Top Options for Affiliate Tracking Software

Affiliate Marketing

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Frontend Web Developer Roadmap: Everything you need to know to get started

If you're feeling lazy and would prefer to watch a full video summary, one is available here. Let me know if you have any feedback!
What is frontend web development?
It is using code to create the visual part of a website. The content, the colours and positioning, as well as the logic that is on a page, such as submitting a form. That's frontend. The other part is 'backend', which is everything related to the database and network; the non-visual things that are going on behind the scene.

Different routes to learn web development
CS Degree: The first is a degree, through either a university or college. This offers strong foundational knowledge in computer science, which can be very helpful, especially in certain areas of programming. However in my experience, this understanding of computer science is not necessary in order to get your first web development job and you can learn all of the theory and nitty gritty details of computers while on the job. Additionally, getting a degree is also a very long process, so 3-4 years, it's also extremely expensive - and the majority of it won't be focused on web development.
Bootcamp: Next -3-4 month coding bootcamps (offers good structure and forces you to be fully immersed, but expensive and must be full-time)
Self-taught: Finally -Self taught. What the focus of this guide is. This route offers a flexible schedule and inexpensive, and as long as you have the right set of online courses and curriculum set up for you, I believe it is the best option. Getting your first web development job is not about what certificate or degree you have. In most cases, it is a meritocracy - that is, if you have the skills to do the job, you can get the job.

How long does it take to be job ready? 4-12 months.
Outline a timeframe which you are able to dedicate towards learning web development(3, 6 or 12 months) and create a schedule around it. This way you can track your progress and hold yourself accountable if you set a specific date to, such as finishing a specific course or start apply to jobs. Whether it is 3 or 12 months, the only thing that changes is how much time per week you are able to dedicate towards learning this craft. If it is 3 months, you'll need to be working 12+ hours per day, and for 12 months, maybe 2 hours per day. The key is coding daily, so you can immerse yourself.
It's also important to stick to one programming language, based on the job you're wanting to get. Don't get distracted by other languages. They're fantastic, but your focus needs to be on the core frontend stack. You don't want to be a Jack of all trades, but master of none. You need to get vertical proficiency, not horizontal - and you get that by practicing that one thing, daily.
What do you need to learn?
HTML (the content - the text, images, links), CSS(the styling - colors, positioning and responsiveness), and JavaScript(the logic for your website, when you click a submit button - what happens?). Once you have learned those three and have a strong foundation in JavaScript, then you'll be at a crossroads; React, Angular or Vue. These are JavaScript libraries and frameworks, which act as wrappers around vanilla JavaScript, giving you additional functionality that would take longer to code otherwise. It is important that the first thing you do before getting too deep into one of these, is to look on job websites (LinkedIn, Glassdoor or Indeed) and ensure that there are a lot of jobs for all of these in your area. Search for titles including "frontend developer and frontend engineer", as well as the words 'Angular, Vue and React' and see how many listings there are. If there is more of one of these technologies in your area, it may be better to learn that one. You'll likely find many of each. Personally I would recommend React as it is easier to learn than a full framework and there are usually a ton of jobs out there for it.
As a bonus, I would recommend looking into TypeScript and Redux. In JavaScript, you don't have to say that variable x is a number. It will infer that x = 5 is a number type. This however can sometimes lead to hard to catch bugs. TypeScript is still JavaScript, but it allows you to add strong typing to your application, where you define that variable x will be a number.
Redux is a state management library. Angular, React and Vue all have their own variations of Redux. When your application gets bigger and there are lots of different parts with their own data, Redux acts as a centralized memory for all of your different UI components to read from. It acts as a single source of truth so that everything stays organized.
Also need to be familiar with the version control technology Git (allowing you to 'save' your app at a specific point, roll back to it if necessary, and share the code online to others using Github or Bitbucket).
May also be helpful to know the basics of SASS (CSS wrapper, giving you more utility. It is still CSS, but just some extra tools which can be huge time savers). Along the way, you'll also need to learn basic terminal commands, using NPM packages and the build tool Webpack. You should also be familiar with the basics of Agile methodologies, which is a management style that a lot of development teams work in. If you're familiar with the very basics, then it will be an easier transition for you to join a dev team, and hiring managers will know that as well.
Learning resources
So, what resources can you use to learn all of this? I found that between YouTube and Udemy, you can learn everything required. I am going to leave a list down below with a list of Udemy courses you can pick up for $15 (when on sale). Each course is about 20-30 hours and it will teach you the required fundamentals. I'm not affiliated with these courses and make no money on it. I simply know the instructors are excellent and am sure they are high quality courses.

Once you've completed a these courses and have built a few projects
After that, it is all about getting your first job. I am going to create posts (and videos) on each of these points, because they deserve a post of their own.
In short, you'll need to have a great resume which highlights your love for web development, while also emphasizing how all of your previous job experiences has guided you towards this new career path.
Have a GitHub with your own projects on it, as well as some of the work you've done while learning along the way. Build out a portfolio website which highlights the projects you've build and the skills you have. You can host your portfolio and projects for free on GitHub Pages.
Consider doing 1 or 2 freelance jobs(even if it is just for friends or family), where you're working with a real client, with a real deadline. This will be good practice for you, and will show your future employer that someone has already trusted you, and that you delivered.
Familiarize yourself with LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor - and start applying for 3-5 jobs per day. I did this for an entire month, had a few interviews and then landed my first job. It can take a few weeks, or a few months - eventually you will get your first opportunity. Getting your first job is the most difficult. Once you have worked somewhere and have some experience, finding your next job will be a lot easier.

On a final note, learning code is not easy. There will be roadblocks and it can be a difficult grind at times. Remember that the path you are on now is worth it and can get you to the place in your life where you really want to be, whether that is career satisfaction, ability to work from anywhere in the world, or financial freedom.
Thank you for your time! Consider checking out my YouTube channel, as I'm posting weekly now with videos specifically for frontend developers who are just starting out. Available here.
submitted by ProgrammingWithPax to learnprogramming [link] [comments]

CASE STUDY: Transitioning my niche site to ecommerce using Shopify

Disclaimer: My site is very small and I don't purport this to be a gamechanger for, well, anyone. I just wanted to share something that is seeming to work well for me.
I started my niche site in 2018 -- it is focused around a particular type of vehicle that has a hobbyist following. Initially the site was monetized through a combination of Google Adsense and the Amazon Associates program. At some point, I started trying to diversify the income as much as possible. For me, this meant adding the eBay Partner Network for some items and applying for Ezoic as soon as I met the requirements.
I also experimented with some small affiliate programs but didn't have much success -- I had to get very creative to find them as most of the stores I really wanted to refer sales for did not offer an affiliate program. I reached out to them multiple times seeing if there was something we could arrange. I even offered to just sell display ads to them, but no dice. The result was signing up for a couple small affiliate programs with low commissions and low sales volume proructs. This frustration was the start of my desire to curate my own store of products I genuinely want to sell.

Shopify and subdomaining
I use Shopify to host my online store. I am a software engineer by profession so I generally don't consider ease-of-use and setup to be the most important factors when choosing software -- I just want whatever is the most effective. There are other options like WooCommerce that I have heard great things about.
However, for me, Shopify is almost magically easy to use and offers everything I have needed or wanted so far. Following Warren Buffet's advice to "buy what you like" I actually bought as much stock in the company as I could after using it for a month. Everything just works exactly how I expect it to. I have never struggled to find any answers or documentation about anything. The support is phenomenal.
It's just a great product -- to me I think they could be a bigger company then Amazon in a few years because it allows anyone to create to sell online and maintain a lot of control, something retailers lose with Amazon. I signed up for the Shopify affiliate program because I want to refer people to it, not to refer people to it. I helped my cousin set one up for his beef jerky business and it took 20 minutes before he was online and it has been a gamechanger. The small independent grocery store across the street from me is surviving (probably thriving) through COVID-19 because they allow online orders through Shopify and window pickup. But most importantly, it's great to get the little notification when you make a sale, especially when the margins are so much higher than affiliate, but I'll get to that later.
For me, I used a subdomain for my Shopify site. It's great because there are no conflicts with your Wordpress site and it's a very clean looking link. Shopify has some documentation on this if you would like to try it.

Profit Margins
Selling items yourself is great mainly because you get to choose and experiment with your profit margins. Want to experiment with razor-thin margins because you know your visitors will shop around a lot? Try it. Want to raise the price so any one sale is $80 in profit but you don't have to pack and ship as much? Might work, try it! Between Google Analytics and Shopify's analytics stats, you can measure anything you need to.
Here's a concrete example of one item from my site. I sell a particular type of spark plug that is used on a vehicle that my site is partly focused on. This is an item I have sold/referred in one way or another since the beginning of my site in 2018:
This is a small item that is extremely easy to buy in bulk and pack/ship quickly.
I actually averaged more clicks to this item when the destination was Amazon, so my conversion rate actually went up when I moved away from Amazon. I charge a few dollars more than Amazon and many other online retailers for this item. I could probably do some experimenting to find the optimal price/sales ratio, but I think those numbers speak for themselves.
One of my early fears was that the trust people have for Amazon and their affinity towards Prime is hard to challenge, but my opinion is that the trust you gain by writing well-researched, meaningful articles and being an active participant in the niche you serve makes people want to support you.

