5 Little-Known WordPress Features

WordPress has gone a long way from a simple blogging system. Today, it’s evolved to the most popular, powerful, and flexible content management system (CMS) in the world. Its official repository offers thousands of themes and plugins – enabling virtually limitless combinations for your own website.

To maintain its dominance in the CMS world, WordPress never really stops growing and changing for the better. More and more features were added and sadly, many of them remained little-known to bloggers.

Here are 5 of them that you might overlooked in the past:

1. Sticky Post

In most WordPress themes, the recent posts section displays articles chronologically. But what if you want to somehow pin a specific post at the top of your website – be it a very important announcement or bit of information you’d like all your readers to know about?

Sure, you can create a custom-built homepage that pulls in a particular post for your homepage. But an easier solution would be to use the built-in sticky post feature.

To use this feature: Simply open the post editor then select Visibility > Stick this post to the front page.

2. Additional Keyboard Shortcuts

Everyone knows that the WordPress post editor supports universal shortcuts such as Ctrl + C for copy and Ctrl + V for paste.

What you probably didn’t know is that there is a number of additional shortcuts that make content development a lot easier.

For example, typing in “>” to start a paragraph enables the blockquote feature.

Shift + Alt + C is the shortcut for the align center formatting option.

To see the full list of keyboard shortcuts, click the question mark button from the main editor.

3. Distraction-Free Writing Mode

One of best things about WordPress is also one of its downsides. Since it utilizes a unified and somewhat cluttered interface, writing or editing content right on WordPress is not ideal – unless your browser isn’t maximized or you’re using a mobile device.

Thankfully, you can activate the distraction-free writing mode to hide the dashboard along with the Publish, Categories, Tags, and other sections in the editor as you type.

It’s not a significant change, but the distraction-free writing mode works in promoting better focus and productivity. To temporarily disable this mode, simply hover your mouse outside the editing area.

4. Custom Permalink Structures

Let’s get some things straight – the default permalink structure in WordPress isn’t good for SEO. It’s also not very readable or optimized for users who’d rather type in a specific page’s URL in the browser. To fix this, you can pick a different format in Settings > Permalinks.

You can also create a custom permalink structure by picking Custom Structure. Below is a list of the tags you can use:

  • %year%
  • %monthnum%
  • %day%
  • %hour%
  • %minute%
  • %second%
  • %postname%
  • %post_Id%
  • %category
  • %author%

Take note that each tag can be separated using the “/” symbol.

For example, if you want to use a permalink structure that displays the author and the post’s title, you can use:

http://yourwebsite.com/%author%/%postname%/

5. Post Scheduling

When blogging, it’s crucial to publish your posts when your target audience is most active. That’s why WordPress includes a feature that allows you to schedule a post to be published at a later time. All you need to do is look at the Publish section and click Edit next to Publish immediately.

After specifying a target date and time, click OK to save your specifications. Notice that the Publish button now changed to Schedule.

Facebook = Most Powerful Advertising Tool

Traditional marketers and sellers often see themselves going to a place where most people hang out, and that is a shopping mall.

They would set up attractive display booths and will try every strategy in the book to lure prospective buyers to listen to their demonstrations, try their products and eventually buy their products.

But with the popularity of  Facebook, I am not surprised that marketers and sellers will also exert their efforts in Facebook advertising. If the shopping mall is a place where people go, Facebook on the other hand is where close to 500 million people meet, socialize, buy and sell.

You read it right.

This popular social network site is not only the ‘in’ online place where you can update your social calendar, tag friends, post comments and click the Like or Unlike icon. But it is also a place where buyers and sellers congregate online simply because of the reason that it is where roughly 500 million people are registered. So, just like other online marketers and sellers, you also want to try your hand in Facebook advertising and attract even just a fraction of the staggering millions of Facebook users.

Also, with the continuous increasing popularity of Facebook, I am pretty sure that the number of registered users will further escalate in the coming years. So, if you will go for Facebook advertising, an increase in the number of Facebook users is a great reason for you to celebrate—it is an opportunity for you to enjoy higher sales and increased profit. But before you can reap Facebook advertising success, first you need to learn the ways on how to convert Facebook into your most powerful advertising tool like:

Facebook Advertising Increases Your Business Exposure

One way to attain satisfying marketing and advertising exposure to your targeted market is by utilizing Facebook’s advertising tool. Facebook advertising is a recent development in this popular social media site wherein you and other Facebook users will still enjoy the same real-time social updates but you are also presented with different advertisements that cater to your likes or interests.

So, if you will use Facebook to advertise your products or services, your ads will also find its place among other ads placed vertically in the right hand corner of your Facebook account. If you’ll notice in your account, you will see on the right side area a pixel box approximately 110 x 80 in size. It is in the small box where basic information like title of your ads, URL link, image and a brief description for about 135 characters of your advertisement will be located.

Another great thing about it is that the ads you see are not just placed there randomly. Just like I mentioned before, the ads cater to your likes or interests since Facebook take into consideration the pages you visited, the pages you ‘Like’, the groups you belong to, and your interests. So, the ads that you see might be different from the ads that other Facebook users see. Let’s say most of your likes are about pets or travel, then it is most likely that the ads you will see in your account are also connected to pets or travel.

