Making Your Mark

I remember a forum post I read about a year ago.    A guy had spent months writing this ebook that was his pride and joy but didn’t want to release it to the big, bad world because …shock, horror…people might rip it off.

My feeling was, get over it.

I’ve had my stuff ripped off, stolen, “repackaged”, you name it – it used to bother me … a lot.   Now, not so much 🙂

If you’ve been putting off releasing your ebook to the big, bad world now’s the time to think again.

Ebooks are hot right now.   I know they may sound old hat for some internet marketers but right now ebooks are hot because they are becoming acceptable mainstream.  The average user is now used to downloading an ebook and they’ve been educated in paperless knowledge by the big players and technology.   The big players like Amazon are selling more ebooks than physical books.   Ereaders like kindle are making it possible for everyone to read a book on the bus in the morning.    Innovations like the kindle library (borrow an ebook anybody?) are making it possible to be educated, paperless and mobile.

If you have never thought about releasing an ebook why not?

I don’t propose to cover creating an ebook in this post.   I’m assuming you’ve got one in your head, PLR on your hard drive or a pride and joy waiting to be unleashed.   If you want some tips in a later post about creating an ebook fast then let me know in the comments below.

The big, bad world

Once you have created your ebook you can protect yourself a little bit from the thiefs of the world.   There are a number of ways that you can do this:

1) by using download software that allows you to track ip addresses, ban people, blacklist ip addresses and the like
2) protecting your pdf by encryption, password, preventing copying
3) using pdf stamping

I want guarantees

None of these things are 100% effective.    It’s just like your house, if people really want to get in – they will, you can just make it harder for them.    The only things that are guaranteed in this life are death and taxes.   There’s not a lot of point in putting off releasing a product because you’re frightened of what will happen to it.    Remember, there’s more  honest people in the world than dishonest.

PDF Stamping is something that some digital sites have been using for a while – Ejunkie to name one.    Basically what happens is you upload your pdf and when it is downloaded by the buyer the pdf is stamped with their name, address and email address on the downloaded copy.    This means that if the product creator locates a copy of that pdf in the big, bad world they know which customer to blacklist, ban or banish to the end of the world with no chocolate!

WordPress solutions

There is also a WordPress plugin that does the same thing called PDF Stamper for people that do not use Ejunkie.

The PDF stamper plugin is pretty nifty.

How it works

First of all you need to upload your pdf to its download destination.

Then go to Settings and choose what information you want to be stamped on the pdf once purchased.  You might want to include, name, email address, address, date of purchase.     You can customize this section with what information you fancy (as allowed by the plugin).

You can also configure the pdf stamper at this stage for:

  • No Printing
  • Password protection
  • No Copying
  • No Modification

You can also pretty up the stamp by changing the colors and fonts.

When someone purchases your ebook the plugin nips out and stamps the information on the pdf download that you configured earlier.


An easy way to make your mark on documents for a low one off cost.

The plugin is said to work with third party ecommerce solutions provided you can integrate it in accordance with the PDF Stamper guidelines. (I haven’t tried it myself) .


Each time a purchase is made the stamped pdf remains on your server.   You can go in to the Plugin Settings and manually delete these files.    A scheduled automatic deletion feature  has been considered by the developer in future releases. This could cause a lot of excess space to be used.    If a customer loses their download link etc a new copy has to be stamped.

If someone is keen to mis-use your product this will not stop them.

Check out the PDF Stamper WordPress plugin here.

WordPress News

Shouldn’t you do some work?

In case you haven’t heard there is a new WordPress release – 2.8.4.

Whenever there is a new release of WordPress the forums fill with scaremongers.   You know the type, people that ask should they upgrade, will their site be hacked.  The problem with this, from my point of view, is that these are the type of people that want guarantees out of life.   

There are no guarantees in life except death and taxes 🙂

Sometimes, shock, horror you actually have to take some responsibility yourself.

