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Make Money Online My Personal Reviews WordPress How To

WordPress: Display Ads in Post Content and Only Display Ads in Old Posts

The title pretty much says it all. It’s 2 of the most useful AdSense ads tips for bloggers in my opinion. Obtrusive ads have the unnecessary effect of driving away readers after they have found what they needed. Unless you have amazingly great content, the chance of them becoming a loyal reader is rather low when you have ads splashing into their faces – this is not something you want to do to your subscribed readers. On the other hand, you’d want to maximize your AdSense earnings by putting up ads on as many posts as possible.

Ad Injection (WP plugin)

This tiny little plugin, Ad Injection, gets it all. Very useful plugin for you to insert AdSense ads in your blog posts AND set a specific age threshold for the posts to display ads, so freshly published articles won’t have ads to drive your subscribers away. See detailed introduction here: Ad Injection for WordPress.

Just install it from the inventory (upload or install from within your WP administrator panel) and activate it. Go to Settings > Ad Injection > “Random ad (inserted randomly between paragraphs)” and insert your AdSense code there. Depending on how aggressive you are, you can use a variety of ad formats from Google. I used a 468×15 links banner on Health Not. Check out the screenshot below:

insert ads in wordpress posts

By default, Ad Injection inserts a maximum of 2 instances of the Random ad per post. This way, the ads are well blended in the content. What works a few years back with the 336 square ad format on top of the content is gradually dying out in CTR thus click revenues. You should try something new such as this.

Another useful option of the plugin is to set “Only show normal ads on pages older than xx (days) – only for single posts and pages”. This would prove very useful if you want a good balance between ad performance / earnings and user experiences. Only displaying ads on older posts are a pretty good idea for creating a good first impression to those who stumble upon your site.

Categories
Domains Hosting Tips & Deals

Add Wildcard DNS Subdomain *.example.com in cPanel

Lots of people ask this question and most of them probably made the matter complicated by editing the DNS Zone from WHM in the DNS Functions. But they actually should just do it in cPanel which is A LOT easier.

Just log in your cPanel which manages the domain that you want to add support for wildcard (*) subdomains. Go to:

Domains > Subdomains

And enter asterisk * in the Subdomain and choose the domain you need it added to.

Click “Create”.

adding subdomain wildcard in cpanel

That’s it. Now you can access your domain from any random subdomain and it will automatically use the A record of the main domain as their own.

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Business and Marketing Google Hacks, Cheats & Tips Make Money Online

Aweber, Mailchimp Alternative – Free Email Autoresponder Subscription

google feedburner - free email subscription serviceI’ve been with Aweber for nearly 2 years and they are good. But I eventually decided that newsletter is not my type of thing – there are people who are making big bucks by building and maintaining a high profile email list, but I’m just not one of them. So I left Aweber and switched all my subscription forms to Feedburner email subscription.

It’s actually pretty good. On top of everything, it’s free and A LOT easier to set up. It’s got anti-spam captcha which Aweber lacks – I contacted Aweber support approximately 1 year ago about this feature and up until now, they still haven’t deployed it. The problem with a popular blog is that there are many spam bots waiting to fill every form on the pages. As a result, my list was filled with fake non-human emails which bloated my number of subscribers, thus monthly fees.

It sucks, though Aweber excels in many other regards such as demographic statistics and CTR, etc. If you’ve got a blog and just want to deliver your fresh posts to the inbox of your readers, namely blog subscription, Feedburner is perfect for you. If you want a little more as what an autoresponder does, Feedburner can somewhat help you in this as well, albeit limited in functionality.

Use Feedburner for Email Subscription

Just sign in your Google account and navigate to http://feedburner.google.com and you can start creating your feed right away. In addition to adding a Feedburner custom feed address to your blog, you can also get a email subscription form by “Type your blog or feed address here” and then click “Next”.

