Shortening URLs For Easier Sharing

Shortening a URL is a great way to share your links with social networks and an email list.

There are several sites that offer URL shortening, including:

Lets talk about goo.gl and bitly.com first since adf.ly is a little diffent.

Shortening URLs with GoogleShortening URLs

Google runs goo.gl, simply go to this site and enter in a long URL that you would like shortened, and click ‘shorten url’.

If you have a Google account you are able to sign and keep track of all the links you have shortened, and return to use them again.

Shortening URLs with bitlyShortening URLs bitly

Bitly.com does the same thing but in order to save your URLs and come back to them, you will need to create an account. The difference here is their tracking system.

They show statistics on the links you have shortened, showing you when someone clicked and which short links get clicked the most.

Shortening URLs with Adfly

Now for Adfly, this also shortens links and if you sign in you able to see the links you shortened. The difference are ads, they have a five second window where the people who click your link spend on an ad or website.

They then have the option to skip into the desired content, after those five seconds.Shortening URLs adfly We are able to sign up as a publisher or an advertiser to take full advantage of the adfly system.

Adfly Publisher

With the publisher option, we create the shortened URLs and every time someone clicks those links we make a small commission. Adfly also has a referral program that will bring in some extra income as well.

Adfly Advertiser

Under the advertiser option, we are able to put our site into they Adfly system to be shown for at least five seconds to the viewers of the shortened URLs. This costs about one US dollar for every thousand views via Adfly.

There is a minimum purchase of $5, so this will get you 5,000 visitors. It is a very effective way of bringing people to your site but the visits and views are extremely low quality.

Some people will sign up for the services you are offering when you see it in adfly but because these are not targeted to anyone specific there is a lot of ‘junk traffic’.

If you are looking to pay for visits to your site, use Facebook ads or Google’s Adwords program. This will give you a much higher conversion rate.

Backlinks and How To Use Them –>

If you have any questions about shortening URLs please ask me in the comment section below, and I will be more than happy to help!

Proven Ways to Achieve Better Blog Maintenance – Step 10

Maintenance of your website is very important, which is why I have made it number ten on the list of building a website.

Basic Website Maintenance

One thing we can do is cleaning up unused files on the server using the FTP program we downloaded during our installation of WordPress Plugins.

Be careful with this, we don’t want to delete any files needed for our site to run. Just to be safe, make sure you backup your blog before deleting or editing any files on the server.

You can do this from within WordPress. Go to the sidebar located on the dashboard, find ‘tools’, and click ‘export’.

We are then taken to the screen to backup your WordPress blog. Select ‘all content’ and then export the file.

This will download a single file containing all of your blogs, pages, and images.

If something was to happen to your site, you can upload this file to WordPress again and everything will go back to the way it was right before the making of the backup file.

maintenance 1WordPress Maintenance

This is important as well, every so often WordPress has an update to make it better and more secure for the users. Always backup your site before updating WordPress

This even goes for all your plugins, they need to be updated sometimes as well so make sure you backup your blog before doing so.

There has been reports of people updating a plugin and then everything seems to stop working. Don’t get caught without a site backup, we don’t want to have to redo all our hard work.

Appearance Maintenance

Keep your websites appearance fresh and clean. If things start to get cluttered go through and find ways to freshen it up.

Add drop down menus, take off some sidebar widgets and remove some affiliate images.

Content is the most important aspect of your site and you will find that even ugly sites will rank.

But a site that has good content and a great look will often get more reshares from the visitors. This also helps the user feel comfortable, so don’t clutter your site.

Please leave me a comment if you have any questions, as always I am more than happy to help!

Check out Better Blogging Techniques! ➫

For more help, join Wealthy Affiliate; it’s free!

How To Use Tags So Readers Can Discover Your Content – Step 9

Understanding TagsThe fourth box from the top, on the right-hand side of creating a new post, or editing an existing one, is the ‘Tags’ box.

A tag is defined as “a label attached to someone or something for the purpose of identification or to give other information.” – Google

For most of history, the word tag was not used nearly as much as it is now. Around 1988, it started taking off and has continued to increase in usage.

Understanding Tag: Organizing

Just like categories, tags are important for organizing our posts, as well as letting search engines know what our post is about.

Of course, the title and content of our posts are also factors for search engines to know what we are writing about.

