Instagram Hashtags

70% of Instagram posts go unseen and out of user’s feeds.

The solution to this common Insta problem? Hashtags.

Hashtags help to increase discover-ability.

Instagram posts with at least one hashtag receive up to 12.6% more engagement than without a one according to a study by Simply Measured.

Source: Simply Measured Instgram Study (page 12)

Hashtags make the content of your page discover-able and put you in front of those users you may have never successfully targeted. But at the same time there is no need to use 30 hashtags (the maximum per post), it’s embarrassing and spammy.

Types of hashtags

  • Brand hashtags. It means the unique one you choose for your brand. You can choose it for a specific campaigns, or just for posts telling about your business. It’s very useful for organizing the content of your page, as all the posts with a certain tag are categorised and can be seen on a hashtag page. You can get the most out of it when you collect entries for some contest submissions.
  • Niche hashtags. When you choose among broad and niche hashtag, you have to remember that the latter means a higher chance of quality engagement. The more specific your hashtag is, the more desired followers you’ll earn.
  • Community hashtags. These are general hashtags that don’t necessarily have anything to do with your brand, like #instapics, #instafood. They are widely used, and can make your content more discoverable.
#austria
#winterwonderland

Quick hash-tagging tips

  • Choose hashtags that are relevant to your audience.
  • Try to use only relevant hashtags not to be marked as a spammer.
  • Check out what hashtags your competitors are using.
  • Use hashtags that popular accounts in your industry are using.
  • Use reasonable amount of hashtags.
  • Make sure that a hashtag means the very thing you mean.

Best Web Servers Your Organization Needs

Have you ever wondered what happens when you type in a Uniform Resource Identifier (commonly known as URL) or click on a search term? Most internet users never give it a thought.

If you run a website, it’s important to understand what a web server is, its functions, and benefits.

A web server is a program that uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to deliver content or web pages to users who type your site’s URL or click on pages on your site. Web servers can serve hundreds of visitors clicking the same URL simultaneously.

Basically, anything you do such as downloading files, publishing blogs or opening emails are made possible because of web servers.

Here, we discuss the top 5 best web servers your organization needs.

The role of web server (image source: What is a web server).

1. Lighttpd

Developed and released in 2003 by Jan Kneschke, Lighttpd (pronounced – lighty), is lightweight and ideal for high load servers. It is optimized for faster performance in environments with heavy parallel connections. It’s also known for its low memory footprint, small CPU-load, and advanced features like SCGI and Auth.

2. LiteSpeed

If you’re looking for a combination of security, speed, and convenience, LiteSpeed has got you covered. With built-in anti-DDoS features, this web server lowers CPU and memory usage without affecting overall performance.

Its compatibility makes it the best choice if you want to replace Apache with zero downtime. It is integrated with CloudLinux and mod_security for maximum server protection. With LiteSpeed, you don’t need third-party caching. It simplifies the transition to Apache with one click.

3. Microsoft IIS

IIS is a product from Microsoft. Unlike other web servers, it’s not open source and has a rather complicated user-interface.

It works on all Windows platforms and offers more advanced security features. It uses ASP.NET Core application to serve web page requests to the end user. IIS focuses on flexibility and speed to ensure seamless operations in a fast-paced organization.

The current version IIS 10 has added functionality and features such as HTTP/2 protocol that lowers latency. It’s easily customizable and makes web applications management easy.

4. NGINX

NGINX comes in second place with over 30% of all websites using it. Igor Sysoev’s concept was to design a web server to handle 10,000 concurrent connections. Its popularity is driven by its scalability and high efficiency.

It utilizes minimal resources while managing heavy user loads. NGINX not only serves as a web server but as a mail proxy server and has a simple configuration interface

5. Apache web server

Apache is the most common open source web server today. Developed by the Apache Software Foundation, it supports most of the operating systems. It runs on over 60% of all websites.

Apache uses a simple modular structure that allows you to load extra modules for extended features and modifications. It’s trusted for its reliability and stability.

It can run on multiple platforms with ease and is able to handle a large number of requests. It also supports HTTP/2.

