10 Essential WordPress Plugins For Your Website

10 Essential WordPress Plugins

Here on Bizzebee, we have talked about how important your website is to your business and why, when you create one, you should be using WordPress to build it.  One of the great things about WordPress is that there are literally tens of thousands of WordPress plugins that you can install to your site to fill a number of different roles.  That could be for a design purpose, security, SEO, etc. or in all likelihood, all of the above.

In this post we look at some essential WordPress Plugins for your website.

7 Unofficial Rules Of Blogging For Newbies

7-Unofficial-Rules-Of-Blogging-For-Newbies

Blogging has become an integral part of online business as it is a fantastic way of attracting traffic to a site.  Saying that, however, when you first start out in the world of blogging there is a lot to get to grips with.  That is why I decided to put together a set of unofficial rules of blogging for newbies to help them out.

1. Always Respond To Comments

Every site’s priority should be to try and build a community of people around their website.  There are numerous ways in which you can do this, but one of the very best is via the comment section.  Comments are essentially the lifeblood of any site so you should really make the most of them.

One thing that I see quite often and, that if I’m quite honest annoys me terribly, is when site’s don’t respond to any comments.  I can come across a well written blog post with plenty of comments left by readers, but none have been replied to by the author.   This is just wasteful!

If people have taken the time to leave a comment, ask a question or ask for help, etc. then it is your job to reply.  Not only is it simply polite, but it can also greatly benefit your site by doing so.  New visitors to your site will see that your website is active and that it is somewhere that they can go for genuine help/advice.  This can really help to build a community around your website and slowly build your readership.

2. Get Involved With Commenting

Sticking with the “commenting” theme, it is equally important to get involved on other people’s sites.  This can help spread the word about your blog and help people to recognise you online.  As well as that, if you can prove to be helpful on other people’s sites, they will be more willing to visit your own site.

Try to stick to sites within your own niche as this way people in your target audience can get to know you.  It can also help to get to know other blog owners by doing this, which leads nicely to my next point.

3. Acknowledge Other Bloggers

Don’t be reluctant to mention and link to other people’s content within your own posts.  Not only can this be beneficial in the eyes of the search engines (as they value content that links to other high quality content), but it can also encourage others to link to your content as well.

4. Share & Share Alike

Social media is a huge component in the blogging world.  In the same way that it is beneficial to link to and mention other people’s work within your own posts, it is also beneficial to share (Tweet, Like, +1, Pin, etc.) other people’s content with your own followers.

Whilst this may sound counter-intuitive, it can really help to build your following.  People generally dislike profiles that just self-promote themselves.  If you can mix it up a bit and share with your followers links to other high quality, relevant posts, then they will appreciate that.  Similarly, other bloggers will be much more willing to share your posts with their audience if you do the same.

5. Quality Is Always Better Than Quantity

One question that always crops up online to do with blogging is “How often should I post?

There are many varying opinions on this, but most would agree that quality is always better than quantity.  Instead of trying to publish as many posts as you can simply for the sake of it, focus more on producing high quality content that people want to read.

6. Longer Posts Are Better Than Shorter Posts

Another common question that comes up a lot is “How long should my posts be?

Again, there are varying opinions on this, but most would agree that longer posts are much better than shorter posts.  Much of this comes down to quality, as you can’t expect to include that much detail and helpful advice in a really short post.  Longer posts allow you to be much more descriptive for your audience and cover a subject in more detail.

It has been suggested that Google tend to favour lengthy posts, as articles of 2,000+ words ranking much higher than much shorter posts.  This is another reason why you should try to make your posts much longer.

At the end of the day though, there is no “magic number” that you need to aim for in terms of word count.  Your posts should be as long as they need to be, just remember to put more emphasis on quality.

7. Forget About Stats

Statistics are something that a lot of new bloggers love to look at and keep checking on a regular basis.  Whilst stats are very important for sites to monitor in the long-term, they are practically irrelevant to brand new sites.

New bloggers often wrongly assume that their site can sky-rocket to getting millions of hits within a few weeks.  In reality it can take a while for a site to begin to build an audience online, which is why constantly checking stats is a waste of time.  You are probably better off just forgetting about them altogether for the first few months and just focusing on getting your site up and running.  If anything, it can be demoralizing to see little to no growth when you first start, but like I say this can be quite common for the few months.

Summary

These are just some unofficial rules that came to mind when writing this post.  Ask other bloggers and I’m sure they would come up with some additional ones.   If you follow these though you will be on the right path to building a successful blog for the future.

What blogging rules do you live by?  What good advice have you been given to do with blogging?  We want to hear from you so please get in touch below.

Getting To Know Your Audience

Getting-To-Know-Your-Audience

When you start a website (or any kind of business really) it is very easy to lose track of things and focus on what you personally think needs to happen.  We all do it, it is perfectly natural to do this yet in the long run it can be quite damaging.  Any successful business knows that THE most important person for them is the customer.  You always have to keep putting yourself in the customer’s shoes to see where you need to improve, but in order to do that you need to know your audience!

