How to Extend Open Arms to a Guest Blogger?

It almost seems ironical that I am writing an article on guest blogging. Being a guest blogger myself, you cannot even begin to imagine how close guest blogging is to my heart. I do it regularly, as it is my passion and has eventually become a way of life for me. I simply cannot keep off it. It simply keeps growing on me.

Many readers would probably know what “Guest blogging” is. But just for the sake of educating unaware readers I shall define it once again. Guest blogging or guest posting means writing and getting published an article on someone else’s website or blog. That site or blog publishes that article after approving it.

Many sites offer and welcome guest posts for their websites. For a writer it is a great way of connecting with newer audiences and making a name for him or herself. For websites or a blogs, guest posting is a nice way to get their hands on high quality write-ups on their chosen topics, without doing the effort of writing it themselves.

Even Google considers guest posting as a perfectly legitimate way of getting high quality BackLinks. So in short guest posting is a niche for all, the writer, publisher and also the readers who get access to high quality content. Who more than me, shall know how websites approach writers like me through emails and make requests for guest posts? I have written for many and refused to some as well.

A writer is a kind of person who has mood swings and can be unpredictable at times as well. A pleasing guest post request can impress a writer and an offending one can leave him or her bitter for a considerable amount of time. After all a writer is a person with his own sense and sensibilities. If you are a website or a blog owner and need guest posts for your site, here’s how you should ask a writer for them.

6 Things You Should Not Do In Blogging

  1. Be Gentle and Polite

A thought can be conveyed to a person in different ways and different tones. But surprisingly, the tone of a sentence makes all the difference. An email going towards a writer should be polite and gentle. You certainly don’t need to beg, but just have to make a polite request. Avoid an arrogant tone. Remember that you are inviting a writer, not commanding him. If you manage to please him, he is sure to return the favour by not only accepting your request but by providing you with a good article.

  1. Flatter, if you can

Flattery is a common age old tactic for wooing people. Your writer cannot be immune to it. A writer being a creative person needs encouragement and motivation. If you can tell him/her that he/she has done a good job in the past and has good writing skills, then nothing more like it. It will surely motivate him/her in doing something even better for you. You however need to be careful of not piling on too much praises that could make him/her high headed. Excess of everything is bad, praises included.

  1. Tell about the rewards at stake

Remember that it’s all about convincing. Explain in detail to him/her the benefits involved in writing for your blog. Tell him/her the facts like the amount of user traffic on your site, the potential audience he/she might get and also the quality of the backlinks you shall provide. A writer gets totally convinced when totally sure that he/she will get a decent amount of views, reviews, tweets and re-tweets for the write-up.

  1. Spare no effort to explain the Title of the Topic

A writer might be professional, but still cannot penetrate into your mind to know, what exactly you want from him. If you can explain the topic in detail to your writer with a few precise emails before he/she begins writing, then it will save a lot of time and energy. Tell your writer about the word limit you want and the idea behind the post you require. If fully aware about the topic, the writer would be able to write the article effortlessly.

  1. Provide a decent time limit

Writing involves gathering your thoughts and concentrating on something you are going to write about. It takes time to be able to do so. Having strict deadlines for writers is never advisable. Allow your writer with a decent time limit for completing the write-up. Good work always takes time. Many writers when confronted with strict deadlines falter with their article in terms of missing important points or making silly grammatical mistakes.

Conclusion

Guest posting benefits everyone involved. Be it the writer, the blog owner or the readers. So follow these simple rules and make life easier for your guest blogger and for yourself the most. After all making friendship with a good writer comes with lifetime benefits.

Author Bio:

If you need Guest Blogging tips then Anna Brown is the right person. She has created a niche for herself by blog marketing for websites. She has numerous articles and short stories to her credit. Reach out to her on Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook API Updates No More Auto Posting to Groups with Hootsuite

I have seen a lot of complaints from the blogging community and content marketers about the new Facebook updates which now prohibit API from posting directly to Facebook groups that you are not an owner of.  This means for all of those bloggers and Internet marketers that use Hootsuite RSS Feed Publishing or Gremln or other applications to remote post to mass groups on Facebook this is no longer an option.

