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Pixel2life.com User Guide and General Help
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Posted on October 5th, 2009
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General Website Development

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This final chapter will cover all the miscellaneous tweaks, tips and rules for using the P2L Publishing System and help you get the most out of publishing your tutorials with us. We''ll also cover the Publish and approval process and why tutorials are declined and what that means.

About the Author

There are several options you can edit to customize the look of your "About the Author" section, which is located at the bottom of every page of every tutorial you publish. This area is designed to tell readers a little bit about the author of the tutorial and it''s a great way to promote your website or blog. "About the Author" contains the following customizable options:

  • Personal description about who you are.
  • Website or Blog URL
  • Personal Avatar Image

The last button on the main Publishing System menu is the "Publishing Settings" option, which you can click to access your user settings and edit your "About the Author" description.

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Type in your personal description as desired and once you are satisfied with your description, click the save button to apply your changes.

The second option we can set is the URL displayed under your name, which is a great way to advertise your site, blog or product.

Please note that advertising URLs that are not relevant to the tutorial itself within the content areas is not permitted and will result in your tutorial being refused. Please use the "About the Author" area to advertise your website.

To set the displayed URL, click on "Publishing Settings" button and open your personal settings area. You will find a menu with several categories of settngs you can change. Under the Forum Settings category, click the "Profile Information" option. Scroll down to the "Website URL" field and input the full URL you want to display in your author info area.

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Once you''ve entered the desired URL, click the save button at the bottom of the page to apply your settings. The next item you can change is your personal avatar image, which is also changed from your settings menu by clicking on the "Display Avatar" option under the Forum Settings category. Use the form to upload an avatar directly from your PC.

Please note that avatar images can be no larger than 80 x 80 pixels with a filesize no larger than 10kb and can only be .JPG or .GIF format.

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Click the save button to apply your changes and your author information is complete! Once your description, website URL and avatar image are set, your "About the Author" section will look something like this:

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You will also notice that there is a credit donation box to the right of the author information area. This is a special donation box found on every tutorial that can be used by any user with credits in their account to show their appreciation for a tutorial by sending 5 thank you credits to the author. Don''t be afraid to say thank you for good content, the favor my come back to you when you start to write tutorials!

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You may also notice that some publishers are tagged with a "Premium Publisher" logo under their tutorials. Premium Publisher status is awarded to users by P2L staff that have a proven track record of publishing good quality content on a consistent basis. When a publisher is given Premium Publisher status, all Publishing related credits awarded for publishing a tutorial and for traffic to that tutorial are doubled!

Publishing a Tutorial and the Approval Process

Once your tutorial has been written and all your content is ready to go, it''s time to save your tutorial one final time and then press the "Publish" button from the Start tab in the writing area. This will finalize your tutorial and send it to the approval queue. When you tutorial is published and submitted to the approval queue, your tutorial is basically being approved for two functions:

  1. Inclusion to the P2L Tutorial Index
  2. Inclusion to the Published Tutorial Index

Let''s define the difference between these two areas as this will help you understand the approval process and where your tutorial will be found.

The P2L Tutorial Index is the core database of the site. The Index is the main directory of every tutorial submitted to Pixel2life, and this includes both tutorials submitted by webmasters AND tutorials published in the P2L Publishing System. Tutorials that are approved for inclusion to the main index are the tutorials you see on the main page and then become part of our huge tutorial archive that can be searched by users via the search box or browsing by tutorial category.

The Published Index is the public listing of tutorials available from the Publishing System main page as well as by browsing the Publishing Categories. When you visit the main Publishing System page, the tutorials you see listed are published tutorials only.

It is possible that a tutorial is accepted as a published tutorial, but not included in the main index. As long as a published tutorial is properly formatted, it will be accepted as a published tutorial and will be included in our published tutorial database. However, our acceptance criteria for the main P2L index is a bit more strict, and your tutorial must meet certain criteria to be included.

So when you publish a tutorial, it is automatically queued for review by our staff. Once your tutorial is reviewed, there are four possible actions that can be taken:

  1. Tutorial is approved and added to the main P2L Index and listed as a published tutorial.
  2. Tutorial is not approved and is set back to draft because it needs changes. Once the changes are done, the user can re-publish and submit the tutorial again. When this option is chosen, the user will receive a message with the specific reason as to why their tutorial has been set back to draft so the appropriate action can be taken.
  3. Tutorial has been declined for inclusion in to the P2L Tutorial Index but has been approved for Publishing. This means that the tutorial has been declined to be listed in our main Index, but is still approved for publishing and will be listed in the Publishing Area and Publishing Categories and can be accessed by users of the site. If this occurs, the user will receive a message with the reason as to why the tutorial as not accepted to the main index.
  4. The tutorial is actually spam of some kind is deleted without warning.

