Category Archives for "Content"

Content marketing is what you do. Creating quality content is the #1 most important thing you can do with your online business.

Top Ten WordPress Plugins for 2019

top ten WordPress plugins for 2019
Below are the top ten WordPress plugins for 2019 — and beyond!

This is a question that pops up in EVERY conversation about WordPress:

What are the plugins you recommend?The list changes, of course, but here are the top 10 WordPress plugins I use in 2019 (and have been for a few years), in my order of importance:

#1 Recommended WordPress Plugin

You need a backup - UpdraftPlus is THE WordPress plugin to do just that!
You need backup! UpdraftPlus is PERFECT for backing up your WordPress site!

Updraft Plus. This is the ultimate WordPress plugin for backups. It backs up your entire WP install, or your database, files, etc. individually. You can save your backups to your hard drive or to cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive (to name just two – there are many more).

It does full backups as well as incrementals.

This is a MUST-HAVE plugin!

#2 Recommended WordPress Plugin

capture email subscribers using Thrive Leads!
Who wants to build their email list? YOU DO, that's who.

Thrive Leads. Don't be like me. I spent years running websites that generated tons of traffic and didn't have a way to capture email subscribers.

Thrive Leads lets you integrate with all of the major email service providers like Aweber, Active Campaign, Get Response, and Mail Chimp.

And their forms are numerous, easy to use and modify, and super effective.

#3 Recommended WordPress Plugin

Build beautiful landing pages with Thrive Architect.
You can do SO MUCH with Thrive Architect!

Thrive Architect. I don't know about you, but building landing and squeeze pages in WordPress kinda sucks.

Strike that. Totally sucks. There are alternatives, like Beaver Builder, that do similar, but Architect is drag-and-drop WYSIWYG easy. And it integrates seamlessly with Thrive Leads.

#4 Recommended WordPress Plugin

Wordfence is the best firewall for WordPress on the market!
Your WordPress site needs security. It needs Wordfence.

Wordfence. You need a firewall. Period. This is the best. There are free and premium versions. I'm cheap, so I use the free one.

#5 Recommended WordPress Plugin

Want a fast-loading WordPress site? Of course you do. Use a caching plugin.
Need for speed? Use one of these caching plugins.

Caching plugin. I recommend ANY of the top-rated caching plugins in the official WordPress directory. There are many to choose from and there is no clear choice, IMHO.

#6 Recommended WordPress Plugin

For fast page loading, you need to compress your images. WP Compress does just that.

WP Compress. There are a few of these “smushing” plugins, too. This is the one I use. It typically compresses image files down to about 20 to 30 percent of their uncompressed sizes, with no apparent quality loss.

#7 Recommended WordPress Plugin

You need to track your traffic. Google Analytics is your ticket.
Get interesting traffic stats from Google Analytics.

Google Analytics. You need a quick view of how your website traffic is coming along. This plugin allows you to see, at a glance, how much traffic is coming your way.

#8 Recommended WordPress Plugin

Easily open external links in a new window or tab using the NoFollow for External Link plugin.
This plugin is so cool. It does what I always forget to do.

No Follow. Why the hell WordPress makes your links (inbound and outbound) “do follow” as the default, I will never understand. This plugin makes links external to your site not only “no follow” but also open in a new link (“target=_blank”).

Now, you can do that right in WordPress, but I often forget. So this helps with that.

#9 Recommended WordPress Plugin

Use Pretty Links Pro for all of your link shortening needs.
Affiliate marketer? You NEED this plugin!

Pretty Link Pro. This is a must-have for affiliate marketers. It cloaks affiliate links and makes 'em “pretty.” It also tracks the traffic you get from your links. There are some neat auto-text replacement capabilities, too.

For example, any time I type “Aweber” (without the quotes) in a blog post, Pretty Link inserts a hyperlink (up to a limit I set – so if I type Aweber 17 times it will only insert the hyperlink 2 times, for example).

#10 Recommended WordPress Plugin

Yoast SEO. Many themes now have some cool onsite SEO features. But most don't. This plugin helps me remember to use good titles and keywords, and reminds me to write a good meta description tag.

