Get Seen, Get Traffic: Three Way’s To Borrow Someone Else’s Audience

Get Seen, Get Traffic: Three Way’s To Borrow Someone Else’s Audience

Get seen, get traffic. Three ways to borrow someone else's audience without being shady.

Ask nearly anyone who runs an online business what their biggest struggle is, and chances are they’ll say “more traffic.”

You need traffic to build an email list.

You need traffic to make sales.

You need traffic to fill your coaching programs.

So the big question is, where do you get all that traffic?

Sure, you could buy ads, but if you aren’t careful, you might just fill your list with less-than-ideal audience members and that will do nothing for your sales. You could focus your time and energy on search engine optimization but unless you have years to build your business (and who does?) then SEO should not be your top choice.

Good thing you have other options.

Be a Guest

Everyone needs content. It’s the one thing that remains consistent among all content creators—there is never enough. That’s where you can help.

By guest posting on other blogs, you can “borrow” some of their traffic.

You can’t simply regurgitate old content and send it out in a dozen directions though. To get the best results, you’ll want to:

  • Create custom content designed with your host’s unique audience in mind.
  • Provide stellar value with actionable ideas and strategies not found everywhere else.
  • Inject your personality so those new to you will instantly connect with you.
  • Offer a compelling reason to click through to your website or blog for more information.

Partner Up

No list? Here’s a quick way to “borrow” someone else’s list to kickstart your own: Schedule a free event with a partner.

Here’s how it works.

  1. You (as the one with the small list) create a compelling, free training which leads naturally to a low-cost, no-brainer product.
  2. Install an affiliate tracking system such as a Member, Infusionsoft or 1Shopping Cart.
  3. Offer your best affiliates a higher percentage of profits in exchange for co-hosting your webinar and bringing their traffic along for the ride.

This is a win/win for both of you, as you gain the traffic while your affiliate gets a bigger payday. Just be sure you have a good funnel in place so that your new list members can benefit from all that you have to offer.

Get Interviewed

Want to really show off your expert status and bring traffic back to your site, too? The easiest way is to get on the interview circuit. Just like authors with new books and actors with new movies, coaches and service providers can get in front of new audiences simply by answering questions about what they know.

Of course, you’re probably not going to appear on the Today Show or Oprah (although that’s not impossible), but there are still plenty of opportunities out there for coaches and consultants in every niche.

Look for interview and speaking opportunities on:

  • Podcasts
  • Other blogs
  • YouTube
  • Periscope and Blab
  • Local events
  • Industry conferences
  • Telesummits

Start by reaching out to your colleagues and to podcast and blog hosts you most admire. Get the word out with your friends and your list that you’re looking for opportunities.

Even if you don’t yet have a list of your own, it’s easy (and fun) to kickstart your audience growth simply by making yourself available for these and other opportunities. Each guest post, podcast interview and webinar is another chance to get in front of a whole new market, so take advantage of it!

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What  You Need To Know To Understand The Basics To Google Analytics

What You Need To Know To Understand The Basics To Google Analytics

 

Google analytics can be a hairy beast, but it’s the best place to get the true story of how well your website or online business is performing. There is so much information that can be learned, but first, you have to understand the language. If you missed my last post “Coming To Terms With Google Analytics” you should read it first.

If you run an e-commerce site and you use a lot of tags I suggest going with Google Tag Manager. It will make your struggles a little easier. If not the regular analytics account will be your best bet. I made a short video showing how to upload the code to your website if you’re using the Genesis Framework (which you should be).

If you don’t have the Genesis Framework on your site you can still put your code in, but I suggest downloading the “Headers & Footers” plugin. This makes it easy to copy your code into your website without having to tackle php. It is also the way to verify your website with Pinterest or add javascript for your ads.

If you don’t have the Genesis Framework and you don’t want to add another plugin then you need to follow these steps. I want to warn you though, this can break your site. You have to get the code in just the right spot, but don’t worry I’ll show you how right here!

