Thursday, June 05, 2014

Hardening Wordpress blogs to protect yourself from hackers.

You probably have noticed that there are more and more multi-site dashboards becoming available for Wordpress blogs.

I’ve been using one for about a year now and I quite like the way it works.  I got it under Beta and it has steadily been improving to the point that it is now quite useful.  Check it out here .. MainWP.

The main reason given for using these tools is to speed up the process of looking after your various sites.  Essentially you can do all of your site maintenance from on place.

Anything which helps you backup your sites and/or helps you do the required updates regularly is a good idea and helps protect you from hack attack.

This is what the WP Maintenance Robot does was well.  The robot does this from your desktop though so you don’t even have to login to any site nor do you need to install anything on any of your Wordpress blogs.

Just set it going and go do whatever else you need to be doing.  When it’s done you can get your reports, download the backups and your done.

Sorry, still not available right now due to the No Brute Force program development and the changes this brings to your blog.

That’s what I wanted to tell you about in this post.

The one thing that all of these, admittedly useful, dashboards miss out on is the one thing which stops most hack attacks in their tracks is to change the name of the login page.

It’s a simple thing for the hackers to point their hacking program at the wp-login.php page on your site and begin their attempts to break in.  If you are using the default admin password then you have just cut their required workload in half so I’m assuming that you have stopped that one at least.

What the free No Brute Force program does is log into your blog host, not your blog, and renames the wp-login.php page to whatever you want it to be.  You could call it Rumplestiltskin.php if you wanted, I wouldn’t recommend that one, or anything else you like.  It will also make the required adjustments to all the other pages that are required to reflect the new name for your blog to continue to work correctly.

In addition the No Brute Force program modifies the original wp-login.php page to redirect the spammer/hacker attack back on themselves.

You can do this manually yourself if you wish but it’s much easier to use the program and faster.

There is a downside to this change.  If you forget your new login page you’ll have to click on the login link on the front page, if it exists.  Otherwise you might have to have a look on your hosts file list.  Typing in http://myblog.com/wp-admin/ will also redirect to your new login page.

Unfortunately every time your Wordpress site is upgraded the wp-login.php is also upgraded and this removes your protection.  It’s a simple matter to run the program again and restore your protection but you will need to do this for each upgrade, even the automatic ones.

This is the functionality that I am writing into the Wp Maintenance Robot, this will need to have a monitoring script added to make sure that your protections are maintained.

There is one other thing you must install on your blog, the Wordfence plugin is the best additional security you can add to your blog.  Have a look at this video to find out how to set it up.


 

Pretty easy isn't it?  Do it, this is your blog's protection we are talking about here which is all your hard work.  Don't let some scumbag steal your traffic or content.

Here is some background information for you.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

How Long Do Cheques Last?

BB024

I deliberately wrote cheque in the English, Australian and New Zealand way because this post is for for them and those who get royalty or affiliate cheques from US based companies drawn on US based banks.

Recently I deposited an Amazon cheque at my local branch of a well known bank.  I had kept this particular cheque on the refrigerator for nearly 6 months because I wanted to show it to several friends.  Not because it was a big one, it was about $120 USD, but because I have been trying to encourage them to write for the Kindle platform and I wanted to show them proof that there was some money available.

Here in Australia a cheque is usually good for about 13 months before it becomes ‘stale’ and then it becomes a bank’s discretion as to whether they accept it or not.  Usually not.

In the USA it’s 6 months.  Now I had checked on this and knew the limit so I took the cheque into my local branch with 28 days to go.

A week later it arrived back in my mail box.

The hand-written note with the cheque said that it wouldn’t get to the USA in time to be cleared.  What?  28 days is not enough time?

Anyway I emailed Amazon and told them my story and asked them to re-issue the cheque.  Seriously the best customer service I have had from a large American Internet company in years.

I had an email back within days with an agreement to re-issue the cheque.  In about a week I had the new cheque in my mail.

I also had another cheques from Amazon so today I took them both to the bank.

After depositing the cheques I asked about the one that was knocked back and the answer is that it takes a month to go through the International Clearing house, the slow mail to the USA, their clearing house and finally the USA bank.

The message is clear, bank the cheque as soon as you get it.  At the very latest get it into the hands of your bank within 5 months of getting it.

If you want to show it off, take a photocopy.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

What is the Difference Between Click Bait and Linkbait?

I trust that you are in the wiser category.
I was asked this question privately after my last post, see here, and decided that a quick response was appropriate.

This is my definition, you may not agree with me leave a comment if that's the case, linkbait is only to get other people to link to your site.  Click bait on the other hand does that but also encourages people to click through to find out more.

In my mind the difference is one is just for SEO purposes but the other also carries a benefit to the viewer.

