Tools, Tips and Tactics For Entrepreneurs and Digital Creators - SubscribeMe.fm

I Came Home and the Dog Was Bald

By Ravi Jayagopal | Copywriting , Digital Creators , Marketing

(Pic: My baby dog Vanilla, beautifully swaddled by my daughter)
06/06/21
SubscribeMe.fm by Ravi Jayagopal I Came Home and the Dog Was Bald - 107 06/06/21
00:00:00 00:00:00

(Listen to this article via the player above)

Seth Godin talks about attention deficit. And he also talks about attention surplus.

And weirdly enough, they both conclude the same thing:

No one is paying attention. Including yourself.

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27 “Must Have” WordPress Plugins For Your Business Website

By Ravi Jayagopal | Audio , Blogging , Digital Creators , Free , Freemium , Plugins , S3MediaVault.com , Social Media , WordPress

I've been using WordPress since 2004 (less than a year after it launched). I launched my own WordPress blog and wrote my very first blog post on Jan 24, 2005.

And in all those years of working with WordPress, developing WordPress plugins, building my own WordPress websites, and helping my clients build their own websites, I've found the following to be among *the very best* and "must have" WordPress plugins I use (or have used) - and highly recommend.

I've separated them loosely into multiple categories, like Making, Managing, Marketing and Monetizing. Most of these are best-of-breed plugins. But doesn't mean you should install all of them. In fact, trying to install a plugin just-because is a sure-fire way to make sure you never launch anything :-). So don't do that. Use them IF and ONLY IF you absolutely need to implement a specific feature.

And be sure to bookmark this page, as I add and remove plugins over time as plugins evolve.
Legend: * (f) Free * (p) Paid * (fr) Freemium (Free tier, Premium extras)

Pirates Keep Out

By Ravi Jayagopal | Digital Creators

If you’re an Online Course Creator you probably have Audio, Video, PDF and other files like Mindmaps, Powerpoints, Docs, Zips, Images etc, in your courses or on your website.

If you use WordPress, the most important features you’re going to need from an WordPress Audio & Video player plugin, are the following:

  • Easy to use
  • Create secure videos that cannot be accessed by unauthorized users
  • So this plugin must allow you to create an actual Video Player (not just a link to your video)
  • Should have basic features like all player controls, splash image, ability to speed up the video
  • Create both Single Video players as well as Video Playlists * It must do both regular videos (aka “progressive downloads”) as well as Streaming videos
  • It must allow you to Transcribe your videos (that you can repurpose)
  • It must provide you with user stats as to which user has watched which videos for how long
  • Also create Audio players for your s3 audio files.
  • A bigger plus if the player is not ugly, like the standard WordPress player, and instead is really pretty and customizable
  • Biggest plus if it could also protect other regular files, like PDF, Zip, Doc, XLS, and even Images like JPG and PNG.

Yes, there’s a plugin that does all of this, and it’s arguably the #1 plugin for Amazon S3 and CloudFront, and can create secure S3 videos, supports both S3 and CloudFront, can do regular videos and streaming videos, supports Audio players, supports Video and Audio Playlists, can transcribe Audio and Video, can protect regular files, and most importantly, is now available for a one-time fee (no more subscription).

Features? Check.
Usability? Check.
Price? Check.
Support? Check.

If you are a digital creator, you create premium content, and you have a WordPress website, then S3MediaVault.com is the perfect plugin for you.

Quora Traffic

By Ravi Jayagopal | Digital Creators , SEO , Social Media

In case you didn’t realize how valuable Quora is in driving traffic and new users to your website, here’s proof (last 30 days).

And I haven’t even been trying!

But there’s a way to do it without getting banned or getting your answers deleted for self-promotion. And I talk about that in detail in my upcoming SEO course for regular people. Join my list below and you’ll be among the first to know when it is launched (and you’ll get an insane pre-launch discount as well).

Quora links are no-follow. But think about it:

What’s the point of creating do-follow links ? To improve your website’s ranking in search results.

What’s the point of improving ranking? To be seen by more people.

What’s the point of being seen by more people? To get them to your website.

And if you can get traffic and new users with no-follow, that’s really all that matters. Do-follow matters too, but real people coming to your website matters more.

Do WordPress website security plugins work?

By Ravi Jayagopal | Blogging , Digital Creators , Focus and Priorities , Free , Plugins , WordPress

Yes, they absolutely do!

WordFence is the #1 plugin I install on any new WordPress sites I create, and it's installed on every single one of my existing WordPress websites.

