*The tools and products below are used by me on a daily basis. However, I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE and I am not paid by these companies.
One question that I get asked quite often is, “What tools do you regularly use to do what you do”. I spend 90% of my time online and finding tools that are easy to use, easy to set up, and affordable could be a whole career in itself. If you’re not familiar with me I run three websites, three FB groups, spending time on social media platforms, plus I manage over 58 websites (not including my own).
If you missed part 1 you can find it HERE. Today we’re going to talk about a few more of the important tools that I use to run my business. There are so many tools out there and I have to admit I’ve been guilty of shiny object syndrome and I’ve gone down enough rabbit holes in my time, but I have found that less really is better when it comes to running your business.
There are things you need to do:
Email service provider (newsletter vs rss feed)
Keeping track of your statistics
These are just a few, but they are the ones we’re going to cover today.
Email Service Providers
I’ve worked with a lot of email service providers and I’ve even recommended a few, BUT I always come back to MailChimp. I hands down recommend this to everyone whether they are a blogger or have an eCommerce site. You cannot find better value then the paid version of MC and if you have under 2,000 you can use totally FREE!
Below are a comparison of the top three email service providers CONSTANT CONTACT, CONVERTKIT & MAILCHIMP:
You can see here that for $9.99 you can have up to 50,000 contacts with a MailChimp Essentials account. Under 2,000 is completely free.
ConvertKit charges $29 for 1,000 subscribers.
As you can see Constant Contact wants a whopping $45 a month!
I use MailChimp, I recommend MailChimp and if you look right over there →→→ ( in the sidebar) you will see the MailChimp logo. I’ve recently partnered with MailChimp and after weeks of testing, I am now an official MailChimp expert. I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE I DO NOT MAKE MONEY FROM YOU SIGNING UP. I just really love the service.
Have questions about what MailChimp can do for you? Just email me at Rena (at) theblogging911.com.
Tracking Your Statistics
You know I love me some statistics! So much so that I became a Certified Google Analyst. Also over there →→→ BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s the only tool I use. Sometimes you need comparing views especially when you’re trying to see if what you’re doing is working.
So of course, I turn to Google because let’s face it, they are the internet Gods. But I also like using JetPack’s statistics. You can get a lot of information by comparing the two. Jetpack has a free and a paid version and it does offer a lot of features but you can get the same information for free.
Google Analytics is free and very easy to set up these days and if you use the MonsterInsights plugin it gets even easier. I totally recommend all three of these products.
IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure to filter out your own IP so that you aren’t counted in those statistics. I made a video showing exactly how to do that in this blog post.
Creating content is nonstop so anything you can find that will help you accomplish creating compelling content that people are actually wanting to read can be difficult some days. I usually write all of my content right in the WordPress post editor but when I’m working on ideas I like to open up a Google Doc. They are easy to use and easy to share. I do have Microsoft Word, but Google Docs is just easier sometimes and this especially true if you’re using Gmail.
I like to get inspiration from several places. It may be a newsletter I’ve read, a webinar I’ve watched or a podcast I’ve listened to. My favorite place to go for a little inspiration is Pinterest first. I am a visual learner and Pinterest is the eye candy of visual learners. I love to learn and I try to learn something new every single day even if it’s just about myself.
I also get a lot of inspiration from your questions, but lately, my most favorite way to create content is in my newsletter. I share a blog post every week, but I also like to have conversations with all of you. I love hearing your replies so please keep them coming! Also, if you have something that you’d like me to cover let me know.
I have to be totally for real here. I struggle with organization every single day of my life. I am not an organized person and I work hard, but don’t always accomplish my goals. My mind doesn’t work the way it used to and some of my struggles are memory issues, spatial judgment, and organization. That being said as a business owner I require a certain amount and the way I’ve found to deal with this is to try not to overcomplicate it. I have bought courses on time-blocking, organizational concepts, and automation and on and on. All a waste of money in hindsight.
No one thing works for me so I use a multitude of services to achieve the mediocre amount of organization I can actually stick with and here it goes.
I save all of my clients’ assets to a shared folder in Dropbox. This is also where I store all website backup copies. I also store most of my assets there as well, but historically I have used Google Drive for client files and One drive for mine, but recently decided to keep it all in one place. I spent a REALLY LONG weekend setting it all up, but I love it now.
I am very new to the Trello game and I cannot believe what I have been missing! I am still working out my system there because I did what I always did and ran around like a sugar addict in a candy store creating more and more boards, but I have created ONE BOARD that contains EVERYTHING I need in my daily business. Client info, passwords, subscriptions, and even a list of the many, many courses I’ve bought over the years.
