Wordpress for business bloggers - paul thewlis

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WordPress for Bussiness Bloggers Promote and grow your WordPress blog with advanced plugins, analytics, advertising, and SEO Paul Thewlis BIRMINGHAM - MUMBAI WordPress for Bussiness Bloggers Copyright © 2008 Packt Publishing All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews. Every effort has been made in the preparation of this book to ensure the accuracy of the information presented. However, the information contained in this book is sold without warranty, either express or implied. Neither the author, Packt Publishing, nor its dealers or distributors will be held liable for any damages caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this book. Packt Publishing has endeavored to provide trademark information about all the companies and products mentioned in this book by the appropriate use of capitals. However, Packt Publishing cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information. First published: August 2008 Production Reference: 1300708 Published by Packt Publishing Ltd. 32 Lincoln Road Olton Birmingham, B27 6PA, UK. ISBN 978-1-847195-32-6 www.packtpub.com Cover Image by Karl Moore (karl.moore@ukonline.co.uk) [ FM-2 ] Credits Author Project Manager Paul Thewlis Abhijeet Deobhakta Reviewers Project Coordinator Lee Jordan Rajashree Hamine Narayan Bhat Indexer Senior Acquisition Editor Monica Ajmera David Barnes Proofreader Development Editor Chris Smith Ved Prakash Jha Production Coordinator Technical Editor Shantanu Zagade Dhiraj Chandiramani Cover Work Editorial Team Leader Shantanu Zagade Akshara Aware [ FM-3 ] About the Author Paul Thewlis has worked as a web communications professional in the public and private sectors. He is currently E-Communications Manager for a multi-national transport company, headquartered in the UK. He began his web career as a Technical Editor, working on web design books for a well-known publisher. He has extensive experience of many content management systems and blogging platforms. He is an expert in the use of social media within corporate communications, and blogs about that subject, as well as WordPress and the Web in general, at http://blog. paulthewlis.com. Paul lives in Birmingham, England, with his fiancée, Zöe. I would like to thank Matt Mullenweg and the WordPress development team, as well as all the hard-working members of the wider WordPress community, who created the plugins featured in this book. Scott Wallick and Andy Skelton deserve a special mention for the great work they do on the Sandbox theme. I would also like to thank my parents, Jack and Margaret, for their unending support, and my wonderful fiancée, Zöe, for putting up with so many late nights and lonely weekends during the writing of this book. [ FM-4 ] About the Reviewers Lee Jordan is an avid user of Blogger, Twitter, and other useful web applications. She designs interactive customer service portals, enterprise-level websites and other web-based applications and writes web content and user guides. She applies over ten years of experience designing and writing for the Web to developing interactive, user-friendly websites, and writing technical guides to popular web technologies. Narayan Bhat is passionate about wandering the Internet and blogging. Get Blogger tips from his blogging websites: Dummies Guide to Google Blogger (Beta)—http://betabloggerfordummies. blogspot.com/2007/08/hot-tips-on-blogger-profiles.html SEO Adsense Tips—http://seoblogadsense.blogspot.com/ THE WIDGETS OF BETA BLOGGER—http://widgetry.blogspot.com Tips for Bloggers—http://tipsforbloggers.blogspot.com [ FM-5 ] Table of Contents Preface Chapter 1: A Blog Less Ordinary—What Makes a Great Blog? You Can Stand Out from the Crowd Where Do You Fit In? Not All Business Blogs Are the Same Increasing Sales Adding Value A Dialog with Your Customers Raising Awareness Showing Expertise Customer Service Public Relations Driving Traffic Add Some Personality Categorizing Business Blogs Product Blogs Corporate or Company Blogs News Blogs Expert Blogs The WordPress Arsenal Good Design Maximizing Usability Promoting Your Blog Analyzing the Statistics Managing Content Monetizing Your Blog Measuring Success Google PageRank 1 7 7 9 10 11 12 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 19 20 21 22 23 24 24 24 25 25 25 25 25 Table of Contents Alexa