How to Link to a PDF in a WordPress Post

Want to learn how to upload a PDF to your site and then link to it in a WordPress page or post? Here’s a little tutorial that explains how to do it.

This process is great for things like order forms, client intake questionnaires or contracts – anything you want your readers to be able to open and download directly from your website. And it works not only for PDF documents, but Excel, Word, audio files – you name it!

You can click on the little “full screen” button in the lower right corner of this player to get a larger version of this video (you can see all the little details that way!)

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Why WordPress?

Recently I needed to create a document for a client that she could take to her organization’s board of directors, to sell them on the idea of using WordPress. The board members had never heard of WordPress and weren’t sold on the idea of moving the organization’s outdated, HTML-based site over to a WordPress platform.

I got done with the document and sent it, but then it occurred to me that there may be other folks in need of a “Why WordPress?” document for their supervisors or boards. So I’ve decided to give it to you!

I’ve put the text of the document here, but if you’d like a printer-friendly PDF to print out and give to your boss (or any other WordPress skeptic you’re trying to convince) you can get that here:

Why WordPress? (PDF Format)

Here’s the text of the document.


Why WordPress?

Are you considering creating a website in WordPress, or moving your current HTML site to a WordPress platform? If so, you may be wondering – what the heck is WordPress? Why is everyone talking about it? What’s the big deal? This document was created to give you some of the benefits of WordPress, and explain why the whole world seems to have gone WordPress crazy!

WordPress is an open-source content management platform that was initially developed in 2003 as a blogging tool. WordPress has grown and expanded over the last eight years, and has become the world’s most popular content management system. It is used for blogging as well as for both personal and business websites.1,

Because WordPress is open source, the software itself is completely free. Anyone who wants to use WordPress needs to buy hosting for their site, usually at less than $100 per year.

Here are the advantages of using WordPress:

1. WordPress allows site owners to have complete control over the content of their sites WITHOUT having to know HTML. It is an easy-to-use application that allows you to publish pages and blog posts, edit previous pages, upload images, embed videos and keep your site updated – all without knowing a lick of HTML. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can learn to use WordPress!

2. The fact that your site can be managed without knowing HTML or PHP eliminates the need to pay a webmaster or web developer every time you want to make a change to your site or publish new content. This can result in HUGE long-term savings over the life of your site.

3. WordPress works beautifully with search engines. WordPress software is beautifully optimized for the search engines, which means that your web pages get found more quickly and come up in searches more often. And because it’s easy to publish new content, you’ll be much more likely to update your site on a regular basis, which is the BEST thing you can do to be found regularly by Google. Some of my clients have published content on their WordPress sites that is indexed and found by Google by the same afternoon.

4. The WordPress platform comes with an entire library of plugins, which are powerful tools that work in conjunction with WordPress. Some common plugins can do things like:

  • Help you better optimize your site for the keywords you want to be found for
  • Link your site with Google Analytics, so you can easily track traffic to your site
  • Add Twitter and Facebook “Like” buttons to your pages, so your readers can easily share your content on social media sites.
  • And more! There are currently over 15,000 plugins in the WordPress plugin directory.

5. The WordPress platform will allow your site to grow with you. WordPress is a fast, powerful publishing platform that allows your site to grow and expand as your organization does. You won’t need to switch platforms in two years because you’ve outgrown your web tool – WordPress will allow you to grow as fast and as big as you want, and it will be your partner in web publishing!

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How to Add a Photo to Your Sidebar

Let’s say you’ve got a brand new (and totally awesome) headshot photo, and you’d like to add it to the top of your WordPres site sidebar. This is one of those WordPress tasks that looks like it should be a piece of cake, but is more complicated than it needs to be.

The Blogging with Beth WordPress Genius, Michelle Panulla, has created a cool video that shows you exactly how to add a photo to your sidebar with having to know HTML. You can view that video here.

This video is a freebie for you – it’s on us! This summer, we’ll continue to release new videos as part of our growing product store. We’ll feature in-depth programs on things like Twitter marketing, and also publish smaller videos about topics like connecting your blog with your Facebook account. If you’re not on our mailing list, make sure you get signed up today so you’ll know when we have added new video tutorials to our product area! Sign up for our mailing list here and get access to the Blogging with Beth library FREE!

Do you have videos you’d like us to create? Write me at beth@bloggingwithbeth.com and let me know what your requests are!

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An New SEO Tool for WordPress

I’ve just discovered an amazing new Search Engine Optimization tool for WordPress. It’s called Scribe, and in my opinion it’s a game-changer when it comes to optimizing your blog posts for search engines.

