October 14, 2014 Chris Hall

Sometimes it pays to work smart *and* hard

Sometimes it pays to work smart *and* hard

From the Moz Blog, in an article titled "My Recipe for Success: How to Launch a Successful Blog":

So, five months on, where are we? Well, I'm particularly happy with the results so far, and this is why I wanted to outline the approach that I've taken from a content, social, and SEO perspective to get results.

On the topic of results, here's where we're at right now:

  • Page 1 rankings in Google for the terms pescetarian, pescetarian blog, pescetarian recipes and pescetarian meals. Go ahead, Google it if you don't believe me ;)
  • 4,700+ followers on our Facebook page
  • The average engagement on one of our Facebook posts will often result in around 100 likes, 5-15 comments, 20-50 shares and 100-300 clicks through to the website
  • 850+ Twitter followers
  • 500+ Pinterest followers
  • 550 double opt-in email subscribers
  • 30,000+ unique visits to the blog
  • 15,000+ unique visits coming from social media traffic alone
  • 65,000+ backlinks

Although it's early in our campaign, I'm going to share how we've achieved what we have so far and give you as much actionable information as to how you can go out and replicate the early success that we've had. This will include the exact strategies that I've implemented, the tools that I've used and any tips for accelerating growth.

On personal blogs, I've been a pretty strong proponent of what I call the John Gruber method—if you consistently write something worthwhile, people will eventually come. But if you have time, dedication, and resources, the "people will eventually come" part can sometimes be changed to "people will come very soon."

Truth is, there's a real science behind generating blog traffic, and it involves some combination of great content, SEO, social media, email, and a open eye to new ways to promote what you write. You just have to know where to start—and you could do a lot worse than starting with the article above.

Read more →

October 11, 2014 Chris Hall

Do domain extensions really matter anymore?

Do domain extensions really matter anymore?

From Pando Daily, in an article titled "What’s In A Name? The fading tyranny of dot com":

For someone like Michael Heyward, who co-founded anonymous social networking app Whisper in 2012, as a mobile first company, he says, there was not an ounce of trepidation at not having the Whisper.com domain name. (Whisper.com itself is a junk address, filled with spam links.)

Heyward says that 99 percent of Whisper’s exposure comes from its app. The company has a Whisper.sh landing page, to showcase popular posts from the app and publish legal and company information.

In 2014, Americans spend more time in apps than they do using the Internet on desktop. With social media sites becoming a greater engine for content discovery, new sites such as Quartz are popping up that don’t really even have an official homepage.

Read more →

October 9, 2014 Chris Hall

The Grid — AI websites that design themselves

I write content for a living—always have, probably always will. So when I'm looking to create websites (which I do quite often), I try to take advantage of platforms that let me do my thing without needing too much help from designers and developers.

So imagine the look on my face when I read this:

Read more →

October 7, 2014 Chris Hall

Squarespace 7 is here, should you be excited?

As a user of Squarespace for a number of years now for personal sites, it's a pretty exciting day when a major update is released. And today, we have Squarespace 7. From the Squarespace Blog:

Today, we’re thrilled to announce Squarespace 7, our largest update in two years. Squarespace 7 features a completely redesigned website manager interface, a deep integration with Getty Images, a cover page builder, an integration with Gmail and Google Apps for Work, 15 new category-specific designs, and much more.

Read more →

October 7, 2014 Chris Hall

Mou might hit 1.0 after all


When I started writing in Markdown, one of the first editors to draw me in was Mou (you know, after I got sick of writing solely in TextEdit). It was cleaner and faster than many of the editors out there, but what really excited me was the side-by-side Markdown editing and rendering. I loved the fact that when I created a link, I could see it instantly formed in the right pane—and if I fudged it up somehow, it was easy to find the error.

But then Mou decided the development of the app was too taxing, tried to sell it, then kind of stopped supporting it after no offers were made. It was a sad day for Mou fans, and many of us scattered to various apps. For me, I've been playing around with MacDown as a replacement for the Mou experience and Byword for more of a pure writing tool, but still find myself using Mou from time to time—just for the nostalgia (or because I still have it as my default app for opening .md files).

So when I recently found that Chen Luo, the developer of Mou, was looking to build a team to continue the app's development, I was thrilled.

Read more →

October 6, 2014 Paul Spence

Tech rock star launches new wonder wall


Australian web developer and tech entrepreneur Stephen Phillips grew up with music in his life from an early age; he played guitar, sang, and even recorded an album, inspired by the successes of popular Aussie rock bands like INXS and Midnight Oil. But his star ascended when he co-founded a little company called We Are Hunted that was subsequently acquired by Twitter in 2013.

Read more →

Older posts