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Thanks To My Comment Authors For January 2015

20-top-bloggersCan’t believe that January is over so soon. (Yes, I probably say that every month – but it’s true!)

Apologies if I’ve missed visiting some of my favorite blogs this month. You’ll read why below.

But first – a lovely surprise for me….

20 Top Bloggers in 2015

January 2015 certainly went out on a high when I spotted that I had been featured by Enstine Muki in his post 20 Top Bloggers. I am really honored to have been included with such a list of great bloggers. Pop over later and read these blogs, and you’ll see exactly what a high standard they set.

The one notable omission from the list is Entine himself. Every post is an education, and he’s the creator of the free My Comment Author’s plugin I use for these “end of month” posts, which help bring casual visitors back to my blog. If you’re not using it, I do recommend it – read more here.

But before you pop off to read the other blogs, here’s the highs and lows of my month.

Articles in January 2015

  • I started the New Year with a post about Work-Life Balance, and the challenge that it gives me. This wasn’t the best time to attempt to improve on this as I had a HUGE offline job going live this month…. the culmination of a year’s work and with 40 staff waiting to start using it again, it had to be right. More on this below….
  • My second post was about Email Marketing Services, explaining why I’m recommending Aweber to all new clients – after much deliberating and chopping and changing in my own business.
  • In the week when my client’s software went live I knew I’d have no chance to produce a good blog thanks-col-pxpost, so I asked my friend James McAllister to do an Interview. He did a sterling job for me, handling the comments etc which saved me a lot of time and stress. You’ll see from the number of comments it attracted that it was a popular post. So another big thank-you to James at Help Start My Site.
  • Finally, more or less back in the saddle, I continued my New Year clean-up with a Review of Social Fresh Start and Twitter Tips. In a nutshell I had so many Twitter accounts from old blogs that I couldn’t maintain any of them adequately – so I’ve drastically pruned my Twitter accounts, and am using Sue Worthington’s Social Fresh Start course to keep me on track. Apparently I have to wait 30 days for the old Twitter accounts to be properly closed down after deactivation. In the meantime they are still emailing me – but I hope they will do the decent thing and disappear after the 30 days!

So… I started the New Year focused on a fresh start because my offline client’s software upgrade going live should have freed up more time for my online business. The software upgrade is running pretty well (touch wood) with only minor glitches, and I’m starting to pick jobs off my never-ending “to-do” list.

This would all have gone a lot better, if it hadn’t been for….

Hacked Blogs

You remember those old blogs, related to the old Twitter account…. Well a couple of them got hacked. (Not this one – just some old ones.) I had unfortunately missed a few WordPress plugin upgrades, and Hostgator told me that was the reason. I thought I had things tied up with several security measures, but be warned – those old plugins were enough to let someone in.

While waiting for Hostgator to pronounce on my sites I went in via FTP with a slash and burn approach and deleted everything I didn’t recognize!

The sites seem to have survived my major surgery and I added the Wordfence plugin that I use on most of my sites. I don’t know why I hadn’t put it on before on the old sites too, because it’s a super plugin and very easy to set up. It scans your site for problems, tells you what to clean / correct and you also have the option to immediately lock out specific IP addresses and usernames that try to access your site (e.g. admin – which you should NEVER use). That’s just the free option.

The paid option gives even more facilities, including Country Blocking and support. You can read about Wordfence here.

Not A Lot Of People Know This

The most scary “attack” was where someone tried to sign in to one of my sites using the correct WordPress username. Obviously I don’t use “admin” – nor do I use anything that anyone should have known about. It’s actually a private family nickname, so goodness knows how they got hold of that. Needless to say I have deleted that username and am now using something more obscure.

Apart from the slip of not immediately updating a couple of plugins I’ve worked hard with site security, so this was quite a blow to my pride as well as my work schedule. Wordfence will now email me when its scheduled scan detects any problems or required upgrades, and I’ll be fixing them very promptly, and I urge you to do the same.

As usual this problem arose because I had too much on my plate and neglected the old blogs. So I’ve taken the drastic step of taking down some of the old blogs I wasn’t keeping updated and now I just redirect the domains to an affiliate site. At one level it’s been sad to see the hard work of those old blogs wiped out, but I’m trying to be philosophical and remember how much I learned from setting them up.

EU VAT On Digital Products

I’ve mentioned briefly the problems caused by this very silly change of rules dating from January 2015. I have no intention of attempting to explain them because the rules keep changing as it dawns on “the powers that be” what a nest of hornets they have stirred up.

The implication for me, as a digital product provider, is that I have to account for VAT on my sales. I have enough admin to handle without this, so the simple answer seems to be to move my product to the Clickbank platform where VAT is handled for me.

