The Best 9+ Block Plugins For The WordPress Gutenberg Editor

Published in WordPress.

The 5.0 version of WordPress that was released on December 6, 2018 brought with it the block-based Gutenberg editor. With the new editor, every bit of content is a block. A paragraph, an image, a YouTube video, a table, etc, is a separate block. This new editing paradigm opens up new design possibilities for the creation of pages and entries, as Matt Mullenweg showed in WordCamp US 2018 (video minute: 9:50).

And if you’re still not familiar with the new editor, I recommend you read David Aguilera’s post: All you need to know about Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor. You’ll see how quickly you get the hang of it…

Gutenberg Blocks

By default, Gutenberg comes with a fairly complete set of blocks that we could categorize into: 

  • Text creation blocks for creating paragraphs, lists, headings, tables, and buttons.
  • Blocks for creating multimedia objects such as images, cover images, image galleries, audios, videos, embedded objects, and shortcodes.
  • Blocks for inserting quotations and verses.
  • Blocks for creating code and HTML.
  • Column format blocks and dividers.

Although Gutenberg organizes them using different categories. First it shows what it considers common blocks:

Common blocks of the Gutenberg editor.
Common blocks of the Gutenberg editor.

Then, the blocks that allow you to create different formatting:

Formatting blocks of the Gutenberg editor.
Formatting blocks of the Gutenberg editor.

And blocks for creating different layouts:

Layout elements blocks of the Guttenberg editor.
Layout elements blocks of the Gutenberg editor.

Blocks to add widgets:

Widgets blocks of the Guttenberg Editor.
Widgets blocks of the Gutenberg Editor.

And, finally, blocks to embed external objects:

Some of the blocks of the Gutenberg editor to embed third party elements.
Some of the blocks of the Gutenberg editor to embed third party elements.

Gutenberg comes with a lot of different block types, but you might still need some other blocks that aren’t included by default. That’s why you’ll find WordPress plugins that give you new blocks that make it easier to create posts and webs. Let’s take a look at some of them:

#1 Atomic Blocks

The Atomic Blocks plugin created by the Array Themes team gives you 11 additional blocks to the ones you already have by default. In the WordPress Plugin Directory you will find demos of how each one works.

Atomic blocks plugin
Additional blocks available at the Atomic blocks plugin.

So, for example, with the Testimonial Block, in a flash you’ve already created a testimonial on your page:

Adding a new testimonial.
Block to add a new testimonial .
Juanka Diaz testimonial.
With this block, creating a testimony on a page is as simple as filling in the different fields.

#2 Kadence Blocks

The Kadence blocks plugin gives you 6 design blocks in which you can create your own design, but it also includes a library of pre-built variations. 

Blocks provided by the Kadence Blocks plugin.
Blocks provided by the Kadence Blocks plugin.

So, for example if we take a look at the Row Layout you can define the row format you want to create:

Row Layout block.
Selecting the layout of a row or block.

But also you can go to the library of pre-built layouts and select the one you like best.

Prebuilt library of Kadence Blocks plugin.
Some of the prebuilt layouts available in the library of Kadence Blocks plugin.

#3 Advanced Gutenberg Blocks

The Advanced Gutenberg Blocks plugin has been developed by Maxime Bernard-Jacquet and includes 15 additional blocks. With the following video you will get a quick idea of the capabilities of each one.

#4 Block Gallery

The Block Gallery plugin gives you three new blocks with which you can create three different ways to view image galleries.

Block Gallery plugin.
Blocks available in the Block Gallery plugin.

Very easily (you only have to select the images) you can create a carousel gallery, or in Masonry format (optimally structured as when you are in Pinterest) or put the images stacked one below the other.

Mansory pictures.
Uploading images to the Masonry block of Gallery Blocks.

This plugin was the winner in the Best Solution category in the Automattic Design Awards at the WordCamp US 2018

#5 Bokez

Bokez is a plugin developed by Delabon that provides you with 14 new blocks with which you can easily create a price table, easily show your latest entries, share on social networks, and so on.

Some of the blocks available at the Bokez Blocks plugin.
Some of the blocks available at the Bokez Blocks plugin.

#6 Advanced Gutenberg

The Advanced Gutenberg plugin, developed by JoomUnited includes more than 20 additional blocks to your editor. It also includes the possibility to control at user or user profile level which blocks can be accessed.

El plugin Advanced Gutenberg.

#7 CoBlocks

The CoBlocks plugin includes 10 new blocks in Gutenberg for market content professionals.

CoBlocks blocks.
CoBlocks blocks.

For example, the Author block allows you to quickly add a box with the author’s name, biography summary, a photo, and a button to follow him.

Bloque Author de CoBlocks.
Bloque Author de CoBlocks.

#8 Stackable

The Stackable plugin developed by Gambit Technologies is probably the one that gives you the most extra blocks: 24 and they keep increasing it.

Stackable Blocks.
Stackable Blocks.

And if you want to see a demo of a website built with its blocks, just visit their own website.

#9 Nelio Maps

If all you are looking for is a block to insert a beautiful Google map in your page or post, with the plugin Nelio Maps you already have it.

Nelio Maps.

I’m sure you’ll fall in love with its simplicity and efficiency.

#10 Ultimate Blocks

Istiak Rayhan contacted us that we couldn’t miss the great plugin that Matt Mullenweg had featured on his slides in WordCamp US: Ultimate Blocks. It comes with 16 blocks and there are more on the way.

Ultimate blocks plugin
Ultimate blocks.

Conclusion

As you can see, with Gutenberg and the whole set of blocks provided by these plugins, you can create much more impactful designs without writing a single line of code.

Gutenberg and all the developments that come from now on will surely bring us a new way of creating pages and posts very different from the one we knew.

Featured image by Susan Holt Simpson in Unsplash.

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How to Share Different Image Sizes on Social Media With Nelio Content

Published in Online Marketing.

Social networks are the perfect place to promote your content. The audience is there, so all you need to do is connect with them and invite them to visit your website. This is not easy, but some utilities like Nelio Content, our WordPress plugin, helps you share messages on social networks without the hassle and maximizing your resources.

When filling the timeline of social messages to promote your content on social networks with Nelio Content, you will create several types of messages, and some of them will share the featured image of your posts. The problem here is that each social network recommends using a different image size, so your featured image will not look the same when shared on Twitter as it does on Facebook or Instagram.

Each social network has its own particularities in terms of the size of the images we share there.
Each social network has its own particularities in terms of the size of the images we share there.

Even though the image won’t look bad anyway (unless you use very strange dimensions), if you want to achieve perfection you must use different versions of the same image to share in each social network, each with a different size. This way, the image is shared with a perfect size for each network, and your followers will enjoy a better user experience.

Let’s see how we can achieve this by simply extending Nelio Content without having programming skills.

Recommended Image Sizes For Each Social Network

Before we start, let’s see which image sizes are recommended in each social network. Keep in mind that social networks are in constant evolution and these sizes may no longer be valid in the future. But at the time of writing these lines, the sizes are as follows:

  • Twitter: The recommended size is 1024×512 pixels. However, they will be shown in the feed reduced to 506×253 pixels.
  • Facebook: The recommended size for the images we share on Facebook is 1200×630 pixels high. However, in the news feed that your audiences see, these images will be shown with a maximum of 470 pixels wide (scaling the original image while keeping the same proportion).
  • LinkedIn: The images you share on LinkedIn must have a width of 520 pixels to be displayed optimally. This network requires landscape images with a height between 270 and 320 pixels.
  • Instagram: Square images allow a side size of 1080 pixels, which will be reduced to 612 pixels and displayed in the feed with 510 pixels. You can also choose to use landscape images of 1080×566 pixels or portrait images of 1080×1350 pixels. In both cases they will also be scaled down when shown in your followers’ feed.
  • Pinterest: When you add a pin to your board, it is important to remember that Pinterest sets a limit on the width of the image but not on the height. This gives you the opportunity to add a squared photo or one that is even larger in height. Images appear with a maximum width of 236 pixels. Aspect ratios of 2:3 or 1:3.5 are recommended.
  • Tumblr: Images in Tumblr have a maximum size of 1280×1920 pixels, which are displayed in the feed downscaled to 500×750 pixels.