Dropshipping has negative connotations because of the bastardized "buy cheap small items from overseas and make 4000% profit while the user doesn't know that the item wont arrive for 2 months" format that is shown by YouTube influencers and the like. However, dropshipping is simply collecting a sale yourself while having an underlying price agreement with a supplier who will pack and ship the item for you. The first item I sold through my Shopify store I actually sold on a dropshipping basis.
This was a line of products within the $200-300 price range, and I also sold these through the Amazon Associates program before. It was nice to make $10-17 for one sale, but I felt like I should be making more. I called the company that produces this item and asked to buy 3 or 4 to sell myself, but he suggested dropshipping instead which I was interested in as these items are rather large. I agreed to buy the items for around $160-200 and now I profit around $60 per sale -- the only effort required on my end is sending an email (gave them a card to have on file) and adding the tracking number to Shopify when it is available. The credit card points are nice too!
One other thing about this that I think is important -- It's really nice to have personal relationships that this kind of business offers. The guy that answered the phone was the owner of the small business and he's the nicest guy, great to deal with and it feels good to get him some sales, especially during a crisis like this. I actually met up with him at an industry event and we talked for a long time. He's an older guy and at some point I want to get him setup with a better online presence especially as he sells a lot of other products over the phone that I can't necessarily refer in my niche, but could definitely benefit from a real online store and web presence. I am building similar relationships with other suppliers and personally I love it.

Item Selection
If you go the route of stocking and shipping items yourself, the scope of products you can monetize through your site broadens drastically. For me, there was always a certain type of item that I wanted to sell, but I could never find a good version of this item on Amazon or anywhere that offered an affiliate program. This was actually one of the retailers I reached out to asking for an affiliate program to no avail. Then I asked for a dropshipping agreement -- the answer was still no. However, it's a lot easier when you ask to buy 50x of one item. They processed my distributor account in a day and had my items to me by the end of the week. It is now my best selling item!

Shipping Logistics and Tools
One of the things that I think could be a dealbreaker for people is something I personally really enjoy -- stocking, packing, and shipping items. My inventory is small enough to fit in a walk-in closet in my apartment. I love the process of getting the Shopfiy "ca-ching" notification, packing the order, and dropping it off at the mailbox. Here are some tools I have used to make this process more efficient:
Here is part of my dedicated "ship-station" where I manage my store and print labels/packing slips.
I would probably wait to receive the items you're selling before selecting the packaging you're going to use. That way you can take exact measurements and consider alternative sizes/types of packages. One of my items is a collection of smaller items. I throw away the box that my supplier ships it in, and put it in a bag that goes inside my small mailer box. I use a particular size of bubble wrap which was also specifically chosen to protect the item, while also taking up all of the surrounding space. It's much easier to make all of these choices when you have the item in front of you.
Here's the previously mentioned item (spark plugs) in the box I chose (bubble wrap not shown!) There is no wasted space when it is packed.
For me, I use USPS for nearly all of my orders. It's usually the cheapest option and very fast for the size of item I have. I live in an apartment complex and I can just drop my packages in the mailroom and they get picked up daily. Shopify will show you all of the available shipping options with speed and price. For international orders, it's only a few dollars more, and I think it goes from USPS and gets picked up by DHL.

Item Presentation
Another benefit of this approach is that you have infinitely more opportunity to make a good impression on your customers which is huge if your items are the kind that might be reordered, or if the customer may be interested in other items you sell. For me, item presentation is also important because as I said, I am operating out of a spare closet in my apartment, so I want to look as professional as possible.
Here are some ways you can do this:

I have not yet started experimenting with any form of ads. All of my sales thus far have been the result of organic traffic from the content on my website funneled through to my store. This month I am going to experiment with Facebook and Google Ads. Obviously this may not work but if there is a decent enough margin after the increased customer acquisition cost I will continue. I will report these results later!

Legality and Relationship to Affiliate Marketing
Keeping in mind that we in this business typically operate as affiliates, the golden rule is to make sure you are recommending the absolute best products to your site visitors. Thinking back to the Casper mattress affiliate drama, there should be research and thought behind your recommendations. Selling the items yourself does complicate this. I have used all of the items I sell on my store. When I moved my links over from Amazon, I kept the notes indicating that I have used the item, but I also added a link to an explanation of my store.
I think it ends up being an extra vote of confidence when I explain to users: I have tried the items I sell and think they are the best in their category. I used to sell these items as an affiliate and would receive a commission, but I believe in them strongly enough that I now stock and sell them myself. I am not the only one who sells them and you can certainly buy from others if you find a better price/shipping speed.
I'll restate what I said before because I think it is extremely illuminating: My conversion rates went up when I moved items from Amazon to my own store!
The bottom line is that you need to be explicit about these things to be safe and honest. I think my niche works particularly well for this as people are looking for a.) What exact version of the item do I need? and b.) How do I use it? I know many niche sites are focused around "Top 10 X" type content and this may become a lot more difficult within the honesty/legality context. Something to think about.
As a final note, I still operate this as a sole proprietorship. Eventually I want to get an LLC for it. I have been upfront about this with all of my suppliers and none of them have required this for a distributor agreement.

My Stats
Here are my income sources over time. I apologize for the colors used in the line charts of individual sources, I could not figure out how to configure those.
As you can see, my site is very small. However, the relationship between the decline these past few months in display advertising revenue (Ezoic literally sent an email saying to expect lower rates) and the Amazon Associates rate cut charted against my growing Shopify revenue really opened my eyes to the benefit I gained from diversifying towards ecommerce/Shopify. I still keep the older sources of revenue, but I actually think I will consider eliminating them in the future, especially display ads. Diversification is necessary when the revenue source lacks control -- Amazon Associates can slash rates willy-nilly, eBay Partner Network can apparently just decide to not pay me for a large sale I made, who even knows what these display ad networks are actually getting paid for our clicks or if every click is considered, etc.
Selling the items yourself gives you a lot more responsibility, but a lot more control. One of the primary reasons I'm so excited about this is that my inventory is still VERY small. I am working to add new items and it's wonderful because even if I only sell a few, the profit margins make it so much easier to spend the time to create the content and stock/ship the item -- a luxury I never had with Amazon.
Please feel free to ask any questions! I'd love to help if I can.
submitted by Mark-JST to juststart [link] [comments]

Use Google Analytics To See Where Your Best Traffic Is Coming From 📈

Three weeks ago I got accepted to CXL institutes' conversion optimisation mini-degree scholarship. It claims to be one of the most thorough conversion rate optimisation training programs in the world. As part of the scholarship, I have to write an essay about what I learn each week. This is my third report so far.
In my experience, the majority of people who have analytics set up use it to see how much traffic their website is getting. This is a shame because, with a little bit of effort, it can tell you so much more useful information. Over the next 10 minutes I'll show you how to understand where your traffic is coming from, and what your conversion rate for each source of traffic is.

How Google Analytics Buckets Your Traffic

To make sense of your analytics you must understand that there are 9 default types of traffic.
I prefer to think of these as five main groups:
  1. Organic - If someone finds your website on a search engine then it counts as organic traffic.
  2. Referral - When someone comes to your site from a link on someone else's website then that’s referral traffic.
  3. Social - If traffic comes from a link shared social media platforms like Facebook or twitter then it’s Social.
  4. Email - this is when someone clicks on a link in an email you've sent out.
  5. Ads - Display, Paid Search, Affiliate marketing and all other advertising counts as paid advertising.
The reason I've simplified it down to these categories is because it reflects the three main ways people get traffic online:
  1. You can produce amazing content and work on getting it ranked on search engines to get organic traffic. This takes time, effort and dedication but once you get ranked the traffic keeps coming.
  2. You can work on sharing links to your website on forums, in comments and discussions, and any other place you can find a relevant audience for your product. Referral traffic works instantly, but people's attention churns just as fast so you have to stay at it constantly. Technically, Social is just referral traffic but I like the distinction because people who follow you on social media are already in your orbit. Typically, with other referral traffic you are putting yourself out there and exposing yourself to an entirely new audience. The same rules apply to Email, technically this is referral traffic, plus these people are already in your orbit since they are on your mailing list. Still, the category is practical because it keeps the referral category cleaner by not diluting it with email traffic.
  3. Then you have paid advertising. If you don't want to hustle, you have to pay for your traffic.
These categories are just Google’s default buckets, you can create your own. Lots of people promote their products via public speaking, networking, trade shows, etc; you can set up custom categories so that traffic from these efforts don't end up in another category. For example, if I want to do a cold email outreach campaign then I could label this under the default Email category, but I associate email with my mailing list. Instead I could create an entirely new category called Outreach and have all my cold email traffic show up there.
Lastly, direct traffic, this is when someone types your URL directly into the browser. This is more of a catch-all for when Google doesn’t know where the traffic is coming from. If you give business cards out at networking events, there is no way that Google can know this, so it will just get lumped under direct traffic. The way to solve this is to teach Google where your traffic is coming from.

