It’s hard to decide which paid WordPress plugins to actually invest in, especially since there are so many choices all over the internet. However, after scouring a list of “Best WordPress Plugins” blog posts, I narrowed down the selection a few that were recommended multiple times or had great online reviews. [Read more…]
We have covered places to find free and legal images in the past, but with a new year comes even more reliable sources for finding free image sources for your blog. As with any creative work, even though it may be free to use, be sure to use correct attribution and make sure that you are crediting the author in all ways necessary. Not doing so may lead to legal issues, as some images are free as long as bloggers follow the proper guidelines. [Read more…]
Blog commenting can be a great way to get to know your fellow bloggers on other blogs, while also building a community within your own blog.
However, spam comments have reached a critical mass, often taking up the majority of the time of bloggers who just want to be able to filter out the great, original comments from the fake ones.
If you have any inclination about SEO when you’re a blogger (which you should, as SEO can help increase your blog’s traffic and engagement), then you know that being sure you use the right main keywords when you are writing blog posts can help people find your content when they are searching for it via search engines. [Read more…]
After Instagram announced that they were allowing embeds of Instagram posts on websites via their blog, many bloggers have taken advantage and have started using embed codes instead of copy and pasting Instagram images or taking a screenshot of an image to re-post it to their page.
Even though you can still only post images via an app on a mobile device, Instagram has become a huge social media platform that brands and bloggers should be utilizing. Many ways to do this include interacting via the community through Instagram photo challenges, contests, custom hashtags, and artistic photos that showcase the blog or company’s values and products.
After you sign up for an account (if you don’t have one already), here are some of the reasons why you should be embedding more Instagram posts on your blog: [Read more…]
Maintaining a well-oiled blog can be a difficult process that can be hard to do when you are out of town for a conference, vacation, or other engagement. However, with a little bit of planning, it can be easy to make sure your blog stays updated while you aren’t at home.
Have the Right Resources
In order to be a good blogger while you are away, you also need to be a good one while you are at home. Be sure to take advantage of a free writer’s resource area website that offers tips on effective blogging that gets your point across while also being time efficient. These tips are helpful no matter where you are blogging from.
Use a Freelancer
If you’re going to be away for a long period of time, it may be helpful to use a freelancer to fill in the content gaps when you aren’t able to. Hire a capable freelancer from a site like oDesk or FlexJobs that has a background that is related to your blog’s main topics. It’s best to hire someone before you leave so you have time to learn their writing style and they will be able to learn the type of content and formatting you like.
Schedule Ahead of Time
If you can fit it into your schedule, start stockpiling blog posts that can be scheduled out while you are away from your office. These can be evergreen topics which are timeless and contain useful information that anyone can use, even in the future. Some ideas might be best practices, trends in the last year, or tutorials that will still be timely in the time you are gone.
Write About Your Travels
Another option is to write about your travels and what you are doing out of the office, if it’s possible. For instance, if you are going to a conference or event that is related to your blog, it would be great to do a round-up post with what you have learned, photos, and key takeaways that you will be able to put into practice with your blog or work once you get back to your home base.
No matter which option you decide to take (which could be a combination of all of the above, depending on what time allows and the amount of content you need for your site), making sure your blog stays active while you are away can help keep your traffic engaged and showcases your dedication.
Whether you are a fan of the current White House Administration or not, there is little debate that the White House blog has done a great job when it comes to their online presence and strategy. There are several things the White House blog is doing right that other bloggers can emulate, which will hopefully translate into more traffic and better engagement.
The White House blog has a lot of great written content, but it also ties that in with a variety of media mediums that help illustrate its point. This includes embedding YouTube videos and SoundClouds (like the one below that they did of one of President Obama’s speeches), as well as including a lot of photos.
Screenshot taken 12/12/2013 [Read more…]
Having an active and engaged blog community is at the top of every blogger’s wish list. While the goal is clearly outlined, the way to get there sometimes isn’t. Although not guaranteed, there are some ways that you can get more comments onto your blog.
Sometimes getting a high level of engagement does take a financial commitment. In this case, having paid campaigns to get more traffic to your website will certainly increase your chances of more engagement, especially when they come from social media. Do some research on paid social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter and also through the major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Facebook and Google also occasionally send out coupons to new account users, so be sure to research that before signing up for a new account. [Read more…]
A paid search advertising campaign, sometimes called PPC (short for pay-per-click, which is the term that means an advertiser only pays on a per click basis, when a person clicks on their ad), are used by webmasters and marketers to push traffic to their websites and e-commerce sites. For many, the traffic they receive translates into massive amounts of sales or traffic, which not only brings more sales, but can allow the website to grow their online influence.
When it comes to blogging, more traffic from PPC campaigns have a lot of benefits, including:
- Charge higher rates to website advertisers
- Grow number of returning readers/users
- Drive sign-ups for newsletters or giveaways
- Promote important posts that highlight a new company service or event
- Grow engagement through more social shares and comments, as more traffic usually equals more audience engagement.
For the majority of blogs, PPC ads aren’t used to drive product sales. Because of this, it can be hard to justify the cost. While Google AdWords occasionally sends out credits and coupon codes for beginning PPC advertisers, starting a blog PPC campaign requires know-how, patience, and initial cost.
If you don’t know how to build, launch, and maintain a PPC campaign, it is worthwhile to either pay someone to do it for you or to learn the entire process yourself. Google offers an AdWords certification program, as does Bing. In Google’s case, even though there is a cost to become certified, you can view the majority of the course materials for free. This can help you begin to craft a PPC campaign.
It’s important to note that even though search engines are the main place for PPC campaigns, Twitter and Facebook also offer advertising (and Pinterest is also beginning to roll it out). This is a good solution if you want to target a specific demographic, based on their interests or profile details, like age or location. Facebook occasionally also offers promo codes for new advertisers as well.
In order to make sure any PPC campaign is worth its cost, be sure to track its traffic. Use UTM tags to verify when traffic is coming from PPC ads in Google Analytics and make sure it can be tracked all the way to a company’s other external pages that are outside of the blog, such as products or contact us. When you have analytical proof of your results, your PPC campaigns are much more likely to become invaluable.
Founded in 2007, Tumblr quickly gained momentum and continues to serve a whole array of purposes. Its user base is huge and varied – from personal bloggers to fandom bloggers to companies geared at marketing. Some people may think that Tumblr is no longer a major player today, but even earlier this year, Tumblr boasted 102 million blogs with 6.6 billion pageviews in March 2013. If that is not relevant, then I don’t know what is!
One of the things Tumblr has got going for itself is the way it presents information. Sure, it still is blogging in a way, but it caters to the generation of short attention spans. With its themes usually highlighting visual aspects more than plain text, the attraction is çertainly there.
And, just like most other blogging platforms, Tumblr’s appearance can be customized to suit your personal preferences. Tumblr Blog Themes are not hard to find – free or otherwise. If you’re looking for something different, here are some of the best premium Tumblr Themes you can find from ThemeForest, one of the leading sources of themes out there. [Read more…]