Content That Will Increase Eyes on Your Blog

Content That Will Increase Eyes on Your Blog

Content That Will Increase Eyes on Your Blog

We can all do with more eyes on our blogs. In show #17 I share information I found in a great bloIncrease eyes on your blogg on Problogger that talks through strategies to make your blog appealing.  The more appealing your blog the more people will want to share it.

Here are a couple of the ideas that were shared:

  • Use images
  • Write a good introduction
  • Experiment with different types of content
  • Show your personality and liven things up
  • Connect with your readers
  • Tell a story

They are just 6 of the 30ish ideas in the post.

What are you doing on your blog to engage more readers and encourage sharing? I would love to hear about it below.

 

What is an RSS Feed?

What is an RSS Feed?

What is an RSS feed?

I don't know about you but I get way to many email in my inbox.  When I first started online I signed up for many newsletters, so many that I simply could not keep up with them.  In the end I had to abandon the email account as it was overrun with over 10 000 unread emails (I am sure some of you can relate!).

I started a new account and managed to keep it under control for quite a while and then I noticed that it, too, was starting to get a few too many unread emails in it also. Looking for an alternative to this endless stream of newsletters I found the amazing benefits of RSS feeds. So, now, if possible, when I find a blog that I like, instead of signing up for their emails I subscribe to their blog instead – through an RSS feed.

So, what is an RSS feed?

RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is used to syndicate or subscribe to the feed of a website, blog or almost any media content online (it can be articles, music, video – pretty much any digital media).It also means that I do not have to go back and check those people's blogs all the time for new content, as they automatically get syndicated.

The content then gets sent to a ‘reader'. I personally use Feedly, but there are various other ones around. (Here is a video on How to Use Feedly)
The beauty of these readers is that you can then read the blog posts on your schedule.

How do you subscribe to an RSS feed?

On some websites you will see an icon that looks like  the one at the top of this post.  When you click on it another window will open with the options of where you want the feed sent.

Sometimes when you go to subscribe you may see this –

rss feed
This happens for two reasons.  One is that they have not set up their RSS feed properly, or at all.  You may be asking yourself why have it on their site if it is not set up properly, but some of the WordPress themes automatically have the icon there, whether you have set it up or not. The other reason seems to be a Chrome glitch. If this happens, I copy the URL from Chrome (which is my preferred browser) and paste it into Firefox and 9 times out of 10 it works just fine – opening up the page where you can choose.
If you can't see an RSS icon then another way to see if they have an RSS feed is to put /feed at the end of their URL. If you were looking for my feed you would type in staceymyers.com/feed. It should come up.  If it doesn't then there isn't an RSS feed set up on the site.
Some people put different things in their newsletters than they put on their websites or in their blogs, so that is always something to consider when choosing if you are going to go for the newsletter or the RSS feed – in some cases (if you really rate them or their content) then you may even sign up for both.
I am getting more and more selective about the people I subscribe to, and if someone does not have a RSS feed on their site and I do not want to subscribe to their newsletter I will just leave.  That being said, I do not think twice about giving someone my email if they have an opt in offer that I cannot pass up.
I am surprised at the number of people that do not have an RSS feed set up for their blog – or it is really difficult to find.  I feel this is just as important has having links to the various social media sites. Lean about Adding Feedburner RSS feeds on your WordPress website.
RSS Feeds are not only used for this purpose but are used to syndicate from and to places all over the web.

Would love to hear how you are using RSS feeds.
Leave your comments below!!

3 Ways to Increase Site Load Time

3 Ways to Increase Site Load Time

3 Ways to Increase Site Load Time

I previously posted that I discovered my site did not load very quickly – you can read that post here.

So, in the week I have been looking at what could potentially be slowing my site down.

There are a lot of things to consider, but for this post I am going to concentrate on 3 of them.

 Plugins

Plugins are a great addition to any WordPress website and I don’t know about you, but I like testing out new ones I hear about, just to see if they are any good.  What I sometimes do though, if I decide not to keep them, is just deactivate them and not delete them.  This is a big no no if you are trying to have your site load faster.

Deactivated plugins do not directly slow the site down, they just take up extra space, which could lead to the slowing down of your site.  Either way, deleting unwanted plugins, is a good habit to get into.

 Cache

 A cache plugin stores copies of your generated pages as flat html files. This means that, unless something changes (new post/ comment), subsequent visits do not need to touch the database, saving a lot of processing. So, when visitors visit your site they are seeing a stored version of your page.

