How To Maximize Your Buy Links

How To Maximize Your Buy Links

TUTORIAL TUESDAY

How To Maximize Your Buy Links

Maximize Buy Links

Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials

04 April 2017

As a blogger, Indie Author, or in my case, both, tracking and analytics is imperative to continued success. If something works, you want to know that it works and then you want to know what you did, so you can repeat it. No one is going to knock on your door and say “Hey, what you did there. It rocked. Do it again.” But, if you see that people are clicking, things like links… a lightbulb can go off, and you’ll realize that your efforts are paying off. If you can’t tell what people are clicking, though…well you’ve lost before you even started.

Moral To This Story?

TRACK YOUR LINKS!
Maximize Buy Links

If you track those links you can discover things like:

  • Is guest blogging actually worth it?
  • Did paying all that money for a blog tour work?
  • Do people actually read the emails I send out?
  • Are they clicking the buy links in the back of my book?
  • What works best? A button? An image? Or just a text link?
  • Is Facebook really worth my time and effort? And do I actually have to figure out twitter?

Inbound Links – Links coming to YOU from another source, like Facebook, or your Newsletter
Outbound Links – Links leaving you and going someone else, like a link on your website going to Amazon

Image Source: pexels.com

The Basics on Link Tracking:

1

Set up Your Accounts

The first step is setting up all your accounts. There are a few of them, so don’t get overwhelmed. Get you notepad out, to remember passwords and logins and just go for it.

  • Google Analytics
    If you haven’t already set this up to track your website, you should have this set-up. I’m not going to teach you how to use these programs in this tutorial, because each one could be a tutorial in itself. Right now, just do it. WordPress is an easy plugin. Google Analytics will track both inbound and outbound links. I also recommend looking into Google Campaigns, where you can customize your links per your campaign. This is when you are READY to be a beast tracker. I personally use Bit.ly, but if you want very specific data, which is where Bit.ly lacks, you would build your links via Google link builder and campaigns.
  • Bit.ly
    There are other apps that use this technology, including Google, but I’m a Bitlink girl. Every link that you post should be processed through Bit.ly. Get the long link, create a Bitlink – and then send it out into the world.
  • Affiliates
    EVERY store you sell through, you should have an affiliate link attached to it. Not only will it earn you money for the clicks, you can also track spending habits of your “clickers.”

2

Organize

All your links should be organized, this seems like it would be easy, but when you are working last minute at getting things together – admit it – we all do it, we tend to forget the little steps. Organization is a key component to optimal tracking. And this is where apps like Bit.ly & Google Campaign come into play.

  • All links used in a certain campaigned should be tagged, or grouped as such. For example, if you are using certain linka in the back of your book – these should be tagged as “back matter” links, or a tag of your choosing. You can tag your links in apps like Bit.ly and Google
  • If you are doing a blog tour, that you pay for, you should ask the host that your links be used. Sometimes tour hosts will change their links to THEIR affiliate links. You can easily request that your links be used, because of tracking. This way you know if the tour is working. Granted some bloggers will switch the links to their own affiliates, the more savvy bloggers at least, so tracking will not be perfect, but at least you’ll get some.

3

The Process

Everyone’s process is different, find what works for you. But, here is how I do it and maybe this will help you get what you need.

  • First I use a Mac, and I have an app called Notepad Pro. It’s this dropdown app that I throw all my quick reference stuff into. For each book, I have a note – with my original Affiliate links in them. This way for each campaign I do, I have my links at the ready, so I don’t have to go to each Affiliate site and create new links, which can be tedious.
  • Second, for the campaign, I create a bitlink for each of my links I will be using. I stay aware of what I’m doing, and who I’m marketing to, and this lets me decide on which links to use. I know above all, my Amazon sales and links are the highest, so if I can only use one link, I use my Amazon link. If I can use them all, I use them all.
  • Once I created my Bitlinks I tag them as to how I’m using them. If I’m using them for a Facebook paid advertising – they will be tagged FB Ad etc.
  • Now that I’ve created my links, I use them how I need them.

 

Tracking Your Links

A quick look at a bitlink. This is one of my first bitlinks I created. I used this link for an August promotion I did, through email and on my site parajunkee.com. As you can see, the “Dark Traffic” referral is the highest. Dark traffic is usually an email client, or mobile apps for email, or twitter etc. So basically, since this went out in a post, I know that a good bit of people actually clicked the link to my book via their PJV subscription. Then since I posted the same promotion into Facebook, that was the second referrals. Then they actually clicked the link to take them to the promotional page I created on Parajunkee.com and clicked the link there. I wish I could see where those other 48 links came from, but again that is the “con” of bitlinks. I’m going to strive to utilize Google Campaigns for big promotions, but right now, I’m content with bitlinks.

