Category Archive for: blogger

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.


Start Making Something

Illustration by Mike RohdeNew year, new you! If you started 2018 with an idea for a product, business, or creative pursuit, now is the time to start making something. In this episode: A tabletop game designer finds that sometimes, all you need to get going is a pack of index cards and a pencil; a skincare blogger tries her hand at DIY and ends up with a cult hit; and a travel backpack company’s first attempt at making something goes comically awry.https://medium.com/media/1ae41ba62d3a35a206a292d63633c701/hrefStart Making Something was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. Source: 37signals

Make Your Website Fresh Again With These 7 Tips

Back in the day when websites were all about content, web design wasn’t too much of an issue. As long as you had amazing content, the overall look of your website wouldn’t matter. Of course, times are a-changin’, and keeping your website fresh and updated is now a default strategy for any site owner. Site visitors have become more meticulous in choosing the company and brand to patronize, based on the websites that they visit. More than textual content and aesthetically pleasing web design, keeping your website fresh is of utmost importance to retain customers and encourage potential clients. If your website has been around for a while – and you’ve been using the same design and theme for years – maybe it’s time for a little upgrading. Especially when your site begins to get a steady increase in traffic, returning visitors may want to see the same outstanding features…

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3 Things to Consider Before Switching Hosting

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily Are you fed up with your current host and now you’re looking for a different provider? Maybe you found a cheaper host or a faster one or a host that offers some sort of benefit like a website builder. These are all valid reasons to switch hosting companies, but it’s essential to consider a few things before making the big change. First of all, no matter how much the host tells you that they’ll do everything for you, some of the work is going to be completed by you. Most notably, your email address transfer. Some companies don’t have email addresses provided through their host, so those people won’t have to worry about anything. However, it takes some reading, understanding, and frustration to configure your Outlook or other inboxes with the new hosting credentials. So, start by understanding that moving hosts…

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On Achieving Sustainable Income

I’m experimenting with Patreon (and it’s pronounced “patron” for those that didn’t know…) for my brother’s growing cryptocurrency community and I find their model (and their tooling) to be very good. I also particularly like their mission which is simple, digestible, and easy to understand (but also really exciting and measurable): Help every creator in the world achieve sustainable income. This is exactly what we’re trying to do and it’s exactly why we decided to investigate the platform and system to see if what they had created was worth the time and investment to put together. The world is changing and the opportunity for independent creators to live sustainably is bigger and more possible than it has ever been. Technology like Patreon appears to be leading the way and I’m excited to dive into the system and put it to good use (also their API as well…). There’s something inside all of…

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Stockio Review: Stock Photos and More Without the Attribution and Costs

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily If you’re looking for a featured photo to match that perfect blog post, the process often takes much longer than you would expect. Most bloggers have no interest, or money, to pay for stock photos, and most of the time you can find royalty-free images that don’t require attribution. Unfortunately, there are a few main problems when it comes to finding royalty-free images that don’t require attribution: Many search engines don’t have the proper tools to filter out photographs that aren’t legal to use. Many times you stumble upon a free stock photography website only to find that you’re required to provide an attribution link on each photo. There are so many photography sites that you often have to bookmark several of them to find the pictures you need. It’s a tough process, but with the help of Stockio you should be able to make…

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Online Ads: Simple Mistakes That Might Be Costing You

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily The world of online advertising is segregated into publishers and advertisers. The publisher is the owner of a site who allows somebody else to advertise on it, while the advertiser is obviously the one doing the advertising.  In some cases the publisher may also be the advertiser, and when this happens it is called internal advertising.  Everything else is external advertising. Why these terms need to be defined is because they strongly affect how much tolerance and acceptance an audience is likely to have for being exposed to the ad.  In general, an audience will have much higher levels of trust and acceptance in the case of internal advertising, and in turn they are more likely to let their guard down and potentially engage with the advertisement. On the other hand, external advertising can generate a wide range of responses, but…

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How to Find the Best Freelance Writers in the Business

At a first glance, the thought of writing a blog post or copy for your email campaigns doesn’t seem so difficult. You’ve read a million and one of each before, so how hard could it really be? As it turns out, the answer to this is typically “a lot harder than you’d think.” This is why freelance writers exist. As anyone who has ever hired a freelancer can tell you, though, freelancer writers are not all created equal. Deadlines get missed, quality is lacking, factual errors could pop up, and the content may not fit your brand or your voice. There are a few ways to find great freelance writers that are reliable, experienced, and have the training and knowledge to hit the ground running as soon as you hire them—and I’m going to tell you how to find them. Know What You’re Looking For Before you even start looking…

