There is a point when your blog is going to grow beyond your ability to manage everything yourself. This is going to be one of the most exciting parts of your blogging career. It is also going to be one of the points when you need to make some difficult decisions, such as which contractors to hire and how to manage them. You can find some decent freelancers on Upwork or Fiverr, but you need to be realistic about the quality of the work and the number of resources you will need.
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You have built a successful blog by following a proven methodology. You have developed considerable expertise and it has paid off. Unfortunately, freelancers on Upwork or Fiverr might not have the skill sets to match your expectations. You need to choose employees carefully. You need to train them well, oversee their work and be mindful of their limitations.
If you hire the wrong person or fail to monitor them properly, then you could tarnish your blog. All of your hard work getting to this point could be wasted with the wrong freelancer.
Here are some common mistakes that bloggers make when outsourcing projects on these platforms.
Neglecting to look at previous feedback from other clients
When you first post a gig on Upwork, you will probably receive at least half a dozen applications within the first hour. How do you determine which applicant is the best?
Many clients will only look at two things:
- The hourly rate of the freelancer
- Their average rating
Surprisingly few clients will look at the feedback other employers have left. This is a huge mistake for several reasons.
For one thing, the freelancers average rating is barely a good indication of the quality of their work. These ratings are very subjective. Employers also have a tendency to conflate these ratings, unless they are extremely unhappy with the freelancer.
One blogger that hired someone on Upwork made a surprising observation while reviewing their profile. They saw that almost all of the previous clients gave four or five stars to them. The average rating was 4.5. However, the feedback that they left was not nearly as positive.
One previous client said that the freelancer had branded themselves as an expert, which is what the client was asking for. However, the client said that they were disappointed and felt the freelancer was only average at their job. They said the freelancer was able to handle some more basic responsibilities, but not more advanced projects. Despite the somewhat harsh feedback, the client still gave the freelancer a perfect five-star rating.
Good freelancers learn from their mistakes and grow from them, but some will repeat the same mistakes frequently — such as not taking negative feedback lightly. This is something that could quickly damage your account and reputation, so it’s important to follow up and try to get the most out of each review and paying customer.
Another reason that you need to look at the feedback is to see what types of projects they have actually worked on in the past. Keep in mind that many freelancers on Fiverr and Upwork offer a broad range of services. The same freelancer could offer blogging, Pinterest marketing, translation and back-end programming.
You might find that 90% of the projects they have worked on were unrelated to the project that you need them for. The fact that they have earned an excellent rating with previous clients could be totally irrelevant to you. That simply means they are very good at a task that you don’t intend to hire them for.
When you look at feedback from other clients, you can let these freelancers better. You will know whether or not they have experience working on a project similar to what you need.
Neglecting to look at the job success score
Nothing is more frustrating than onboarding a freelancer, training them, paying them to do part of a project, only to have them fail to finish it. There are a lot of reasons that this can happen. Some freelancers simply are not very self-motivated. They may have chosen to freelance on Fiverr or Upwork because they don’t have the work ethic to run a more intensive business or handle the responsibilities of a regular job. They might also have a tendency to take on more clients than they can handle. They could also have a problem following directions, so they have to drop clients out of frustration or the clients terminate the agreement.
Fortunately, Upwork tracks the job success score for every freelancer in their network. If a client regularly fails to complete jobs, you will obviously not want to hire them.
It is a good idea to look for freelancers that have a job success score of at least 75% to 80%. This indicates that they are better at servicing their clients and follow through with their commitments then people with a lower score.
Expecting that the freelancer will be able to make the same high-level executive decisions as you
As a blogger, you need to be highly independent and self-motivated. You understand the importance of taking initiative and making crucial decisions.
You might not be able to count on a freelancer from Upwork to do the same. One blogger discovered this when they used this platform to find someone to help with his Pinterest strategy. They initially instructed the freelancer to make their own decisions about which images to use for each pin. This created a lot of confusion and lead to a number of back-and-forth questions between the blogger and the freelancer.
The blogger realized that they needed to provide a lot more structure to make the relationship successful. They created a spreadsheet and clarified which images to use with every pen. The assignment of each image was completely arbitrary, so the blogger was able to randomly assign them quickly. As simple of a change as this was, it provided clearer direction to the freelancer, so they were able to get the job done with fewer frustrations.
