How To increase traffic to your WordPress blog

Drive Traffic to Your WordPress BlogMore Traffic

That’s what we all want, right?  That’s why we do this whole blogging thing . . . so more and more people will read what we’ve got.  We know that blogs get lots of love from the search engines, and we know that WordPress has lots of tools to help direct that traffic flow to our websites, but which ones of them work well, and work fast? Are there any that actually increase traffic to your wordpress blog?

How to embed a tweet into a wordpress post or a website

How to TwitterYou’ve seen those emphatic twitter status posts all over the internet. How do you embed a tweet into your site?

RT @yoda The place where the force is. Tweet I will. Yessss. @IamNessaroxWed Jul 13 01:05:04 via web

Blackbird

Twitter released Blackbird, a tool to “quote” a Tweet by using the status identifier and some html (a lot of html actually) that you then place into a WordPress post or elsewhere.
Before it was take a screenshot, edit the image, upload . . . time consuming.

To Use the Blackbird tool

(I don’t care for it; a 8 tedious steps) They are:

  1. Copy the full URL of a tweet (http://twitter.com/TraciGregory/status/90949832008671230)
  2. Go to http://media.twitter.com/blackbird-pie/
  3. Click on the input text field
  4. Paste the URL
  5. Click on “Bake it”
  6. Click on the text area where the HTML code is created
  7. Select all text (press ctrl+a or cmd+a on a Mac)
  8. Copy (ctrl+c or cmd+c on a Mac)

Then paste the code wherever you want the status. The only thing I can say is it is better than a screenshot that you have to edit

Better is the Publitweet Bookmarklet, which you can use from your bookmarks

  1. Go to the URL of a tweet (http://twitter.com/#!/AlecBaldwin/status/91483756870909952)
  2. Click on the bookmarklet (which you’ve installed from the link above)
  3. Copy (press ctrl+c or cmd+c on a Mac)
  4. Paste it where ever you want it

Here’s what it looks like (it will adapt to your css, it won’t throw off your template):

@alejodorowsky ….my advice is to have the orgasm of the soul. Then, light two cigarettes and take your soul to the movies.Thu Jul 14 12:26:41 via Twitter for iPhone

Best is the Blackbird Plugin IF it will work with your webhost.

After you install the plugin, you get the status ID from twitter and embed the blackbird id in your post. Quick, one line input. But there are some problems with Twitter (Can’t explain why . . . haven’t figured it out )

To get the status ID number, click on the TIME on any tweet; you’ll get a page with just that tweet. Pick up the URL, or ID Number, or use the Blackbird Bookmarklet on that page.

I like that the bookmarklet changes the “2 mins ago” to the actual date the tweet was done.

How to Blog and Why You Should Already Be in the Blogosphere

Free Blog Real Estate on the Net

There are lots of free places to enter the blog world – WordPress.Com will give you a free wordpress site, Blogger (Google) will give you free web real estate, and if you’re new to the habit, they are probably a good place to start.

Already Committed to a “blog of your own”?

If you’re sure you’re going to blog; you know you want to build a brand for yourself, or your company, I’d highly recommend you buy a domain, install wordpress and start with everything in place to gain traction with the search engines.  I started off with Squarespace, which is a very sophisticated platform, but it cost me about $250 a year, and I didn’t have the controls I’d have liked. Moving an entire blog to a new domain AND a new platform (WordPress) turned out to be a real pain in the neck, and I know I lost some posts in the process.

  • Buy a domain
  • Get a hosting account (Hostgator has a good deal and an excellent WordPress installation process)
  • Install WordPress
  • Have Fun!

Having trouble deciding that you should have a blog?

I found some pretty compelling statistics and some really great quotes at Hubspot:

The bottom line is that blogging is like sex. !

You can’t fake it. You can’t fake passion. You can’t fake wanting to engage with the public. If you do, it will ultimately be an unsatisfying experience for both ! the blogger and their readers.”

Kevin Anderson, Freelance Journalist & Former Blogs Editor for The Guardian

More Pages Indexed

More Inbound Links

Way More Leads

 

“In God we trust, all others bring data.”

- Edward Deming

If that isn’t enough, get the entire 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts, & Graphs [Data] from Hubspot.

I sent an excerpt of the Hubspot data to all my clients, present, former, and potential! to remind them how powerful blogs can be.  I’m a huge proponent of blogging as a way to get attention – to develop your presence on the internet and help build your business.

As a Thesis developer, you all probably also know that I’m big on how a website looks, and functions, and it should be obvious that for your blog to work at bringing in readers, who convert to customers, your blog should be good looking, easy to read and easy to navigate. Blogs, by their very nature are candy for search engines, and posts get indexed quickly.  I use Thesis for building blogs because it is so SEO powerful I feel that it really helps in that whole “If you Build it, Will they Come” question with which we all struggle!

If you’d like to see some evidence of the fact that they will come, I invite you to read the series I wrote, If you build it will they come?  http://tracigregory.com/2010/10/06/if-you-build-it-will-they-come-part-1-of-3/ is the first of three posts, and it will lead you to the next two.

