Ahrefs Affiliate Program (Update April 2019) | AffiliBuddy

I've got an author that wants to mention my product in his book IF I set up an affiliate program - so he can make a few bucks... help.

He's had some success with a previous book, seems legit and caters to a niche market. It would be great if he could just recommend my product based on it's merits but apparently there's less and less of that happening in the world.
Here's my question..... I went to an IRCE (Internet Retailer Conference) a few years back and most the speakers hammered the message that affiliate programs were a bad idea for the reailers. This was about 5 years ago - so have things changed?
The retail price of my product is $9.95 and we have wholesale dealers who can buy it at 50% off (but they order cases of 25 or 50 pieces at a time).
What's the upside/downside of doing an affiliate program? And can I mitigate the damage (if any) by just offering an affiliate program to this author?
Finally - any recommendations on how to set this up?
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Who Here Went To 2nd Nature in Utah or Oregon? Reviews Are of Course Terrible. Here Are Just A Few I Found On Yelp!

Second Nature
Christen V.
Northborough, MA
4/15/2020
“Child abuse child abuse child abuse that's all this place is about I can't tell you how many counselors should be put in jail for child abuse this place is terrible children should never be kidnapped this place should be shut down Did you send your kids here they will be permanently traumatized for the rest of their lives and never trust you again I did have a first-hand experience.”
Allie F.
Bloomington, IN
8/17/2019
Updated review
“I haven't been on Yelp in a long time and saw the response from Andrea. Well, there is another program called "Second Nature Entrada Wilderness Therapy Program" that is also located in Utah. These two organizations have the SAME logo. I'm certain they are affiliated.
Anyone considering attending this program should really do their research.
Here is a link that provides information about how shady these programs are. It also includes investigations completed by the Government Accountability Office.
astart.fmhi.usf.edu
I want to emphasize that wilderness therapy programs are COMPLETELY UNREGULATED. It has been shown that the "educational consultants" and "after-care" programs get kickbacks for referrals.
Again, please message me if you'd like to hear more about my experience. I will be checking my account.
I'm very fortunate that I'm healthy, have a loving family, and am educated. Many people who participate in this program are not as fortunate and are therefore less likely to talk about their experiences.
4/14/2016Previous review
I had a horrible experience in this program. The reason I decided to go is that I had gone through a traumatic experience and I started seeing a therapist who recommended it.
I was expecting to feel supported and get to know the staff and other people in the program. Instead I was treated like a criminal even though I've never done drugs or broken the law.
The staff you interact with on a daily basis are not trained therapists. They were often emotionally abusive. I was told that if I left the program early my parents wouldn't want me back. I have a very close relationship with my family and knew that was bull****. At the time I was on disability at my first job out of college and had moved back home.
We were often bullied and treated with disrespect. We hiked in over 100 degree weather most days . I was on a lot of anti anxieties bc I would get panic attacks which made me extremely tired. Sometimes when I needed a break from hiking (which btw i love hiking and used to do that most weekends before I was mentally I'll) I was told I was lazy and that I could not take a break.
During most of the program I was not allowed to talk to my parents. The therapist kept telling them I needed to stay longer. Btw they charge something like $5,000 per week which isn't cheap so they have a strong incentive to make you stay longer.
Finally in order to leave the program I would just flat out lie to the staff and say everything they wanted to hear. When I finally was allowed to go home my parents were very upset and I was very depressed for months. When I was finally able to communicate with my parents during the program I was terrified to tell them about what the program was like. The therapist was on the phone line and told me what I needed to tell my parents if I wanted to leave any time soon.
I'm happy to say that now I'm doing very well . I'm a full time grad student and work 20 hours a week at a university. If anyone wants to talk to me about my experience I welcome it and am more than happy to answer questions.
Of course this is only my experience and I know there are ppl who benefit from it. If your kid has serious behavioral problems or addicted to drugs they might benefit. If your kid is feeling depressed or anxious I wouldn't recommend it. It could make their problems worse.”
Kate B.
San Rafael, CA
1/26/2019
“Parents: probably good to read some kids reviews as you'll have very little insight into the day-to-day at 2N...
