Success on the internet is all about the…Keywords

Yes success online is ALL about the keywords you choose.


Because the search engines are built around keywords and when people go online to do their shopping they type keywords into the search engines.

 

And to get these people to your blog or website you have to choose the right keywords.

 

If you choose easy or low traffic keywords then you'll get hardly any visitors to your blog and you'll be earning almost nothing.


And if you choose tougher high traffic keywords you run into tough competition from super affiliates who have tons of experience and resources to beat the heck out of you.

 

So what do Simple Affiliates like us do?

 

Well we either get lucky or we get some clever keyword software.


And since Google hides a lot of the best keywords from you when you do a keyword search, yes really,  I think the answer is to get some damn clever software.

 

I have recommended Market Samurai in the past!

 

Market Samurai is good but needs a lot of practice to use well and has had a lot of hassles from Google over the last year or two.

 

Keyword Canine is a very different tool.

 

It was created by Jon Leger a couple of years ago along with Josh Spaulding to make things simple for the average affiliate who does not have the time or energy to hassle with market samurai.

 

Keyword Canine is a site that you log into and gives you fresh keywords everyday along with a simple way to measure how difficult it will be to rank well if you use the keyword.


This is important stuff and hardly any keyword tools get this right.


This is a really simple way to get good keywords and I recommend you have a look to see if this would help you break through to the success you deserve.

 

Have a look right here

 

Hint – look for the green traffic lights on the left J

How To Make Your Blog More Secure Part 3

security sign outside a buildingYour blog is your online base. It is a place you spend quite a lot of time at and a place that you want to protect.

A bit like home really!

We have security locks and alarms and insurance to help protect our homes and we can and should do the same for our online homes.

And while these measures are not going to give us 100% protection they make it harder for those with bad intent to harm us or our property.

We started our Blog Security series here and Part 2 here.

WP Firewall

So we can install a firewall in our computer to guard against malware getting entry and wreaking havoc – and we should. We can also install the WP firewall plugin to do the same job for our blog.

Like other security plugins I recommend there is no tweaking to do – just a simple one click install and activation.

You might be surprised one day though. There you are doing some routine work in your blog and you find yourself looking at the home page!

What happened?

In terms of home security – you would be resting in your fave comfy chair and with one blink you are outside your front door wondering how you got there!

WP Firewall has thrown you out of your blog.

It is actively protecting your blog 24/7 and you did something it regarded as a threat – so, BOOM, it threw you out.

This is good – it will email you as well about the "threat" so if you need to do some tweaking that the plugin objects to just deactivate it, tweak away and then remember to reactivate afterwards.

Security Scans

Then we get to a type of security software we can call, "scanners". In our computers we can do a security scan which hopefully can detect any viruses or malware that managed to creep past our firewall.

We can do the same with our blogs too.

There are a multitude of these and there's no way I can cover them all in one post. What we can do now is simply pick one that looks good and useful and install it.

And I'll go over other options in the coming weeks.

So for now let's look at a security plugin called…Wordfence.

Wordfence

Wordfence is a plugin that you can access at different levels depending on whether you have the free option as I do or you choose a paid option with more features.

The free version is superb.

It scans the core wordpress files for any infection by hackers as well as plugins and themes and displays the results for inspection and action.

Out of date plugins and themes will be highlighted because they offer a hacker a way to exploit any weakness in the code.

A basic precaution then is to use only a necessary minimum of plugins and themes.

Any not being used should be deleted. Even sitting in your blog deactivated they may offer a vulnerability which you do not need and which you can solve simply by hitting the delete button.

The scanner may find odd patterns for example in your error logs and may offer you the chance to see the problems and also to delete the file infected.

Be careful with the last option. It sounds good but deleting a file that may be essential for the blog to work may well break your blog.

If in doubt go for support to their support forum and while waiting for a reply do a little research.

But breathe easy.