 The two most popular plugins seem to be:

 W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache

W3 Total Cache does all of the things that WP Super Cache does and then has some more advanced features.  For now, I am going with WP Super Cache, as I found it easier to set up.

 Web Trick Blogs has a great post to talk you through setting WP Super Cache onto your website.

 Similarly, WP Lift has a post to take you through the setup of W3 Total Cache.

 Images

Image size plays a massive part in the load speed of your site.  You can optimise images using any photo editing software you have on your computer, or another option is to use Yahoo Smush It. You can either upload the picture to the site or supply the image URL and it will ‘smush’ the image for you – optimising the image without losing any of the quality.  It gives you the results of how much it was able to ‘smush’ the image. You can then download the modified image to your computer.

There is also a WordPress plugin, by the same name, that images automatically get run through when they are uploaded to the site.  You can even ‘smush’ all of the images that are already on your website.  The best result I had was a 66% reduction in size of one of my images.

Let me know how you get on with trying these out on your own sites.

Write your comments below.

Thanks!!


Stacey Myers, getting started, wordpress training
Stacey is a coach, trainer and speaker who supports people getting started with an online presence through WordPress and Social Media training. Stacey's hands-on style, supportive nature and extensive knowledge make her the perfect go-to resource for new entrepreneurs, and small business owners, who need a one-on-one or small group approach. She will also help you to overcome your mindset barriers so you too, can feel the freedom of living your passion.
What To Do When You Don’t Have a Clue… What to Blog About

What To Do When You Don’t Have a Clue… What to Blog About

What To Do When You Don't Have  Clue… What to Blog About

I sat here thinking, 'Oh gosh. What am I going to write about?'  After sitting for at least 15 minutes and not being any closer to an idea I started wondering what other people do when in such a situation. So, I went to the place of all knowledge – Google – and started searching.  It would appear that this is a common problem, and as it is a common problem many people have written about the solution to it. 

I read through a lot of these posts and picked out a couple that I especially liked and am sharing them with you here – as a resource, if you ever encounter what Darren Rowse (from ProBlogger) calls 'Bloggers Block'.

100 Ways to Find Ideas for Your Blog Posts

written by Steve Aitchison from Life Snips

He clearly has quite a comprehensive list of ideas – here is a small sampling. (This blog post has been taken down now, but I think the ideas listed here from it are great ideas)

2. Your Local Newsagent

Scan the magazines in your local newsagent, not just in your niche but in similar niches.  Often ideas will come from reading an article from outside your niche.

5. Imagine Having Written A Great Article

This might sound a little strange.  I sometimes imagine I have written a fantastic article and it’s gone viral, I try and hone in, in my minds eye, and see what the article was and what everyone is talking about.  You’ll be surprised what comes up.

16. Visit Ted.com

Ted.com is an amazing site for keeping up to date with the latest trends in Technology, Entertainment and Design.

26. Check Out The Trending Hash Tags And Topics On Twitter

Twitter is one of the true phenomenon’s of the decade and there are thousands of uses for it.  Gaining ideas by looking at the trending hashtags on the homepage is a great way to look for blog post ideas.  You can also use another site such as HashTags.org for a more detailed look at hashtags.

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The next article I thought worth mentioning was written by Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.

Battling Bloggers Block

His entry is the size of an ebook and very comprehensive.  He has 25 tips, but in each tip is a raft of other ideas.

Some of those include:

Blog Tip 1. Change your Blogging Environment

I often find that when I change my environment that inspiration comes. I walked down to the main street near our place and sat in the sun for half an hour and ‘people watched’. Somewhere along the way the ideas began to flow.

Blog Tip 9.Collaborate with other Bloggers

Run out of ideas? Find someone who hasn’t to work with.

Blog Tip 14. Comment on other Blogs

Have you ever started commenting on someone else’s blog and found that your comment turns into quite an epic!? You get to the end of it and you realize that you’ve been so inspired that you’ve virtually written a blog post? Maybe you have.

Blog Tip 19. Start writing the Middle of your Post

If you’re anything like me, one of the hardest parts of writing a post is starting it. Introductions can be easy to get stuck on and so I often simply skip them completely and write the meat of the post first before going back to write the introduction. In a sense your introduction then becomes a conclusion…. at the start of your post.

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Daily Blogging Ideas

The last resource I would like to bring to your attention to is a website called Daily Blogging Ideas.  You can sign up to receive, by email, a daily blog idea – as well as find previous ideas on the website. This website is the creation of Michelle Shaeffer.

