Why I Dished the Growmap Anti SpamBot Plugin (G.A.S.P.) – But Still Searching!

If your blog is built on the WordPress blogging platform and if you have the Commentluv plugin installed then one of the biggest challenges you will need to overcome is the problem of spam comments. Though the Commentluv plugin is great when it comes to audience engagement and interactions, this problem of spam comments really takes most of the benefits out.

But wonderfully there are many anti-spam plugins in the market that are great in helping to fight this menace. One of such plugin that many bloggers have been using with great results is the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin (G.A.S.P.). I started using this plugin sometime last year when the Web Income Journal became a target for comment spammers. I must confess that since then the plugin has proved a worthy companion for the blog.

Unfortunately, for some months now I observed a growing incident of spam comments across all my blogs on which I use this plugin. At first, I thought these spam comments were coming from human visitors who first load the page before adding their spam comments. To me this was not really a big problem.

But how wrong I was!

When I later discovered that the rate of spam comments started growing beyond what I could regard as normal any more, I had to do a research online. From my research I discovered that many bloggers were having this same problem. You may want to see some graphics from the blog and a few other of my blog on which G.A.S.P. couldn’t fend off the spammers again.

First, this one is from this blog. This is just a couple of days spam count:

Anti Spam fighter - G.A.S.P.

And then this one is from another of my blog. I rarely update this blog and so this graphic represents about a week of spam comments that G.A.S.P. let through!

Fighting Comment Spams!

Searching for an Alternative Comment Spam Plugin

Looking for an alternative was not an easy task as I did not want an anti-spam plugin that require commenters to either fill in a captcha or answer some questions! Personally, I do not fancy such solutions. To me, they are not only obstructive but not user-friendly too.

However, it turned out that there are really no very many anti spam wordpress plugins that do not use a captcha! I must say that right now, I’m still searching for the right plugin. But for now, I’m testing a few ones hoping to settle for the right one.

Let me at this junction apologize to our dear friends and supporters because in the past week when I couldn’t get a plugin that would do what I wanted (and since I have become fed up with G.A.S.P) I had to install the Captcha Bank plugin. I know most of you did not find this funny as you had to go through the rigors of trying to decipher the captcha before posting your comments.

Please accept my apologies!

Any way, I must say Captcha Bank did a good work in keeping the spam comments away in the past few days. However, I was not satisfied because of the captcha and so, right now I’m testing Spam Hammer which promises to do away with the spam comments without any fuss – no moderation, no captchas, no puzzles, no false positives!

I’ve just installed this plugin and I do hope it will perform what it has promised.

My Take on G.A.S.P.!

So, for now I must say Growmap Anti SpamBot Plugin (G.A.S.P.) has lost its bite. If what I have seen from other blogs is anything to go by, it is clear that someone has been able to breach the plugins defenses and right now the spam bots have free access without any hindrance.

I must say, I’ve always updated my plugins it is not about not using the latest version. Andy Bailey did a good work with G.A.S.P. but if it must sustain the good records it has held over the years, he must do something about it.

Also, I’m quite aware that there is a premium version of the plugin, but is a fact that if the free version cannot impress the user there will never be any incentive to upgrade to the premium version.

Feel free to air your views on this post. I will be at hand to reply you!

A Step By Step Guide on How to Migrate WordPress Site like A Pro!

Now, ask yourself this question, if anything happens to your wordpress blog right now and there’s the need either to re-install the blog or to migrate your wordpress site to another server, will you be able to handle it, seriously?

Of course, I know you could depend on your webhosting company to move the site to new server but as many of us do know,  many of these hosting companies could disappoint or most times takes too much doing what you want. Besides, it is really not a good idea to depend on your webhost to do this for you every time. There are times you would want to tell your host, bull sh*t and just do it yourself!

Anyway, whether you want to depend on your webhosting company or not, I think it is not a bad idea to have some knowledge of what to do if you need to move your wordpress site/blog to a new host or you just need to reinstall your blog because of one problem or the other. That is why in this post I have decided to reveal a system that I’ve used at different times to move my personal and my clients’ blogs without fail.

If you search Google for the phrase: “how to move your wordpress blog to a new host,” you’ll discover that different people use different methods to do this. The last time I did I actually received about 4 different methods! Unfortunately, most of these methods are very complicated. Some of them do not only require you to change some codes in the database but they also take hours or even days to get your site/blog up and running again.

However, the method I want to reveal in this post is simply the easiest and quickest I’ve found to migrate your site or blog without any hassle. You can actually move your wordpress blog in under one hour – from installing the new blog to making it live. I can say this with confidence because I’ve actually tried the other methods before settling for this one. Right now, it is the only method I use whether I’m working on my own or on a client’s site.

How to migrate wordpress site with ease!

Why Would You Want To Move Your WordPress Blog?

There are actually different reasons for this. For example, within the past 4 years I have had to move the Web Income Journal at different times. Here are some of the reasons (I’m sure you will relate to one of them!)

1. Move WordPress Blog To Another Domain Name

This was actually the first reason why I had to move the Web Income Journal. The blog started under the domain name www.themarketingmouse.com but after a couple of years when I discovered that that domain name was not doing well in the search engines based on the target audience I decided on a new domain name – www.webincomejournal.com – but instead of simply doing a redirect, I removed the old domain name and moved the files to the new one. [You can read that story here.]

So, this could be one reason why you want to transfer your wordpress blog.