Is also a great place to store graphics and pdfs etc. You can create folders to keep it all in order. This way when I’m making a graphic I have what I need to create it in the client folder. I love Canva so much (I have the business account) that I totally did away with Photoshop & Illustrator. I can do everything I need to do with Canva and $12.95 is a lot better than $53 monthly!
Is another place to store things. I create a secret board with every new design to pin inspiration, ideas, and branding pieces. I always have a few secret boards going for research purposes.
For a business owner with a solid funnel in place, it’s easy to take a look at the number of subscribers at each level of the funnel and predict pretty accurately what the sales are going to be from day to day or week to week.
If you’ve got a funnel in place, though, and your numbers aren’t looking great, chances are you have a leak somewhere. Your funnel has a hole (or two or three) where subscribers are falling through. There are four common causes for funnel leaks, and once you spot them, they’re pretty easy to fix.
Not enough traffic. The very heart of your sales funnel is the traffic you bring in. Without visitors to your blog or opt-in pages, you’ll have no subscribers. Without subscribers, you’ll have no (or very few) sales. Without sales, you’ll have no business. Yet this is where a lot of people struggle. How can you get more eyes on your content and more subscribers into your funnel?
How to fix it: Traffic generation is an entire industry of its own, but here are some tips: Use good SEO to encourage search engines to rank your content well. Be present and active in the places where your ideal reader hangs out, whether that’s on social media, in niche forums, or at live events. Use paid ads to drive targeted traffic to highly relevant pages. Recruit JV partners and affiliates to promote your offers. Buy solo ads in related email newsletters.
No follow-up. This is a leaky funnel mistake that a lot of new entrepreneurs make. They spend a lot of time and energy setting up a great squeeze page and driving traffic to it, then they deliver the goods to their subscribers, and then…nothing. No follow-up emails. No offers to buy more. No related services or products. Nothing.
How to fix it: Before you spend time building that opt-in page or offer, be sure you have a back-end to promote, or those subscribers you so carefully collected will end up costing you money instead of earning it back.
No call-to-action. This happens most typically at the top of the funnel. Your blog posts, social media content, podcasts, YouTube videos—everything you offer for free—must have some kind of call-to-action, or it’s all just wasted energy. Your call-to-action can be as simple as “Subscribe to my YouTube channel” or “Follow me on Facebook for more tips,” but it must be there.
How to fix it: Every time you write a blog post or an email, as yourself, “What do I want my readers to do when they’re done reading/listening/watching this?” That becomes your call to action.
No product offers. When you’re just starting out, this can be a problem. You know you need to be building a mailing list, but with nothing to offer them, what’s the point? The truth is, there are lots of ways to make money in your funnel even if you don’t have a product to sell.
How to fix it: Promote affiliate offers. No matter what industry you’re in, there are a variety of tools and products your readers need. Find those tools, sign up for the affiliate programs, and recommend them to your readers. Not only will your readers thank you for pointing them in the right direction, but you’ll earn a little cash, too.
Got a leaky funnel? With a few tweaks and some attention paid to your follow-up sequences, chances are you can fix those holes and increase your profits in no time.
This post was originally written in 2018, but it was updated Mar. 2020
This first one came to my attention after helping a friend create a new website. She was going through her web hosting company every time she signed on to her website. When you want to log in to your website you can type in your URL and then add /wp-admin/ to the end of it and you will be taken to your login page. For instance, to sign on to this site you would go to https://technology-therapist.com/wp-admin/.
A page is a static piece of content. It isn’t dated, nor does it show up in any sort of RSS feed. Great uses for pages are your ABOUT page, RESOURCES page, CONTACT page. A post is a dated piece of content that gets pushed out to your RSS feed. It’ll show up in readers. It also is categorized and tagged in your database differently than a page.
If you look at the top of your posting page you will see a tab that says “SCREEN OPTIONS” (See image below 1.). There you can decide what you want to see on your posting page. You can change it whenever you like and it includes things like plugins that you may want to use. Such as SEO by Yoast or CoSchedule. You can also choose whether you show an excerpt, you can turn your comments off and on, use the distraction-free writing functionality, turn off sharing buttons, even whether or not you use the featured image.
The next tab which is the “HELP” tab will give you instructions for writing posts, inserting media, etc. (Image 2)
On your posts page if you have “LAYOUT” checked you can decide what kind of page you want to create. On mine, I can use the “Default page” which will be whatever I have checked for your general layout (sidebar, no sidebar, right-sidebar, left sidebar). My other choices are: Archive, Blog page, Category Index, or a Landing Page. You can make any or all completely different from each other. (image 3)
You can also choose to make a post or page public or private. You can even make a post or page password protected. Like the resource library for this site. When you sign up for my email list you get a password which allows you access to the resource library. (image 4).
You can also schedule posts in the future in case you are away. (image 5).
