Impress New Leads With This Simple Comment Plugin

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Comments are somewhat difficult to come by these days. It’s nobody’s fault really, we’re all just too busy and commenting… let’s be frank. It takes some work. While I’ve never worried about the number of comments received, one thing is guaranteed. I’m deeply grateful for each genuine comment. To me, if someone takes the time to comment despite their busy schedules, despite the little bit of work, they are a whole lot more willing to engage with me. They are a lot more willing to hear me out. They are more ready to read my posts. They are more open to beginning (and hopefully keeping) a relationship with me or our company. And finally, they are more likely to buy what I offer. Knowing that, it only makes sense to want to be good to these folks. There are a few things you could do like giving them a coupon or special gift after they comment. But what happens if you require approval for comments? On all my blogs, first time commenters require approval. They probably won’t see that message that is displayed immediately after a comment. Jeff Chandler shows us a wonderful little plugin called Comment Approved that will help with that. I

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How To Take Content Strategy Cues From Magazines

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

Magazines and other print publications have been around for a really long time compared to the Internet. It’s also a highly competitive business where profit margins drive a lot (if not everything) of what goes into the covers and in the magazine itself. With such stakes at hand, you bet they know how to sell or they’d go bust. So learning from them is truly smart. In Simon Penson’s post about learning from magazines at Search Engine Watch, he breaks down a magazine cover and and shows us how to spot editorial pillars. These are crucial since these pillars need to be covered in each issue. He also goes on to reverse engineer the personas – types of people who read the magazine. This area is one that I got the most from. I’ve long known about writing to a specific person and even learned to envision them in my mind but somehow, it never quite occurred to me to actually jot it down with a picture and have it saved into my Evernote (or printed). Also, for some strange reason, I’ve never created more than one persona for the blogs I write. How silly! This is something to put into

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Sneak Peak of WordPress 4.0

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

Yes, another  update soon. WordPress 4.0 is in the works. Often times, we are way too busy to check out what’s new. The official developer site is OK but it’s way too geeky for most to understand. Sure, you can test it out yourself but that involves installing a test version. Who has time for that? Thankfully, the good folks at Smashing Magazine did the job for us so we can see for ourselves and have an idea what to prepare for. Two things I think I’ll like are: Plugin installation screen makeover. As a plugin developer, this is definitely something to look forward to. Video preview in editor Edit box update Anything stand out for you?

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How Not To Be The Dreaded Troll Everyone Avoids

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

Trolls. They are everywhere. With each new blog post you publish, you might secretly hope and pray none will appear. Ok, so maybe you don’t do that but I do sometimes. Especially when the topic at hand is a little (or a lot) controversial. We all recognize them, and would rather banish that person from our virtual kingdom any day. However, have you ever wondered if you yourself may come across as a troll? Hmmm… admittedly, I haven’t. It’s not that I think I’m all that but I’m not confrontational by nature. Also, I’ve learned some pretty good tricks how to respond fairly and logically. So, when I read this post about the types of comments a troll makes. I was curious to test myself. The good news, I’m 3/4 safe. The bad news, I now wonder about the know-it-all thing. I don’t intentionally go into a comment to show off my knowledge, but when people ask for help, I’ll answer. I suppose it’s all in the delivery. Some interesting points brought up in that post. It’s certainly made me more aware of the comments I make in the future.

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Pitch Your Guest Post The Right Way

Monday, August 25th, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

Guest posting isn’t dead. You might have heard about Google assumedly frowning at it but you know what? I personally, rarely worry about them. Yes, there are horror stories of people’s business and website suddenly losing 80% of their traffic because of de-listing but that tells me, perhaps there’s too heavy a reliance on upon Google for traffic. I know plenty of businesses who do very well and rarely do SEO or worry about whatever new rules the big G comes out with. Anyhow, I’m getting off on a tangent here. Bottom line, I believe guest posting has and will continue to be a good way to reach people whom you otherwise won’t be able to reach. It’ll also give you credibility when your content appears on an industry leader’s site. I’d highly encourage it if you are thinking of doing so. But before you do, be sure to take a peek at these guest blogging submission tips. Oh and don’t just read it, practice it. Our company owns a site that openly welcomes guest posts and I can tell you frankly, reviewing guest post pitches can turn me into an ogre. The author’s tip to follow directions is such

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100% Useful Infobytes

One truth I’ve learned over time. There’s always something that you can do, tweak, try, and/or improve. So when we feel like we’ve done “everything” to make our business or blog successful, chances are, we haven’t. There’s always something we forgot, didn’t know about, didn’t think of or is new to try. Part of staying in business is to have sales. Sales come from current and new customers but all customers start as a lead. That’s why it is essential for us to always be accumulating fresh leads in addition to making existing customers happy. This post on Unbounce contains 38 items to check off to optimize your blog for lead generation is a great place to start. I particularly love what the author says here, To gain more business with your blog, you should stop thinking like a salesman and start acting like your reader’s mentor. Be insanely helpful. Read it, do it. It’ll keep us all busy for a while and on the road to better sales later.