If you don’t track anywhere else, track the “back matter” of your books.

A lot of authors will not do this, because it can get tricky. Depending on where you sell your books, they have restrictions. Amazon will not allow you to place a B&N link in the back matter of books sold on their site. B&N won’t allow you to even call yourself an “Amazon Best-Selling Author” – you used the A word! The A word!!!! So you would have to tailor each ebook you create to their site. But, you must do this! They just read your book, if they liked it, they are probably going to want more. Each book you create should be equipped with a “More Books By…” and each book should have an affiliate link, wrapped in a trackable campaign link, so you know exactly where they are coming from.

I’ve experimented with putting my buy links in the front, in the back, or directly after you finish the book. This I found works the best with my series books.

 

The End…

Read The Next Book

They click that Read The Next Book all the time. I wouldn’t know that, unless I tracked. It would all be a guessing game. I would also know that they tend to click the first book I list in my More Books section, and never the last. So, the book I want them to buy…I list first. I wouldn’t know this. Unless I track. Did you get the moral of this post, yet?

Track your links

Want more book recommendations & tutorials?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

The Parajunkee.com Blog Subscription

How To Maximize Your Buy Links

As a blogger, Indie Author, or in my case, both, tracking and analytics is imperative to continued success. If something works, you want to know that it works and then you want to know what you did, so you can repeat it. No one is going to knock on your door and say “Hey, what you did there. It rocked. Do it again.” But, if you see that people are clicking, things like links… a lightbulb can go off, and you’ll realize that your efforts are paying off. If you can’t tell what people are clicking, though…well you’ve lost before you even started.

read more

Book Signings 101 – What I Learned From A Year of Signings

The weekend that passed, was Booking in Biloxi, a large author even that is held every year in the city of Biloxi, Mississippi. The BiB signing was the first signing that I participated in as a new author. It took me almost a year to work myself up to do a signing – and – also to make it onto a list. So, after this recent event, I had successfully (loose interpretation of successful) completed one year of signings. This is what I’ve learned.

read more

Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage

TUTORIAL TUESDAY Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials 07 March 2017 Make sure you have a dynamic cover photo and you incorporate your brand within your profile picture. If your brand is YOUR face, that works too. I see a lot...

read more
Page 1 of 9112345... »102030... »Last »
Book Signings 101 – What I Learned From A Year of Signings

Book Signings 101 – What I Learned From A Year of Signings

TUTORIAL TUESDAY

What I Learned From a Year of Book Signings

preparing for an author event

Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials

28 March 2017

The weekend that passed, was Booking in Biloxi, a large author even that is held every year in the city of Biloxi, Mississippi. The BiB signing was the first signing that I participated in as a new author. It took me almost a year to work myself up to do a signing – and – also to make it onto a list. So, after this recent event, I had successfully (loose interpretation of successful) completed one year of signings. This is what I’ve learned.

Money. You won’t make any from a signing. Yes, you will make some money. But, you won’t make a return on the money spent.

Output:

  • Table Fees – $100 to $500
  • Cost of Books – $50 to $500 (depending on how many books you have and where you have to purchase them from). My Books cost me about $3 to $5 each (not including shipping). I like to have 10 copies of each book. With seven books in my library, the initial investment runs me about $250, shipping can be another $50.
  • Swag – $50 to infinity. This is where a lot of the money goes. You buy bookmarks, $50. Then you think, that’s not good enough. So you get some pins, $75. Then you think you should make some hand-crafted stuff…$100.
  • Travel – Travel and Hotel accommodations. Biloxi is only an hour and a half away, so it’s a really good option for me. But, I wanted to stay overnight because I had author friends coming in town. So, that cost me about $300. If I would have had to fly, that would have been another $300. Depending on where it is, connecting flights, hotel prices, travel, and expenses, eating out every night etc. will be the biggest investment.