Only by knowing who your audience is and knowing your target market can you begin to move forward as a business.  But how do you do that???

Questions To Ask Yourself

Websites and blogs are always trying to think of ideas for new content to publish on their site.  In fact, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is (along the lines of) “What can I write about for my site?”  I always give the same answer to this question – “Well who is your audience?” – which is often followed by “……erm?!?

Too often website owners seem to know absolutely nothing about the people that they are writing for.  This is crazy when you think about it as you wouldn’t expect other types of business to do this.  Only by knowing who your audience is can you better approach your website.

Take a few minutes to think about who your ideal reader would be.  Ask yourself;

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • What is their native language?
  • How old are they?
  • Are they male or female?
  • What kind of job do they do?
  • What kind of education do they have?
  • How much do they earn?
  • Are they married?
  • Do they have kids?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • What are their driving ambitions?
  • What are their wants and needs?

Difference Between “Ideal” & “Actual” Audience

Now, there is a HUGE difference between your “ideal reader” and your “actual reader”.  Your ideal reader may be young, trendy, single and have a well-paid, exciting job, whereas the people who are actually visiting your site may be middle aged parents with little time on their hands due to having children.

This is why it is important to know your audience as you may be writing for the wrong kind of people.

How To Find Out Who Your Audience Is?

There are many different ways to actually find out who your audience is but one of the best ways is to use Google Analytics.  Analytics lets you track certain data that can give you a better understanding of who is actually visiting your site.  Specific data, such as; age, gender, language, location, in-market audiences, etc. can all be found within Analytics.

Google works this out by tracking the browsing tendencies of people online.  This is what “cookies” are used for, as they can help advertisers and website owners to better understand their audience.  Learn more about how Google determines user demographics.

Google Analytics - Location Demographics

So Analytics is good for learning about specific user traits, but what about other useful information, such as; passions, drives, wants and needs?  Well, a lot of this information is right there in front of you already.  Blog comments, social media streams, forums, emails, question and answer sessions, etc. that are already associated with your website can give you a big insight into the type pf people who are visiting your site.  If not, why not just ask your readers themselves.  At worst they can just say no, otherwise it can be a good way to get people talking and help to build a community around your site.

If you can use these two sets of information together you can build a more accurate representation of your audience.  That way, when you are thinking of ideas for what to write about, you can visualise what your audience would like to read about.

Create Reader Profiles

With the information that you gather about your audience, you can begin to piece together reader profiles.  The great thing about these profiles is that you can have more than one.

For example, let’s say that I ran a pet website.  My ideal reader would be family oriented, married people with young kids that have a dog or a cat.  The actual person that I found tends to read the site are people who are looking to buy their first pet, are quite young and often single.  I may also be able to create another profile of older individuals who have lots of pets who like reading about them.

Reader-Profiles

From these three simple profiles, I can come up with plenty of ideas better suited to each of them.  If my aim is to better target the “Family Oriented” people, perhaps I could publish more about pets & kids, for example.

There are plenty of ways to better understand your audience online.  Only by truly knowing who is visiting your site can you better aim your content and tailor it for them.

What type of people visit your website?  Which tools/programs/methods do you use to determine your audience?  We want to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.

3 Simple Words Every Online Business Should Memorize

3-Simple-Words-Every-Online-Business-Should-Memorize

If I told you that there were 3 simple words that every online business should memorize, what would you guess they would be?

Dedication, innovation, strategy, marketing, turnover, trust, efficiency, advertising, sales, networking, experience, goals, etc.  These are all fantastic words that spring to mind, but they aren’t the ones that I want to talk about.  What if I gave you a further clue and said that all 3 words begin with the letter P.  Any ideas?

Well providing you haven’t cheated and scrolled down the page already (shame on you) I’ll tell you.  For any of you that have never come across it before, there is a fantastic quote by Napoleon Hill, a very famous American author and advisor to President D. Roosevelt.

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill

I love that quote as it really gets to the heart of what success is.  All the words that I listed above (and many others) all play a part in that success, but without patience, persistence and perspiration you won’t get very far.

Patience

Starting your own business online is a very exciting process.  Your mind is full of ideas and you are keen to make those ideas real.  This initial excitement and drive is fantastic, but like anything, nothing lasts forever.

Online businesses, just like traditional offline businesses, take time to get off the ground and even longer to grow.  This is where patience comes in as you need to prepare yourself for the long road ahead.  If you think that your website will take off and start attracting millions of hits after only a few weeks then you are in for a shock.  Websites need time to grow, to attract traffic, to build up a loyal readership and get noticed by the search engines.  Factor in that there is a lot to learn about if you haven’t run a site before (i.e. SEO, blogging, social media marketing, link building, HTML, CSS, etc.) and you can begin to see why it can take time to build up some momentum.

Persistence

Now, since websites can take a while to get up and running online, it is vital that you don’t give up when the going gets tough.  Persistence is needed, not only to get your site off the ground, but also when it does start to pick up you need to be able to continue that drive to grow it further.

