Crying Kid

Why Clicking On Facebook Spam Links Can Land You In Hot Water





Criminals are everywhere, even on Facebook. I’m usually not the type of person to engage in fear-mongering, but I think we can all agree this statement is rather obvious. Nearly every day I see Facebook spam links and even dodgy advertisements showing up in my newsfeed.

More recently, I spotted an advertisement claiming to be from Mt Gox, a bitcoin money exchange, offering free bitcoins to people who click on the ad and then logged into the website.

Of course, this Facebook scam was a complete fraud. Anyone who entered their login details was simply giving the scammer easy access to their real Mt Gox account where the criminal could send money to themselves.

A similar scam is perpetrated for the big banks too, where the criminal will try to steal you bank login details. The website looks almost exactly the same, but the real give-away is the URL website address. It might be similar to your banks, but not exactly the same.

It’s very important to be aware of such Facebook scams and never blindly trust links and ads you find on social networks.

Facebook Spam Detection Is Not Perfect

Facebook spam

Source: Flickr

Despite the hard work and efforts by Facebook to minimize spam, through the use of algorithms, advertising on the other hand is given more leniency. It’s only when a user reports the ad that a Facebook team-member may look at it to determine whether it’s a scam or legitimate.

“Protecting the people who use Facebook is a top priority for us, and we have developed a number of automated systems to identify potentially harmful links and stop them from spreading. Those systems quickly spotted these links.”Facebook

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Facebook spam continues to represent a lucrative opportunity to scammers who post links on Facebook pages. The links are sometimes shared by your own friends who have fallen for the trick.

These types of Facebook spam links direct users to third-party scam sites which have little more than advertising or simply trick you into re-sharing the same link to your friends.

A common example of these sites entices victims with a link to a video with a catchy title like “Oh my god, did she really do this?!”.

When you click through to watch, you’re presented with what looks like a video and a ‘play’ button surrounded by advertising. When you click on the ‘play’ button, it’s actually a clever hack that posts the website link on your Facebook wall.

Where is the scammer’s benefit, you may ask? Well, it’s the advertising.

Scammers are earning about $200 million per year for these kind of tricks and Google is indirectly benefiting. An estimated 10% of the spam pages use Google AdSense to deliver the advertising, essentially giving Google a cut of the scammer’s efforts.

Facebook Scams Encourage Malicious Downloads

A similar scam pulled in August 2013 affected over 800,000 Facebook users. The post looks like a video sent by a friend and when clicked on, takes you to a website that says you need to download a plug-in to watch the video.

Don’t do it! Never download unknown software or browser extensions.

The download gives the scammers access to ALL your saved browser passwords, often including Gmail, Facebook and Twitter, etc.

A scammer can then use your other social media accounts to spread the Facebook spam links even further, roping in your friends. Not to mention all the other kind of damage they could do with your personal details.

These spam links spread quickly, with 40,000 new cases detected per hour.

As scammers grow more sophisticated in gathering user’s personal information, it’s very important to presume that anything sent to you may be spam, even coming from your friends (their account may have been hacked).

Have you ever fallen for Facebook spam links?

Tags:  facebook scamsfacebook spamphishing

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Top 10 Special Ways Entrepreneurs Stay Happy And Focused

Entrepreneurs love throwing around buzz words like monetization, scalability and the Long Tail. Entrepreneurs who dream big tend not to think in the short-term, but rather want to build 100 year companies.

To build a company that will last several generations, entrepreneurs will focus on doing what’s best for the customer and working from the heart.

To build a long lasting company, entrepreneurs absolutely need to be happy doing what they’re doing. Becoming successful, powerful or wealthy might be milestones along the journey, but it’s not a goal in itself.

The goal for most entrepreneurs is personal happiness, fulfillment and providing for their family. So how do you achieve happiness as an entrepreneur

1. Surround Yourself With Positive People

While you don’t need to surround yourself entirely by “yes men” who will just agree with every you say, a mentor or people that inspire you to work hard and make you feel part of a team can be very beneficial.

When you first meet someone, like prospective employees, try to imagine being stuck in an elevator with that person for two or three hours. Would it be awkward? Interesting? Fun?

Try to hire and surround yourself with people you will be happy to see when you walk into the office each morning.

2. Avoid Negative People Who Make You Unhappy

You know the type of people. It’s either an associate or friend who’s always negative, complaining and try to bring your down. They might be an employee who’s turned out to be hiring mistake.

Be honest and true to yourself. Get rid of under-performing employees or those who don’t fit into your office culture. You will feel a great sense of relief once you do.

3. Create A 10 And 30 Year Plan

While making a plan for the next 12-24 months is just good business practice, looking far into the future can also be helpful to set your business on the right track.

It is difficult to get specific about goals you want to achieve in 10 years time, but setting a rough guide down on paper should allow you to fill in the intervening years with necessary steps to get there.

Creating a 30 year plan may involve your family, say training your children to run the business. What would have to change? What would be the state of the world or your industry? It’s not easy to get a clear picture, but it’s a good exercise to consider it, none-the-less.

