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Suze Orman Says to Protect Ourselves in this Economy

Posted Sunday, September 28, 2008 by momscashblog | 22 Comments so far

Last week, Oprah had Suze Orman on her show talking about this economy and what we can do to protect ourselves. Anyone who’s ever seen Suze Orman knows that she’s a straight talker and uhh, how should I say this, a little scary. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I would want her as MY financial advisor because I couldn’t handle being face-to-face with her looking me in the eye asking what I spend my money on. (I know where my faults are and don’t need a lecture on it.. or do I? lol) But I understand that Suze knows what we need to do to become financially secure and even wealthy, so I take her advice to heart! Most Americans are spending money that we don’t have and there are many ways that we could cut back. We make excuses to hold onto the things we can’t afford and the time has come to “save ourselves”  as Suze says, “and save our children to make sure they have the essentials of life… such as health insurance, and not just THINGS.”
To protect ourselves in this economy we’ll have to downsize, tighten our belts and change our ways. We’re going back into a cash economy because there will be no more credit for some of us and for others, the credit we do have will be lowered and watched carefully. The institutions we’ve been borrowing from have been borrowing money to give us the loans, and they’ve been borrowing their money, and no one ever really had the money to back it up. We’ve been living on borrowed money for so long that we take it for granted and hope and pray everything works out. It’s time to get REAL and save ourselves from financial ruin because hoping and praying can’t pay the bills. We need to become proactive to survive in this economy.

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Backup Your Blog: Part 2

Posted Monday, September 22, 2008 by momscashblog | 20 Comments so far

In the Part 1 of Back Up Your Blog, Andreas gave some great instructions on how to back up your blog and Secure your cPanel. A backup is the most important thing we can do to protect our blogs IF a hacking or any other trouble ever happens upon your blog. I think he made a fantastic point about practicing the back up process to make sure it works and to get used to doing it. It is very common for bloggers to have faithfully backed up their blogs only to find out the backup didn’t work properly. So, as Andreas said… practice the backup often until it becomes second nature and easy to execute when you REALLY need it.

How LloydLopez.com helped secure my site

Now here’s a few more helpful things you can do to secure your site. Lloyd Lopez secured my site after helping me with a Feedburner, and other problems I had after my data transfer fiasco. Lloyd works in the technological field and his blog, which he does in his spare time, is about techie stuff too. We’ve been in touch by phone a few times and he’s one busy guy because I know his work schedule! (Holy Smokes! lol)  But as you’ll see on his blog, he still seems to get in some time to have fun with his friends and goes to a lot of resorts for his work retreats… (Must be nice, Lloyd!! lol)  

Among the other qualifications that he needs for his work, Lloyd is also independently “Brainbench Certified” in the following: Computer Technical Support, Technical Desk Help (Microsoft), MS Windows XP Desktop Administration, Computer Fundamentals, Information Technology Terminology. Lloyd will do Blog Consulting if time permits. So if you ever need any extra help that you’re willing to pay for, I can attest to Lloyd’s good reputation and professionalism and I recommend him highly! I’m keeping his name in my “little black blog book” as I’m sure I will need him sometime in the future! lol

Automatic Update
The first thing Lloyd recommended and installed for me was the WP Automatic Update Plugin since it’s the easiest way to upgrade your WordPress blog especily if this is the first time that you’re upgrading.

Installation is easy…. you download the zip file, unzip it, upload the resulting folder into your plugins folder and activate it. Once activated, you have a new entry on your Manage page in your blog’s WordPress admin, called Automatic Upgrade. When you activate it, it will walk you through the steps. This way you can secure your site by upgrading to the newest verions, making sure your plug-ins are up-to-date and always having a backup.

WordPress Backup Utility
Lloyd also recommended and installed a WordPress Backup utility program. It will send your backups to your e-mail address on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis (whichever you prefer). But remember, have it come to a different address than your blog webmail address, just to be safe.