I speak to quite a few new bloggers who are thinking about, or have just started, their own website.  Whilst some are very enthusiastic initially, that can quickly turn after a few weeks because nothing has really happened.  Despite encouraging them to persist, many give up and move on to something else.  Now some of those sites may have been destined to fail, but I can almost guarantee that some will have gone on to become successful IF they had not given up so easily. Life Coaches can help you to improve a lot on this, check iNLP Center reviews

It is dead easy to give up on something, anyone and everyone can do that.  What is much harder is to persist and see through an idea/project to the end.

Perspiration

You can have all the patience and persistence in the world, but the one key ingredient that is needed to be truly successful is perspiration.  It takes bloody hard work to get anywhere in life, no one is going to hand it to you on a plate, you have to get out there and put the work in.

There are plenty of people out there that will live their entire lives trying to get around doing hard work and taking the easy way out when they can.  It’s their life, let them do that if that is what they choose to do.  Bar winning the lottery, there is no shortcut to success so it is up to you what path you are willing to take.

The 3 Words Every Online Business Should Live By

Running an online business is no walk in the park, but it is very achievable if you approach it in the right way.  Patience, persistence and perspiration are the key things that you really need.  If you have them, everything else will fall into place.

Do you follow the 3 P’s of success?  What words do you try to live by?  Let us know below by leaving a comment.

Ways To Improve Your Google Ranking

Improve-Your-Google-Ranking

How to improve your Google ranking?’ is a common question that crops up online because it is such an important issue.  Search engines send, by far, more traffic to websites than any other method, so it makes sense to make the most use of them.  You can only do this, however, by ranking highly within them.  But how do you do that?  My friend bought from this https://glassboxmarketingconsultancy.com/ and is getting huge ranking boost for his website. The agency put together 11 free ways that you can use to help improve your Google ranking.

Let’s get started!

1. Give People What They Are Looking For

First things first, in order to attract traffic to your website you will need to know what people are searching for.  This may sound simple (and it is really), but too often website owners write for themselves and not for their readers.

The easiest way to go and find what people are searching for is simply to open up Google or Bing and start typing away.  Whatever subject/topic/keyphrase/question, etc. that you were aiming to rank for can be instantly adapted to fit in with what people are actually typing in and searching for online.   Of course there are some excellent tools online that can help you do this, such as the keyword planner tool and Google trends, but nothing can quite beat a quick manual search on the search engine yourself.

Only by providing this type of targeted content will you be able to improve your Google ranking, so make sure that you spend some extra time to research your keywords and keyphrases.   This leads nicely to my next few points…

2. Use Keywords Within Your Post Titles

Once you have identified which keywords and keyphrases that you are aiming for, you need to include them in your content.  By far the best and most effective place to do this is by using them within your post titles.  It makes sense of course because obviously (as we have just covered) this is what people are typing into the search engines, but also it encourages people to click onto those pages.

Now, before you go cramming as many keywords and keyphrases into your titles as you can possibly fit (titles can only have a maximum of 70 characters), know that the ones that read properly and make sense are the ones that get the most clicks.  This is why ‘question’ titles work so well as;

  • That is what people are typing in,
  • That is what people are wanting answering.

For example, let’s say that I was searching online for help on how to make pancakes.  If I type into a search engine “How to make pancakes” all the relevant posts and pages will appear.  Any post that wanted to rank for this term but simple stuffed their title with keywords (e.g. Pancakes, Cook Pancakes, Easy Pancakes, Pancake Recipe.) then they won’t stand a chance.

How-to-make-pancakes

As a rule of thumb, try to only use 1-2 keywords/keyphrases within your title and ALWAYS make sure that it makes sense when you read it.

3. Use Keywords Within Your Post Content

Your keywords and keyphrases should also be used throughout the main body of your content.  Search engines don’t read in the traditional sense that we do to understand what an article is about, instead it scans your content for words and phrases and determines what it is about based on that.

Again, this doesn’t mean you should stuff your articles with as many keywords and keyphrases as you possibly can.  Search engines wised up to this practice long ago and now penalise sites that do this extensively.  They should make up no more than 3-4% of your overall article, but if you write normally anyway, you are bound to include plenty naturally.

4. Use Keywords Within Your Post Headings & Subheadings

Keywords and keyphrases should be included in your headings and subheadings, much for the same reason that we include them in our titles.

As we have said, search engines scan through your content to determine what it is about.  What they also do though is they look more closely at the text that you make standout in your posts.  Subheadings come under this (also known as H1, H2, H3, etc. tags) as they are a good way to gauge what each of your post sections are about, but this can also apply to italics, bold words, quotes, etc.

5. Internal Links Can Improve Google Ranking

A very simple and effect thing that you can do to help improve your Google ranking is to include internal links within your posts.  These are links that point to your other articles and pages of your site.

This is especially relevant when you use internal links that are relevant.  For example, this professional resell seo company has a lot of information about Search Engines Optimization;   This is actually another way that search engines assess what a post is about by looking at what content you are pointing to (both internal links and external links), so it always helps that they are relevant.

Of course the added benefit of using internal links is that readers will get to find more of your own content and stay on your site for longer, which is always a good thing.

