Client Spotlight: Brian Cormack Carr

Brian Cormack Carr is a busy man, he runs three websites! I asked him about all his sites.

What are your site’s about?

Vital VocationMy website www.vitalvocation.com was originally a membership site through which I delivered a modular coaching program.  That was quite high maintenance for me (any time it went wrong, I had to work fast to get it back up and running for the members) so I began to think about looking for a different approach to fit in with my wider work commitments.  Some participants commented that the material would work well as a book and since I love writing, I decided to repurpose the modules into book format. Continue reading Client Spotlight: Brian Cormack Carr

Client Spotlight: Quantum Business Training

Michele Tocci is a presenter, trainer, coach, author and NLP practitioner. Michele’s vision is to impact and transform individuals to be exceptional and live the life of their dreams. Her mission is to create transformational change in others. She runs Quantum Business Training, and I asked her a few questions about her site.

What it is Quantum Business Training all about?

The blog is designed for business owners and provides articles so that business owners can improve their business. The articles are thought provoking and address areas for improvement. Areas covered include:

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> Business development
> Business planning
> Business customer service
> Business marketing
> Business sales
> Business growth
> Business training

What does your website provide?

Initially the blog is providing a complimentary e-book on how business owners can improve their productivity. Eventually it will have a number of e-books related to improving business results. Then e-courses and programs that will educate the business owner that is great at their specialty but is aware that they can improve their business skills.

What readers/customers are you targeting?

My target reader and customer are business owners that are excellent at their trade such as plumber, hairdresser, beauty therapist, electrician, draftsman, etc. Business owners who have trained and developed a skill then set up their own business but haven’t undertaken any education to develop business skills and know that this is an area that they need to increase their knowledge in.

Why did you set your business up?

I owned a business that was excellent yet I lacked business skills to maximize my income so I invested heavily in my own personal development of business skills and it has turned my business around. I then realized there are many business owners who are the same as me. My first business is about time management, business systems and productivity and I find that when I am talking and working with business owners one of the greatest problems is business owners don’t spend and invest time in working on their business as they are so busy working in their business.

Another key message that I wish to spread to business owners is about adding massive value to their clients, the more you take care of others the more it comes back to you. Move your focus from money to value to the client and the income will take care of itself.

Anything else you would like to add?

I am still working through the income blogging guide program with my site. I have received so much value from your site and it has made such a massive difference to my understand.

Take a look at all Michele offers at Quantum Business Training.

eBook Review: How To Write A Brilliant Blog

I love promoting useful and relevant products and services that clients have created. Carole Seawert has done just that in her new eBook “How To Write A Brilliant Blog“.

While I focus on the technical side of blogging, the important side is always the content and the eBook concentrates on how to turn your blog posts from average to excellent. It’s more of an eCourse than and eBook as it is 20 chapters in five sections, but is self-paced with no webinars or deadlines to be pressured by.
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Section one is about Getting started where Carole takes you through the basics of why to blog, how to chose your target audience and actually what you will be blogging about! Section two offers great tips and checklists for your writing and helps provide structure for you. The next sections deal with the writing process, avoiding distractions and how to keep going in the lean times, finished off with building your audience and a list of useful resources.

The eBook is a working resource which you can print off and has actionable sections and exercises for you to fill in and refer back to that will help you with all aspects of producing worthwhile content for your blog or website.

How to Write a Brilliant Blog is nearly 60 pages of beautifully designed and immediately practical information.

Genuinely one of the best resources on writing for your blog that I’ve seen, you can find further details here.

MaxBlogPress Stripe Ad Review

Do you use a stripe advert across the top of your site? I was sent a copy of MaxBlogPress Stripe Ad for review. This is a plugin for those ads you see at the top of the screen with a special offer or in my case an offer to subscribe to my email list. For a long time I’ve been using Hello Bar but the free version is limited and I’ve been looking for an alternative.

stripe ad interface

The plugin is easy to install and set up. It adds a menu option under Settings that has two sections as you can see from the screen shot above. “Home” is where you can see your ads and create new ones. “Analytics” shows a nice graph of impressions and clicks and also a table to show click through rate by day.

Adding a stripe ad is easy, just follow the wizard-like interface. You get a letter count to show you how many characters will fit on your ad and you can easily select the link text and if you want to open it in a new window.

stripe ad analytics

The Formatting tab allows you to change fonts, sizes and colors for the text and button. You can then set where on your site you want to display the ad – so you can have different ads on specific pages if you want, or leave it to randomly show an ad on all pages.

If you have more than one stripe ad you can weight the advert to appear more frequently if you wish.

The final feature is great is you have a specific time relevant promotion – you can schedule the advert to only appear at a certain time.

Overall MaxBlogPress Stripe Ad is very nicely done, it does the simple things well, provides great control and covers all the features I think you need from an advert like this. Until midnight (EDT) May 24th 2013 there is 30% off MaxBlogPress Stripe Ad here. So it’s only $45 for lifetime on as many sites as you want, with a 60 day guarantee. Soon it will go up to $67.

How To Backup WordPress

A few months ago I launched a backup and update service in order to help you keep your themes, plugins and WordPress itself up to date as well as making backups in case of disaster.

With the recent news of massive hacking attempts against WordPress sites, having the latest versions of plugins and themes and also backups is more important than ever.

I’m currently protecting over 60 WordPress powered sites with weekly updates and backups (or monthly if you prefer). So if you want to join them and put your mind at ease then you can sign up below from only $7 per month.

