Yes success online is ALL about the keywords you choose.

Because the search engines are built around keywords and when people go online to do their shopping they type keywords into the search engines.


And to get these people to your blog or website you have to choose the right keywords.


If you choose easy or low traffic keywords then you'll get hardly any visitors to your blog and you'll be earning almost nothing.

And if you choose tougher high traffic keywords you run into tough competition from super affiliates who have tons of experience and resources to beat the heck out of you.


So what do Simple Affiliates like us do?


Well we either get lucky or we get some clever keyword software.

And since Google hides a lot of the best keywords from you when you do a keyword search, yes really,  I think the answer is to get some damn clever software.


I have recommended Market Samurai in the past!


Market Samurai is good but needs a lot of practice to use well and has had a lot of hassles from Google over the last year or two.


Keyword Canine is a very different tool.


It was created by Jon Leger a couple of years ago along with Josh Spaulding to make things simple for the average affiliate who does not have the time or energy to hassle with market samurai.


Keyword Canine is a site that you log into and gives you fresh keywords everyday along with a simple way to measure how difficult it will be to rank well if you use the keyword.

This is important stuff and hardly any keyword tools get this right.

This is a really simple way to get good keywords and I recommend you have a look to see if this would help you break through to the success you deserve.


Have a look right here


Hint – look for the green traffic lights on the left J

Filed under Blogging, Keyword Research by on . 5 Comments#

security sign outside a buildingYour blog is your online base. It is a place you spend quite a lot of time at and a place that you want to protect.

A bit like home really!

We have security locks and alarms and insurance to help protect our homes and we can and should do the same for our online homes.

And while these measures are not going to give us 100% protection they make it harder for those with bad intent to harm us or our property.

We started our Blog Security series here and Part 2 here.

WP Firewall

So we can install a firewall in our computer to guard against malware getting entry and wreaking havoc – and we should. We can also install the WP firewall plugin to do the same job for our blog.

Like other security plugins I recommend there is no tweaking to do – just a simple one click install and activation.

You might be surprised one day though. There you are doing some routine work in your blog and you find yourself looking at the home page!

What happened?

In terms of home security – you would be resting in your fave comfy chair and with one blink you are outside your front door wondering how you got there!

WP Firewall has thrown you out of your blog.

It is actively protecting your blog 24/7 and you did something it regarded as a threat – so, BOOM, it threw you out.

This is good – it will email you as well about the "threat" so if you need to do some tweaking that the plugin objects to just deactivate it, tweak away and then remember to reactivate afterwards.

Security Scans

Then we get to a type of security software we can call, "scanners". In our computers we can do a security scan which hopefully can detect any viruses or malware that managed to creep past our firewall.

We can do the same with our blogs too.

There are a multitude of these and there's no way I can cover them all in one post. What we can do now is simply pick one that looks good and useful and install it.

And I'll go over other options in the coming weeks.

So for now let's look at a security plugin called…Wordfence.


Wordfence is a plugin that you can access at different levels depending on whether you have the free option as I do or you choose a paid option with more features.

The free version is superb.

It scans the core wordpress files for any infection by hackers as well as plugins and themes and displays the results for inspection and action.

Out of date plugins and themes will be highlighted because they offer a hacker a way to exploit any weakness in the code.

A basic precaution then is to use only a necessary minimum of plugins and themes.

Any not being used should be deleted. Even sitting in your blog deactivated they may offer a vulnerability which you do not need and which you can solve simply by hitting the delete button.

The scanner may find odd patterns for example in your error logs and may offer you the chance to see the problems and also to delete the file infected.

Be careful with the last option. It sounds good but deleting a file that may be essential for the blog to work may well break your blog.

If in doubt go for support to their support forum and while waiting for a reply do a little research.

But breathe easy.

You have a backup file of your blog because you installed a backup plugin in week 1 of this series and even if the whole blog vanished you could install a new one in 2 minutes with your cpanel auto installer – Fantastico / Simplescripts.

