Adwords Marketing

Top 20 WordPress Security Plugins [2019]

WordPress-security

Cyber-security is sadly something which has only come into the popular subconscious in the last decade or so. Yes, cyber-security has been around a lot longer than that, and there are plenty of instances where cyber-security will have helped average people secure themselves in previous years but the absolutely vital position it holds nowadays is only recently developed. It’s not hard to see why that is: for hackers and cyber-criminals of all shapes and sizes there are now so many more opportunities for them to take advantage of an innocent user. Technology is ubiquitous: everyone of a certain generation and below has a social media, possibly several, online instant messaging, does online shopping, receives targeted emails, does online banking and just, generally, lives their lives in the online sphere. With each new advancement in technology cyber-crime is given a fresh avenue through which it can exploit users.

An area that is certainly not immune is web hosting and website management. It’s likely that if you have a website then you might pride yourself on already understanding some of the threats which are out there for you and your website. But the truth is you likely don’t know the full extent to the vulnerability and, even if you do, you almost certainly don’t know how to deal with it yourself anyway. WordPress is a great resource for those of us who want simple solutions to website ownership and content management. It’s incredibly usable and it makes for an easy, stress-free way for an average user to get themselves a website or blog that can compete with more complexly coded sites. That being said, it still presents a security risk and it still demands the kind of protection that all sites need nowadays. So, to guide you through what is available, here are 20 security plug-ins for you to sure up your WordPress site.

1. Jetpack

Jetpack is made by people from WordPress itself so it’s one of the more popular options for security for your WordPress. Jetpack has a variety of uses, pertaining to social media, website speed and spam protection. There’s a fair amount of security which is included in the Jetpack free option but if you want the real heavy deal security then you ought to try the paid version, which, crucially, includes the benefit of security scans to check everything is in order at any time.

2. Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator offers a two-factor authentication option for your site. It’s a one-off feature: Google Authenticator only offers this security, in a very simplistic way. And yet, it is actually a fabulously good option for a lot of people. “Whilst some people will shoot for plug-ins which seem to offer it all, Google’s authentication plug-in is the sort of thing which they won’t find in the average package, and it’s very helpful”, writes Jason Alex. GA will offer you a second layer of security at any login portal.

  3. Security Ninja

Security Ninja has a great selection of features attached to its free package, which makes it a valuable resource for those wanting to do security on a budget. The main plug-in, and the only one you can get in the free deal, performs over 50 checks to various points of the login process, as well as monitoring user passwords to get read of weak login information and educate users on security.

 4. Shield Security

Shield Security is a complete plug-in that offers a really wide-spanning site security spectrum. It is a very good resource for anyone who worries that they are not on top of their site security but doesn’t understand where to go from acknowledging that fact. Like many of the others, Shield have a free option, but their ‘Pro’ service is really outstanding, with an incredible 24hr security hotline for your benefit.

 5. Sucuri Security

Far and away one of the most famous options for securing your site. It’s an intuitive and rigorously designed application which will ensure that your site stays well protected even on the free plan. The free plan, impressively, gives you an auditing option which you can use to check how well the software is defending your site for you and allows you to make changes based on that information.

 6. iThemes Security

iThemes Security is an absolute heavy hitter in the world of plug-in security options. Shaking off it’s previous identity as Better WP Security, iThemes gives you 30 or so tools for preventing hacks and cyber-criminals, excelling particularly in recognizing vulnerabilities and old, weak software.

 7. WP fail2ban

Much like Google Authenticator, WP fail2bn only offers the user a single feature: protection against a brute force attack. “Brute force attacks are unsubtle and simplistic but can be deadly for certain sites. An algorithm runs every combination of password and username until it finds one that lets it in, which might take days, or minutes, but will hurt your site when it inevitably works”, write Ahmed Amin. Protecting against this is vital and done well by this software.

 8. SecuPress

New to the market, SecuPress, which used to be known as freemium, SecuPress is deeply user friendly, with an excellently optimized interface for use by anyone of any level of knowledge and understanding. It’s inexpensive in its full form and it is good at identifying attacking bots.

 9. VaultPress

VaultPress is one of the few security add-ons which doesn’t have a free version, so it’s going to be much more useful to you if you have a pre-existing understanding of security. VaultPress excels at its backup scheduling with clear and easy to use out backup monitors.

 10. Defender

Defender is as basic as it gets. Not necessarily in terms of its content being simplistic, but the layout and user-friendly interface makes cyber-security seem like a doddle. It’s specifically good for WordPress and quickly identifies changes made at the directory level and allows you to restore in a matter of seconds.

11. BulletProof

Bulletproof is a retro-esque security software which comes in a free package and a paid package as well. The paid package, conveniently, is a one-off payment not a repeated fee and only costs $69.95. You can try out the free plug-in first off and then see if the added features that come with the paid version are worth the time and money.

 12. Astra Web Security

Astro Web Security is a really complete and complex security add-on. In fact, it’s more like a security suite of sorts with such a broad-spanning range of services available to users. It’s an incredibly valuable service which gets billed annually depending on how much you make use of it. It’s an incredibly reliable brand, used by some of the biggest companies in the world, so, if you want guaranteed quality and an extremely broad range of tools then Astra is your best bet.

 13. All In One WP Security & Firewall

This is an incredibly comprehensive look at WordPress security, with an easy interface and some valuable premium plans available to anyone looking for a wide variety of tools and good usability. With Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels there is literally something for anyone, no matter how much or how little you know about cyber-security.