You are an entrepreneur. You are used to making strategic decisions all the time. People that choose to freelance for a living are not used to you making the same choices. As intelligent and qualified as they might be, they are going to have a preference for regimented directions with a lot of direction. Things will go a lot more smoothly if you provide that.
Not being willing to pay enough for good results
The quality of freelancers on Upwork and Fiverr varies tremendously. This is often reflected in the rates that they charge.
There are some dedicated workers that will be willing to handle your projects for a surprisingly low price. However, most decent freelancers are going to charge more than their less qualified colleagues.
You need to keep in mind that you are usually going to get what you pay for. If you always hire the cheapest contractor, then you could be jeopardizing the future of your blog.
The best examples to illustrate this point are if you are hiring a contractor for writing blog articles or linkbuilding. Contractors that charge low fees to build links are going to generally do a lousy job. They will use spammy linkbuilding networks that could get your site penalized or even deindexed by Google. Writers that charge $5 an article are going to also offer lower quality work, as well. Some of them outright plagiarize content or use article spinners, hoping that they won’t get caught. Using these writers could also seriously damage your reputation with readers were standing with Google.
For example, if you are blogging about a complicated topic, such as ‘custom printed magnets‘, then you need to make sure that you are hiring a professional writer that can step up to the plate, learn about your niche and do a great job. You can see some of the best performing content and blog posts from Jukebox in the screenshot below, and how they are also targeting their customers needs and then fulfilling them as a service.
I understand the temptation to keep your costs low. Bloggers are used to having the mindset that they don’t have to pay to make their business a success. However, if you do need to start outsourcing work, it is better to pay a bit more upfront to get the quality that you need.
Of course, you don’t want to overpay freelancers either. But you need to make sure that you are paying enough to get the service that you need.
Acting like too much of a pushover
Bloggers that have just started delegating their responsibilities are not used to some of the tougher parts of being a manager. One of the hardest things is knowing how to hold people accountable.
A lot of bloggers have very easy-going personalities. They don’t find that calling people out on their mistakes and telling them that they did the job wrong is something that comes easily. You are going to need to find a way to get over this challenge if you expect to get value from your freelancers.
Some bloggers decide that they need to accept a low standard of quality from the freelancers they use. Rather than telling their contractors to go back and rectify their mistakes, they decide to make the changes themselves.
There’s a point when this is going to negate the benefits of hiring a freelancer. You are paying them to make your life easier. It completely defeats the purpose if you have to do most of the work yourself.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t accept certain limitations of your freelancers. You might decide that there are certain tasks that you need to continue doing yourself or ask another contractor to handle them for you. However, it is important to make the distinction between excepting reasonable limitations and being too passive to demand a quality service that you expect.
How to Generate More Leads from Your WordPress Blog
As a blogger and marketer, you need more leads except you want your business to fizzle away.
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In other words, lead generation is what everyone who cares about growing his audience base should never play with!
With effective lead generation, you’ll be able to capture those users by creating a communication channel between your website and the user.
Many successful bloggers and online marketers have confessed that their biggest mistake was not building an email list to capture leads from day one, which is also a mistake you wouldn’t want to make.
Additionally, studies have shown that “over 75% of users visiting your site from search engines will never see it again,” which is why collecting their email address (lead) from their first visit is important.
In this article, you’ll learn how to generate leads from your WordPress blog like a pro.
How to Generate More Leads: A Step-By-Step Guide
Getting Started with Lead Generation in WordPress
The first thing is to get a self-hosted WordPress.org site (if you don’t have one already).
After which you’ll register with an email marketing service provider, which are companies that specialize in sending email campaigns and broadcasts to your list. You can use Aweber or ConvertKit for this.
It’s also important to get lead generation software (marketing automation tools) such as Thrive Leads or Elementor. These services will help you create attractive sign-up forms for lead capturing.
Finally, your lead generation campaign will only be effective if you’re using the right WordPress plugin for this job.
