Coding For Online Success

January 12, 2017
by admin

How to Use Social Media to 10x Your Website Traffic – SEOMoz

Okay, I’ve been itching to talk about this topic. On December 16th, this was posted on SEOMoz’s blog.. and is absolutely fantastic. My posts prior to this have been leading up to this post and we’ll definitely expand on this topic moving forward.

Basically, this strategy is quite simple. For the most part it focused on Twitter, and also reinforces the concept of community. But before I talk further, let’s get to the video. I’ll catch you on the other side…

Okay, so the first part was about using tools generate reach and create engagement. Again, this is about community. We just don’t want millions of drones/bots as our community. We want real people. Using tools as they mentioned could be great, but again, I prefer Hootsuite, and you can really drill down the clutter. I like to do hashtag searches and create those as streams. So I’m constantly watching those tweets go by and I have opportunities to interact. I also like to make the list as she suggest. I do NOT DM though. I think it’s very low ROI in regards to engagement.

Now, her second strategy really caught my attention. Generate clicks using the 14 day experiment. I thought it was interesting to get multiple tweet headlines for your most popular posts and tweet throughout the day. Creating a spreadsheet and defining those headlines. Her resources were a spreadsheet and to use some type of tool to schedule those tweets. Again, Hootsuite can do this, so I didn’t have to go far.

Finally, the recycling of posts. Brilliant. I would constantly focus on writing great content, and present that to the community. The best content got lots of traffic, while the not so great didn’t do as well. I would work on my post frequency to continue gathering traffic and pulling in some organic search traffic. I never really occurred to me to re-post content on my social networks – like I constantly see others do.

So.. I’m a programmer, so the thought of using a spreadsheet is brutal for me. I’m a database guy. So, what I did, and I’ll be talking about this, is experiment with some of the concepts, but I like automation. But I wanted to start with some results of my effort.

With your Twitter account, you can go to to see some analytics on your effects with Twitter. I need to start to here to see the effectiveness. I selected one primary Twitter account that had a healthy blog and good Twitter community.

I wrote a PHP script that would determine the best/popular posts on the site and populate a different table (the spreadsheet example) with 10 headlines (I didn’t want to do 14). I would manually create the headlines. I then wrote a PHP CLI server side script that wold talk to Twitter’s API and randomly 10 posts throughout the day, randomly picking a headline and also to be sure not to post the same post url in the same day.

I was amazed with the engagement. Of course, I was still interacting in the day with the community, retweeting and contributing in conversations, but the automated piece continued to do it’s thing. I also wrote a script that would add new popular posts based on view threshold and alert me so I can update headlines when they are inserted. I’ll probably set handling to only show recent posts? Not sure yet.

But, here is a Twitter Analytics graph from the morning of Jan 11 showing the last 91 days. As you can see, when I started the automation of best posts, my graphs spiked, and maintained.

How to Use Social Media to 10x Your Website Traffic - SEOMoz

Please note, the ‘average’ is for the 91 days. Right now, I’m running around 100 clicks / day, which is much better than what it was .. obviously. I’m also playing around with Facebook right now. I have not implemented automation, but I think I will. Facebook is a different beast. I prefer to post in the morning, but I’ve noticed if I pick only one ‘hot’ post and post it in the evening, I basically double… almost tripling my Facebook traffic to the site.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be breaking down some of the functionality I did into more detail.

January 5, 2017
by admin

Marketing and Traffic – Community Wins

I wanted to quickly post this today. In marketing there are a lot of easy routes, and plenty of hard routes to generate traffic to your site(s). In the early days there was simply Search Engine traffic and paid search arbitrage. So you begin to rely on basic SEO strategies (in those days it was link building) and using PPC from various search engines to drive traffic to your site assets and hopefully convert affiliate earnings or adsense clicks.

People, like myself, would spend hours and days, improving rank, building links, building link wheels and support sites to basically work the available system provided to earn maximum gains from it. I always disliked PPC, because in those days, it was the canary in the coal mine. PPC would “qualify” your ads and you could be punished or removed from programs if someone didn’t feel like your site met their standards.

