Every blogger knows just how difficult it is to build a successful blog. There are so many things that you have to learn about that most people don’t even consider. Things like:
Understanding email marketing
and that list goes on and on and on. You know the old joke:
How many hats does an entrepreneur where? ANSWER: All of them!
One thing that isn’t often talked about but is definitely a necessity is analytics. If you do affiliate marketing, sponsored posts or make money off of your site in any way you need to know the stats behind it.
Things like pageviews, unique visitors, bounce rates. Terms like this usually invoke either 1. Your eyes glaze over and you skim the rest of the article or 2. Confusion about what it all means.
Today, I’m going to show you two Google Analytic filters that every blogger should be using as well.
Filters are a way of weeding out the events that you don’t want in your final counts. The first of which is the IP filter. What does this mean? You need to be filtering out your own IP address so that you are not counted along with your other stats. Why you ask? Because without this particular filter you won’t get an accurate picture of how your site is doing.
So, together we’re going to set up an IP filter. It’s really simple so don’t panic!
The next filter we’re going to set up is to keep your analytics from being hijacked. In the video below I show you exactly how to set up both filters.
How can someone hijack your analytics? Well, there’s a little known way of finding out anyone’s GA code. It’s very simple.
Go to your website.
Right-click your mouse.
Choose “Page Source”.
Hit CTRL + F for the find command and type in GA.
Scroll down and you’ll see your own GA code.
There isn’t a way to hide them from this view so the only thing you can do is to add a filter that will keep your GA code safe from hijacking.
Go into your GA account, click on ADMIN>>Filters. Add a new filter and then choose “CREATE NEW FILTER” and give it a name that you will remember.
Scroll down and hit “CUSTOM” and then check the “Include” button. In the dropdown choose HOSTNAME and in the box below type in YOURDOMAINNAME.COM & click save! It’s that easy.
Need a little more help? Try this video I made to show you how to quickly filter out your IP address and including only your own hostname.
Have questions? Let me know in the comments below!
Are You Tired Of Looking A The Same Old Tired Website?
When you visit other websites are you green with envy?
I get it! I love color, all colors, and when I come across a pretty new color palette or an amazing font comes across my desk I start designing in my mind automatically and before I know it I’m putting the changes on my own sites or those of my clients.
I’m going to tell you a secret…
I can trust you, right?
I don’t always practice what I preach! SSHHHHH! Don’t tell anyone, but I struggle with branding because I get bored so easily. You’ve heard me and a whole lot of other experts tell you that consistent branding is necessary for brand recognition, but nobody tells you that IT’S SO DAMN HARD!!!
I’m constantly experimenting and if I could spend my days making graphics I would. That’s my favorite thing in the whole world! Speaking of…Did you know my DIY BLOGGING/TRAVEL site WanderingWebDesigner is having a grand opening sale and now until Jul 31st you can get 30 custom graphics for $30!!! That is a hell of a deal 50% off of the regular price! Better hurry though this amazing offer ends 7-31-19. If you looking for web design tips, travel recommendations, or your just trying to figure it all out by yourself then this is the site for you!
Anyway, back to branding. I get bored easily so changing out designs for graphics or website graphics seems like a necessity to keep my business looking fresh and user-friendly. I love pretty pictures (can you tell) so whenever something catches my eye I have to have it. I have a fabulous subscription to Styled Stock Society where I get all of my images exclusively for this site. I pay a small fee once a year and every month I get so excited to see the new images in the library and there’s no limit. As you can see I’m a huge fan of the flat lay desktops.
The best place to find professional images, videos or music for your website or social media is Shutterstock. You’ll find anything you’re looking for from foodies to fashion. You can use free sites like Pixabay or Unsplash, but free doesn’t always cut it when you need to create consistent & professional branding. As a special gift to you, they are going to give you a 10% discount just for being a loyal reader! Use this link and bump your game up!
Best professional stock images on the market.
Choosing the right imagery & graphics is just as important, if not more important than copywriting, color palettes & font choices. When creating a brand you want your ideal customer to feel a certain type of way when they see your content. Let’s face it, today’s world moves at warp speed and we need to keep up. People no longer read, they visualize and scan so having the right imagery is really the only way we have to stand out and grab attention.
For example, I want my clients here on The Blogging 911 to feel confident & empowered. The way I accomplish this is by connecting the technology to run their businesses and setting up system automation to save time & money while giving their clients & customers great user experience. I work with mostly females because I love what I do so much & I want you to love what you do just as much. It’s life-changing. For me to be a success you need to be successful.
So, Why Is It The Perfect Time For A Re-Design You Ask?
