Finding Your Company’s Voice

The March WordPress Practitioner’s Meetup was the first in a series of “The Business of WordPress” topics our member’s have requested. Our WP Practitioners attendees are about evenly divided between business owners and mangers who use WordPress daily in their businesses, and WordPress Freelancers, Developers and Implementors who are building and maintaining WordPress sites for businesses. When the organizers read your topic requests, we approached small business specialist, Sarah Flaherty about presenting to our group.

Sarah’s tag line is, “Let me think outside the box for you,” illustrates her love for helping emerging businesses and her creativity. In today’s world, there is no unique business, there is only uniqueness. Finding your unique voice is the first and foremost need of a successful business or Freelancer.

Your firm’s voice is the single­most important business fundamental, and it is often ignored in our WordPress Community of Developers and Designers. Consumers no longer shop locally, they shop globally on their terms. This makes competition to get their attention, and keep it, fierce. You must be in constant communication with your clients in order to maintain sales and growth. However, you can’t achieve this through a great logo and a fabulous website. You must engage directly with your clients, and this requires you to have a curated voice; consumers flock to you and become your loyal evangelists when they hear and experience your care of them consistently ­ when they know your firm’s personality, what and why it’s passionate about, and what they can always count on.

Sarah C. Flaherty of LUV, LLC will briefly discuss the need to find your voice, how to shape it, and what to do with it once you’ve found it ­ with a focus on social media. This presentation will be followed by a group project that allows you to take a company from conception to initial client communication and will show you the importance of aligning your company’s mission statement with your visuals and content. This will help you better understand your need to content curate to find your firm’s unique voice and how to use it going forward.

With  some of Sarah’s tips and tricks you’ll find that not only will you better understand the hows and whys of what you want to do, but you’ll be better able to focus potential clients’ attention on your business, and keep it.  The WPATX Organizers want to thank Sarah Flaherty for a wonderful presentation and a fun workshop to demonstrate refining and channeling our business brand. Thanks to all our members who displayed amazing creativity and sense of humor -Sarah made learning fun!

Below please find a PDF of Sarah’s Slides and her contact info if you have any questions.

 

How to Find Your Company Voice

 

Multisite Network Do’s and Don’ts – Experience from Some Enterprise Solutions

We’ve all built a ton of WordPress sites. We’ve also managed them all too. You’ve probably heard about WordPress Multisite Networks, and all the awesome things it can (and can’t) allow you to do.

With great power, comes great responsibility. During this talk, Taylor steped through the do’s and don’ts of Multisite Networks. He shared how WordPress Multisite can be your best friend or worst enemy… but usually both… at the same time.

Taylor share his pro-tips, eureka moments, and hard lessons learned from his experience setting up and running multisite networks for small private company intranets, all the way to global enterprise brands.

By the end of his presentation attendees learned the pros and cons of WordPress Multisite Networks, best practices for setting up and running a multisite, and know about alternatives if multisite isn’t a fit for your next project.

Taylor McCaslin is an Austin based Technical Product Manager at WP Engine, a managed WordPress hosting platform. He has shared his  slides and additional resources at: https://www.taylormccaslin.com/wpatx/

You can following him@Taylor4484.

Once again, the WPATX Community thanks our very first Sponsor, WP Engine for their ongoing support of our WordPress community, and so generously sharing the expertise of their in-house expert developers.

TAYLOR.1 TAYLOR.2 Taylor.3 Taylor.4

Building an Information Structure for your WordPress Site

This is part two, of a seven-part presentation series, structured to support those new to WordPress. The goal is to provide a contiguous set of WordPress Meetups designed to help attendees gain the skills to build and use a WordPress website. This series was developed in cooperation with the Four Points Chamber of Commerce.

This beginner’s session discusses how to plan your WordPress site and build it’s information architecture — your site’s navigation — to match that plan. This presentation will focus on the difference between a ‘Page’ and a ‘Post’, and how to use ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ to build your navigation structure.

We will also review how to use the WordPress linking strategy to give the search engine spiders clear and distinct paths to follow that will improve your site’s search engine rankings. The session closes with how to use a site maintenance schedule to keep your online business on track and making money. Bring your laptops and your questions! Rich Plakas will lead this class.

This is the second in a series of seven sessions designed to support those new to WordPress. The goal is to provide a contiguous set of WordPress Meetups designed to help attendees gain the skills to build and use a WordPress website. This series was developed in cooperation with the Four Points Chamber of Commerce. This session was first presented in August 2013 under the title of Sensible Site Navigation —Building an Information Structure and is being repeated based on membership requests

Building the information structure of  your WordPress site keeping the end in mind

Just because the WordPress features give you the capability to set up a complete WordPress site in 30-minutes doesn’t mean you should.

It is easier to do it right the first time then go back and rework, restructure. The great news is that Word- Press is such a powerful tool, changing your mind, reworking and restructuring, can be handled a magnitude easier than with the old-school static sites.

The time invested in planning and organizing your WordPress website will net a successful website that meets clearly identified goals and provides compelling content that draws your audience to your site again and again. In addition it will be easy to navigate and is attractively designed to complement the content.

You do not need to invest an inordinate amount of time planning your WordPress website. Some would-be website owners use the “Planning Process” to avoid the actual “Implementation Process.”

We advocate the middle path.

Plan.Do.Check.Act

 

 

 

 

PLAN your site

DO your site,

CHECK to see if the site is doing what you PLANNED

then ACT on the information your analysis has indicated.

