Feb 072011
 

comluv2 300x121 Andy Bailey Creator Of ComLuv

There are thousands of different plugins available for any wordpress user. However there are a few plugins that are an ABSOLUTE MUST – and ComLuv is a MUST for any blogger. I have had the opportunity to interview Andy Bailey who is the creator of ComLuv.

    You are the creator of comluv, which is the best wordpress plugin I have ever used! To those who are unfamiliar, can you explain what comluv is and how it works?
    CommentLuv is a blog plugin that helps to encourage more comments from your visitors, increases traffic to your site and helps you to build a community. It does this by visiting the site of the person who is commenting on one of your articles and fetches their latest blog posts, when they submit their comment a titled link gets automatically added to the end of the comment for all to see.
    When the commentator sees that a titled link to their latest blog post is added to their comment, they are more likely to come back and comment again. That brings you more traffic and comments!
    By scanning the links on the comments of your site, you can immediately see what your community are writing about and a simple click will take you right to their article enabling you to return the comment. That helps you build a community, even more so if they have CommentLuv installed also.

     
     

    How did you come up with this idea and name “comluv.” When did you start developing it? Did you do all the programming?

    ComLuv is a contraction of CommentLuv , I came up with it because the first versions of CommentLuv used to use CommentLuv.com domain as the hub for the communications that fetch and send the last blog posts, after a while I did a rewrite of the plugin and upgraded the site to allow blogs to be created. I used ComLuv.com to do that because it was a shorter domain name. I may go back to using commentluv.com if I do a premium version.
    I have done all the programming for CommentLuv and the site/API, Hesham from famousbloggers.net helped with some css to make the info panel look really cool on the last major update which helped a lot because I’m not so great with designing pretty things (unless you speak code)
     
     

    Did you hand register the domain comluv.com? If not, where did you get it from? Do you own any other domains or you buy/sell domains?
     
    It was registered at the same place I always register my domains, I find it helps to have my domains registered separately to my hosting.
    I own quite a few domains but I don’t do anything other than make cool things with them, I have never sold one.
     

    What’s been the hardest part about getting comluv off the ground? Or did it immediately become popular? How did you get to this point in time – with the 30,000+ members and being a pagerank 6 website – has it been a struggle? That is a pretty amazing achievement. Have you been recognized anywhere or by anyone for all your hard work?
    I never intended for CommentLuv to get so big, it was supposed to be a simple plugin! I made it for my personal blog mainly to reward my commentators and because I was too lazy to maintain a blogroll! Someone liked it and asked for a copy so I sent it to them, then their friends asked for a copy and so on and so on. Before long there were tens of thousands of registered users, over 100,000 blogs that had installed it and my server was getting hit over 10,000,000 times a month for last blog post requests.
    The biggest struggle was keeping the server running with all those requests coming in. Also, trying to keep up with the changes to WordPress and keeping a hold on the features requested for the site and plugin. The hardest part was doing all that AND working full time in my family business (Chinese takeaway in Lancaster, UK)
    CommentLuv won the peoples choice awards in the WPMU.org contest in 2009.

     
     

    Comluv is free and you worked on it (for free as well) so what is your benefit? Why did you decide to make comluv free? You could easily charge people a one time fee. Have you gotten any donations from comluv users for all the work and time you put in?
    I made it for free because it started off as a simple script, I couldn’t charge anything for it because it was just a bit of fun. I get donations now and then, nothing that would cause me to consider giving up my job though! icon smile Andy Bailey Creator Of ComLuv
     
     
     

    What are some new things comluv users should look forward to in 2011? Do you have any new developing plugins or tools? Can you give us an insight?


    I have some super plans for 2011! I am going to be working with Hesham of Famousbloggers.net to help bring some of his creations into full WordPress plugins which may or may not be sold, we haven’t decided yet and, I have some awesome plans for a CommentLuv 3.0 plugin that will be released as a Freemium plugin. There’s an awful lot that can be done with CommentLuv and I have been thinking about what can be added to it for years and I think 2011 is the year that I will see CommentLuv go to the next level.
     

    How can someone with a blog -like myself – increase exposure to my site? What type of advertising do you offer? What has been the general reaction to advertising? Do people like it? Are they return customers?
    There are a few free options to help your site get noticed, the first is to make sure your site is registered with a site name, keywords, description and category. If you have the CommentLuv plugin installed on your own site then having those things will mean you can appear (at first) on the new CommentLuv sites list and if you have a popular post or you comment a lot, you can get listed on the top lists on the front page which gets refreshed every day.
    If you purchase Comluv credits in the dashboard of the site, you can purchase a featured site spot on the front page which will show you site name, description, your avatar and your five keywords. All the links will be dofollow. You can get multiple PR6 dofollow links for as little as 2$ per day doing that.
    There are also dofollow text links on the front page and sitewide which are very popular, most of the advertisers who have bought links there subscribe every month.
    There is currently a 40% off coupon that can be used until 16th Feb for the few remaining links available, use comluv-ad-offer at the checkout to take advantage of it.
     
