Category Archives : Posts


A Few Changes Here

I decided to change things around here a little bit, as I have been using the same Theme (UBD Money Maker) for a long time and it was getting a little stale. The theme had served me well but the new Customizr theme does give me a little more flexibility without having to pay for a premium theme (i.e. it is free).

Customizr has a funky looking slider and an ability to highlight specific posts on the front page, so I will be looking into that once I feel a little more comfortable with things.

The other interesting plug-in that I am trying out here is the Google Publisher Plug-in  which is supposed to be from Google (in Beta) which helps with Adsense ads and hooks into the Google WebMaster tools as well, which (I hope) helps this site finally get listed on Google (again). Still having no end of issues getting any of these posts crawled by Google, not really sure what is the problem here, but trying many different things.

I removed the All in One SEO Plug In, because it didn’t seem to be helping and was creating a very odd sitemap.xml file, and I reinstated the Google XML Sitemap generator plug-in which seems to create a normal sitemap, which is still not getting me crawled, but at least I can read it.

I am glad I have this site to try things out, I just wish it was actually in the Google Index.

Addendum: And I turned on WP-Supercache as well, I had issues with the previous cach’ing program but this one has worked just find on The Canadian Personal Finance Place, so it is now running here as well.


Writing a Swerve Article

Another great wrestling marketing idea is the swerve, for those of you unaware of the term:

Swerve

 

A sudden change in the direction of a storyline, to surprise the fans. Often, it involves one wrestler turning on an ally in order to join a supposed mutual enemy. Swerves frequently start feuds between the former allies. Also, when a booker leads fans to believe that something is going to happen (or someone will appear) at a show, before doing something entirely different.[1]

Writing a swerve post does not mean you suddenly change your point of view on something, unless you have suddenly realized you were wrong, no, the Swerve is making it sound like you are changing your point of view, but then using it as a “learning moment” for your readers.

An example of a swerve in my writing is In Defense of Pay Day Loans, which if you read the title you’d think I had completely abandoned my visceral hatred of the pay day loan industry, but if you read the article I haven’t changed my point of view, I am in fact trying to get folks’ attention. It’s useful sometimes to get people’s attention with a cheap trick but remember you can’t do too many of these kind of articles either, or they lose their shock value.


Under Attack but Fighting Back

So THE Canadian Finance Site has been under attack for a long time from various nasty folks out there, however, I now have finally at least figured out how to identify who (or some of who) are doing this.

The easiest way to stop these attacks is by updating the .htaccess file for the site and add the following code snippet:

## IP-ABUSE-LOOKUP
 Order Allow,Deny
 Allow from All
 Deny from 209.85.238.213 188.134.33.64 209.85.238.216 66.249.67.146
 Deny from 178.178.10.40 95.108.150.235 58.63.241.209 209.85.238.201
 Deny from 175.42.13.20 27.159.199.71 204.12.228.34 5.9.7.208 199.58.86.206
 Deny from 120.43.20.237 59.58.137.5 119.131.99.162 204.12.247.34 64.31.32.131
 Deny from 120.43.4.134 24.36.243.139 183.5.140.189 219.154.133.225 220.180.62.187
 Deny from 96.22.53.162
 Deny from 174.0.25.72
 Deny from 117.26.85.214
 Deny from 112.111.175.177
 Deny from 27.159.253.234

This is an example of my current .htaccess file, and I keep adding addresses as I sort out who is attacking my site. I learned about this file from my Hosting Service Provider Dreamhost, so thanks to them.

There is a very useful plug in called Redirection which I first installed to help me with my “resurrect the dead” program (I’ll write about that here at a later date). I installed it, but it also logs “odd” access to your site, and from those logs I have collected IP addresses of very questionable attack sites. I suppose I should reverse look up the addresses to see if they are legitimate, but I can’t be bothered right now.

This is only a partial list, I have added many more IP addresses, and currently I use Filezilla to FTP the .htaccess file from my site, edit it on my PC (adding new addresses) and then putting the new .htaccess file back on my site. If your Service Provider offers an easier way to do this, I would strongly suggest using it.

This hasn’t stopped my site from getting pounded, but it can’t hurt either.