A successful site is the product of continuous process improvement. The time you invest in the improvement process will help you develop a site that will invoke a positive response from search engines and help convert site visitors into customers.

 Your Website Is A Business Unit

Commit to treating your website as a business unit and follow a set schedule for updating content

Make sure that your website reflects and supports both your business plan and the marketing strategy you have set for your business.

To go directly to Sensible Site Navigation —Building an Information Structure Presentation Slide Deck:

http://presentations.pleiadesservices.com/category/building-an-information-structure-for-your-wordpress-site

To review the Creation and Organization of Pages go to: http://codex.wordpress.org/Pages

To review the Creation and Organization of Posts go to: http://codex.wordpress.org/Posts

Review of the Post Categories Screen: http://codex.wordpress.org/Posts_Categories_Screen

To review Linking Posts Pages and Categories go to: http://codex.wordpress.org/Linking_Posts_Pages_and_Categories

The guide to using the WordPress Menu system to Build a Site Navigation Organization can be found at: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Menu_User_Guide

One of the reasons we are so enthusiastic about WordPress as a solution for business websites is that there are so many Free resources available to the beginning user.

In addition to the Austin WordPress monthly meetups, you can find answers to most of your questions on the WordPress Codex [codex.wordpress.org]and if you are more of an audio/visual learner there are hundreds of videos at [http://wordpress.tv].

If you have questions between meetup you can always post them on the Austin WordPress Google Groups Forum: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/wordpress-austin.

Next month we will present: How to Choose and Install a WordPress Theme.

Content, Content, Content!

Our September 9th Meetup at Posh CoWorking Lounge was a Deep Dive discussion that focused on Content, Content Content.

It was an open-ended, fast moving discussion about all aspects of content development strategies and management.  Our attendees ranged from writers who produced their own site content, Content Flow Chart Blackboardto site managers and owners who had content produced in-house or contracted-out to professional writers here and abroad. We concluded that successful site owners and managers have a clearly defined content plan, based on keywords, identified through on-going research. Several attendees brought up points from Tony Tovar’s August SEO Presentation: how content drives a successful link campaigns, that site content has to accurately address customer queries, and provide a clear call to action. Content controlled why customers came to the site and it can be why customers quickly bounce of the site.

As promised here are some of the links we discussed during the meeting. Here’s hoping the steps provided will help you get all those words and phases out of your head and organized into a site that does what you need it to do.

Developing a Content Strategy

 Content, Content, Content — Continued!

Here are the links for the various plugins and services we discussed during the meeting

The Organize Series WordPress Plugin helps with the organization and presentation of articles/posts you write as part of a series. It helps make it easier for readers of your blog to discover all the series you’ve written and also to easily find post that are part of the same series. http://wordpress.org/plugins/organize-series/

 Yoast SEO Optimize your WordPress site with just one plugin
The most complete SEO plugin for WordPress available today offers you everything you need to optimize your site. http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/

ShopTalk  is a podcast about front end web design, development and UX. Each week Dave & Chris will be joined by a special guest who is there to talk shop and help answer listener submitted questions.  This is a great POD CAST model to emulate. http://shoptalkshow.com/

Editorial Calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog. http://wordpress.org/plugins/editorial-calendar/

KeyWordSpy Realtime tracking to monitor keyword performance. http://www.keywordspy.com/

Add rel=nofollow Plugin is a wordpress plugin that inserts the HTML tag rel=nofollow on every <a> tag mentioned in the post. http://wordpress.org/plugins/add-relnofollow-to-links/

Tag: nofollow Improves your blog’s search engine optimization by “noindexing” pages you choose. Now also for page-based (as opposed to date-based) http://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/nofollow

Get the Image is a plugin that grabs images for you. It was designed to make the process of things such as adding thumbnails, feature images, and/or other images to your blog much easier, but it’s so much more than that. It is an image-based representation of your WordPress posts. http://wordpress.org/plugins/get-the-image/

Contextual Related Posts is a powerful plugin for WordPress that allows you to display a list of related posts on your website and in your feed. The list is based on the content of the title and/or content of the posts which makes them more relevant and more likely to be of interest to your readers. This allows you to retain visitors, reduce bounce rates and refresh old entries. http://wordpress.org/plugins/contextual-related-posts/

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the CEO of Castle Media Group the parent company of Author Media. You can follow him on Twitter @ThomasUmstattd and on Google+ He loves helping people use technology to change the world. Great newsletter to model and a profession writer’s best friend. http://www.authormedia.com/author/thomas/

 

Best Practices Beginners Track 08.03.10

Life After WordPress Installation

The August beginners track addressed how to actually use the WordPress functions to structure site navigation and how to begin building the site with the end in mind. We reviewed how to  use Categories and Tags  to build the ‘silo’ navigation structure and linking stategy to give the search engine spiders clear and distinct paths to follow to improve search engine rankings. The session closed with how to use a site maintenance schedule to keep  your online business on track and making money.

Class outline:

Developing a site map/plan based on the purpose of the site.
How to set up a site structure to match the plan
Explaining  dash board features and functions
Delineating the difference between a page and a post.
How and why to use tags and categories/sub categories
Why Silo content / how it effects search engine indexing
Site maintenance schedule

To view the PowerPoint Presentation, go to:

http://www.slideshare.net/sbatik/word-press-meetup-getting-started

I will post the sitemap plugins we talked about in the next post.

Thanks,

H. Sandra Chevalier- Batik, Pleiades Publishing Services