14. WordFence Security

WordFence Security is one of the most popular plug-ins for security out of all of the ones on the list. Its biggest appeal is that its free version is as good as some companies’ premium content. It has an active traffic tracker which allows you to monitor activity on your site, both potentially criminal and not. The more you know about cyber-crime, the cheaper it gets, since developers can get a package that is premium but with a huge discount.

15. WordPress Antivirus Site Protection

Another wordy one, this plugin is really helpful for some of the more insidious virus attacks. It’s specifically targeted towards WordPress and allows you to root out worms, spyware, adware and redirection viruses with a few clicks. It’s an active defender as well, so as soon as the plug-in recognizes some sort of breach on the site it will notify you to confirm if it is benevolent or malevolent.

16. VIP Scanner

This is one of those plug-ins which does exactly what it says on the tin: it scans. In this instance, VIP Scanner will scan files on your website to help you to find any vulnerabilities, in a pre-emptive attempt to stop any potential breaches before they have even begun. It’s extremely simplistic which makes it easy to use. However, just because it is user-friendly, doesn’t stop it from being valuable for your site security.

 17. Loginizer

Loginizer is another fairly self-explanatory one for you. It is again a single-minded add-on which deals with security surrounding your log-in portal. In this instance it behaves a bit like WP fail2ban, since its main focus is to identify and defend against brute attacks: bots which behave like they’re in a war of attrition by wearing through all of the log-in options for a website until they find one which works. It only takes one for the breach to be made and, once this has been established, any sort of chaos can be reeked on your website. Loginizer also allows you to customize a threat list, so you can black-ball IP addresses that you consider threatening to stop them before they’ve even begun any sort of attack. A simple but highly utility-oriented resource for site security for your WordPress.

18. Cerber Security And Antispam

Cerber Security and Antispam is a very clear software, much like Loginizer, in terms of its focus. It quickly nips brute force attacks in the bud by using authentication cookies t see if a certain IP access point is trying over and over again to access the log-in portal. Once it knows it black-lists the address until you stop it. As such, the program has a blacklist and whitelist mechanism, whereby you are able to control your site’s relationship with certain users. The antispam mechanism is extremely useful, particularly for bloggers to help them identify repetitive, annoying remark in the comment sections of the sites. It may be simple, but it packs a punch and is great at getting certain jobs done, with a great deal of efficiency and effectiveness.

 19. BBQ (Block Bad Queries)

Despite its humorous name and a lot of its marketing material looking like a college student’s computer science project, BBQ is a really useful, if somewhat simplistic, firewall plugin. It’s super, super easy to use and can be accessed and utilized in a few clicks. It’s a brilliant tool for beginners who don’t know how to jump into the world of cyber-security and want something they can understand as a building block to more complex destinations.

20. Antivirus

It doesn’t really get too much simpler than this, in name or in practical use. Antivirus does exactly what it seems that it might do: it scans your WordPress site and searches for viruses in the form of malware, adware and spam. If anything is discovered on your WordPress you will quickly be notified as it does require a human gaze to establish the exact nature of the threat and, consequently what it is that should be done about the threat itself. Very simple, yet extremely useful.

Conclusion

It is a sad truth of the world that we live in that so many people are ignorant about the rough realities of the cyberworld. Part of this has to do with the fact that technology develops quicker than the solutions for securing it, leaving cyber-security as an industry somewhat lost at sea. But, on the other hand, people are ill-informed. Hopefully with this exhaustive list of options you will find the protection add-on that will keep your WordPress site safe forever. Securing your site will save you a world of pain and struggle in the long run, believe me.

Working as a content marketer and editor at Academicbrits, Michael Dehoyos helps companies create effective marketing strategies. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise and does so through blogs and other online publication.

Original post: Top 20 WordPress Security Plugins [2019]

4 Advanced Marketing Tactics to Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic in 2019

Mostly If you’re like most bloggers, one of your New Year’s resolutions in 2019 was undoubtedly to get more traffic in 2019.

Now, three months into the new year, you’re probably looking at your Google Analytics report and wondering: why is my traffic growth flat?

You’re not the only one. Countless bloggers around the world are asking themselves the same question.

The truth is that increasing traffic in 2019 requires a very different approach than it did in, say, 2015. The state of marketing has changed drastically in the last few years. The tactics that were rock solid in 2015 barely make a dent in your traffic today.

To increase your blog traffic in 2019, you need to adopt newer, more advanced marketing tactics. Use these tips to grow your traffic this year and beyond.

1. Write less but more authoritative content

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you probably live by a single mantra: produce more content, publish it often.
While this adage stood the test of time for eons (or two decades in SEO years), it doesn’t hold much water anymore.

Recall that Google’s original mission statement is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible”. To this effect, it wants to minimize the amount of time a user spends trying to find the right result.
Which is why you see Google serving answers to so many search queries directly on the results page, instead of driving people to another website.

So when someone searches for a query like “design resources”, Google doesn’t want the user to spend minutes jumping from one site to another. Instead, it wants to direct them to a single source that can potentially list all the design resources they might need.

In practice, this means writing fewer but more authoritative articles. Instead of creating 10 similar keyword-focused pieces, write a single article that covers all the 10 keywords in a single article.

In fact, research shows that longer content also ranks better, attracts more backlinks, and drives more shares.