Write an excerpt (activate it in the post screen option) to customize how your post appears around the web. If you are using an SEO plugin, it’s called the meta description. One difference between the two: The excerpt box will display if you have your blog posts set to an excerpt format, whereas the SEO meta description usually only shows up in Google search results or in places where you share the link (like on social). The excerpt will show up in RSS feeders (if your website is set to only show excerpts).
Under the “SETTINGS” tab on the left under “READING” set your how your article looks in a feed to summary and only send out excerpts in your newsletters. If you send the whole thing out no one will have a reason to come to your site. (image 6).
You can always change the permalink (URL) of your post by clicking on the edit button right beside the permalink (URL) (image 7).
If you want to decide exactly how much text is shown of a post on the front page. Then use the jump break (image 7). It will stop the text and add a read more tag. (#16)
Trying to get rid of preformatted text by highlighting and using the eraser button. (image7).
The toolbar can do a lot of things quickly as you can see on image 7. I’ve already mentioned two the rest are as follows:
Format text (H1, H2 etc. If you are not using these you should be.)
Is to justify text
Change the color of the text just highlight the text you want to change and enter the HEX number).
Change the color around the text.
I mentioned above
Insert icons of different things like hearts, diamonds, etc.
Decrease the indention
Increase the indention.
A list of keyboard shortcuts.
Show/hide the bottom part of the toolbar
Proofreads your writing
Break a link
Add a link
Insert text/image to the right
Center the text/image
Left-justify the text/image.
Insert a horizontal line across the page
Quote button to accent parts of your text.
Strike through text, example: She is was
When creating menus you can use not only pages and posts but categories, even external links. Example: On your menu, you could have a “STORE” and it could take you to another site altogether. Or you could have a tab marked “RECIPES” and have it take you to all of the recipes on your site.
Under the “SCREEN OPTIONS” that I mentioned earlier you can set it to show your bio at the end of a post or page. You can change the wording by going to “USERS” & “EDIT”.
You need to create an archive page of all of your posts. I use a plugin called “CLEAN MY ARCHIVES” and I only have to place the shortcode [clean-my-archive] and it will post my archives. I also use a plugin called “GENESIS 404” which lets me create my own 404 PAGE (the page someone gets when they type in an error or there is a broken link). On my 404 page is a list of all of my posts so that readers can quickly find what they’re looking for. If you don’t have Genesis then you can go here for instructions on how to create your own Archive index page. If you’re using DIVI you can go to your 404 page and decide where you want to send those who have gotten lost.
If you go to “SETTINGS” “DISCUSSION” you can blacklist anyone you want. By simply entering their email. This will prevent them from being allowed to comment. (Trolls & bullies). You can also filter out comments by “trigger” words.
Go to “SETTINGS” “READ” to change the number of posts that show up on the front page.
Change your media sizes to fit parameters that you choose by going to “SETTINGS” “MEDIA”
If you have Genesis you can go to “GENESIS” “THEME SETTINGS” to enable breadcrumbs which are small bits of text showing the reader where they are on the website. If you don’t have Genesis you can use this plugin. Your site can find adjustments for this under APPEARANCE >>CUSTOMIZE.
You can upload more than just images to your website such and also Powerpoint presentations, pdfs, word docs, and now Google docs on your website. Just upload them just like an image. Just insert them where you want them with a link.
Trying to get images side by side? You can go to Picmonkey and Canva and make a collage or you can simply go to the “TEXT” view and insert the code that fits your needs down below and that will allow you to make columns. There are also plugins that will help you as well. Elementor is a good one, but Divi comes out of the box being to design in columns and rows.
What to create columns on your blog post? On your post or page edit screen and click the text view. Use the following instructions to create columns on your Genesis theme. Here is a great list of Columns plugins by Elegant Themes.
<div class="one-half first">This is the 1st column</div>
<div class="one-half">This is the 2nd column</div>
<div class="one-third first">This is the first column</div>
<div class="one-third">This is the 2nd column</div>
<div class="one-third">This is the 3rd column</div>
<div class="one-half first">This is the 1st column</div>
<div class="one-fourth">This is the 2nd column</div>
<div class="one-fourth">This is the 3rd column</div>
<div class="one-fourth">This is the 4th column</div>
Use the WordPress APP to respond to comments, check stats, and even write posts.
Use the find link content tool when creating links. When the link box pops up, just hit the arrow and choose “find existing content”. Then you can search or browse your posts for the link.
Go to “SETTINGS” “GENERAL” and fill in the first two blanks for your website title and tagline. This is what will show up in Google Search. If you don’t have a logo this will show up in its spot.
Fill out the “USERS” profile completely.
Change the name of your “UNCATEGORIZED” category to something custom by going to “CATEGORIES” find “uncategorized” click “QUICK EDIT” and change the name to whatever you’d like it to be.