In addition to the previous recommendations, most social networks have restrictions on the maximum image you size can use. Given the above dimensions, you should try to keep the images you share on social networks below 250Kb in weight. For this purpose, websites like compressjpeg.com make it very easy for you to compress the images without losing (too much) quality.

Extending Nelio Content to Share Different Image Sizes

Now that you know the image sizes you should use, let’s see how to tell Nelio Content which specific image to use when sharing messages on social networks.

Nelio Content has a special filter called nelio_content_{network}_featured_image where {network} is replaced by the name of the social network where we want to put a different image that substitutes the default featured image.

Thanks to this we can create a plugin with the content you have below:

Copy the above content into a file called nelio-content-featured-image.php and upload it to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory of your WordPress installation. This creates a plugin that enables the functionality of replacing the URL of the featured image with a different URL in each social network.

To define which image you want to use in each network you can do two different things. The most direct but somewhat more complicated is to have a custom field in the post with the name nc-{network}-featured-image (again, replace {network} with the name of the network, as you see in the code above) that includes the identifier of the image you want to use (an image from your WordPress Media Library, of course).

But if you want it easy, just install the Advanced Custom Fields plugin that allows you to add custom fields to your content. Then, import the configuration that you will find in the acf-export.json file that you have in my GitHub. This will create the group of fields and add a metabox in the sidebar of your posts where you can indicate (just like you do with the featured image) which image you want to publish on each social network (see image below).

Metabox of social images where we can select alternatives for the featured image to share in each social network.
Metabox of social images where we can select alternatives for the featured image to share in each social network.

From now on, you can have different images to share in your social messages. Nelio Content will automatically take the alternative image if you selected it and create the messages automatically taking these images into account instead of the default featured image.

If you’re an image lover, you have no excuse for not using Nelio Content to automatically share your content on social networks. With this you will be able to specify an image for each social network with the size you want. Adapt your content better to the particularities of each network!

Featured image by Guilherme Vasconcelos on Unsplash.

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Thrive Leads vs OptinMonster vs Bloom To Increase Your Leads and Customers

Published in WordPress.

Are you increasing your web traffic and you have more and more followers in social networks? If so, congratulations! You seem to be on the right track, but… Are you getting your visitors to buy your services or products? Are you increasing your revenue?

Excuse me wow by Mashable
Did your face look like this? (source: mashable on Giphy).

If these questions have made you a little uncomfortable is that you need to increase the conversion rate of your website. That is to say, make more visitors of your web carry out those actions that you really want them to do. Forget about vanity metrics!

But how do we optimize our website to increase the conversion rate? First, don’t forget to perform A/B tests on your website that will provide you with real data about your visitors’ preferences at all times.

ab-testing
In its simplest form, A/B testing proposes to randomly split the traffic to the site in two groups so that 50% of the visitors see the A design while the other 50% sees the B design. By monitoring how users in each group react, we can calculate the conversion rate of each group and, in case there is a statistically significant difference between the two, declare a winner design.

And, as I told you recently, create attractive lead magnets for your website visitors. Remember that lead magnets are attractive free offers that you offer to your readers, in exchange for them giving you contact information, subscribing to your newsletter or helping you to promote yourself.

So, in the same way that I explained to you 7 lead magnets ideas that you should try on your website to get more prospects and customers, today I will tell you about 3 plugins that will help you create lead magnets more quickly, that is, they will help you create opt-in forms, that invite your reader to subscribe to your newsletter in exchange for some attractive offer. For example, here is a lead magnet:

FREE COURSE


HOW TO SUCCEED

WITH YOUR BLOG

Join our Newsletter and get the course lessons straight to your inbox to take your blog to the next level

Before you continue reading, the three plugins I’m telling you about below are premium plugins, they are not free. The functionalities they offer compensate for their cost. And it’s also good that we’re in solidarity with developers who have to make a living offering great products 😊.

#1 Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is one of the most popular plugins to increase the number of subscribers on your website. You won’t find it in the WordPress directory as it doesn’t have a free version. You can get it at the Thrive Themes website, choosing between the following licenses:

Thrive Leads licenses.
Thrive Leads licenses and pricing.

For a single payment of $67 you get a license for a single website; for $97 you have up to 5 licenses; and for $147 you get 15 licenses. All three plans include unlimited updates and one year of support.

Main benefits of this plugin:

  • You can create a variety of forms or opt-ins (in content static banners, lighboxes or popups displayed on top of a content, covering it, post footer forms that appear at the bottom  of your content, ribbon forms displayed on top of a page, full screen lightboxes or screen fillers, scroll mats, slide-ins forms that smoothly show up in a corner of the screen, side bar widgets, content locks and multisteps forms, etc)
  • Specific pre-designed form templates are available for different sectors
  • You can customize the design of the forms
  • You have several form triggers (when you leave the page, after a period of time, when you have scrolled to a certain point, when you click a button or link)
  • You can perform A/B tests on the forms and see which ones work best
  • You can differentiate what information to show your visitors depending on whether it’s a new visitor, a subscriber, or if it’s already a customer
  • You can segment the display of a form depending on what is being visited, by category or tag, by post, by page, or custom post type, among others. And group them by campaigns (lead groups)
  • You get detailed reports of the conversion your lead magnets are getting
  • It easily integrates with a large set of email marketing services and social networks: MailChimp,  MailRelay, Mail Poet, SendGrid, Sendinblue, Sendy, GetResponse, Facebook, Twitter, etc

Thrive Leads form types.
Thrive Leads form types.

It is a plugin easy to install and start working with without technical knowledge. But it is important that you take into account before you start working with this plugin how Lead Groups work. These are used to create campaigns or group a set of forms that you want to show in certain places on your website (for example on certain pages or all posts etc.).

You should know that if you create several groups and design two forms for the same website, the opt-in of the group at the top of the list will always prevail. Don’t get confused with this or you won’t know why certain lead magnets don’t show up to the user.

#2 OptinMonster

OptinMonster is one of the most popular opt-in applications in WordPress. OptinMonster itself is not a WordPress plugin, it is a stand-alone payment application that integrates into WordPress. In the WordPress Directory you will find the free OptinMonster App plugin connector that allows you to create an account and connect to OptinMonster.

You can subscribe to OptinMonsterwith 4 different plans: Basic ($108 per year), Plus ($228 per year), Pro ($348 per year), and Growth ($558 per year).

OptinMonsters plans and pricing (billed annually).
OptinMonsters plans and pricing (billed annually).

And as shown in the image, Basic is for a single site, with which you can create 3 simultaneous campaigns with a maximum limit of 5,000 views per month; Plus is for up to 3 sites and you can create unlimited campaigns with a maximum of 15,000 views per month; the Pro plan allows you to have it installed in 5 sites and the maximum of campaign views is 100,000 views per month; and with the Growth plan you can install it in 10 sites and conduct campaigns that have 500,000 views per month.

OptinMonster and Thrive Leads offer many similar functionalities. With the OptinMonster’s Pro plan, you have practically the same types of forms as Thrive Leads, the same triggers, and you can also perform A/B tests.

OptinMonster campaing types.
OptinMonster campaing types.

The most notable differences between the two are:

  • Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin and OptinMonster is a stand-alone software. That means that with Thrive Leads everything you create is saved in your WordPress database; in the case of OptinMonster you save it in its database. Also, if your website is not WordPress (that is, it’s a PrestaShop, Shopify, or Magento, for example) OptinMonster is your product. Finally, if you want to manage several accounts at once, with OptinMonster you can do it directly from its application; with Thrive Leads you will have to go to each of the different WordPress sites.
  • The two products have different types of visual editors to design the popups. Thrive Leads has its own quite complete visual editor with which you can edit all the opt-ins and OptinMonster has the Canvas function with which you can edit some opt-ins.
  • OptinMonster focuses more on user behavior and includes pop-up trigger options (Adblock detection, geolocation, etc.) that can be especially useful if you have an e-commerce. Thrive Leads focuses more on the results you get from A/B tests and getting more subscribers.
  • In OptinMonster each campaign is determined by the type of opt-in it uses. That is, Campaign 1 uses a normal pop-up and Campaign 2 uses a pop-up that slides from the right side. In Thrive Leads the campaigns are determined in Lead Groups where you group several forms. For example, Campaign 1 will include the two previous pop-ups and a widget.

