Category Archives: Blogging

5 Guidelines to Increase Commenting on Your WordPress Site

You’ve a blog, I’ve a blog, everybody has a blog. But not everybody has a healthy community of commenters contributing to their blog. In fact, getting people to comment on the content you create is one of the hardest things in the web world to accomplish. If you’re a new blog, or haven’t reached a critical mass of readership yet, then this is understandable. But if you have a lot of people looking at your content and none of them have anything to say about it, then chances are your comment section needs some extra love to help draw those reticent readers out.

If that sounds like you, and you’d like to do something about it, then stay tuned and we’ll go through a bunch of things you can do to start the conversation moving. Continue reading

WordPress Plugins We Love: Yoast SEO

Yoast SEOOne of the reasons we love WordPress so much is the vast number of plugins it has available to extend the built-in functionality. But since there are over 40,000 plugins available in the repository, we thought it would be fun to help you sort through the pile by recommending a few of our favorites. These will be plugins we use all the time, have thoroughly tested and highly suggest using if you are looking for what they offer.

One of the great things about WordPress is that it’s already optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so just by installing it, you’ve taken a major step towards lifting your place in the rankings. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot more than what it provides by default. To that end, we used to use a plugin called the All-in-One SEO Pack, but a little less than a year ago we made a switch to a new SEO plugin called Yoast SEO.

With a year of testing under our belt, we can now safely recommend it to you! And for good reason. While All-in-One SEO Pack was no slouch, Yoast SEO goes that extra step further in functionality and ease-of-use, making it a no-brainer for our go-to SEO plugin.

So why choose Yoast SEO? Stay tuned, and we’ll look at some details. Continue reading

Cash-In on Video Marketing for Your Business

online videoIf you think online video marketing for business, specifically through video hosting sites YouTube and Vimeo, is not a major force these days, think again. “If content marketing were a high school, video would be sitting at the cool kids’ table,” according to Brafton.

If you want to be one of the “cool kids,” online video is where your business should be in 2017. Data from Wyzowl’s The State of Video Marketing 2017 report showed a majority of businesses are now using video as a marketing tool. Ninety-nine percent of this group will continue to use video throughout 2017. And 82 percent will spend more on video during the year.

Another source cites that, “YouTube has massive traffic and viewers, with over 1,325,000,000 people using YouTube. There are currently 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day—5 hours of video content every second…More than half of all web traffic after 5PM is ALREADY video traffic—YouTube, Netflix, and other companies serving as prime video platform.”

While it has a much smaller niche audience than YouTube, Vimeo is also great for online video hosting, because your audience does not have to sit through pre-roll ads.

Whichever format you use for hosting in 2017, according to Forbes, “Live video will continue to grow.” Hopefully, you and your business are cashing in on this trend with video infiltrating your website, blogs, social media, and emails. Continue reading

Spice Up Your Content with Podcasts

podcastIf you want to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage, you must provide a wide variety of high-quality content, including regular blog posts. “Variety’s the very spice of life,” said Poet William Cowper’s nearly 300 years ago, and it’s as relevant today. So, you shouldn’t limit yourself to blogs.

In fact, Hubspot says that, “Although blogs are still very popular, audiences are somewhat limited in how they can consume them—you can’t read a blog at the gym or while driving, for instance.” One solution is podcasts!

Podcasting is a great way for you and your organization to connect with your peeps and personify your brand while varying your content channels, thus allowing audiences to engage with content wherever, whenever, and however they want. Podcasts are on-demand with no commercial interruptions… kind of like Netflix and other streaming services are to TV viewing. Continue reading

Do You Have a Blog Content Distribution Plan?

blog contentYou’re already creating great blog content as part of your content marketing strategy, but are you also effectively marketing that content?

If you’re putting in the effort to produce top-quality blog posts, don’t forget to also put a top-notch plan in place to ensure people actually see your posts. Although optimizing your blog content for search engines is an effective way to boost your website’s organic search traffic, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you rely solely on an organic “if you build it, they will come” approach to content marketing.

After you publish a blog post, video, or other piece of useful content, the next step is to launch a strategic content distribution plan. Your content distribution plan can simply be a checklist or template that outlines all of the additional activities you will do to share your content on various marketing channels available to you.

So, first you’ll want to make a list of all of the ways you can get your blog in front of your target audience and broader networks. Then, develop a simple framework that you can reference and follow each time you publish new content.

Examples of channels to cover in your blog content distribution plan include: Continue reading

Content Creation in 2017 for the Attention-Disabled

attention-disabledI recently read that the average human attention span in the 21st century has fallen to just eight seconds—shorter than that of a goldfish. (That’s probably the same or less than a gnat!) “What’s more, 59% of people share articles on Twitter without even reading them, and more than half of all page views are under a minute in length,” a recent Hubspot post tells us.

If you’re a content-creator like I am, those shorter-than-short attention spans mean we have to change our thinking about content accordingly. “No matter how old school you are when it comes to writing, it’s time to accept that short and relevant is often the new reality,” according to another recent post.

So, what do you do to keep their attention and engage your audience long enough to get them to react and take action? Here are a few strategies for confronting the attention span issues, without sacrificing quality content. Continue reading

What To Do With Info on Your Website’s Content Performance

content performanceAre you paying attention to your Google Analytics? If not, it’s time to start. And if you are paying attention to your Google Analytics, what are you doing with the information on your content performance?

Maybe you’re simply filing it under “good to know,” because you’re satisfied that people are actually visiting your website, reading your content, and your traffic is growing steadily. Perhaps you’re using what you find to learn more about your readers and potential customers. With a little digging, there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips.

But something that I’ve noticed small business owners often overlook is the opportunity to use content performance metrics as actionable feedback. How well your content performs or how poorly it performs can provide a roadmap for what direction to take next.

The following simple tips will help you use the information you discover about content performance in Google Analytics to your advantage: Continue reading