2014 was a milestone year here at Blogsite Studio with almost everything doubling.
According to Google Analytics, our Users, Pageviews, and Sessions all increased by over 100%. Conversely our Bounce Rate was cut in half as visitors found more pages to read.
By offering the ebook, Create a WordPress Website, as a free incentive, our subscription list grew tenfold.
And this year, I dove into podcasting by offering an audio version of almost every post. But it’s a little too soon for analytics on that.
Top 10 Posts of 2014
Out of 46 posts we posted in 2014 these were your favorites.
#10 How the WordPress Media Manager Works Magic
The WordPress Media Manager lets you to manage your photos like a magician pulls rabbits from a hat. This feature is so powerful, it makes other photo plugins practically obsolete.
This post was an update of How to Manage Photos in WordPress 3.5 and The Magical Media Manager of WordPress 3.5 posted because version 3.9 was a game changer for images in WordPress. Except for the parts I hated.
#9 How WordPress 4.0 Makes Your Site Swing
WordPress 4.0 is full of cool new features to help you smooth your groove. But, when you look at 4.0 – “Benny” – you gotta ask yourself, does it swing like the King?
In my line of business, writing about new versions of WordPress is de rigueur since there are always new features and options to analyze. And when that version is named for a jazz artist, I’m all over it because I love jazz and will take any opportunity to work it into my writing. And, I once played clarinet.
While the Edit Tool is the sexy face of Yoast that gets all the attention, the Settings pages are important as they allow you to set site-wide options and let some things go on autopilot.
I feel like I spend half my tutoring time talking about the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, and bloggers can’t seem to get enough. That’s why it’s on the list of Top 10 Posts of 2014. The post is about the behind-the-scenes features of Yoast, a list I originally crafted as a Meetup presentation.
#7 The Importance of the iPhone Voice Memo for Blogging
For blogging, the single most valuable feature of an iPhone is Voice Memo. You’ll find Voice Memo hidden away in your Utilities folder, but on my ancient 3G I’ve given it center stage on my dashboard. Easier to access that way.
I was a little hesitant to give this tip away, wanting to keep it an industry secret that only I know. But, what the hell. Every blogger should take advantage of the Voice Memo’s usefulness. That feature continues to be my workhorse, recording my interviews and conversations with broadcast quality sound. The audio is so good, I even use it for my podcasts.
#6 Using WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress SEO, created by WordPress consultant and developer Joost de Valk, has emerged as the go-to search engine optimization tool for WordPress users. What I like is the framework it offers on the page, post, and media library to improve the attributes used by search engines to rank pages.
This post was written before Getting the Most from Yoast: SEO Settings Tour and explains how to use this powerful plugin. So I don’t have to. No wonder it’s one of our Top 10 Posts of 2014.
#5 Five Differences Between Writing and Blogging
The conventions of writing and blogging are very different, so if you are a writer who wants to be a blogger, get ready to unlearn much of what you were taught in English class.
Writing and blogging do not need to be mutually exclusive but there are subtle differences. Writers liked this story because it told them how to shift to blogging. Bloggers liked it for the writing advice.
#4 Embedding Videos in WordPress is Easy
Embedding videos in WordPress is so easy, I wonder why bloggers don’t post them more. Even in the most basic free theme, embedding videos on your page is simple.
Sure, there are plugins you can use to present videos, and WordPress 4.0 now offers an option to place the URL in the Edit box and get a visual view of it. But I felt like this method offers the most control and ease of placement for new WordPress users and needed reinforcement. Basic, but reliable.
#3 Things I Hate about WordPress 3.9
A couple weeks ago I wrote about all the things I really like about WordPress 3.9. Now I want to tell you the things I hate about the changes in 3.9, and it ain’t a pretty picture.
Not every new WordPress version is sunshine and roses. This post was an example of how I feel I must warn you about the downsides of updating. Not surprisingly, people like that. So it’s #3 of the Top 10 Posts of 2014.
#2 Google Hangouts On Air: A First Time for Everything
Far be it for me to reinvent the How-to-Hangout wheel, but I’ve got my own tips on how to use Google Hangouts On Air that just might save you some time.
When I first started on Google Hangouts I was amazed at the potential and usability of this tool. Now, I’m just amazed at how little I use it anymore. But readers were also sucked in by Hangouts and they hit on this post like crazy, reminding me I must hangout more.
#1 8 Best Tools to Build a WordPress Directory
Have you ever wanted to build a directory site like Yelp, Linkedin, Biznik, or Foursquare? If so, you are not alone. Business directory sites are great places to promote and build community in your industry niche.
Hands down, #1 of the Top 10 Posts of 2014 on Blogsite Studio was about online directories and how to build them. This was one in which I attended a Vancouver WordPress Meetup and recorded the presentation by Jeff Rose on my iPhone so I could whip up a verbatim post. Jeff described all the various plugins and themes he tested during his creation of a site called Shop Crosstown. Within the year, however, he packed it in and moved to Toronto, leaving a broken link, but an enduring legacy here on Blogsite Studio.
Coming soon in 2015, I’ll review the most blazing hot directory theme on the planet. Just you wait.
And, the updated ebook Create a WordPress Website – Updated for 4.1 will be out in January and available on Amazon.com.
So, thank you dear readers for visiting Blogsite Studio and pumping up my numbers. I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for you.
Happy New Year!