Being a Douche is One Way of Doing It

Don Rickles is one of my favorite comics, and he made his entire career of getting folks to laugh while he berated, or insulted folks in the audience. I don’t think a comedian like Mr. Rickles could thrive these days, but I might be wrong, however, his acidic commentary seems to be the basis of a lot of the “new breed” of writers on the net these days in the Personal Finance Forum.

I must admit that this must sound like the Pot calling the Kettle Black, however, I feel that a lot of my nastier commentary is as much Parental commentary. I berate folks who are in debt, and I mercilessly lampoon and attack the Pay Day Loan world and banking in general, but that is about as far as I will go.

There are a few sites that are now attempting to “cross the line” in terms of decorum (in my opinion) in terms of commentary on issues. One site blamed women for being underpaid (which is transparently an attempt to whip up controversy), why not blame the disabled for not being able to get up stairs (yes that is just me trying to be controversial too)? I realize the post is mostly just the standard puffery about “Women should stand up for themselves” and such, but it does smack of being a douche bag (a female concept) for the sake of it, but that again is a writing technique. It could also be that the writer genuinely believes in his heart of hearts this is the case.

This article spun off a shite storm of folks commenting on it (on Facebook, this site smartly has turned off comments) (one could even argue this post is a shallow attempt to do the same), so in truth, it did exactly what it was designed to do (i.e. cause interest in the site, and discussion on the topic), but did the writer need to do that? I must admit that I do agree with those who say that writing about personal finance is a very dry subject and very prone to quite dull regurgitation of numbers and formulas (or worse a simple attempt to make as much money off advertising by using keywords littered about the article), but being a mathematician I do actually like that kind of article.

Figure out what your voice is, and stick to it. If you want to be a lampooning jack-ass like me, go ahead, but always couch your commentaries remembering that some folks may not “get” your style, or better still, write the way you want and don’t worry about what others think.

 


A Pillar Post

The fine folks over at Unique Blog Designs (the designers of the basic version of the WordPress Theme you are looking at, and the producers of a really nifty WordPress Advertisement Rotor plug in as well), sent me a newsletter about how to increase traffic to my web sites. I found the newsletter informative, but I had read most of the tips before, but they used a term I hadn’t heard before.

What is a Pillar Post?

To quote our friends at Unique blog design:

Write at least five major “pillar” articles. A pillar article is a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good “how-to” lesson. This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.

On Canadian Financial Opinions I have written a bunch of “Pillar” articles, and I have submitted many of them to different carnivals and such, but I keep forgetting they are there. Here are a few chestnuts that I really like from the Financial Side of things:

  1. Einstein: The Rule of 72
    Understanding what a doubling period is, and how the rule of 72 can help you with this concept is important to the start of your investment plan.
  2. Don’t Pass it to the Other Team
    How does the Carleton basketball coach have anything to do with finances? Read and you’ll see a long stretch.
  3. Worst Financial Advice Ever Given
    Where I tell a good friend about something I’d never dream he’d do, with disastrous consequences.

Most of these posts I resurrect over time and will replay, but I really need to send them out and post them on various Carnivals to  use them to draw more readers to my sites, and bring in more links.

Is this post a Pillar Article? Maybe not, but I think my previous posts on How to Post Amazon Ads on a WordPress Blog, might well be.

Thanks Unique Blog Designs, good information!


Have Good Content and You Will Succeed

This piece of advice was given out, by none other than Tucker Max who’s book “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell“, a New York Times best seller came from his on line ramblings.

“The most important thing is having good content,” Max said, during a panel session here. “All these people write to me and say, ‘I have great content’ but it’s dog sh*t (sic).”

The article this is connected to is quite funny, with the author berating bloggers who think all they have to do is show up and they will make a fortune. I agree that there is a lot of work to be done, but his drunken, womanizing (and somewhat illegal) ramblings while most assuredly an extension of the truth (if not interesting fiction) are not the highest of literary value either. Maybe he views himself as Gen-X’s Hunter S. Thompson, but somehow I think he lacks the credibility and believability.

So, work hard, publish your work, and then have your literary agent sleep with someone at the New York Times, at least this seems to be Tucker’s advice.