop relationships with high quality sites
3. Create more amazing content (blog posts, articles, whitepapers etc.)

Multiple Technology Writers

Family of sites is:
1. Looking for someone to write about the latest news on certain technology products.
2. Looking for someone to write engaging and semi-researched blog posts for the same site.
3. Looking for an app reviewer.

Freelance Sports Columnist

NBCNewYork.com is seeking sports columnists to cover the Jets and Giants for the 2015 NFL season. They are looking for writers with strong voices, opinions informed by fact and a deep understanding of these storied franchises and New York sports history.

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/08/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-september-8-2014/feed/ 0
2 Potent Web Monetization Strategies You’ve Probably Never Tried http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/02/website-monetization-strategies-youve-probably-never-tried/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/02/website-monetization-strategies-youve-probably-never-tried/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:40:37 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30830 Regardless of how you’ve started publishing online, whether it’s from a childhood passion, hobby or as a result of an experiment, the topic of monetization will always come up; and although it may not be your primary motivation, it’s still worth paying attention and trying something new.

making money online

There are many success stories from bloggers who have made hundreds of thousands of dollars almost by accident as they were blinded by their focused obsession with their topic and didn’t care about making money but ended up doing so anyway. Unfortunately, the majority of writers are not that lucky and need to employ a disciplined approach to delivering quality that their audiences will enjoy. Yet, quality on it’s own is no guarantee for monetary success.

As you focus on hitting your monetary targets with your website and online business, you will find the greatest long-term success when your audiences’ needs are best met; putting them first. Monetization can be easily incorporated once you have a satisfied audience

Here are 2 money making strategies that will complement your online business built to serve your readers well.

There’s Great Power in the Webinar

Webinars are a powerful way to humanize your brand as it gives you the opportunity to interact with your participants in real-time with quality audio and video. It’s the next best thing to face to face conversations and performs much better than social media and other channels since you’re engaging an audience that has opted in to consume what you have to offer; leads that are already qualified. Therefore, if you’re selling something and you host a webinar to talk about your offer, it’s likely that your participants are in buying mode. As a matter of fact, well executed webinars typically enjoy a conversion rate of up to 42%, which is unheard of with other media.

webinar-stats

Two ways to approach webinars for increasing earnings:

1) Have a new product or service offering? Instead of promoting the product itself, invite readers to a webinar where you talk about the problem that your product solves and the frustrations in the industry. Direct the focal point of the webinar to sharing user experiences with that particular difficulty and then demonstrate how your product can help. The above average benefit here is that you’re building a relationship with your audience of highly targeted individuals who know they may want your product.

This is much more effective at closing sales than blog posts and standard advertising where you’re not 100% engaged with the user.

2) Or, if you have a highly specialized skill; deliver a webinar on your insight along with resources that cannot be found elsewhere on the web. Use a webinar service like Google Hangouts or ClickWebinar to save your video presentation. This presentation, presuming it’s of uniquely high value, can be sold at a nominal rate for others to access.

Sponsored Content on Steroids

Although sponsored content / native advertising has been receiving a lot of criticism lately, I do believe that once it’s done properly from the perspective of adding authentic value for the reader; there’s nothing wrong if the content was created by and for Pepsi, for example. The problem here is that many writers and companies are doing it wrong and subsidizing quality and ignoring the readers’ intelligence.

blogger-fee-sponsored-content

Depending on your website’s traffic you can potentially earn anywhere from $25 to $1,000 for a single sponsored post.

To stand out with your website’s sponsored content offer and charge advertisers more, here’s what you do:

1) Get rid of the 500 – 800 word limit on the work you produce. Give more value; provide in-depth research to back what you’re writing to deliver a credible product for your advertiser.

2) Create visually appealing sponsored posts that rely heavily on artwork and quality graphics. If your advertiser would like to use stats or any other concept in their article, present it beautifully. You may need to hire a graphic designer to prepare something quickly for you but if you’re giving a premium product then you can charge more. Look at the quality content Neil publishes on his blog, that’s what you should aim for.