2. Rework your older content

As an experienced blogger, you likely have a vast archive of published content. Some of this content might have been cutting edge five years ago but is outdated today. As a result, you get hardly any traffic to these pages, if at all.

There are three approaches you can take this with older content:

Update it: For content that is doing relatively well (i.e. ranks between pages 2 and 5 for its target keyword), your best bet is to update the content with fresh information. You can add images, pad out content to include new information, embed videos, etc. to make the content more relevant and valuable.

Delete it: Content that is under 300 words in length and doesn’t rank anywhere close to the first 5 pages should be deleted. This content adds little to no value to your site. In fact, it sends a negative signal to Google that your site has poor quality, outdated and “thin” content. This can potentially harm your SEO.

Redirect it: If you have a lot of short and low-quality articles on a single topic, it might be smarter to redirect them all to a longer, detailed article on the same topic. This way, you drive authority to the longer article and give readers a better experience.

For example, we updated one of our older articles on the Workamajig blog with fresh content. Within weeks of doing that, our weekly traffic started going up, eventually reaching nearly 10x as many people as it did earlier.

3. Write content for the right topics

If you wanted to learn how to ride a skateboard, would you rather read an article about it or watch a video?
Most of you will probably go for a video.

Google thinks so too. If you search for “how to ride a skateboard”, you’ll find that the first few results are dominated by videos.

You might spend 50 hours creating a highly detailed article on riding a skateboard, but you’ll never be able to dislodge these videos from the #1 spot.

This is why you must select the topics you create content for carefully. Don’t just choose a topic because it has strong search volume. Rather, think about the following:

User-intent: Is this keyword related to something commercial? If yes, how can I take advantage of it to monetize my blog?

Search-intent: Is this keyword better served with a video? Or would people prefer to read about it?
Depth: Would a reader rather get an answer to this question immediately? Or would they prefer to get a more detailed understanding of the topic through visuals and background research?

Your goal should be to map your content to the keyword-type. Don’t write 10,000 word blog posts for topics that need video results. And don’t create videos for topics that are better served by an image.

4. Automate your marketing

Marketing automation used to be expensive to buy and complicated to run. In fact, 61% of marketers even say that the only reason they don’t use marketing automation more is because it is “difficult”.

But things are changing fast in the marketing automation landscape. Any blogger can run simple automated email marketing campaigns for just a few dollars a month.

These campaigns don’t have to be complicated. At most, you should be able to collect emails and enter subscribers into a “drip” sequence where you send them targeted emails every few days. This will help you in two ways:

It will familiarize readers with your brand, making it easier for you to sell them anything in the future.
It will help you segment your readers into more targeted categories. You can then use these segments to send them better targeted offers.

For instance, if you run a food blog, you might have two kinds of readers:

-Readers who are only interested in your recipes
-Readers who want your suggestions on the right kitchen equipment to buy.

You can easily create an automated email marketing “funnel” where you send subscribers content related to either of the above two topics. Readers who choose topic #1 automatically get funneled into a “recipes” segment. Those who chose topic #2 get sent to a “buying advice” segment.

The best way to collect email addresses in 2019 remains the humble content upgrade. This is a tactic where you offer some downloadable content that “upgrades” the content the reader is currently reading.

This downloadable content doesn’t have to be complex. As long as it adds relevant value to the content they’re reading, most people will be happy to exchange their email addresses for it.

For example, this music blog has a list of websites that accept music submissions. However, the on-page table is difficult to read. So the blog offers a downloadable “upgrade” which is nothing but the list of blogs in an Excel spreadsheet.

This content upgrade is trivially easy to create, yet it lures in readers because it offers the on-page content in a more palatable format.

Over to you
Blogging success in 2019 is harder than ever. There is more content being produced today than ever. If you want to win traffic and readers, you will have to eschew old-school marketing practices.

Ditch the dogma you learned earlier. Instead, adopt one of these four advanced marketing tactics to make 2019 your best traffic year ever.

Jeff Sullivan is a content marketing manager for Workamajig, a leading management system for the world’s top agencies. When not helping agencies scale their growth, he can be found fiddling with his guitar or waiting for surfing season to start.

Original post: 4 Advanced Marketing Tactics to Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic in 2019

Use These Tips to Always Have Inspiration For Your Blog Topics

Do you have your own blog? Do you know what to write about in the next blog post? If you have an idea, that’s great, but not all of us know exactly where to find inspiration and write something powerful. That’s why you need some great solutions that will help you create great blog content. Here are the best tips.

1. Read a lot

The best inspiration comes from reading. It’s an ultimate truth that applies to all types of creation, no matter if it is a great article or a blog post. You need to read a lot if you want to be inspired. Once you read about the exact subject, you do not only collect more knowledge about the subject, but you also stimulate your own natural process of thinking, and that is where your ideas come from. Reading and creation go hand in hand, and that’s why you need to read the inspiring content if you want to create even more inspiring blog posts.

2. Create a list of topics

You may be noticing that preparation and planning are crucial for making a good blog topic. It is not a wonder why so many bloggers have the lists of blog content topics that will serve them well in future work. They all apply the same rules. When you come up with good topic ideas write them down, because these will serve you in the future blog posts. Write down every single idea and make a decent collection of the ideas for your blog posts. Next time when you are short on ideas, just turn to your list and find the new inspiration.

