Tweet What do you do if the power is out, but you need to charge your cell phone to make an emergency phone call? In this episode of DIY Hacks & How To’s, I show you how to tap the power flowing from your phone line. There is a small amount of electricity that is [...]
In this article, we are going to show you an amazing collection of extremely unique premium-like free wordpress themes that you can use to create sites that are not just a weblog. You may have so many options to choose from to convert your simple blog to a highly customized purpose-built website. Using wordpress as a base platform, it’s really easy to update, fast loading and professional looking sites that you ever think of.
You are welcome if you want to share more creative wordpress themes which our readers/viewers may like. Do you want to be the first one to know the latest happenings at SmashingApps.com just subscribe to our rss feed and you can follow us on twitter as well.
MiniCard is a social network/business card WordPress theme. This theme lets you add links to all the social networking sites you may be a member of, and post useful information such as bio’s and contact details. It also has built in hCard support and (optionally) lets you offer a vCard for visitors to download your contact information.
Some very interesting stats have just emerged about the freelance and contract market for CMS developers and designers.
In its quarterly market report, freelance site DoNanza discovered that even though WordPress devs, designers and SEO pros are in greater demand than their Drupal or Joomla counterparts — and even though WordPress outnumbers Drupal and Joomla in the number of projects for each CMS — Drupal web professionals on average make around twice what WordPress pros make per project.
The full report, called the State of the Work-From-Home and Freelancing Economy, looked at CMSes used by various professionals in a range of web-work specializations. It also ranked the most requested job skills right now.
On average, all CMS projects in DoNanza’s universe grew almost 50% quarter over quarter. The number of WordPress projects grew 61%; Joomla projects grew 38%; and Drupal projects grew 26%.
Factors on Generating Traffic to Your Blog: “
Over the last few weeks I’ve had three conversations with readers regarding different sources of traffic.
In each case I had a number of email exchanges with each blogger (all on the same day) and ended up laughing to myself at the common theme but extremely different opinions being expressed by each of the bloggers.
In each case the bloggers had strong opinions (and experiences to back those opinions up) on what type of traffic was ‘best’ and how to get it.
- In one case the conversation started with a blogger telling me that I focus too much upon social media traffic and not enough on traffic from search engines. Their niche didn’t work with social traffic but with search traffic they did best.
- In another case the blogger told me that they’d been told to forget about search traffic in their niche and work more on building traffic from other sites and to convert it into ongoing traffic with newsletters.
- In the last case a blogger told me that in their opinion the best type of traffic was social media traffic and they didn’t see the point in newsletters.
I was reminded through these conversations just how many different valid approaches there are to blogging. I also came away with a few thoughts that I thought I’d jot down here on the topic of driving traffic to blogs.
1. There are Many Valid Sources of Traffic
The above chart shows just 8 of many sources of traffic to a blog. As I write this others are already springing to mind (for example some bloggers run paid advertising to drive traffic to their blog – others get it from banner exchange programs). The reality is that there are many potential sources of traffic.
2. The ‘Best’ Source of Traffic Varies from Niche to Niche
As I thought about the 3 bloggers I was chatting to above it struck me that each had found great sources of traffic but that they were each operating in very different niches.
The first blogger who had written off social media was in a niche that people were simply not using social media for (I won’t reveal the niche as I don’t have their permission but it was a very very niche focused blog). Perhaps they could have driven a tiny bit of traffic with social media but for them Search was a much better place for them to invest their time.
3. Different Sources of Traffic Will monetize differently
Another important factor to consider is that some sources of traffic will monetize ALOT better than others. I’ve found that search traffic can work very well with AdSense for example (it depends upon the niche and intent of the reader). People arrive on your site searching for specific information, read your content, see an ad that relates to their search term and click on it.
RSS readers on the other hand don’t tend to convert for AdSense as they tend to be loyal readers and many don’t even click through to your site to read your content. RSS readers (and social media traffic) however can convert really well for affiliate promotions or selling your own products to.
4. Traffic Patterns Change over the life cycle of a blog
As a blog matures its sources of traffic often quite naturally change.