Ranking 26 Summary 27 Chapter 2: Introducing Our Case Study—ChilliGuru ChilliGuru—The Man Behind the Blog Before and After Goals and Planning Business Situation Strategic Goals The Blog Plan Tactical Goals 29 29 30 31 32 32 33 36 Implementation An Overview of the ChilliGuru Makeover Design Content Promotion and Analysis Generating Revenue Enabling Growth Summary Chapter 3: Designing Your Blog 36 36 37 37 38 40 40 41 43 Blog Design Principles Layout Color 43 44 48 Web Color Theory 50 Typography Usability and Accessibility Implementing Your Blog Design A Brief Introduction to CSS The Early Days of the Web Content and Style Looking at the Code The Style Sheet Applying the Style Sheet Tweaking the Styles Setting Up a Local Development Environment Installing XAMPP Setting the 'root' Password for MySQL Installing WordPress Locally Case Study—ChilliGuru Design The Style Sheet Header The Page Layout [ ii ] 51 52 53 54 54 55 56 59 61 66 68 69 72 75 78 80 82 Table of Contents Colors and Fonts The Header The Menu The Main Content Area The Sidebars The Footer Summary 85 86 87 88 90 91 93 Chapter 4: Images and Videos 95 Image Theory Basics Dimensions Resolution File Size Optimization Installing 'The GIMP' Images in WordPress Posts Thumbnail Creation Thumbnail Size Attachment Size Styling Images Setting Up an Image Gallery NextGEN Gallery 95 95 96 96 96 97 97 97 102 104 106 107 107 Creating an Image Gallery Page 114 Using Video EasyTube Adding a Favicon Summary 117 117 118 120 Chapter 5: Content Is King 121 Blog Writing Tips Killer Headlines Length of Posts Post Frequency Links to Other Blogs Establishing Your Tone and Voice The Structure of a Post End with a Question A Quick Check List Categories and Tags The Difference between Categories and Tags Using Categories Using Tags [ iii ] 121 122 122 123 124 124 125 126 126 127 127 127 128 Table of Contents Applying Tags and Categories to ChilliGuru The 'About' Page About You About Your Blog Anything to Declare The ChilliGuru 'About' Page Other Static Content Backing Up Backing up wp-content Backing up the Database Using phpMyAdmin Restoring the Database from a Backup File Summary Chapter 6: Search Engine Optimization The Principles of SEO How Search Engines Find Stuff Keywords Choosing Your Keywords Using Your Keywords Permalinks Installing Dean's Permalink Migration Plugin Title Tags Sitemaps Adding a Google Sitemap Inbound Links Robots.txt Optimization Using Excerpts on the Home Page Search Engine Submissions The Big Four DMOZ.org Minor Search Engines and Directories SEO Software and Tools Web CEO Google Webmaster Tools Firefox SEO Extensions Seeing Results Summary Chapter 7: Supercharged Promotion Syndication WordPress Feeds 129 134 134 135 135 136 137 138 138 139 142 144 145 145 146 147 147 150 151 152 154 158 160 161 163 164 167 167 168 168 169 169 171 173 174 174 175 175 176 Excerpts or Full Posts 177 [ iv ] Table of Contents FeedBurner 178 Setting Up FeedBurner Using FeedBurner 179 182 Web Slices for Internet Explorer 8 189 Creating a Web Slice 191 Blog Indexes and Search Engines Ping-O-Matic FeedBurner's Pingshot Technorati Minor Blog Indexes Using Social Networks Using Twitter Setting Up Twitter in WordPress Social Bookmarking Adding the Links Bookmarking Tips Summary 193 193 193 195 198 198 200 202 205 205 207 208 Chapter 8: Connecting with the Blogosphere Defining the Blogosphere Why it's so Important to be Connected How to Engage with the Blogosphere The Blogroll Managing Your Blogroll Adding Categories and Links 209 209 210 210 212 212 213 Feeding Off the Blogosphere The Importance of Comments Fishing for Comments Managing the Conversation Moderation Dealing with Negative Comments Trackbacks Comment and Trackback Spam Installing a Contact Form Using cforms II to Build a Contact Form Styling the Contact Form Preventing Contact Form Spam Summary 217 220 220 221 222 223 225 227 231 232 236 242 244 Chapter 9: Analyzing Your Blog Stats 245 Key Performance Indicators Traffic 245 246 Hits 246 [v] Table of Contents Unique Visitors Visits Page Views 246 247 247 Subscribers 248 RSS Subscriptions Email Subscriptions 248 248 Comments and Feedback Search Engine Results Inbound Links Web Analytics Tools WordPress.com Stats Google Analytics Using Google Analytics 248 249 249 251 251 258 260 The Dashboard Visitors Traffic Sources Content 261 263 266 269 Not an Exact Science FeedBurner Stats 270 270 Subscribers Live