#3 Bloom

A more recent opt-in plugin for WordPress that has been growing in popularity is Bloom. Bloom is a plugin from Elegant Themes, best known for its Divi theme and Divi Builder visual editor.

Elegant Themes including Bloom plans and pricing.
Elegant Themes including Bloom plans and pricing.

The price is $89 a year or $249 for life. And this price not only includes the Bloom plugin, but also includes all Elegant Themes themes and plugins. So, if you had already paid for one of them, it is clear that this option is very important to you, since you already have it for free; but if you are only interested in this plugin, it is cheaper than OptinMonster but more expensive than Thrive Leads.

Bloom is a little more limited than the previous two, yet surely you have everything you need:

  • You have 6 different types of forms: normal pop-ups, pop-ups that fly in, bar below posts, in line optine, locked content or widgets
  • Among the possible triggers of opt-ins includes that of activating a popup after a time of inactivity or after a purchase, which we do not have them in the other plugins, but instead, does not include that shows up when it detects that the page is abandoned
  • You can integrate it to different email services, just like the two previous plugins
  • It allows you to segment by categories and refine where you want a lead magnet to show up or not, including or excluding specific pages and posts
  • What Bloom does not include, unlike Thrive Leads and OptinMonster, is a visual editor of the changes you make in an opt-in. You just specify your style options and view it later by clicking the Preview button

Bloom optin types.
Bloom optin types.

Conclusion

As you have seen, the three plugins, Thrive Leads, OptinMonster, and Bloom meet the needs you may have to capture leads: multiple types of forms, templates that you can customize, integration with the most popular email services, and A/B tests.

Some of the differences to highlight are, on the one hand, that OptinMonster and Thrive Leads include the “leave page” trigger and Bloom does not. In addition, each has a different set of options and levels of control over how to create campaigns. And finally, with Bloom and Thrive Leads, with a single payment you have all the functionalities and with OptinMonster you have different prices for different features.

In fact, the main difference is the price. You can compare annual subscriptions:

  • $67 – Thrive Leads (just one license).
  • $89 – Elegant Themes (87 themes and 6 plugins including Bloom)
  • $348 – OptinMonster (Pro package with all features included).

Our opinion? We use Thrive Leads because, from our point of view, it’s the one that offers the best quality-price ratio. But if you already pay for Elegant Themes, which already includes Bloom, you probably don’t need anything else. And if you are looking to optimize an e-commerce or if your website is not made in WordPress, or you want to manage several accounts at once, do not hesitate to consider the OptinMonster option, which is very complete.

Featured imabe by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash.

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Top 7 Types of Lead Magnets to Get More Prospects and Customers

Published in Online Marketing.

Today I’ll tell you about lead magnets. If you don’t have one on your website, or rather, a good one on your website, you should keep reading this post to discover a new way to get more leads and customers.

What Is a Lead Magnet and Why Do You Need Them?

A lead magnet is an irresistible offer about certain information, service, or any other type of experience with sufficient value for prospects to give you in exchange their email address or any other information that may be useful to you to eventually turn them into clients. A lead magnet can also be used by the reader at that moment to perform an action that helps you to become known, such as sharing on social networks the post they’re reading or talk about you.

For example, when you leave any of the posts in this blog, you may see the following lead magnet:

FREE COURSE


HOW TO SUCCEED

WITH YOUR BLOG

Join our Newsletter and get the course lessons straight to your inbox to take your blog to the next level

I suppose that since you want to achieve success with your blog, it didn’t take you a second to subscribe to our mailing list in order to receive the course 😉 Or didn’t you?

Today we are all fed up with receiving many emails with advertising or information that we have not explicitly requested. And although this is much more regulated with the new GDPR, in general, we are reluctant to sign up for mailing lists. In fact, when you discover a blog with content that you find very interesting, why should you join their mailing list if you can already visit the blog whenever you want? This is where the lead magnet can be that little push you need to give your contact details.

Beware! If your goal is to get an email from a user and then blast them with advertising, without bringing anything valuable, they will quickly unsubscribe from the list or mark your emails as spam. So your goal should be for that user to receive exactly the information he or she would like to receive. And surely, if everything you tell them is interesting, they will also be interested in the products or services you offer.

Building lead magnets

For a lead magnet to convert, that is, for visitors to do the action you want them to do, you need to define and design a set of elements that are part of the whole conversion process.

First of all, you must define and create what “star product” you are going to offer your audience. For now, don’t worry about that. Later on, I’ll tell you 7 fantastic lead magnet ideas that you should try.

Then, define how you want to present that offer to your reader: will it be an offer that will be integrated in the middle of a post, like the one shown above? Will it be a pop-up window that will appear when the reader is about to leave your blog? Will it be an ad that is always visible on one of your landing pages? Or a simple button with a very attractive call to action?

You’ll also have to decide where you will store the data of your subscribers and which mail server you will use to send the different emails of your marketing campaigns (Mailchimp, MailPoet, Marketing360, Hubspot, etc). And you must understand how to connect your website with this mail server, so that the latter can store all the contact details you collect.

You’ll need to define the form or landing page where the user will enter their contact details. If your offer is integrated in the middle of a post, the same offer will already include the form to fill in. Alternatively, the form can be a new window or landing page to which the user lands after clicking a button.

Remember also that you must include the information necessary to be compliant with the GDPR. Don’t forget this to avoid possible legal problems in the future.

You’ll have to define a thank you page for subscribing. Don’t leave your new fan in doubt as to whether he has registered correctly to your super lead magnet.

Finally, make sure that the new contact receives the information you promised. And establish what other actions you should take to keep your new subscriber loyal and become a customer.

The Lead Magnet Ideas You Should Try

Now that you know the process to follow when you want to embed lead magnets in your website, let’s take a look at 7 ideas you should try.

#1 Mini-eBook

If you are an expert on a subject, there will be no reader who is reluctant to read the complete information you can offer. If it’s just what the reader was looking for, they won’t hesitate to subscribe and read your mini-ebook from top to bottom.

A mini-eBook may have the following index:

  • Introduction
  • Theoretical framework
  • Practical application
  • Tools
  • Advice and Errors
  • Conclusions
  • Sources
  • Glossary

As you can imagine, the creation of a mini-eBook can give you a lot of work but Anum Hussein tells you the steps you must follow to create an eBook.

Logo design inspiration ebook example.
This Logo Design Inspiration eBook, for example, is perfect for a designer seeking inspiration for their next logo.

#2 Complete or Definitive Guide

A complete guide on a topic can be very useful for anyone looking for information on that topic. For example, if you already have a set of articles published on your website that make up the guide in question, it costs very little to offer the reader the possibility of downloading the same information in a single PDF file. In this case, what you are offering the reader is to always have the guide in question at hand.

This example of lead magnet can be found on Brian Dean’s website with his definitive Link Building for SEO guide.

Lead magnet example: Brian Dean's definitive Link Building Guide.
Lead magnet example: Brian Dean’s definitive Link Building Guide.

Another option is that, instead of having the complete guide published on your website, you only have part of it, and you offer the link so that your readers can download the rest of the information.

#3 Checklists

As you well know, we love lists and we love to complete them: shopping lists, orders, the list of what to take with you on your camp or trip, etc. A useful and practical list is a good lead magnet for readers. And as it’s an easy resource to create, many bloggers easily point to the creation of this kind of lead magnets.

Lead magnet of a checklist for productive meetings.
Lead magnet of a checklist for productive meetings.