Lead Generation Using Popups and Dynamic Optin Forms
One of the several ways of generating leads from your WordPress blog is to add a plain looking email subscription box to your sidebar. However, visitors don’t notice those forms, in most cases, and this is because they blend in.
This is where a lead generation software comes in. It lets you create and test multiple email opt-in forms for your site and determine the one that converts the most.
With a good lead generation software, your opt-ins can be personalized based on user behavior, so they can see the most targeted offer at the right time.
For instance, you can show customized email capture forms for:
- Different pages, blog categories, or sections
- Based on the user’s previous interactions with your site
- Based on their physical location
- Based on the user’s device (Mobile, Desktop, Tablet)
- Based on where the user is coming from (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.)
Lead Generation in WordPress Using Comments
According to research, comments are the simplest way to build user engagement.
However, the default WordPress commenting system is not very effective in bringing back the visitors who comment on your blog.
Now, one of the many ways you can capture leads from comment forms on your WordPress website is by adding comment redirect.
When a visitor comments on your site, they’ll see the same page again with a preview of their own comment. It’s nothing new, really.
So how about converting these users into subscribers?
This can be achieved by redirecting them to another page on your site after they leave a comment. This could be a special offer page or a thank you page like the example below:
Lead Generation Using Contact Form in WordPress
One of the most common ways of generating leads in WordPress is via your contact forms. However, most WordPress contact form plugins are either very tough to use or doesn’t integrate with your email service provider.
This is what WPForms can do for you. It’s one of the most user-friendly contact form plugins for WordPress sites.
With WPForms plugin, you can easily create stunning contact forms and effortlessly integrate them with email service providers like Getresponse, Aweber, MailChimp, etc.
Creating and Using Lead Magnets in WordPress
Lead Magnets (also known as incentives) are special offers given in exchange for the desired action.
This special offer could be anything from an eBook, a helpful resource, Amazon gift cards, discount coupon, etc.
Lead magnets work incredibly well because they are quick and easy, they offer visitors something valuable in return, and they don’t have to pay for the incentives.
Additionally, if you’re a blogger, then you can also use a “content upgrade” as your lead magnet. A content upgrade simply offers visitors extra useful content as an incentive for performing an action.
An easy way to create a content upgrade is by turning your best blog posts into an e-book.
Visitors may want to get a copy of your post so they can read it offline.
A tool that can help you do this is Designrr.
It lets you import your post and convert them into a different format (e-book, video, podcast). You can then edit and customize the presentation of the repurposed content and make it look better.
Now, for your visitors to get their hands on your e-book, they need to give away their email address in exchange.
This approach works as a lead generation strategy for a simple reason:
You scratch their backs, they scratch yours!
You get their email address and they receive the valuable e-book from you in return.
For this reason, this mutually beneficial approach to lead generation is one of the best.
Do you now know how to generate leads using WordPress?
Lead generation does not start and end with using plugins. Rather, it starts with building a comprehensive sales funnel and having a clear understanding of how all the different elements and pieces fit together.
Apart from using tools, you can equally leverage content and nurturing your current leads in order to close them into customers/clients of your blog.
Finally, here’s how to generate more leads for your business.
6 Ways Teachers and Education Bloggers Can Use Summer Break Productively
Once that final bell rings and the last scuffling footsteps of students running out the doors fades away, only teachers are left. After spending months working well over 40 hours per week, suddenly educators find their schedules considerably lighter for the next few months.
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Of course, some much-deserved rest and relaxation is on the menu—but even so, that teacher mentality doesn’t magically disappear. Chances are your brain will start whirring soon enough, reflecting on the past year and thinking ahead of the next one. This is when blogging and content creation can really come into play!
It’s only natural you want to use your summer vacation in a way that reinvigorates your mind and ensures you’ll start off strong next year. With this in mind, teachers and education focused bloggers are continually working throughout the summer to make sure they never lose a step.
Here are six ways for educators to utilize summer break productively.
Self-care is about more than pampering yourself; it’s about recharging the mental, emotional and physical “batteries” that you need in order to keep teaching well. Most educators end up putting their own needs on the back burner during the school year. So, summer is the ideal time to destress and regain some clarity. This will help you avoid burnout down the line.
