Author Archives: Graham

About Graham

I'm the creator of BuildYourBlog.net.
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How to Add a Horizontal Banner Ad to Your Mailpress Newsletter

Want to advertise a product or service in your MailPress newsletter? I did this by adding a horizontal banner ad at the bottom of the newsletter email, just above the footer. Here's how:

Firstly, create a horizontal banner ad image using The Gimp or some other graphics editing package. Make it the same width as the header image in your theme, which you can work out by looking for HEADER_IMAGE_WIDTH in your MailPress theme's MP_theme_html.class.php. I found a height of about 100 pixels looked good for me. Save the image in your theme's images directory named horizbanner.jpg.

Secondly, add these lines to the end of the style array in your theme's style.php:

'bannerad_img' => "margin:0 4px; border:none; padding:0;",

Finally, add these lines to the top of your theme's footer.php:

<a href="http://site.com/targeturl" title="Click Here to Get The Product" rel="generator">
    <img src='images/horizbanner.jpg' <?php $this->classes('bannerad_img'); ?> />
</a>
Continue reading…
Posted in MailPress | 12 Comments

How to Migrate from SEO Ultimate to WordPress SEO by Yoast

I've tried a few WordPress SEO plugins over the years, from All In One SEO Pack to Robots Meta and then to SEO Ultimate; but that was before Joost de Valk (a.k.a. Yoast) released WordPress SEO by Yoast which is now my SEO plugin of choice for WordPress. If you want the definitive answer at who is the best SEO guy for WordPress, just do a Google search for WordPress SEO and see who ranks in position #1. That's one reason why I'm switching from to Yoast's plugin, and it has some other great features too like an awesome search results preview that helps you to optimise not just your search ranking, but also click-through rates.

Switching SEO plugins is no mean feat since you've probably already got meta descriptions and other information that you don't want to lose. There are also a few other tricks to migrating, so … Continue reading…

Posted in Plugins | Tagged , | 45 Comments

Workaround for Poor Embedded Video Support in Email Clients

WordPress has a neat feature that allows you to easily embed content from video sharing sites such as YouTube by simply writing the URL of the video you want to embed in your post, like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJM4697kLL4

When your post is displayed, this gets replaced with an iframe which contains the content you wanted to embed, like this:

This works great in a web browser, but isn't so good in your MailPress newsletter, because most email clients don't support iframes. Your readers end up with a newsletter with a blank space instead of the embedded video content. Andre has done some experiments to address this, but nothing has seen the light of day yet. The problem isn't really MailPress's fault, but it does make newsletters with postings containing embedded videos look pretty odd at present.

As a workaround, I suggest disabling the automatic embedding so that the email … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | Tagged , | 4 Comments

No more dofollow for this blog, I'm afraid

I'm getting way too many spammy comments from visitors who are clearly only interested in a dofollow backlink. Many of them look like they've been human generated but they're not adding value, so I've decided to disable the Do Follow plugin on this blog. I no longer recommend this plugin as it attracts too many link seekers who aren't really interested in engaging with you as a blogger.

From now on if you want a dofollow backlink, you'll have to play by CommentLuv Premium's rules and share the article before leaving your comment.… Continue reading…

Posted in Plugins | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

My MailPress Hacks

I have a small list of hacks that I make to MailPress every time I upgrade. It's been shrinking as some of the issues have been addressed in the plugin, but I thought I'd share my local modifications with you:

Remove "[Blog Name] New post" from Subjects

I'd rather have the Subject line of my newsletters read like a personal email than an automatically generated one, so I change:

mp-content/advanced/newsletters/post/post.xml:
Under <mail><subject>
Strip "[%1$s] New post : "

mp-content/advanced/newsletters/post/categories/categories.xml:
Under <mail><Template>singlecat</Template><subject>
Strip "[%1$s] New post in {{the_taxonomy}} : "

Friendlier Messages

I like messages that are clear to non-MailPress users, so I change:

mp-content/languages/MailPress.pot:4149 &
mp-includes/class/MP_Widget.class.php:104:
Change "Waiting for your confirmation" to "Check your inbox and confirm your email address"

mp-content/languages/MailPress.pot:4133 &
mp-includes/class/MP_Widget.class.php:99:
Change "Loading..." to "Processing..."… Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | Tagged | 4 Comments

How to Send Your Newsletter Subscribers A Welcome Message

On The Confident Man Project, I wanted to send my new newsletter subscribers a Welcome message including a link to a bonus audio download that I promised them in the subscription box.

