I’m Getting old – turning 36 where to from here

It just dawned on me that next week is my birthday, 2nd August. I’ll be turning 36. If you feel like rewarding me, you can buy me a gift from my Amazon wish list. Its amazing how time has flown, its been 10 years since I started dating my wife. And We’ve been through a lot. 

Right now I’ve been working on my own business for 3 years, it hasn’t gone too good, and a letter from the Australian Business Register that they were cancelling my ABN, because I failed to provide evidence of running a business, just adding to the coffin.

Not really I’m totally still in business, I simple phone call cleared that up, but who said going into business was going to be easy, clearly I spoke to the wrong people. It’s been tough, sleepless nights, virtually no income, strict budgets, and more and more things you need to be across. 

Of late its been extra stressful, as my wife quit her job in order to work part-time, in what? I don’t know exactly she hasn’t secured anything solid. Its a real problem because she was basically floating us month to month. 

So I don’t think I’ll see a present from her this year. I don’t expect much at any rate, last year was a 6 pack of beer. So if your feeling generous, you can buy me a present.

WordPress Meetup July 2016

Tonight at the WordPress User Meetup, Chris Burgess covered the all important topic of themes.

During the presentation, we had a panel of experts from different areas of industry, and they added their two cents, and also responded to questions from the audience.

Here is some links to resources about themes you can refer too.


Webinar Ninja – Setting Up A Webinar

webinar ninja templates

This is my continued review or walk-through of Webinar Ninja, to check out the first part click here.

Creating your first webinar:

The first time you create a webinar there is a nifty overlay notification helper (provided by a service called Appcues) , this helps explain what needs to be filled in. Unfortunately for me I think it would be better if they were permanently there in the form of ? icons, so you could get a reminder the next time you forget in the future, in stead of one time.
webinar ninja app helper

Step 1 – Create the webinar:

From the main menu, “Home”, select “Create a Webinar”, you may also select a previous webinar, and clone it, but for this run through I’ll do it all fresh.

webinar ninja create webinar

There are currently five types of webinars you can create and for all of them you can define either free or paid. (At the start of the week there were four, so it looks like their are continual upgrades happening all the time. Which is a good sign! 😉 )

If you choose paid, you need to have a third party payment processor, and you are given a thank-you url, to direct them back to the webinar system.

Because there is no other settings here, I will choose free, and show you how to set-up a live webinar.

You need to fill out the following, “title of the webinar”, “Who’s hosting the webinar”, “When is the webinar” (time-zone is pre-set under admin settings) and then finally choose “free or paid”, then hit the blue button create webinar.


Now its pointless going straight into “The studio” because the templates and emails need to be set-up first, or you will just have dummy content instead. So lets start with checking which landing page template Webinar Ninja has set for us, and change it if need be. (It defaults to one particular template). And you will also want to add your details about the webinar to the registration page.
major webinar settings

Step 2 – Edit the Webinar pages:

Select edit webinar. You get taken to a screen very similar to the start where we filled in our webinar title. At first I thought this was some weird bug, a loop of some kind, but through clicking through several times finally realised you need to click on the Advanced button to show the edit pages. To me it creates friction because its creating unnecessary clicking and steps to show fields that are hidden. You can also change the other pages, but they wont use the template you choose for your registration page, you can only change the content not the styling.  (Something for the wish list for sure).


From here click change template. The options slide out below these options, and if you change your mind you need to click change template again to hide this panel. A toggle might be more obvious, as this was not clear.

Here are the choices. Which are enough to get you started, but not flexible enough for the advance users testing out the platform. Maybe they should get some inspiration from InstaBuilder 2.0 here. And there definitely is a need to be able to create our own. Templates are good to have, but flexibility to match our branding and styling guides to keep it up with the times and not dated or recognisable would definitely go along way.

webinar ninja templates

webinar ninja templates2

Clicking preview just opens a popup, and loads a bigger version of the images you see here. Single click on the item, and a confirmation box confirms your decision.  Note Warning! There is no going back, any customisation you did to previous template gets overridden. I tested making changes to one template saving, then choosing another template saving, and then going back to the previous template, and all those changes had gone. So My recommendation if you are going to spend the time, is to block out on paper the spots you need, and pre-write the content elsewhere and just copy and paste it into the wysiwyg. Here is what it shows you when you click to edit the template, note you can’t re-arange the design, only edit the different fields. So if you don’t have much content, choose another template that requires less, or it may seem empty.