4. Inspire Yourself

Entrepreneurs are often an inspiration to other, but those that do the inspiring also need to be inspired themselves.

Entrepreneurs can fuel their creativity and future-thinking by reading books, watching documentaries or reading quotes from other entrepreneurs.

Here at Inscribd, we have a dedicated section for Inspiration filled with quotes and stories on successful businesses.

5. Don’t Let Other Peoples Expectations Set Your Goals

Set your own agenda and stick with it. An an entrepreneurs, you’ll have many people relying on you to do a good job, and their vested interest could give you the impression that they have significant sway in your decision-making process.

While this sometimes may be the case for your spouse or investors, your employees are there to help fulfill your goals, not attend to their own agenda. Friends and associates don’t set your goals either and shouldn’t be a factor in your choices.

Build your company the way you see fit. Make it unique by putting your personal stamp on it. That uniqueness will make or break your company. Don’t go against your own beliefs and try to be like other people.

6. Just Say No

Entrepreneurs are always busy. There is not enough time in the day to get everything done.

If you are always saying “yes” to every demand or request, you could get burned out very quickly.

Customers and friends will ask you for favors and your time. Remember, unless you are running a charity, your time should be compensated. Favors that run outside of the scope of your business also should be flatly rejected.

Your time will be much better served focusing on your company.

7. Take A Break Every-So-Often

When I first started my business, I worked every day of the week, non-stop for years without a holiday. Most entrepreneurs I know are in the same boat.

Even when we aren’t at work, we still think about work.

But that can be a good thing too. Thinking about the big picture while on holiday or taking a weekend off can re-invigorate your passions and creativity.

When you return, you’ll have more energy, a clear focus and no excuses to slack off.

One of the few upsides of being an entrepreneur is that you can schedule your own calendar, so take advantage of that.

8. Fly By The Seat Of Your Pants

Some days can feel like total chaos with issues hitting you squarely in the face unexpectantly.

Occasionally, those type of days will make you feel a bit helpless, but know that you’ll get through it. You always do.

Even when events are totally out of your hands, it’s time to step up and manage the expectations of your customers and employees. Re-assure them that you’re taking care of it and the chaos will pass.

9. Don’t Try To Be Perfect

“90% of success is just showing up.”Woody Allen

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“Done is better than perfect.”Facebook

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Nobody and no company is perfect. Striving for perfection is lofty goal that’s rarely achieved. Perfection in who’s eyes? Yours, your customer, your employees?

Getting that last 10% of perfection can take triple as much effort as the first 90%. By the time you finish, your competitors may have already passed you by.

10. Know When To Quit

Knowing when to quit can be one of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur. One of the qualities of successful people is knowing when to be persistent too.

The best thing you can do is ask for advice, test the market, ask your customer what could be improved about your service.

If enough people are saying the same things – things you are not willing to fix – it could be time to consider looking down a new path.

Your willingness to continue with your business, and your passion to do what you do best, is what drives your business along, and ultimately will make you happy.

As an entrepreneur, making a fresh start with the knowledge you’ve learned from past ventures can be a stepping stone to future success.

Being an entrepreneur can be massively beneficial for your personal finances and personal happiness. It can also be frustrating, demanding, and all-consuming.

Finding a work-life balance is the key to being a happy entrepreneur.

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Tags:  EntrepreneursEntrepreneurship

Marissa Mayer Fortune

How A Shy Marissa Mayer Rose To Become Yahoo CEO

There is no one else in the world quite like Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo.

At just 38 years old, she became a mother and the CEO of a 30 billion dollar company around the same time. She is a wife, a mother, an engineer, and perhaps a superwoman. How did she get there? She’d tell you, it’s taken a lifetime of work.

She’s succeeded in an industry dominated by men and where corporations are expected to line shareholders pockets before considering anything else. Yet, she is obsessed with putting the customer experience first.

Mayer calls herself a geek. A geek worth somewhere north of $US300 million. She’s been known for being socially awkward and showing an air of arrogance towards her peers.

“Marissa makes the decisions she feels are right, and history proves that she probably calls it right.”Google co-founder, Sergey Brin

Marissa Mayer’s Childhood

As a kid, Mayer’s classmates did not know what to make of her. Mayer says she was painfully shy. She took piano lessons, played volleyball and basketball, went to swimming and skiing lessons. She took ballet for dozens of hours each week while at middle school and high school.

Her mother says ballet taught her criticism and discipline, poise and confidence.

Her dedication to studying paid off in 1993 when she applied to, and was accepted into, 10 schools, including Harvard, Yale, Duke, and Northwestern. She picked Stanford.

She says she wanted to find a major that would train her to “think critically, and become a great problem-solver.” She wanted to “study how people think, how they reason, how they express themselves.”

“Geeks are people who love something so much that all the details matter.”Marissa Mayer

Mayer opted for symbolic systems — a combination of disciplines including linguistics, philosophy, cognitive psychology, and computer science classes, and graduated with a master’s degree in computer science, with a speciality in artificial intelligence.

