Web Monetizing categories and tags

Introduction

This post is part of a content series about adding Web Monetization to WordPress sites. You might want to check out the previous posts if you’ve come straight here.

In the last post, we had a look at how to selectively Web Monetize different post types, how to create a custom post type and when this strategy might be useful. In this post, we’ll look at why and how you might want to add Web Monetization differentially based on the taxonomies on your WordPress site (categories and tags)

In future guides, we’ll look at Web Monetizing your content in other ways (e.g. by author or individual post) and even at using Web Monetization to selectively show/hide parts of individual pages. All are valid ways to split content and manage Web Monetization.

Because I like to also drop a little WordPress alpha along the way, in this tutorial we’ll also use a service called WordProof to timestamp your content.

Preparation

You’ll need to have completed the first tutorial and be logged into your WordPress site with administrator privileges.

We also need to think of a good example for why you might want to selectively Web Monetize your content:

  • You might be monetizing some content a different way
  • Some of your content might simply not be relevant to Web Monetize (for example, press releases)

Tutorial

This video walks you through the whole tutorial – there’s a written explanation below if you prefer following things that way.

A video to walk through using Categories to selectively Web Monetize WordPress posts
  1. First off, let’s create some categories. WordPress ships with the default of ‘Uncategorized’ which isn’t what we want. Here we’ll create two new categories:
    1. Press releases
    2. Content series
  2. We’ll Web Monetize the content series but not the press releases – again, I could have used a separate post type for ‘Content series’ but for the purposes of illustrating this functionality, this approach is also a valid approach.
  3. Tidy up the list of categories by going to Settings>Writing and changing the default category
  4. You can then return to the list of categories and delete ‘Uncategorized’ to keep things tidy
  5. Now we’ll create two basic example posts – a press release and a content series sample and assign them to the appropriate categories
  6. Now, we’ll go to the category edit screens and and selectively activate Web Monetization per our strategy
  7. And that should be that – we go to the front end and test that the settings work

Tags work in exactly the same way, giving you an alternative route to selective Web Monetization depending on how your content strategy and theme hang together. 

But I also promised a little bonus – using WordProof (disclaimer: I’m an advisor) to timestamp your content. Let’s have a look at that.

WordProofing your content

Timestamping is the modern equivalent of mailing yourself a copy of a manuscript – it allows you to prove that you wrote a piece of content on a particular date and time. It goes much further than that though, allowing people to certify that the content on the page they’re viewing is the same as that which was timestamped. This helps build trust with readers because they can be assured that no 3rd party has intercepted and changed the content of the page. Whilst it’s not likely that anyone will do that to this site, you can imagine that for more contentious and important topics, ensuring that trust is important.

This first video walks through how to install and activate WordProof.

Installing and activating WordProof to timestamp your WordPress content

After this, all the posts (or other content) you publish will be automatically timestamped (assuming you don’t change the default settings!)

Let’s have a look at that in action.

This video gives you an example of what a timestamped post looks like

The video shows that a published post has been automatically timestamped. When it’s viewed on the front end, a timestamp certificate is appended to the post. This certificate compares the current content with the timestamped content and also shows any changes over time. I find this last feature really compelling in an age where less reputable websites can arbitrarily amend stories with no recourse.

Conclusion

In this guide, you’ve learned how you can use the Coil Web Monetization plugin to differentially Web Monetize your content through categorisation. You can use the plugin with Custom Taxonomies (you can also use the CPT UI plugin we looked at in the last tutorial to create and manage these).

Hopefully you’ve also had a little bonus of learning about WordProof and understanding how timestamping your content can help build trust with your audience.

I’d love to hear your ideas or see what you’ve done so please do leave a comment or contact me!

In next week’s guide, we’ll look at using monetizing individual posts.

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