I attended second nature from September-December 2007 when I was 15. Few things after reading some reviews: - I will always hold a very special place in my heart for some of the field staff there. Emily R, Erin, and I think his name was Dan. You don't build much of a connection with the therapist that comes out once a week, so you keep your fingers crossed you get good field staff. - I can verify that I was blindfolded when being transported from the mountains to the high desert when we relocated for winter weather. No big deal, they don't want us running away. - The food was terrible when I was there. I gained about 10 unnecessary pounds from eating all carbs and fat, with very scarce opportunities for animal protein. I remember we had "meat Friday's" which was a gallon freezer bag of mystery meatballs for us to share. We had oatmeal for breakfast every morning, tortillas and peanut butter for lunch, and the famous dehydrated beans and rice for dinner. - Society is different now. Kids don't play outside, they're on their phones. We were sent out on "solos" pretty soon after I arrived which I was NOT prepared for. You have a campsite alone in the woods, with absolutely no one else around. You have your notebook and any books your therapist gives you and that's it...for several days. This was before smart phones and Instagram and I was still uncomfortable beyond belief. I did not have the coping skills or self love to be able to be on my own without any distractions so soon into my stay, which made the experience fairly traumatic for me. - I hiked 11 miles in a snow storm carrying an ~80lb pack with two ingrown toenails that I ended up having to get surgically removed. Did this make me tough? Hell yeah it did. Did it make me stop breaking rules, lying to my parents, and manipulating my way through life? Nope. I did 2 years at boarding school after this which is where the real progress happened.
I'm almost 27 now and have been very successful in my life. 3 stars because second nature taught me to work hard, don't complain, and that things can ALWAYS be worse. Star deductions because it was pretty shitty at times, and if I was put in the position I would not send my child here to learn those lessons.”
📷
Connor N.📷
7/25/2016
“Don't buy into the positive reviews, this place is terrible. You are a monster if you go through with sending a child there. What this place does to people is comparable to rape or molestation in the shame and how it outcasts you permanently from ever really feeling back at home again. When you are out there, the staff have no problem letting you know this is a business and that they are using the willingness and trust of confused and frustrated parents with money, and feeding you into an expensive system where therapists and professionals convince the parents that their child needs expensive boarding school, or other "after-care" programs. I was there summer of 2010 Group4 and I wish this never happened to me. Never have your child kidnapped people. That's what mine did. That's what this program may have you do, many in my group did. They had two huge Richmond gangster African American men burst into my room at 4am and drag me out of my room, threatening to handcuff me if I resisted at all. Others in my group had been beaten bloody by their "escort service" for resisting. Do not listen to the positive reviews. Maybe for a few this might work, but this has made my life hell in unimaginable ways. I'll never forgive my parents for what they put me through with this, and I wish I could organize a joint lawsuit and get together with former "clients" and sue the hell out of this place for the damage they have caused us. You are a monster if you send your kid here. Don't buy into the recommendations of professionals. This is not how you should treat any sort of problem. You are sending your child to a marching internment camp where they could be eaten by a bear because someone else brought food in their pack to bed. Which there aren't tents here people. Just a boat tarp you string up with paracord, so rats run over you in the night, mosquitos swarm you in the hundreds, so loud their buzzing is what wakes you in the morning. Where if you don't make a fire with sticks successfully, you can't sit by the group fire or eat group food, forced to eat cold tuna envelopes while everyone else eats. Where they make you walk miles without water on "dehydration hikes". Where staff members taunt you that you aren't going home and that the therapist will convince your parents to send you to a boarding school. I was just a kid with depression who smoked some weed. A psychologist and his recommended "educational consultant" convinced my parents to have me kidnapped the day after I finished my school year and spend my 16th birthday and the next 3 months in the custodial care of this abomination of a program. Please. I beg of you. For your child's sake don't go down this road if you care anything about having any what of a normal relationship with your child. I can answer more questions if you'd like.”
Sim G.
New York, NY
2/19/2014
“Worst place in the universe. The staff are almost abusive and the program is terrible. I would not recommend this for anyone. It s nothing more than a business, and the place should be shut down. The only reason I'm writing this review, is so no one else will make the same mistake I made, which was to go. I only hope the viewer of this will weigh their options heavily before even thinking about this place.”
Roxanne B.
