Basic Simplicity 1.4.1 Released

Posted January 26th, 2010 by Michael Janzen and filed in Theme

I just finished the next version of Basic Simplicity. I’ve made a few changes that should make it easier to use the theme including support for a full file path for the header background image.

Upgrading? – Watch the upgrade video

Upgrading should be fairly easy but you’ll need to know two things. Backup your current older copy of Basic Simplicity (especially if you made edits to the core theme files, like the index.php file) and you’ll need to fix the header background image. Everything else should be seamless. If you run into trouble please let me know. We have seen customers that have successfully installed this template. For example Samara James, who specialise in engagement ring jewellery and diamond jewellery, are a good example of such customers that have been able to fix the header background image. This webpage which shows some of their videos, further illustrates the point.

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Splogging doesn’t pay and can ruin future opportunities

Posted March 4th, 2010 by Michael Janzen and filed in Blogging

A splog is a spam blog with copied content from other sources. People usually learn about this scheme by reading the crap advice of internet schemers who sell people on the idea that all they have to do to make money online is build a bunch of copied content to rake in the bucks.

This is total foolishness and the only person making money on the scheme is the schemer that sold you the ebook describing the scheme. Pile on top of that the obvious legal copyright infringement issues, it’s just a total waste of time.

If you want to make money blogging, focus on providing the most value by creating quality original content.

I had a bit of trouble with a splogger recently. He was reposting my content without making it clear that the posts were copies from Tiny House Design. To make matters worse he didn’t give me any backlinks and was hotlinking my images.

I had put up some counter measures the other day to slow him down but he found a work around and posted another one of my articles. While the ROI of thwarting sploggers is essentially zero, I decided the only other thing I could do to stop him was report his splog to his web host, Google AdSense, and some of the other bloggers he’d ripped off (hoping they would file complaints too). I also implemented another round of counter measures to slow down future sploggers.

Finally he sent me a message though Twitter with a weak apology and news that he’d removed my posts from his splog. I really hope this little interaction, and the real possibility of a permanent ban from AdSense, will wake him up. I also hope telling this story will help those who are considering a career of crime and splogging will think twice.

The internet has been my primary source of income for quite some time. Let me tell you… you can work from home and make a lot of money by ethically leveraging your online skills. If you get into scheming you burn bridges and ruin future opportunities.

The best path is to focus on doing something real and publishing it online. People want to read about people doing real things and as your community of real people grows the success will come.

How to slow down content thieves

Posted February 20th, 2010 by Michael Janzen and filed in How To

I really hate it when people steal content, especially when they hotlink to my images and eat up my server’s bandwidth too. This is a real form of theft and ends up costing me money because my biggest blog sometimes costs me overage charges.

I found this great solution at (Thanks David!) that replaces stolen images with an advertisement for your site. It’s still an image hosted on your website but the smaller file-size image is not as bandwidth intensive and the value of stealing your content is greatly reduced.
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How to upgrade to Basic Simplicity 1.4.1

Posted January 29th, 2010 by Michael Janzen and filed in How To

This short video shows how to upgrade to Basic Simplicity 1.4.1 which mostly involves fixing the header image. Watch the video and then give it a shot.

If you’ve never used Basic Simplicity it will still help show you how to add the header image. You can read more about adding your own custom header image here.

How to change the header image in Basic Simplicity 1.4.1

Posted January 29th, 2010 by Michael Janzen and filed in How To

The most common question I got from users of the previous version of Basic Simplicity was “How do I change the header image?” There were clearly some usability issues with how I implemented that feature on the Edit Basic Simplicity page.

In this version it’s much easier and more flexible. You simply paste in the full file URL of the image into the Edit Basic Simplicity page. You can upload the image using your wordpress blog or FTP software.

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How to edit the meta info below the title in Basic Simplicity

Posted January 29th, 2010 by Michael Janzen and filed in How To

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how to edit the meta information under the post/page titles. This is what the code that generates these four text lines looks like right out of the box, albeit with some extra line spaces between the lines of code to make it easier to read. Continue Reading »

Must Have WordPress Plugins

Posted January 26th, 2010 by Michael Janzen and filed in Tips

I suspect everyone with some blogging experience has a list of their favorite plugins. Below is my list of must have plugins; but first I wanted to share an important reality that most pro-bloggers don’t tell you about. Continue Reading »

Problogging without the bullshit

Posted January 26th, 2010 by Michael Janzen and filed in Blogging

There are a ton of articles on how to blog for fun and profit and you could spend a lifetime reading all the articles on ProBlogger and you’d still be left asking the question… so how do I make a living as a blogger? This is my attempt to put it all in one article. Continue Reading »

Theory: Uncluttered Designs Increase Readership but Decrease Ad Revenue

Posted December 11th, 2009 by Michael Janzen and filed in Blogging

Recently I simplified the look & feel of my busiest blog by installing my new WordPress theme, Basic Simplicity. In the past when I’ve changed themes on Tiny House Design but I’ve never noticed so much noticeable effect in user behavior. The only real difference I’m aware of is that I’ve never used such an uncluttered design before. Continue Reading »

Basic Simplicity Theme Header Height Tip

Posted December 11th, 2009 by Michael Janzen and filed in Tips

I got an email from Jason about how to edit the header height in my WordPress theme, Basic Simplicity.  I tired to reply but Jason’s email address was wrong so I thought I’d answer he question here since it could help other people control the look and feel of Basic Simplicity. Continue Reading »