Security is not a one step answer but a process. You are better off than the vast majority of WordPress users so you can focus on the essentials – writing great content for your visitors.

More WordPress security posts to come but please take action on the posts so far and work through all the action steps. You can't learn self defence by reading books and you don't get security by reading either. And please do share any tips you have for better securing your blog.

Plugin Downloads may be from inside your blog admin area or directly from the WordPress pages below…

Photo credit


Filed under Security by on #

sign on a wall with an image of a security cameraIn the previous post in this WordPress Security Series we looked at 3 easy and important steps that any blogger can take when starting a new self hosted WordPress blog.

In this post we get a bit more active and specific and for that we'll take a look at some super WordPress plugins.
One of the glories of WordPress is that we get to use such powerful software at no charge because it is "Open Access". This means that anyone can join in and contribute.
It also means that anyone can find out what the vulnerabilities in the code are and exploit them.
These exploits generally get fixed pretty quick by the WordPress community but hacking does exist and some of the precautions we can take include the use of Security plugins
If you read Part 1 of the WordPress Security series you'll have a backup plugin installed already.
So we move on from there.
We discussed login vulnerabilities too and 2 ways to beef up your login…well here is a third way.

Login Lockdown

This is a great plugin and I have been using it for years. It is very easy to install – unlike some security plugins – no use of code at all just a simple click install.
And that is it – the plugin will lock you and anybody else out for a period you choose if they make a number of failed login attempts and you choose the number too.
You may want to choose a time out of 60 mins and a max of 3 failed attempts – whatever you think is right for you.
This plugin has been downloaded more than quarter of a million times so it is very battle tested – but there is a downside – it has not been updated for a long time.
If that bugs you then consider using Login Security Solution which was updated 33 days ago and has been downloaded by about 33, 000 bloggers.

Bad Behavior

This is what we are trying to thwart but it is also the name of a fave security plugin aimed at counteracting a different kind of WordPress loophole.

Installed in the normal way – again jut a simple click install, you then go to the setting menu and visit the options page.
Look through the options presented and alter any you like – it's your blog. On this one I actually do not alter any of the default values because it seems to work fine straight out of the box.
There is one caution about the use of Cloudflare on the Bad Behavior home page so check that for your self if you have your blog on a Cloudflare server.
Bad Behavior is mostly aimed at preventing spam bots rather than visitors from accessing your site. The amount of automatic hacking by bots is phenomenal and explains this FAQ on the Bad Behavior Site
Q: Will Bad Behavior reduce my site’s bandwidth usage?
A: Absolutely! This is one of the reasons for Bad Behaviour's existence. By preventing spambots and other malicious bots from ever accessing any of your pages, your bandwidth usage and server load will drop significantly.
If you are a data geek you might want to see if this is true for your blogs just by noting the readings in Awstats.
Ok only 2 action steps today
Install and activate the plugins we just discussed if you think they are right for you
  1. Login Lockdown
  2. Bad Behavior

All for now – lookout for Part 3 of this WordPress Security Series next week!







Filed under Security by on . 2 Comments#

quote" with most people unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another" LichtenbergAsk a bunch of webmasters what they most want for their sites and blogs and chances are they'll say, Traffic". And if you ask them if they want to learn more SEO, the chances are they'll say, "No".

I still can't get my head around this! SEO is exactly how to get free traffic from the Search Engines!

It's almost like SEO is a matter of belief.

Anyhow this post is a walk through of Andy Williams latest book. It's topic is on SEO, that is, how to arrange your site to get maximum traffic from the search engines.

SEO Checklist

Having learned basic SEO from his first SEO book this one focuses on a series of items for the ambitious webmaster to consider. This really is a checklist. It is prompted by the leak some time ago of the PDF that Google provided for it's site checkers.

