Encourage Comments With The CommentLuv Plugin

When it comes to judging the popularity of a blog, many people look at the amount of comments each post gets. Many popular blogs such as Problogger.net easily receive over 50 comments a day. As soon a post goes live they start receiving feedback. That’s a lot of comments…

However, my guess is that your blog isn’t receiving that many. Am I right? You are not alone. Many bloggers, especially beginners, struggle to get comments on their posts. I still remember when I first started blogging and didn’t receive a comment for 3 months! Since then I have written a few posts that have received more than 65 comments.

So how does an average Joe blogger get more comments?

By Encouraging Them

It’s true, the best way to get your readers to leave comments is to give them something in return. And the easiest way to do that is to give them a link to their latest post right below their comment. This not only gives you more comments, but it also gives your readers an incentive to start leaving some feedback. They might even get a few extra visitors from the link you gave them.

The CommentLuv Plugin

The best part of all is there is a WordPress plugin available that does this automatically. The name of the plugin is CommentLuv American Pie dvd . It will grab the commentators latest post from their RSS feed and automatically insert it below their comment. It’s a great way of saying “thank you” to your readers for taking the time to comment.

What It Looks Like

You’re probably wondering if all these links in your comments will look like spam. Luckily, it styles them in a great way and keeps them simple and easy to rear. To demonstrate the plugin, I recently left a comment on one of my friends blogs. Here is what the plugin looks like in action:

commentluv1

Notice how it added the box below my comment and hyperlinked my lastest post title? You can also choose some of your older posts if you signup over at CommentLuv and claim your feed.

Installation

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Installing the plugin is as easy as any other plugin. Simply download the plugin (available here

download robocop ) and upload it your plugins folder. From their you simply have to activate it and then configure a few simple options. It also helps to “claim your feed,” which can be done on the CommentLuv plugin.

Give It A Try

So I encourage you to give this plugin a try and see what happens to the amount of comments you receive. Don’t be afraid to write a post promoting your new plugin so your readers know it’s their. They will more than likely thank you for it.

Here is link to the download page: Download CommentLuv

Five Great Site Auto-Optimization Plugins for WordPress

robot butlerYou’ve got to love those new-fangled robot butlers; they rarely complain, they always look sharp and ready, and they make sure to pick up all those little pieces you may overlook while you are busy writing the next great blog.  Here are five great plugins whose nearly automatic site optimization processes are invaluable finds for running a smooth, fast-loading and professional WordPress site.

Cache Images

This click-and go plugin goes through your posts and gives you the option to cache all hotlinked images from a domain to your site’s local upload folder.  The benefits of serving all images on your site from your site’s cache are twofold:

i) you can rest assured that any embedded images will actually display in the event that the original img source file you may have been referencing remotely is no longer available or at its original location.

ii) you will increase exponentially the speed at which your site displays its content.


Broken Link Checker

For the similar reasons to the Cache Images plugin, Broken Link Checker is an indespensible tool for preventing getting egg on your face when the traffic starts to move in your direction like an fast food drive-thru at rush hour.

Broken Link Checker will look for any links oon your site that may lead to a dreaded “404 Page Not Found” message.  After a quick scan it will report any such instances and offer to unlink or discard the link.  Easy yet powerful.

Enforce www. Preference

This little hack works like a silent operator behind the scenes to maintain the highest level of compatibility and visibility for your site by helping to preserve your permalinks by enforcing your no-www or yes-www preference (http://example.com/ vs. http://www.example.com/) and stripping off index.php from the ends of URLs.  Set it and forget it.

Widget Cache

Like the little brother to the essential WP Super Cache plugin, WP Widget Cache can cache the output of your blog widgets. Usually it will significantly reduce the SQL queries to your database and speed up your site.  It will not interfere with dynamically updated widgets and will speed up your site.  Another set-it-and-forget-it plugin.

Robots Meta

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The Robots Meta plugin discretely affords the WordPress user the power tro do something otherwise very difficult to accomplish – to add meta robots tags to your WP blog.

Its wonders don’t stop there;  it also prevents indexing of the subpages to your homepage, by adding a noindex,follow message, allows you to edit your robots.txt and .htaccess from within your WordPress, enforces a trailing slash on archive and tag pages and much more.

The value of such esoteric sounding effects may be outside the scope of your SEO knowledge, but they are important effects nonetheless.  Fortunately this plugin requires very little work on the part of the WP user, and we love it for that very reason.