Then the search algorithm changes occurred. This wiped out countless thin sites (like mine) from search index. Some sites were wiped, some sites recovered. During this phase a few years ago, I came to the conclusion that I was relying too much on things I couldn’t control.. and I hated that feeling.

Community was the key. If I was able to build a network of loyal readers and network of connections, connecting those readers to my various assets, I would add additional traffic streams. What was a low level priority, turned into a high level priority. I began focusing on the social networks. Building likes and building follows and driving traffic from those sources as a priority and then use search as a secondary mechanism.

Building a community, you get quality readers (or customers) so your rate of success increase at a lower rate of traffic. Basically, the 80/20 rule. You know you .. you get 80% percent of sales from 20% of your existing customers, etc. That can be applied in a bunch of ways. Instead of focusing energy on getting random traffic, focus energy on keeping your existing readers and focus on quality readers that will stay.

Besides the classic Social Networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, I also began to focus on mailing lists. To me, mailing list are HUGE and something that went out of favor a 10 years ago, but over the last 4 years or so, have been absolutely vital for maintaining connection with your readers and driving consistent traffic. I personally use MailChimp for all of my mailing lists. It’s free up to 2000 subscribers, and goes up from there. I pay a lot for it now, but is incredibly important to me now. I also use a secondary service called MailMunch to help capture more sign up on the site. This is very passive, and I’m always impressed with the number signups I get with very little effort.

Again, focus energy on community. Having a large community will increase the rate of success. They will share and promote your content (if you maintain quality content) and are worth their weight in gold in the long run. Community…

Let me know what you think by commenting!

January 4, 2017
by admin

Setting up Twitter API keys

I’ve been having some great success with Twitter lately. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I’ve been focusing in on my ‘thick’ sites and moving away from my ‘thin’ sites. While developing that ‘thin’ empire, I was also creating social support for those sites, primarily via Twitter.

Over those years, I have many accounts that have gained a great amount of followers. Some of those followers are what I call ‘low value’ followers, because engagement was low – again, the lameness of thin sites, but some the accounts have great followers associated with them.

I manage all of my Twitter accounts with a great tool – Hootsuite. Depending on your accounts, you may need to opt for the paid version. The streams functionality is vital for me to manage multiple accounts, and view streams based on hashtags for great interaction. Hootsuite also has the ability to schedule posts, etc. It’s a critical tool for me. I literally use it every day.

Even with the power of Hootsuite, it still involves me actually interacting. I wanted to do some automated handling, which I’ll get into over the next few days. But before we get into that, I wanted to make this post about generating Twitter API keys. I often get asked about this, and people do get lost in this. So I wanted to make this reference post first.

Twitter API allows you to connect remotely to do certain tasks with Twitter. You can fetch (read) information or you can post (write) information as a Twitter account. The beauty of this is that you can programmatically post tweets.

The first thing you need to do is log into your Twitter account in your browser, then go to We are going to create a new app, that will give us the ability to do some things, but during this creation, we will have keys. Keys are basically a password to remotely authenticate our program to communicate with Twitter.

Once you’re at you should see a button called “Create New App”. Clicking that you will be shown the following screen:

Setting up Twitter API keys

Fill out the information. Leave ‘Callback URL’ blank, agree to the Developer Agreement and click “Create your Twitter application”.

You will next land on the detail screen. Click the “Keys and Access Tokens” tab. You should see something like this:

Setting up Twitter API keys

Now, things that are important. You want to make sure your Access Level is “Read and write”. I believe that is by default, but make sure you check it. If you can’t “write” you can’t “post”. In a secure area in your development you’ll want to copy the Consumer Key (API Key), Consumer Secret (API Secret), Access Token and Access Token Secret. You’ll need all 4 of these to authenticate via oAuth to your program.

I’ll stop here, there will be more to come with what I’m doing and some strategies on how to leverage and drive traffic from Twitter to your web resource. In the meantime, I would start interacting on Twitter and start generating followers.