Google of course ranks webpages according to an automatic process and not many webmasters are aware that their site may be "human reviewed" to use a rather cute phrase.

After the leak SEOs and webmasters fell over themselves to find a copy. In a game of "Whack a mole", we were running round the web searching for a copy and Google running after us closing the downloads down.

Andy Williams has responded to the document by taking us though the Google speak and explaining what it means for us and our website.

That's the background!

So let's get going with the book…

Andy starts with a quick mention of his previous book and how it differs from this one.

SEO Checklist is practical. Just like a pilot goes through a checklist each time before the aircraft takes off a webmaster needs a checklist so that any faults or problems can be found.

Google writes the rules for SEO traffic because they have the Lion's share of the traffic.

And if you want traffic from Google you must pay attention to what they say. In the past Google's guidance was a topic for a quick scan and then ignore it and do what you were going to do anyway!

The "Guidance" was just guidance. Not any more. If you slip up now and break any of the rules of Google's game then your website gets slammed.


Meaning to give one personal example a site going from over 300 visitors a day to 3 a day.


Many webmasters have given up and those who remain are either not seriously trying or they have the quiet determination to make it come what may.

Still with me? Good!

So we start with the Checklist points…

SEO Checklist by Andy Williams cover image

1.   The Domain name.

2.   Web page real Estate

3.   Site structure


5.   Social presence

6.   Would you trust the site?

7.   Bounce rates and Time on site

8.   Legal Pages

9.   Content Quality

10.                Inbound link profiles

Each of these points is discussed thoroughly. There is no fluff about Andy – he gives links to Google documents to further illustrate and confirm his advice and no more pages are in the book than necessary.

You cannot skim the book. It is what it says, a step by step action plan for you to follow. Best advice is to go though the book once to get a grip of the entire scope of what he is covering and then work your way through, point by point.

You might want to do this with a buddy. The reason I suggest this is because we are so poor at being objective with our own material.

You need someone who knows enough to be useful and is straight enough to tell you the truth about how they feel when looking at your site.

This can be less than comfy but Google is rating your site all the time and so the sooner you get some help rating yours the better.

A site critique can be very useful and so can working through the Checklist Andy Williams provides.

I rarely recommend books but this is a keeper and something to work through with each of your sites. SEO Checklist is available at Amazon as a Kindle book and so can be read via any Kindle app or on your computer.

Filed under Search Engine Optimisation by on #

hamster in a wheel graphicYou've finished writing your post and your mouse hovers over the publish button. It's taken you quite some time to write and you feel a little pride.

Besides there's other things to do, more posts and always more posts.
But hang on a minute…
…you've taken all that time to plan and write and edit and edit and edit….
…wouldn't it make more sense to get more out of the content you have created already rather than always jumping back onto the content treadmill?
Like a demented hamster with an addiction to his wheel!
So how about you click that publish button and then spend a few minutes with me planning how to get the most mileage from your blog posts?
You could call the idea of getting as much as possible use out of your writing "content optimisation"; most people call it "repurposing". 
And while most people do a little repurposing, very few get the most out of what has taken them hours to write.
I started to think of this leveraging of my posts after hearing a talk by Jeff Herring several years ago. I think he asked us to reuse our stuff in 20 different ways.

Pulling 20 Rabbits Out Of The Hat!

Like taking the main sentences out of the article and using them as tweets.
Like a quick rewrite of our post and then publishing in an article directory ,  like turning them into PDFs and submitting them to PDF directories such as Scribd.
Then there's making presentation slides out of our tweets and submitting the slideshows to, for example Slideshare.
Then turning the slideshow into a video and uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo
And the audio into a podcast on iTunes or other podcast directories.
So that's not 20 ways but it's enough to get you going in the repurposing gane. You'll be able to think up a few more ways in which we can reuse and adapt our content without creating anything "new".
In doing this we access a wider audience.
Many people hangout on YouTube or Scribd and they can find our content there and click through to our site increasing our traffic.
We also diversify our link profile. This is especially important after the Penguin update to Google's ranking algorithm.
And we can do this when we don't feel very creative.
I'm certainly not suggesting doing a 20 step reusing bonanza every time we do a post.
But we could do some of  this, once a week say or for your very best material.
What do you think of repurposing?
How much do you do and will you do more, now that my post has nudged you a little?
And can you come up with 20 ways to repurpose? If you can then either pop them in the comments or arrange with me to do a Guest
Join in anyway…

