Archive for Internet Marketing

Why Your Twitter Links Stopped Working

I have been working on some code for a site that’s integrating a lot of social media links, and everything was going swimmingly until I noticed that the “Post to Twitter links were no longer working.

It turns out Twitter has made a few changes, but the fix was very easy.

All that was required to fix up the links was to replace instances of

http://twitter.com/home?status=

with

http://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=

So.. begin with a call to the twitter javascript, so that your links will pop up in a nice neat window:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”></script>

Then, if you’re using PHP, you’ll want to get the variable that defines the current page:

<?php $pageURL = $_SERVER[“SERVER_NAME”].
$_SERVER[“REQUEST_URI”]; ?>

 

And then finally, you can put that variable into your twitter link:

<a href=”http://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=your+text+here+http%3A%2F%2F<?php echo $pageURL; ?>”>

And, YAY! It works.

 

How to turn ANY web page into a WordPress Page

I’ve noticed a lot of people wondering how to use WordPress as a sales page. Now, I wouldn’t recommend using it for this if all you’re going to have is a sales page, but if you’re planning a blog in the back end, or some other pages that you want to easily edit, then maybe it’s not overkill.

Anyway, to make life easy for those folks looking to integrate their existing sales page into a WordPress install, here’s the secret…. YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE A PARTICULAR THEME, OR EVEN INTEGRATE THE PAGE INTO THE SITE….

Here’s the quick and dirty way to add your page to your blog:

  1. Open your sales page in note pad or a text editor
  2. Add the following code at the top of the page:
    <?php
    /*
    Template Name: Sales Page
    */
    ?>
  3. Rename the page to something like mysalespage.php
  4. Upload your new page to your theme folder in your WordPress installation

salespage1
And that’s the hard part.

Now, go to your WordPress admin area and create a new page.
salespage2

Make the title Buy It Now or something like that, just in case you have the page listed in your blog section in the future. Leave the body of the page blank.

In the righthand sidebar, in the new Attributes area, choose your newly created page from the Template dropdown box.

salespage3

You’re done. Save the page.

If you preview the page now, you’ll see your sales letter. All that’s left to do is make your sales page the front page of your site.

You can do that by clicking the Settings item in the left sidebar, then choosing the Reading settings.
salespage4

Select “A Static Page” for your front page display, and choose your Buy It Now page from the drop down list.
salespage5

And that’s it.

Now when you go to your front page, you’ll see your sales letter. If you want to change your sales letter, just change mysalespage.php or whatever you named the template page, and reupload it. It’s not elegant, but it is better than paying someone to make a new page template for you.

IF YOUR NEW PAGE DOESN’T SHOW UP IN THE TEMPLATE LIST

Someone told me their newly created page didn’t show up when the followed the directions above. The best thing to do then, is grab a copy of page.php from your template folder. Rename it mysalespage.php and change the code at the top to
<?php
/*
Template Name: Sales Page
*/
?>

Follow the rest of the directions, and at the very end of the process, replace the faked sales page template with your real sales page.

Free/Low Cost Social Networking Scripts

A friend and client of mine asked me about SNEmpire today. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but a quick Google I discovered it’s a $500 social networking script. The sales page actually looks pretty good, but I went to one of the sites running the software (imsocialize.com) and was less than impressed by the user interface presented there.

Instead of recommending a buy, I pointed my friend to several open source social networking scripts that might server her needs:

Dolphin
The demo site and the showcase of sites running this script are very impressive.

Elgg
This looks like another contender. It’s got a pretty basic interface, but from a user standpoint, the simplicity is great.

Mahara
Mahara is a little less like Facebook, and a little more like LinkedIn. If your users are all about business and achievements, this might be the best solution for you.

Insoshi
A bit basic, but like Elgg, it’s got lots of potential.

PHPizabi
A great looking site right out of the box.

While each of these will require some customization, and they don’t come with tutorials, and maybe that makes all the difference to my friend. But making sure the foundation of my business — the software — is rock solid would be more important to me than spending time on the customization and learning curve were I planning a social networking site.