Make Money Online


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do You Ask These Blogging Questions?

How To Reverse Comments, How To Ask Questions, Help For Business Bloggers and More…

Hi Everyone,

As I think everyone knows by now – Readers Questions are one of my favorite methods for deciding on Blog Topics.

Today I am going to answer a few recent questions and comments – the answer to which will hopefully help a lot of readers. Some of this is technical stuff but it is important technical stuff that I encourage you to try. It is easier than you think.

I also have something to say about the subject of Asking Questions later on in this post – an alternative view on Asking Questions which I encourage you to check out.

OK, here is our first question:

1) I have a review blog and I would like to set comments to show most recent comments first, rather than last. Is this possible?

Yes indeed, and actually it is quite easy to do. There are two different ways to do this – one is an ‘automated’ way and there is also a manual way.

a) Since WordPress version 2.7 it has been possible REVERSE COMMENTS from the ADMIN area – all you need to do is go to Settings > Discussion (See screenshot below)


b) The above option will not work with some of the older themes even if you are using the most current version of WordPress – so here is the manual way of Reversing Comments. And of course if you are using a version of WordPress prior to 2.7 then you will need to use this also.

It does however mean that you have to feel comfortable editing your Theme in WordPress.

To edit your Theme in WordPress click on the Appearance Tab in LH Menu of your WP Admin area. This will give you an option of Editor – Click it:

By default the Theme you are currently using will appear first – but there is a drop down menu, should you wish to edit any of your other themes instead.

In the editor section you will see on RH side an option called comments.php – click on it and you will see something similar to image below.

Screenshot of the Comments.php file

Screenshot of the Comments.php file

Now it is simply a case of finding and replacing the following code


<?php foreach ($comments as $comment) : ?>

with this one

<?php foreach (array_reverse($comments) as $comment) : ?>

Once you have swapped the code all you need to do is click on Update File – which will be available provided the file is writable

If it is not currently writable then you will need to update permissions in cPanel. (Don’t worry, I am also coming to that subject in this post)

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are inexperienced technically – this is one of those simple things that I would encourage you to experiment with, going through the exercise to prove you can do it and building your confidence at the same time, even if you don’t want to swop the comments around. (You can always change back very easily as well). This is a great confidence building exercise for the newbie blogger and the more familiar you are with WordPress, the better the blogger you will be.

Reversing the comments is a great option, especially in review websites and here is one site that is doing just that:

Restaurant Review Website

As I mentioned above you may need to change permissions when editing WP files — which brings me to my next question:

2) How to change permissions in cPanel.

In my last post: The Bloggers Guide To cPanel I mentioned I would go into more detail about ‘editing permissions’ if I got enough questions. Well I only got the one question but when researching something else this week I came across some very useful resources which should answer your questions:

a) A cPanel Tutorial on File Permissions – highly recommended


b) Here is a video

How To Change File Permissions In Cpanel

3) More Blogging Help For Business Bloggers

My recent post about Blogging for Business got more responses and emails than I expected. It appears that I have a lot more business bloggers in my audience than I thought and one thing that came up was help with finding more topics for business bloggers to blog about.

I may eventually do a post on this myself but this week I came across Mark Haywards Blog for the first time and I have to say he has done an amazing posting titled: 31 Blog Post Ideas For Small Business

I encourage you to check out Mark’s post. I have listed below just 3 of his ideas for blog posts:

a) Humorous post on horrific client.
b) Why you love doing what you do.
c) How does your business cope during a tough economy?

I noted that Mark agrees with me that Business blogging is not about SELLING but rather about CONNECTING as he states in this quote:

The real power of blogging is not the hard sell, but rather, to help connect you and your (potential) business customers on a more human level

4) Spamming and Automatic Blog Commenting Software

I had a question from a reader this week who had started to receive ‘odd comments’ on her posts. The one common thing these posts had was that the ‘name’ of the commentator was a KEYWORD. Should she approve or not?

I never approve anything that looks like it has be automatically submitted. If you look at the screenshot below – which lists the “Top Commentors” on a Blog – you will note all of the comments have KEYWORDS as names.

Stopping Spam Blog Comments

Stopping Spam Blog Comments

The theory behind this is to get hundreds of back-links to the SPAMMERS website. Google has long been aware of this tactic and the SEO benefits are not significant (especially if you are using NO-FOLLOW on links) but if you have a popular blog then approving these spam comments will get the spammer traffic.

NOTE: I use the word SPAM — I make no apology – this is spam and you should not approve such comments.

Spam is usually fairly easy to recognize – often the comment which is automatically created by software is short and very generic (could be a response to any number of posts)

Of course some real people will comment and use a Keyword rather than their real name to comment. I treat these on a case by case basis – most times I will not approve anything other than a Real Name – but occasionally I will approve but if I do, I remove their web address so they don’t get a link.

5) When To Ask Questions and When Not To

I am sure you have heard me in the past talk about the power of asking questions or in particular the power of asking the right questions. Now I am not about to change my mind about that but I am going to state something that may shock you:

Lazy People Ask Questions…

OK, perhaps a little over the top but I am amazed at some of the questions I see asked – questions that could be easily answered if the questioner did a small amount of research. From talking to other bloggers, I know this is a common issue – one friend of mine said she recently had an email from someone asking a question which she had already answered in a post the previous day.

I respect the point that if you are new to blogging, the technical stiff can appear bewildering but I would like to encourage people to do some research first. (In my case reading my Blogging eCourse is a good start)

Sometimes it is better to NOT ask a question…. sometimes it is better to do your own research (A thing called Google is highly recommended) and discover the answer yourself.

Earlier this week I bought a Mac Book Pro (My first Mac) and while looking for some FTP software I came across some open source software that did the job perfect. I noted they had a link to a website called: Smart Questions.

OK, this was a software product – but it was open source and given away free (and supported really by its community of users) but it is clear they had issues with people asking questions that could so easily be answered by some research. The examples below relate to technical questions — but really the same points can be made about any product, service or offering. That is why I am repeating these key points below:

Before asking a technical question by e-mail, or in a newsgroup, or on a website chat board, do the following:

* Try to find an answer by searching the archives of the forum you plan to post to.

* Try to find an answer by searching the Web.

* Try to find an answer by reading the manual.

* Try to find an answer by reading a FAQ.

* Try to find an answer by inspection or experimentation.

* Try to find an answer by asking a skilled friend.

* If you’re a programmer, try to find an answer by reading the source code.

When you ask your question, display the fact that you have done these things first; this will help establish that you’re not being a lazy sponge and wasting people’s time. Better yet, display what you have learned from doing these things. We like answering questions for people who have demonstrated they can learn from the answers.

I have just re-read what I have written and I suspect it appears a little harsh to some but that is not my intent. I still welcome your Questions and you can be assured on an answer if your question is unique / not been asked before and the answer would benefit other readers.

Have you enjoyed this post? Do let me know in the comments below. I appreciate some of my recent posts have been quite technical – some less technical posts and new lists are coming soon.

I have some exciting plans for IncomeDiary that I will be announcing soon – a new design and even more information on what you need to know about Making Money Online.

To Our Success


PS: Here is a Quote by Goethe that inspired me this week:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!


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