Archive forBlogging

WordPress 2.7 is Released

Just this afternoon I blogged about WordPress 2.7 RC2, and now WordPress 2.7 is offically released.

Ii used the automatic upgrade feature to do the upgrade and it looks like everything worked fine!

Go and download the latest version now. You’ll be glad you.

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WordPress 2.7RC2

Yesterday, WordPress released Release Candidate 2 of 2.7, which is a major upgrade to the administrative interface. I’ve installed the new release on a couple of blogs (including this one), and I think it’s a great improvement.

Some of the things I like about it:

  • It seems easier to navigate around. There are a lot of nice ajax-y widgets that let you get to almost any administration screen without refreshing the page.
  • The left side bars makes better use of screen real estate
  • There is a one-click update to updating to new versions of WordPress. That should be a great time-saver for me

The upgrade went really smoothly and I highly recommend it.

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Recommended WordPress Plugin: WP Super Cache

I recently installed the WP Super Cache plugin on most of my WordPress blogs. This plugin in makes blogs much speedier to view by caching pages as static HTML files. The first time someone visits a page, it is served up as PHP like normal and the page is saved as an HTML file, and the next time someone views the page, no PHP is run, the page is served up from a cache, which is quicker for the visitor and saves a lot of processor time on the server.

The one downside of the plugin is that you have to remember to disable it when making any changes to your site, otherwise you don’t see the changes. I keep forgetting to do that and find myself cursing when my changes don’t work.

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Securing WordPress Installations

I run several WordPress blogs, and they have been recently hacked. I love WordPress, so I don’t want to change platforms, but I also hate being hacked. These hacks cause a lot of extra work and also cost a lot of money. Seeing my main money-making site sink in Google ranking because it got hacked is not a fun experience.

So, I’m going to go about securing my blogs as much as possible. One great resource I found was the WordPress Whitepaper(PDF file) by BlogSecurty.net.

Based on the whitepaper, and some other tips I have found around the internet, I am going to be doing the following to try to stop the hackers:

  • Use .htaccess files to password potect the wp-admin directory. See Matt Cutt’s blog to see how to do this.
  • Use .htaccess files to block unauthorized access to files in wp-content and wp-includes directories. Public access to various files such as images and css files should be allowed in these directories. See the WordPress Whitepaper on how to do this.
  • Add an empty index.html file to the wp-content/plugins directory. This will prevent people from seeing what plug ins you run. This is another tip from Matt Cutts.
  • Remove all unused plugins and themes. Plugins and themes can be a source of security holes. If you are not using a plugin or theme, it should be deleted.
  • Changing the default WordPress table prefix. By default WordPress prefixes all table names with “wp_”. This may allow hackers to access tables by assuming the name. Changing the prefix makes things a little harder. BlogSecurity.net has a tool for changing the prefix on existing blogs.
  • Changing the “admin” username. Since “admin” is the default username in WordPress hackers can assume that this user exists and this can make it easier to guess passwords. This is another tip from the whitepaper.
  • Removing the “generator” meta tag and any other clue that lets hackers know what version of WordPress is running. If hackers know the version of WordPress they can try specific exploits for that version.
  • Installing PHPIDS for WordPress. This plugin defends against malicious code injections. This was another recomendation from the whitepaper.
  • Installing the WP Security Scan Plugin. This plugin checks installations for security vulnerabilities and suggests fixes.
  • Keeping up to date with the latest WordPress versions. In the past I have been a little lazy about updating my blogs to the latest version, but I will now update them right away. I updated my blogs to WordPress version 2.6.3 the day that they issued the release. I am going to investigate automated update tools to help with this.

If you know of any other tips I would love to hear them.

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The Best Long Term SEO Strategy: Ignore Search Engines

When I launched my first website, it was an immediate success. It was on the first page of Google SERPs for the terms I thought it would, and it quickly shot up to a Page Rank 6. Was this because I was a skilled SEO? Not at all. I didn’t even no what the terms SEO and Page Rank meant. The first time someone pointed out that my site had a Page Rank of 6, I had to ask what that even was.

Why was this site so successful? I built a site that was actually informative and useful for people. I put a lot of hard work into building the content of the site and asked a lot of people for feedback. People liked the site so they linked to it. It quickly became an authority site in the eyes of Google.

I firmly believe that the best way to get traffic to a site is to have content that people actually want to see.

Does this mean that I think that SEO is useless? No, I think it has its place. If you are writing an article for your pet site about fantastic large dog breeds you might want to do a bit of keyword research. If your article was originally titled “Great Large Dog Breeds” and you do a bit of research and find that people actually search for “Best Large Dog Breed” a lot more than they search for “Great Large Dog Breeds” you may want to re-title your article. You also want to do things like make sure your site is easily spiderable by search engine robots.

My point is that when you originally conceive of a site you shouldn’t be thinking, “What will be a killer site for search engines?”, you should be asking “What will be a killer site for my visitors?”.


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Review of JCMs – The 15000-dollar mission

This is my first review as part of the ReviewBack system. ReviewBack allows bloggers to review each other’s sites. I had a couple of other review requests, but rejected them because the sites were not relevant to AdMoolah’s audience.