     

    Take us into your daily routine! What’s an average day for Andy Bailey?
     

    Every day is the same!
    I wake up and go to the pc to check on the state of the server, then answer emails, there are ALWAYS emails that need answering! Then I check my earnings for the previous day on adsense, affiliate commissions and also check the traffic to my other sites and projects. I then take a shower, have breakfast and make a coffee for me and my partner and spend a few quality minutes starting the day with her. (it’ll be the last she sees of me until the afternoon!)
    Then it’s back to the PC! I will procrastinate for a bit reading CommentLuv users posts until I can convince myself it’s time to start working on whatever project is priority for that day. Currently, it’s an ePoS system for our family business. It’s a system to replace the current ancient software we’re using, it’ll handle the delivery, shop and pickup orders using a custom caller id app I wrote (had to learn c# to do make that!). It integrates with Google maps and streetview so drivers know what the house looks like before they get there and communicates with a custom android (or windows mobile) app so it can send the customer a text message when their order is on the way.
    It also has to print the order out to the kitchen on a bilingual receipt so the kitchen staff can understand it. It’s been what I’ve been coding every day since December 1st, I’m hoping to have it finished sometime this month (February)
    Then I have lunch which is usually a soup because it’s easy to cook and means I don’t have to go too far away from the PC.
    After lunch, I try to get dressed! hehe, the advantage of working at home and for yourself is that you don’t need to even get out of your dressing gown to go to work!
    I get dressed and it’s back to the pc to juggle the project and maintenance of Comluv which involves answering support tickets, editing and approving guest blogger posts, checking the sites databases (there’s 256 of them!). Sometimes I have time to research things for future projects and if I’m lucky, there’s time to visit my favourite blogs to read up on how they’re doing but mostly, I tap away at the keyboard on the current project.
    By the time it hits 4pm, I usually have a red patch on my wrist from the mouse and keyboard rest and hurray! it’s time to go to work! haha, I go downstairs to the shop and prepare it for opening (my partner and family have been there since 12pm preparing the food but graciously let me off from doing that coz I hate it!). I get the shop front ready, cash up the register, start the computers and flip the sign from ‘closed’ to ‘open’.
    It’s around this time that I get a chance to eat, always the same thing. A chicken baguette with lettuce and dressing. Sometimes if I’ve feeling adventurous, I’ll have mixed vegetables in garlic with rice. (Working in a Chinese takeaway with such tasty food available all the time and spending most of the day sat down has real potential to make you a fat boy! I started down that road so I had to stop eating our own food and switch to bread and chicken and serve people while I was standing, luckily it worked!)
    Work goes on until 10.30pm where I cash up, tidy up and head back upstairs to watch an episode of something. I tend to download (sorry, PURCHASE a dvd set) of an entire series of something and then watch every episode, one each night after work. It’s the only real time I get to watch TV (well, one that isn’t showing code) and it gives me and the missus some time to spend together where we’re both not working.
    Then it’s shower time again and then bed.. tick tock, next day, start again.


    Do you have any hobbies or possibly collect something? What’s the “nerdiest” thing about you – this could really be anything. What’s something you are extremely particular AKA anal with – haha

    My hobby is coding, it’s all I think, speak and dream about. I’d love to make a few million dollars just so I wouldn’t have to worry about work and take the time to learn some other programming languages properly, like, from the beginning instead of just learning what I need to do the task at hand. what could be nerdier? icon smile Andy Bailey Creator Of ComLuv add a bit of sci-fi and you have a complete nerd cake.

 
 

Andy – this is all I can think of at the moment – if there is ANYTHING you want to add – feel free. I really appreciate it and cant wait to hear back from you!
wow, I did go on a bit. I can tell that I’m at some particularly difficult bit of code in my project if I’m willing to procrastinate so much that I could answer all the questions in one sitting! haha, back to work!!

Andy – Once again THANK YOU! I wish you the best of luck in 2011 and cannot wait to see ComLuv become the most downloaded plugin!!!

Feb 022011
 

Stop WASTING time

There are thousands of blogs online and being unique is extremely hard to do. Everyday there are are hundreds of bloggers who post about the SAME EXACT thing as the other guy. People blog about sports, latest news, current events, how to blog properly, optimizing seo, etc etc etc. The list goes on and on and on. So how do you avoid all this? GET CREATIVE! Find new things to write about, or even better find people who are experts in their field – contact them – and ask if you can interview them

In all reality there are hundreds of different topics such as blogging, making money online, domain experts, collection experts, etc. Instead of blogging about how to make money online – why don’t you venture out and get in contact with someone who already has made money and is known by many people. Every single field has a handful of “experts” in their field. These are the people that you automatically think of when discussing a topic. Everyone knows who they are and what they have accomplished. It might be difficult to find someone who is willing to give you an interview – but with determination and a little sweet talking, it should not be hard to find a great candidate.

