Attack "Local" for your Blog

Being as "Local" as you can with your blogging will yield big dividends.  By local, I mean incorporating as much geo-specific content as possible. First of all, you can see that the local game is hot right now.  Sites like Yelp are cashing in on these opportunities.  Even Google has continued to drive their local search focus.  Local is starting to spread across multiple products within Google, including:

  • Local Search
  • Google Maps
  • Google Directory
  • Adsense
  • Adwords
  • Google Voice
  • Goog411

All of these products rely on the thirst for local content and information.  Sites like Yelp are cashing in on the local directory and review market where users generate local content about everything from restaurants to dry cleaners.

How to cash in on "local" with your blog?

Try to incorporate a local element with every post you write.  It does not have to be local to you, but local to the post.

For example, right now I am posting about the importance of localizing content.  For this post, a great example of what I am talking about would be a blog called Hoboken411.  This site is all about the city of Hoboken, NJ, right outside New York City.  By mentioning how great this local site is and talking about their content in a local sense, I will increase my odds of someone finding this post when Hoboken is typed into the search query.

Ok, maybe not the best example.  Here's a few more.

Running blog. When you review that new pair of Nike running shoes for your blog, you should consider talking about the stores, cities, addresses, and websites of the stores that are going to get the first shipments of these hot shoes.  (A great example)

Reality TV blog. When you're giving the play by play review of last night's episode of The Apprentice, you should try to find out the name and address of the diner that the episode was shot.  Or the corner that they setup their street cart.  Or really any major landmark/scene from the episode.  There will be a lot of people out there that want to find out the name of the place.  They may be able to figure out that it was New York, but they won't know much more than that.  If your post answers the "where" question, you will rank well for that search term.

Baseball blog. Let's say that you write a blog about the New York Mets.  Each time the team hits the road, you could incorporate a post about the most "Mets Friendly" bar in that town to watch the game.  You'd be surprised how many displaced fans are spread all over the country looking for places to watch their favorite out-of-state teams. Here's a good example of what I mean.  Here is where you can see Yelp cashing in on this idea.

In most cases, you should be able to come up with a local angle for your post.

For anyone looking to start a new blog, starting as a local blog is the place to go.  Most small or even mid-sized towns/cities are in desperate need for good local content.  You could dominate the niche by turning out great content focused on that local audience.

It is much easier to start local and attempt to expand than it is to start with a national focus.  There are a lot more players in the national game right now.  Local is the place to be!

The Best Wordpress Video Plugin

We all know that Wordpress is the best CMS and blogging platform on the market today.  No argument there.  However, it can sometimes be tricky to embed videos into your posts with the stock version of Wordpress. So what's the best video plugin to handle all of your video embed needs?  Viper's Video Quicktags is the absolute best.

I've been using this plugin for years now.  It is regularly updated and improved.  Each time Wordpress itself is updated, the plugin is always compatible.

The plugin is so good that the creator was just recently hired by Automatic.  (He's made many other plugins as well.)

If you would like to start embedding videos from various major video hosting providers, get Viper's plugin installed ASAP.

Video embed possibilities with this plugin include:

  • YouTube
  • Google Video
  • Daily Motion
  • Vimeo
  • Veoh
  • Viddler
  • Metacafe
  • Blip.tv
  • Flickr Video
  • Spike
  • MySpace Video
  • Generic FLV or Mov files (self hosted)

Top 5 Best Twitter Plugins for Wordpress

Twitter integrations into Wordpress blogs are all the rage these days.  It is the most commonly asked for feature among our clients. With that, here are the Top 5 Twitter Plugins for Wordpress.

1) Twitter Widget Pro:

This plugin creates a sidebar widget with tons of configurable controls to adjust the Twitter feed's display.  You can also control things like showing the date/time stamps, etc.  This is great for pulling your Tweets right into your site, or pulling in Tweets from a group of people based on a subject.  It is also a great way to keep some fresh, active content going on your site until your next post.

2) Twitter Feed:

Got friends? Ha.  By that I mean do you have multiple people working on your blog?  Or do you have multiple Twitter followers/accounts that you would like to display on your site's sidebar?  This is the plugin for you.  Easily pull in Tweets from multiple users and control the slick graphic display of them on your site.  Includes the Twitter user picture and more.

3) Twitter Friends:

Show the loooove!  This widget allows you to show who is following you on Twitter.  This is a great way to thank loyal followers and to encourage people to follow you.  This plugin will show the user's Twitter photo, bio line, and most recent Tweet.  You can toggle on/off each feature as well allowing you to show more details about each person (or not).

4) Post to Twitter (and Twitter to Post)

Oh how magical a world it would be if you could somehow get your Wordpress posts to automatically show up in your Twitter account as Tweets?  How insane would it be if you could turn your Tweets into actual posts within Wordpress?  Dream no more my friends.  Post to Twitter does exactly that.  It allows you to control the direction of information  (Twitter to WP  vs  WP to Twitter).  Control the follow of Tweetalicious in either way you choose, or both!

5) Twitter Blaster:

Kind of a unique way to use Twitter and Wordpress.  This plugin allows your users to publish to your Twitter account.  Their Tweets get held as a "pending" post for your review.  You can then approve the Tweet and have it show up in your Twitter feed.  You can also approve the Tweet as a page/post.

Have one you really enjoy?  Tell me about it!

Post links to your favorite Twitter plugins for Wordpress in the comments below.

Got Speed? The Problem with Slow Loading Blogs

If you are not the tech savvy type, I'd be willing to bet your site loads slower than it should. Most amateur bloggers (and some professional ones) are not very good developers. Here's where I would normally make the case for hiring a firm like BlogCraving to handle these things for you, but this time I will spare you. Let's just jump right to the point and find out if your site is a load hog.

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