3. Turn to social media

Social media are a great way to find new content ideas. It is the place where so many people create trends and lead the followers who are thinking about popular subjects. You can simply find numerous ways to get the essence of the news and create your own content. Popular news and trending topics can offer a completely new perspective and you are there to find it. When you are there, make sure that you:

-Follow the news that is connected to the topics you write about
-Use a great source of credible information where you can find truthful news
-Apply a similar approach for creating content as those people whom you trust online

Use this power of social media and create your own perspective. Your audience will certainly like to hear your side of the story about some popular news. Your perspective is what leaves an impact among your public. That is where your creativity comes to light and that is where you are able to test what really works with your readers and what affects them. If you are able to offer them something unique out of all kinds of social media news, you are on a good path to becoming a person of influence.

4. Focus on content marketing

Content marketing is more than simply putting words together. It is a marketing orientation that promotes your blog and gives you more credibility in the world of influencers. You could be the next big thing if you use content marketing in the right way. Go on Google and type in the search box “How to use content marketing for blogs”. The results could give you a very broad perspective on how to use this kind of marketing for your blog. It is all about using keywords, phrases, content structure, and unique style. You must learn all of this stuff if you want to really push your blog forward.

5. Hire professional help

If you are stuck in the middle of the journey, you can always ask for help. There are numerous services online that will help you with idea generation. These services offer the assistance of the professional writers who have the ability to make your content stand out from the rest. It is always a good choice to ask for help, especially when you need some fresh idea and a new perspective.

Final Verdict

We know how difficult could be then you want to come up with some great blog post ideas. Fortunately, the mentioned solutions can hugely affect your ability to create a great blog post. Use the social media when you want to know what is trending, search for content marketing solutions when you want to organize your mind the right way, or turn to a professional assignment writing service when you need help from approved writers. All of these should be accompanied with your daily habits. Those are reading and writing down the ideas when they arise. When you combine all these aspects, you are on a great way of writing a post that leaves a real impact on your public.

Original post: Use These Tips to Always Have Inspiration For Your Blog Topics

7 Website Design Essentials for Small Businesses

What makes a great website? Is it the colours, the layout, or the information contained in the site itself? Every small business owner wants their site to attract as much traffic as possible while competing against rival businesses and some much larger companies.

The truth is, no matter how pretty your website is, if nobody’s viewing it, then it’s a waste of time. You might have heard words like Google ranking, SEO, keywords, backlinks and other technical terms which can be confusing. After all, you just want your website to do the work of attracting customers while you go about your work.

Here are 7 ways to make sure that your website gets the attention it deserves.

1. A Consistent and Professional Look

To be competitive you have to have a great website that looks professional, after all, it’s the “face of your company”. Everything must be laid out in a logical order and be easy to read because most people don’t have to look for things.

The layout of every page must follow a similar theme and should have a consistent colour scheme. Because your website is a reflection of your company, having an unprofessional-looking website will reflect badly on you.

2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

??So your site looks lovely but now you need to get traffic to flow through it. SEO are practices that get your site noticed and ranked by Google so that people looking for your product or service can easily find it. This means you need to use as many keywords and phrases that are specific to your product in your URL’s and descriptions.

Another way to increase SEO is the use of backlinks. Backlinks are links from your site to others, and from other sites to yours. These links create relationships between the sites through which traffic will flow. You can also have internal backlinks to other pages on your site so that if readers see something interesting they can instantly navigate to that page.

3. Quality Content

It may seem like a no-brainer, but having quality content that’s engaging for the reader is a must on any website. Not only should the quality be good, but the content should be regularly updated so that the readers that you’ve hooked keep coming back for fresh information.

Having good quality content also helps with SEO because Google looks at quality content that’s regularly updated as a way to determine ranking. Some of the ways in which Google ranks the quality of the content is by analysing the number of keywords as well as the relevance of the information with regards to what you are selling. Google also looks at the length of the content as a factor that determines whether its quality is high or not.


4. Tell a story

Your site is about telling people who you are, what problem you can solve for them and why they should trust you. In order to sell your brand, you have to have an identity.

When the reader sees your website they should see how your company was started, who the founders are, what your core principles are and why your product or service is better than the countless others out there. One of the ways to do this is by having authenticity. Don’t over-do the sales pitch and try to force people into buying your message. Try to sound natural and talk about what you can do for the customer with a call to action at the end.

5. List building

??Not all visitors to your site will be convinced into buying into your services, In fact, you’ll get a lot of visitors that will never return again…..unless you do something about it. This is why it’s important for visitors to your site to be greeted by a splash page that offers a subtle way to get their contact details.

The splash page can contain a free download, access to a promotional item or even a competition. The idea is that the visitor will want it in exchange for their email address. After gaining the address, you can send your newsletter or promotional material and build a relationship. Some websites even have a person on a live chat ready to answer questions and build an instant relationship with the reader.

6. Marketing

You may have a great site that’s getting traffic from searches and ranking but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look at other avenues of marketing. These days social media plays a huge role in promotions and your site should be linked to as many social media sites as possible.

You should have dedicated buttons linking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media sites that you use, as well as a share button. It’s also good to have a live feed from one of those sites directly linked to your website. Obviously, social media sites should be updated regularly if they are expected to work.

7. Mobile Friendly

Over the last few years, the number of users accessing sites from desktops has been in a steady decline, with more and more people accessing from their phones and tablets. It’s predicted that by the end of 2019, up to 79% of web traffic will be from mobiles with only 20% coming from desktops.

It’s therefore vitally important to ensure that your site is optimised for mobile access because visitors that don’t get a good experience on their mobiles are unlikely to return. Mobile friendliness is yet another factor linked to Google ranking. Since 2016, has taken ranking signals from the mobile version of the site and not the desktop version.

