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How to Create a Password Protected Page on Blogger

When I first started my teaching blog in 2012, Blogger was the choice of the majority of TeachersPayTeachers sellers. After some years however, many make the move to Wordpress because of its functionality. Although Blogger remains limited in many respects, research on the internet will find workarounds for most things. I am happy with Blogger and have no plans to change any time soon!

Computer with text "How to Create a Password Protected Page"

When I started to think seriously about growing and utilizing my email list, I decided to offer free teaching resources to my readers.  The idea behind this is to offer a free download, stored in a VIP section or library, which can only be accessed in exchange for one’s email address.  This strategy works really well in providing value to your readers and growing your list.

Why do I need an email list for my business?


Having a valuable email list is crucial because it's the best way to build a relationship with potential customers in an intimate way.  The one thing that you have with an email list is control.  With social media anything can happen to your account - policies can change, accounts can be shut down etc.  However with an email list - you own it and you can do anything you want with it!  You can keep your subscribers up-to-date with special events/sales/product launches/discounts etc.  You can offer email courses - providing valuable content for free, which eventually leads readers to your special offer and hopefully, those all-important sales!  Subscribe to a few email lists of your favorite sellers and see how creative they are with their content!

This leads me to today’s tutorial – how to password protect a page on your blog. Although the page is ‘published’, the password is required to unlock the content. The password can be shared with your newsletter subscribers and they can visit regularly to access new content.

Just follow the steps below to create a password protected page and spread the word to your customers to sign up to your library!

Follow these steps to create a password created page:


1. Go to your blogger dashboard and click on the PAGES section on the left hand side.

           
2. Create a NEW PAGE

3. Click on the HTML tab on your page






4.  Copy the following code and paste it (at the top of the page)

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">

var password = 'free'

password=prompt('This is password protected page, please enter password to continue.','');

if (password != 'free') {

location.href='http://www.error_page_url.com';

} </SCRIPT>

5. MOST IMPORTANT:
  • Change free to your own password 
  • Change "http://www.error_page_url.com" to the URL for redirection if the wrong password is entered. This can be your home page url or another static page

6. SAVE and PUBLISH your page

7. VIEW your page – you should see this:


7 simple steps and you have a password protected page!  Now get started on building a VIP Library with awesome content that your readers/potential customers can't help but subscribe to!

To make this tutorial even simpler, if you don't have time right now, just click on the download button below and save in PDF format for a later date!

Click here to download your PDF Tutorial

Social Media Scheduling Tools Snapshot

Are you looking for a social media management tool to save you time?

Social Media Platform with text "The Best Scheduling Tools to Automate Your Content"

We know that having the right presence on social media is key to the growth and success of your business. For many, a management tool has become an essential part of any social media strategy.
Whether you work alone or as part of a team, managing your social media presence requires a tool that will not only schedule ahead, but analyze network engagement too.
Below is a snapshot of what is available. Whichever platform you eventually decide to go with, there are 3 key elements you should be aware of:
  • engagement 
  • scheduling 
  • reporting


Hootsuite 


With Hootsuite’s Auto Scheduling you can maintain a 24/7 presence on social media. Once you have a content schedule, it’s easy to add new posts to fill the gaps. For instance, you can use the Hootlet extension to schedule posts as you surf the net. Or you can upload your content in bulk via a CSV file.  However you choose to add your content, you can always see your schedule at a glance either in a list or a calendar with daily, weekly or monthly views.

Sendible


Sendible lets you schedule your content either individually or in bulk. Everything is stored in the interactive calendar, so if anything needs adjusting you can drag-and-drop the content accordingly. Once you discover your best-performing content, you can recycle it with repeating schedules.
Sendible also takes care of content curation. The content recommendation engine analyzes posts already shared on social media and suggests the best content most likely to generate high follower engagement.

