Entries Tagged 'Blogging' ↓

Adding a Tweet This graphic to WordPress

I’ve been meaning to add a “Tweet This” button to this blog for awhile but I didn’t want the standard look of the WordPress plugins that were available. Instead, I decided to add the code right to my theme so there would be no need for a plugin, plus I could customize the look of the button.

I decided on this graphic and just added “Tweet This” to the sign using Fireworks:

twitter-bird

There are lots of free Twitter graphics kicking around the web or you can create your own. Either way, you’ll need one for this tutorial so I’m assuming you’re going to do that right now or you already have one. :)

This requires you to be registered with bit.ly which is a URL shortening service much like TinyURL. I like bit.ly because of their link tracking features and many people are now switching from TinyURL to bit.ly. If you want to use this code to track your ReTweets, you’ll need to go ahead and register with them.

You’ll need access to your server so an FTP program is recommended. If you don’t have one, you can download one for free. I’ve got a quick post about installing an FTP program here.

Once you have access to your server, you’ll need to edit your header.php file. This is in your themes folder which is located in the wp-content folder.

In your FTP program, right click the header.php file and click “Edit”. Search for the tag </head>.

Copy the code below and paste it right above that </head> tag.

<?php if ( is_single() ) { ?>
<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"
src="http://bit.ly/javascript-api.js?version=latest&login=LOGIN&apiKey=KEY"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"
src="http://s.bit.ly/TweetAndTrack.js?v=1.01"></script>
<?php } ?>

Where it says LOGIN and KEY in the code above, you need to enter your own bit.ly login and API key so that you can track your links. This is important, so don’t forget.

Make sure you save your header.php file and close it. Now right click the single.php file and edit that.

Look for the part that says “php the_content”. If you need to, paste the entire file into a text editor and use the Find command to locate it.

Right under that line, paste the following code:

<a href="#" onclick="return TweetAndTrack.open(this, '<?php echo get_permalink();?>');"><span style="display:none;">RT @cassiegermsheid: "<?php the_title();?>"</span><img src="/twitter.png"></a>

Change “@cassiegermsheid” in the code above to your own Twitter name so that any ReTweets will show in your Twitter timeline.

You’ll also need to save the Twitter graphic you want to use to your root folder. You can simply drag it in there using your FTP program. Your root folder is the folder your blog was installed in.

The code above assumes your Twitter graphic will be named “twitter.png”. If it isn’t, be sure to change it in the code to match your graphic name.

Save the single.php file and close it.

Now it’s time to visit your blog and admire your work.

With this code, your Tweet This graphic will show on individual posts. If you want it to show on the main page as well, you’ll need to add this code to the header.php file. Just put it under the last code you entered, right above the </head> tag.

<?php if ( is_home() ) { ?>
<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"
src="http://bit.ly/javascript-api.js?version=latest&login=LOGIN&apiKey=KEY"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"
src="http://s.bit.ly/TweetAndTrack.js?v=1.01"></script>
<?php } ?>

You’ll also need to add the same code you pasted in the single.php file to the index.php file. Look for the part that says “php the_content” again and paste it right underneath.

Now your Tweet This graphic will show on individual posts and the main page.

If there are any questions or you need help, please leave a comment.

Thanks to labnol.org for the code.

Social Media Checklist

stockxpertcom_id42373901_jpg_636e50e8f4b50455b7a1674c053e2247Chris Brogan wrote a great post which is essentially a checklist for anyone who uses social media. Bloggers, if you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., this is a list worth printing out and going through every day.

I know from experience that the tasks on this list are great ways to expand your reach, connect with new people, and solidify relationships. This in turn will mean more exposure to your blog/website and more customers/sales.

Why?

Because doing these things helps you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

A lot of marketers like to complain about social networks like Twitter and say how much of a waste of time they are, but if you manage the time you spend on them wisely, they can increase your business exponentially.

This list of “chores” will help you do that so you can continue to focus on maintaining and improving your site.

Can You Write? Make Money In 5 Days!

Need Money Right Now?

Can you wait 5 days?