How To Teach Google Where Your Traffic Is Coming From

Google does a fair job of figuring out where your traffic is coming from. However, with the networking example above, it is impossible for Google to know that you met someone at an event. The solution here is to use UTM links. A UTM link is like a regular website link except that it has a string of information appended to the end of it (UTM stands for Urchin Tracker module, Urchin was the name of the company before Google acquired it).
For example, the link to this article is
A UTM link would be
If you click on the first link it will just show up as any referral traffic in my Analytics, clicking on the second one will tell me that you clicked on the demo example link on my blog. That string of information at the end, after the ? tells Google the source of the traffic and how you want to categorize it.
Creating a UTM link is not complicated, you can just use a UTM link generator. I'll link to the one I use in the footer. Most people also use link shorteners to mask these long ugly links.
All you have to do is add the original link to the first field in the generator and then enter the relevant information for the source of the traffic. You are given 5 fields to fill out. I'm not going to explain what all the fields do because you only need to know two to get started: Source and Medium.
The source is where your traffic is coming from. If you parse through the example UTM link above you'll see that it says utm_source=my-blog-demo-link in the string. This means my-blog-demo-link is the source and that is what will show up in my analytics dashboard when people click on this link.
The medium refers to the 9 default categories we were talking about earlier. In this case, it's a link in a blog so I'm labelling it referral traffic. It is important to use lowercasing when defining a medium otherwise it won’t work. The default categories are a known convention so I suggest sticking to one of the category names when possible. Unnecessarily creating your own makes it's harder for new people to understand your analytics in the future.
Telling Google the Medium will give you a traffic pie chart that looks something like this in the Acquisition > Overview pane.
The colourful pie chart in the top left corner tells me that more than half of my traffic is Social and 6% of it comes from referral. On the other hand 33% of it is labelled 'Direct', this is because I hadn't started using UTM links for that traffic and Google doesn't know how to categorize it. This is why it makes sense to start using UTM links as soon as you can.
If you then click on one of the Mediums in the table, for example Social, it will show you all your sources of social traffic.
![social source.png](
Twitter and Facebook are my top two sources of traffic and about 17% of the traffic is 'not set'. Again, this illustrates why it makes sense to start using UTM tags.

Cleaning Up Fractured Traffic

The view I like to spend most of my time on is Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium.
The first column shows me my top 10 sources of traffic sources and their medium. The rest of the columns then help me understand how that traffic is performing.
This table is a bit messy because there are 3 rows with the same sources. There, and This happens because facebook uses different servers for different views. This is unhelpful. What I want is a single row that just tells me how much traffic I am getting from facebook.
The way to clean this up is to use a filter.
Go to your test view before you create a new filter. If you don't have one, set one up before you start adding filters. Filters can be dangerous, once data starts getting filtered out there is no way to retrieve it, so you want to set up a test view where you can test the filter works as expected before applying it to all your analytics data.
In your test view, create a new filter, give it a name and then click on the custom tab and then select the search and replace option.
In the filter field you want you want to select campaign source, then in the search string you want to use regex to tell it to find any source that ends with ^.*$, and then in the replace string field you give it the new name you want it to use. I've linked to a neat guide on getting started with regex in the links in the footer.
Rather than having three different types of facebook traffic in my sources panel, now it will all just show up under a single facebook label. You can repeat these steps for any kind of fractured traffic by just replacing the domain name in the example above.
The next thing I did was create a UTM parameter for the links I share in facebook groups so that I can distinguish it from when I share stuff with my friends on facebook. This is why some facebook traffic has started showing up as facebook-groups in the screenshot above.
The last thing we need to clean this up is a referral exclusion list. You can do this by going to the property settings. I’ve highlighted the button in red on the screenshot below.
![referral exclusions.png](
Referral exclusion means removing your own domains from your traffic. I have sources like joshpitzalis and learninglog showing up in my traffic. These are both my own sites. To prevent this from continuing to happen I've added both of these domains to the referral exclusion list.
Unfortunately, none of these changes will apply in retrospect so it's important to make these changes as soon as you can. Now that the measures are in place, cleaner traffic will slowly drown out the messiness.
Now we know how much traffic we're getting, where it's coming from and how it gets broken down. The next piece of the puzzle is to figure out which source of traffic is having the biggest impact to your business.

Tracking How Well Your Traffic Converts

A conversion is just a measurement of how many people do something. If 1000 people visit your website and 20 of them sign up to your mailing list then your mailing list's conversion rate is 2% (20/1000 X 100).
Before you can track any kind of conversion you have to figure out what it is you want people to do. In the example above we want people to sign up to our mailing list. For most Saas businesses the goal of the landing page is to get people to sign up.
You are allowed to track 20 goals in google analytics. To keep things simple I recommend just starting with your single most important goal.
To set up a goal in Analytics you must go to the admin section, and then click on the goals in the view column, and then click on the red 'create goal' button. This will take you to the following page:
If you want to track people filling out a registration form then you will need to set up an event goal so that you can track the registration form submission event. You will need to go into the form in your landing page source code and trigger the event on submit. Depending on how you have analytics setup, you will need to do this with Google Tag Manager or the Google Analytics event trigger (or however else your project tracks events).
![event goal.png](
When you fire the event you will need to define an event category and an event action. The category is the broad grouping of the event; so 'sign-up' or ‘registration’ or something like that. The action is the specific behaviour you are tracking, for example 'form submission'. Labels and values are optional. If you have multiple signup forms you can use a label to add info about which form fired the event. If the signup is paid you can also allocate a dollar value to the action. These last two are optional.
That was a bit complicated but you must set up a goal in order to track your conversion rate. If event goals sound too complicated, then a simpler alternative is to set up a destination goal. This tracks when people land on a specific page. To do this you must create a page that people can only reach after completing your goal. You simply add the url of the destination page to the goal and you are done. This is often why people direct you to a thank you page when you download something online. You could also have a welcome page that people only visit once after they sign up. However, you must make sure people don’t see the welcome page every time they login otherwise it will skew your metrics. This is why, for signups, event goals make more sense. There are two other types of goals but those are more suited for blogs and content focused websites so I won't go into those.
Once you have set up your goal, the source/medium page from before will have a whole new section appended to the end of it called Conversion. In this case, my goal for my website is to get people to book in an initial conversation.
This page now has three groups of column, acquisition, behaviour and conversion ( I have outlined the conversion column in orange above).
The acquisition column tells you how much traffic is coming from each of your sources. This is what almost everyone uses Analytics for.
The behaviour column tells you how engaged a source of traffic is. There are three sub columns, you have the bounce rate (the percentage of people that view a page once, do nothing else and then leave), pages per session and the average session duration. These three columns help me assess the quality of my traffic.
If I just looked at the acquisition column (and tally up all my fractured facebook sources) I would see that I am getting most of my amount of traffic from Facebook. However, if you look at the behaviour column you can see that my Facebook traffic has a much higher bounce rate than anything else. It also shows me that people who come from Twitter spend a lot longer on the site and view more pages per visit. So thanks to the behaviour columns I can tell that Facebook might be giving me more traffic, but Twitter is clearly giving me better traffic.
The final column is Conversion, this shows you the result of all this traffic and engagement. In the screenshot above we can see that one person booked a consultation with me (this is the goal I have set up on my website). Unfortunately this person came from the direct medium so analytics can’t tell me how this person found my website. Had I started using UTM links sooner I'd see what source of traffic this conversion came from. As more conversions start coming in with cleaner traffic data I will be able to tell where my highest converting traffic is coming from.
There are lots of other things you can do with the conversion section. You can set up multiple goals, you can have multi channel goals, you can even set up neat visualisations to see where people drop out of your sales funnel but I don't recommend diving into all that until you need to. Trying to learn analytics in its entirety is a waste of time. A much better approach is to ask an important question, and then just learn enough to answer that question. A good baseline is to understand how much traffic you get, where it is coming from and how well it is converting. Now you know how to answer all three of those questions.

Links Mentioned

submitted by PurpleWho to webmarketing [link] [comments]

/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads:
Blackmail email scam thread:
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.


Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

Door to door scams

As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.
Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.
Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.
Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.
They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

Street scams

Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase."
Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.
Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.
CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.
White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless.
iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.
Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.
Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.
Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.
Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.
Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom:
Site to report scams in the United States:
Site to report scams in Canada:
Site to report scams in Europe:
FTC scam alerts:
Microsoft's anti-scam guide:
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

'AP: Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds, got {at least}$1.4B' (Illustrated) July 10th 2010

'AP: Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds, got {at least}$1.4B' (Illustrated) July 10th 2010
source :

"AP: Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds, got $1.4B

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.
The church’s haul may have reached -- or even exceeded -- $3.5 billion, making a global religious institution with more than a billion followers among the biggest winners in the U.S. government’s pandemic relief efforts, an Associated Press analysis of federal data released this week found.
Houses of worship and faith-based organizations that promote religious beliefs aren’t usually eligible for money from the U.S. Small Business Administration. But as the economy plummeted and jobless rates soared, Congress let faith groups and other nonprofits tap into the Paycheck Protection Program, a $659 billion fund created to keep Main Street open and Americans employed.
By aggressively promoting the payroll program and marshaling resources to help affiliates navigate its shifting rules, Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools and other ministries have so far received approval for at least 3,500 forgivable loans, AP found.
The Archdiocese of New York, for example, received 15 loans worth at least $28 million just for its top executive offices. Its iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue was approved for at least $1 million.
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2019 file photo, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, speaks during a news conference in New York. Dolan established a victim compensation fund in 2016, as a successful battle to lift the statute of limitations on the filing of child sexual abuse lawsuits gathered steam. In 2020, the Archdiocese of New York received 15 loans worth at least $28 million just for its top executive offices. Its iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue was approved for at least $1 million. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