So, as an online marketer, you will want to take advantage of this great advertising tool especially that Facebook advertising is an opportunity for you to advertise your products to your targeted market.

However, to effectively create compelling Facebook ads, it is crucial that you spend time to craft a unique and eye catching ad content and design.

Furthermore, the mobile features of Facebook enable your advertisement to be seen by Facebook mobile phone users. This is a powerful feature wherein your targeted market can be reminded about your ads wherever they are. Also, aside from being an efficient and powerful advertising tool, Facebook Advertising is more affordable to use than the usual pay per click advertisements. It is also way affordable that other traditional online marketing schemes.

Increase Advertising and Marketing Exposure through Fan Page

Aside from Facebook Advertising, there is also another way on how you can convert Facebook into your most powerful advertising tool. You can increase your exposure to your targeted market by creating a Fan Page in Facebook. The number of Facebook users who clicked the Like or Unlike icon will help you gauge the level of exposure of your products or services.

But as a rule of thumb, regardless of how many advertisements or fan pages you intend to create, catching the attention of your targeted market should be your first priority. To do this, write compelling and exciting information about your company. Aside from the basic information like business name or contact details, the brief description about what your company offers should be interesting enough to entice Facebook users to visit your site.

In short, don’t write boring ads.

While interesting images also attracts attention but lastly, once you started your advertising efforts, don’t juts be contented with it. Follow it through and look for other advertising opportunities and possibilities you can explore in Facebook.

Three Essential Elements in a Successful Blog

Good writing is at the core of any good blog, so is timely and accurate information, and good presentation. Anyone who’s ever started a successful blog did so with these three basic principles intact.

However, a lot of unsuccessful blogs also started under the same conditions, but either ultimately failed or never even got out of the starting gate.

Sadly, good writers have not always embraced modern technology in ways that make complete sense for their particular skill, and that explains the difference, in many instances, between successful and failed blogs. By themselves, good writing skills are almost never enough to carry the day when it comes to creating a flourishing blog.

Below are the must-have elements for any realistic hope at creating a successful blog.

1. Is Your Blog Search Engine Friendly?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

You can have the most useful blog in the world, but if no one knows it exists, it’s of little use to anyone and you’ll quickly tire of the endeavour. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a natural process used to create high visibility for your blog in search engines through the proper use of keywords.

The term “natural” is used to describe the method because there’s no paid advertising component attached to SEO.

High placement of your blog in any search result can be achieved through the specific use of keywords in the HTML code used to create your blog, the headlines of each of your entries, and the content under each headline.

When considering the keywords you will use, it’s important to think about the words or phrases someone is likely to use when they begin their search. It’s okay if your list of potential keywords is extensive. However, short and concise phrases are your best bet. Your chances of a searcher using an exact two- or three-word phrase are much higher than with an eight-or ten-word phrase.

Page Title

Beginning with the HTML code that will describe your page, identified within the “<title> and </title>” tags, describe your blog as accurately as possible. If your expertise is documenting bicycle adventures through the United States, your description should be right to the point:

  • US Bicycle Adventures | Bike Tours Throughout The United States

This information lets users and search engines know the exact topic of your blog. Your title also includes likely keywords and phrases someone interested in bike tours will enter as a search string:

  • Bicycle
  • Bicycle Adventures
  • Bike Tours
  • Bike Tours US
  • Bike Tours United States

Headline

Similarly, when considering keywords in the headlines of your blog entries, you’ll want to stay with these types of keywords. If you’ve ridden extensively throughout Georgia, include the word Georgia and any relevant city or trail name in the headline for any blog entry dealing with bike tours in Georgia.

Use this approach to identify any key information about your post if it’s information likely to be searched, such as:

  • Road Tour
  • Family Tours
  • Family Casual
  • Off-road Trails
  • Scenic Bike Tours
  • Aggressive
  • Casual

Terms like these are not only relevant to your headline as they’re quite descriptive, they’re also the exact sorts of things potential blog followers will search for related to their interest.

Body

When writing content, it’s important to not overuse your keywords. Search engine algorithms sniff out gratuitous keyword usage, and as a result your work will be “penalized” as it will have the feel of “spam.” If your particular article is about casual, family-oriented scenic bike tours in Savannah, Georgia, then those are pretty much your keywords. Use such keywords two or three times throughout your article:

  • Family Oriented
  • Family Bike Tours
  • Casual Bike Tour
  • Scenic Georgia
  • Savannah
  • Georgia
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Georgia Bike Tours

These are very likely keywords and keyword combinations someone will use when searching for a casual, family-oriented bike tour in Georgia. You are giving your blog a high probability of being found through a search engine because you’ve used keywords relevant to both your blog and potential readers, and you’ve used them on your title page, in your headline, and in your article.

There are different approaches to creating SEO content. Becoming familiar with various key concepts will serve only to improve the visibility of your blog through search engines. Do your homework. There are plenty of online and offline resources available.

2. Let Your Readers Respond

Don’t bore your audience

Lecturing is a form of communication best left to law professors and upset parents. For successful blogging, however, it’s a quick path to finding a new hobby.

