The Affiliate Theme – A Review Without Affiliate Links

May 19th, 2009 4 Comments

I’ve been very deliberate to leave this review until all the fuss over the Affiliate Theme from Unique Blog Designs died down. As the blog designers for some of the biggest names in blogging its common sense that a new product like this would be associated with a huge amount of hype, it’s only natural and I bet any of us in UBD’s position would be calling in some favours too? It’s also common sense that many of the big make money bloggers are going to promote this as it comes with a fantastic affiliate program (30%). Personally, I bought the theme (with my own cash) and have used it a fair amount so think I can give an honest and balanced view of what it does and doesn’t give you for your money. If you’re looking for the short version then here it is – it’s good but in my opinion over priced for what it does. For the full version read on:-

My Plug-In For Improving Search Traffic

April 17th, 2009 6 Comments

It’s now been 2 months since I wrote my first ever WordPress plug-in and I’m finally ready to reveal some results. The reason I’ve waited so long was that I wanted to make sure that any changes that I was seeing were long term and not just day to day fluctuations in search traffic. If you look below you can see a week-by-week traffic chart of the organic search traffic that Google has been sending me since I first implemented the plug-in (including the current part week):-

How To Fix The WordPress “Schedule Missed” Problem

March 25th, 2009 0 Comments

I’ve been having a major problem with scheduled posts for a week now, it just wasn’t working. I could watch posts count down to their scheduled time to go live but then they would just state “Schedule Missed”. Bummer. I was having to go in and do a quick edit, set as published to get anything that had been scheduled live. After some time playing with WordPress and it’s cron I finally got my scheduled posts up and running again, thought this might be of some use to anybody else having WordPress Schedule Missed problems.

New Template, Is A Change Really As Good As A Rest?

February 5th, 2008 0 Comments

Well that’s what they say, so I’ve decided to have a bit of a change, out has gone the old orange template and in has come a new blue one. Besides giving me 1 or 2 more options for advertisements the new theme has a lot more ways of finding my older (and frankly more interesting) content. I guess the old theme did look a bit flat, hopefully this one will prove much easier to use.

I don’t know why but I always seem to end up reverting to blue, I’d guess about 90% of my personal websites have blue as the dominant colour, it’s possibly because I read somewhere that it is the best colour for selling. Then again there is a good chance I just imagined it. Seeing as how my blog earnings have been stuck at around $200 a month for the last 4 months now it will be nice to see if this change has any affect. As with everything I do online I’ll be sure to let you all know.

If you like the look of the new template you can get your own copy for the bargain price of $45 (that’s only £22.50 to us Brits). Just get your Paypal details ready and go over to xHTML Coding.

Combining Pligg, WordPress And BANS

January 31st, 2008 5 Comments

The Benefits Of Content Management Systems
Three of the easiest (read laziest) ways of creating a website that can earn you money. Essentially Pligg (A Digg Clone), WordPress (The number 1 blogging platform) and BANS (Build A Niche Store, an e-bay store generator) are all based around the same idea, combining PHP and a mySQL database to make creating content as easy as possible. Off the 3 BANS is the least hands on, in 30 minutes you can have a nice looking store front loaded with eBay goodies, Pligg requires some updating (sourcing new stories helps to encourage other people to contribute) whilst WordPress is all about your own content. What the three of them have in common as well is that they are capable of being made very much search friendly, it’s entirely possible to attract good amounts of search traffic with these content management systems if configured correctly.

So I was wondering what would happen if you combined all three on one website? This is my plan, I’m going to create a social shopping website that features a Pligg style front end. I’m going to load this up with more unusual items, the sort of items that you don’t search for everyday but are easy to rank for (WebCEO helps with this). Behind this I’m going to use BANS to build an eBay store front but only for eBay bargains, anything under $5 will do. The final element will be a WordPress blog to serve one purpose only, discount vouchers. I have a couple of sources for discount vouchers for big name stores and I’ll be using WordPress to put them out there. Eventually I’ll automate this process so that the blog can largely update itself. What I’ll end up with is a website that has unusual items, a bargain basement and a source of discounts for the big boys.

The Goal
What I’m hoping to achieve here is a website that will eventually update itself yet provide an income via the various affiliate deals (eBay and Amazon for example) being used. I think by offering Pligg and WordPress it gives visitors twice the opportunity to pass comment which will hopefully result in a more dynamic website. In terms of original content the Pligg front end will be entirely original posts and I’ll be taking time out each week to publish something meaningful to the WordPress side as well. Other than that I’ll be relying on comments and contributions, a vital key in this is getting a decent page rank to reward top commentators/contributors with.

I wouldn’t like to try and convince anybody that online shopping is an easy niche to get a piece of the pie in so I’m going to set very modest goals for this experiment. I’m giving myself half a day for initial setup and no more than 1 hour a week for updates. The first target as to get that first affiliate sale!

