We’re already a month into the new year and I can’t be more surprised about how fast it went. I have a lot of projects going on and that’s even AFTER reducing my own WIP (works in progress) at the end of 2013. I guess I’m a sucker for great projects when clients come to me with their ideas and they need a site. Oh well, my mom used to say: Busy is good, it means you’re making progress. Guess I’ll just keep that in mind. Besides being a new month, today I also have a new reading list ready for you, with articles published (or found by me) in January, that I find important to share with you. Let’s see what kind of “golden nuggets” I found last month, shall we?
To have a successful blog, you need to have traffic (well, besides having a great blog, of course 😉 ). In this article you’ll get 4 strategic tips to help you build up your audience and get the traffic you want. The downside of all that traffic though? Comments, or more precisely, spam comments. One of my blogs in a popular niche gets around 100+ comments every day, with half or more than half being spam. Going through them all to ensure that no spam comments slipped through, or that no genuine comments were flagged as spam can be time consuming. And that doesn’t even take in account the time it take to answer them when needed. Timo Kiander wrote an article for Basic Blog Tips on 5 time-saving tips for handling your comments. Personally, for that particular blog I went with option 3, but combinations of the different tips will definitely give you the solutions you need.
Blogging, it sounds easy doesn’t it? Just write some stuff, put it on your website and you’re off. But once you get going, you might learn that it’s not all sunshine in the world of blogging. Some days you might encounter obstacles on your way. Katie Elizabeth put together a list of 10 common blogging obstacles and how to overcome them.
Do you have a hard time writing blog posts that people want to read? Check out this article by Shane Arthur at BoostBlogTraffic.com where he gives you 7 simple edits that make your writing 100% more powerful.
Time for my favorite part in my reading list: the income reports. Dollars and Roses is back with an income report for November and December 2013, as well as a complete overview for the entire year. Erin E Flynn did an income report for the entire year 2013. Fall For Design had quit publishing her income reports for a while but this month she was back with her overview for December. I hope she’ll keep it up, I love reading her insights. Matthew Woodward is another constant in my list of income reports and after a year of trying to break his $10K goal (which he did in November), it seems that he can’t get enough, making over $16K in December. Moms Make Money is back too. She made a bit less than the month before, but still over $4K. Jennifer over at RatRaceGrad.com also had a great month to end 2013. Of course my favorite food blog can’t be ignored. Pinch of Yum had another great month with over $16,000 in December. They’re a big example for me, as I’d love to have a food blog myself. I have the outline ready, just need to find the time to get experimenting with recipes. Ah, one of these days I’ll find the time (a girl can dream, right?).
For once I’m including an article of myself in this article. If you haven’t read my previous blog post, I recommend you do so if the loading speed of your site’s pages is important to you (which it should be). I explain how you can use a subdomain for the images you use on your site to reduce the time it takes to load your page.
When WordPress upgraded from 3.8 to 3.8.1 the first automatic upgrade happened. Not everyone was happy with it as you can read in this article by Nile Flores. I agree with her statement that WordPress should leave the choice of automatic upgrades to the user and make it easier to disable them. Now you either have to add code to your wp-config file or add a plugin. Why not give us a setting in our WP-admin where we can choose to disable them? WordPress, you have something to think about 😉 In the meantime, you can check out the article by Kimberly Castleberry with a tip on how to disable them.
Looking for an easy way to ban certain people from your site? Check out this article about the WP-Ban plugin that will help you keep your site clean.
Studiopress released one new child theme for Genesis: Enterprise Pro, a perfect theme for a business blog.
I’m sure you all heard about the statement Matt Cutts made a while back about guestblogging, right? The moment I heard it, I knew it would get a lot of reaction and I was right. Matt even had to adapt his statement later on. You can read more about what most likely happened during his first statement in this article.
When you have a blog online, making sure it’s secure against hackers should be a number one priority for you. Don’t think that, just because you’re only a “small blog” they will leave you alone. Actually, it’s quite possible that being a small site could just be why they’ll target your site. Just-Ask-Kim looks at the two most common reasons why hackers hack a little site.
Well, that’s all I have for this month. Personally February will be a busy month: working on a new design for this site, finishing up the changes to the Easy Blogging report so it shows the steps for working with WordPress 3.8 and higher and finishing up the new videos for my WordPress 101 Coaching class. I’ll be trying to post more WordPress tips and tutorials this month and tomorrow I’ll have an update for the Amazon niche site case study.