Total Costs:
Books: $300
Swag: $600
Travel: $1K
Food: $300
Table Fees: $250

$2450

Total Earned:
40 of 70 Books Sold: $400
Square Fees: 22.50

$377.50

-$2072.50

 

Photo Source: pexel.com

I’m sorry if this disappoints you. But, it’s always good to keep in your mind, so you won’t feel “unsuccessful” after a signing. You are there to network, meet readers, put yourself out there, and showcase your books. Not to make money. Repeat after me – You Are Not There To Make Money. It’s almost impossible. Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way. Let’s move onto the fun things.

»

Things To Bring

  • Table Cloth (Color That Matches Your Theme: most events will come with certain table covers. BiB came with white, so I brought a black table cloth.
  • Rolling Cart or Rolling Luggage: I suggest that you use a plastic tub with a lid to keep your books and swag in (in case of errant rain or high humidity) or a rolling luggage case. If you use a plastic tub, I would also suggest buying a dolly or wagon to haul them. 
  • Cash: Lock box and cash to make change
  • Books: From polling other authors, it seems the going amount is 10 copies per book if you have a good library. I usually bring 10 of the first in the series and 5 of 2nd, 3rd etc. If you only have 1 or 2 books in your library you should bring 25 or more of each. 
  • Book display: If you have a significant library, I would suggest building your own DIY stand (tutorial to come soon) or purchase one, like this one from Clear Solutions. The one shown below I made myself. 

  • Paper Swag: Bookmarks, rack cards, postcards etc. Get them professionally designed, you have only one chance to make a first impression and this for most authors, will be their first impression. It should do the work of an advertisement. If you need help with printed swag, please email me
  • Fun Swag: This is optional, authors choose to do buttons, pens, chapstick. It can get pricey, but can draw readers to your table. There is always the negative of – they are only coming for the free stuff, though. 
  • Lures: Candy, toys, etc. 
  • Pens: What will you sign your books with? A few authors choose to sign with acid-free pens. I like sharpies. 
  • Promotional Signs: It is very common for an author to have a pop-up banner to place behind their table. This is to advertise yourself and draw in readers. 

  • Newsletter Sign-up Sheet: Use a notebook, or an iPad, just get those email addresses.
  • Sustenance: Water & meal replacement bars. Keep hydrated and fed. Some places will offer food, or sell food, which can get pricey. 
  • Fixers: Duct tape, take, safety pins, clothes pins, velcro, scissors, tissue etc. 

»

Do’s & Don’ts at the Signing

  • Do arrive early to set-up.
  • Do walk around and visit other authors. Don’t be afraid to get ideas from their displays. Don’t copy, though.
  • Don’t Sit. Do stand up and welcome people to your table.
  • Don’t look at your phone! Put it down and you should only pick it up to take pictures or credit cards.
  • Do have your pitch ready, you should have a quick, down and dirty descriptions of your books/series.

Promote The Event Beforehand

Don’t leave promotion to the event host:

  • Promot on social media
  • Offer a giveaway for entrance tickets if there is a charge
  • Send out your newsletter

How to decided on which signings to participate in:

Finding the Right Event

Facebook is a great way of finding events. There are several groups that showcase author events, like Author Events Around the US. If you are looking for books in a certain area, there are groups for just certain states, like Texas and Florida. 

Watch the Dates & Locales

You should always keep dates in mind, and in correlation with the locations. If you are going to a location you are not familiar with, google their local website and check their calendar. I noticed they have a local signing in New Orleans scheduled for 2018 and got excited. I like local signings because there is no travel involved. But then I saw the date. It’s February 10th, 2018, which is the day of Endymion. The BIGGEST Mardi Gras parade in the city. It’s also 3 days before Mardi Gras, which means hotel prices are high – and usually sold-out. The event is also being held on the parade route. A parade route that people camp out for days to get a prime spot. There is no traffic going in or out beginning that morning and is on lock down until that evening. If I could even manage to get down there, parking would be impossible, so I would have to Uber (which would be special rates), getting out would be impossible – Uber shuts down near the parade route. And then, who would show up? Because all the potential readers would be going through the same thing. So dates and locales are very important.

But, other than these insane coincidences…you should also keep in mind that certain dates might bring the most likely people with money. First of the month is usually hard for people, since mortgages/rent and other bills are due, so look for signings near the middle of the month.

Ask your readers where they are located, and see if there are any signings in those areas.  If there are, ask them about those signings.

Stay Savvy

Check pricing and availability. Before you fill out interest forms willy-nilly, check all the pricing information. There is nothing like a big surprise when you get that invoice. Which happened to me. I either didn’t read the form correctly, or it wasn’t ALL listed. I’m thinking I didn’t read it well.

