It took me forever before I decided to create a newsletter, mainly because I didn’t know which company I should go with to manage it. After months of contemplation and reading, I decided I would go with Wysija.
I never ran a Newsletter before, and while I heard great things about Mailchimp I wanted something that would be incredibly easy to use. I didn’t want to fuss with a bunch of options, and just needed something to get the job done. And guess what? Wysija does just that, but it also does a lot more!
So, what can you find in Wysija?
Drag & Drop Visual Editor
Appearance is everything. I didn’t want to be that one guy sending out an ugly newsletter, and thanks to Wysija… I’m not.
In almost no time, I’m able to select a theme, change a few styling options, import some posts, and make everything look nice. It’s so easy, I bet you could probably do it blindfolded if you were forced to.
Thanks to their drag & drop visual editor I’m able to create a newsletter that not only looks nice, but is also able to get through Andraž Rihtar’s harsh inspection.
Statistics for Each Newsletter
I won’t deny it. I’m addicted to statistics, and I must know how people respond to things. So, I’m very happy to say that Wysija tracks the amount of opened, unopened, clicks, and unsubscribes that a newsletter gets. Also, If you get the premium version, then you can also see what gets clicked.
But yeah, if you’re like me and must know what people do when they get your newsletter then don’t worry… Wysija has your back!
Widgets and Shortcodes to Add Forms Anywhere!
Wysija comes packed with some shortcodes, and widgets that allows you to pretty much place your Wysija subscription forms anywhere. While I’m sure any other service offers this, I think it’s something to mention for those who are worried about messing with code.
If you need to have control over your lists, and how they are sent then Wysija is perfect for you. With Wysija you can easily import, and export any list of subscribers. You’re also able to control whether you want your newsletter sent by your own website, gmail, or even a third party SMTP provider. So really you can always switch away from Wysija if you’re not happy with their plugin/service.
And You Get Much More!
Here’s a complete list of Wysija Features (Free version):
Send posts automatically, like Subscribe2 or MailChimp’s RSS-to-Email.
Schedule your newsletter to be sent in the future.
Possibility to add first name, last name.
Edit the HTML of your text blocks.
Over 30 free themes (templates) with Photoshop files.
Subscribe when submitting a comment in a post.
Let users choose their own lists when they subscribe.
Import subscribers from MailChimp, Aweber, etc.
1 click import from Tribulant, MailPress, Subscribe2, etc.
Export your subscribers in CSV.
Sync with WordPress users. On Multisite, you can sync with all users.
Single or double opt-in (with or without activation email).
As mentioned above, this is the first newsletter plugin that I have used so I have no experiences to compare it to. Still, I can confidently say that Wysija is probably one of the top WordPress newsletter plugins. Almost everything about Wysija is perfect:
Installing Wysija is dead easy, because it’s done like any other plugin.
After installing, setting up everything can be done in a matter of minutes.
Making a newsletter only requires a few drags and clicks.
It’s easy to notice that Wysija has undoubtedly made making a newsletter easy for anyone who can use a mouse and breathe and that’s what I love about it. Wysija lets me run the newsletter people want without taking extra time out of my day.
Complaints and Suggestions
Still, while I praise Wysija as if it were a God I still have a couple complaints and suggestions.
My main complaint is about pricing. I’m currently using the free version, but I have been wanting to upgrade for quite some time now. The problem is, I’m not the type of individual to throw a yearly lump sum at a company, and I much prefer paying monthly. Nine dollars USD would not only be affordable, but would beat Mailchimps monthly plan as well. I really don’t get why Wysija doesn’t offer a monthly plan, because most other companies do. Still, if they were to add a monthly plan then I’d be quite the happy camper…
Another complaint is how they don’t have an affiliate system. I have already recommended Wysija to people because it’s a great plugin, but it certainly would be nice if there was a convenient way to track how many people I’ve sent their way… and to earn a couple pennies doing it. Every other online company that is selling a product has an affiliate system so it’s kind of strange to see that Wysija doesn’t have one.
Managing multiple social media channels is a time consuming and a labour intensive task. Not only do you need to manage the log-in details so that you can post to each account, you need to track responses, collect engagement data and schedule messages. Fortunately for those of us who have “social media manager” as part of our job description, there are many tools out there to make life easier.
