From a coma to my blog — Part 1
It’s been 2 months since I went into the hospital with kidney stones and then had my “near death experience” and I finally feel pretty much back to normal — or as close to “normal’ as I’ll ever get! lol I’m told these are some of the first questions I had when I awoke from the coma… “Where am I?” and “What day is it?” and the strangest one of all, “Oh no, did my blog expire?” lol They say everyone laughed and was relieved that I hadn’t lost my memory and that I was pretty much all right in the brain department. They say I also worried about my cat, my bills, my finances, and my house… so basically I woke up worrying! lol
I think everyone has wondered what it feels like to be in a coma and now I know. For me it was confusing. The last day that I was conscious blurred into the day I woke up, but I do know that I was irritated, upset, and felt very helpless. Waking up on a respirator is not fun! I have since learned that they have to take the respirator and breathing tube out of you the moment you wake up… it would be nice for the patient if they could take it out BEFORE you are conscious. That way you could just open your eyes and wake up peacefully… like they do in the movies! But that’s not how it is done. If you were dependent on a respirator to breath while in a coma, they take the breathing tube out the minute you wake up. If they find that you can’t breath on your own, it goes right back in and you get heavily sedated until they decide what to do. Luckily, I could breath on my own and did not become dependent on the respirator/ventilator to breath for me. (more…)
Are you one of those bloggers who feels the pressure to write a post every day on your blog and send your RSS feed out with every post? Well, not so fast! You could be turning off your readers by doing this. Many behaviorial studies have been performed on internet usage and they’ve found there is a point where people turn off when they get too much e-mail information from the same source.
Advertisers who sent e-mails LESS often, had MORE of a chance of getting their e-mails opened and possibly responded to. For an advertiser the golden number was one e-mail a month, unless they had a special offer that “really wowed” the customer and enticed them to open the e-mail. In that case, 7 times out of 10 it would get read, but any more than that, and the customers would turn off to the e-mails. Advertisers who use e-mail campaigns find that if they send correspondence to the same people regularly, they quickly turn off to the mail and even find them to be a big nuisance… especially if they’re received on a consistant basis. The campaigns that sent e-mail ads every day, and sometimes more than once a day, got the worst response. These e-mails were sent to the delete box and the recipients thought of them as having little or no credibility. The more e-mails they got from the same source, the more the recipient considered them scams and of course they would not get read! This is very important information for bloggers because the same could be happening with your RSS subscribers if you overload them with e-mails on a daily basis. You could be thought of as a “pest”! (more…)
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
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.
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!
Selling 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…)
I’m sorry I didn’t get this out sooner, but I’ve had some things going on and forgot all about this.
Pepperjam Network has added the month of August to their incentive program, so I wanted to try to get it in while I had a chance. This is a great time for any of you newbies who have been blogging and want to become an affiliate to get a great Affiliate Network on your blog. If you sign up with Pepperjam now, you’ll get a $10 incentive Sign Up Bonus… and they are increasing the referral payout to “new affiliates” from $5. to $7. for each new publisher recruited in August!! (A new affiliate is someone who is advertising Pepperjam for the first time on their blog)
They are also offering a $10. bonus to anyone who writes a post about it on their blog for the month of August. (just like I’m doing here!) So if you’re a newbie and you’re ready to monetize your blog get in on this incentive deal today. You will find the experience easy and there is always a new advertiser that is joining the Pepperjam family. There will never be a shortage of ads to pick from.
Having an Affiliate Program on your blog will help you start to make money or commissions from these Affiliate Networks. Apply NOW, because the response time is less than a day in most cases.Click here to sign up… once you’re accepted you will receive the $10. incentive bonus and you can write a post on your blog and get another $10.!!! So you’ll get $20. in your account before you even start selling.
When I first saw Pepperjam, I thought it was an odd (but cute) name for an affiliate network! Come to find out, the CEO of Pepperjam and his brother started out by selling a “pepperjam recipe” that was passed down from their grandmother. (Aww.. how sweet.. and tasty, too! lol) While looking for places to market their “jam”, they got into e-commerce and found it to be the best way to advertise the business, and eventually got into helping others advertise thru their network. So, they started out as an affiliate and have evolved into one of the largest and upcoming internet marketing agencies online. A true “home grown business”! (more…)
I think I should explain some of the problems being solve on this blog…. like what happened with my RSS feed (see Questions About RSS). I know there are a lot of new bloggers and bloggers-to-be visiting MomsCashBlog and I don’t want other bloggers to think that they will have the same problems I have had. Where I’ve mentioned some difficulties with a “transfer”, I think I should explain my situation. I’ve gotten some feedback with people asking if I mean transferring a blog to another server. The answer is NO… My transfer was not having my blog moved from one server to another.. it was a “data transfer” and there is a big difference. The circumstances are rare, I would think, but it could happen so I will explain the situation of my transfer since some of this info could help someone in the future.
I bought MomsCashBlog in early May and in mid June I found out there was another server involved… which meant my blog had to be separated from the other server to be on it’s own. My host said we had to make a transfer in order to set things right. Krysti, the previous owner, and I made a conference call with the host and thought all was settled. Then about a half hour later, 2 months of post disappeared from the blog!! (we were not told that would happen!!) Krysti notified me and said to call the host and that the posts might be missing because of the transaction we had just made, so I called and they said “yes.. the data is being transferred”.
Here are some tips and ad writing techniques to help those of you who plan on selling products with your blog. If you’re getting into Affiliate Marketing you may have to write your own ads. Ad writing is also helpful for anyone with a blog. If you want to make money online or you have a blog with ads you’ll need to sell ads in your posts from time to time. Even if you don’t sell a product or ads, you will want to drive traffic to your blog from another site (either from a social networking site or from another blog). In other words, you will have to “sell your blog”. Knowing the basics of ad writing can be a big help for anyone with a blog or a business. (more…)