2. Move WordPress Blog to another Webhost

This is another reason why moving wordpress may become necessary. Again, about a year ago, I had to move to a VPS hosting account after my previous host informed me that my blog has grown too big for a shared hosting package. Moving to that VPS plan was done seamlessly by the webhosting company (this was the only time my  web host did this for me!) but after about a year of running that VPS hosting package, I discovered I was not really getting what I paid for (in fact, the site was down most days and at a time it was offline for days. Here is the story!) and I had no option but to look for another host. That was when I moved to my present webhost!

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Let me quickly say here that though my present hosting plan is a shared plan, right now I’m more satisfied here than when I was running the VPS plan!  My blog now load faster and there are less outages! Besides, the problem of CPU (which was the main problem with my former host) has now become a thing of the past. I now have more bonus features which I never got even with a VPS package!

If you’re having problems with your present host or you just want to move your wordpress blog to a server that will help your blog load faster and that has amazing webhosting features, then I recommend you click here.

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From the above, you may need to move your wordpress blog if at any time you want to change your webhost.

3. If Your WordPress Blog Was Hacked, Or You Suffered a Crash!

This could happen anytime without any warning! Yes, I’ve been faced with these two situations at one time or the other. For example, one of my several blogs was hacked sometime ago and I had to reinstall the blog after cleaning up the damage. Also, I have done this for some clients who, while they were trying to do something on their blogs, mistakenly “touched” the wrong thing and suddenly everything came crashing down and re-installing the blog was the only solution!

NOTE: For you to recover from these two situations and get your blog back online in record time, you need a backup of your blog. So if you do not have a backup system right now it is important that you setup one. One thing I must point out here is that it is not advisable to have your backup folder in the same directory where your blog is installed. Using a backup system like Dropbox.com is a better alternative. Dropbox.com has a wordpress plugin that makes it easy to set and forget the backup process. Click here for more details about Dropbox.com.

Ok, so the above scenarios may warrant your moving your wordpress blog at anytime in the course of your blogging career. The good news is whatever the situation the method I’m about showing you here can take care of your need!

Besides, with this method you will be able to transfer your wordpress site to another server without any lose of rankings, link juice or worry about re-installing each and every plugin manually. Every blog customization was done on your blog before the movement will be maitained without fail!

You’ll definitely love this …!

How to Migrate Your WordPress Site without Any Hassles!

Before looking at the step by step guide let’s look at what you will need:

(a) A backup of your old MySQL database.

(b) A backup of your old wp-content folder.

(c) A backup of your uploads/images folder.

(d) A backup of your old wp-config.php File.

Please Note: – If you’re setting up your Dropbox.com account (or any other backup system) always make sure that the above files and folders are included in your backup. This way if you suffer a crash or any such thing, you’ll have them handy.

And so, let’s get on with the step by step guide:

Step #1: Take a Backup of Your MySQL Database

This is your current MYSQL database. You can either get this from your Dropbox.com backup or you can take a backup manually.

Here’s how to take a backup manually:

1. Log into your current hosting account. This is where the wordpress blog or site you are moving is located.

2. Locate the backup wizard. Click on this and take a backup of your database. Here’s a graphic of what is involved:

BackUp database using file manager

then,

Choose backup

Choose to backup database and not root folder:

Select MySQL database and not root folder

Please note: If you have different blogs installed under your hosting account you will need to select the particular blog you are moving.

3. Save the backup in a place where you can locate it later. The backup should be saved as a .sql.gz file.

Step #2: Download Your Needed Files and Folders

Again, these can be retrieved from your Dropbox backup or downloaded directly. Now, if you are to download the files directly,  you can use a third party file upload utility like Filezila (Free) or use the file manager in your cpanel.

Download using file manager:

1. Locate and click to open the file manager.

2. To download any of the files simply select the file and then click on the “Download” icon at the top of the page.

Download a file with file manager

3. To download a folder (for example the wp-content folder), first compress the folder by selecting it and then clicking on the compress icon at the top of the page:

Compress and download a folder

Confirm compression of folder:

confirm compress of the folder

and now the result:

The compression result

Once that is done, download as above.

Save all downloads where you can easily access them.

Step #3: Update Nameservers for Your Domain in Your New Hosting Account

If you are moving the same domain name to a new hosting account, the domain name must be setup under your new host. To do this, login to your clients’ area (that is, where your domain name is registered, and then change the nameservers to point to your new host.

Please make sure you do this after you have taken all downloads in step #2 above.

STEP 4: Update the Domain Name in the Downloaded Database File (Optional)

This is only necessary if you’re changing the domain name. If you are using the same domain name simply skip this step and move on to the next step.

1. To update the domain name, locate the database zip file you have downloaded and unzip it.

2. Open the file in your text editor.

3. Open your find/replace tool and then type the name of the domain you want to change in the “Find” area then enter the new domain name in the “Replace with” area.

Updating the domain name using a search and replace tool

4. Click “Replace All” and wait for it to update the records.

5. Save the file. Remember not to “save as” but simply click on “File” and then “Save.”

NOTE: Some text editors may break the serialized DB data stored in the file. To avoid this it is better to use a serialize-aware tool like Search-Replace-DB (https://github.com/interconnectit/Search-Replace-DB).

Step #5: Install New Blog

This will take you a couple of minutes using Fantastico or Softaculous.

I want to assume that you know how to do this already so I’m not going to give you another tutorial about that here! However, here’s one VERY IMPORTANT thing you must do:

1. Open the wp-config.php file you’ve downloaded from the old install.

2. Locate the “WordPress Database Table Prefix” and take note of the table prefix. This is usually in the form of wp_. For example, in the graphic below the table prefix is, “pa_”

Wordpress Database Table Prefix

3. Now when installing the new wordpress blog deliberately enter a different table prefix. For example, instead of the “pa_” you can use “be_”.