6. External Links & The Importance Of Anchor Text

Whilst internal links are very useful, they are expected as obviously sites want to keep people viewing there content for as long as possible.  What search engines do though is they also look specifically at the external links that you include (links that point to other websites).

Search engines value the fact that you are willing to point readers to other sites, but which specific sites you point to is especially relevant.  Again the key word here is RELEVANT as sites/posts/articles that you link to should in some way be related to what you are saying.

For example, for this post I can quite happily link to other sites that talk about the benefits of external links and SEO techniques because they are relevant to what I am saying.  If on the other hand I randomly linked to a site about Orangutans, that would be out of place.

The same can be said about anchor text (the text that you use for the link).  This needs to reflect what you are linking to and not be generic (i.e. ‘click here’ is not as good as ‘SEO techniques’ when linking to a post about on-page SEO techniques).

Orangutans Laughing

7. More Links To Your Site = Good

Search engines look at the number of links that point to a site and use them as a way to assess how good that site actually is.  Think of it like a popularity contest, sites with lots of links pointing to it clearly must be good because they have so many people wanting to link to it.  Sites with not very many links pointing to it must be less popular or not very good.  This is clearly a very basic way of putting it as obviously, as we have discussed, there are many other factors that are taken into consideration, but it is one metric that search engines use.

A word of warning though.  Don’t just think that you can spam links to your site to help boost your ranking.  There are many dodgy companies that offer to sell X thousand links to your site, but you should avoid these like the plague.  Often these links are from dodgy sites themselves who you don’t really want to be associated with.  Also, search engines look at the rate at which sites build up links.  If anything looks unnatural (like buying X thousand) then it looks suspicious and could cause you more harm than good.

8. Social Networks

Social media is the most influential channel for you to promote your website or business plan. You can use various social networking sites for marketing purposes which can be pivotal for your online business. Positive social activity can upgrade your chances of exposure and recognition. My friend Ameet Kahbra in Ameet Khabra Marketing helped me really set up a business social media account.

A company doesn’t need to have a physical presence to become a retailer on the internet. Even the smallest online company can turn out to be engaging and as functional as a large one. A little effort in the right direction can help a business reap its rewards in the future.

9. Shippment Logistics

From the manufacturing facilites and before to reach the end consumers, the products will transit through centralized distribution centers.

For each one of these steps, goods will be split further and carried on shorter distances to more locations; For instance, the manufacture will produce several goods in bulk, and they will be shipped to the distribution centers; Generally the manufacturer will take care of all that huge scale logistic work, but you still need to delivery the products from your warehouse to the end consumer, depending on the size of the order and customer location it can take a lot of unnecessary physical effort and transportation vehicle requirements. I suggest to contract our pick and pack delivery services in order to save valuable time, money and effort.

10. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Once you are done with the website the next step you have to take is to draw attention of the users through SEO, you can find a local seo company in your area to help you. A survey reports that 89 percent of people use search engines to find a product online, this is exactly why you need your business to appear first on the search engine listings. It is crucial to keep a constant check on your content and make sure it is updated and correct.

11. More Quality Links To Your Site = Better

Quality-over-Quantity

As the old saying goes – “It’s quality not quantity that matters.

Search engines look at the sites that are pointing to yours and judge their worth based on how good those sites are.  This is done using Google’s PageRank (PR) statistics.  High quality PR8 sites are significantly better than much lower PR2 sites.

So having 1,000 links from PR1 sites is good, but it is MUCH better to have 100 links from PR5 sites.

In order to help improve your online Google ranking then, try to aim to get links from quality websites within your niche instead of from any old site.

12. Improve Your Google Ranking By Improving Your Website Speed

Increasingly, search engines are taking into consideration how fast a site is.  The faster your page load time is, the better.

This is actually very beneficial to your readers, so this is something that you should look to improve upon anyway, regardless of the search engines or not.  It is estimated that people only stick around on a site for a few seconds before getting bored and navigating away.  If they click on your site and end up staring at a blank screen whilst waiting for everything to load, then they won’t hang around for long.  Instead you really want everything loaded up quickly so that they can start reading or viewing your content.

13. The Longer People Stay On Your Site The Better

Another factor, that is both beneficial for your website in general and search engines, is how long people stick around on your website.  This includes;

  • Pages / Session
  • Avg. Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate

If you can increase how long on average people stay on your website and how many posts/pages they view in a single sitting, then you are on your way to dramatically improving your rankings.  Unfortunately there are no easy solutions to these problems and can be affected by things like; website design, writing quality, how easy it is to navigate around your site, etc.

14. Your Site Gets Better With Age

Search engines can see and record how long a website is active for.  The longer you are around online, the better it looks.  Think of it like this – if a site was rubbish and no one was interested in it, then it wouldn’t last very long.

This is why many people like to buy existing sites and “do them up”, so to speak.  They get the benefit of a matured domain and everything that comes with that, whilst they can improve upon it and attract more traffic.

Obviously this point is something that you can’t really get around.  You simply need to focus on creating and maintaining your site to a high level over time.