I watched an interesting video recently about linkbaiting.  The author of the video said that he found that linkbaiting didn't work consistently for his blog posts and he felt that ultimately he was doing damage to his brand.

He was using deliberately provocative headlines such as "Find out which three things you must do to get traffic."

I agree that this type of linkbaiting starts to smell of hype fairly quickly and your credibility goes out the window nearly as fast.  It may be a mistake on my part but I generally don't even try to write blog posts with SEO in mind so the titles are meant to let you know what the post is about.

Hypy headlines and titles are out.  Good content and information is in.  The next trick is to use good images in the posts that are the click bait.

Google also indexes the images on your posts and they link back to you so don't neglect the image.

I hope this helps calrify this for you.  Comment?

Sunday, May 04, 2014

How to Create Click Bait.

Making click bait is what Google wants you to do.  The very clear instruction is to create compelling content for people which they can link to or share either on their web sites or on social media.  There are lots of ways to do this but the fastest is to use the most popular shareable items on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc.

What is the most shared item?  Images with pithy quotes, cute images, images of kittens, puppies, ducklings or any baby animal really or videos of these same things.  Is there a pattern coming through here?

What I will show you is how to use free resources to create a click bait image which you can post on your website, share on Facebook, pin etc.  As part of the tutorial I’ll also use free resources ad show you how to make multiple versions of the output which you can also share.

I started on Google Drive and made a presentation slideshow which I saved as a pptx and as a pdf.  In the process of making the slideshow I also made a video of me making a click bait image with a quote.  I posted the pptx to AuthorStream.com


and slideshare.com.

This is from slideshare.

I also saved the slideshow as a pdf.
Then I used Camtasia to create a video for YouTube because I have run out of credits for AuthorStream.  The video is here.

But the subject of all of this is the click bait image so here it is

Mothersday 2014
































What I will do with this is post it to Facebook and Pinterest and then link to both.

My links are really just the kickstart for the traffic but the real traffic comes from the sharing.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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How To Make Money Writing Articles.

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How to make money writing articles online.

If you feel like this poor lady and are searching for a way to make some additional money by using the Internet you might be interested in writing articles.

Even in a busy mothers life there is room to write a short article or two. All you need to do is find about an hour on a semi-regular basis and you could be making a little additional money in a matter of weeks.

If you are thinking, ‘I don’t have the time', 'I don’t know what to write about', 'I haven’t written anything since college’ or similar thoughts then please stay with this while I show you how you can write for pay.

Most of us are time poor these days, we seem to need at least 27 hours in every day and we still don’t get everything done we want to get done.  As far as I can determine in my own life it’s simply because I don’t say No often enough.

I agree to do this, that and the other thing when I don’t have the time to do the things I want to do particularly the things which will impact my income.  I found I had a lot more time to use the way I want to use it when got in the habit of not agreeing with avery request.  The best way to do this is not to say No but to say ‘Can I get back to you on that?'

Now you’re taking control of your time without being firm, what some people would call rude.  By not agreeing immediately most of these requests will be redirected to someone else or forgotten completely.

What to write about?  

Do you have a hobby?  If so there’s a good place to start otherwise you can write about how you budget, the recipe your kids like the best, where to get the best coupons, how to pick a good piece of fruit or steak, what you chose the BBQ you did, why you chose the toys you bought the kids for Christmas.  Everything you do can become an article and people will read them because they are just like you and want to know how to do these things.

Everyone knows more about one or more subjects than a whole lot of other people, you write for them not those who know more than you, you read them for ideas.

Looking for more ideas?  Go to Amazon and look at the kindle books available, look at the best sellers.  Try the local book stores, look at the articles in the magazines at the checkout.  Ideas are everywhere.  You cannot get your article in front of everyone and nor can anyone else so there is a very good chance that the person reading your article hasn’t read the one that inspired you to write it.

In any case, your article will give a different perspective on the subject which may appeal to the reader better even if they have read the one which inspired you.  Do not copy other peoples articles, that won’t help you at all but you cannot copyright ideas so you can copy other writers ideas, just not their writing.

Haven’t written for a while?  

Yep, we’ve all been there as well.  The skills are still in place though, it’s a bit like riding a bicycle or skating, once you learn you never really lose the skills so it doesn’t take long to get back into it.

We are not talking about writing an essay that will be marked by some academic either, you’re writing to your sister, your aunt, your mother, your brother, your uncle or your father.  The spelling should be right and the grammar should be close enough but none of it has to be perfect, this is a conversation where you share something you think they might be interested in.

Just like this article ;-).

Where do you put your article to make money with it?

That actually sort of depends what you want to do.  Many people want to create some sort of Internet presence so they set up a blog to post all their articles on.  That’s what this is on.  This is a free blogging platform that Google owns, all you have to do is sign up and start writing and posting your articles.

