Tag Archives: social media

Improving my blog – 7 Insights you can use NOW

First off, thanks for visiting my brand new blog. That’s what I think of it. The design is different, plugins have made it a better experience for you. And I am really happy for the blog and the future of it.

So what have I done to it?

1. Theme

I changed from the theme called Max Magazine by Sami Ch. It’s probably a good theme, but my modifications in the past made it look ugly and not good. I didn’t like it anymore, in addition to that I haven’t worked for the past few months, CSS didn’t load and the images on the front page didn’t show up.

Back to basics. What’s new with the Twenty Twelve theme from the WordPress team? It looks good, had to update the theme to get it to the latest version, no hassle just plain and simple update.

But I didn’t like it the standard way. I wanted to put in a new header, change the placement of the menu and some appearance.

2. Header

Made a new logo as you can see on the top, name of the blog and some icons to represent what I want to write about. Did it with a logo creation software I use and modified it further in Photoshop to get the whole header good looking. Not 100% satisfied with it, but maybe time will tell me what to do with it.

Untitled-4.jpg

Had to crop it to 960 x 250 pixels in Photoshop before I uploaded it. After I saw it on the blog, it didn’t look good. Lots of whitespace around it, and far away from the top. It was also placed under the menu. Not good.

MENU

To move the menu beneath the header you have to change a theme file.

You need to find this part of code in the Twenty Twelve theme file header.php:

<?php $header_image = get_header_image();

                               if ( ! empty( $header_image ) ) : ?>

                                               <a href=”<?php echo esc_url( home_url( ‘/’ ) ); ?>”><img src=”<?php echo esc_url( $header_image ); ?>” class=”header-image” width=”<?php echo get_custom_header()->width; ?>” height=”<?php echo get_custom_header()->height; ?>” alt=”” /></a>

                               <?php endif; ?>

And move it right above the part “<nav id=”site-navigation” class=”main-navigation” role=”navigation”>

Then the menu and header switched places. All good, but what about all that whitespace around it?

In some themes you have a special CSS field under Appearance in WordPress. Here you can put custom CSS settings, that override the theme settings, since it is loaded after everything else.

My custom CSS settings look like this now:

img.header-image {

                margin-left: -40px;

                margin-top: -24px;

                width: 1040px;

                max-width: none;

}

h1 {

                color: #ff8b02;

                font-weight: bold;

}

a {

                color: #ff8b02;

}

body {

                font-family: “Calibri”, Verdana, serif;

}

The img.header-image is for the header. Set a margin left to -40 pixels, margin to the top by -24 pixels and a width of 1040 pixels. Making it fit perfectly in the content area. But then the image was blurry, because of the 960 pixels it recommended. So I had to go back to Photoshop and get a new one like the header is today. So it’s now 1040 x 114 pixels. Perfect match.

Then I added a new color to h1 tags and links, to go away from the standard blue to more of an orange color, just to stand out of the crowd.

But still there was a gap between the content area and browsers top. I found out that in the style.css file of the theme there was a setting I could change.

This part here:

body .site {

                               padding: 0 40px;

                               padding: 0 2.857142857rem;

                               margin-top: 0px;

                               margin-top: 0rem;

                               margin-bottom: 48px;

                               margin-bottom: 3.428571429rem;

                               box-shadow: 0 2px 6px rgba(100, 100, 100, 0.3);

                }

I changed margin top to ZERO pixels and the same for the margin top rem to zero. Then the gap was gone.

The design of the blog is starting to be as I wanted it in the first place.

3. Picture of me

matsofmatsholmvik.com

Lots of bloggers like to post pictures of themselves. It’s not because they like themselves so much, but more that you can relate to them and see who is behind all these words and pictures.

I found a normal looking picture of myself from a holiday in Christmas. Used Photoshop to crop it, make a black line around it, stronger colors and added some friendly text on it. Doesn’t it look nice on the sidebar?

You can add images to the sidebar by going into the Widgets part in WordPress admin, and there should be a widget to add images in the sidebar.

4. More sidebar

My sidebar had an outdated Twitter plugin to collect my tweets and that was almost it. So I added some stuff to make the site more alive and interesting to your readers. Like adding my top posts, a search field, recent comments and my own little tag cloud so you can see what I write most about. I hope it will be useful to you.

5. Updates – damn those updates

I will recommend everyone to check on their blogs to see if there is some updates to WordPress, themes and plugins. Most of them are updated regularly and will prevent your site from crashing or be hacked. So do it today, go update. I had about 17 plugins to be updated, along with my themes and WordPress. But it went smooth, but in case something go wrong when you do it, remember to backup everything before you start. I once had to manually put in every post after a crash in the early days of WordPress, which is not fun.

6. Plugins

I missed some parts of the blog that I have on my Norwegian blogs. So I compared the plugins, and found some I had forgotten.