There’s no typical one size fits all pattern to this but at first the traffic might mainly come from other blogs or forums where you comment – or blogs where you guest post – or articles that you write. In time you might start to see more traffic from RSS or newsletters as a few people subscribe. Perhaps then some traffic will come from other sites who link to you (people who subscribe via RSS might have their own blogs) and from social media. After a while your search engine ranking might kick in as a result of the links from other sites and your guest posting and article writing and you might start seeing Google traffic. Once your blog is more established you might start seeing social bookmarking viral events that spike your traffic.
Again – this is not going to be the pattern for all blogs but in time traffic will naturally start to come from different places – the key is to try to leverage it for ongoing good (trying to get your blog to be sticky rather than just having one time visitors) and to work out how to convert that traffic for the goals you have.
5. Bloggers should be open to different approaches
While each of the three bloggers had discovered great lessons and good sources of traffic for their niches and the life cycles of their blogs – I was left wondering in each case whether the bloggers were being a little too closed off to different sources of traffic that perhaps could have added to the overall mix of traffic.
I see a lot of SEO type bloggers write about the worthlessness of social traffic for instance. One common comment that I get from some SEOs (definitely not all) is that social media traffic can’t be monetized. The reality could not be further from the truth. It won’t always convert but it certainly can. For example I know in each of the E-book launches that I’ve done in two niches that I’ve seen significant conversions from Twitter traffic.
On the flip side of things I hear some social media focused bloggers write off SEO and say that it works itself out and you don’t need to optimise your blog for search if you just produce good content. While there is some truth in that (good content does tend to generate natural incoming links to some extent) with a basic understanding of principles of SEO and a few minor tweaks a blog can rank much better in search engines without compromising the integrity of the content.
I guess what I’m getting at is that if you get exclusive about the type of traffic you are after you could actually be limiting the potential of your blog’s incoming traffic.
6. Too many Eggs in One Basket Can Be Dangerous
I used to be very focused upon search traffic in my early days of blogging. I worked hard to optimise my first blogs for search and got to a point where I was making a full time living from the ad revenue I was getting almost exclusively from Google. As a result I got a little lazy in some of the other areas – I didn’t work to convert readers to be loyal with newsletters or with prominent calls to subscribe to RSS, I didn’t build too many relationships with other bloggers to generate referral traffic and I was very inactive in social media (although it was much more limited back then).
As a result when Google decided to adjust their algorithm one day and my rankings dropped (and almost completely disappeared) in their results I lost almost all of my traffic – and as a result almost all of my income.
I was lucky in that Google readjusted their algorithm a couple of months later and I regained a lot of (but not all) of that traffic but in the mean time I looked for and found a ‘real job’ – and more importantly learned an important lesson about the power of having more than one source of traffic.
That experience was the beginning of me doing a few things that included working harder on capturing readers as subscribers (email and RSS), networking more with other bloggers in my niche and getting more involved in promoting my blog in other places (mainstream media, social media etc). My hope in doing all of this was to build up other sources of traffic so that if Google ever switched off my traffic again (temporarily or permanently) I’d at least have enough traffic to survive.
Google still does send me around 40-50% of my traffic (it varies a little from blog to blog) but I’m in a position now where I could survive for an extended period if it all disappeared (not that I’d like for that to happen).
7. The Importance of Personality and Being Yourself
I’m sure there are other factors that are at play that might be worth considering when looking at traffic. One of these (that I’m yet to fully think through) is personality type.
For example a lot of my my technically thinking friends seem to enjoy the challenge of SEO a little more. They love experimenting with and testing what happens when they make small tweaks to different aspects of their blogs. They’re constantly testing different setups and do quite well from it. I am not technically minded and find their attention to detail very very unusual (and so far from where that I’m at that I feel like I’m from another planet).
Other friends are perhaps a little more social by nature and as a result seem to do well on Twitter.
Others seem to do better by applying their freakish ability to write blog posts that get tonnes of links from other sites and which do brilliantly on social bookmarking sites..
Others are networkers and spend a lot of time interacting with other bloggers and site owners and tend to get links and traffic that way.
Others just seem to be brilliant at building community on their blog and as a result retain almost everyone who ever comments and build new readers from those people telling their friends.
I guess the lesson here is to be yourself and work with your strengths. Of course you don’t want to let your strengths dominate so much that you ignore or become lazy in areas that you’re not as strong in – but do follow your natural abilities and leverage them as much as you can.