Summary

Improving your Google ranking is certainly not easy, not least for the fact that search engines never quite let on exactly how they rank sites as they are always changing and adapting.  Hopefully though, these free tips will help you to focus your attention on what does work.  If there are 3 key things to take from reading this post though, it would be;

  1. Use relevant links,
  2. Quality is what really matters,
  3. Improve your site for your readers and it will improve in the rankings.

What are your views?  What other free methods would you add to this list?  Do you have any questions?  Please feel free to get in touch below via the comments section and we will try to answer them for you.

7 Step Plan For Your First Week Blogging

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I wrote a post recently about people hesitating on starting a blog, which let’s face it, many of us do when first starting out.  This led to a few questions though on social media asking what people should actually do within their first week blogging.  Well ask and you shall receive.

I’ve put together a simple 6 step plan for you to follow during your first week blogging.  Now, this isn’t a strict “Day 1 do X, Day 2 do Y, Day 3 do Z…” kind of plan, it is more of a loose guide for you to follow.  The main aim though is to highlight key areas that you should be focusing on initially so that you don’t get distracted by smaller, insignificant details that can wait for later.

So without ado, let’s get blogging!

1. Pick Your Niche

If you plan on starting a blog, THE most important decision that you will have to make is on what subject to focus on.  This can/will determine whether your site will be successful or not almost from day 1.

I go into much greater detail in a previous post about picking a niche to blog about, but essentially you need to take some time to really think about and analyse your preferred subject.  Rushing in and committing to a blog all about your favourite hobby may sound like a good idea to you, but does it appeal to a wider audience?  Without a large enough group of people who would be interested in your site, it is doomed from the start.

On the other hand however, if you pick a subject that is too broad, you run the risk of being too generic and not attracting visitors.  There is a definite balance that you need to find;

  • Blog niche is targeted at a large group of people.
  • Blog niche isn’t too generic that people won’t know what your site is about.
  • Blog niche is too small to appeal to enough people.

Let’s take a look at an example.  Say you had a passion for cheese cake and wanted to start a site on that.  A blog that focused purely on cheese cake would probably be aiming for a much too narrow niche to attract that much traffic (and you’d likely run out of ideas pretty quickly).  If on the other hand you broadened it out to include all types of cakes, that would appeal to a much broader audience.  Take it to the furthest extreme though and broaden it out to “cooking” in general and you risk being too generic.  If people know you as a “site about cakes” or “the cake blog” they know what they are getting.

Cake

2. Set Up Your Site

A pretty important part of setting up a blog online is to actually set it up.   Now this is a lot easier than most people first think as all you really need is;

  1. A domain name,
  2. Web hosting,
  3. WordPress,
  4. WordPress theme (optional).

A domain name is essentially the address of your site (e.g. www.ExampleSite.com) and every site needs one.  If you can, always go for the ‘.com’ version as that is what 99% of people will type in without thinking about it.  We would recommend you to GoDaddy* to get your domain, we use them for all of our sites and have never had a problem with them.

Web hosting is essentially the space where your site is stored online.  In order for people to access a site 24 hours a day, all the images, text, website files, etc. need to be stored on a server somewhere.  This is why you need web hosting.  Bizzebee and the whole Bizzebee team use HostGator to host our sites online and would recommend them to you.

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) that makes it incredibly easy to setup and manage your blog, and what’s even better is that it is completely free!  You simply install it onto your web host and then you can add posts, images, edit the look of your site, etc. without the need for any complicated coding.

You may want to install a WordPress theme for your site, as this can greatly improve the look of your site.  There are plenty of free WordPress themes available online, but for a professional looking site you probably want to go for a premium one.  There are lots of sites that offer high quality themes for you to buy, such as StudioPress.

3. Set Up Your Key Pages

Once you have actually setup your site online, it can be tempting to just start writing your blog and focus on that.  You really need to setup some important pages before you do that though, including;

  • About page – Who you/what your site is about.
  • Contact page – Allowing people to get in touch with you.
  • Sitemap – Very important for the search engines to find all your content.
  • Subscription page – Allowing people to subscribe to your newsletter if you have one.
  • Legal page(s) – Affiliate disclosure, earnings disclaimer, privacy disclosure, etc.
  • Category pages – Allowing people to easily find all your content.
  • Home page – With a good, clear layout.

Creating these pages right at the beginning of your site will help greatly in the long run.  You may need to come back and edit them now and again, but at least people will be able to navigate around your whole site easily.

4. Get Writing

Blog-Writing

You have started a blog, so at some point you are going to have to start blogging.

As this is your first week, there is no need to go mad and publish tons of content.  One or two posts would be more than enough to launch your site with.  After all, you will probably be spending most of your time this week on the other points that we have listed.

One thing that you should do, however, is to make a list of future posts that you want to write.  This doesn’t need to be a definitive list of post titles, more like a list of ideas that you can pick from.  You will need to produce regular content for your site every week (2-3 posts at least) in order to begin to build up an audience, so having a list of ideas to draw inspiration from is very beneficial.

