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A lot of these posts were originally on SureFireWebServices.com. So if you found them through search engines or clicking around, this is their new home :). Enjoy!

Strategy

The Top 3 Mistakes Beginner Bloggers Must Avoid (Infographic)

*Guest Post by Matt Banner from OnBlastBlog.com

As you take your first steps into the wide world of blogging, you’re going to have a lot of questions. More importantly, you’ll be prone to a few mistakes that every blogger has made at some point in their careers. While it’s important to learn from your mistakes, in this case I would prefer that you avoid them altogether.

Today we’ll look at three rookie blogger mistakes, followed by an infographic packed full of all the information a beginner blogger needs to succeed. When you’re finished here, you’ll be able to walk confidently forward on the path to a successful blog.

3 Mistakes Bloggers Should Avoid at All Costs

Making mistakes is part of learning, but who says you can’t circumvent a few of them when it comes to your blog? Once you’ve browsing the various blog sites out there, and you’ve started your own, be sure to avoid these mistakes:

1. Don’t Auto-Play Music or Videos

This is a pet peeve of mine, and I’m certainly not alone. When you’re designing your blog, there are certain basic skills you’ll need, and that’s fine. You’ll hear about videos and possibly even music, but what you may not hear is that people prefer to start these things themselves.

Case and point: Do not assault your visitors with auto-playing music or videos. They slow down your loading speed and they’re obnoxious for someone who just wants to explore at their own pace.

2. Using Generic Anchor Text

Next up we have another practice that should never cross your vision. When you’re placing hyperlinks in your posts or content, you should always use anchor text that describes what you’re linking to. None of this “click here” stuff.

There’s also a science behind anchor text that you should familiarize yourself with so you’re making both your visitors and search engines happy.

3. Accidentally Plagiarizing

This is another one of those mistakes you may be making without knowing it. This is especially true when it comes to photos. If you simply Google an image and use it in your blog, you may be violating copyrights.

You would have to obtain permission from the image’s owner, which is why it’s easier to simply use the images you create yourself, or by downloading some from a royalty-free website like Pixabay.  

You can also use Copyscape to see if anyone has been plagiarizing your content. In the end, just make sure you’re using your own content and images. That unique factor is also great for your SEO.

With these things in mind, check out the infographic below for a look at all the things a beginner blogger needs to succeed! Let us know which tips helped you the most in the comments!

blogging-for-beginners

 

Why even build your email list?

You’re probably crunching away at a website right now or fiddling with some new plugin or something.  Even if you’re not, this is a topic that needs to get discussed.  Email?

Who gives a crap right?  I mean, sure, you hear and see every marketing guru at some point saying, “Grow your email list.” yadda yadda yadda.

All that is just dandy, but why the hell do I need to grow it? Don’t I need leads and people who want web work?

I used to think like this when I was starting out.  Everyone says, get an email list, and I was like “Uh, ok, I guess I need one cause everyone else said it’s good.”

Then I got on and had no clue what to do with it, so I treated it like it didn’t matter.  It was something that I did just because I was told.  I didn’t see a benefit.  I had no clue what I would email people about, and I figured I would just be one of those spammer people that are like “Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book.” (Little Critic humor for those that remember that TV Show, yeah, I’m not that young anymore lol).

That’s not what I wanted.  Somewhere along the line, though, my brain shifted.  How straightforward can this be for marketing, ready?

YOU’RE EMAIL LIST IS YOUR DIRECT AUDIENCE THAT ALREADY SHOWED INTEREST IN WHAT YOU OFFER!

It’s like you having a free conference for your brand, and you get to speak to whoever shows up!

So why focus on building your email?

  1. You can directly talk to people who are interested in you.
  2. You get to know you your audience is.
  3. You can leverage your email list to benefit your business.

You may know things your audience doesn’t.  You can help them by offering value.