How to Get Google Fonts into WordPress

[efpd-font css=”font-family:’Calligraffitti’, Arial, serif;font-size:27px;”] Are You Using Google Fonts for Your Website? [/efpd-font]

Years ago when we only had typewriters, I bribed the office services people to issue me an IBM ‘executive’ typewriter instead of the usual selectric with one font and one font size . . . typically courier, 10 pt. The executive had proportional print spacing and I loved the look. Later when we got computers, I discovered fonts and while everyone else was still turning out documents with courier, I was jazzing mine up so they looked as if they’d been typeset.

[efpd-font css=”font-family:’Just Another Hand’, Arial, serif;font-size:27px;”] Fonts R Us [/efpd-font]

Fonts R Us was the nickname I was given, because I was so mad about fonts, and nobody else gave a damn.  Just one more eccentricity of mine.

[efpd-font css=”font-family:’Tangerine’, Arial, serif;font-size:27px;”] Google: Making the Web Beautiful [/efpd-font]

Now Google has given us fonts (similar to the Adobe fonts you can add to your website) and once again I’m thrilled to play with font faces. No more doing a header in an image, and then substituting the image of the words for the words. Now with all the choices Google has it will take me a while to get through them all and settle on my favorites.

[efpd-font css=”font-family:’Covered By Your Grace’, Arial, serif;font-size:27px;”] Google API or WordPress PlugIn [/efpd-font]

You can read the Google API to incorporate the fonts into your website, or take the quick and easy path by using the WP Google Fonts PlugIn for your WordPress sites.

The fonts I used in this post are shown here in 36px:

[efpd-font css=”font-family:’Calligraffitti’, Arial, serif;font-size:36px;”] Calligraffitti [/efpd-font]

[efpd-font css=”font-family:’Just Another Hand’, Arial, serif;font-size:36px;”] Just Another Hand [/efpd-font]

[efpd-font css=”font-family:’Tangerine’, Arial, serif;font-size:36px;”] Tangerine  (This one may be my new favorite!)[/efpd-font]

[efpd-font css=”font-family:’Covered By Your Grace’, Arial, serif;font-size:36px;”] Covered by Your Grace [/efpd-font]

Using the plugin, you have to

  • Download and Install the Plugin
  • Choose the Fonts you want to use in the WP Google Fonts Settings in the left menu and choose the tags you’ll use them with (header, body, paragraph, etc.)
  • Choose the Fonts in your text (highlight, choose text, you know the drill)

Now dress up your website!

Pesky White Space error killed my RSS feed again

XML Parsing Error: XML declaration allowed only at the start of the document

Just got my feed back, upgraded to WordPress 3.1.1 and guess what?  RSS Feed falls off the face of the earth again . . . And I’ve read other people complaining of the same thing happening at WordPress.Org.  It was worth the trip, though.

This guy has answers!

You may not need to do everything he has on his list, mine snapped back with just the editing of my wp-includes/feed-rss2.php file.

Visit him, and see if you don’t resolve your RSS with his suggestions: http://www.w3it.org/blog/wordpress-feed-error-output-solution-how-to/

How to fix that white space rss feed error

XML documentation parse error: Whitespace is not allowed at this location. XML comment will be ignored.

My RSS Feed has disappeared again.

I’ve edited every wordpress file.  And there are a lot.

I’ve used every fix known to man and available on Google.

None of them worked.

And then I read that the & sign, rather than the and word could be killing the way the feed is being read.

I looked at the names of the posts I’ve written for the & sign, and found ONE.

When I changed the name to Tom Peters and Lady Gaga, my feed came back.

You can see that using it within the post works, although I probably never would except in this instance.

Fashion your sidebar headers in Thesis for WordPress

Drive Traffic to Your WordPress Blog

There are a couple of things you can easily do to your sidebars to dress them up. I’m sure you know by now that the control for the font (size, color, and font face) are in the Thesis Design Options. We’re going to go further than that.

To change the  sidebar color, you must add a line of code to your Custom CSS file (http://YourSiteName.Com/wp-content/themes/thesis_18/style.css/). And you can make the colors different in each of the sidebars by calling out ‘sidebar_1′ or ‘sidebar_2′.

/*Art of Rockstar Sidebar Color*/ .custom #sidebar_1 {background:#BA5A88 none repeat scroll 0 0;}  


A couple of things: when you copy and paste these codes into your custom functions file, make sure that your computer doesn’t change any of the characters you see here to something that will kill your wordpress blog.

For some reason occasionally when I transfer code from notepad to my custom_functions.php file on my server, the quotes (“) will be changed to a solid rectangle that I can not even duplicate for you . . .

To simply color the space the header is in, you must add a line of code to your Custom CSS file (http://YourSiteName.Com/wp-content/themes/thesis_18/style.css/). And you can make the colors different in each of the sidebars by calling out ‘sidebar_1′ or ‘sidebar_2′.

/*Art of Rockstar Highlight Sidebar Headers*/ .custom #sidebar_1 {background:#666666 none repeat scroll 0 0;} 


 

I don’t want to be a Rock Star!