Now that you’re all hooked up the next thing you need to do is to filter out your IP address. Go to Google and type in “What’s my IP address?” You will then get a long string of numbers and symbols. That is your online address. Copy that and then follow these instructions:

We’ve installed the GA code using Genesis, the Header’s or Footers plugin, or copying it directly into your Header function file and we’ve learned how to filter out our IP address. That’s it for today but in the comments below what things would you like to learn about? As always you can always email me with your questions! Just send your emails to Rena@theblogging911.com

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The Terms You Need To Know Before Going Into Your Google Analytics Account

The Terms You Need To Know Before Going Into Your Google Analytics Account

The first part of learning any new program is figuring out what is the meaning of the different terms used and nothing can look more foreign than the inside of your Google Analytics dashboard! Can I get an amen?

I’ve put together a list of terms that you should make yourself familiar with if you’re going to understand what’s happening on your website or mobile APP. If you don’t understand it, how can you use it effectively to grow your blog or business? I’ve also created a downloadable .pdf that you can get by signing up for my newsletter along with a lot of other tutorials and .pdfs inside my Resource Library! So don’t forget to sign up!

ACQUISITION: Where do your visitors come from? Your acquisition is the search engine, social media, referring websites & campaigns that generated the traffic to your site.

ANALYTICS: The systematic computational analysis of statistics & data or information resulting from the systematic analysis of statistics or data.

ATTRIBUTION MODELS: Because Analytics attempts to answer a variety of questions about user behavior, it uses different calculation types or attribution models to arrive at the data that you see in the reports. Think about each Analytics report as a response to a particular kind of user analysis question. Often, these questions fall into distinct categories:

CONTENT: How many times was a particular page viewed?

GOALS: Which pages URLs contributed to the highest goal conversion rate?

ECOMMERCE: How much value did a given page contribute to a transaction?

INTERNAL SEARCH: Which internal search terms contributed to a transaction?

<strongAUDIENCE: The people who visit your website.

BEHAVIOR: What are your visitors doing when they get to your site. Behavior analytics show you what pages were visited, how much time was spent on them, and how visitors navigate your website.

CONVERSIONS: Are your visitors taking action? These statistics indicate the site’s performance against its goals.

DASHBOARD: Dashboard is the screen that shows all of the data in your analytics account. You can easily customize your dashboards to show the data you want at the click of a button. You can even set up email notifications.

DIMENSIONS: Attributes of your data. For example, the dimension City indicates the city, for example, “Paris” or “New York”, from which a session originates. The dimension Page indicates the URL of a page that is viewed.

EVENT TRACKING: You can track actions, clicks, even when visitors don’t go to a new page. With some quick adjusting, you can track whether or not a video, tab on a page, and the amount of time spent in certain areas.

EXCLUDE BOTS & SPIDERS: Go to “view setting” in your admin section and check the “bot filtering” box. This will make your data more accurate by excluding traffic from robots like Googlebot.

FUNNELS: A series of pages as goals to see how far visitors make it through the process and figuring out the holes where they might be dropping off. Funnels are useful for optimizing multi-step processes like e-commerce checkout.

GOALS: You define goals in GA to create important conversion metrics. The best way to do this is to track conversion rates on your thank you pages.

HITS: An interaction that sends data to analytics. Page tracking is the most common. Even tracking is also a hit.

IN-PAGE ANALYTICS: Shows the percentage of visitors who clicked on links or buttons on specific pages.

JAVASCRIPT: The code that makes GA work. The Javascript should be on every page so that it can “talk” to the cookies on your visitors computers.

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS(KPI’s): They measure each action that leads to success.

LANDING PAGES: Your landing page report shows you were visitors begin, whatever the traffic source might be.

METRICS: A standard for measuring or evaluating something, especially one that uses figures or statistics.

NOTES: You can make notes in GA by adding annotations to your timeline to indicate when marketing events happened (email sends, site updates, etc.).

OVERVIEW: Each section of GA offers an overview report, which presents high-level data to enable basic but quick health checks.

PAGES: The “ALL PAGES” report inside Behavior revels metrics per individual URL’s. Examining pageviews, time on page, and more, will help you determine the performance of your content.