Gravitate toward seasoned events, instead of debuts. I only signed up for debut events IF I knew of the host, or they had hosted something else in another city/venue. There have been a few events that have been canceled, and a few authors have lost money when the “host” disappeared.

What To Avoid:

 

  1. Lack of transparency. The “host” is going by a fake name and does not have an established social media account.
  2. Messy & Unorganized. The graphics are hastily put together. The host seems unorganized and doesn’t answer question promptly.
  3. No experience. The host has no experience with event planning.
  4. Lack of Paperwork. The host should be able to show the contract for the venue and you should always ask for this before you sign up.
  5. Feeling of Inadequacy. You are doing them a favor, paying them money to participate. You shouldn’t feel like you are not good enough. If they make you feel like you have to “beg on” to participate, and you can’t get a lot of information for the event, unless you pay the deposit, this isn’t a good sign.

The point of participating in a book signing is to have fun and to connect with readers. It can be a little overwhelming, and you can feel a bit anxious when you sign up for your next signing. It’s a chance you take. Will you be well received? Will you sit there by yourself with no one coming to your table? Probably not. Even if readers only come up to pick up your book and ask you about it – that’s one more person that knows about your book. Even if you direct them to download the eBook for the bargain price of $4.99 – that’s one more reader that you wouldn’t have had before. And that’s why you’re there.

Want more book recommendations & tutorials?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

The Parajunkee.com Blog Subscription

How To Maximize Your Buy Links

As a blogger, Indie Author, or in my case, both, tracking and analytics is imperative to continued success. If something works, you want to know that it works and then you want to know what you did, so you can repeat it. No one is going to knock on your door and say “Hey, what you did there. It rocked. Do it again.” But, if you see that people are clicking, things like links… a lightbulb can go off, and you’ll realize that your efforts are paying off. If you can’t tell what people are clicking, though…well you’ve lost before you even started.

read more

Book Signings 101 – What I Learned From A Year of Signings

The weekend that passed, was Booking in Biloxi, a large author even that is held every year in the city of Biloxi, Mississippi. The BiB signing was the first signing that I participated in as a new author. It took me almost a year to work myself up to do a signing – and – also to make it onto a list. So, after this recent event, I had successfully (loose interpretation of successful) completed one year of signings. This is what I’ve learned.

read more

Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage

TUTORIAL TUESDAY Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials 07 March 2017 Make sure you have a dynamic cover photo and you incorporate your brand within your profile picture. If your brand is YOUR face, that works too. I see a lot...

read more
Page 1 of 9112345... »102030... »Last »
Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage

Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage

TUTORIAL TUESDAY

Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage

Blogging and Using Facebook

Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials

07 March 2017

Make sure you have a dynamic cover photo and you incorporate your brand within your profile picture. If your brand is YOUR face, that works too. I see a lot of book bloggers that do “contests” to post an author’s book as their profile pic and while this might work in other ways (like gets, post promotion etc) it doesn’t promote brand recognition. When you’re scrolling through the mass amounts of posts on Facebook, brand recognition is key. If they “look” for your posts, they might not recognize them if you are constantly changing your profile and cover shot to another’s brand. I’m not trying to discount this practice, but if you are trying to make a name for yourself, you have to have a recognizable name.

Make sure you FILL OUT that ABOUT section and fill it out well. It should be a down and dirty description of what you do and who you are. You should also have keywords within this section so that searches can bring up your page. What do you specialize in? And don’t forget that LINK back to your webpage or other social media account that you need to give attention.

Utilize links. There should always be a link in your “profile.” Utilize the comment section under your cover image, under your profile picture and like I mentioned before, in your about section. Link back to your website, or your Instagram account if you do not have a website. I also recommend using a link that you can “track.” You can add a bitlinks or Hubspot etc., make sure that they track – and track stuff you want to know.

Use Bitlinks to track your Facebook engagement

By using Bitlinks to track your links from facebook you can tell where your audience is coming from and at what day. This way if you did something “different” that day you can do it again.

Schedule your posts. You NEED to post regularly and if this isn’t possible because of a day job, or things like SLEEP, schedule posts. They don’t have to be EPIC posts every time, you can share a cute picture. Just post and post regularly. You can schedule posts right through the Facebook page, or you can use apps like Hubspot to schedule posts. If you are feeling motivated use a Post Planner, or grab a calendar and jot in what you should post and at what time.