Although the editor they’re using CKeditor  this particular instance has source disabled. And has some other bugs i noticed. (Time to send yet another support ticket (see gif), I don’t particularly like this MVP model their using).  Annoying that colour picker defaulting to some other colour not the last one used.


The editor did seem to recognise formatting copied from Word, or Google docs so that’s certainly how I would do it in the future.



Finish setting up what your page content should be and hit save. Then edit the other pages if need be, the only page I made some real adjustments too, was the thank-you page, which I added the webinar page url, and a reminder to book mark it.  This was because if the webinar was closer in time than any of the default email notifications, I was unsure when their cron job would fire to send out these emails, and it was rightly so, as I had no registration emails arrive to me in any of my tests. So had no other way of knowing the webinar link as a test registration. I did find the link hidden in the calendar entry.

thank you page

Here was my edit.

thank you my version

The link displayed weird, so may need further tweaking, or a support ticket.

You can include a countdown page, which I assumed would redirect to the webinar room when the date and time matches the current date and time. You can disable it if you don’t want it though. And currently (yet another support ticket) it doesn’t work at all.

The webinar page also has a bit that shows the attendees numbers to the audience. Something you may want if its a small group, but if you want the illusion of scarcity and lots of people in the room, you can choose to hide it here. Its on by default.




To get back to the main webinar window click the blue arrow at the top of screen.  webinar-ninja-blue-arrow

Finally you could edit your emails if you wish, the default ones will work fine out of the gate, although I’ve had issues with my registration emails, that will need further testing.


I hope you enjoyed my walk-through, have you used Weninar Ninja yet, what’s your experience, leave your thoughts in the comments below.



In the next post I’ll get into the publishing and hosting of a webinar with Webinar Ninja.


UP up and away

After minor delays, the flight took off, it’s kind of weird, Micaela is a floor above, in the A380, she’s flying business class, and I’m in economy. After an initial meet and greet with the lovely couple sitting next to me. The plane took off without a hitch. Fairly excited, as this has been the first overseas flight for me since my trip when I was at university, back in my twenties. Back then it was a little different, flying with a group of uni students to the Netherlands and Italy. At the time I was about 22 and it was exciting times. The purpose of that trip was for a Design Tour… Back then I was an Industrial Design Student, studying at RMIT Melbourne, in my final years of the Bachelor of Arts, in Design…

The flight 14 hours or so long, was how you’d expect. Cramped, and cosy, saw necks, stiff legs, and sore ears from the headphones pushing hard against my head. About 3 or 4 hours into the trip, our attention was drawn to a lady screaming for help, as her elderly sister, had become unresponsive, and she feared the worst. Quickly two different passengers, (doctors) came to her aid, as well as hostesses with Oxygen. The passenger came too with a little bit of attention and was assisted up the back where there was more room to breath (literally). Oh and did i say I was sharing my cabin with a school sports tour, of 14-18yo girls, and teachers. So loud constant chatter, laughter, and screams, at different bits throughout the trip.

Landing at LA was an experience to say the least. Don’t worry I’ll cover it. So our flight was redirected to another runway which meant an additional 20 minutes of flying time, which made our already tight flight even tighter. The Esta which I’d done, only fully works when this is your second time to America. If it’s your first you still have to que up and go through the manual customs process. When you think of queues in Melbourne Airport, take the longest one you’ve seen and times that by 4. Very long…. Processing was as you’d expected, Passport, why are you here, what’s your job title. look into this camera, your right hand, and thumb, your left hand and thumb, all put on the system. Through this, (about 30 minutes) I thought phew this is over, only to go round the corner to pick up our bags, and have to go through quarantine. I declared carrying seeds, aka my vegemite sandwich i had forgotten to eaten. The man said is it PPnJ, i said no, vegemite, he cringed, and said, go, waved us on. Didn’t want to know about it.

Now through this bit, we were routed to another area to drop off our bags for the connecting flight, kind of wierd, because no one checks these, you have to hope that the labels you got put on your bag are still working, and being tracked right. A guy just loaded them all on a conveyor belt and they got whisked away. Through this door, we got told, to head out through an elevator, and through the main concourse to get back in another long queue, and wait in a slow line for security for the next flight. Items scanned, and Body scanners. A slow bag search because an item was flagged. One well kept copy of the bible the cause, and then we jogged, to our flight gate, where we got on our flight. Micaela again, upstairs in Business, and me economy. They had been waiting for us, and about 25 other passengers, leaving only three behind, when we took off from LA.