The review I’m writing is for JCM’s – The 15000-dollar mission. I found this blog worthy of review because it is all about a bloggers quest to make $15,000 from on line activities. JCM’s blog began in December. He choose $15,000 dollars as the amount because he figured he had spent that much money on the internet, so it was time to make it back.

So far he has made a little over $2,000. At this pace he is going to take another 3 years to reach his goal! This slow ace is not for lack of trying however, JCM has made money from 18 different revenue stream including direct sales, AdSense, Text-Link-Ads, PayperPost and AuctionAds. One thing I’d like to hear more about is how he has generated his direct sales. This always seems like one of the more difficult things to get going, and JCM has seemed to do pretty well with it. He may have a post or two about this already, but I wasn’t able to find them.

It’s an interesting blog to read, because I like getting a peek into another webmaster’s efforts to make money. I hope JCM reaches his $15,000 goal soon!

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ReviewBack – A Blog Review Exchange

A new website ReviewBack launched today. It provides a service where people can review each others blog. The sign up is free and there are no fees involved in getting or giving reviews.

This service is sort of like ReviewMe or PayPerPost, except that instead of paying cash for a review, you pay by providing your own review back to the site that reviewed you. So far, I don’t see any signs of how they are going to monetize this service, but I assume that it will be advertising based revenue.

This seems like a great way for smaller blogs to get some link love and attention from other bloggers. I have signed up, along with about 60 other blogs. Right now there hasn’t been any “review action”, so I’m not even sure how the whole process works. If you want to find out how this thing work, sign up and request a review from me! I have to warn you that I will be very very picky about who I accept a review exchange from.

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Started Using Feedburner

I’ve always been interested in using Feedburner for my RSS subscriptions, but I always thought it would be a pain to switch all my existing subscribers to the new feed. Then, a week or so ago I saw a post by Shoemoney, saying that he had switched to Feedburner. I realized that I didn’t was still subscribed to his old feed, but was getting new updates. I did some investigation and found that Feedburner has a cool WordPress plugin that redirects the existing feed URLs to a new Feedburner link.

So I am now using Feedburner for this blog, and I think I’ll start switching some of my other blogs over too. I like the tracking that they give you, and there are a lot of features I think I’ll experiment with too. I never knew how many subscribers I had to this blog. Now, as can be seen from the widget below, I know I have a little over 200 subscribers.

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Top 5 Autopilot Moneymakers for Your Website or Blog

Autopilot Moneymakers are programs that make it very easy to earn money on your website. Sign up for the program – cut and paste some code, and your done. Sure, there are sometimes ways to make more money – direct sales and affiliate programs, for example – but they take significant effort to sell properly. Webmasters and bloggers love autopilot moneymakers because they don’t have to put a lot of effort into getting revenue, they can concentrate on making better websites.

The five programs listed below are among the favorites of bloggers and webmasters, they are the proven money makers. (Most of the links are affiliate links.)

AdSense

This is the best known program of its type. It’s ubiquitous on the web and is often the first program considered for new sites. It works well on a large variety of sites. AdSense has options for CPM (payment per impression), PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and PPA (Pay-Per-Action).


Yahoo! Publisher Network

Yahoo! Publisher Network is Yahoo’s attempt to catch up to Google in advertising on third party websites. it is currently in beta and limited to US publishers. Many webmasters report targeting issues, but many also report earning that are far better than they got with AdSense. It is worth giving a try to see if it works in your niche. YPN uses PPC ads.

Check out Yahoo! Publisher Network

Chitika

Chitika ads are interactive widgets that display keyword targeted merchandise for sale. They work very well for websites that are geared toward some specific consumer product. Chitika uses the PPC method for payouts.

Chitika Overview

AuctionAds

AuctionAds is a relatively new network, but there have been a lot of good reports about them. They display EBay ads that are targeted to the content on your website. Like Chitika, they are good for websites focus on consumer goods. Auction ads uses CPA.

AuctionAds Homepage

Text Link Ads

Text Link Ads are a little different from the other programs on this list in that they don’t display full ads that pay per impression, click or action. You insert Javascript on your site and advertisers can purchase a simple text link on a monthly basis. This makes Text Link Ads a good compliment to other ad programs.

Go to Text Link Ads

This post is part of ProBlogger’s Top 5 Group Writing Project

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John Chow’s Blog

One of the more interesting blogs I have been reading lately is John Chow’s. He has a blog to teach people to make money online. He has an interesting arrangement with his readers where if they do a review of his blog, he will link back to you.

One of my favorite things about his blog is that he is very upfront about how he makes his money. His figures for April are very impressive, his blog pulled in $11,702.66 in revenue. His biggest earner was ReviewMe, at $4,500. He spent about $566 in ads, so his profit is over $11,000. I think that’s pretty good for a single blog.

Sometimes I find the large number of his ReviewMe postings a little annoying, but he always mentions the fact that a posting is a ReviewMe blog at the top of the post, so it’s pretty easy to skim past it if you want to. I also usually skim past the posting about cars (I am much more interested in motorcycles, particularly MotoGP), but overall I find most of his posting interesting to anyone who is a web publisher.

I am thinking of trying to start a similar, “review my blog and I’ll link to yours” here.

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