Remember that there is no wrong or right way to generate traffic for a blog. If you were analyze the sources of traffic on many top blogs you’d find quite different factors at play!
(Via ProBlogger Blog Tips.)
WordPress is arguably the most popular and the best blogging platform out there. You might have installed WordPress on your site, but you might be scared to experiment with WordPress worrying that you could break your site and WordPress.
Experimenting is one of the best way to learn new things and if you break your site, you probably might not want your visitors to see the fault as it might leave a bad impression. So, it is necessary to have the ability to learn WordPress and try new themes, plugins and other items without putting it online where people can see.
So, the best solution is to install WordPress locally on your computer. It will save you quite a bit of time since you can just put your files inside your WordPress folder without having to upload it to FTP. You can do anything you want with WordPress without a worry which surrounds you when you put it online. The possibilities are endless. Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to install WordPress in localhost using XAMPP. I hope it will become a great use to you.
1. Go to the official XAMPP website. We are going to use XAMPP as it is one of the best Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. It is very easy to install and use.
Promoting a new blog can be quite daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. As you might expect, breaking down blog promotion into small, actionable tasks eliminates the mental road block you’ve probably experienced when trying to wrap you head around how to get people’s attention. You don’t have to do everything in this list, and some items will have a greater effect then others, but every tactic will at least drive some traffic, and any traffic is better than no traffic.
1. Write a list of over 100+ resources or ideas.
2. Write the definitive guide to something. Spend time making this awesome.
3. Release a manifesto.
4. Release 2 manifestos.
5. Interview cool people. People like talking about cool people.
6. After your articles are indexed in search engines, break them up into smaller articles and submit them to ezinearticles.com (and other article directories).
7. Or just pay someone to submit the articles for you.
8. Write a list of all the cool blogs and people in your niche.
9. Check out the most popular content on high trafficked blogs. Create similar content but applied to your own niche.
15. Wait. After you’ve taken action it can take a short while for traffic to arrive.
16. Be patient. Some bloggers may seem like overnight successes, but if you look back in their archives, they’ve been creating content for a long time.
17. Motivate yourself.
18. Read The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.
19. Have an interesting story and overall purpose.
20. Embrace the Law of Reciprocity. Everything you give will come back exponentially.
21. Make blogging easier.
22. Take action every day. Just get one important thing done every day and eventually you’ll start getting traffic. The more you do each day the faster your blog gets traction.
23. Find people with blogs at a similar level to yours and help each other out.
24. Turn off your computer, do some cool stuff, turn on your computer again and blog about it.
25. Understand the importance of context.
26. Be consistent. You don’t need to blog every day but try to stick to at least some sort of schedule.
27. Make it a numbers game. Decide upon a definite plan of action (eg. 20 blog comments per day, 1 guest post per week etc) and stick with that.
28. Create videos and distribute them through tubemogul.com
29. Or for wider video distribution trafficgeyser.com may work for you (expensive though).
30. Respond to YouTube videos with your content.
31. Include your full blog address at the TOP of your video descriptions.
32. Take your time with devising video titles and tags.
33. Convert your video to multiple formats, with slight editing changes, and upload it to video sites multiple times, targeting different keywords. The content remains the same but you can test what videos and titles work the best.
34. Buy the accounts of popular YouTubers and then add your blog address to the descriptions of their videos.
35. Start the first live show in your niche (Ustream, Justin.tv and LiveStream are popular choices). Make sure you record the shows too so they can be distributed as a podcast later on.
36. Be the first commenter on the posts of popular blogs. But still provide value.
37. If you can’t be the first then comment anyway. But try to be the first.
38. Stumble and Digg cool blog posts you find and let the blogger know via a comment. If you have something worthy on your blog, they’ll probably reciprocate.
39. Use google.com/blogsearch to find fresh blog posts and then leave intelligent comments.
40. Link to blogs of a similar size. They’ll notice and then good stuff may happen.
41. Write a guest post for a large blog. You may not always get published, but when you do the traffic spike will be significant.
42. Write a guest post for a small blog. You’re more likely to get published and build relationships with the next wave of A-List bloggers.