STEP #6: Upload Downloaded Files from the Old Site

These files include:

1.    The zipped wp-content folder containing all themes and plugins from your old installation,

And,

2.  The zipped uploads/images folder

Please do not upload the wp-config.php file from the old installation.

To upload these files you can use FileZila but just as we did in step #2 above we can also use the file manager in your cpanel to do this.

1. Open your file manager and then delete the wp-content folder in the current installation. Simply select the folder and then click on “delete” at the top of the page.

2. Click on “Upload” and select the files to upload.

3.    Once the folders have uploaded, unzip them by selecting the zipped folder and then clicking on the “Unzip” icon at the top of the page.

Please note that you must do this before moving on to the next step.

Step #7: Drop (Delete) the New Database

This is the database of the new site you have just installed.

1. From cpanel locate phpMyAdmin and click to open

MyphpAdmin graphic

2. Select the database you want to drop.

3. Click on the “Structure” tab.

4. Locate the “Check All” link at the bottom of the tables and click on it. This will select all the files.

5. In the drop-down menu which says “With selected,” select “Drop.”

6. Click on “Go” and confirm when you are prompted to do so.

NOTE: This will remove the database of your new installed blog.

how to delete the database - graphic

Step #8: Upload New Database

Still working in phpMyAdmin, upload the database from your old site:

1. Click the “Import” tab.

2. Click “Browse” to select the .sql.zip database file you backed up earlier.

3. Click the “Go” button at the bottom of the page.

4. Wait for this to upload. Depending on the size of your database, this will take some time so be patient until it successfully uploads.

Upload old Database file

Step #9: Update wp-config.php File

At this point your wordpress site should be ready to go but you need just one more thing to make everything work.

Remember in step #5 we intentionally used a different database table prefix for our new installation? Now is the time to put in the correct thing.

Here is how to do it:

1. Open the file manager from cpanel

2. Locate the wp-config.php file and open it. Simply select it and click on the “edit” link at the top of the page.

3. When it opens look for the “WordPress Database Table Prefix” section and then change the prefix to what is in the old installation. For our example above we changed the prefix “pa” to “be_” We can now change it back to “pa_” and then save the file.

Step #10: Update Permalinks

At this point if you open your blog on your browser you will discover that your site is live with every customization and detail before you moved the site to a new host. However, if you try visiting any of the posts or a page you will discover that instead of opening an error will appear. This is because you have not updated the permalinks structure.

So, login to the blog dashboard (use the login details of your old blog) and update the permalinks structure.

Please note that the custom permalinks structure from your old blog would have been pre-filled in the box. All you need to do is click on the update button and you are done!

Step #11?

Congratulate yourself, seriously! You have just accomplished what many people will never attempt. So go on, pop some Champaign because you’ve just joined that special group of WordPress Pros! 🙂

Alright, this is the easiest way I’ve found to migrate your wordpress site/blog from one host to another without losing ranking or going through the pains of re-installing the plugins  one by one and also not working your blog customization again! I hope this is useful to you.

Recommended: The Untold Truth About Web Hosting That Every WordPress Blogger Must Know!

Now it’s Your Turn: This indeed appears to be the longest post ever on the Web Income Journal and I’ll love to know what you think of this post. Was it helpful? Did you learn something new from it? Do you need some more clarifications on the topic discussed? Feel free to share with us in the comments below.

Besides, I’ll appreciate it if you will use the share buttons below to promote the post with your online networks.

Resources:

1. Reliable WordPress backup resource – Dropbox.com

2. Reliable WordPress hosting company with great features and wonderful support – Arvive.com

3. Still don’t want to migrate your wordpress blog by yourself? Get professional WordPress help here! I’ll personally help you with this.

Content Marketing: 2013, the Year of the Helpers!

Let me once again say, welcome to 2013! I’m sure you are refreshed to launch out and win big this year after the holidays!

This post is actually my first official post on this blog this year. Yes, I did a post last week but that simply was a post to announce the winners of our Christmas giveaway contest. And so, in reality it was an extension of last year’s series!

Anyway, welcome to the Web Income Journal in year 2013. My desire for you this year is: fruitfulness, increase, good success, unprecedented results and you living your dream!

Now, have you noticed the excitement and great expectations around the blogosphere as we stepped into 2013?

You should because it is very glaring. Every where you turn, on nearly every blog and internet marketing website, the effect is electrifying! The trend was noticeable as 2012 was ebbing out and 2013 easing in.  In fact, many bloggers used the opportunity to write about their visions and plans for 2013.

Content Marketing in 2013 - Create Helpful Content

Change or Be Left Behind!

I’m sure you are also excited about great things happening this year, right? Ok, so let me ask you, what and what are you ready to change this year? Or, what on-going changes in the blogosphere are you prepared to take on to make that happen?

You know, you cannot continue to do the same thing and expect some change – someone defined that as insanity, right? Now, if that is so, how  do you expect  new results if you do not know what changes are happening in the market and take advantage of them?

Business professionals agree that one of the secrets to business success is understanding the trends and then moving on to positioning your business to take advantage of the changing trends! That is why you need to know the direction that the blogosphere and online business marketing is headed in 2013.

In this post I want to talk about one of the biggest changes which will impact the online marketing turf in 2013.

Content Marketing and the Concept of Helpers!

In 2012, one of the marketing strategies that gained traction is content marketing. With the many changes from Google aimed at sanitizing the search engines, and by extension the content publishing environment, online marketers now place more importance in providing quality content as a way of getting the attention of online shoppers.

