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Planning the content for your blog can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, whether your are a novice or experienced blogger.  

Below are four resources that you can use to gain helpful tips and hints to help you plan, organize and deploy your content!

 




According to MarketingLand.com, 56% of traffic to the top websites is now via mobile devices. So is YOUR website responsive, and looking great while being so?

Here are a few ways to find out.

1 – Check on your own phone or tablet – this is an invaluable way to make sure that your mobile users are seeing your content the way you want it seen. Make note of any oddities such as cut-off text or images, menus not behaving properly or forms that are, for lack of a better word, wonky and send your findings to your web designer.

2 – Have a select group of friends test the site. Ask your friends and family to have a look at the site on their various devices and have them make the same observations as above. This way, you can see how your site responds to different devices and types- i.e. OS X vs Android  Have your friends give you their impressions as if they were customers/readers/prospective clients.

3 – Use your browser in Responsive View Mode. This feature of Firefox, Safari & Chrome will give you an idea of how your site will behave across different screen sizes so you can ensure consistency of design and content.  

In Firefox, go to Tools >> Web Developer >> Responsive Design View

In Safari, go to Develop >> Enter Responsive Design Mode.

In Chrome, install the Responsive Web Design Tester app.

These are just three of the ways you can test your site’s responsiveness before you go live. Once you have done your own testing – and BTW a true pro web designer will have done extensive testing BEFORE they make your site live, it’s always good to test yourself. Make careful notes about any issues and let your designer know ASAP of any issues encountered so your mobile site looks, and functions, just as well as your desktop site!

source: Marketingland.com

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We all know that content is king – but how you lay out your blog posts is also very important and needs to be paid attention as well!

In this graphic from SocialTriggers.com, they lay out a tried and true formula for planning the look of your blog posts.

It is a simple, content-focused layout, giving space for text, images and CTA within your posts.  A few simple layout tweaks will help you draw your readers’ eye throughout your post to each area on which you want them to focus.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_code _builder_version=”3.12.2″]<a href=”https://socialtriggers.com/perfect-blog-post”><img src=”https://cdn.socialtriggers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/perfectblogpost1.png” alt=”PerfectBlogPost” title=”PerfectBlogPost” width=”600″ height=”700″ /></a><br />Like this? Learn how to use psychology to get more traffic and sales with <a href=”https://socialtriggers.com/”>Social Triggers</a>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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Adding your Google Analytics tracking code to your Divi theme is super easy and can be done in three simple steps.

1 – Go to https://analytics.google.com and grab your tracking code.  Log in to your account and then click Admin >> your website name and then Tracking Info >> Tracking Code.

2 – Copy the script.

3 – Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard. Go to Divi >> Theme Options >> Integrations and add the code you copied to the box that says “Add code to the body (good for tracking codes such as google analytics)”.  Click save.

Done! Your Google analytics code is now tracking the traffic on your Divi site!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off” inner_width=”90%” inner_max_width=”1500px” prev_background_color=”#000000″][et_pb_row make_fullwidth=”on” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” use_custom_gutter=”on” custom_padding=”|0px||0px” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off” parallax_1=”off” parallax_method_1=”off” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial” module_class=” et_pb_row_fullwidth et_pb_row_fullwidth” width=”89%” width_tablet=”80%” width_last_edited=”on|desktop” max_width=”89%” max_width_tablet=”80%” max_width_last_edited=”on|desktop”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_code]Divi WordPress Theme[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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Having an editorial calendar is a fabulous way to keep your ideas alive for your blog’s content.  Laying out what you want to blog about over the next few days or months will help yourself not only generate consistent content but you also keep your ideas on paper and relieve the stress of keeping everything in your head!

Grab your planner – here we go!  Here are 5 Ways to Use Your Editorial Calendar to Increase Your Productivity!

  1. Using a Monthly Calendar, highlight all of the events or holidays that are happening in that month.  You can colour code the events to help you distinguish holidays from your own upcoming events. For instance, Fathers Day is in June.  If you have a product or service that will help Dads out in a great way, make sure that your content is published far enough ahead to give you audience time to act on your offer!
  2. Decide on your blogging schedule.  Consistency is king when planning great content.  If you decide to blog three times a week, you need to ensure you have the time to create informational, shareable content.  Half-ass posts or worse, third party content full of grammar and spelling errors, will NEVER get you any traction with your audience!
  3. Brainstorm! Using your calendar with events/holidays marked, it’s time to brainstorm ideas to fit around those events or holidays! Brainstorming doesn’t mean finding the perfect idea on the first go.  Brainstorming is about generating as many ideas as you can, regardless of their quality!  Grab a blank piece of paper – I find brainstorming most effective with pencil and paper – and go to town.  Write down all the crazy ideas that pop into your head.  Go for about 10-15 minutes and once you’re done, take a break!
  4. Create Your Content – Now that you know what holidays/events are coming up, and what your schedule will be, it’s time to go through that list of ideas you wrote down during your brainstorming session and pick a few that you think you can create some great content around.  
  5. Schedule Your Posts – One of the great things about using WordPress for your website is that within the blog module, you can schedule your content.  Using the schedule you created in step 2, create your drafts and schedule them accordingly.  To schedule your content, simply create a post and then on the right, click on the “Edit” button next to “Publish Immediately” and choose your date.  Then hit the bit old “Schedule” button.