WordPress is an awesome website platform in my humble opinion.   What’s great about WordPress is that it is so incredibly versatile.  And it only gets better.   The WordPress community is amazing.   Everyday there are volunteers,- you know people that don’t work for money – in the WordPress open source community developing plugins, developing WordPress themes and helping develop the WordPress core software.   You’ll find a lot of those same people in the WordPress forums tirelessly answering questions, day in day out, and it’s all for free.   

Like all software platforms, WordPress needs to be updated when new features are added and when there are security vulnerabilities.   I don’t know about you, but my Windows OS has updates every week and I don’t find it a huge trauma to allow my software to update to protect my computer.    Same with your WordPress site, if you know there is a new version of WordPress is it so hard to update?

That brings me to my question, shouldn’t you take some responsibility?

If you are reading this, you are most likely a webmaster, more likely an internet marketer.   As you  know, there are costs to doing business on the internet both time and money wise.    To me, updating my sites is merely a cost of doing business.   Something that is necessary to keep my niche blogs online.   I do the same with my computer, I back up my hard drive that’s a cost of doing business.     I back up my websites as well and that’s easy with the great plugins that have been created for free for my use.   The cost of doing this for me is time only not money because of the wonderful WordPress community.   

I feel very strongly about using my time wisely and I really resent wasting time on some things.    Upgrading and backing up is fine by me because I schedule these tasks for when I’m listening to a webinar or watching a video.  

Since the release of WordPress 2.7 upgrading your site couldn’t be easier.   Go to Tools/Upgrade and click the button – I’m breaking into a sweat just thinking about it 🙂    How long does it take to login to your site and click a button?   Two minutes? Less?  

Always keep a back up of your data base.   This of course is easy with the DB Backup plugin and you can also download a copy of your themes, images and plugins from your server or just use the WordPress Backup plugin for that.    The DB Backup plugin is particularly good because you can schedule your backups.  So, if you want to back up your blog once a week just click the button to arrange for the backup to be automatically created and emailed to you if you fancy.  In fact, I use a plugin that backs up my site and sends it to my AS3 account so it’s off my hard drive but still accessible for me.    Again, it’s all pretty easy just a matter of installing a couple of plugins and clicking some buttons.  WordPress Backup and DB Backup can both be installed from Plugins/Add New and doing an auto install through the WordPress repository so  you don’t even need to download or ftp anything.  It really couldn’t be easier.

Okay, I can guess what you are thinking now…..

Upgrading a site or a couple of sites is really no biggie (should only take 10 minutes tops!) but what if you have more than a couple of sites?

Well, I’ve got more than a couple of sites.  In fact, I’ve got sites that I’ve forgotten about!

Upgrading the sites for me is not a problem because as I’ve mentioned before I use an autoinstaller.      All I do is login to the autoinstaller to check that it has upgraded to the new version of WordPress.  If it has then I just click the buttons to upgrade all my sites.   While the autoinstaller is powering away I’m watching a video, listening to a webinar or making a coffee.   This process takes minutes and it’s all hands free 🙂

Okay, so let me guess… you don’t have an autoinstaller – well that’s fine too.   You can use subversion.

Subversion allows you to always have the latest version of WordPress on your sites.    You can either use the bleeding edge release candidate (not recommended as it can be janky) or the stable version (this is the one that you want!).   

You can even manage your upgrades with some scripts created, for free, by that fantastic WordPress community I was talking about earlier and mass upgrade your WordPress installs with a script.

If you are following along, you might be wondering what my point is.   So, in case I haven’t been clear,  being responsible is not difficult, it’s not expensive it’s part of the cost of doing business and having  access to a software that is powerful and free to use and enjoy.

Remember, upgrading WordPress and keeping back ups of your site is just part of being a responsible webmaster.   You should also think about securing your WordPress site and protecting it.    You can find out more by listening or downloading the interview on WP security that I did a while ago.

By the way, most plugin developers do have a donate button.  If you appreciate their work why not give it a click some time and pay pal them some love 🙂