This meant I had to take time to create new sales and download pages and to learn about selling on Clickbank, as opposed to buying – the latter being too easy!

I am very nearly there with this – just a couple of technical glitches to sort out and I’ll be compliant.

Thanks To My Comment Authors For January 2015

So, that’s been a run through of my month, and all that remains is for me to say thanks again to everyone who has been kind enough to read my blog and add their useful comments. I look forward to seeing you all again in February.

Did YOUR New Year start off as well as you’d hoped? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Total Comments on this blog in Jan 2015

Hi, My name is James McAllister.
I made 15 awesome comments.
Hi, My name is Edward Thorpe.
I made 5 awesome comments.
Hello, My name is Enstine Muki.
I dropped 4 awesome comments.
Hello, My name is Sandy.
I dropped 4 awesome comments.

 

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Joy
 

I left it too late to plan for a financially secure retirement. Don't make my mistake. Start building an extra income with a part-time (or full-time) business online. Think you don't have time? Can't afford the start-up cost? Can't meet sales targets? The businesses I promote overcome all the problems you may have had with Internet Marketing before. Contact me for free advice (no obligation) on the best fit for your circumstances.

Harleena Singh - February 2, 2015

Hi Joy,

Happy New Month ๐Ÿ™‚

You know this wonderful plugin always reminds me too that a new month is here, and it’s always good to re-visit the blogs of friend’s we might have missed or not visited as often.

Ah…January has been a busy month, perhaps for most of us. You too seem to have gone through a lot, as you mentioned in your post – bloggers get no rest…isn’t it? Just been so busy doing up the ABC and the very active forum, making it better for the members, and encouraging the newbies, which is so essential. Hope to be here more this month for sure.

Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

BTW – I think there is some error with the CommentLuv plugin, do check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

    Joy - February 2, 2015

    Hi Harleena,

    Great to see you here again and sorry to have neglected your blog and ABC. My paying client had to come first. I look forward to seeing your changes – although it was so good already wonder what else you can have done.

    Yes, Enstine’s plugin is like a mini New Year and a chance to refocus and a reminder to revisit our friends.

    Hmm – CommentLuv is playing up is it? Thanks for the warning, better have an investigation. No rest for bloggers – very true!

    Thanks for dropping by and have a good week. Joy

Enstine Muki - February 2, 2015

Hey Joy,
First I want to thank you for the shout out in this post. You definitely are a blogger to follow this year and beyond. That list would have been a lame one without you. Seriously, I’m not the only one with this opinion. The proof is the comment section of your blog. The comments from your readers testify to the quality of your works.

Now your experience is teaching us a lesson there. I have a couple of blogs I’m not giving attention to. At the same time, I’m not ready to let them go. Here is a beautiful reminder to re-visit their security.

How those bad guys got your hidden nickname is something I can’t tell. But I think you took the necessary step to change it. Using ‘Admin’ is the most ignorant and stupid thing some bloggers do. I have not used WordFence before but from what I read it seems to be solid recommendation.

I think switching to Clickbank is an interesting experience. While they will handle the taxes, I love the power it has to get affiliates to promote your product. However, I still don’t know why Clickbank does not have a coupon code facility. That really baffles me.

Thanks again for using and recommending MyCommentAuthors. You went ahead of me and published your report. Mine is coming up today and I’m so excited with what I see.

There are beautiful days ahead friend so let’s keep giving

Do have a splendid week

    Joy - February 2, 2015

    Hi Enstine

    You’re too kind ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m still honored.

    Blog security is a worry and a constant learning experience. As you say using “admin” is something I haven’t done for years – after my first major hacking experience when I knew so very little about blogging. But these guys just get “smarter” – if you can call it that – all the time.

    I’ll keep everyone posted on how I get on with Clickbank. A few technical challenges are my next hurdle to overcome, but onwards as ever.

    Will look forward to your MyCommentAuthors post, and indeed all your other excellent posts. Hope to get back to online business more this month.

    Thanks once again for your great honor. I truly am blown away ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great week, Joy

      Enstine Muki - February 2, 2015

      Thanks for the reply Joy

      The post is live indicating you did up to 4 comments too. It’s interesting how we gave and took 4 each ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jan Kearney - February 2, 2015

Hi Joy, happy February!
What an honour being featured up there with some very notable bloggers! I bet you’re made up! (And I am happy for you too!)

