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WordPress is arguably the best CMS out there. The customization options available in the platform allow you to create professional business sites to compelling online portfolios. Not to mention, the wealth of plugins that you can download from within the dashboard lets you supercharge your website or blog to attract more traffic and convert visitors into subscribers or customers.
You probably already know all this and more, so it’s something that we shouldn’t discuss in depth anymore.
However, what you probably don’t know are simple WordPress hacks and tweaks that can make you a more efficient blogger.
As a blogger myself, I know how valuable time is. If there’s something that I can do to speed up my writing process on WordPress or make the page load faster, I will do it.
The suggestions you will find in this post will not only help you do both but also make your WordPress blog much leaner and more organized. The tweaks and hacks also show you how powerful WordPress is in itself, without having to download more plugins.
When writing posts, I had a bad habit of using my mouse to format the text from the editor. I relied too much on my mouse to bold, italicize, or underline text, as well as change the heading levels. While it’s not a big deal, I can only imagine the time I can save if all the functions I need to do when writing my posts can be done through the keyboard.
However, by becoming familiar with hotkeys, a keyboard is all I needed to format my content and perform certain tasks from the editor page. There are also hotkeys for managing the comment section of your blog so you can easily organize comments using your keyboard.
Use full-screen editors
When writing, it is difficult to keep your focus on when you see menus and options on the side of your text editor. While this may seem innocuous to some who are already used to writing on a regular WordPress window, some may prefer a more Zen environment if they want to type their post directly onto WordPress.
With WordPress’ full-screen editor feature, you can enjoy a distraction-free screen so you can focus on writing content that matters. By clicking on the full-screen icon at the top right part of the editor, the screen will go white as you put your cursor on the text editor.
Edit text editor dashboard
By default, your text editor screen is divided into two columns. The left column is where you can input your text and type out your post. The right column shows if you’re ready to publish the post, which category to place them in, the tags you want to enter along with the post, and the featured images that will be associated with it, among many others.
If that doesn’t seem overbearing enough to you, the options will increase if you installed plugins, which could be added on the text editor screen. While you can use the distraction-free mode to zone these elements out when typing, I’m sure you want a more streamlined look for your text editor and keep things less cluttered.
You can do this by clicking on the Screen Options tab on the top right portion of the text editor page, just beside the Help tab.
Upon clicking it, a drop-down menu will appear on top of the screen. It lists down the options and features that you can show or remove from the text editor. Choose which ones you feel are the most important and will help you become more productive when writing posts.
Again, the options will depend on the plugins you have downloaded and installed.
Comments are a great indicator of a blog’s engagement with its target audience. The more comments there are, the most vibrant the community probably is about your blog posts.
However, some people do not wish to interact with its audience, at least for now. The reason is to publish content to establish authority in their respective niches simply. According to Jamie Spencer of Site Beginner, This is common among business sites that simply want to share ideas without having to manage the potential reaction to their posts.
If you are in the same boat as these business bloggers, you can turn off the blog’s comment section by clicking on Settings > Discussion on the left sidebar menu. Uncheck the “Allow people to comment on new posts.”
Once you have disabled commenting on your posts, you can still override this command on individual posts by clicking the checkbox “Allow comments” under the Discussion section of the posts where you want to engage with your readers.
Use shortcodes to showcase media files
Normally, if you want to show a video on your blog post, you upload the video to Youtube and paste the URL in your post. For images, you probably are using a plugin to showcase them in a specific format correctly.
However, WordPress now offers shortcodes for these files so you can focus on writing content and showcasing your work without having to worry about coding.
For example, if you want to feature an audio file in your post, all you need to do is type:
[a u d i o = ” f i l e n a m e . m p 4 ” ] (without spaces).
If you want to show multiple images in gallery format, you can type:
[ g a l l e r y i d s = ” 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ” ] (again, without the spaces. Also, the number represent the image id, not the filename).
For more information on how to utilize shortcodes correctly on your blog, read this post.
Regarding hosting video content on WordPress, you have to make sure that you follow the steps indicated in this post so you can show the video on all browsers without any hitch.
Wrapping it up
WordPress is powerful enough by itself to not only allow you to create different types of websites but also is flexible enough for you to modify its default settings without typing a single line of code. The features mentioned above are underrated and rarely talked about, but it should be noted that, despite their relative anonymity, these are hacks that you should use to help you create better content in less time.