You’re kidding, right? You don’t want to be a Rock Star?

I had an interesting talk with a client, who gave me a whole new appreciation of English as we know it.

I don’t want to be a RockStar!  I don’t want ‘fans’ ~~ I’m not a celebrity, and I don’t want to be.

As I explained to my slightly testy guy, I realized that I’ve adopted a vernacular meaningful to me (and other people in my life) but not necessarily to the people I want as clients.

I told him that “Blogging Like a RockStar” doesn’t include sex, drugs or rock’n’roll.  It is a phrase I’ve adopted that means one blogs like a professional, blogs and gets ‘buzz'; blogs and creates ‘google-juice. I consider it just more Web 2.0 jargon, as is the “Fan Page” on Facebook.

Ironically, FaceBook, in naming its company pages ‘Fan Pages’ has furthered that impression of performance-related media – that of a celebrity, or  . . . RockStar and not  an ordinary (or extraordinary) business page .

They (FaceBook) needed to name them something, and that’s what they picked. It is unfortunate, because by design it is a methodology designed for businesses in order for them to grow and nurture their own community within Facebook. They’re moving away from that name, but it is what we’ve got, and millions of FB users know what it is and what to expect from it.

So, I bid you, Blog like a RockStar! and get those Fan Pages at Facebook!  Become a star in your own right, whether you’re rockin’ or not.

As always,

Rock On!

10 Essential WordPress PlugIns for the Bones of your WordPress Blog

You’ve begun to blog – do you know the PlugIns you really need to keep your blog working the way you want it to work?

RockStar Buzz recommends these PlugIns be installed before you begin to publish.  If you’re already publishing, check the list to see if they’ll help you maintain your site optimally.

Broken Link Checker Author: Janis Elsts

Monitors your blog looking for broken links.  Do you want to go through your 404 error reports?  Nah . . . You want to click on a link on your dashboard and correct the errors you find on the Broken Link Checker report.


 

 

Login LockdownAuthor: Michael VanDeMar

If you’ve ever had your blog hacked and seen things you didn’t put up, things you don’t want on your blog, or worse, watched your blog disappear to a virus, you may have already heard of Login Lockdown.

If not, you’re a lucky person, and you can get this plugin before anything happens to your blog that you don’t intend.

Plugin homepage

 


 

PS Disable Auto Formatting Author: Hitoshi Omagari

Do you hate WordPress automatic formatting?  Hate trying to fix the html?  Just want to blog, and be done with it?

This is the ticket!

PS Disable Auto Formatting stops automatic formatting of WordPress cold  and modifies the html source generated by the visual editor.

 


 

Secure WordPress Author: Frank Bültge

Secures your blog in a myriad of ways.  Removes error-information on login-page; adds index.php plugin-directory, removes the wp-version, removes Really Simple Discovery, removes Windows Live Writer, removes core update,  plugin-update, and theme-update information, and  fhides wp-version in backend-dashboard for non-admins.

PlugIn Homepage is in German . . . English translation is wordpress download page above.

 


 

Tiny MCE Advanced Author: Andrew Ozz

This plugin adds Advanced HR, Advanced Image, Advanced Link, Context Menu, Emotions (Smilies), Date and Time, IESpell, Layer, Nonbreaking, Print, Search and Replace, Style, Table, Visual Characters and XHTML Extras.

Plugin Homepage

 


 

Google Analyticator Author: Ronald Heft

Google Analyticator adds Google Analytics lcode to your WordPress blog, eliminating the need to edit your template (and eliminating the possibility that you’ll kill your theme, or expose your code, or both!  Yes, this is the voice of experience – I’ve screwed up my blogs a thousand different ways . .  )

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

WP Database Backup Author: filosofo

I dunno if you’ve ever lost you entire blog – perhaps a year or more of work . . . In my case it was several years . . . Don’t risk it!

Get WP-DB-Backup, schedule the backups for the frequency with with you add posts, have it email the backup file to you.

No, I don’t trust my backups to the server . . . I’ve a dedicated server at GoDaddy, and I email my backups to myself.  That means I have them, and I can get my work back if it disappears.  And yes, Virginia, it can disappear without a trace.

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

WP Spamfree Authors: WP-SpamFree, WebGeek

I know, Akismet comes with WordPress . . . I happen to prefer WP-Spamfree.  Is powerful and almost entirely eliminates blog comment spam, including trackback and pingback spam.

And, there is a counter that  keeps track of all the spam it has blocked.  I assure you, it will be a staggering number relatively quickly.

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

WP Page Numbers Author: Jens Törnell

Readers move around easily with page numbers – improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as well, which is always good, by creating a better inner link structure.

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

FeedBurner Feedsmith

You can’t download this plugin from WordPress, but have to go to Google and create there.

Your blog has an RSS Feed now, FeedBurner will dress it up, give you tons of ways to publicize your blog via your feed, and offers a clean, neat email version – and that’s why I love it!

So add the ones you will, let me know what you like and what you don’t and why . . . and as always, Rock On!