Category Archives: Review

Review: Contextual Partnership Plugin

The Contextual Partnership Plugin For WordPress Provides Free Advertising To Help Promote Your Blog & Get You Noticed…

If you’re looking for an effective solution to help get your blog noticed then the Contextual Partnership Plugin for WordPress bloggers could be well worth consideration. Perhaps the most attractive aspect is that there is no cost involved.

According to the developers the plugin is designed to;

    Drive more targeted visitors to your blog (or blogs) by strategically linking your blog to and from other bloggers participating in the network. The exact method used to achieve this remains confidential but apparently it’s not a basic reciprocal link exchange – nor the more common 3 way linking arrangement often seen between bloggers.

    Enhance the user experience for your blog visitors by providing them with links to other high quality blogs for further information on subjects of interest (and it can do this without you actually loosing the visitor which is a great feature).

    Indirectly increase your search engine rankings by building highly relevant incoming links to your blog for keyword terms you define, related to your own niche market.

Not a bad indirect benefit at all.

To better understand how the network works, first you need to know what a “contextual link” actually is. A contextual link is simply a link “within content” of a blog post and “within context” of specific keyword terms in that post. For example the term “dog training” found within a blog post becomes a link out to another blog (related to “dog training”) within the network. Contextual Links are found all over the internet – bloggers interlink their own pages contextually, there are paid advertising programs that allow you to place contextual advertising links and earn per click, and bloggers naturally link out to other websites they find useful “contextually” as well.

This is the key to the “Contextual Partnership”. When you install and setup the WordPress Plugin, you’re asked to provide the URL’s you wish to advertise on other partners blogs, and the keyword terms you want those blogs to use to link back to your own. When a match is found within the network for the keyword terms you provide (and assuming it meets with the Contextual Partnership’s strategic linking methodology), a link back to your blog is assigned, and your account has a credit removed.
The amount of credits your account holds appears to be directly related to the number of links you’re providing to other partners in the network for the keyword terms they themselves are looking to use to advertise. Apparently for every link you provide for another partner, you earn 1 credit. That 1 credit is then “cashed in” to assign a link back to your own blog from other partners whenever a match is found for your own keyword terms. So if you already have 100 posts in your blog, and each of those pages finds a match to provide a link to another partner, then technically you could receive 100 incoming links to your blog as soon as you’ve been approved to participate in the partnership. You also continually earn more points and incoming links as you continue to blog and add more posts just like you usually do.

That’s the basic overview and you’ll find more specific information on the plugin website including details of many features not mentioned here (like the ability to select specifically which blog posts you want to include – or nor include in the network)…

Uptake by the blogger community seems to have been extremely good and this new service looks to become very popular. In the first two weeks of launch the partnership already had over 54,000 individual places to place links throughout the network, and within the first 4 weeks over 10,000 advertising links had been allocated between network partners. This is most likely a result to how easy it is to actually setup the plugin and participate – it literally takes 5 minutes to install and setup – although approval can take anywhere from 24-72 hours depending on the moderation queue as only high quality blogs are accepted to participate to keep out the splogs and spammers.
This seems to be one of those services worth giving a shot for a few months, and by the looks of things the developers have some exciting new features in the pipeline to make things even more effective for partners in the future.

You can find out full details and download the plugin below…

Or alternatively you can download the plugin directly from WordPress…

Originally posted on August 7, 2009 @ 5:31 am

Host Monster Web Hosting

The Following Post is an Paid Informational from ReviewMe

One of the first things I do when searching out a new web host is to see how many negative pages the company has built up under “company name sucks” and so when I was contacted to talk about Host Monster, I instantly performed my normal search.

Dreamhost has 69,300 search results
Host Gator has 68,200 search results
Host Monster only has 53,700 search results (or more than 14,000 less negative results)

I have used these hosts, and have to admit that I am surprised that so many people have dedicated themselves to making such pages against web hosting companies. Most of the issues I read about Host Monster had to do with people violating TOS and being upset that Host Monster had to turn off their site in response.