Login LockDown
Lloyd installed a Login LockDown on my site. Login LockDown records the IP address and timestamp of every failed WordPress login attempt. After someone makes a certain number of attempts to log in to your WordPress within a short period of time from the same IP, then the login function is disabled for all requests from that IP. This helps to prevent brute force password discovery. Currently the plugin defaults to a 1 hour lock out of an IP block after 3 failed login attempts within 5 minutes. (It can be modified from the Options panel to be however many you want and within what time period you wish.)  If the log in attempt was from someone who as authorized to get into your WordPress account then the Admisitrator can release the locked out IP manually from the panel so that they can get in. If it was someone who was not authorized then you know someone has attempted to get into your blog and was trying out different passwords. As you can imagine, Login LockDown a great thing to have for security reasons.


Both Lloyd and Andreas stressed that we should have a strong password. Some people use passwords that are easy to figure out, like a “favorite” word and a few numbers (birthday, etc) because it’s easy to remember. If it’s easy for you to remember… it’s definitely hackable by almost anyone! Instead, you should keep a little notebook of your passwords since the good passwords (strong ones) should not be memorizable… they should be “garbled”. As Andreas said in the previous post, don’t use dictionary words. Use a combination of letters and numbers and symbols to make a strong password and make a habit of changing your passwords often.

Ask Your Host About Backups

You should be asking your hosting company if they back up your blog and if they don’t, then get a different host who does. I use HostGater for MomsCashBlog and it is also what you will get when you use the Free Blog Tutorial. Hostgater backup blogs every Sunday. Get to know your host by calling them and seeing what they have to offer you and how they work. If a blog disappears or is having problems, you should call your host first thing. (sometimes you will find that they are having trouble on their end and it’s not your blog being hacked. lol). I’m the kind of person who does business best over the phone. HostGater and I have had a lot of talks and I would never deal with a host who I could not talk to in person. Trouble shooting requires good communication and phone conversation are the best form of communicating that I know of.

I hope this was helpful to some of you. If anyone has any further suggestions to help others secure their blog, please leave a comment to help others out. I know my readers get a lot of good advice from the comments as they’ve told me so thru e-mails. There’s a lot of new people deciding if they want to start a blog with the Free Blog Tutorial and they value the opinions of seasoned bloggers… (they also visit YOUR blog afterwards!) And, and always, if you’re thinking of starting a blog and have any questions, make a comment here and someone will answer you!

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Back Up Your Blog: Part 1

Posted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 by momscashblog | 15 Comments so far

After writing The Hacking of Taylor Blue, I looked for some info and options for safeguarding our sites from hacking. What I learned is that there is no “surefire” way to keep your blog safe from being hacked! If someone with the technical know-how wants to hack your site, they can do it! What we can and MUST do is back up our sites as often as possible so if it ever does happen, at least we can save our data and start over with relative ease.

Because I know that we all have different ways of understanding information, this will be a two part series starting with some information from a good “techie” blogger friend of MomsCashBlog, Andreas of Xaviermedia.com giving us useful info on securing our cPanels. The next post will have more info on back ups and a little about hacking.  If you have any questions, make a comment.  Thanks Andreas!

Secure Your cPanel Account

by Andreas of XavierMedia.com

cPanel is one of the best control panels I know and my company Xavier Media is using it for most of our own hosting accounts. But as always a control panel (or for that fact any software) is not more secure then the users using them. Therefore you must make sure that anyone with access to your cPanel account is not the weak link causing your site to get hacked.

Get a secure password

In cPanel there’s a fantastic function that will help you to select hard-to-guess passwords for your accounts. You can even use it to generate passwords you’re going to use on other accounts too.

Login at cPanel and click on “Change Password”.

cpanel password1 300x104 Back Up Your Blog: Part 1

Then click on the “Generate Password” button to generate a random password. The nice thing with this generator is that you can select how long password you want, if you would like to use uppercase, lowercase and numbers. Just hit the regenerate button until you get a password that fit your needs. Please remember that a password should be minimum 6 characters (more then 8 is even better), should contain at least one uppercase letter (not the first or last letter) and if possible at least one number in the middle somewhere. If you add symbols like +, -, ? and % then you got a pretty strong (good) password already at 6 characters. (more…)

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Make Money Selling Used and New Books

Posted Monday, September 15, 2008 by momscashblog | 23 Comments so far

books Make Money Selling Used and New BooksSelling our used  books is a great way to recycle and help the environment as well as declutter our homes… but selling used books usually doesn’t bring enough money to make it worth the effort. Traditional used bookstores only offer around 50 cents or less per book and with eBay, you have to sign up and create an account and then enter the auction and all that jazz. It’s a waiting game and it doesn’t usually pay off, because no one wants to pay those shipping fees. Well, I found a wonderful website, CKYbooks.com, that pays a good price for used and new books. It’s easy to use, you get an instant quote (offer), shipping is FREE,  you get paid within 24-48 hours… and if you get a better offer, they will “match” it!

