The Savvy Digital Weekend Digest, August 6th 2022
How about that name? No? I think I hate it. Meh.
This newsletter is dedicated to other people who also curate and produce a newsletter and a question: How the actual hell do you keep it up for more than a few weeks? This ish is hard, dude! Lol 😭
What I Bookmarked This Week
Can you say it loud enough for those in the back, please?
There’s a specific play in double-extra hell for people who write Twitter Threads but don’t write a blog post or repurpose their content elsewhere. Stop the madness, Becky!
Do blogs, and write them for your future friends (and yourself). Thanks.
Don’t cry, dear friend.
Maybe your chalupa tasted a little worse than you hoped; maybe you’re on the production team making the Drago Rocky Spinoff, and you just got lambasted by Sly Stallone; this tweet is for you.
The Best Damn Tools…
A reminder for my shiny object syndrome sufferers that the best tools to do the various jobs are the ones you know.
Stick to what works—tried true over shiny and new every day ending in Y!
If you run a business, reviews matter. It’s indisputable. From the angry Yelper to the happy camper who bought something from you that putt hat smile on their face. Reviews are a critically important social signal of trust that tells prospective customers about the quality of a given product or service company.
With my Crowdfunding product we’ve recently prioritized strategy to help us get more positive reviews. We’ve implemented some automation around that process when people tell us they appreciate us.
Reviews are important because the more positive reviews you have, the more sales you’re likely to receive. Businesses with more than 200 reviews can expect twice as much revenue (stat).
Reviews establish social capital and trust with people who may not know about you or your products.
How are YOU going to get one more review this week? Hmm? I’m waiting!
WordPress 6.1 Details
Mark your calendars! The WordPress 6.1 development cycle has been published along with its release team. The expected release date has been updated to November 1, 2022, to incorporate feedback received on the first proposed schedule.
Standing Around the Ol’ Watercooler
Last weekend, I chatted with my buddy, Jason Tucker, of WP Watercooler. He told me the WP Watercooler has been producing content for nearly A WHOLE DECADE! Can you believe that? I can’t. I’m on issue seven of this newsletter, and I’m this >< close to saying eff it!
What Sé, Steve, Jason, and Cosper are doing over there is truly amazing. If you’ve never listened in, or it’s been a minute, head over and check them out: https://wpwatercooler.com.
The End of an Era
The DesktopServer team (Gregg Franklin, Steven Carnam, and Mark Benzakein) announced that they are shutting down ServerPress, a development tool used to run WordPress locally.
DesktopServer was the tool many users flocked to when they began their WordPress journey, and while I don’t have numbers handy, I’d argue that their success early on contributed to the meteoric adoption of WordPress worldwide. In fact, it’s what I used initially to begin my web development journey in WordPress. I’m saddened to hear it’s going to be sunset. Maybe Mullenweg should say thanks? Random thought.
My early days in WordPress were spent within the Orange County community, where I met the folks that built DesktopServer. Good folks all!
DesktopServer succeeded early on from their community involvement in various WordCamps and WordPress Meetups. It’s a testament to what a product can accomplish when it invests deeply in a personal connection with a community.
There are several local dev solutions in the market these days, from command line tools like Lando to more polished UI-drive solutions like WP Engine’s Local and Pantheon’s LocalDev, all of which are owned by a host or are sponsored by a Webhosting company.
In their email, they said:
We’re a small company that has remained independent of large hosting providers and their influential budgets; this choice had initial market share benefits but longer-term financial constraints.The ServerPress Team
I’ve talked to them over the years about when the DS 5 was coming, but it never came; whatever the reasons for shutting the product down, I’m sure they’re valid.
They’re all talented people, and I look forward to seeing what they do next!
WordPress Products You Should Know
Perfmatters – A performance-enhancing plugin that disables many of WordPress’s annoying little things such as Emoji support, blank favicons, jQuery Migrate, Disables XML-RPC and a lot more. Other plugins like Autoptimize does this, too.