Sure, some quick cash would be nice, but wouldn’t a steadily increasing paycheck be even better?

How about writing a small report, and setting up a short ecourse to promote it?

moneyThis post will tell you how so listen up! (This post is also full of free goodies, FYI.)

This method is easy. Yeah, I said easy. It requires work and some of your time, but it doesn’t require a degree to get it right.

This method will also generate as much income as you want it to. The more you promote it, test it and tweak it, the more money it will make. The more you repeat this method, the more your income will grow.

So let’s begin.

Summary:

  1. Write a short report
  2. Promote that short report with an ecourse (If you think ecourses are old school and overdone, think again!)
  3. Build your list

So three steps.

Let’s dive into step 1 – Writing a short report.

If you already have a website in a certain niche, then chances are you already have an idea or two for a short report topic. If not, it’s brainstorming time! Here are a few ways you can drum up some ideas:

  • Dig through your website statistics and find out what people are searching for to reach your site. Any “how to” key phrases should provide some ideas. Pay attention to this information because it tells you EXACTLY what your readers are looking for.
  • Poll or survey your readers. You can set up a form on your website or send out a request to your email list. Preferably both. If you don’t already have a list, get one!
  • Hang around in related forums and find out what people are talking about. This works every time.

Now that you have an idea, you need to make sure it’s a profitable one. The “how to” and “tips” reports are usually winners. People are always wanting to know how to do stuff. They want tips to help them become more successful at whatever they’re doing.

For example:

“How To Create a Profitable Ecourse in 3 Hours” :)

or

“Copywriting Tips That Will Double Your Sales”

or

“7 Things You Must Do to Save Hundreds On Your Next Vehicle Purchase”

Just make sure that the title of your short report isn’t so far fetched that it’s unbelievable. It has to be compelling, but not ridiculously over the top.

Now write the report!

You can write it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If you can’t hire someone and you can’t write worth a shit, trade services with someone who can.

Writing a short report doesn’t have to be a huge deal. I can sometimes sit down with my ancient laptop and whip one up in an hour. If what I’m writing about requires a lot of research, it can take days. There are also a crapload of short reports sitting on my hard drive that were started but never finished.

Don’t be like me.

Finish what you start!

Create an outline then fill in the blank spots. And read this book. It’s free and it’s good. If your head isn’t spewing out awesome ideas by the time you’re done it, I will eat my own shorts.

When your report is finished, you need to figure out a price. Each market is different, and you may be surprised at what price point works best, so this is definitely something to test. If it’s fairly short – 5 to 10 pages – start out with $7 and test from there.

Ok, on to step 2 – Writing an ecourse.

Typically, ecourses – or email mini-courses – are about 7 days long. Or 7 issues. They don’t HAVE to be though. They can be as long or short as you want. There is no “right” answer, but you have to take your readers into consideration.

If you send out an ecourse about gardening, your readers may want some longer, more detailed messages. If you’re targeting internet marketers who are already inundated with emails, you may want to keep them short and sweet, and no more than 7 in a row.

Decide on your topic for each email, then write about it! It doesn’t have to take a lot of time and it doesn’t have to be an award-winning masterpiece. But you do need to make it really good. Make it informative, useful, interesting, entertaining. Make it worth the time it took for your readers to sign up and read it.

If you already have a lot of content for your topic, consider re-purposing it for your ecourse. Break up some articles into smaller lessons for each email, or rewrite them and add a few more exclusive tips or info. You can even add some interviews, worksheets, resource lists, videos, audio, etc. to add to the value of your ecourse.

(I wrote up a more detailed report about creating profitable ecourses for my subscribers. Signup with the form to the right at the top and you’ll have instant access after you confirm your subscription.)

Throw your newly created ecourse into an autoresponder and send the test emails to yourself to read over. Better yet, send them to someone who will proofread them for you. When everything is looking good, it’s on to….

Step 3 – Building your list.

Now this is a gigantic topic and I could write about it for days, but instead, I’m going to point you to some awesome resources that talk about building lists much better than I could.