You have a backup file of your blog because you installed a backup plugin in week 1 of this series and even if the whole blog vanished you could install a new one in 2 minutes with your cpanel auto installer – Fantastico / Simplescripts.

Security is not a one step answer but a process. You are better off than the vast majority of WordPress users so you can focus on the essentials – writing great content for your visitors.

More WordPress security posts to come but please take action on the posts so far and work through all the action steps. You can't learn self defence by reading books and you don't get security by reading either. And please do share any tips you have for better securing your blog.

Plugin Downloads may be from inside your blog admin area or directly from the WordPress pages below…

Photo credit

Wootang01

How To Make Your Blog More Secure: Part 2

sign on a wall with an image of a security cameraIn the previous post in this WordPress Security Series we looked at 3 easy and important steps that any blogger can take when starting a new self hosted WordPress blog.

In this post we get a bit more active and specific and for that we'll take a look at some super WordPress plugins.
 
One of the glories of WordPress is that we get to use such powerful software at no charge because it is "Open Access". This means that anyone can join in and contribute.
 
It also means that anyone can find out what the vulnerabilities in the code are and exploit them.
 
These exploits generally get fixed pretty quick by the WordPress community but hacking does exist and some of the precautions we can take include the use of Security plugins
 
If you read Part 1 of the WordPress Security series you'll have a backup plugin installed already.
 
So we move on from there.
 
We discussed login vulnerabilities too and 2 ways to beef up your login…well here is a third way.
 

Login Lockdown

 
This is a great plugin and I have been using it for years. It is very easy to install – unlike some security plugins – no use of code at all just a simple click install.
 
And that is it – the plugin will lock you and anybody else out for a period you choose if they make a number of failed login attempts and you choose the number too.
 
You may want to choose a time out of 60 mins and a max of 3 failed attempts – whatever you think is right for you.
 
This plugin has been downloaded more than quarter of a million times so it is very battle tested – but there is a downside – it has not been updated for a long time.
 
If that bugs you then consider using Login Security Solution which was updated 33 days ago and has been downloaded by about 33, 000 bloggers.
 

Bad Behavior

This is what we are trying to thwart but it is also the name of a fave security plugin aimed at counteracting a different kind of WordPress loophole.

Installed in the normal way – again jut a simple click install, you then go to the setting menu and visit the options page.
Look through the options presented and alter any you like – it's your blog. On this one I actually do not alter any of the default values because it seems to work fine straight out of the box.
 
There is one caution about the use of Cloudflare on the Bad Behavior home page so check that for your self if you have your blog on a Cloudflare server.
 
Bad Behavior is mostly aimed at preventing spam bots rather than visitors from accessing your site. The amount of automatic hacking by bots is phenomenal and explains this FAQ on the Bad Behavior Site
 
Q: Will Bad Behavior reduce my site’s bandwidth usage?
A: Absolutely! This is one of the reasons for Bad Behaviour's existence. By preventing spambots and other malicious bots from ever accessing any of your pages, your bandwidth usage and server load will drop significantly. http://bad-behavior.ioerror.us/support/faq/
 
If you are a data geek you might want to see if this is true for your blogs just by noting the readings in Awstats.
 
Ok only 2 action steps today
 
Install and activate the plugins we just discussed if you think they are right for you
 
  1. Login Lockdown
  2. Bad Behavior

All for now – lookout for Part 3 of this WordPress Security Series next week!

:-)

Alex

 

 

Photo

jermainejustice


SEO Checklist: a Review of a New Book By Andy Williams

quote" with most people unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another" LichtenbergAsk a bunch of webmasters what they most want for their sites and blogs and chances are they'll say, Traffic". And if you ask them if they want to learn more SEO, the chances are they'll say, "No".

I still can't get my head around this! SEO is exactly how to get free traffic from the Search Engines!

It's almost like SEO is a matter of belief.

Anyhow this post is a walk through of Andy Williams latest book. It's topic is on SEO, that is, how to arrange your site to get maximum traffic from the search engines.

