In Episode 013, Jack would like to have a conversation with your subconscious mind, i.e. why drives you to consider an entrepreneur and get out of the rat race. You’d better have strong reasons to support your decision or else chances are you will be going back to your safety net, i.e. the corporate world. Jack also discusses two reasons why he decided to jump out of the plane and become an entrepreneur.
In Episode 012, Jack shared a real-life story of how he used the Ultimate Passion Discovery Formula to help a person who interviewed him in an event he spoke in Bangkok, Thailand, to uncover his passion. As a teacher and leader, Jack lives by example and demonstrates the application of what he teaches in the real world. Hope you enjoy this real case study.
In Episode 011, Jack will share with you two of his own recent examples to demonstrate how he applies the principle of responsibility he discussed in the previous episodes. The truth of the matter is “talk is cheap”! As a leader and a teacher, you have the walk your talk and lead by examples. Hope you enjoy Jack’s sharing in this episode.
When you set up a WordPress blog on your own site, you have the chance to select a single theme and install various plug-ins. The theme is the design of your blog, which means you can change it from a blue background site to a site with a white background for example, and a plug-in extends what the blog does, which means you can turn your blog into a forum, or add a pop-up, for example.
We’re going to go over my top ten plug-ins to have a blog that is easy to find, easy to navigate, and encourages people to comment. We’re going to be talking about the plug-ins for best visibility, most discussions, and easiest management.
As far as visibility goes, my favorite is the All In One SEO Plugin. By default, search engines like Google and Bing will not spider your blog correctly. They might not show the title in the right way, in the excerpt if someone searches, it might not show the exact part of the post, but the All In One SEO Plug-in makes sure that your sites appear correctly in the search engines.
The GoogleXML Site Maps plugin creates a special file that it submits to search engines that makes sure that they can get access to every single post and page on your blog. In the old days, spiders used to have to go to your front page and see what you linked to. But now with the Site Map, they can see every single page on your blog.
The Robots Meta plugin will make sure that no duplicate content appears in those search results, which will allow you to rank higher in search engines.
The WPTouch plugin will allow users with smart phones like iPhones, iPods, Android phones, to view your site in a mobile phone-friendly format, which means that all the text will appear in giant print, and it will be easy to navigate from a phone.
As far as discussion goes, the Subscribe to Comments plugin will make it so when someone leaves a comment under one of your posts, there is a box to check and if they check that box, they will be notified when other people leave comments under them.
The Get Recent Comments plugin will make a list of all the commenters on your side bar so people can easily see what new discussions have been taking place on your blog since they were last here.
The Akismet plugin, which is built into WordPress, keeps spammers away.
To manage your blog, install PsychicSearch, which will record everything people type in the search box of your blog. If someone comes to your blog and they are making a search for “time management” over and over again, that’s an indication that you should make more posts about time management because that is what your visitors are looking for.
The Top Posts plugin will list all of your blog posts on a page, but it will show the post with the most comments first. That means that if you have a new blog about certain subjects that get the most response, then other people can find those hot topics and comment even more on those.
And finally, the Top Commentators widget will list which of your users or blog commenters talk on your blog the most. You can see who’s the top ten bloggers, who’s made 50 comments on your site or more, basically see who talks the most on your site so you can see who to reward, who to talk about, or who’s blog you should comment on as well.
Those are my top ten WordPress plugins for visibility, discussion, and management on a WordPress blog.
It’s a really good idea to check out your competition and to observe other bloggers and see what they do and why they do it. One thing that many successful bloggers do is add graphics, sub-headlines, and bullet points in their blog posts. Why do they do that, The reasons are: for readability, to emphasize what’s important, and to make any component of the post easy to access.
When you add these components like graphics, sub-headlines, even bullet points, it’s easy to skip around and to see what is on the page. If I’m reading an article about Twitter and there’s a picture of the blue Twitter bird on my blog post, it’s pretty clear that I am reading about Twitter. And if I’m scrolling through a long post, I can easily stop and see this picture that is something important, or see a picture on a topic I’m interested in, and read just that part of the blog post. So I’m reading your blog post, not necessarily a long novel. It’s okay for me to skip around and it’s better because if I don’t see what I’m looking for on your blog post, I might leave.
Next, for sub-headlines, this makes it very easy to structure your post so people can see what’s important. If you are listing five things that everyone should improve on their websites, I want to know the five things. Because maybe, I’m just going to read one of the five things, or I want to know what the five things are upfront, or I want to start at one of the middle five things. By having a sub-headline, we can easily emphasize what’s important. And at least in WordPress, you can type in the sub-headline to tip number 1: what the tip is, and in the editor, you can select Heading3. Select the text and choose Heading3, and now you have a sub-headline built directly into your blog post. So when I visit your blog, I know exactly what’s important.
