A few weeks ago the guys at Media Shower interviewed me and we discussed about the future of WordPress and how to get more out of it. There I mentioned some of the products we’re working on and how they can help you in your daily tasks. One of these services is Nelio Content, which hit version 1.2 last week. If you don’t know our plugin yet, let me tell you it’s a wonderful tool for saving time during your daily blog-related tasks. If you want to learn more about how our plugin helps you, take a look at our previous posts 5 Common Problems Every Blogger Has and How to Create a Successful Editorial Calendar—there we describe in detail all the problems Nelio Content aims to solve.
Today I’d like to present some specific functionalities included in Nelio Content and, in particular, the new swag we added. Version 1.2 does not only fix a few issues we identified, but also implements new awesome features. Install Nelio Content right away and discover all it has to offer! Oh and, by the way, remember there’s a completely free (as in free beer) version in WordPress.org,—use a premium plugin and pay nothing! 😇 How cool is that?
What is Nelio Content?
If you have a blog and (try to) write there consistently, you probably know how difficult it is to keep a good pace. Not only do you need to write content—you also need to think about the topics you’ll be covering, share your content on social media, and manage your editorial team. In other words, there’s plenty of work!
A few months ago we had a complex situation too—we had several blogs in multiple languages and we had to develop, maintain, and support our WordPress plugins and services. The more time we invested in our blog, the fewer time we had for other tasks… and these other tasks are the ones paying our bills! Now, don’t get me wrong, our blogs played an important role in our company—they help us gain visibility and we can contribute to the community by sharing our knowledge with others. But balancing our efforts between the blog and everything else was crucial.
By the end of 2015 we decided we had to simplify the management of our blogs. The main problems we identified were:
- We don’t have a visual interface for scheduling upcoming posts. A calendar would be great.
- Searching, managing, and adding references for those posts is difficult. We would like to include other people’s posts as “references” in our own content, so that we can create richer discussions and build a solid network.
- We spend too much time in social media sharing our content. We want to promote new content faster and repurpose old content easily.
- We want to identify the content that works the best in our blog and share it as much as possible.
- There are several tasks that can be completely automated and, yet, we perform them manually. For instance, making sure that posts include a featured image, checking its length, adding categories and tags…
In summary, we faced the problems that you and other bloggers face every day. To solve them all, in 2016 we started the development of Nelio Content and by June we launched the first version.
We solved the most worrisome problems in this first version. In particular, we included a beautiful editorial calendar, we simplified the scheduling and sharing of social messages, and we automated the quality analysis. Some solutions didn’t make it in the first version, but I’m happy to tell you that development is quite active… so they were or will be included in next releases.
What’s New in Nelio Content 2.1
If you take a look at our changelog you’ll see that version 1.1 was about polishing some details and fixing tiny bugs. That is, we worked hard to create a stable and useful plugin. Version 1.2 does also include some tiny bug fixes and stability improvements, but it includes some new functionalities that I’m sure you’ll love. Let’s dive into them!
The Statistics You Need, Where and When You Need Them
Runners measure they pace. Investors study all the financial data available. Parents look at their children’s grades. We all look for some metrics that tell us how well we’re performing, because they’re the best tool we have for improving. And blogs are (or shouldn’t be) no different—we need some analytics to learn which content works the best with our readers and focus on those topics. And that’s what Nelio Content brings you now—blog analytics!
I know what you’re thinking right now: yet another analytics tool? Really? And I completely agree with you—there’s no reason for creating a new analytics tool… and we didn’t! We know there are some wonderful analytics tools out there (did anyone say Google Analytics?), and we wanted to base our metrics on theirs. The problem with those tools is their complexity—there’s so much data available and so many options that it’s quite easy to feel overwhelmed. The result? You don’t pay much attention to the data that really matters.
So we followed a different approach—we decided to integrate Google Analytics in Nelio Content and show you just the information you need. This is what you’ll find in our Analytics section:
- The social engagement of your posts, according to the data provided by social networks. Likes on Facebook, shares on LinkedIn, comments in WordPress, … All these interactions are stored in your database and help you identify which social networks work best with your audience, so that you can focus your promotion efforts on them.
- The posts that attract more traffic, according to Google Analytics. One of the main goals of any blog is to generate traffic, so that you can make money out of ads or with the products you sell in your website. Therefore, you must know which posts (and, thus, which type of content) drives more traffic, so that you can become an specialist in the topics covered by those posts. Moreover, we also identify which social networks drive more traffic and thus give you more insights about your audience.
As you can see, we added simple, yet powerful, analytics—they offer actionable information so that you can understand it and create better marketing campaigns.
Promote the Most Popular Posts
Analytics clearly show you the most popular posts in your blog, and invite you to re-share them. Just think about all the effort you put in crafting a beautiful post—why should you let it die so quickly? If your current visitors value an old(ish) post, let new people know about it!
As I was saying, Nelio Content will tell you which content works the best and will give you an easy way to re-promote it on social media. Just click on the Add Message button to schedule new social messages and get even more traffic. Good ideas never die… so make sure you keep using them!
This functionality is a huge improvement in your workflow. I’ve already mentioned Nelio Content helps you to share content on social media easily. In particular, you can create and schedule a social message that we’ll share where you want, when you want. However, you still need to create this message manually… and I said we want to help you save time!
With Nelio Content 2.1 you can select some text in your post and share it with just a couple of clicks. Stop writing social messages manually or copying and pasting stuff—let our plugin take care of it!
Fixing Somebody Else’s Issues
Last week I wrote a post on how to do evil in WordPress, where I shared several examples of how not to do things in WordPress. Most of the problems I’ve faced in the past few years were due to bad practices followed by other developers—had they followed the right guidelines, none of those problems would have happened. Take this as an example:
where a CSS stylesheet added by a third-party developer breaks the look and feel of WordPress components (in this case, a dialog). Don’t know how it should look like? Here you have it:
This second dialog is perfectly integrated within WordPress, with the right color scheme, buttons, modal behavior… The first dialog was a total mess!
As it turns out, this usually occurs because of WordPress‘ built-in scripts. WordPress includes jQuery UI in core, but it doesn’t include its stylesheets, which means that plugin developers need to enqueue their own versions of those stylesheets. Unfortunately, doing so carelessly overwrites some default CSS rules and breaks the UI. To fix this issue, we added a tiny stylesheet at the end that re-redefines those probably-overwritten rules, so that they look exactly like WordPress originally set them to look like.
Finally, and as always, Nelio Content 1.2 includes several minor improvements and bug fixes. Thus, for instance, we have fixed external featured images on Newspaper, we have increased the length of social messages on Google+ and Pinterest, and we have fixed a bug when sharing social messages with HTML tags on it, among others.
We’re extremely happy with the new version of our plugin. I honestly think it can help you a lot in your daily tasks. If you want to give it a try, download it from WordPress.org and install it in your site. And if you have any ideas or requests for upcoming versions, let us know!
Featured Image by Edewaa Foster.