Welcome to another edition of Sites Weekly.
In this week’s edition, you will find links to articles about the following:
- Could your content someday become a book? (Why not?)
- How to hack the attention of your audience
- Are you prepared for Google’s mobile-first index?
- How to run a successful Facebook contest
- Bonus: The difference between open-minded and close-minded people
But first …
Last week on Sites
As wonderful as plugins can be, it’s wise to use patience and discretion when choosing which ones you will use and which ones you will pass over or replace.
In the latest episode of Sites, I present you with a simple decision tree, in the form of a few short questions, to help you decide whether you should install that plugin … or move on.
How to get help with your podcast
This is an exciting week for me personally, as my podcasting course with Jonny Nastor is back on the market.
Jonny is my co-host on The Showrunner, and we launched The Showrunner Podcasting Course a couple of years ago. We’re proud to have helped hundreds of people launch successful podcasts since then, and we’re ready to help another round of aspiring showrunners.
To find out the philosophy the course is built upon, what it includes, and how to join, visit this link: showrunnercourse.com.
A new Genesis theme is available
Business Pro is elegant, bold, and built to turn prospects into customers.
Built on the Genesis Framework, Business Pro is a smart choice for creative agencies, service providers of all shapes and sizes, and even brick-and-mortar businesses that want a contemporary look and feel online.
Genesis tips from Brian Gardner
Many sites display “Made with Love” or “Handcrafted with Love” in the site footer, and Brian Gardner wanted to do something similar.
In fact, if you take a look at the bottom of the page in his footer at Authentik, you’ll notice that it does not display the default text that is output by the Genesis Framework.
In just a few steps, this is super easy to do: Add “Made with Love” with a Heart to Your Footer.
And now, on to this week’s links …
Content: Could your content someday become a book? (Why not?)
To build a powerful and loyal audience, you need content. And you probably need a lot of it, published over time, and focused around a few different but related areas of a single niche.
What else does that sound like the recipe for?
In this blog post by John Hall, a smart guy I’ve had the pleasure of meeting personally, he walks you through some lessons learned from leveraging his content marketing strategy into a book.
Check it out if you’ve ever thought about turning your content into a book. Even if you haven’t, it’s worth the read … because it just might get you thinking about a new big-picture goal, and give you some of the strategies to help you achieve it.
Design: How to hack the attention of your audience
This is a long, insightful blog post from EyeQuant.
Two concepts I found especially helpful were the “attention budget” and the difference between luminance contrast and the pop-out effect.
Regarding the Attention Budget:
“The key point of it is that you need to have a crystal clear idea on which elements users need to see right away on your designs, and because their attention is limited, you only get to choose a small number. Having seen thousands of design optimization projects, we recommend that number to be three.”
This is very helpful when you’re designing a webpage. It’s so easy to want to do all the things on all the pages — but that kills your ability to actually create impact with any individual page.
This post walks you through how to approach the Attention Budget properly, why reducing clutter in web design is so important, and how you can use luminance contrast and the pop-out effect to get more attention, and action, on your most important text and CTAs.
(By the way — I’ve never used EyeQuant’s service. So, for the record, linking to them is not an endorsement of anything other than this specific blog post.)
Two of the most important decisions you will make about your WordPress website are your theme and your hosting. Wouldn’t it be great if they worked together to make your website more powerful?
Now they can.
Technology: Are you prepared for Google’s mobile-first index?
The inevitable is almost here.
With more and more searches being done on mobile devices, it makes perfect sense that Google wants to cater to the growing majority of its search users. This means delivering results that favor websites that look good and work well on mobile devices.
And the preferred format is mobile responsive.
Here are two things you should do right away if your current website is not mobile responsive:
- Read this article from Search Engine Land, because it provides four key steps to help you get ready.
- Make the transition as easy as possible: go to StudioPress.com/themes and find yourself a theme (they’re all mobile responsive).
Strategy: How to run a successful Facebook contest
One interesting way to take your engagement with your audience to the next level is with a contest. Certainly you can run contests on your own website, or through email, but don’t overlook the potential power of a social media contest.
If you decide to run a contest, make sure you get the most out of the experience and time investment. This post from the Hootsuite blog offers a number of useful tips (including Facebook regulations and legal considerations I hadn’t thought of) that will help your next contest run smoothly and move you one step closer to your goals.
And now, this week’s bonus article …
Bonus article: The Difference Between Open-Minded and Close-Minded People
“Why is it that some people seem to make constant progress in their professional and personal lives, while others appear to be doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over?
While the answer isn’t cut and dry, I’ve noticed an interesting mindset difference between these two groups: they approach obstacles and challenges very differently.
The first group approaches life with an open mind—an eagerness to learn and a willingness to be wrong. The second group digs their heels in at the first sign of disagreement and would rather die than be wrong. The way each group approaches obstacles, it turns out, defines much of what separates them.
So which group are you in?”
Read this article from Farnam Street to find out:
Okay, so …
Which of the ideas in these posts will you put to good use immediately?
I’ll be back with a new edition next week.