And remember, not only do they have to be lists of actions or tasks to perform, they can also be lists of questions such as, for example, what you should do when you want to hire someone or a certain service. Anyway, as you can see, with the lists you have a lot of options. And this is a much easier resource to create than the previous ones!

#4 Templates

Surely when you have had to do or update your resume, the first thing you have looked for are examples and templates. And so did you when you had to create a business plan or a formal letter, a planning of a certain topic, a submision, etc.. Templates are very useful resources to perform certain tasks and, therefore, they’re another great technique to get more leads.

Buyer persona template lead magnet example.
Example of template to download: Buyer persona template by Filestage.

For example, a fantastic template could be a spreadsheet with pre-defined formulas that we use for more complex calculations, such as a free excel template to calculate the LTV and CAC ratio of your business:

Example of excel template lead magnet for download.
Example of excel template lead magnet for download by Corporate Finance Institute.

#5 Mini courses (off-line or on-line)

When you want to learn about a specific topic, you easily sign up for any free course on it. This type of lead-magnet is again a pretty safe bet to get leads. The courses also allow you to get to know and talk about your products and services in a much more colloquial way than with other alternatives, thus generating a closer relationship and trust with your audience.

Example of lead magnet course by QuickSprout.
Example of lead magnet course by QuickSprout.

If you don’t know where to start in order to create your course, in leanWorls you have an ultimate guide on how to do it.

#6 Free Trials

If you offer products or services, users who have already tried it are more likely to become your customers. Don’t hesitate and let people try your product, and you’ll see how well it works. A lead that is already willing to test your product for free is much more likely to become a real customer than one to whom you have offered information only.

And as an example: do you want to receive a free month of Nelio Content Premium and sign up for our Newsletter? Just fill in the following form and I will send you a code so that you can subscribe to Nelio Content Premium with the first month totally free. 😉

Yes, I want to subscribe to a free month to Nelio Content Premium!

#7 Discounts

Another alternative to get the contact details or, better yet, have your reader become your customer directly from the beginning, is to create a discount on your product and offer it to the reader exclusively.

For example, a reader interested in subscribing to Nelio Content has probably visited our pricing page. If, instead of subscribing, they leave the page, a new pop-up window will appear with which we offer them a discount code so that they can subscribe.

Example of discount lead magnet by Nelio Content.
Example of discount lead magnet by Nelio Content.

Conclusion

Increasing traffic to your website is not enough to get more customers and it’s critical to look for mechanisms to increase the conversion rate. How? Optimize your website with A/B tests and create the lead-magnets that we have proposed here. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section below.

Good luck with your project!

Featured image by chuttersnap on Unsplash.

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How to Revive Your Old Posts With Nelio Content

Published in Online Marketing.

Vintage products are back. The clothes your parents used to wear to go out? Back in fashion! It’s the circle of life, I guess. And your website is no exception.

If you’ve been writing on a blog for some time now, you certainly have a few diamonds in your post archives. But those diamonds no longer shine as they used to. Not because they don’t have enough quality. They are buried under all your new content. Your visitors don’t find them as easily as they used to, but their content is still valid and useful today.

Bringing a new life to your old content is something that you should do. Otherwise you are wasting your time. For sure, in the past you worked hard to write that content, reviewed sources, referenced other quality articles, and created a very interesting piece of information. If so (which I don’t doubt), why don’t you keep promoting it on your channels? And yes, I mean your social networks.

If the answer to this question is the typical “my days don’t have enough hours to be able to do everything I want“, today I’ll explain you how to do it thanks to the WordPress plugin Nelio Content. After reading this article I’m sure you’ll have no excuse to effortlessly share your old content on social media.

Resurrecting Your Old Content Thanks to Nelio Content

Nelio Content is a WordPress plugin that helps you simplify the entire editorial process of content generation and promotion. Basically, it saves you time on most tedious tasks to get more visits with your blog content.

Just set it up and you’re done–most things work out of the box. But back to the topic of the article, let’s see how to get Nelio Content ready to share your old content on your social networks on its own.

The process has 2 different parts. First we’ll connect the social profiles where we want the content to end up being shared and then we’ll configure what content we want to be shared there.

Connecting Social Profiles to Promote Your Old Content

Nelio Content allows you to connect your social profiles to WordPress. Thanks to this you can set up everything and configure in which profiles you want to share the old content of your blog.

To connect a social profile just go to Nelio Content‘s Settings and click on the Social Profiles tab. In this tab you’ll find the list of profiles you have previously connected and the possibility to connect new ones by clicking on the social network icon just below the list.

In the Social Profiles tab of Nelio Content you can see the profiles you have connected and add new ones.
In the Social Profiles tab of Nelio Content you can see the profiles you have connected and add new ones.

Once you click on the social network you want, you will be asked to give Nelio Content permission to publish on your behalf. After doing so, you will already have the profile connected and it will appear in the list along with the others.

The important thing here is to activate the sharing of old content in that profile. To do so just click on the “circle with a dot” icon (next to the megaphone):

Activate the feature to reshare old content by clicking a button on your social profile.
Activate the feature to reshare old content by clicking a button on your social profile.

For example, in the screenshot above we enabled social resharing for our company’s Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook profiles. But you can do whatever you want according to the audience you have.

Selecting What Content We Want to Share Again

When you have the social profiles ready to share old content, you have to decide which content you want to share again. Returning to the Nelio Content Settings, if you go to the Advanced tab you will see the Social Behavior section that includes the option to indicate if you want all the posts to be shared or only the ones you indicate.

In Nelio Content you can select if you want to share by default all your blog posts or just the ones you indicate.
In Nelio Content you can select if you want to share by default all your blog posts or just the ones you indicate.

The first option allows you to share all posts in the profiles selected before. The second option, on the other hand, excludes all posts from the re-sharing process. However, keep in mind that in each post you can then individually choose if you want it to be shared or not, so in the end you have the option to specify what you want.

If you (like us) have hundreds of posts and don’t want all of them to be shared (only those selected for that purpose), you will have to go one by one and select those you want to share again. You can do this in two ways…

On the one hand, you can edit each post individually. Just go to the edit screen and in the Social Media box indicate whether you want the post to be shared or not, as you see in the following screenshot:

In the Social Media box you can indicate whether the post you are editing is shared or not.
In the Social Media box you can indicate whether the post you are editing is shared or not.

Or you can switch the behavior of several posts at once. Just go to the list of WordPress posts and there you’ll see a new Reshare column that tells you if the post is going to be reshared or not.

In the list of posts you can see the Reshare column.
In the list of posts you can see the Reshare column.

Select the posts that you want to reshare (or those you want to exclude from resharing, depending on your global setting) and go to the bulk actions and choose edit. The quick editing of the posts will appear and there you will see the option to change the reshare behavior of all the selected posts at once. This is the fastest way to proceed. And it won’t take you that long. We, with hundreds of posts, were able to select the ones we wanted to stop resharing in a few minutes by browsing the list of posts.

And with this you will have everything ready. Keep in mind that the algorithm that generates social messages to reshare old content runs on a daily basis to create these messages by filling in the following days of your calendar. You can see these messages in the editorial calendar (they have the text in italics) and modify them as you please (if you want to).

Final Remarks

In this blog you’ve been reading for a while now we’ve configured Nelio Content to share our old posts. Old posts are being shared meaningfully and this continues bringing us visits to content that would otherwise be abandoned, when in fact is still valid and interesting.

My recommendation is that if you have a blog with old content that makes sense to share in networks, don’t stop doing it. If you don’t want to pay for this feature, you can always use a free option to do so. But do it, because you will see the results in your analytics.

Featured image by Matthew Bennett via Unsplash.

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5 Tips to Make Your WordPress Blog Posts Less Boring

Published in Online Marketing.

There’s no such thing as boring posts. It’s the people who write them that are boring. If a topic is boring to you when you write it, it will be even more boring to the one who ends up reading it. When you write with enthusiasm, readers can feel it. I assure you that.