Here is a list of the most common reasons why a tutorial is set back to draft and requires some formatting improvements before it can be processed for approval:

  • Tutorial contains outbound links to images and content that should be attached directly to the tutorial. Please do not link to images, videos or attachments, please upload them using the publishing tools made available to you and embed them directly in to the content. Tutorials that rely on third party hosting for critical elements can not be published.
  • Tutorial contains advertising links. Please do not use the content area to advertise other websites or your own website or other products. If you wish to share your website or other link that is associated to you as the publisher, please add the link to your publisher profile and it will be displayed at the bottom of all your tutorials in the author information area.
  • This tutorial contains links to products you must pay for other than the software used in this category. Please do not use our publishing system to sell or advertise products unless they are necessary for your tutorial and are freeware or open source.
  • Your tutorial is not properly formatted. Please ensure that source code is always wrapped in a code box and that images are embedded within your tutorial and not linked. If you do not know how to wrap code in a code box or embed images, please refer to the "Using the Tutorial Editor" section of the P2L Help Guide.
  • Your tutorial contains innapropriate images or language for our general audience. Please remove any swearing or images that may be a little too racey for children.

It is very important that you do NOT use the publishing system to post links to tutorials outside of the site. The publishing system is meant for hosting your tutorials, not to post links. If your tutorial is hosted on another site, please use the regular submission process to submit tutorials, not the publishing system!

Always ensure that ALL images, videos and attachments are uploaded via the Publishing System and embedded directly in to the content of the tutorial. Do not link to images or other media that is not contained with the publishing invironment. We do not want your tutorial be lost should a third party host go down or be removed. Your tutorial should not have users browsing away from pixel2life.com.

Here are the most common reasons why option 3 may occur, which is when a tutorial is declined to be included to the main index but is approved to be a listed published tutorial:

  • The tutorial was declined for inclusion because it is a repeated topic that has already been submitted numerous times and we try to limit the amount of duplicate tutorials.
  • Your tutorial was declined because it was too basic for the target audience and is likely a skill already acquired by people using this site.

When writing a new tutorial, be sure to search the main index to see if multiple versions of your topic idea already exist. 99% of the tutorials we decline for inclusion to our main database are either repeat topics or concepts, or they are simply too basic. We actually maintain a full list of the most common types of tutorials that we do not accept to our database. You can find this list at the end of the "Submitting Tutorials" chapter of this guide.

Earning Credits by Publishing Tutorials

When a published tutorial is accepted to our P2L Main Index, the author is awarded credits for submitting the content to us. Please note that only tutorials accepted to the main index are awarded credits, however ALL published tutorials receive credits for every 1000 unique views each tutorial receives.

Traffic credits are based on increments of 1000 unique views per tutorial, it is not based on flat views overall. As an example, if you have 2 published tutorials and each have 500 views, this does not qualify for credits. Each tutorial must receive 1000 views each to earn the credits. Each increment of 1000 will receive credits, so new credits are won as the tutorial hits 1000, 2000, 3000 etc.

There are many ways for you to promote your published tutorials to earn a TON of credits, which you can put towards advertising on our site or grabbing credit prizes and more! If you are willing to help spread the word about our site and promote your published tutorials, you can earn quite a bit. Here are some great ways you can promote your tutorials to bring in more traffic:

  • Use social bookmarking sites to submit your tutorial links and share your work! Sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, and Technorati are all fantastic tools to share your tutorials and bring in a lot of traffic. Good quality tutorials are often extremely popular.
  • Submit your site to other tutorial portals! Pixel2life.com is one of the biggest tutorial index portals on the web catering to designers, webmasters and programmers but there are many more out there. Submit your tutorials to as many as you can for massive traffic!
  • Use social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to promote your work.
  • Don''t be afraid to show off your work on other forums and blogs. You will find many people are happy to see your link to a good tutorial when it''s relevant to their forum or thread. One of the best ways to get traffic AND good tutorial ideas is to check out help sections on forums and look for a problem someone is having that you could solve. Write up your tutorial and post the link for the user and you''re a hero for week!
  • School papers, newsletters and other materials are also great for drawing traffic to your tutorials. P2L is quite popular in many schools and our site is often give as resource for students by teachers.

Did you know that sharing your link with social bookmarking sites is as easy as 1 click? Once your tutorial is listed on the site, you can just click the share icon under the tutorial title and this will open the share interface, allowing you to share your link with Digg, BlinkList, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, reedit, Technorati, Windows Live and Furl.

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Common Publishing Issues and Errors

There is definitely a few errors that we see commonly in the Publishing System, so we hope this documentation helps clear up any questions or confusion you may have using this feature of the site. Below is a list of some of the most common problems we see that you can avoid:

  • Always wrap source code snippets in a code box, do not just leave them as open text in the content area. This won''t cause any problems with the tutorial itself, it''s simply confusing for readers when code is not wrapped in the expected code box.
  • Always embed images in to your tutorials, do not link to them.
  • Do not link to external content like images, videos or other attachments. Use the tools in publishing to upload everything right in to your tutorial so we don''t have to rely on third parties for your tutorials to work.
  • Do not use the content area of the tutorial to advertise your site... put that in the author information in the URL field.
  • Do not use the Publishing System to promote third party applications, they will be deleted. We encounter a lot of spam with people trying to promote Flash related converters and other applications. The only acceptable programs you can link to or reference are freeware or open source based applications needed to complete your tutorial.
  • Always preview your tutorial before you publish and be sure that your text and images are all formatted properly and look decent. A well written, attractive tutorial will always be well received and earn you much more credits than something thrown together in a few minutes. Users know when something has been put together with a lot of effort.

Should you have any additional questions, concerns or issues with the Publishing System, please don''t hesitate to contact us!

 

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