In Hootsuite you can’t even find and add groups to your stream unless they are ones you are owner of or admin of in your profile any longer for example, and this is a big blow to Internet marketers who relied on these auto feeds to help spread links to content published across dozens of Facebook groups.

I leveraged this feature primarily only to post some giveaways that I personally run into several giveaway groups, and my fall back is now to post them manually which isn’t nearly as impactful as it is for most content marketers.

There is desktop software which can still achieve this since it doesn’t use the API, but at this time I don’t recommend and haven’t tested any desktop software to remote post to Facebook groups online.  The odd thing is even manual posting to these groups isn’t possible in Hootsuite anymore, it isn’t just RSS feed updates, so it somewhat means I have to break out of Hootsuite to post manually on Facebook for some things that I want to share with groups that I am not the owner of.  You can still post to LinkedIn groups however if you leverage those.

So having questions to fellow bloggers and marketers out there, what alternative strategies or methods for targeting Facebook groups are you employing now and does Facebook group broadcasting still have a future in your marketing strategies?

Compress WordPress Images Free with WordPress Image Shrinker

Lately with EWWW Image Optimizer and WP Smush.it becoming subscription services it is harder to find a plugin that can help you compress a relatively small amount of image files and not hit you with a charge every single month.  Well there is a plugin called WordPress Image Shrinker which is relatively small with less than 1,000 downloads that directly ties into the TinyJPG service that allows you to compress 500 images per month at no cost, if you need to compress more than that you would simply pay TinyJPG themselves for the additional images, it doesn’t cost anything for the plugin.

To get started you install the WordPress Image Shrinker by HETNetworks, then you would simply click on the Image Shinker icon in your left bar of the dashboard and enter your TinyJPG API Key.

The cool thing about TinyJPG is you can get an account and start your 500 image compression without needing to enter a credit card, you only need to enter a credit card if you exceed the 500 image compresses per month, then it would simply bill you for any overages.

Once you get your TinyJPG API key you enter it in the Image Shrinker settings

Then you simply save changes.

Then you have the option to shrink all previous media in your WordPress media archive.  If you have a large and old blog this could be a lot of files, so you can just let it shrink all new images if you think you will instantly hit the 500 image limit for the free service.

WordPress Plugin URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-image-shrinker/

 

Is VPS Hosting the Right Solution for Your Website?

Hosting on a virtual private server is an option to be considered when looking for a hosting service for your website. By taking a look at the benefits of VPS hosting, you will be able to see whether or not it’s the right solution for you and your business.

A virtual private server provides more than you can expect from shared hosting and, in fact, it acts more like a dedicated server. VPS hosting uses a number of separate virtual servers which provide each user with dedicated resources of a server for their own personal use.

There is no sharing of resources with VPS. You get complete root access and more power for your website than is available from shared hosting.

Like a dedicated server, VPS hosting provides the amount of power necessary for sites that can attract a large number of visitors. You get a specific amount of CPU’s, RAM, disk space and your bandwidth requirements are not affected by other users of the same server.

Cost

In comparison to paying for a dedicated server, the price for using VPS hosting is considerably lower and you are not responsible for your own maintenance costs. All the costs are shared between a large numbers of VPS customers, so you are not expected to pay more for resources that you do not use. This, in turn, allows many companies to offer cheap Linux VPS to businesses both large and small. You can create quite powerful, but not expensive web server with it.

Security

You get a lot more security by having your own space on a virtual server because your section of the server is closed off to other users. Your site is therefore not as vulnerable to potential hackers, virus attacks or breaches of security.

Operating system

A VPS is constructed by software that simulates the same experience you would get by having your own dedicated server.

You have the ability to restart your VPS without affecting any other sites on the same physical server and another VPS users cannot bring your site down if their server suddenly crashes. Each virtual server is run on its own operating system, not on a shared system installed on the physical server.

