Example

Blogging and WordPress do a lot of great things together. Search engines love the code and regularly updated content, writters find it easy to publish their content and sites are relatively easy to navigate and find what you want. In the web world, that is a pretty strong formula for success.

However, there is one plaguing problem in blogging platforms and structure that frustrates the hell out of bloggers over time.

We spend all of this time putting together articles that are meant to inform, entertain and help people only to find that a year later they are buried in the archives for no one to find. With regularly updated content, our timeless content continues to be pushed down the line making it harder to find by new readers and search engines alike. The easy fix is to remember these articles and link to them within new relevant articles, but how can we start to easily leverage social media to get those same articles in front of the eyes of our followers?

I started searching around to find a tool to do this for me as I do not want to be spending hours of my day scheduling these posts (I have better things to do that generate more income). After looking at the features of several different options, I landed on one that had what I needed and started the testing process.

WordPress Plugin: Tweet Old Post

First, let me start by saying I typically do not like automated systems. They tend to be very impersonal and everyone knows when you are using one even if you think they do not. If something is going to be automated, it needs to be highly configurable and able to integrate into more personal atmospheres easily by providing value.

I uploaded Tweet Old Post to my WordPress install of Blogging Labs and started the configuration process. Luckily, this free plugin allows you to do several essential tasks that make it usable for me in this application.

Timing of Old Post Tweets

You can set the random times that tweets go out to your followers. Part of the reason that Twitter is the perfect testing ground for a system like this is because the timeline moves quick enough that you will not be annoying people and it has a viral aspect to it that you hope your articles start to get retweeted. If you do it too often, people will ignore your links and unfollow you, so setting a random time for these tweets to hit your timeline hours apart does wonders for not looking like spam.

Excluding Categories

One of the biggest things I needed in a plugin such as this one was the ability to exclude entire categories from being tweeted out. Information that was tweeted from my archives needed to be timeless to still be relevant. I did not want old articles that are no longer applicable to today’s environment to get tweeted out because that would look terrible as it has zero value to my followers.

Omit WordPress Categories

By being able to exclude categories, I can remove blocks of archives that should not be tweeted, or I do not feel provide enough value to my timeline. As you can see from my excluded lists, I tried to keep any articles from my archives to blogging tips, tutorials and advice.

Exclude Specific Posts

To fine tune the process even further, there were posts that I didn’t necessarily want retweeted within those categories as well for one reason or another.

Omit Specific WordPress Posts

Tweet Old Post allows you to also omit specific articles from being sent out to your followers automatically. Another great feature that I needed to insure the quality of the tweets would be at their highest.

After you have everything setup, an automated tweet ends up looking like this on your timeline.

Tweet from Tweet Old Post

A Couple Of Things To Keep In Mind…

Before you jump in headfirst and never look back, keep these couple of things in mind.

  • If you are going to set something like this up, you need to have some archives to pull from. As you can see, I really fine tuned my process, but if that came down to a dozen or so post by the time I was done, I would be sending out a very small number of articles over and over again. Talk about annoying for anyone that is following you.
  • You also need to gauge reactions within your Twitter following to see how people are taking the automation. In my @robbsutton account, the change was actually taken in very well and I am now getting traffic and RT’s into my older content…which was the goal. I even started asking around to followers to see what they thought and the overall reaction was positive.
  • I do not think this kind of automation would work with Facebook. The timeline does not move fast enough to keep you from clogging the system and in the end you would end up annoying friends and family at the same time. Saying that…if you have your Facebook account linked to your Twitter account so when you send out a tweet it updates your Facebook page, I would break that link before you start testing this out.

Overall, I have been happy with the result as I am always looking for ways to bring people to content that has been buried down over time. There are not very many efficient ways to get this accomplished, but Tweet Old Post seems to do a really good job by leveraging the fast moving timeline of Twitter. It’s highly configurable backend is the only reason I believe you can really make an automated system like this work.