In Orange County, California, where a sparkling glass cathedral estimated to cost over $70 million recently opened, diocesan officials working at the complex received four loans worth at least $3 million.
And elsewhere, a loan of at least $2 million went to the diocese covering Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, where a church investigation revealed last year that then-Bishop Michael Bransfield embezzled funds and made sexual advances toward young priests.
Simply being eligible for low-interest loans was a new opportunity. But the church couldn’t have been approved for so many loans -- which the government will forgive if they are used for wages, rent and utilities -- without a second break.
Religious groups persuaded the Trump administration to free them from a rule that typically disqualifies an applicant with more than 500 workers. Without this preferential treatment, many Catholic dioceses would have been ineligible because -- between their head offices, parishes and other affiliates -- their employees exceed the 500-person cap.
“The government grants special dispensation, and that creates a kind of structural favoritism,” said Micah Schwartzman, a University of Virginia law professor specializing in constitutional issues and religion who has studied the Paycheck Protection Program. “And that favoritism was worth billions of dollars.”
The amount that the church collected, between $1.4 billion and $3.5 billion, is an undercount. The Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference, an organization of Catholic financial officers, surveyed members and reported that about 9,000 Catholic entities received loans. That is nearly three times the number of Catholic recipients the AP could identify.
FILE - In this Friday, May 1, 2020 file photo, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez gives a blessing after leading a brief liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. Gomez heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which paid $20,000 to lobby the U.S. Senate and House on “eligibility for non-profits” in a landmark coronavirus relief law. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, Pool)
The AP couldn’t find more Catholic beneficiaries because the government’s data, released after pressure from Congress and a lawsuit from news outlets including the AP, didn’t name recipients of loans under $150,000 -- a category in which many smaller churches would fall. And because the government released only ranges of loan amounts, it wasn’t possible to be more precise.
Even without a full accounting, AP’s analysis places the Catholic Church among the major beneficiaries in the Paycheck Protection Program, which also has helped companies backed by celebrities, billionaires, state governors and members of Congress.
The program was open to all religious groups, and many took advantage. Evangelical advisers to President Donald Trump, including his White House spiritual czar, Paula White-Cain, also received loans.
There is no doubt that state shelter-in-place orders disrupted houses of worship and businesses alike.
Masses were canceled, even during the Holy Week and Easter holidays, depriving parishes of expected revenue and contributing to layoffs in some dioceses. Some families of Catholic school students are struggling to make tuition payments. And the expense of disinfecting classrooms once classes resume will put additional pressure on budgets.
But other problems were self-inflicted. Long before the pandemic, scores of dioceses faced increasing financial pressure because of a dramatic rise in recent clergy sex abuse claims.
FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 file photo, visitors tour the grounds of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the seat of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The archdiocese told The Associated Press in a 2020 survey sent before the release of federal data, that 247 of its 288 parishes -- and all but one of its 232 schools -- received forgivable loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The scandals that erupted in 2018 reverberated throughout the world. Pope Francis ordered the former archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, to a life of “prayer and penance” following allegations he abused minors and adult seminarians. And a damning grand jury report about abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses revealed bishops had long covered for predator priests, spurring investigations in more than 20 other states.
As the church again reckoned with its longtime crisis, abuse reports tripled during the year ending June 2019 to a total of nearly 4,500 nationally. Meanwhile, dioceses and religious orders shelled out $282 million that year — up from $106 million just five years earlier. Most of that went to settlements, in addition to legal fees and support for offending clergy.
Loan recipients included about 40 dioceses that have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few years paying victims through compensation funds or bankruptcy proceedings. AP’s review found that these dioceses were approved for about $200 million, though the value is likely much higher.
One was the New York Archdiocese. As a successful battle to lift the statute of limitations on the filing of child sexual abuse lawsuits gathered steam, Cardinal Timothy Dolan established a victim compensation fund in 2016. Since then, other dioceses have established similar funds, which offer victims relatively quick settlements while dissuading them from filing lawsuits.
Spokesperson Joseph Zwilling said the archdiocese simply wanted to be “treated equally and fairly under the law.” When asked about the waiver from the 500-employee cap that religious organizations received, Zwilling deferred to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
A spokesperson for the bishops’ conference acknowledged its officials lobbied for the paycheck program, but said the organization wasn’t tracking what dioceses and Catholic agencies received.
“These loans are an essential lifeline to help faith-based organizations to stay afloat and continue serving those in need during this crisis,” spokesperson Chieko Noguchi said in a written statement. According to AP’s data analysis, the church and all its organizations reported retaining at least 407,900 jobs with the money they were awarded.
Noguchi also wrote the conference felt strongly that “the administration write and implement this emergency relief fairly for all applicants.”
Not every Catholic institution sought government loans. The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy based in Stamford, Connecticut, told AP that even though its parishes experienced a decline in donations, none of the organizations in its five-state territory submitted applications.
Deacon Steve Wisnowski, a financial officer for the eparchy, said pastors and church managers used their rainy-day savings and that parishioners responded generously with donations. As a result, parishes “did not experience a severe financial crisis.”
![img](3yagdosh1na51 " This Aug. 8, 2018 photo shows St. Peter Cathedral in Erie, Pa., the home parish for the Catholic Diocese of Erie. In mid-March 2020, the diocese closed its churches as the coronavirus spread, limiting its access to weekly donors, and applied for funds from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. It also withheld payments from its victim-compensation program, saying its bank had decreased a line of credit. (Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP) ")
Wisnowski said his superiors understood the program was for “organizations and businesses truly in need of assistance.”
The law that created the Paycheck Protection Program let nonprofits participate, as long as they abided by SBA’s “affiliation rule.” The rule typically says that only businesses with fewer than 500 employees, including at all subsidiaries, are eligible.
Lobbying by the church helped religious organizations get an exception.
The Catholic News Service reported that the bishops’ conference and several major Catholic nonprofit agencies worked throughout the week of March 30 to ensure that the “unique nature of the entities would not make them ineligible for the program” because of how SBA defines a “small” business. Those conversations came just days after President Trump signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which included the Paycheck Protection Program.
In addition, federal records show the Los Angeles archdiocese, whose leader heads the bishops’ conference, paid $20,000 to lobby the U.S. Senate and House on “eligibility for non-profits” under the CARES Act. The records also show that Catholic Charities USA, a social service arm of the church with member agencies in dioceses across the country, paid another $30,000 to lobby on the act and other issues.
In late April, after thousands of Catholic institutions had secured loans, several hundred Catholic leaders pressed for additional help on a call with President Trump. During the call, Trump underscored the coming presidential election and touted himself as the candidate best aligned with religious conservatives, boasting he was the “best (president) the Catholic church has ever seen,” according to Crux ( ), an online publication that covers church-related news.
The lobbying paid off.
Catholic Charities USA and its member agencies were approved for about 110 loans worth between $90 million and $220 million at least, according to the data.
In a statement, Catholic Charities said: “Each organization is a separate legal entity under the auspices of the bishop in the diocese in which the agency is located. CCUSA supports agencies that choose to become members, but does not have any role in their daily operations or governance.”
The Los Angeles archdiocese told AP in a survey that reporters sent before the release of federal data that 247 of its 288 parishes -- and all but one of its 232 schools -- received loans. The survey covered more than 180 dioceses and eparchies.
Like most dioceses, Los Angeles wouldn’t disclose its total dollar amount. While the federal data doesn’t link Catholic recipients to their home dioceses, AP found 37 loans to the archdiocese and its affiliates worth between $9 million and $23 million, including one for its downtown cathedral.
In 2007, the archdiocese paid a record $660 million to settle sex abuse claims from more than 500 victims. Spokespeople for Los Angeles Archbishop Jose M. Gomez did not respond to additional questions about the archdiocese’s finances and lobbying.
In program materials, SBA officials said they provided the affiliation waiver to religious groups in deference to their unique organizational structure, and because the public health response to slow the coronavirus’ spread disrupted churches just as it did businesses.
![img](p781ef8p1na51 " In this Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 photo, Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence T. Persico leaves after a news conference at the St. Mark Catholic Center in Erie, Pa., responding to the state attorney general's grand jury report on sex abuse in his diocese and five other Pennsylvanian Roman Catholic dioceses. In mid-March 2020, the Diocese of Erie, Pa., closed its churches as the coronavirus spread, limiting its access to weekly donors, and applied for funds from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. It also withheld payments from its victim-compensation program, saying its bank had decreased a line of credit. (Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP) ")

A senior official in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which worked with the SBA to administer the program, acknowledged in a statement the wider availability of loans to religious organizations. “The CARES Act expanded eligibility to include nonprofits in the PPP, and SBA’s regulations ensured that no eligible religious nonprofit was excluded from participation due to its beliefs or denomination,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, some legal experts say that the special consideration the government gave faith groups in the loan program has further eroded the wall between church and state provided in the First Amendment. With that erosion, religious groups that don’t pay taxes have gained more access to public money, said Marci Hamilton, a University of Pennsylvania professor and attorney who has represented clergy abuse victims on constitutional issues during bankruptcy proceedings.
“At this point, the argument is you’re anti-religious if in fact you would say the Catholic Church shouldn’t be getting government funding,” Hamilton said.
After its lobbying blitz, the Catholic Church worked with parishes and schools to access the money.
Many dioceses -- from large ones such as the Archdiocese of Boston to smaller ones such as the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin -- assembled how-to guides to help their affiliates apply. The national Catholic fiscal conference also hosted multiple webinars with legal and financial experts to help coach along local leaders.
Federal data show that the bulk of the church’s money was approved during the loan program’s first two weeks. That’s when demand for the first-come, first-served assistance was so high that the initial $349 billion was quickly exhausted, shutting out many local businesses.
Overall, nearly 500 loans approved to Catholic entities exceeded $1 million each. The AP found that at least eight hit the maximum range of $5 million to $10 million. Many of the listed recipients were the offices of bishops, headquarters of leading religious orders, major churches, schools and chapters of Catholic Charities.
Also among recipients was the Saint Luke Institute. The Catholic treatment center for priests accused of sexual abuse and those suffering from other disorders received a loan ranging from $350,000 to $1 million. Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, the institute has at times been a way station for priests accused of sexual abuse who returned to active ministry only to abuse again.
Perhaps nothing illustrates the church’s aggressive pursuit of funds better than four dioceses that sued the federal government to receive loans, even though they entered bankruptcy proceedings due to mounting clergy sex-abuse claims. Small Business Administration rules prohibit loans to applicants in bankruptcy.
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico -- once home to a now-closed and notorious treatment center for predator priests -- prevailed in court, clearing the way for its administrative offices to receive nearly $1 million. It accused the SBA of overreaching by blocking bankruptcy applications when Congress didn’t spell that out.
Yet even when a diocese has lost in bankruptcy court, or its case is pending, its affiliated parishes, schools and other organizations remain eligible for loans.
On the U.S. territory of Guam, well over 200 clergy abuse lawsuits led church leaders in the tiny Archdiocese of Agana to seek bankruptcy protection, as they estimated at least $45 million in liabilities. Even so, the archdiocese’s parishes, schools and other organizations have received at least $1.7 million as it sues the SBA for approval to get a loan for its headquarters, according to bankruptcy filings.
FILE - In this Tuesday, May 7, 2019 file photo, a statue of Pope John Paul II stands outside the island's main cathedral, Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, during a Mass in Hagatna, Guam. Over 200 clergy abuse lawsuits led church leaders in the U.S. territory to seek bankruptcy protection, as they estimated at least $45 million in liabilities. Even so, the Archdiocese of Agana’s parishes, schools and other organizations have received at least $1.7 million in coronavirus rescue funds, even as it sues the Small Business Administration for approval to get a loan for its headquarters, according bankruptcy filings. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
The U.S. church may have a troubling record on sex abuse, but Bishop Lawrence Persico of Erie, Pennsylvania, pushed back on the idea that dioceses should be excluded from the government’s rescue package. Approximately 80 organizations within his diocese received loans worth $10.3 million, the diocese said, with most of the money going to parishes and schools.
Persico pointed out that church entities help feed, clothe and shelter the poor -- and in doing so keep people employed.
“I know some people may react with surprise that government funding helped support faith-based schools, parishes and dioceses,” he said. “The separation of church and state does not mean that those motivated by their faith have no place in the public square.”"
submitted by Ainsoph777 to Jesuitworldorder [link] [comments]

