I’ve been doing some testing lately (this weekend to be exact). Testing revolving around running a business mobile.

The question was simple – the one you see in the headline: Can running your business from a mobile actually work? And it’s online business we’re talking here, as always.

The tools:

  • Samsung Galaxy S3 + internet access.

s3

Yeah, that’s it, only one tool; although I got a number of new apps along the way (when I needed them).

The goals:

  1. To try to do whatever I’d normally do on my desktop computer.
  2. To try to reach the same efficiency.
  3. To try to retain the feeling of being on top of things.

So how did it play out? Well, let me start by sharing the overall results and then going into more detail:

The results

In short, you can’t (run a business from a mobile).

Actually, scratch that…I can’t do it. But that’s just my general conclusion, and the detailed one is much less pessimistic:

  • I was kind of able to achieve goal #1 – there are many apps available for Android (and iOS too) that allow you to do probably any online-business-related task out there. But when it’s all said and done, you’re still on your mobile phone… meaning that the screen is small and the touchscreen is hard to use for anything other than Twitter updates.
  • I wasn’t able to achieve goal #2 – for the reason explained above.
  • I was able to achieve goal #3 to its full extent! Which is great!

Let’s take the above one by one and look into the various online business tasks you can do on a mobile phone.

As I said, there’s a lot of apps waiting for online entrepreneurs. For example, here’s what I used along the way:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Drive
  • Google Keep
  • Gmail
  • Aviary
  • Remember The Milk
  • Feedly
  • Pocket
  • SugarSync
  • WordPress

This is quite a lot of apps. What you can also see is that the list is pretty dominated by Google (5 tools; not even mentioning the main Google search inside Chrome – both of which I didn’t list either).

The tools mentioned above are actually quite important to what I do every day, and their presence is not accidental at all. Also, I tried not to double specific functionalities in multiple tools. So most of the time, I use one tool for one specific thing.

Research

My main research tools right now are Feedly (RSS reader) and Pocket (a read-it-later list).

Feedly

Since I spend at least half of my work time writing, finding new topics and getting familiar with them is a crucial element in my schedule. With Feedly, I can easily keep up with my key blogs and put any article I like to read on my Pocket list.

To be honest, discovering new articles and reading them is just as effective on a mobile phone as it is on a desktop computer.

Note taking and brainstorming

This is what I primarily use Google Keep for. Even though the app is really cool and it’s synchronized to a cloud-based version of Keep, it doesn’t even touch the productivity I can achieve with mind mapping through FreeMind. Unfortunately, I’m still unable to find a quality mind mapping app for neither Android nor iOS.

So in short, I was able to do basic note taking and planning/brainstorming via Google Keep, but it was still very limited. Hence, I didn’t really enjoy the process.

Productivity

Leaving Google Keep behind, I have to point out one more tool that has a specific purpose of improving our productivity – Remember The Milk (I wrote about it a while ago, feel free to check that post out).

rtm

Just to describe this shortly, the Android version of the tool allows you to do whatever you’d do with the web-based version, which makes it just as functional. In a word, great.

(By the way, the iOS version is still very poor…)

Management tools

I’m not sure if “management” is the proper word here, but what I’m referring to are all the tasks related to keeping your finger on the pulse of your business.

The set of tools I used was: SugarSync, Google Drive, and Google Analytics.

SugarSync is something I explained in a number of my previous articles (at the bottom). In short, it’s just like Dropbox…only better, which makes it my favorite data synchronization tool. It gives me access to all of my most crucial files from any device with internet access.

Google Drive is still perfect for creating cloud-based documents, and the Android app makes it really easy to do.

Google Analytics is actually one of the most important apps you can have on your mobile. Although you won’t be using any of its advanced functionality 99% of the time, it’s a great way of remaining updated on what’s going on. It only takes 30 seconds or so to glance over your stats once a day. And if, just if, something bad is going on then you can always take action either through other apps on your mobile or by finding a proper computer.

Content creation

To create my content, I tried to use WordPress – the official app, and Aviary – for editing pictures I wanted to use in my posts.

Unfortunately, this is where even the top smartphones fall short. And it’s all due to the small screen and touchscreen that’s just difficult to use. No matter what I did, I always felt that it was just a big pain in the ass.

So as it turns out, if I want to get some proper writing done, I need to have a standard keyboard and a standard screen at my disposal (plus, a mouse would be cool too).