QUERIES: A key report for SEO, queries (in Acquisition and Search Engine Optimization)shows keyword rankings, impressions, clicks, and click through rate (CTR).

REFERRALS: Also found under Acquisition, reveal your traffic sources. The analytics here enable you to assess the quantity & quality of visitors from other websites.

SECONDARY DIMENSION: This feature enables you to add data from one report into another as a second column giving you the ability to cross-reference relevant metrics.

TIME-ON-PAGE: The best measurement of engagement. You can assess which content is or isn’t sticky to apply to your customer experience analysis.

USERFLOW: You can track actions, even when visitors don’t go to a new page. With some programming you can track clicks in videos, tabs on pages, & time spent in specific areas.

VIEWS: The 5 ways to see the data of any report. Toggle the buttons on the top right to see the data (the default), percentage, performance, comparison, and pivot views.

WEB PROPERTY ID: Your web property ID is a tracking code that identifies your website with a seven digit account number followed by the two digit property number. It looks like this UA-0000000-01.

YOURSELF: You want to exclude yourself on your own site. Simply create a filter in the ADMIN section add the IP address of your self or your network.

 

 

 

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Understanding Your Google Analytics Account

Understanding Your Google Analytics Account

 

Google analytics…when I mention those two little words I usually get one of two reactions.

  • Fear, you start sweating immediately, chewing your nails like a ten-year-old who didn’t do their homework.
  • Yawning, your eyes glaze over and all you hear is womp, womp, womp.

I am a geek, I admit it, I love looking at my Google analytics account. There are so many stories to be told in the middle of the bars, graphs and pie charts. You just have to learn to speak the language first. Dimensions, metrics, properties they all mean something in GA and over the next month I’m going to show you how to track your own success in Google analytics.

The three things that make GA so popular

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s easy
  3. It’s powerful

Google Analytics helps you find answers, but it isn’t THE answer. It’s only a tool. You’re using analytics data to tell a story.

How can we use analytics?

  • To generate ideas.
  • To understand what is working.
  • To fix things that are not working.
  • To improve results.
  • Tells our customer story.
  • Calculate our value.
  • To justify & encourage investment.
  • To see into the future.

First steps:

  1. Send data to Google’s servers.
  2. Make sure our data is clean.
  3. Define our success points.

SEND DATA TO GOOGLE’S SERVERS

  1. Create a free Google analytics account. If it’s your first time consider using Google’s Tag Manager. It’s very easy.
  2. Add your unique tracking code to the <HEAD> section on your website.
  3. Decide whether you are tracking a website or an APP.
  4. Learn about your audience.

CLEAN DATA

  1. DO NOT TRACK YOURSELF. It is very important that you do not track yourself as this will skew the view you get. The first step is figuring out your own IP address. It’s very simple, Google, “what’s my IP address?” and it will give it to you. Write it down somewhere. Go into your analytics account under administration. (Gear symbol at the bottom of the dashboard).  Under the VIEW section go down to FILTERS. You want to ADD A NEW FILTER and then you’re going to go to the first box and hit the EXCLUDE button, to the second section that says TRAFFIC FROM IP ADDRESSES which will open a box underneath. This is where you put the IP address that you wrote down from your Google search. In the third box you must decide if it should be EQUAL TO, STARTS WITH, ENDS WITH, OR THAT CONTAIN. Choose equal to in this situation. Your analytics will no longer count the times that you go to your website. If you have employees then each IP address should be added separately.

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What is the purpose of your website?

Once you decide on the purpose of the website break it down into the things that directly generate income (MACRO GOALS) and the positive activities that don’t directly produce revenue (MICRO GOALS). You can have up to 20 goals.

What can be tracked?

  • Content performance – Answers the question – What content is performing best?
  • Custom dashboards – Create your own or upload from the Analytics Solutions Gallery.
  • Advanced Segments – Track performance by visitor segments.
  • Social Value Reports – Measure the value of social traffic.
  • Track mobile, websites, and APPS.
  • Offline marketing.
  • Video plays.
  • Phone calls.
  • CRM integrations.
  • Demographics.
  • Cross-device tracking
  • Remarketing
  • Benchmarking.