Poor quality sponsored posts do not add value  to the advertisers’ visibility or SEO performance since Google is leaning more towards naturally substantive content. It’s time to offer more.

To conclude, running a profitable, cash rich business online seems to always rest on the foundation of delivering quality content; something that your audience finds interesting, entertaining and useful. The days of gaming search engine’s for financial gain are quickly coming to an end as Google and other search engines clamp down on removing low quality websites from their index. As you implement strategies to earn, please the customer first and you’ll be inspired to create content and products worth buying.

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/09/02/website-monetization-strategies-youve-probably-never-tried/feed/ 0
3 Simple Things to Do to Grow Your Reader Base http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/29/3-simple-things-grow-reader-base/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/29/3-simple-things-grow-reader-base/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:05:24 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30822 Everyone has his reasons for blogging. Some treat their blog as a business. Some blog for their business. Others blog just because they can.

At the end of the day, however, most bloggers want one thing: to have a huge reader base.

grow your reader base

Source

What’s the point of having something to say, and saying it in an awesome way, when there’s no one reading your blog?

You may have a couple hundred, or maybe a couple thousand, readers, but ask yourself if you’re really satisfied with staying at – more or less – the same amount of readers. The chances are that you’re not. You want to grow your blog. You want to grow your reader base, and here are three simple things you can do to get that done.

1. Create a subscriber list.

This might be one of the more overlooked aspects of growing one’s reader base. For new bloggers, especially, there is sometimes the misconception that if you create something good, people will come. While that may be true in some cases, to a certain extent, the reality is that you almost always have to expend some effort getting people to come to you.

One thing you can do is to make use of an email marketing tool that will help you establish and grow your subscriber list. More than simply gathering email addresses, this kind of tool will help you retain subscribers by:

  • providing analytic tools to determine what kind of content works
  • providing attractive email templates
  • providing personalization features.

With time, you can grow your reader base by reaching out to them.

2. Grow your Facebook/Twitter fan base.

grow your reader base

Source

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms play a crucial role if you want to grow your reader base. These platforms are venues in which you can get the word out about your blog. You don’t even need statistics to be convinced of this. Just think about how many web sites and blogs you have discovered via Facebook and Twitter.

As such, your blog should have its own social media accounts, but more than that, you should work at growing your fan base on those platforms.

How can you do this?

  • Update regularly, but do not flood your fans’ feeds/streams with one post after another. Space out your posts.
  • Don’t be a mere broadcaster of your own content. Share content from other sites, content which is relevant to your blog.
  • Vary the type of content you share – links, images, and text. Find out which type incites your followers to interact best.
  • Interact with influencers in your niche. The beauty of social media is that you can interact with anyone – especially on Twitter. Identify the influencers in your niche and interact with them. A simple reply to a tweet of theirs is a good start. If you provide good conversation, you just might get noticed.
  • Interact with your own followers. If you get comments, reply. If you get shares, replies, or retweets, tweet back – a simple thank you works wonders.

3. Be consistent in publishing tailored content.

You can do all the marketing and promotion you want, but if you are erratic in publishing content, then you might as well give up on wanting to grow your reader base. At the very core, what counts is that you regularly provide content that appeals to your audience. Know who your audience is, and tailor your content so that they will want to read what you write – and come back to read more in the future.

Do you really want to grow your reader base? Start with these three things, and you’ll see results.

 

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/29/3-simple-things-grow-reader-base/feed/ 1
5 Things to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Writing http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/28/5-things-dont-feel-like-writing/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/28/5-things-dont-feel-like-writing/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:00:17 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30814 We’ve all had those periods when writing feels like a chore instead of an activity that we actually love. You’ve probably proclaimed how passionate you are about writing more than once – especially when you’re applying for a gig – but the “I hate writing” moments do come now and again.

don't feel like writing

Source

What are you to do when you just don’t feel like writing? Here are five things that have proven to be effective for me. Sometimes, when I really, really don’t feel like writing, it takes a combination of these activities to get me back on track.