It’s all guided and easy to finish. After you have done, go to “Publicize” –> “Email Subscriptions” and click “Activate”, you would then be presented by a HTML code block which is the your blog subscription form that you should put at a prominent place on your blog. Readers can then enter their email addresses to sign up with your newsletter (not newsletter actually, but blog posts notifications). Recommended places to install the email subscription form include: 1) end of the post, 2) top of sidebar, etc.

Use Feedburner as Autoresponder

After you have created your feed at Feedburner, click the feed, and go to “Publicize” –> “Email Subscriptions” –> “Communication Preferences” and there’s a “Confirmation Email Body” that you are free to edit to include any messages or links you would like to show to the subscriber (yet-to-be), such as a thank-you line and the download URL of a ebook you’ve created. After you have made the changes, click “Save” to save them.

Now if anyone subscribes through the Feedburner email subscription form on your blog or website, he or she’d first receive a confirmation message from Feedburner containing things you added just now. It’s exactly like an autoresponder, and it’s free.

Categories
eCommerce & Shopping Online Magento Tips My Personal Reviews PayPal & Ecommerce

Premium Magento Theme – Avalanche (Review)

Avalanche 15% Off Promo: Click here to get 15% discount off, then enter code KAVOIR in the box to claim the 15% discount off the Avalanche theme.

avalanche - premium magento themeAfter digging into Magento for a few months and trying to start my own tangible business (I only deal with digital goods as of now), I failed in finding the perfect theme for my store. What I had in mind was a Magento theme much like Thesis for WordPress, the sort of theme that’s simplistic yet powerful, finely crafted and omnipotent (not just for a specific niche). Seemed most of the themes I could find were a bit too frivolous for me, until I found Jake and his Avalanche, premium Magento theme.

Jake was one of a few Magento experts who are true masters of the eCommerce platform. I first discovered Avalanche with awe and thought, that was it – that was exactly what I wanted. With a few improvements it’d be the perfect theme for my store. I contacted Jake immediately with some of my ideas and he got back to me and greatly appreciated my feedback. He adopted and implemented my suggestions the next day. Those were some great ideas such as a mega / exploded menu option for the top navigation. It used to be 3 options, now there are 4 – it’s all yours to choose from in the Avalanche configuration panel.

I bought the Developer License for $399 that night. It was a remarkable experience. We exchanged quite some emails about how to make the theme better. Not every vendor takes customer suggestions so seriously, let alone a customer-yet-to-be; and it’s not every day you find a developer who so vigorously and wholeheartedly keeps refining his product.

The installation was a breeze. Had some minor problems as I was not quite experienced with Magento yet and emailed Jake for help and he got back to me within 1 hour. Every time. That’s the kind of support lacking in the official Magento Go team.

The Avalanche theme has lots of backend options that you can tweak to customize the look and general texts of your store. Cloud Zoom in place. Breadcrumbs are enhanced. Colors, typography, banners, featured products, AJAX quick views, cutting edge CSS3 features and many more.

As of now, I’m very much impressed in all regards, though I’d say it’s more of a theme for digital niches such as technology and electric products. The black and white theme may not suit every customer base (may not yield the best conversion rates in some niches). You need to tweak them a bit, unless Jake can come up with an overall color themes switcher in future updates. For now, we are stuck with color switchers just for borders, links, and action buttons – they are actually pretty nice with gradients, you should try it!

There could be more improvements and I’m sure Jake’s already started working on the next version. By far, I think he’s making the best premium Magento themes.

My 4.9/5 for Avalanche Magento theme.

Avalanche 15% Off Promo: Click here to get 15% discount off, then enter code KAVOIR in the box to claim the 15% discount off the Avalanche theme.

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Domains

.com Renewal Promo Code – VeriSign .com Registry Fee Increases by $0.5

verisignA quick notification for my readers. As VeriSign is increasing the registry fee of .com by about $0.5 by Jan. 15, 2012, you may want to renew all of your existing .com domains by then. The name registration fee is on a rise ever since the dawn, depending on your personal finance, renewing earlier is probably better that later.

dynadotIt’s about to be Christmas so do search for “*registrar* renewal promo code”, coupons, etc. for your registrar when you are renewing your names. Dynadot was kind enough to offer a renewal promo code “HOLIDAYRENEWAL” for $0.25 discount off one year renewal of any .com name. It’s the best chance to renew all your names before the prices increase at the beginning of next year (2012).