TweetDeck


TweetDeck allows users to tweet messages immediately or schedule them for later delivery. If you manage multiple accounts through TweetDeck, you have the option to schedule Tweets for each of them.  You can make changes to a scheduled Tweet before it’s published, and you can also add images and GIFs to your message.

Sproutsocial


Sprout Social allows you to schedule, queue and publish messages to each social network from their web app, browser extension, and mobile apps. Sprout’s ViralPost tool determines the best times to post your messages so you can maximize engagement. The user-based publishing permissions let you set up team members to draft and submit messages, and then have team leaders or managers approve them. Using the shared content calendar you can view and manage social posts across multiple profiles, networks, and campaigns.

AgoraPulse


AgoraPulse is a social media scheduling tool to rival Hootsuite. AgoraPulse started as an app for Facebook, and quickly moved into a tool where you can monitor your social media in one place. You can manage, schedule and post your content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ and Instagram.
AgoraPulse lets you schedule your content in advance with a pre-selected date and time. Or you can program your posts to run once every hour/day/week/month. You can also take advantage of the queue function to share your evergreen content again and again.

MavSocial


With MavSocial, content is scheduled through campaigns. You can create campaigns across one or many networks and view your schedule in the calendar. From there you can drag-and-drop content to change the publishing dates and times if needed.  You can reschedule your content by creating cyclical campaigns. For example, you could have campaigns for blog posts, quotes, promotions, and events. Either add your content once and let it repeat cyclically or create variations by modifying it.

CoSchedule


CoSchedule is an all-in-one marketing calendar for your blogging and social media needs. It’s a drag and drop calendar, which makes it easy to adjust things when you need to push back deadlines or change your strategy. It allows you to automate when and how your blog and social media posts will be published.

Tailwind (Affiliate)


Tailwind is packed with powerful features and shortcuts to help you schedule pins and posts each day.
Tailwind’s Smart Queue helps you pin and post at the best times, so your audience gets content when they’re looking for it. To start with, Tailwind recommends the best time when it knows people are active. But over time it evaluates the optimal time based on your history and audience engagement.
You can populate your schedule days or weeks in advance, by adding content in bulk from your desktop or mobile device. Tailwind also tracks your best performing content so you can reuse it again.

MeetEdgar


Everything you publish with Edgar is stored in an organized library and arranged into categories, like “Quotes,” “Blog Posts,” or “Cat Puns.” To save even more time, you can add content in bulk or connect him to an RSS feed. Create a schedule that tells Edgar when to publish from each category. That way, he always knows what types of status updates to post at which times, sharing the right variety of content automatically. When Edgar makes his way through all the new content in a category, he’ll simply start recycling older updates. Your library is organized into categories, and your schedule is built around the types of things you want to post. When he’s published everything from a category, Edgar re-shares older updates that people might have missed the first time around.

eClincher


The Unified Social Inbox from eClincher collects all your social media messages and notifications in one place, so you can respond, thank, follow, or engage with your audience.  As soon as you log into eClincher, you’ll see how many pending notifications you have. Once you’ve answered a message, it disappears from your list so you can focus on the remaining messages.  If you prefer to monitor your social media activities in real-time, then use the Live Social Feeds. Inside you can see each of your connected social media profiles, pages, and groups. From there you can like, comment, and reply, in one place rather than visiting each native platform.

If you are on a limited budget or have chosen to focus on one social media platform only, you may find the following tutorial helpful:  Facebook Scheduling Tip

Just click the download button to learn how to schedule posts on Facebook and a second handy little tip about content curation that you may not be aware of.

Technology Tip - Custom Office Templates Tutorial

Many online businesses create digital products to sell - including me!  I abandoned Word many years ago, as I love the freedom to design content using PowerPoint.  Many people don't think of PowerPoint as anything other than a way to create presentations, but it is in fact an amazing tool for creating ebooks, teaching resources, planners - the list is endless!  I could write a book on the ways I have used PowerPoint in my business over the years!