We all know that recording and uploading videos to Youtube, and other video sites is a great way to promote your website. While a lot of us would love to create videos and provide our readers with more content; buying professional screen capturing software can definitely be a budget breaker. But what if I told you it didn’t have to be?
I recently came across a program called LiteCam HD. It’s not only affordable, but also pretty easy to use. Below you can find my review/thoughts on LiteCam HD!
What is LiteCam HD?
LiteCam HD is a simple screen capturing program that allows you to easily record 1080p videos. It not only allows you to do basic screen recording, but you can also record games or just plain audio. So, whether you’re looking to record a tutorial for your blog or record a play-through for your personal channel you’re good to go! You can even display your webcam while you’re recording videos for an even more professional effect thanks to LiteCam HD’s “Picture in Picture” feature.
What are my thoughts?
I’m pretty happy that I came across LiteCam HD, because Camtasia is too expensive and CamStudio just looks terrible to me.
When I first started using LiteCam I was extremely impressed by how good it looked. They seem to be going with a very minimal design which looks great, and doesn’t have that “bloaty” feeling that other programs do. While I’m not looking at the GUI often, I think its important for it to look good when I am!
Besides their design, you get a great piece of software for a great price. LiteCam HD pretty much does everything you need to do to make great little videos on youtube. This software even includes a little trimmer to edit out the sections you’ve made mistakes on. For only $29 you get a featured packed program that can actually hold up against high end software like Camtasia.
LiteCam HD offers all the things I need to make HD videos for my subscribers!
There’s a couple of features in LiteCam HD that can be used to spice up your video. While my video style is pretty boring and bland, I thought it was pretty neat that Litecam HD offered a little drawing tool for when you’re recording videos. So, now if you ever need to explain something really quick or need to point out something really quick then you can just use the drawing tool. Or you can just use it to doodle.
One of my other favorite features is the option to put your logo in videos. This allows me to have a more professional feeling video while also giving it a watermark of sorts so other people can’t use it.
While most of the stuff in LiteCam HD is awesome, there is one thing that I absolutely hate. When you’re recording a video in LiteCam HD a handy yet very distracting black bar gets placed on the right hand side which covers the clock and gets recorded into the video. Now, I can understand its purpose while you’re making a video, but there is no reason for it to be recorded into the rendered video.
If there was one thing that I could change about LiteCam HD, then it would be to remove this bar.
What to Expect?
I’m not an expert Youtuber, and I’ve only recently began to make Youtube videos. Still, LiteCam HD makes it easy for a beginner to start making videos.
When you first start up LiteCam HD, you are presented with a drag and drop type interface that you can move around, and use to select the area you would like to capture. At the top of this interface you will see the normal Maximize/Unmaximize icons on the right, and you will see a menu and settings icon on the left. In this small menu you can change the recording mode, size of the recording box, Frames per second options, audio device options, mouse options and PIP options.
Pretty much all of the necessary settings people would need to access before recording a video is presented on startup. So, there’s no need to jump through a large settings menus.
But if you ever need to jump into the settings menu, then you’re presented with one that is well formatted and pretty self explanatory. Besides normal video settings you will also find the option to add a logo at certain positions in your video, add a title to your video, or add some credits to your video.
If you ever feel lost and you’re not sure what you should be looking for, then hover any icon in the settings menu for a description.
After you’ve got everything set up how you want it, recording the video is pretty easy. All you have to do to start recording is press the big old record button, and when you want to stop you just have to press F10. Pretty simple.
If you’re looking for a simple screen capturing program that doesn’t break the bank, then LiteCam HD is the way to go. For only thirty dollars you get a pretty handy program that can be used for a lot of things! Screencasts, tutorials, video games, and whatever else you can think of!
If you’re interested in learning more about LiteCam then check out their website!
There have been many blogs that I read and enjoyed, but sadly a lot of them failed and went offline. I’m sure there was a blog you used to enjoy, but it’s now offline. People are starting blogs every day, but most of them don’t make it far. What are the reasons for so many blogs failing?
1. The Owner Had No Time
Many people are trying to start a blog when they already have their hands full. It doesn’t help that so many bloggers are claiming it to be so easy!
Managing a blog can take a lot of time when you’re first starting out. Writing, researching, and search engine optimization can take hours upon hours. This can become stressful to a lot of people, especially those who are already working a full-time job.
