Monday, July 13, 2009

The Earnings Tracker is Published!

17of26 wrote a convenient Firefox plug-in to help people track their earnings. I tried it today, and it certainly saves me time on getting those figures into my spreadsheet. (To get them into the spreadsheet, though, requires an extra step or two - which I'll mention below.)

From the screen shots, it looks like this think keeps the info and compares it from day to day. This is also very cool, but it will take a few days to sort out how well it works for that.

For now I am just using it to grab all of the information from my Articles pages and then exporting it to a text doc, and then importing it to my existing spread sheet. Unlike regular tables (such as the articles pages themselves) I can't just copy and paste from the report. They seem to be delimited in a different way, but never fear, there is another plugin that get that data out of the page - it's called table tools. So, to do what I did, here's what you need:

First you need the latest version of Firefox. Version 3.5 is a big update, and if you use a lot of plugins, you may find some of them don't work with 3.5. If you love your plugins and they haven't been updated to work with 3.5 yet, then you may want to postpone trying out this plugin. For the rest of you, continue on....

After updating Firefox, you need to get your two plugins. From inside Firefox, all you need to do is go to the "Tools" menu and choose "Add ons". This will get you to a pop up menu that shows you the plugins you already have. At the top there is a button that says "Get Addons" which will take you to the Mozilla site, where you can search for and add whatever plugins you want. Search for "ehow earnings tracker" and then for "tabletools" (one word - tabletools not table tools). Then all you have to do is click the "add to firefox..." button. It will ask you to confirm you want to "install now" and when it's done, it will ask you if you want to restart or just continue browsing. Don't restart until you have downloaded both plugins.

Then, when you come back to eHow, you can just go to your articles page, and tell the earnings tracker to "update earnings" (this is in the "Tools Menu" also, but I believe you can right click to get the menu as well).

NOTE: The data will be much neater if you first click on the Date column to make it show Oldest to Newest. That way if yo do put it in a spreadsheet, the new titles will be added neatly at the bottom of the list, rather than push all the existing titles down a notch. (I don't know how it would react if you do it one way one day, and then the opposite way the next. I may try that tomorrow!)

When it's done gathering the data, it will show you a neat little table of your earnings and then another of your views. To get these into a format that Excell can read, your best bet is to then right click on the table. This will bring up a big menu which has the TableTools menu, but it doesn't label it as such. It calls it: "View Page info > Other Table Operations" The menu that pops up for that selection gives you a choice of "Copy As Tab-delimited Text".

This actually will give you text that can be pasted into Excell - complete with headers. (The first time I tried it, however, it wouldn't paste, so I pasted it into a text document, and then just copied the data without headers and it worked. I think, though, that was a fluke.)

I love these tools. Even if none of the other features work, this will save me SOOOOOO much time and still allow me to keep good data on what is working and what isn't for my articles.

Thank you, 17of26. (To everyone else, this addon is free - so please donate to 17of26 to show your appreciation for this great earnings tracker plugin!)

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