Within that editor, there is also a button to create a bulleted list, or a list of bullet points where you can say, “Here are the benefits to Tip #1” and list bullet points. That way, I don’t have to comb through long sentences or long paragraphs. I can see exactly what the list is. And you aren’t limited to just having a list. You can actually share the long version and underneath that, have the bulleted list so that if I want to read the long version, I can. But if I just want the summary, I can read that bulleted list.
And that’s why you should include graphis, sub-headlines, and bullet points in your blog posts for better readability, to emphasize what’s important, and so that I can pick and choose exactly what content I need.
If you take a few simple steps, you can take advantage of a huge amount of traffic from Twitter and Facebook, and at the same time get access to new people and make new connections that you would not have made just from having a webpage online, or from having a mailing list.
Because with Twitter and Facebook, you have your own private community, your own little groups of friends, you can easily build a relationship and have people clicking over to your blog and leaving comments every time you make an update just by installing a couple of easy plug-ins.
The first plug-in that is great to install is the TweetMeme plug-in. This adds a simple square button on your blog post, and shows how many people have re-tweeted or re-shared your post with their own followers on Twitter. And the great thing about this is that even if you are the only one who has shared this post, it will show that one person has shared your post on Twitter. And guess what, if you share today, tomorrow, or the next day, that shows as number 3. So the TweetMeme plug-in shows a little bit of social proof by showing how many people shared your blog post with the world. And at the same time, gives people an easy way to re-tweet the link to the subscribers with one click.
With Facebook, there is a way to integrate the RSS Feed of your blog so that when you post to your blog, it also posts on Facebook. But what I prefer to do is after you make a post, take that exact link and post it on your profile or on your fan page. The reason for posting this by hand is because you can change the title that appears in the link and your own description to customize for your followers. It’s very simple. As soon as you make that blog post, copy out the URL or web address of that post, and paste it on your Facebook profile so that your friends can see it, click the Like button, comment on Facebook, or even better, click over and visit the exact blog post.
As far as sharing your blog on Twitter or GoogleBuzz, Facebook, or any other social networks, it’s easy to do. You don’t always require a special plug-in and there’s no rule that says you can’t re-tweet and re-share old blog posts in addition to new ones. What if you went to a blog post that was a week old, and re-shared it, What if you went to a blog post that was six months or a year old, and re-shared it or re-tweeted it, The TweetMeme number would increase, you would have more people seeing this old piece of content, and a chance that new visitors could see this content that they had not previously had access to.
When you’re adding a new post to your blog, it’s always tough to figure out how long you have to write. But that’s the wrong question to ask. In fact, it does not matter how long your blog posts are.
I’ve checked on my own blog as far as comments, and the short posts get just as much response as the long posts, which means that there’s no correlation between the length of your post and how many people read it, and how much response it gets.
This means that if you have a point to make, if you can make it in a shorter amount of time, then that’s less work for you. In other words, if you can take the same 1,000-word blog post and say the same message in 100 words, then do it. Because there’s no minimum requirement on a blog, and you will still get the same number of comments, but with ten percent of the effort and time as you did before. So your blog post is just as long enough as it has to be.
If you read different people’s blog posts, you will find that some bloggers actually have very, very short posts. And if you can follow those bloggers, you can model what they do, and you will see that they use some different techniques to keep the length of their posts at a minimum.
My favorite technique for keeping the length of a blog post down is with lists and bullets. Instead of telling a big long story about the top ten things to use to fix a home, you just list the top ten things, and that in itself is a blog post as long as it condenses the same information down. And even then, you don’t have to cram every little thing you have to say into one blog post. If you have ten things to say, those could each be ten short blog posts scheduled over time. And then, blog post number 11 can in itself be a list linking back to the other blog posts, which gives you more content, which provides more easy-to-access solutions and more ways for people to find you from searching something specific on Google or on your website.
The length of your blog post doesn’t matter because you get the same number of comments, whether you have a short or long blog post. It just needs to be as long as it has to be to keep attention and make your point, and a great way to do this is lists and bullet points to make it easy to read and easy to jump down to the comments, leave a comment, or click on a link.
The biggest reason why you’re probably making blog posts is so that people find you from the search engines. And when people get to your site, they stay as long as possible and see all the authoritative information you shared on that blog. But if your titles suck, no one is going to click from the search results. They aren’t going to stay on your site for very long, and they might not think that you know what you’re talking about. That’s why you need to have very good titles for your blog posts. But luckily, there is not a lot of thinking involved if you just follow these simple steps.
The first thing you can do is think of things you see searched for. You can check your statistics in your cpanel, check AWStats, and find out what key phrases people type in to search engines to end up on your site. When you look up these similar topics, what exact phrases do you put in the search engines to end up on these pages, If you want to search, for example, for how to create a logo, then an obvious blog post for you would be “How to Create a Logo.” That way, if someone types in the exact phrase “how to create a logo,” or even “how to create a logo for a small business,” then there is a greater chance that they will see your blog post in the search results and also click, because it contains the exact phrase you looked for.
