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Topics - andrewwilson

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General Chatter / Photoshop Alternatives
« on: April 25, 2016, 09:37:23 AM »
Many of us, at some point or other need to mess about with images. Lots of tools available for such eventualities. However, we eventually all come across images that are saved or provided as PSD files, a Photoshop native format.

There's not many tools that can open or edit these - at least not that are (1) reliable and (2) easier to use than Photoshop - and, of course, a lot less expensive to licence.

Here's one that is worth a look - for those times when one gets a banner that needs editing - a simple enough job but a nightmare if it means learning to use Photoshop to do it!

Paint.net - with an associated plugin can be used to open PSD files, and manipulate the layers within the file (the magic that lets us edit the text or logo on a banner)
The program is free of charge, as is the associated plugin. Setting the thing up and learning how to do the job I wanted, this afternoon took maybe 10 minutes and another ten to sort out a full set of banners with a new text.

Here's a link to a brief article with the links you need to download the main application and the plugin: CLICK HERE!

I have a need for source content to create highly spinnable document. Over the past few weeks I have been playing with a new (to me) way of doing this which has decreased the amount of time taken in preparing a decent document by a large amount. In addition the breadth of topics that I can cover is now, for all practical purposes, infinite.

This whole job took less than 60 minutes and not much longer than it takes me to prepare a highly spun document that I have bought in and need to edit/format to my needs. Of course the cost of doing this is much smaller than trying to buy content. Worse yet, usually, highly spun content that is sold as PLR has usually been beaten to death by people using SENuke and similar tools!

To share the technique I share a walk-through of what I did.
The tools used are:
1) Answer Analyst
2) The Best Spinner
Both are available from Jon Leger.

This project was to create a multi spin document on the topic of 'relationships' for back linking purposes using a large network of sites that I currently post to. The output needs to be of decently readable quality because the accounts are mature and have been active for, in some cases, over a year.

Finding Content With Answer Analyst:

Firstly I used Answer Analyst: added the keyword relationship to the Keywords box and used Y! Answers to generate a list of questions

I chose the simple 'what is a relationship?'

Added the term to the 'Question' box, chose Google as the source, medium answers. Secondary answers, add to current results and loose matching.

Unless you use Answer Analyst this means nothing but you can see the process from the Answer Analyst sales page and from Jon's training video.

The software found over 100 results.

I clicked the check box on all those responses that seemed usable to save the snippets to the clipboard.

Next I clicked add to research (I did not save the references)

Now I have the content for an article. This will be worked on shortly.

Making Article Titles:

Next, I looked for article titles. For this I went to Google in my browser and typed in "What is a relationship" (no quotes)

After looking at the search results I chose a number of titles of pages that seemed relevant to my core question "What Is A Relationship".

In this case I ended up with a list something like this, yours will vary according to the region that you are in and probably your previous searches (I didn't bother logging out of Google):
What Is A Relationship?
What Are Relationships About?
Am I In A Relationship?
Are You In A Relationship?
I Don't Know What A Real Relationship Is
You Don't Know What A Real Relationship Is
Is This A Good Relationship?
Am I In A Good Relationship?
Are You In A Good Relationship?
This Is What Being In A Relationship Really Means
How To Understand What A Relationship Means
What Makes A Good Relationship?
What Is A Good Relationship? - The Signs
What Is A Healthy Relationship?
7 Ingredients Of A Healthy Relationship
What's The Point Of A Relationship?
What Is A Serious Relationship?
What Is It Like To Be In A Relationship?

I went to The Best Spinner and added all the titles I had collected to the work panel then I used 'Auto Select Synonyms' to create variations of each title so that our original 10 titles will multiply a lot. I use 3 synonyms maximum and retain the original.

I checked through the results and quickly edited them. This is important because the title is what readers see first and it makes no sense then it will be disregarded or the article flagged as spam - if that happens I will probably lose the account(s) that I have set up over the months.