Conclusion

Before you select the best web server for your organization, you have to consider your requirements, cost, the size of traffic, and its capabilities. Customer support should also be a top priority. When you experience an issue, immediate response is of paramount importance.

Managed WordPress Hosting FAQ

1. What is Managed WordPress hosting?

Managed WordPress hosting was intended to be a concierge service where the host would provide hands-off WordPress installation and management for its users.

However, from what I see today, the term has loosened and grown to generally include web hosting which has extensive WordPress-specific features.

Managed WordPress hosting WP Engine catering the needs of WordPress developers.

2. What are the Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting?

This depends on the host you sign up with and can range from automated WordPress installations all the way to complete WordPress site management and service (including security audits, optimization and so on).

To summarize in a single phrase, I can say that it’s mainly for those who know that they will be using (and sticking to) the WordPress platform.

3. What are the Drawbacks of Managed WordPress Hosting?

Price. Almost without exception, Manged WordPress hosting sells at a premium above standard shared hosting service. The discrepancy might be as little as a few dollars to even ten times as much. Exactly how much the difference is depends on to what extent the WordPress service you sign up for is different.

$92/mo for a 10 WordPress site hosting.

4. Who would Benefit from Using Managed WordPress Hosting?

This is a broad and subjective question, but I would say for sure; small businesses, large volume sites, multi-site users.

All of these will benefit from manged WordPress hosting.

However, I would also say to a lesser extent, even regular WordPress users can reap the advantages, as long as they’re willing to put up with the price.

5. Can I Still Self-Install and Update Plugins and Themes?

Of course! Managed WordPress hosting is to help you in your process, not interfere with it. You can for sure install the stuff you want no matter which managed WordPress host you go with.

6. Must I run WordPress on my Managed WordPress Hosting?

Yes. Managed WordPress hosting’s entire purpose is to support and streamline the operations of WordPress sites specifically. While some features may benefit other types of applications, the overall intent is to focus on WordPress.

7. Is Managed WordPress Hosting Secure?

In general, there have been some concerns about the security of WordPress but that’s simply because it’s an application that is in such widespread use.

A managed WordPress hosting environment will in general help keep your WordPress up to date and hence, more secure. In many cases, the hosting provider will also help you monitor your tools and plugins for greater security as well.

8. Will my site be Faster?

Site speed depends on various factors, but in general, Manged WordPress accounts are optimized for running this application. As such it is likely to be faster than the average comparable WordPress site. To what extent, depends on individual optimizations of web hosts.

Your Domain Name Matters. Or Does It?

Google. Ebay. WordPress. Etsy. FaceBook. Alibaba.

You know them all very well, for sure! Was it name that you remembered or a brand?

It’s name of course, and name is converted into a brand later.

The question is, does it really matter to have best domain name?

Domain names matter, why?

A lousy domain name can be quite a nightmare.

For example www.dicksonweb.com – I bet manufacturer of instruments for monitoring temperature, humidity and pressure Dickson wasn’t aware that www.DicksonWeb.com can be also read as www.DicksOnWeb.com!

* The company website is now redirected to dicksondata.com ever since, all traffics to DicksonWeb are now divert to the new website.

Now why a name matter a lot has several reasons. Here they go:

  • If your domain name is short yet meaningful, it means it can be remembered by people at once, and will cover the targeted market as well.
  • Long URLs have greater probability of getting misspelled by users.
  • Long URLs if separated by [-] can resolve the issue of misspelling, and can also help search engines to index a site for the keywords in the URL.
  • If your domain name contains a keyword in it, chances of getting in top pages of SERP results are much higher.

Well, domain names though play a vital role in websites’ popularity, but cannot be considered as the only factor.

There’re many other things that make up a good, popular site.

Quality of services stands first among all, i.e. your visitors rate and spread word about your site only when they find value in it. And, the other major factor that contributes towards the popularity is right marketing at right time, but this is very much relevant to the first one, i.e. highly satisfied visitors do half of your marketing themselves.

Be choosy while selecting domain name, as it represents the core essence of your site, but do not stick to the name only.

