This is why I’m never the first to buy something new

For years I’ve always been the guy that sits back and watches friends buy new technology and talk about how great it is. Mean while I’m just thinking to myself great, but let’s see if it lasts. Well, now I’m finally feeling good about it!

It’s not really a laughing matter, but after samsung’s exploding phones I’m going to continue to be the guy who gets everything after everyone else.

Same goes when you read reviews online. How many times have you read a review, and then there is an ***update*** a few weeks later of how the item broke. I’m at the point in life where I’m OK with being the last to get something if I know that means I’ll be satisfied.

How about you? Are you the adventurous type that’s OK with the 1 in 10 billion chance of your pants catching fire, or are you more like me and let others try it first?

How To Make Numbered Lists Look Amazing in WordPress

After writing my blog post on 5 reasons to use lists in blogs, I had people email me asking how I made my lists look so good. I’ll admit, before that post my lists looked ugly. But I spent quite a bit of time playing around to get it to look that way.

What I ended up coming across was some css tricks that let you do numbering in different styles. I had to modify it to work with the lists I was making. First, I’ll give you the code to put into your theme’s custom.css file:

.fancy {
    counter-reset: fancy-counter;
    list-style: none;
}

.fancy li:before {
    content: counter(fancy-counter);
    counter-increment: fancy-counter;
    left: -40px;
    position: relative;
    top: 25px;
    font: bold 50px/1 Sans-Serif;
}

.fancy strong {
    margin-left: -30px;
}

Once this is in your theme’s custom.css file, you can create a new numbered list with WordPress just like you always have, with two exceptions:

  1. You must use the bold tag at the begging of each section. As you can see in the css above, strong (which is what WordPress uses for bolding), has a margin that is being offset by 30 pixels. This is to counter the space the numbers take up.
  2. You must add the fancy class to the <ol> tag. This can be done by changing your WordPress Visual Editor from Visual to Text mode. Change the <ol> to <ol class=”fancy”>. This prevents lists outside of your content from getting changed, ensuring your blog doesn’t break.

That’s all there is to it. Seems complicated at first but once you get it figured out it really doesn’t add much to your flow when creating new posts. But it has an amazingly beautiful effect that’ll help your blog look that much better.

5 Reasons to Use Lists in Blog Posts

When it comes time to write blog posts it can be really difficult getting your thoughts organized into one post. Today I’m going to tell you 5 reasons why you should use lists in blog posts!

  1. They are easier to write. When you come up with a topic, it’s easy to keep it focused when it’s broken down into simple chunks. It really can help when you’ve got writers block to use a list to get your groove on.
  2. They are easier to read. I’ll admit it, I skim over blog posts. I love blog posts that use lists because I can skim and skip what I know and read what I don’t. Then end result? I end up at your blog more often than ones that don’t.
  3. Lists go viral. Now I’m guessing this is because they are easier to read so when you come across a post that isn’t in list format it just won’t go viral. But it’s true, my facebook feed is filled with these kinds of posts, and google serves me these pages all the time in my results too.
  4. Lists make you look authoritative. It’s kinda funny but when someone has a blog post with 5 reasons of this or 5 reasons of that, they look like they thought it out more than someone who wrote the same content but didn’t put it in list form. There could be 5 more reasons, but the fact that they are numbered and presented that way makes it appear much more thought out.
  5. They keep you on track. This has helped me before. I tend to go on tangents and move off topic. But when you say these are 5 reasons to use lists, I quickly stop myself when I realize I’m writing about another topic. In the end a much better blog post comes out because it’s kept on topic.

So there you have it, from the master blogger himself, 5 reasons to use lists when blogging!

How To Delete Thousands of Crons in WordPress

I previously posted how to fix missed scheduled posts, this time on a related but different note I’m going to show you how to delete thousands of cron jobs all at once.

Now you must be asking, how did I get thousands of cron jobs? Well, I had a defunct plugin that was adding in new cron jobs over and over. I used Improved Cron to check out why my cron jobs weren’t firing, and found that it was flooded with cron jobs.

What’s interesting to note is a lot of plugins will add a cron job, but when you remove the plugin it doesn’t remove the cron job. So over years you can start to have a ton of junky cron jobs in there slowing everything down.

Delete WordPress cron jobs with phpMyAdmin: if you are familiar with phpMyAdmin, simply goto your WordPress database and open up the wp_options table. Do a search for crons.

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Once you find the cron, simply delete it. Scary, but actually WordPress will automatically re-generate the field when necessary.

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If you don’t know how to use phpMyAdmin, or are simply too scared, a neat trick you can do is to add this one line of code to your WordPress Theme functions.php file. If it doesn’t have it, then you can add it to any of the plugins:

delete_option( 'cron' );

Once you or anyone accesses your blog, this will delete that field. Then remove the code and you’re good to go! Now after doing this my cron jobs run much smoother.

The 3 Types of PEOPLE Who Should Be Blogging

Most people I talk to are scared to blog, and they don’t think they really should be blogging. But before you decide not to, check if you fit into one of these three types of people.

People Who Like To Write

These are the people who just like to write. If you like to write, you should be blogging. It doesn’t matter what, you’re doing a disservice to the millions of people struggling to write by hiding your talents.

I am not a reader, so I don’t follow many bloggers who love to write for the simple reason, I don’t love to read. But there is a large number of readers and writers out there, so don’t hold back!

People Who Have Specific Knowledge

These are the people I honestly LOVE. These people generally aren’t “anyone special”, but they know something. They are the people that you’ll be searching the internet for a solution and bammo, their blog comes up! I love it when this happens.