After editing I then highlighted all the titles, right clicked and selected 'Title Case' so that each title would look right with initial capitals. Then I selected 'Spin Together' from the Spin Tools ribbon. Now I have a long list of titles and variations all spun together with 91% uniqueness from 7 words average length (a very useful length for article titles!).

Making The Article Body:

So, that's the title. Next I went to the article body. The task is to create a set of paragraphs that can be spun together and using AutoSelect Synonyms create a huge number of unique articles that make sense when read.

I sorted through the results I had previously saved and discarded all that were not appropriate to the topic.
Next I started sorting them into some kind of order. My goal was to make several groups of snippets that could be identified as having some kind of similarity in terms of their theme so that I could create a series of spun together paragraphs. To do this I used a text file and simply cut/pasted snippets into the groups that I wanted. To make the formatting easier to follow during preparation I split each group of sentences that was going to form a paragraph from the others with a line made of asterisks. After a few minutes of sorting I had created a series of paragraphs each with lots of sentences.

The work then moved over to The Best Spinner again.

I pasted all the sentences into TBS and then selected each group of sentences that I had split with asterisks and highlighted them. Now, I went to 'Spin Tools' and selected the 'Spin Together' wizard and started spinning each group of sentences together. In a couple of cases I chose to have a blank paragraph so that the length and structure of each article would differ as well as the words and information.

This left me with very long articles, typically well over 1200 words. When I read the output it looked spammy. To make the article shorter and less obviously 'manufactured' I span some of the previously generated paragraphs together. This made the article shorter and the spun output looked more real and natural. The output was now around 600 words.

At this point the articles generated were substantially unique but the potential variation was not huge. To increase variety in the output I went to 'Auto-Select Synonyms'. First I protected the significant keywords so that there would be no gibberish output and highlighted the whole document. The settings I used for auto synonymising were: Best Quality Cloud Thesaurus. Max Synonyms =3, Every Third Word/Phrase and Auto-select inside spun text. NO REWRITING!

Lastly I used the Remove Original Word wizard to ensure that the output of changes would be different to the source document(s).

Now, I had articles that were over 90% unique, not too spammy looking, and just about 600 words long.

The output read pretty well and although the structure of the articles looks very odd they make surprisingly good sense on a paragraph by paragraph basis.

I tested against Copyscape and found that, because of the setting I had used (every 3rd word or phrase) that each spin was showing some content from other articles - this did not concern me because I know that Article Builder, which does not pass Copyscape works well enough. My judgement was that changing EVERY word or phrase would have made articles that read very badly.

Preparing For Publication:

At this point the formatting was a little untidy. Gaps between paragraphs were sometimes uneven and some paragraphs did not have capital letters. I tidied this up in TBS and saved the result.

For back link building I use an automated tool call Money Robot that works directly with spintax documents so I simply copy pasted the whole document into MR. A couple of minutes later it was busy building web pages across my network of accounts.

The use of Answer Analyst:

I picked up Answer Analyst a couple of weeks ago. It seems to be something of an orphan these days, however, it works very well to collate content. I was very quickly able to generate a large amount of very relevant content and organise it for use in The Best Spinner. There's no problem that I have found with Google throwing up Captchas and I can get content on any topic under the sun.

It is possible to do everything that I did within Google or Bing but the time taken to strip and format the content would make the task very difficult. I have tried using PLR articles, sliced and reformatted as I did with Answer Analyst but the source material is often too widely used and so even after using TBS rewriting tools lots of similar version crop up across the web. Working with AA, in most cases each snippet I use is present in only one place on the Internet.

Even if one does not use the whole system I have outlined here, using the title 'trick' is a great way to expand one's supply of titles for articles - particularly when working with Article Builder, where titles are something of an issue (IMHO).

I hope that somebody finds this useful!