Photo Credit

Filed under Mindset by on #

a cat on the lookout Safety and security are relative. If your house is the only one in the road with a burglar alarm it's unlikely you'll be targeted.

Even though it may be no harder to enter your house the burglar will most likely choose a house that is less hassle.

It's the same with your blog. You cannot totally ensure that it will never be hacked but there are some easy steps you can take to put lines of protection around a WordPress blog and that is what we'll go over here.

First of all let's look at your password because it is your very first line of defence.

A long password is now the standard recommendation rather than using a complex password.

What that means is that using softcushionsdeflectuneasyhours as a password which is a nonsense phrase of 30 characters is better than E/60t=kA(Th-Tc) which is more complex because it has a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, suffixes and brackets.

And let Lastpass password manager take the strain out of passwords – it's free and superb.

Second Admin is the default username for many WordPress installs. This may be due to you using an automatic blog installer or just not realising that this is a major security risk.

You can change this but it is a little bit of a hassle because you need to go into your cpanel and edit your database in phpmyadmin. Yes I know that sounds like ancient Greek!

After choosing a good username and password and logging in the very best security improvement you can make is to install a backup plugin.

That way even if all the forces from hell were focussed on your tiny precious blog and it got hideously hacked and smacked you'd be fine!

Because you could login to your cpanel and Simplescripts or Fantastico or whatever your automatic WordPress installer is called and delete the old blog and install a bright smiley new one.

Then you just login and upload your backup.


Your site reborn!

There are various ways to copy, clone, backup your blog. You can make a copy of every bit of text and images and themes and plugins or just copy the database.

I do the latter but either option is fine.

WP-DB-Backup is the free wordpress plugin I use. It emails me a copy of the database every week, although I could choose to receive the emails daily.

Suppose my laptop breaks and I can't get to my backup file? I have my laptop backed up by Carbonite. Using a public email such as Google is unsafe and many such accounts get hacked daily.

Just as I strongly advise you to back up your blog with a plugin I strongly advise you use an online backup for your computer. I use Carbonite and they have saved me from disaster a few times!

You could pop your backup files into a free Drop box account but some how you need to find a safe place for them.

A little security snapshot – in 2010 an earthquake in New Zealand destroyed many businesses and of course homes.

Many of those businesses were up and running again in minutes because all their files were backed up with an online service like Carbonite.

Others had backed up a to an external hard drive in the same office and that was quite likely to be damaged too.

Other businesses were not backup at all…

Now I don't live in an earthquake zone but I still find it sensible to maintain a subscription to an online backup service.

If you do those 3 things you will be miles ahead of the average blogger and next week we will go over how you can harden your security a lot more.

So by next week make sure you have a nice long password and you have the backup plugin installed and it is emailing you once a week at least and you have some kind of safe place to store the file.

Then we'll make your blog even safer – in How To Make Your Blog More Secure: Part 2

Until then – Stay Safe!


Image credit

Thanks to : DHWrite

Filed under Security by on . 2 Comments#

WordCamp 2012

Anatomy is about structure. The anatomy of the human body was discovered by dissection and we can do the same, sans blood, with a WordPress Theme too.

In a presentation at the WordPress WordCamp in Philadelphia in 2012, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, author of WordPress for Dummies,  WordPress Web Design for Dummies and WordPress All In One For Dummies lays out the parts of a WordPress Theme for us to gawk at, learn from.