The BTG Backup and Update Service, or “BTG BUS” is a service that keeps regular backups of your WordPress powered websites, keeps WordPress, plugins and themes up to date, and provides the opportunity to restore your sites to an earlier version if there are any problems. With no hassle for you, just set up and forget!

Go to the full page for details on pricing, FAQs, comparisons with other services and much more.

How To Fix The WordPress Visual Editor

Have you got the issue in WordPress where the Visual Editor is not working? You can see the Visual and Text tabs but no icons or buttons are showing?

This has been happening a lot for brand new installs for various clients and readers emailing me.

If it’s an existing install that you’ve had for a while, often this can be solved by deactivating plugins and then reactivating them one by one. Usually it’s a plugin (or theme) that is adding something to the Add/Edit Post/Page screen

However with a new install you don’t have any of those to cause an issue and it’s one of those unusual cases.

The way to solve it it to go to Plugins > Add new and search for

Use Google Libraries

This plugin uses the latest javascript files from Google’s AJAX Library API rather than the ones built into WordPress and fixes the issue. Click Install and Activate once it’s installed.

Now the Text editor has the icons/buttons and the Visual Editor works too.

How To Speed Up Your WordPress Site – New Free eBook

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I’ve added a third eBook to my free eBooks that I give away to all email subscribers. This one goes through the best ways to speed up your WordPress website with step-by-step instructions.

Speed. It’s what we all crave in today’s busy world of work and home life. Whether we are waiting for a train, hurrying from one meeting to the next, or waiting for the microwave to “ping,” we’re never far from a glance at the clock and an impatient gesture.

You can subscribe below to get all three eBooks if you’re not already a subscriber. Current subscribers have already been sent an email soon with a link in.

The three eBooks you get for being a subscriber are:

– Income Blogging Guide Blueprint
– Save Your Site! A Guide To backing Up WordPress
– How To Speed Up Your WordPress Site

How To Add Google Analytics To WordPress

I get asked a lot how to add Google Analytics to a website. For WordPress this is really easy.

1) Go to http://google.com/analytics and sign up and add your website. They will give you some tracking code but just leave that page open for now.

2) In your website’s WordPress admin dashboard to Plugins > Add New and search for ‘Google Analytics for WordPress’

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3) Click Install Now, confirm and then click Activate.

4) Once done, go to Settings > Google Analytics. The easiest way to add the tracking code is to click the blue ‘Click here to authenticate with Google’ button. If you’re still logged in to Google Analytics you should just follow the steps to ‘Grant Access’ and then select your site in the dropdown. Then click the blue ‘Update Google Analytics Settings’ button to save.

However often this step fails for some reason, so you can check the box to ‘Manually enter your UA code’. This is the code in the tracking code given to you in Step 1) above. Write down the number you see beginning with UA- and then type that into the box, including the UA- part.

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Then click the blue ‘Update Google Analytics Settings’ button to save.

Where do I view Google Analytics in WordPress?

Another source of confusion is once the above is all set up and working, where in WordPress do you view Google Analytics? The simple answer is you don’t, you do it on http://google.com/analytics in your account.

How To Set Up Google PageSpeed Service With WordPress

Recently Andrew over at We Build Your Blog let me know that Google’s PageSpeed Service was now available for website owners to use.

What is Google PageSpeed Service?

It’s a service that essentially takes your website, optimizes it for speed and then serves it back to readers seamlessley. This video explains more:

How do I get it?

At the time of writing it’s invite only, but invites appear very quickly after applying.

1) Go over to https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/service and sign up.

2) Once approved you will get an email with your access link.

3) Click on Add New Domain and the box will expand

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4) Enter your URL in there and press add. Note that the URL needs to have www. in it. If your site doesn’t use www in the URL you will need to change it to, see below for instructions.

5) You need to make a CNAME change in your domain. Usually this is in your web host. So if your webhost has cPanel, login and go to Advanced DNS Zone Editor (in the domain section). Select your domain from the dropdown and once the Zone File Records section opens find the row that looks like

www.domain-name.com. 14400 IN CNAME domain-name.com

where domain-name is your website domain name. Click the Edit to the right and change the Record to be pagespeed.googlehosted.com instead. So the record now looks like:

www.domain-name.com. 14400 IN CNAME pagespeed.googlehosted.com

Messing this up can break your site, but if you get any errors with your website just change it back to the domain name and your site will work again.

6) That’s it! Check your site is still working. Then back in your PageSpeed Service Overview (where you added the domain in step 3) you can run a speed test and it will show you how much time has been taken off your loading time.

The below is only needed if your site doesn’t have www in it.

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Changing your site to use www

There are three steps in WordPress to adding in www to your URL if you don’t have it.

1) In WordPress itself go to Settings > General and add in www.

2) In your .htaccess file in the root folder of your website, add in the following. Please, please make a backup of .htaccess first as any wrong move can break your site.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domain-name\.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.domain-name\.com/$1 [R=301,L]

where domain-name is replaced with the actual name of your site. All this is doing is redirecting non-www URLs to www ones.

3) In Google Webmaster Tools, in your domain go to Configuration > Settings and set the preferred domain to be www (see below):

google-webmasters

Then your site will use www and your search engine rankings will stay the same as with non-www. Once done you can use the Google PageSpeed Service.

Why Your Website Needs To Be Responsive

I don’t use infographics much, but this one stuck out to me as helps explain why your website needs to be responsive – that is, look good on mobile devices. Mine does, as it runs Headway, but does yours? If you’re selling something via your website (and you should) then take a look at the stats below.

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Image courtesy of Nowsourcing and Moovweb.