But you know, it’s just me. Maybe you’re more skillful with touchscreens, so by all means, try this out for yourself instead of believing me.

Communication

This is the second area (after researching new topics to write about) where doing things on mobile is just as effective as doing them on a desktop computer.

gmail

With Gmail – the native app by Google – you can easily take care of any email you’d normally take care of. More than that, you can actually react much quicker to important mail.

To be honest, if it wasn’t for the keyboard problems, I’d probably move all my communication work to a mobile device…

Mobile vs. desktop

Anyway, just to sum this thing up real quick, let me say the following.

Running your online business from a mobile is technically possible but still a real pain in the ass (when we look at the overall set of tasks). There are, however, some types of tasks that are more effective being done on a mobile (various forms of communication).

Finally, if you were to take away just one piece of advice from this post, let it be this:

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to leave your home in a hurry, you can safely just grab your smartphone and be sure that you WILL be able to handle your business tasks eventually (… not necessarily with more ease).

But what’s your take on this? What’s your preferred way of handling online business tasks on the go?


Can Running Your Business From a Mobile Actually Work? | newInternetOrder.com

It’s been ten years since we started this thing, and what a long way we’ve come. From a discussion between myself and Mike Little about forking our favorite blogging software, to powering 18% of the web. It’s been a crazy, exciting, journey, and one that won’t stop any time soon.

At ten years, it’s fun to reflect on our beginnings. We launched WordPress on 27th May 2003, but that wasn’t inception. Go back far enough, and you can read a post by Michel Valdrighi who, frustrated by the self-hosted blogging platforms available, decided to write his own software; “b2, a PHP+MySQL alternative to Blogger and GreyMatter.” b2 was easy to install, easy to configure, and easy for developers to extend. Of all the blogging platforms out there, b2 was the right one for me: I could write my content and get it on the web quickly and painlessly.

Sometimes, however, life gets in the way. In 2002, Michel stopped maintaining b2. Over time, security flaws became apparent and updates were needed and, while the b2 community could write patches and fixes, no one was driving the software forward. We were lucky that Michel decided to release b2 under the GPL; the software may have been abandoned, but we weren’t without options. A fork was always a possibility. That was where it stood in January 2003, when I posted about forking b2 and Mike responded. The rest, as they say, is history.

From the very beginning to the present day, I’ve been impressed by the thought, care, and dedication that WordPress’ developers have demonstrated. Each one has brought his or her unique perspective, each individual has strengthened the whole. It would be impossible to thank each of them here individually, but their achievements speak for themselves. In WordPress 1.2 the new Plugin API made it easy for developers to extend WordPress. In the same release gettext() internationalization opened WordPress up to every language (hat tip: Ryan Boren for spending hours wrapping strings with gettext). In WordPress 1.5 our Theme system made it possible for WordPress users to quickly change their site’s design: there was huge resistance to the theme system from the wider community at the time, but can you imagine WordPress without it? Versions 2.7, 2.8, and 2.9 saw improvements that let users install and update their plugins and themes with one click. WordPress has seen a redesign by happycog (2.3) and gone under extensive user testing and redesign (Crazyhorse, Liz Danzico and Jen Mylo, WordPress 2.5). In WordPress 3.0 we merged WordPress MU with WordPress — a huge job but 100% worth it. And in WordPress 3.5 we revamped the media uploader to make it easier for people to get their images, video, and media online.

In sticking to our commitment to user experience, we’ve done a few things that have made us unpopular. The WYSIWYG editor was hated by many, especially those who felt that if you have a blog you should know HTML. Some developers hated that we stuck with our code, refusing to rewrite, but it’s always been the users that matter: better a developer lose sleep than a site break for a user. Our code isn’t always beautiful, after all, when WordPress was created most of us were still learning PHP, but we try to make a flawless experience for users.

It’s not all about developers. WordPress’ strength lies in the diversity of its community. From the start, we wanted a low barrier to entry and we came up with our “famous 5 minute install”. This brought on board users from varied technical background: people who didn’t write code wanted to help make WordPress better. If you couldn’t write code, it didn’t matter: you could answer a question in the support forums, write documentation, translate WordPress, or build your friends and family a WordPress website. There is space in the community for anyone with a passion for WordPress.