Fellow classmate Josh Elman, said about Marissa,

“It felt like she was the smartest student in the room — and the most serious. You always knew those two things about her. Very smart. Very serious.”

Marissa Mayer Joins Google

Marissa Mayer’s first job after graduating was to join Google as a programmer and rose to become the executive in charge of designing its homepage, creating its product management structure. She quickly became the face of the company.

During her first two years at Google, she worked 100 hours a week as a programmer, sleeping just four hours a night.

“I have a theory that burnout is about resentment. And you beat it by knowing what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.”Marissa Mayer

She became a senior vice president, with thousands of Google employees reporting to her and hundreds of millions of people around the world using products she helped build. The job made her worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Marissa’s self-described shyness does not show when she is in front of a crowd. Here, she talks at Stanford during her days at Google.

People at Google credit her with the success of not just Google search, but also many other products including Gmail, Google Maps, and Google News.

Widely admired by the public at large, Mayer has many enemies within her industry. They say she is robotic, stuck up, and absurd in her obsession with detail. They say her obsession with the user experience masks a disdain for the money-making side of the technology industry.

But after 13 years at Google, she was surprised to find herself contemplating leaving Google.

Marissa Mayer Joins Yahoo

During her interview with the Yahoo board for the CEO role, she described her long familiarity with Yahoo and its products.

She described how Yahoo products would evolve over time under her watch.

Her presentation included an extraordinary amount of detail on Yahoo’s search business, audience analytics, and data. She talked about fixing Yahoo’s culture with more transparency, perks, and accountability.

She named her perceived weaknesses, and explained how she planned to address them — including by hiring people who had the skills she didn’t have.

Yahoo’s websites were getting fewer and fewer visitors every year. Meanwhile, Yahoo’s mobile apps were being largely ignored. For years, Yahoo’s most talented executives and engineers had been quitting the company to join faster-moving rivals like Facebook and Google.

The Yahoo board had to ask themselves the biggest question of all: Can Marissa she save Yahoo?

The board unanimously voted to name Marissa Mayer the new CEO of Yahoo in 2012.

When the board called Mayer to offer her the job, she did not accept it right away. First she had some news to share.

She was five months pregnant. The board didn’t flinch. She got the job.

On Sept. 30, 2012 Mayer gave birth to a baby boy, Macallister.

Marissa Mayer’s Motherhood Controversy

Mayer may be a role model for millions of women but resists calling herself a feminist. She even infuriated working mothers across the world when she banned Yahoo employees from working from home, and separately, in an interview for Fortune Magazine said “The baby’s been way easier than everyone made it out to be”.

The controversy around the comments come in light of the fact that she took just a two-week maternity leave. Thanks to her incredible wealth and power at Yahoo, she had a lot of help with Macallister.

At home, she had a full-time staff. At Yahoo, she knocked down a wall in her office and set up a nursery so that Macallister — and his nanny — could come to the office with her every day.

Mayer wasn’t at Yahoo to socialize. In one early meeting Mayer said that Yahoo was going to fail — shut down — in the next few years if it did not get things going soon. She told a top product executive that Yahoo lagged in innovation and talent, and that its culture was broken.

A year after Mayer took over Yahoo, the company’s stock price was up 100 per cent.

Peers from every stage of her life — from her early childhood days to her first year at Yahoo — say Mayer is a shy, socially awkward person.

Most press photos of Mayer today show her on a stage, speaking with an interviewer in front of a large crowd or a TV audience. She’s usually wearing a designer dress — probably from her favorite designer, Oscar De La Renta — and looking strong, confident, and in charge of the moment.

Her husband, Zachary Bogue says about their marriage,

“We continue to do work in the evening. There’s never a distinct line between work and home. Marissa’s work is such a natural extension of her. It’s not something she needs to shed at the end of the day.”

In one of her first big moves as new CEO, Marissa was pivotal in taking a hands-on approach to acquiring the youthful social network Tumblr in a move to widen Yahoo’s user demographic and save the company from it’s death-spiral.

Read more at High School Drop Out Demands Yahoo Give Him $1 Billion For Tumblr.

Secure Email

Why Secure Email Is A Myth Worth Busting With A Sledgehammer

Email is the “killer app” that took over the world to become one of the most ubiquitous forms of digital communication, and after two decades it’s become abundantly clear that secure email is something of a myth.

Email is everywhere – in phones, tablets, every computer and gaming devices, some fridges, cars, doorbells – you name it.

If you’re on the Internet, you have an email address (most likely several).

Private Email – Is There Such A Thing?

Most of us have setup one or two free email accounts with big USA corporations such as Outlook/Hotmail from Microsoft, Yahoo Mail or Gmail from Google.

But if you ever thought your email was private, the joke’s on you. Seriously.

“Google’s policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”Eric Schmidt, Google

Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director, John Simpson said,

“People should take them at their word; if you care about your email correspondents’ privacy, don’t use Gmail.”

Does Google cross the ‘creepy line’ and read “private” emails? That’s your call. But don’t go admitting to illegal activity through Gmail – or any email (oh, actually, don’t *do* any illegal activity).