How to Earn Money Through Blogging (A Beginners Guide)

Are you eager to make money through your blog? Blogging has been a source of income for many bloggers for many years. Some even hit $100,000 a month from their blogs.

Pat Flynn’s income report.

Impressive, right?

Well, you can also earn a good amount of money blogging. As more and more people are turning to the internet to find products or services, the demand for quality content is on the increase.

So, let’s dive into the details of how to earn from a blog.

Getting started…

1- Create a blog (duh)

To make money, you need to start a blog.

First, you have to choose a profitable niche. Do your research to determine what you intend to blog about. Identifying your passion is a right step towards a profitable blog. Find out what inspires you.

Now that you know what to write about, find a blogging platform to set up your blog. Go for self-hosted platforms like WordPress and choose a hosting service. DreamHost, BlueHost, and SiteGround are a few examples. However, there are other hosting providers to choose from.

2- Build traffic

Building an audience is important if you want to earn from affiliate commissions or selling products/services. Here are a few tactics:

  1. Social media is a good tool to promote new posts that will direct readers to your site. Use the same theme as your blog for consistency.
  2. Learn how to optimize your content for search engines. This is a must-have technique if you want your blog to pop up on Google search.

Now, to money making tips…

3- Affiliate marketing

This is a referral program where you receive a commission when a reader buys a products or services from an affiliate link on your website.

It’s a profitable technique and easy to set up.

The key is to provide relevant content that will make the reader want to use that product or service. Great content is critical in blogging. You want to help your readers find solutions to their problems or pain.

4- Banner ads and sidebar ads

There are two ways to earn with ads.

  • Pay per click (PPC) means you earn money every time your readers click an ad.
  • Cost per thousand (CPM) pays you for every 1,000 impressions from your ad.

The higher the number of readers you have, the more you’ll earn from these ads.

5- Sponsored blog posts

Here, a company pays you to write about a particular product/service and post it on your blog. Reviews are the most common form of sponsored blog content.

This is one of the easiest ways to earn cash. However, it’s only possible to get such opportunities if you have a strong niche and large audience.

6- Guest blogging

When you’re an established blogger, brands and organizations such as the press will request that you contribute articles on specific topics on their website.

You must be knowledgeable about certain topics to become an authority in your field.

7- Sell eBooks, courses, and tutorials

Your skills can generate a lot of income by creating an eBook, an online course or tutorials and offering it to your readers at a fee. But first, you need to build credibility with your audience to show that you can offer valuable lessons in your niche.

8- Use your blog to find clients

Whether you’re selling products online or offering a service such as coaching, your blog is the best platform to make cash.

Use it to promote your business and showcase what you offer. If you’re a freelance writer, you can show potential clients the type of content you offer and how you’ll help their business.

Ready to take the challenge?

Discover the right niche, do thorough research and start your blog. Have the right mindset: which is to think of your blog as a business. Figure out the best methods to monetizing your blog and implement them slowly.

Q&A Platforms: One Quick Way to Grow Without Google

 

The trick is to monitor ongoing conversations in your niche and chip in whenever you have something to say and add value to the conversation with your content.

Alert tool like Google Alert would help (to keep track of latest trends and new conversations) but to scale up, collaborate, and to make the biggest bang in shortest time, you’ll have to rely on tools like Feedly and AHREFS to manage your content. More about this later.

Custom-build your content in order to fit in a hot conversation.

For example if someone asked about how to do something with .htaccess code, you can write a simple tutorial on your blog, then answer the question at the Q&A site and suggest the users to visit your blog for the actual codes and demos. Or even better, build a tool to cater their needs. An auto .htaccess code generator fits in perfectly in our example.

Quora

Quora are, for now, the best three general Q&A platforms to draw traffics. Though – you’ll have to swim through the spammers to stand out. I knew a few  businesses benefited handsomely by answering questions and being useful to their potential customers.

Also, this is where AHREFS kicks in. One easy way to identify the right Quora questions to answer is by looking at its search traffic. You can get a rough estimate by exploring the top pages stats on AHREFS.