Study your audience. This is basically an urge from me to you, to PAY ATTENTION. If you see that you get more likes on certain types of posts – post more of those types of posts. For example, if you get a ton of likes on funny cat photos, post more funny cat photos. If they like your funny cat photos, they’ll see more of your posts. So the ones where you are promoting your “real” content, will more likely get noticed. Plus, everyone loves funny cat photos.

Engagement. That term that everyone likes to throw around and half the people reading it are like “WTF is engagement?” This engagement is people liking your posts, commenting, and “doing things” on your page. You can have 20K likes on your page, but if no one likes your stuff, you have very little engagement. Facebook likes pages with high engagements so that silly algorithm they use puts pages with more likes/comments/shares up top, then the ones that are just sitting there collecting dust. So you need to get those likes/share/comments. To push engagement, reply to ALL comments. Like all comments. Talk to your people, ask them questions, post things that they WANT to see, not what you want to deliver to them. This might be hard to figure out, because I know you are probably using your page to promote something else…but people aren’t on Facebook to go to “something else” they are on Facebook to muck about on Facebook. If you start to realize this, you can make it work for you.

Photos and Videos are KEY. It isn’t a secret, photos and vids get the most attention on Facebook. Links are the least type of engaged post. Always include a photo with your post and I recommend “adding” your own photo, not the auto-generated photo from the link. There is debate about links in comments vs. links in posts as far as the Facebook algorithm, meaning does adding a link to your photo push it down in the Facebook queue as opposed to just an image (so people post their link in the comments). Which was a thing for awhile…and I still see people doing it, and it doesn’t hurt. It just buries your link a little bit more, and the image doesn’t link to your destination of choice. So, I include a link. This way when they click my image it goes to the destination I want them to go.

Use Bitlinks to track your Facebook engagement

If you post on Facebook and want to drive content to your blog, try embedding a Facebook video on your blog. This way you are driving traffic from your blog to Facebook. This is a good way to share a book trailer, or maybe a book haul post you created. You can easily embed a facebook post by click on the settings tab and scrolling down to embed.

Use Bitlinks to track your Facebook engagement

When you embed it, it will appear like the video below.

Don’t be afraid to do something different. Treat Facebook like a conversation, but ALWAYS ask yourself before you post, is this content helpful or entertaining for your audience?

Go LIVE. Sites that promote social media for companies, recommend a weekly LIVE event. Which is a little much for people that are doing this part-time and working during the day. So, I recommend going LIVE when you have something cool to go LIVE about. Even if it’s only a book haul LIVE post. And I also recommend promoting that you are going LIVE at a certain time, just don’t pop on and be LIVE. Then no one will be there.

Change things up. Don’t post the same thing at the same time. Also, change your times up and see what works best. They say noon is the best time to post, but what if it isn’t the best time for YOUR fans? Try posting at different times during the week and different times during the day. Try videos one week and then images the next. And again – pay attention to what works. Overall, the moral behind this post is to post and then watch. See if it works. If it does, great – if it doesn’t try again but tweak it.

Want more book recommendations & tutorials?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

The Parajunkee.com Blog Subscription

How To Maximize Your Buy Links

As a blogger, Indie Author, or in my case, both, tracking and analytics is imperative to continued success. If something works, you want to know that it works and then you want to know what you did, so you can repeat it. No one is going to knock on your door and say “Hey, what you did there. It rocked. Do it again.” But, if you see that people are clicking, things like links… a lightbulb can go off, and you’ll realize that your efforts are paying off. If you can’t tell what people are clicking, though…well you’ve lost before you even started.

read more

Book Signings 101 – What I Learned From A Year of Signings

The weekend that passed, was Booking in Biloxi, a large author even that is held every year in the city of Biloxi, Mississippi. The BiB signing was the first signing that I participated in as a new author. It took me almost a year to work myself up to do a signing – and – also to make it onto a list. So, after this recent event, I had successfully (loose interpretation of successful) completed one year of signings. This is what I’ve learned.

read more

Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage

TUTORIAL TUESDAY Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials 07 March 2017 Make sure you have a dynamic cover photo and you incorporate your brand within your profile picture. If your brand is YOUR face, that works too. I see a lot...

read more
Page 1 of 9112345... »102030... »Last »
Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital Break-Down for Indie Authors

Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital Break-Down for Indie Authors

Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital

The hardest part of Indie Authorship..or at least one of the hardest parts is the publishing process. Formatting, set-up, publishing can be such a headache – and my biggest issues have always been when trying to publish through programs like Smashwords. When I mentioned this to other authors, they either nodded in commiseration, or they quickly responded with: “Try Draft2Digital, I love it.” This led me to research and this is what I came up with. I hope it helps you make the decision. I am currently moving over to Draft2Digital.