After the first 5 minutes of chat she starts with clarifying what the difference is between a template and a theme.

Template files are well known for their use in HTML websites so this is a good start to the presentation. Basically a template is one file and a theme does the same job but has several files and in the presentation she takes a theme as consisting of 6 main files.
Laying the theme out on the dissection table this is what we see…


Many people new to blogging are familiar with style sheets because they figure in Microsoft Word. They define what typeface is being used and it's size and colour – and many other things too.
Simply by editing the style sheet we can alter all of the above. This is pretty easy to do and pretty easy to foul up too.
Ask me how I know that!
…so a safer procedure than working directly on the main style sheet is to edit a separate style sheet, called a Child theme which can be changed and even mucked up without changing the original style sheet.
And this is what Lisa shows in the presentation.


The header is the first part of your blog that visitors will see and the header.php file runs a simple function that controls it.


Here we find the copyright statement – hopefully with code that automates the updating of your copyright on each New Year. We may also have widgets, contact forms etc


In the simplest WordPress blogs this house an archive of your posts and a recent comments and posts. With widgets there is hardly any limit to the content and function of sidebars.

Main index

An HTML website has an index.html page for it's home page and a wordpress blog has an index.php file to output your blog.

Theme functions

Here is the programming and logic that produces your blog – it's date, contents etc

Now some of these files are very simple and can be written as one liners to get a basic theme – the kind that Lisa shows in the presentation. Nowadays we want clever  and beautiful blogs and the code to produce that is necessarily very complex.
The visual quality of the presentation is poor. The camera is too far from the presenter and the screen. The sound is barely adequate too.
Luckily the slides for the presentation are posted in Slideshare and here below

The one hour video is here and best advice is to start it and go get a coffee for the first 5 minutes.
Lisa Sabine-Wilson word camp 2012 There are 2 download files Lisa gives to the viewers and the URLs for the downloads are clearly visible and clickable in the slideshow and download as zip files – and open in Notepad++
The presentation is here or just click on the image and Lisa Sabine-Wilson's WordPress Book is right here

Any other topics on WordPress that you'd like covered please just let me know in the comment section below…





Filed under Blogging by on #

surprised and unhappy lady whose blog is brokenWell if you have been working at your blog and getting little to no results then you might well agree with the dramatic statement by Ryan Deiss that "Blogging is broken".

And by broken what he means that many of the standard things taught by the experts are wrong and that means that many of us who are blogging with the intention of creating a income from it don't have much chance.
There is plenty of evidence to support him.
Completely impartial evidence from multiple bloggers shows how slim the pickings are. You probably know some blogs who make little from their blogs and get their income from writing contracts – ie ghost-writing and product sales.
Ana Hoffman comes to mind, Shane Melaugh too and many others give monthly income reports which are surprisingly low  given the super quality of their blogs and lead to many of us thinking, "Well if Ana / Shane earns so little, what hope for me?"
That's where Ryan Deiss comes in.
Any Internet Marketer who earns a decent sum from their sites can be called a SuperAffiliate and in those terms Deiss is a supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus affiliate.
What else can you say when someone has generated $100 million?
Apart from WOW…?
…or "Hey Ryan – can you show me how?"
He may be about to, because marketers like Deiss do not make controversial statements and generate publicity and buzz without there being a very good reason.
The reason is usually a product launch…
…and as it happens there is a product coming along called Authority ROI, and there is a free report available here  in which he shows 3 changes or hacks he made to the official advice on blogs where he hugely improved his return on investment, or ROI, which why Ryan is calling this AuthorityROI.
You can get your free report right now and be reading it in a few minutes…

Photo credit Trinity

Filed under Blogging by on #

boy at a computerAs if making your living via Internet Marketing or Blogging was not hard enough already there is another difficulty to face that you may not have thought of and that is the risk of getting a Repetitive Strain Injury.