Los Angeles, CA
📷4/16/2015
“I highly doubt that anyone researching programs will look here.. on Yelp, but I would be remiss not to warn parents and families at every turn of this abusive program. Second Nature makes fantastical claims of it's success rates, safety, and the qualifications of its staff but a little intensive research yields the truth: Second Nature programs are no more effective, and absolutely no different than programs like Utah's now-closed North Star Expeditions/Challenger Foundation. In fact, wilderness programs and boot camp-style "tough love" treatments have zero peer-reviewed studies which show they are effective. I am 100% fo' serious (research it!). I am a former camper, and I ended up swept through the system, and away from home for a bit more than two years. Second Nature refused me my inhaler while hiking despite the fact that I have had documented athsma my entire life (claiming that although I take asthma medication, that I was "lying" about my condition). 2N also espouses isolation as a successful form of therapy (most campers will spend 6-7 days on "Solo," not a single person in sight, completely alone with no idea where staff is located). Please read any literature related to the recent Kelief Browder tragedy if you're curious about whether or not isolation/solitary confinement is an effect form of treatment. 2N Counselors (who hold no degrees, certification, and are often 20-somethings with sleeves or tattoos and no career aspirations) were often incredibly cruel, telling a sick campmate of mine that she was "disgusting," or calling young girls brats, fools, manipulative liars if they were sick, "idiots" and more. Worst of all, the program is recklessly-run and thus, dangerous. Our group was lost one afternoon with no water and no food, and 1 of my fellow campers fainted from dehydration.
  1. Any program that monitors, censors, or severely limits the contact you have with your child raises a big fat red flag. Your child should be able to have unmonitored contact with you, in the case that they are being mistreated or are in danger. 2N censors written letters written by campers, and phonecalls (which are a privilege granted before one leaves) are always in the presence of 1 or more staff member.
  2. A program that deals with frightened, sick, or abused children and teens as "manipulative, liars, entitled brats," and more is also a red flag. "Being immature," is not a reason to send a child to treatment (a child or teen, by definition, is "immature").
  3. Programs that do not require staffers to have advanced degrees, and years of experience in the field= red flag. Qualified individuals should be a first-priority of any program which conducts it's "treatment" in conditions as extreme as 2N's.
  4. Programs which ask you to waive your power of attorney over to their staff and ask that you not sue in the case of severe illness, major injury, or death= red flag.
Essentially, there are far too many horror stories but the bottom line here is: do your research. Now do more. The troubled teen industry is just that- an industry (not-so-fun-fact: supported by Romney's venture capitalist firm, Bain), and their first and foremost priority is to make money for themselves and their friends at therapeutic boarding schools, "escort services," and "educational consultants." Profiting off a family's vulnerability, confusion, fear, or even worse abusive and dysfunctional dynamic is morally reprehensible. Torturing teens doesn't make anything or anyone better, it makes things worse. In the best case scenario, you will be exorbitantly wealthy and able to send your child to a "therapeutic boarding school," a program which I can only describe as abuse-lite. Parents- you have options! Please, please, please arm yourself with facts/peer-reviewed and unbiased statistics and studies regarding troubled teen programs, and not sales propaganda. Best of luck to you!
Essential Reading: helpatanycost.com/questi… (Questions to ask of any program a family is considering) sia-now.org ttp://www.sltrib.com/news/ci\_7139316 heal-online.org/secondna…"
Max G.
Miami, FL
3/3/2020
“I was sent here 2 years back and I can openly say if you plan on sending your kids here there are so many better options. Don't even think about sending your kid away. If you don't want to deal with your child and send them elsewhere do be dealt with you don't truly love them or deserve to be their parent and this is how it will look to the child for the rest of their lives after. It's been two years and I can say I will never truly forgive my dad for sending me to Second Nature. It makes me hate that he's my dad. Yes I was struggling but I wasn't on the verge of death and therefore such intense measures shouldn't even be considered. The only beneficial skills I learned from second nature were survival skills and a general understanding of my emotions. But this doesn't matter whatsoever because the trauma from that experience has caused me more anxiety and depression than ever! I am not just an angry kid who was sent to Second Nature. I happened to enjoy my stay in many parts. But that's simply because I learned that I love the outdoors! but most children sent here are not so fond of their situation and in the end this program causes more problems than it solves. Everyone who was in my group has relapsed or gone back to old habits unless they DECIDED to change themselves. CHANGE DOESN'T WORK WHEN ITS FORCED.”
Zac H.
Asheville, NC
📷
8/21/2019
“You are hiking in rain, feet of snow if you are injured they tell you to suck it up. I am not anti-wilderness, as I think it is a great experience. But this place is truly not therapeutic, the schoolwork is very hard to get help with. This program often leaves you hungry at night and staff will get aggressive over small things such as exchanging phone numbers, whispering, etc. I got my wrists grabbed to the point of bruises after exchanging phone numbers, and I got no apology until he met my parents. Send your child to another wilderness program this is miserable for all parties. My therapist was nice but the staff does NOT CARE except for a select people. Just remember this is your child.”
Cooper S.