5. Plan, Plan, Plan

Successful sites don’t happen by accident.  Owners have planned out where they intend to take the site over the weeks/months/years and work towards achieving that.  Since you are just starting out, planning is more important than ever, as without a plan you are destined to fail.  As the old quote goes;

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

…or another of my favourites;

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Think about how you will;

  • Attract new traffic to your site,
  • Get people to navigate to your key posts/pages,
  • Compete with other sites in the same niche,
  • Make your site stand out against the competition,
  • Develop and grow your site over time,
  • …and much more.

6. Set Up Your Social Media Profiles

A massive part of attract traffic to a site and building a brand is linked with social media.  This is why it is very important that you take the time to, not only, setup social media profiles for your website, but also take time to be active on them as well.

Again, as we are focusing on your first week blogging we shall just look at setting up your profiles.  It is better to do all these at the beginning as then people will be able to find you on their preferred network.

Start by setting up profiles/pages on;

  • Facebook,
  • Twitter,
  • Google+,
  • LinkedIn,
  • Pinterest,
  • YouTube,

Depending on your site, you may want to create profiles on sites like Instagram and Flickr as well.

It is also important that you brand each of these profiles in the same way.  A brand identity can be built by consistently using your logo for each profile picture.  What you don’t want to do is create profiles that all look as though they are by different companies.

7. Get Involved

Lastly (and this links in nicely with our last point), you need to start getting involved online to help spread the word about you and your site.  There are literally hundreds of ways that you could do this, but some methods would include;

  • Follow people within your niche on social media,
  • Get involved in conversations online to do with your niche,
  • Get involved in the comment sections of rival sites (don’t spam though),
  • Keep up to date on what is happening in your niche,
  • Join forums within your niche,

Essentially, just get involved with the community that you are aiming your site at.  Ask questions, answer questions, be helpful to everyone and always remember that what you say online can (and will) reflect on you in the long term.

Go And Get Started!!!

There is no getting away from the fact that there is a lot of work to do to get your site up and running.  If you are serious about starting a blog though, you will approach it in the right way.

Blogging is a fantastic industry to get involved in.  It is great to, not only be involved in an online community that you are passionate about, but also to be at the heart of that community where people come for information.  I am a firm believer that anyone can create a successful site online, they just need the right attitude and a good plan.

Are you thinking about stating a blog?  What would you add to this plan to do in the first week of blogging?  Do you have any questions that you would like to ask us?  Please feel free to get in touch via the comment section below.

4 Reasons Why Your Blog Is Rubbish! (And How To Fix It)

Why-Your-Blog-Is-Rubbish

There could be many different individual reasons why your blog is rubbish, but from my experience it usually comes down to a select handful of reasons.  I see many sites make these big mistakes, which only makes it harder for them to succeed.

Let’s take a look at some of these mistakes to avoid and, more importantly, how to fix them.

1. You Site Is Slow, Very Sloooooow

Search engines have stated that they are taking a websites speed into consideration when ranking them, which is why it is so important that you work at speeding up your site.  Too often I have landed on a site that takes forever to load.  All that does is encourage people to click off of your site and go elsewhere.

A websites speed can be affected by many things, such as;

  • The website theme that you are using,
  • The number of plugins that you use,
  • The number and size of your images,
  • Excessive number of on-page elements that need loading,

Your first stop that you should take to determine what work needs to be done is the Google PageSpeed Tool.  That will give you a score out of 100 whilst also identifying areas that you can improve.

For more information on how to speed up your website, check out my ‘7 Ways To Speed Up Your Website Load Time’ post.

2. You Don’t Have Anything For People To Subscribe To

Subscribe

Any successful blogger will tell you that you need to grow your subscriber list.  One of the best ways to do that is to encourage people to subscribe by giving something away for free as an incentive.  This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, something as simple as giving away a free eBook or an eCourse can be a great way to get people to sign up to your list.  We do this ourselves here on Bizzebee, offering subscribers a free eCourse to ‘Help You Get Online In 7 Days’.

AWeber is the industry standard tool for email marketing and it is really easy to setup.

3. You Don’t Reply To Peoples Comments

Comments are at the heart of any website (or at least they should be) as they are from your loyal readers.  People can get fixated with the amount of comments that they receive, when in reality it is more important to focus on the quality of the comments you receive.

To encourage more interaction on your blog posts/site, you should be making the effort to reply to each and every comment that you receive.  This is for two simple reasons;

  1. It is polite to reply to someone that has taken the time to leave a comment,
  2. It gets the conversation going, helping to encourage other people to comment.

If people have spent time crafting a question for you to answer or need further clarification on what you have written about, you should make the effort to follow up on that.  This can actually refer to social media as well, as you should make the time to reply to people’s questions on Twitter, Facebook, G+, etc. as it is all a reflection on you and your site.

4. Your Blog Content Is Rubbish

How-To-Write-A-Blog-Post

A blog is only as good as its content.  If you want to create a quality website, you will need to publish quality content to attract readers.  It is your blog content that brings in the traffic, that encourages people to subscribe, that brings in the advertising/affiliate revenue, etc. so it needs to be up to scratch.