Stack Overflow

If you are a publisher who sells programming books – StackOverflow is a good place to be at. http://stackoverflow.com/questions

Or at least, ask your developers to stay active at the site.

Trip Advisor

The site TripAdvisor.com needs no introduction. The website has the influence in estimated 10.3% global travel – which translate to about $546 billion in travel spending

If you are starting running a travel agency – Answering questions on Trip Advisor Forum (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ForumHome) should be one of  your primary online marketing tactics.

More than just traffic sources

Q&A sites can work more than just a source of web traffic.

Information exists on Internet to answer people’s question.

People ask questions and consume content on Q&A sites because they have a problem that needs fixing.  If one person is asking, chances are there are thousands more wondering the same thing.

This makes Q&A site a good place to scout for content idea. Every question asked on Quora or Trip Advisor can be a good title for your next blogpost.

 

Customize Your Theme Without Breaking It

WP core, theme, plugin updates can mess up a lot of features. Here we’ll see a few ways of adding your own custom stuff without breaking anything or at least reducing the risks.

#1- Child theme

An advanced option, ok if you are a coder and want to go crazy with your custom code – do it in your child theme.

#2- A plugin

Sometimes you just need some additional features, a plugin is the way to go there. Good for widgets, shortcodes, and the best part is that you can find a lot of free / premium plugins out there to do the job.

#3- Custom CSS

Most themes provide that field, and CSS isn’t really rocket science. Once you get used to it you can do some cool things with CSS only (maybe list a few examples, pseudo elements, disable click…)

#4- Custom JS

Most modern WordPress themes come with an “integration” field, for Google Analytics or similar code. Well, you can use that one as well for some jQuery wizardry.

Switching to VPS Hosting

The most basic websites start off with a shared hosting plan – which is cheapest and requires the least technical knowledge/ability to start.

Advantages and disadvantages of a shared web host (source: WHSR).

Shared hosting accounts shared a pool of server resources assigned by hosting companies – if one of the shared hosting accounts gulps a large share of resources – other websites hosted on the same server will suffer slow load time or even outage. This is a common problem for a web host that practices overselling.

An article on Winning WP says that:

You should almost definitely consider moving away from shared hosting if you’re running a serious online business

I beg to differ. As long as your website is working alright there is no reason to switch to a VPS. But if you need a hosting environment with better security, flexibility, and reliability – a VPS host is your next move.

Here’s when you should consider switching –

  • Getting high incoming traffics – you need to upgrade your server capacity. Sometimes you will get notified by your shared hosting provider when you are pulling too much resources from the shared server.
  • When you need a stable stream of server resources for better reliability.
  • To implement better backups, advanced monitoring, and security features (secure shell access – SSH).
  • When you need complete control over your web host – to install a custom software or custom configuration, for examples.
  • To manage multiple clients’ website hosting on your account – for example if you are a web developer who help your clients to design and host their websites; and you want to give server access to your clients.

A comprehensive guide to VPS hosting

Comprehensive guide on VPS hosting (source: HostPapa)

Three Useful Pinterest Boards for Bloggers

Pinterest presents an easy way to consume web content – especially for visual-based learners. For bloggers, experienced or newbies, here are the three Pitnerest Boards I highly recommend:

Run2 Blog

Digital marketing, social media, SEO, PPC, UX design, business ideas – Run2 Blog Pinterest Board covers pretty much everything you need to start and grow a blog.

URL > https://www.pinterest.com/run2agency/run2-blog/

Smart Passive Income Podcasts

From running an eight-figure business to motivational speaking and jumping higher – Pat Flynn has done it all. This Pinterest Board collects Pat’s weekly interviews as well as his advice for building an online business. Your blog is a business – so build it.

URL > https://www.pinterest.com/patrickflynn/smart-passive-income-podcasts/

Writing Advice, Tips & Tools

The universal rule in blogging: Better writer = better blogger. Tips shared in this board will help you to be a better writer.

URL > https://www.pinterest.com/kamigarcia/writing-advice-tips-tools/