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Top Sites To Learn The Genesis Framework

by Leo

topsitestolearngenesis

The Genesis theme framework by Studiopress is probably the best wordpress theme on the market today. It’s used by many of the top bloggers in the world today. Why is it so popular? Most likely because it’s infinitely customizable. A whole ecosystem of Genesis developers has formed, and people are even starting their own businesses in doing Genesis development.

So what if you want to get started with Genesis development? Or you just want to customize your Genesis based site. Then you probably want to find some Genesis tutorials to get you started. Luckily, there are tons of tutorials all over the net that will help get you started.

To help you sort through the results, I’ve come up with a list of the best Genesis tutorial sites you should bookmark.

Best Genesis Framework Tutorials of 2014 – Josh Kotsay has put together a list of the top Genesis tutorials published this year (2014). This is the most updated list of tutorials I’ve found, so it’s my current top resource.

StudioPress Genesis Tutorials – Studiopress has a really nice set of Genesis tutorials listed on its site. It’s only accessible to existing Genesis customers though. But it’s a really nice resource and definitely one that you should bookmark.

Studiopress TV – Do you prefer video tutorials rather than text? Then this is a site you might want to check out. The site has a handful of step-by-step Genesis video tutorials.

Sridhar Katakam – Sridhar is probably the most prolific Genesis tutorial writer today. He’s consistently posting tons of Genesis related how-tos, tricks and tutorials on this site. You will definitely want to subscribe to his RSS feed.

These 4 sites are the best resources to get started with Genesis development. Especially if you are just starting out and are looking for some guidance on how to get started. Please check them out and let me know how they work for you.


3 Awesome Aweber Features You Need To Use Today

by Leo

awebertips

Every online business should have an email list. It will easily be your most important asset over the long run. With your ever growing email list, you will be able to keep in contact with your subscribers, and hopefully make some sales in the process.

Now that we’ve established that you need an email list, you will also need an autoresponder. Don’t know what an autoresponder is yet? Then read this article first.

The best autoresponder of the bunch is Aweber. It has the best email deliverability, is simple to use, and it just plain works for email marketing.

Got your Aweber account opened up yet? Not yet? Well, before you subscribe, make sure to use this discount link to get some additional money off.

aweber-logo

Now that you are ready to get started with Aweber. Let me give you 3 awesome tips to make better use of this autoresponder to help you get more sales.

Split Test Your Optin Forms

Aweber makes creating optin forms very easy with it’s drag and drop editor. But some designs convert your visitors into subscribers better then others.

How can you tell which optin design works the best? Use Aweber’s split testing feature. Basically you can create however many forms you want, and have Aweber rotate them for you. So different visitors to your site will see different versions of your optin-form.

Then Aweber will keep track of how many visitors to each form actually turn into subscribers. Over time, you will collect enough data to figure out which opt-in form is the best.

Send Automatic Follow Up Emails

Once someone signs up to your list, you want to make them happy right away so they will continue to open your emails. The best way to do this is to send them an additional follow up email.

In this email, you can offer your subscriber something cool, like a free eBook you wrote, or maybe some links to your best content.

Don’t stop with a single follow up email either. The best way to keep your subscribers engaged is to send regular emails. This could be daily or weekly, but always be emailing! If you wait too long between your emails, then your subscribers will likely forget who you are.

If that happens, your subscribers will stop opening your emails, or even worse, start marking your email as SPAM. That’s not good!

Integration with 3rd Party Plugins

One great thing about Aweber’s popularity, is that all the best email marketing plugins pretty much support it out of the box. Plugins like Hybrid Connect work great with Aweber to create awesome looking light box popups. Plugins like Thrive Content builder (see this review) can integrate with Aweber seamlessly to create beautiful standalone squeeze pages.

Basically this opens up your email marketing to a wide variety of new possibilities.

Conclusion

What do you think about these tips and tricks for making the most use out of Aweber? If you got some more to share, please let me know in the comments.


6 Genesis Framework Plugins To Take a Look At

by Leo

Why is the Genesis theme framework so popular today? It’s because of its enormous customer base. And with its large number of users, this means the Genesis ecosystem will start thriving as well. One consequence of this fact is that there are a large number of Genesis plugins that have been developed for the platform. This is great, as these plugins help developers create more feature rich and better sites.

Since there are a lot of Genesis plugins out there, I’ve done some research myself and sifted through the very best of them. Here are a list of my favorites.