I really need to get my blog sorted and try out the commenter plugin. I could have sworn I have visited more than once (in fact I know I did – probably sidetracked again and wandered offer without clicking submit. It wouldn’t be the first time lol)

Hacked…
What a nightmare!
The thing is, if they did get in via plugins it’s likely WordFence wouldn’t have stopped that anyway, although it will warn if any files change. I do use Wordfence to “nag” about updating and I had it’s login blocker set at 2 attempts then locked out for several days.

A few months ago I got hundreds of login attempts in a few hours and set an extra password layer on my site – which solved that problem. Bots and people (and me grrr) don’t even get to my login page now without a server access password.

And please don’t mention the VAT nightmare… I don’t need another excuse not to get my stuff out there! (I froze in December when I read about it and I’m sill defrosting). Good luck with Clickbank!

I have made a note to self to comment as soon as reading and not to wander off without clicking Send!

    Joy - February 4, 2015

    Hi Jan

    It’s so easy to get side-tracked on commenting isn’t it? You start on one post – then you see something interesting and wander off and… LOL.

    I’ve also tweaked Wordfence to be tougher on bad-guys, fighting hackers really is another of those unproductive task we can ALL do without. When I put my first site up, years ago, I remember thinking “Oh, I’m only little – no-one could be bothered to hack me…” How wrong could I be? LOL Prevention is much better than cure.

    As for the unmentionable – well – how to stifle small business initiative in one lesson by EU bureaucrats, mostly without an ounce of entrepreneurial spirit in them. No wonder some people find it easier to sit on benefits than be innovative and start a small business when the odds are so stacked against them.

    Clickbank site progressing…. almost there!

    Onwards and upwards, Joy

Jassica Bella - February 2, 2015

Hi Joy ,

This is Very Interesting Mention Looks to me like you had a great start to the year my friend! Congrats! I just love these kind of posts, where you share your successes
Good Work , and Best of Luck , Keep it up ,

JAssica

    Joy - February 4, 2015

    Thanks Jassica,

    Yes, it’s good to share the successes as well as the mistakes, because it helps balance, and add some positive news to a world that can sometimes seem full of doom and gloom.

    By the way – could be me – but I had difficulty getting to your recent article.

    Hope you get it fixed – these technical problems are such a nuisance.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, Joy

James McAllister - February 2, 2015

Hi Joy!

Sounds like you definitely had a crazy month. I’m glad things are starting to smooth over for you because that much stress isn’t good at all.

The new VAT laws frustrated me as well, and isn’t going to do much except hurt small business owners. Our jobs are hard enough as it is and I know a lot of people that are going to have to end up hiring an accountant just to deal with this ridiculousness. To be honest I don’t think a lot of people are going to report and pay the taxes and honestly I don’t blame them. It’s not a risk I’m going to take but these laws frustrate me to no end.

I’m not sure if your book is already on ClickBank or not (I’m going to go check after I leave this comment) but I’m still getting hops for it on WarriorPlus. As soon as I see it on CB I’ll switch over the links.

– James

    Joy - February 4, 2015

    Hi James

    January certainly was stressful – but it would have been even more stressful without your fantastic help!

    Those VAT laws are ridiculous when “the powers that be” should be helping small businesses to get started instead of putting obstacles in their way. Like you, I want my business to be compliant and it’s causing me so much extra “unproductive” work being an unpaid tax collector, when there are so many productive things I want to do.

    I’m glad you obviously realize that USA marketers are affected too. So many of my USA friends don’t think it affects them – but my understanding is that it does! I’m no expert on VAT, so ALL product producers should do their own due diligence.

    My book may LOOK as if it’s on ClickBank but it’s not quite finished yet – there’s always a technical glitch isn’t there? Please keep your links pointing to Warrior at the moment because it’s still selling there. I’ll let you know when I’m properly live on Clickbank.

    By the way – did you notice that I took one of your recent tips and implemented it on my site? Would have loved for it to be all of them, but better to have picked one and actually done it!

    Good to see you back again and thanks for raising the point about USA marketers and VAT.

    Happy February!

    Joy

      James McAllister - February 4, 2015

      Wonderful, looking forward to hearing from you!

      I do see the Hello Bar, it looks great! If you haven’t already I’d test it to make sure it syncs well with Aweber, I made a mistake when I first installed Hello Bar on my site and ended up missing out on 20 or so subscribers because it never synced correctly.

      And of course, remember to split test! It’s incredibly easy to do with Hello Bar. When I first started out, my Hello Bar was converting at 0.5% and 0.8% for two different messages. I got rid of the first one and am now working on improving my conversion rate further. Small improvements do make a huge difference over the long-term.

        Joy - February 6, 2015

        Hi James

        Thanks for coming back to look at my new Hello Bar addition. It seems to be working fine, but good reminder.

        Good tip about split testing too – I had been thinking of changing the title, so it makes sense to split-test.