1. Force yourself.

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

If you’re reading this, then the chances are that you are a professional writer – or at least you think yourself to be. But, professional or not, those “I don’t feel like writing” times still happen. When they do, remember this quote. Don’t quit.

Force yourself. You can do it.

2. Go out for coffee.

After that rather direct piece of advice, I have to admit that it doesn’t always work – at least not always in a positive way. Sure, forcing yourself is always an option, and if you’re determined enough, you will always get the work done.

The question is: what is the quality of the resulting work?

Probably crappy.

So, I will eat humble pie and admit that forcing myself when I don’t feel like writing isn’t always the best option. And while I’m at it, I’ll drink coffee with that pie. Literally.

don't feel like writing

Source

If you can’t force yourself, go to your favorite coffee shop, cafe, bistro, pub, or whatever and have something to drink and/or eat. After that, you’ll probably feel much better and ready to write again.

3. Browse entertaining web sites.

If you can’t – or don’t want to – go out, then by all means stay at home and stay connected. Don’t write, but waste time on wonderfully, sillily, and entertainingly sites such as Reddit, 9GAG, College Humor, or whatever your guilty pleasure may be. Spend 30 minutes to an hour relaxing your brain on your favorite sites (which may require you to actually NOT think). See how that helps you want to write again.

4. Play a game.

If you like playing video games, then it’s a no brainer. You don’t feel like writing, and forcing yourself doesn’t work? Grab your iPad, iPhone, PS3/Xbox controller and game to your heart’s content. A brilliant blog post idea or two might even hit you while you’re playing. (Yes, it’s been known to happen.)

5. Take a nap.

If all else fails, nothing works better than a nap. If you take a look at my Twitter bio, you’ll understand. I’m a pro at napping, and it does wonders for productivity (there’s science behind that), mood, and creativity.

More writing help:

3 Habits That Will Make Writing Blog Posts Easier

6 Things That Will Help You Churn Out More Blog Posts

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/28/5-things-dont-feel-like-writing/feed/ 0
BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, August 25, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/25/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-25-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/25/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-25-2014/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:00:58 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30804 Job board highlightsWho’s looking forward to September? Before we get there, though, let’s make this week a great one, shall we?

Here are the job board highlights for you to start the week.

Dating site looking for established freelance writer

The world’s largest millionaire dating site is looking for freelance writers to work with them on writing high quality articles, and publishing them on websites as well.

Responsibilities include:
– Write articles (based on related topics we give you) and link back to their site.
– After you finish, send your articles.
– Publish it on a website.

Social media blogger required

Socialnewsdaily.com is looking for an experienced blogger in the niche of social media news.

They are looking for someone who can write 2-3 evergreen pieces of content (eg list posts or opinion pieces) based on currently social trending stories.

Writing Positions: Restaurant Criticism/Food Reporting

Voice Media Group, which publishes print newspapers and websites in eleven metro markets, continues to look for journalists who have a sophisticated understanding of food and the skill to write about it in an engaging way.

Copy Editor/Proofreader

Is “Strunk & White” one of your favorite books?
About You
You may be a bit obsessive compulsive.
You know how to polish a writer’s text and make it succinct and clear.
You know where to add a hyphen.
About the Job
You’ll receive blog posts, web copy, marketing e-mails, long-form white papers and case studies.
Your job is to whip the writers’ text into shape — clear, well-organized, concise, punchy, and also make sure that spelling is correct for a human reader not just a computer spellchecker.

Ghost Writer For WordPress Related Articles

Looking for a ghost writer with a great writing style and proven WordPress knowledge. Many of the articles that that need to be written are WordPress Theme, plugin and product Reviews.

