As a self-confessed WordPress plugin addict, I was a bit hesitant to add another plugin. But, this particular plugin (much more than a plugin!) is just too good to be true! The tool is called TrenDemon and it is a marketing tool that does many things for you and your blog (or website).
What is TrenDemon?
To some extent the definition of TrenDemon is related to the purpose that you have defined for yourself, when choosing to use TrenDemon. This is because there are different settings that allow you to do different things with TrenDemon. Based on that, it isn't “just” a related posts plugin, or a monetization plugin for external content. More simply, it is a marketing tool, for you to use to meet your objectives.
You are not limited to only using TrenDemon with WordPress. However, that said, this article is written within the context of using it as a WordPress plugin.
The WordPress plugin is primarily a bridge to allow you to log into the TrenDemon web site. It is very convenient to reach the TrendDemon dashboard in that manner, right within your WordPress dashboard. You could also open another browser tab and login directly on the site.
As Advertised… on TrenDemon
The four key aspects that TrenDemon advertises on their site are:
- Growth (Conversions).
- Automation (Time-Saving).
- Simplicity (No Tech Skills Needed).
- Insights (Analytics).
That doesn't necessarily define what it does or how it does it, or most importantly, how we can set it up to benefit ourselves and our sites. What we will aim to do is to help you set it up so that you can start to realize these benefits that TrenDemon offers.
The purpose of this article is not to make the case for the delivery of the benefits claimed by TrenDemon (even though I can say that I am personally impressed by the tool). The purpose of this article is to help you get it set up so that you can test it and see for yourself. Fortunately, it is free to sign up for TrenDemon, so that pricing decision is out of the way and you can literally set it up and give it a run.
Maximizing the Engagement and Site Traffic
One of the key benefits that TrenDemon promises is that it maximizes the interaction of content on your site. If you include external content items, it can also maximize the interaction with that content, as well. Examples of external content would include your YouTube videos, guest posts that you have written for other blogs, and any other content that you want to include.
Through the brilliant analytics that are built into the tool, TrenDemon is able to determine which articles (or external content items) are getting the most engagement. This tool differentiates between a page view and a page read. A view is considered the loading of that page. The TrenDemon tool actually measures the time on the site to be able to calculate that the article has been read. This is a key distinction and enables the tool to display those articles (and content pieces) that have resulted in the most engagement and longest time spent on the article (classified as the article being “read”).
Installation Assistance and Tips
Yes, this is a phenomenal marketing tool! I mean, the potential for you is really staggering. However, I'm going to be honest with you. It is not a plug and play WordPress plugin. It is going to take some “doing” to get it to work. In this section, I list some possible caveats that you may run into and what you can do to help mitigate that situation.
I am a very technical person (programmer), but it took way more time than it seemed like it should have taken, to set up TrenDemon the first time. There is a helpful guide that walks you through it, but there are also some potential “gotchas” that could have you pulling your hair out of your head.
TrenDemon offers a User Guide to help you get going. Even more helpful than the guide, is the FAQ section with quick answers to “what is what” and where to find it. You can also watch the tutorial videos.
Does that mean I contradicted the TrenDemon claim that no technology skills are needed to use TrenDemon? No, not at all. TrenDemon, once it is set up, is quite straight-forward. Also, using the campaign as an example, you can view what you have done on a previous campaign to know what to do for the next campaign.
Most of the “gotchas” are based on
- Settings that are turned off, and
- Settings that need a specific selection (choice).
There are four different places to check the settings BEFORE you actually use the tool. I'm going to break them out into two different “placements” for ease of explaining how to find them. Also, they will be numbered, below, but the number is only for reference purposes.
- Placement A: TrenDemon > Settings.
- Placement B: TrenDemon > Dashboard > Settings > General Settings
- Placement B: TrenDemon > Dashboard > Settings > LIFT Settings
- Placement B: TrenDemon > Dashboard > Settings > PLAY Settings
My term, “Placement(s)” refers to the two different locations. As you will see, one location is the WordPress Dashboard Settings and the other is the actual plugin settings (Placement B). Again, this is just for reference for this article.