Seriously, I don’t care if you post once a month. If you know how to fix things, do DIY projects, etc, these types of blogs can be life savers. There are certain posts I’ve written that have helped tons of people solve a simple problem. They might not be back ever again, but I enjoy seeing the traffic/comments knowing I’ve helped them.

People Who Want to Be a Leader

The most obvious blogger is the “authoritative” blogger. These are the people, like myself, that blog to “be a leader”. You can use a blog to make it look like you are a leader, even if you aren’t. Which is great if you’re trying to have a good online presence for a job resume or potential clients.

Most people think you have to be in that category to start a blog. But in all actuality the second group is the largest group of bloggers. And it’s the least stressful. When you are a leader in an industry there is more pressure to constantly put out new amazing content. When you do it for fun and when you have something to share, it feels more rewarding!

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Blog Post Marketing in 9 Easy Steps

After you hit schedule on your blog post, most people walk away and just expect to get instant results. They don’t do any blog post marketing, and wonder why their blog isn’t growing. Just a little bit of effort can make a huge difference.

What is Blog Post Marketing?

Essentially it’s the marketing you do for each specific blog post. It’s actually not that hard to do, but most people will look at the list below and just think it’s a waste of time. But there is a reason other bloggers are getting more exposure than you. They are doing the boring marketing!

Schedule Your Blog Posts

Some people like to just post them when the idea pops out of their head. But this creates an inconsistent amount of content. It also means your posts might go out when people aren’t reading. My personal preference is to post at 8AM my time. This way there is fresh content right when my readers are waking up. But your readers might be night owls, so pick your time accordingly.

I’ve been doing this for years, and even created wpFutureCal to help me along. It’s a plugin that helps you ensure your posts are scheduled how often you want them.

Broadcast via Email

This is the most crucial step in marketing your blog posts. Most people skip it, and I think they are crazy. Sending an email to your frequent readers whenever you make a new post is crucial. It’s a jump start to all the other marketing efforts at your disposal.

I use RocketResponder to send my emails, and with unlimited subscribers you should be too. Plus I set it up so it would be very easy for you to get your blog sending out the emails automatically, so you don’t have to do anything but add your blog into the system.

Post to Facebook and Twitter

This should be a no brainer, but people still to this day don’t do it. It does two things: It increases the number of people who hear about your new post, and it creates a link pointing to the blog post. Search engines love links and they use social media as a metric to determine new hot content. Don’t skip this!

Use a pinging service

This is one of those things that seams lame and outdated, but you might as well be doing it. Simply put, you can add a list of pinging services that you’ll notify every time you make a blog post. Those then notify search engines and other blog crawling sites about your changes. It costs nothing and is a simple way to get free incoming links!

http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
http://ping.feedburner.com/
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2
http://api.moreover.com/RPC2
http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2
http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
http://rpc.twingly.com/
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2
http://www.bloglines.com/ping
http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/
http://www.octora.com/add_rss.php
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://www.wasalive.com/ping/
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://www.blogpeople.net/servlet/weblogUpdates
http://ping.myblog.jp
http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/
http://bblog.com/ping.php

Link from Old Posts

When you are building your entire blog content up, it’s important to interlink the content. You’ll notice I’ve already linked to different posts in this post itself. It’s a crucial step to effective long term blog post marketing. The others so far have been about the instant boost in traffic, but linking content helps in the overall marketing.

It’s simple really, just find a few old blog posts that are related, and link them to the new post. You’ll want to find phrases within your content that make sense. I think of it as “expanding thoughts”. When a user is reading my post, if they want to read more about something I wrote they can click that link to find a post with more info about that phrase.

It’s great for keeping readers engaged on your site, in addition to SEO. Both go hand in hand, you want people to stick around and not be here for one page. I’m in the process of building a plugin called uberLinks that does this for you. I’ve been using it on my blog for years, and when I showed Justin he went crazy for it and said I had to make it a plugin for everyone.

Reply to Comments

This is something that Jon excels at. I used to be good at it, and it shows. When you reply to comments, people comment more. They want to be engaged. When people are commenting more, they are more likely to tweet or share your post, and they’ll be excited when they see a new post come out. It’s an area I’m working on!

Post so Social Bookmarking Sites

This is getting a little old school, but a link is a link. There are plenty of social bookmarking sites, but the idea is if you’re sharing sites with others it’s another way of letting people know you have a new post. You’ve got to do that, and I know it can feel like pulling teeth, but you do want to be a blog post marketing ninja right?

Ask Other Bloggers to Mention Your Post

This is very important, but harder to do. You want to get other bloggers to mention your posts. I have a few people that I’m trying to mention their posts when I can, and they are trying to do the same with my posts. It’s the same concept as doing deep linking within your own blog, but including others with that strategy.

The idea is to expand and leverage your readers to help each other out. Most people get stuck on this one and think if they link to other sites they’ll lose in rankings or lose subscribers. It’s not the case. If you mention blog posts that are related to your content then your readers will stick with you more. They’ll follow you because you know where all the info is, so they don’t have to keep looking for it.

Repurpose Your Content on YouTube

Your blog is all text, but some people like watching videos and some people like listening. By rehashing your content on YouTube or other content types you’ll be able to gain a following in different markets. And, of course, remember to link to your blog post!

Blog Post Marketing Can Be Fun!

Now that you have ideas, have some fun on how you can expand them. Don’t limit yourself to what I’ve said. Share below any tips or tricks you have!