Plus, it generates good XML sitemaps that I can send to Google for indexing & ranking purposes.

By the way, in this post, I shared my top plugins back in 2009. Note that the list today is completely different from it.

Things change. Get used to it. For now, though, I consider the above plugins “must-have” for WordPress.

That is, until even better ones come along!

How Behavior Analysis Can Improve Your Marketing Initiatives

Content marketing is a complex, data-driven process that brings together social media, SEO, blogging, and multimedia to market your brand. Whether your content marketing goal is to build brand awareness, bring more traffic to your site, or drive sales, you'll want to make sure you're not overlooking the process of behavioral analysis. Someone in your organization needs to be dedicating regular time to analyzing who your customers are, where they're coming from, how they feel about your brand, why they're buying — or not buying — your products, and what the value of a new customer is to your organization.

The behavioral analysis process delves deep into your customer data to figure out who you are marketing to, how they're receiving your message, and how that message influences their behavior. Behavioral analysis looks beyond simple demographics like the age and gender of your customers to develop a full audience persona, set performance goals, and optimize the tools you use to deliver your message.

The foundation of behavioral analysis is to dig even deeper, to understand why your customers are responding in certain ways, and to use that knowledge going forward. After each campaign, for instance, examine goal flow and funnels in Google Analytics to see exactly what your customers' process is when they reach your site. Compare your campaigns to see which graphics, messaging, and calls to action were most effective. CopyPress offers this infographic, which examines the components of behavioral analysis, along with an assortment of resources to help marketers and business owners learn more about content marketing.

How Behavior Analysis Can Improve Your Marketing Initiatives

How Behavior Analysis Can Improve Your Marketing Initiatives

Have You Written a Book Yet?

write a book

You have one in you. What's stopping you?

That was a reply I got from one of my loyal subscribers.

Somebody I know personally.

I've got that question a lot.

And I guess the question begs an answer…

Yes, I have. You can find them here.

But I guess that question really may mean two things. (Or more, there's always more, right?)

  1. The reader didn't know I'd written books.
  2. The reader knew I'd written those books but what she really meant is she'd like to see me write a book that isn't “how-to” but rather more meaningful, philosophical, introspective, evergreen, funny, etc. (insert your own adjectives here).

So…as I responded to her email personally (I always do, unless you fall prey to my occasional email purge), yeah, it's time.

In that light, I have a question for you:

What would you like to see me write?

That's a serious question. And I know, asking hundreds of people this question will get many answers. (And a lot more non-replies–why don't you love me enough to comment on my posts? Heck, I'd be happy if you just read them.)

So, what's it going to be? Tell me the book topic you want me to write about.


And don't forget: Make it a great day!

Why You Should Be Using an Editorial Calendar

use an editorial calendar for your content marketing campaigns

Using an editorial calendar will help your content marketing efforts

What Is An Editorial Calendar?

An editorial calendar is used by bloggers, publishers, businesses, and groups to control publication of content across different media.

We are specifically talking about blogging at the moment but using an editorial calendar can (and should) be applied to social media as well as other channels like newspapers, magazines, and email newsletters.

Why Use an Editorial Calendar?

According to Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute, “…(editorial calendars) are utterly critical for any content marketing program to be successful.”

  • Why? Content marketing is a long-term play that requires a strategy, planning, and follow through. An editorial calendar helps with the planning, follow through, and tracking of your content marketing efforts.
  • In short, you lay out a plan and then schedule blog posts to accomplish the goals of the plan.
  • Without an editorial calendar, your content marketing approach looks like “spray and pray” rather than a well thought-out plan.
  • Bloggers are notorious for this haphazard approach, myself included.
  • An editorial calendar helps immensely with planning, but also in tracking progress and results.

Best Practices with an Editorial Calendar

  • Create a content marketing plan.
  • Use the Editorial Calendar spreadsheet (link  — sorry, password-protected, only for my Mastermind members).
  • Plan around holidays and special events in your niche.
  • Include “mini content marketing” campaigns in your plan.
  • Use a WordPress plugin to assist.

Here's the full presentation:

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