Pretty much any marketing activity can be tracked within Google  Analytics.

Last month, I became a Certified Google Analysist after many months of studying culminating with a huge test to get my certification. I now offer those kinds of services here at The Blogging 911! If you’re interested in checking out my services visit the Analytics page.

 

 

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Do You Have An Emergency Plan For Your Business?

Do You Have An Emergency Plan For Your Business?

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you were to become incapacitated in some way? Maybe you’ve gotten sick or been in an accident whatever the reason, what would happen to your online business, Facebook groups, or your website?

Would all of your hard work go down the drain within weeks, leaving your readers wondering what in the world happened to you? Sponsored posts have gone unwritten, affiliate earnings abandoned, subscriptions canceled for non-payment and the list goes on.

The effects could be felt for months, even years to come. As a caregiver, I have to worry about these kinds of things all of the time. Not my website, but my life in general. Who can take over in case I can no longer do it. What happens if I get sick or hurt? 

There has to be a safety net in place long before that emergency happens or everything you’ve worked for could just disappear. Believe me, I know this first hand. If you haven’t read my story check out my About Page In my personal & business life I use a book called Cellphones Don’t Work In Heaven written by Mark C. Pope & Beverly R. Thompson. It’s a wonderful book and talk about a story! Whew, watch this video! The book covers every aspect of your life, but as a blogger or online business owner, we have another layer of need that just isn’t covered.

So the first step is to make a plan & I’m here to help!

    1. What Is Considered Critical Website Information?
    1. How To Gather Your Information
    1. Picking The Right Person
    1. Instructions
  1. Free Downloadable Critical Website Information Guide
  1. What Is Considered Critical Website Information?

I define this as anything needed to keep your website/business up and running. Everything from your website login credentials to the course you bought. Everything on the list may not be critical, but it’s nice to keep track of everything in one (two, or ten different places). I keep one online and one in my file cabinet.

    • Website Url and login credentials
    • Email (Gmail, Outlook, etc.)
    • Email service provider (Mailchimp, ConvertKit, etc.)
    • Web hosting
    • Media storage
    • Scheduling tools
    • Analytics
    • Affiliates
    • Your social media platforms
    • Creative Subscriptions
    • Premium plugins or extras that will need to be renewed
    • Posting Schedule
  • Instructions
  1.  How To Gather Your Information

Make a list, make several in fact, but start off with sections such as:

Your website, Social Media, Advertising & Analytics, Scheduling, and Other. You can use any system that works, but remember to include EVERYTHING so it may take you several days/weeks to get it all together. For instance, media storage would include things like Dropbox or Google Drive, but also Evernote, Onedrive, etc. A little bit here, and here, and there. It adds up.

Are you like me and get hit with shiny object syndrome sometimes? I’ll admit this, but only to you. I sometimes all the time sign up for great services or cheap offers *shush don’t tell my husband!* with all of the greatest  intentions in the world and then after chasing two-year-olds, following mom around shutting doors and turning off appliances, working on my clients work, working on my own business goals, plus cooking, laundry, bills most of the time I’ve forgotten by bedtime. Wait, bedtime what’s that? I have courses I’ve bought and never had time to open them up. Tomorrow never comes and pretty soon your inbox rivals your local library in quantity.

I also have two pretty cool tips that can help you keep control of the number of companies allowed into the prime real estate that is your email. The first one is a website called deseat.me. Enter your email address and you will see a list populate with every company that you’ve given your email address to and some that you may not have. Then it gives you a link to go in and delete the account if you choose.

As you can probably guess my email can sometimes get overwhelming. Trying to keep up with several different threads at once confuses my poor damaged brain. (I think that’s why I struggle so much with Facebook! My brain can’t keep up with it.) My friend Nesha from NeshaWoolery.com asked a question in her Facebook Group the Shelancers if we had a plan if something happened to us. It got me thinking about it A LOT I mean face it “we aren’t spring chickens anymore”. She also gave me another hot tip when she shared the tool unroll.me

It will change your life! You sign up for a free account and it will gather every single thing that you are subscribed to. Seriously, every newsletter, every subscription, and roll it up into one big newspaper or magazine. You have the opportunity to unsubscribe from multiple accounts, keep the ones that you want, and have the rest rolled up into one email delivered once a day or even once a week at whatever time you choose! How awesome is that!

