Working with Image Galleries

The image gallery allows you to add photo galleries – and allows visitors to easily “flip through” images.

The video below will help you to learn how to:

  • Add media inside the post content editor.
  • Adding new images or selecting existing library images for your gallery.
  • How to select multiple images for gallery insertion.
  • Re-arranging photo order inside galleries.
  • Allow for viewing single images in the WordPress Attachment Page.
  • Placing other content above and below image galleries.
  • Navigating through images in WordPress image galleries.

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Using The Media Library

The Media Library is where you’ll find the following kinds of files:

  • images
  • pdf files
  • video files
  • audio files

Any file you’ve uploaded using the “add media” button will be found in the Media Library.

The video below will walk you through the following concepts:

  • How to find the media library.
  • How to edit items within the media library.
  • How to delete photos, videos, audio and documents in the library.

Blogging Strategies: 5 Rules for Great Content Creation

The first step in crafting a sound blogging strategy is to define your blogging goal.   Once you’ve got a goal defined for your blog, then the real work of blogging begins as you tackle the task of creating content.

This is where many blogs get off track. Without a well defined goal, it’s hard to create content for your blog.

Creating content which supports your blogging goal is no small task.  Brafton News reports that finding the time to create original content cited as major content marketing challenge.

Frequently it’s hard to find “time” for tasks we deem unimportant or difficult.  The business owner that hasn’t defined a blogging goal will find the act of blogging both difficult and unrewarding.

Content Creation Rule #1: Review your blogging goal.

Before we can tackle creating content we have to revisit that pesky “define your blogging goal” issue. What exactly do you want your business blog to do?

  • boost/reinforce your brand
  • generate sales leads
  • establish thought leadership

With the goal set before you, now is the time to begin creating content.

Content Creation Rule #2:  You must create blog posts with the visitor in mind. 

Who are the potential readers of your blog?  Why are they here at your blog and most importantly – what do you want them to DO with the information you present on your business blog?

For example, let’s say you’re a brick and mortar business owner struggling with the issue of content creation for your blog.  Every Friday in the fall, you see a regular stream of customers who are on their way to the local high school football game.   It’s that kind of “trend” which should inspire you in creating blog posts for your business blog.   The key is to tie the content in with your business blog goal.

Content Creation Rule #3:  You must create blog posts titles which win clicks.

It’s not enough to write content for your target audience, you must also title your blog posts so it earns a click from your target audience.

It’s tempting to write “teaser” headlines in an effort to create a great blog post title which wins a click from a reader – but make sure your blog post content is equally worthy of “winning” that click from a visitor.  When visitors click on a link to read a blog post – and are disappointed in what they find – they usually leave quickly – never to return.

However, when a reader is “rewarded” with content as compelling as the post title – they are likely to spend more time on your site – and read more about what your blog has to offer.

Content Creation Rule #4:  Blog posts don’t have to be long – or short.

There is no “rule” when it comes to content creation.  As a general rule, blog posts should be at least 300 words long – but that rule is “written” with the mindless robots which search the web in mind, not the reader.

Write as much as you need to write to cover the subject at hand – and don’t worry if EVERY blog post doesn’t reach the magic “300 word” goal.

Content Creation Rule #5:  Blog posts need more than images and video.

A picture may paint a thousand words – and video is a great addition to any blog – but the mindless robots which search and index the web can’t

  • “see” images
  • “hear” audio
  • “watch” video

Keep this in mind when you post this kind of content to your blog.  You may have the best video in the world – but without the proper “written content” framing that video – the search engines won’t know what to do with that post.

 

Some of the biggest blog traffic killers are free

This is a “been there – done that – bought the t-shirt” kind of post about the dangers of “free” when it comes to the world of WordPress.

Some of the biggest blog traffic killers are free

There are plenty of things you can do to kill traffic to your blog – but this post is about some of the “freebies” you can install which will undo all the “right” things you’ve done over the past few years!

WordPress is built on the power of “free”.  This blog is running on WordPress which is free software which you can install on your own hosting account to run your own self  hosted blog.

WordPress is by far the best option for your self hosted blog and is a great way to get killer blog traffic for your blog – so using WordPress is one exception to the “free may kill your blog traffic” rule.

Running WordPress may not require an investment of money – but it certainly requires an investment of time and energy.  See, WordPress is constantly updating their core code.  Some of those updates are to unveil great new features in the software – while others are released to “close” security holes in the code.  Those security “holes” can range from minor annoyances to allowing a spammer use your email account to send spam.  So it’s important to keep your WordPress installation up to date.

However, there are other ways for bandits and bad guys to gain access to your blog.  One path is through the various plugins.  Plugins are bits of code which allow WordPress to do more than the core code allows it to do.  This feature allows each installation of WordPress to be customized to provide the functions needed by the site owner.  Just as the core code is frequently updated, so are the bits of code contained in various plugins – which need to be updated as well.

Another path bandits and bad guys can use to access your blog is through the distribution of malicious code via free themes.  While the themes distributed via the WordPress.org site are carefully screened to malicious code – there are plenty of sites offering “free” themes – and those free themes can sometimes bring unwelcome code to the WordPress party.

I had that happen with another blog I run.  I had installed a free “Adsense” theme but decided not to use it after I activated it.  Like an idiot, I didn’t uninstall the damned thing when I decided not to use it.  BIG MISTAKE!  I was having major resource usage issues on my VPS – and saw that one blog – the one which had the free theme installed but not activated – was the source of my woe.  The site wasn’t getting impressive traffic- but the resource usage problem was eliminated when I deleted the free theme from my installation.

OUCH!

Today – traffic is improving on that particular blog so the removal of that free theme did help with building traffic to that blog.

