Giving the WordPress Desktop Version a whirl!

I am hoping that I am in love! In love with the brand new desktop app for WordPress! I just read about it on the TechCrunch blog, downloaded it and am using it now to type this.

heroMy initial thoughts:

It was very simple to install, and after logging in it’s already linked to all of the blogs/websites that are connected to my WordPress account. Sweet! So I can go into any of them and type up a blog post or write page content without having to go to the URL on my browser and access it.

Looks like if you want to do some fancy stuff you will have to access the site directly, but for the normal user this is ideal!

One dislike I have at this point, however, is that it seems to have a bit of a drag to the typing. I type fast, around 100 wpm (with some mistakes…lol), and I have had to slow down while typing this because it keeps transposing my letters. Now like I typed them wrong, but like it bounced back and put letters before others I already typed. For example: When typing the words “content without” earlier I caught that it had typed “contnt withoute”. It took the e and put all the other letters in front of it. 🙁 But that’s probably just a little glitch that most people who type normal speed would never encounter and I’m sure it will be worked out soon.

Overall, so far, I’m loving this! You should give it a try.

Download it from the WordPress website at Desktop.WordPress.com. Follow the prompts and then log in with your WordPress.com id. If you have a hosted website, make sure JetPack is installed and connected to your WordPress.com account. Your website will show up under “My Sites” if it is. If not, you will have to set that up. (Need help?)

If you have multiple sites you will need to select the one you are writing for under “My Sites”. You will then see all of your posts and pages and can make edits to them as needed.

After publishing: It showed up on my site immediately! You should also set your featured image, your tags, etc, which are shown on the left sidebar area when you are writing.

Easy peasy! Let me know how you like it!

Email list building

Want to build a big e-mail list? This is a fun way to learn how!

Every year for the last few years, summer has been extra fun and profitable because of a great FREE program teaching massive list building skills. My friend PJ Van Hulle has been hosting List-a-Palooza for a while and it has become something I really look forward to!

List-A-Palooza 90 Day List Building Challenge

Each week through the summer (till the end of August!), she has a couple of guest speakers teaching an important aspect or new method to building and maintaining your list. Then there is a day set aside specifically for networking with the other thousands of people learning along with you. Most of these include opportunities to share your free opt in and also opportunities to grow your social media following…which very well could result in more $$ for you! (Yes, I have gotten a few clients from my List-a-Palooza contacts!)

Email list building

And there is the list building challenge built into the whole process. If you start out with a list of 1,000, it is not unheard of to build your list to perhaps 10,000 by the end of the challenge if you diligently follow the advice. Getting up to 1000 obviously is one of the hardest steps…but even that is easier with the tips you will learn.

So if you are ready to take your list building up to the next level, hop on over to List-a-palooza before the next session starts! (Tuesdays and Thursdays, with power hour on Wednesday) Click here to sign up for List-a-Palooza now! It’s totally FREE to participate in the live calls, the list-building challenge and the power hours!

Don’t worry…even though List-a-Palooza has been in full swing for a few weeks now, you don’t have to miss a thing because PJ has graciously offered a way to catch up or simply listen to all of the presentations at your own pace and preferred times. Watch for the upgrade package after you register for the free List-a-Palooza!

And remember, when you are ready to take the step in your list building challenge of hosting your own telesummit or giveaway, we’ve got you covered with smooth, efficient management of it! Our largest managed summit to date resulted in over 4000 new opt ins for a happy client!

Let’s Get ANTI-social! Remove distractions so you can get in your zone.

The 15 Day Freedom Blog Challenge for today is to block distractions! Wow, that’s a hard one. Let’s see…my biggest distractions are the husband, the kid, and the dog. I don’t think there’s an app for any of those distractions! LOL

I already use noise-cancelling headphones to get in my zone with Spotify. I spend my days working hard while jamming away to Lecrae, Toby Mac or the Newsboys usually. That helps to block out most of the distractions around me that I can’t otherwise control.

The dog needing to go outside is ok, because that forces me to take a break now and then. When he gets in a “let’s bark at everything” mood the headphones again save the day.