But Google is not saying that its staff are free to read your emails. Rather, emails pass through its systems as part of the normal process of delivering them. Most email providers do this anyway as a way of identifying spam emails and put them in a junk folder. Google just adds a few extra reasons, such as displaying targeted advertising.

Email was not designed with any privacy or security in mind from the start.

US government agencies have taken full advantage of email’s lax security through NSA programs, such as PRISM and XKeyscore.

Even self-described secure email services like Lavabit (reportedly used by NSA leaker Edward Snowden) and Silent Circle have shut down in the wake of the US government surveillance programs citing the now-known fact that they cannot promise secure email.

My Personal Domain’s Email Is Secure, Right?

Your webhost and your personal computer may very well be secure and free from spying. But the moment your email leaves your computer or your webhost’s servers, it will travel through parts of the Internet that are not secure or out of reach from NSA spying programs.

Additionally, just because your own email servers may be secure, that doesn’t mean the recipient’s servers are too. If you are sending an email to any US company or one that has servers in the US, your email would likely be scooped up.

From a technical point of view, it’s not just the servers themselves that can be compromised and spied on. The structure of networks means each direction of communication involves a series of routers and switches owned and operated by different companies. If one connection is secure, there’s no guaranteeing any other connection in the sequence is secure.

NSA’s PRISM surveillance program indicates that the spying takes place at these interim network points.

How To Secure Email

The first step the average Internet user should take to secure email is to use a strong password.

Read How To Create An Unhackable Password You’ll Remember.

The next best method to secure communications is to encrypt them. This means scrambling the data with complex mathematical transformations.

Instead of sending plain text anyone can read, your encrypted message is scrambled. The intended recipient has a ‘key’ that is used to unlock the encryption and convert it back into readable text.

The question then, is how do you get your key to the recipient securely. You can’t just email it in plain text, because then anyone (ie NSA) can scoop up the key and decrypt all of your messages.

The only really safe way to exchange public keys is face-to-face so you can see the conundrum. The reality is that, unless you are at a James Bond level of paranoia, email encryption is not a practical solution for secure email.

Even if you were to encrypt all your emails, it’s only the message contents and attachments that are scrambled. The header information is not, which includes your address, the recipient’s address, subject, date, and other identifying information. This so-called metadata is also scooped by by NSA surveillance.

The best way to secure email is to use end-to-end SSL encryption, but even then, once the email reaches it’s destination, you don’t know the ‘true’ security of their servers.

To Worry Or Not To Worry

Secure email? Ha! No such thing, it seems. Email has never been secure, and it looks like we’re a far way off from getting there.

Those who argue “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about” may not care about their own privacy or anyone else’s.

Should personal privacy be a fundamental human right? I certainly think so.

Pinterest Inscribd

Why You Should Add The Pinterest Pin It Button To Boost Ecommerce Sales

Adding the Pinterest pin it button to your website or e-commerce store could give your site and products great exposure to customers who otherwise would not know you exist.

Pinterest started out in March 2010 as a social network for people to pin images they like or to create “wish-list” boards.

It didn’t take long for affiliate marketers to jump on Pinterest and start pinning images of products they sold or promoted, along with a link back to the original source.

Initially, this was done as an exercise in Search Engine Optimization, but many pins started to actually generate sales. And so the Pinterest gold rush began.

Check out Inscribd’s Pinterest board

Pinterest Rich Pins

Pinterest now allows businesses to promote themselves and their products using “rich pins“.

You can post detailed information about an item and link directly to your e-commerce store product, together with purchase information and price.

pinterest rich pins

Signing up for a Pinterest business account is free. Business accounts and personal accounts have access to the same features but a business account will have access to future products and services, analytics and more powerful ways of reaching and understanding your audience on Pinterest.

“To get started, you’ll need to prep your website with meta tags, test out your rich pins and apply to get them on Pinterest. If you’re not technical, you might want to ask your developer or site owner to help get you going!”Pinterest

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Tynt With The Pinterest Pin It Button

You don’t even need a business account to use Pinterest for your e-commerce store and there are other tools available that make it easy to allow users to share your images on Pinterest.

If you haven’t heard of Tynt, it’s a publisher tool that adds functionality to all images on your site, so that when a visitor hovers their mouse over an image, a little Pinterest pin it button pops up!

This image is a screenshot of the Tynt publisher settings. Hover your mouse over this image to see the Pinterest pin it button in the lower right hand corner.

pinterest pin it button

This makes it very easy to add Pinterest functionality to your e-commerce store images by just installing the Tynt javascript.

Tynt doesn’t just do Pinterest sharing. There’s also sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Additionally, When a visitor copies a chunk of text (like your product description) or your website URL and pastes it into, for example, an email, Tynt adds additional text to the copy so that the visitor knows where it was copied from.

Pinterest Pin It Button Statistics Are Very Healthy

If your e-commerce store is geared towards women, Pinterest should be a strong focus of your marketing.

