Monday, September 2, 2019

Note about this site

Most of the content on this site is old and may or may not be of use. I don't like to break the internet, so I leave these articles here for historical reasons.
Enjoy and there is some stuff that is still current.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Using Drupal 8 Webforms with Sendy for email lists

I needed a way to collect email addresses for a royalty free music site that I own.
I use sendy for email and after a little experimenting, got this working perfect. It's not hard, but it is a little counter-intuitive, at least for me.


Okay, everybody. This is Jon Griffin. I'm gonna show you one thing that I found out with the Drupal 8 Webforms module.
One thing I wanted to do was have some separate forms that actually go to different lists under my main list. In this case I give away some free royalty-free music and I didn't want that in my general list. I wanted them to be on a separate list.
So in order to get the packet they have to basically put in their first name and their email. Then they get sent to my list with an email back giving them a page to download all that.
I'm not gonna show you how to install Webforms or the basics of it or anything else; there's plenty of tutorials, including what's included with this plugin, which is a great plugin. Beats anything I've seen in WordPress, especially for the price, which is free.
So basically what I want to do is show you in build ... You can see I've got a text field. The email ... I put a CAPTCHA in, of course. And "list" is a hidden field but it's gonna have the actual list that's in my sendy, because this is all related to sendy, which I should have mentioned at the beginning but I forgot. Anyway, so is who I use, because I own my data and it's a lot cheaper than anywhere else.
Forgot to put required, so I can fix that. So we're gonna save that. And so basically that sets your form. You can take a view, which you can see here shows that now it's got the email as required.
But the important thing is when hooking it up to sendy is you want to have email handlers. So basically right now when this form gets submitted it goes to this completed URL, and I also send the actual list, which you'll see here. So you'll see what I did. I send the email and I send the actual list as parameters to this URL, slash subscribe, which happens to be my sendy installation. Of course it'll add the question mark and all the URL variables.
That's really all you have to do. It's quite simple. If you don't know how to get the email list out of sendy you basically go to your subscriber list ... and I have only one list far, and I just started it so there's no people. But royalty-free ... and if you go right here, this ID, which you can just copy ... So that's the actual ID that you'll put in when you build. And you'll see when I have a hidden field that the default value's there. Nobody's gonna see it to change it. Really this isn't any high-security thing so whatever standard will work.
So that's all you need to do. Of course, I've blocked out some numbers because there are scammers and spammers about. But hopefully that'll help you out.
And when you're done you can always test it. The nice thing is it'll put up some random name and a random email. Unfortunately sendy will block it as spam so you gotta add some name in there and then hit submit, and you can go to your sendy installation and show it. So basically if you go to "Edit remote post handler" to "Advanced" you can set up the debug mode. And I use that—I don't need it now—just to see what I was sending. So you can actually see if I do a test, which as I said with the fake email address it won't probably take it on sendy because of the spam filtering built into it, but we'll hit it just so you can get an idea. If you just click on this you see what the form parameters are, where it was sent, and it actually gives you the response data which says, "You're subscribed." So in that case it did take it. So the tokens can be used if you want.
There's a lot more to this but that's all you really need. It's a simple thing.
And I hope that helps everybody out. If you have any questions please leave a comment.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Create blog content easily

How to create blog content easily

Just one post per week... it's not that much too ask is it?
Many of the people I talk to about Internet marketing say the same thing, "I don't have time to keep up with my blog." This is especially true in the offline world. Business owners are juggling too many different tasks, and writing an article seems like a lot of work. I would counter, especially to the offline business owners, that you are an expert, it shouldn't take that much time to write an article.
If you make writing an article a week a part of your overall strategy, then it will become a habit, and better yet, easier to do every week. Don't be afraid to change that goal to two articles a week or three, whatever.
Make sure you also put this on your marketing calendar you will be surprised at how easy it is to follow through when you have a reminder and it is written down.
Here are some ideas for those of you who really struggle with articles.

Unlimited writing ideas

A bit of shameless self-promotion. I wrote a little kindle product that goes into detail about how you can get unlimited ideas for your blog content.
Get the Kindle book here: Unlimited writing ideas


PLR stands for Private Label Rights. Many people are confused by this and if you know what PLR stands for, you can skip this section.
PLR is content you can buy which gives you the right to modify and use on your site or anywhere for that matter. Many people think that PLR is an article or eBook, but in reality, you can find PLR audio, video, and programs as well. You can also find PLR in almost every niche, not just Internet marketing
Here is an example using an offline clients businesses niche:
The business is a hair salon. I did a quick search for "salon plr" and came up with 46,000 results. These are obviously not all related, but the first page gave me three good leads, including one I didn't think of, a WordPress theme with PLR rights. Other sites had article packs, and several cheap and free ebooks.
Make sure you rewrite these or have someone else rewrite them. You can also make videos, audios, break the ebooks into articles, make the articles into ebooks, fill your autoresponder (you do have one of those I hope) with the content. You get the idea, just make sure the quality is good, as many of the products may not have the greatest editing. The advantage of PLR is you have the outline for what you want to write about.

PLR providers

There are many PLR providers, but to be honest, most of them are terrible. I can recommend a few, but depending on your niche, you may need to do a quick search with "your niche plr" and try some out. I highly recommend the following providers of great products.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Automatically Post To Twitter

This is now deprecated.

I no longer recommend feedburner if you are using WordPress or another blog platform that has a feed built-in. I also no longer recommend automatically posting to any site, including facebook and twitter. You are better off on any of the social networks, including Twitter, to tailor the message to your audience, not just use the title like most automation software does. If you want to use the power of social media, you are better off hand-crafting your messages. Sure, it takes a little time but, in the end you will give your readers a better experience. The best thing to do is to think of your readers, not the search engines. By creating a personal user experience, you will get more real readers. You will also get better search engine love. Automating content is dead. Your readers really do know the difference, and so do the search engines.

