April 2, 2010

The difference between WordPress Posts and Pages

wordpress-logoJohn HaydonWhen you launch a hosted WordPress blog for your nonprofit, one of the first questions you might have is the difference between Pages and Posts. When would you use one over the other, and why?

The biggest difference between Posts and Pages is this: Posts are social media instruments. Pages aren’t.

The WordPress Post is the tool you’ll be using within your blog to engage readers. Posts are what everyone on Twitter and Facebook are sharing. They enhance sharing and engagement with:

Pages are static web pages within your blog for permanent content, like an About Page, a Donation Page or a Services Page. The website for Inbound Zombie is built with WordPress, sans posts. Continue reading

January 12, 2010

6 actions to optimize your blog’s subscriptions

3D render of a mail box with letters

Welcome to the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media. Today guest contributor Grant Griffiths offers tips on how to optimize your blog’s RSS and email subscriptions.

Guest post by Grant Griffiths
Blog For Profit

The people who subscribe to our blogs are, more likely than not, regular readers who visit us whenever we post new content. Our subscribers feel we are trustworthy enough that they feel we have built a relationship with them. And they come to trust us to the point they may actually buy something from us. Either our products or services.

A lot of what we are going to talk about here will also apply across different areas we should focus on when we are building our blog. One of the key considerations to think about when you are trying to build up subscribers on your blog is the relationship you should be building. And you need to remember you want your readers to come to trust you as a valuable and reliable source of information. A source of information that is fed to them in a form and fashion they can use and understand. And a source of information that is up-to-date and relevant.

Here are six actions you can take to optimize subscriptions to your blog:

1Design – You have seen them, the default template provided by WordPress or Typepad. Or those Blogger blogs that all look alike too. If you are serious about building an audience of regular readers on your blog, you have to have more than a default template. Spend some time looking into some of the great free or premium WordPress frameworks and themes available.

Design does matter. People tend to be shallow and want things to look nice. And this same factor even applies to whether they may or may not subscribe to your blog. Consider: When we are standing at the magazine rack at our favorite book store, we always look at the cover design of the magazine. Admit it: If the magazine doesn’t look nice, we tend to not pick it up to read. The same applies to blogs. If the blog is not attractive to look at or easy on the eyes, we tend to not come back. And we darn sure don’t subscribe.

I know the argument against this premise. “Don’t most blogs get read in an RSS reader or email?” Not all of them do and even so, our design still needs to be appealing to the eye. Getting people to come back time and time again certainly does depend on how are blog looks and feels to them. And those people who come back will someday become our regular readers and subscribers.

subscribe2Make it easy – Make it simple for your readers to subscribe to your blog. In other words, provide a clear and very visible way for your visitors to subscribe to your blog.

You want your visitors to turn into readers. Accomplishing this is quite easy. If your blogging platform does not have this built in, go to Feedburner and burn your feed and get the buttons and email sign-ups. Put them in the top right hand corner of your blog, as close to the top as you can. Subscribing is one of those call to actions we want our visitors and readers to do. And it is recommended by experts in Internet marketing — calls to action should be top right. Continue reading

June 11, 2009

A public RSS reader for you!

Amy Sample WardWhen it comes to nptech, or nonprofit technology, there are more blogs and organizations and resources than any one person can find, let alone keep track of!  I’m no exception.  I’m overwhelmed daily, just like everyone else, by the amount of information that’s available from, for and about our sector of technology and social benefit. 

So, my response is simple: I want to share my RSS reader with you. What’s in my brain can be in yours!

Amy Sample Ward’s Version of RSS

aswrss

Why?

This is just a starting place. There are other places you can go to find more blogs and resources as well, like Alltop and even WeAreMedia. So, why did I do this? I want to help support those just starting to investigate the options of social technologies for social change work, as well as give something back to those already invested and contributing to the community. Opening up my RSS reader (well, except for my mom’s blog and that kind of thing!) is something I have wanted to do for a while because it

  1. provides an opportunity for me to offer a bit of value back to the larger tech+change community that is so valuable to me
  2. is aligned with my core values of collaboration and sharing
  3. creates a chance to improve this collection of feeds by and with my community

Continue reading

April 1, 2009

What is RSS?

JD LasicaRSS (Really Simple Syndication) refers to news and content that comes to you. More and more people are zeroing in on the material they want — content from bloggers, news outlets, even advertisers — and getting it through online subscriptions rather than through random Web surfing.

RSS lets publishers stream content instantly to users who have subscribed to their feeds, and it lets users follow the latest entries on lots of sites without having to check them one at a time. When new material is posted on a site, subscribers are notified and sent either full versions or summaries.

Users can subscribe to updated text and rich media either by using an RSS reader (also called an aggregator), through some email programs like Yahoo! mail, through a Web browser (both Firefox and Apple’s Safari have built-in feed readers), or by using a service, such as MyYahoo or NetVibes, that lets you collect feeds of your choice on a personalized Web page you create.

Just subscribe to a handful of feeds by clicking on the XML or RSS button on web pages, and you’ll see content appear in your reader of choice only minutes after it appears online. If the term RSS is too techie for you, that’s fine. Yahoo! almost never uses the term; instead, they talk about subscribing to content.

News readers

RSS news reader programs, or feed aggregators, include:

For more background

• A rich directory of RSS Resources can be found on the Social Media Co-Lab Wiki
News that comes to you — RSS feeds offer info-junkies a way to take the pulse of hundreds of sites and blogs.
Tools for the info-warrior — RSS readers ride to the rescue of heavy news grazers.

Please comment on, correct or expand upon this article.