  • A security plugin can monitor a lot of things for you as the site owner or admin:
  • Monitoring successful logins,
  • Login attempts
  • Throttling login attempts,
  • Preventing PHP execution in the uploads folder
  • Firewall to detect malicious traffic and "protects against a number of common web-based attacks as well as a large amount of attacks specifically targeted at WordPress and WordPress themes and plugins" - especially useful because it's learning in real-time from 100s of thousands of websites around the world
  • Protect against SQL Injection, Malicious File Upload, Cross Site Scripting (XSS), Directory Traversal, Local File Inclusion, etc
  • Malware scanner to scan files on your website to make sure neither WordPress or other files have been compromised (" checks core files, themes and plugins for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections")
  • IP banning (both manual as well as database-learned)
  • Hiding WordPress version (which can be used by hackers to target vulnerabilities in older versions)
  • Brute-force protection
  • Locking out invalid username login attempts
  • Banning certain usernames
  • Enforce strong passwords
  • Preventing users from using usernames like "admin" when registering
  • Prevent discovery of usernames
  • Block IPs who send POST requests with blank User-Agent and Referer
  • Blocking fake Google crawlers trying to spoof Google user-agent
  • Country-based blocking

The list goes on.

You can no longer afford to run a WordPress website without WordFence installed. That’s just... begging to get hacked 🙂

Why You Should NEVER Host Video or Audio On Your Own Website

By Ravi Jayagopal | Audio , Digital Creators , Video

If you are digital marketer or digital products creator, then you are creating a bunch of Audio, Video, PDF and other kinds of files - like mindmaps, powerpoints, docs, zips, etc - for your content marketing, online courses, lead magnets and maybe just for SEO.

And I wrote about Why You Should NEVER Host Video or Audio On Your Own Website.

And no, Google Drive or Dropbox are not suitable for that either - they're for mostly one-off use, and not for mass-distribution, and their terms of service kinda make it a bad idea. I explain it all here.

Podcasts: Edited or Unedited?

By Ravi Jayagopal | Audio , Digital Creators , Focus and Priorities , Know, Like, Trust , Podcasting , Productivity

Me listening to a podcast while at the dentist.

I saw this question asked on Facebook, so I wanted to address it here.

Question: "Do you prefer listening to a podcast that is is edited? Or nah?"

My Answer: For the most part, I prefer podcasts that are edited for umms and aahs and pauses. Now, there are shows which the conversations are just absolutely incredible (Bill Simmons, Tim Ferriss, Marketing Over Coffee), and it would actually do it injustice to edit the natural flow - so such shows are the exception. But those are far and few in-between.

Most regular "interview" shows can use all the editing they can, not just to improve the length of the show, but for improving the audio quality (sound leveling, cross-talk, etc), and to improve the show quality just by cutting out the completely unnecessary stuff - like "Can you hear me now?" pre-interview banter, "Hold on, my door bell just rang", "Sorry, my child is calling me, let me quickly check what it is", "Mind if I grab a quick drink of water?", type stuff which is not important to the show or to the listeners.

Some additional points:

Best Web Hosting Options For Your WordPress Website

By Ravi Jayagopal | Digital Creators , Services , Technology , Tools

I've been building websites since 1995. And I've built hundreds of my own websites over the years. And over 100+ of them are WordPress websites.

And I've also created and launched several WordPress plugins, and my team and I have had to support those plugins, which means logging in to many of our users' websites.

And from all those years of experience with being a website owner, plugin developer and tech-support person, I can tell you that a majority of the web hosts that the average "influencer" peddles (on podcasts and blogs) are utter crap.

When it comes to hosting your website, I recommend only two hosting companies. If keeping your site(s) running practically all the time, and having insanely great support from your web host, are both important to you, then you go with a VPS server from one of the two hosting companies below. 

Forum Software For Your Website

By Ravi Jayagopal | Community , Digital Creators , Facebook

If you haven't already checked out my podcast episode about whether you should start a Facebook Group or a Forum on your own website, you should definitely give it a listen before reading this post, as it will add a lot of context. You can do that via the player below as well.

PODCAST: Facebook Group or Forum? How to Create a Thriving Online Community That Will Be Around For The Next 5-, 15- or maybe even 50 years

03/15/2018
SubscribeMe.fm by Ravi Jayagopal Facebook Group or Forum (On Your Own Website)? 03/15/2018
00:00:00 00:00:00

PODCAST: Slack vs. Forum for Your 1000 True Fans and How I'm using Scarcity, Exclusivity and Urgency to Build My Online Community

11/27/2018
SubscribeMe.fm by Ravi Jayagopal Slack vs. Forum for Your 1000 True Fans and How I'm using Scarcity, Exclusivity and Urgency to Build My Online Community - Ep #78 11/27/2018
00:00:00 00:00:00

So when it comes to creating your own Forum on your own site, what are your options?

