Month: July 2014

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Free

Did you know that AWS is (almost) FREE for your first year of usage?

Yeah I was amazed too.

I’ve had a couple of interesting conversations recently about AWS and it seems that people are a little bit lost with it. I won’t sugar coat it, AWS was designed by engineers for engineers – it’s NOT that user friendly at all.

For example S3 (really SSS or Simple Storage Service) uses non-standard terminology, in fact it seems to be that Amazon have used lots of terminology we’re not used to. So instead of saying folders and files, they use the words buckets and objects. It’s confusing and makes you stop and think at every step of the way when you first use it.

Maybe it’s just me, but perhaps they’ve done this so it doesn’t go crazy with a zillion new users all at once.

Because did you know that AWS is (almost) FREE for the first 12 months? (Yes, they want your credit card details, but unless you’re going to be a heavy user, my guess is you may not get charged anything.)

They do this free tier to get people slowly introduced to everything else they do, and to get software developers developing.

As an example, with S3 you get 5GB cloud storage plus thousands of what they call “get” and “put” requests (file reads and writes) before they start charging you anything, and then it’s pennies.

While most people have heard of Amazon’s S3 service, my guess is you’re not aware of the whole ruck of other services that are wrapped up in AWS.

Other than S3, the bulk of them aren’t going to be of any interest to you, but there are a couple of other goodies in there.

These are SES (Simple Email Service) and EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute).

You can probably guess that SES is their email service that has been designed to be scalable and makes sure your emails are delivered. Deliverability has always been a problem and is why people use email services like Aweber.

Most people don’t realise that sending an email from your email client only has a 50-50 chance of getting there if the end user is using one of the free email services.

Free email is for the mass market, and shouldn’t be used by businesses.

So if you’re a Gmail user sending email to a Yahoo mail user, the chances are high it will get filtered as spam on the incoming network. And vice-versa.

Yahoo etc, don’t care if your email doesn’t arrive. Removing spam is their #1 priority and has been for at least 4 years now. If you use any kind of keyword that triggers their network mail filter, then it’s likely it will get filtered (deleted) before it even gets anywhere near a mailbox. Sometimes they get filtered going out too.

I can’t give you any examples in this email because it will likely get filtered.  😉

It’s always been a much better idea to use an email account on your own domain and leave the free email to the masses for whom email isn’t critical.

Back to the next noteworthy Amazon service.

EC2, while having a completely misleading name is actually their VPS (Virtual Private Server) system. Think cloud based web servers.

Oh yeah.

A free VPS from Amazon? (They actually call them “instances.”)

If you were to install one of their free operating systems such as Centos from one of their supplied images, then with a little bit of work you can install WHM (cPanel) and buy your cPanel licence monthly for about $15/month.

Then you have an Amazon speed, cloud based server for peanuts.

And you can install ALL your domains on it, each with their own cPanel account. You could even rent out domain hosting to clients.

This is a LOT cheaper than renting a VPS for $80+ / month! In fact once I’ve mastered this I’m going to migrate all my domains to it.

It sounds a bit scary I know, but I don’t think it’s that hard and once I’ve done it myself I’ll show you how.

Watch out for this series over the coming weeks. Eventually I’ll turn it into a paid course and remove it, so learn while it’s free.

Okay, that wraps this email up, a bit of a big one I know, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.  😉

Before you do anything else, go and sign up for an AWS account here while it’s still a 12 month free deal. You’re going to need it if you want to follow along with this series.


-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

Ecover Authority Review

You can create 3D ecover designs using an online tool with hundreds of built in graphics, piles of fonts, and over 100 different 3D ecover design templates to choose from and a huge amount of built in graphics and fonts. PhotoShop is NOT required and that’s a big thumbs up from me.

The online tool is quite responsive and I suspect it’s using Flash so most the work is done in your browser. Rendering of the finalized 3D ecover is done on the site itself and I’ve found can take a little while to achieve depending on the time of day. In the morning it takes a few seconds, but as the world wakes up and starts using it then it can take a minute or more to be queued up to render.

Even so, it’s still VERY impressive. My guess is it uses ImageMagick on the server to do the rendering.

There are plenty of fonts to choose from, and then you can do things like apply built in effects or rotate the text to make it fit down the side of an ecover spine such as found on an ebook.