My inbox is now full of the people who should be there…my clients. I can still get the newsletters I want. It just keeps them from coming one after another and creating that overwhelmed feeling I mentioned earlier.

    

  1.  Picking The Right Person

Picking the right person is a trickier matter. You need someone who is both trustworthy & tech-savvy. Maybe you already have a webmaster or V.A. and that would be the perfect option. They already have all of the information right at their fingertips. They should still have a contingency plan in place or you will be playing catch up from the very beginning.

If you don’t have access to an admin or web tech then you are going to have to train someone to literally be you in case of an emergency. I chose my daughter not only because of the top two reasons above but she’s the only one close enough to me that even knows how to turn a computer on and log in! I kid you not! My husband can operate two computers; an ATM and the self-checkout at Walmart.

Keep in mind that they are going to probably be flying blind so hitting them with everything that has to be done in your everyday online business life will most likely have them throwing up their hands in sheer brain overload.

Think of it this way. When an ambulance gets to a wreck they triage the situation. Who is in the most danger or hurt worse. So figure out the bare minimum that can be done to maintain your space and all of your hard work. Teach them starting with the most important and work your way down. At first, I would keep it to your top 5 most important things. Do it for a week at a time and have an alternative. You can always add more in small doses if you have someone willing to go above and beyond. You will owe them big time when all is back to normal for sure!

Just remember THE BARE MINIMUM, they will go back to the real world eventually. Teach them to maintain it, keep it safe, and keep it from having that abandoned feeling some sites whose creator has just ghosted…

 

  1.  Instructions

Not only should you leave a detailed list of exactly what needs to be done, but you should also schedule some time to show them step by step how to maintain the basics of your website and your business. Use visuals such as calendars or even maps. Blog post→ → Facebook → → Instagram. Whatever works!

Keep your content scheduled AT LEAST a week in advance. I’m not always successful at this, but I do try. I’ve started using “batch days”. I’m sure you’ve seen or heard these words in the last few months. If not, it means to set aside a certain day every month or week to create. One day for content, one day for graphics, or one day for scheduling social media. That way you can stay ahead of the game and if you use the same day every month or week you will never run out!

My problem is trying to think of things that will bring you true value. I know how valuable your time and inbox are and I want you to feel that it was worth it every single time you click that button!

Speaking of value, (see how I did that?)

I’ve done the hard part for you! I’ve created the 13-page download

to create your very own

Critical Information Guide

 A place to keep all of that new found knowledge in one simple place.

Print it out, but it in a binder, and keep it in a safe place.

It not only gives you peace of mind, but it feels like a fresh start. Clearing out the old and making room for the new. I want to add that I keep a paper copy of the Critical Information Guide, but I also keep an online version as well. I use LastPass, if you haven’t tried it check it out. Sometimes you just need to see the password, but it’s locked deep in our computer’s memory banks and all we get are ***************. It’s easy with LastPass, also free! It’s a Chrome extension so it’s simple to set up! If you struggle coming up with strong passwords try this free tool by TheBestVPN.com. You can generate strong, unique passwords by simply clicking a button and it’s also free!

 

That’s it for now!

*This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission of the Cell Phones Don’t Work In Heaven.

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Jetpack & Even Some You Don’t!

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Jetpack & Even Some You Don’t!

 

Some people love it, some hate it, and some seem to be totally baffled by it. I thought this would be an excellent time to explain its features and why I think you will find it extremely useful.

What is the Jetpack plugin?

First of all, Jetpack is not so much a plugin as it is a whole box full of tools, widgets, and services. Previously these were only available for users of WordPress.com. With Jetpack, Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, has packaged all favorite features into one place to make them available for the self-hosted WordPress websites.

Currently, the Jetpack stack includes more than 30 powerful features. They cover topics from site customization, content tools, and user engagement, to site performance and security.