Some common examples of poor quality content would include;

  • Very short posts that don’t go into much detail (i.e. less than 300 words).
  • Poorly formatted content, with no headings, subheading or paragraphs to break it up.
  • Visually unattractive (basically just text, no images or videos are included).
  • Poorly written.

Of course, the absolute worst thing you can do is to simply copy & paste content from other sites and try to pass it off as your own.  Not only can you get banned from the search engines by doing this, but it is also illegal (as content is copyright protected) so you risk having your site closed down entirely.  I have been the victim of people stealing my content and passing it off as their own, but I have (along with many others in the blogging community) always chased up those offending sites and reported them to their hosting providers.

In order to create quality content you need to spend time working on the “quality” aspect of it.

  • Write longer posts that are helpful and detailed for people.
  • Include multimedia aspects (Images, Videos, Slideshows, etc.)
  • Format your content properly (Paragraphs, Headings, Subheadings, Bullet points, etc.)
  • Follow up with a call to action at the end of your posts.
  • Include internal & external links to relevant posts.

Check out our ‘9 Step Guide To Writing Quality Blog Posts’ for more info on producing better content.

Summary

These points may seem obvious to some but I can guarantee that all sites will have suffered from these at some point or the other.  There is so much to learn about running a blog that it is easy to let things slip in certain areas if you are not careful.  Some of my early blogs were truly horrendous looking back on them now, but you learn from those mistakes and move on.  Only then can you begin to improve your existing site(s) and look to take them to the next level.

What things have you spotted that other sites are doing that would make you label them as rubbish?  What areas do you think you could improve upon on your own blog?  Please let us know in the comment section below.

The Secret To Blogging Success – Fast Food Of Course!

Fast-Food

Yes, you heard me right.  The secret to blogging success is, of course, fast food.  I mean it’s obvious, isn’t it?

OK, maybe I should explain before you pick up the phone and order another [insert favourite food] from your local take out.  The secret isn’t about the food itself – that will just lead to diabetes and obesity – instead it is more about why fast food is so popular.

Why Fast Food?

Ask yourself why fast food is so popular.  We all know that it is bad for us (really bad!) yet people still eat it.  I consider myself reasonably healthy and I even follow fitness plans from sites as https://www.tophealthjournal.com/, yet I am still partial to the odd curry from my local take away restaurant now and again.
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You see, fast food (and junk food in general for that matter) is popular, not because of the taste but because it is both convenient and cheap.  Just walk down the street and you will pass several take out restaurants.  Supermarkets are stocked full of convenience food and there are vending machines on just about every corner.  Frankly it is everywhere!

What Has This Got To Do With Blogging?

Ok, bear with me.  I’m getting to my point.

Fast food is simply a product that is widely available to the mass population, which is why it is so popular.  Blogs can learn a lot from this as the real key to success is to simply try and make their content as widely available to the mass population as it can.

The internet is a wonderful thing.  Never before have we been so connected as a global species.  Despite this fact, sites still need to work on making their content accessible in order for people to find.  Just because it is online, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people will be able to find it easily.  You need to do what all the fast food companies do and get your quality content in front of as many people as possible.

There are plenty of ways of doing this, including;

Anything basically to help people find you and your site.  Some of the biggest fast food retailers (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc.) aren’t really successful because of the food they make (I could make a better burger), it’s more to do with the fact that they can deliver that food to everyone because they are everywhere.

Advertising is usually the first method that people choose to use to help promote their website, but arguably the better option is to focus more on SEO.  Search engines are how the vast majority of people will find you online, so by concentrating on improving your ranking within Google, Yahoo & Bing, you can greatly increase the visibility of your site online.

Another way to think of it is like this.  Think of each of your blog posts as fast food outlet.  The more of these quality “outlets” that you have ranking highly; the more people can potentially find you online via the search engines.  Only then can you make money yourself via your own advertising, product sales, affiliate links, etc.

There are too many bloggers out there that give up and throw in the towel simply because they are not getting the traffic that they expected.  On inspection of their site however, it is usually clear to see that many of these are doing very little promotion (if any at all) of their content, which is why they are getting no traffic.

Summary

I hope this post has helped highlight the important factors that you should be focusing on with your blog.  The fast food metaphor was simply used to try and hit home the message.

I’m now off to eat something incredibly unhealthy.  Please feel free to leave your comments and feedback below.

4 Simple SEO Tips For New Bloggers

SEO Tips

According to this top SEO reseller a pretty important aspect to focus on when starting a new site is SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  This is because the vast majority of your traffic will be coming from the search engines.  Now I know many people struggle with SEO when they first start out, which is why I thought I’d put together a list of some helpful SEO tips for you to use, you can visit here for SEO services. You may have already seen some answers to this question on our about as page, but if not, please do have a quick read, as it explains our approach and gives details of our experience, discover answers some vital questions about SEO. The purpose of any SEO activity, either national or local, must be to attract potential customers.