Image of a laptop showing how to make custom office templates

This is one quick tip that I have found to be such a great time saver - creating custom office templates.  If you use PowerPoint to create products and haven't seen this tip before, I guarantee you will love it!

When creating a new PowerPoint file, have you ever noticed this?


This is a ‘store’ for any templates you create. This is especially useful if you use the same slide dimensions and formats repeatedly.  A good example of this would be a pin template. Instead of creating the right sized slide every time you want to make a mock up, just go to your personal 'store' and open the template from there.

Below is a small example of how my personal ‘store’ looks - I use a range of templates for social media posting:


Keep reading to see how simple this is to do!

STEP 1:


Open PowerPoint and create a new presentation. Choose the file dimensions you require and create your slide. It is important to give your template the correct name, so you know what the template is for, e.g. Pin.

STEP 2:


Instead of saving your template as a PowerPoint Presentation (.pptx), save it as a PowerPoint Template (.potx). The template has now been saved to your Custom Office Templates folder.


STEP 3:


Next time you need to create a pin image, open Powerpoint > Create New > Personal and choose/open the template you need and beginning creating!

You can just imagine the possibilities here!  For example, if you sell online teaching resources and have a particular format that you use regularly.  Maybe it includes a set of tables or a particular font - these can all be saved as part of a template - just sitting in your 'store' for the next time you need it!

If you would like this tutorial in PDF format for future reference, just click the button below.  The PDF will download automatically.

Marketing With Movies and Video Intros {Tutorial}

So.....I thought it might be time for a tutorial.  I have to admit that I learn many things through trial and error.  The good thing about this is that I get lots of practice!!  Following on from my last post about social media marketing and one of the points about technology, I thought it pertinent to post a tutorial on video making.  There is a ton of expensive software out there, but I prefer to manage as much as I can on a budget!

Image of movie maker with tutorial on how to make a video

Many sellers reach the stage of trying to find new ways to get their products in front of potential buyers - we all know about making eye-catching pins for Pinterest, facebooks ads and so on - the advice is endless and we twist ourselves in knots trying to keep up with it all!  What we try never seems to be enough and we strive to move on to the next 'big' thing that will improve our sales!
The current trend, especially on facebook, is to promote our products via the medium of video. There are lots of great phone apps out there like Ripl, Adobe Spark Post etc - these are great if you want to create 'on the go' and are time poor, but the end results can leave a lot to be desired.  I do like Kizoa and imovie, but I am a bit old school and like to create on my computer.  My preferred desktop app for Windows is Movie Maker.  I love spending time creating videos, but yes, it is not a quick fix!


Movie Maker Tutorial

1. Organize Your Files

Before starting your project it is a good idea to organize all the files you'll be using for your movie. It is advised that you do the following:
  • Identify, sort, and save all the files you'll be using in a single file folder, preferably with separate sub-folders for images, videos, sound effects, music, etc. 
  • Re-name the individual files according to their order of use in the project 
  • When the files have already been imported to a Movie Maker Project file (*.wlmp), DO NOT move these files to other locations. 
  • DO NOT move the main file folder (and sub-folders) of the imported files in the project. 
  • Avoid re-naming imported files.

2.  Importing Files

After you have organized your files, you can import them into the Windows Live Movie Maker.
The pictures and video clips can be imported by clicking either of the two Add videos and photos buttons (one at the Home tab and the other at the storyboard) > locate the file folder(s) > select all the files to be used for the project > click Open > the files will be imported into the storyboard/timeline.


Below is the view of the imported images in the storyboard. You can change the sizes of the images in the timeline - just click on View and choose the size you want.


If you intend to have music accompany your movie, you should import the music file early on since the music will dictate how the images/videos will be edited in the timeline. To import the music file just click the Add Music icon (you have the option to add your music at the start of the project or at specific parts of the timeline) > locate the file folder > select the music file > click Open.


The imported music file will appear as a green bar below the images, with its duration visually depicted by the length of the bar.

