Affiliate tracking plugin

Posted on October 9, 2009 by Nico

I’ve been looking for an affiliate tracking plugin for wordpress and couldn’t find a single one. There are numerous plugins available that let you track the performance and manage affiliate programs that you have signed up for, but I was looking for the exact opposite: letting your signed up users refer new members and get credited for it.

I decided to write my own plugin for it, which I have just submitted to the plugin repository. It still needs to be approved for publication on the site, but you can already download it here.

The plugin lets your signed up members send traffic to any page on your wordpress site, appending ?affid=username to the end of the url (replacing username with their own username on your site) If someone registers on your site, the referring member will get credit for the new member. The plugin also lets you specify a page you want people to be send to after logging in (instead of the wordpress admin panel)

Posted in Affiliate Plus plugin, plugins | Tagged Affiliate Plus plugin, plugin | 78 Comments

Ad Buttons version 2.0

Posted on September 27, 2009 by Nico

spacer Version 2.0 of the Ad Buttons plugin has been released. Now, the plugin itself hasn’t changed much, but an exciting new feature has been added: Ad Buttons Ad Network Ads. The Ad Buttons Ad Network has been created for the plugin and allows you to show 3rd party ads on your blog. So, if you don’t know what ads to add to your site, let handle it for you. The credits you earn by showing ads on your site can be used to finance your own ad campaign on the network.

Right now, is still very limited, but functioning. I like to give people access to the system as early as possible, so I can extend the software based on feedback from the users. I’ve done the same with the Ad Buttons plugin and, based on your feedback, this seems to be a model that the users like.

Joining the Ad Buttons Ad Network is not mandatory, you can still use the plugin to manage your own ad inventory for your blog.

Posted in, blogging tools, make money, plugins, traffic, WP Ad Buttons plugin | Tagged, ads, plugin, traffic generation, WP Ad Buttons plugin | 34 Comments

Geo targeting your ads with Ad Buttons

Posted on September 14, 2009 by Nico

The plugin has been download over 10,000 times to date and I’m still getting a lot of positive feedback on it. This encourages me to keep working on the plugin and keep adding new features. Today I’m proud to present a feature that I have been thinking about for quite a while: country based ad serving, aka geo targeting.

A lot of CPA programs only pay for conversions from certain countries. There is no point in showing these ads to people from other countries. It would be better to show these visitors other ads.

Per Gustafsson has made the ip2nation database that enables you to retrieve the visitors country. I have incorporated the ip2nation database into the latest Ad Buttons plugin release. This enables the program to know from which country your visitor is and enables you to control which ads are served.

Unlike other ip2nation plugins that are available, Ad Buttons is currently using the latest version of the ip2nation database and has update functionality already build into the admin panel so you can update the database with one click when a new version is released.

Posted in blogging tools, make money, plugins, WP Ad Buttons plugin | Tagged blogging for money, geo-targeting, plugin, WordPress, WP Ad Buttons plugin | 10 Comments

Scheduling ads with Ad Buttons

Posted on August 17, 2009 by Nico

My Ad Buttons wordpress plugin just got a little better again. After a few updates that didn’t really add any new functionality, I’ve just released version 1.4.0 which now allows scheduling of the individual ads.

Ad scheduling is simply done by specifying a start and end date for the ad. When filled in, the ad will show in your admin panel with the appropriate status: scheduled, active or expired. I’ve received quite a few questions about ad scheduling, so there you have it!

To support scheduling, a few new fields had to be added to the database. They should be automatically added when you run the automatic upgrade process. If you want to update the plugin manually, make sure you disable and then re-enable it in your wordpress admin panel to make sure the database is updated for your installation.

Posted in blogging tools, plugins, WP Ad Buttons plugin | Tagged ads, plugin, WP Ad Buttons plugin | 39 Comments

Go easy on the plugins

Posted on August 15, 2009 by Nico

I like checking out other blogs for inspiration. Sometimes this brings new ideas that I can use on one of my own blogs, but I also see blogs that show you what not to do. I’m not going to point the finger at anyone, but there are some blogs that are just too horrible to visit. Here are a few things for you to think about when figuring out the layout of your blog (or any other website for that matter)

People come to your blog or website to read your content, so make sure they can read it. Some people like to use pretty background pictures that continue behind the text and make the content very hard to read. Use an even background color for your content and make sure your text has sufficient contrast to the background. Font size is another important factor to think about. Too big or too small makes text hard to read.

Video and audio
Video can be a great medium to communicate a message to your website visitors, but it shouldn’t start playing as soon as your page opens. Please let me decide if, and when, I want to press play. The same goes for audio, I don’t need to hear your favorite song playing when I visit your site.