List Marketing Tips – This is a free 20 page report that is chock full of tips that will not only help you promote your list, but profit from it as you build it.

Triple Opt-In Requests – Another free 20 page report with tips that will help you increase your optins without increasing traffic. (One thing that I did to increase my own optins was to add an arrow with the optin form. Something bright and eye-catching will do the trick.)

Basically, create a really great ecourse that people will want to sign up for, then promote the frick outta that there link!

  • twitter it
  • put it on every page of your site
  • put it in forum signatures
  • blog about it frequently
  • include it in your email signature
  • submit articles to article directories with the link in your author bio
  • create a free report to entice people and make it viral
  • contact other site owners and offer them a large cut of your profits if they help you promote it
  • etc.

If it takes you 2 days to write the report itself, another 2 days to create the ecourse, and 1 day to set it all up (autoresponder, optin page, etc.) then you can start profiting from it in 5 days from now.

Rinse and repeat once a month (or whenever you have the energy for it) and you’ll be creating a profitable little empire for yourself.

And don’t just sit there thinking about doing it, just friggin’ DO IT! I know you can! :D

Did you enjoy this post? Please click here to retweet. Thanks! :)

Dig my new background?

Right after the new year, I updated my theme. I was using the Blix theme that I had modified, and then I changed it to the Copyblogger theme which I also modified.

I still thought it was a little bland so yesterday I decided to add a background to it.

Here is the “before” theme:

before

And here is the new and improved (I think) “after” theme:

after

I love me some textured backgrounds, and I made this one at bgpatterns which I found via TutorialBlog. Very cool.

So yeah…I hope you like it. I think it’s a vast improvement. I had to tinker with some code for awhile to get everything to line up so if you’re using the Copyblogger theme and you’d like to add a background, let me know if you’re having trouble.

Creative Ideas for a New Blog Header

booya

Creating a header for your blog is one of the best ways to make it unique and stand out from the crowd. When you’re trying to come up with an idea for your new header, you may be drawing a blank. I’ve got a few ideas that will help kickstart those creative gears in your head.

Just Text – I’ve seen a lot of great blog headers that are simply text. Using typography to make your blog stand out is gutsy but can result in a beautiful header. Find a snazzy font – there are tons of free fonts available on the web to download – and use your favorite image editing program to create a cool graphic with your blog title.

Add some text effects to make it anything but generic. You can even make it look like it’s 3D, shiny, or glowing. Try using different colors for certain letters, add a copy of the text flipped upside down to create a mirror effect, or create text using other images. There are lots of ways to get creative with text.

Photography – Some headers are nothing but a photo. A scenic landscape, a city skyline, or a row of cute babies smiling for the camera can make a memorable image for your blog readers.

If you want to get even more creative, design multiple headers and have them rotate each time the page is refreshed. This is a great idea for people with photoblogs who like to showcase their own work. My favorite place to get images for my blog headers is StockXpert.

Minimal – If you have a busy theme or you want to direct the focus on something in particular, you may want to choose a header that doesn’t attract a lot of attention.

A simple blog title may suffice, or a small logo. This works well for blogs that already have a brand that is recognizable.

Grunge – There are lots of grunge images and textures that you can download for free. Grab a few, splice them together, and create your own unique header with them.

While you’re looking for some grunge textures, find some grunge fonts to go with it. A dark grunge background with a white grungy text over top would look great on a personal blog.

Color – Using bright, vibrant colors for your header is extremely eye-catching. It could be something really abstract (in which case many examples can be found on free stock photography and images sites) or you can use a mixture of images that add a lot of color contrast.

In one blog header I designed, I took one image of an apple, duplicated it twice, and changed the color of the second two images resulting in a row of three colorful apples. It was simple and eye-catching at the same time and the same idea could be implemented for any niche blog using different images.

If you can’t decide on one idea, why not try more than one? Some blogs are known to change their headers regularly. In some cases this could confuse your readers, but if done properly, it could end up being something that makes your blog unique. Your readers will expect the change and look forward to seeing what you come up with next.