But…just remember…you need to actually converse with your Twitter followers as well and RT other content. Your entire timeline can not be just automated tweets of your own content if you want to be successful with that online medium.

Download Tweet Old Post for free here.

Example

Often in life and in business, we get stuck on the idea that more is better. In our attempt to accumulate the most stuff, write the longest article, publish the most posts, make the most money…we often forget the power of less is more. To illustrate this…let’s take a look at some two word phrases that carry a huge amount of power without having to add-on meaningless BS…

I do.

F*ck You.

We’re pregnant.

I’m sorry.

You first.

Trust me.

Hell, no.

Yes, m’am.

Why me?

You’re welcome.

Shut up.

It’s a constant struggle. Everything in us wants more but the power comes from less with extreme relevance and direction. When you really want to get your point across…you use less. When you really want try to impress someone you shouldn’t be…you use more.

Creating compelling content is more than just the amount of words in your article. It is about how you shape those words to keep attention and create emotion that connects with readers. If you are always worried about “is this article long enough”, you are going after the wrong goal.

Attack your blogging with passion…say what you need to say…but don’t water it down with bullshit it doesn’t need…

Example

Do you wish you could tap into the minds of your readers and figure out exactly what they want to read on your blog? You can…let’s run through how.

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools as a blogger. Not only do you watch your traffic metrics and how you are performing, but you can get extreme insight into your visitors. Information about where they are from, what browser they are using and how they click through your site has a profound affect on how you tailor your content and lay out your design.

Today, I want to take a second to show you one of the coolest features of Google Analytics that most bloggers never even bother to setup…and it is information that will make you money over time…

How People Land On Your Pages Is Important

When a new reader searches for some string of terms in Google and lands on your pages, that is important information to have. You can find those keyword strings in Google Analytics to see how you are performing on a keyword basis.

But what happens after that?

If the reader likes your content, they are going to look for more quality content that fits their needs. While they might look at your most recent posts, click on a link in your related articles widget or start browsing through your categories…they are most likely going to do exactly what brought them to your site to begin with…SEARCH.

Within WordPress, there is a pretty robust search feature that every blogger puts on their site. Typically, it is a set and forget feature as you throw the search widget in your sidebar or header and forget about it. It is there and readers will use it…your job is done right? Wrong.

Just like the information you use to see how readers find your site is important, what they are searching for on your site is equally important.

If only there was a way to track this information to improve our blogs…oh wait…there is! And Google makes it incredibly easy to track this information for you within Analytics.

Using Site Search Metrics In Google Analytics

When you search for something on a website, the url of the results are different than any other structure on your site. Google uses this information to track those keyword strings and outputs them for you within your admin…you just have to set it up.

In the left sidebar of Analytics under the “Content” link, there is a link for “Site Search”. ¬†When you first click on it, you will get a screen that looks like this.

Setting Up Site Search In Google Analytics

Since you do not have it setup (it isn’t by default), you have to go tweak some settings within your account profile. Click back to your account list by clicking on the Google Analytics logo and then click on the account you want to setup search tracking on. On this second screen that now shows only that domain, click “edit” to start setting this up.

That should bring you to a screen that looks like this.

Setting Up Site Search In Google Analytics

When you click “edit” in the upper right corner below “Receiving Data”, you come to a new screen to setup your search analytics. When you get to the next screen, put an “s” in the “query parameter” field like you see below. This is how WordPress handles search, so if you are using another blogging platform, you will need to see what character they use for search in the url.

Setting Up Site Search In Google AnalyticsGreat! You are all setup! Now what?

You wait for Analytics to do it its job and for readers to search on your site. As they do, you will start to see a screen that looks like this in your Analytics account.

Site Search Results

Obviously, this is just the top half of the screenshot. There is some basic keyword information when you scroll down, but there is also a ton of in-depth information on how your users interacted with your search feature and what they searched for.

What Do I Do With This Site Search Info?