Successful blogging is as much about creating a dialogue with your faithful readers as anything else you’ll read on this page. Providing a way, or ways, for your blog readers to communicate with you will not only give you the feedback you need to fine-tune your content, it’s also the best way to ensure you’re not boring them to the point of leaving your blog.

Readers want to respond with relevant information, or legitimate critique, or just to say hello, or to add anecdotes of similar experiences. Creating a true dialogue with your subscribers involves them in ways they deem important, which is part of the reason they’ll have any interest at all in your blog.

Getting reader feedback is also a way for you to keep your content fresh, to get new ideas, and to network with others who share your expertise or interests. Most pre-configured blog hosts offer the ability to add comments to your blog in a variety of different ways, including:

  • A general comment section for your overall blog
  • Comments attached to each separate post

Additionally, comments can be sent to your email or your smart-phone as a text message. You can also respond directly from these sources, giving you the ability to respond as quickly as possible to any comments on your blog. This is a standard feature of any successful blog.

3. New Content to Your Readers

Once you’ve created a good blog using good SEO methods, you’ll want your readers and potential new readers to know about each new bit of content as you post it. There are a few tools readily available designed to push your content.

One of the most tried and true methods of getting your newly published content in front of your regular readers is to deploy a technology known as RSS, sometimes referred to as Really Simple Syndication. In a nutshell, RSS provides blog owners a simple and automated way to deliver ever-changing content to regular blog subscribers.

If you write a daily sports blog and use RSS, your regular subscribers will automatically receive an update in their RSS Reader each time you update your blog. This is a convenient way for your regular readers to stay up-to-date on information of interest to them, and an equally convenient way for you to self-promote your blog.

Most preconfigured blogs, like Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Xanga, and Weebly include RSS widgits and capabilities as part of their service offering. Just a few minutes reading through their documentation will help you get familiar with how to use RSS, and how to ensure each new entry is being automatically delivered to interest followers of your blog.

RSS Readers come in many different formats, and are frequently included as a part of a larger communication package.

  • Google Reader is a built-in part of their popular Gmail electronic mail program.
  • Outlook, an email program included with Microsoft Office, includes a built-in RSS reader
  • Mozilla, the makers of the popular Firefox web browser, offers a built-in reader with email client called Thunderbird

Regardless of the specific RSS Reader used by the regular followers of your blog, the content on your blog will be sent to readers every time you publish something new. In an era where everyone has a lot of choices and outlets for getting their various news and information, RSS is an excellent and simple way to keep your blog in front of your followers. Consider it a key element to any successful blog.

 

Write Useful Web Headlines: 13 Rules & Tips

  1. Always outline your content with headlines.
  2. Short, concise headlines work best. Avoid jargon and fancy words.
  3. Don’t dive deep. Use headlines and sub headlines to segment your content.
  4. Ask question in headline. (Keep the question short and answer the question in the next paragraph though.)
  5. Think “what, why, how, and when”.
  6. Write as if you are speaking to your site visitors. “How do you do X” is better than “How do one/a person/users do X”.
  7. Leave spaces above and below your headlines.
  8. Make headline levels obvious. <h2> and <h3> should look different.
  9. Numbers are good for headlines.
  10. So is the phrase “How-to”.
  11. Action phrases are your friends. Use’em for instruction headlines.
  12. Include keywords in your headlines if possible.
  13. But remember always, that you are writing for real human, not search engines.

I also like Jeff Goins’ headlines tricks for its simplicity and efficiency. You should read that up.

 

Why WordPress for Your Online Shop?

Why do online shop owners love WordPress? It’s simple: WordPress is 100 percent free, it’s versatile, and it’s easy to set up. Let’s take a quick look at the five major advantages of using WordPress for your online site:

1. It’s free.

Lots of WordPress competitors charge pricey monthly fees. Shopify, for example, charges $29 per month. WordPress, however, is completely free!

2. It’s easy to set up.

Using WordPress is an easy way to develop a high-quality website. And no, you don’t need to a talented web designer or a coding genius to go your WordPress site up and running. In fact, to launch a WordPress online store (learn how), you don’t even have to know how to code a single line of HTML. There are thousands of free themes to choose from to ensure that your site looks professional and compelling.

3. With literally thousands of plugins, it’s incredibly versatile.

Thousands of available plugins mean that you can do pretty much whatever you want using WordPress, giving you ample flexibility to design the perfect site for your target audience. From plugins that calculate shipping and tax to those that make social media shares easy, the sheer quantity of plugins out there is amazing.

4. It’s mobile friendly.

Believe it or not, an impressive $40 billion worth of purchases are made annually via smartphones. With 80 percent of consumers shopping on their mobile devices, a mobile-friendly site is truly the only way to fully capitalize on consumer demand. One of the major advantages of WordPress is that it is mobile friendly, making it easy for your online shop to get in on the mobile game.

5. It’s secure.

When you run an online shop, you handle some sensitive information, from customer credit card info to personal data, like phone numbers and addresses. Therefore, it’s imperative that customers trust you. WordPress is completely safe and secure, so your customers can feel assured that their data are safe.