 CKYbooks.com has a database of book ISBN’s and an evaluation of each book’s worth, so you’ll get an instant offer for any book they want to buy.  The offers are based upon a book’s estimated resell value and the book’s popularity. The lowest offer they make is a guaranteed $1.00…. The highest offer they have given out is $100 for one book! (Wow!)
This site is so easy to use and answers all of your questions. Just type in the 10 digit ISBN number  or the 13 digit number at the bottom of the bar code that begins with 978. You immediately receive an offer (price they will pay for your book), accept or reject that offer and  proceed to the checkout or enter more books and watch your money rack up. (more…)

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Pepperjam Pays Publishers MORE Money

Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008 by momscashblog | 29 Comments so far

 Alright folks, Pepperjam (PJN) is having another Pepperjam Incentive Program for the month of September! (That’s 3 months in a row they’ve done this for us so take advantage of this great offer!) Here’s the deal… For the month of September, any NEW publisher/affiliate (that’s a blogger) who signs up with Pepperjam and gets approved, will receive a $10 Sign On- Bonus!  They’ve upped their Referral Payout from $5 to $7 again, but only for the month of September. After you join the network and get approved, you can write a post about the PJN Referral Program and/or anything else about PJN, and you will get another $10 for each post you publish. (So I will get an easy $10 for writing this post just as you will.) You can write up to 5 posts during the month of September, but  you have to notify PJN and show them your post to be approved before publishing. Just read the rules after you click the banner below and sign-on to get your $10.
PJN July Promo

 For those of you just starting out, this is fast money in your account and it will get you going on the right path to making money online! You have to get going and do it now, in September, and you need to have some posts on your blog already so they can take a look at your new blog and make sure it is legitimate. (All ad networks have to do this.) Here’s how simple it is to make some fast cash from this program:
1.  Sign up ($10)
2.  Make a post about PJN ($.10)…  after that all you have to do is
3.  Get ONE referral ($7)
and you will have $27 in your account!!! IT’S THAT EASY…
Now even if you don’t get a referral right away, all you have to do is make another post about Pepperjam Incentive Program… and make another $10! and you will have $30 in your account. (then when you get a referral you’ll have $37!)  It’s a Win-Win situation no matter how you look at it.


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The Hacking of Taylor Blue

Posted Thursday, September 4, 2008 by momscashblog | 19 Comments so far

Bloggers come and go, but when Taylor Blue went missing, I could feel that something was wrong! After I bought MomsCashBlog, Taylor Blue was a frequent commenter and she welcomed me with open arms and encouraging words from my very first post. I considered her a good blogging friend and of course I went to her site, taylorsentertainmentnews.com and I was hooked on it from the very first visit. She had a great entertainment gossip blog that was laid out beautifully with pictures of entertainers and the music industry, interesting stories, great ads, and it was updated constantly… sometimes even 4 or 5 times a day! (Wow, that’s dedication!) I went to it ALL the time to get my daily or weekly dose of entertainment gossip. Then one day, it was gone! I tried again and again and again and still could not find it. Althought it took me a while to find her (no site… no e-mail), I kept at it and I finally found another wonderful entertainment site that I liked a lot and something told me to e-mailed the admin and ask if she knew anything about Taylor Blue’s site. The Admin of TEN Gossip.com told me she WAS Taylor Blue, and she told me what happened to her taylorsentertainment blog. It was actually a horror story for bloggers because Taylor Blue’s wonderful blog that she put so much work into, had been hacked!