WP Rocket – I was reminded this week of the awesomeness of WP Rocket while doing performance optimization on a website we manage. It’s easy to use and is great at helping you boost a website’s load times and page speed. Not the greatest with Managed WordPress hosts but great on many other hosting platforms. It works great with GoDaddy Managed WP Hosting, fyi.
WP Offload Media – An indispensable solution for offloading images and js/CSS assets to AWS Cloudfront (or Google Cloud or DigitalOcean Spaces). It makes configuring a CDN for your website so much easier. Another solid performance-related plugin.
Shortpixel Image Optimizer – Another performance-related plugin (noticing a theme here?). This plugin optimizes your website’s jpeg and png media files. But that’s not all! It overachieves by also creating nextgen image formats such as webP and AVIF!! And if that wasn’t enough, it will also serve nextgen image formats in place of their older counterparts. It requires a paid plan, however. A great tool to quickly and easily optimize your images.
Pasadena WordPress Meetup Returns
If you’re violently thirsting for more WordPress content, live in or around Pasadena, and you have a thing for mustachioed guys named Alex, you’re in luck!
The Pasadena WordPress meetup returns on September 27th, 2022. I’m finalizing the details with the host venue and waiting to get my perm and my special canister of rouge.
Be on the lookout for an announcement on the Meetup Page here: https://meetup.com/wordpress-pasadena
This newsletter has received the attention of the folks on our list; y’all open this at a nearly 30% clip each weekend. Thank you!
I’m very observant
I notice that the top third of those email links receive clicks. The rest of the email doesn’t (especially my agency’s CTA links). I think shorter form emails are more effective for generating actions or conversions. Long-form emails are just icing on the cake, so to speak. I’m speaking only from my anecdotal, readily-available data.
Long emails = happy subscribers who want to read what you have to say. They’ll get after it. Solid use cases for longer emails: Community building, establishing thought leadership, improving customer retention and happiness.
Short emails = are great for when you want someone to take an action. SPEAR, promotional, and nurture email sequences are great use cases here.
Making use of Ahrefs
Ahrefs is an SEO analysis tool beloved by SEOers everywhere. I often reference the tool in my counseling sessions with SBDC clients. There is a LOT of data and reporting to soak up. It often feels overwhelming to me.
I recommend starting with the Content Gap report if you use this tool and are unsure what to do or where to start.
From the Ahrefs website
Take all the keywords your competitor ranks for and subtract the keywords that your own website ranks for. What you get is a list of keywords that you should be targeting.https://ahrefs.com/content-gap
The content gap tool often helps me spot opportunities the competition is taking advantage of and provides direction on what type of content I should produce or what pages I need to optimize for specific keywords. This process has helped me with our Crowdfunding product as we have begun a slow ascent in rankings for specific keywords identified in the Content Gap report.
The Menace’s Guide to Marketing
Yes, on the heels of mistake-based marketing (no, it’s not a thing, but it should be, dammit!), I wrote a lengthier piece on how you can leverage the power of mistakes, trolling, and meme-ry (not a real word) to move the needle on your marketing KPIs.
I’ll be honest with you; I almost titled this The Chaotic Neutral Marketer’s Guide to Digital Marketing. As I re-read this article, I’m aghast, appalled, befuddled, and quite happy to…
1 Aug 2022
Give Yourself Some Space
Michelle Frechette, of PostStatus, authored a lovely article that you should read: https://poststatus.com/the-importance-of-space/. Take care of yourselves, nurture yourself, and prioritize some YOU-time.
Last year, for my birthday, I booked a hotel room at a local bougie hotel and booked myself a spa day, which was AMAZING. At forty-five, I wondered why I hadn’t done anything like that sooner. I got a pedicure the following weekend. Also glorious, especially if you smuggle in a small bottle of the bubbly!
In short, self-care is pretty darn cool.
Don’t Spend So Much Time
Sometimes it’s good just to get something out the door. Whether it’s work for a client project, a pet project, or something else. The idea is that sometimes good enough is good enough. Ship it. Publish it. Save it. Send it. It’s the whole “Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good” thing. Just do the thing, people!
Have a lovely weekend, and we’ll see you next weekend!
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