Easier Maintenance, Better SERPS Results, More Money

December 6th, 2007 6 Comments

This one started about a month ago, I seem to be spending more and more time on my websites that produce the least. One good example of this is a ballroom dancing website I started nearly 2 years ago for my daughter. She was never interested in doing anything with it and it has sat there getting 1 or 2 updates a month for the last year. It makes enough money to more than cover hosting and the domain registration but not enough to justify the time I spend updating it. This was one of my original hand built websites written using nothing more than notepad and any new pages have to be manually linked to, menus and sitemaps updated etc etc. The thing is my wife is a crazy mental Ballroom Dancing freak and loves everything about it. In fact she is always commenting on forums so I decided why not give her own website? Unfortunately she is a technophobe so I’d need some sort of CMS so that she could create new content. After trying Joomla and Drupal I settled on a WordPress install (ease of use being the main criteria), I’m very glad I did!

So I set about moving my lovely ASP.net based hand coded website over to a free WordPress theme that I had found. I was prepared in the short term to kiss goodbye to all my good rankings and any money it made, this was about giving my wife an outlet for her dancing rants. I moved all the existent content over into new pages and posts (depending on the content) and my wife started posting about her favourite dancing programmes. I kept an eye on the site daily (waiting for my figures to disappear), here is the unique visitors chart from Google Analytics showing what happened (Our visits are filtered out):-

increase in traffic

Unbelievable. In the space of 2 days the new website was performing 3 times better than the old one, natural search traffic had gone through the roof. Even better my Adsense earnings from that single website had increased by the same percentage. What all this comes down to is this, WordPress besides being an excellent blogging platform is a very search friendly CMS. To not waste my own time I put as little effort as possible into this change over but it has given me a blue-print for the future. WordPress takes your content and with a little help can create multiple search friendly copies that can really suck in those long tail keywords. This is where all my new traffic has come from. In fact I’m going to be moving one of my primary business websites over before the end of the month. I f I see the same results again I’ll be moving all my static websites.

The Changes I Made To Make WordPress As SEO Friendly As I Could

Once I had my WordPress install sorted and my template in place I did change a few things:-

1. Permalinks, I changed the permalink structure to /%postname%/
2. Add the All In One Seo Pack, Feedburner, Google Sitemaps and Related Posts plugins.
3. Add the following to the htaccess file so that only 1 copy (with and without www) of each page is linked to:-

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^(.*)\.yourwebsitehere\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yourwebsitehere.com/$1 [R=301,L]

4. Alter the robots.txt to the following to remove much of the duplicate content

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /go/
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-includes/
Disallow: /author/
Disallow: */page/*
Disallow: /wp-images/
Disallow: /images/
Disallow: /backup/
Disallow: /banners/
Disallow: /archives/
Disallow: */trackback/
Disallow: */feed/
Disallow: /*?*

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
Allow: /

5. To only post to 1 category. The same content appearing in multiple categories is one of the biggest duplicate content issues with WordPress.

So that was it, those were the 5 steps I took. To be honest the only one that took any real time was installing and configuring the plugins. Even so I reckon from start to finish I could have a great performing WordPress website up and running within an hour. The only extra thing is that when it comes to making money I found that altering your Main Index Template to include a large Adsense block in the page not found area really helped. The results seem to speak for themselves, if I can repeat this success with another website then that would be proof enough for me to spend some serious time next year moving all my websites over.

If you’ve got some old content hanging around why not give it a go and let me know how you get on?

(Several people have asked in the past why I don’t link to my websites. Put simply it’s because far too many people steal/rip my original content from The Make Money Online Dot Net for me to risk sites that actually make me money).

PR + Top Commentators = More Comments

October 6th, 2007 5 Comments

Ever since I announced that the Make Money Online was showing a predicted page rank of 5 the number of comments here increased significantly. This is great, I never ever imagined that I’d have such an active little blog this early into my blogging career. Some of these commentators really make this a great place to visit, Michelle, SEO Optimization and a few of you other guys add to posts with your comments and it’s really appreciated.

However on the other side of things ever since the PR5 announcement there has also been a large increase in what I like to call shit comments. They’re not strictly spam, they’re just a crap few words from somebody who hasn’t even bothered to read the post! I suppose I should be grateful as they make this blog look even more popular but I’m just beginning to get a little annoyed with it. I’m not asking much, just that you read the post you’re commenting on before posting a comment. I think that from now on I’m going to start deleting shit comments, it’s just not fair on those genuine people who take the time to read what is posted here.

Does The Number of Home Page Posts Matter? YES!

September 9th, 2007 7 Comments

Ever since I increased the number of posts on my home page to 14 I’ve been keeping a careful eye on the amount of search traffic brought here by Google. When I first set it down to 7 it stood out that within 2 or 3 days that all search traffic has gone. To be fair I don’t think that it is so much the amount of posts on your home page but rather the length of time that each post appears there that matters. For a blog like mine that I try and update every day then 14 posts (or 2 weeks) seems to have helped get that search traffic back. Of course there may have been other influences as well but the way in which I can coincide the search traffic going and coming back is way to strong to ignore.

Want to see what the difference has been, then here’s the graph from Google analytics showing Google search traffic:-

Wordpress home page search engines

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