Setup and upgrades

Setup is also easier with VPS than it is with a dedicated server. All you need to do to get started is to install some compatible software. There is nothing more to be assembled or any parts to be built.

When you need more space or want to use more resources for your site, an upgrade can be done easily and quickly. With VPS hosting you never have to wait for hardware to become available as you would with shared hosting or a dedicated server.

Tech support

With VPS you have access to customer support from your web hosting provider. If a problem arises or you have a tech question, you will usualy receive the support you need. This means that there is no need for you to employ or hire IT experts to maintain your site.

The right hosting solution

VPS hosting is designed as a solution for sites that are not big enough to require a dedicated server and are not suitable for shared hosting.

VPS hosting offers you more resources than you would get from a shared server and is a low cost alternative to having your own dedicated server.

Migrated WPCypher to InMotion Hosting

In testing out a new hosting provider for the first time in years, WPCypher.com has migrated to InMotion Hosting and I wanted to see how the SSD drives that come standard with hosting plans would do for performance.  I can tell you I decided to try the InMotion Web Hosting Web Site Transfer offer where you basically let the InMotion Hosting team move and migrate your website for you.  They do all the work of migrating all your files, database, plugins, themes…etc so that your site is cloned from your old hosting provider to your new hosting provider and they did this in less than 24 hours for my WPCypher.com site.

They do say it has a 2-4 day turnaround in normal but I was surprised at how fast the service was and it was flawless with all files/images, themes, plugins and everything completely intact and fully functional.  It saved me hours of work to just have InMotion migrate and transfer my site for me and I really think they did a fine job.  The only work you have to do is repoint the DNS for your old hosting so that it references InMotion Hosting for the hosting provider, then unassign the domain at your old web host.

The InMotion team sends you several emails including when they will start and not to make any changes, when they are finished and how you can test by modifying your hosts file to make sure all looks good before you cut your DNS over.

So far so good, and I have been very pleased with my first 24 hours of working with InMotion Hosting. The blog site seems more responsive when navigating in the menus though Google Insights score is about the same.  Pingdom tests showed minor improvement from former web host but it was about 1 second faster, though it is 5 seconds faster than it was in November.

Will continue with my review of InMotion Web Hosting and let readers know after several weeks and I finish transitioning my other smaller blogs to InMotion Hosting.

Change WordPress PHP version in .htaccess

Say your WordPress isn’t running the right version of PHP despite having it set in your PHP Config in CPanel. You can easily override the PHP version that is being used with an update to .htaccess and all you have to do is edit the .htacccess file for the root of your WordPress install.

Near the top of the file, next to other AddHandler statements if there are any, just add:

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php54 .php

If you want to force WordPress to use PHP 5.4, note if you see any similar lines that refererence PHP 5.2 you can simply change those, or sometimes commenting them out will force the WP install to use the one set in PHP Config in Cpanel.

If you see this one:

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php5s .php

Replace with AddHandler application/x-httpd-php54 .php for example.

 


WordPress Plugin: Display PHP Version

Sometimes your PHP version for your WordPress site may not be what you think it should be and this is despite the PHP version you have selected in your PHP Config in your Cpanel of your web hosting provider.  I ran into this just this past week, where I was testing the new version of the EasyAzon plugin and it didn’t work for 1 of my WordPress blogs.  This was despite it working fine on 4 other blogs on the same shared hosting plan.  So 4 of the blogs worked fine, and looking at PHP Config you saw that PHP 5.4 (Single php.ini) was used which means every site should be sharing the same php.ini file that is in the public directory of the web host.

Well, the developers said it must be a PHP version issue, and I decided to test out the Display PHP Version plugin for WordPress which is free and recommended.  This plugin simply modifies your WordPress dashboard so you see the PHP version under your normal status area.

It is easy to install, just click on Plugins -> Add New and search for Display PHP Version, the plugin is made by David Gwyer and is current version 1.2 as of this writing.

After it is installed and activated, simply look at your WordPress dashboard and you will see Running PHP Version underneath your WordPress version and other stats.