3. Save your project now!

  • Select File > Save Project As… 
  • Choose a save location on your computer and enter a name for your file in the file name field. 
  • Click on Save.

4. Moving/Editing the Files

Moving Files in the Timeline

You can move the image and video files according to the order of appearance in the movie by dragging the thumbnails left/right/up/down. This is where the pre-organization of files will prove to be beneficial - if you re-named your files in chronological order then they will be imported and placed in the timeline in the same order - so no need to move and arrange them one-by-one.

Editing Photos


There is only one editing option for images in Movie Maker - adjusting the time duration of the image in the timeline - which will dictate how long a certain image will appear in the movie. To edit the time duration of images: select a particular image, click Edit below Video Tools (highlighted in yellow) in the Function Menu above and set the desired time duration (in seconds) either by:
  1. choosing one of the pre-set time durations in the drop-down list or 
  2. type in the exact time duration
Editing Music


Music files have similar editing options. These can be found on Music Tools (highlighted in green) beside the Video Tools. The music-editing options include:
 
Audio Settings Adjustments: includes music volume adjustment (no sound to full sound) and fade in and fade out speed selection (none, slow, medium, fast) 

Split Tool: enables you to split your music file into two or more segments by moving the vertical bar to the specific point/time you'd like the music file to be split and clicking the Split icon.
 
Set start time: allows you to set the point in the timeline when you'd like the music to start playing. You could do this by either typing in the exact start time or clicking the up and down arrows. Another alternative method is to manually drag the music bar to the point in the timeline you'd like the music to start playing. 

Set start/end point: an exact equivalent of the Video Tools Trim Tool, this enables trimming of the selected music so it starts/ends at the specified point in the timeline, which could also be done in two ways:
  1. Manually move/drag the vertical bar to the specific point int the timeline where you'd like the music to start, then click on Set start point to trim the music at the specified point. Do the same to set the end point, clicking Set end point this time; or 
  2. Set the Start point and End point by typing in the exact times or clicking the up and down arrows.
Miscellaneous File Tools


There are other tools and commands that you may find useful when moving/editing files in your project:
  • Duplicating Files: you can copy images/videos/music files by simply selecting the thumbnail/item > click the Copy icon > paste it on the specified point in the timeline. The copied file will have the same added effects as the original file. 
  • Removing Files: just select the file(s) you'd like to remove and click the Remove icon or press the Delete key. 
  • Selecting Files: you can select a single file (clicking on a thumbnail/item), multiple files (batch selection using Ctrl+mouse click), or all files (clicking the Select all icon or pressing Ctrl+A). 
  • Rotating Images/Videos: click on the Rotate Left or Rotate Right icon to change the orientation of your images or videos.

5. Adding Animations & Visual Effects

Movie Maker comes with sets of special animation and visual effects that you could use to make your movie more attractive. These include transition effects, pan and zoom effects, visual effects, and pre-set AutoMovie themes.

Transition Effects


Transition effects allow you to insert special effects which dictate how your movie plays from one video clip or picture to the next. You can add a transition between two pictures or video clips in any combination on the storyboard/timeline. To do this:

Transitions are added at the start of images/videos, so click on the particular clip where you'd like the transition to start (i.e. the second of two images should be selected to add a transition between them)

Click on the Animations tab > click the drop-down button > hover the cursor over the thumbnails to see the preview of each transition in the preview screen > select your chosen transition effect.

Set the time duration of the transition either by typing in the exact time or choosing from the pre-set time durations.

A grey triangle will appear on the left side of the clip thumbnail indicating that the transition effect has been applied.


If you intend to use the exact same transition for all your pictures and video clips, just click the Apply to all icon to apply the selected transition to all images and videos in the timeline.

If you want to only apply a certain transition effect to a select number of pictures and video clips, you can use the Ctrl+arrow key or Ctrl+Shift to batch select the items and then click the transition you'd like to use and set the time duration. The transition effect will be applied to all selected items in the timeline.

To change or remove transitions, click on the image or video and choose No Transition or choose other transitions.

