Issue #466

Infobesity

Fresh back from the gym. Coffee in hand and kicking off another productive week here at Blog Marketing Academy HQ. 😇

Now, I say “fresh” back from the gym, but truth is… meh. I’m not a fan. 🤪 Never have been. But, really working to turn it into a habit.

Between turning the gym and exercising into a habit and a routine… to getting into a low-carb diet and cutting out the bad stuff, I’m putting more attention on this.

See, it is cool to grow your business. And my business is indeed growing – this time as a client-based service business rather than just doing online courses. Things are going just fine. But… physically, they haven’t been. Coming up on 46 in a few months and the trajectory ain’t awesome. 🤨

So, fixin’ it. Changing up the routines.

You done anything similar in your own life? Any advice? 😇

Anyway, speaking of getting in shape, I want to talk about a different form of obesity.

It’s called “infobesity”. Saw that term last week and thought it was perfect.

Let’s talk about infobesity, some news from the WordPress world, and some advice on site performance.

Let’s go…

Rocket Hosting – The fastest WordPress hosting… and literally the best support I have ever experienced. Included with Concierge service, but awesome for any of your mission-critical websites. 

Infobesity… And Why I Don’t Create Courses Anymore

Here in America, the obesity rates are sky-high. Why is that?

Well, this isn’t a nutritional newsletter. 😇 But, I would say it comes down to an overabundance of cheap “fake” food combined with a lack of real knowledge about how our bodies tick. As a nation, we’re far disconnected from the “basics” when it comes to health. And so we have an obese population that eats fake food from boxes and “healthcare” has devolved into more of an industry of sickness dominated by drugs and surgery.

Honestly, don’t get me started. 😒 I could go on. But, I do have a point…

The same exact thing is happening when it comes to education and learning new skills.

We live in a time where you can learn to do almost anything you want for free. There is SO MUCH information out there. Just sheer overabundance of it. It is actually quite amazing when you step back and look at it. So much opportunity.

But, a lot of it is garbage, too. It is the informational equivalent of junk food.

The dumb viral TikTok videos, the Instagrams, the snaps, the Youtube Shorts. And yes, even the blog posts in some cases. Everybody is creating tons of “info”. Lot of it short and stupid. It’s junk food. And even through it is mostly bad for people, it is what everybody wants to “eat”.

And it has led to infobesity.

That’s a term I recently saw Pat Flynn use in a tweet on X. He’s working on a new book he’s calling Lean Learning. Should be interesting.

But, that term infobesity is spot on.

And in a lot of niches these days, creating some new online course would be like trying to introduce a new breakfast cereal into the cereal aisle at the grocery store. There’s already so many of them! Most of them full of crap, honestly. Sugar, corn syrup and cheap factory grains. But, colorful! Imagine launching a new cereal.

What are you going to do to stand out?

Plus, breakfast cereal makes you fat anyway. Does anybody need a new breakfast cereal? Nah. We’re all better off without it, frankly.

In some ways, launching a new online course can feel similar.

Now, keep in mind… it is different in different markets. This is certainly not a big generalization about courses being a waste of time. It definitely depends. Certainly, in the market of “online business” that I was playing in, nobody needs a new online course.

And I didn’t want to sit there and chuck online courses into the headwinds. Wasn’t worth my time. Just added to the infobesity.

So, I pivoted into becoming a service business. And today, while the Blog Marketing Academy still retains it’s courses and I still create “training” from time to time, it isn’t my focus. And any training I do create is significantly shorter than I ever used to do.

These days, I solve people’s problems much more directly. And it is way more satisfying than recording a bunch of videos and trying to sell people the equivalent of another breakfast cereal.

What about YOUR market? What about YOUR audience?

Are they already infobese?

Is your audience already stuffed with junk food from social media? Are they too busy feasting on sugary crap that they don’t want the vegetables you’re trying to sell them?

Well, don’t discount the idea of doing services instead. Maybe even productized services. Sell outcomes and you create the outcome for them.

Maybe even build a membership site to serve them. But, that membership site consists of systems to help automate your services and service actual clients. Maybe the content inside the membership is more of a form of marketing than it is something you’re worrying about selling.

Something to ponder.

Let Somebody Else Deal With The “Tech Stuff”

With WP Concierge, you no longer have to deal with the tech stuff. We’ll provide all the software, maintain it for you, and provide personal support along the way. All included… and you’ll be on a first name basis with your “web guy”

WordPress Quick Bits…

Elementor AI Gets An Update. Everybody’s talking AI these days. And Elementor AI has been upgraded 0.2 and they call it a “Quantum Leap”. The idea here is that you can now quickly have AI create a wireframe of your brand new site with context. You basically describe your business and it’s vibe and tone. AI will then create a wireframe layout for your site to get you started. Learn more about it here.

Kadence Launched Advanced Query Loop – Phase 2. Late last year, Kadence Pro launched the advanced query loop, allowing you to easily create post loops using custom queries, complete with filtering options. With Phase 2, they’ve added a few new capabilities. Namely, range filters, ratings and swatch filters. There’s a bit more to it which you can read about here, but basically we’re starting to see Kadence be able to do some pretty unique things without the need for stuff like FacetWP or additional plugin addons.

OptinMonster Acquired Beacon. OptinMonster (which is, yes, from Awesome Motive) has acquired Beacon… a web application for creating lead magnets and short ebooks. While I’ve come to cringe a little whenever Awesome Motive does another acquisition, I have to admit this one makes sense for them. I have an account with Beacon and I forgot all about it. It is a cool tool. I think I got it on AppSumo awhile back. Expect an integration between Beacon and OptinMonster, which admittedly will be convenient for some.