Smashwords

  • Cost: $0
  • Commission: 15% via Smashword Sales, 10% Catalog sales
  • Store: Yes
  • Formats accepted: .doc, .epub
  • Formatter: You
  • ISBN: Provided (free)
  • Distribution: Apple, Barnes & Noble (US and UK), Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, Yuzu, Blio and Inktera (formerly Page Foundry), OverDrive, Baker & Taylor, Axis 360, Tolino, Gardners
  • Coupons: Yes
  • Discounts: Yes
  • PreOrders: Preorder on Smashwords
  • Payout: Quarterly
  • User-Friendly: Dated, Messy, Hard
  • Notifications: Failure notifications
  • Updates: Vetting and processing have not been updated for awhile
  • Style Guide: 170 pages on how to format for Smashwords
  • End Matter: Styled to fit their style guide, this can be hard because there can be no links to specific stores
  • Other Books: Reformat and upload eBooks each time you publish a new book
More Info

AS YOU CAN SEE — Draft2Digital has a lot more positives over Smashwords. While Smashwords is the leader in eBook distribution and really the Original Gangster of indie publishing. It publishes the MOST and has the biggest distribution list, (which is their biggest PRO) it has become bloated and lazy in its leadership. Smashwords has stayed the same, and younger, hungrier sites have come onto the scene. This works for Indie authors because now they have options. Options that take less of a commission, have fewer rules for formatting, will help you more on your path, and actually will automate a lot of these task for you.

The winner out of all of this, in my opinion, is the automated back matter. The BIG hassle with publishing is the “Other Books” section. After each book published, if you want to stay current, you have to add each book to your back matter. This means adding it in your eBook, reformatting, and then uploading ALL of your books. D2D automates this. Win. Win. Win. You’ll still have to do this for KDP – which is a HUGE drawback, but at least you get it in the other stores.

Another HUGE pro for D2D is the monthly payout, versus the quarterly payout of Smashwords. Oh – and yeah they format your eBook for you, instead of wading through a 170-page style guide via Smashwords.

Overall, I think D2D takes the win on this comparison.

Want more book recommendations & tutorials?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

The Parajunkee.com Blog Subscription

How To Maximize Your Buy Links

As a blogger, Indie Author, or in my case, both, tracking and analytics is imperative to continued success. If something works, you want to know that it works and then you want to know what you did, so you can repeat it. No one is going to knock on your door and say “Hey, what you did there. It rocked. Do it again.” But, if you see that people are clicking, things like links… a lightbulb can go off, and you’ll realize that your efforts are paying off. If you can’t tell what people are clicking, though…well you’ve lost before you even started.

read more

Book Signings 101 – What I Learned From A Year of Signings

The weekend that passed, was Booking in Biloxi, a large author even that is held every year in the city of Biloxi, Mississippi. The BiB signing was the first signing that I participated in as a new author. It took me almost a year to work myself up to do a signing – and – also to make it onto a list. So, after this recent event, I had successfully (loose interpretation of successful) completed one year of signings. This is what I’ve learned.

read more

Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage

TUTORIAL TUESDAY Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials 07 March 2017 Make sure you have a dynamic cover photo and you incorporate your brand within your profile picture. If your brand is YOUR face, that works too. I see a lot...

read more
Page 1 of 9112345... »102030... »Last »
Show Your Readers Some Love – Blogging Tutorial

Show Your Readers Some Love – Blogging Tutorial

Show Your Readers Some Love

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the day to show the love, and not just to your significant other. You can also show your readers some love. What better day to appreciate your readership, than Valentine’s Day? Spread the love and let them know you appreciate them…here are my ten suggestions for a bit of blog reader love.

Talk To Them

This sounds like an obvious suggestion, but just talking to your readers will show them a bit of love. Write a conversational post, about them. Thank them, as if you were having a conversation with them. Say hello. Use “you” and “we” like they are a part of the conversation and not reading something general.

Appreciate Your Readers
Appreciate Your Readers

Follow Them

If they comment on your blog, follow them to their blog, or to their social media account and show some love there, with a mention or a like. Tweet to them on twitter, “thanks for the comment” or “thanks for the visit.”