Create a FAVICON (the small image at the very top). Mine is the circle at the very top of the screen. You used to have to use a plugin, but now you simply go to APPEARANCE>>CUSTOMIZATION and look under site identity and you will see SITE>>ICON. Go to Canva, Picmonkey (any photo editing APP) and create an image in the size of 512 X 512. You can use your logo just make sure it’s something that is legible. You can change it whenever you’d like.
Put a search bar where it is visible on every page. I suggest the top, but sidebar and footer are fine.
Put an email sign up form in at least three places on every page. Because there are so many different size devices. Chances are some of them will not show up so it is imperative to have it at multiple points.
Stop saying you wrote a blog. It’s annoying. You write a “BLOG POST” on your “BLOG”.
Don’t limit your sharing buttons to only the platforms that you’re on. Just because you aren’t utilizing it doesn’t mean that your reader isn’t. You may get new readers from the exposure.
When creating a link the rule of thumb is. If it’s a link to somewhere else on your site you shouldn’t open in a new window. If it’s a link to another site then you should definitely check the box that says “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”.
Don’t use CAPTCHA it’s annoying and people will avoid it altogether. The WordPress plugin Akismet works great.
Want even more awesome WordPress tips? Check out the infographic I recently created!
Join our community and get this in a downloadable form.
Each year I am approached by companies wanting me to try their products & services and ultimately share them with all of you. Some have been great additions to my business others have left me disappointed and flummoxed. I thought I would share with you the best & the worst from the past year!
To begin with, I’m going to break it down into 4 categories.
Running your business
As you know (if you have a blog) there is always so much that needs to be done in a short amount of time so anything that I can find that will:
Improve My Skills
is a Godsend to me. Now, I want to share them with you!
I have my own hosting that I provide through Flywheel (owned by WPEngine) which runs $20 a month. We provide fast, secure hosting, free SSL’s, and amazing support. I only have three spots available.
For someone just starting out or on a tight budget I use **Bluehost. I have to say that I have set up hundreds of sites on Bluehost and not once have I ever had a problem. Once upon a time, Bluehost was considered the bottom of the barrel in terms of hosting, but a few years ago they turned it around and I have to say that I’ve been very impressed with how hard they have worked to improve every aspect of their service.
I have always been a Genesis girl and **Studio Press is the place to get the best themes. A few months ago I had the opportunity to work with **Divi by Elegant themes and I have to say that I absolutely love it! It’s so versatile and easy to use and saves me tons of time. There are so many things included that you hardly need any plugins at all!
Listen I know that those sneaky plugins get you where it hurts. I’m sure you have seen the notices in your dashboard ‘get this pro version’, ‘buy this’, ‘do that’. Nine times out of 10 you don’t need it. There are free plugins for just about anything. My go-to plugins are:
Hubspot created a blog post with 60 free online courses that you can take to improve your skills. If you don’t follow Hubspot’s blog you really should. There is always so much valuable information.
Would you like to learn more about Facebook ads? Here’s a great post by Insane Growth that explains it all.
Social media is the bane of my existence, but it’s also a necessary evil. I build websites and create content with business tips for bloggers, entrepreneurs & small businesses. I get asked to try a lot of different social media scheduling tool and here is my honest opinion.
**#1 For me is Sendible.com. I run three different websites and manage several clients’ social media accounts. Scheduling blog posts and monitoring keywords that I set up, even monitoring my competitor’s social media accounts. If you run multiple blogs or social media accounts
Sendible is the best.
Most places make you pay per account so for three sites I would have to have three different accounts. I would only be able to pick up one RSS feed unless I had three different accounts.
Sendible is different. I have a set number of services I can set up and it doesn’t matter how many RSS feeds you pick up and auto-posts new pieces. You can schedule them to repeat however many times it’s all completely up to you. I post to five different FB pages for various people and with Sendible I can do it automatically saving myself lots of time.
I know I’m not taking full advantage of the features but what I am using I love. BUT I don’t like them for Instagram. I tried it I really did, but it was just too confusing and I wasting to much time trying to figure it out.
A few years ago I bought a lifetime membership for Grum.co for only $39 and I love it for scheduling Instagram posts. That’s all it does Instagram, but it’s so easy to use. Unfortunately, they are no longer taking on new customers. If I didn’t have this I would make the time for Tailwind, but this one is just to easy and it’s a lifetime purchase.
I love Co-schedule I really do, but because of the limitations of only having one site on one account, I just can’t justify that expense when I have other options. It offers a boatload of features and it’s easy to use.
There is really no “free” service for scheduling your content. You can use “Publicize” inside your WordPress site and it will automatically post to FB, Twitter, & LinkedIn.
I know that Buffer offers a free version but I’m not sure of its limitations. I’ve always found it too confusing to use.
