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How to Use Your Gravatar to Your Advantage

Why Struggle to Add An Image to Your Sidebar When You Can Use This Simple Plugin

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I am not a coder. I didn’t come from an HTML background before I started to build WordPress sites for my clients.

And of course there has been no reason to learn much of it because I only use WordPress. And with WordPress, it’s all built in. Drag and drop this. Drag and drop that. Add a plugin here and there and you’ve got everything you need.

But what happens when you find you DO need to know a little code? Like when you want to add an image file to a sidebar widget?

First I’ll tell you one of the easiest ways to do this.  Luckily, I’ve already written about it here:

How to Easily Add an Image to Your WordPress Sidebar  

There is another way to do this though which I like a little better.

It requires that you add a plugin called Simple Image Widget.

Once you’ve installed it, drag it over to your sidebar and open the options. The part that I like the best about this plugin is that you can easily add a URL if you want the image clickable and to open at another site.

Why would you do that?  Perhaps you have an affiliate ad that you’d like to send the viewer to. You can even highlight a document of your own to send your viewers to.

Your image re-routes the viewer to a document that you’ve hosted elsewhere such as at Bluehost

But I’m sure you can think of lots of uses for this plugin.

Let me know in the comments area.

 

Need help with your WordPress site? Contact me today.

 

 

 

Updating WordPress to the Latest Version

There’s a WordPress update (version 3.4) available called “Green” to honor guitarist Grant Green.

Maintenance and Tools

For many, it’s a fear-filled process that they’d rather ignore. But ignoring updates to your WordPress site can make things a lot worse in the long run. It’s worth the time and effort to just go ahead and upgrade.

There are a couple of steps you can take to make the process less fear-full:

  1. Be sure to back up your site (preferably in your hosting account) before you update.  Contact your hosting company and ask them to show you how to do a manual backup of your account. Most good hosting companies are happy to train you to manage your hosting account and perform maintenance (like backing up your sites)
    Note: this can take some time depending on the size of your sites.
  2. For extra protection from “bad things” happening, deactivate your plugins so there is less chance of conflicts while you are upgrading.  Once the upgrade is complete, activate your plugins one by one and watch for any messages from WordPress that says there is a fatal error or conflict with the new version of WordPress and your plugins. If you find there is a conflict with a plugin, you will have to remove it (or at the very least, leave it de-activated to see if the developer upgrades her plugin (to reflect the WordPress changes) in the next few days.

If you need help with you WordPress upgrades, I am happy to help and have Support Packages available to assist you with maintenance of your site(s).

Here’s a link to learn more about the update:  http://wordpress.org/news/2012/06/green/

PINTEREST: This is getting way out of hand!

Pinterest Logo

 But only in a good way of course!

If you’re using Pinterest, you’ll know what I mean.

I just spent 40 minutes going back and forth on Facebook with other Pinterest aficionados about how awesome it is.  And this isn’t the first time I’ve been drawn into a great convo about this site.

There is one topic that has been coming up repeatedly of late and that is the issue of posting someone else’s images on your Pinterest boards. (Here’s a good example of some of the discussion out there around this topic:  http://directmatchmedia.com/pinterest-copyright.php)

If you are copying another’s content to your computer and then uploading it to Pinterest, you will be running up against copyright issues. Copying and uploading someone else’s content is called stealing plagiarizing because 1we don’t own it and 2. we’re not crediting the author/artist for their work.

So how is everyone on Pinterest getting around this? By making it perfectly clear that the content they have pinned belongs to someone else (by crediting, citing and referencing the author).

What people don’t seem to know is that Pinterest offers a bookmarklet

that when used, allows the viewer to click on the image you’ve posted and it takes them outside of Pinterest to the owner’s own website. This way, the person viewing your Pin will know where you got the image from.

For more information about this, go to the “goodies” (as Pinterest calls them):  http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/ and start using the Bookmarklet for your browser. I think you’ll be glad you did. This type of sharing is going to be challenged over and over in the courts, and you don’t want to be the one left holding the bag.

But just using the Pinterest Bookmarklet will probably not keep you fully out of hot water, so think before you post. And make sure you always credit the author.

Calling all Visionistas!

 As small business owners, all the recent raving about Pinterest and the fabulous statistics ought to grab your attention!

  • more than 10 million users!
  • more than 80% women!
  • and more than 2 million Facebook users daily!

Those are some impressive numbers if you’re looking to find a market for your goods.

Don’t get left behind. Get in on this FREE ecourse to learn everything you need to know about PINTEREST.

Claim Your Free Ecourse Now

 

 

 

SEO: Simple Tweaks You Can Make to Your WordPress Content So Your Clients Find You

SEO… ugh… I know you’re probably thinking some or all of the following.

SEO: Simple Tweaks You Can Make to Your WordPress Content So Your Clients Find You

 

  • Search Engine Optimization is way too scientific for me–after all I’m an artist
  • SEO is way over my head–I’m a coach, not a techno geek
  • SEO looks incredibly boring. My eyes are glazed over even now
  • SEO is done by geeky guys who work in their parent’s basement and never see the light of day
  • SEO is illegal and, if caught, Google will banish you and your biz forever from search results

But in reality, SEO is a very powerful business skill that can get you a lot of traction in the competitive world of the internet. It’s really only a series of little tweaks you can make in your blog posts and on your pages that can amount to a huge rush of traffic, and clients that are finally able to find you in the search engines. (Of course, you can go much further than little tweaks and hire yourself an SEO strategist for big $$, but why not start small to see how it works?).