So the one big distraction for me that CAN be controlled beyond that is Facebook. I don’t know how many times I am truly in the zone and all of a sudden I realize I have just wasted 20 minutes on Facebook. Then I’ll stop and ask myself WHY was I even there? Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don’t. Usually its because I wanted to share something cool, or often because I needed to go to Facebook for a client, either to send a message or to log in as them or post something to their business page. Instead I spot the top item on my newsfeed, and I like it or comment on it or scroll down… well you know the rest of that story!

Facebook distraction

Hmm…so I can probably find a way to prevent myself going to Facebook at all. Heck, I could do like some folks and just delete my whole account. Lol But that’s not a very good solution when you work online, network with business people ON Facebook and manage dozens of FB business pages like I do! So I guess I should just schedule it all for specific times.

In Natalie’s day 4 video today she mentioned a couple of apps that will block access to social media sites for a set period of time that you decide. I am going to check those out.

1st up is MacFreedom, which works on Windows and Android as well as a Mac. Looks like it blocks ALL of the internet. Well, that’s not going to work for me at all. So their site says Anti-Social does the same thing but only blocks out social media sites. That may just work!

What distractions keep you from being productive during the day? Even if you are like me and have managed to block out most of the distractions, there is likely still something. What is it and what are you going to do about it?

Using apps in your business and life to improve your productivity

I make pretty good use of apps already. I currently use Gmail for “everything;” even my professional email accounts pull into it. I use my Google calendar for organizing my life and it is synced to my mobile phone because otherwise I will totally forget. My phone is also synced to Facebook events, so if I have said I am going somewhere it puts it on my Google calendar and reminds me!

TeamWorkFor my business I use TeamWork. It allows my business manager or me to add and assign tasks, track time, and get reminders when something is coming due.

And of course, my business manager is my greatest help, although she is not an app! Lol 🙂 But she is such a life saver at times.

So after watching today’s 15 Day Blog Challenge video which was all about using apps in your business, I got to thinking it would be nice if TeamWork would sync to my Google calendar, like Natalie’s project management software does. So I got to looking. Sure enough! Not only can it sync to my calendar, but it can also sync to Freshbooks which I use for billing and accounting purposes.

So today’s step is to assign to my business manager the task of helping me get this hooked up. That way the items in TeamWork are being added to my calendar AND sending me reminders on my phone! Win win!

What app are you using or what app will you start using that increases your productivity? Leave a comment below!

What are your most important actions for each day?

I am working my way through a couple of challenges. One of them is the 15 Day Blog Challenge. It’s not your usual “just write a post today” challenges. Natalie Sisson gives specific steps for each day that are not only getting me to write a blog post, but are also giving specific steps to building the whole business.

Today’s challenge was on MIA, Most Important Actions. The point was to ask yourself what is the number one most important thing you can do to for your business or your life each week and make that the first item on your list of to-do’s for your work day or any day.

Woman typing

My mind instantly bounced all over this client’s website, that client’s telesummit, and more. BUT it was for MY business…so at this point that is probably just continuing to develop this habit of writing and communicating with my clients. That doesn’t take an hour a day, so I feel like I should add a couple extra items to fill in that hour. So here goes…

My MIA for this week is to spend one hour each morning writing on my blog, working on my newsletter, and/or updating items on my website.

That means a blog post every single day. One newsletter a week. And updates to my website, whether it be contemplating my overall design changes or making changes to copy and adding services.

What is your MIA for today or this week or this month? It’s a vitally important step to getting yourself and/or your business organized. Leave a comment below.

I also challenge you to jump into this 15 day challenge, even if you are doing another challenge as well. We are just a few days into it and there is plenty of time for you to catch up! Even if you take it day by day, you will only benefit yourself and your business by taking on a few of these daily steps. Click here to learn more.

The value of a daily routine

A vitally important part of getting your business and your life organized is to start your day off right with a plan and to establish a daily routine!

I’m a bit of a morning person, and I get up before the sun, so my morning routine may not be ideal or normal…but it works for me. I thought I would let you know how my day goes. Just in case you ever wondered. 🙂

First thing I do is drink some water! I read a while back that water wakes up your organs and your body much better than caffeine ever would. So I start by finishing off the bottle of water that I have beside my bed or I fill a glass and drink it down. It works too! I am almost always wide awake within a couple of minutes.