Following this, the idea of content is king became more pronounced. But unfortunately to many, this simply means churning out content upon content. Their schedule became something like this:

  • Publish more content on their sites/blogs.
  • Publish more content on social media sites.
  • Submit more content to article directories.
  • Do more of guest blogging
  • Etc.

The reasoning? Put your content everywhere because content is king and the more the better!

Now, hear this: In 2013 content marketing (or content publishing which ever side you are in), will not just be about QUALITY or QUANTITY but about VALUE!

I touched briefly on this some time ago in another post, when I said: Content is not the king but VALUE is!

The truth is:  to win in the  new internet, your marketing content must be valuable to the user. And you know, that value is not determined by you but the user. Your content could be unique and well written, grammatically and otherwise, but if it is not helpful to the reader it is useless.

What is the message here?

If you are going to make any head way either as a blogger (content publisher) or as a content marketer (no matter what product or service you are marketing), you will need to picture yourself as a helper because 2013 is the year of the helpers and USEFUL and VALUABLE content will be the secret to winning online.

The days of article spinning and recycling content just because you want your content everywhere, is gone. 2013 is the year of originality and usefulness. If your content cannot help solve a problem or heal a pain for the reader, then your content have no place in the new scheme of things.

Without the fear of sounding like a broken record, let me repeat it: Content Is Not King, Value Is The Real King!”

Today, the online consumer is more curious and suspicious. Considering the volume of content that is being published every day, and knowing that we are time-strapped, we must aim to provide the right information in the most helpful way to enable the consumer make the right decisions and at the right time.

So, in 2013 whether you are a blogger or a product seller, think helpful content rather than just quantity.

Wondering how you can become a successful helper as a content marketer?

In Day Nine of the 12 Days of Christmas Inspiration series I gave some very useful tips that will help in the post: “Are You Willing to Play Second Fiddle?” Go and read it it now.

Understand this, 2012 saw content marketing move from it kindergarten stages to its adolescent stages. 2013 will witness its movement to its adult stages. And so, you cannot afford to ignore this concept of creating helpful content in 2013!

That is it for now from my end. I’ll love to hear your views on this and how you are aiming to provide helpful content in 2013.  Share your thought with us in your comments below.

Inspiration: Your Business Success Is Your Responsibility!

Day 6 of Our 12 Days of Christmas InspirationI started these 12 Days of Christmas Inspiration series by relating the incident that brought down the Web Income Journal for about 5 days. That was the second of its kind in a matter of months. And of course, it was just one of the numerous other challenges I have faced building my online business.

But like I said in the post, rather than let that incident and the frustration and pain it caused me to crush my spirit, it motivated me the more to ensure that no matter what happens, this business must succeed and therefore I must put in more effort!

Now, that resolve was because I have learned to be responsible!

It’s because I’ve learned that:

  • The success or failure of your online business is up to you. You have no one to blame.
  • The freedom and choice to make your business produce results are your responsibility.
  • Success or failure the credit goes to no one but you.
  • Your blog readers will not do it for you neither will your online friends!

Of course, I have earlier mentioned the need to collaborate with others in order to achieve your dream, but that does not remove the responsibility from you. Your blog readers and online friends are there to assist but be ready to carry the load of responsibility alone!

Being responsible demands being bold enough to step out on your own through individual initiative. You must be able to act independently and with greater self-reliance.

It demands taking the right actions that will bring you to your desired goal. The responsible are always ready to roll up their sleeves and put action to their desires!  Forget “all-done-it-for-you” and those “set-and-forget-it” tactics being touted by unscrupulous vendors.

3 Things You Must Do To Be Responsible

1. Invest In Your Self

Successful people agree that success is not really what you get but what happens to you. It is about who you become and not what you beget. It is a reflection of your person. If you are successful inside it will show in the outside. As it is commonly said, “Your attitude will determine your altitude!”

It is important therefore that the first action you must take towards being responsible is to invest in building your capacity. Read the right books and apply what you read to your business. To be fruitful you need to stay green and continuous study will help you stay green and therefore fruitful!

2. Design Your Own Action Plan

You are unique. Your circumstances and experiences are distinct from others. You don’t need every strategy out there to succeed with your business. Get as much as is necessary and then structure your own action plan. Make it unique to you. Add what you know will help you. Try new approaches only if you know they will further you purpose. Depending on your business model, your action plan may not be what others are using but the important thing is if it is working for you then it is useful.

3. Be Proactive And Not Reactive

Change is rapid on the net. A tactic that worked a few minutes ago will become obsolete in the next few hours! That “sure-fire” tactic you have just read about is actually outdated already! It has been milked inside out. Why run around looking for the latest tricks and tactics? It will only weary you. Instead, learn to read and interpret what is happening. Learn to understand where the trend is going and then make the move to position yourself before others. This may sound a bit out of your reach but the truth is you don’t have to compete with the big players. Learn from them and carve out your own stand!

Here is one way to do this. As the year is running to a close many companies and businesses that are into research are coming out with reports and predictions for the coming year. Study these reports. Note what they are saying about your target market. Use your knowledge to review your business and tactics.

Take away

Your business is your responsibility. The buck stops on your table. You have a duty to yourself and your family to ensure that it works. You cannot blame anyone whatever happens. You are given an equal opportunity as everyone else – twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and fifty-two weeks a year. Invest them rightly and your dream will become a reality.

So, what is your take? Will love to read and respond to your comments below.

12 Days Of Christmas Inspiration – Day 2: Why Are You Here?

A few years ago, after a period of self assessment and much reflections,  I suddenly realized that for everything we do, there is always a “why.” As soon as I realized that I went on to set out a personal mission for my life!