And that’s it – five ways to use your editorial calendar to increase productivity!

Have an extra tip to share? Please do so in the comments!

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[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] …the about me section on your blog home page says “This is a sample text about you. You may login and go to the […] settings page and edit this text. Here you can display a summary of your website or anything that is interesting to your visitors. You also can disable this section completely. You can even change the image you see on the top left corner. You have full control thru the settings page.” Updated: 9 June 2016 Before you publish, make sure you have updated the placeholder text on ALL the pages, and in all the elements! I recently came across a web designer’s homepage, which was live, and the homepage contained several entire sections of dummy “lorem ipsum” text, placeholder images and links to placeholder social media platforms! If you are too close to the project, as we sometimes are, have a trusted friend or associate review the site to check the content, links and menu structure! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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WordPress is a great way to get your website up and running fast.

But in your haste, you may miss some of the details.  And footer items are one of the most overlooked.

In the image above, look at the bottom where the Copyright is – it says © 2015 – Company Name.

You need to make sure that you have updated your own information in the footer rather than having the generic information from the template.

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One of the most important parts of the design of your website is the colour scheme.  A site with a cohesive look won’t distract your readers, allowing them to concentrate on your kick-ass content.   So does your colour scheme help or hurt your website?

Here are 3 things that guarantee that your colour scheme sucks.

  1. You don’t have a SINGLE main colour – Your website is full of brightly coloured things that clash or bash your readers eyes when they arrive.  Instead of using a riot of colours, choose a single main colour, either your favourite or one related to your site title, like my LusciousLime.com colour – #F2F5DB – a light lime green.   Having a SINGLE MAIN COLOUR gives the eyes of your readers a rest, allowing them to concentrate on your content.
  2. You think every element should be it’s own colour – H1 titles should be hot pink, H2 titles should be orange, links should be bright royal blue and all pictures should have a 10px giant brown border.  You get the idea.  In my opinion, you shouldn’t use more than three colours for your site to help you keep the visual distractions minimal.  A site with a multitude of non-complementary colours will only serve to confuse readers as they try to find the content in which they are interested.   Choose only TWO secondary colours using a colour scheme generator like the Paletton tool.
    • Use the Paletton colour wheel tool to develop your own colour scheme.  With it, you can create:
      • a monochromatic colour scheme – a variety of shades of one main colour
      • an adjacent colour scheme – uses colours adjacent to your main colour on the colour wheel
      • a triad scheme – the tool uses your main colour as the starting point and then gives you two other colours equally spaced out on the colour wheel
      • there are two other options, but I only recommend using 3 colours max!
  3. Ignore white space – In conjunction with a pleasing colour scheme to help readers focus on your content, you should also have plenty of white space to give the readers eyes a rest.  Having a zillion items crammed into the space on your webpage only serves to further frustrate readers and prevent them from coming back.  Judicious use of white space allows the eyes to relax and can help highlight the important content you are trying to have read!

A well-though out colour scheme will encourage your audience to focus on your content.  By choosing a single main colour, two complementary colours and using lots of white space, you will create a better experience for your readers, which will encourage them to come back time and again for your great content!

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Over on the Becky and Paula blog, they just posted an article about how to handle it when someone steals your blog post idea.
And it reminded me of something an unscrupulous potential client asked me to do in my early days of web design.
A gentleman (and I use that term loosely!) had contacted me about creating a website for him, and for inspiration, he said he liked my own site. I told him I’m be happy to use the design as a jumping off point, and create him his own version of it, but apparently I misunderstood him.
He wanted my ENTIRE SITE, design, content and all.  Word for word, pixel for pixel!
I was flabbergasted.  And fuming!
When I flat out refused to give him my site, he chose someone else’s site to copy.  Again, word for word and pixel for pixel.  He said that since he was just a small operation, no one would know.
But I would know.  And it wasn’t OK with me!
After explaining copyright and plagiarism to him, he became abusive and started calling me names!  He said I was completely unreasonable (!) and that “everyone does it!”.  When I politely asked him to lose my contact info, he started threatening to post about how difficult I am to work with.  I told him to be my guest and go right ahead.
I had his emails in which he had outlined his intended copyright violations, so I really wasn’t worried.
But it opened my eyes to how some people think about using the work of another.  To be asked to completely rip off someone’s design and content was unsettling.  Unfortunately there will always be people who want to rip off your good ideas and claim them as their own.
Read the article here to see how Becky handled it, and for her four questions to ask when someone steals your idea!
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