It’s been wonderful to see all of the people who have used WordPress to build their home on the internet. Early on we got excited by switchers. From a community of tinkerers we grew, as writers such as Om Malik, Mark Pilgrim, and Molly Holzschlag made the switch to WordPress. Our commitment to effortless publishing quickly paid off and has continued to do so: the WordPress 1.2 release saw 822 downloads per day, our latest release, WordPress 3.5, has seen 145,692 per day.

I’m continually amazed by what people have built with WordPress. I’ve seen musicians and photographers, magazines such as Life, BoingBoing, and the New York Observer, government websites, a filesystem, mobile applications, and even seen WordPress guide missiles.

As the web evolves, WordPress evolves. Factors outside of our control will always influence WordPress’ development: today it’s mobile devices and retina display, tomorrow it could be Google Glass or technology not yet conceived. A lot can happen in ten years! As technology changes and advances, WordPress has to change with it while remaining true to its core values: making publishing online easy for everyone. How we rise to these challenges will be what defines WordPress over the coming ten years.

To celebrate ten years of WordPress, we’re working on a book about our history. We’re carrying out interviews with people who have involved with the community from the very beginning, those who are still around, and those who have left. It’s a huge project, but we wanted to have something to share with you on the 10th anniversary. To learn about the very early days of WordPress, just after Mike and I forked b2 you can download Chapter 3 right here. We’ll be releasing the rest of the book serially, so watch out as the story of the last ten years emerges.

In the meantime, I penned my own letter to WordPress and other community members have been sharing their thoughts:

You can see how WordPress’ 10th Anniversary was celebrated all over the world by visiting the wp10 website, according to Meetup we had 4,999 celebrators.

To finish, I just want to say thank you to everyone: to the developers who write the code, to the designers who make WordPress sing, to the worldwide community translating WordPress into so many languages, to volunteers who answer support questions, to those who make WordPress accessible, to the systems team and the plugin and theme reviewers, to documentation writers, event organisers, evangelists, detractors, supporters and friends. Thanks to the jazzers whose music inspired us and whose names are at the heart of WordPress. Thanks to everyone who uses WordPress to power their blog or website, and to everyone who will in the future. Thanks to WordPress and its community that I’m proud to be part of.

Thank you. I can’t wait to see what the next ten years bring.

Final thanks to Siobhan McKeown for help with this post.

About a week ago, Olivier Blanchard, one of the few people who pride themselves on working in social media whose posts I actually enjoy reading, wrote a post on his blog. Now you might think that’s not very news worthy, but it was his first post since February 25th. Up until that time he had been a very regular blogger, consistently writing posts with the occasional brilliant one between them. And that’s where the problem lay, as he discloses in his post:

Truth is, sometimes, even someone as outspoken as me just doesn’t have anything really all that pertinent to write about on a blog like this one, and though the discipline to carry on writing “content” day after day anyway is admirable in many ways, I found the exercise pretty much mired in futility.

I know how that feels. I write tutorial type posts all the time, as I do a lot of actual WordPress work and have inspiration for them, but I don’t write about SEO as often as I used to. The reason is simple: I’d be writing “content”. I’d be writing for the sake of writing. I’d be writing because I have loads of readers that want to read and it makes me feel good. To quote Olivier once more, because it’s too good of a quote to not repeat a 1000 times:

You want to feel important, go do something important, something that actually matters ….. Do something. But for fuck’s sake, stop filling empty space with “content.”

I like the idea of content marketing (though I hate the term almost as much as I hate the term “inbound marketing”, but that’s another story). But that type of marketing only works when you have an actual story to tell. Not made up bullshit. A real story with real life experiences and insights. To have those real life experiences, you have to do work. No-one can just “content market” his way through life.

So, before you start blogging about SEO, do some real SEO first. Make sure you know what you’re writing about. It’d really help a lot if people in SEO (and basically every other aspect of online marketing) would practice before they preached. About 95% of the blog posts I see now copy ideas from 5 other sites and call it content. Or they’ll ask 5 UK SEO’s for an opinion about X, because they’re too bloody lazy and/or ignorant to do any real research themselves and call it “Practical Tips for Modern SEO From the Best Minds in Europe”. I hate this new “one question interview” type of post. Do some fucking work and add some beef, or do a real interview (and learn to separate a country from a continent).

That’s the real challenge of content marketing: to tell a story about you or your product that resonates with me, provides me with value and makes me want to become your customer. To be able to tell that story, you or your product should have solved more than a few people’s problems first. You can content market all day long, when the product you sell is shit, it won’t help you much will it? You have to work on that product.