One thing I learned throughout my career is we take for granted the things we know.  We see it as common sense, but a lot of what we web devs know is not common at all.  It’s entirely awesome and amazing to share things that you may THINK are simple, but you’ll be surprised how many people may not know about it.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m on this email/marketing kick, and it’s super fun to learn about all this stuff.  I’ve tried a lot of email apps in the past, and my favorite thus far is Drip.  I may make a comparison eventually, but Drip has been one of the easiest, and most useful email platforms that I’ve used.
Some of you may not be ready, and that’s totally cool.  It took me a while to get into it myself. But I promise you; it’s nothing but beneficial once you do.

If you want to learn more, there’s going to be a webinar next week about upping the value of your leads.  I also have a mini course on email marketing that I’m trying to get together, but only if you’re interested.

Check Out GetDrip Here

If you’re interested in the webinar and/or the course, you’ll need to be on the email list :).  You can easily sign up on the bottom right.

Perfection Is For Suckers

Yeah, I said it! Perfection is for suckers!

The problem is, so many of us need things to be perfect.  You may think you don’t, but if a site is taking you forever and a day to launch because this or that isn’t right, then you’re a sucker!

I’m not trying to be mean; I just want to get this through to anyone who is going through the never ending project struggle.  The projects that need this logo moved over 2 pixels to the left, and this text needs to be a little bigger, and let me get ten people to look at this before I get back to you.  And WE’VE ALL BEEN THROUGH THIS!  If you’re not currently a sucker, I bet you were.

I definitely was!  There was always this constant need of “The client just needs to be happy.” or “The client needs to approve this, I mean it’s their site.”  Looking back and learning from everything I’ve done, I realized, this is a horrible way to manage clients!

First, let’s look at perfection in it’s most basic form.  It’s ENTIRELY SUBJECTIVE!  What’s perfect for you isn’t’ perfect for someone else, and what’s perfect for them isn’t perfect for their partner and so on and so on.

You end up in this never ending cycle of people who want things to be perfect the only way they see it, and much like art, no one knows what they’re talking about.

I was just listening to the new Gary V Book, “Ask Gary Vee” and it’s excellent so far.  He said something like “I hate perfection.  Just move on.  Perfection is in the eye of the beholder my friend,” and man, I could not agree more!

When you take on a project, yes, the client is paying, but much like I pay a mechanic to fix my car, I’m not going to start telling him how to put together my transmission.  I don’t know why web designers take so much crap from clients.

Who’s the professional web guru here?  You run your business, and let me run mine.  My job is to help you, not to do whatever you want.  Why? Because you don’t know anything about the web!

Simple as that!

Care to discuss? Leave some comments below.

(This post was first sent to my email list.  You should join it, just saying. I have much more to say in emails. Hint: Sign up is on the bottom right.)

You Need to Know The Basics

I know a lot of people love all these amazing DIY solutions that are coming out for WordPress.  There are a ton of them and my personal favorite Beaver Builder is really making waves!  However, there are a few things that you really should know before hopping onto the DIY bandwagon.

Read More

You should be caching your site, here's what that is and why!

Caching is one of those great things that every site should be doing but not a lot do.  It’s usually bundled up with your hosting provider but if you’re on a host that costs less then 10 bucks a month, you’re probably missing out.

No worries though! There are plenty of amazing plugins that can help you out.  One of those amazing plugins is WP-Rocket.  We use it on all the sites that we host and couldn’t be happier with it’s performance.  In plain english, it makes the sites load super fast!

WP-Rocket recently wrote a great post that explains in detail what caching is, how it works, the benefits, etc. It’s super easy to read and will explain everything.

Check out the article here.

And if you’re in the market for new hosting, you should definitely reach out to us!

 

 

Embracing The Unsubscribers

So we’ve all heard that building an email list is just one of those things that you need to do, right? That’s because it is. What’s funny though is when someone willingly signs up for our email list, we kind of want them there forever, but then the UNTHINKABLE happens! They Unsubscribe! Read More

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