WordPress Releases 4.0 Beta – Here’s What’s New

If you’ve been feeling like it’s been too long since a major version release of WordPress, Automattic has answered your prayers with the beta release of WordPress 4.0. As with any beta product, Automattic urges you to use a staging or test environment while trying out WordPress 4.0, as this release is nowhere near stable enough for everyday production server use. If you’re a little queazy about using preproduction builds, don’t fret! The full initial release of 4.0 is slated for some time next month. To get your blogging glands salivating, here’s a list of some of the new features you can expect to see in WordPress 4.0:

 

Preview Embedded URLs

WordPress 4.0 Beta allows for previews of embedding via URLs in the visual editor and the “Insert from URL” tab in the media modal. Try pasting a URL, such as a YouTube video, onto its own line in the visual editor and see a live preview of what it will look like.

Media Library Grid View

The Media Library now has a “grid” view in addition to the existing list view. Clicking on an item takes you into a modal where you can see a larger preview and edit information about that attachment, and you can navigate between items right from the modal without closing it.

Improved Plugin Install Experience

WordPress is freshening up the plugin install experience. When searching for plugins and viewing details, you’ll see some early visual changes as well as more information.

Other Changes

  • The editor intelligently resizes and its top and bottom bars pin when needed.
  • Some improvements to how your keyboard and cursor interact with TinyMCE views such as the gallery preview.
  • Widgets in the Customizer are now loaded in a separate panel.

To test WordPress 4.0, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the WordPress support forums.

Blog Boot Camp: Revolutionize Your SEO and Social Media Metrics in 30 Minutes a Day!

As a longtime blogger, I know from experience how difficult it can be to maintain a regular schedule of fresh, new content. As other priorities in life come up, blog entries can fall by the wayside. But as any competent internet marketer will tell you, consistency is extremely important when building (and maintaining) a fanbase online. Ensuring that you are continually producing new and original blog content has the natural direct effect of increasing readership, generating new organic search traffic, which in turn increases organic SERP performance, and the cycle continues. Using these easy tips, you can help stave off lazy blogging, and ensure that you are posting fresh, new content every single day-no matter how small the content may seem.

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Blogging is a Muscle. Flex It.

Like most hobbies, be it soccer, video games, playing guitar, etc., practice is the key to constantly improving. By simply going through the motions of creating a blog entry, you are exercising and challenging your brain to create something out of nothing. Don’t sell yourself short-writing of any kind is an amazing feat if you really think about it. The ability to take an idea, a thought, or a feeling, and convey it in a way that other people can understand and appreciate is a gift. Even if your entry for the day isn’t Pulitzer Prize winning writing, it’s writing nonetheless. And more importantly, it’s yours. Build a body of work, if for nothing else, but for your own practice and self-satisfaction.

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You Don’t Have to Write a Novel.

Not every blog entry has to be a long-form, mind blowing expose on a hot topic. Sometimes, it’s okay to write a quick entry that may include nothing more than a few thoughts.

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Industry Related News and Blogs are your Friend. Use Them!

If you can’t find something to write about, turn to the news. Read up on current events that pertain to your blog or your field of expertise. At the very least, you can come up with some compelling thoughts on an article or story you’ve read, and you can in turn share that content with your audience while still contributing something useful to the overall conversation.

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Use Rich Media to ‘Beef Up’ Light Blog Content

If your writing is feeling a bit skimpy, use some rich media elements to add a bit of heft to your entry. Now, don’t use images and videos as a crutch to supplant less-than-awesome writing, but in a pinch, filling a little dead space with rich content is better than a blank, white page. Try to use complementary media, not just media that reinforces what has already been said. Find interviews from parties with counter-views to provide context and scope for a story or opinion you’ve written. Or perhaps find some file footage that provides some added illustration to get a point across. Rich media can be your friend, if you use it intelligently.

 

Now that we’ve covered a few basics of philosophy when it comes to consistent blogging, I’d like to show you an additional resource: my 30-minute framework for Social Media consistency. Maintaining your Social presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., is an integral part of your content machine. After all, if you don’t have anywhere to share your content, what’s the use in building it?! If you follow this 30-minute Social Media and Blogging Regimen in conjunction with one another, you should see consistent, natural growth of your audience, content views, shares, and social media engagement! (Remember: If your content sucks, your results will too! I can’t make your content high-quality with the snap of my fingers, but I can help you leverage that quality content to squeeze the most growth from your effort.)

Your 30-Minute Social Media Framework (7-5-7-5-6)schedule-your-way-to-a-better-blog

  • 7 Minutes – Review community activity from past 24 hours, and engage with audience members via likes, shares, and/or comments on content.
  • 5 Minutes – Discover new influencers to follow that are consistent with your interests and blogging topics, and connect via follow, friending, etc. Review any existing inbound friend/follow requests
  • 7 Minutes – Respond to audience communications (comments, @replies, likes, etc.) Demonstrate to your audience that you are active, and genuinely engaged on a daily basis.
  • 5 Minutes – Research new content/articles to share with your audience from influential sources (blogs, tastemakers in your industry, news outlets, Twitter trends)
  • 6 Minutes – Aggregate, Schedule, and Share your content. Compile between 2-5 posts to stagger throughout the day, between third party content and articles, and your own blog content as mentioned above. Utilize scheduling tools like HootSuite, SproutSocial, or Klout will allow you to queue content to be automatically posted at a set time.