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Brotli and Static Compression

Content compression can be as simple as flipping a switch, but there’s a lot to consider beyond that. We pretty well know what we need to compress, but what about configuring compression? Or static versus dynamic compression? What about Brotli? By now, Brotli enjoys support in a good chunk of browsers in use. While it provides performance advantages in many situations, there are some ins and outs that can prove challenging. At its highest compression setting, Brotli provides superior compression ratios to gzip, but the compression speed at this setting is slow enough that the benefit is squandered when content is dynamically compressed. What you really want in cases such as these is static compression. If you’re unaware of the differences between static and dynamic compression, here’s a quick refresher: Dynamic compression occurs on-the-fly. The user makes a request, the content is compressed (as the user waits) and the compressed…

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What Works Now: 13 Content Marketing Secrets from Kissmetrics, WordStream, Unbounce, KlientBoost, Close.io & More

“Content Shock” was first discussed in 2014. Mark Schaefer’s prescient concept that there was too much content to read. More supply than demand. If consumers were struggling to keep up in 2014… they must be completely overwhelmed today. The content marketing bar has never been higher. People are pumping out more awesome stuff than ever before. Faster and more frequently. So what are the pros doing? The best and brightest. The ones who’re on the front lines, slogging it out every single day. The content marketers themselves and content leaders within today’s leading marketing technology companies. Thankfully, they’re also very nice and happily agreed to share their insight. Here’s what works now in content marketing according to Aaron Orendorff, Zach Bulygo, Claire Suellentrop, Edward Dennis, Elisa Gabbert, Casey Armstrong, Bill Widmer, Brian Sun, Amy Wood, Kaleigh Moore, Andy Crestodina, Johnathan Dane, and Steli Efti. Welcome to the Content Marketing Hunger Games ‘Thin…

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Freaks, Systems, Mental Spring Cleaning

I had forgotten that I had contributed a few things to Chris Brogan’s book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, which apparently came out in 2014; wow, has it been that long?! I was reminded of this from a digital friend, Andy, who’s a Church of England vicar, DJ, musician, artist, magician, and entrepreneur… among many other things, who wrote me a great email full of encouragement. But I had forgotten my contribution to Chris’ book and, in fact, I’m not sure I had ever read a copy or seen what was ultimately put in the book! I asked Andy and he transcribed the section for me. What a guy! In any case, here’s a little bit from Chris Brogan’s book that might resonate with you (or not): Create Systems That Work for You Blogger, entrepreneur, and friend John Saddington recently made a public announcement to his community that he is…

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5 Crucial Blogging Mistakes Every Beginner Makes (And How to Avoid Them)

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily While creating a blog might seem simple on the surface, creating a successful blog is much more difficult. Many people are under the impression that simply building a blog and regularly posting content is enough to build an audience. However, many new bloggers commit crucial mistakes that could be easily avoided. Before you create a blog, here are five crucial blogging mistakes many beginners make and how to avoid them yourself. Not Knowing their Goal One of the most common blogging mistakes bloggers make is assuming that if they write, the audience will come, and that they can write anything and generate views and revenue. This hurts you in several respects. First, if you don’t have a goal in mind for the blog, it risks becoming a diary online and losing the interest of almost anyone except your immediate social circle.…

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Breaking Down Our Ebook Launch Strategy

We just wrapped up our launch of The Book of CMS, an ebook about content management systems, and I’d like to share the strategy and lessons learned from the launch experience that may help you with your next ebook launch. If you’re thinking about launching an ebook, it’s important to first understand why you’re making an ebook before you launch it. What are your goals? We had three: To pool together our knowledge and experience in content management and create one shareable resource to help people in the process of selecting a CMS.To create an attractive, well-designed, and organized ebook that we can use for lead generation and email audience growth.To demonstrate thought leadership and build awareness of our brand. With our goals set, we threw ourselves into the vast knowledge base of the Internet to research what has historically made an excellent ebook. Here’s what we found: 3 Parts…

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We’ve Analyzed 100 Ads in the Travel industry and here’s what we’ve found

Based on the previous case study where I analyzed my newsfeed, we learned that the majority of ads are retargeting. Facebook ads are becoming so popular that to keep performance high we need to dive deep into just one industry and learn the ins and outs. I’m obsessed with travel, had my first Facebook training in the travel industry so what better industry to dive into than that? Social media and particularly Facebook is popular and well fitting for the industry so if you’re working for a travel/tourism related business, you’re going to like this. I’ve used Adespresso’s brilliant ad gallery for the research. I would have liked to feature dark posts (unpublished ads) as there a lot more campaigns being run but unfortunately, the gallery doesn’t capture those and as far as I know, there isn’t any way to collect dark post ads from Facebook except manually. Dark posts…

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Hot or Not? Do these 3 Annoying Lead Capturing Tactics Work?