 

Resources

Link Building Strategies

Resources for Writers

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/25/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-25-2014/feed/ 0
Export Google Docs to WP Posts with “Send to WordPress” Chrome Extension http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/export-google-docs-wp-posts-send-wordpress-chrome-extension/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/export-google-docs-wp-posts-send-wordpress-chrome-extension/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:40:34 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30799 Send to WordPress Chrome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three things:

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

Get Send to WordPress.

Also read:

Tips to Build a Solid Online Publishing Team

5 Things Your Blog Needs You’ve Never Thought Of

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/export-google-docs-wp-posts-send-wordpress-chrome-extension/feed/ 0
How Can You Harness the Power of Soft Snippets and Improve Brand Appeal? http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/can-harness-power-soft-snippets-improve-brand-appeal/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/can-harness-power-soft-snippets-improve-brand-appeal/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:12:30 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30795 Editor’s note: This post was written by Nick Robson, an SEO expert and presently works as a consultant helping out those who need his assistance. He loves writing and combines this passion of his with his knowledge of SEO.

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

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

snippets

Source

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

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

Finding Beneficial Soft Inputs

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

snippets

Source

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

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

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

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

Building Your Brand

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

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/21/can-harness-power-soft-snippets-improve-brand-appeal/feed/ 0
BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, August 18, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-18-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-18-2014/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:00:40 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30789 Job board highlightsGood morning! I hope you all had a good weekend.

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

20 Bloggers Needed for Sponsored Posts

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

Japan news & culture blogger needed

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

Blogger for Compy’s Blog

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

Blogging for Fashion and Lifestyle Brand

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

Freelance Writer

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-18-2014/feed/ 0
How to Get Through Low Revenue Periods http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/get-low-revenue-periods/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/get-low-revenue-periods/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:00:13 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30780 A blogger’s professional life is more uncertain than conventional employees. We may have several revenue streams, which is good, as we don’t put all our eggs in one basket. There may be months when we’re flush, maybe even with too much work to handle.

The Quest for Change

Source

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

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

Prepare.

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

Take out a loan.

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

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

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

car

Source

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

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

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

Spend the minimum you can.

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

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

Keep looking for jobs.

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

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

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/18/get-low-revenue-periods/feed/ 0
Boost Your WordPress Skills with the 0-100 WordPress Starter Kit http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/14/boost-wordpress-skills-0-100-wordpress-starter-kit/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/14/boost-wordpress-skills-0-100-wordpress-starter-kit/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:00:41 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30786 WordPress Starter Kit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More WordPress tips:

Top Free WordPress Themes of 2014

6 WordPress Plugins That Make Migration & Mass Content Creation Simple

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/14/boost-wordpress-skills-0-100-wordpress-starter-kit/feed/ 0
4 People Who Got Rich Blogging http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/12/4-people-get-rich-blogging/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/12/4-people-get-rich-blogging/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:00:58 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30771 Editor’s note: This post was written by Larry Alton, an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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

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

1. Arianna Huffington

get rich blogging

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

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

2. Gina Marie Trapani

get rich blogging

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

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

3. Kevin P. Ryan

get rich blogging

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

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

4. Pete Cashmore

get rich blogging

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

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

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

Images via Photopin

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

online-community

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

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

Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Focus on Your Audience, Not Your Brand

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

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

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

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

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

4. Entertain whenever you can.

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

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

Leverage Powerful Tools

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

Here are some tools to get you started:

ClickWebinar

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

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

HootSuite

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

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

Disqus

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

The service is built to keep users on your site.

Shift Your Focus From Selling

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/11/content-marketing-community-building/feed/ 0
BloggingPro Job Board Highlights, August 11, 2014 http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/11/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-11-2014/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/11/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-11-2014/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:00:31 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30756 Job board highlightsSo it’s the start of a new week! I hope you all have a lot on your plate, but here are more jobs from the job board highlights to look at.

