Active Ad Feeds Plugin

Update: The sale for the Active Ad Feed plugin is now live at just $10.00 for the first 48 hours.

Buy now

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This plugin takes another step towards fixing a long time problem that we all have.

That Problem Is People Stealing Your Content For Use On Their Own Blogs

Sometimes they bother to rewrite one of your blog posts, but often they don’t.

There’s a comic on The Dog House Diaries that illustrates this perfectly.

http://thedoghousediaries.com/4786

In other words, new and unique content that’s been written by you ends up on splogs (spam blogs) that get some attention by the search engines because of the clever methods in which the owners of these sites put them together.

One of the cunning ways that’s been used by spammers for a long time is the “RSS Mashup Method.” These splogs are often created with a set of tools that allow the owners to capture content from RSS feed aggregators on the subject they desire and then automatically display this RSS content on their blogs without them having to do anything.

In fact, the last thing they want to do is spend any time on their splogs whatsoever, and that’s why most of the splogs are totally automated once set up. The owners then make their money from running related ads from one of the ad networks interspersed between your content and that created by other people.

From a technical point of view it’s clever and you have to admire whoever it was that thought this up in the first place. But to the rest of us it’s (at best) annoying.

My new plugin – Active Ad Feeds – turns the tables on these splogs and allows us to hijack at least part of them and present our own ads on their sites. ;-)

It does this by allowing you to include a hidden image ad on each of your posts, and it then inserts these ads into your RSS feed. To anyone looking at your site, all they see is the new post you’ve made. But if they view the RSS feed, then they will see the hyperlinked image ads.

Aha!

So when these splog sites now use the RSS aggregators to pick up your new and unique content and show it on their sites, they’re also showing your image ads too.  ;-)

Cool eh?

Here’s another use for this plugin I thought of while discussing it with a friend.

In the past when I’ve built sites for clients, I’ve had three of them say they didn’t want to display links back to my consultancy site, with one of them saying it was because he didn’t want his competitors to know that he’d hired someone to do SEO work for him.

Now that’s an annoyance to me and I guess it would be to you too, because we rely on backlinks as one of the methods that we pick up work. In the end I eventually made the decision that part of my agreement to do work for new clients, stated that I always get a backlink from at least one page on the site.

If I’d had this plugin then, I could have built the site without a single backlink showing, but I could have (would have!) had a link back to my site through the RSS feed. The search engines would see the link in the RSS feed and it would count as a backlink to my site.

The client would be happy because no backlinks are displayed as requested, while I would be happy because I’d be getting the backlink love through the RSS feed.

I’ll have more information about this plugin for you tomorrow before the sale starts, including a short video showing exactly how it works.

-Frank Haywood

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Widget Scheduler Plugin

Update: The sale for the Widget Scheduler plugin is live at just $10.00 for a little while longer.

Buy now

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This is a new WordPress plugin that I forgot all about. Watch this short video to see exactly how it can save you time and automate work for you.

The crazy thing is I think of this as one of my must-have “control” plugins so why I’ve not released it up to now is a mystery. Somehow I forgot it.

I’m only human.  ;-)

Publish And Unpublish Your Widgets To A Schedule You Decide

The plugin is called Widget Scheduler and as you might guess from the name, what it does is it adds date and time fields to every single widget. One is to schedule the widget to appear at a particular time, and the other is to disable it. As well as the standard WordPress widgets, it also works with ANY third party plugin or themes that generate new widgets for use in the widgets admin panel.

Just like my other “control” plugins that do similar kinds of things with widgets (such as Ads Manager and Contextual Widgets which use internal rules), the Widget Scheduler plugin gives you control over widgets by time and date.

This is way more useful than you might think at first as it enables you to do clever things like schedule your clients promotions (and your own) in and out at certain times. The beauty of this is, that once it’s all set up you can forget about it.

Here’s an example.

You’re running a series of daily deals and decide to promote them by running ads in one of your sidebars using a text widget and some HTML. You set up each ad so that as one ends the next one starts, and stack them in the sidebar one above the other.

And you’re done.

All without having to be there every day to remove one ad and replace it with another.

Or how about limited time coupon codes? Or event announcements for a conference? Or a one-off video series that starts life as free but then moves to a paid course? Or paid ad spots?

I’ve done all of these on one site or another – that’s how useful this plugin is. The usage of this plugin is only limited by your imagination, and anywhere you want to display dynamic content then this can make your life easier.

The 48 hour sale begins today at 6.00pm GMT (1.00pm EST) and during this sale the plugin comes with full developer (client/flipper) rights. Afterwards it will be an optional extra.

Starting at just $10, there’s every reason to add this to your arsenal.

-Frank Haywood

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Dynamicons Plugin

Offer Closed

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Watch this short video to see how the Dynamicons plugin works, or just scroll down and read.

DEMO PAGE HERE

 

How would you like to be able to insert any of 700+ open source icons into your posts and pages? Just by doing this one simple thing will really make your pages and posts come alive.

dynamicons-01

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Better still, because these icons are web based vector graphics, how would you like to display them in a huge range of point sizes, just like a font? And not lose any quality?