Currently the best promo code I can find for Godaddy is “cjc795dom” which is $7.95 for .com renewal. Do share in the comments if you have a better find.

Use this code for $7.49 / year .COM renewal: Zine10

Categories
.htaccess Tutorials & Tips Apache Web Server Tutorials & Tips Content / SEO Tips & Tutorials Web Applications & Online Software

<IfModule></IfModule> in .htaccess

I was debugging about some mod_rewrite errors caused by the .htaccess file on one of my sites and couldn’t solve the problem myself so I opted for a help thread on the SitePoint.com forum. Turned out it’s not the problem of my mod_rewrite rules in .htaccess but some incorrect file permissions that were causing the trouble.

Dklynn was very nice to help me in this regard and offered a gold advice that I thought I should share with you.

You Should NOT Use <IfModule></IfModule>. Why?

He pointed out that I should get rid of the <IfModule> conditional from the .htaccess file. It’s useless and a complete waste of server resources by all means. No excuses.

Considering the fact that all HTTP requests (including those to trivial assets such as .css, .js, .gif, .jpg, etc., thus each web page download would trigger about 10 or even more HTTP requests) to the Apache web server are handled by the rules in your .htaccess file, I think I should get rid of all such <IfModule> conditionals from all .htaccess files on all my sites, or the server would be doing useless check of “If Module xxx Is Enabled” every time a HTTP request is received…..

With a site receiving 1000 page visits per day, your server would have to do 10,000 such useless checks at the cost server resources and performance.

Many famous 3rd party scripts such as WordPress has <IfModule></IfModule> in the .htaccess file by default. This is to prevent potential errors should the module was not installed on the client’s production site / server. You should try and remove it. If the mod_rewrite and SEO friendly URLs are working, you can remove it without any problems.

This is pure gold advice offered by Dklynn. Check out his site about Apache mod_rewrite.

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Business and Marketing Infographics Make Money Online

Turn Your Blog or Business Into A Marketing Machine

These days it seems everything is automated. Some marketers even try to automate the two way conversation of the so called social media revolution, but there’s always got to be a human sentiment and senetient being behind communications. Especially the closer our network interactions become.

However, despite the need for up-close-and-personal two way communication, there are ways in which business, your website, your SME, any brand can be funneled into the new age.

Leads are always the focus of the so called sales funnel, but your whole marketing plan needs to reflect the best combination of automated marketing tactics, along with tools that help humans interact with humans. The infographic below show some clues as to how any business might accomplish this.

Understanding Marketing Automation

HubSpot Marketing Automation Software

The graphic above courtesy HubSpot, shows a clear path for many large and small businesses to engage with better marketing balance. Putting any such plan into shoe leather, this is another story. Check back for more insight into how you can integrate all these tools and strategies, make your blog or outlet as powerful as it can be.

Categories
eCommerce & Shopping Online My Personal Reviews PayPal & Ecommerce

Shopify Review

shopify - create your own online storeWhen I was trying to find an eCommerce solution for my wedding dresses store, I tried Shopify for 30 days and then been a paid customer for 10 days before I canceled my plan (NOT in a negative manner). Have something to say about them so I come up with this brief review, which, hopefully can be helpful to those who are in search of a fine way to build online stores.