These 7 steps are some of the most important things to consider when designing your site. If you can get your web development team to implement these steps, you’ll be on your way to having a great website that will attract traffic and do justice to your brand.

Original post: 7 Website Design Essentials for Small Businesses

What are the top CMS Trends for 2019

Content Management Systems (CMS) have existed since the dawn of the internet. From its early presence in the form of simple, static blogs to today’s complex drag-and-drop/WYSIWYG website editors, CMS platforms have come a long way. So what will be the top CMS trends in 2019? Which new platforms will emerge from the shadows to threaten the lead of WordPress? Read ahead to find out.

The state of CMS in 2019

Out of the top 10 million websites on the internet, WordPress has a market share of 44.6%, followed by Joomla & Drupal. Source: W3Tech

There are over 2 billion live websites all across the internet. To be more precise, the figure was around 1,652,185,816 websites as of November 2018, according to a survey by Netcraft. With almost half the world’s population having access to the Internet today, that’s a lot of websites for one to comprehend.

And if you consider just the top 10 million websites out of this cluster, WordPress, the world’s most widely distributed CMS platform is used on 33% out of these. When including only the websites using any particular CMS, the figure rises to 60.4% This means that out of the world’s top 10 million websites using CMS, WordPress has a market share of a whopping 60.4% as of 2019. The no. of CMS development companies are also increasing at a rapid pace due to the demand factor.

In the above chart, you may see that above WordPress, nearly 44.6% CMS market share belongs to a category called “None”. This category includes all websites using a custom CMS unrecognized by W3Tech. These CMS platforms can be tailor-made for companies by custom CMS development companies, some of which are also established as a CMS development company.

But this figure may be hardly surprising to many as WordPress has stayed at the top for years now. However, there is a huge competition for the 2nd and 3rd position in the CMS market, and these are the positions which platforms such as Drupal, Joomla, Wix, and Squarespace are fighting hard to hold.

Top CMS trends in 2019

1. Use of AI in CMS development

A CMS is always meant to do one thing- make it easy for administrators to make changes to a website and manage content while not getting their hands dirty by coding. Through the years, Drag-and-drop builders and WYSIWYG interfaces have made it easier than ever for content creators and website owners to manage content curation.

However, AI can take this level of convenience a step further. From helping content curators optimize web pages and content for SEO, to creating new functionalities that integrate with the API to enhance the interaction between the back-end content management and its viewability at the front-end.

CMS platforms such as Wix are already using AI to help users design websites and create personalized templates according to their choices, without the hassle of customizing each and every element individually.

2. Better assistance for Voice-based search optimization

With the rapid spread of voice-based smart assistants in Smartphones and other devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home among other “smart” devices. Voice-based search is the new trend that CMS platforms need to be prepared for. Consumers have already spent over $2 Billion through voice-based online shopping as of 2019. The voice shopping market is expected to rise up to $40 Billion by the year 2022.

A per research by ComScore, 50% of all online searches are expected to be made through voice-based search by the year 2020. So it is needless to say that the content marketers and creators will have to optimize content for voice searches made online. To keep up with such demands, CMS platforms will also have to offer functionalities that help website content managers focus on creating and curating relevant content, rather than spending time deciding how to put everything together for optimization purposes.

3. Chatbots in CMS

Since we’ve already discussed the use of AI and voice-search optimization, it is only fair to highlight something that leverages both these concepts- chatbots! Chatbots are interpreted as the next generation of app interfaces that can change the way how users interact with devices. Through the integration of API, headless CMS’ can deliver content through chatbot-based interfaces on all types of mobile devices. Gartner predicts that up to 85% of all chatbot interactions will be powered by chatbots by the year 2020.

Until now, chatbot development has always been something done in silos rather than taken as a part of a macro system. Integrating chatbots within CMS has several benefits compared to having an external bot ecosystem.

One, this will make it easier for content marketers to develop content for chatbots, rather than having to develop and curate over and over again for an external chatbot system. Two, similar to how CMS platforms need to redesigned keeping in mind advancements such as voice-search, sooner or later- the same upgradation would be required for chatbots.

4. Increased adoption of Headless CMS

Headless CMS brings innovative ways to organize and display created content across different hardware platforms with utmost efficiency. Unlike traditional CMS where the back-end CMS (the body) is directly connected to the front-end frame (the head). Headless CMS systems literally are “headless”, in the sense that the content put through the back-end CMS can be delivered and viewed on hardware devices through APIs instead of a separate head.

This would allow delivery of content well-optimized for all platforms, be it wearables, mobile or desktop, without having to design/modify a separate template for the same. With the proliferation of portable devices, headless CMS is moving closer towards becoming a norm.

Conclusion


These are some of the top CMS trends that will dominate 2019 and take us a step further towards a low-code and creation-focused Content management. As far as CMS platforms are concerned. No competitor is even close to WordPress as of today, and it is likely that its reign will continue this year as well.

Many say that such a lack of competition to WordPress may result in a dearth of innovation from CMS development companies and low popularity of CMS trends. However, considering how the above-mentioned trends are set to make their impact felt this year, it is perhaps best to not make any solid judgment.

Original post: What are the top CMS Trends for 2019

Choosing The Right Keywords For Your Blog

When you’re writing for the blog on your website, it’s important to ensure that you’re targeting the right keywords, so that you can get your blog in front of the right audience. But how do you go about doing this? And how do you write your content with keywords in mind? Let’s look at a few examples of how you can do this!