Because Jetpack allows you to hook up your self-hosted WordPress site to WordPress.com’s infrastructure, you will need to create an account with WordPress’ commercial version in order to run it. But don’t worry, it’s quick and easy to do and free of charge.

How to install Jetpack on your WordPress website

Though it comes with a whole host of features, Jetpack’s installation is no different from that of any other plugin. The only extra work you need to do is the aforementioned setup of a WordPress.com account to connect Jetpack to its service.

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1. Install Jetpack from the WordPress directory

The easiest way to install Jetpack is from within WordPress itself. Log into your site and go to Plugins → Add new. Search for ‘Jetpack’ if it doesn’t already show up on the front page. You can then install the latest version of the plugin by clicking ‘Install Now.’

Alternatively, you can also download Jetpack from the WordPress plugin directory and install it manually. To do so, click the download link on the plugin page download it to your computer. Unpack the archive and upload the plugin’s folder to wp-content/plugins on your server via FTP. Then log into your site, go to the Plugins menu and there click ‘Activate’ right under the plugin name. All done.

2. Set up a (free) WordPress.com account

You can go to this link for the signup. To set up your own account, you will only need an email address, a username, and a password. Fill in the necessary information and submit. You will receive an email from WordPress.com to confirm your account. Follow the link to finish the setup.

3. Connect Jetpack to WordPress.com

Once you have activated Jetpack, you will see a big green bar on the top of every screen inside your WordPress dashboard with a prompt to link your new plugin to WordPress.com. If you click on the link within the banner, it will take you right to the page where you can do so. Input your newly set up credentials and click on ‘Authorize.’

How to activate modules within Jetpack

To activate and deactivate the Jetpack’s features, go to Jetpack → Settings. Here you can see a list of all available modules and their status. On the right, you can order the list in several ways, by active or inactive modules, alphabetically, by newest, by popularity, and by topic.

In order to activate any of them, simply hover over the module in question and an ‘Activate’ link will appear. Click it and your new feature is ready to use. Hovering over a module which is already active will show a link for its configuration.

Beware of the bloat!

With more than 30 features and services to choose from, it is easy to go a bit overboard with Jetpack. Unfortunately, the plugin doesn’t help with that either as it will activate a whole number of modules by default. When I installed the latest version of Jetpack for the sake of this article, I found 20 of its modules already running when I first entered the settings page.

Therefore when you install the plugin, disabling everything you are not going to use should be the first thing you should do. Fortunately, this has gotten much easier over time and doesn’t require several clicks per feature as it used to. The new interface even lets you deactivate in bulk. For good reason.

Jetpack: 8 highlights from the feature list

Which modules should you keep running? That’s a fair question. With so many features, widgets, and services to choose from, it can be difficult to determine what is worth it and what is not. To help you decide, I will first give you a list of the highlights from the Jetpack app stack before moving on to the full list of available features.

1. Photon

Photon is a free CDN (content delivery network) plugin. It allows you to use WordPress.com’s infrastructure to load images appearing on your website (currently only for posts, pages and featured images) from an external source. As a consequence there are less bandwidth demands placed on your server, your website loads faster, which in turn is good news for readers and SEO.

Photon is one of the favorite modules of Jetpack and for good reason. It’s free, it’s fast, and because it’s part of the WordPress.com infrastructure, it is highly reliable. All you need to do is turn it on and it will automatically load all of your images into the system.

2. WordPress.com stats

Let’s face it, everyone with a website loves looking at their stats. Seeing the numbers for page views and visitors climb can be quite a thrill (or frustration). It’s probably safe to say that there are people out there who check their website statistics more often than their email.

However, there’s no need to log into Google Analytics for that. With Jetpack, your WordPress website will have its own stats right there on the dashboard, complete with:

  • Number of visitors on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis
  • All time views of your content
  • Top-performing posts and pages
  • Main referrers and search engine terms
  • Most-clicked links from your website

In addition to that there are also enhanced stats available on WordPress.com.

Granted, the level of information is by far not as sophisticated as Google’s analytics solution. However, WordPress.com stats give you enough for a quick peek at how your site is performing.