What I like about Shopify

  1. Beautiful. Anyone who has used Shopify would agree that it’s the a beautiful and graceful eCommerce solution. People behind it are working their heart out. The free themes available for you to choose from for your store are eye-candies, simplistic and highly brandable. They SHOULD make more of them, though. Currently there are only about 10 free themes. If you want more, you’d have to pay. Commercial themes at their theme store cost about $100 – $300.
  2. Proactive and personal support. I got emails offering to help from their support team every once a few days ever since my trial sign-up. Friendly, helpful and very personal. Of all the companies that I dealt with, Shopify is the only one that proactively asked me if I needed any help, REGULARLY. WiredTree comes second by asking for my feedback every 3 months. Magento Go comes last by offering unparalleled ridiculous support.
  3. Very easy to use. It only took me a few minutes to set up the whole store with an attractive look and add the first product. The control panel was intuitive and texts (tab names, section titles, field names, etc.) were straightforward. I didn’t have to think to do something. It’s simply there when you need it.
  4. Unlimited bandwidth. I specifically asked about this offer in one of the emails I exchanged with Chris, my client representative at Shopify, and he assured me that this was as TRUE as it’s promised. I never had the chance to have an online store that got hit by 100,000 unique IPs per day so I don’t know. But I sure like it. Who wouldn’t.
  5. Premium yet affordable. While it may seem that a month-to-month SaaS eCommerce solution would cost more than buying a permanent license that could be hosted on your own server, it may not seem so when you scale up. When you hit the mark of 20,000 unique IPs per day and got over 20,000 products in your store, Shopify’s offer of $179 / month for unlimited bandwidth, storage and SKUs is simply irresistible. With licensed shopping cart software that’s hosted on your own server, you would worry about security and upgrade (it can be painful, believe me) which take time and money. However with Shopify, you don’t have to worry about them at all because underneath details are all taken care of. You get a store that’s silently self-evolving without your custody.
  6. They refund. This is the single most valuable thing in any business. I was charged for the first month before I realized that I would be charged after the end of the trial period (30 days). After corresponding with my support staff Chris, I was able to get my money back without a hassle.

What I don’t like about Shopify

  1. First off, they didn’t make it clear that I would be automatically signed up with paid membership and be charged for a month after my trial period ends. After talking with Chris, it seemed that the terms were in there, in fine print, and I needed to click to open the complete, tedious terms and conditions to find it. Well, I believe it would definitely be much more customer-friendly to get the text in the sign-up page in large print, like what Microsoft did with Office 365 so I know I have to cancel my trial contract to stop them from billing me when it ends.
  2. Shopify doesn’t have effective product filtering. Or they probably have it but it takes quite some work to have it up for my store. For instance, the left side “Narrow Your Choices” product filtering at Zappos Women’s Clothing. I asked Chris about this and he said they had it and could give me an example store that had it. He never did.
  3. Custom made products that are made to order are not well supported by Shopify. For example, a store that sells custom tailored wedding dresses where customers can freely select any of all the possible combinations of options: “Color”, “Size” and “Belt Color”. With 15 possible colors, 15 sizes and 15 belt colors, there would be a total of 15 x 15 x 15 = 3375 distinct combinations of product options (“Color”, “Size”, “Belt Color”) for each wedding dress. The problem with Shopify is, they treat every product as in the inventory rather than custom made, therefore I have to add all 3375 distinct combinations of product options one by one for each of the products. It’s simply an unrealistic job.

All after all, Shopify is among the top 3 most usable and beautiful online store solutions out there after I tried many of them. I would definitely recommend it to people I know and would very probably use it for some of my future ecommerce projects.

4.5/5.

Categories
Infographics Social Networking

www.facebook.com facts

Facebook world mapStop! For a minute of break, feed yourself with these very interesting infographics, numbers, statistics and facts about www.facebook.com, the zoo of people. There are also data and survey about other social networking sites such as Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace that are listed in comparison with Facebook for your curiosity.

An Average Day on Facebook – What do People Do?

  1. What do people do everyday on Facebook?
  2. What are your categories of friends?
  3. Engagement with the Facebook platform compared to that of Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace?