Most people suggest you exercise and do all of these various things early in the morning, but I actually find my day goes best when I get right to work. Otherwise I get overwhelmingly stressed out with thoughts of all I need to be doing. I love to just jump right in early in the morning before the family wakes up. I enjoy the silence that rarely exists in my house at other times.

So I open up my laptop after I get settled in my favorite chair, with my feet on a footstool. (And my dog usually curled up on my feet. 🙂

First thing I do is visit my email inbox. I quickly scan for any urgent overnight messages. Barring that, I go down one by one and delete all the stuff I don’t want to be bothered with opening. That cleans up my inbox A LOT! There is no reason to let your day get bogged down with all the emails you are always signing up for. Some are important, and those will stand out. (So don’t delete them.)

Then I look for (and read, meditate on, etc) my daily scripture emails and the Proverbs 31 Ministries email devotional that are usually waiting for me at that time.

I check out any emails that have subject lines written well enough to actually grab my attention and were not banished immediately to the trash. (See, it IS important to write your headlines well!)

Then I begin to open client emails, responding where necessary, forwarding to my business manager as necessary, etc. In the process of this I am mentally organizing my day.

Some mornings I have a few quick tasks to do for my clients, so I get those out of the way right away.

If I have time, I start thinking about my blog post for the day and begin to draft that.

Or I will start working one of my day’s projects.

Around 7 am it is time for my son to get up and the daily argument about “yes, you DO have to go to school” begins. Sigh. This is also the exact time that my dog decides he needs to go outside. So work gets set aside, my son begins to wake up, I take my doggy out, admire the sunrise, pray, relax, and just generally enjoy the fresh air. (In the winter anyway…it’s much earlier in the summer that we go outside.)

Sunrise in my backyard

Sunrise in my backyard. 🙂

We are usually walking out the door to take my boy to school around 7:40 or so. We drop him off and then many days my husband and I go out for breakfast together. We relax, talk, laugh, and have a “morning date” almost every day. It’s nice. 🙂

Then it’s time to get back to work. By this time, my inbox has filled back up, so I sort it out again, respond to what needs responded to, etc. I wipe out any small tasks, then start on my big project for the day. Today, for example, I am working on some LeadPages sales pages and autoresponders for one client and a telesummit site for another.

I usually work through till 1 or 1:30, with a short break or two in there sometime whenever my bladder or my dog dictate it. 🙂

Then its lunch time, take the dog for a walk time, etc. That usually ends the bulk of my work day until later in the afternoon. Sometimes my hubby and I will go out for lunch, but usually we eat a sandwich or something at home. We may go wander through a thrift store, or work on some projects around the house.

Keeping this sort of routine keeps my day grounded and keeps me focused. There is always room for flexibility of course. Some days I am just so tired, so I sleep in till almost 7. Other days I have a non-profit meeting at noon. Or there is an appointment of some sort. But you know what, that’s part of the reason I love being self-employed at home…and yes, that’s a whole other blog post!

So what is your daily routine? Share it in the comments below! Or better yet, write your own blog post about your routine and leave the link in a comment for others to read and learn from. 🙂

Scratch that WordPress maintenance reminder off your to-do list!

If you have a WordPress website, one of the vital, but tedious, components of managing it is updating plugins, deleting spam comments and making sure there is no hacking going on. And what if you should happen to get hacked? Or if the latest WordPress update breaks a vital plugin or even your theme? Well, that would sure throw a big wrench in your list of things to get accomplished today!

Frustrated

Did you know that we can take all of this off of your plate? Whew…that’s a load off, huh! No more stressing over what might happen when you click that “update” button. (Leave the hand wrangling to me! Ha!) No more worrying over what might happen if you DON’T update it!

No more wondering if that rather generic comment about how great your blog is and how much it is going to help the commenter is spam or not. No more freaking out when you hear about a bunch of websites getting hacked and wondering how you would ever know if yours is one of them.

No need to wonder if your content has been stolen or is otherwise duplicated on another website. No need to keep up with all of your links to see if any of them have gone bad.

And no need to worry for more than a few minutes on the day you happen to notice some crazy posts showing up on with your website, or even when you see your website is just plain GONE. Just shoot me a quick email or give me a call and I’ll step in to fix it!