Link Them Up

Are you becoming friendly with a fellow blogger? Include a link to their blog or social media accounts in a post. Make sure to let them know – with no strings attached!

Appreciate Your Readers
Appreciate Your Readers

Reward ’em

Everyone likes a reward. Reward your readers. Maybe select some top interactions on your blog, or social media and send them an eBook. No giveaway entry required. Ask authors to donate to this cause before you do this, of course.

Email Love

Send them a thank you email. Nothing generic, this should be personal and heartfelt. Just thank them for their support and ask for nothing in return.

Appreciate Your Readers
Appreciate Your Readers

Reply

Another obvious one, but it’s always good to reiterate. Reply to ALL comments on social media and your blog.

Host a Contest

Create a great contest for subscribers only. Maybe make it an “existing” subscriber contest (for subscribers before XXX date) only so you don’t look like you’re trolling for new followers.

Appreciate Your Readers
Appreciate Your Readers

Random Gift

Pick a few subscribers/readers and send them a surprise gift, just as a token of your appreciation. This would be a great time to send them an eBook, or some swag if you have their address.

Plugins Love

Install a top commentator sidebar widget, or a comment luv type plugin that shows who comments and you can track who is giving you love – so you can love them back.

Appreciate Your Readers
Appreciate Your Readers

Get To Know

And the best way to show your readers some love is know them. Get to know who is visiting your blog, know what type of people they are, where they like to congregate (favorite social media etc) and give them what they want. Give them quality content that they want to read – then they’ll know they are loved and heard. And they’ll keep coming back for more.

Want more book recommendations & tutorials?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

The Parajunkee.com Blog Subscription

How To Maximize Your Buy Links

As a blogger, Indie Author, or in my case, both, tracking and analytics is imperative to continued success. If something works, you want to know that it works and then you want to know what you did, so you can repeat it. No one is going to knock on your door and say “Hey, what you did there. It rocked. Do it again.” But, if you see that people are clicking, things like links… a lightbulb can go off, and you’ll realize that your efforts are paying off. If you can’t tell what people are clicking, though…well you’ve lost before you even started.

read more

Book Signings 101 – What I Learned From A Year of Signings

The weekend that passed, was Booking in Biloxi, a large author even that is held every year in the city of Biloxi, Mississippi. The BiB signing was the first signing that I participated in as a new author. It took me almost a year to work myself up to do a signing – and – also to make it onto a list. So, after this recent event, I had successfully (loose interpretation of successful) completed one year of signings. This is what I’ve learned.

read more

Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage

TUTORIAL TUESDAY Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials 07 March 2017 Make sure you have a dynamic cover photo and you incorporate your brand within your profile picture. If your brand is YOUR face, that works too. I see a lot...

read more
Page 1 of 9112345... »102030... »Last »
HOLY SH!T! My site has been hacked, what do I do?

HOLY SH!T! My site has been hacked, what do I do?

HOLY SH!T! My site has been hacked, what do I do?
An Average Users Guide To Fix Hacked Sites
HACKED WORDPRESS
Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials
07 Feb 2017

If you run a WordPress site, chances are, there are people, bots, assholes– out there trying to hack your site. The first step is preventative, but even the most diligent user might be hacked.  This is the down and dirty basics on what to do when your site gets hacked. This isn’t geared for advanced users, this is geared for the average user.

You might be telling yourself it won’t happen to you. But, it might. All some hackers want is credibility or the fact that your site is considered clean. They don’t care about your follower count…all they care about is that you’re easy prey.

Sites get hacked for the following reasons:

        • Bragging Rights – All they want to do is say they did it.
        • Spread Spam – Spam hacks are common. They want to either promote another site or redirect to that site.
          • Steal Data – they are looking for confidential data
          • Redirects – They want to redirect to malicious sites, phishing sites, or sites that install malware on your computer
          • Ransomware – They new trend is to take over your site and then you’ll get it back if you pay them money.
          • Use of Credibility – If a site is flagged as spam, they can use your credibility to funnel users to their site, or use your site to attack other sites.
1

Backup

You should have backed up your site before this, but if you haven’t now is the time. Updraft, WP DB Backup and other backup plugins are always good to use. Backup now. Here are the top backup plugins:

Also backup yourself by going to Tools > Export and backup your entire site. You can also backup your database in your hosting provider.