Finding your keywords

The first step is to determine which keywords you’ll be targeting with your content. You’ll want all of these to be relevant to the overall theme of your blog as well. As an example, the blog I Contribute to, the Klood Digital Blog, targets a number of keywords related to digital marketing and sales. To find keywords for my blogs there, I begin by thinking about subtopics within digital marketing that I’d be interested in writing about, such as keyword research or Google Analytics.

Getting the numbers

The next step is to get some hard numbers on those keywords. There are a range of different tools you can use to do this – let’s look at a few I personally use, and see how they could help you identify the right keywords.

Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is a browser add-on for Google Chrome and Firefox which shows you details about predicted search volume from Google AdWords, estimated cost-per-click and a prediction of the level of competition in a variety of places online, including in Google searches. This tool is great for quickly assessing the volume of a keyword you may be interested in writing about.

Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz’s Keyword Explorer is a great tool for going into more detail when researching keywords. This tool allows you to get the search volume for a keyword, see similar suggested keywords and analyse what the search engine results look like for a keyword. This tool is excellent for choosing the keywords you’d like to use and to see if there are any opportunities you might be missing out on with the keyword suggestions.

With a free Moz account, you can get ten searches a month, which I’d recommend using to find keyword suggestions, and build up a list of keywords you could use for blogs.

Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a tool that can help you understand the motivation behind what users are searching for, by showing some of the questions and queries people have asked around that keyword. This is very useful when you want to create content that answers questions on a topic, but you aren’t sure which is mentioned the most. In addition, Keywords Everywhere combines with the results of this tool to show you the search volumes for these results, allowing you to quickly identify the keywords to target.

Including Keywords In Your Blog

Once you’ve got your keywords, you’ll want to ensure you use them in the right way. This can be done simply by following a quick on-page SEO checklist. Make sure to include your keyword in the following places:

The Page Title
The H1
The Main Content
The Meta Description
In Image Alt Tags

The first three places are the most critical – but if you’ve chosen your keyword wisely, you should be able to include it in all these places without issue. Be careful not to overuse your keyword, or to force it in too often – using it naturally throughout the text is your best bet.

By following these tips, you can quickly and easily find the right keywords, and use them correctly in your blog content. This should help you get you blog content in front of searchers, and get more readers and subscribers!

Original post: Choosing The Right Keywords For Your Blog

Is It Possible to Make a Full-Time Income Freelance Writing?

Freelance writing sounds like a dream job. If you have a keyboard and a computer, and maybe an internet connection, you can sit down pretty much anywhere and start making money. But is it really feasible to make a full-time income by writing articles online? Or is it just a pipe dream?

Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

What It Takes to Be Successful

First, you should know that pursuing a freelance writing career is demanding. While it may seem easy to an outsider, writing a solid piece requires copious amounts of research and the ability to structure paragraphs and sentences in a way that your audience can understand. You’ll also be responsible for finding new clients and opportunities, meeting strict deadlines, and occasionally working long hours.

At a minimum, you’ll need:

An entrepreneurial mindset. Freelance writing is a business, first and foremost. While you’ll have some degree of control over which assignments you take on and how you find new work, your income will also depend on your work ethic and adaptability. If you’re not a driven person, or if you’re overly picky about your clients, you’ll be unlikely to find success. You need an entrepreneurial mindset in addition to your core writing skills.

Experience. You’ll also need to have experience, and a way to prove that experience. No company is going to hire a writer based on their own assertion that they’re a competent writer. Ideally, you’ll have some past credentials, like previously published works or relevant education.

Attention to detail. One or two submissions with errors or sloppy work could be enough to damage your reputation. You’ll need to think critically about every assignment you complete, and proofread multiple times over to make sure you’ve gotten everything correct.

A field of specialty. Finally, you’ll need some way to differentiate your brand. Usually, that means having some area of specialty. For example, are you especially skilled at writing articles for search engine optimization (SEO)? Or do you specialize in writing short articles for a specific industry?

Two Distinct Approaches

There are two possible approaches to being a freelance writer. The first is more straightforward: you’ll recruit clients who need articles written (often for their onsite blog or offsite reputation building campaign), then charge a fixed rate per article or a blanket rate for ongoing services. For this, you’ll need to build a brand that naturally attracts more clients (or a strong sales strategy), as well as an invoicing strategy that allows you to collect revenue regularly. This method is approachable because it allows you to do a wide variety of work; if you lose a client, you can always get a new one. However, you’ll often be at the mercy of an external authority’s stipulations and deadlines.

You could also take writing into your own hands by creating and running an ongoing blog. Over time, if you build up enough popularity, you’ll be able to attract advertising on your blog, or use affiliate links to generate revenue. The problem here is it takes a ton of visitors to attract enough advertisers to generate a sustainable income; to do that, you’ll need to start with a truly unique idea and spend many hours fleshing it out to become something popular.

Variety in Income Levels

While there are plenty of freelance writing opportunities available to aspiring writers, those opportunities aren’t all equal. If you’re just getting started and you don’t have much experience under your belt, you might find it hard to get new assignments, or you might be forced to take a lower rate for your work. On the other end of the spectrum, highly experienced writers can make a very comfortable living—but getting to that point takes many years and a level of commitment that most people aren’t willing to invest.