In SEO, the real experts are the people who can honestly say: this worked, that didn’t. Matt said X, but Y was the truth. I tried this, and burned a site, I tried that and the site dropped. Now I’m not saying you should burn your clients sites, but I am saying, instead of writing 5 or 10 crappy blog posts, do some research for yourself, write some code. Try something new, and then write a real good blog post. In fact, I’d rather read about 10 of your failings then about that one “success”.

Olivier probably ran into this issue. You can’t keep hitting repeat and rewrite that same story all the time without getting burned out. You have to do real work and then, when all is well, every once in a while you’ll have inspiration for a really good post, you’ll have a new idea.

If you do have that new idea, write that post and please do share it with me on Twitter, but, please, spare me your “content”.

You can’t content-market your way through life is a post by on Yoast - The Art & Science of Website Optimization. A good WordPress blog needs good hosting, you don't want your blog to be slow, or, even worse, down, do you? Check out my thoughts on WordPress hosting!

About a week ago, we “migrated” Yoast.com to Genesis 2.0, in the process we switched to their new HTML5 / Schema.org code and we slightly updated our design, making the header shorter and making improvements to our responsive design. This was a bit of work, but not even half as much as that sounds like and that is due entirely to the fact that Genesis 2.0, and especially it’s schema.org functionality, rocks. Let me elaborate.

Why implement Schema.org markup?

Let me start with explaining why you should be bothered with schema.org if you weren’t convinced yet. Not just Google uses schema.org, all 4 major search engines, Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex use it for several different purposes. Yandex recently started doing something that’s way cooler than Google’s rich snippets, you should check that out. But it’s not just them. Recently, Pinterest joined the party by announcing support for Product, Recipe and Movie schema’s through their Rich Pins effort.

So, in my opinion, schema.org markup is a must for everyone serious about their websites optimization.

General service warning: what follows is rather geeky. If you’re not a developer but you do use Genesis or are considering it, feel free to forward this to your developer.

Schema.org enhancements

This site runs a custom Genesis child theme. Most of the CSS and Genesis work for that was done by the awesome Bill Erickson, but I took quite some time after he’d finished to add in all sorts of schema.org goodness to pages. I want my site to be a living example of what is possible from a rich snippets perspective in the SERPs and I use it to experiment with things all the time.

We have a few different post types here on Yoast, which each have their own Schema.org counterpart. Take, for instance, my speaking page. I have a post type for speaking events, and the speaking page is actually the post type archive for that post type. If you test that page with the Structured Data Testing Tool Google provides, you’ll see it’s marked up with cool Event schema’s, which will show up in the search results too:

Speaking Page - Showing event schema markup

There are various ways you could reach this with Genesis, I do it by creating a file, archive-speaking_event.php, where “speaking_event” is the name of the post type. Basically, to get this file to display the post type archive, all it needs to have is the following code:

genesis();

But in our case, we want to do a bit more. We need to mark up each individual post as an Event type and link them to the appropriate URLs for the individual events. Also, there’s all sorts of output that we’ll need to gather, like dates, location names, addresses and countries. Let’s start with the easy bits:

Changing the Schema type of an entries output

First of all, add this file to your child theme by including it from your functions.php. If you simply add it to the same directory it’s as simple as adding this to the end of that file:

require('genesis-schema-helper-functions.php');

That file contains helper functions we’ll need to do all the work. Now remember, this used to take all sorts of extra divs to do well or you were required to rewire the base framework. With Genesis 2.0 though, it’s as simple as adding this before the genesis() call:

add_filter( 'genesis_attr_entry', 'yoast_schema_event', 20 );
add_filter( 'genesis_attr_entry-title', 'yoast_itemprop_name', 20 );
add_filter( 'genesis_attr_entry-content', 'yoast_itemprop_description', 20 );
add_filter( 'genesis_post_title_output', 'yoast_title_link_schema', 20 );
add_filter( 'genesis_attr_content', 'yoast_schema_empty', 20 );

This does the following:

  • turn the schema type of each individual entry on the page into an event;
  • replace the normal “headline” itemprop for the entry title with “name”, as required by this specific schema;
  • change the itemprop of the entry content to “description”, instead of “text”, which is the default for a blog post;
  • make sure the link in the headline has the itemprop=”url” needed;
  • remove the overall schema.org type of the page as that would confuse the search engine.