2

Identify

Take a deep breath and identify what is going on. Can you login using your admin panel? Is your site throwing up weird symbols? Is your site getting redirected? Did you find weird links in your site? Has Google marked you as a possible malicious site? Once you’ve identified the problem, this is when you would call your hosting provider and talk about what is going on. They can easily fix things for you and identify the problems or the code.

3

Change Your Passwords

Change all your passwords and prompt other users to change their passwords, I recommend doing it for them in the users panel and sending it to them.

4

Scan

Scan your site. Use a plugin like Sucuri Website Malware Scanner. There are also sites that you can use without installing anything:

  1. Norton Safe Web
  2. Malware Removal
  3. Sucuri Site Check
  4. Scan My Server (this is not instant and requires site verification – a report is emailed to you)

Now that you’ve completely identified what is going on, call your hosting provider. The hack might have happened on their end, or from another site on their shared server. They’ll be able to guide you if they take responsibility. GoDaddy helped me identify the code to remove it, sites like HostGator are also great in walking you through the process.

5

Delete

Don’t panic, this is extra stuff. Start deleting. Start deleting plugins you do not use. Old backups. If you are feeling dangerous, check your file manager and look for non-core wordpress files that are there. A lot of times hacks will add weird .php files, plugins will add extra .php files – but if you see “extra” .php delete them. If your host told you where to find the code, look in that file and delete the code. If you are scared of doing this backup first, all you have to do is copy and paste all the code into a Word doc. Delete the code and test it. If you made an error copy the text back in.

My hacked code was in the .htaccess file, I opened it, deleted the code and fixed the issue.

I also suggest looking into core wordpress files. Delete a new version of WordPress on your computer and just check the folder and then check through your file manager. If you see “extra files” in your core WP files, delete them.

TIP: You can also replace “old” WP files with new files. You can overwrite everything but core files like the wp-config.php, even going so far as doing a fresh install of wordpress without erasing your content. Reinstal through your dashboard or via your host.

6

Restore a backup

As a blogger you might update your site daily, this might not work for you. You might lose days of content. But, if things have gotten dire, restore a past backup.

7

Check Your Users

When hackers get into your site they might create a new user. They’ll give these users admin rights. If you see a user on there with permissions that are anything higher than Subscriber, and you don’t recognize them. Delete that user. If you are second-guessing yourself, you can always add a new user later.

8

Change Your SALTs

SALTs are secret keys. They help encrypt all the important stuff on your website. If they got in, the cookies they generate would allow them to sign-in. To do this manually you need to be able to access your wp-config.php file:

  1. Generate a new secret key and SALT generator from the WordPress API. 
  2. Copy everything generated:
  3. Paste over your current SALTs in your wp-config.php file – look for the defines

It’s good practice to change these randomly. You can also use plugins like iThemes to do this for you if you don’t feel comfortable with changing them.

8

Call For Help

If you have identified that you’ve been hacked but you don’t see suspicious files or code, or are worried to delete them, this might be the time to call in professional help.

“30,000 sites are identified as ‘hacked’ or passing on malicious code, daily.”

Hacked WordPress Site

Quick steps: What to do when your website is hacked.

Have you been hacked before? What did you do?

Want more book recommendations & tutorials?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

The Parajunkee.com Blog Subscription

How To Maximize Your Buy Links

As a blogger, Indie Author, or in my case, both, tracking and analytics is imperative to continued success. If something works, you want to know that it works and then you want to know what you did, so you can repeat it. No one is going to knock on your door and say “Hey, what you did there. It rocked. Do it again.” But, if you see that people are clicking, things like links… a lightbulb can go off, and you’ll realize that your efforts are paying off. If you can’t tell what people are clicking, though…well you’ve lost before you even started.

read more

Book Signings 101 – What I Learned From A Year of Signings

The weekend that passed, was Booking in Biloxi, a large author even that is held every year in the city of Biloxi, Mississippi. The BiB signing was the first signing that I participated in as a new author. It took me almost a year to work myself up to do a signing – and – also to make it onto a list. So, after this recent event, I had successfully (loose interpretation of successful) completed one year of signings. This is what I’ve learned.

read more

Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage

TUTORIAL TUESDAY Top Ten Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Usage Rachel Rivera, PJV Tutorials 07 March 2017 Make sure you have a dynamic cover photo and you incorporate your brand within your profile picture. If your brand is YOUR face, that works too. I see a lot...

read more
Page 1 of 9112345... »102030... »Last »
Page 1 of 4612345... »102030... »Last »