However, when I started my online business instead of putting my life mission into consideration before starting, I was more concerned by the financial returns and the promised internet life style. Luckily I realized soon enough how futile this could be without really aligning my business with my personal mission and purpose.

That was when I had to take a step backward and review my business activities. Today everything I do, both on this blog and my other sites, is now driven by my personal mission and vision rather than monetary gains.

The Web Income Journal is actually an extension of my personal mission which is to: inspire and empower as many as come in contact with me helping them to be more successful both in their personal and professional lives. Over the years I’ve found my life to be more meaningful doing this. This series of 12 days of Christmas inspiration is simply a product of this “WHY.”

Day 2 of our 12 days of Christmas inspiration

Today, I want you to reflect on this and ask yourself, why are you truly here?

Why are you online?

Why do you blog?

Why are you in that business?

If your “WHY” is only to make the money, you will need to think again because money is transient.

You should pursue joy. You should pursue lasting peace. Unfortunately, from the record of men, money alone cannot provide any of these.

What will bring you peace and lasting joy is when you pursue that which is not contrary to the laws of God and man; for greatness can only thrive on the soil of peace and harmony!

Sow good seeds into people’s lives and you will reap a harvest of glory. Someone said it rightly this way: “If you can help as many people get what they want, you too can get whatever you want!

In this season of Christmas when we once again reflect on the birth of Jesus, the Christ of God, it is the right time to reflect also on why we are here. Jesus knew from the word go why he was here and throughout his earthly life he lived to fulfill that why. Everything he did was centered on that why.

Whether you have made your plans for year 2013 or you are still in the process of making that plan, I dare to say that this is the right time to once again reflect on WHY you are here and how you are fulfilling that WHY with your online business.

Note this: When You Get The Why Correct, The How To Make It Happen And The What For Making It Happen Will Come Easily To You!

Go and succeed. 2013 will yield to you your heart’s desires!

Your friend,
Chadrack Irobogo

12 Days of Christmas: A Daily Inspiration for the Season!

Today, in light of the Yuletide season, I’m starting a daily dose of inspiration and empowerment talk aimed at helping you better appreciate what you have passed through in the year and preparing you for the coming year!

The idea for this actually came to me after what I passed through this past week when the Web Income Journal came down for the second time this year! Indeed, it was yet another trying moment for me as different thoughts raced through my mind.

Wonderfully enough I was able to overcome these negative thoughts and during that time I came to realize that a whole lot of thing account for many abandoning their dream of enjoying the internet lifestyle!

Yes, the purpose of the Web Income Journal is to “educate, inspire and empower our esteem readers and friends” as clearly stated on our tagline:

Inspiration. Empowerment. Results!

And what better time to do this than now. For this reason I have decided to give my own little 12 days of Christmas inspirational dose which I hope will greatly help one way or the other!

12 Days of Christmas Inspiration from WebIncomeJournal.com

First, you may want to hear my story…

On Wednesday 4th December I woke up fully loaded and energized for the day’s activities. The day before I had published the readers’ appreciation webhosting giveaway post and waking up that morning, I was excited about the things I was going to do.

And so, with high spirits and after a few things to set the day rolling,  I proceeded to load the Web Income Journal but instead of the site loading it returned a 403 forbidden error!

I couldn’t understand what was happening. At first I thought it was something to do with my computer but when I tried another one and the message was the same, I knew there was trouble!

I immediately got on the phone with the mind of contacting my webhost. But then, I was met with another surprise, none of the customer service numbers were working!

To make matters worst, when I attempted visiting the webhost’s site to create a support ticket, I discovered that the their site was also down!

You could practically see my frustration at this point. I tried desperately a few more times but after about 4 hours of trying without any results I was both annoyed and wondered why this was happening again a few months after this site faced a whole lot of troubles which also had to do with webhosting?

After about 8 hours of waiting and contemplating what to do, I received an email that simply read….

“Hi,

“One of the accounts hosted on your VPS is causing load issues by running multiple instances of resource intensive PHP scripts. Due to these scripts laod is going high and our clients are experiencing performance issues. Here is the list of processes that we found running on your VPS: (then followed a list of codes that were the cause of the problem).”

“We had no other choice but to disable web access of this account. You need to contact your developer in order to optimize these scripts and queries to ensure they consume less amount of resources.”

Seeing this as a ray of hope, I quickly replied the email asking for more clarification promising to fix the problem. But somehow till this hour, no answer came in reply to the questions I asked neither was there any other one to the other emails I sent later.

This was really unsettling for me as this has never happened before.

All Is Well That End Well…!

After 2 days of trying different ways to access the site (with no reply from my webhost and web access still disabled to the site, I really did not know what to do) without any success, I decided on starting a fresh site using the backup I had with me, though that would have led to my losing about one month’s content.

But then, I felt moved to check the VPS Control Panel. To my surprise, it opened! Surprised at this, I proceeded to open the Root Control Panel (this is the central control for all the sites hosted on the VPS account) and this also opened without any problem.

It was then I realized that the internet access was only cut off to the blog and not the root cpanel!

At this point my hopes were rekindled and I quickly took a backup of the database and also downloaded some other essential files. Once I had the backup and files, I was ready to set up the blog again.

Well, it was 4 days of soul searching for me.  Experiencing two site failures in just a year was damn too much for me. However, throughout this period the words of Apostle Paul, one of the foremost fathers of the Christian faith, were always ringing in my heart:

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are prepared, but not in despair; perplexed, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…

“For our light affiction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

These words not only uplifted my spirit but also gave renewed zeal knowing that what is happening is only but for a moment but what is ahead is far more glorious!