The basic work is now done, of course we need all the meta data, and we’ll need to retrieve that in the conventional way. The code I used for that can be found in the gist I created for this file.

This bit of work replaced hundreds of lines of ugly code with easily readable and easily applicable code which as a bonus actually has less of a need for extra divs etc in the output. I absolutely love it. If you want to see more examples of pages on this site with cool Schema markup, check these:

  • my Genesis review, which itself has beautiful review markup, as you can see here.
  • my plugin pages, for instance my WordPress SEO plugin page, which has product + review markup, see here.
  • this, or any other post, which has the default Genesis 2.0 blogposting markup.

Genesis 2.0 is still in beta, and I’ve been discussing several possible changes with Nathan Rice, Genesis’ Lead Developer, that would make some of this work even easier. This is where the future lies though: more and better markup for pages with a theme that allows you to easily add the metadata you need. I’m considering adding some Genesis specific functionality to WordPress SEO to make all this even easier, I’d love to know your thoughts and what you’d like to do with all this.

Schema.org & Genesis 2.0 is a post by on Yoast - The Art & Science of Website Optimization. A good WordPress blog needs good hosting, you don't want your blog to be slow, or, even worse, down, do you? Check out my thoughts on WordPress hosting!

My writing and publishing schedule actually contained a number of other hub pages to be written before the scams and online fraud hub. However, one day, I’ve decided that it can possibly be one of the most important hubs I could ever publish, so it went straight to the top of the list.

(Just like my short entry on giving back to the community became the most important post on this site.)

So today, I’m happy to announce that the hub is now live. It is a bit different than other hubs, though. Instead of linking to other posts focusing on “good practices” of doing something, it links to posts that talk about what not to do, and how not to fall victim to online marketing douchebags. And I really mean it.

warning

The story

Just to give you a quick history lesson, a couple of months ago, I decided to start publishing a new kind of posts here at newInternetOrder. The posts were meant to focus on scams and various shady products in the online business area that bring no value whatsoever and yet, are priced at $2,000+.

Over time, these posts have proven to add valuable insights to the community and made everyone a bit more aware about what’s going on in the online world. So I think it’s only right for me to keep publishing them. That’s also where the new hub page comes into play.

The hub

The online scams and fraud hub is the central point for everything bad in online marketing. In short, it’s a place where you can go to find honest advice and unbiased opinion on a number of products, marketing techniques, douchebag selling methods and other fraudulent stuff in general.

Just to prove that I am indeed serious about this, please review my post on why you shouldn’t buy ProfitHacks – one of the bigger product launches earlier in the year. The post wasn’t any kind of disguised affiliate promotion like some wise guys like to publish. You know, something along the lines of “don’t buy X before you read my review.” No, it was 100% honest, and this is just one example. The hub links to a lot more just like it. Without further delay, here’s the link again:

Scams and Online Fraud

I’m curious to know your current approach at buying new products or deciding what marketing techniques to use when promoting your business. I mean, how would you know if the thing you’re about to buy isn’t a scam and that it won’t hurt your brand?


How to Protect Yourself From Online Scams – My New Hub Page Goes Live | newInternetOrder.com

All around the globe today, people are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first WordPress release, affectionately known as #wp10. Watching the feed of photos, tweets, and posts from Auckland to Zambia is incredible; from first-time bloggers to successful WordPress-based business owners, people are coming out in droves to raise a glass and share the “holiday” with their local communities. With hundreds of parties going on today, it’s more visible than ever just how popular WordPress has become.

Thank you to everyone who has ever contributed to this project: your labors of love made this day possible.

But today isn’t just about reflecting on how we got this far (though I thought Matt’s reflection on the first ten years was lovely). We are constantly moving forward. As each release cycle begins and ends (3.6 will be here soon, promise!), we always see an ebb and flow in the contributor pool. Part of ensuring the longevity of WordPress means mentoring new contributors, continually bringing new talent and fresh points of view to our family table.