Do You Need to Make a Huge Blogging Shift?
Sometimes, you get bogged down with your blogging routine. Routines feel comfortable, right?
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But blogging is a feeling game like life is a feeling game. All flows based on your emotions. If you feel really good – first – then you take good feeling blogging actions and over time, with patience and trust, see good feeling blogging results.
Unfortunately, most humans give almost zero thought to their emotions before diving in to a blogging routine. Bloggers believe you need to do something or follow a set routine to succeed, to drive traffic, and to make money. Day after day, year after year, most bloggers follow a routine without giving zero thought to how they are feeling, if they enjoy blogging, if they have fun following the routine, and if they feel detached, patient and trusting in the process.
This is the only reason why as of about 7 years ago, 80% of bloggers never made more than $100 during their blogging careers. If 8 out of 10 humans can not make $100 through blogging over 1, 2, 5 or 10 years, 8 out of 10 bloggers clearly give zero thought to their feelings BEFORE blogging. Feel bad, and you see no money. But those 2 out of 10 bloggers who feel really good make lots of money over the long haul.
Maybe it is time to make a shift, guys.
2-3 months ago I made one shift. 1 month ago I made an even bigger shift; quite huge, for me. But what I did differently made almost zero difference. How I chose to feel marked the big shift, then, I moved into different blogging actions.
For example, I faced some deep fears, felt the fears, and instantly, after feeling pretty crappy for a short time, I felt better and better. Choosing to face fear, clear it, and feel better, helped me see things clearly. I tired of my blogging schedule, my social sharing groups, blog commenting and heavy cross promotion. In truth, I hated it. I did have some fun with each for a while but the passion long left me. Since how you feel before and while you blog means everything, my mindset-feeling shift told me I’d have so much fun guest posting. So as of about 3-4 weeks ago – maybe less – all I do is guest posting because I have fun guest posting and guest posting comes easily to me.
Making the shift involved facing deep fears of failure, loss and struggle. I had to feel the fear of letting go lifeless activities for me – at the time – to clear out the fear, and properly release these strategies, and to move forward so I could feel good, then, decide what blogging actions would feel fun and easy and enjoyable to me.
All shifts happen emotionally first, by your choice. After feeling some muck and then feeling better, you clearly and intuitively feel through the next fun-feeling, enjoyable step.
What About You?
Do you need to make any shifts with your blogging campaign? Or do you need to make one big, sweeping, all-encompassing shift?
Getting caught up in blogging routines feels comfortable, familiar and safe, sometimes. But do you feel good before you begin the routine? Do you feel good working the routine? Do you feel detached, relaxed, trusting and like you are cared for, and prospering, while following your blogging routine?
Be honest to make a necessary shift. If you love following your routine, cool. Proceed. But most humans are taught – me included – to follow some routine (no matter how you feel) to get something, specifically money, so you can avoid failure, struggle, poverty, going hungry, illness, and embarrassment. This is exactly why most humans work jobs. Follow a routine to get money even if you feel really bad or terrible following the work-routine; aka, even if you hate your job and it feels lifeless, or soul-less.
May be time for a big shift guys.
Why Comedians Teach You a Powerful Blogging Lesson
Last night I saw a funny comedian perform in Atlantic City.
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Chris Delia charmed the audience with his silly, somewhat absurd, level of humor.
He also explained how comedians need thick skin to become successful. Humor is a very personal, subjective topic. Some people find some comedians hysterical but never laugh at other comedians. As you imagine, bombing feels terrible to most comedians. At least until they develop a thick skin.
I once read how Kevin Hart often waited until 1 AM to work an open mic. Sometimes he waited until 1 AM and the place closed down so he never got the chance to do his set. Imagine how thick-skinned you need to be to not let that bother you? Is it any wonder why he is now worth $150 million? He became immune to criticism, failure and rejection. As a matter of fact, after developing a thick skin, he likely did not see criticism, failure or rejection.
All those evenings of 1 AM sets in front of 1-2 lifeless people or all those nights of being told to go home at 1 AM after waiting for hours to do his act purged the fear of criticism, failure and rejection from his being. Void of these fears, he rose up to being one of the most famous, wealthy and powerful comedians on earth.