Tags allow us to add variations and other ways to say our keywords, that we may not want to put within the ‘meat’ of our content.

Synonyms are great to use as tags since they mean the same thing as our content and title.

This lets search engines, and WordPress, know that there is another term that fits our latest creation.

Understanding Tags Vs. Categories

As I said above, tags are similar to categories but there are differences.

Understanding Tags Tag Cloud

Tag Clouds are a great way to visually display our most used tags.

Tags allow us to describe our content with more detail than we have with categories.

Let’s say you have a post about making a cake.

You might put it under the category of “Baking”, and have tags like vanilla, recipe, and almonds.

You do not have to use tags but will only benefit the site if you do. Just don’t go overboard with it, keep the number of tags under 10 and make them count.

You would not want to be searching google and see articles that are not relevant to a topic. Don’t add a tag like brownies to a post about cakes.

Also, you don’t have to worry about capital letters when adding tags, they are not case-sensitive. ‘Cake’ and ‘cake’ are taken as the same word when used as a tag.

Please feel free to ask me any question about tags in the comment section of this post and I will be more than happy to help you out!

Step 10, Website Maintenance ➫

What Everyone Needs To Know About Creating Posts – Step 8

Creating posts with WordPress is easy, and a very effective way to update your website with new content on a semi-daily basis.

This allows us to use the categories we set up in the last lesson by selecting the appropriate place for the post.

This is done on the right side of the screen and is the third box from the top.

Make sure you uncheck “uncategorized” and select the category that best fits the post you are working on.

If none of them are a good fit you are able to create a new category directly from this box.

Simply click the link that says “+ Add New Category” and fill out the relevant information. You may even create a subcategory from this link if needed.

Creating Posts that are Engaging

This is a big part of making content on your website.

If it is not engaging to your readers or yourself then no one is going to return to hear more of what you have to say.Creating Posts with Awesome Content

It does not matter how helpful your site may be, it still need to grab their attention and hold it.

This is done by creating awesome content within your posts.

Don’t worry, when I started blogging over 10 years ago I thought to myself, ‘Is anyone really going to read this?’.

It turns out yes, someone is going to be reading it! But there is a catch.

Creating Posts for Someone, not Everyone

We need to write to someone but not to everyone. Another blogger I know puts it this way; “if your write for everyone, you will write for no one”.

Don’t try to please everyone who may come to your site.

Write content that you find to be awesome. If you read your posts and say, ‘wow that is good, I’d come back to this site’, then you are writing awesome content.

I wrote a short post over at Wealthy Affiliate with this same vibe.

Read my WA ‘Content is king’ post

If you have any questions please ask me, I am here to help you make the most of your website and find the traffic that is meant to see your creation.

Step 9, Understanding Tags ➫

Understanding Categories – Step 7 of Building a Website

Understanding Categories 1

Category box shown during post creation/editing

Categories are a way to help us organize our posts, to make it easier for both us and our readers.

Before we start making posts on our blog, lets set up a few categories that we would like to fill.

Pick three topics that you will be able to write at least ten posts to start.

Now get out a piece of paper and write down the categories with possible posts underneath.

As we go through and create content under each category we can easily cross off the post and view our progress.

This will keep us on track to achieve our goals.

Understanding Categories: Examples

I will use this site for example. Here you will find a ‘Website Construction’ category.

This includes this post, plus the previous six steps we have covered and all the rest in this series.

I also have categories for ‘Setting Your Goals’ and ‘Social Networking’.

Categories can be anything that will help us organize our posts.

Since I have a review of Wealthy Affiliate here I created a category called ‘Reviews’. This is also where I will place other reviews that I may choose to write in the future.

Understanding Categories: Finding Relevant Categories

Finding relevant categories is pretty easy but sometimes we need some help.

Remember back in lesson one on finding a niche? We talked about looking up chapters in books relevant to our niche to make sure there will be enough to write about.

This is a great place to get topics and categories for you site. Go back and look over that information, if you are having a hard time remembering.

It will serve you well to have, at least, three categories with lists of posts before we start creating content for your niche.

Understanding Categories: Adding Categories

Understanding Categories 2

Used to create/edit categories

On the left sidebar, hover over ‘posts’ then click ‘categories’.

This will bring us to the category page where we can create and edit our categories.