So, a lot of people just end up closing their blog from the time consumption and stress.
2. Owner Lacked The Knowledge for New Content
Many people start writing about a topic that they have very little knowledge about just because it is popular and they see the potential to earn money. They don’t realize that they will have to keep a steady flow of content to actually get traffic and earn that revenue. People run through their basic knowledge of a subject pretty quickly, and aren’t willing to do the research to learn more. So, usually the person ends up neglecting the blog and ultimately closing it.
3. Owner Didn’t Earn What They Expected
Most of us bloggers like to display our adsense, and our affiliate earnings. While a lot of us talk about the hard work that went into getting those earnings, it seems most people just see the numbers. Many people start a blog thinking they’re going to make some big bucks, but don’t realize that might take a long time.
Starting a blog thinking you’re are going to make a killing is the wrong way to start. It usually ends up with the person closing the blog, because it wasn’t earning as much as they thought it would. You can make money blogging, but don’t go in thinking you are going to be making bank in no time.
Don’t Want To Fail?
It’s not hard to be one of those people who are successful at blogging. Here are some tips that could help you become successful:
1. Blog as Often As Possible
Some of the most successful blogs host new content every day. I don’t think you need to post every day, but you should post as often as you can. It’s important to post new content because this keeps old visitors coming back and new visitors coming in. Keeping a steady stream of traffic coming in is the most important things for having a successful blog!
2. Build Relationships
Building Relationships is important if you expect to be successful at blogging. You need to make sure to communicate with the people who are blogging in the same niche as you.
Make sure to share other bloggers content, comment on their posts, and even submit content to their blog. Try to build relationships with as many people as you can, because a shout out from someone can help a bunch. Plus, being friendly and helping someone out can never be a bad thing.
3. Try not to Cheat
It’s not uncommon for people to try to cheat their way to the top. Many people are buying views, followers, and everything else to get an advantage over someone. The best thing to do, is to try to stay as honest as possible. A true following is what will bring you success … not a bunch of fake people.
Really, anyone can make a successful blog. It just takes some time, patience, and dedication. As long as you’re willing to continue learning and spend the time, then you’re good to go. So, what tips and tricks do you recommend for making a successful blog?
There are a lot of people who become moderators on a forum, but they aren’t exactly sure how they should be managing things. Sure, they may know the basic things like how to remove a post and how to warn someone, but besides that they have no clue how they should interact with users. So, today we are going to go through a few great tips for people who are new to moderating, or would like to improve in general.
Never Let Emotions Get the Best of You
No matter what, you should never let emotions affect your moderation decisions. Whether it’s a friend or someone you dislike, you should treat them both the same. If at some point you feel as if someone is trying to make you angry, or if you are already angry then you need to warn a higher up (the owner) or another moderator. Let them talk to the member, because they’ll be less emotionally involved than you.
Always Notify A User
There is always going to be a post or thread that needs to be removed or edited. I’d like to think that most users know when a post is going to be removed, but still you should always notify them. Let them know why you edited or removed the post and what exactly they did wrong. And if they want to debate the content of their post, then you should let them and be open-minded about the situation.
I’d say the same things apply to warnings. Always be very detailed about why you warned them, and what they did wrong. And as always, be open-minded and at least hear their side of the story.
There should always be a chance for someone to tell their side. ALWAYS.
Help Whenever You Can
I’d say that helping people is one of the most important things on a moderators list of things to do. No one is asking you to overwork yourself, but if you see a user having a problem that you know how to fix, then be there to help them. Helping people whenever you can, not only feels good, but it also encourages users to come back because of that positive experience. You don’t have to help every single person, but help as many as you can.
Just because you’re a moderator, that doesn’t mean you have to become Mr. Serious and pull your jeans up high and tight. Even though you need to be serious on occasion, that does not mean you have to quit being silly or having fun; you can still “kick it” with your members, and crack jokes. Just make sure that when the moment arises, you’re there to help solve the problem.
Also, if the job ever feels like a hassle or you aren’t having fun then maybe being a moderator isn’t the right job for you. Talk to the owner and see if there are more enjoyable ways you can help, or just resign altogether.
If you’re a taking a moderator position on a forum for the first time, then I recommend you read the above. Maybe if you’re even about to hire a moderator, then you should send them this article. Out of all of the above, I think having fun and being there to help are the most important things a moderator should practice. What do you think?