After a few e-mails back and forth, I asked if she would mind sharing her story with us on MomsCashBlog or if she’d rather just forget the whole experience.  She wrote back and said “YES,  I would love for people to know what happened and maybe they can prevent it from happening to their blog.” So I asked Taylor Blue a few questions thru e-mail about her hacking experience… a blogger’s nightmare! (more…)

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Using Affiliate Ads in Your Posts

Posted Monday, September 1, 2008 by momscashblog | 27 Comments so far

Here’s some good views and advice about using Affiliate ads on your blog from another blogger. Robert Cyr is one of the many good blogger friend’s I have made here on MomsCashBlog so he has written a post about his experience with Affiliate ads and Affiliate Marketing.

Making Money with Affiliate Marketing – Crash Course

I have been an avid follower of MomsCashBlog ever since JJ took over the reigns. My name is Robert Cyr and if you have read some of the comments here my name might be familiar to you. If you have researched blogging I am certain that you have read that blogging is about networking and establishing friendships. I am pleased to let you know that JJ and I have emailed back and forth on several occasions sharing and helping each other out.

Let me give you a little of my background; I started blogging back in March of 2008 with the sole intent of making money. Yeah, I know they say if your goal from the beginning is to make a ton of money chances are you will fail. I am proof positive that what “They Say” is not always true!

I have four blogs, two of which I keep secret as they are my “Bread and Butter” and are very niche specific. When I comment on JJ’s blog I always leave a link to one of my blogs about Wholesale Closeout Merchandise. In addition to my own blogs, I am a freelance contracted writer on several other blog like TopTenWholesale.com

I am going on my seventh month blogging and I am making money. I am making more money than I thought possible…and it grows each month. I have shared one of my last checks from Commission Junction with MomsCashBlog readers….Here it is again.

JJ asked if I would take some time to help her community understand affiliate marketing and I am pleased to share what little information I have learned since I started. Please note that there is tons of information on the Internet showing you how to make money blogging, but I will honestly tell you that there is no “One Guaranteed” way. My success has come from intense reading and trial and error.

I want to share with you a simple concept today that has brought serious dollars my way. In the affiliate world there is jargon to learn. Every industry has terminology which you need to understand. Today I will share a couple of terms:

Landing Page –- A Landing page is simply a page your visitors reach by some means of Internet search. This page is typically where the affiliate marketer would review and talk about a product and hopefully send the visitor on to the site selling a product or service. A Landing page is where you, as a publisher, must convince your visitor that the product or service you are reviewing is worth the purchase.

If you investigate landing page techniques on the Internet you will find that many affiliate marketers spend hundreds of dollars in PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising to get visitors to Landing pages.

Do not be afraid! Here is what I have learned and I have made thousands of dollars without spending one cent on PPC advertising… Are you ready for the big secret?

Every blog post you write is a landing page. Blog posts are indexed almost immediately in Google. I can write a blog post and within hours someone out there has found it by keyword search.

When you write a blog post and fill it with appropriate keywords you will get Organic Traffic.

Organic Traffic -– The best traffic to have to your website or blog because it is FREE. Organic traffic is any traffic that comes to your site without being paid for

Lets make a little formula for earning money through affiliate marketing:

Start a blog + Write blog Posts (Landing Pages with affiliate offers) = Commissions through Organic Traffic

Caution! Make sure that each post you write has value. This is why most successful bloggers will tell you that you must be passionate about the topics you blog about.

For example: If you love cooking, blog about cooking. Write blog articles about preparing meals, buying ingredients and maybe entertaining with food. You can integrate affiliate offers in each blog post such as… A blog post about pan frying steaks might chronicle the advantages of using Rachael Rays non-stick cookware. And then, of course insert your affiliate link to Rachael Rays cookware, where your blog readers can visit and hopefully buy the set of pans you are promoting. Viola! You have just earned a commission!

You cannot monetize a blog without first having a blog. If you have been reading JJ’s blog for sometime thinking about starting your own blog…what are you waiting for? If you want to become an affiliate marketer making money blogging about your passion (Whatever that might be) get started with JJ’s FREE blog tutorial. It will guide you through the process of staring your own blog and hopefully a second income!

Questions about affiliate marketing? Ask me through comments- Let me know if you learned anything through my rambling and maybe I can make a future guest post.

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