This second flight, I had two Melbourne young adults next to me. Both funny enough from the northern suburbs. From here a four and a half hour flight, got us into New York. Where it was a chilli 1 deg c. And raining. A driver had been arranged to pick us up from NewYork airport which was good, and warm, I fell asleep a few times on the way. Having had little chunks of sleep, I was fairly jet lagged.

After settling into the hotel, Micaela and I, rugged up and went out to the streets to explore. We are staying at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. So it is a short 50 m, to hundreds of people and bright lights. Possible the worst time to arrive in any city is at night, it’s hard to get your bearings, and relied a bit on my google maps, which had issues with the gps, at times. But we made it, and you can see us here standing in the centre of times square. The clock tower advertising board behind us. After covering just a few blocks down town, plus one block towards 8th avenue. We found a place for pizza, and ordered a 14” Hawaian (the smallest size they had), a 10” would have been good which they sold, but not in this flavour, which is Micaela’s favourite. Yep we were very full at this point, and it was freezing. But luckily no rain. Getting used to the tipping thing as well, makes for a stressful, introduction to New York. Made it through though. It’s a lot easier traveling as a couple, because you have two extra ears, eyes and one brain, helping make the descions, and figuering out the correct tip etc. Also glad I downloaded some tiping apps, which has helped, give the correct tip.

Well that’s it for today, time to try and get the body clock in the right order.

How to Protect your family at home and away on the internet

Protecting your Family on the internet

So for many of you, you may have kids, (I don’t, but i’m a heavy internet user with a passion for security).

I get asked all the time about what a parent should use to restrict the exposure of porn and graphic content for their kids.

I run two systems for protecting my friends children, (but they won’t stop someone talking to their kid from another persons internet connection, so you need to do to good old fashion education as well. )

At home setup your internet connection to go through a dns filter, most isp’s have a limited filter, and most home routers now days include some form of parent filter, like blocking certain urls from loading, but in my experience, it hasn’t always worked, if your more concerned, most virus companies have one for filtering phishing, and really bad sites, but they generally don’t filter porn, or social media. A site like https://www.opendns.com/ can do a lot of your heavy lifting at home, it means no matter what device connects to that connection, they will be getting the filtering and protection. If you need a guide on how to set that up properly, use this one, http://www.howtogeek.com/79998/protect-your-kids-online-using-open-dns-2/

Now what about protecting each device, at home, and away from home, how as a parent can you be sure your kids arn’t visiting sites that they shouldn’t be. A service like http://x3watch.com/ is your best bet. They have step by step instructions on how to disable the default browsers in your iphone and android, and use their special browser, that has filtering enabled. You also can setup reports, and alarm notifications for accountability. You can setup more then one accountability partner, whether that’s a parent, or if your teenage/ young adult son or daughter has an addiction problem that needs a friend to keep them in line.

For other great tips, devices and software you can check out this site. http://www.safefamilies.org/SoftwareTools.php

Edit: Digital Business Consultant, Nathan Wrigley from Picture and Word reminded me that most of the problems parents face is what the device can do, rather than what needs to be filtered. Ie a tablet device, is a quick way for your child to pull up any number of apps and games, that can make you immediately broke, or somehow on a email marketing list. He recommended this great app for Android tablets. Kids Place – Parental Control. Thanks Nathan for that valuable suggestion.

Do you have your own tips, or processes, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Melbourne SEO Meetup April 2016

meetup Melbourne Seo Group

This month the Melbourne SEO Meetup has something a little different. Three Guest Speakers are joining us here at the meetup and one remotely. You can track down tweets from the event on #SEMRUSHLIVE

The following are my notes from the night. If they are disjointed, hopefully we get a recording, and you can watch it, otherwise. You may get a gist from my notes. I may or maynot fill it out further.

First we have Jim Steward  from Stewart Media, talking about “Copywriting for Search Success”.
You can reach him at the following details.
twitter @jimboot
Jim is the founder of StewArt Media, Vlogger….

His slides can be found here

His talk was interesting for us in the room, as like him, this was the first presentation where the presenter has his back to us and sitting facing the computer that is streaming around the world.

Jim Stewart Presenting at Melbourne SEO Meetup April 2016

Featured answers and Images,

Finding the questions and optimising for featured answered.