Pan & Zoom Effects


Pan and zoom effects refer to the movement of the image or video within the viewing screen. Pan effects include movement in the horizontal (left/right), vertical (up/down), diagonal or even rotational directions, while Zoom effects are zooming in or zooming out of the screen (in combination with pan effects). To add these effects to your project: 
  • Select the picture or video clip you'd like to add an effect to.
  • Click on the Animations tab > click the drop-down button > hover the cursor over the thumbnails to see the preview of each effect in the preview screen > select your chosen pan & zoom effect.
  • A four-square icon will appear on the top left corner of the clip thumbnail indicating the pan and zoom effect has been applied.
If you intend to use the exact same pan and zoom effect for all your pictures and video clips, just click the Apply to all icon to apply the selected effect to all images and videos in the timeline. 

If you want to only apply a certain pan and zoom effect to a select number of pictures and video clips, you can use the Ctrl+arrow key or Ctrl+Shift to batch select the items and then click the effect you'd like to use. The particular pan and zoom effect will be applied to all selected items in the timeline.

Visual Effects


Movie Maker also has a range of visual effects that you can apply to your pictures and images to give them a distinct feel or atmospheric look.  Take a look and explore the various visual effects available and test what effect will they give your images and videos.  To use these effects:
  • Select the image/video you'd like to give a visual effect > click the Visual Effects tab > choose the desired effect. 
  • There is also a brightness adjustment setting you could use for your images/videos. 
  • Like with the transitions and pan and zoom effects, you have the option to apply a specific visual effect to all of your images/videos by clicking the Apply to all button.
AutoMovie Themes


Movie Maker also offers AutoMovie themes which you could use to instantly give your project the necessary movie elements in just one-click of a button! Each AutoMovie theme comes with its own pre-defined set of animations and visual effects that serves as a guide/suggestion on what you could do with your set of images and video clips in your timeline.

The AutoMovie themes can be accessed under the Home tab, and by clicking on a selected theme, its pre-defined animations and visual effects will automatically be applied to your images and video clips in your storyboard. You have the option to adjust your images and videos to fit the theme or adjust the theme settings to fit your set of images and videos. 

6. Adding Titles, Captions, Credits

Text can also be added in your movie project in the form of titles, captions, and credits. These three differ in their locations within the timeline: titles are added at the start of the movie, captions added in the middle, while credits are added in the end. These can be added by clicking either the Title, Caption, or Credit icons in the Home tab > a text box will appear in the particular slide or image/video > type in the text > re-size the text box dimensions as needed > move by dragging the text box to the desired area in the screen.
Texts appear as pink-colored bars at the bottom of the pictures and video clips in the timeline.


Text-editing options are available via Text Tools (highlighted in pink). You can access these by clicking on a text bar in the timeline to open the Text Tools sub-menu. The text-formatting options include:
  • Font Settings: enables you to change the font type, font size, font color, bold, italicize. 
  • Paragraph Settings: change the text alignment (left, center, right) and the transparency of the text. 
  • Edit Text: allows you change the text. 
  • Background Color: enables you to change the background color (whole screen) of titles and credits, but not of captions (since they are positioned over images and videos). 
  • Start Time: set the time when you want the text to start showing in the timeline by typing in the exact time (in seconds) or using the up/down buttons. 
  • Text Duration: like with images and video clips, you could set the length of time you'd like the text to appear in the movie (by typing in the exact time or selecting one of the pre-set time durations). 
  • Effects: text also have animation options like images and video clips. Simply hover into the thumbnails in the grid (more in the drop-down menu), choose and select the text animation you like.
So, that's it!  Simple, right?!  Actually when written down, it can look overwhelming - the best way is to just have a go and play!

Video Intros


If you click on the video below, you will see one of my movies.  The only difference is that my clips are not photos.  I created my images in PowerPoint first and then saved each as a JPEG - the process is exactly the same, except this step.