Hits Item Use Uncommon Uses 270 271 272 272 Alexa Rankings Summary 272 273 Chapter 10: Monetizing Your Blog Google AdSense Getting Started with AdSense Creating AdSense Ad Units Using AdSense in WordPress Affiliate Programs Amazon Associates 275 276 276 276 278 284 284 Creating an Amazon Associates Widget Using Your Amazon Widget in WordPress Affiliate Networks Direct Ad Sales Banner Sizes Where to Place Banner Ads How Much to Charge Your Media Pack and Rate Card Rotating Banner Ads Rotating Amazon Banners Paid Reviews 285 286 288 289 289 290 291 292 293 300 301 [ vi ] Table of Contents Case Study Review Summary 302 303 Chapter 11: Managing Growth 305 Keeping Up with the Workload Going Mobile Managing Increased Traffic Installing WP Super Cache Uninstalling WP Super Cache Outgrowing Your Web Host Moving WordPress to a New Server Bringing In Other Writers How to Find Guest Writers Introducing WordPress MU Installing WordPress MU Switching ON mod_rewrite Creating the Database Setting up a Test Domain and Subdomains Installing the WordPress MU Script WordPress MU Basics Developing a Blog Network Summary 305 306 307 307 310 311 313 317 317 318 318 319 320 320 320 322 327 331 Index 333 [ vii ] Preface WordPress for Business Bloggers provides advanced strategies and techniques to take your WordPress business blog from average to extraordinary. Whether you already have a blog, or are still in the planning stages, this book will show you how to use WordPress to create a highly successful blog for your business. The release of version 2.6 has confirmed the status of WordPress as the leading blogging platform. This book has been written for and tested on WordPress 2.6, so all the screenshots and tutorials are accurate for users of that version of the software. This is a practical, hands-on book based around a fictitious case-study blog, which you will build using a development server on your own computer. The vast majority of tutorials and examples will be applied to the case study blog. The case study grows chapter by chapter, from installing your local development server, right up to the finished blog. You will be installing and configuring a selection of WordPress plugins to improve the functionality of the case-study blog. You are provided with clear instructions and detailed screenshots, so you can see exactly what to do at each step of the build. When you have completed the case study, you will have the knowledge and confidence to apply all the techniques you have learned to your own WordPress business blog. The author assumes you have basic experience with WordPress, already know how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog, and are familiar with the basics: creating posts and pages, configuring blog settings, and so on. By the time you have finished the book you will have moved forward from WordPress novice to an advanced user of the software in a business context. Preface What This Book Covers In Chapter 1 you will examine many different types of business blogs. You will be shown a selection of great business blogs and see what you can learn from them. In Chapter 2 you will be introduced to the case study blog, and taken through the process of developing strategic goals and your blog plan. You will learn that the planning process is important, even if your blog is already up and running. In Chapter 3 you will learn the basics of blog design. You will work through a brief introduction to HTML and CSS, and see how easy it is to create your own custom design using the Sandbox theme. In Chapter 4 you will learn some advanced image and video handling techniques, including setting up an image gallery and using video from third-party sources, such as YouTube and Google Video. Chapter 5 focuses on different techniques and methods required for creating the best possible content for your business blog. Chapter 6 covers some of the most important SEO strategies and how to apply them, as well as how to submit your blog to the search engines. In Chapter 7 you will learn some advanced blog promotion techniques, including: advanced RSS with FeedBurner; using Internet Explorer 8 Web Slices; submitting to the blog search engines, like Technorati; using social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter; and using social bookmarks, such as Digg and del.icio.us. In Chapter 8 you will learn the importance of connecting with other bloggers