1. TrenDemon > Settings (Placement A).
This first settings section is the main WordPress settings section for TrenDemon. On this panel, you will want to ensure that your email address is showing correctly. There is a link to modify the email if it needs correcting. You will likely want to set the mobile setting to “on” so that your settings are ready for mobile. If you want to make some extra cash, you will want to leave the “Hide Trendy” off, so that Trendy displays and generates money for you.
The important decision on this settings panel is whether you want the SHOW or the LIFT display for your “related content.” The SHOW display is a slideshow at the end of the article and the LIFT display is a sort of pop-out display (settings shown below, in Section 2, “General Settings”). Fortunately, previews are available by hovering/clicking on the information “i” button near these radio button descriptions. Go ahead and make your initial selection now.
2. Dashboard > Settings > General Settings (Placement B)
Most of the settings in this section are very self-explanatory. The main thing is the “Ready to Go Live” setting set to “On” (green) and that the status shows as “code is installed correctly.” That “Ready to Go Live” can be a real “gotcha” moment if you have set up everything and cannot figure out why the plugin doesn't seem to be working properly. Also, if you do not have the message that the code is installed correctly, you will want to visit the TrenDemon site and troubleshoot (or ask for assistance). Without the code installed correctly, with that message, you will not be able to get out of the starting gate (not able to get started). If you want to try it yourself, you could try uninstalling the plugin and re-intalling, but you may want to visit TrenDemon's site, first, to see if there is an easier answer or explanation for your issue.
3. Dashboard > Settings > LIFT Settings (Placement B)
Some of the settings in this section are very self-explanatory, like your web site URL and your email address, as well as the language you speak. Others may not be as obvious. For the most part, if in doubt, leave the defaults. The purpose of this article is to work through the “gotchas,” but even I am still working through the most efficient way to use TrenDemon. There is so much more than what initially appears “under the hood,” when you first look at the plugin/tool.
The LIFT settings are the settings that control what some of us would think of as the display of “related content.” TrenDemon is so much more than just related content display, but of the two functions, LIFT is closer to this functionality, to give you an idea of what options you are setting.
You will see settings like placement (whether you want the display to appear on the side or at the bottom of the article). At the bottom of the article, it will appear after the viewer reads the article. You also have options to select image, text, or a notifier (like a sort of update display).
To manually place a “show button,” you can copy and paste the code that is shown on this settings page. This could be manually placed on a post/page or you can also try it in the widgets area.
You can also designate the type of content that you want to automatically include, such as video. Full image crawl allows a crawl of the page versus specific content.
There are still a few (quite a few) question marks about exactly what each setting will and will not do. Personally, even I am still working through these myself and testing them. There is a slideshare, below, where I will update some of the findings during my discovery process. Be sure to bookmark this article on Basic Blog Tips, so you can keep apprised of updates.
4. Dashboard > Settings > PLAY Settings (Placement B)
This next section displays the setting snapshots for the PLAY settings. The PLAY settings are a gamified way that you can reward your site visitors. As a comparison, it is similar to the gamification that is present in web sites like Viral Content Bee, JustRetweet, and SocialBuzzClub. These sites reward you when you share content, by providing you with credits to use as rewards to give others when they share your content.
In the same way, the settings in this PLAY section allow you to designate rewards to provide to your viewers and readers for sharing your content.
My recommendation is to implement the LIFT settings, first, and then take some time to play with the PLAY settings. If you think of these settings in the same way that you think of how the gamified sites mentioned above work, it will be easier to understand how this part of the tool can help you to build engagement and sharing on your site.
It is perfectly normal that there may not be content displaying, as it takes some time for TrenDemon to do its magic and prepare the content. Go have your cup of coffee, or go out for your evening date, and check back.
Also, this article covers that initial set-up process, but you will want to go through the help guide and FAQ provided by TrenDemon to actually prepare your content. The key thing is to relax and if you come back from your date and things are not working as you believe they should be working, don't worry. Use the TrenDemon resources to contact support and they will help you. For faster response, be sure to watch the tutorial videos for a step-by-step process.
Please feel free to embed the SlideShare, above, in your article if you ever write about TrenDemon. 😉