Because when you purchase our design or branding package you don’t just get a fresh, modern look. You get the full experience where you’re in the driver’s seat to your own destiny. Right now, I’m throwing in a lot of Summer bonuses that don’t normally come with the design/branding package.
A full video tutorial teaching you how to use your new site + a Skype session to answer any additional questions. ($150 value)
You know that you’re building on one of the best website frameworks on the market thrown in at NO EXTRA COST! ($60.00 Value)
Your choice of child themes from StudioPress from my theme library (A $49.99 to $149.99 Value).
You also get one full year membership to the website maintenance plan($149.99 value) so that you can use your new website knowing that someone is there to help, to answer your questions, to keep the site updated and backed up. To hold your hand through the whole process for A WHOLE YEAR!!! Who does that?!?
It’s like having an insurance policy for your website!
You won’t have to:
Worry about conflicting plugins.
Worry about backing up your site.
Worry about updating WordPress.
Worry about backing up your theme.
Worry about backing up your plugins.
Worry about optimizing your database on a monthly basis.
Worry about running a monthly malware scan twice a month.
If you’re new to WordPress you will receive a detailed video explaining the various parts of your new website and best practices when it comes to using it. Even if you’ve used WordPress you might like to watch it and maybe find out things that you didn’t know.
Another reason now is a great time for a redesign is because we’re in the Summer Slumps, those few months every Summer where people have nothing on their minds but spending time with family & friends, enjoying vacations, or just lounging by the pool! Get ready for the busy holiday seasons now. Create a plan from publishing new content to creating a sales funnel, email sequence or setting up a shopping cart & Facebook ads.
I only work with one client at a time so that I can give them a 100% personal service. So you better hurry, spots fill up fast! A re-design is more cost-efficient than a build because the foundation is already there which means it costs less & takes less time than a standard web design/branding package. Turn around is generally 2 weeks instead of the 4 to 6 weeks it takes to build out from scratch.
Pageviews always decrease during the Summer months.
Which means it’s a perfect time to freshen up that website, dust off the cobwebs, add a much-needed enhancement, upgrade your website security, or just move things around. It’s the perfect time to put a content marketing plan in place.
I’d love to talk to you about your ideas, dreams or wishes! Need something other than web design? Need to connect analytics or maybe set up an email sequence? Check out the shop over at WanderingWebDesigner.com
Right now I’m offering a web design/branding package for over half off the usual pricing! This is for established websites only.
Get a consistent, beautiful new look that will be shared across all platforms.
Have you been dreaming of carving out a brand for your products or services that will turn sales on autopilot!
You better hurry!
I don’t know how long I can afford to keep this pricing!
*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase I will earn a small commission. It will in no way affect your pricing.
If you updated your website in the past few weeks you should have seen WordPress 4.9.6 and with that update came brand new privacy features to correspond with the GDPR updates that became law recently. I thought I would take this time to point out some of these new features.
Logged in commenters will be given a choice whether their name, email, address, or website information is saved in a cookie on their browser.
Site owners can now export a .ZIP file containing a user’s personal data, using data gathered by WordPress & plugins.
Site owners can erase a user’s personal data, including data collected by participating plugins. Site owners also have a new email-based method that they can use to confirm personal data requests.
95 updates were made in this latest WordPress update. Here are some of the highlights:
The word “mine” has been added as a filter in the media library.
When viewing a plugin in the admin dashboard, it will now tell you the minimum PHP version.
TinyMCE has been updated to the latest version 4.7.11
The first thing you have to decide is whether you want images or photography? These are two totally different things. Do you need a stock photo of a landscape or a girl on a beach? Or are you working on branding as a whole or maybe you want a uniformed, polished look. There’s a big spectrum between free and paid and so many choices. I can get lost for days at some of the sites below. I use both free and paid.
I’ve fallen in love with the photography of Wonderfelle media. That’s where all of these gorgeous new images came from. It’s a subscription and I paid $45 for six months. That’s like $7 and some change a month. I don’t mind paying that for this much pretty! It makes me smile every time I look at it.
The new theme is by Restored 316 and it’s called the Market Theme. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Restored 316 WordPress themes. I’ve used several of their themes and they are so customizable! This one, though, is by far my favorite. It’ll be around for a long time.
I’m addicted to photography. I only want to look at other people’s work, though, my photography skills are nada, zilch, nonexistent. I’m the one who ends up with 16 pictures of the ceiling and only one blurry picture of half a grandkid. (true story!)
So let’s get right to it!
There are four basic types of photography licensing and you should be aware of which one the image you are using requires. I cannot stress enough Read The License Terms Before You Use The Image!