Go to google search console, and do a filtered query for HOW and WHAT queries. And try to optimise for these search queries on your site.

You need to be a site organically on page one in order to be crawled and added to the featured answer, make sure you asks the question and answer it on your post.

By asking the question, through Jim’s stats he has seen a 25% jump in traffic for the page that was already ranking number one, with the featured answer the click through increased quite signigicantly. He found also that his article showed up 24hours after publishing.

In your stats you will need to look at impressions, not clickthroughs.

Really short presentation….

Audience question:
If my image doesn’t have text how can I optimise it to get it into the featured answer.
Filename and context and captions.

Is it better to try and compete with existing questions and answers or try and do it for new keywords.

Its better to go after queries that are already showing in search queries, this is because you cannot know what keywords google is going to show next, if at all. And you may as well go after know queries for easy wins first.

Next up is Tim Capper

Basic E-Commerce Site Audit.

Some tools to use.
The usual suspects plus a few i hadn’t heard of before.

Now to the audit.

Check canonicalization. www. or non www
Should be in https

Product canonical and parameters

one product can be found through different sections because of upsells, related products, etc. Which then creates multiple versions of the same product.
Use canonical, to tell the search engine, which one is the main product, and not just showing up under another product. Or in a widget, etc. You can verify if the correct markup is on a page by using view source. SemRush will also flag if there is duplicate content, and obviously search console, will flag the duplicate content.

Fetch and render in search console, will give you an idea how google bot is seeing your data, incase there are errors that you may not have seen. Generally css and jquery errors will get flagged here.

You can also look at your sitemap, in console to see what is actually indexed, and double check your robots.txt file to see if you are inadvertantly blocking google from those areas of your site.

Mobile Friendly.

Check your speed for mobile pages, don’t block css js queries in robots txt, as this has been one of the main reasons a site hasn’t shown up in mobile search results from Tim’s clients.

Crawl Error and Redirects.
404 error and 301’s
If there are no equity in a page, ie any links to the page, if so 301 the page, if there is no worth on the page, you can just leave the 404, [(author comment) from my experience, adding a 410 gone page is more usefull to google, as it tells them to disregard the page in the future, and helps them clean up their index.]

Site and Page speed.

Images, size, format, meta data.
Alt text, caption, filename, acurate title.
structured data

1. Describe it.
2. Sell it.
3. Love it.

1. Structured data markup.
2. Blog
3. Google Business Page.
4. Seasonal Landing Pages.
– on the pages that are seasonal don’t leave them to 404, but utilise the page to capture leads that are interested in that seasonal item, or spruke the next seasons offerings to gain interest in future product lines.

Display the correct size images instead of relying on WordPress or your cms to compress each image to the correct size for the page.

Question time.
If a business doesn’t have a physical location, how can you cope with that online.
Google won’t allow a business page that doesn’t have a physicall location. You can use data points like, places where you distrubute from, do you have areas that the users can collect from. Location data points, for where you are opperating in.

How to structure the image best format practices.
[Image structure data tool link to go here]

3rd Speaker Freddy “Marketing We Trust”
Analytics and search marketing background.

Techniques to convet your search visits.

Average online advertisers spend $92 to convert $1 of conversion.

Optimise your search snippet, and think of it like an adv, to boost click through. Be specific, a call to action, stand out from your competition. include a call to action. Stand out from your competitors.

Get right to the point. Highlight your USP. Ad formatting, is important. Display url is a a part of your ad copy, test, test, test.

What ad will you click on?

Rich snippets, can boost ctr, by 20-30%.

How likely will a site without rich snippets attract the user interest.

Keep it simple.
– One page
– one purpose
– one ‘cluster’ of words
– one best answer

Good Content Converts.

(Brian Massey quote) – The conversion Scientist.

Watch your bounce and …..
Look at top seo landing pages have the highest bounce rate, and what are they leaving, look at queries, what answers are they looking for?

Match Landing Page with Intent.

Reduce landing page bounce due to misalignment.
Recommend pages for the user to read to help the answer their questions.

Where are the user in your marketing funnel?
Are they ready to buy?

How to make a landing page that converts.
( Use image on the c,o,v,e,r,t,s,)

Design for your audience personas.
Look at seqmentation.

Ask your users!
Don’t guess it,
get real user feedback.
Get to the why they buy and don’t buy.
Using their feedback you may see keywords that they use in their own words, that you never thought of using.