One of my hobbies is collecting anything vintage – anything interesting that has a story behind it and is wanted by others. I basically collect vintage cars from the 60′s and 70′s but am always on the look out for anything that is out of the ordinary. I also buy and sell a lot of items. I found someone who has over 40,000 positive feedback and sells some of the best items I have ever seen. I contacted him and he agreed to a phone interview. The interview went well and traffic to my blog immediately shot through the roof. I posted the article on a forum and the results were great. So if you are looking for an edge of for something unique – then find someone interesting or who has a story a tell and ask if you can interview them.

Tips for a GREAT Interview

Here are some of the best interview tips I can think of:

  • Find someone interesting who is an expert in his/her field
  • Pick someone who is known by many people
  • Send the candidate an email asking about the interview
  • Schedule a time that works best for the other person – since he is being interviewed
  • Write down each question you want to ask
  • Provide an incentive – example – give them a link pointing to their site or product
  • ASK GOOD QUESTIONS!
  • Keep in touch after the interview
Jan 282011
 

The vintage toy & collectible market is now hotter than ever. It is a multi-million dollar aftermarket industry that does not seem to be slowing down. Hundreds of different toys, such as Hot Wheels Redlines, GI Joe figures, and train sets were played by children over 40 years ago. Today all of these children are now grown up and want to rekindle their youth. Sadly most toys, especially toys for boys, were brutally destroyed and will never see the light of day. However for those who meticulously kept their toys in mint condition can sell their toys today for a hefty premium price.

One particular individual is one of the biggest players in the vintage toys and collectibles market. Each week I am blown away by the variety and amount of items he sells. If you are a vintage toy collector, you already know EXACTLY who I am referring to: Joel aka FxToys!. Here are FXToys! Auctions

Every single week, FxToys has hundreds of different collectible items. Two things always blow my mind. 1 – The variety and condition of these highly collectible, rare sought after toys. 2 – The prices. Yes – The prices. Joel has items that I have never seen before – He has redline colors that I only dreamed of. If there is something rare and unique you are seeking, Joel is the man to contact.

I collect redlines – Mighty Mavericks to be precise and I have purchased a handful of mavericks from Joel. Even with hundreds of items ending each week, Joel still manages to find time to answer any question he gets – with an extremely fast response time. Once I sent a question at Midnight and already had an answer the next morning. He also has a return policy!

I had the priviledge of talking to Joel on the phone and he agreed to an interview. He is a great guy and I thank him for taking time out of his busy day to talk to me. PS – While we were talking, he was sorting through an awesome redline collection he just purchased! My questions are in bold and the replies are in italics.

    What is your name and ebay id?
    Joel Magee – ebay ID: fxtoys!
    Do you have a website? No, I only sell through ebay

    How did you ever get started in this hobby? I started back in the late 80′s and started buying lunchboxes from TV shows that I watched as a child. I started collecting and then quickly realized that it could be turned into a business.

    What types of items do you sell? Which items sell best? I sell anything toy related from 1960′s and older. Hot wheels redlines and television show toys sell the best.

    What is the most an item you owned sold for? In the late 1980s, I sold a vintage 1950′s tin rocket for $14,000.

    Do you think there are treasure still yet to be found? Absolutely! Everything is just waiting to be found

    What is your outlook for 2011? Do you think collectibles will become rarer and bring in more money? The market will shift up and down during the year but overall 2011 should be a solid year

    Do you have a personal collection? What is your holy grail? I collect disneyland posters from the park. They are made exclusively for disneyland and not sold to the general public. They are about 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide. My holy grail is my flying saucers poster. It is worth well over $10,000.

    How many items do you sell a week? 500

    Where in the world do you find all these items? You have the cream of the crop when it comes to collectibles We have many contacts all over the country. Many people contact us through ebay. We also buy many collections and also do consigments once in a while. People will send us their collections to sell without us even paying upfront because of the well known repuation we have with our customers.

    Just about every collector knows FxToys! especially when it comes to rare hard to find items. You are talked about in many forums and have handled more collectibles than people will in their lifetime. How does it feel to be a collectible guru? Are you a member on any specific forums? That is an honor. We have strived to be the very best at what we have been doing for the past 20 years and I feel like our reputation brings people back because they trust us and we always strive for 100% customer satisfaction.

    Is there anything you regret not purchasing in the past? Boy – this happens all the time. It never ends.

    What is the funniest strangest question someone has asked you? Probably the stupiest question, that happens all the time, is when someone asks me how big or long an item is when it is written in the title and description!

That is the interview and I hope you all enjoyed reading it. Joel is a great guy and has amazing items for sale. He has stuff I will NEVER see in my lifetime. So check out his auctions – FxToys! and if there is something unique he has for sale – make sure to snag it! Joel also pays finders fees to people who help him find collections!