First name your category, such as ‘Reviews’.

Second pick a ‘slug’; this will be what is shown in the URL such as http://supportingbloggers.com/category/reviews/

Add a description if you wish; this is not required but may be helpful in the future.

Finally, click ‘Add New Category’ and there it is! Your first category has been created.

If you have any questions please ask me in the comment sections here. I will be more than happy to help you out in any way I can; thanks for reading!

Creating Posts – Step 8 of Building a Website ➫

For more help and lots of great people to bounce ideas off of, join Wealthy Affiliate; it’s free!

How To Create a Page For Static Content – Step 6

Let’s start out with an ‘About Me‘ page and get some content on this new WordPress website.

Login to you WordPress site (yoursite.com/wp-login.php)

On the sidebar to the left, find ‘Pages’ and clickClick new page. ‘New Page’.

You will now see the WordPress editor; here we are able to write out our ‘about me’ page.

Tell your story when creating a page:

Make it personal so the people that come to your site have a sense of who you are; this will make them feel more welcome and trust your opinions on the niche you are writing.

Feel free to look at my ‘about me‘ page to get an idea of how personal to go with this new page.

Of course do not copy what I have since it is not you, but Google penalizes sites for copied content.

Some topics to discuss:

Here are some ideas you can write about.

Creating a page

click to enlarge

How long have you been involved in your niche?

Are you married?

Any children?

What do you love most about your niche?

What got you interested in online marketing?

What made you join Wealthy Affiliate?

Anything like this, that will give your readers a sense of who you are is a great place to start.

Don’t be afraid to let them know you; this will build trust and without trust, you website will not convert into the Internet Marketing business you are aspiring to have.

Creating a page and keeping it friendly:

This may be a given but it may not. Make the ‘about me’ page and any other post or page sound friendly.

I have found over the years that sounding friendly has a lot to do with building trust, and right now your goal is to build trust; not to sell.

This is because without trust no one will buy your products or take your reviews of affiliates seriously.

Keep it friendly and don’t sound like a robot!

Thanks again for reading; if you have any questions please ask them in the comments and I will answer them as quickly as possible!

Step 7, Understanding Categories ➫

Don’t forget about this great resource! Join Wealthy Affiliate; it’s free!

 

What Everybody Ought to Know About WordPress Plugins – Step 5

Plugins are a great way to add extra support to your WordPress site.

Installing WordPress Plugins

Let’s start with a ‘captcha’ plugin to help limit the amount of comment spam on your site. This will get you used to installing plugins as well as give you a good first plugin.

Let’s go to our WordPress dashboard; there is a menu item on the left that says ‘plugins’.

WordPress Plugins

Plugins Menu

After you click the plugins menu item it will take you to the plugins you already have installed; whether activated or not.

Near the top of the page there is a button that says “Add New”; click this button.

The next page that you are brought to is a search page for plugins. We can use the search box to find a plugin or we can also upload one that we have downloaded from wordpress.org.

Let’s search for “Si Captcha’; the first result is the one we want to install.

To install this plugin simply click the link under the title that says “Install Now”; you may get a box to pop up asking if it is ok to install the plugin, click ‘ok’.

Now that we told WordPress that it is ok to install this plugin we are brought to the next page in the process.

Click the link beneath the text that says “activate plugin”.

There we have it! The plugin is now installed, activated, and ready to be used.

So let’s talk about some other plugins that would be good to use.

Good WordPress Plugins for Starters

WordPress Plugins 3

A captcha example

Si Captcha – Helps keep spam down so we don’t have to worry as much about whether a comment is a real person or not.

Akismet – This one is already installed and just needs to be activated and registered. This also helps keep down any spam that may get through your captcha.

WordPress SEO by YoastWealthy Affiliate uses a different SEO plugin; feel free to use that one if you are going through their training. I like WordPress SEO and have been using it for a while which is why I choose to use this one over the other.

Pretty Link – This allows you to shorten the long URLs and any that are not based at your site to a shorter one with your domain at the start.

My favorite WordPress plugins are outlined here.

If you have any questions about a plugin or have any good plugin ideas please let us know! We will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Page Construction – Step 6 ➫

How To Add WordPress To Supercharge Your Blog – Step 4

We now have a place to put our website!