Bricks Builder Had Major Security Issue. It was found that Bricks Builder had quite a severe security vulnerability that allowed execution of remote code. Ben Gabler (CEO of Rocket Hosting) called it “one of the absolute worst exploits I’ve ever seen in my career”. If you happen to be using Bricks, definitely make sure you’re running at least version 1.9.6.

Rising Frustration with WordPress?. SearchEngineJournal had a post about a user survey indicating a rising level of frustration with WordPress. Chief concerns seem to be frustrations with the editing experience in Gutenberg and overall difficulty of using WordPress. While WordPress still FAR surpasses market share of other options, it has seen small declines lately while tools like Wix and Shopify rise in market share.

Factors That Impact Your Site’s Speed

You probably know by now that the speed of your site is pretty important. Not only for your user experience, your conversion rates, but also your SEO.

So, it is in your interest to look at your core web vitals and your overall site performance scores and try to get them as high as possible. At least into “the green”, so to speak.

But, there’s far more that goes into site performance than just installing some performance plugin. Or even just activating a cache.

Site performance is very much a holistic thing. There’s no magic pill.

So, let me just point out some of the factors to take into account here that can affect your performance metrics and core web vitals.

  • Are you running a ton of plugins that might even be overlapping with each other? Maybe too many plugins?
  • Are the plugins you ARE using well-coded? Only loading assets when needed? Not calling up remote scripts that drag down your load time?
  • Are your images being optimized? Are you loading up large oversized images in small little spaces?
  • Trying so hard to be “pretty” on your site that it is bloated? Video backgrounds, overload of image icons, oversized image backgrounds, bloated sliders. All of it can slow down the site.
  • Are you using good hosting? Hosting matters A LOT. Is your site being provided ample hardware resources? Is it running on a modern tech stack, like Litespeed and modern versions of PHP?
  • Are you using a CDN?
  • Scripts being loaded properly? Maybe loading up too many of them?
  • Minimizing CSS? Stripping out the CSS you’re not using?
  • Are you loading up too many “fancy” remote fonts? Overusing Google Fonts?

Point is, it is a holistic thing. You can’t just install WP Rocket and be done with it. 🤪

A few big-picture recommendations for you on this front:

  • Definitely make sure any plugin you’re not actively using is disabled. Don’t leave it there as active just because you might use it someday. If you’re not using it, turn it off.
  • Try to use professionally coded plugins. Yeah, usually the ones that cost money. Doesn’t mean all free plugins are bad, but little off-the-wall plugins coded by somebody as a side gig are more likely to be problematic.
  • Don’t cheap out on your hosting. I am really loving Rocket Hosting these days, myself. I use it for my Concierge clients, too. And they integrate straight into Cloudflare Enterprise, so site assets are served quickly. The Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) is awesome (translation: it’s fast! 😜 )
  • PerfMatters is awesome as a performance plugin. It is lean, but powerful. See my review.
  • Don’t blimp up your site with “fancy” stuff. Just because your theme builder or page builder CAN do it doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Sometimes, fancy causes slowness.

There’s a lot more. Sort of the nature of the beast. 😇

But, no worries. I can just do it for you, you know. 😎

In fact, just this last week, I got a new client who came to me with his site repeatedly crashing and slowing down. He and his former web guy couldn’t figure it out. Well, after some sleuthing around and a couple of hours, I had the site purring pretty well and no more crashes. He’s now coming on as a new Concierge client.

In fact, here’s what he sent me as a testimonial

My WooCommerce site was built with Salient + WP Bakery and sat on very fast, storage abundant, hosting with Cloudflare as CDN. Despite umpteen plugins to try and score 100 on Pagespeed Insight Core Web Vitals, we never got there and the back end was very slow indeed. As I considered moving to Storefront, I discovered Kadence and found this interesting video by David Risley, of him migrating his site to Kadence. Long story short, I engaged David for dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s of such migration and he made a very fine job of it. Super helpful to have been sent a loom.com video to review and comment upon! I am so pleased with the workmanship and the manner of David that I have signed up for his Concierge Platinum. David looking after the management of my site frees off time for me to focus on the implementation of strategy. I expect that David and I will have a few Strategy Calls before too long. Very pleased that I found him.

I’ll be onboarding him in the coming days. But, it was a classic example of the holistic nature of site performance. His site had plenty of hosting power, but he had some plugins bogging him down and his object caching wasn’t set up properly. And he had some old CSS and fonts being pre-loaded by WP Rocket that weren’t even valid anymore.

Ya feelin’ me? 😇

Anyway, if you want me to fix your site performance, you know where to find me. You can also book a quick call with me where we can talk about what to do with your site.

Here’s How I Can Help…

  • ConciergeI’ll be your “web guy”, helping to maintain your site for you do you don’t have to think about it. Also includes access to my agency plugin licenses, site analytics, and a massive discount on any potential project work on your site.
  • WP Speed Fix. Get the performance scores and core web vitals for your website fixed. Let me deal with the nerdy stuff. And let’s make your site purr like a kitten.
  • I’ll Do It For You: Via my technical services, I can dive into your site and take care of the complex stuff for you. Whether it be just some tweaks… or building out a full membership site and marketing automation funnel, I can ensure your WordPress site is working for you and not the other way around.
  • Book A Call Anytime. Via a private one-on-one call, I’ll make your business… my business. Easy peasy.
  • ONEPass – All Access Pass To Every Course In The Library. For one small one-time purchase, you can unlock every course in the Blog Marketing Academy library. For life.