December 27, 2016
by admin

Moving away from thin to thick

As I mentioned in my previous post, over the years, I developed an extensive network of EPN (eBay) sites. I’ve spent countless hours of development working on API calls to provide users with enhanced searches for eBay auctions, but overall, they are what you would call thin affiliate sites. In the eyes of Google, that is bad, and because of that, those sites were punished and removed from the search index.

Luckily, during my network building, I also built community based sites, and have been posting and building content for a long time. Those definitely take more time, but because I tried to stay diversified , those are “thick” and Google loves them. For example, I have one site that is several years old, and has over 2500 posts. THICK!

I remember when I started my affiliate empire, I read the book by Gary Vaynerchuk called Crush It. If you have not read it, I would definitely recommend it. No spoilers here, but the jist – he focuses on 2 big topics that I really took to heart. #1 Be “the” guy of your topic, whatever it might be. So if you have a site about something, try to be the authority. Easy to say, hard to do, but if you keep talking about it, eventually, you’ll get respect in that topic. #2 which I think is the most important – create a community.

#1 is easy to understand, but #2 is much harder. Creating a community is difficult, and the first technique, is to change the focus. Focus on the readers. Make them feel that they are part of your success and struggles. In retail, there is saying, it’s not about selling product, but making customers. You can sell that product once and be done, but if you create a loyal customer, you’ll get many sales. This principle is the same for your site. Once people are invested (emotionally) they’ll keep coming back. They’ll share posts, they’ll send links, etc.

When I think of community, it’s about the “touches”. I need to be about to touch as many people as possible. That usually means social networks. For me, the biggies are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter AND mailing list. Don’t forget that mailing list.. crazy important. Once, you’ve established good content, and a system and consistency with posts, you need to get them to the networks. Nothing new here right? You’ve read that everywhere, and that’s the same old advise you’ll get over and over.

For me, I paid for initial “likes” get the ball rolling. When people see your FB page with 23 likes, it’s hard to get people on board When you have 3000+ likes, it’s an easier sell. Of course, when I pay for likes, I’m talking about via Facebook ads and targeted.  I wanted “real” people that are interested in what I’m doing.

Over the next little while, I’m going to talk about various strategies on keeping those “touches” out there and throw in some code concepts I’m implementing on Twitter right now with a variety of my sites.

In the meantime, I’m going to be migrating away from all of my non-performing thin sites and investing more time and money on the thick. Like I said earlier, 2017 should be interesting!

December 22, 2016
by admin

Plans for 2017

So, oddly, I’ve been asked by a few people what Money-Code has been up to recently. I’ve let the site go and completely stopped posting. Did I stop marketing? Nope. Did I stop coding? Nope.

What I have been doing is sitting on my laurels. Over the last few years, I created a pretty impressive network of sites earning passive income. Those sites have been focusing on EPN and Amazon earnings for the most part.  But, I also have been focusing on my community based sites. I don’t call those passive, since I post or work on those daily, and it takes a lot of time and energy, but there is substance there.

Google likes that substance.  Slowly over the years.. all the various Google algorithm changes have been eating away and chipping at my EPN/Amazon sites. All of that work creating RSS and API feeds with enhanced searches of auctions and products is viewed as thin sites and in turn most have been de-indexed.

2016 was a clean up year for me. Instead of grasping at sites, wondering how to fix/improve them, I decided to let them go. It was hard, but I’m moving on from those types of sites and focusing on what I have passion in. Sites that I can spend some time on – from a coding stand point as well as from a community stand point. Creating cookie-cutter sites was fun, but what I don’t like, is being reliant on larger organizations like Google or Facebook determining my fate.

With a community based site, you have that community and the goal is to grow and nurture those followers and in turn they will share, they will click.

In 2017 I will most likely develop 0 sites for marketing. What I’m going to do is work on my community based sites and see where I can go with them.

So where does that leave you? Well, I’m going to really focus on how to build community, and that is what I’m going to share with you. In 2016, I’ve been using some tools and techniques that have really helped. The goal is to get traffic first. Once there is traffic, there is opportunity for monetization.

So.. I’m back!