General Chatter / Guest Posts Accepted (Wanted!)
« on: March 24, 2016, 01:38:24 AM »
I run a site www.knowhow-now.com we cover factual material with a 'how-to' slant. We prefer articles that have titles such as 'How To...', How Can...', 'How Does...' in hundreds of niches.

If you are seeking a destination for your well-written, unique (but absolutely NOT spun or rewritten!) factual articles written in good, grammatically correct, English then please give us a shot. We don't offer this for back links and affiliate links simply don't work. ;)

If you would like to see your work featured and promoted across multiple social networks and accounts on a site that has been around since 2005 then take a look at our publication guidelines here: http://knowhow-now.com/page/write-for-us


Social Multiplier / How to Start Social Multiplier Automatically?
« on: October 09, 2015, 12:26:02 PM »
Does anyone know of a way to start Social Multiplier without a username/password? Or more securely a way to have them filled out and the login button clicked without human intervention?
I set up a task in Task Scheduler but, of course it can't do the login.

The idea is to have SM start and stop one or two times per day to replicate human activity a little - not many of us are posting away 24/7.

Social Multiplier / After Using For A While - Some Thoughts
« on: October 03, 2015, 04:19:33 AM »
I had played a little with Social Multiplier but not done too much seriously with it. I was wanting to find a way to incorporate the tool into my ongoing promotion work without messing everything up. ;)

Touch wood, that has been done, I have several accounts running and no bans or blocks placed.

I had tried using the tool on my work computer but it eats too much resource even on a relatively well specced quad core machine SM was getting in the way and I had no laptop that was fast enough to run more than a single campaign. So, I got myself a VPS.

This is the spec of the the server: 8 x Intel Core i7 Cpu 920 @ 2.67 GHz. 12Gb RAM (4 cores, running 8 threads - not the latest and greatest but about the same as my desktop)

Currently I am running 4 Auto-Follow campaigns with intervals of between 1 and 8 hours and 4 Group Board Invite campaigns 3 running hourly and one running twice per day.

Alongside Social Multiplier I am running Money Robot, a browser emulating link building tool - similar to SENuke.

So, both tools are emulating browsers. Money Robot on its own is rock solid, running as I use it, there's about 25 threads at at a time (a thread is a task - creating an account, posting an article, confirming email addresses etc). The resource consumption for this is fine. Usually well below 35% and with loads of memory free. because I use the tool's automated resource control to control the thread count I know that the system is running 'comfortably'.

When I add Social Multiplier things go mad...
When the tool is running CPU usage goes up to over 90%. Even when Social Multiplier is not actually doing anything CPU usage runs at anything between 60 and 90% and memory usage runs at 70% or thereabouts.

To protect the server I have set the Application Speed to its lowest setting, Max CPU to 80% and Max Mem to 85%. Schedules are checked as randomised.

The resource usage leads to problems with Social Multiplier.
Money Robot pulls its neck in and runs fewer processes - no crashes or errors. Campaigns just take longer to run.

Social Multiplier generates errors. If I leave it over night the thing has either crashed when I open up in the morning or generated a load of error messages telling me the program has crashed (these messages relate to instances of SM's browser emulation I think, not the underlying core program.) There is often an out of memory error relating to browser threads as well.

Social Multiplier should only need to work for a few moments when the scheduled activity rolls round. So why is it requiring so much in the way of resources when it is 'asleep'? *see below, this seems to be related to housekeeping and thread crashes* This background activity is delaying Money Robot campaigns because, unlike Social Multiplier, Money Robot runs for hours, or even days, on any given campaign. However, when finished it drops off to a single thread and negligible resource overhead.

There's another issue. I have taken to running Social Multiplier for only part of the day, in order to give a somewhat more realistic mode of operation. However, in doing so I have noticed a problem.
When the program is activated it immediately runs ALL the tasks in the scheduler. This creates unnecessary overhead on the server and means that as long as the software is active all the tasks are going to occur at the same time - scheduling? What scheduling?
The Randomise Schedule seems to not work very well.  I just watched it kick off three tasks within ten seconds of each other. Having received two 'Crash, Close Program' messages' I guess two of those processes did not complete.