Use internal search tool and monitor that data, so you can see where you got it wrong. Look for search exit pages. Which terms are you not fullfilling (in respect to an online retailer.)

Track the right metrics.

Ben Yoskovitz quote @byosko author lean analytics. “If a metric wont …

Organic search conversion funnel.
@aschottmller. Image.

Question time.

How is the url important in search results.
The url now has a cap of 70characters that are shown. If your landing page is past this point, of being seen, you are missing out on that call to action, consider shortenting and neatening your site, so that products or pages are not deep down through structure. like sitename/shop/product_category/product-name consider using just sitename/product-name.

Final Speaker for the night is Chris Burgess, the co-organiser of Melbourne SEO Meetup.

WordPress SEO Tips.

Don’t use bloated themes.
Don’t use a lot of plugins.
SEO plugins.
Custom post types for shops etc.
Using H tags, make sure you use the correct headings, and make sure your theme has h1 title tag marked up.

Use Keywords and topics.
Category pages. Use the description meta data for the category page. A common page that people miss, and an easy win for optimising for on page SEO.

SEO plugin. The general consesis is to use Yoast, or all in one SEO. (Note I don’t use either of these, check out my article on SEO Ultimate).

Yoast page optimisation.
SEO analysis. And keyword density.
robots and htacess editors. And social opengraph markup.
Bulk editor.
Use the seo fields, use the screen options, tab in WordPress, to optimise the page better by showing more results, and other fields that aren’t avaiable at first site.

Yoast seo quick edit fields plugin to speed up editing other data inside the quick edit window.

Other plugins to help boost your onpage seo efforts.

Link checking plugins.
Auto linking plugins.
Ristricted site access.
simple 301 redirects.
simple urls.
mapping 301 redirects.
re nofollow,

SEO Friendly Images.

EWWW Image Optimizer.
WordPress Beta Tester.

Using schema. (Rich Snippets).
Events products.

google console.
Structured data testing tool.

Local SEO (Yoast extensions)

Schema Plugins.

Schema Resources.
MOZ schema learn section.

Accelerated Mobile Pages, Instant Arictle and Apple News.

pagefrogs instant articles plugin and amp plugin and it ads a preview for your wordpress blog.

Introducing a WordPress Plugin for Instant Articles

Problem Solving a Podcast

Podcast problem solving

Edit: This post has been republished from my Business Blog to here.

LifeHouse Church. The problem being that when the feed was first created it wasn’t completed. So upon checking the feed it failed to be valid. You can check your feed below.

The Following are a list of articles and post from the web that i used to piece together the code and fix it to make the feed valid. The feed is: http://lifehouse.com.au/podcast/podcast.xml and http://lifehouse.com.au/podcast/podcast.rss copy and paste them above to test if they are valid. And if they are not just shoot me an email because they should be. (Much appreciated).

Well here is the list of sites I researched:

Now although the feeds are valid, I have seemed to come into a road block at this time, Im trying to learn more about rel="self" . I will be editing this post in the future to out line hopefully where the problem is and how to work around it.

What format should a HDD (Hard Drive) be to work on both PC and Mac?

I was having trouble backing up a Mac, it kept saying read only. When I discovered that I recently reformated this drive to take larger files, into the NTFS format, i didn’t realise I was excluding the drive from any use on a Mac.

So what format do you need to display, read and write to a Hard Drive, to work on both Pc and Mac, the format is FAT or exFAT. FAT formated drives are seen in older pcs, but exFAT was created to allow bigger file sizes for pcs before they invented NTFS. The drive was a good size of 500Gb’s so I decided to create a partition, of 50GB’s incase there is any files over 4GB in size, and don’t load in the exFAT, and the rest of the drive will be formated as exFAT.

But if Mac doesn’t load the NTFS how would I send files to it?

I actually figured out this workaround the other day, (at the time not realising why the darn thing wasn’t copying files to it.) I booted up the drive in a external usb housing attached it to a PC, and created a shared folder on the desktop, and then using the home network, copied files from the MAC to the pc, and from the pc to the drive, for some reason, it didn’t let me copy direct from the Mac to the external drive. But anyhow, it worked at the time.

I know enough how to format a drive, and don’t really need to go into details on how to do it on both a personal computer, or a macintosh computer. But to save anyone the time, who may be searching for this next step, I found this great Guide to format an external drive.