Here are your 3 primary options for forum software, in order of increasing complexity, but also increasing quality, features and benefits.

The Greatest Free & Freemium Tools I Can’t/Won’t Live Without

By Ravi Jayagopal | Audio , Digital Creators , Free , Freemium , Podcasting , SEO , Tools , Video

I've been selling online since 1997. And in all of those years, I've tried and tested an insane number of tools, desktop software and apps and online services, as you can probably imagine. And today, it's just absolutely crazy to think that I depend on so many of these tools on a day-to-day basis, yet I've never had to pay for most of them. All of these are either completely free, and/or open source, or offer a free tier that I can pay to get additional features - basically a freemium (free + premium) service.

So here are some of the greatest free and freemium tools most of which I couldn't - and wouldn't want to - live without.

Skyscraper Content for SEO

By Ravi Jayagopal | Blogging , Digital Creators , S3MediaVault.com , SEO

Image above shows planning and brainstorming my article using a Mindmap - I do the same whether it's an online course, Kindle book, WordPress plugin, online business planning, product development or skyscraper post.

(Image above shows planning and brainstorming my article using a Mindmap - I do the same whether it's an online course, Kindle book, WordPress plugin, online business planning, product development or skyscraper post.)

I'm writing a Skyscraper post - basically a massive, all-in-one article at S3MediaVault It will be "all you ever wanted to know" type of post about files, delivery, storage, security, S3, CloudFront, etc. This post will also be released as a 30-50 page Kindle ebook. Then I will take snippets of it and post it on my other sites and link back to it.

Here's the most important thing: I am not waiting for the entire Skyscraper to be completed before publishing it. It's only complete 25% (at the moment), but it's up and running from when it was probably 5% complete. It's live and getting indexed and building up Google-juice. I've started linking to it from other sites to get the incoming-links going.

Here's the post...

How (and Why) to use Amazon S3 to Deliver Audio, Video and PDF on your WordPress website

In digital marketing - thanks to the sheer "digital" nature - there are a LOT of things that can be published WAY before it's "100%" complete, whether that's your online course, Kindle book, blog post, or even your podcast (yes, just launch with 1 single episode - don't listen to the clueless folks who ask you to record-and-release 5 or 8 episodes together).

So, don't waste time or energy trying to be a perfectionist.

Ship it quick, publish it fast, there's always the powerful "Edit" button.

Create.
Publish.
(Promote).
Edit.

- Ravi Jayagopal
Check out all of the Kindle books I've written

Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?

By Ravi Jayagopal | Alexa , Audio , Digital Creators , Kindle , Podcasting

“The Twitter of Audio”?
“Twidio”?
“Twaudio”?

Take your pick — those are my maybe-lame nicknames for Alexa Flash Briefings 🙂

I launched my own Alexa Flash Briefing (AFB) - which you can listen via the player below - in August 2018. And here are some random thoughts and comments regarding my experience.

Do you have an Alexa Flash Briefing? If yes, what is it? If no, why not? Let me know in the comments below.

It’s a digital goldmine right now, ripe for the gold rush. Very much like Podcasting, but even more exclusive, as not too many know about it, and not too many will put in the effort to create one, even though it's super-easy.

Which of these would you rather compete with for attention?

5+ Billion YouTube Videos
1+ Billion Websites
850,000+ Podcasts
10,000+ Alexa Flash Briefings

(The numbers have been aggregated from various resources, many of them making their best- and educated guesses. Anyway, the general idea — and my main point — remains the same.)

4 Tips For Better Audio

By Ravi Jayagopal | Audio , Video

4 tips for better Audio​

It's better to put just a little bit of thought and effort BEFORE you hit record, rather than try to fix bad audio in post-production. Remember "GIGO" - garbage in, garbage out. People will tolerate a little bit of poor lighting or slightly choppy video, but not many will tolerate bad audio.

If you showed people the video of a person using nails on a chalkboard, without the audio, they won't be too bothered by it. Then try playing the sound of nails on a chalkboard, and you'll see people cringe and go crazy. That's because audio can impact us more emotionally, than video. Which is why, podcasts are such a powerful way to build a deeper connection with your audience.

Watch the video for the 4 tips.