Good luck!

Freelance Copywriter

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

Education News Site Editor

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

Content Writer

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

Buzz Writers for Mstars News

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

Copywriter/Income Investing E-letter Editor

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/11/bloggingpro-job-board-highlights-august-11-2014/feed/ 0
Why Your Job Application Gets Ignored – and What to Do About It http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/job-application-gets-ignored/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/job-application-gets-ignored/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:24:39 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30751 People who put up ads looking for freelance writers or bloggers receive tons of replies, many of them fluff. You may know that you are the best person for the job, but you have to make sure that you can convey that to the “employer” as quickly as possible in your job application.

job application

Source

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

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

1. You don’t follow instructions.

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

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

2. You write your autobiography in the cover letter.

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

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

An Open Letter to Potential Bloggers

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

typo

Source

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

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

4. Your closing statement is boring.

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

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

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

Your turn

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/job-application-gets-ignored/feed/ 0
Tips to Build a Solid Online Publishing Team http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/tips-build-solid-online-publishing-team/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/tips-build-solid-online-publishing-team/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:00:44 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30736 Editor’s note: This post was written by Martin Stephens, corporate spokesperson for Action Days who also manages a team of freelance bloggers based in the UK. He believes in building a team spirit in spite of people working remotely. He recommends managers in similar positions to consider team buildings ideas for Leeds to enhance teamwork.

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

team spirit

Source

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

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

Set the ground rules.

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

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

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

Set up a team chat room.

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

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

Use project management software.

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

online publishing team

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

Be the first one to reach out.

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

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/08/tips-build-solid-online-publishing-team/feed/ 0
Why Checking the Content Of Professional Writers Is Important http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/checking-content-professional-writers-important/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/checking-content-professional-writers-important/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:39:34 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30732 The business landscape has been drastically re-shaped by the influence of the online world. In order to move forward and take advantage of lucrative opportunities, business owners find the need to not only improve on their traditional business principles but also diverge from them.

plagiarism

Source

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

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

Original content and its importance

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

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

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

What about professional content developers?

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

Yes and no.

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

Professional writers are not immune to plagiarism

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

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

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

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

How do you determine the worth of content developers?

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

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

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

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/checking-content-professional-writers-important/feed/ 0
5 Tips for Press Release Distribution Success http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/5-tips-press-release-distribution-success/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/5-tips-press-release-distribution-success/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:30:04 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30741 Press release distribution success

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

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

1. Headline

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

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

Blog_Headline_Writing_Tips1

Image source

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

2. Include all the Basics

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

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

Content Marketing for the Little Guys

3. Use Quotes

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

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

4. Focus on the Day

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

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

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

How to Write a Post That Goes Viral

5. Follow up on Success or Failure

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

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

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/07/5-tips-press-release-distribution-success/feed/ 0
5 Things Your Blog Needs You’ve Never Thought Of http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/06/5-things-blog-needs-youve-never-thought/ http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/06/5-things-blog-needs-youve-never-thought/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:24:07 +0000 http://www.bloggingpro.com/?p=30715 Editor’s note: This post was written by Karol K. (@carlosinho) , a blogger and writer for hire. His work has been published all over the web, on sites like NewInternetOrder.com, Lifehack.org, Quick Sprout, ProBlogger, Six Revisions, Web Design Ledger, and others.

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

A Twitter profile?

An email newsletter?

How about a contact form plugin?

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

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

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

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

things your blog needs

1. Image optimizer plugin

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

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

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

things your blog needs

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

2. Security plugin

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

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

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

things your blog needs

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

3. “Hire Me” page

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

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

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

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

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

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

things your blog needs

4. Link cloaking

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

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

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

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

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

things your blog needs

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

5. Shortcodes

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

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

things your blog needs

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

Your turn

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

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

]]>
http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2014/08/06/5-things-blog-needs-youve-never-thought/feed/ 4