This blog runs on Thesis which is not free.  As a matter of fact, Thesis is rather pricey – but well worth the investment.  Thesis provides flexibility and its clean code means you don’t have to run plugins to “optimize” your SEO.

Thesis is great – but the basic theme is rather plain and customizing the theme takes time and a level of creativity that personally I don’t possess.  So when I discovered Thesis skins – I was excited.  I purchased one – applied it here – and then worried about the effect that the skin would have on my site’s “SEO”.  That skin required the installation of a “theme installer” on the site – and I wondered how that would work with the SEO.

So – I foolishly tried another skin – one that simply required that you upload an already coded custom folder.  I decided to test this site’s offering by trying one that was FREE.

Another UGH moment!

For the next few weeks, every time I went into my analytics account – I was faced with the fact that something was terribly wrong on this blog.  But I was busy with other projects and didn’t want to deal with the issue so I ignored it.  I ignored it until my site traffic was down to a trickle.

Now I had to face the hard facts that something was amiss – and I suddenly realized that the plummet in traffic began shortly after installing the new thesis skin.

I’ve removed the skin – and now time will tell whether the “damage” done by that particular “freebie” was permanent.

Some of the biggest blog traffic killers are free – but in the long run those freebies can cost a fortune!

Blogging Tactics vs Blogging Strategy

It’s time to start talking about the difference between blogging tactics and blogging strategies.  Hang on – the ride gets a little bumpy as we start out.

Just as there’s a difference between a marketing tactic and a marketing strategy – there is a difference between blogging tactics and blogging strategy.  What’s marketing got to do with blogging?  Possibly everything if you’re a small business owner who has  chosen to use the marketing tactic of blogging as part of your overall marketing strategy.

First let’s cover the basics.   Blogging – in an of itself – is simply a form of COMMUNICATION!!   There is no “magic” in launching a blog – as millions of abandoned free blogs will attest.  Publishing a random stream of incoherent thoughts online via a blog is not the path to instant wealth and riches.

I do social media consulting for SMB and to be honest, I’m horrified by the number of people who contact me and wonder why their business blog isn’t “working” for their business when the only post on the blog is the introductory “Hello World” which comes with each new installation of WordPress.

In the 8 Week Power Blog Launch Program  I spend roughly the first week of the program helping readers (new bloggers) define the goal for their blog.  After all – if your goal is to sell more widgets – then you’re going to adopt a different blogging strategy than say someone who wants to become the next Perez Hilton or Matt Drudge.

Blogging goals usually fall into one of five categories:

1) I WANT MY BLOG TO BE MY BUSINESS.

Another way of stating this goal is to say, “I want  to make money directly from my blog.”

If this is your blog goal, then you’ll be making  money based upon the number of eyeballs you attract  to your blog.  You’ll be selling advertising and featuring those ads on your blog prominently.   Follow the blogging lessons from the Next Food Network Star series… because you’ll want to become the next blogging start to achieve your blog goal.

In addition to those tips, you’ll be focusing religiously upon increasing visitor traffic to your blog. You’ll
want to become well versed on Search Engine Optimization and will probably need to “tweak”  your blog installation to maximize your blog’s  search engine friendliness.  Be sure to build your blog on the search engine friendly Thesis theme to get the most “bang” out of WordPress with the search engines.

2) I WANT MY BLOG TO PROMOTE MY FREELANCING/SERVICE  BASED BUSINESS.

You’re a freelance or small business service provider and you’ve heard that a blog is a GREAT marketing tool
for promoting yourself and your services. You’ll write about topics associated with your services  in order to demonstrate your expertise and you’ll write  posts which highlight your services.

I’ve had freelancers report that they average 2 new clients a week as a result of their blog.

3) I WANT MY BLOG TO PROMOTE MY CORPORATION.

You’re part of a larger business that wants to connect  with customers and manage the company’s image and online
presence. Blogging goals for a large corporation can be varied and  therefore, the means to accomplishing these goals are  equally varied. Major corporations may blog to

  • educate  consumers on the many innovative ways to use their products
  • inform current customers about updates/upgrades/special offers
  • serve as a customer service portal
  • solicit ideas from consumers about product development and promotion.

One company encouraged employees to blog but  when visitors didn’t leave comments, the employees lost
their enthusiasm.  After log file analysis revealed that  blog readers were 6 times more likely to make a purchase
from the company’s website than visitors who didn’t visit the blog, the employees found a brand new enthusiasm for
blogging.  Their blogging efforts were increasing sales – even if customers weren’t “talking” via the comments section.

One major mistake most major corporations do in launching  a blog is to do so without an end goal in mind… so decide
in advance WHAT you want the blog to do for the corporation before you launch your company blog.

(In other words – it’s not just the little guys who launch a blog and then don’t know what to do with it.)

4) I WANT MY BLOG TO PROMOTE ME SO I ACHIEVE FAME

Whether you want to be the next Perez Hilton, or you just  want to become a superstar in your industry, a successful
blog can definitely raise your profile.  To achieve this goal, it’s essential that you tightly target your niche audience.  You’ll want to utilize various social media channels such as YouTube and Facebook to really grow your following.

5) I WANT MY BLOG TO PROMOTE ME AND ACT LIKE A VIRTUAL RESUME

A blog’s profile raising status can also act as a virtual  resume. Career consultants are strongly recommending job
seekers set themselves apart from the pack by launching  a blog to promote the blog owner’s expertise.

Think about it… if you are an employer and you have to  choose between two candidates – one has a blog with a
respectable following and the other doesn’t – which are  you going to hire?

Defining your blogging goal is the first step towards creating a blogging strategy.