So, you want to start a website and have picked out the software/script you’re going to use. You’ve purchased your hosting and you’ve got your perfect domain name that you wanted to use. The only issue is that you don’t have the money to pay for the script that you really want but the question is, should you download a nulled/pirated version of it?
For me, the simple answer is no. There’s a few reasons for this, and I’ll go over them with you. Firstly if you null software you don’t get the mass amount of support, possible feature loss, plugin support and the use of the community forums in some parts. This to me is a big deal. Without the support of the developers, plugin developers and official community, if something goes wrong then I’d find it fairly hard to fix and if you’re a beginner you’ll also find it very hard to try to solve on your own.
As well as this, the lack of features and out-dated script version is also another big concern for me and is possibly one of the biggest reasons why I don’t use null scripts (apart from it being illegal). With out of date scripts and plugins it means that there’s a chance that your site is more vulnerable to hacks, that can possibly damage and destroy everything you’ve done up until this point.
With most nulled scripts today the source code has been modified and altered to allow the script/software to run perfectly, which this in itself could be an issue. Unless you know how to code and are willing to spend the time looking through the entire code for anything malicious or linking to another site. Not checking could easily make your members more vulnerable without you knowing and can possibly infect them from simply nulling a piece of software or a script.
Also, with the use of null detection and licencing, current software/script owners are fairly good at being able to tell if a script has been nulled or illegally used, this means that you could be facing a DMCA notice, a fine and some jail time, depending on the offense. As well as that your sites credibility will go down the drain, and members might leave to find somewhere else.
The only issue here is people claiming that it’s too expensive to pay for scripts costing well in the $2xx mark and beyond. The best advice that I could offer here is simple, try to find a free alternative or code your own. You’ll feel a lot better from using free scripts and software, not to mention that you get full support from the community, effective updates and most of the features on paid software can be found on free alternatives. Your members will easily respect you for using free software/scripts over nulled and will probably think better of you for doing so. Keeping nulled scripts and software off your site is hard when you know you can get it for free, but in the long run I don’t think it’s worth the risks to use them.
So, do you believe in nulling software, have you ever used any nulled software or a script and do you plan on paying for it in the near future? Do you dislike people who use nulled scripts and do you know anyone that uses nuled scripts? We’d love to know what your thoughts are.
How to Add Google+ Comments to Your WordPress Blog
Not too long ago Google announced Google+ comments for their blogging platform, Blogger. Even though it was only for blogger, there were a lot of WordPress bloggers out there who would have liked to have Google+ comments too. A bunch of WordPress developers saw a demand and created a nice amount of plugins that make it easy to have Google Plus comments on your blog. So, today I’m going to recommend my favorite “Google+ Comments for WordPress,” by Brandon Holtsclaw.
Getting people to join your forum and become members can be one of the hardest things to do. Losing these members is probably the easiest thing you can do. There are many reasons a member might leave, but we’re going to cover the basics.
Here you’ll find the most common reasons for someone leaving and how to fix it.
Reason #1: Staff Stop Contributing
It’s pretty easy for a member to detect if an admin, or staff member is taking their forum seriously or not. I’ve left many forums just because the staff were showing no interest in contributing to the forum after a while. It’s not uncommon for a forum to go under in days just because the staff stopped contributing.
Fix: Post more often.
Now, you don’t have to post your ass off every day, but you need to contribute something each day. At least one staff member should make a few posts and to see if everything is running smoothing. Nothing is worse than seeing a staff member online not doing anything. So, just try to pick up your activity a bit.
Reason #2: The Rules Are Too Strict
Rules, rules, and more rules.
Face it, people hate to be confined by rules. While rules are definitely necessary, I think many forums go a bit to far. For example, I know a few forums that don’t allow cursing … which doesn’t make sense since it’s such a normal thing.
If you’re an admin who has a full page of rules that you’re constantly enforcing, then that might be the reason you’re losing members.
This internet is the craziest place to have ever existed. While you should keep your members feeling comfortable and safe. You don’t have to go warning everybody for cursing, and other random things. Just relax, reduce the amount of rules you have and get your panties out of a bunch.
Reason #3: Nothing New
After a while things begin to get boring. It’s pretty easy to get tired of looking at the same design everyday.
