“i have too much time on my hands…”
Plugging In To WordPress’ Power To Save Time
Time is always limited when we try to get something done. I know that every time I start to write an article, it seems my brain is fighting with me to think about something else! The fun is that the more you make yourself do things the more it becomes a habit and eventually you start to like it (or at least tolerate it).
As you can tell from the title, we are talking about plugins! WordPress is very powerful BECAUSE it allows plugins to do a lot of the tasks that WordPress does not have to do on its own. I call it the lazy programmer syndrome. You write in a plugin interface to allow other people to write the code for the features you don’t feel like coding yourself!
Getting Down To Business!
As an author of a blog, you are in business, even if you are in it for fun. You are writing what people want to read, because if you didn’t want readers, you wouldn’t be publishing it on the World Wide Web, right? So testing and tracking is very important for blogging, since you really don’t know what people are doing when they come to your website.
Google Analyticator is a WordPress Plugin that easily adds the Google Analytics code throughout your blog to make it easy to track what your visitors are doing and how they came to be on your blog to begin with!
You can easily create a Google Analytics account using your gmail username and password, and you simply add your GA code to the Google Analyticator plugin and you are ready to track. With my tracking plugin in place, I was able to see how many visitors I had to my blog, how long they stayed and where they came from.
It is pretty cool, because you can even see what keywords they searched to find you! One person searched for “Ryan Deiss Affiliate Program” to get on my blog oddly enough. If you do adwords, this will also help you track which adds are converting better, but with a blog, this is not as necessary.
Using Google Analyticator – From Mike Paetzold, WordPress Expert.
As you can see from the above video, you can install it very easily. Not much setting up to do to get the results you need, which is tracking your visitors.
Attracting Comments – Like A Pork Chop Around The Neck To Get The Dog To Play With You!
I didn’t understand what the big deal with comments was when I first turned my attention to blogs. So nobody commented, why should I care? Until I started to see the social proof that comments add to a blog.
When I see a blog with a lot of comments, I know that this person can reach a lot of people, or they have really ticked off one person many, many times!
Comments also tell the spiders that this is a hot topic… spiders know that hot topics are relevant to people who search, so they move a highly commented blog up a few notches when they recognize that you are attracting comments from your readers.
How to make them do it?
The Comment Enforcer is a plugin that sends a guy to their house and makes them write and submit a comment under duress. (ok, kidding, but if you are a programmer…)
Comment Relish is a program that allows you to take good care of the people who comment on your blog. It allows you to send a personalized email to each person who comments on your blog for the first time. This welcome/thank you message helps create that relationship that you can build up over time. The commenter is happy, because someone acknowledged them, and the blog owner is happy because the site is getting some real people to leave real comments.
I was going to give you the link to it, but it appears the guy who wrote the plugin is falling on hard times, and his domain has expired. So here is where it would be if the site were operative:
Bribe Them With Fake Money?
CubePoints is a plugin that creates its own economy on your blog. It gives points to commenters (and deducts points from spam comments when they are deleted) and tracks them via their email address. You offer prizes to the person who reaches a particular level first with the stipulation that the comments will have to be very good content to be counted.
I always worry about the bribery deal, because if the site owner gets only the same group of people commenting, are they gaining anything?
One of the offers I would give is the first commenter to $100 can become a guest author. And the first author to reach $1000 can collaborate on a product together. Incentives like that could provide a lot of value to the blog, since more content is always good!
Riffly’s Believe It Or Not?
This is another one of those nifty plugins that make you ask, “Why do I want to add this to my blog?” Riffly Video/Audio Comments is a cool plugin that lets users record comments using their webcams, and stores it automatically!
Imagine having a following of people who leave you audio and video comments about your blog post. You just finished telling your readers that you are retiring from blogging. One of your readers grabs the webcam and gives you the rant of the century that says she has been counting on your blog for the last 3 years and how dare you take that away from her… This sets off a debate with the followers who are glad that you are finally going to be able to spend time with your family and travel all over the world.
The whole premise is cool and having all of the tools to keep your readers engaged is vital to keep people making comments. Now I am going to challenge you.
On last Friday’s post, I created a video comment, to prove that it works. So how about you do the same for me? Let’s see how many people can comment, either voice, webcam or text. I will choose the best comment to post their link in my sidebar for one year!
Time Is Almost Gone Again?
Hope you can download the plugins and try them out, hopefully Justin Shattuck got his domain back up so you can get Comment Relish, and I really recommend you give CubePoints a try, too!
Remember to leave a video, audio or text comment below so I can put your link on this blog for one year!
Tomorrow Part 3: Socializing From Your Blog
I am heading to the Impact Event on Wednesday afternoon, since the Free Author Workshop starts first thing in the morning on Thursday. Come join me at the event, I can give you an invitation if you ask for it. The price to enter the event is $97, but the workshop is free.
A tool we bloggers should have at our disposal is Dave Guindon’s Easy Exit Splash Script. This little line of code puts so much conversion power at your fingertips that some people are actually increasing sales by 325% in as little as 3 days! What it does is ask you if you are really sure you want to close this window (or navigate away from this page) and explains how to stay on the page as well as the why (extra bonus, free report, etc). This results in people spending a lot more time on the site, because they have taken that one step toward the destiny you had for them all along!
I know Dave is raising the price, but I just don’t know when that is going to happen, so go back and take a look at it one more time before you decide you don’t really need it. If you want opt-in subscribers, grabbing your readers before they leave and offering them a report or an audio for signing up is a great way to build your list fast without a lot of cash outlay!