According to recent statistics,

“80% of Pinterest users are women who spend an average of 16 minutes per session on the social network.”

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“21% of Pinterest users had bought an item in an actual store after pinning, repining or liking the item on Pinterest.”

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Check out more Pinterest statistics:

pinterest pin

To get started, this video runs through some of the basics of Pinterest:

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Tags:  pinterest pin it buttonpinterest pinningpinterest pins

Sell Advertising

How To Sell Advertising Space On Your Blog Effectively

Selling advertising space and earning a dollar from blogging is the stuff dreams are made of but learning how to sell advertising space effectively can be a hurdle for many bloggers.

If you’re just getting started in the world of blogging, I suggest reading The Beginners Guide To Blogging which goes through the basics.

When thinking about how to sell advertising on your blog, give some thought to the advertiser.

While you may start out using Google AdSense where most advertisers are faceless businesses that have no clue you exist, this will not always be the case.

If you are serious about making money through blogging, AdSense and those faceless businesses will become far less prominent on your blog. Instead of faceless advertisers, you will attract advertising CUSTOMERS.

That’s right. Think of advertisers as your customer. You need to service their needs, and if you don’t, they’ll take their money elsewhere.

Google AdSense is a stepping stone, or a rite of passage, that all blogger have the privilege of enduring. AdSense should be utilized as a testing ground for your blog layout in order to maximize advertising click-through rates.

how to sell advertising

Advertisement Positioning and Blog Templates

Choosing the right blog template is critical for so many reasons, as discussed in Why Responsive Web Design Is The Hot Trend Right Now and Premium WordPress Themes Vs Free WordPress Themes.

Your blog template should have enough free space to sell advertising.

The 3 most common advertising banner/button size requirements are:

  • 728 width x 90 height,
  • 300 width x 250 height,
  • 125 width x 125 height.

Give your advertising pride of place on your blog above the content. This gives your advertisers the greatest exposure and higher chance of ads getting clicks.

Make sure your template allows for ad positions “above the fold”. If a visitor has to scroll down the page to see advertising, that content is “below the fold” and tends to be worth less money to advertisers and generates fewer clicks.

Advertising Plugins

Most bloggers use WordPress to manage their content and there are many great plugins available for all sorts of things. Advertising is certainly no exception.

We use AdRotate which is easy to use from the WordPress admin dashboard and comes packed full of features like scheduling, widget configuration and advanced positioning.

After trying out a few other plugins that were lacking features or buggy, AdRotate does a great job and allows for any type of advertising, whether it’s AdSense code, banner or button images or just simple links.

Having the ability to schedule advertising means you can put up affiliate marketing offers that are only valid for a limited time. The schedule will start and stop displaying the ad between the fixed period of time you set.

Rotating advertising (changing the ad) within the same website position also benefits your readers so they don’t have to see the same advertising for extended periods of time. Rotation also can give multiple advertisers greater exposure above the fold when advertising space is limited.

google adsense

Source: Flickr

Moving Away From AdSense

Google AdSense is a great testing ground for figuring out how to sell advertising in the best positions on your blog. But once you have your blog template relatively locked down and your advertising plugins doing their job, it’s time to take the next step.

But before we take that step, I need to have a quick word to you about traffic – the amount of visitors your website receives on a daily basis.

Advertising is a numbers game. As your blog receives more traffic, more advertisements will be shown and clicked on, which essentially puts money in your pocket.

At a higher level and as your blog gets more popular, more advertisers want to advertise with you. If you get to a position where advertisers are actively seeking you out to advertise with you, you can ask for higher ad rates.

So you can see that, at a fundamental level, traffic is the key to making money because the more eyeballs your blog has, the happier advertisers will be.

When you’re just starting out and not receiving many visitors, AdSense is the way to go because you can jump right in without any friction.

But when your blog traffic reaches a level of, say 500 – 1000 pageviews per day, you can apply to be a part of other advertising networks that pay a higher commission than AdSense.

Commanding Higher Advertising Rates

If you are great at sales, you could try selling ad space on your blog by approaching businesses yourself. But if you’re anything like me, I’m no good at sales and I’d be much better off leaving that to the experts.

Those experts come in the form of agencies or ad networks such as BuySellAds. That link will take you to our own listing, where advertisers can see our advertising space available and purchase advertising on our website.

If you want to purchase advertising space or promote your product or affiliate links on the Inscribd website, check it out.

Likewise, you should create your own ‘publisher’ listing and set pricing appropriately. Be sure to give an accurate description of your blog, your audience and each advertisement position. Consider the kind of details you would want to know as an advertiser.

Initially, the pricing you set should reflect the eCPM you received with AdSense + 20%. eCPM is your average dollar amount earned per 1000 impressions.

Advertisers can choose whether they want to pay based on the number of times their ad is shown (impressions) or based on a fixed period of time.

If your ad slot is based on a payment model of CPM and your AdSense eCPM was $1, then you can set your new pricing to $1.20 per 1k impressions.

If your ad slot is based on a fixed dollar amount for 30 days, you’d look at your blog statistics and calculate the number of pages viewed over the past month.