If you’re going to spend money this is one of the places where I say if you can pay for it then get it. A good social media scheduler can save you loads of time while helping you build your tribe.
In today’s 24/7, 100mph world if you’re not marketing through email then you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. You should absolutely be sending a welcome email sequence & sending out an RSS to your subscribers.
A few months ago, I was singing the praises of **Engagebay and I learned a very valuable lesson. Sometimes quick decisions can be the wrong decisions. It can send beautiful emails, there are tools for marketing, sales or service. I feel as if it is an excellent platform, but it just didn’t fit my needs. The main problem was the RSS emails. There just wasn’t enough flexibility and I actually sent out a few crazy emails before I gave up.
If you’re running a small business then I cannot recommend Engagebay enough. It’s beautiful, easy to use and handles so many tasks. It’s also affordable. Here is a link to their Youtube channel which has a lot of info about its features. It’s a great platform I just tend to have a problem with change I guess.
So, I’m back at MailChimp and that’s where I’m staying! I know my way around, it’s easy to use (most of the time) and it’s cheap. They have changed things and unless you have a paid account you are limited in what you can do. Such as only having one audience(list), limitations on automation, etc. I pay for The Blogging 911 account and use the free version for Wanding Web Designer & The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver my other two sites. The paid version runs me $9.63 a month.
Have you seen my the MAILCHIMP EXPLAINED ebook in the 911 Resource Library? It’s just one of the many free resources inside.
I’ve worked with ConvertKit before and it is easy to use. I didn’t like the design limitations and figure if I’m going to spend $30 a month it needs to have a lot more.
Running your Business
There are several tools that I use every single day to run my business. Some are free (well most are free) but they are still necessary. Tools such as:
17Hats – is an all-around scheduling tool, lead capture forms, templates such as contracts or estimates. It runs $39 a month for all of its features and there are many. I personally only use the free version because I use the templates & lead capture forms (those project inquiry forms you see around here).
Acuity Scheduling – If you need an easy way for people to schedule appointments I highly recommend Acuity. Their free version has always been more than enough for me.
Asana – This is my project management tool and it keeps me on track when I’m building out a new site, managing other projects or even just things I need to do. There is both a free and paid version and I’ve always found the free version more than enough for my needs.
Canva – There is a free version of Canva that works very well. I use Canva almost every single day and I love it for it’s easy to use dashboard, to the free and paid elements like stock photos, icons, frames, colors, and fonts. For this, I splurge and get the paid version so that I can store my own logos, my fonts (up to 25) and my brand colors for $12.95.
Google Drive – Also free. I use it to store all of my clients’ assets. I like how easy it is and it works great with Gmail which is another great free tool. I do use the paid version of this and it runs $6 a month and I have tons of storage and it’s easy to use.
One Drive – This is part of my Microsoft subscription which is about $7 a month. This is where I keep all of my assets. (Such as stock images, templates, or other graphics).
Dropbox – This is where I store all of the backups for my clients & my own personal websites. This costs around $10 but they’ve added a bunch of new features.
Screencast-o-matic – This another thing I purchased from Sumo. It was a lifetime subscription for only $39 and I use it whenever I need to make tutorials or other videos where I share my screen. It’s something I purchased on APPSUMO.
APPSUMO – is a great place to find great deals on products or services to run your business! They always have freebies or lifetime deals that will save you tons of time and money.
Know some great tools that I might not know about? Let me know in the comments below.
**Means that it is an affiliate link if you purchase a service, with the (**) beside it, means that I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your cost.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase their services I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your pricing.
Most of you probably already know that when you are trying to promote your business you will likely need more than one tool to schedule content. I use a combination of free and paid tools to get my message in front of the right people.
Today, that just got a little easier with Tailwind. If you haven’t heard of Tailwind or think it’s just not for me you should take another look. Tailwind specializes in only two platforms: Instagram & Pinterest which just happen to be my favorite of all of them.
Tailwind saves so much time by allowing you to schedule in bulk. It automatically optimizes your Pinterest and Instagram schedules based on when your audience is most engaged. Saving you both time & money. Not only is it a remarkable scheduling tool it also has some awesome analytics because let’s face it, you also need to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Tailwind for Instagram automatically suggests the best hashtag for your posts! This is so helpful because if you’re on Instagram you know exactly how important hashtags are. If that wasn’t terrific all on its own they’ve recently gone one step further. You can now put those hashtags in the first comment right inside of Tailwind! What?!?
Here’s how it works:
Hop over to your Tailwind account and upload your post, drop in your caption and then type the # symbol to get predictive hashtag suggestions.
Click to choose or add frequently used hashtags from your list.
Check the box to move those comments from your caption to your 1st comment.
Click “add to queue” to automatically schedule your post for the best time.