Let’s take a specific example. I’m sure you remember from your childhood at school that subject that was unbearable. The teacher was so incredibly boring! You’d spend the class taking notes with the same passion as the one that decides the flavor of the medicines. What a waste of time!

Avoid at all costs that your readers feel this way with your content.
Avoid at all costs that your readers feel this way with your content. Source: Giphy.

On the other hand, I’m sure you have a much better memory of another subject that interested you a lot and whose teacher naturally inspired you to continue studying and expanding your knowledge. You even had fun at school! 🤓

What made a subject a nightmare or not was the teacher and the way they taught. Passion and enthusiasm can turn a complicated or uninteresting subject into something fun and entertaining. So when you’re writing content for your website and you think that what you’re doing is a tremendous mess, think about the good teachers you had and do as they did.

Only you are responsible for turning your content into something boring. Fight that with all your weapons. And if you need more help, here are 5 tips to win the war against boring content.

Tip #1 – Know Your Readers

This is obvious, don’t you think? How can you entertain your reader if you don’t know who you’re writing to? The last thing I want is to imagine that you, dear reader, are yawning right now while you read these lines. But how can I help it if I don’t know who you are?

Who are you who come to read these contents? Who sent you?
Who are you who come to read these contents? Who sent you? Source: Giphy.

If I don’t read blogs about ugly babies in renaissance pictures or about owls with hangover, it’s because I’m not even interested in them. But surely there are lots of people who love these subjects (I can think of a few people, right, David? 🤣).

You don’t decide if your content is boring. It’s not Google who has the last word either. It’s your audience who’ s going to decide the verdict here. Therefore, strive to understand the general characteristics of your readers so that you can give them what they expect to read from you.

Tip #2 – Be Helpful

Humans have interests. If we don’t take advantage of something, we put it aside. It’s the same with content marketing. If what you read on a blog isn’t boring, it’s because at some point it’s been useful, inspiring or has informed you of something you’ve been looking for. It’s as simple as that.

When you write, put yourself in the shoes of your reader. Find out what his needs are and solve them. I still remember the post David wrote about the most common problems with WordPress. It was so successful that we even had to close the comments because there were so many coming in that we felt overwhelmed 😱.

There are a lot of people who need your help. Make yourself useful!
There are a lot of people who need your help. Make yourself useful! Photo by satisfiedcustomer on Giphy.

People want you to solve their problems. There are thousands of problems to solve that deserve to have a post on your blog, so don’t hesitate and write it down to attract your audience. You and your business depend on the usefulness of your content.

Tip #3 – Tell Your Experiences

You can’t just write on your blog without believing the facts that you’re writing. The best posts I love to read are those where you can feel the truth behind them. They tell the real experience behind a particular topic. They’re even the ones I have the most fun writing about.

Tell your experiences. Real anecdotes are always interesting to your readers.
Tell your experiences. Real anecdotes are always interesting to your readers. Photo by am85 on Giphy.

When you’ve been in a particular niche for some time now, it’s easy to have anecdotes that, besides being interesting and not at all boring, can be useful to your readers. Share these stories! If you’re lucky, they’ll share them with others on their social networks.

Tip #4 – Format Your Content

You can’ t keep writing unreadable text in the middle of 2018. No human being is capable of digesting such long pieces of crappy text without punctuation and full of spelling mistakes.

Bold and italics are your allies against a boring, unformatted, long paragraph. Also, make things easier and give the reader a break with short paragraphs and simple sentences.

If you had fun playing with Lego, you' ll enjoy Gutenberg for WordPress.
If you had fun playing with Lego, you’ ll enjoy Gutenberg for WordPress.

You’d better get used to it, or Gutenberg will come and catch you. With the new WordPress editor you will be forced to assemble your posts with blocks like Lego. So practice and rewrite those texts that might be difficult to understand.

Tip #5 – For everything else, GIFs!

Seriously, use GIFs. Unleash the millennial power out of you and take advantage of the expressiveness of animated GIFs. In addition to accompanying your content, they add an interesting dimension to it that you can’t ignore. Take another look at this post (and at any other you’ll find on this blog) and you’ll see that GIFs serve a purpose.

Think about it. GIFs give a really special touch to your content.
Think about it. GIFs give a really special touch to your content. . Source: Giphy.

Nowadays there are lots of pages where you can find GIFs that you can freely use on your website. We use Giphy, because with Nelio Content we can include their GIFs directly in our content as any other image. We search for the keyword we want, find the most suitable GIF from Giphym and add it. It couldn’t be easier!

So, what are you waiting for to join the world of writing interesting content? I’d love to know what you do to attract the attention of your readers so that they don’t get bored with your content. Leave us a comment below telling us about your experience.

Featured image by Tim Bish on Unsplash.

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The 15 Best Websites To Find Amazing Free Images To Use On Your Blog

Published in Online Marketing.

Surely one of the most time-consuming tasks in the editorial process of posting posts to your blog is to search for the featured image or any other cool image to include in your content. Although Google Images searches show you the ones that best match the words you use in your search, unfortunately they might not have the quality you want or be aesthetically pleasing images. So finding incredibly beautiful and free-to-use images is a lot harder work than you think.

Your blog images should be attractive and have a minimum quality. But above all, they should also have the copyright that allows you to use them. In case you don’t want to pay for an image, one way to make sure you can publish it is to have a Creative Commons license of the CC0 type, which gives all the rights of that work to the public domain, or the CC BY type, which allows you to use the work for commercial purposes and only requires you to mention the original author (which, by the way, would be nice if you always did, even if it’s not required). Or you can also use images that have a Royalty-free (RF) license that refers to the right to use copyrighted or other intellectual property material without the need to pay royalties.

And to make life easier for you, the safest way to avoid licensing problems is to search for images directly from those stocks images that clearly show you the licenses for the images. For this reason, in this post I present my selection of 15 websites from which you can download some spectacular images so you can take advantage of them in any post of your blog or web page. It’s a selection made with love. And yes, I recognize this post took me longer than usual… but that’s because I’ve spent too much time looking  the fantastic photos I’ve been finding 😇🤫.

#1 Unsplash

I start directly with our main source of images and where I downloaded the featured image from this post. Unsplash includes 550,000 images that can be used for free both commercially and non-commercially. While it’s not mandatory to mention the author of the photo, they appreciate if you take the time to do so.

Screenshot of Unsplah website
Screenshot of Unsplash website.

And even to make it easier for you, if you use Nelio Content as a support tool in your editorial process, it includes the option to search and download the images directly from Unsplash without having to leave your WordPress. In addition, it automatically adds a mention to the author.

Select an Unsplash image
Search and select the Unsplash image you want to insert in your post.

When you insert an image from Unsplash with Nelio Content, it automatically adds the information that search engines need about the image: the title, the legend, the alternative title (Alt Text) and the description. Of course, you always have the option to edit and modify this information as you see fit.

#2 Pexels

Pexels was initially founded by Bruno Joseph and Ingo Joseph in 2014 and Daniel Frese was added in 2015. All Pexels photos can be used free of charge for commercial and non-commercial use. No attribution is required, and although giving credit to the photographer or Pexels is not necessary, it’s always appreciated if you include it. You can also modify the photos as you wish.

Screenshot of Pexels website.
Screenshot of Pexels website.

#3 Life of Pix

All images shared on Life of Pix are in the public domain and have been created by the Leeroy Advertising Agency of Montreal and its network of photographers. They are high resolution images free of charge, without copyright restrictions, and with the option of being used for both personal and professional projects.

Screenshot of Life of Pix website.
Screenshot of Life of Pix website.

#4 Foodiesfeed

If you’re hungry, here’s more than one tasty picture: free high-resolution food photos. Don’t visit this website without eating or your stomach will suffer 😋.

Screenshot of FoodiesFeed website.
Screenshot of FoodiesFeed website.

#5 Picography

For the last three years, Picography has been offering high resolution photos under a Creative Commons CC0 license and new photos are uploaded every week.

Screenshot of Picography website.
Screenshot of Picography website.