Twitter Problems

One of the problems, especially when posting to Twitter, is that your post is usually fairly long. Twitter is designed for short messages and you really need to create the best message you can that summarizes your post. You also need to make sure you are using a short URL that you can track.

Simple Wordpress Fix For Security

Well, technically not Wordpress, but your hosting is probably vulnerable.
From if you want to read the whole thing.
There was an attack on Wordpress blogs hosted at Network Solutions, but your host is probably guilty as well.
The gist of what happened is the wp-config.php was readable by the world and the crackers got access to the database passwords and logins which are stored in that file in plain text.
It is a Wordpress problem because that was considered best practice. In reality, none of your file need to be world readable, only readable by the web server, so you can safely eliminate any world read permissions.
If that is over your head don't panic. Just ask your host.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Warning, this is deprecated now. I'm leaving it in the interest of Web Integrity.


Does your blog video display correctly on mobile devices? ... click to tweet Use WordPress? Do your videos play at the right size on all devices? ... click to tweet


Hi, Jon Griffin here with another little tip, brought to you by This is sort of a geek tip and also sort of a marketing tip because it affects both. But it’s not geek so much that you have to do a lot of code. Basically, if you want your website to work both mobile and traditional, you need to make sure your videos are also what we call responsive or they’re fluent and they move with the size of their screen. I noticed a lot of people may have a great theme that looks good on mobile, but their videos from YouTube or wherever, they don’t size correctly.

Responsive design for video

I’m going to show you a little trick in WordPress, a plug-in and I’ve tried a lot of them, because I do a lot of video, but this one little plug, it will help you out, it will make your video size down without any extra work on your part once you set it up which is very, very easy. To start off, I’m going to show you a little demonstration. Here is my website, my personal one. As you can see on the full screen computer everything is fine, it’s stays within my nice boundary of my columns. What I’m going to do is, show you what happens if you resize and right now everything setup to work correctly. I just wanted you to see exactly what I mean. We make this smaller, that’s still a big size. We could go pretend we’re in a smaller screen and you notice that, that video is getting smaller and smaller and it will only go to a certain point, but right there it’s probably about what a mobile phone would be. If you look here, you can see it’s still playable, it’s still usable. As we go back up to full screen size, we’re back. It’s also my theme … it’s also what you call responsive of the text move down and things where in the right orders.

What WordPress theme should you use?

Right now, I’m mostly using shoestrap, which is a responsive design for WordPress, but this in this case I’m actually using genesis theme and it works just as well. You have to make sure that you are using a responsive theme that’s the buzz word, a lot of the genesis themes aren't. As I said, I’m mainly going to use shoe strap, from now on, because that’s using the boot strap, Twitter. I know twitter is going to be maintaining that for a long time. I know they are tiny little company, but just as a side now. Genesis works, most of the new themes are going to be responsive and just make sure it’s says that. In this case, I just never bothered to update, it’s not a big deal on my personal site.

The easy solution

What am I using? You can see right here that I’m using what’s called FitVids for WordPress. You can just look up FitVids, F-I-T-V-I-D-S. What we’ll do is, we’ll deactivate FitVids for WordPress and if we go here, we’ll refresh and you can see that I have my normal tiny generic YouTube embed code and that’s what shows up. There is ways on YouTube to make it bigger by default. I just left the generic one in there, but you’ll also notice as I get smaller. Now it’s running off the edge. You can see here, even though that looks pretty good, it’s still running off the edge and now it’s even less. That’s why you want to have this responsive with your video. We’ll go back up here and let’s activate FitVids for WordPress. We’ll go here to appearance which is not your normal place for savings and you go to FitVids. The only thing you have to put in there as body, you could post, but I basically don’t do that. You can add the jQuery from Google, if you want. Most of the new WordPress stuff already has that, but it doesn’t hurt. It will save the changes and then we’ll go see what happened. All right. Now you can see we’re back to our large size and if we get smaller again it all fits in there. Granted it is right by the side, but that’s because it’s a browser. If you are on your cellphone it would look tiny but different, but that’s just a good test, you can check out. That’s a quick and easy way to add a simple plug-in and make your site completely responsible, if you have a responsive theme. Now you don’t have to worry about your videos looking very strange on certain devices, so I hope that helps.


Shoestrap wordpress theme FitVids for WordPress   

Marketing Calendar

Have you ever heard something you knew was something you needed to implement right away? Of course you have, and I have as well.
One of those aha moments was at the Las Vegas Wealth Seminar.
James Jones was doing his presentation and he showed us his promotional calendar (I call it a marketing calendar). He answered that he had a monthly promotional planner and proceeded to show us an example. Everyone should have a marketing calendar, and if you have more than one project going, you definitely need one. Instead of getting some fancy program, why not use what you probably already have -- Google Calendar.

What To Put On The Calendar

You can add whatever you want, but in general I want recurring events, not specifics. Those of you with many sites to promote may just use a generic calendar, but I have separate calendars for all the sites I actively promote (i.e. not autoblogs). If you have specific products, add them and any dates like pre-launch, launch, etc. You can just have a generic event like create $5 product and recur when you want, simply change the name of that instance when you know what the exact product is.
I think you will find that having a marketing calendar will really help you stay focused. You can view it online as well as printing a copy. You never have to wonder what needs to be done, and if you outsource you can easily keep your outsourcing team busy with current and apropos work.