Build to learn - tame your shiny object syndrome.

It sounds simple, yet, it's challenging.
"Build to learn."
It's a fantastic tool for chaotic minds.
A way to benefit from your shortcomings.
If you ever fell for the shiny object syndrome (chasing new cool thing, instead of focusing on the present project), then this is for you!
And the best part - you can turn it to your advantage!
Turn it to build momentum, to become a better, wiser, fuller person.

When you fell for the shiny, new, better idea, you could've gone through the guilt and growing anxiety for not finishing things.
For some of us, this could end up in depression oand quitting the whole "maker" realm.
In this post, I will provide you a valid solution to make the most out of the shiny object syndrome. If you have it, at least you can get something positive out of it.
The method, disguised under many names, sometimes called "build to learn," "build to fail," "ship to learn," is meant to make the most of your nature of jumping between the projects.
It's also a way for you to grow as a builder and founder.

I first started flirting with the idea independently - then, I found out that there is a micro-movement of sorts doing the same.
Two main places are hubs for this, New York and Silicon Valley. Only there you could try to hack success and look for possible anomalies to benefit from, and still get support from your social circles!
It's evident that financial capital (New York) is much less flexible about it (cross the border and you are gone) than Silicon Valley (cross the border, let's hire him, he might know something we don't).
And then, culture and social conveniences are limiting this movement elsewhere, causing people to quit.
Sadly - if you are from outside of those areas - how can you explain to people around that success is not your goal, and failure is acceptable?
It's easy to treat people trying this method like fakes or daydreamers.
When you go to college and spend 3-5 years learning, then you are a smart person.
If you do the same, but in real life, you might be seen as an outsider.

Let's get to the point, though!
The idea is quite simple but might be tricky to pull it off.
It's based on you abandoning the goal of achieving success while focusing on educational aspects.
To create projects that you will stretch and experiment to gain knowledge with a slight chance of success.
So next time you see great opportunity, instead of wondering how you can ride it to the top, wonder what you can get out of it short term.
Will it give you more knowledge?
If so, then how?
Is it worth "educational" wise?
Will you learn new tech/marketing/business knowledge that would be difficult to obtain otherwise?

The worst part of working on a project and then quitting it is to get nothing from it.
Sure, we can read a lot of post-mortems, but many say the same things. They ignore the whole process and often end up in a cliche, like "a startup doing exactly this opened at the same time."
And how can you learn from reading the same things over and over?
Going through the process while closely observing everything that happens is key to extensive experience.
Practical knowledge always beats the theoretical.

"Build to learn" is about being practical - using theory as a ground, and then build using practical knowledge.
But instead of building a castle, or a palace, we create a set of small constructions first to learn the basics.
Once we can handle the basics, we move to more advanced stuff.
Sooner or later, we will be building the mentioned castles!
If you think you might end up building dozens of projects in search of your success story, you might accept that instead of lying to yourself, and get the most of it.
There is nothing worst than wasting your talents on something meaningful.
Try to push forward; you might finally realize what your real goal is. What's behind your deepest intentions.

"Build to learn" is meant to fuel your creativity, not to kill it.
The first step of it is to put a clear goal:
"I build this to learn."
Assume that trophies and achievements are secondary goals.
After all, every major player like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, or Richard Branson started with small projects (sometimes failing), then used the knowledge to build something big!

Force yourself to break your ego-infused box and look outside of it, to see what are real reasons for you to fail. Learn and keep trying to understand the events happening around you.
You might find out the shortcomings that were unnoticeable!

With this reasoning, don't be afraid to keep trying (as long as you won't bet everything on it). Fail, embrace the knowledge you get from it, grow your own self, and be a better person.
Don't fall in the trap of glorifying the failures though - praise the experience instead.
Don't build another shiny project to be the next unicorn company. When you are ready to make the next big thing, you'll know it (and feel it). There will be no guessing, no wondering (at least in the way you see now). There will be calculation and logic behind it.

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." - Oscar Wilde.

World culture is critical of repeatable failure, even for a good cause.
Fail once - at least you tried, fail twice - you are a fool.
The social pressure is probably the most challenging part of this method.
If success (or at least how people perceive success) is not achieved, you will be labeled as an outsider or even a loser.
Missing a common goal (becoming wealthy) is perceived as an overall failure.
You cannot really translate the perception of failure to make it look normal.
You risk getting your close ones to be skeptical and even cynical of your journey. In extreme cases, I know situations where close circles would turn aggressive against the "rule breaker."
The more "failures" you "achieve," the more negative the overall attitude of the society around you will be.
It's not an easy road, but it's fruitful, to say the least.
You can achieve a level of understanding, where you will see ALL the mechanics behind the money-making machinery.

There are some risks when doing this method (as with everything).
Do it for not long enough, and you can get overconfident and biased.
Do it for longer than you should, and you will need months to get out from the trap of setting yourself impossible challenges.
Out of around dozens of people following this method (that I knew directly that is, I assume there are thousands globally), only a few completed it.
Some of them quit due to social pressure (even from their partners). They still got something out of it, and all but one run a small business now (they are unable to scale/grow though).
The rest created profitable companies, often one of the key players in their industry.
From the original group, I was the one that took the longest to complete the road. This is because of the opportunity given to me. My partner was studying, so I did not need to focus on sorting our life as of yet. And I felt that I needed to learn more (programming, viral growth) and to make sure that my ego is under control. I needed more time because my whole life was bumpy, and I thought that some scars could affect my business sense.
I did miss a deadline, though, where I could complete this process without the substantial side-effects.
I knew from conversations with others that by doing this method for too long, you would need to unwind. I thought it would take 2-3 months, but I am in my 9th month, and I feel that I need 2-3 more. Don't get me wrong, I still make money online, but focusing on a small project that's growing slowly is critical to prepare myself mentally for starting massive projects.
I am working on Almost Cake, which quickly turned into my full-time job.
Almost Cake is a reanimation of one of my old build-to-learn projects that performed well. This is another excellent part of this method - you have a set of field-tested projects, where some might prove to be moneymakers when you decide to come back to them.

It took me a few years, and over 30 projects completed to get where I am now, but as said, I did the extreme version of it.
One of the guys that now run a massive operation did 4 "build to learn" projects and spent 1,5 year before he moved ahead (he had some business background though).
Another person with no business experience and with no business-oriented parents completed it with 7 projects and 3 years. He now runs a company that's one of the USA's leading players in his niche.
So, it's hard to say how long you need this run, but the timeframe should not be of the importance here.
The whole point of this method is to tame yourself and start getting somewhere with yourself.

The key concerns of "build to learn" are:
-Can you finish the project before you get bored of it? Don't invest in long term projects, when you have a track of abandoning them. You don't need to ship the product or make thousands of dollars. Focus on your initial goals first.
-Can you determine small goals before starting to work on the product? Can you identify a few realistic things you want to get out of this project?
-Will working on this project help you to move forward in a space you want to? If you will learn things you don't feel you need, then maybe it's better to focus elsewhere for now.
-Do you really need to work on the project, or should you turn around and do something completely different? Something that is far beyond your comfort zone?
-Do you have significant chances of achieving your goals with this project? Try not to pursue goals that you assume you will fail. You need to take care of your mental health and not put to much strain on it.

Using the "build to learn" method should not become an excuse for you failing to ship. Either you build to learn, or you build to achieve something. You should never go in the middle of the project and say, "just kidding, I was doing it to learn."

Sure, if you are already in the middle of the project, then change your goals. But don't do this for future projects. Otherwise, you might lose the ability to ship ever. You will always be hiding behind the "it was just a project" excuse.