4 of my sites showed the correct PHP version 5.4.34 was running, but on my one site that had trouble with EasyAzon it was stuck with PHP version 5.2 and I could not find the source of this anomaly.

There were no PHP overrides or statements in any config files or cron, that I could find so I ended up opening a support ticket.  This was a lesson though, if you are on a shared hosting provider solution and any hosting, there is a chance the PHP that the WordPress site is configured to is not the one that you have selected in PHP Config, so having a plugin like this that quickly just shows you PHP version can be handy and help with debugging problems or simply answering if you need to check plugin compatibility.

How to Embed YouTube HD Video in WordPress

It used to be so simple, up until several months ago you could take the standard YouTube embed code and just add &vq=HD1080 or &vq=HD720 to the video embed URL and you would have an embedded HD version of the YouTube video you were trying to embed.  The problem is this method no longer works and hasn’t for some time and even with those parameters the video will default to SD resolution in the video embed.

You can tell because in the above embedded video where I am using the same flags, you do not see an HD symbol in the settings gear and if you click on the settings gear you can see the standard resolution embed.

 So, I have no easy trick for you to embed YouTube videos in HD format in WordPress, but I did find one plugin which does the trick that still works.  The problem is that it does convert the YouTube link to Shortcode and I am not a huge fan of shortcode for embeds, but there are many benefits for this plugin called Embed Plus for WordPress which is completely free.

After you install and activate the plugin you now have a new button in  your WordPress post editor, when clicking on this button it will ask you to input the YouTube video URL.

Just do that and click next as in the picture below

Now if you do nothing else and just want the video to be HD embedded, just click on the Default to hi-definition? if possible and this works, you will see in the same video embedded later in the article that the HD symbol shows.  Also it is best to click Calculate Best-Fit Height and let it auto choose the right height for the video.

But you can see so much more is an option, you can start and stop the video at specific  times, add chapter markers and even add annotations and clickable links to the embed of your video!  There are also several PRO options if you want the premium version of the plugin as well.

Just click “Get Code” when you have what you want configured and paste the shortcode into your Wordrpess editor and the video will display like below, this time you will see the HD symbol with the settings showing that it is in HD.

[embedplusvideo height=”367″ width=”600″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1yIKs6i” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/8cGlMCWNFfY?fs=1&vq=hd720″ vars=”ytid=8cGlMCWNFfY&width=600&height=367&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=1&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep9762″ /]

This is one meethod of embedding YouTube video in HD in WordPress though it is more manual and requires a plugin and shortcode it works.

 

Streamline the Localization of Your App with 8 Critical Steps

Some developers are happy with their achievement of being available in the market but developers who want to reach more people and markets with their products should go for localization process. This will help you in reaching global people, and the businessmen looking for your applications.

Following is the list of points you need to work on if you want to streamline the localization of your mobile app or your website.

  1. Find Out The Type Of Subcontractor You Want To Go With.
  • The first thing is to choose between a translation agency and a freelance translator. Based on your requirements and the amount of work you need, you might need more than one translator. Do check for this whether a freelance translator will work with a reviser or not. Otherwise you have to hire one yourself. As far as translation agencies are concerned, they usually provide you complete services, i.e., translation as well as revision of your translated material. Some of the agencies even provide you with proof reading services later on.
  • For using CAT tools, you will have to prepare all the files yourself when working with a freelance translators. But all this is not required when you are working with a translation agency.
  • Pick up the agency that will offer you multilingual services when there is a need for translating material into several languages for saving your money as well as your efforts. But if you work with multiple freelancers on such projects then you will be able to maintain more control over different aspects of your project. This way you will be having a upper hand in maintaining more control over various aspects of your project.
  • Sometimes what happens is freelance translators work together and they offer combined services. But if you are considering hiring them then do enquire whether they provide you with technical support also or not. The total cost will vary depending upon who you choose. So make your decision wisely keeping your budget in your mind.