I understand that this might frustrate some people, but I also believe that this is for the greater good, and most reviewers leave out whether they were contacted before hand or not, so any negative reviews are very bias in nature and must always be taken with a grain of salt. The best way to find out if a host will fit your needs or not is to try them out. While moving sites might be difficult to decide which ones are good or bad before testing it out, much like a car.

On more than a few sites I visited, Host Monster was reviewed well, usually within the top ten web hosts listed on review sites, leading me to believe that they do well, also, I found more than one review where the customer was elated with the level and quality of customer service and support they received, including being able to call in and talk to knowledgeable staff.

One of the things that stands out to me when I look at Host Monster is the fact that they only have one consumer level hosting plan that is basically for anyone and everyone. Their plan includes unlimited space and bandwidth, as well as being able to add an unlimited number of domains to your plan. Usually such things would raise red flags for me, but they also take extra steps like offering a 99.9% Network Uptime Guarantee, $25 in Free Yahoo Credits and $50 Free Google Credits. The credits are, I assume, to be used to advertise on the search engines different advertising networks to draw in traffic to your site, which is always a confidence booster in my mind. How many hosts invest in the success of their users?

My only wish with Host Monster would be a stronger understanding of limitations. If they don’t limit bandwidth, nor hard drive space, what is to stop bad people from taking advantage of a good hosting company?

If you have a small site, or a very large site, you should try out Host Monster, and see if it is the right web host for you. They give a 30 day money back guarantee, so you don’t have anything to loose in that respect.

The Preceding Post was a Paid Post, but the opinions are my own

Originally posted on March 2, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

WP Review Site Theme/Plugin Set Review

Customers looking for validation of their choice before making a purchase will turn to review sites. It’s a simple fact. You may have searched for and read through countless reviews outlining the pros and cons of – lets say that new laptop you’ve been lusting for – before making that big important buy. And the good news is, with WordPress and a little tweaking with WP Review Site, you can make any site of yours into a powerful review engine.

WP Review Site is one of those plugins that turns WordPress into something more powerful than it already is. Use WP Review Site to turn WordPress into a powerful review site engine. It allows you to easily create niche review sites about anything and everything you want, be it products, computers, gadgets, music, movies, services, websites, restaurants, hotels, credit cards or even beer.

WP Review Site combines has these features:

Add a star rating system to your comment forms – This enables visitors to your WP blog do more than just leave comments: they can write a review and rate it via mousing over star icons. You define the categories, and your visitors can rate between 1 to 5 stars. And WP Review Site is completely customizable to fit your blog’s design; you can display rankings as you see fit, whether you use tables or CSS.

And WP Review Site lets you sort reviews by weighted average rating: you can set it to display reviews by the highest/lowest-rated, and not in chronological order. You can even choose to not show the rating system in some parts of your site. WP Review Site even has various sidebar widgets for you to add a list of top rated items to your site’s sidebar, or a list of recent reviews with the average rating that user left.

And what makes WP Review Site even better for me is that it already comes with seven themes preconfigured to work with the plugin:

  • WP Review Site
  • WPRS: Aqua Featured
  • WPRS: Award Winning Hosts
  • WPRS: Bonus Black
  • WPRS: Double Silver
  • WPRS: Green Featured
  • WPRS: Ocean

And even better, WP Review Site has already got its own affiliate link management system that will let you configure your links easier. Instead of inserting the URL for the same anchor text over and over, you can set your review blog to automatically insert affiliate links.

What I don’t care for, however, is the fact that the customization features of WP Review Site is spread over two options pages. I’d like to have everything in one configuration page.

For $97 dollars, you’d get free upgrades for life along with all the features mentioned above.


  • WP Review Site does the work of many different plugins to make WordPress work as a powerful affiliate review site.
  • It comes with seven preconfigured themes
  • Affiliate link management system is powerful


  • Too many separate options pages
  • Switching themes would clear the sidebar of widgets

This review was written upon request by the creators of WP Review Site.