This is like scheduling on steroids! If you post to Instagram often you know how hard it is to come up with relevant hashtags. Do you find yourself making them up as you go along because you just don’t know what they are? Now, you don’t have to know Tailwind has this info built right in. It simply doesn’t get much better than this!
Pinterest & Instagram are quickly becoming the standout platforms for 2019. Loss of trust in Facebook and frustration at not being put in front of your tribe has people leaving in droves. Where are they going? Instagram & Pinterest!
Schedule like a pro with Tailwind! Want to give it a try? HERE YOU GO!
Launched two years back, in August 2016, Instagram Stories have undoubtedly garnered a lot of attraction. Today, they have more than 300 million daily active users.
However, if you are a new entrant, and haven’t used Instagram Stories yet, here is a deeper insight on how they work:
They work with everything – pictures, videos, GIFs – either from your computer or smartphone camera – Instagram Stories can accommodate them all
They allow you to edit your photos and videos with amazing stickers and funky drawings
You can choose to arrange your photos and videos in the preferred order
You can have a look at the basic analytics of the Story and see the number of views it received, the people who viewed it and so on
Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours; however, within those 24 hours, your Story is visible on the top of your followers’ feed
All thanks to the amazing features of Instagram Stories, more and more businesses are trying their hands into this segment to engage their audiences.
From showing a sneak peek behind the scenes to the community, to release the teaser of their newly launched products and services, Instagram Stories let the brands experiment and play on the go.
This is perhaps why around 50% of the businesses on Instagram have already tried Instagram Story! Generally, brands post Stories to promote their products, provide an inside look, conduct a live event, get feedback on their products, simply start a conversation or to conduct contests.
That said, Instagram Stories have actually proven to be useful and this is perhaps why even large brands and businesses are eager to experiment with them. From Ticket.com to McDonald’s Malaysia, Michael Kors, Twitter, Maybelline New York, NASA, Airbnb and various other big names are using Instagram Stories to enhance their reach.
Curious on how big brands are using Instagram Stories? Have a look at the infographic below to find out all the relevant details, important data, and hidden insights!
Fall is fast approaching and for me, that always signals, fresh starts and new beginnings more than the New Year ever could. I guess it’s all the time preparing for new school years that it just seems like the time to put your best foot forward and get to work.
You clean up from Summer fun and get ready for folders and binders, shoes & clothes. I still love opening up a new notebook and imagining the stories and ideas among the lines and white space. New stories to tell, old ones to share, and limitless possibilities for the future.
It’s also time to take stock of how you’ve spent the last year and where you want to improve in the coming new year. As you’re doing that, it’s also a terrific time to figure out how you want your website to grow as well. A great way to do this is by checking your stats & making a plan.
You have a few golden nuggets buried deep in the bowels of your WordPress site that haven’t seen the light of day since Elvis was alive. Okay, maybe not THAT long, but you get my meaning. Maybe you wrote them when you first started out or you’ve figured out another way that the information can be presented or maybe you can solve a different problem altogether.
Well, I’m going to show you how to make those golden nuggets shine with the promise of new life! The first thing you’re going to do is go to your plugin tab on your dashboard and hit “Add new” in the search bar type in “Revisionize” make sure that it is compatible with the theme you are currently running and hit install. You’ll be prompted to activate and then you’re set to go!
After you have installed the plugin you want to go to JetPak back on your dashboard. Go to “Site Stats”. Scroll halfway down and to the right, you will see “top posts & pages” click on summaries and then “all time”. This will give you a list of every post that has been published along with the page views for each individual post.
If you don’t have JetPack or even if you do, you probably have Google Analytics. To check your highest ranking posts there you sign in to your GA account (it’s the same credentials as your Gmail account). Scroll down the page until you see: What pages do your users visit? Here you can check your most popular posts.
First, go to your top ten posts and make a note of them. When you’ve done that then scroll to the bottom of the list and see which posts were the least performing. They are the ones that you want to work on first. Go into each post and update any changes that have occurred. Things like:
technology that has changed
a recipe that could be made healthier
an image that is old and dated
tips that could be added to
Once you have the post ready hit updateand then right above the publish button you will now see a button that saysrevisionize. You’re going to want to click on that. Now, you can either publish it or schedule it for a date in the future. It’s like a brand new post now.
The way revisionize works is that it automatically creates a 301 redirect so that anytime someone clicks on an old link it will automatically take them to the new post. So, if say you had a pin on Pinterest for the original post and someone clicks on it, they will end up right on your brand new post!
I love this plugin and it’s made a huge difference in my page views on my older site TDAC. I did this with the 10 posts that have the least page views. I also went to the top ten and made any changes that I could. Freshened them up.