I am beyond pleased to announce that this summer we will be mentoring 8 interns, most of them new contributors, through Google Summer of Code and the Gnome Outreach Program for Women. Current contributors, who already volunteer their time working on WordPress, will provide the guidance and oversight for a variety of exciting projects  this summer. Here are the people/projects involved in the summer internships:

  • Ryan McCue, from Australia, working on a JSON-based REST API. Mentors will be Bryan Petty and Eric Mann, with a reviewer assist from Andrew Norcross.
  • Kat Hagan, from the United States, working on a Post by Email plugin to replace the core function. Mentors will be Justin Shreve and George Stephanis, with an assist from Peter Westwood.
  • Siobhan Bamber, from Wales, working on a support (forums, training, documentation) internship. Mentors will be Mika Epstein and Hanni Ross.
  • Frederick Ding, from the United States, working on improving portability. Mentors will be Andrew Nacin and Mike Schroder.
  • Sayak Sakar, from India, working on porting WordPress for WebOS to Firefox OS. Mentor will be Eric Johnson.
  • Alex Höreth, from Germany, working on  adding WordPress native revisions to the theme and plugin code editors. Mentors will be Dominik Schilling and Aaron Campbell, with a reviewer assist from Daniel Bachhuber.
  • Mert Yazicioglu, from Turkey, working on ways to improve our community profiles at profiles.wordpress.org. Mentors will be Scott Reilly and Boone Gorges.
  • Daniele Maio, from Italy, working on a native WordPress app for Blackberry 10. Mentor will be Danilo Ercoli.

Did you notice that our summer cohort is as international as the #wp10 parties going on today? I can only think that this is a good sign.

It’s always a difficult process to decide which projects to mentor through these programs. There are always more applicants with interesting ideas with whom we’d like to work than there are opportunities. Luckily, WordPress is a free/libre open source software project, and anyone can begin contributing at any time. Is this the year for you? We’d love for you to join us as we work toward #wp20. ;)

This site’s new skin is an original design based on the WordPress theme The Bootstrap.

That theme is responsive, catering to mobile, handheld, and desktop browsers. Its built-in functionality includes the carousel, and modal link from the quote button on the front page, and the accordion on the portfolio page. That page also uses the jQuery-based fancybox plugin. The theme is a WordPress version of the bootstrap framework, which uses the latest in web standards – HTML5, and CSS3.

We regularly consult for sites that monetize, in part, with affiliate links. We usually advise people to redirect affiliate links. In the past, we noticed that there wasn’t a proper script available online that could handle this for us, so we created one to tackle this problem. In this post, I explain how you can get your hands on it and how you can get it running on your website.

Why should I cloak my affiliate links?

A quick online search will result in tons of reasons as to why you should redirect your affiliate links. The “historical” reason for this is hiding from search engines that you’re an affiliate. It would be naive to think that search engines don’t understand what’s happening, but nevertheless this seems like a valid reason.

There are also a few more advantages to cloaking your affiliate links, such as:

  1. Ease of management
    Sometimes you might need to change your affiliate links. If said links are spread out across your blog, this could become a quite time-intensive task. By centralizing the affiliate links, you have one location to manage all of them.
  2. Prevents leaking PageRank to advertisers
    Affiliate links are ads and should be nofollowed or otherwise altered to prevent leaking PageRank to the advertiser. Instead of having to do this manually for every individual affiliate link, you can do this is a single location without much hassle. This also prevents the possibility of forgetting to add nofollow to one of the links.
  3. “Clean” links
    Different affiliate programs tend to use different permalink structures. Some might have relatively ‘clean’ links, whereas others tend to add a lot of gibberish. Using the redirect script can help you deal with this issue because the cloaked URL will always follow the same structure. This makes it a lot clearer for the user where the link is taking them to!

Get the most out of Yoast SEO, learn every feature and best practice in our Yoast SEO for WordPress training! »

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Cloaking affiliate links, the how to

The basic process of cloaking affiliate links is simple:

  1. Create a folder from where you’ll serve your redirects. At Yoast we use /out/.
  2. Block the /out/ folder in your robots.txt file by adding:
    Disallow: /out/
  3. Use a script in your redirect folder to redirect to your affiliate URLs.

Step 2 ensures search engines won’t follow the redirects, but we’ll add some extra security measures in our script to prevent accidental indexation of our affiliate links. Step 3 is as easy as manually adding each redirect to your redirect directory’s .htaccess file, assuming you’re running your website on an Apache-based server. Alternatively, you can use the script we produced to make it easier on yourself. The added bonus of this script is that it also works for servers running Nginx!

Affiliate link redirect script

The script we created consists of three files, one of which is optional: an index.php file, a redirects.txt file and, to finish it all off, a .htaccess file to prettify your URLs.