You could go to one of many free sites across the Internet and do essentially the same thing.  I would suggest you start here at http://blogger.com because it’s very easy to get started.  You can always change later if you want.  If you already have a website, free or paid, then use that but just get going.  Make money from these sites by adding affiliate links to sites which will pay you for sending them customers.  I’ll talk about this in another post soon.

You can also make money by selling your articles on a whole bunch of different websites, check out this list of 101 sites to see the different ways you can do this.

If you put your articles on a site called Squidoo.com you can add links onto your page (called a lens in Squidoo talk) very easily and they’ll give you all the revenue.  Another site which does the same is Hubpages.com.  Both of these are free to join and use.

In summary:-

Can you find the time to write?  Yes you can.

Can you find subjects to write about?  Yes you can.

Can you write?  Yes you can.

Can you make money writing articles online?  Yes you can.

Give a go, you might just find that you love it and you do make sufficient additional money to make your life a whole lot easier.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

New Post To Test A Desktop Blogging Tool.

Lets start with what a desktop blogging tool is.

Let sleeping cats lie.

This is a tool which you install on your computer so that you can write your blog posts without actually opening a browser.

Why would you want to do this?  There are many people who are accustomed to writing in some type of word processing software and are therefore more comfortable with using a program on their desktop than writing in the web browser.  I don’t actually care too much about this aspect of a desktop tool, I’m much more interested in the other side of these tools.

The other reason to use one of these is because you can have access to all your blogs through the same interface.  One tool to blog them all.

This means to me that I can write a post here on my Blogger blog, write another post for a WordPress blog and cross reference them right here on the desktop without having to flick backwards and forwards in my browser.

I can add images, format text and all those other things which you would expect to be able to do in a document.

I have had a play with about 6 or 7 today and none of them could connect with Blogger, despite all claiming to be able to.  This is MarsEdit, it’s a paid program and I am using the free trial for this post.  After all, connecting with Blogger is one thing, posting with a picture is possibly quite a different thing.

If this works I’ll probably pay them the money and use it extensively.

If you are reading this post on the Marketing Truths blog then it worked, I will not be posting this any other way.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

How to use a PDF to Generate Traffic to Your Website

One of the biggest issues most Internet Marketers face is generating traffic to their website.

Most of them will also tell you that they need to generate the right sort of traffic, and they do.  Mostly they want traffic which will interact with their site.

Surprisingly this isn't always buyers.  Adsense sites don't really need buyers, they want volumes of clickers so those who are researching a subject are the right ones because they will click on an interesting ad.  Buyers probably won't unless the ad specifically targets what they want to buy and that is a pretty poor trade for the webmaster.

Would you happily trade a $0.06 click for a $1.20 click or a $27 click?  What about the other way around?

But you all know about that so what I am going to show you is how you can create a pdf to use to bring traffic to your site.  Google can and does find links in pdfs and counts them towards your ranking.  People also find your pdfs and follow the links if you craft them properly.

Why would you want to create a pdf for links?  You can put the links you want in them with the anchor text you want, there is no real limit to the number of links you can put in but you will need to temper your enthusiasm with some sense.

The best way to put links in is to put them in the text, in the header and in the footer.  You can put a copyright notice in the footer of every page which contains a url link to your site.

The header link will also be on every page so you can link using something like your site description or the description of what this pdf is about and link the whole header.

The in content links are the best of all.  They are surrounded by relevant LSI content and have relevant anchor text.  These can also link to different pages on your website because the other links go to your home page and/or the tag or subsection of your site.

All of these links are do follow because you put them there.  They should also be set to open in a new page, just in case someone is reading your pdf in their browser.

Ready to make your first pdf for traffic?

What keywords do you want to target?  Lets use this post for our example.  The type of traffic I'm looking for are those who want more traffic, obviously, so I went to have a look at what keywords they might use.  This is not a tutorial about choosing keywords so I won't go into why I chose the title I did but suffice to say this is a longtail keyword which can and will rank for a whole lot of low competition and good traffic keywords.

The title for my pdf is "how do i get more free traffic my website?".  So that's settled.

Now to get the content.  You can use any relevant plr content you have but I would suggest that you clean it up because this is mainly for the readers, the Google rankings are an added bonus.  You can use any mmr content you have, grab articles from article directories or any other source you can think of.  You could use websites but you cannot use someone else's website without their permission.  If you do then Google will penalise you as they should.

Did you know that wikipedia doesn't just allow you to use their content, the actually encourage it and make it easy to do?

If you visit Wikipedia, search for the content you want and then click in the left column the link Print/Export then click on Create a Book.  Go to the pages you want, click on the add pages button and then click on show book.  Add your title, sub title, chapters etc then download in the format you want.  At this stage I use ODF not pdf because I want to edit this.  Leave in all the links they have included as proof that this is not just for SEO purposes ;-) but do emebed your links into the body text where it's appropriate.