Creative Commons – There are 7 Creative Common licenses.
Attribution – means that the owner allows you to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon their work, even commercially as long as you credit them for the original work.
Attribution (Noncommercial) – Same as attribution, but you can’t use them commercially. You can use them in a blog post, but nothing that you could sell.
Attribution No Derivatives – same as Attribution, except you can’t make any changes to the original work. You can use the image in a blog post or product, but you won’t be able to crop, rotate or change colors on a photograph with this license.
Attribution-ShareAlike licenses – This licenses let you remix, tweak and build upon the original work for commercial or non-commercial purposes as long as you credit it AND license your new creation under the same terms. This means that if you wish to share your new work, like say a free ebook, it must carry the same license.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs – The most restrictive CC license, meaning you can use the creative work with attribution, but you can’t use it commercially and you can’t alter it in any way.
Zero – The least restrictive CC license. It means that the owner of the work has waived all rights and you are free to use the image as often and however you wish, however you like, with no attribution.
What this means for you as a blogger: Creative Commons images are great for bloggers because they are monetarily free and you can use most of them in blog posts, ebooks and products. Just be sure to give attribution each time you use one and be careful about where you use a noncommercial image. You won’t need to attribute images with a CC Zero license.
Public domain – Images or works in the Public Domain mean that their intellectual property rights have actually expired, been forfeited or are inapplicable. Images are free to use whenever and wherever you’d like.
Rights Managed – You pay for an image based on how many times and how many places it’s being used and/or viewed. Because of these restrictions and the high cost, it is not feasible for a blog or website.
Royalty Free – Means that you don’t pay a royalty for each instance that you use the image like you might do with Rights Managed images. Once you’ve purchased a royalty-free license, you can use the image multiple times with no time limit. There are some restrictions, however: you can’t use it in a template and resell it, for example. What this means for you as a blogger: Royalty Free images can be inexpensive and are great for blog posts, web ads, videos, ebooks and digital products without attribution.
How Do You Know If Images You’ve Already Used Are In Violation?
Tineye to search for it. Tineye allows you to upload an image or enter the image URL (right-click the image and select “Copy Image URL”). A list of websites, including stock image sites using the image, is returned.
Sites for images
Pixabay – All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.
Unsplash – Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos. Subscribe to their newsletter and get a photo pack delivered right to your inbox.
Picjumbo – Free stock photo site created by designer & photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013. It all started when any regular stock photo site didn‘t want his photos due to lack of quality. Two years later people downloaded more than two and half millions images from this site.
Gratisography – Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects.
Stockphotos.io – A high quality site for public domain and Creative Commons photos.
Tineye – A simple shortcut to finding photos in a specific color palette. When you choose the color(s) you’d like to have in your image, TinEye will gather images straight from the Creative Commons images on Flickr. Choose up to 5 colors and even adjust the percentage of each color.
Stockpholio – It doesn’t take you to Flickr to download the images, you can download them directly from the site AND get the HTML code with the credits. It makes downloading images much faster.
Photopin – Free photos for bloggers & creatives. You can download the images in several sizes without having to go to Flickr and there is HTML code available to cut and paste for attribution.
Wikimedia – Media file repository that makes media content (images, sound and video clips) in both the public domain and Creative Commons freely available. Because it’s a Wiki site, anyone can copy, use and modify any files as long as the terms of each is followed.
Europeana – An online collection of digitized items from European museums, libraries, archives and multi-media collections. There are many items here that are also in the Public Domain.
Photogen – Photos for commercial and non-commercial use. Categories range from business, agriculture, technology and arts to nature, travel and food and drink (plus more).
Freephotobank – FreePhotoBank is a free stock photo site. Feel free to download pictures (up to 2048 pixels, Creative Commons licence) but don’t forget to link back to FreePhotoBank !
Freefoto – Images in many different categories can be used for non-commercial purposes under the Creative Commons license for non-commercial, no derivatives, attribution license. For a fee, images can be made available for commercial use and in high resolution.
Freestockphotos – Owned and copyrighted by Daniel Speck. Mostly nature and travel images.
Photoseverywhere – A free stock photo site specializing in travel-related stock photos.
Burst.Shopify – A new free stock photo site that covers just about anything.
Pixwizard – There are nearly 100,000 images on the site that are completely free to use (without attribution), about 20,000 of which are exclusive to us and can’t be found anywhere else.
Free Templates – Looking for free templates for your next project? Find everything from brochures to tickets are available on this site.
Crowdsourced Stock –
Fotopedia – Many photos here are available under the Creative Commons license, but you have to read the caption on each photo very carefully. If the caption says “Photo: ” and then shows the little CC in a circle icon, then click on that to read the license for that one photo.