SEO is about “organic” search, meaning that you optimize your posts and pages for the people who don’t know a thing about you (eg: they are not friends on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites) They are the people who need you but don’t know it yet. They are the people who are in Google search right this minute, and are madly typing words into the search field trying to find a solution to their problem or answer to their question.

The words (keywords) they are typing into the search field are the only link between them and you (remember, they have never heard of you). If the words you use on your site (your keywords) match their search terms, then you will show up in the search results. The more exact your words match theirs, the higher you will show in the results.

You can probably see now that if you aren’t using the words (keywords) that this person is using to find answers, then you’ll never show up in the search results as a viable solution or answer to their problem(s). The better your site answers the searchers questions, the more Google will send you the highly coveted “organic” traffic.

So here is a summary of what SEO is:

SEO is the shortened term for Search Engine Optimization. As an online business and WordPress site owner, you need to know that SEO is what helps drive visitors to your website. And without visitors…well you know.

How Google Works

Search engines have names like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When someone is searching for information on the internet, they type phrases or keywords into the Google, Yahoo, or Bing search field. They press “Enter” and receive a page with a list of search results.

SEO is “spoon feeding” your relevant content to the search engines so that it matches the searchers’ queries.

A search engine is a program that searches documents on the World Wide Web for a specific word or phrase. ~ Dictionary.com (SEO is tweaking your site to match those words).

Kathleen

SEO and Google Analytics go hand in hand. Check out this course.

[stickynotes title=”Google Analytics Course Just $7″ url=”http://www.thesavvyva.com/savvy-products/google-analytics-report/”]Click to Learn More[/stickynotes]

 

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What Search Engines Do and How this Affects Your Website’s Search Rankings

What Search Engines Do

What is a Search Engine?

search engine is designed to search for information on the internet. The search results are presented in a list of results referred to as SERPS, or “search engine results pages”. The search results can consist of web pages, images, information and other types of files.

Some search engines also mine data available in databases or open directories. Unlike web directories which are maintained by human editors, search engines also maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.

 There are 2 main components

  • English: a chart to describe the search engine...The Crawler (bots, spiders) go out to the internet and crawl the content they find.
  • The Algorithm, or the ranking formula, that the search engines use to determine the relevancy of your content.

How they do their magic

 Indexing

This is very simplistic, but essentially the search engines send out their bots to crawl the internet every 28 days. It crawls the internet by following links. This can be from one page on your site to another (interlinking) or from one website to another).  The search engine then builds a database containing a copy of each page of information it finds.

 How to ensure that your content gets indexed:

  • Search engine optimizing your content is like spoon feeding the bots making their job as simple as possible.
  • Using keywords shows the general relevancy of your content, especially in searches
  • Creating remarkable content is how others find your content, note that it as remarkable, and link back to you.

Increasing prominence

  • There are several ways to increase the standing of a website within the search results.
  • Interlinking between pages provides additional links for the bots to follow and may improve the site’s visibility.
  • Writing content that includes highly searched keyword phrases is another way to  to increase traffic.
  • Updating content to keep search engines crawling your site frequently can also give additional weight to a site.
  • Adding relevant keywords to  your web page’s meta data (title tag and meta description) will improve the relevancy of a site’s search listings, thereby increasing traffic

In summary:

taking the simplest SEO steps will help the search engines find and index your content. As a result, your audience (target market, customer, client) will be more likely to find you, your content and site amidst a sea of similar products, services, and content on the internet.

This requires some time, effort and research, but the benefits are many and it is never too late! There are both free and paid plugins that you can install on your WordPress site that will help you to use SEO strategies on each post and page of your site.

Save Time by Scheduling (Post Dating) Your Blog Posts

Scheduling Your Posts in WordPress

Save Time by Scheduling (Post Dating) Your Blog Posts

You’re busy — so busy in fact  that you’ve probably got enough tasks to keep you busy til the end of time.

But we also know how important it is to write blog posts. It’s how you stay in touch AND in the forefront of your niche’s mind. It’s also a key factor in how much money you make (or not).

So how can you carve out the time to write these posts?

Well, WordPress has a great little tool that will make the job a little easier.

It’s right there in the “Publish” capsule to the right of your editor, and its uses are many.

 You can:

1. Write a draft and edit it when you have a little time

Perhaps you’ve just thought of something brilliant, but you don’t have the time to write a complete post.  You can type that brilliant thought into the editor and save it as a draft. Come back later and it’s still there, reminding you of the post you wanted to write (how often have you had a brilliant thought like that only to forget it because you didn’t write it down).

Add to your brilliant thought and save as a draft once again. Do this as many times as you need until it’s ready for publication.

2. Set your post to publish at a later date (in an hour, a day, a week, nine days…)

You may want a post to publish at a date or time that corresponds with a launch or an event, and this is very simple to do.

  1. Write your post and instead of clicking the blue “Publish” button, click on the “Edit” link to the right of the “Publish immediately” option.
  2. You’ll now see a drop-down menu where you can choose the date and time that the post should publish. (I know, it’s like magic…)
  3. After you’ve chosen the date and time, do NOT click on “Publish” button, but instead select the small gray “OK” button.
  4. The “Publish” button will then change to “Schedule”.  Click that button and your post will go out at the appointed time and day.

3. Spend some time pre-loading posts

Just follow the steps above. If you try to publish a post every week, schedule your posts to publish one each week. If you pre-load just 10 posts, this will free your from having to write blog posts for 2.5 months!

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