The DigiSavvy Weekend Digest, July 30th

Yep, I still haven’t figured out a name for this BS newsletter. Halp!

This edition of our Weekend Digest is dedicated to the content creators who forget to edit the subject line of their newsletters; this is for my marketers who send the same email five times to their lists accidentally; this email is for my peeps who send personalized emails with no fallback text in their First Name variable (Hello, Firstname. It’s me again). Hi, dear marketer. I love you! Have a newsletter!

What I Bookmarked This Week

shallow focus photography of green, pink, and orange bookmarks

Delightful Sitemaps

As a resident victim of shiny object syndrome, this (OctopusDo sitemaps) looks like a nifty, inexpensive tool for those who build websites. I like how you can add a little more context to the boxes representing your various content pages. We’ve been happy with Writemaps for a long time, but I like Octopus’s block features, which add more context. It’s snazzy!

Content Marketing is Hard and Simple At the Same Time

The smart folks at Animalz shared their insights into what makes content marketing work. – the article isn’t super in the weeds with its prescribed approach.

I’d distill the information down this way:
1. Own your expertise
2. Teach your audience to fish
3. Let others write about the basics of a given topic—focus on your expertise and the difficult stuff it solves for your customers.
4. Write about what your readers want to know and less about what you want to write.

I could certainly do a lot better with regard to content marketing for my product and agency businesses.

Here’s another great article from Animalz: — writing persuasive, meaningful content that hits the mark isn’t so hard if you have a process.

Google Product Reviews Update

Google is just issuing an update on how they review product reviews. Reading their article and seeing there’s nothing groundbreaking here. Provide useful reviews demonstrating knowledge of use or expertise surrounding this product. If you’ve never visited the Wirecutter that’s their bread and butter.

Techy “Dad Joke” Alert

Mad respect to Andy. I hate it.

Strategy > Planning

From the Harvard Business Review YouTube page, they shared a video from Roger Martin, Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto School of Management, who does an excellent job of summarizing what a Strategy is and how it’s better than planning.

In short, we ought to create strategies that start with the desired outcome and then unpack the various tactics that help us to achieve that result.


WordPress Plugins

A Rant

No doubt, WordPress is big business. Partnerships between WordPress hosting providers and WordPress product companies are not new. Product companies get exposed to exponentially more potential customers through hosting partnerships and vice-a-versa.

Often, Hosts will pre-install plugins from the Product Company on new installations of WordPress. I’ve seen it many times and don’t have a problem with that.

What I have a problem with is when these plugins suddenly appear on an existing website. Doing so without their customers’ consent is pretty slimy to me. There are risks with this practice. While unlikely, the plugins could present a security vulnerability if compromised. The plugins may be incompatible with another plugin on the users’ website, and if they activate the plugin, BOOM! Broken website. It’s just not cool for hosts to deploy plugins on their customers’ existing websites without prior consent. It’s a poor practice.

I know one hosting company installing plugins without their customers’ consent. I have two clients who have reported this issue (both with the same hosting company). I’ve spoken to a rep with the Plugin Product company, and while they acknowledge the partnership, they were unaware of the plugins being deployed to existing websites.

In short, installing software without users’ consent is not okay, especially when said software is a part of a marketing/strategic partnership. Hosting companies need to do better (as do their partners).


A Podcast for WP Product Makers. Yes Please!

Justin Ferriman, a cool cat, and land investor, recently received his exit from his Product Business he launched from the ground up, LearnDash and has been looking for ways to spend his new found free time! He’s kicking up a short-form podcast series with the aim of producing bite-sized episodes that help product owners move the needle for their products.

As a person who owns a product I’m interested in what he has to say.

We’re Not a Small Village Anymore

Kim Lipari sat with PostStatus Podcast to discuss the WordPress ecosystem and community, sharing her thoughts on the evolution of WordPress through the years. Interesting listen. Listen here:

Host Yer Fonts Locally Or Else!

GDPR has been live for a few years now. Recently, a German Court ruled (and fined) a website owner for serving fonts hosted on Google Servers, which violates GDPR. So now theme authors and website owners are rushing to ensure their fonts are hosted locally.

WP Tavern did a nice write up on the topic:

A WP-Focused Content to Consume.

The WP Minute by Matt Madeiros and fellow contributors. Bite-sized chunks of WordPress every week!


person wearing red and black jacket while holding motocross dirt bike


It never hurts to do an impromptu audit of your website content and make sure you’re doing all the SEO-y things correctly. The Content Marketing Institute shared their tips on what that looks like.

Focus on making the kind of content that is difficult to produce (but great value to your audience). If it’s great, it’ll get backlinks eventually.

Make sure your content is easy to consume. Avoid industry jargon and being clever in favor of being clear. Never sacrifice clarity for being clever!

Optimize your website’s performance. Something database-driven sites suffer for is performance, page load times, etc.
Read the article

SPEAR Em With that Email, Kid

I picked this one up from my biz partner, friend, Canadian, and default Dad of every friendship group he’s a member of, and very smart good egg, Jay Gibb. What is a SPEAR email? A SPEAR email is short, personal, and expecting a reply. No fluff, just direct.

SPEAR emails are great if you want feedback from your customers or if you want them to take a specific action.

Make mistakes so long as you keep MAKING!

Every time, and I mean EVER. DAMN. TIME. I screw up an email blast; the numbers tell me more about it than my friends and colleagues (thanks for paying attention, btw). The numbers are typically 2x to 3x more than what they usually are. Last week’s newsletter had a 39.8% (out of 2500+ subs) open rate!!! NEARLY HALF of our subscribers opened it. That’s impressive!!

Maybe I’m talking to myself here, but I can’t overstate it enough: Keep making content, keep beating your drum, and keep making incremental improvements. Don’t let your mistakes get you down. You’re doing the thing and moving the needle, and that’s pretty cool!

And lastly…

Signup is a noun. Sign up is a verb. Hat tip

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