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The Podcast Episode That Made Me Cry

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

That is rather an embarrassing admission. I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t shed tears easily. I guess in some ways I don’t. For example, I didn’t cry on my kids’ first day of school. One thing is for sure. I don’t cry over a podcast episode. Whoever heard of something so silly? Trust me, I didn’t think it was possible. However, I think I know how it all came about. You see, I started that morning absolutely exhausted. We started homeschool for the 8th grader this week. The day before, we attended an orientation for the new 6th grader and that day itself, was orientation for our new 4th grader. I was feeling a little overwhelmed as it was, trying to get back into the rhythm of a new homeschool curriculum, getting school supplies, stressing over incomplete school uniforms, getting a wholesome dinner on the table (argh!), worrying about not being able to be as consistent with my workout as before, working around my husband’s schedule, and of course tend to the business. Always a fan of Michael Hyatt’s podcast, I decided to tune into this episode, Why Doing Less Is the Best Way to Do More. Let me feed

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Do You Have Gold In Your Mouth?

Friday, August 22nd, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

That’s funny, as soon as I wrote the title of this post I knew some people would answer YES! No, I’m not referring to a gold tooth but a saying I’d heard countless times when I was a kid. In those days, when the elders would ask us kids if we wanted something – more food, where to go or to weigh in, some of us (moi), would remain quiet. They literally had to pry it out of me. That’s when they’d say – in Cantonese – why didn’t you just say so? Do you have gold in your mouth? What they implied was, you aren’t storing anything valuable like gold in there so there’s no worry of losing it if you opened your mouth. Speak up already! However, what is verbalized once you open your mouth could be valuable. This post by Michael Hyatt on Why Wait for Permission? Just Go! reminded me a lot of those times in my childhood. An excellent read.  

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Write A Blog Post That Converts

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
100% Useful Infobytes

When talking to bloggers who have some interest of earning some income from their blogs, one the of major things they struggle with is selling. WHAT? Did you say Selling? Of all horrors. Bloggers don’t sell. That’s slimy. Unethical – ick! I’m not one of those. That doesn’t apply. I don’t sell. Or do you? Listen. We ALL sell. We sell our kids the idea of finishing their broccoli (okay, sometimes we resort to threats but that’s a whole other story) We sell our spouses on the vacation to Europe we’ve been dreaming of We sell our boss (if we still have one) on our project idea We sell to ourselves when we are trying to decide whether to buy that dress We sell to our best friends on going to the party Sell is not a four letter word. As bloggers, we need to look at it as our friend. Because it is. It is crucial to beginning to see profits on your blog and crucial to retain and grow those profits. So what separates you from a slimy, smooth talking sales person? It’s all in the how. The end goal of selling on your blog is to convert

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Drawing, Doodling & Business

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Dont Complain Lettering

It isn’t uncommon for you to hear me say I’m no good at design. While I don’t think I’m artistic, I do enjoy beautiful artwork. I enjoy drawing and doodling, particularly text-based art or letter art like signage. Here’s one I made last weekend. It’s far from good. I messed up on the work “willing” by using the wrong pen, the spacing probably could be better and it’s unfinished. Oh and forgive the image. Apparently I’m not a photographer either. Be that as it may, it gives me an outlet outside of code, it clears, refreshes, and relaxes my mind. I’ve even turned some of them into cards that I’ve snail-mailed out. Lately, I’ve been trying to do more and more sketchnoting. Some call it visual note taking or graphic/visual recording. Whatever you want to call it, it’s basically taking notes aided by visual doodles. In my visual notes, I tend to gravitate more towards lettering (you should see my Pinterest board). So I was quite pleased when I stumbled upon this video by Mike Rohde on drawing type. If’ve you’re into that sort of thing, take a peak at this video. Want to learn why you should doodle or sketch note? Here’s a

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