December 2011

Does your blog load slowly?

Sometimes our blogs do not load up all that quickly.  You type the address in your browser, go get a cup of coffee, and by the time you come back, it might be done.  If this is the case for you, or you are getting reports from your readers, it is time to do something about it.  Here are a couple of ideas.

Upgrade your Hosting – It may be time to take the plunge and purchase a larger hosting package.  This is especially true if you are on a small plan and you have thousands of readers.   With them all accessing the site at once, it slows down.

Clean up Plugins – Depending on how many plugins you have installed, these could be bogging down your blog.  Some use up a lot of resources to do their jobs.  Go through and see how many you no longer use due and delete them – they may be only serving on purpose that another plugin does or they are no longer relevant.  De-activating is not good enough as they still take up room on your servers.

How to Automatically Back Up Wordpress

"First, you will need to set up an Amazon S3 account."

Having a backup of your Wordpress blog is essential.  If your site gets hacked, or an update causes a corrupt file, sometimes the only way to restore all of your work is through a backup.  If you’re like me, however, remembering to back up your site is about as easy as looking forward to visiting the dentist.  Thankfully, for people like us, there is a completely hands free way to backup as many Wordpress sites as you want for little or no cost.

If you build it, they will come

It’s a lovely idea and a great sentiment, but unfortunately, it is not true.  If people do not know that your blog exists, they cannot visit it. But once you start getting visitors, there are things you can do to help them share your blog with others so that soon you will have too many visitors to know what to do with!

Social Sharing – There are plugins that you can install such as Sexy Bookmarks, that allows your visitors to click on their favourite social network and share it there.  The last time I looked, there were several dozen different options so I set it to show the more popular networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a few others.   It takes up one line on the screen and it keeps it simple for those that visit.

Don't Auto Play Your Videos

When you design your blog, one of your biggest concerns should be usability.  You want to make your blog easy to navigate, easy to read and worth coming back to.  Every little detail should be considered, including whether or not to auto play the videos you embed on your site.  While many Internet marketers will argue that auto play will get viewers to stop and pay attention, they don’t take into consideration the people who are viewing the site at work or next to a sleeping baby.

Blog Burnout

Just like anything, we can get burnt out.  Maybe you have been posting to your blog several times a day and just have nothing left to say.  Maybe you are not getting the traffic you desire and wonder if it is worth it.  Maybe you just do not know what to write about anymore.  Fear not, here are some ideas to help you get over Blogger Burnout!

Ideas – When I do not know what to write about, I will head out on the Internet to see what is going on.  This could be visiting forums that relate to my niche or other blogs to see what is being discussed.  I might post on my social media accounts and ask people if there is anything that they need assistance with or what they find most challenging in regards to my niche and write a few posts on that.  I might ask friends what they would want to know if they were involved in my niche.  Usually something will get my head going and my fingers flying.

Use the Scheduling Feature to Stay Ahead

"In both Blogger and Wordpress, scheduling is done right from the new post page."

The invention of the scheduling feature in the big blogging platforms was one of the best creations ever.  If you have ever had a rush of creativity and been able to whip out several posts at once, you have probably thought of how nice it would be to just schedule those posts to go out at a later date instead of having to remember to log back in and manually post them.  These days, you can do just that.

Self-Hosted Blogs Vs. Hosted Blogs

"If you are considering a personal blog to share with friends and family, a hosted blog will be more than ample for your needs"

The type of blog you choose when getting started is one of the most important keys to a successful, scalable blog.  While you can always make changes later, getting it right in the beginning will save much headache and hassle, not to mention help you maintain a steady flow of traffic when compared to picking up your site and moving it later.

How Often Should I Post?

Ahh… how often to post, this is a contested topic when it comes to blogging.  Some people say once a week, others say you should post a minimum once a day.   To me, the most important answer is how much you can realistically do.  If you take a look at successful blogs out there, you will find some that fit into every category including only one or two posts a month. 

Diversify Your Revenue Streams

Generating income with and (without) your blog.

If you are blogging for pay, you probably have some Adsense, and maybe even some affiliate links on your blog.  These are both proven methods of generating income from blogging, but they are not the only options.  Relying on those two alone can set you up for drastic fluctuations when policies change or products are removed from the market.  To stay afloat during big changes, you really need to diversify your revenue sources.