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And set the colour using a colour picker?

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Pretty cool eh?

Yoy can pick up the Dynamicons plugin at a snip of just $10 for the 48 hours this sale is live. The sale includes a full developer (client/flipper) licence which will be removed when the sale is over and will then be an optional upgrade.

 

-Frank Haywood

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Free

Did you know that AWS is (almost) FREE for your first year of usage?

Yeah I was amazed too.

I’ve had a couple of interesting conversations recently about AWS and it seems that people are a little bit lost with it. I won’t sugar coat it, AWS was designed by engineers for engineers – it’s NOT that user friendly at all.

For example S3 (really SSS or Simple Storage Service) uses non-standard terminology, in fact it seems to be that Amazon have used lots of terminology we’re not used to. So instead of saying folders and files, they use the words buckets and objects. It’s confusing and makes you stop and think at every step of the way when you first use it.

Maybe it’s just me, but perhaps they’ve done this so it doesn’t go crazy with a zillion new users all at once.

Because did you know that AWS is (almost) FREE for the first 12 months? (Yes, they want your credit card details, but unless you’re going to be a heavy user, my guess is you may not get charged anything.)

http://aws.amazon.com/free/

They do this free tier to get people slowly introduced to everything else they do, and to get software developers developing.

As an example, with S3 you get 5GB cloud storage plus thousands of what they call “get” and “put” requests (file reads and writes) before they start charging you anything, and then it’s pennies.

While most people have heard of Amazon’s S3 service, my guess is you’re not aware of the whole ruck of other services that are wrapped up in AWS.

Other than S3, the bulk of them aren’t going to be of any interest to you, but there are a couple of other goodies in there.

These are SES (Simple Email Service) and EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute).

You can probably guess that SES is their email service that has been designed to be scalable and makes sure your emails are delivered. Deliverability has always been a problem and is why people use email services like Aweber.

Most people don’t realise that sending an email from your email client only has a 50-50 chance of getting there if the end user is using one of the free email services.

Free email is for the mass market, and shouldn’t be used by businesses.

So if you’re a Gmail user sending email to a Yahoo mail user, the chances are high it will get filtered as spam on the incoming network. And vice-versa.

Yahoo etc, don’t care if your email doesn’t arrive. Removing spam is their #1 priority and has been for at least 4 years now. If you use any kind of keyword that triggers their network mail filter, then it’s likely it will get filtered (deleted) before it even gets anywhere near a mailbox. Sometimes they get filtered going out too.

I can’t give you any examples in this email because it will likely get filtered.  ;-)

It’s always been a much better idea to use an email account on your own domain and leave the free email to the masses for whom email isn’t critical.

Back to the next noteworthy Amazon service.

EC2, while having a completely misleading name is actually their VPS (Virtual Private Server) system. Think cloud based web servers.

Oh yeah.

A free VPS from Amazon? (They actually call them “instances.”)

If you were to install one of their free operating systems such as Centos from one of their supplied images, then with a little bit of work you can install WHM (cPanel) and buy your cPanel licence monthly for about $15/month.

Then you have an Amazon speed, cloud based server for peanuts.

And you can install ALL your domains on it, each with their own cPanel account. You could even rent out domain hosting to clients.

This is a LOT cheaper than renting a VPS for $80+ / month! In fact once I’ve mastered this I’m going to migrate all my domains to it.

It sounds a bit scary I know, but I don’t think it’s that hard and once I’ve done it myself I’ll show you how.

Watch out for this series over the coming weeks. Eventually I’ll turn it into a paid course and remove it, so learn while it’s free.

Okay, that wraps this email up, a bit of a big one I know, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.  ;-)

Before you do anything else, go and sign up for an AWS account here while it’s still a 12 month free deal. You’re going to need it if you want to follow along with this series.

http://aws.amazon.com/free/

 

-Frank Haywood

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Ecover Authority Review

You can create 3D ecover designs using an online tool with hundreds of built in graphics, piles of fonts, and over 100 different 3D ecover design templates to choose from and a huge amount of built in graphics and fonts. PhotoShop is NOT required and that’s a big thumbs up from me.

The online tool is quite responsive and I suspect it’s using Flash so most the work is done in your browser. Rendering of the finalized 3D ecover is done on the site itself and I’ve found can take a little while to achieve depending on the time of day. In the morning it takes a few seconds, but as the world wakes up and starts using it then it can take a minute or more to be queued up to render.

Even so, it’s still VERY impressive. My guess is it uses ImageMagick on the server to do the rendering.

There are plenty of fonts to choose from, and then you can do things like apply built in effects or rotate the text to make it fit down the side of an ecover spine such as found on an ebook.

Overall it’s an impressive tool and is definitely one to grab with both hands.

You can get to the sales page here:-

http://www.frankhaywood.com/eca/

 

-Frank Haywood

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