What optimization plugins are you using on your site that we failed to include on this list?

Photo by revjim5000

Become Your Own Publisher With WordPress – The Basics

One of the most important moves a blogger can make is to take and maintain control of their property from the start. Although WordPress.com buy Woodland Café is an easy way to get started, it doesn’t take long before its limitations become painfully apparent: custom domains, themes, additional storage, plugins are all considered “premium features” some which require small investments of your hard-earned money as you build your  self-publishing empire that ultimately remains out of your control.

Alternatively, for an average of fifty five dollars a year, you can purchase a shared hosting solution at companies like GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator The Bear movie or Hostmonster that allow you to install a full-fledged version of WordPress at no extra cost and that offers virtually limitless customization and expandability, not to mention as many email accounts based on your custom domain name as you could ever desire.

In this article I want to explore some of the additional benefits and features available in your own custom WordPress installation and how to optimize your setup so that you can get the most mileage from it at the outset.

First things First

Come up with a great domain name and register it.  Any host provider worth its salt will offer the ability to purchase and register a new domain name right from its main interface.  By doing so through your host provider you will save a number of steps so that you can jump right into installing your own WordPress.org installation.

You will also be the true owner of this domain name and the WordPress account and no one can take it from you. I will discuss how to choose a great domain name in a future article.

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Google Image Search Traffic: Bringing your Visitors Back Home

Adriana LimaIt’s no secret that ranking for good keywords is a difficult task now a days. Your best bet is probably generating quality content that might catch some attention (backlinks!), eventually bringing traffic to your site. I’m no SEO expert, in fact less than two years ago I didn’t know what SEO was, so I can’t give you advice on this matter. However, I can share what I’ve been experiencing this past few days regarding one of my sites and the traffic that Google Image Search brings to it.

My Experience Brideshead Revisited film

To me, this traffic has been pretty much useless, but I think it’s starting to change (I’m seeing some promising results as of yesterday). What have I learned from Google Image Search traffic?

  • Visitors rarely stay on your site
  • Hotlinking
  • Traffic that does not bring conversions or benefits (no readers, no exposure, no money).

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Sure, a couple of images on my site rank in the first 3 positions in google, cool, but what’s the point if I can’t see any tangible results from this. Unless I’m trying to promote my ugly face online, I really have no use for it.

To the Point

It’s not that hard to figure out. It shouldn’t be a surprise that people searching for images are really not that interested in reading your article. At least when I’m searching for a picture of Adriana Lima, I’m really not that interested in reading about her hobbies (don’t tell my wife). To add to this, Google puts your site in a frame with a “See full-size image” link. The link is sitting there to fulfill your needs: SEEING THE PICTURE without any obstacles.

Visitors don’t have to look around for the image on the page and are not exposed to your content. And that’s it, your site becomes a picture on a white background. By now, it really does not matter what site they are visiting.

But if the frame was not there, and the visitor had to stay on the page to check out the picture, they might get interested in checking other stuff out. Let’s say I’m checking out Adriana Lima’s pic, then my eye catches a picture of Giselle Bundchen. Well, I may actually stay and check out other pics, maybe I’ll even find out what’s Giselle’s favorite color.

The solution?

Some people call it a frame buster. It’s a simple script that will avoid any attempt of putting your site in a frame, redirecting to the original location. I have been using this script for less than two days, and it’s really making a difference. Page loads from traffic generated by Google Image Search have improved by over 100%

. Meaning that some visitors are now actually checking out other stuff, visiting other pages, etc. Still, there are visitors that leave immediately, but this now seems fair to me.

Just put the following script in your header:

frame-buster.jpg

I will report again after some time, but I expect more positive results from this change.

Making WordPress Search Engine Friendly

A short video containing tips for setting up your WordPress blog and making it more search engine friendly, has been released by Michael Gray

from GrayWolf’s SEO Blog. The video, available on YouTube, explains the problems about having duplicate content and describes how to solve them. It is known that Google will penalize your site for having duplicate content, so it’s a good idea if you take care of this.

Badi Jones over at seologs.com released a pluging called “Duplicate Content Cure

“, that helps you get rid of this problem:

“Duplicate content cure is a very simple, yet effective SEO plugin that prevents search engines from indexing wordpress pages that contain duplicate content, like archives and category pages.”

So, go ahead and say bye bye to your duplicate content.