Fix: Mix things up
Every few months I feel it’s pretty important to work on creating a new feel on the board. Whether it be a new theme, a new logo, a new contest, or whatever. Changing and new things can have its benefits. One of these benefits is keeping the members interested.
Reason #4: A Bad Experience With Staff
It’s not uncommon for a member to leave a forum just from one bad experience they had with a staff member. I see members leaving forums all the time just because of “unfair” warnings and disputes with staff.
Fix: Talk to the staff, and the member
While we all would like to think that the people we chose to be staff are perfect, they’re not. Someone on your staff might be causing members to feel unfairly treated. If they are, then they should immediately be removed from their position. Part of being staff is helping members feel comfortable and to have a good time.
At the same time, a member might have taken a warning or response the wrong way. It’s quite hard to tell someones tone over the internet, so things can easily be confused. If you feel that the staff member was only doing their job, then talk to the member to try to clear things up. See how you can improve and listen to the member’s side of the story.
Reason #5: Sold Behind the Member’s Backs
You might have just bought the forum and the members weren’t even aware the forum was for sale. If a member doesn’t know anything about the new admin, or just feels betrayed by the sale, then obviously they’re going to leave.
Many forums have died just from being sold incorrectly.
Fix: Keep the members involved in the transfer
I think a lot of admins are scared of sharing details of a forum sale with their members, but it’s a normal thing for websites to be bought and sold. Members have dedicated their time toward your forum, so don’t stab them in the back by tossing them into new hands just for a wad of cash. Make the transaction of the forum as transparent as you can. The reason for the forum being sold, how much it was sold for, whom the new owner is, etc should be posted publicly for all members to see.
Also, once the new owner takes over I think the old owner should stick around for a few months as a friendly gesture to the community.
So those are the reasons why I think most members end up leaving a forum. Hopefully these fixes can help you get the members back, or prevent yourself from losing members in the future.
So, what are some reasons that you have left your forum in the past?
I don’t know why people think that tweeting out a link every couple minutes is acceptable, but a lot of people do it. It’s kind of painful to see people doing this because they are probably getting no returns from it and it’s probably annoying the hell out of their followers. Plus, when your feed is filled with nothing but links it’s pretty easy to see that you’re not engaging with anyone, but you’re just there to push your product. I mean, you are on social media to push your product, but you can’t do it by spamming.
There is a way where you can put out less social media updates, and get more returns … here’s how.
1. Find Out When Your Following Is Most Active
Finding out when your following is most active allows you to build a schedule, and send out tweets at times when they are most likely to bring results (traffic, leads, etc.). Not only that, once you find out when your following is most active you won’t be sending out tweets mindlessly at all hours of the day.
There’s plenty of free tools out there that will analyze your twitter account. Here’s the ones I recommend checking out:
Tweriod will provide you very specific times when your following is most active, but in general most people are active online when they first wake up, during lunch hours, and almost right after work. Just use the tools above to try to get a basic understanding of when your following is active, so you can do the next step.
2. Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule makes things a lot easier. When you have a schedule, you can set up social media updates/tweets days in advance and target times when your following is most likely to engage.
BufferAPP makes it pretty easy to manage multiple schedules, and track stuff so check them out, but keep in mind that it does have limitations unless you pay.
Use the reports from above to generate a schedule for the week. If you want to experiment with multiple schedules, the BufferApp allows you to do that if you have the “Awesome” plan.
3. Track and Adapt
BufferAPP has analytics built right in, but if you decide not to use Buffer, then at least use Bit.ly or Goo.gl to track the clicks that your links get. You’re a business, so you need to be tracking stats to see if your time is being spent correctly. Time is money … don’t waste it.
But really you need to keep track of how things are going so that you can adapt, and change your schedule as your following grows. It’ll also help you get an idea of what your following is most interested in, so you can “optimize” your tweets even more.
Just remember to track and adapt.
4. Start to Engage
Once you’ve developed your schedule, you can now start to spend a little time communicating with your customers. Even though you are posting less links you’re still spamming if that’s all you do. Make sure that some of your twitter account is communicating with your customers, and not just links to your own stuff.
If you’re one of the businesses who are sending out tweets every minute, then please stop. It’s really annoying considering you don’t have to be sending out so many tweets to get good results. Studying your following, and optimizing your tweet times is the best thing you can do. It’ll save both you and your followers some frustration, and you will actually get the results you expect from social media.