Conclusions and Requests:

I will continue using SM. It does work and does what I need even with the errors.

I guess that when a thread crashes that the next scheduled operation opens a new thread. SM simply isn't cleaning up after itself when the threads crash. I have noticed that when SM error messages are cleared that resource usage goes down. I just cleared two such messages by clicking the 'close program' button and CPU usage has dropped to below 40% which is perfectly healthy.
REQUEST: Can your coders set up a housekeeping routine so that when processes crash they are cleaned up automatically to reduce resource consumption.

There's no good reason why all scheduled process should be triggered when the software starts up. It makes more sense to spread activities out.
REQUEST: Please can you arrange to have the startup occur WITHOUT triggering all the scheduled tasks.

REQUEST: please can you enable a scheduling process such that each campaign runs within a portion of the day. For example, 8 hours per day, starting at 09:00 system time. In that way SM can be left running and still give the appearance of a 'human being' which is probably the purpose of using browser emulation in the first place. ;)

P.S. I just ran a quick test. Triggering a single scheduled event on SM boosted the CPU usage from below 40% to over 90% before falling back to a variable 50-70%. No wonder there are so many errors when all processes are running at the same time. ;) The system threw up 2 'close program' errors. I closed them rather than letting them accumulate as normally would happen and now resource usage is back to normal. Of course I do not know which tasks were not carried out. :(

Social Multiplier / Advice About Pin Appearance Please?
« on: September 03, 2015, 11:17:47 AM »
I have been having a right old play with Pinterest recently. Set up some trial accounts and tried various things out. I know that ordinary autopinning using SM drives traffic, we tried it, it works.

Most of what I do will be to promote a single site and so, after doing a load of reading, I decided to set up, for the time being, a single account and converted it to a business account.

The reasons for going down this road are as follows:
I DO want the analytics info.
I set up to use 'Rich Pins' which are a way better form of Pin where I get easy links back to my own full content, I get to have a snippet of my article content on the page.
From what I can see a somewhat easier ride when it comes to how one builds one's boards.

The side-effect of going down the Rich Pin route was that we had to set up Open Graph meta data on the site which means our Facebook and Twitter shares now look MUCH better. ;)

Further research told me that the best images to use on Pinterest are long thin ones - the default width for these is 735 x infinite. These, it seems get way more clicks than smaller pics. Given our links to our content direct from Pinterest that has to be worth a go. ;)
I have my own library of images which we can easily compile into larger, longer Pins using https://www.canva.com which is free when using one's own images and not expensive when using theirs.

Now, here's the meat of the problem; here's where I need some advice.
We will be using infographics to start with, I have a load of 'em, people like 'em and they require little extra work to be made ready.
I have a choice.

I can either use the infographic the way that others do - put the whole thing up there and let everyone see it. Fun, easy, but nobody needs to click through to my site to get the full flavour of the image.


I can modify the image using Canva so that the image is a little smaller but has a column of text, relevant to the infographic, down the side of the image. Doing this means that the infographic text is big enough to read, but is small enough that one wants to see bigger text. To get the bigger text, of course one just clicks on the image which takes readers straight through to my site.

Of course people must click through from the Board to the Pin in either case.

I reckon the second version will get waaaay more clicks through to my site.
BUT will this stratagem annoy people and turn them off my content and boards?

What do you guys think?
Please take a look and give me your opinion.

OH, here's a direct link to the board: Please Give Your Opinion!

Article Builder / Shortage of Titles In Article Builder - a solution?
« on: July 23, 2015, 02:40:30 AM »
Because there can only be one place where a title can appear it seems that one 'runs out' of unique titles before article snippets.
We filter articles for autoposting that have duplicate titles and it is becoming noticeable that long series have significant holes in the posting schedule. ;)

Is it possible that the system could be amended so that users could choose to spin the titles with Best Spinner synonyms to give greater variety but NOT spin the body of the article?