As you can see, something extra has been added to my movie - this is a Video Intro!!  I wanted to add my logo so potential buyers would recognize my brand, so I added an animated video to the beginning of my movie.

When making a movie using Movie Maker, all you have to do is add the video intro as one of your clips.  As mentioned in the tutorial - BOTH videos and photos/images can be added to your storyline to make a movie/video to promote your products.

These video intros are fun and just add a little something extra to spice up your video!  They let potential buyers know who you are and where to find your resource.





If you are interested in viewing my range of video intros and would like some custom intros made, just hope on over to this page to read all about them!

Essential Tips for Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is one of the most powerful tools business owners have access to. It allows you to connect with your audience. You can engage and build a community around your business. Business owners can also use it to learn more about their audience so they can better meet their needs.

Social media platforms grouped together to show various sites for marketing.

It’s enough to make you want to jump right in, right? However, before you create a profile page and start marketing on your favorite social media site, there are a few steps to take and considerations to make.

Identify Your Purpose and Goals


Why are you using social media and what do you hope to accomplish? There are many different reasons to use social media. You may use it to sell products, to build your opt-in list, or to drive traffic to your landing page. Do you want to generate new leads or build relationships with your existing prospects and clients? Consider both long-term and short-term goals.

For example, if you want to build your opt-in list with social media marketing, how much do you want to achieve by the end of this month and what are your three-year goals? Setting the right goals for you and your business will help you create a social media marketing strategy that’s effective and productive.

Identify Tactics to Support Your Goals


There are different tactics to consider based on your business goals. For example, if you want to drive people to your opt-in page then you may want to hold a contest or giveaway that motivates people to sign up. You may want to create a content marketing strategy specifically for social media that identifies you as an authority and promotes your opt-in offer. Once you’ve identified the correct tactics, create an action plan and timeline.

Identify Your Brand Message


What message do you want to convey on your social media page(s) and how do you want to communicate it? Keep in mind that your message and brand should support your other branding efforts. However, your approach can be different on social media.

Assess Your Resources and Leverage Technology


Identify the tools and technologies that can help you achieve your social media marketing goals. For example, there are services that automatically publish a link to your blog post on all of your social media accounts. There are also plug-ins that can be added to your website or blog that help visitors connect with you on social media. Use technology to help you achieve your social media marketing goals.

Igniting and Engaging Your Audience


A key element to building your business through social media is being able to engage with your audience. Posting for the sake of posting won’t get you where you want to go. The goal is to capture attention and motivate people to not only become part of your business community, but to also become lifelong customers. This requires both seizing attention and then retaining it.

Identify the Trigger Points


The first step to engaging your audience is identifying the types of content they respond to. You’ll need to perform a bit of research and testing to accomplish this. You can use keyword searches to start. Using hashtags and your own analytics you can determine the popular topics and the content that draws people to your website.

Once you know what they’re looking for, try various content formats, topics, and headlines to identify the material that generates attention and creates conversation and clicks.

Create a Strong Platform


Your audience wants to know what to expect from you. Your platform should ideally support your brand and your voice. That being said, you can be creative with your platform. For example, you can use your social media profile to provide a daily tip for your readers. You can share commentary and make your platform one that is primarily editorial. Identify what your audience wants and how you can offer them value, and then format a platform around that opportunity.

Invite Conversation


One cannot engage others without asking questions and inviting feedback. Whether you publish polls, ask for opinions, seek advice, incite controversy or start a dialogue – the goal for social media is to motivate your readers and followers to get involved. This requires a call to action. Tell your readers what to do next. If you want them to answer a question, ask them to answer a question! If you want their opinion, ask, “What’s your opinion?”

Test and Track


Finally, be sure to test and track your efforts as you learn and engage. Track the posts that people get really excited about. Track the material and links that generate the most clicks. And by all means track the material that results in conversions. The more you know about your audience, the more you can provide them with the right material - the material that not only provides value but also encourages them to become an active member of your business community.


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