 

  1. Optimize The Files That Are Needed To Be Sent For Translation
  • The job of translators becomes very easy if they have to deal with a less variety of files.
  • Most of the translators’ employee CAT tools these days. But some tools engage differently with some of the file formats. To make sure that your file gets properly analyzed try to find out about their respective CAT tools to be used beforehand.
  • Extraction in XML is comparatively easy to get all the content of the software and the website. The source software and the URL of the website must be provided to the translators.
  • The next layers must be open for editing if illustrations need to be localized. You may need to provide the graphic program or the extracted texts in an accessible format to the freelance translators. The same may not be required if you are working with an agency.
  • The same procedure implies when you are working with animations. While working with freelancers, you might need to extract all the text which is to be translated and have to rebuild the animations on your own. If you have to do so then make sure that your translator is performing linguistic sign-off for the final animation in the target list. At the other end, you might find agencies that will help you in managing the localization of your animations completely.
  • In case you want to localize some of your videos with voices, you may need help from actors for reaching your target version. Some translators might be able to help you for this but translation agencies will offer you numerous services from which you can select the best voices for you. In any of the case make sure to offer them with a translation team along with the text scripted file including appropriate timeline.

 

  1. Prepare your files for Translation
  • Store all your translatable strings in different files and ask your developers to not to use translatable hardcoded strings while working with the software files.
  • Before sending your files to the software files, check all your strings that are accessible by the translators and are actually needed to be translated. These translators might not be always able to judge your strings with the typical code or variable. So you might want to teach them not to touch your specific strings or to lock them yourself.
  • Ensure that your logical units of meanings are not cut as it makes it difficult for translators to find out how to link the strings when source material makes use of concatenation.
  • Do not use variables in a huge amount while working with strings – the translation of the strings sometimes is not easy when they are containing them might not be easy in some of the languages but some translators do not understand how to replace some of the variables.

 

  1. Clarify Your Content

Some strings are clear for you but might be they are understood in a different form by the translation team. You can either rephrase them to avoid any uncertainty or you can also add an explanation file for clarifying all the difficult or risky strings.

  1. Clarify non-translatable terms

Make a list of all the terms that you think are required to be kept in the source language like specific features, product names, and lots more. If all this is not stated clearly, some of the proper nouns will get translated by mistake.

  1. Give your users with reference material
  • If it is possible for you then provide your translation team with some references and glossaries in the targeted language. If you have not got any then you can also ask the translation team to prepare it for them. Then ask your reviewers to authorize the targeted terms before they launch the complete localization project.
  • Also build a translation style guides for every specific language to make sure that your translators and revisers are following the preferred style. You can also subcontract this task to your translation team.
  • You also need to provide your subcontractors with all types of reliable translated material that is linked to your business or has already been translated for your company.
  1. Plan for your Internal Review

Have a look if some of your experts are local speakers in their target languages or can also check the translated content. It will also be a good idea for you to involve them in your linguistic processes at earlier stage so that they could answer your linguistic questions during their project or specify the linguistic guidelines during the initial phase of the process.

  1. Organize a testing phase by the linguists

Once you have compiled your target software and have checked the debugging on the technical side, ask your translation team to test everything in order to make it sure that there are no truncations, or any kind of missing translations, outdated content translations, variable issues, bad locales, etc. Offer them the test scripts for making it sure that they cover most of the interface.

You can also do the same with your target website. Ask your translation team to have a close look at your website after it has been rebuilt in the targeted language.

If because of any reason you failed to follow any of the above written steps you may have to face various consequences on your projects like delay in the product release, increased costs, and jeopardized translation quality. Hence, try to optimize your localization process as much as possible.

The given points are highly beneficial for providing proper strengthening techniques for the localization of your application or your website. Follow these techniques and you will be able to reach a large number of markets easily.

About the Author
Macy Jones is working as a senior iPhone App developer with AppXperts, a leading firm for developing all types of mobile applications. She did her graduation in computers from Melbourne University only. She is highly dedicated towards her work and loves to create unique and innovative apps. After this development job she likes to write what she creates for the company. You can follow her on Twitter and can catch her on Facebook to read the articles that she writes. You can learn a lot with her ideas and applications.