Here are a few self-care tips courtesy of Edutopia:
- Spend time on hobbies: During the school year, it’s all too easy to abandon hobbies and creative pursuits. But summer is the perfect time to dust them off. Try drawing, baking, playing a musical instrument, knitting or sewing, cooking or gardening.
- Connect socially: Think about how many times you had to defer social plans during the school year. Now that your calendar’s wide open, you can reconnect meaningfully with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.
- Unplug your mind: Take at least a few minutes per day to do, well, nothing. Walk without a destination, watch a new TV show, meditate, take a nap, read something light, listen to an album all the way through or try a new podcast.
- Exercise: Make time for regular exercise, be it your favorite intramural sport, yoga, running, dance, spin class, walking the dog, etc.
Continue Professional Development
Summer is also an excellent time to pursue professional development that’ll ultimately help you become a more well-rounded teacher and person. Look for local opportunities to take classes toward a degree or attend workshops for continuing education.
For teachers that enjoy writing, the option is always there to do some simple freelance writing work online, while also making some extra money in the process. Writing sites like Fiverr.com and iWriter.com make it easy to start getting paid for simple writing projects in your free time.
Go Over Feedback from Last Year
Once you’ve had an appropriate period of time in which to decompress, spend a day going over the feedback you received from last year—including any student evaluations, parent comments and employer assessments. Feedback is a great motivator to keep doing what’s working and switch up what isn’t.
If you have an active blog with real visitors, you can use the feedback form and commenting options on your site to get feedback on future lesson plans, or lessons learned from the previous year.
Plan Improvements for Next Year
Let’s be honest: Your mind is probably already thinking ahead to next year, even if summer break just started. It’s only natural. You can’t help but envision and anticipate teaching another class of students. Luckily, summer is an opportune time to plan improvements for next year.
Think in terms of teaching strategies and tech tools. What would help boost engagement and active learning in your classroom? For instance, many instructors nowadays are incorporating student response systems into their lesson planning. Plug-ins like Poll Everywhere integrate into presentation software and allow learners to answer multiple-choice polls, submit free-form questions and contribute to word clouds in real time. This has proven to be one strategy for breaking up long lecture classes and getting students involved—and it’s a straightforward addition to any teacher’s toolkit.
There are also likely some areas in which you can easily identify what you’d like to do better next year. Spend time reflecting on what fell short last year so you can improve it next time around.
Supplement Your Income
Teachers are notoriously overworked and underpaid. So, perhaps the most productive thing you can do this summer is use your skills to supplement your income. Try marketing your skills as a private tutor or writing coach for a reasonable hourly rate.
Again, if you have a blog that already has a nice following online, then why not explore your options with packing up a few creative lesson plans or education tools. There is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to sell such digital items to other teachers and schools throughout the country — as long as they are original and you have complete ownership of them.
Lead an Extracurricular
Missing school? Look for opportunities to get involved in extracurriculars. Maybe the cross-country team needs a volunteer coach. Perhaps the summer musical needs someone to help make costumes or manage props. You may even be able to start your own club! The possibilities are nearly endless here.
These are just six ways teachers can use summer break productively. Can you think of any more?
A Blogger’s Guide to Broken Link Building
The internet is broken (literally).
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Millions – if not billions – of links get broken daily due to expired hosting, incorrect site migrations, and typing errors.
That’s not good news for the respective site owners.
For link builders, however, the broken links present huge opportunities.
In this article, you will learn how to leverage these opportunities in the form of broken link building.
I will show you the exact process of scouring the web for broken links that you can turn into a backlink to your site!
Why do broken link building?
Before we begin, you need to understand why broken link building is one of the best ways to build a formidable link profile for your site.
And here’s the answer:
It’s all about reciprocation.
If you do something nice for the site owner, there’s a good chance that s/he will return the favor in kind.
In this case, if you point out broken links on a site owner’s page, s/he could be more willing to link back to one of your pages as a way of thanking you.
This principle is well above other link building tactics where people demand links from sites without giving something in return.
Let’s put it this way:
If I don’t scratch your back, will you scratch mine?
(Answer: probably not)
And that’s the thing with broken link building. Both parties benefit from this tactic.
The site owner points to pages within the content that work. You gain a backlink for your effort.