3. Monitor

Imagine you type in the address of one of your websites for a routine check. Instead of taking you right to it, you wait and wait and . . .the connection times out. What? Your site is down? How long has it been that way? How many visitors have you turned away without knowing? Oh my gosh, this is a disaster!

To avoid this kind of situation, Jetpack comes with Monitor. This service, the subject of a recent Weekend WordPress Project, will check on your site every five minutes and notify you via email if it detects downtime. This simple yet powerful feature alone is almost enough justification to install Jetpack on your website.

4. Publicize

Every marketer knows that pushing your content out to the social web is necessary these days. However, connecting your WordPress site to all social accounts can be a pain. Luckily, Publicize makes it a breeze.

The service allows you to connect up to six social accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Path, and Google+. After you have done so, whenever you publish new material on your website, it will now be automatically shared on these accounts. Pretty neat, huh?

5. Related Posts

The folks over at WP Engine have a list of plugins which they don’t allow to be used on their platform. Among them are almost all popular ‘related posts’ plugins. Why? Because they are extremely database intensive.

If you look further down, however, there are a few plugins of the same kind of that they don’t have a problem with and Jetpack’s related posts plugin is among them.

The reason for that is that Jetpack allows you to outsource all the heavy lifting to the WordPress.com servers. What they effectively do is index your WordPress website and – from analyzing the available content on your site — then suggest related content underneath your posts. Good news for your loading times!

6. Jetpack Comments

Let’s face it, the native comments of the WordPress platform are already quite nice and there are a bunch of plugins out there, which make them even better. So what can Jetpack do that others don’t?

First of all Jetpack comments do not hijack the entire comment section as other solutions do. Instead, it offers a few key improvements that make life (especially that of your users) a lot easier.

Most notably is the fact that Jetpack gives them the opportunity to log in with their social and WordPress.com accounts. That way they do not have to set up yet another login with yet another website just to interact with your content.

Jetpack Comments can also be further enhanced with Subscriptions. This functions allows visitors to subscribe to comment threads and your entire website from the convenience of the comment field. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

7. Spelling and Grammar

Though many of us who use WordPress mainly as a blogging tool like to think of ourselves as word magicians, there is always room for improvement. Luckily the Spelling and Grammar module is here to help with that.

It’s essentially a spelling plugin for the TinyMCE editor that uses Automattic’s ‘After the Deadline’ service to improve your content. Smart suggestion technology offers improvements for spelling and grammatical errors, as well as customized profiles for users. It has never been easier to write better content.

8. Sharing

Jetpack makes integrating social media on your website as easy as drag and drop. Literally. Sharing allows you to change the number and type of social buttons visible underneath your content with just a few mouse clicks.

Besides the usual suspects, there are also a number of less common sharing services available such as Reddit and Pocket. If that is not enough for you, you can even create you own options. Besides that there are a number of customization settings available to make it all look the way you want.

Jetpack features – the full list

These eight services alone make installing Jetpack worthwhile. However, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Here is what else Jetpack has under the hood:

The settings area is broken down into 5 categories and they are:

  • GENERAL
  • ENGAGEMENT
  • SECURITY
  • APPEARANCE
  • WRITING

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GENERAL – Besides the connection tab there is also:

  • MANAGE – Manage all of your sites in one place.
  • NOTIFICATIONS – Get notifications on your admin toolbar and mobile device.
  • JSON – Allow applications to securely access your content through the cloud.

ENGAGEMENT

  • SEO TOOLS – Paid accounts only.
  • SITE STATS – Of course, this is where it collects your stats, insights, and who gets counted in those stats.
  • SHARING – This one is an important one. It includes the PUBLICIZE tab. Once you connect your social media accounts it will automatically post to them whenever a post publishes. It has an area where you can add sharing buttons to your posts/pages.
  • PUBLICIZE – Redundant since it takes you to the exact page as SHARING.
  • RELATED POSTS – This allows you to show related posts at the bottom of your blog posts.
  • COMMENTS – Basic comments.
  • LIKES – Adds WordPress likes at the bottom of each post.
  • SUBSCRIPTIONS – Allows readers to subscribe to your blog posts or comments.
  • GRAVATAR HOVERCARDS – Allows a “business card” of the commenters gravatar profile when you hover over their name.
  • SITEMAPS – Creates sitemaps so that your site is easily indexed by search engines.
  • ENHANCED DISTRIBUTION – Increases reach and traffic.
  • SITE VERIFICATION – This tab verifies your site or domain with Google Search Console, Pinterest, Bing, Yandex.