There are two ways to do this:

Using an Autoresponder

Create an autoresponder triggered by new newsletter subscriptions, and attach your welcome email to it. With this approach, the subscriber gets both a confirmation email, and a welcome email.

Here are the steps:

On the WordPress dashboard click Mails → Autoresponders

Add an Autoresponder Named newsletter, Slug newsletter, Description New newsletter subscriber. Make sure you select Active, and choose the Event Subscription activated. Then click Add Autoresponder.

Now go to Mails → Add New and write the Welcome email that you would like to send. For the recipient, under All choose one of the Newsletters. At the bottom of … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | 10 Comments

Comparison of ClickBank Vendor eBook Sales Plugins for WordPress

If you want to make your fortune selling ebooks to the masses, ClickBank is the platform for doing it. Most successful ebook and other digital download sales sites use it for their payment processing and affiliate support. ClickBank handles credit card payments for you and the affiliate system makes it dead easy for other people, including competitors in your own niche, to promote your product for you in return for a proportion of your profits.

To sell an ebook on ClickBank you need:

  • A ClickBank Vendor account
  • Your ebook product listed in the ClickBank marketplace
  • A Pitch page on your blog describing your product with your Buy Now button linked to ClickBank
  • A Thank You page where the customer lands after they pay to download your product

Thank You page handling is the trickiest part of this process, because you want to secure your site so that people can't steal … Continue reading…

Posted in Plugins | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Enable Comment Processing in SEO Smart Links Pro

Note: This feature is back in SEO Smart Links Pro 1.8.1; so if you want comment processing, just upgrade and enable the option. For historical interest...

Back when I did my review of Automatic Keyword Affiliate Link Plugins, my preferred choice SEO Smart Links Pro supported keyword matching in comments. So if one of my blog commenters mentioned HostGator say, that keyword would automatically turn into an affiliate link.

I liked this feature.

Unfortunately it led to so many support requests that the plugin author removed it. Apparently on blogs with large numbers of comments, the extra processing time is too much for many servers. So if you have a blog with thousands of comments, just live and let live. But if you only have a few, and really want this feature, and promise not to hassle the plugin author about it... Here's how to re-enable comment processing in … Continue reading…

Posted in Plugins | Tagged | 9 Comments

MailPress Enhancement/Bug Fix Wish List

MailPress is the most powerful free email newsletter plug-in for WordPress. Its ability to generate automatic newsletters from your posts is a great time-saver. Plus it has some powerful advanced features like open rate and link tracking, mailing lists and autoresponders.

Yet MailPress 5.1.1 also has some limitations, missing features and bugs which can really get in my way when I use it. At present it's merely great; once these issues are addressed it will be awesome.

So here's my list of enhancements I wish MailPress had, which would bring it much closer to replacing commercial email solutions like MailChimp and Aweber which don't integrate with WordPress anywhere near as cleanly. If you're a developer, I encourage you to give Andre a hand by submitting patches to add these enhancements, and fix these bugs.

I've ordered the list from most important to least important (to me, anyway):

Easy Subscribe to

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Posted in MailPress | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

How To Add Users To Your MailPress Newsletter Manually

Every now and then you want to add a new user to your MailPress newsletter and/or mailing list, without them having to go through the normal subscription process. For example, to create test users or for people who you meet and give you their email address offline.

It's easy to do this, but not so easy to find. On your WordPress dashboard, select Mails -> All Users. Scoll down to the bottom of the Users list. Click in the box next to the Bulk Add button. Options appear magically to allow you to select a mailing list to add them to, and whether you need them to confirm (i.e. Require Authorization) or not (i.e. Activate); generally, you want to select Activate. Enter pairs of email addresses and names, separated by , and ;. Then click Bulk Add. All new additions get added to the default newsletter … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | Tagged | 5 Comments