For my blogging, this site search information is liquid gold. Here is how I use this information to grow my blogs and connect with my audience.

1. Self Generating Article Topic Bank

You have just created a self generating article idea bank. If you are ever stumped on what to write during a given week, this information is automatically spitting out article ideas…and more importantly…it is generating article ideas that your readers want to read. This is not a list that some other blogger told you to write…or a “hit list” of topics on the web…this is what your readers are searching for on your site, and if they are not finding it…you need to write it.

2. Reader Feedback For Product Reviews

If you know me at all, you already know I am a huge fan of product reviews as a way to generate income through blogs. This information has a lot of leverage when you are trying to get in product to review on your site. Think of it this way…

How much more powerful is this than just asking for free stuff. “We are currently tracking search trends on our website and noticed that your brand name is being searched for almost 30 times a month. Our readers want to see your product reviewed on our website. We also have over 13,000 regular subscribers and over 10,000 newsletter subscribers that have come to expect high quality product reviews that help them make purchasing decisions.”

Can you see how much weight site metrics and reader trends can give you when you are trying to line up products to review on your site? That is real-time information and feedback that companies love to see.

3. Expansion Ideas

What are your readers searching for that complements your content? If you started off blogging the right way, you chose a narrower niche that had expansion capabilities over time. By starting off with less competition, you are able to grow a following that can then compete on a larger level. By watching these search metrics, you can find the ares you need to expand into quickly.

Time To Get To Work

As you can see, what your readers are searching for on your blog is extremely useful information as you start to tailor your content and grow your business. This is also one of the most overlooked parts of blogging that most bloggers ignore or never bother to even setup. Get this setup on your blog today and start getting into the mind of your reader.

Have you setup Site Search yet?

Example

Today I wanted to record this quick video podcast to illustrate one way I have been insuring my content is as unique as it can be on a regular basis across my blogs.

Like it or not…we are greatly influenced by what we take in on a daily basis. As we go about our day, read other websites and blogs and interact with people, we are taking bits of that information everywhere with us as we go. While this is actually a great thing and a source of where I find most of my ideas (life experience is always the best to pull from), we can jump into a trap in our quest to release unique, relevant content the web.

The Routine That Causes Content Blindness

If your morning started out anything like mine did, you probably go up, took a shower, got dressed, had some coffee and then opened up your feed reader to see what was happening on the web that day. Even if you did this routine at night after your regular job, you probably followed a similar routine…maybe minus the coffee.

Like any blogger, you are following numerous blogs within your given niche, so you started digesting content before you started producing it.

Going back to our theory of taking something with you from every experience and information absorption in your day, you can unconsciously start creating content on your blog that…well…looks a lot like your RSS feed. While it is good to stay on top of trends and write relevant content for your readers, it is increasingly important that you continue to produce unique content that does not look like rehashed, reworded articles that are found on other parts of the web.

By staying on top of the latest news and articles in your niche, you can get into this trap of just being another “me too” instead of a unique source. Readers read blogs to connect with that uniqueness and originality. If you become just a mirror of your RSS feed…you lose that draw and that will lead to growth decline.

My Challenge To Bloggers

As we think and reflect back on how our content digestion affects our content production, I have a challenge to you as a blogger. Just like you need to schedule your time with social media, schedule your content digestion time and keep it away from your content production. The goal is to have a clean slate to work with while you are formulating content ideas, writing articles and recording videos.

Personally, I have been scheduling my RSS feed time to about 2 to 3 times a week and then using Hootsuite to schedule RT’s throughout the remaining days. This not only has drastically affecting my efficiency, but it keeps my mind clear of everyone else’s content while I am producing mine. By staying on top of events several times a week, I am also not missing out on any developing trends on the web.

Have you taken a serious look at how your habits affect your content? How much time are you spending a week scouring the web instead of building your content library?

Simple changes like this one in your daily routine can bring swinging positive results in your business.