Genesis Custom Footer

WordPress › Genesis Custom Footer « WordPress Plugins

Any default Genesis installation displays a standard credits attribution in the footer. Genesis custom footer adds a new page to your Genesis theme settings where you can insert your own HTML and customize the footer to how you like it. You can use any of the provided shortcodes, or just use HTML or plaintext. Your choice. Read this tutorial on WPVKP on how you would do this WITHOUT using this plugin.

Genesis Extender

Genesis Extender is a premium Genesis plugin developed by CobaltApps. It provides a ton of great “extensions” you can more easily customize your Genesis child theme. Probably the best part of it is the CSS editor which allows you to edit the CSS on your site in real-time. It also provides a way to leverage the Genesis theme framework hook system without having to modify external files and upload them back to your server. You can read a full Genesis Extender review over at SlickWP.

Genesis Simple Comments

This free plugin makes it simple to modify the way your comments are handled on your site. Very simple to use, yet very useful as well.

Genesis Simple Sidebars

Have you ever wanted to add multiple widget areas to your sidebars? The Genesis Simple Sidebars makes this simple to do. It will allow you to create multiple widget locations which you can assign to your site’s sidebar. You can do this per post, per page or even by tag which gives you a ton of flexibility.

Genesis Optimized Social Share

WordPress › Genesis Optimized Social Share « WordPress Plugins

Most blogs you read have some sort of social sharing widgets on them for the most popular sites, like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. They are very useful as they provide social proof for your posts, plus they make it easier for your visitors to share your content. The problem with most social sharing plugins though is that they are very slow as they have to be loaded one by one. However with the Genesis Optimized Social Share plugin, it loads these social sharing widgets for you asynchronously. Which means they load fast and your page loads faster too.

Genesis Translations

Not everyone speaks English and Genesis is deployed on websites across the world. The Genesis Translations plugin makes it very easy to translate your Genesis site.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best Genesis plugins. Try them out for yourself and you can see how they make certain customizations of your Genesis site that much easier.


Is Your Website Mobile Ready Yet?

by Leo

Did you know that there are 1.2 billion people accessing the web using mobile devices these days? Here’s an infographic that Neil Patel just shared in his latest blog post, Why All Marketers Should Be Thinking Mobile.

Why All Marketers Should Be Thinking Mobile
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

That’s why if you have a website, then you need to make sure it’s mobile responsive. This means that your site looks great, whether your visitor is visiting your site from their desktop computer, or their mobile phone or tablet. This can be accomplished by making sure your website shrinks and grows depending on the size of the user’s screen.

What’s the easiest way to do this? If you’re on the WordPress platform, then the easiest way is probably to leverage an existing wordpress theme framework like Genesis or Thesis theme which supports mobile responsive themes out of the box. Browse this list of Genesis child themes on your cell phone and you can see how each of these themes works on the small screen. Notice how readable they are. Unlike non-mobile responsive themes which require a magnifying glass to read.

Final Thoughts

There’s really no excuse not to be thinking about mobile these days. It’s a huge market, and you better make sure your website is equipped to serve your visitors on any device they happen to be using.


Why Google Authorship Is So Important

by Leo

SEO is constantly changing these days and one of the hot new things is Google Authorship. If you’ve checked out the Google search results lately, you’ll notice that many listings display a photo of the author in the results.

Here’s an example screenshot:

kikolani - Google Search

Why would you want one of these little photos to popup next to your search rankings? Because it offers a couple obvious benefits including:

1) Higher CTR – Your photo next to the search results will definitely result in high click-through rates compared with those that don’t. It just makes your listing standout, and begs to be clicked.

2) Increased trust – When a searcher sees your photo in the search result, it automatically conveys more trust than one that doesn’t. This is very important for anyone trying to build up their brand.

But really, the biggest benefit is that people are integrating Google authorship with their blogs are seeing an increase in search engine rankings.

Lets do a simple case study. I was looking to hire some contractors for a job I had, and I wanted to read some ODesk reviews to see whether I should try ODesk or not. Here’s a picture of the SERPs for the keyword Odesk review.

3 out of the 4 spots in the search results have Google authorship enabled!

odesk review - Google Search

Yet the best ODesk review I read was actually this one by Brad Kelley. Unfortunately it was stuck on the second page, likely because he did not integrate google authorship with his post. Look how simple an unappealing it looks.

Odesk review

As you can see, it is super important to start adding Google authorship to your blog as soon as possible. It’s great for your brand, and it’s becoming increasingly more important for ranking well in the search engines. For instructions on how to do this, check out this post on the Kissmetrics blog.


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