Consistency

As with any freelance opportunity, you’ll also need to think about consistency. Chances are, demand for your writing isn’t going to remain steady indefinitely; instead, you’ll see bursts of demand that force you to work long hours and dry spells where income is sparse. You’ll need to have proactive budgeting measures and a solid emergency fund if you’re going to survive on the income you get—or a side gig that helps you supplement your income during the down periods.

So is it possible to make a full-time income from freelance writing? The short answer is yes, but it’s not as straightforward as it seems, nor is the job as glamorous as it seems. If you’re prepared for the realities of the job and you have a way to build experience and an area of specialty, you should be able to work your way toward a viable full-time career.

Original post: Is It Possible to Make a Full-Time Income Freelance Writing?

PHP script to remove links from WordPress comments

Today I was doing some cleanup on the blog and I discovered that many of the older comments had what could be considered spam links inside the body of the comment itself.

Instead of manually going through each one, which would take a lot of time, I decided to create a small PHP script to do this task automatically for me. Below you will find the script and an explanation of what it does.

<?php

$db = mysqli_connect('localhost','database_user','password','database_name')
or die('Error connecting to MySQL server.');

$query = "SELECT comment_ID,comment_content FROM wp_comments";

$result = mysqli_query($db,$query)
or die('Error querying database.');

while($row = mysqli_fetch_array($result)){
$id = $row[0];
$content =strip_tags($row[1]);

$regex = "@(https?://([-w.]+[-w])+(:d+)?(/([w/_.#-]*(?S+)?[^.s])?).*$)@";
$content = preg_replace($regex, ' ', $content);

//echo $content. "<br>";

$stmt = mysqli_prepare($db,"UPDATE wp_comments SET comment_content=? WHERE comment_ID = ?");
mysqli_stmt_bind_param($stmt,"si",$content, $id);
mysqli_stmt_execute($stmt);
mysqli_stmt_close($stmt);
}

?>

How to use the script above:

0. Important: backup your database before doing anything.

1. Copy and paste the script into a text file and save it with the PHP extension, for example you can call with comments.php
2. Update the database connection with your user and database credentials
3. Upload the file to your website
4. Run the file by accessing it using your browser

That’s it. The script will run through all your comments removing all links (but preserving the text of the links).

Original post: PHP script to remove links from WordPress comments

On Offer: What Your Blog Should “Give Away”

Blogging is an important tool for marketers trying to close a sale, but sometimes you have to give something away to get a bigger reward. In fact, from a sales perspective, you’re not really giving anything away. Instead, you’re hinting at the benefits clients can obtain from working with you more directly.

Give your blog a boost and lure clients by trying some of these basic giveaways. Most bloggers and businesses have an assortment of low stakes tools and tips on hand – put them to work for you.

A Profitable Post

At the simplest level, your blog is a kind of giveaway. You’re giving away valuable knowledge and insights to your readers in the form of your content. Particularly if you’re creating checklists, and cheat sheets, link roundups, and how-to guides, you’re providing material tools to your readers. That’s why people monetize their blogs in the first place – to recoup the value of that work.

Certain fields benefit more than others from information-heavy posts and, in fact, specialties like law and medicine rely on this kind of content. On legal blogs, for example, lawyers typically provide legal information rather than advice, for which they could be held responsible. However, the goal of these posts is ultimately to encourage those who need more detailed assistance to purchase services.

Dominate With Downloads

Another popular online freebie employed by bloggers is the downloadable. Whether you’re a mommy blog featuring downloadable crafts or a food blogger offering recipes to your readers, these are often the most popular elements of a site. But by limiting the number of available freebies, while offering especially high-value ones, you increase the likelihood that readers will purchase your paid files. WordPress and other blogging tools even offer special plugins for downloadable resources to make this easier.

Discounts Drive Sales

As with blog posts, many people don’t consider offering a discount to be the same as a giveaway, but to users, they’re equal, even though customers only get giveaways if they purchase something. Big retailers use this trick all the time with new and established customers alike, and you’ve probably made a purchase because you were motivated by a free bonus. Don’t underestimate the power of this tactic for your business.

Trade In Data

From a business owner’s perspective, customer data is power – and surveys provide demographic insights, can help determine marketing trends, help you make you meet customers’ needs more effectively, increasing profits. With that in mind, why not make a trade for that information. Customers will sometimes fill out a short survey for free, but once you start asking too many questions, they’ll promptly bail. A better approach is to offer them a freebie, from a file to a discount or a low-cost product, can get them to the end. And that data is worth more than whatever you trade in return.

Businesses have primarily stopped thinking in terms of trades, at least since the era of bartering ended, but in reality, the practice hasn’t ended. As professionals, we make trades every day. From knowledge and files to actual products, offering a benefit is the best way to secure a client. It’s just a small matter of reframing how you think about your blog as a sales tool.

Original post: On Offer: What Your Blog Should “Give Away”

5 Expert Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic

Blogging can be fun because it gives you an opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings with a large number of people. As of 2018, there were 30.6 million bloggers in the United States alone. And by 2020, that number is expected to increase to 31.7 million.

So, you can imagine the amount of competition you’re likely to face if you want to stand out from others and generate quality traffic to your blog. You can’t just keep writing blog posts and expect people to visit your website to read them. Writing a blog post and driving traffic to your blog are completely different ball games.

This post will teach you 5 effective ways to drive high-quality traffic to your blog.