After, I’ve done that I use my social media scheduling tool SENDIBLE and TAILWIND APP to schedule all of my social media posts for three months at a time. I let the scheduling tool pick the best times and WAH-LAH I am done!
* This post contains affiliate links. I will save a small amount off of my monthly CoSchedule fees if you purchase from the link above.
If you are an Amazon affiliate you know what a pain in the ass it can be to find the right product, build your link and display it on your site. Then you can’t forget the affiliate notification that each post should contain.
My friend Tung Tran from Cloudliving.com sent me this new plugin and wanted to know what I thought of it. So first, let’s see what its many features are:
Connect to the Amazon Product Advertising API.
Search for products by keyword or ASIN.
All 11 Amazon store locations are supported.
Create affiliate links right within your WordPress post editor.
Pull Amazon’s product images directly from API. Never have to worry about losing your account again!
You can adjust the width and alignment of any images.
Create & insert fully customizable call to action buttons.
Display affiliate disclaimer when visistors hover over every affiliate link. This can be turned on/off.
The best part?
It’s completely free.
So if you run Amazon affiliate products on your website and you want a simpler way to find the right products for your niche then I suggest downloading this plugin and follow the instructions for setting up! It doesn’t get easier than that!
You download the plugin HERE OR you can simply go to plugins section on your website and then click<ADD NEW>. In the search box type in
Affiliate Link Builder Plugin for Amazon Associates – Review Engine
Have tried any good plugins lately? Some not so great ones? Tell us about them in the comments below and we might use them in a future post!
Voice search technology has developed rapidly in the last 5 years. In ages past, the technology was limited and the underlying speech recognition software was rudimentary. This meant that the devices struggled to interpret what we were saying, and using such technology was mostly a waste of time.
Fast forward to today and the same technology now works beautifully! The speech recognition software has been drastically improved and voice search functionality is now something that can truly enhance our lives. Young people are especially partial to the advantages of voice search, and according to Harsha from SEO Tribunal, an entire 35.8% of millennials use it on a regular basis.
The following are some of the ways in which this technology is being used.
Mobile Phone Navigation / Searching
One of the most prominent ways that voice search technology is used is through mobile phones. Most modern smartphones have voice search functionality. Apple’s iPhone, for example, has the speech recognition AI technology known as Siri, and Android and Google phones have Google Assistant which works in a similar way. Consumers can use this technology to search the phone or to search the internet for practically anything they want.
Automobile Central Console Navigation
Practically every modern vehicle now has a central console that provides functions such as navigation, entertainment, and other settings. Some of these consoles can actually be controlled by voice search/speech recognition technology.
You can activate the voice search function by pressing a button (usually on the steering wheel) and then speak to your car to change radio stations or even use your in-car hands’ free system for your phone.
Finally, we have smart speakers. You will have undoubtedly heard of devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home Bot. These speakers are home assistants that you can speak to and perform searches to find out information on the web.
Furthermore, you can use speech recognition to add items to your calendar, create appointments and reminders, and even play music or create playlists.
As you can see, voice search technology really has taken off in a great way and we should only see an increase in its usage in the future as developers create new and interesting ways to utilize speech recognition.
It’s not enough to dream of success. It’s not even enough to set goals.
The only way to truly achieve your dreams and build the business you’re meant to build is to sit down and just do it.
And that’s where many of us…well, fail is a strong word. But it’s the doing that trips us up more times than not.
We overbook our calendars until today’s to-dos become next week’s past dues. We procrastinate on the things that are important while attending to things that are merely “nice to do.” And sometimes we simply take on too much—even when we know better.
The answer? Embrace these five productivity hacks that top coaches use to get more done in less time.
Rituals and Habits: Simply put, a ritual or habit is a consistent way of doing something. You have a morning ritual (wake up, brush your teeth, work out, shower, and head to your office), evening ritual (check homework, tuck the kids in, watch the evening news, and hit the sack), weekend ritual (sleep late, mow the lawn, catch a movie, visit your mom), and many others.The trouble is, if you’re not careful with your rituals, they can turn into productivity killers. Is checking Facebook or email a part of your morning ritual? Is turning on Skype a part of your at work ritual? Distractions such as these can turn even your best intentions into hours of wasted time.Take a good look at your rituals. What are you doing that you should not be—or that should be moved to another part of your day? Make your rituals more efficient and you’ll automatically get more done.
Calendar Management: Want to know how much time you really have available for that new project? Try blocking off time in your calendar for all your existing projects. Fill in all your client calls, your business administrative tasks, time for meals and breaks, outside appointments, and everything else you’re committed to. What’s left might just shock you.Make it a habit to block time in your calendar for every commitment, and you’ll never again over-promise or over-commit.