and playing an active role in the blogosphere to promote your business blog. In Chapter 9 you will learn how to analyze your blog's performance using tools such as Google Analytics and WordPress.com Stats. In Chapter 10 you will be introduced to a variety of strategies to help you generate revenue from your blog, like using advertising and affiliate programs. In Chapter 11 you will learn how to manage the growth of your blog by optimizing it for high traffic and introducing multiple authors by using WordPress MU. [2] Preface Who is This Book for? This book is for anybody running or starting a business blog using WordPress. Whether you plan to use your blog for PR and marketing, or want to profit directly from blogging, this book offers you everything you need. As we want to get into the specifics of business blogging as quickly as possible, we don't cover the WordPress basics. So it's best to have some experience with WordPress before you start with this book. The book mainly focuses on a self-hosted WordPress installation, but most of the advice also applies to blogs hosted on WordPress.com. Conventions In this book, you will find a number styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning. There are three styles for code. Code words in text are shown as follows: "The tag was only intended to present data in a tabular format." A block of code will be set as follows: body { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin: 0; padding: 0; background-color: #CCCCCC; color: #000000; } When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items will be made bold: A Simple Web Page [3] Preface New terms and important words are introduced in a bold-type font. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes, for example, appear in our text like this: "clicking the Next button moves you to the next screen". Important notes appear in a box like this. Tips and tricks appear like this. Reader Feedback Feedback from our readers is always welcome. Let us know what you think about this book, what you liked or may have disliked. Reader feedback is important for us to develop titles that you really get the most out of. To send us general feedback, simply drop an email to feedback@packtpub.com, making sure to mention the book title in the subject of your message. If there is a book that you need and would like to see us publish, please send us a note in the SUGGEST A TITLE form on www.packtpub.com or email suggest@packtpub.com. If there is a topic that you have expertise in and you are interested in either writing or contributing to a book, see our author guide on www.packtpub.com/authors. Customer Support Now that you are the proud owner of a Packt book, we have a number of things to help you to get the most from your purchase. Downloading the Example Code for the Book Visit http://www.packtpub.com/files/code/5326_Code.zip to directly download the example code. The downloadable files contain instructions on how to use them. [4] Preface Errata Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our contents, mistakes do happen. If you find a mistake in one of our books—maybe a mistake in text or code—we would be grateful if you would report this to us. By doing this you can save other readers from frustration, and help to improve subsequent versions of this book. If you find any errata, report them by visiting http://www.packtpub. com/support, selecting your book, clicking on the let us know link, and entering the details of your errata. Once your errata are verified, your submission will be accepted and the errata added to the list of existing errata. The existing errata can be viewed by selecting your title from http://www.packtpub.com/support. Piracy Piracy of copyright material on the Internet is an ongoing problem across all media. At Packt, we take the protection of our copyright and licenses very seriously. If you come across any illegal copies of our works in any form on the Internet, please provide the location address or the website name immediately, so we can pursue a remedy. Please contact us at copyright@packtpub.com with a link to the suspected pirated material. We appreciate your help in protecting our authors, and our ability to bring you valuable content. Questions You can contact us at questions@packtpub.com if you are having a problem with some aspect of the book, and we will do our best to address it. [5] - Xem thêm -