1. Leverage Social Media Platforms

As of 2018, globally there were 2.62 billion social media users. And by 2021, that number is expected to increase to 3.02 billion. So, you can well imagine the potential social media carries.

You can, therefore, leverage the power of social media to expand the reach of your blog posts. Here are some great ways to leverage social platforms and make the most of them.

Create a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a Pinterest account for your blog. Make sure to fill out the bio appropriately and add the link to your website or blog. This will help your target audience find your website quickly and easily.

You need to add social media buttons on your web pages. Make sure to add them where they’re visible and immediately get the attention of your readers. This will encourage them to share your blog posts with their social networks.

For example, here’s an example of a post on Jeff Bullas’ blog. In the screenshot below, you can see a list of social sharing buttons on the left side of the screen. They have a prominent placement so that readers can easily share the post on social media.


Image Source – JeffBullas

Whenever you publish a new blog post, don’t forget to share it in your social networks as well. However, select the platforms where your target audience spends most of their time. Also, you need to be consistent and make sure to post relevant and high-quality posts. You can use scheduling tools to ensure that you post consistently.

For example, here you can see how Bethany Frater, a writer, has shared her post on LinkedIn which was originally published on her blog. You can also follow this strategy to drive more traffic to your website.

You can leverage live videos on Facebook to develop a personal relationship with your target audience. People who follow you on Facebook will always be notified whenever you go live. However, make sure to create valuable and educational videos. This will encourage your audience to visit your blog.

Use visuals that are meaningful and add value to your post. Also, avoid using stock photos as far as possible.

When you share the link to your blog post on social media, make sure to add a strong call-to-action. This will encourage your followers to interact with your post and visit your blog.

2. Leverage Podcasts

You can also create and leverage podcasts to drive high-quality traffic to your blog. Ensure that you create podcasts which are informative and educational. This will help you attract and engage your target audience. It will also help them get to know you better.

As of 2018, there were 73 million podcast listeners in the United States. The numbers are expected to surpass 130 million by 2022. So, if you are not using podcasts already, it’s high time you start doing so.

One of the best ways to use podcasts is to invite an expert from your niche and conduct an engaging interview. You can also share the podcast with your network via social media platforms. This will not only get their attention but also motivate them to visit your blog. However, make sure to select a suitable podcast hosting site for this.

3. Optimize Your Content for Search Engines
No matter how brilliantly you write your posts, if your target audience cannot find them through search it then they’re of no use. So, it’s important that you optimize your content for search engines. This will help your audience discover your content and website easily. By using the right SEO strategies, you can improve the rankings of your posts in the search engines too.

Here are some effective SEO hacks to help you optimize your content for search engines:

Add keywords in your post titles and evenly distribute them throughout your content, making sure not to stuff too many keywords in them. and sub-title of your post. Ensure that you keep your title as specific as possible. The title of your post should give a clear idea to your readers about what they can expect from the post.

For example, Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla. He mostly writes about entrepreneurship and self-improvement. The screenshot below is one of his “how-to” posts. As you can see the title of the post is very clear and precise. It gives a clear idea of what you can expect from the post.

It’s important to write meta descriptions for your posts. Add your keywords to your meta descriptions but don’t overstuff them with keywords. Keep your meta descriptions between 150 and 160 characters.

You should also consider interlinking your posts with some of your older, relevant posts. It’s even better if the older posts are some of your best performing posts on Google. You can use Google Analytics to find your top performing posts. All you need to do is go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels > Organic Search.

When done correctly, these tips and tricks will help you drive high-quality traffic to your blog. However, these SEO strategies will take time to show results. So, if you want to get results quickly, you can use PPC ads.

The difference between SEO with PPC is that the latter will help you amplify the reach of your content faster. Of course, this will depend on the amount of money you invest into it and the keywords for which you bid.

With the help of PPC ads, your content can appear on the first page of search engine results (in the ads section). So, for immediate results, you can use PPC ads to drive traffic to your blog.

4. Capture Email Addresses of Your Target Audience

When a user visits your website for the first time, try to get their email address. This will enable you to send newsletters notifying them about your new posts.

Always add the link to your post in your newsletters. This will make it easier for your users to check out your post. And this can help you drive quality traffic to your blog.

To collect the email address of your users, you need to add either a pop-up or sidebar form. Add some simple text with a strong call-to-action asking for their email address. This will encourage your visitors to join your email list and get notifications.

For example, the screenshot below is from the Post Planner’s website. They don’t have a pop-up or sidebar form. They have a static box that uses some simple text and an effective CTA to ask their visitors to enter their email addresses and join their network.

5. Add External Links

To drive more traffic to your blog posts, you need to add a few relevant and credible links to external sites in your posts. This will help you build a network with other bloggers and increases the value of your own post.

However, ensure that your external links are relevant to the content of your post and direct to reputable websites. Don’t add external links just for the sake of it. They need to add value to your post.

For example, below is an example of a post from Medium. As you can see the author has added external links to his own post. He has referred to a post from Moz, which is a very reputable website.

Final Thoughts

Driving high-quality traffic to your blog is easier said than done. It takes a lot of time, effort, and consistency. You can leverage the power of social media to share your posts with your network. Also, add social sharing buttons to your posts as that will encourage your readers to share your posts with their networks.

You also need to add keywords to your meta descriptions and meta title. Follow the strategies mentioned above to stand out from the millions of blogs and drive high-quality traffic to your blog.

Do you know of any other effective ways to increase your blog traffic? If so, please feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

Original post: 5 Expert Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic