Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Content Planning for WordPress Bloggers

Monday, December 5th, 2011

After my recent post about the WordPress Editorial Calendar widget, it should be no surprise that today I am writing about how to plan content for your blog. Yes, for best results with your blogging, the content should be planned.

As a starting point, Designate each day with a content “type”. For example,

Mondays could be designated as “news-related” blog post day where you blog about a news item related to your industry or niche that was published/made known over the weekend.

Tuesdays could be designated to blog posts that fit in the “tips-tricks-n-techniques” genre

Wednesdays could be about the “latest, hottest thingyou have personally discovered this week

Thursdays could be blog posts related to “education” and learning about your niche – “How to…”, “Top 3 ways to…”

Fridays could be designated as “video” day – meaning that you create original video content or search the web for a video that is related to your industry or niche and post a link to the video and your comments.

Saturdays and Sundays – you are off or doing research, but, not writing in the blog. Unless of course, you have your content and are data entering it with future dates so that you can view it in the WordPress Editorial Calendar and make adjustments to the schedule.

Other blog content types to consider:

  • Best blog post of the week by another blogger
  • Contest day
  • Facebook-driven offer day
  • Partnership promotion day
  • Trivia/Fun Facts day
  • Client promotion day
  • Podcast day

What are the content types you use?

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WordPress Editorial Calendar Widget

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

One of my goals this year was to be more faithful and consistent with writing in my blog. An extension of that goal was to get my clients re-energized and re-focused about writing in their blogs. I was intermittently successful with each of those…I am still seeking consistency in blogging frequency. Which brings us to today’s topic.

I follow Daniel Scocco of dailyblogtips.com who sends out Daily Blog Tips (of course!). Recently, a guest post by Annabel Candy about the WordPress Editorial Calendar widget was posted in his blog.  Ms. Candy wrote about the 5 reasons bloggers will love the WordPress Editorial Calendar:

  1. It makes planning blog posts easy
  2. You can see your whole editorial calendar on one screen
  3. It’s easy to reschedule blog posts
  4. It helps you structure your blog content
  5. It allows you to be more creative

The WordPress Editorial Calendar widget is a tool that helps bloggers get organized with their blogging efforts. The WordPress Editorial Calendar is primarily a scheduling tool. It lets you look at all your posts in Calendar format (rather than the straight text lists that we see in the WordPress Dashboard 20, 40, 60 at a time) in order to see when they have been/will be published. You can drag and drop blog posts from one date&time to another.

For visual bloggers, I think this is an excellent tool. For bloggers who are also planners this is an excellent tool.

How can you be successful with the WordPress Editorial Calendar widget if you are a blogger who struggles to stay true to your blogging frequency goals?

Well, this tool forces us to be disciplined. It is a scheduler, not a blog post writer, so, we will still own the responsibility to come up with the topics and write the blog posts – but – once we get those pieces defined, we can data enter the posts, and then we will be able to see at a glance the “content” we are offering. Seeing that, we will be able to evaluate our work – Are we blogging about the topics that are of interest to our target audience? Are we taking the target audience on the trip that we intended? Are the topics in an order that will help our audience quickly and easily understand – or – is it going to be a bumpy ride?

WordPress Editorial Calendar Screenshot

WordPress Editorial Calendar Screenshot taken from http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/editorial-calendar/screenshots/

Seeing the posts and the flow of topics will help each of us fine-tune our blogging goals and answer lots more marketing questions as we move through the year.

Read the article by Ms. Candy: 5 Reasons You’ll Love the WordPress Editorial Calendar

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Blogging is Working on your Business

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

It was  a week ago that I re-committed to myself to get back to writing in my WordPress blog – at a minimum twice per week. This is my second post this week – but – I’m not writing just to meet that number. I am writing because I realized something important while we were having the discussion about Why blogging is important. Oprah would say that I had an Aha! moment.

One of the aspects of blogging that we talked about was: What stands in the way of writing in our blogs even when we have blocked off the time? We explored each of the answers and classified them as reason or excuse

In the midst of that conversation, I discovered that while I like to share information via my blog, sometimes I need/want  to do research, and that casts a “homeworky-task” shadow on the joy of blogging. I sometimes don’t meet my commitment to blog because blogging “responsibly” is a task.  Derrr. That’s when it dawned on me.

Of course it is a task. BLOGGING IS WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS. And as a solopreneur, I gravitate towards the tasks that give me the most joy…the stuff that I wanted to do so badly that I started my own business to ensure that I could and would..and those tasks are working-IN-the-business tasks – a happy safe place for solopreneurs. I had to laugh…as a solopreneur, it is such a familiar intersection of friction…working ON the business vs working IN the business.

And so now that it is reduced to textbook…blogs are Social Media. Social Media is part of Marketing. Blogging is a marketing task. Just like showing up in LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, I need to show up in my blog because my business is worth it!

I knew that. I was just reminded and was able to re-frame the “task” of blogging.

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How Frequently Should You Upgrade WordPress?

Monday, September 26th, 2011

WordPress is a package of programs and files (software) with built-in functionality that makes it easy for users to focus on writing in their blogs, and leaves the heavy-lifting (archiving, re-categorizing blog posts by date, category, sub category, and tag,  adding content to the search capability, etc) to WordPress.

As a “software” package, WordPress needs to be upgraded just like your desktop “software” packages like Quicken®, Microsoft Word®, and  Adobe Photoshop®.  Every quarter or two a new version of WordPress is released. And versions are released within a much shorter time span when they are security releases.

If your website is built on a WordPress platform or your blog is on a WordPress platform, you should be periodically upgrading the WordPress software package. (Updating your website, blog or content is separate from  upgrading the WordPress software package. Your website, blog or content sits on WordPress and is managed by the WordPress software package.)

The recommendations that I make to my WordPress clients is:

  • Upgrade WordPress once per year at a minimum. Upgrading once per year, keeps costs to a minimum and ensures that your version of WordPress is not so far away from the current “supported” version.
  • Regardless of when you upgraded your WordPress software package last, upgrade it immediately if there is a security release.
  • Do not upgrade your WordPress software the moment a new version is released.  Wait a couple of months to 6 months, then read the feedback in the forums to see how smoothly the upgrade went for those who have aleready upgraded. Use their feedback to prepare you for your upgrade. 

TIP: The further away your version gets from the current supported release: the harder it is to upgrade, the more time-consuming it is to upgrade, the more expensive it is to upgrade. To check for the latest release, go to WordPress.org and read the Download Button.

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WordPress Training Special

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Get 1.5 hours of WordPress® Training for $99 during October and November!

WordPress Training Special

Over the phone, in-person, at the coffee shop.

You prepare a list of questions or order the Intro to WordPress session.

This offer is for bloggers who have WordPress blogs and want to learn more about updating their blogs.
Existing customers are welcome.

Must purchase and schedule by OCTOBER 31st. Training can be scheduled for October or November. Coupon can be used for up to three (1.5 hr.) sessions. All sessions prepaid at time of purchase/scheduling.

Blocked dates…Training not available October 17th – 21st nor November 23rd – 25th.

To reserve your date(s) for WordPress Training, contact Karen at 508-480-8833 or
use the Make Payment button (in the header) to purchase your sessions

1 ($99)   ~~~~~~  2 ($198)  ~~~~~~  3 ($297)
In the Invoices Paying field – Enter “WordPress Training”.

Karen will contact you to schedule your session(s) upon receiving notification of your payment.

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