So here is an example of goals I would set for myself when working on a project:
-learn about the branding niche
-create a solution that relies heavily on JavaScript (whenever possible)
-build a simple theme from a scratch
-research affiliate programs for monetization, learn more about making money as an affiliate
-try to get your first conversion

And that's that. I will follow achievable goals, focus on growth, and learn. All the goals are somewhat easy to achieve so that I won't get stuck somewhere.
Once I get through those goals, I can either continue with the project or scrap it for another shiny object without feeling guilty.
And down the road, I will get to the moment when I will say "enough" and build something great.

I hope this can help people that are jumping projects often and cannot settle. I managed to settle on Almost Cake, which is a transition project (for the next few months until I will start slowly working on something big). I encourage everyone having difficulty sticking to one thing to start writing a list of small goals whenever starting a new project. Good luck!
submitted by bartboch to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Not all midlevels are created equal (PA/NP)

[throwaway account because I don't want to get tracked down for voicing strong opinions]
I was recently deciding between an NP or PA program and I did a TON of research. Despite the prestige of the affiliated university/hospital, the NP curriculum poses a lot of issues, especially when they are granted full practice authority. The curriculum of each program speaks for themselves.
Here is the curriculum for the NP program. Where's the anatomy and physiology??? It's replaced with 'History of Nursing Ideas'....
And here is the curriculum for the PA program.
What angers me about PAs being grouped with NPs as 'midlevels' is the quality (yes I said it, quality) of education is vastly different. The bullshit about NURSING model vs MEDICAL model is an invalid excuse for a practitioner making MEDICAL decisions (i.e. prescribing MEDICATION, and making MEDICAL diagnosis) and an invalid excuse for why classes such as 'History of Nursing Ideas' (syllabus shown below) is an acceptable part of the curricula. PA programs are extremely rigorous, often including full cadaver dissection and a full year of didactic as well as clinical education not to mention extremely competitive (only 30% of total applicants every year get matriculated.. this means 70% give up or try again). Some NP programs have an 100% acceptance rate and can often get their education online or work part time while doing so with lots of 'theory' classes, group projects, and writing papers....
Furthermore, many of the PAs (including myself) I've seen and worked with have no desire for full practice authority/independence but feel they need to push for that to be 'on par' with NPs and not seen as inferior in the public/legislative eye. The argument many NPs have for their profession is that they 'don't have to have physician supervision' but don't have much else to show for it. The medical model and the collaborative relationship works for many PAs because of their tendency to be in specialties such as ortho, surgery, dermatology, etc where full practice authority wouldn't make much sense. There is no comparison to YEARS and thousands of hours of clinical experience and expertise the MD/DOs have. Don't get me started on Dr. Nurses.... (DNP)
Of course, there are good and bad providers on every level of medicine, and many have the motivation and intelligence to be 'self taught' or 'trained on the job', but the foundation of knowledge does matter. I think what's happening to NPs (and PAs, probably in the future) with granting full authority over a patient's care is dangerous and irresponsible.
The only place for the nursing model is... in nursing.
My current place of employment only has PAs refuses to employ NPs for this reason and from learned experience of incompetency.
I think it's important to have a clear distinction between the two and continue advocating for the PA profession.
submitted by midlevelpreach to physicianassistant [link] [comments]

Collusion, fraud, spam accounts, and more: The month long story of UCLA's most controversial student election

The following was adapted from posts originally made to SubredditDrama and may overexplain issues for students who are already familiar with UCLA culture. However, new admits should be able to follow along given the extra context.
If there are any subscandals I missed that you think contribute to the story in a significant way, please link the appropriate posts and I'll try to work them in.

Key Terms

North Campus: The northern half of the campus that houses humanities and social science departments. Colloquially used to describe anything related to the humanities.
South Campus: The southern half of the campus that houses the science departments. Colloquially used to describe anything related to the sciences.
USAC: Undergraduate Students Association Council, the undergraduate student government at UCLA. Known for being filled with north campus majors.
Daily Bruin u/daily-bruin: A student run newspaper. Known for being filled with north campus majors.
Slate: UCLA's version of a political party


Due to low engagement, last years spring elections saw 3 unfilled seats in USAC that required a special election during the fall quarter. A south campus major, Orion Smedley, ran on a platform to bring back a bus connecting UCLA to LAX that had been discontinued due to low usage several months before. In their election endorsements, the Daily Bruin wrote
The board does not endorse Smedley because of his narrow focus on small-scale visions and his lack of comprehensive understanding of the position. Smedley’s goals – such as organizing a bus between UCLA and LAX – showed him to be out of touch with student needs, as the lack of student use caused the FlyAway bus to be phased out earlier this year.
Orion went on to win a seat in the special election making him one of the few political outsiders as most USAC members are voted into the council after years of working their way up a slate.

The Referendum

On April 8th, the Daily Bruin reported that USAC had approved candidates and referenda for an online ballot due to campus closures in the wake of COVID-19. In this ballot was a particularly contentious referendum, Cultivating Unity for Bruins (CUB). The CUB referendum would increase student fees by $15 per quarter and $9 per summer session in order to fund the creation of a Black Resource Center, maintain meditation spaces, and offset the rent of the Transfer Student Center.
A post was made onto UCLA the next day calling for students to vote down the referendum. The post garnered much attention as many students were unaware that these measures had been passed. The referendum sparked backlash as many had recently lost their jobs, campus resources would not be accessible due to closures, and the Community Programs Office had $2.7 million unaccounted for. The subreddit began to fill with threads demanding accountability from USAC President Robert Watson.
In response to the outcry, USAC ordered its affiliates to make reddit accounts to downvote threads that were bringing negative attention to the CUB referendum. These messages were instead posted onto UCLA which only served to further foment backlash against the CUB referendum.
Students began to dig into USAC financials only to discover other information of which many had been previously unaware. In particular they discovered most accounts were overfunded even accounting for spring quarter expenses. Many were also shocked to learn that USAC officers were paid stipends of up to $10K a year for serving on the council.
After this story broke, students flooded the USAC public meetings that had been moved to Zoom. During the meeting immediately following the backlash against the CUB referendum, all USAC officers, save Orion, voiced their continued support for CUB. Orion stated he did not think the time was appropriate for a fee increase but planned to abstain from voting as he was running for USAC president in the coming elections. Throughout the meeting, other officers berated Orion for not supporting the referendum (Timestamps in the comments). During the Zoom meeting, a participant vandalized the chat with racist remarks which prompted the hosts to remove students from the meeting. Soon after, USAC officers took to other forms of social media, where they had more support, to continue attacking Orion. Students responded by shaming council members that had attacked Orion and removed students from a public meeting.
In response to USAC's mishandling of the CUB referendum backlash, the Daily Bruin wrote an article chastising members of USAC.
Student representatives are supposed to focus their offices’ firepower on students’ problems, not on one another. But recently, the voice of the student body has largely been composed of Twitter rants and screenshot exposes. Tensions between Undergraduate Students Association Council members have boiled over into the public social media sphere over the Cultivating Unity for Bruins Referendum, a proposed referendum on the upcoming USAC election ballot.
Soon afterwards, an unrelated scandal was brought to light by Orion. He claimed that on March 10th, USAC voted against an independent judiciary with only he and another officer in opposition.