Most of us have experienced working at a keyboard and getting tense shoulders, or neck ache, or low back pain or headache.
And we get this either from working with our keyboard or screen at the wrong height for us and perhaps not maintaining the correct posture.
Some people habitually tense and raise their shoulders while others  arch their back while they are typing. It is an unconscious response to stress.
Sometimes we just get caught up in what we are doing and work way beyond our comfort zone.
And pay the price of pain afterwards!
Any kind of over use may lead to aches and pains –  if you exercise too much at the gym you'll get sore too, but it is when inflammation occurs that it gets worse.
Inflammation usually goes hand in hand with swelling and that makes the whole situation even more painful
And while RSI may affect any joint and repeated movement –  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, CTS, is due to overuse of wrist movements typical of typing on a computer keyboard.
Mind you it's not just keyboards  – workers on production lines and carpenters using their tools to do their work may suffer from CTS too.
Time pressure and demands from the workplace often force people to push themselves too hard and obviously there is a price for that.
And bloggers and authors typically spends hours at a time sitting, often with poor posture typing on a computer keyboard sometimes  at a high speed.
We may not have a supervisor looking over our shoulder but we internalise the pressure, "Must get this post done before…yada yada" the mental "supervisor" says as we pressure ourselves.
So that is why we may be affected
While we are advised by so many IMers to outsource content creation which could be one way to avoid overstrain, many of us are control freaks, like to write our own articles and blog posts.
Not often I get to use a strikethrough!
And by doing so we may risk an overuse injury – which might be called RSI or CTS or some other set of initials.
Here is what you may be experiencing…
1.   aching
2.   tingling
3.   numbness
4.   pain
5.   weakness
6.   symptoms worse at night
These are typical symptoms of pressure and compression of a nerve and CTS is a set of symptoms occurring when the median nerve is compressed.  
The nerve starts at the back of the neck and goes through the armpit and then travels down the arm through the wrist and into the hand.
Somewhere along that path enough compression is created to cause the problem.
Enough with reading – here are some tips to encourage your body to heal.
O and one obvious point –  if you keep hammering a keyboard / keeping poor posture or whatever is the cause of the problem, these techniques are going to have a hard job at helping you.
Something needs to change.
Next we look at some of the techniques that have proved helpful.


It was movement that caused the problem and in massage we use movement intelligently to help muscles relax and encourage circulation and drainage in the arm.
You'll see in the video that the treatment is for the arm and shoulder and not just the wrist.

Self Massage

This can add to the treatment by a good massage therapist

If you do these then do them VERY GENTLY at first.


Nutritional Treatment

Supplementation with vitamin B at useful doses helps a lot of people. Pyridoxin also known as vitamin B6 is especially important. Pregnancy, menopause and those on oral contraceptives are all cases needing extra B6.

This is also the case with Riboflavin, vitamin B2 and when you take both of them the effect is amplified.

To take advantage of this is a tad more complex than getting a bottle of B6 and B2. Vitamins work together and taking them separately is not so good. Rather a high quality B-Complex is best and a separate jar of 50 mg B6.

You may need to take 200 mg a day for a few months before reducing to a more normal dose.

If you have other supplements or medicines it makes sense to get a medical professional to look over your plans.

Nutritional supplements advised then…

  1. a high quality multi vitamin and mineral
  2. B complex
  3. B6

We have not really discussed the inflammation much and an enzyme supplement, Bromelain works very well, in dealing with many kinds of inflammation throughout the body.

Naturecure techniques

We can boost the effect of massage and Nutrition with some practical techniques from Nature Cure which we can do at home…

Hot and Cold – Contrast Bathing

Many people run for the ice pack when they are in pain; others reach for warmth in the shape of a heating pad or hot water bottle.

Both work.

Even better use both alternately. You can have big bowls of comfortably hot water side by side with a bowl of cold water.

Just by bathing your hand and wrist in cold for 30 seconds and hot for 2 minutes a few times you can help yourself a lot.

