I‘m at the beautiful Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay for the ShareASale Think Tank affiliate conference. I’ll try to capture the highlights of the sessions I’m going to and share them here.
Shawn Collins, Chris Pearson, (I will add the rest of the panelists soon!)
Which blogging platform do you use?
Mostly WordPress. One Moveable Type and one HubSpot.
Including Images in your Blog Posts
Having an image in every blog post is important for several reasons. It helps your post stand out and get read. You can also get SEO benefit from it. Users are more likely to read your Headline and Image Caption than any other text on your page!
Many people said they put their images on Flickr and use them in blog posts. But Flickr recently started “nofollow” ing those links.
What Plugins do you use?
Shawn uses PrettyLink
All panelists say they keep plugins to an absolute minimum. Why?
- They slow your site down.
- They complicate the upgrade process and can break your site.
- You don’t know who created them.
Chris Pearson took a pretty harsh stance on Plugins and says he is in the business of eliminating plugins by building functionality into his theme.
The take-away from this session is that you want to be careful with how many plugins you use, and know exactly what you use them for.
I think I have about 14 active plugins on my blog. Probably too many but nothing I want to eliminate just yet.
One audience member said that he thinks the All-In-One SEO plugin slows your site down and is more harm than good. I followed up with him later to get some more details on this. I talked with Brandon Wirtz and Jake Ludington and they gave me some awesome tips on reducing your page load times and how that can help you and your site visitors. This was so valuable that I’ll be writing this up separately.
How do you get your blog noticed?
Constantly churning out great content, with an eye toward the keywords you are after. Shawn Collins has written a blog post every day for the past 4 years.
Don’t undervalue the value of YouTube and Twitter.
Retweet contests help get the word out.
If you have a site that is brand new, you can buy some AdWords to get it indexed
Do XML sitemaps (Chris Pearson says this is the one plugin he uses: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/)
Claim your site in Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo and Bing services too
Put an embedded link in your product/theme (vary the link)
Have a marketing list (email) send them new stuff you are doing. Use Blog RSS capability in AWeber to automatically create emails from your blog. You don’t have to send them right away.
Headline and Title tag are different – headline is what readers see, title tag is what shows up in the Google SERPs. You can make them different.
How are you Mobile enabling your site?
Look at your site – see if you even need a mobile solution. Maybe your theme looks good on iPhones, Android and Blackberry devices.
Chris says many people use a popular plugin to mobile enable their sites (WP Touch WordPress Plugin), but it makes every site look exactly the same on mobile devices. He thinks the theme should handle mobile display.
Ok, I’ll touch this post up later with more details…
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