We’ve all seen them. Clicked them. Declined them. Ignored them. And then got pissed off by them. So many damn distractions; from a welcome mat to a pop-up to a slide-in, before another F-ing pop-up takes over your screen again. All before you can even read a single sentence of that blog post you came here for originally (which you already forgot what it was about). So… what gives? Does their performance override how annoying they are? Let’s see. How Pop-Ups Became a ‘Thing’ The nineties were known for many things. Chief among them: ugly denim, bad music, and Birkenstocks. (Wait – why are 90’s happening again?!) Tripod.com was one of the early ‘dot com’ companies who relied almost exclusively on advertisements to bring visibility to their college graduate content and services. ‘Cept one day, things got… messy. Here’s a direct quote from Wikipedia that explains where the inspiration behind the banner ad came from…

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Top Posts from 2016

Like many bloggers I’m fascinated by traffic patterns and understanding user / reading behavior. If I were to be even more strategic I would actually do something with a lot of this data but I actually don’t care much about it at this point in time. In fact, I don’t care at all, to be honest. If a particular blog post gets a lot of views then I’m happy and if it gets barely anything then I’m equally happy. Why? Because I write first and foremost for myself. But, for those that are interested, here are the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2016. And, if it makes sense, I’ll provide a bit of context and perhaps explanation with some of these. All of these stats are provided via Jetpack. Most Viewed Posts in 2016: 1: How To: Care for a Little Sad Person Holy shit, did this post bring in the pageviews.…

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Buying Instagram Followers? Our Experiment Reveals The Truth…

Let’s be real—buying followers on Instagram is very tempting. When every blogger and mom-and-pop store seem to have more followers than you, with hundreds of people blowing their comments and engagement rates through the roof, how are you supposed to compete? With Instagram becoming one of the top new sales platforms for e-commerce, the temptation to buy followers has never been stronger. Get more followers, and even if they’re “fake”—the thinking goes—real people will take notice and start to shop in your store. Buying Instagram followers could be a way to “growth hack” this new and incredibly powerful channel. But does this theory hold any water? We set up an experiment to find out. So, What’s the Deal with Buying Followers? Buying followers generally falls into two categories: A company makes a bunch of fake pages, and then they “follow” you. The bad news is that Instagram has been known…

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Why mnml app?

As many of you know, I just released the very large and significant update to Desk App, now version 3. There’s already been a lot of neat attention being brought to it (Featured Worldwide) and I’m incredibly grateful for it all since it’s mostly because we’ve got a pretty smashing community around it. One of the things that happened with this latest version is that I decided to focus solely on WordPress as the only point of integration. This is different than previous versions where I had integration points with other blogging platforms and systems, like Blogger, Typepad, and more. This allows me, in simple terms, to build a better and more structurally sound product in the short and long-term since I no longer have to account for the dramatic differences of formatting text and a variety of different APIs, some that are in really bad shape, to be honest. But…

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Shipping is Salvation

Getting to launch for any sized project is tough and even if you’ve done it many times before it’s still tough. I think this is especially difficult if it’s a personal project where you do not have any external pressure to ship as compared to a team project or enterprise piece of software – in the former the only “boss” that you have is you and you can call the shots including whether you want a “ship date” or none at all. In fact, most projects that are created never see the light of day and I think that’s as sad and unfortunate consequence of… well, a lot of things. But, pushing things through is an act of more than self-discipline; it’s a decision to die to oneself, to do something unnatural and to willingly open ourselves up to the world and showcase something private about ourselves. The act of creating…

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The Best Minimal WordPress Themes in 2016

If there’s one design trend that will never go away, it’s minimal design. Simple in appearance but effortlessly powerful in terms of impact, minimal design is actually one of the toughest styles to pull off. Luckily, there are plenty of WordPress themes ready and waiting for you to tap into when you need something minimal and fast. So here’s our pick of the best minimal WordPress themes available right now, for those projects where you don’t have time to obsess over every little detail yourself.   Divi 3.0: “The only theme you will ever need” View Demo More Info   Elegant Themes’ claim that Divi is the only theme you will ever need gets stronger with ever update. Now in its third full release, Divi 3.0 is more versatile than ever with a constantly improving Divi builder for fast customization. You can start from scratch with every page you add or…

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