Overall it’s an impressive tool and is definitely one to grab with both hands.

You can get to the sales page here:-


-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

Optin Comments Plugin

Offer Closed


It Connects Your WordPress Commenting System To Your Autoresponder.

I needed something like this for a couple of sites I’m building where I suspect that normal optin forms won’t work so well, but people would be fairly likely to leave a comment. I’ve discussed this with a couple of people and they agree that this is probably the best tack to take.

It works on the premise that right at the moment when someone has proven that they’re most interested in your site and content – at the point of leaving a comment – then they also get an option to subscribe to your mailing list.

So if you don’t catch them with your regular optin process, then you’ll catch them when they leave their comment.

It’s deceptively simple and innocent looking.  😉

When they leave the comment, then they’ll also see there’s a checkbox and a message encouraging them to tick the box in order to receive a short message every time there’s a new post.

You’ve probably seen this kind of thing on some of the top 100 sites, and now you can do it on your (and your clients) sites too.

The way I see it, anything that can be done to get people to subscribe is definitely the right way to go. In fact it’s probably harder now than it’s ever been to gather subscribers – this goes some way to making it all easier.

There are plenty of options in the admin panel for you to set your autoresponder form code, change the short message etc. Once you’ve gone through the setup process once, then you can forget about it and just let it work to gather you new subscribers.

As this is likely to be a very popular plugin, I’m setting the final price at $27, but you can get it instantly during this pre-release sale for only $10.

-Frank Haywood

P.S. If you couple this new plugin together with the Comment Reward plugin, you get yet another chance to capture new subscribers on your mailing list.  😉

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

MRR and PLR Plugin Pack

Offer Closed


Too many people make the mistake of buying PLR and then sticking it up for sale as it is without changing it. That is an enormous no-no and after watching my video you’ll see there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of rebranding. I estimate an hours work (tops) with each of these plugins to turn them into YOUR plugins that then become a part of your business.

You get PLR to ALL THREE plugins for just $17. Or MRR for $10.

Sound good?

From my library, I’ve selected three simple to rebrand plugins for those that choose the PLR option. If you’ve not rebranded PLR before then this is an ideal introduction for you.

If you choose to go the PLR route (and why wouldn’t you?) they include all the documentation and everything you need to know to rebrand them as your own plugins.

( members will see these appear in the members area some time before the sale on Wednesday at no extra cost, and I’ll also be bringing the PLAhh site completely up to date.)

You’ll find that all three of these plugins will be popular with the MMO / marketing crowd.

The three plugins are:-

#1 – Affiliate Link Cloaker

I use the Affiliate Link Cloaker plugin whenever I promote anything. It’s like a link shortener that tracks clicks and gives you simple stats – all within WordPress. It has options to allow you to add notes, hide the link so it doesn’t appear in page lists and menus, cloak it (iframe), and also allows you to add details of the affiliate scheme. Simply create a new page in WordPress and then add the affiliate URL etc to the new block that appears below the page editor.

#2 – Affiliate Ticker

You’ll see this in prominent action on my blog. It’s a “news ticker” style scroller that you can use to easily add links to any products you happen to be promoting. You can change the colours, the width, and choose from some web friendly fonts so that you can match it to the design of almost any site.

It’s very easy to add links to it, and you could use the link cloaker to create links and then use those links within the ticker.

#3 – Redirection Plugin

The Redirection plugin is similar to the Affiliate Link Cloaker, and works with page and posts. While it doesn’t do any of the clever stuff that the Affiliate Link cloaker will do, it does do one very notable thing. After you’ve set a redirect URL on a post, and while people are viewing it on the home page, it will appear as normal. If they click through to view the post then it will redirect them to the URL you set.

You can use it in this way to pre-sell something with the post on the home page, and when they click to view it or leave a comment, it takes them to the landing page of your choice. This is ideal when a launch period on a product is active, where you can set the redirect link, and when it’s over remove it, or you could just leave it in place. Think search traffic that takes visitors to a landing page without directly linking to it.  😉

If you go PLR, there are virtually no restrictions on these three plugins, the only thing you can’t do with them is to sell PLR to them, but everything else is okay.

This means you can rebrand (easy) and sell them or give them away either individually or as a bundle in order to build your mailing list.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business