In that way we can increase the diversity of titles without affecting the reading quality of the body content.

I have been doing this manually for some time on downloaded articles but it'd be great to have the option to do so built in and in particular for the auto-posting functions.

Thanks in anticipation!

Article Builder / ClickBank Bug?
« on: July 05, 2015, 10:45:34 AM »
I just noticed an odd thing.

A client had asked us to stop posting articles with ClickBank links to the site we had made for him. No worries, I went to AB and turned them off by unchecking the 'Monetization Options box, saved and thought no more about it.

A few moments ago he contacted me, still receiving Clickbank links. :(

It seems that the check box does nothing. The activity of posting link seems to occur when the CB affiliate ID is in the text box.

Never noticed before. ;)

I thought I'd jump in with this.

I had the same issues that others faced with profiles - there really does seem to be an issue here.

I got the software running though and set up a fairly conservative schedule having checked over the image search results. I have to say that, in combination with my brilliant copy writing skills the Pins to my test board looked pretty credible.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a small uptick in traffic, only one follower and a few folks had pinned my own content from the target site.

However the software eats my laptop.
SM is running on a dedicated machine, not the fastest, most expensive of its type but one that normally runs another 'bot' type program using IE with 20 threads or more and only rarely using more than half the CPU cycles. SM eats ALL the resources - even with the work rate set very low.
I had expected to use SM and Money Robot together but right now I can't even run Social Multiplier properly.

Are there any tweaks to reduce the resource usage of SM because I don't want to not use the tool?
It seems to be worthwhile but it can not be left unattended due to the need to reboot the machine upon which it runs in order for SM to continue working.

Over on the Special Offers forum I have posted a new offer. We are in the process of relaunching Marketers College. There's a special offer with a serious discount and I'll let you read it for yourselves. ;)

However, I thought I'd share something today. I was just setting up a new small package on the site about how to start an online business with little or no money. I thought I'd share it with you. No email to give away, no money changes hands, just a free report with lots of relevant information about how to get started online with little money (but quite a lot of work - which is good, OK?)

The content in the report is all real and valuable to any new business. This is stuff I used back when I was getting started full-time online because back then I was living in a new country with a daily budget of about €3. I HAD to start with no money. I did - well, kinda. :) This stuff works.

By the way, we don't do gimmicks, we don't do tricks, we teach people to make businesses.

Download the PDF file from HERE!

The Marketers College 30 by 30 offer - don't miss it!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPd4ksr5n4I" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPd4ksr5n4I</a>

Offer closed - thanks!

I know I am not the biggest client of INA. ;)
However there's a thing that would help me to spend more.

Sometimes I would like to have several articles written by the same person so that they can be combined into a coherent whole. Perhaps this could be done by lifting the limit on the word count for certain order classes?

I am thinking here in terms of doing stuff like book rewrites or article series where, in the first, I'd need a coherent style across the entire document and in the second to avoid duplication of content and, yes, style coherency but that is less important to me here.

In the same vein, while one does not mind paying for enhanced fees for research or better writers in such an order it would not make sense to pay a style fee per word across an entire project because the style is a one-off setting.

Perhaps a 'custom' order option where we specify a larger task in a separate form with a one-off fee to use the form and set the specification and then other rates per word as normal?

I use ArticleBuilder quite a lot and one thing bugs me. I get one title per article. 'That's all you need' says the bloke up In the peanut gallery.

Of course, he is right, but also not right.

If I make a spun together mega article for use in posting or backlinking projects then I get 20 titles. I can do stuff to auto rewrite them but the other day I was working making 500 articles at a time from spun together AB articles (yes, 500 works pretty well). Problem was that even with rewriting and creating more variations from the seed list there was a lot of duplication of titles which I don't really want.