#6 Gratisography

Gratisography offers free photos that look for originality and extravagance to bring a smile to the beholder. The website was founded by Ryan McGuire and the photos you will find here are rather surreal. You won’t find them anywhere else. The number of photos you’ll find here is smaller than the other sources mentioned in this post, but if you’re looking for more groundbreaking images, you’re in the right place.

Screenshot of Gratisography website.
Screenshot of Gratisography website.

#7 Jay Mantri

Jay Mantri is a designer who uploads high quality professional photos so you can have them for free.  All of them with CC0 license.

Screenshot of Jay Mantri website.
Screenshot of Jay Mantri website.

#8 ISO Republic

Here you have another set of quite impressive high resolution photos sorted by categories with CC0 license. You can also subscribe to receive the list of new images uploaded.

Screenshot of ISO Republic website.
Screenshot of ISO Republic website.

#9 SplitShire

This website contains almost a thousand photos of the Italian photographer Daniel Nanescu that you can download to include in your blog and get an impressive result.

Screenshot of SplitShire website.
Screenshot of SplitShire website.

#10 StockSnap.io

In StockSnap you will find original photos. Some of them are really cool. They were created by the Snappa team. It’s worthwhile to spend some time looking at the ones they have.

Screenshot of StockSnap website.
Screenshot of StockSnap website.

#11 LibreShot

LibreShot was created by Martin Vorel, creative and SEO consultant, to showcase his selection of photos that you can use on any website.

Screenshot of LibreShot website.
Screenshot of LibreShot website.

#12 Skitterphoto

In Skitterphoto you will find spectacular photos with CC0 license. I don’t need to add many more words. If you look at them, it’s more than enough for you to find one that’s irresistible.

Screenshot of Skitterphoto website.
Screenshot of Skitterphoto website.

#13 Kamboopics

Karolina is a creative designer from Poland who created Kamboopics, a site that includes a wide variety of photos that can be used for any kind of website. You can use the images on commercial or non-commercial websites, but here you are explicitly asked to include the attributions of the images.

Screenshot of Kaboonpics website.
Screenshot of Kaboonpics website.

#14 Freerange

This is a website with incredible and free photos, both for personal or commercial use, and where it’s not necessary to mention the author. More than 20,000 CC0 licensed photos, most of them with a full description.

Screenshot of Freerange website.
Screenshot of Freerange website.

#15 Pixabay

And finally, Pixabay includes the largest database of images, illustrations, vector graphics, and videos under the Creative Commons CC0 license you can find. In addition, like Unsplash, it’s fully integrated with Nelio Content so you can search and download any Pixabay image without leaving your WordPress. Automatically, when you insert the image into the post you will have all the SEO information that describes that image.

Beach, wave, ocean
Image inserted directly with Nelio Content.. Image of Pexels on Pixabay.

Why This Selection?

Three years ago, I made a list of 65+ free images sources to beautify your posts that still have many visitors. But this time, I preferred to make a smaller selection by making sure that, first, all photographs have a minimum resolution (at least 640 x 480 pixels) that makes them ideal for any print job.

And secondly, creativity is also important. In general, stock photography doesn’t have such a good reputation because many of them (even on premium sites) are based on clichés and uncomfortable metaphors to convey misleading or cheesy concepts. But in these websites of experienced photographers you will find interesting details and scenes that can convey more subtle or imaginative messages. Of course, there’s something for everyone, and the good news is that it’s entirely up to you to decide which image is the most appropriate for the context in which you write.

In all these sites I found photos that I loved so I hope you liked this selection too, but if you want to share with us any other site from which we can download great free images that we can use on our sites, just add it in the comments section of this post.

Now, you no longer have an excuse to share attractive, quality images in your blog posts!

Featured image by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

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Apply The Pomodoro Method For Blogging and Stop Wasting Time

Published in Online Marketing.

Have you ever wondered why many people with great potential fail to achieve those challenges they set out to achieve? Sometimes, it can be due to external factors that are beyond their control. However, many times, getting what we want depends on ourselves and our worst enemy is procrastination.

Procrastination

Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. Sometimes, procrastination takes place until the “last minute” before a deadline. (Source: Wikipedia).

Office win by Cheezburger
Procrastination can lead you to do nothing all day long.. Picture by cheezburger on Giphy.

But why do we waste our time on things that bring us so little? The reasons may be very diverse, but according to psychologist Williams J. Knault some of them are:

  • Low self-esteem: Achieving a certain goal or developing a certain project often involves the need to acquire new knowledge. If you believe you won’t be able to acquire it or that you are inadequate or incompetent for it, it’ll be much more difficult to achieve it. We ourselves are often our own worst enemies in achieving our goals.
  • Perfectionism and fear of failure or error: nobody is born with knowledge. If you don’t dare to write because you know you’re not a professional writer, or to undertake because you haven’t done it before, you’ll get stuck and will never do anything! There’s always a first time you won’t be prepared enough. But you’ll have to eventually try nonetheless.
  • Fear of success: It may come as a surprise, but there are people who, when they think about achieving certain goals, feel anxious about the responsibility that will follow. And that is clearly what is holding them back. The difficulty in making decisions and the search for guarantees of knowing how to manage success well before starting a task ultimately provokes catastrophic feelings, and as a result they feel saturated and helpless.
  • Lack of interest: more than once we have to perform tasks that third parties have assigned to us, even though we’re not interest in them at all. In these situations we easily waste time unnecessarily. My recommendation is that if you’re the one in charge of assigning tasks, worry about finding people who might be interested in what they’re going to do.
  • Lack of motivation: the motivation is overestimated. Phrases like “You can get anything you want” or “Believing is achieving” are slogans that work very well commercially for sports brands, but it leads us to think, wrongly, that before we start a job, we have to be fully motivated. And we get to the point where if we’re not, we’d rather not even start. But remember that it’s the commitment that is permanent and will help you get the job done, not the motivation.
  • Feeling saturated: work accumulates and you’re unable to set priorities; this causes feelings of anxiety, saturation, stress, anguish, indecision, powerlessness, immobilization, and failure, which closes a vicious circle from which you cannot escape. And you can end up doing nothing for two minutes.

But rest assured that good news are now coming: many of these problems can be solved if we systematically use some method to be more efficient.

Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that can help you to increase your productivity. It was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 80’s and is a system that seeks to improve time management through its division into fragments.

The Pomodoro Technique
The technique takes its name from the tomato shape – “pomodoro” in Italian – of the classic kitchen timer that Cirillo used to develop it. (Image source: MakeUseOf.com).

It’s very simple—all you need is a timer or stopwatch. Even though the one on your cell phone is just fine, the creator of the technique believes it’s important to use a mechanical timer like the one used in the kitchen. Let’s see how the method works.

#1 Choose The Task You Want To Perform

It doesn’t matter if it’s a big project or a smaller task. All that matters is that it’s something that requires your absolute concentration without distractions. The perfect example of a task is to write a post on your blog, but it’s good for any other work you want to do.

Calendar of December 2017
I’m sure your Nelio Content editorial calendar will contain the title of the next post you should type in 👌

#2 Set The Timer

Now is the time to make the big promise to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes dedicated exclusively to this task without interruptions.

Cher lloyd
Come on, you can do it!. Source: Giphy.

#3 Work On The Task Until The Pomodoro Rings.

You work (and this is important) in a concentrated and intensive way until the alarm sounds, I assure you that you can do it! Think it’s only 25 minutes, after all.

Busy jim carrey
Don’t stop working for the next 25 minutes. Source: Giphy.

Rrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnnggggg! The pomodorol rings! And now?

#4 Mark That You’ve Completed The Task

It may seem a bit stupid but Francesco Cirillo gives a lot of importance to these physical gestures, like setting the alarm clock or physically marking in some way that the task has been done. If the task was written down on a list, all you have to do is cross it off the list to mark it as done.

Cross out to do list by Middle School Movie
It’s a proven fact: crossing off a list creates a great sense of pleasure. Image by middle-school-movie on Giphy.