Photober – Photos are all available for both commercial and personal use.
Patternpictures – A free photo site that provides mostly photographic backgrounds and textures, but also a lot of travel-style photographs.
The Open Photo Project – The Open Photo Project is a photo sharing platform created in 1998 by Michael Jastremski. Contributors have offered their images free of charge under terms of Creative Commons licensing.
Dotspin – A social sharing website for where you can upload and either sell or share your Instagram and Twitter photos under a Creative Commons license.
Morguefile – Photographs that have been freely contributed by many photographers for use in creative projects. You may use them for personal or commercial use.
Photographer Owned Stock
Lime Lane Photography – Kellie is the photographer/blogger behind Lime Lane and although she sells many photographs, she also shares a few for free. All photos are meant for blog posts.
Picjumbo – Viktor Hanácek adds free photos to PicJumbo every day.
Splitshire – Free stock photos for personal & commercial use.” Daniel Nanescu is an Italian Web & Graphic Designer and Photographer that shares his own photographs to use free for both personal and commercial use.
Superfamous – Dutch interaction designer Folkert Gorter shares his incredible biological, aerial and geological photography on this site.
Imagebase – Imagebase.net is a collection of vectors and photos of people, objects, urban, nature and travel, mostly taken by David Niblack. Images can be freely used for personal, commercial, non-profit, artistic, or creative purposes.
Function Design Blog – Liam McKay has offered to share 4 volumes of his hi-res photos. You have full permission to use them however you see fit.
Stockunlimited – I paid $49 for lifetime access through SumoApp. I use it constantly and it has a wide range of photos available to use.
Wonderfelle Media – This subscription runs about $10 a month or you can save more by paying for several months upfront. Amazing feminine styled photography that you can use anywhere. Receive free images for signing up for her newsletter.
Haute Chocolate – Another subscription-based photography site that has stunning feminine styled photography. Runs about $75 for three months. Receive free images by signing up for her newsletter.
Shay Cochrane – Beautiful photography bought in bundles or individually. Great for branding. Sign up for her newsletter and get your first image free.
Canva – Canva provides tons of free images. Some require purchase, but they are always $1.
Adobe Stock Photos– Tons of images. Subscription costs $29.99 a month with your first month free.
I talk about website maintenance ALL OF THE TIME! Why? Because I spend A LOT of time fixing things that could have easily been avoided with proper website maintenance.
This got me thinking…I know you love your website.
I mean come on it’s the child that doesn’t talk back, doesn’t forget to put gas back in the car, and NEVER asks for anything! So you want to take care of it!
The reasons you’re not maintaining your site:
You love paying people like me to fix things.
You have way too much money and have to find ways to give it away.
Your website is “special” and never requires maintenance.
You don’t have time.
You don’t know how.
The first two reasons…I can’t help you, but my PayPal account is Rena@theblogging911.com!
The third reason…every website requires maintenance. It doesn’t matter what theme you use, what plugins you use, or even who designs it. It has to be maintained to stay safe, secure, and running optimally.
You don’t know how to maintain your site properly! This must be it! So today we’re talking website maintenance.
First, foremost, & MOST IMPORTANT is having a good backup plugin. I prefer either Updraft Plus or Dropbox, but there are other options as long as you choose ONE of them…and actually, use it!
Backup your site before making any changes. How often should you back up your site?
Well, it all depends on how often you post, but definitely, every time you make a change, add something such as a plugin or theme. I backup my site and those that I maintain twice a month. I use the 1st & 15th. Using the same days every month helps me to remember easier. I always know that on those two days I am maintaining websites.
Second, you are going to want to update anything that needs it. You can always find those updates at the top of your dashboard. Just click on the circle and it will take you to your update page. Here you will be able to update WordPress, themes, or plugins.
After doing all of your updates, and by the way I start from biggest to smallest (meaning I update WordPress first, then any themes even though you should only have the theme that is activated saved, and all plugins that require the updates). I also never update more than three plugins at a time.
After all of that is finished I check to make sure my site doesn’t have malware. I use Sucuri or Wordfence and I have to be honest here after some recent changes to Sucuri (you have to go to their website now to check your site) I prefer using Wordfence because I can check for malware right inside my dashboard.
I also do a front end visual check to make sure that my site looks as it should after the updates and if anything needs my attention.
If it’s the first of the month I also check site speeds by going to GT METRIX which is a free service. All you have to do is enter your URL and hit ANALYZE. I also head to “BROKEN LINK CHECKER” and check for broken links. They also have their own plugin, but I find it kind of bulky and can sometimes conflict with other plugins.