Learn to Let Go: Here’s a news flash. You do not have to do everything in your business. You can (and should) hand off those low-level tasks to someone else. Hire a VA to create your documents and manage your calendar. Let your tech support person manage your blog and email. Turn over your bookkeeping to an accountant. The time you free up will allow you to work on what’s truly important—and that only you can do.
Work Hard, Play Harder: You are not a machine. You cannot work all day every day and hope to be at your best all the time.Take a day off. Get some rest, or relax on a long, slow hike. Take a friend out to lunch. Go shopping with your kids. See a movie or a play. Do something—anything—other than work.Not only will you return to the office feeling much more refreshed, but you’ll find yourself more creative and productive than before as well.
Focus: Multi-tasking is impossible. You cannot efficiently create a new coaching program while you’re simultaneously surfing Facebook, keeping an eye on the kids, and answering the phone every time it rings. Instead, use your calendar to block time off for important tasks, then turn everything else off so you can focus. No phone, no Facebook, no kids or husbands or neighbors or pets demanding “just a minute” of your time. Tune everything out, and you’ll find your work getting done much faster. Here’s a great article on productivity APPS from Cloudwards.net that I think you will enjoy!
Managing your time and turning up your productivity is not something that comes naturally to most people but when you learn to master this skill, you’ll find your business grows right along with you.
Pinterest is by far my most favorite social media platform even though it’s no longer called a “social platform” per se. They want to be known as a search engine just like Google only more visual. It makes sense because I do search for lots of things from inspiration to Photoshop tips & tutorials, but it is also social so maybe they should be known as a “social search engine”.
No matter what you call it, certain niches get most of their traffic from Pinterest and today I’m going to make your content even more sharable than it is right now!
Boardbooster is not on this list of partners and according to a very reliable source(JackieIson.com), any accounts using it are subject to suspension or termination. I have used Boardbooster for the last year, and this broke my heart because I loved so much about it, but I couldn’t take the chance and canceled my subscription.
As you know Pinterest is a visual search engine and if you sell a product or service you really need to use it to its full potential. Pinning consistently is one way to do that. Jackie Ison created the 2018 Blogger’s Guide To Pinterest which you can see by going to the link above.
Today, though, I want to talk about why you should hide images for Pinterest in your blog posts. This is new to me and something I’ve been doing a few posts at a time. Taylor from CodeLoveCreative.com says, “One way to encourage people to save your post on Pinterest is to give them options for which pinnable image to save.”
When you look at the post you only see one image because it would look weird with three or four large Pinterest-sized images in your blog posts! Please don’t do that! It’s very simple to hide your images. You just need to put in a piece of CSS.
The first thing you’re going to do is to create your post and then after you save it click over to the text view. You will find that above your blog post in one of two tabs that say “Visual/Text”. You need to put the code in wherever you want to hide the image.
If you don’t do it correctly or use too many it will slow down your site speed which can hurt your SEO. Because Google penalizes for slow site speeds, especially on mobile.
Many people dream of working for themselves, being their own boss, and having the freedom to only take on clients and projects they love.
What they don’t realize, though, is that there is a huge difference between building a business and being self-employed.
Business owners scale their income. Self-employed people trade dollars for hours
Business owners leverage the skills and talents of others. Self-employed people rely only on their own skills.
Discouraged yet? Don’t be. Every business owner started out self-employed. Just don’t stay there. These tips will help you build a sustainable business instead of just another job.
Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself
Building a sustainable business requires that you leverage the talents and time of others. While it might seem cost-effective to simply do everything yourself—especially in the start-up phase when you likely have more time than money—it’s a path to burnout and stress.
Instead, separate your tasks into those that you love and are especially suited for (such as marketing) and those you dislike and aren’t good at. Then make a solid plan to get those that you aren’t good at off your list of things to do. If you feel like you can’t afford to outsource it all right now, start with what you tend to procrastinate the most on, even if it’s just a few hours each month.
Don’t Allow Yourself to Work All the Time
The trouble with working at home is that you live at work. And that means that there’s no clear line in the sand between your work day and your home life.
Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working every available moment—often to the detriment of your family relationships.
You can help avoid this by:
Setting—and maintaining—clear work hours
Having an office with a door you can close when you’re done
Scheduling time for family and other activities
Taking time for yourself
Vacations and Downtime Are Important
Don’t create a business that requires you to be “in the office” every day. At the start, you may need to be available more, but you should definitely be planning for the day when you can be “off the grid” for extended periods of time.
Have trusted contractors who can handle things when you’re not available
Leverage automation tools such as autoresponders and auto-webinar systems
Create repeatable systems so you’re not always re-inventing the wheel
While you might not be able to hit the road with no internet access for weeks at a time, at the very least you should be able to reduce your workload to a daily check-in.
Sound impossible? It’s not. With some forethought and planning, you can create a team—and the systems they need—to successfully run your business without becoming overwhelmed and overworked.