Some people have more ads than content on their website. Ads should be subtly integrated into your website, if at all. All too often I see sites trying to sell their own product or service and show ads of their competitors. Do you want to sell your own stuff or make your visitors aware of the competition?

There are a great number of useful plugins that you can add to your blog. Before adding them all, think about which ones would be useful to your visitors. I don’t care what the weather forecast at you place is. I’m also not likely to be interested in the current moon phase when reading a blog about cars. When adding widgets to your sidebar, try to use static ones. Flashy, animated gifs distract your visitors from the content.

If you don’t agree with the above advice, you are not alone. There’s a huge website with people just like you, it’s called MySpace.

Posted in Start Blogging | Tagged ads, images, plugins, Start Blogging | 3 Comments

And another one

Posted on August 11, 2009 by Nico

I want to start by saying thanks to all the nice people that have emailed me with feedback on the Ad Buttons plugin! Meanwhile the plugin has been downloaded over a thousand times and seems to be getting a nice field test.

Thanks to your feedback, I could iron out a few major bugs and it gave me inspiration to continue development on the plugin. Some helpful features have been added since the initial release and today I have uploaded another update. Earlier today AdSense ads have been added to the plugin, after which I got quite a few questions regarding layout control.

After quite a few hours on the programming chair I’ve managed to integrate a really easy to use way of giving you control over the ad layout. You can now easily change the appearance of your ads. This latest update has just been uploaded to the plugin repository and should be available for download shortly is available for download. If you already have the Ad Buttons plugin installed, you should be able to auto-update from within your wordpress admin panel.

Posted in plugins, WP Ad Buttons plugin | Tagged ads, AdSense, plugin, WP Ad Buttons plugin | 5 Comments

A brand-new Ad Buttons release

Posted on August 11, 2009 by Nico

I’ve just uploaded a new Ad Buttons release to the plugin repository. This time it’s more than only some bug fixes. I have incorporated Google AdSense ads into the Ad Buttons plugin. You can now select to show an AdSense 125 x 125 ad unit right alongside the ad buttons. Clicks and views for the AdSense ads are not tracked by the Ad Buttons plugin, but you can create a custom channel in your AdSense account to see the detailed stats of the AdSense button.

AdSense ad colors can be changed right on the Ad Buttons settings page and an ad preview is shown for your convenience.

Posted in make money, plugins, WP Ad Buttons plugin | Tagged ads, AdSense, cpc, plugin, upgrade, WP Ad Buttons plugin | 13 Comments

It just keeps getting better

Posted on August 8, 2009 by Nico

All the nice feedback I am getting on my Ad Buttons plugin is quite motivating! I decided to put a few hours into it, to get things cleaned up a bit. Things have been moved around a bit in the menu and should be easier to find now. I have also added a new option to the settings page: target attribute. This gives you control over how links should open. You can choose to open links for the ads in a new tab or window, in the current one or not use the target attribute at all, so your page can validate for a strict DOCTYPE

Posted in plugins, WP Ad Buttons plugin | Tagged plugin, WP Ad Buttons plugin | 2 Comments

Yet another Ad Buttons plugin update

Posted on August 7, 2009 by Nico

I’ve been getting quite a few mails from people that had problems getting the plugin to work. Turns out that the installation procedure, which creates the necessary database table didn’t run correctly when activating the plugin. I never noticed the problem on my own blogs because I already had the table created with an earlier version of the plugin.

The problems started when I uploaded the plugin to the plugins repository. My earlier versions where running in a folder named ‘ad buttons’ which contains a space in the name. The name of the folder has been changed by wordpress to ‘ad-buttons’ (with a hyphen) The code has been fixed to work correctly now and has been tested on a fresh install of wordpress. If you had trouble activating the plugin, just upgrade to the latest version, deactivate and then activate it again.

If you are running into any other problems with the plugin, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Posted in plugins, WP Ad Buttons plugin | Tagged plugin, WP Ad Buttons plugin | 3 Comments

WP Ad Buttons plugin update

Posted on August 6, 2009 by Nico

I have just uploaded another update to the Ad Buttons plugin. No major changes, just a bugfix. People who where using the plugin might have noticed that the widget title couldn’t be changed. This has now been fixed and you can enter your own custom title in de widget screen. If you don’t specify anything, it defaults to ‘Sponsored Links’

The plugin has been downloaded 550 times since I uploaded it to the plugin repository. I have gotten quite a few nice feedbacks and some very interesting suggestions for improvement. Keep your questions and suggestions coming!

If want to give the plugin a try, head on over to the WP Ad Plugin page. Anyone who is already using the plugin can automatically upgrade to the latest version from the wordpress admin panel. I am working on a new release with some added features, so stay tuned!

Posted in plugins, WP Ad Buttons plugin | Tagged plugin, WP Ad Buttons plugin | 17 Comments