And so, with that mind I went on to install a fresh blog and wonderfully the blog is back without any loss of data. Even the webhosting giveaway post which was published a few hours before the tragedy struck is intact!

So, What’s the Lesson for Us?

Ironically, instead of this incident crushing my spirit it rather boosted my resolve to move on to accomplishing my dreams! Yes, at first I had some unsettling thoughts but then considering those words of Apostle Paul I realized my dreams are just too big to be crushed by disappointments like this one. And this is what has fired my decision to share this with you.

I don’t know your experiences so far in your journey to achieving your dreams online, one thing that is sure is, do not allow such experiences to deter you. Don’t allow them distract you from the fact that you have a destination – a goal. See them as temporary setbacks but your destination is something too big to be stopped.

And so, here is my encouragement to you…

  • Don’t Give Up – Adversities Are Actually Your Advance Riders!
  • You may not be able to prevent every tragedy from happening but you can prevent them from destroying you!
  • Your goal and dreams are far too wonderful to be stopped.
  • Tragedies that come your way are truly there to teach you things you may never have learned otherwise!

Yes, keep on the race and always remember: “Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win!”

You will end well!

Your friend.

Chadrack

What Do You Think Of A Bloggers’ Hall Of Shame?

Branded as the new media, blogging has taken roots quickly and at a pace unimaginable. It is reported that every minute, hundreds of blogs are started all over the world. One thing that is very noticeable also is that like most things on the net, there are really no regulations anywhere for bloggers to adhere to.

However, over the years some un-written standards have come to be accepted by all and sundry. But unfortunately, the blogosphere is filled with all manner of practices that most times puts question mark on what these bloggers are really doing.

From my experience on the Web Income Journal and what I have seen on most blogs, I’m tempted to ask if it will be a good thing to start a Bloggers’ Hall Of Shame to high light some of the bad practices that many bloggers involve themselves in.

I actually got this idea when I came across an article a few days ago on MSN.com, “2012 Customer Service Hall of Shame” that is targeted at major players in industries like banking, credit cards, cable, airlines, insurance etc.

Conducted by MSN in conjunction with pollster IBOPE Zogby International, the MSN Money’s annual survey of customer service is aimed at bringing to the open the negative attitude of these companies in respect to customer service. What really interested me is that from all indication, it does appear that the MSN customer hall of shame is working wonders as the 2012 report shows that customers are more satisfied than the previous year.

This is what has given me the idea that if a similar thing is started focused on bloggers bad practices, we might just see some improvement in the blogosphere in the days to come!

And so, I’m throwing this open to all today in our community timeout for the week. The question is, if a Bloggers’ Hall Of Shame is started what unwholesome practice of bloggers would you want to be used as a yardstick for judging the winners in that hall?

Would you consider things like comment spamming using automated tools or auto-generated content pulled in from RSS feeds? Would you go for lean content scrapped from other blogs and that adds no value to the blogosphere? What would you go for? And do you think this will help create more awareness for bloggers to stop these things?

Share with us what you think should be used in judging those who should appear in the bloggers hall of shame. Post your comments below.

Note: This is part of our weekly community time out. If you want us to discuss any issue on this page, simply send it with this form. Read more about the community timeout on the webincomejournal.com here.

A New Posting & Editorial Calendar For The Web Income Journal

Blogging is a publishing business and like every publisher would know, without an editorial calendar, you could run into a whole lot of confusion.

Frankly, I had not really taken this into consideration before now. But in the recent few weeks, in a bid to better apply my time to effective use, I have taken a concerned look at the publishing schedule of the Web Income Journal. I have realized therefore that a more structured publishing calendar is necessary.

For this reason, starting July 1, the Web Income Journal will be featuring a new publishing schedule/calendar. And so, knowing too well that this is much about you as it is about me writing the blog,  it is therefore my pleasure to officially lay out this structure so that you too can be a part of it.

A Brief Report of the First Half of Year 2012

First, I want to say the first half of year 2012 had been a wonderful one for us despite some of the problems we experienced, e.g. the crash following the movement to another web host. But all in all, the blog has been doing very well. Traffic has increased, most of which is coming from the search engines (an indication that the blog is doing very well SEO-wise even with the Google slap that everyone is complaining about!).  Besides, more and more people are linking to the site without my asking them – a clear endorsement for the content!

Also, in the past few weeks, I’ve received invitations to contribute to some very interesting blogs. I’m really excited about this and very soon you will be seeing my content on some of these blogs.

I must say that all of these wouldn’t have come to be without you. And so, let me use this opportunity to once again thank you for being a part of the Web Income Journal. I do hope that with our new posting schedule and calendar you’ll get more involved. 🙂

The New Publishing Schedule for the Web Income Journal

After a careful study of what we have been doing in the past, I’ve decided to settle for a weekly publication of 3 posts which I’ve branded as follows:

1. Community Time Out – This will be on every Mondays and the purpose is to discuss any issue that has to do with running a business online. As I have always said, the Web Income Journal is here to build a community of like minds. It is not really about ME but US! This community time-out is therefore a platform for all of us to discuss any salient issue that will help us become more successful with our online businesses.

Thus far, I have been determining, through my posts, what topics to be discussed on the blog. But with this, you too have the opportunity to suggest what should be discussed. You can make your suggestions by sending them by using our contact form. Once a week we will pick one or two of the suggested topics and all of us will make our contributions.