SEO Checklist

Having learned basic SEO from his first SEO book this one focuses on a series of items for the ambitious webmaster to consider. This really is a checklist. It is prompted by the leak some time ago of the PDF that Google provided for it's site checkers.

Google of course ranks webpages according to an automatic process and not many webmasters are aware that their site may be "human reviewed" to use a rather cute phrase.

After the leak SEOs and webmasters fell over themselves to find a copy. In a game of "Whack a mole", we were running round the web searching for a copy and Google running after us closing the downloads down.

Andy Williams has responded to the document by taking us though the Google speak and explaining what it means for us and our website.

That's the background!

So let's get going with the book…

Andy starts with a quick mention of his previous book and how it differs from this one.

SEO Checklist is practical. Just like a pilot goes through a checklist each time before the aircraft takes off a webmaster needs a checklist so that any faults or problems can be found.

Google writes the rules for SEO traffic because they have the Lion's share of the traffic.

And if you want traffic from Google you must pay attention to what they say. In the past Google's guidance was a topic for a quick scan and then ignore it and do what you were going to do anyway!

The "Guidance" was just guidance. Not any more. If you slip up now and break any of the rules of Google's game then your website gets slammed.

Meaning?

Meaning to give one personal example a site going from over 300 visitors a day to 3 a day.

Slammed!

Many webmasters have given up and those who remain are either not seriously trying or they have the quiet determination to make it come what may.

Still with me? Good!

So we start with the Checklist points…

SEO Checklist by Andy Williams cover image

1.   The Domain name.

2.   Web page real Estate

3.   Site structure

4.   Comments

5.   Social presence

6.   Would you trust the site?

7.   Bounce rates and Time on site

8.   Legal Pages

9.   Content Quality

10.                Inbound link profiles

Each of these points is discussed thoroughly. There is no fluff about Andy – he gives links to Google documents to further illustrate and confirm his advice and no more pages are in the book than necessary.

You cannot skim the book. It is what it says, a step by step action plan for you to follow. Best advice is to go though the book once to get a grip of the entire scope of what he is covering and then work your way through, point by point.

You might want to do this with a buddy. The reason I suggest this is because we are so poor at being objective with our own material.

You need someone who knows enough to be useful and is straight enough to tell you the truth about how they feel when looking at your site.

This can be less than comfy but Google is rating your site all the time and so the sooner you get some help rating yours the better.

A site critique can be very useful and so can working through the Checklist Andy Williams provides.

I rarely recommend books but this is a keeper and something to work through with each of your sites. SEO Checklist is available at Amazon as a Kindle book and so can be read via any Kindle app or on your computer.

Why We Should Magic Our Blog Posts Into Tweets and Videos

hamster in a wheel graphicYou've finished writing your post and your mouse hovers over the publish button. It's taken you quite some time to write and you feel a little pride.

Besides there's other things to do, more posts and always more posts.
 
But hang on a minute…
 
…you've taken all that time to plan and write and edit and edit and edit….
 
…wouldn't it make more sense to get more out of the content you have created already rather than always jumping back onto the content treadmill?
 
Like a demented hamster with an addiction to his wheel!
 
So how about you click that publish button and then spend a few minutes with me planning how to get the most mileage from your blog posts?
 
You could call the idea of getting as much as possible use out of your writing "content optimisation"; most people call it "repurposing". 
 
And while most people do a little repurposing, very few get the most out of what has taken them hours to write.
 
I started to think of this leveraging of my posts after hearing a talk by Jeff Herring several years ago. I think he asked us to reuse our stuff in 20 different ways.
 

Pulling 20 Rabbits Out Of The Hat!

 
Like taking the main sentences out of the article and using them as tweets.
 
Like a quick rewrite of our post and then publishing in an article directory ,  like turning them into PDFs and submitting them to PDF directories such as Scribd.
 
Then there's making presentation slides out of our tweets and submitting the slideshows to, for example Slideshare.
 