She gives such ideas as:

Commentator for the Day

On any given day there are *thousands* of topics in the news. Share what you think about one of them.

Create a Resource List

Brainstorm a topic your readers would be interested in and then offer a resource list

Overcoming Challenges

What challenges can you share in a blog post?

 

There are an extensive number of other websites that have posts on this very idea. So, if you cannot find any that you can use here (which I would find hard to believe) you can always do a Google search and see what you can come up with.

Happy Blogging!!

 

Stacey Myers, getting started, wordpress training
Stacey is a coach, trainer and speaker who supports people getting started with an online presence through WordPress and Social Media training. Stacey's hands-on style, supportive nature and extensive knowledge make her the perfect go-to resource for new entrepreneurs, and small business owners, who need a one-on-one or small group approach. She will also help you to overcome your mindset barriers so you too, can feel the freedom of living your passion.

 

Where do you get blog ideas from and what you do when you have 'Bloggers Block'?

Share your ideas below.

Thanks!!

Plugins for your WordPress Site

Plugins for your WordPress Site

Plugins for your WordPress Site

Plugins for your WordPress Site

There are literally thousands of plugins out there and I am not going to overwhelm you with them all. I will share with you some of the ones that I personally use. It is enough to get you well and truly started. I previously wrote a blog post about plugins to use to share your content so I will not repeat those ones here.
So, what exactly are plugins?  WordPress.org says – Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. For me, plugins are to WordPress as apps are to phones.  They increase the functionality and/or apearance of your site.  Some plugins work in the background and some are visible on your site.
If you are not sure how to add plugins to your site, I have included a video at the end of this post.

Akismet – is one of the only plugins that comes already installed when you install WordPress. It is comment spam prevention for your blog– that basically means it mostly catches when people (or robots) are writing spam in the comment section of your website.

Contact Form 7 – Creates a simple form for your contact page – or any other page you want a contact form on. Very easy to use – if you use the default template it takes about 4 clicks.
Dean’s FCKEditor for WordPress – This plugin replaces the default WordPress editor. This gives you more ‘Word’ like editing functionality when creating pages and posts.
For the next 2 plugins you need to have set up a Google Analytics account.

Google Analytics Dashboard – gives you the ability to view your Google Analytics data in your WordPress dashboard.

This plugin does not provide the tracking code for Google Analytics. For that you will need to use a plugin like Google Analytics for WordPress (which is the next one on our list).
Google Analytics for WordPress – Track your WordPress site easily and with lots of metadata: views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and page views.
Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which helps search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it's much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently.
Scribe SEO – is a keyword research tool that you use to optimize your posts and pages. Once you have written your content Scribe analyses your writing and suggests keyword phrases that you may have missed. It gives your writing a percentage score out of 100. The score is made up of the top SEO best practices – it then offers suggestions of things you can do to increase your score. It also helps you create backlinks from other sites, crosslink the content with your own site and identify social media users who may want to share your content.
Tweet Old Post – Tweet Old Posts is a plugin designed to tweet your older posts to get more traffic. It randomly picks your older post and posts them out on Twitter, based on the intervals specified by you.

WordPress Database Backup – WordPress database backup creates backups of your core WordPress tables as well as other tables of your choice in the same database. You can set up the frequency of how often you want it to back up your site – it then emails it to you.
It only backups your database. It does not backup your plugins, uploaded files etc. If you want to have all of that backed up there is a service called VaultPress. The price for this service starts at $15 per month. They say – VaultPress keeps your site safe. Every post, picture, and page. Every comment, revision, and setting. Everything.
WPTouch – A simple, powerful and elegant mobile theme for your website. WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress blog into a phone style theme. It turns the appearance of your website into one that is easy to use and read from any smart phone. There is a pro version of this plugin, called WPTouch Pro, which sells for $39 for one site. I am more than happy with the free version. It also allows people to switch between mobile view and the site’s regular view on their phones.
Here is the video to teach you how to install plugins into your WordPress site.

Stacey Myers, getting started, wordpress trainingStacey is a coach, trainer and speaker who supports people getting started with an online presence through WordPress and Social Media training. Stacey's hands-on style, supportive nature and extensive knowledge make her the perfect go-to resource for new entrepreneurs, and small business owners, who need a one-on-one or small group approach. She will also help you to overcome your mindset barriers so you too, can feel the freedom of living your passion.

I am always looking for great new plugins.  If you know of one, or more, please share them below.

Thanks!!