Please note that the purpose is to increase our knowledge and to help our online businesses so, it will be a good thing if you make your suggestions worthwhile.

2. WebIncomenomics! – Ok, this is actually my own coinage which I’ve come to define as, “the science and art of making a living online!”

Yes, there is a science (the knowledge, theories, insights etc) and art (the tactics, practical steps etc) to making the internet work for you. As you know we have always tried to provide educative, informative and entertaining blog articles to help in these areas. The good news is that we will continue to do this. But this time,  such posts will be published on Wednesdays.

As usual, these may be my personal posts or guest posts written by our wonderful guest contributors.  Let me quickly say that our criteria in accepting guest posts will also be more selective than usual. If you want to contribute as a guest blogger please read our guest blogging terms here and follow the instructions.

3. Issues In The News – I’ve come to realize that as a journal dedicated to providing information on marketing and general business online, it is important to, as much as possible, touch on current issues that impacts on our business dealings on the net. This being so, every Friday, we will take a look at any issue in the news that in any way impact on our online businesses. We will present the issue and then give our analysis and commentary.

You also have the opportunity to contribute to this through your comments and through your guest posts. So, if there is any current issues you want to target in your guest post, simply send it and let me know how urgent it is and it will be treated accordingly.

We’re All in This Together!

It will interest you to know that I have really been experimenting with all of these for some time now. For example, when I featured the cartoon on making friends on social media, I was only testing the community discussion idea. Also, the posts on Facebooks IPO and the Workers Day Celebration were a test of the “Issues in the News” idea.

Your responses to these posts have shown that we can do something much better. With this new publishing calendar all of us will know ahead of time on what we have in stock and then we can contribute as necessary.

Of course, how this will come out depends on all of us. Especially on the community time out, the topics you send in for discussion will greatly determine how it will go. Therefore, I ask that you make things easier for all of us.

Please let’s make this truly interactive and fun. I love you all!

So, Let’s know your take: What do you think of this new schedule? Is there any suggestion on how you think it can be made more interactive and entertaining? Please share your views in your comments below.

#My7Links Challenge: Simple But Challenging All The Same!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the 7-links challenge, right? Ok, I got nominated sometime ago but because of other pressing issues I have not been able to make good use of the opportunity.

Now, if you have observed very carefully you will discovered that for some time now I’ve now published a new post. Of course, I offer my apology to all of our valuable readers. The work load is getting larger but the available time is not! 🙂

Any way since I’ve been able to attend some of the pressing duties, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to take up the challenge.

In case you’re hearing of the My 7 Links Challenge for the first time, it’s the brain-child of Tripbaseblog, with just one aim:

“To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavour to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.”

The ideas is that a blogger will be nominated by another blogger and then that blogger will make a post picking one post in the 5 categories of the challenge. At the end of the post the blogger is expected to nominate another 5 bloggers who will continue the circle.

From what I have seen others do with this challenge, getting nominated was really a privilege for me. However, choosing just seven blog posts out of about 195 that I’ve so far written on this blog (at the time of this writing) was really challenging! But after much thought and not wanting to let it go, I’ve decided to present the following as my response.

But first, let me use this opportunity to thank my friend, Christopher of TechnologyBloggers.org, for nominating me. (Hi Christopher, please accept my apologies for not responding to the challenge before now!)

Now, The Criteria for Choosing My 7 Links

The following are the criteria I used in choosing my 7 links:

1. Age:  Since one of the purpose of the 7-link challenge is to help show case forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again, I’ve decided to highlight some very old posts here that you may not have read! Do yourself some good and read them now!

2. Evergreen: Indeed there are some blog posts here that meet the challenge requirements but I think they are time sensitive having been overtaken by time and other events. I’ve therefore not considered them for this challenge. My intension is to include only the posts that will be of benefit to you no matter when you read it.

3. Personal posts: Of course you do know that I’ve guest posts on this blog. For this challenge I concentrated on those posts that are written personally by me. Despite that fact that the other posts by my guest bloggers are great, I consider it a thing of honor to leave out the guest posts.

And So, Here Are My 7 Links for Each Category

My 7 Links Challenge

The Most Beautiful Post

Please don’t ask me how I was able to pick this one since I couldn’t really know what makes a post beautiful or ugly! Is it the graphics used or is it how the post is structured? Whatever the criteria may be, check out this post: Google Search plus Your World – What is Google Up To? And let me know if that post is really beautiful! 🙂

The Most Popular Post

For this I simply had to pick the most visited posts on the blog. Using the WP Most Visited Post plugin I discovered Google New Policy: You’ll want to do this, urgently! is the most popular according to views.

The Most Controversial Post

Matter of fact is, I’m not very good at writing controversial posts but for this challenge I’m sure this one: Google Plus vs Facebook: Will This Turn out a Healthy Competition? is one you will want to read again. The battle for supremacy in the social media game between Google and Facebook is one that has created a lot of controversy and so a post on that topic should be considered to be controversial. Of course I did take sides in the post and I’m sure you will want to know which side I am on! 🙂

The Most Helpful Post

For this category, I had problems choosing one. But after some thought I’ve decided to showcase not just a post but a series on WordPress SEO I wrote some time ago. The series was really a helpful one as testified to by our esteemed readers. Read the series here: WordPress SEO Power Guide

The Post Whose Success Surprised Me

Picking this one was really easy. I’ve never written any post and was surprised with it success but my post: Seasonal Greetings to all our Esteemed Readers and Friends! Which I did as a thank you post to all our dear readers achieved astounding success so much that it became the talk of many other bloggers. Even … of .. went as far as informing her email subscribers about it! Take a look and discover why there was such a buzz about the post!

