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Be the Authority. Bring Your Business to higher levels of Profitability by being the Expert in your Niche with the latest Content Marketing & Social Media Marketing Strategies & Tactics.

Content Marketing:

Use these helpful tips to develop great user-generated content and take your content marketing to the next level.

3 Ways to Supercharge Your Content-Marketing Strategy via @Dan_Blacharski @Entrepreneur

Readable content is far more likely to be shared – and remembered. Here are some key ways to make your content more readable.

Is Your Writing Readable? 3 Concepts to Master for Copy That Converts via @islaisreading @moz

Original content and concepts resonate with readers. If everyone’s trying to be original, though, how will you stand out? Check out Seth’s take on how to stack the odds in your favor.

The originality paradox via @thisissethsblog

The more you know about your target client, the better you can refine your strategies for connecting with them. Here are some important questions to answer as you dial into the specifics for target client and audience.

How To Pinpoint Exactly Who Your Target Customer Is via @BenBrychta @jeffbullas

Don’t buy into the myths that email marketing is dead. Revive your email marketing campaign with these essential resources.

7 Helpful Resources Every Email Marketer Should Bookmark via @bardofboston @hubspot

Social Media Marketing

Did you know that more than 90% of women “actively engage” with brands online? Here are some more important findings about exactly how women are interacting with brands online. These insights can help you refine your social media marketing strategies.

New Research Shows How Women Interact with Brands Online [Infographic] via @adhutchinson @socialmedia2day

Small businesses can now use free Instagram tools to evaluate how their photos and videos are performing. See why this may only be a stepping stone to bigger plans that Instagram has for small businesses.

Instagram Is Now Giving Small Businesses a Dashboard Full of Data About Their Posts Free tools could serve as gateway to paid ads via @martyswant @Adweek

Are you itching to roll out your brand’s first (or next) social media campaign? Here are some important steps to take first to avoid sabotaging your campaign (and wasting your resources in the process).

5 Musts Before Launching Your Social Media Marketing Campaign via @jaysondemers @Entrepreneur

Social media marketing can get expensive, especially without the right budget. Here’s what’s important to consider – and how to cut costs – when budgeting for social media marketing campaigns.

How to determine your social media marketing budget via @NickArojas @thenextweb

Are you planning an event for your brand or company? Check out these tips for developing an effective social media marketing campaign around your event. They may hold the key to gaining more exposure for – and engagement with – your brand.

Every Event Should Be Time for Social Media via @Kimota @cmicontent

The Tools Series Part 4 – The Plugins Edition

Plugins – tools that can enhance the functionality of WordPress – abound. In fact, there are so many plugins available these days that it can make your head spin. Basically, anything you would want to do with WordPress, the chances are that some has already developed plugin for it.

To put this in perspective, there are more than 45,700 plugins – with more than 1.33 billion total downloads – currently available (according to WordPress). These plugins have all sorts of purposes and functions, ranging from plugins for opting-in and E-commerce to those for site security, search engine optimization (SEO), analytics, and much, much more.

How Plugins Work

Adding plugins to your WordPress site is pretty easy. Simply download the plugin (from the source) to install it to WordPress. After you do this, the plugin will essentially ‘sit’ on top of the platform and will usually be kept in a special “Plugins” category on the dashboard (where all installed plugins can be accessed and managed).

Before we dive into sharing the plugins we use, a few words of caution:

  • Be careful about the number of plugins you add on – Too many plugins can weigh your site down, slowing down your site’s speed and load times. That can impact both the user experience and SEO. So, when choosing plugins to install and use, your best bet is to only download the plugins you need – and to get rid of the ones that you don’t use.

  • Be aware that plugins may need to be updated every so often – Like WordPress (and other platforms), plugins are regularly updated, with newer versions being developed to fix bugs or issues that may plague previous versions. Keeping your plugins up-to-date (by making sure that you’re always using the newest version) is important to keeping your site running as smoothly as possible – and to minimizing the risk of security issues, SEO issues, etc.

The Plugins We Use

Here is a list of the main plugins that we use, followed by a brief description of what they do and why we use them:

  • Contact 7 Form – This plugin creates a simple contact form that works with most, if not all, main email marketing software.

  • Yoast SEO – This plugin can help optimize content, making sure that blog posts and other content pages are properly tagged and labeled so visitors (and search engines) can find a site (and the content on it).

  • iThemes Security – This plugin can enhance the security of a site, protecting passwords, locking out “bad” users, and sending notifications when certain files have been changed.

  • WP Super Cache – This plugin produces static HTML files to speed up websites.

  • Disqus & BuddyPress – These engagement and audience-related plugins make it easier to manage the community involved with a site. Specifically, Disqus enhances the ability to manage users’ comments on content, and BuddyPress manages member profiles, as well as user groups and messaging..

  • Co-Schedule – This plugin schedules blog posts and corresponding social media posts.

  • – This analytics plugin simplifies the analytics data for your site, using one code to send the data to any tool, like Google analytics, for example. Other analytics plugins we use include:

    • ○ Facebook Pixel

    • ○ Twitter Ads Pixel

    • ○ Google Analytics Pixel

  • SumoMe & HelloBar – These opt-in plugins can promote more conversions. While SumoMe collects users contact information and makes it easy for them to opt-in and share your content, HelloBar adds an eye-catching, customizable opt-in bar to sites.

  • WooCommerce – This E-commerce plugin can convert any WordPress site into a store.

  • Blubrry & Smart Podcast Player – These podcast plugins make it easy to manage podcast content on websites. While Blubrry provides podcast subscription, analytics and other tools, Smart Podcast Player provides a visually appealing way to feature podcasts on sites to enhance engagement.

  • Restrict Content Pro – This membership plugin can lock certain content, restricting it so that only members can view and share it.

What plugins do you like and use? Have you had any bad experiences with plugins? Share your opinions and experiences with us on Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!

And stay posted for the next edition of the tools series, when I’ll share some of the tools I use for email marketing.