Collect and collate your content, rewrite what you need to and put it into a single folder.  Open it all in Open Office, your preferred wordprocessing package or some WYSIWYG package.  Yep you can make a web page from all this.

Plug your links in where you want them and link to the relevant page, juggle the pages to make them read sequentially, Put your title in the header, link to your site url, Add your copyright to the footer and link to your site home page.

Happy with the result?  OK, save it and then print it - as a PDF.  Don't set any security settings, you want Google to be able to read it.

If you have a Mac this is built in, if you have a Windows based machine it may be built in or you may need to install something like CutePDF or search here for one you like.  In Linux there are multiple ways to do the same thing, look in your repository.

If some of your content is already in pdf format that's fine, open it and print it in pdf format, then print your other content in pdf format without saving the other file.  What this does is put all the documents into a single pdf file.  You can move the pages around, add pages, remove pages until you are happy with the end result.

Save your pdf.  Now we need to submit it to places where it can be found.

Here's a list:
Issuu
http://issuu.com/                                                                                
PR 9

Scribd
http://www.scribd.com/
PR 8

Slideshare
http://www.slideshare.net/
PR 8

DocStoc
http://www.docstoc.com/
PR 8

Calameo
http://www.calameo.com/
PR 8

Watt Pad
http://www.wattpad.com/
PR 6

Memo Ware
http://memoware.com/
PR 6

Edocr
http://www.edocr.com/
PR 5

There are others but these should keep you busy for a while.




Saturday, April 26, 2014

How To Unlock a PDF File for FREE.

I have seen a lot of comments and searches by people who need to unlock a locked PDF.

There are also a lot of paid products scattered across the Internet which claim to be able to unlock your PDFs for you, they all fail to do the one thing they seem to promise.

All of them are able to unlock the permissions to be able print or alter the PDFs but not to unlock the actual file if it is password protected for access.

When you try to unlock a PDF which is password protected for access using one of these tools they all ask you for the password.

I don't know how to get around this problem except for one simple way which works 100% of the time.

You still need to have the password but only the first time you open the file.

Here are the simple steps:-

  1. Open the PDF using the password.
  2. Print the PDF as a PDF using a tool like PDF Factory or similar, Mac users have this built in the print function.
  3. In the settings save the PDF without any security.
  4. Now you have a copy of the original file which is unprotected.
Too hard?  I didn't think so.

Bottom line here, if you have the password you don't need the tools, if you don't have the password the tools can't help you.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A New Hope - Repurposing an old blog.

Gee I hope that George Lucas doesn't get too annoyed with with me pinching one of the Star Wars titles.


After ignoring this poor old blog for a long time while I fluffed around the Internet doing all sorts of things I have decided to change it's reason for being.

This was originally started as my personal chronicle of what worked and didn't work with my Internet Marketing efforts.

Not much worked so there was not much to put here.

What I have found though is that I'm very good at finding new and interesting sites to explore, new ways of doing things.  I am able to condense lots of comments and filter out what you and I need to know to keep things on track with out site building and traffic management.

So, this blog will still be about Internet Marketing - sort of - but will become a bit more focussed on what the trends that make sense are and how to take advantage of them.

As always most of the tools I will recommend will be free but some will be paid options.  I'm putting you on notice right now that if I find a paid option which makes sense I will also try to find an affiliate link for it.

I trust that you are smart enough to understand that if you can buy something that will help you and you found out about it here then it is only fair that I get a 'spotters fee' for the recommendation.

This will not become a typical BS type site which only recommends stuff for sale as a lot of the commercial products are not much better than the free products and generally over priced.

I like and use as many free tools as I can find, I don't see why you should be denied the same opportunities.

This will also not become a freebie download site that is dripping with catches and tricks to suck you in.  In fact I'll share with you what those sites do including how they wrap the product you want with their own rubbish which installs toolbars and other malware on your computer.

If you like what you find here then please bookmark the site and come back regularly, I'll try to post something at least weekly.

To get you started I have a freebie for you.  This is a tool I wrote for my own use and works absolutely superbly.  If you have a Wordpress site you need to use this.

https://www.facebook.com/NoBruteForce

What it does is change your wp-login.php page to a redirect page and creates a new login page for you with all the right code so that it works just like your normal WordPress login page should.

Why do you need this?  The brute force attacks which have been going on for a year now can only attack the main login page.  If it doesn't exist then you cannot be hacked on autopilot.

Works for Mac and Windows, free download, free to use, no limits.

Feel free to share the link with your friends, be nice, don't just steal it and pass it round.

Leave a comment if you would like me to review certain products that you like or just to say g'day.




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