Index.php

This file contains the logic that handles the actual redirection by performing a 302 redirect. Additionally, it sends a X-Robots-Tag header along to ensure search engines that can detect this header, obey the noindex, nofollow rules we pass along in it. We do this as an extra security measure in case you might forget to exclude the affiliate link in your robots.txt.

Redirects.txt

The redirects.txt file is a comma-separated file that contains a list of names and destination URLs like so:

yoast,https://yoast.com

Note that the file should always contain the following line at the very top to ensure people don’t attempt to redirect themselves to a non-existing URL:

default,http://example.com

Just change example.com to your own domain and you’re ready to go!

.htaccess

If you only install the above two files, you’ll already have enough in place to get things running. However, we advise you prettify the URLs, because this dramatically increases the readability. Without prettifying your URLs, you’ll end up with something like /out/?id=yoast instead of /out/yoast.

Prettifying can be achieved by adding a .htaccess file to the mix. This small file also helps ensure people can’t access your redirects.txt file to take a peek and see what affiliate links are available.

What about plugins?

In the past we’ve received questions about using WordPress plugins to tackle this cloaking issue. Despite there being a lot of valid options, they have one small caveat: speed. Because these plugins depend on WordPress’ core code, they need to wait for it to be fully booted before being able to execute themselves. This can easily add a second or two to the total loading and redirecting time if you’re on a slow server.
Our non-plugin solution is faster because it doesn’t depend on WordPress to run.

Ultimately, the best option depends on your needs. If you want to collect statistics on your affiliate links, you might be better off with a plugin. Otherwise, just use our script to keep things fast.

The files

If you’re interested in running this nifty script on your own website, head on over to GitHub. Feeling adventurous? You can find the source code here. People running Nginx can find sample code in this gist to see how to make it work for them.

Read more: ‘Playing with the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header’ »

startPardon me with the title, it’s the first headline that came across my mind and I’ve decided to just go with it!

Let’s focus on the second part of it – “Here’s Where to Get Started”

I’m happy to announce a new page on newInternetOrder.com. It’s a “getting started page” – as in, how to get started with newInternetOrder.com and why would you even want to start in the first place.

In a (two) word, it’s a road sign pointing the way to the core content on this site.

But first…

Why did I even create it?

Since we’re talking online business for normal people here, let me share one observation.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m noticing more and more beginner advice online that would be in fact very difficult to apply for a starting entrepreneur who just happens to be a normal human being.

For instance, advice like “learn SEO if you want to get a good spot on Google,” “read the forums,” “spend days crafting your content,” “engage with the community by commenting on other sites” and so on.

Although these all sound okay-ish, considering the fact that most people start their online businesses as side projects, I can only say (quoting the classic), that:

“Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!”

If that’s not enough, there’s also the “create quality content” advice that’s in a league of its own. I honestly don’t know what the expression “quality content” means. Really, no joke. It is by far the most overused and meaningless phrase in online business and blogging.

Actually, whenever someone says that you need to “create quality content,” what they are actually saying is “hey, I don’t have any real piece of advice for you, so let me just say that you should create quality content.”

Finally, there’s also a lot of messed up advice and products circulating around the web. Things like:

  • tips on how to create simple PDF products (which are crap 90% of the time and provide no value whatsoever),
  • advice on how to get rich with simple affiliate promotions,
  • tools that promise great rankings in Google when in fact all they do is spam,
  • or even educational products that promise to teach you how to build a profitable business overnight.

None of the above is for normal people!

The goal

So, the goal I’m trying to achieve here at newInternetOrder.com is to take all this online entrepreneurship down to the basics and provide some actual advice for normal people. Again, normal people; not spammers, not felons, not big brands with massive budgets, not people with 48 hours a day of free time.

That’s why I’ve been publishing all those resource/hub pages lately and that’s also why I’ve created this getting started page. Here it is finally:

Get Started Here

Even if you’ve been a reader here for a while now, I still encourage you to check it out. It’s not a long read anyway.

Since I’m at it, feel free to comment and point out some quality online business sites where you’re getting your online business education from. I’d be happy to pay them a visit too.


Oh, You Again … Here’s Where to Get Started | newInternetOrder.com

This site is for a company in New Hampshire which trains clients for fitness and competition.

The site is powered by WordPress, which enables the owners to edit content, and the WooCommerce engine, which takes orders online. It uses a highly customised version of the AutofocusPro theme to showcase post images, and features a front-page slider to highlight competitors trained by the company.

The design is by Urban Legend web.