Google+ Hangouts enable anyone to host a group video chat, and with the On Air component, anyone can record and stream live to their YouTube account. When I first joined Google+ on its second day of existence, Hangouts really stood out. While, let’s be honest, a lot of the functionality of Google’s own social network is similar to Facebook and Twitter, no other social network offers such a robust group video chat tool…for absolutely free.
In the early days, the service had its ups and downs. There would be crashes, performance issues on Macs, and were even some cases of Hangouts On Airs completely failing to record. Yeah, not something you’re happy to find out after having an hour long conversation that’s now in Internet purgatory. However, those days have quickly been left in the dust, and Google+ Hangouts are more robust than ever.
In the past several years, bloggers have really embraced podcasting. With faster broadband connections, including affordable mics and high quality webcams, many have also incorporated video. While you can use a service like Skype to chat with guests, it comes at a price. You have to buy software to record conversations, the connection quality can be hit or miss, and video chat with more than two people requires a paid Premium account. read more
Tags: Google, Google+ Hangouts, Podcasting
We all know SEO is important, especially for blogs because they get new content regularly. However, if you haven’t educated yourself enough on SEO, then simple mistakes may have a will long-lasting impact on your blog, even though you may have great content.
Even though you may consider yourself in the writing industry, if your content is being published online, then you also need to become an SEO expert. Otherwise, you risk undermining your content and not getting the exposure that you deserve.
Rambling Meta Tags
Meta tags that are too long are one of the most common problems that I see during my website Internet marketing audits that are completed for clients. If your meta tags are too long, then they will get cut off in Google (and other search engines ), leading to incomplete information for both the search engines and your potential readers. Title meta tags must be under 65 characters (including spaces) and description meta tags must be under 160 characters. Most SEO experts (like Moz) agree that 155 characters is a good maximum to shoot for.
When redoing meta tags, be sure to include more top keywords and a good description of what that specific page is about. In addition, for WordPress blogs, you can use a SEO plugin that will automatically optimize these meta tags (as well as complete basic SEO) for you.
Tags: blogger, Blogging, plugins, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, WordPress
Spam may be a delicious treat depending on who you ask, but in its digital form by way of your WordPress blog, not so much. No matter what you do, spammers will find your blog. Granted, you can easily blacklist IP addresses, but that doesn’t always keep them from coming back. When most people think of a spammer, they think of some person sitting behind a keyboard. However, with the power of software and sophisticated systems, many spammers are actually scripts or bots that automate the work which used to be done manually.
Akismet needs no introduction. Included in every WordPress install, it is the original comment spam blocker. According to its website, Akismet has blocked nearly 100 billion comments. Free for personal use, there are several paid plans to choose from, starting as low as $5 per month for businesses. For many bloggers, Akismet gets the job done, but it offers very basic functionality. read more
Tags: comment spam prevention, fighting spam, wordpress plugins
Most modern advertising and marketing strategies are trite, because they’ve been used hundreds–if not thousands–of times before. Consumers have seen the same ads so many times that they’ve now grown accustomed to them. These days, vanilla marketing by itself just isn’t enough; you need to be innovative and think outside the box. That’s exactly where guerrilla marketing comes into play. read more
Tags: Blog Marketing and Monetization, Marketing
For as long as search engine optimizers have existed, they’ve focused a huge amount of time and resources on obtaining inbound links for their sites. There’s a very good reason for that: among the 200 or so signals that Google considers when determining ranking positions in the SERPs, inbound links are of vital importance. However, there is considerable diversity of opinion when it comes to linking out from a site to other sites. SEOs are often concerned that outbound links will degrade their site’s standing and prefer to link to their own content, keeping the link juice they gather to themselves. They are also worried about giving away link juice and hence ranking potential to other sites within their niche.
In fact, outbound links can be beneficial for SEO, so it’s worth thinking about the ways in which such links can both benefit and harm a site’s status in the eyes of Google and other search engines. read more
Tags: linking, SEO
Google Authorship made its first appearance in June 2011, and allows writers or bloggers to “connect” with their content across the web. Any webpage that has the proper Authorship markup will display basic info from your public Google+ profile, including your photo. Now, before you start worrying, the good news is you don’t have to be active on Google+ in order to take advantage of this feature. It’s a great social network, but definitely not necessary. All you need is a properly filled out profile, and you’re ready to rock.
Despite being available for over two years, there are still many who have yet to add the necessary code to their website or websites. Is it because setting it all up is too difficult? If that’s the case, we’ll be diving into a method which requires zero coding at all. If it’s because many still don’t know about it, that could definitely be the case, too. Earlier this month, Jeff Bullas published a post by Joana Ferreira titled, “Why Aren’t More Bloggers Claiming Ownership of Their Content?” read more
Tags: google authorship, How To Setup Google Authorship
WordPress powers millions of blogs, and is used in a wide variety of situations. Thanks to its flexibility, many companies use it in place of a traditionally designed website, and with the many themes and plugins available, you can do some pretty cool stuff with multimedia. If you’ve been on the interwebs for any length of time, you’re familiar with the sales page. Usually it starts out with bold, bright text, and is followed by pages of why you need to buy XYZ product or service.
For the average blogger, if you’re trying to sell your own product or service, having a dedicated sales page may be a bit overkill. In fact, there are many sales pages that are just whipped up on a new page. However, if you’d like a bit more control with something, there is an easy way to create a WordPress-powered sales page. As with any self-hosted blog, you’ll need to pay for hosting, but the theme mentioned in this post is free. Created by Syamsul Alam, it installs just like any other theme. First, you’ll need to go here, and click the download link at the very top. I’ve inspected the code, and nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. read more
Tags: WordPress, WordPress Sales Page, wordpress tips
Image via Shutterstock
Although there are a number of different platforms available to use to set up your blog, a majority of the blogs on the Internet use WordPress. There’s good reason, too: It’s simple to use with big buttons and an intuitive process. And you can add all kinds of plugins and gadgets to make your site even more attractive and memorable.
Still, there are inevitable hurdles we all run into during crunch time. How many of us haven’t wanted to throw our computers out the window on certain occasions when WordPress was acting up? The good news is that thanks to a little online training you can become an expert in all things WordPress implementation and troubleshooting. Here are some of the ways you can save yourself time and frustration: read more
Tags: tutorials, WordPress
The most successful blogs offer useful content often, as it keeps readers coming back and helps with search rankings. But with the pressure to constantly come up with new ideas, it’s normal for bloggers to experience “blogger’s block” and become a bit overwhelmed with it all. Fortunately there are sites like Quora that can help you generate new ideas by discovering what people are asking about — and searching for — already. read more
Tags: content generation, Quora, Social Media