        Oh dear – still not got my ebook on Clickbank yet. Just ballistic here. But getting ready for my son to come and stay next week, so that’s something to look forward to.

        Joy

Sandy - February 3, 2015

Wow Joy, yes it’s now beginning of Feb. I have accomplished few things and ‘few’ more things yet to be done ;p My plate seems so full and ever increasing, so got to break down to chunk size, and to bite size. Thank you for your ever support. I appreciate it very much. Wishing a very productive and successful year ahead. To your Abundance, Sandy ๐Ÿ™‚

    Joy - February 4, 2015

    Hi Sandy

    Well, as long as we all keep moving forward, that’s what matters! And with our support group I know we will!

    Happy February!

    Joy

Adrienne - February 3, 2015

Hey Joy,

Sounds like your year started off pretty busy too. Bless your heart, so much to do both online and offline.

Was really great to be mentioned alongside you in Enstine’s post. That’s always an added bonus isn’t it.

Sorry about all the hacking issue, that’s never pleasant when you have so many blogs to keep up with. That’s why I took a few of mine down. I was using them anymore and I didn’t want people to have a broken link from that site but having to stay on top of things was just an issue I didn’t need to deal with either. I know not updating the site or plugins can cause those issues and it’s hard to stay on top of, I agree.

I hear those hackers are very sneaky and they have a program that just runs different variations of usernames and passwords through their databases. Even if they did find out your username it wouldn’t do them any good if they couldn’t crack the password but I agree I would be pretty upset had they deciphered even one of them. Mine are tough to crack too.

I host my course with DealGuardian and like Clickbank they are on top of the rules constantly changing so that those things can be deducted right from the start and I don’t have to deal with what’s what. They’ve been really great with staying on top of things and making sure everything is handled properly.

Hope everything is going back to normal now. It’s nice to be busy but not to the point you have no time to do anything else. Hope February is a more calmer month for you.

Good to see you and take care.

~Adrienne

    Joy - February 5, 2015

    Hi Adrienne

    Yes, January did have me running round like a headless chicken – but it’s paid off because my offline client’s job is starting to settle down now, and will have earned me a nice bank deposit at the end of it.

    Trying to think positive about the hacking experience (which is quite hard haha), at least it’s encouraged me to clear my clutter and get rid of the neglected / damaged blogs so I can focus better on this one. I really wish these horrid people would use their “skills” for some positive end.

    DealGuardian is another platform I’ve heard good things about, so thanks for the reminder to people looking for somewhere reliable to host products.

    February promises to be just as busy as January – but for a lovely reason… my son is coming to stay for a few days ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to see him!

    I am also trying to build a bit more “me” time into my life in other ways, because even for me things had got rather overwhelming in January. Feels a bit strange, but good.

    Happy February ๐Ÿ™‚

    Joy

Atish Ranjan - February 4, 2015

Hello Joy,

Good that you made the list! It is great to use this plugin as it helps you do it effortlessly and effectively. This also helps you getting returning visitors.

Nice Joy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck for coming months!

    Joy - February 4, 2015

    Hi Atish

    Glad to see you here again – courtesy of Enstine’s great free plugin. It’s good to keep in touch with old and new online friends and send them a monthly summary of posts they may have missed.

    Happy February ๐Ÿ™‚

    Joy

Carol Amato - February 4, 2015

Hi, Joy,

Wow, you have a lot going on! Glad you’re doing okay, now I understand a lot better what youโ€™ve been up to, bless your heart. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorry you’ve had issues with security when you do an awesome job at this already. Those pesky plugins can pose a real threat, and you outlining what happened will be a huge help to others, so thank you for that.

Iโ€™ve also simplified my business and cut out things that are not really important to me, and not the main thing I want to keep updated and focus on. Youโ€™re smart for doing that.

Glad things are going better. Hope you have a wonderful evening. Sharing with friendsโ€ฆ

หœCarol

    Joy - February 4, 2015

    Hi Carol,

    January has certainly been a busy month – but far better than kicking my heels. I’m lucky to be working hard when many others aren’t. Only problem was I missed connecting with as many of my online friends as I like to.

    The more I cut out the certain areas of my business that weren’t aligned to my long-term goals, the better I feel. Glad you agree it’s an important thing for us to do. Clearing my online clutter!

    February promises to be a busy month too – but for the best of reasons because my son is coming to stay. Being able to shuffle my calendar to accommodate happy times like this is one of the things that makes up for some of the stresses of working from home.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, Joy

Barbara Charles - February 5, 2015

Hi Joy,

First time visiting your blog. Wow, I don’t think I’ve known of so many issues that a blog could have. The important part is that you have been able to overcome.