1. Learn About SEO!!!

Yes, it may sound obvious but it is VITALLY IMPORTANT (I can’t stress that enough) that you spend time learning about how SEO works.

I get the sense (from readers, comments, emails, etc.) that many new bloggers think that they can put off learning about SEO until later.  Something along the lines of “…oh, I’ll build up my site first and gain a following before I read up on SEO” is what comes up a lot.  This is just the wrong way to look at it.  You may as well say “…oh, I’ll jump into the ocean and splash about for a bit before I learn how to swim.”  That’s not going to go well!

Traffic is essential for any site, so if your plan is to build a successful site, then SEO is one of the first things you need to learn about.  Putting it off will only slow you down.  Start by learning the basics about both on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques.

2. Think Long-Term, Not Short-Term

Think-Long-Term

SEO is certainly no “quick fix” for a site and can’t instantly make a difference to your traffic.  Instead you need to think of SEO as a long-term strategy for your site (which is another reason why you should learn about it sooner rather than later).

When you first start out online, your site will likely only have a handful of pages.  While you can (and should) optimise those pages for the search engines, they can only make so much of an impact. Some of the best best seo company‘s have said that the real value of SEO comes when you have built a much bigger site with hundreds, if not thousands of pages, all optimised for the search engines.  This creates a snowball effect – as your best pages help to raise the rank of your site, which in turn helps to attract more traffic to your other pages, which helps to raise your rank – and so on.

Always try to think “long-term” with your website.  After all, the tortoise always wins the race in the end.

3. Always Write For Your Readers

As important as SEO is for a site, readers should always take priority.  Again, this may sound obvious, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of just writing content purely aimed for search engines.  That may help attract traffic to a site, but you want them to stay when they get there.

Search engines have gotten a lot better at spotting the fake sites who are only interested in manipulating their traffic.  They wised up to them and now heavily penalize sites that abuse this practice.  Instead, it is much more beneficial to write quality content for your readers and attract traffic that way.  That doesn’t mean you can’t use SEO techniques, just not to overuse them and spam keywords just for the sake of it.

4. Don’t Fall For The Scammers

There are plenty of individuals and “companies” online that will happily scam you out of your money when it comes to SEO.  The sad thing is that it is easy to get fooled by them when you are just starting out.

Stay well clear of ANY adverts that claim to be able to “get you to the top of Google in X days/weeks/months” or that suggest that they have “the secret to ranking highly”.  In most circumstances they are simply talking out of their ass.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of legitimate SEO companies online and the only real way of knowing is by talking with them.   You see, SEO is a very specific service that has to be tailored to a specific site’s needs.  That is why you should avoid doing business with any that make promises before you have even spoken to them.  How do they know what business you are in, where you are from, what keywords you are aiming for?  All that information is key to planning out your SEO strategy.  Again, this is why you should learn about SEO, even if you plan on outsourcing the actual work.

Meet with L.A SEO Experts to learn more about what SEO is and have them help you with your website because if you understand the fundamentals of how SEO works and how a site can attract more traffic through it, then you will save yourself a lot of work in the long run.

What other SEO tips would you like to add to this list for new bloggers?  What helped you out when you first started?  What SEO questions do you have?  Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below.

NEW Individual Courses & Membership Price Drop – The Hive

Individual Courses

Today, we are happy to announce that we are launching a new feature to our premium site ‘The Hive’.   You are now able to purchase individual courses that we have put together for a one-time payment.  Better yet, you can become a member and get access to all of our great courses and content for a NEW REDUCED PRICE!

Individual Courses Now Available

We have spent a lot of time putting together our membership site (The Hive) for people to sign up to and access all of our premium content.  One thing that kept cropping up, however, was that certain people were only interested in some of our individual courses.  Well, we pride ourselves on listening to your needs, so we decided to package them up individually for you.

Currently, we have 2 fantastic courses for you to purchase, but we are working on plenty more behind the scenes that will be published when ready.

Individual Courses

If you are just starting out online and need help getting your business up and running, check out our ‘Beginners Guide To Creating A Website’ course.

Here, we guide you through the process of setting up your site online and introducing you to WordPress with our detailed videos.  You also get an accompanying eBook with the course so that you can refer back to it when needed.

Learn more about this course here.

Individual Courses

Nowadays every business needs a social media presence online as that is a fantastic way to both, find new customers and interact with existing ones.

In our ‘Beginners Guide To Twitter’ video course, we guide you through the process of setting up your Twitter account for your business, we show you how to begin to grow your following, different types of tweets that you can use and more.

Learn more about this course here.

Membership Price Drop!!!

We also have BIG news in the fact that we are dropping our membership prices for all new members.   Gain access to all our existing courses, videos, audio, eBooks and future content for a monthly subscription of $39.99 $9.99.

Alternatively, purchase a lifetime membership for $399.99 $99.99 and gain access to all our existing and future content FOREVER!  If that’s not enough, lifetime members also get access to us, the Bizzebee team, to help them individually with whatever they need help with their business/website.

So what are you waiting for?  Head on over to The Hive and take a look at what we have to offer you.  If you have been thinking about getting your business online then we are here to help.

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