To use Scribe, right now you need to be using self-hosted WordPress, but I understand they are developing another version, including a very-soon-to-be-released web-based version that you can use with any blogging tool.

If you’d like to try it right now and you’re using WordPress, here’s how it works –

1.  Sign up for an account with Scribe (they have a free trial), then install the Scribe plug-in on your WordPress blog.  Don’t forget to activate it in the plug-ins area in your WordPress dashboard.

2. Pick a blog post (or static page) that you think could use a little SEO help.

3. Write a page title and descriptions for your post, using the All-in-One SEO Pack WordPress plug-in.  Don’t have it? Get it here.

4. In the upper right corner of your post’s Compose screen, you’ll see a little box that looks like the image on the right. Click on the blue Analyze button and get ready for some magic.

Scribe will take a few minutes to analyze your page content, page title and page description.  Once it’s finished its analysis, you’ll see a pop-up box that gives you a ton of information on how to maximize the search engine results for that post.

5. This pop-up box gives you specific recommendations for how to change you content, add hyperlinks, modify tags, and maximize keyword usage.  It even gives you a rating on how you did – 100% if you a fantastic job, lower percentages if you’ve got some work to do. Take the recommendations and implement them! This advice does you no good if you don’t put it to use!

6. Repeat this process for more posts and pages – you get a certain number of Scribe evaluations with each level of service, so you can buy the level that’s right for you.

Click here to find out more about Scribe.

NOTE – You may not be ready for Scribe right now.  Or you may not be a WordPress user right now. Either way, if you need a more general description of how to tackle the Search Engine Optimization world, I highly recommend Naomi Dunford of Ittybiz.  She’s got a great product called Ninja SEO School that I think it an excellent introduction to SEO. It’s not overwhelming, she’s a great teacher, and she’s funny, to boot.

Full disclosure – I am an affiliate for both of these products, but I truly would recommend them both even if I wasn’t! I know everyone says that, honest to goodness, it’s true. 🙂

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What You Need to Know About Backing Up Your Blog

I recently heard a horror story about a blogger whose hosting company went through some sort of catastrophic failure, and the blogger lost her entire blog – all the posts, comments, photos – the whole shebang.  This hosting company messed up BIG time.  This should never happen to anyone. However, there are ways to protect yourself against this kind of blogging disaster (or a hacking attempt).  The key is to back up your blog at regular intervals so that if something awful happens, you’ll have a copy of your blog to restore.

For hosted WordPress (WordPress.com) users, you can do a backup of your whole blog by going to Tools => Export in your WordPress.com blog dashboard. Then click on “Download Export File”. That will give you the backup of your content (posts, pages, authors, etc).

For anyone using the self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org), I recommend installing this plug-in, which will do an automatic daily, weekly or monthly back-up of your database.  Once the plug-in is installed and activated, go to Tools > Backup to configure the options for when you want to have the back-up done.  It gives you the option to have the back-up mailed to you automatically, which I think is pretty slick.

In Blogger, you can do an export of your blog (which is also useful is you want to switch to WordPress, not that I’m HINTING or anything) by going to Settings > Blog Tools > Export Blog.

If you’re a Typepad blogger, go to “Settings” once you’ve clicked on the blog you want to back up, then click on “Import/Export” > Export.

If you’re using another blogging tool, ask tech support or do a quick Google search for the words “export” or “Backup” and your blogging tool name, and you’ll likely find a way to do a backup.

Once you’ve run an export or back up and you have the exported file, make sure to save it somewhere safe (preferably on an external hard drive, if possible).  I recommend backing up about once a week.  That way if something awful happens, you never lose more than one week’s worth of posts.

Something else to think about – don’t use a fly-by-night hosting company if you’re blogging with a self-hosting blogging tool like WordPress.org.  I recommend Bluehost – they are incredibly reliable and very WordPress-friendly.  Yes, that is an affiliate link, but I use Bluehost myself and love them, especially their very knowledgable customer service, which has saved my butt more than once when I’m backed myself into some weird technical corner.  🙂

This year, we should all be thankful for blogs that don’t disappear!  Do your backups!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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WordPress Questions?

I'm in the process of creating a "Quick-Start" guide to blogging, which will be on sale later this week (stayed tuned for announcements)!  This guide will include a substantial section on getting started with WordPress (both WordPress.org and WordPress.com). 

So my question to those of you who are already blogging with WordPress is – what did you have trouble with?  Is there anything that you got stuck on (when you first getting started) that you definitely think should be included in my guide?  What gave you pause, or what did you need to seek help with?  Thanks in advance for your suggestions – you will help make this guide as complete as possible!

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