SECURITY

  • SCANNING – For paid accounts only.
  • PROTECT – Prevents brute force attacks and Whitelist management which mean that you can put your IP addresses in there so that you can never be blocked out of Jetpack.
  • MONITOR – Reports to you whenever your site is down.
  • AKISMET – Spam detection.
  • SITE BACKUPS – For paid accounts only.
  • SINGLE SIGN ON – Your users will be able to log into your site with their WordPress.com account. This includes two-factor authentication making it the safest login mechanism for your site.

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APPEARANCE

  • TILED GALLERIES – Allows you to create image galleries that you put into your posts/pages.
  • PHOTON – Speeds up images. I’ll talk more about this one further on. Photon is an image acceleration and editing service for sites hosted on WordPress.com or on Jetpack-connected WordPress sites. That means less load on your host and faster images for your readers. This speeds up your photos by serving your images to your viewers on the powerful WordPress.com servers.
  • CAROUSEL – You can make slideshows out of your images. You can also choose white and black.
  • EXTRA SIDEBAR WIDGETS – This is a really good one. It adds all kinds of great widgets that you can use. Add images, Twitter streams, your site’s RSS links.
  • WIDGET VISIBILITY – Allows you to easily decide which pages show which widgets. You can turn them off and on easily inside your widgets area.
  • CUSTOM CSS – Allows you to add CSS to your child theme.
  • INFINITE SCROLL – Infinite scrolling pulls the next set of posts automatically into view when the reader approaches the bottom of the page.
  • MOBILE THEME – Optimize your site if your theme isn’t mobile responsive. This is another one I’ll discuss further down.
  • HOLIDAY SNOW – Yes, you can make it snow on your site. Used mostly during the holiday.

WRITING

  • WP.ME SHORTLINKS – Give your posts shortlinks.
  • SHORTCODE EMBEDS – Allows you to easily add videos from Youtube, Vimeo, Slideshare.
  • VIDEOPRESS – Upload and embed videos to your site.
  • CONTACT FORM – Create a contact form on your site.
  • SPELLING & GRAMMAR – Checks your spelling, style, & grammar.
  • MARKDOWN – Compose posts and comments with links, lists, and other styles using regular characters and punctuation marks. A quick and easy way to format text without needing any HTML or coding. More on this later.
  • POSTS BY EMAIL – You can upload any post from any client by email.
  • BEAUTIFUL MATH – Add math equations to your posts/pages.
  • CONSTANT CONTENT TYPES – You can enable portfolios or testimonials.

So, is Jetpack worth downloading?

There’s no denying it, Jetpack is chock full of a lot of awesome features. Putting them all in one centralized place inside “one plugin to rule them all” also sounds very appealing. Especially if you take into account that it is run by the people behind WordPress.com and each feature has therefore been stress tested on hundreds of thousands of blogs.

The biggest downside of the plugin, however, is the price you pay for its feature richness — the size. Unzipped, Jetpack is many times larger than the WordPress core. Especially for those running their websites on shared servers, this is an important consideration. Plus, pretty much all modules inside the WordPress stack can be had in other form as individual plugins, often with more features.

So should the Jetpack plugin be a part of your site? More than 13 million people, me included, have already answered that question with yes. However, it really depends on your needs. If you are only going to use one of its main features, you might be better advised to find another plugin for that purpose. But even if you will only utilize two or three of its compartments, in my opinion you should go for it. Either way, you will only find out if you test it.

Do you use Jetpack? What is your favorite feature? Or if you don’t use it, why did you decide against it? Let us know in the comments.

 

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