I wanted a solution.


Attached to this post is a looong list of over 230 article title seeds in which the main keyword is replaced with a token: #keyword#. All you need to do is replace, using search/replace the #keyword# token with your main article keyword and you will get, right away, 230 extra titles.

Now, you can add these to your project in The Best Spinner along with the Article Builder list, rewrite them a little for even more variation and press the button to generate the finished articles.

Or, you can just use the list as an idea generator for article titles. ;)

Have fun!

PS. I just added another list set up with 'pipes' for use directly in TBS and other spinners. This version still works with the token replacement.

General Chatter / You DON'T Have To Spend Money For Everything
« on: August 07, 2013, 08:31:50 AM »
When we are starting out our online businesses, for most of us, cash is tight. I know it is for me and I have been at this for donkey's years.

Every day we get bombarded with emails about this week's new shiny shiny and very often it is TODAY'S shiny shiny.

You know what I mean, the 'Your WordPress will explode if you don't buy this!' or 'Buy this and watch your traffic explode' or 'Live the Internet dream by just paying me $xxx.95 for my revolutionary system'.

If you are like me you have spent waaay more than you need to because you got hypnotised.
Well, here's a couple of tricks that will reduce your spending and target it much better!

1) WRITE (don't imagine) a business plan. Tell yourself and your stakeholders - family, friends, bank - what you are going to do, how you are going to do it and when you are going to do it. There's lots to business planning but it need only be a simple thing to get started.

2) When you have your business plan, every time you are tempted to spend any money go to your business plan and ask yourself, in the context of the business plan if the purchase will advance you toward your goals. If the answer is YES then ask another question: how long will this thing take to pay itself off? If the answer is more than a week or two then, in the beginning you can probably afford to pass on the goody. If the goody is any good it will be around when you NEED it.

3) If you feel tempted to buy a tool then before doing the easy thing and hitting the PayPal button do your due diligence. Go looking for a free or very cheap alternative.
For example, today I KNOW that a bloke has chucked away almost $40 on a piece of software that he could substitute with better for free just by searching on WordPress.org

The other day I bought a research tool, it works well, but guess what, I found a freebie that does even more. I don't go round seeking refunds all the time and because I bought in good faith I will not refund. I kicked myself though because I spent, needlessly, enough money for a meal for two at my favourite beach restaurant near where I live.

Here's my favourite places for freebies:
1) Google - first call, every call!
2) For themes and plugins for my WordPress sites: www.wordpress.org
3) For info about 'stuff' look to forums. www.warriorforum.com gets a knocking and the noise level has increased but it is still a useful jumping off point and some very worthwhile posters there. This forum: www.jlforums.com is sometimes a little quiet but has plenty of useful info (but you don't have to buy EVERYTHING!

Sometimes buying stuff lets us feel in control, but let me tell you what feels better:
Setting yourself a target for profit, attaining it and treating yourself. Maybe it is just that nice night out in a nice restaurant, maybe, as was the case for me, it was a three week trip to Brazil staying in an apartment with its own little swimming pool and a view out over the Copacabana beach and sea.

Every penny spent that does not serve your business goals takes you one penny further away from your personal goals!

Oh, yeah, if you really want to spend money click HERE and we can work together on making a business out of a hobby!

Remember your business will not fail because of technical stuff you did not know.
Your business will fail because of BUSINESS stuff you did not know!

General Chatter / Online OCR Service (Free!) But Why Would I Use It?
« on: July 16, 2013, 06:33:59 AM »
Found a really useful service today: http://www.onlineocr.net/default.aspx

It is a free OCR service that can turn text in images into text output in various formats including spreadsheet or txt files.

What use is it?

Well, today I wantd to turn an image from a sales page that was a list of article titles into an editable list. There was almost 100 of them.

A couple of minutes later and I had a neatly formatted text document that took a few seconds to tidy up the spelling. I am sure I will find more uses. ;)

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