Likewise, if your task was to write an entry, it is a great pleasure to click on “Schedule” or “Publish”.

#5 Take a Break

Now, after all your hard work and 25 minutes of hard work, you deserve a small reward. Take a five-minute break. You can go for a coffee or a snack. If it’s a job that’s costing you a lot or is getting particularly tiring, you’ll see how these five minutes of respite will help you get the energy you need to get on with the job.

Oath
Well, the concept of rest is not exactly the same as Jon Snow’s. Source: Giphy.

It’s also possible that if you’ve been working hard for 25 minutes on something you’re passionate about, time has flown by and you even think you don’t need to stop. Don’t do it, these 5 minutes of rest are the ones that will help you to be equally focused in the next 25 minutes.

And well, after a five-minute break when your mind has cleared a little, we’ll start the Pomodoro process all over again.

#6 Every Four Pomodoros, Take a Longer Break

Whether you’re doing tasks that you’re excited about or tasks you hate, after 4 pomodoros it’s time for a break. Now we’re talking about 20-25 minutes. You’ve been working for two hours at full capacity and need to relax the focus, avoiding any activity. This helps you make your work sustainable and much more creative.

Remember that, as I told you when I explained what the idea-generation process is, in order to generate new ideas there is always a phase in which you must disconnect from the work you are doing and carry out a stimulating activity.

And that’s how this simple method works! It’s all about timing. If you don’t have a kitchen tomato, you can always use the Tomato Timer. Or if you are a tomato grower and already know 15 of the absolute best tomato varieties you should plant this summer, you’ll surely also like to know the the 12 best Pomodoro timer apps to boost your productivity. ☺️

Pros And Cons Of ThePomodoro Method

As you’ve already seen, the Pomodoro method is basically based on a tight time control of the time spent on any task. I recommend that before applying this method, you consider its advantages and disadvantages.

The advocates of this method find that the Pomodoro method helps you to focus on the task at hand, thus improving productivity. Accepting that you have to be 25 minutes against the clock, focused and uninterrupted, forces you to be efficient. Another advantage is that you can manage and control your time much better. This is especially useful if you do a type of work where you bill your clients for time spent. And finally, regular breaks are the best tool for improving concentration and creativity and reducing procrastination.

Critics, on the other hand, will argue that creativity should not be linked to such a strict temporal method. If you’re making a work of art, you can’t work 25 minutes straight and then stop for five minutes. On the other hand, if your work must necessarily include interruptions such as urgent or unpredictable calls, this method may not fit your needs or way of working and may be very difficult for you to fit in with your work. Finally, there are those who consider that the concentration and working times of 25 minutes are too short. That just when you’re most focused on what you’re doing, you have to stop.

Conclusion

The Pomodoro method is very simple (this is always an advantage) and although it seems a little hard to implement, those who do it with rigor end up being very productive and efficient in their work. Now, you have no more excuses to procrastinate.

What is your experience? Have you ever tried this or any other similar method? Has it worked for you? We’d love it if you’d share your experience with us!

Featured Image by Kevin on Unsplash.

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The Fastest Way To Promote Your Website on Social Networks

Published in Online Marketing.

In this blog, we insist on the importance of creating quality content. Even if it takes time, especially when you start a blog, it’s not wasted work at all. But if you still have the perception it costs you too much to create quality content, I recommend you read Toni’s advice on how to write great content.

If you write content that adds value, your visitors will become regular readers of your blog and you will get better positioning in search engines. But not only that, one of the great advantages of generating quality content on your website is that you already have all the material that will allow you to promote yourself on social media quickly and efficiently without being spammy. So here are the steps you should take to keep this issue from becoming a stone on your path to success.

#1 Choose The Right Social Networks

Choosing the social networks where you will publish content is easy to decide if you have previously defined your Buyer Persona.

buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better. – Sam Kusinitz (The Definition of a Buyer Persona [in Under 100 Words]

Buyer Persona: Roger Sterling
Example of Buyer Persona: Roger Sterling

In fact, defining your Buyer Persona is essential to identify which social networks your target audience is looking for information on. As you can see, it doesn’t make any sense for you to publish content on LinkedIn if your target audience is teenagers.

#2 Set Up Your Social Network Profiles Well

Spend some time and care here. Your profile on a social network could be the first impression a potential customer will get of you. So make sure you have the link to your website and the appropriate cover and profile photos for your brand or website on each of them. In your biography, write a clear and concise description of yourself or your business and make sure you include contact information. And of course, answer quickly and correctly to everyone who contacts you through that profile.

Also, make sure that your WordPress website is well configured so that the social network correctly understands information from any of your posts. That is to say, you have well configured the Open Graph meta tags.

Meta tags are information that is included in web pages but not displayed (which is why they are called meta tags). In particular, if you look at the HTML code of a web page, you will find them in the <head>section of the page, with the format <meta />. These tags are used, for example, to provide Google with a brief description of the content of the page. In this case, Google uses this information to index and better display the content of your website when searching.

In the same way, social networks use a series of meta tags (title, image, description…) that are used by the social network to create the “rich graphics object” that is published on the network: the Open Graph meta tags.

Publication in Facebook
Publication in Facebook

If you need more details on how to set up these meta tags, I wrote a post about them.

#3 Promote In Every Social Network

Once you have everything ready, it’s time to get down to business and start creating content on social networks. Keep in mind that we’re all tired of messages that seem to be created automatically by a robot or that don’t give us any value. Does this mean I have to create every message manually on every social network? No, don’t worry, there are tools that can help you in this process.

We, for example, use Nelio Content (for obvious reasons 😇). As I mentioned earlier, your followers expect your publications on social media to be interesting and relevant—they don’t want spam. So, if you’ve been able to write a blog post that you’ve worked so hard on, why wouldn’t you want to make sure your messages on the networks are on the same level as your blog post?

Here are the three types of messages we create to promote our blog.

Personalized Manual Messages

Create a fully customized message for your social profile that describes what your content is most valuable for. With Nelio Content, this task is much easier than it looks. The message can be written from the WordPress editor itself at any point. Just by indicating that you want to add a new social message, a new window opens up. Write the message you want to share, indicate in which social profiles you want it to be published, set the date and time of publication, and you’re done!

Screenshot of Nelio Content's Dialog for Adding new Social Messages
Screenshot of Nelio Content‘s Dialog for adding new social messages.

What if you want to create more than one single message? Do you have to manually enter, one by one, all the tweets that will promote that post? Not exactly…

Messages with Templates

One option to create social messages automatically without your doing anything is Social Templates. A social template is a predefined text (with some “variable” parts) that our plugin uses to generate specific messages for your posts.

For example, David wants to make sure that his Twitter account (@davilera) creates a tweet every time his friend Antonio writes a new post. To this end, David has created a template in his Twitter profile (@davilera) in which he comments “Here’s another post by @avillegasn: {title} {permalink}.”

Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.
Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.

As you can see, this template only applies to posts that Antonio has written. And with this simple solution, David can automatically promote Toni’s posts. Cool!

If you’re interested in using this solution, I recommend you create social message templates exclusively for certain social profiles and make them as personalized as possible.

Extract phrases from your posts

If the content of your posts is of great value, you don’t need to make your life more complicated by making up new messages—the content itself is already a great resource that deserves being shared! Nelio Content allows you to create social messages from your post phrases in three different ways:

#1. As you type, you can select a phrase and manually create a social message.

Create social message
Creating a social message with Nelio Content

A window will open in which you can edit and modify the message as you wish and indicate when you want it to be published.

New social message with Nelio Content
New social message with Nelio Content

#2. Highlight all the phrases you would like to auto-share and then automatically generate all the messages in the different social profiles.

Highlighting to share with Nelio Content
Highlighting to share with Nelio Content

#3. Automatically extract relevant sentences from the text: Nelio Content includes an intelligent algorithm that automatically extracts relevant sentences from your post and creates messages to share on your social networks. What’s more, Nelio Content, when extracting phrases from your text to create a social message, is also able to make Twitter mentions when the phrases include references to external links.