Let’s say, for an easy example, you have 30,000 pageviews per month. That’s 1000/day. Based on our AdSense eCPM + 20% ($1.20 per 1k impression), we come to a price of $36 per 30 day period.

Test the market and raise/lower your pricing over the course of a month or two to find a level advertisers are comfortable with.

How To Sell Advertising – Go Big Or Go Home

If you’re happy with $1.20 per 1000 impressions, I’d suggest taking a look at the big boys. Federated Media sell advertising for some of the biggest websites on the internet.

Some of these site command CPM’s ranging from $5 up to $20 per 1000 impressions.

Advertising is big business for both advertisers, publishers and the agencies in between.

Focus on getting your blog to a level of professionalism, great design and consistently increasing traffic.

Selling advertising on your blog is not that hard. What IS hard, is getting the eyeballs.

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

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Un Friend

13 Reasons To Un-Friend On Facebook And In Real Life

To un-friend, or not to un-friend? You know the type of people on Facebook who share way too much about their lives, who annoy you, offend you, try to chat while you’re busy. Un-friending them should be as easy as clicking a button, right? Often, it’s not so easy from a social perspective because you might see them every day.

Great friends and colleagues can be supportive, harmless, energetic and fun to hang around. But what about those people who complicate your life, constantly complain, or expect too much of you?

Un-Friend People From Your Online and Offline Life

Un-friending someone may be entirely justified if …

1. They Suck The Life Right Out Of You

These people leave you psychologically and emotionally down after spending any amount of time with them. Positive friends should leave you feeling uplifted, not feeling guilty through emotional blackmail.

2. They Are Self-Centered

Selfish people only think about themselves and complain about being wronged all the time. Yet, when something happens to you, they don’t care or they swing the conversation back to themselves.

3. They Don’t Support You

You have some awesome ideas and wouldn’t it be great if your friends would be supportive and help you achieve your goals? It’s time to un-friend those who constantly put you down or flippantly brush away your ideas as stupid or too ambitious.

Great friend are great listeners and help guide you on the right path in a positive manner.

4. They Are Immoral Scum

What are you doing hanging out with people who don’t have a moral bone in their body? Perhaps they take joy in trampling over people’s lives, stealing their possessions, causing hardship and anguish. If they’re up to no good, un-friend them quickly.

5. You’re Just Too Different

You two are like chalk and cheese, oil and water, fire and ice. You don’t share any real interests and have different life values. This absolutely doesn’t mean they’re a bad person or they’re wrong. It just means they’re not right for you.

6. They Are Unreliable

Broken promises can break hearts. Are they constantly late to pick you up, late to special events, or don’t turn up at all? They promised to pay you back that $5, but never did? Often, being unreliable is a sign of disrespect. Any respectable person would make a concerted effort to be on time, pay back borrowed money and just simply keep their promises.

7. They Only Contact You When They Need Something

Weeks or months go by without hearing from someone you consider a friend and you’ll occasionally break the gap by saying “hi”. But the only times they’ll initiate contact with you is when they need something, ask a favor or need to let off steam. Otherwise, you’d never hear from them.

8. They Don’t Meet You Half Way

Are you the one always calling your friend, and they never call you? You’re the one always driving them around, buying them lunch, making them feel happy. Is that fair? They should return the favor, otherwise it may be time to un-friend.

9. They Are Jealous

Jealousy is described as the green-eyed monster. It’s toxic and can hurt relationships. Instead of being happy for you, jealous people want what you have and may even try to take it from you.

10. They Are Lazy

If you are lazy, then it’s all fine and good to hang out with other lazy people. But if you have any ambition to get things done, don’t catch the lazy-bug. As the saying goes,

“You can’t soar like an eagle when you hang out with turkeys.”

11. They Drive You Insane!

You know these people? They think they’re always right. They annoy the crap out of you. They talk too much, ask too many questions, eat like a slob, pick their nose, bite their fingernails. They drive you insane! They might still be good people deep down, but you two just don’t gel.

12. They Are Negative

Everything is wrong and bad to negative people. They are miserable and try to make you miserable too. They’re more than a nuisance, they are parasitic.

13. You Are Their Possession

Not allowed to spend time or talk to other people, without your “friend’s” permission or presence? Ouch. True friends don’t try to prevent you from having other friendships.

How To Un-Friend On Facebook

First, share this post on facebook and hope they take note:
Facebook Etiquette Mistakes People Keep Making.

Then, go to the person’s profile and click on the ‘Friends’ button. A menu should drop down where you can select ‘unfriend’. Do it.

How To Un-Friend In Real Life

  • Be gentle and be nice even though it’s not a nice thing to do.
  • Do it in person or on the phone. Don’t do it by text, wall post, email or instant message. Actually speak to them.
  • Don’t let the other person control the conversation. Make your agenda known right from the start. “Hi, I have something I want to talk to you about.”
  • Be brief but give a good and honest reason without being too hurtful.
  • Once it’s all out there and the other person understands what has happened, don’t hang around. Say goodbye and leave.