You can have all of this piece of mind for just $59 a month with our WordPress Maintenance subscription! That INCLUDES use of my retainer of the professional services of Sucuri* to clear any hacks or major viruses from your website should the worst happen. That includes regular backups using professional backup services and re-installation of the latest clean backup if your site should crash or get hacked during your subscription.

Check out the full details of my Monthly Website Maintenance package here. Questions? Just holler!

URL bar on virtual screen

What to do with your old domain?

With the New Year and all the organizing and business planning that goes on, many business owners make a decision to change their website from an old URL to one that better reflects their current business model. This is a great idea, but there is always a question about what to do with that old URL.

URL bar on virtual screen

Your gut instinct might be to just toss it out, let it expire, and start fresh. If you never did anything with it, then that is a perfect option. But what if you did? What if you worked hard to post your old blog posts to your social media sites? What if your old URL is listed on some directories or blog comments that you can’t even remember anymore? What if your old URL was actually ranking decently on Google? What then??

I made a change from my previous business name VaVaVoomph a few years ago. It reflected a direction that I no longer am going. But I still own that URL. If you were to click on it, you would find yourself back at KimScottWebDesign.com. I still own it, and plan to own it for at least the next 5 years.

This serves multiple purposes.

First, the most obvious, is that you redirect your old URL to the new one so that anyone who happens to follow that old link will still find you.

The second reason is so that nobody else can pretend to be you, on purpose or by chance. Now the chances of that being on purpose are pretty slim if you have a fairly small business. But let’s say you did some business here and there and a few people remember you by your business name. So they google that, and wind up on “your old site”. Except it’s NOT YOUR old site, it is now someone else’s site. They may or may not be in the same business as you, but they just got the customer you worked so hard to contact a few years ago.

So keep paying for that old URL, redirect it to the new site, and rest assured that all of your previous link building efforts will not be in vain.

One more tip! If you redirect it with a wild card redirect, it will send people to the new URL that has the same page name. Example, on my old website I may have had a page called Web Site Design. If the url was VaVaVoomph.com/Web-Design-Services and you followed that link, the wild card redirect will send you to KimScottWebDesign.com/Web-Design-Services. Pretty nifty for those old deep links you had made! Otherwise they will just land on your new home page. Not bad, but certainly not perfect because then they will have to hunt for what they were needing.

Confused about how to do this redirect? We can handle it for you! Click here to schedule a free consultation to explore this or other services we offer.

Update! 11/21/2015: Case in point: I recently decided to rebrand, again, and I chose to go back to an old brand and URL that I had not used for several years. And since I still owned it, and it was still sitting there in my GoDaddy account, I was able to just slap it back into use. 🙂

Modern office interior

Organize your office space to suit you and your business, and dream a little too!

Office styles vary as much as business types do. But the one thing that they should all have in common is that they fit the owner’s needs and business. Since we are talking about getting your business organized this month, your office is something that you may need to organize as well.

Let’s start with the question “What does your ideal office space look and feel like?

Mine would include a wall of windows looking over a beautiful landscape of some sort. (Trees, hills, mountains, beach…I’m open! Lol) It would also include a large desk with plenty of storage positioned so I am seeing the beauty outside the window. A wood-burning fireplace for days when the windows just aren’t working to keep out the winter chill. Windows that open to a nearly screened-in-porch feeling when the weather is perfect. Not only ergonomic seating at the desk, but comfy living room style furniture because I rarely like to sit at a desk. (My preferred work seating is a comfy rocking chair with a foot stool. Perfect for laptop use.) A surround sound stereo system is a necessary part of my dream office as well. And, while my son is still young enough, a small table for legos and other activities.

Ahh…ok.

Modern office interior

So now that you have thought of your dream office, the next question is…

What is your REAL office situation?

Mine…is that it’s pretty much non-existent. Terrible. Inexcusable. But the way it is. Been living in this too-small house that is in a constant state of upgrade for too long and there is just no space I can call my own. One of these days I may take back the space that was intended for my office when we moved in. But for now my office is officially in my head and in my favorite chair.

How about yours? Do you have a real office but its piled high with unfiled papers or craft project “to-do”? Are your work materials just strewn around the room or organized nicely where they are easily retrievable? Is it an area where you can free your mind or an area that brings you constant stress?