The Post That Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved

Going through some of the posts that went back to the beginning of this blog I discovered that there are many posts that fall into this category. Choosing one was a difficult one for me but after a careful thought I’m sure this post: Effective Holiday Marketing Strategies for the Home Business Entrepreneur! is just the perfect one to feature here. As the Easter holiday is fast approaching, I believe this one will be helpful to any entrepreneur who wants to make some extra cash during the holiday.

The Post I’m Most Proud Of

Ok, as a father I’m very much aware of the dangers of favoring one child above the others and so it would have gladly not tackled this one!

Well, that’s on the lighter mood. But having combed different posts I thought were appropriate for this category, I decided on this post: Implementing Google Authorship in a Multiple Author Blog – Web Income Journal as a Case Study! This post is actually a result of about 2 weeks testing and tweeking to set up Google Authorship on the Web Income Journal. For the share effort put into bringing the post to life, I’m picking it as the post I’m most proud of! If you have not implemented Google Authorship on your blog, it will do you some good to read the post.

Ok, that’s it for my 7 Links Challenge.

Now, To My 5 Nominations

I’ve discovered that everyone I had in mind for my nomination have all taken the challenge. This being so, I’ve decided to randomly nominate a few from our valuable readers having checked on their blogs and believe they have something to offer all of us. And so, here are my nominations:

1. Elena of YourLifeTube.com

2. Mahendra of Maheinfo!

3. Steven of  TheVocabularyWorkshop

4. Rizwan Sultan of CrohnsandIBSBreakThrough

5. Julie of the Dental Blog

Alright, will love to hear from you about this challenge. Take a look at the posts in each category and post your comments below.

 

How To Turn Your Skills Into An Online Business

How to turn your skills into a profitable business

When you want to start a business online what are the factors you should take into consideration?

Is it your skills, your knowledge or your passion?

Should you rather go for what is already selling, what the market wants?

If you have sought advice on this issue before now you definitely must have received different suggestions. While some business coaches advise you to start a business based on what you love – what you’re passionate about – others suggest building a business based on your skills and knowledge.

Now, if you’re a blogger (and I’m assuming you are) chances are, your blog is built on a topic you’re passionate about! The reason for this has always been that blogging demands so much attention and focus and without been passionate about your blog topic it is impossible to stay focused as a blogger.

And this is definitely true!

However, as a blogger who is into niche blogging (building blogs in niche markets to promote affiliate products) I don’t believe passion is enough. Frankly! My belief is that you simply need to be passionate about the market you want to serve. Passionate about helping people in that niche with solutions that will better their lives – it’s simply about you wanting to always help others!

Please read the above paragraph again until it sinks in and let there be a shift in your mindset!

The question is, what are you passionate about? Are you passionate about what you know or you’re passionate about the market you want to serve?

It is that important because…

The world is filled with starving artists, writers, actors and others who spend their entire lives doing what they love for a pittance!

The Perfect Combination for a Perfect Business

Right here in this post, I want to give you a perfect mix that can actually help you build a perfect business. Yes, a perfect business because it combines the entire core factors that business coaches advice as a MUST for starting a business.

Now, imagine starting a business that combines your skills, knowledge, passion and a ready market? What do you make of that? A perfect combination right?

Well, let me here introduce my new baby the…

SEO Content Marketing & Blog Consulting Service!

building an online business

You know, I’ve variously written on this blog how you can use your blogging skills to serve offline businesses. I’ve also posted on how you can use your blogging and internet marketing skills to serve businesses desiring to use the internet to increase their operations.

While freely sharing these tips and ideas with you, I’ve concentrated on building niche blogs and promoting affiliate products. But after a recent research, I’ve decided to take my own advice and start a line of service where I can take advantage of my skills, knowledge and passion. And what more, from all indications the market is also there!

What is this new line in my business?

I now offer SEO web copywriting and blog consulting services for businesses desiring to increase their internet visibility (read the press release announcing the launch).

I’m sure you will agree with me that marketing online using the right content is increasingly becoming a necessity today. With more and more businesses taking to the internet to market their products/services and with the new developments as regards online social media marketing, employing the right content is now a must.

Unfortunately, not many of these business entrepreneurs are writers.  Among those who are writers, not many know how to write content for the web. This is where a service like mine is very important.

As a reader of this blog you have firsthand knowledge of how passionate I am about writing content that is not only engaging but informative and highly geared towards helping the reader. This is actually very important when it comes to content marketing because content marketing is about using good-quality and search engine optimized content in your online marketing endeavors to inform, educate and help your target audience. It’s about creating content that that engages and communicates with your site visitors in such a way that interaction and trust is easily achieved which ultimately results in sales.

So, I’m presenting my content creation and blog consulting service as an example of how you too can use your skills, passion and knowledge to locate a perfect business. Remember that in our today’s information-based economy, providing information and delivering service are the new keys to building wealth.

Marketing Take Away

My purpose with the Web Income Journal has always been providing you with the right tips and strategies to help you make the best use of the internet as a business tool. And so, you could easily take a cue from what I’m doing here and take another look at your blogging skills. A careful look may just reveal some areas that you can turn into another stream of income as a blogger. And who knows, you may just uncover that perfect business you have been looking for – a business with a ready market and about which you have the skills, knowledge and passion to serve!

And, before you go, if you’re a business that is looking for someone to write your marketing content, you can be sure that giving me that opportunity will be to your advantage. Click here to visit my offer page for details about the service!

As usual I want to respond to your comments. If you have suggestions or questions about this service feel free to let me know. Post your comments below.