The Election

In the same article that announced the CUB referendum would be on the ballot, it was revealed that Orion had formed his own slate, Cost Cutting Innovations (CCI), and would be seeking the presidency. He would be facing Naomi of For the People (FTP), the slate with the greatest representation in USAC, and three other Independent candidates. The fallout over the USAC's mishandling of the CUB referendum gave Orion and his slate an unexpected surge of support. He became the posterchild of reduced student fees after he was the only one to state his opposition to the referendum.
As election week approached, UCLA was rocked by several instances of fraud, where students posing as members of both Naomi and Orion's campaigns made unsanctioned posts. The moderators stepped in and began requiring verification from users claiming to represent candidates.
As election week was about to kick off, the Daily Bruin released their endorsements of candidates. To the dismay of many, the Daily Bruin endorsed FTP candidates nearly straight down the ballot. Users were quick to notice the amateurish reporting of the editorial board and called out discrepancies online.
In their endorsement for FTP's Zuleika over CCI's Deven they cited both of their lack of experience in student government as transfer students but gave very different spins.
While she lacks experience on USAC, Bravo has a wide range of leadership experience working with the Students with Dependents Program and the Transfer Leadership Coalition.
Additionally, her lack of experience within USAC raises concern given the rigorous and sometimes toxic environment of student government, and we worry that her ideas may get lost in the transition.
A user pointed out that the USAC and the Daily Bruin had strong incentives provide legitimacy for each other. The user observed that south campus majors are less inclined to participate in student government because it is not in line with their career goals. The growing threat to USAC due to an increased number of south campus majors running on the CCI slate this year revealed to many students that the initiatives of previous administrations had merely been for show and were not focused on real student issues.
South campus majors don't run for office. More importantly they don't vote. So when it comes to it, USAC is filled with the same people who push initiatives that stroke the "woke" ego that is so pervasive among the self proclaimed journalists at the Daily Bruin while the few [who] do push for South Campus specific plans get called "out of touch". It's absurd that a candidate can run on a campaign that wants to restore a tangible service to students and gets called out of touch while another candidate is praised for adding seats for students we don't know to a senate we've never heard of.
This message resonated with the UCLA userbase that skews heavily towards south campus. Students attacked the Daily Bruin and USAC for working together to maintain a system that allowed faux politicians and journalists to push unrealistic agendas for the purpose of advancing their careers and to the detriment of real student's problems. They alleged USAC and the Daily Bruin were out of touch with the student body after they had repeatedly endorsed candidates with the same type of lofty, good-on-paper agendas over candidates with realistic, sensible plans.
The start of election week was plagued by several more scandals. On Sunday, students also discovered that the the elections board, u/uclaelectionsboard, had paid for actors Brian Baumgartner and Lena Headey to record videos encouraging students to vote. Students complained this was a waste of student fees during a contentious election currently being fought over student fee raises.
On Monday morning, an email, seeming to address incidents of racism, was sent out to all UCLA students. The email stated that racist attacks had been made against the CUB Referendum, citing specifically the incident where racial slurs were used during a public Zoom meeting. The USAC President, Elections Board Chair, and leaders of various ethnic student groups signed on to urge students to participate in the current elections.
Students accused USAC of violating election codes by sending partisan information to students over a service to which all students are required to subscribe.
If you believe that USAC president Robert Watson violated campaign guidelines by sending an email to all undergraduates encouraging a 'yes' vote on the CUB referendum, click here [go to 'report a violation'] to file a complaint.
I recommend you cite Regulation 2.1.a.i of the Social Media Guidelines.
The Social Media Guidelines for campaigning, Regulation 2.1.a.i, state that campaign literature cannot be sent to email lists that all students are required to subscribe to." [note: such as the undergraduate student directory]
Campaigning is defined in the election code, section 8.2.1.a (page 27) as:
[A]ny effort by any individual or group to influence the decision of any student in support of or against any USAC candidate, slate, initiative, referendum, recall, or constitutional amendment appearing on the ballot in the next election through the use of verbal or nonverbal interaction, electronic correspondence of any kind, or the use of physical materials. (emphasis mine)
Students called upon the Elections Board, the independent administrators of the election, to investigate the incident. Despite high activity in encouraging students to vote just hours before, the Election Board account went silent.
Further violations of election code occurred when students posted screenshots of unsolicited texts messages they had received from an individual endorsing the FTP slate.
After a two day investigation, the elections board found the complaint to be invalid.
The Board first makes it clear that the main reason behind its approval of this letter was to take a clear stand in solidarity against incidents of hate speech that have occurred as a result of the ongoing debate about the CUB referendum
Many of the petitioners took issue with the sentence “These instances further highlight the inadequacy of space where Black students are able to feel safe and welcome on and off campus.” The Board agrees that this line itself could possibly be construed as campaigning as one of the components of the referenda is the construction of a Black Bruin Resource Center, which was mentioned in the email. On the other hand, the Board also agrees that this line itself could be construed as entirely factual by others and that the inclusion of “off campus” makes it so that racism as a whole is being addressed, with “on-campus” being used as a reference to the University. The Board acknowledges the petitioners’ concerns but this is ultimately a matter of subjective interpretation.
They also wrote
The third paragraph of the email discusses the CUB referendum, but only in the context of the racist incidents that have occured; these incidents are among the ones that the Board denounced in a April 15th statement.
Many students responded by repeatedly asking for examples of racist incidents other than one in the Zoom meeting. Students also noticed a lack of justification on why the email was not sent immediately after the incidents happened.
Allegations of conspiracy grew when a screenshot of the USAC President claiming he had been given information on the current state of the election was posted onto UCLA. Fury continued to mount against the elections board for this perceived impropriety. However, in this thread, the elections board defended itself by claiming they had no knowledge on the results, only the number of votes cast. Students continued to take issue with this statement asking why this information had only been made available to members of USAC.

The Results

At 6 PM Friday, five hours after voting had concluded, the elections board announced the results of the election. With the highest voter turnout since 2016:
Unexpectedly, the results were a mixed bag with many projecting a sweep by either side, contingent on the pass or fail of the CUB referendum. Despite both sides gaining and conceding ground, drama continued to ensue.
Shocked that CUB had failed, supporters of the referendum took to twitter and began accusing UCLA of racism. Reddit users also posted and criticized screenshots of several tweets by Naomi.[1]
As the fervor over the elections died down, some took the opportunity to remind the student body of the alleged misconduct of USAC, the elections board, and the Daily Bruin. However, it is unclear if the student body will have the momentum and memory to hold the newly elected USAC accountable to transparency and real change after this particularly contentious election.
[1] : It is the opinion of the author that the second tweet can be construed as frustration at middle class people for not joining the plight of lower class people. Whether it is true, that middle class people do not support lower class people, is subject to debate.

Author's thoughts

Since this section is my own opinion, I won't be adding sources unless its about an event that actually happened.
First I would like to start off by disclosing my biases. I completed my undergrad at UCLA and am currently a graduate student in a south campus major. Graduate students are governed by the Graduate Students Association (GSA) and have no stake in USAC. I also happen to know some members of the Daily Bruin's editorial board and their political beliefs; although, I have not been in contact with them for the duration of this event.
I'm extremely disappointed by USAC, the elections board, and the Daily Bruin for their behavior during this election cycle. While much of the evidence regarding collusion is circumstantial, it's hard to give them the benefit of the doubt, especially when many of these organizations have obtained notoriety for engaging in playground politics.
USAC and supporters of the CUB referendum have failed in every attempt to engage in civil discourse with the opposition. As a somewhat liberal individual, I probably have voted in favor of CUB, if I were an undergrad, barring a pandemic and the unaccounted $2.7 million. USAC and supporters refused to attack the argument: a student fee increase during a pandemic and by the least transparent USAC in recent history is a bad idea, opting instead to call all detractors racist. If these students wish to be future leaders and activists in America, they need to do better. On an unrelated note, this is why no one takes liberals, and by proxy college students, seriously. If your first reaction to disagreement is to scream racism, you don't know what you're doing.
If you take your role on USAC seriously, and I know many do because it's what many want as a career, you have to be accountable. Real governments are accountable to the people they serve. If you read this story not knowing that it was a college government, you would think it was a democracy on the verge of collapsing into a totalitarian state. Which is kind of ironic considering how dyed in the wool liberal some of these people claim to be.
Despite actively engaging with students on UCLA in the days prior to election week, the elections board has been eerily silent since allegations of franking came out on Monday. I read the full Notice of Findings and am obligated to believe that a thorough investigation was conducted by an independent board. However, that is not to say that their actions were not incredibly suspect. As students, we know who is friends with who and it makes it very difficult to believe that members of the elections board did not have a personal stake in CUB despite statements to the contrary. However, in a democracy, they are entitled to the benefit of the doubt and the court of public opinion has brought nothing but circumstantial evidence. If this new USAC takes transparency seriously, I think commitments to increasing oversight would be a much needed reassurance.
With regards to the Daily Bruin, I hate being misinformed. So much that if you knew me in real life, you might be able to guess who I was based on how much I insist people go directly to the source material. I understand that journalists are not paid just to report the facts but also to give their opinions. But with that said, many of writers who covered this story let personal politics affect their ability to report the facts first.
There was a sub scandal that I didn't cover in the main story where students alleged that the Daily Bruin deliberately put off reporting on the fee increases as to not bring attention to its negative impacts. Several people[2], [3] asked the Daily Bruin to report on the story when it first came out. But it took three weeks for the article to come out and it came out after voting had already started. While I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt, I wouldn't put it past the editors I know to strategize like this and others were keen to keep track as well
But it looks like they never got around to it. How tf could they fail to cover something so substantial? And boy, how convenient was that... considering that they also recently announced that they endorse the fee increase (referendum).
There was a UCLA student in the comments of the SubredditDrama post that said I was being unfair to the Daily Bruin. I openly admit I don't much like the Daily Bruin and agree their opinion pieces hot garbage. But their investigative pieces have been incredibly lackluster as well. Their report on the unaccounted $2.7 million was the best I'd read from them but they failed to report on its connections to concerns of transparency as it relates to the recent election.
Another thing that is incredibly concerning is the lack of south campus representation in USAC and the Daily Bruin. It was pointed out in the comments of the SubredditDrama post that the Daily Bruin does employ south campus majors in the stack, their data visualization and tech blog. I spoke to a friend who is a graduated member of the Daily Bruin about this story and they said they weren't surprised. The south campus staffers were not really concerned with campus politics and mostly kept to themselves.
Which leads us to south campus representation in USAC. It's true that internships and research experience is way more valuable careerwise to south campus majors so they don't really bother with USAC. But I hope that changes after this year. The bigger issue is with the USAC establishment denying representation of the south campus perspective, as evidenced by the tweets linked above
... my platform will explicitly include banning south campus majors from running for office or voting ...
Hyperbole aside, it's disconcerting that people are trying to paint the result of the referendum as a north vs south argument. There is north vs south culture at UCLA which is discussed mostly as a joke but sometimes seriously, e.g. north campus majors are attractive but unhireable and south campus majors are goblins but will be rich, the north side of campus looks beautiful and the south side is trash, etc. But that north vs south culture isn't the reason CUB failed. It's the reason referenda like CUB are allowed to exist to begin with.
No one is doubting that marginalized communities need our support. But if you read the linked threads and articles, you would have seen dozens of acronyms, CPO, CRC, SIOC, CEC, CSC, SREC[4], CAC, CTP, AAC, AAP, MO, TLC, UCSA, SWC, CAPS, and more. There is not a single "run of the mill" student that can tell you what each of these stand for, what they do, and how some of them are different from each other. I also made one of those up and challenge anyone to tell me which one is fake without looking them up.
UCLA is a huge school and I get that there needs to be a lot of groups to cater to some large populations. But it's alarming how easily some groups are made to serve a seemingly niche purpose, funded all on the student's dime. If I didn't know any better, I would think that some of these groups were made just to push some esoteric social justice agenda and make resume padders for friends of officials. South campus demands realistic and practical goals, as evidenced by CCI's slate. But when south campus doesn't participate, the runaway north campus effect goes on to create groups after every color of the rainbow spending money on things students don't know about.
If USAC wants referenda to pass or fail on their own merits, they have to engage the other half of the campus while they're being written. There is no point in north campus throwing referendum after referendum at the student body for it to be voted down after south campus grows tired of increased fees without representation. If USAC wants students to take future referenda seriously, they can't disenfranchise south campus.
USAC, do better.
u/uclaelectionsboard, do better.
u/daily-bruin, do better.
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.
Erratum: [4] CREC should be SREC.
submitted by cafmc to ucla [link] [comments]

Growing A Blog Network To >$25,000 A Month! - May 2020 - $6447/$25,000.