WordPress RelatedPosts – to get some related posts showing under the post you are reading

WPtouch – to get your blog to look good on mobile devices

ShareThis – To add sharing buttons to social media under your posts, and on the right side of the browser.

Google XML Sitemap – more about this in the nest section.

As you can see, these plugins make the site overall a much better experience to visitors, like you.

7. Sitemap

Since I found out that I had forgotten to add Google XML Sitemap, I wondered if posts even got added to the search engines. I published a post earlier today, which was in Google about 30 seconds later, which is pretty good. So no worries about that.

I made the correct changes to the plugin, so my sitemaps for pages, posts and categories was created.

Then I headed over to Bing Webmaster tools and Google Webmaster tools. I had to add my site to both places, since I hadn’t done it before. Verified my pages, so they know I own them. Then started to add all my sitemaps to them to get indexed.

I also created a Sitemap link in the footer of the page to notify other search engines about it if they want it. You can do this in the Appearance -> Editor and find the file footer.php. In the file find the part in the theme Twenty Twelve where it says “</div><!– .site-info –>” and add this text right above it “ | <a href=”http://www.matsholmvik.com/sitemapindex.xml”>Sitemap</a>“. But remember to change the href link to your sites Sitemap.

Done for today

I hope you got some insights in what can be done with your site. If there is some parts that lacks explaining, just hit me up with a comment and I will try to help you. Have a great day!

How to go to from ZERO or some connections on LinkedIn.com to about 800+ in 48 hours!

I don’t know about you, but connections, followers or friends in social media is really important to being able to spread your message and get on top of your area of interest or business.

So how about a quick way to get to over 800+ connections on LinkedIn.com?

See proof here got 500+ connections: http://no.linkedin.com/in/matsholmvik last week it was about 50-100 or something, I don’t remember.

It’s really easy. Just go to this page: Linked in connections

Click to sign up, its free, fill in name, email, password and choose the free version. Confirm your email and you are up and running.

Then go to Build Your Networks, click the link on the bottom of the page for the invite list. And download the 4 spreadsheets of emails of people willing to join your network, about 500 in each file.

Then head over to www.linkedin.com and click on CONTACTS  -> ADD Contacts. On the right side you will find a box, paste all the emails there and send invitations! Done!

Now you just have to wait for people to see your invitations, and most of them will accept your invite. And wait about 48 hours, then you will have 800+ connections like me!

BONUS:

If you would like to know how to monetize this brand new big network of your, put your name and email down under to get a short report on that:

 

Top 5 Basic tips to any Twitter Newbie

Twitter has become one of the biggest and greatest sources of traffic and big audiences. You can reach out to many people in just a few seconds with an established or new twitter account. This can make a great impact on your business if you use it wisely.

So I have come up with 5 tips to you so you don’t waste a lot of time and effort into something that could stop twitter working for you.

1. You got to reach out to people and show them that you are present and reachable. You should ask people in your field questions and answer the questions of others that you find. If you don’t have anything to add to the conversation just drop it, people know if you are a spammer. So you should use the @ sign and the nickname of the person you are answering questions for or are asking. Then they will get a notification that you have contacted them, and other people see you interact.

2. Send out only tweets with affiliate links! NO….no…no… Do not send messages that only contains promotional messages. People will mark you as a spammer and they will know it if the only thing you send out comes with affiliate links or covered up links or only your own product s. There are many people that have a ratio they follow which is for every 100 messages they send only one of them contains an offer. That way people find you valuable to follow and wont unfollow you just for a couple of links now and then.

3. Define a purpose for you being present at twitter. What’s your purpose for using twitter? If you have different purposes I suggest you get different twitter accounts so you can use them as you please. Because your potential buyers would not want to know what you did this morning, and your aunt won’t buy a traffic video program from you. So define what you want from twitter. Is it personal, for traffic to your site, local customers or just participate in conversations with likeminded people.

4. Get followers to your account. The easiest way to do this is to start following other people that you have an interest in following. Go to search.twitter.com and type in some keywords for your interests and the check out the people showing up in the search results. Hit the Follow button to them and then you get their messages in your twitter account feed. Most of the times people will follow you back since you got the same interest, and thank them in a message, and maybe it will lead to a conversation and friendship.

5. This should have been number one on the list. But people skip long articles and read the first and sometimes last of a post. You should start tweeting right away after you setup your account, tweaking the design and your profile can be done later. Because if you start tweeting right away, other people will spot you in the searches and conversations you have with others. In the beginning you should give much of yourself in free advice, backing people up and give out links to related articles you know about, then it’s a good start.

I hope you enjoyed this short quick tip  for newbie’s to twitter post, and if you got any questions or would add some tips, let us continue the discussion in the comments below! See you around!