Then turning the slideshow into a video and uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo
 
And the audio into a podcast on iTunes or other podcast directories.
 
So that's not 20 ways but it's enough to get you going in the repurposing gane. You'll be able to think up a few more ways in which we can reuse and adapt our content without creating anything "new".
 
In doing this we access a wider audience.
 
Many people hangout on YouTube or Scribd and they can find our content there and click through to our site increasing our traffic.
 
We also diversify our link profile. This is especially important after the Penguin update to Google's ranking algorithm.
 
And we can do this when we don't feel very creative.
 
I'm certainly not suggesting doing a 20 step reusing bonanza every time we do a post.
 
But we could do some of  this, once a week say or for your very best material.
 
What do you think of repurposing?
 
How much do you do and will you do more, now that my post has nudged you a little?
 
And can you come up with 20 ways to repurpose? If you can then either pop them in the comments or arrange with me to do a Guest
 
Post!
 
Join in anyway…

;)
 
Alex
 
 
 
Photo Credit
 


How to Make Your Blog More Secure

a cat on the lookout Safety and security are relative. If your house is the only one in the road with a burglar alarm it's unlikely you'll be targeted.

Even though it may be no harder to enter your house the burglar will most likely choose a house that is less hassle.

It's the same with your blog. You cannot totally ensure that it will never be hacked but there are some easy steps you can take to put lines of protection around a WordPress blog and that is what we'll go over here.

First of all let's look at your password because it is your very first line of defence.

A long password is now the standard recommendation rather than using a complex password.

What that means is that using softcushionsdeflectuneasyhours as a password which is a nonsense phrase of 30 characters is better than E/60t=kA(Th-Tc) which is more complex because it has a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, suffixes and brackets.

And let Lastpass password manager take the strain out of passwords – it's free and superb.

Second Admin is the default username for many WordPress installs. This may be due to you using an automatic blog installer or just not realising that this is a major security risk.

You can change this but it is a little bit of a hassle because you need to go into your cpanel and edit your database in phpmyadmin. Yes I know that sounds like ancient Greek!

After choosing a good username and password and logging in the very best security improvement you can make is to install a backup plugin.

That way even if all the forces from hell were focussed on your tiny precious blog and it got hideously hacked and smacked you'd be fine!

Because you could login to your cpanel and Simplescripts or Fantastico or whatever your automatic WordPress installer is called and delete the old blog and install a bright smiley new one.

Then you just login and upload your backup.

Voila!

Your site reborn!

There are various ways to copy, clone, backup your blog. You can make a copy of every bit of text and images and themes and plugins or just copy the database.

I do the latter but either option is fine.

WP-DB-Backup is the free wordpress plugin I use. It emails me a copy of the database every week, although I could choose to receive the emails daily.

Suppose my laptop breaks and I can't get to my backup file? I have my laptop backed up by Carbonite. Using a public email such as Google is unsafe and many such accounts get hacked daily.

Just as I strongly advise you to back up your blog with a plugin I strongly advise you use an online backup for your computer. I use Carbonite and they have saved me from disaster a few times!

You could pop your backup files into a free Drop box account but some how you need to find a safe place for them.

A little security snapshot – in 2010 an earthquake in New Zealand destroyed many businesses and of course homes.

Many of those businesses were up and running again in minutes because all their files were backed up with an online service like Carbonite.

Others had backed up a to an external hard drive in the same office and that was quite likely to be damaged too.

Other businesses were not backup at all…

Now I don't live in an earthquake zone but I still find it sensible to maintain a subscription to an online backup service.

If you do those 3 things you will be miles ahead of the average blogger and next week we will go over how you can harden your security a lot more.

So by next week make sure you have a nice long password and you have the backup plugin installed and it is emailing you once a week at least and you have some kind of safe place to store the file.

Then we'll make your blog even safer – in How To Make Your Blog More Secure: Part 2

Until then – Stay Safe!

Alex

Image credit

Thanks to : DHWrite