Messages created with Social Automations
Messages created with Social Automations

Not only that it is very efficient, but it’s also extremely easy. And the generated content of your messages is definitely interesting enough to attract your target audience!

How Many Messages Should You Create?

Another question that often arises when we ask ourselves about social media promotion is how many messages we should create and how often they should be published. There is no single consensus on this issue and it depends a lot on the market to which your messages are addressed. But you’ll find more information on this topic in Toni’s article: Optimal Frequency of Publication on Social Networks.

Conclusion

As you can see, the content you publish on your blog is the best resource for creating valuable messages on social networks efficiently and automatically. If you use a suitable tool such as Nelio Content, you will save a lot of work in promoting your own content.

Featured image by rawpixel in Unsplash

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The 5 Problems You Will Encounter When Executing a Marketing Strategy

Published in Online Marketing.

Last week we talked about how you can create the best possible social media marketing strategy. Whether you’ve already started your marketing strategy or are thinking about doing it in the near future (you know you should, right?), I’d like to further elaborate what we discussed last Tuesday by sharing the usual problems you may encounter when defining your marketing strategy and presenting its solutions.

Panic
It’s normal to run into problems. Fortunately, few are unsolvable, so don’t panic. Source: Giphy.

Hopefully, this list of resources will help you overcome the small bumps you’ll find along the way. Remember that others have passed through there and you can move forward, so don’t faint and cheer up!

#1 I have no idea what to write about

The lack of ideas is the problem that every blogger has at some point in their career. When you start your blog, that’s obviously not a problem—you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your blog, you have several topics in your head, things you would like to discuss, experiences you would like to share… But once the initial euphoria has passed and you’ve already written all you had in mind… what’s left? What will you be writing about?

Frustrated i hate everyone
F*ck it, I quit! Source: Giphy.

Overcoming this problem is actually easier than it looks. In an earlier post, my colleague Ruth explained in great detail the process of producing ideas and how you could apply it to your day-to-day work as a blogger. If you missed it, I recommend you read it right now, because all the insights and tips Ruth shared are really worth it. But, in any case, let me highlight those I consider to be the most important:

  • Generating an idea isn’t about divine inspiration—you must work systematically. In other words, read books, watch movies, go for walks, talk to your friends, talk to people on the street, take a look at other blogs, watch carefully what’s going on around you… you have to soak up as much information as you can, as any detail can be the spark of an idea.
  • Relax. When a deadline approaches and you need to have an idea, the pressure increases and you get stuck. It’s completely normal. It’s therefore very important to know how and when to relax. While the idea-generation process requires some discipline, the ideas themselves are capricious and pop up randomly.

#2 I’m not very well organized

Lack of organization is another common problem among bloggers, although we are not always aware of it. For example, we may have decided that we want to write at least one post a week. Great but…. have you decided exactly what day you want the post to go out? What about the time? Do you know in advance the subject you’re going to cover? When will you write the post? A couple of hours before its publication? A week before? So many questions for a simple post…

Digital art infinity by Miri Ganser
I live in the moment. Carpe diem! Picture by miri-ganser on Giphy.

Discipline and organization is the best way to successfully execute a marketing plan. If you just live for the moment you’ll end up having problems, because when an unforeseen event occurs (and believe me, it always does) you won’t have time to react.

Create an editorial calendar in advance with everything you need to do (if possible, realistically) and stick to it. An editorial calendar is nothing more than a resource in which you’ll organize your upcoming posts, indicating the topics that will be covered in each of them and when they will be published.

Nelio Content drag-and-drop editorial calendar
Nelio Content drag-and-drop calendar where scheduling your posts is as easy as dragging them from the list of ideas.

#3 I have no time to write as much as I’d like to

Classic! Though this one looks more like an excuse than a problem, right? “I don’t have time to write.” Yeah, sure, but you do have time to comment on YouTube kitten videos, don’t you? Jokes aside, this is a real struggle for most freelancers and small business owners—their daily activities take all their time and leave no room to writing on their blogs. To be honest, this is one of the most difficult problems you might encounter. But I promised you solutions, and that’s what I’m going to give you!

Time spin by Tony Babel
Time. I don’t have time. Picture by tonybabel on Giphy.

If this is your problem, all you can do is set realistic goals and try to stick to them. That is, if you spend all your day resolving issues, developing new functionalities, visiting customers, or doing whatever you do in your work, the first thing you need to do is set a publication frequency that works for your tight schedule. If you can only write once a month, write once a month only. Remember that regularity is more important than quantity.

At Nelio, for example, we publish new content on the blog a couple of times a week. That’s 10 posts per month (with their respective translations). As there are 3 of us, this is an average of two or three posts per month per person. It’s not a huge amount of work, and it really pays off. The important thing is, as I said, that your website is updated frequently, constantly, regularly.

High five
C’mon! Source: Giphy.

On the other hand, as the time we have to write is limited (or non-existent, if you will), the little time we do have has to be entirely dedicated to writing. In this sense, I recommend that you follow the usual advice given to get rid of tedious tasks:

  • Block out some time. For example, by spending half an hour a week you can easily write one post a month.
  • Lose the distractions. When you’re writing, forget about the cell phone, the mail, everything. During that half hour or 45 minutes, focus only on writing.
  • Get organized. If you have taken my advice above, by the time you have to write a new post most of the tedious work should have been already done. That is, you should know what to write about, where to find the information you need to link to, etc. This should be incorporated into your routine. We’ve already seen that ideas can come from anywhere (support tickets with clients, other blogs, walking around…), so keep an eye out and be sure to write down everything that inspires you 😉
  • Hire someone to do it for you. This solution had to be here: if you don’t have the time, buy someone else’s time. Although it’s more risky, it can be a compromise solution at times when you can’t scratch for half an hour a week…

#4 I’m not good at writing—I suck!

Practice makes perfect. And, of course, writing quality blog posts is no exception. It’s probably hard to write at first, because you’re not used to it, you don’t know what tone to use, you lack fluency, etc. All this is absolutely normal and should be no reason for you to faint and leave your good intentions behind. We’ve all been there and, believe me, with a little bit of effort you’ll get through it.

Fuck it new girl
It’s a crap! I got nothing… Source: Giphy.

There’s this theory that says that being an expert in any area takes 10,000 hours (or 1,200 8-hour days, about three and a half years). With this in mind, writing well only takes two ingredients: reading a lot and writing a lot. The first is logical: people learn by imitation, by seeing what others do and how they do it. So writing is no exception: read the authors you like and think about why you like them. Is it the casual tone? Is it the amount of references they share? Is it their conversational style? Whatever it is, pay attention to those details, as you’ll need them when it’s your time to write. Then, you need to practice yourself: practice, practice, practice, and keep practicing.

#5 I’m unable to reach my audience, so I feel like I’m wasting my time

Another common problem among bloggers is the lack of readers. After spending a lot of hours reading, generating ideas, writing content, polishing it, improving it… it turns out that it was all useless because nobody is reading what you have written! Your content doesn’t reach your audience so…. why am I wasting my time?

Sad inside out
All my efforts were futile… 🙁 Source: Giphy.

In general, the lack of readers is due to a lack of promotion. If nobody reads your content, it’s probably because nobody know there’s a content to read in the first place. You have to get people to know when you publish new content, what topics you deal with, position yourself as an expert in an area… and from then on you will have the followers you need. But, of course, this is easier said than done, isn’t it?

There are basically two ways to get readers:

But obviously this doesn’t end here. There are other channels like forums, mailing lists, etc that you can and should exploit. If you want to know more about this topic, don’t miss Toni’s post.

In Summary

Running a successful blog or website is not easy, as there can be a lot of problems along the way that, for whatever reason, we don’t know how to solve. Many times, these small bumps end up translating into another abandoned blog… and that’s a real shame, since most of these problems could be easily solved, had we known how. In this post we’ve seen the 5 most common problems and how to solve them. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image by Ben White on Unsplash.

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