It’s a win-win!
Now that we’ve discussed the why, let’s hop onto how you can proceed with your broken link building campaign.
Below are the exact steps that you should follow to properly pull off this tactic for your blog:
Find resource pages
Have you heard of resource pages?
You know, pages with lots of outbound links related to a specific topic?
Here’s an example of one:
This page is a treasure trove for broken links!
The goal of resource pages is to provide visitors with information from third-party pages about a topic.
However, as the years go by, some of the sites no longer operate, which render their links broken.
And site owners don’t have the time to check each link on the page one by one and see if they work.
Therefore, consider this your job of helping them out.
By identifying the broken links, you can request to get one of your blog posts included in the page!
More importantly, site owners are more willing to link back to you on their resource pages. This is only assuming that the blog post you want a link from is relevant to the topic.
But first, we need to find resource pages related to your blog’s niche.
Hop on to Google and use the following search query:
[Niche] resource page
Replace [niche] with your actual niche.
From here, Google will return results of resource pages that you comb through. Click on each of the pages and keep the best ones in a spreadsheet.
Find broken links from pages
Here’s an example of a broken page.
It’s a page on a blog or site informing you that the link you visited no longer exists.
Your goal, therefore, is to find 404 pages or broken links from resource pages!
Using the Chrome extension, Check My Links, helps find broken links.
It’s what you need for quickly checking pages for broken links.
Install it and it’ll appear as a small checked icon alongside your address bar. Clicking it automatically scans links in the page.
It gets highlighted in red if there’s a broken link, together with an error report at the text’s right side.
Using the same spreadsheet, keep the pages with broken links and remove the ones without.
Find the email of the site owner
The next step is to inform site owners about the broken link.
However, you can only do this if there is a contact page or an email address available on the site.
But what if they don’t have either?
Not to worry – there’s FindThatLead to the rescue!
It’s another Chrome extension that lets you find email addresses of people who own or work on the site.
By installing and clicking on its icon, you will see the different emails of people who are part of the organization.
To help verify their emails, you must click on the check icon. It shows if it’s either GUESS or VALID. Filter out the guesses and keep the valid ones.
Inform site owner about the broken link
Once you have their emails, you need to craft a message informing them about the broken links.
Since you’ll be sending to as many site owners as possible, the process even becomes tedious and repetitive.
However, there’s a way you can automate the process to make the job easier for you.
Gmail’s Canned Response allows you to create an email template you can use for your broken link building campaign.
Therefore, instead of crafting new emails talking about the same thing, you can pull out the template and fill in the blanks for each new site owner!
In the email template, address the site owner by their first name. It’s the first step of personalizing your campaign.
Next, talk about how you came across their page. You were probably looking for resource pages to help you write a post about the topic they’re covering.
After that, point out the broken link on the page. It’s the very purpose of the email, after all.
Now, here’s the most important part:
Mention that your blog has a similar page that can replace the broken one.
In this part, don’t make it sound like you’re forcing your link to be included in the page. Just suggest your link to the site owner.
Give them the choice to either include your link or not. You have to trust them to make the best decision for their page.
Here are other tips on help you write the template:
- Make your email short and sweet. Your recipient is more likely to read the entire email. It’ll also be easier for them to understand and follow your requests.
- Be professional by maintaining the proper grammar and punctuation.
- Follow up with another email once or twice if they don’t respond. But more than that, and you end up spamming someone.
- Be polite and know that you’re just asking a favor. If they ignore your emails after multiple times of reaching out to them, move on to the next site.
Finally, review the results of the campaign with the template you’re using. If the response rate is low, maybe you need to tweak your template to generate better responses.
As you can see, broken link building is more about building relationships more than everything else.
Once you click “Send,” there’s nothing much you can do about it.
They may link to your site on their resource page. They may not.
However, as mentioned earlier, you need to trust people to do the right thing.
If you pull off your broken link building campaign flawless, they will link to your blog posts 100% of the time!
If you’re not confident in developing and implementing this campaign, you can ask agencies like SEOExplode that offers SEO services with years of experience in link building.
They will help guide you in the process of broken link building. This way, you can develop a link profile that will bolster your blog’s SEO performance.
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