Another good tool is GoogleSuggest. Google will guess what you are about to type in their search engine. So you start to type something into Google, a dropdown will appear with various suggestions. That means you might start to type “how to design” and it could list suggestions like “how to design a web page,” “a logo,” “a graphic,” things like that. And you can use those to get the exact phrasing that people tend to type when they’re looking for this exact solution. And that’s something to keep in mind is you are not just talking on your blog to talk. You are answering real problems and real solutions. Think about what would you ask. And it’s okay to have some of your blog posts be statements, and some be questions. You can have some blog post titled, “How to Design a Logo,” and it’s also acceptable to title your blog post “How Would I Design a Logo,” And both of those will capture different types of people looking for the same information.
To get good blog posts, type in things you see searched for. Use the GoogleSuggest tool to figure out what are popular search phrases and consider what you would ask when looking for this information, keeping in mind it’s okay to have statements-titles, and question-titles.
When you make a blog post, you aren’t limited to just using it one time. You can recycle this same exact, word-for word information in many different ways including articles, sequel content, e-mail auto-responders, and guest blog posts.
When you make a post to your blog, that’s great because someone can see everything you’ve written all in one place, it’s ranked very highly on the search engines, but if no one knows about this information, it’s no good.
That’s why you can take the same exact blog post, including the title, and post it to different article sites or different forums, or different guest blogs. And what’s funny is that some forum software actually allows you to have your own blog within that forum. You have to look around to find it but there are many places that accept this guest material in the form of articles.
You can also create a sequel, or follow-up, or revised version of any of your blog posts. Let’s say that you made a blog post about how to install WordPress. And in the future, WordPress changed the setup process. Then it’s time to update that, and edit the time stamps so that it appears as if you just wrote it because you just modified it.
But here’s what’s even more interesting, is that there’s nothing wrong with taking a blog post that’s two or three years old that’s still relevant, even if you didn’t have to change anything in that post, and do the same thing. Make it appear as if it came out today, and put it on the front page of your blog.
Another easy thing to do is take the contents of that blog post, and set it as an e-mail follow up. You can either paste the entire blog post as an e-mail message that gets sent, or just make the message link people back to your blog post and they can leave a comment.
And finally, you can take your best blog posts and either use them as is, or improve them and contact other blog owners, and offer this as a post on their blog. There’s always articles, sequel content, e-mail auto-responders, and guest blog posts to take the same exact thing you wrote on your blog and reuse it over and over again.
You need to make sure that your email autoresponder list of subscribers is steadily growing every day. You really want to grow it as fast as possible because if you have this list of subscribers you would rather have a database of a thousand people to contact than 10 or 100, right, You want to build this list as fast as possible but is it possible to pay people to join your list to allow them to get on there faster and build your business faster,
The answer is basically yes. In some autoresponder services such as 1ShoppingCart, you can pay people for every sign up they send to your website which means that you can set it so that if someone refers a subscriber into your system you send them $1. Basically, the system will keep track of how much money you owe to each affiliate, they sign up as an affiliate, promote your webpage and they are tracked. But if you look at the subscribers they sent, if they sent fake subscribers or if they violated your terms of service you can uncredit them. But when the time comes to pay everyone, you can dump all of the information into a PayPal mass pay file and pay all those affiliates at once.
Although this works it has the biggest risk because you aren’t sure how many of those subscribers will buy from you and there’s no guarantee you will make your money back on those leads you paid the affiliates to send to you. A less risky way of building a list is with a free gift. You make a simple webpage that offers a five-page PDF or five-minute video in exchange for typing in their name and email address.
These are going to be slightly better subscribers although not the best because you have no idea if these subscribers own credit cards, trust you enough to buy or are even interested in what you are offering. There’s no risk because you don’t have to pay anything to get these subscribers into your system but it is slow going because you are stuck with the traditional method of traffic such as forums, articles and so on to get the subscribers. You can’t necessarily get affiliates to promote your opt-in page.
Finally, the best kind of list you can build is a buyer’s list which is very simple. Somebody paid you money for a report or a video. It can be a $100, even as something as little as $7 is good. A $7 buyer is way better than no buyer. Somebody paid you money and on the download page you add an email sign up form. Someone can sign up for updates or get bonuses but they have already proven themselves as someone who has paid you money and now they are joining your opt-in list. They are a proven buyer and these are going to be the most responsive buyers who read your messages, who click and who are most likely to buy again.
That’s the kind of people you can get on your list. You can pay for lead which gives you the biggest risk and the least proven subscribers. You can have a free gift which offers something for signing up as a reward but the problem is this is a slow way to build a list and you can have a list of buyers which means after someone pays you, they sign up to your list. In reality, you should have all of these methods of building a list to figure out who you can pay to send traffic your way, figure out what free gift you can offer subscribers and make sure that when someone pays you, they join your list.