Bloggers Need Thick Skin
I once promoted a course to the tune of 8000 page views before I sold one copy. Did I quit promoting the course? No. I developed a thick skin during the process. I did not see 8000 rejections. I only saw meeting and helping more human beings through my blog. Even during moments when I felt like giving up I trusted in myself and believed in the blogging process. Quitting and failure were no options for me. But in the same vein, I needed to be thick skinned to see through criticism, rejection and failure.
I needed to be aware of opportunity amid the appearance of nobody reading my blog. Toss in being patient and persistent in helping folks during my most trying times and you have a pretty thick-skinned individual.
Do Not Care What People Think
Chris Delia shared how he could care less what people thought about him. He dressed down a few hecklers during the show.
Comedians succeed because they care less about what people think of their acts; being heckled, ignored or criticized had nothing to do with their belief in self and their belief in their comedic style.
As a blogger, give no thought to what people think of you. Guess what? You cannot control your reputation. No matter how long and hard you work in life to maintain a positive reputation, you can never physically control what people think of you. I am largely a nice guy 99.99% of the time yet some people genuinely hate me. I cannot control their demons. Plus I know we see the world as we see ourselves so if someone hates themselves I cannot do anything about that self-loathing.
Focus on yourself. Focus on what you think about yourself because this is the only thing that matters. Being comfortable in your own skin aligns you with loving, loyal followers who appreciate you for who you are. Let go everybody else. Critics form an energetic yoke if you care about their thoughts but dissolve into thin air when you could care less about what they think of you.
Bloggers become successful because these few folks who have thick skins shine brightly in a world of thin-skinned bloggers who fear criticism, judgment and rejection. The few who step it up do wonders because we all want a piece of free spirits who march to the beat of their own drum without caring what people think, say or do, in response or reaction to them simply being themselves.
Do You Have an Exit Plan for Your Blog?
This past week I ceased sharing posts in blogging tribes.
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I finally got it; I joined tribes because I feared unless I shared other blogger content, nobody would read my content. I feared if nobody shared my content, nobody reads my content, and I needed to share other blogger content to effectively influence bloggers and people to share mine. Ouch.
As you can imagine, I put in many long, hard hours working a job, NEEDING to be online to succeed with my blog. Rewind. Working a job. Did you see this phrase? I worked a job. I needed to be online to succeed. Largely, at least. Does that sound like a business owner to you? Does that sound like leveraging? Sure I drive some passive traffic and profits to my blog but being honest, I largely worked a job and had a job for much of my 10 years online, and I did not have a pure business so I could step away from my blog and business for months, at a time. Or, forever.
I have more of an exit plan now. I have a blogging business. I am writing my tail off to be in as many spots as possible without relying on sharing tribes and other groups that require me to be online, to social share posts, so other people can social share my posts, so I get traffic and profits. I began to think; what am I doing? I mean, if you love joining social sharing tribes, do it. Nice friendship builder. But you need to have some exit plan with your business and need to see how you can step away one day so it is about a 100% passive income machine – or, so you can sell it at a tidy profit – in order for you to be a free entrepreneur, versus a bound employee.
I am having so much fun writing blog posts and guest posts daily. Plus it is easy peasy. Every piece of content is forever, unless all these blogs vanish or get closed out by all these bloggers. Fat chance. Plus I can drive to Atlantic City today with my wife and enjoy a show this afternoon into evening and my business will still grow from a heavy passive element. Even though I am online writing this morning, all my blog posts and guest posts serve as a passive promotional army for the Blogging From Paradise blog and brand.
Imagine me trying to social share other blogger posts as I am driving down the Parkway? Not happening.
Network. Have fun making friends. Build a rock solid foundation for your blog. But eventually, evolve into someone who leverages your presence so you work a business, not a job. Any strategy 100% dependent on you being online, sharing blogger content so other bloggers share your content and boost your success, is a job, not a business, because you are tied to the online world and have no exit strategy, and a light passive element to your blogging business.
Gradually place less emphasis on networking online. Focus on purely passive elements, like writing more blog posts and guest posts, which last forever. Humans change, quit, fail, change tastes; you never want to be at the mercy of the fickle human beast. Unless all blogs close down, all of those blog posts and guest posts you wrote are pretty much forever.
Focusing a bit more on things – things helping people – helps you leverage your blog and business powerfully so you can make an exit plan and step away from your blogging business for 1, 2 or 3 months. I know bloggers who take vacations for months; everything keeps growing money-wise because they leverage, and are not dependent on people for cash flow, because their system creates the cash flow.
Trust in the process plays a big role too.
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