Understanding Your Site Analytics (And What You Need For Your Media Kit!)

First, a quick but BIG announcement. Launched just yesterday, <em>press now has a Media Kit template pack available for purchase in our shop! Get all the details here, but in a nutshell: the pack includes three different, customizable Photoshop templates, all ready for editing. Our templates include lots of spots for imagery, and even allow you to create a “no rates” version of your kit with ease. Check it out!


When it comes to creating your media kit, one of the most important things you can include is information on your site analytics. We touched on this in our post about what to put in a media kit, and today we want to discuss in further detail so you know exactly what your site analytics mean and how to make sure everything is set up correctly. After all, your site analytics can tell you a lot about your blog and help you plan for its future — beyond securing partnerships! Understanding your site analytics is key to evaluating what’s working for your site and what isn’t, so you can make the most out of your content. Let’s get started!

How to track your site analytics

While there are numerous options for tracking site analytics, the gold standard is Google Analytics. At minimum, you should install this on your site, whether or not monetization is currently a part of your blogging plan. Why? Google Analytics can only track your site from the time you install it. This means that if your blog experiences significant growth over the course of a year, and you decide you’re ready for monetization, you won’t have a history of analytics to prove your growth rate — and brands will want that information specifically from Google Analytics. Since installing Google Analytics on your site is a pretty simple process (we’ll be going over it in this post!), it’s beneficial to install it now regardless of your current plans. Furthermore, Google Analytics can provide valuable information that can inspire your work in the future, like a follow up to a popular post or an answer to a common search on your site.

As we mentioned, Google Analytics isn’t the only option out there. We also love the Site Stats built into the Jetpack plugin. Your numbers in Jetpack will probably differ from Google Analytics, and that’s totally normal — it’s just a difference in tracking methods. Defer to Google Analytics when it comes to stats for your media kit. But, we love Jetpack for its simple display that integrates beautifully with your WordPress dashboard. Jetpack gives you the most important stats you can act on right away, without leaving your WordPress site.

Another program we love is Inspectlet. As their site says, Google Analytics tells you what, and Inspectlet tells you why. While you won’t need Inspectlet for your media kit, it shows you exactly how people are using your site through recorded sessions. Their free plan includes up to 1,000 recorded sessions per month. Each recorded session shows you exactly what the user sees, where and when they scroll through your site, and where and when they click on something. To install, use the Insert Headers and Footers plugin to paste their provided code into your site. Keep reading “Understanding Your Site Analytics (And What You Need For Your Media Kit!)”

Why You Should Know About Coming Soon Pages

Whether you’re launching a brand new website, changing your WordPress theme, or just making a few tweaks behind the scenes, a coming soon page is an important tool in your website toolbox.

In fact, it’s one of the recommendations we email new <em>press customers about most. When you buy a new theme—from us, or from anyone!—it’s likely you want to take a few hours/days/weeks to get things customized, familiarize yourself with the settings, and generally make sure everything looks great before taking your theme live. Unless you duplicate your site on a staging site on your host server (a post for another day!), the only way to make customizations to your new theme is to activate it. But in the interim, you might not want your readers to see a half-customized site, nor all the changes happening behind the scenes. That’s where a coming soon page comes in!

WHAT IS IT?

coming soon page gives you a place to send people as you build your new site, and you can even use it to promote your social media accounts and gather emails before you launch! A coming soon page is also a great way to notify your visitors that you’re making site updates, so you can make changes without users seeing your work in progress.

HOW DO I GET IT?

Our favorite plugin for creating coming soon and maintenance pages is Seed Prod Coming Soon Page and Maintenance Mode. We use the Pro version on our site and for our clients, but they offer a free version as well that’s perfect if you need something up quickly, or for a short period of time.

Pro Version

What do we love about the Pro version? It syncs with MailChimp, our favorite mailing list provider, and makes it easy to build a gorgeous page without digging into code. It’s a great option if you’re launching a brand new site and need to create a customized landing page leading up to your launch, but don’t want to spend a ton of cash having it professionally designed and developed. You can add background images, customize your text, and add simple calls to action in their easy-to-use editor!

Free version

The free version has a simple interface for uploading your logo and a simple “Be back soon!” message. It’s perfect for a maintenance page while you change your theme or make tweaks behind the scenes. However, note that customizations are limited, so you won’t be able to brand your coming soon page with colors or fonts that match your brand identity. But it’s a perfect solution if you think your site will only be “offline” for a couple days, or maybe a week or two.

Whether you use the pro version or the free, we love that this plugin lets you edit your live site while still communicating to readers what’s going on, so you can always make a good impression. And don’t worry — with our straightforward theme customizer, it won’t take you too long to setup your new <em>press theme and show it off to the world!

How to find (and successfully work with!) a professional photographer for your blog

Whether you write a blog or simply read them, you’ve probably noticed most of your favorites have one thing in common: beautiful visuals. It should come as no surprise that gorgeous, professional-looking photographs feel practically requisite for today’s blogger.

Today I wanted to chat a little bit about the practice of bloggers working with professional photographers, how to find one in your area, and what you can expect to pay to shoot content for your blog. We’ll also go over four ways to get gorgeous, low-cost (or free!) photos for your blog.

Here’s the lowdown:
Keep reading “How to find (and successfully work with!) a professional photographer for your blog”