Tag Archives: blog advice

virtualwordspecialist
The Comfort Zone is No Place for Marketing

It’s unhealthy in marketing to get comfortable. As the web evolves (and it does often), we must evolve if we want to keep up and remain relevant. Get motivated! Here’s to healthy marketing decisions in 2015.

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virtualwordspecialist
Five Steps to Checking Free Images for Social Posting

Images bring aesthetic value to social media posts: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + Pinterest, and more. Word of caution: make sure those free web images you used to enhance your posts are really “free to use.” Garry_Knight_Picture_of_pictures-imageAn article by Matt Morgan for Search Engine Watch titled “How to Find Free Images with Google Advanced Image Search” is a must read as he cautions against using “free” images without checking Google Advanced Image Search first.

His simple five step process (with screen shots) can help you avoid or the image deleted from your website or worse copy wright infringement correspondence from the owner!

Image credit: Garry Knight Flickr CC

Here are Matt’s five steps to checking free images: (click on the article above for visual aids).

Step 1 – Enter a search term in Google Images search

Step 2 – Click the Gear icon, then select Advanced search

Step 3 – Scroll down and use the usage rights drop down menu to select free to use or share, even commercially.

Step 4 – Click the Advanced Search button.

Step 5 – Double check the image using TinEye reverse image search. Important note: As Matt points out, this extra step is important as other webmasters and bloggers may have removed the copyright and metadata from the image and re-uploaded without the owner’s permission.

More image sharing resources: Google’s Advanced search images generally provide stock photos, but it can be limited. If you are looking for more variety of free or nearly free images, the following open source and sharing sites should give you a nice selection to choose from. (Check out each site for their terms of use).

The Web Marketing Therapy team loves sharing great tips and ideas. Let us know what your favorite image sharing sites are!

Additional Sources: Hub spot:  http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33423/19-Reasons-You-Should-Include-Visual-Content-in-Your-Marketing-Data.aspx

Copyblogger: http://www.copyblogger.com/lede-arresting-images/

virtualwordspecialist
Seven Tips to Keep Your WordPress Blog Safe and Secure

WordPress is one of the most used content management systems according to a report by W3 Techs. The robust and easy to use format has made WordPress a favorite of bloggers and web designers alike, but its popularity has also made WordPress a target for spammers and hackers.

WordPress-logo

Users are encouraged to protect their WordPress site from these dangers because blogs that have been hacked can really suffer negatively. Content loss, stolen data and expensive downtime can result in lack of customer service and harm your reputation.  Time is money, and when it comes to your WordPress site keeping it healthy and trouble free is a matter of dollars and sense.

Here are seven important tips from two distinct WordPress experts: Social Media Examiner contributor Marcko Saric from an article titled: 5 Steps to Ensure your WordPress Blog is Secure and Web Marketing Therapy’s resident webmaster and WordPress guru, Wil Thomas.

#1: Delete the “Admin” Username – This is kind of a no brainer, but it’s surprising how many people have not changed their username from the WordPress default of “admin.” According to Marcko Saric, spammers are searching for accounts with the “admin” username. His advice is to delete the default admin username to help secure the site. Then make sure to give yourself the role of an administrator so you have the ability to make any necessary changes on your blog.

#2: Use a Strong User Password – Simple is not always better when it comes to selecting a WordPress password – especially if it’s easy for hackers figure out yours. Marcko Saric has provided instructions and guidelines for creating a strong password. His rule of thumb: passwords should be a minimum of eight characters long with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.

#3: Update to the Latest WordPress Version – The WordPress software, themes and plugins are regularly updated with the latest patches and fixes to allay security concerns. Make sure you update your WordPress when alerts are present to keep your system current and protected.

#4: Back Up Your Blog Database – Backing up your database is an important part of keeping your blog secure. WordPress has made the backup process simple with both free and paid options. Wil Thomas highly recommends that users should make backups of all their WordPress site files, at a minimum backing up their database.  This can be done automatically at regular intervals with a backup plugin. Here is a link to the plugin Wil recommends for the task: http://wordpress.org/plugins/backupwordpress/

#5: Limit Login Attempts with a Plugin – The Limit Login Attempts plugin thwarts hacker attacks by blocking access to the login page after a series of incorrect attempts have been made. This can be adjusted by the site administrator who can decide how many login attempts are allowed before the block is launched.

#6 WordPress “Manual” is Helpful If You Don’t have a Webmaster – If you have just updated your plugins and received an error message, Wil Thomas suggests you go to WordPress.org  and use their  “users manual” of sorts called Codex: http://codex.wordpress.org where he says you can find lots of helpful information documented there. Wil also recommends you also do a Google search of the error message to see what others have come up with as a solution.   More than likely, you are not the only person experiencing this problem, so troubleshooting efforts by others could work to your benefit.

#7 Get Help When Your WordPress Site Goes Down – Sometimes plugins are the culprit here. Wil Thomas suggests the following guidelines if your system is down as a result of a faulty plugin update:

  • Each WordPress.org plugin has its own page in the WordPress Plugin Directory. If you see that a particular plugin is causing an issue, you can refer to that plugin’s support forum located in the lower right hand corner of the plugin page where a solution or helpful information might be found.
  • Wil also suggests that in some cases, depending on your skill level or interest, you may need the assistance from someone with more extensive knowledge, so be prepared to ask for help if your initial attempts to resolve the issue are unsuccessful.