Break-ups can be brutal, especially for friends. In the end, it may be a good thing for both of you. If you are adamant that the friendship should be over forever,

  • Don’t answer their calls or texts,
  • Only respond to emails or messages stating “I’ve made my position clear. I’m sorry.”

If you can’t avoid seeing them, like a coworker or classmate, try to keep things professional and civil.

Make new friends worth having. Be a good friend yourself.

Responsive Web Design

Why Responsive Web Design Is The Hot Trend Right Now

There is a hot new trend called responsive web design that has taken hold of websites the world-over. The reasons for this trend should not come as a shock to anyone, however it’s importance may send a shiver down the spine of website owners without a responsive web design.

The image your business and blog portrays to your online audience is largely determined within the first 5 seconds – that is, the look and feel of your web design.

Your website’s design should not be judged solely on it’s look on a desktop monitor. Any good web designer knows to test their design in the top 4 web browsers and across multiple devices – laptop, phone and tablet. Test for speed, responsiveness and ease-of-use.

“74% of mobile visitors will abandon a site if it takes more than 5 seconds to load.”

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Choosing the right template is the first critical step that we discussed in Premium WordPress Themes Vs Free WordPress Themes.

Responsive Web Design

Designing a website that works across all devices has become a whole lot easier with responsive web design techniques and best practices. When done correctly, your website is optimized across multiple devices, including desktop, tablet and smartphone, all in one design.

The Shift To Mobile


“There are 2.1 billion mobile-broadband subscriptions and growing rapidly.”

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“45% of American adults have a smartphone, used by 90% of them to go online.”

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“31% of smartphone owners use it to go online more often than computer or other device.”

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“American consumers spend 1.4 hours per day surfing the web on a mobile device.”

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If your website design looks horrible on a smartphone or tablet, you’re missing out on potential readers and customers.

What Makes A Design Responsive

Fluid Grids

One of the most obvious visual differences between a non-responsive and a fully responsive web design is the use of a grid system of “floating boxes”.

If you are reading Inscribd on a desktop, try re-size the window width of your browser. You will notice our responsive design re-sizes the width of the content panels and pushes the right-hand column below the content when space is further restricted.

This fluidity is the core ingredient in responsive web design.

Flexible Images

responsive web design

Another neat trick in responsive web design is the re-sizing of images and also loading smaller, more optimized images to suit the display size.

Images can be sized dynamically to prevent them from displaying outside of their containing element.

5 Key Design Elements Of Every Website

1. The Masthead

At the very top of your website is the masthead. This section contains your logo and the navigation menu.

Your menu system also needs to be responsive to different widths. Drop-down menus need to function properly across all devices.

A common design trick is to have the menu overlay on top of the main content, showing the menu in the full screen size of the device. This makes for easier navigation on smartphones.

Generally, better designs keep the masthead small in height and very simple to use. This keeps the focus on your primary content.

2. Image Gallery or Featured Image

Unless your design is full text-based, it is more likely you will have an image gallery or a featured image to crown your blog articles or show off your product/service.

When using an image gallery, your slideshow also needs to be responsive and function on different devices. Make sure to test your plugin or scripts accordingly.

3. Primary Content

A headline should appear either above or below the image gallery/featured image. Make sure readers know what to expect to find in the primary content.

Read 3 Simple Ways To Increase Headline Click-Through Rates.

Your primary content area needs to be clear and uncluttered so that readers can focus on your content.

Make sure floating share buttons are not too intrusive, or that they only show up towards the bottom of your page.

4. Auxiliary Content

Below your primary content, it’s a good idea to offer readers some options of what to read next.

You can offer a list of recent articles, related products, or a form to encourage subscriptions to your newsletter.

5. Footer

The bottom of your website should not be ignored. The footer should hold important links to contact you, terms of service, and/or a quick sitemap of your website.

The footer should also provide a link that takes the reader back to the top of the page, just for convenience.

If you’re looking for pre-made responsive web design WordPress themes check out iThemes.

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.
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Change Direction

How To Change Domain Name Without Impacting SEO

When you find yourself in a situation where you are keen to change domain name for your website or blog, it can be unnerving to consider the impact it will have on your visitor or sales statistics.

There’s some technicalities to consider when changing domain names but the first question you should be asking yourself is “why”.

What is the purpose? Is it for better positioning in Google’s search results? Is it due to a re-branding of your business? Is it simply to have a shorter domain name for easier marketing?

Purpose of Changing Domain Name

Hopefully, you have a well thought-out vision with a goal to sticking with the new domain name for the long-term. If you need to change the domain name, do it once. Make a well-informed decision and stick with it.

Occasionally, I’ll have new customers arrive on my doorstep with an existing long arduous domain name, sometimes with oddly spelled words like a surname or technical terms. These customers go through the same issue day-after-day spelling out their long email addresses to their own customers or suppliers, such as [email protected]

Folks with long domains often want a change in domain name to shorten it. The above could become [email protected]

Also read: 7 Tricks To Grabbing The Best Domain Names

IMPORTANT: I am of the opinion that when you change domain name, the impact can either be devastating or neutral. There is not much upside, a part from offline traditional marketing with a shorter domain name.