End on hot!

You can do this in the shower too – hot, cold, hot, cold, hot – use the times and sequence above.

Castor Oil

One of the videos shows a masseur rubbing olive oil into his skin.

This is fine but Castor Oil works even better. Use persistently until the pain goes. It actually took years of over use and strain to get RSI and you don't give it the slip in a few days.

Epsom Salts bathing

This is a wonderful way to dump a massive amount of stress and tension very fast. Just use a cupful of Epsom salts and optionally a quarter cup of baking powder in a comfortable hot bath.

Relax for 20 minutes and rinse off. Repeat as often as you please.

Using these and other self help techniques may be enough to completely banish CTS from your life. Use as many techniques as you can and if you don't get enough relief please see a health care professional.

You can opt for pharmaceutical or surgical treatments if you wish but there are no guarantees there either.

It only makes sense to use simple and easy self help techniques first because they be all you need.

And please do share what has worked for you…

Filed under Health by on . 4 Comments#

a young lady in blue flexing her biceps!Blogging is not just about the pearls of wisdom that flow effortlessly from your brain down your arms and fingers into your blog!

See I'm in a humorous mood today?

Which is just as well because a plugin problem was stopping you and me  from seeing the images in the post. I have put the post in a PDF and the link is below. Please do provide feedback – the PDF is a very quick job! Thanks

Problem solved as you can see – it was a rogue plugin interfering with the images!

It is also about the images you use in the blog post.

To a fairly non visual person like me this was mighty annoying at first and I had to get over myself and learn to handle all this image stuff.
And there were multiple issues along the way.
With images you have to

1.   Find them

2.   Choose them

3.   Insert them

4.   Align them and

5.   Tweak them

In other words there is a learning curve involved.
Apart from all this you have a personal style. You may have an exotic taste in images like Ana Hoffman or focussing on pictures of yourself like Derek Halpern you are expressing yourself in your choice of pictures.
Generic clip art? "I haz Cheezeburgers? Your own montages?
Your choice, your blog, your persona.
So let's focus down on the details of the learning curve now…

Finding Images

collage of multiple imagesThere are millions of images online.

They all have some degree of publishing rights – all the way from "You can do anything you like with this image" to "You publish my image and I send my legal team after you".

Ouch! And that is true whether you buy stock images or use free images. For stock photos you can try iStockphoto, Shutterstock, Bigstockphoto and Depositphotos.

With each photo you get a licence although I am sure most people ignore it. With stock photos you need to be careful about how you use the image.


It is not "I bought it already" because you did not "buy it"- what you bought was the right to use, for example, a 1000 pixel wide image but no bigger; you may have bought a right to use it on your blog but not in a printed publication and you may not have the right to use on a Cafepress mug or T-short either – unless your rights doc says you do.


Yes I agree.

Sheesh and DOUBLE SHEESH but here is an example of what can happen if you get this wrong…

An Internet marketer I know of who has complete honesty, bought an image from a vendor who issued him with a rights document in the usual way.
A while later…
Getty images came calling.
If you know their reputation then your heart just skipped a beat and you went, "Gulp".
Well Getty Images are always polite and meticulous with screenshots of your wrongful use of their client's image and a clear and polite offer.
Pay $1000 and remove the image.
Simple, concise and to the point.
And simply put, the "Rights document" was not worth the paper it was printed on. The image belonged to Getty Images and they quite rightly were out to protect their property.
The vendor of the image had stolen it and faked a rights doc so the honest  IMer did not have a legal leg to stand on.
So he took legal advice, paid up and removed the image.
So when you download an image, either free or paid you need to…Check the licence allows you to use it.
For free photos I avoid Stock.xchng because they display free and paid images on the same page and that is just too much hassle for me.I avoid hassle by going to the Creative Commons.