So rather than just track one domain as I had planned, I have decided to just track the progress of all of the domains in my network as I look to grow it in the future. My initial goal is to get to $10,000 a month with an outsourcing system that I am trying to put together and then use it to rapidly grow from $10,000 to >$25,000 as soon as possible. Last month I managed to make around $6447 but I think that the stimulus cheques going live in the USA helped increase the sales for the month and expect this to normalize to $80-$130 a day until my newer domains age in and start making money.
I have no idea how long this journey will take to grow to being able to pull over $25,000 a month or even if I will reach it but its something to work towards for the future. I also have a video version of this post on Reddit that you can check out if you prefer information in video format too. One quick thing to add is that the Amazon Affiliate income screenshots below for the actual domains are from that usually makes up around 75% of a domain's income with the other 25% coming from the other Amazon storefronts with a very small amount coming from Adsense and eBay.

Domain 1 - >$169 Income

I have a dedicated site report video for this domain on Reddit covering the domain and its history. This is the oldest domain that I still have in my money site network and as you can see from the screenshot of its traffic analytics, it was hit by the Google Medic update drastically slashing its traffic pull from Google. It managed to limp on from that pulling just over $300 per month but it was then hit by the Amazon commission rate cuts in April 2020 falling from a commission rate of 8% down to 3%.
Due to being in a niche policed by the Google Medic update, I have no plans to put any more time or money into this particular domain so I am just going to leave it as it is to limp on. As you can see from its income, it managed to make almost $170 last month from plus its income from the other Amazon storefronts as well as Googles Adsense program.

Domain 2 - >$1612 Income

I also have a dedicated site report video for this domain on Reddit covering the domain and its history. As you can see from its traffic analytics, this domain has also been hit by two Google updates, the Florida 2 update in Feb 19 and the September 2019 update too almost killing the domain, thankfully though, the Google update in November 2019 managed to recover it from both of the updates and it is currently doing better than ever with May being its highest income month. The dip around March/April 2020 is due to the virus lockdown and people panicking as this niche is far from essential buying so people were not searching for the items.
Outside of being previously hit with two Google updates, the main issue with this domain is that it is extremely niche and hard to scale with nw content until the next generation of products are released for it. Although I will release new content for these products when they are released for the domain, I have no plans to add any new content to it until then and product cycles can be as long as five years for this niche with some being around three years.
Another problem for this domain right now is that the majority of the products are made in China and they are currently out of stock with the official Amazon supply chain for the USA. I think that this is due to the virus lockdown causing issues with shipping and I have no idea when the products will be back in stock. On the flipside of this though, local retailers who already have these products have been listing them on Amazon charging as much as double their normal price and they have been selling. More and more retailers have worked this out though so the prices are rapidly normalizing again but someone paid over $1200 via my affiliate link when the item is usually $550-$650.

Domain 3 - >$3047 Income

I also have a dedicated site report video for this domain on Reddit covering the domain and its history. As you can see, this domain has also been hit by a Google update, this one was hit by the May 4th 2020 update dropping traffic by around 20% unfortunately but it is still my highest income domain to date. Again, the dip in traffic around March/April 2020 is due to the virus lockdown and these items being in a niche that is not essential so people were not searching for them as much.
Just like domain 2 above, this domain has an issue with being too niche that I have already managed to cover the vast majority of the content that I can think of for it until the next round of products are released. Thankfully though, product releases for this niche are usually every two to three years with multiple brands being involved in it so I should be able to churn out more content in a few months for this domain.

Domain 4 - >$156 Income

I started this domain in January but I am currently just planning to leave it to see if its traffic ends up growing or not. Unfortunately, this domain is having a number of issues with the indexing problems Google are having right now and although domain 5 also has these issues, force indexing posts for domain 5 seems to help but with this domain, Google just kick the posts back out of its index after a week or two. The content in unique and usually over 2000 words so I doubt it is a thin or duplicate content penalty or anything like that but its really annoying me.
This screenshot is from this domain Google Search Console showing the coverage tab for this project. The bars are the number of pages that Google has in either their crawled, not indexed or discovered, not indexed categories. I became aware of these issues with Google indexing system around the 9th May and you can see that the initial force indexing of the content did help and the number of pages Google were aware of but didn't index reduced drastically but they then started to increase again.
I have not published any new content to this domain so the pages getting kicked out of the index are the older pages that force indexing initially managed to get in the index. There have been posts on Reddit from other people having this same issue too and Google has also said that they are aware of it and have pushed a fix live. Unfortunately though, judging by the comments to this Tweet from Google where they say that they have pushed their fix live, it seems it has done little to nothing with some webmasters reporting that it is actually worse now.
In addition to this, the niche for this domain has been hit hard by the Google May 4th update too. Although the domain is too young and still in the Google Sandbox to see the effects of this in its traffic analytics due to not having many posts on in the top 3 of Google for their search terms, many of the keywords are now much higher competition than they were prior to the update. Just like domain 3 though, many of these higher strength pages now ranking on the first page for this domain search terms are only niche relevant and not keyword-relevant so I think Google may make some tweaks and may make this a viable niche again.
For the foreseeable future though, I have no plans to publish any more content for this domain and if it is not making enough to cover its domain registration and hosting renewal in January I will just leave it to die. Fingers crossed that Google can fix the issues with their indexer and potentially tweak their May 4th update for this niche.

Domain 5 - $0.03

This is the domain that I launched last month but unfortunately, this domain is also having similar problems to domain 4 above with the May 4th update from Google having an effect on the pages on the first page for its search terms as well as the indexing issues. Thankfully, this domain seems to be keeping its pages in the index once force crawled though giving me some hope that future domains will not be like domain 4 and have their pages kicked out of the Google index. The increases in domains that are not indexed for this domain is due to new content being added rather than older content being pushed back out of the index.
This domain is targeting broad informational keywords rather than later targeting specific buyer intent keywords like the domains above. This means that the May 4th update from Google has had a more serious effect on the domains on the first page and although the new pages Google has put there after the update are more generic, many of them are relevant to the keywords now. I did a manual check of all of the keywords a few days back for this domain and I would only consider less than 30% of the keywords with published content on the domain to still be low competition.
I do plan to come back to this domain in the future but I am going to wait before publishing more content to it. I want to see if the indexing problems get fixed, stay as they are requiring forced indexing or if the pages start getting kicked out of the Google index like domain 4. In a few months, I will check how this domain is doing and make a decision on putting more time and money into growing it but for now, its paused.

Domain 6

This domain is not currently online and is only in the very early stages of planning. With any luck, I will be launching it early next month or the month after. The goal of this domain is to serve two purposes, the first is to test out a system that I plan to use for outsourcing as much of the blogging process as possible to freelancers to free up my time. The second is to try out some patterns for keyword research that I have seen after going over the SERPs for my domains above. Google definitely seems to be putting more weight on results from sites such as YouTube, Reddit, Quora, Amazon, and Pinterest since pushing last month's update out so I have had to adapt my keyword research method.
Essentially, I am hoping that this domain will be a way to move forward with outsourcing as much as possible as well as developing a successful keyword research method for the future. I currently have just over 100 keywords planned for this domain that I plan to use for the project that I would still consider to be low competition.

Domain 7

This domain is not currently online yet either but I am considering using this domain as a project to keep me busy where I can publish the content myself as I plan to outsource content creation for domain 6. Not only will this keep me productive and hopefully result in an income from the project but I am half considering using nothing but this keyword research method based around nothing but zero search volume keywords for the project too.
I have been messing around with it for a few years now for a small number of pages on each of my sites but PhilReddit7 posted in the comments that it is basically the same keyword research method that he uses for the domain in his case study that managed to pull almost 50,000 organic hits last month on a domain that is only five months old.
As I plan to publish the majority of the content for this domain myself, I will have to find a niche that I am comfortable enough with to smash out tons of content without having to do much research so I will probably go with one of my existing hobbies or interests. On top of this, if I can find solid, low competition keywords that actually have some search volume then I will go with them rather than the zero search volume keywords but still plan to integrate some of the zero search volume stuff into this domain in the future too.
submitted by shaun-m to juststart [link] [comments]

Post Affiliate Pro: The Easy-to-Integrate Affiliate Tracking Software Post Affiliate Pro is a full software suite that helps you manage your affiliate program. You can track the commissions you owe, watch over campaigns you are running, and run reports that tell you how successful a given campaign was. Affiliate tracking software for E-Commerce and SaaS that integrates seamlessly with your site in just minutes. Begin affiliate marketing to reward loyal brand ambassadors and boost sales. Learn more about our features here. Easily create, manage, and scale your own affiliate marketing programs. 10 Affiliate Marketing Tracking Software Platforms Affiliate marketing is a great way to make additional income or push your products and services. But the best way to do this is by using the Post Affiliate Pro is another useful affiliate marketing tracking software trusted by over 2,700 companies globally. It can link to more than 170 CMS as well as best payment gateways. Affiliate tracking software (aka affiliate marketing software or referral software) is used by online businesses to enable the promotion and selling of their products or services by independent affiliates. By choosing your own affiliate software, you take control and ownership of your program, rather than using a 3rd party affiliate network.. With affiliate program software, affiliate

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