Now we need to ask ourselves what can we do about our situations to get organized?

If you need an office space, like I do, take an honest inventory of your house. Is there a guest bedroom but never any guests? Is there a playroom that is only collecting dust bunnies? Is there a sunny glassed in porch? What space can you turn into your office?

If your office is a shambles, not just disorganized but missing major elements like a desk and shelving, then take measurements and do an honest inventory of what you NEED and also what you would like to have. If you have the money, head on out to the nearest store that carries these items and have fun shopping. Recruit your spouse, friend, grown child, neighbor or some stranger off the street to help you get it all put together in your space. (Just kidding about the stranger.) If you can’t find anyone to help you, try calling your local homeless shelter or food pantry. They often know people who are willing to do “spot jobs” of a few hours or a few days for a few bucks an hour.

Messy deskIf you just need to get organized, try the 15 minutes a day approach. No matter you have planned for the day, you can spare 15 minutes. Spend those 15 minutes sorting through one small space. A drawer, a shelf, 2 sq foot corner of the floor. Whatever space you pick doesn’t matter, so just pick one.

  • Have a box for stuff to give away or sell, a trash can, and a box for things that belong somewhere else.
  • Take everything out of the space you are organizing (dump the drawer, empty the shelf, etc).
  • As you pick up each item that came out of it, decide which spot it belongs. Do you need it or truly want to keep it? Then put it back in the drawer neatly. If its trash, toss it. If someone else could use it, then give it away or sell it. If it’s the missing blender beater from the kitchen, then put it in the box to put elsewhere.
  • Don’t stop until you have touched and sorted every item. As you put things away in the space, be sure they are neatly organized. If you think some kind of organizational tool will make it better, then put that on your shopping list and make it be a 15 minute project for another day.
  • Take the trash out.
  • List the for sale items on Craigslist, store them with your upcoming garage sale items, and stash the giveaway items in your car so you can drop them off next time you go out.
  • Take the box with items that belong elsewhere and put them away.

If you move quickly, with some upbeat music playing, you should be able to do all of that in 15 to 20 minutes or less. Just do not allow yourself to get distracted! Found a novel you half finished? DON’T finish it right now! J

Now its time for me to take my own advice. Ha!

What needs organized in your home office space?

Warning! Web hosting domain expiration scam circulating!

One of my clients received a very real sounding email that claimed to be a last chance warning to prevent her domain from expiring. She asked me about it because she had just bought the domain a few months ago and it was purchased for at least a year.

Masked personA little bit of research showed this email to be a phishing scam.

According to Scam.com, it goes something like this:

  • The owner of this “company” has looked up your domain registration info.
  • They send you an email that is nicely crafted to sound like your domain is expiring, but it actually does not.
  • You pay something to the tune of $50 to “keep your domain registered” which actually does nothing for your domain registration.
  • Instead you are apparently signing up for some other service. In this case it appears to be SEO services which are likely a complete farce.

This particular email purported to be from a DOMAIN REGISTRATION SEO SERVICE Corp. The name of the email is the URL + EXPIRATION! The body of the email says: (I have marked in red the places that show what it is really about.)

This important expiration notification notifies you about the expiration notice of your domain registration for abc.com search engine submission. The information in this expiration notification may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the Domain Registration SEO Service to purchase SEO Traffic Generator. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above.

If you fail to complete your domain name registration abc.com search engine service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this domain name notification offer notice.

See, it’s completely not what it is written to sound like.

What I find to be the funniest part is in the footer area it says that it is CAN-SPAM compliant. Really? How exactly can that be?

If you get this email, please be sure to mark it as spam and if you happen to be in Canada, please report it to whatever government agency is regulating your CAN-SPAM compliance.

If you’re ever in doubt as to whether your domain registration, or any other service for that matter, is expiring or having other problems based upon an email or phone call, always log in to your account where you know it is housed and double check. Never ever click on links in emails that even appear to be from your provider unless you know for a fact that it is legit.

It’s always best to go straight to the source. Just like if you receive a phone call asking you to pay with credit card right now, you would be better off hanging up and calling the company back at the phone number you typically use.

There are a lot of bad people out there who spend their time trying to make money by stealing yours. Don’t be a victim.