43. Write some more guest posts. Can’t hurt, that’s for sure.
44. Join a blog network.
49. Attend relevant meetups.
50. Tell your friends and family about your blog. Have them tell everyone they know.
51. Start a podcast and submit it to the iTunes directory.
52. Convert audio files to video files (just use Windows Movie Maker or iMovie) and send them out via tubemogul.com
53. Submit it to some other podcast directories.
Search engine optimization
54. Write linkbait.
55. Have any video or audio content transcribed and posted to your blog.
56. Register your domain name for 10 years.
57. Take advantage of sites scraping your blog’s feed by interlinking posts. Simple way to get deep inbound links.
58. Use Thesis.
59. Join every social network you can.
60. Or, just join a couple and be really active.
61. Become active in relevant ning.com communities.
62. Convert blog posts to PDF files and submit them to Scribd – include your blog url in the description and document itself.
63. Add your Scribd documents to relevant groups.
64. Submit your best posts to blog carnivals.
65. Join relevant forums, add your blog address to your signature and start posting intelligently.
66. Sign up at ping.fm and use twitterfeed.com to auto post your latest blog content to a bunch of social networks.
67. Create lists on Amazon.com
68. Write reviews on Amazon.com
69. Better yet, create video reviews for Amazon.com
70. Answer relevant questions on Yahoo Answers, leaving your website as the source.
71. Or on Mahalo Answers.
72. Or even through LinkedIn Answers.
73. Start your own Slinkset, and feed your RSS feed into it automatically.
74. Submit your site to alltop.com
75. Write an article aimed at Digg (okay, that article won’t help much).
76. Also, befriend one of the many Digg powerusers.
77. Create a new thread on a forum and write up a really great guide with no self promotion. Simple way to be seen as an authority figure and to elicit comments on your writing (don’t forget that signature link though!).
78. Submit your content to dofollow social bookmarking sites.
79. Or have Bookmarking Demon do it for you (certainly a bend in ethics though).
80. Become an active stumbler to understand what stumblers like.
81. Friend people who stumble your content (they may just want to stumble more in the future)..
82. Have other people initially submit content (or “Discover” it as it’s known).
83. Place a Stumble button in your post template.
84. Sign up at su.pr and use it for all your short url needs.
85. Post content to your Facebook and Twitter stream.
86. Install the WordPress plugin to automate the process.
87. Identify the times that result in the most clicks and schedule tweets for them.
88. Setup your blog as a promoted website.
89. Include hash tags (#tagname) in your tweets.
90. Search for your niche and answer any questions people have.
91. Place a Retweet button in your post template.
92. Follow relevant, popular, and interesting people.
93. Send @replies to relevant, popular and interesting people.
94. Tweet links to your content at multiple times during the day.
95. Love a product from a company that’s on Twitter? Review it and they may just notice and tweet about the review. It’s happened to me.
96. Sponsor some tweets.
97. Find cool people in your niche who live nearby and organize a tweet up (a meet up where you invite anyone on Twitter).
98. Install All In One SEO Pack.
99. Automatically ping lots of ping services.
100. Create a theme, include a link to your blog in the footer, and then release it for free.
101. Create a plugin and release it for free. Add a link to your blog within the admin area. If it’s a good plugin people will love you for it.
(via Daily Blog Tips)
While the page feature in WordPress has been a mainstay of the blogging platform for years, it doesn’t get a whole lot of love from the programmers or plugin community. Here are 8 plugins that are compatible with at least WordPress 2.5 that will allow you to change their order, make sub-pages easier to navigate, add tags and more.
MTR Podcast Recorder offers real-time recording that is saved on the same server where WordPress is installed. All recordings will be saved into the MP3 format using the so famous LAME encoder. In addition to all this, you can manage your playlists and recordings from the WordPress administration. You can easily add a Podcast Player widget to any of your sidebars, posts, or pages if you want to promote a specific recording to your readers.
There are numerous plugins to help bloggers insert tracking codes into their blogs. Google Analytics gets the most attention, and there are several others that are worth trying out that will keep you from having to make numerous edits to your templates to make sure you cover all the pages you want. Here are 10 very helpful tools for running stats tracking in WordPress.
All of the following are supposed to work in version 2.5 and above. Also, as always, don’t install all of these unless you want to decrease your blog’s response time.