Bonus Tip: Here’s one last tip from Marcko Saric to help keep your blog safe: Only install plugins from reputable sources and check the reviews on WordPress.org. Coming in through plugins is one tactic used by some to attack your blog.

You have worked too hard and too long on creating great content for your blog – now it’s time to make sure it’s well protected. Taking these preemptive steps to safeguard your WordPress site from the hackers and spammers will give you a leg up, and provide more security over most blogs out there. If you have any WordPress tips – please share the love.

Author Lorrie Thomas on KCSB-FM Radio

“Savvy Web Marketing comes from sound strategy, continual optimization, tracking and creativity” ~Lorrie Thomas, M.A. The Marketing Therapist®

Photo by KC Thomas of Web Marketing Therapy

This week Author Lorrie Thomas made a Guest Appearance on the University of California, Santa Barbara’s KCSB-FM.  The Hosts of “Radio Causeway” interviewed Lorrie about her new book: The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course Online Marketing.  Lorrie Thomas wrote the Online Marketing book for students engaged in lifelong learning, business owners, marketing managers and anyone interested in getting into the online marketing field.  The 36-Hour Course helps guide and create new ideas on the web wherever you are at with your level of skills.

Click here for Podcast: Radio Causeway Interview with Author Lorrie Thomas

“Marketing means making Relationships”

“Online Marketing is 24-7.  It is extremely trackable, flexible, interactive and provides a two-way conversation”

“What’s great about Online Marketing is the lack of elitism.  You don’t have to have a big budget – you just have to have a brain :-)”

“Great ideas are only great if they are executed brilliantly”

“Education is everything – the more educated, the less overwhelmed”

“Ideas: Create, Execute, Monitor – Rinse, Repeat this Cycle!”

About Lorrie Thomas: Lorrie Thomas, M.A., The Marketing Therapist®, is a marketing strategist, educator, writer, web marketing expert and speaker. She is the CEO of Web Marketing Therapy, a boutique web marketing agency and training company that diagnoses, prescribes and guides healthy marketing solutions. She teaches custom workshops for corporations as well as through UC Berkeley Extension.

Ask The Marketing Therapist – When Is The Best Day To Blog?

I have been asked a lot lately about “what the best days of the week to blog?” are.  In my expert opinion, the *best* days to blog are based on a few things:

1. Your web traffic patterns
2. When you have something valuable to say
3. Media relevancy (buzz)
4. Your audience

1 – Blog based on your individual web traffic patterns. Web Marketing Therapy‘s site traffic tends to decrease a lot on weekends, as we serve professionals who are working on their business (mostly Monday through Friday).  I tend to blog more during the week because my Google Analytics web data tells me when people are on my site.  As The Marketing Therapist, I have to listen, so I pay attention to patterns and action then act in line with my audience’s behavior (see point #4).

2 – Blog when you have something valuable to say.  When you have something that you have to purge, BLOG IT.  Don’t worry about the day, just get it out there.  Content is king on the web.  If the content serves and supports your readers (and has value), then post it.  If you feel like you want to blog M-F, then you can always set the post to auto-launch during the week.  It is easy to queue up blog posts so they launch at a later date.

3 – Blog around media relevancy.  If there is industry news that is buzzing in your industry, then it is PRIME TIME to blog about it.  Piggyback on what is out there in the news and blog your point of view as the trends hit.  Media relevancy can be holidays, media-popular news, seasonal stuff (tax time, summer swimsuit season, etc.)

4 – Blog based on your target audience’s needs.  Who are you trying to serve?  What content can you blog that will HELP them?  Blog focusing on your audience and content that will serve them, not so much days of the week.

Our overall take away as your virtual marketing support system is that the answer to “when is the best day to blog?” depends on the blog traffic, your target audience, and you have tools like Google Analytics to track that.

One last tip, see when comments are coming into the blog and LISTEN to the feedback you get off your site.  You can learn SO much when you just open your eyes and see what feedback you are getting (comments, tweets, retweets, data, etc.)

-The Marketing Therapist

Lorrie Thomas
Marketing Motivation – Train for the Blog Marathon

Today’s Monday Marketing Motivation was inspired by a gifted makeup artist, Cara Maccianti who shared this great Mashable blog on The Top Five Business Blogging Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them (thanks Cara!)

Bodacious blog babe Josh Catone‘s healthy web marketing advice is quoted for your spoonful of healthy marketing motivation:

“Blogging isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon”

Blogging is not a short burst of effort, it a long distance medium!  Commit to blogging as a marketing investment to share information, educate, voice values and engage in ongoing social dialogue.  Bloggers don’t sprint, they run the distance.  They also blog because they CARE.  Blogging for bucks via sprint will not work.  Remember – Quick and dirty is always quick, but you always end up dirty. 🙂

It’s not the tools that make marketing matter….it’s HOW we use the tools that makes all the difference.  A little blogging attitude adjustment to take on the distance for your organization is what will make a big difference.

Read the The Top Five Business Blogging Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them article and commit to running the long run.

For more healthy doses of marketing advice, marketing motivation and ways to use the wealth of web tools to serve, support and ultimately sell your products and services by doing web marketing the healthy way, follow me on Twitter @webtherapist, Join our Web Marketing Therapy Facebook Page, sign up to get our RSS blog feeds, gobble up some Free Therapy and ask questions on our blog!  We’re here to help!