Originally posted on October 31, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

Mosso: Amazing Support and Outreach

So, I recently wrote a post on this blog complaining about the issue with Mosso hosting, and how frustrating it was, and within twenty-four hours of publishing that article, I was contacted by Mosso. They genuinely wanted to help me fix the problem I was having, despite the fact that I wasn’t the primary account holder.

Jeremy and Robert were both amazing at keeping e-mail communication open. Robert even took time out of his day to talk to me over the phone in hopes of resolving this all as quickly as possible.

Robert was both knowledgeable and funny. I could hear him trying to do everything he could to figure out how he could optimize the site on his end so that I would have a better experience.

Even better, he explained some of the basic elements of their architecture, as well as opening up with minor issues that they had been experiencing, which showed to me that he was well-informed, and that they were attempting to not only be proactive, but not fall into the PEBKAC experience that I have received from other hosting companies. You know the ones, where you call in and it is all your fault. “Why did you install WordPress? Are you using plugins? Did you edit a file? Must be your fault!” I hate those types of hosting companies, and I have to admit, I was very defensive in e-mail communication because I didn’t want them to treat me with the same type of handholding that some of their customers might need.

I don’t think I can communicate in writing how absolutely impressed I am with Mosso right now. Their immediate communication with me, their brand awareness online, and their constant assistance in trying to quickly and easily resolve this problem for me immediately turns around any negative feelings I had about them, and makes me ten times more likely to recommend them in the future.

+1 to Mosso

Originally posted on August 14, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

Podcasters Across Borders: Bad Conference Experience

So I recently went to PAB2008, better known as Podcasters Across Borders, and my experience was less than stellar.

The sessions I went to didn’t teach me anything new, and the whole conference seemed centered around the emotional side of podcasting rather than the business or technical side of podcasting. I think an equal mix of these three important facets should have been included.

I also felt like the conference was really geared towards a group of people that all know each other with newcomers feeling like outsiders.

Try as I did to get noticed, and use my connections with the few people I knew to meet more people, I felt getting inside the circle was a fight, rather than being a welcome addition.

The biggest issue is that the conference doesn’t pull in the outside world. Most of the sessions that did try to teach something seemed to be geared towards people just starting out, and there weren’t many people that fit that description. It was a weird event to be certain.

I do have to give a shout out to Tim Coyne and Dave Brodbeck for their sessions. While I didn’t learn anything new about podcasting from either of them, I think that they would be great at inspiring people to get into podcasting. After listening to them, and feeling their passion for the medium and its diversity, I wanted to record a podcast, right then!

I think that the Friday afternoon would be better spent with a Podcasters 101 style line-up which could hopefully bring in a larger group of people and get them interested in podcasting, or for those that are interested, help them understand how it all comes together. These conferences should be about expanding the community and teaching, not giving an update about what we did in the last year so we can get our pats on the back.

I was very sad to see that there were no sessions that covered tricks and tips to editing a good podcast from a technical side. What software should I be using? Should I put audio between topics to break things up or not? What is a good mic, and does anyone have tricks to make it sound even better? Where should I be hosting my podcast files? What’s the best way to make show notes? Where is Digg just for podcasters? There were so many very important things that weren’t brought up, and maybe because those in attendance already knew it all, but not covering the how’s and why’s made me not want to attend again next year.

I was also annoyed at how monetization was seen as a negative thing with the mention of it bringing on a massive wave of sighs and groans from the audience.

If it wasn’t for proper monetization, I wouldn’t have had the great jobs I have been able to have over the last three years. I really didn’t understand their apprehension, and I think they are all doing themselves a great disservice by not finding a way to build a business around their passion.

It was really great to see Bill Deys, John Wiseman, Chris Brogan, and Jeff Parks because otherwise the conference would have been a waste for me. Get it together Podcasters Across Borders as being an echo chamber is no way to build a community. What I experienced was a Podcasting Club, not a Podcasting Conference.

Originally posted on June 25, 2008 @ 11:14 am