SEO Impact On Domain Name Change

There is a lot of talk in SEO circles that having a target keyword in your domain name has a positive impact on your ranking in the search results. This is becoming less and less true every day.

I dare say, the impact will soon be negligible as discussed in Why Good Blog Names Unleash The Power Of Branding

If your reasons to change your domain name is purely for SEO purposes, I think the risk far outweighs the reward.

With that caveat out of the way, a domain name change may still be on the cards for you, and you do still need to think about SEO and your search engine rankings.

If you have a pre-existing website that is already ranking in the search engines, you’ll need to take the next steps carefully. Any missteps can have a devastating impact on your rankings, and therefore, your traffic – which obviously can result in a serious loss of income.

This is the risk I’m referring to.

Change Domain Name

Changing domain names is not as simple as going to your domain provider and asking them to change it. No. You have to purchase a new domain name. There’s no way around that.

After your purchase, make sure the domain name is delegated (or pointing) to your web host’s nameservers.

So you’ve chosen a new domain name from the likes of GoDaddy and have web hosting with a provider such as Blue Host. Now what?

1. Get A New Secondary Web Hosting Account Using The OLD Domain

“Hang on a second”, I hear you shout. “NEW web hosting account? For the OLD domain? Can’t I just rename my existing hosting and swap the domain name?”

I have a method to this madness, so just bear with me.

We are going to change the web hosting setup for the old domain and rename it to the new one – but not yet! There is some preparation to take care of.

“Seriously, why do i need to pay for another web hosting account?”, you’re still wondering.

If you have a pre-existing website, Google will have your old domain name in their index. If you simply swap the old web hosting account to the new domain without doing anything else, Google’s search results will send visitors to a non-existent page on the old domain (that is now not hosted because you swapped it).

This will absolutely kill ALL your incoming visitor traffic!

So this procedure may cost you a little bit extra to do it right. Don’t skimp a couple of dollars by ignoring this advice. If you want to RETAIN your search engine traffic, you MUST redirect traffic from the old domain to the new domain properly.

NOTE: If you use the same host for the old and secondary web hosting account, they may not allow hosting the same domain twice. In this case, set the secondary account for the old domain name to a temporary name, ie, which you can rename again later. (Re-read that if it doesn’t make sense.)

Let’s just call our new domain and the old domain

2. Prepare .htaccess File With 301 Redirection

A “301 redirect” is a command that tells a server (or Google) to send visitors to another location, and to continue doing this permanently. The redirection is not temporary or once-off.

We can add a 301 redirect to a file called .htaccess that we place in the root folder of our newly created web hosting account for

The root folder is the main folder that holds the website files. Not a sub-folder. It might be called /public/www/ or /httpdocs/ or something similar.

Options +FollowSymLinks

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$

RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

Change where it says “” and “” to your proper domains. Save this text file as “.htaccess” – that is, the file name actually starts with a period. Upload this file to your root folder.

Matt Cutts from Google goes deeper into this and I recommend watching his video:

3. Re-create Email Addresses

In your secondary web hosting account, you should also re-create all the same email addresses that you have on the old domain.

This will ensure that when you swap the other web hosting account to the new domain (and therefore swap the email addresses), you won’t lose any incoming emails.

Under the new web hosting account, setup each “old” email address as a redirection to the equivalent on the new domain.

For example, [email protected] -> [email protected]

4. Internal Linking

Your existing website will likely have links that point to the old domain name. You’ll need to update those.

If you’re running WordPress or any CMS that stores content in a database, there’s an easy way.

Save the database to your computer and open the file in a text editor. Do a “replace” where “find” is and “replace with” is

Making The Big Change Of Domain Name

Once you are ready to make the big move, you’ll need to co-ordinate a few things to happen in a short period of time.

Ready? Set? Go! Oh wait… you may want to speak to your web host while doing this, since they can assist the process.

A. Upload the updated database or modified website files back to the original web hosting account – effectively replacing old with new.

B. Change domain name on the original web hosting account to This would likely change the email addresses automatically as well.

C. If you had a temporary domain (ie for the secondary web hosting account, change domain name on that one to

D. Test, test, test.

Try go to pages on the old domain and make sure they redirect to the new domain and show the correct page (not an error).

Send an email (from a separate email address, such as Gmail) to the old email address and see if it turns up at the new email address.

How Long To Keep The Old Domain Running

This is a fair question with no fixed answer. You should keep the old domain running for the length of time you feel comfortable allowing for the transition.

You may want to consider how long it would reasonably take for customers to update their address books with your new email addresses.

In terms of search engine listings, I recommend giving Google at least 3 months to update your domain in their results. You’ll have to check this frequently by searching for yourself.

If your old domain is still showing up in the results, don’t cancel your old domain name just yet.

Hope this helps.

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

Tags:  301 redirect301 redirectionchange domain namedomain namesseo


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