Average Day on Facebook

Google vs. Facebook on Privacy and Security

  1. With the launch of Google+, Google and Facebook now compete in even more areas.
  2. Comparison of Google+ and Facebook on income, unique visitors, etc.
  3. Privacy checklist and security checklist against Google and Facebook.

google vs. facebook on privacy security

Facebook vs. Twitter – Breakdown of Demographics

  1. Facebook users gender, income, age, education, location, etc.
  2. Twitter users gender, income, age, education, location, etc.

facbook vs. twitter demographics

Facebook Random Stats, Funding and Top Likes

  1. Facebook is available in 70 languages.
  2. 75% of Facebook users are outside the U.S.
  3. 250 million photos are uploaded on Facebook every single day.
  4. 2 billion posts on Facebook are liked and commented every single day.
  5. There are 800 million users actively engaging on Facebook and 50% of them log in Facebook every day.

infographic graphics facebook numbers

Facebook’s Criticisms, Missteps and Outright Failures

  1. Facebook persuaded millions of people to share stuff about themselves under the guise of privacy.
  2. It remembers everything you do and make them publicly accessible.
  3. Blah blah blah….

Facebook's criticisms, missteps and outright failures

How Many People are Obsessed with Facebook?

  1. There 500 million active users on Facebook, which means 1 in every 13 people on earth actively use Facebook.
  2. 48% of 18 to 34 year-olds check facebook right when they wake up.
  3. Blah blah blah….

How many people are obsessed with facebook?

A World without Facebook

Yeah, right….

World without facebook

Facebook Generates Business for Companies that Use It.

Businesses are found to get positive results engaging on Facebook with their own pages, by a recent survey conducted among small business owners.

Facebook survey for businesses 2011

The Demographics of Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter

A demographic breakdown of who uses the most popular social sites against the U.S. Population: Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter.

The Demographics of Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter

Categories
Business and Marketing Guest Posts Make Money Online

Reducing Bounce Rate, A Quick How and Why

It is vital to have a web presence in today’s digital world. With the large availability of high speed internet providers, it is also crucial to provide content that gets the attention of the visitor right away and makes them want to stay on the site.

Bounce rate is the amount of “single page” visits a site receives and this number must always remain low. The following list outlines ways for a site owner to reduce bounce rate and improve chances for success.

Focused Content

Site visitors will not be inclined to stick around if the content is not focused. It is better in the long run to choose a niche and write about it well rather than be more general and aim for hits. Also, the content should be based in fact and not opinion. The audience can always tell the difference and will also want to see facts backed up with evidence.

Post Presentation

The way a topic itself is presented in a post can make or break a site. The reader’s attention must be engaged from the first word or that person will not stay. Good presentation not only reduces bounce rate but also encourages the visitor to promote the site to friends or other interested parties. Word of mouth is the best advertising and it is free.

The right approach to presentation also promotes engagement through comments, subscribing to the site and sharing the link on social media. A high level of engagement can improve search engine ranking, as well, as site statistics improve with each visitor that doesn’t leave the site.

Good Navigation

Any website can be the most beautiful on the internet but if it does not have proper navigation, it will fail. Inability to find what is needed quickly is one of the top contributors to a high bounce rate. It is frustrating for both the visitor and site owner.

Let’s discuss some benefits of reducing bounce rate.

Conversions

Keeping visitors on a site can result in higher conversions for things such as sales, services, signups, downloads, etc. This can translate to greater PPC, as well. Offering digital downloads is a simple and convenient way to deliver goods, especially with most people using high speed internet providers.

Content Sharing

As discussed above, presentation is king and will encourage sharing of content. A link shared on Facebook or Twitter has the potential to go viral and lead to a huge increase in traffic. This in turn can translate into more conversion and more sharing. Proper presentation is invaluable and can only build upon itself.

Search Engine Ranking

A harsh truth about web presence is if a site isn’t well placed in the search engines, it can struggle to be noticed. Search engines can ultimately take into account a site’s bounce rate during indexing. This is why keeping the bounce rate low is so vital.

The online world is a very competitive place and this is especially true when running a website or blog. Taking some very simple steps to create an interesting presence will go a long way toward long term popularity and profitability.

Blake Sanders is a writer of news and information on high speed internet providers at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert. He also specializes in wireless internet, cell phones, and other technical news.

 

Note: Photo courtesy of Alaskan Dude via FlickR Creative Commons.