I usually use the  Flickr option and look for the license link on the right hand side. I then click on "Some rights reserved" to get to the nub of it.
showing a creative commons attribution licenceHere is what I look for…

1.   To share

2.   To remix

3.   To make commercial use

In that list the crucial one is "To make commercial use". Unless you have a hobby blog with no monetisation – no Google Ads and no affiliate links or Amazon then you are making commercial use of your blog and must abide by the conditions.
Be cautious – just because something is on Flickr does not mean it is safe to use and clearly Google Images all have rights attached to them. So check it has the crucial "To make commercial use" allowed.
By the way some of the images on Flickr are Getty Images, I steer clear of those!
About now might be time to ramp up your photography because if it is your photo you have a lot more control. It is very cool to have an idea for an image, take the photo yourself and insert it on a blog post!
By the way, if your photo includes a person then they have to sign a release form.

Choosing Images

Of course this is where your personality comes in. Some bloggers use what I call generic clip art – you know those little blobby men and arrows and such.
Ana Hoffman just picks interesting pictures and when they show up in the search engines they make readers click through to fin out what she is blogging about.
Sometimes I just go to Wordle  when I hit a block on what kind of image to use.
And if you have any good techniques for choosing what kind of image to use then please share it below!
Insert Them
Inserting the images carries it's own hassle sometimes. Like the times WordPress has just upgraded and it has a punch up with your Text Editor plugin, but that happens only once in a while!
Showing the Add Media button in WordPress BlogsThe "Add Media" Button is your friend.
Clickin' it leads you to the Upload files and Select files options. Of course your image has to be the right size for your blog.
That caused me no end of anguish at first!
Now I just use the handy dandy resize command in Paint.
And the size of the resize depends on how wide your blog is but I choose 320 pixels as my image width and Paint takes care of the height of the image so that it keeps the right proportions.
Align Them
sign with keep left on itMost bloggers want their text to wrap around their text. Whether is to keep those treasured words warm and toasty or for protection is not clear.
It looks better and smoother, that's for sure, so we have to be able to align and wrap our images.
Aligning starts where inserting stops.
So you have placed your cursor where you want your image to be and gone through the "Add Media" steps.


So your image is now in your text editor and now you just click on it to select the image. It is being selected so you can choose whether to give the image a border, to give it an Alt tag and to choose how much space to put aroundmenu of the image properties screenyour image.

Next you Right Click on the image.

You'll see the options in the picture on the right here.

The important choice here is the Image Properties option.

That brings us to where we make our choices.

  • Usually I choose zero as border width
  • 15 as the Hspace, the Horizontal gap between the edge of the image to the text
  • Zero as the Vspace, the vertical gap above and below the image when my image is at the top of the article and 15 at other places

Align – has several possible options and left and right are the most popular

Tweak them

tweaking and aligning menu

Lastly, if you have not yet filled in the Alt Tag now would be the time.

The Alt Tag is an HTML option of an image which helps those with some vision problems that are perhaps using their computer with a screen reading option that reads Alt Tags to give them a hand in figuring out what the image is about.

And yes, search engines read Alt tags too but I write them for visually impaired people, the search engines don't need any help at all!

I usually do fairly chatty Alt tags. "This shows a green street sign with the words "yada yada"

Most bloggers just copy the title and paste that in. The exact steps you follow will depend on your blog and the text editor plugin you use.

Most bloggers use the TinyMCE plugin and are perfectly content with it. It is a well know text editor and is used in various scripts and platforms. I had my fill of it years ago when using it on a membership site.

Drove me nuts and I vowed NEVER to go near it again! I keep my promises and happily use the CKEditor or similar in my blogs.

My Blog, my choice, my personality. Now it's your turn – express your personality and your blog in the comments below. Thanks

Simple Alex

PS the full post in glorious colour is right here as a  PDF

Photo credits
 Mike Kicht,  notions capital we can blog it
ell brown,  Keep Left photo
Dominic's pics,  millions of images

Filed under Images by on #