Welcome to another edition of Sites Weekly.
I’ve spent the last handful of weeks taking on full-time childcare responsibilities for my one-year-old daughter since my wife went back to work.
It’s been fun, tiring, rewarding, confusing, amazing, difficult, and priceless all at once. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
But it certainly has provided me with a challenge when it’s come to being productive … because I’ve also maintained a full-time, work-from-home job while all of this daytime childcare craziness has been going on.
I’ve stumbled, fumbled, and bumbled my way around, doing my best every step of the way, and I think I’ve learned a few important lessons about how to stay productive even after your well-manicured schedule gets detonated all of a sudden.
I wrote about it on Copyblogger last week. If you’re looking for tips on how to stay productive in the face of persistent distractions, this post is for you.
Now on to this week’s links …
Content: New research on how audiences respond to podcasts
I love podcasts.
I love listening to podcasts, and I love hosting podcasts. (This seems like a perfect time for me to plug the companion podcast to this newsletter that I host.)
And that’s all well and good … but is the time that I’m investing in creating podcast content really paying off? How would I even know?
And are current podcasting trends pointing in a positive direction that suggests you should consider incorporating podcasts into your marketing mix?
This post from Social Media Examiner attempts to answer those questions:
BTW, this also seems like an opportune time for me to plug the other podcast I host, which is all about creating remarkable podcasts. If you’re curious about what it takes to host a successful podcast, The Showrunner will point you in the right direction.
Design: Get more bang for your PDF buck
If you’re going to create PDF downloads for your audience, you want them to look immaculate. This is where design that fits your overall brand is so important.
But the look of a PDF is not the only element you need to be concerned about. You also need to design the implementation, meta information, and more in a particular way so that search engines can give your PDF as much love as possible.
Here’s a quick sneak peek at something I did not realize:
“Load speed is an important ranking factor for any page, but it becomes more challenging to accelerate this with heavy PDF files.
After putting so much work into creating an excellent piece of work, you don’t want to have to remove images or charts just to compress the document.”
Get more tips here:
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: Let’s demystify the process of choosing an analytics tool
Want to immediately feel someone’s frustration? Read the first two lines of this next post:
“In three years my company used three (yes three!!) third party analytics tools.
Can you imagine the amount of time that was wasted on implementing the tools, and what little time was spent on effectively using them!?”
That sounds … awful.
But on the bright side, the author of this article was able to learn a lot about how to make smart decisions when choosing an analytics tool.
Let’s allow his frustration to be our gain and learn from him so we can make the right decision the first time.
And just to be clear: you should definitely have Google Analytics on your site. It’s free, and it provides a ton of useful information. But if, like many people, you want or need more, then his post is for you.
Strategy: No, the era of ebooks is not over
Ebooks were once all the rage. It seemed like every single website on the internet was giving away an ebook (or 10) as an opt-in incentive.
And while that practice is fading somewhat, the power of the ebook as a smart and useful content asset is not. If you’re strategic when planning and taking action, ebooks can still be a lucrative and long-term asset in your overall digital business plan.
In this post, Sonia Simone explains how ebooks can even be a path toward a good living, all on their own.
Which of the ideas in these posts will you put to good use immediately?
I’ll be back with a new edition next week.