One of the best way to manage a website is with a system called “WordPress”. This is what we will be working with throughout my tutorials and lessons. Creating content is a big part of having a successful website. The more you add fresh content the better your chances of ranking in Google.

NameCheap has a service to easily install WordPress. If you bought your hosting with them the best way is to go to their walk through on installing WordPress. There is no reason for me to retype what they already to a great job at.

Once you have WordPress installed skip to step 5.

We will be going through the manual process here just in case a host someone may be using does not have an option like that.

Finding the FTP Information

First we need to find the sites FTP information. This stands for “File Transfer Protocol” and allows us to connect directly to the server with a client program.

There are many different FTP Clients to use so find one you like and works best with your computer. I like to use Filezilla (it’s free) and is what I have the most experience with.

What we are looking for a few pieces of information:

IP Address – This will look something like 142.4.197.126 or it could also look like ‘ftp.yoursite.com’. Make sure you write this down so you can enter it into your FTP Client. If they give you a port number be sure to write this down as well.

Username – This could be almost anything; if you have found the FTP IP Address it will be in the same group of information; make sure you write this down as well.

Password – Again this will be in the same area as the other two and you should be able to change it to make it easier for you to remember.

Adding WordPress Server Icon

Now once you have all this information written down it is time to open up the FTP Client that you have chosen to use. Keep in mind, they may have also sent you an email with all the FTP information; if you can’t find it check your inbox.

If you are using Filezilla, open the program and click the server icon in the upper left-hand corner of the window.

Click the button towards the bottom that says “New Site”; this will give you the spaces to add your information.

Adding WordPress

Top left of group

Add all the information given to you by your host into the correct boxes and click ‘ok’.

Click the server icon again and click the site you just added; now click ‘Connect’, this will now allow you to see the files on your server.

Adding WordPress to your site

Now that we are able to connect let,s go get the WordPress file; it is located at http://wordpress.org/download/.

There is a good bit of information on the WordPress website that I could not write any better if I tried.

Once you have the file downloaded head on over to http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress and follow their step by step instructions.

They made the platform so what better way than getting the instructions straight from them!

If you have any questions about the steps we covered here please ask them in the comments below. Thanks again!

Step 5, WordPress Plugins ➫

How To Get Hosted and Control Your Blog – Step 3

Now that you have a domain name in mind it is time to purchase web hosting. This is the “expensive” part of owning a website because you actually have to take up space on a company’s server and use their bandwidth. These days we are able to find some good prices on web hosting; let,s look at geek-domains.com as our example.

Buy Web Hosting: Plans

There are almost always different tiers when it comes to buying web space. Most of the time, the longer you purchase the space the less it will cost at a month to month basis. Please use the link to NameCheap below; I’ll get a small kickback at no extra cost to you. I chose NameCheap due to their great support and very low cost for the first year of hosting.

NameCheap.com Value Plan:

What they offer:

  • 20GB SSD Disk Spacenamecheap
  • Easy WordPress setup
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Host up to 3 sites
  • Daily Backups
  • 50 Sub-domains
  • Up to 50 FTP Users
  • Up to 50 email accounts
  • Up to 50 Databases
  • 24/7 Live Support
  • E-Commerce
  • 14 day money back guarantee

This will cost you about $9.88 for the first year then $38.88 every year after that. This is great for us since we are just starting out. Low barrier to entry! If you would like to have more space or more sites there are several other shared Hosting Packages.

I have used the Value hosting plan for several websites and have always had the best results. There is really more there than you will even need to start, and most likely ever, in your blogging career.

Since your site will be mostly words and photos the unlimited amount of space is a bit overkill but worth it in the case of expanding your site. Unlimited data transfer is a must; you don’t want your visitors to be pushed out or unable to access your site due to overcrowding. Databases are needed to store WordPress information and this is all included in their 1-Click WordPress setup.

If you are not using NameCheap.com to purchase your domain and web hosting make sure you read what each package offers. Don’t get caught up in the details too much; just make sure that you, at least, get unlimited bandwidth and a 20 Gigabytes of storage to host your site.

For free hosting, join Wealthy Affiliate, it’s good to get your feet wet and try out blogging. I do recommend self hosting so you have complete control.

As always, please ask any questions in the comments. I will answer every question as soon as I am able.

Step 4, Add WordPress To Supercharge Your Blog ➫