It’s also a great way to say thank you to all of your commentors and makes them feel appreciated that they visited. Very nice.

I’ll visit again as this is a great site. Glad we met through Adrienne’s blog.
Look forward to coming back again.

Barbara

    Joy - February 6, 2015

    Hi Barbara

    Welcome to my blog, I am so pleased you found me and I hope you will find plenty of helpful information here:-)

    LOL – if there’s a blogging problem I will find it. But it’s through experiences like these that we grow, and that’s how I can pass on a wealth of knowledge to clients now. Also I’ve developed a team of experts I can call on for even wider knowledge.

    People may say it’s simple to put up a blog – and it is – but it’s very easy to get things wrong, so keeping your blog safe, well maintained and up-to-date are the real challenges.

    The free plugin comes from Enstine Muki – another great blogger.

    Lovely to find you and your excellent blog via Adrienne. She is one super lady!

    Enjoy the rest of your week, and hope to catch up with you again soon. Joy

David - February 5, 2015

Hi Joy,

Sounds like that was a great start to the year to get featured by Enstine – good for you!

You were already kind enough to comment on my site about your hacking experiences, so its good to know this is now fixed.

And that ‘silly’ EU VAT rule is just sucker – typical administration burden on small businesses when its actually the large businesses who need to be targeted. How is the book selling on Clickbank? Is there any difference to WSO?

Looking forward to more of your success stories in February. Sharing now!

Best wishes
– David

    Joy - February 6, 2015

    Hi David

    Yes, all fixed now. It wasn’t this blog – because I take good care of it. The sites I had problems with were a couple of old ones I’d more or less forgotten about.

    The sales page for my book isn’t yet ready to go on Clickbank – I’ve just been too busy with my offline business unfortunately. However, when done, that should be the VAT compliance sorted. “They” cause small businesses all this extra work to generate a few pounds – and there are huge businesses getting away scot-free ๐Ÿ™

    Thanks for sharing, and I’ll look forward to connecting again soon.

    Joy

donna merrill - February 6, 2015

Hi Joy,

So sorry you had all those problems last month. But I think no matter what we do online, we all have our share of things going wrong like this. My husband has been hacked last week and thank goodness it only took a few days to straighten that out.

As the worst is behind you, I say take yourself out to dinner and enjoy! Breathe…relax!

February is here and I am sure your book will be a big hit!

Its like the wild west out here and we never know when a shoe is going to drop. Been through my share of things too.

So let’s start February as YOUR new year!

Be blessed,

-Donna

    Joy - February 7, 2015

    Hi Donna,

    Yes, I guess it’s all part of a blogger’s life and, as someone once said to me when something went wrong in my off-line life “No-one died, forget it and move on”.

    Although I’m VERY sorry this happened to David too, it’s a relief to realize that it can happen to the best of bloggers.

    I survived the ills of January and they’re behind me – with the cheque for my fee to look forward to.

    As for taking myself out to dinner and relaxing…. I am doing FAR better than that:-) My son and his dog are arriving on Monday to stay for a few days – so I can take HIM out to dinner which is even better. That alone is going to make February wonderful.

    Onwards and upwards! Thanks for your encouragement.

    Joy

Edward Thorpe - February 9, 2015

Hi Joy,

God, I love your work ethics! I’m really happy with your recent (and future mega) successes.

Sorry about the hacking issues, but if you’re not pimping the blogs hacked, why not cut them?

I figure your path has changed and you’ve moved on… there’s a spiritual release of energy and increase in clarity when we release baggage. Sorry about the esoteric bent and do apologize for making unfounded assumptions, btw ๐Ÿ˜‰

Although I’m really leery about adding WP plugins, interesting info about wordfence that I intend to check out. Thank you.

Did I mention that I really like what you’ve done with your blog’s theme?
Edward

    Joy - February 10, 2015

    Hi Edward,

    I’m glad you’ve picked up on the increase in clarity and “moving on” – because you’re right… I do feel I’ve released baggage (blogs) that were weighing me down with guilt for “not keeping up with them”, and continual “shall I, shan’t I?” get rid of them. Although it was a bit sad at the time, I’m glad they’ve gone.

    Having Wordfence on board has been great – if a little scary – to see how many evil swine keep trying to login and do other odd things that the human eye would never notice!

    I’ve tightened up on Wordfence’s default settings, so I lock people out a lot earlier and for a lot longer than the defaults. And I put blocks on IPs pretty sharpish too. Being warned when upgrades are needed is good too. All in all one of my best blogging moves.

    Glad you like the revamped blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks.

    Joy

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