Laguna Beach, CA
📷
6/30/2019
“This review goes out for all parents thinking even for a second about sending their child here. It's not worth it. You think your child will learn and grow from this? Well then you are probably just as delusional as the people who run the place. You think, "oh wilderness therapy, sounds like a good way to get my child out of the scene of day to day life and have them step back and work on themselves." Yea if your child was Bear Grylls. Everyday is a grueling fight for survival. I was there in the winter of 2018-2019. I suffer from permanent nerve damage in my feet from the harsh cold and not enough warmth. The staff are harsh, cruel, selfish, and are solely focused on the objective of leaving the next week. The staff are all you have. the only connection to the outside world. Your solace and comfort in a time of stress. A kind staff, someone you could connect with was rare. Shout to the homie Corbin. One of the only real staff I met. Along with Ian, two of the nicest staff. The only way I made it through was because of them. I was in the G9/G3 group. I prayed every week to heaven or hell that I got these guys as staff. The therapist, Tracy, was nice. She was kind and counseling but only came out once a week. Making a true connection difficult. You can go to a therapist at home once a week, for an existential lower price. Shouldn't you be seeing a therapist more at a wilderness therapy program? My story is similar to any child sent her. Messed around, did some drugs. Nothing to harsh, nothing to severe. Diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I was truly struggling. All it would've taken was a shoulder to cry on and a pair of ears to listen. No one ever understood or tried to understand without anterior motives. My home life became so bad I resorted to living on the streets. Some time into living on the streets I was picked up by police as a juvenille runaway and taken to the hospital. After waiting hours for my parents to come and get me. I thought hey, maybe this is on me. Maybe i need to open up to my parents more. Im gonna try to change. Im gonna try to make things better. Finally my parents showed, with two very large goons. They told me i was going with the men to utah for a few days. In the car they forced me into the small seat in the back of an SUV. Being 6'4 this was extremely uncomfortable. I was stuck back there for 12 hours. After arriving at the program, being stripped and searched, they proceeded to do a series of medical tests as if i was joining the army. They large hiking boots, and put me in a truck. They drove me out to the middle of nowhere and dropped me off. I proceeded to go through hell. A living hell. Days of coldness. Forgetting warmth. Writing about warm things in life just to get a taste of what i knew was never to come for quite some time. I fought at first. refusing to do what they told me to do. Begging my parents to take me out. Begging them and pleading to show i had changed. All to no avail. All to find out i was stuck for 12 weeks. Maybe more. In a living hell. I learned to lie. You have to lie if you want to get out of there. I lied and got home. Im very successful at home now. Im sober, im happy, and healthier than ive ever been. I have a steady job and true friends who are good and are their for me. Can't say second nature is the right choice for anyone. Unless you truly just want your child to suffer. no one needs to go through this. parents i beg you if you are debating on sending your child here. Just try to listen to your child. forget trying to accomplish anything. just listen. i was forced to spend thanksgiving and christmas out there. In freezing temperatures. Im going to have to stop there because theres just so much more wrong with this program. If you have any questions about my story, experience, or views on second nature feel free to message me.”
Gerald B.
Los Angeles, CA
4/12/2019
“If there were an option for zero stars, that would certainly be my choice. The following is stated exclusively from personal experience. Others may have had better or worse experiences, but the following is what I went through...It is my feeling that the entire operation should have been shut down years ago. I can confirm from personal experience that a significant amount of what other negative reviews had stated are true. For example, it is absolutely true to my experience as well that the 'counselors' required that children created a fire by themselves with sticks, string and a rock each day in order to eat anything cooked on a fire. Otherwise, we were forced to vile dehydrated beans and rice with a little bit of cold water, which I can tell you through personal experience does not re-hydrate them. They are practically inedible and still crunchy and tasteless. That was a daily occurrence. Also, being sent on 'solos' were a real thing - these counselors actually took children to remote places, where they were then left alone for days at a time (wouldn't know exactly for how long, as they had a rule that children were never allowed to know what time it was). We were left with nothing other than minimal food to get by, some water, and our blue tarp and strings to sleep under in a sleeping bag. Yes - that is the same type of blue tarp that would be laid over the back of a pick-up truck to cover up lawn equipment, for example. No insulation, and nothing close to a tent that one can enclose.
There were way too many activities that went on that are so unethical and so horrible to put children through. All children (and I say children because I am referring to the under-18 program, in which children are sent there involuntarily, compared to the adult version), were required to carry on their backs their incredibly heavy backpacks each day on long hikes in all weather conditions. These backpacks held tarp materials, clothing, a week's worth of food, a rock, fire making materials, notebooks, and other items. We were even forced to place heavy rocks in our packs as punishment to make them even heavier. They were very heavy, and not all kids are the same size. They all, however, carried the same backpacks - even the smaller kids. We would have to wake up each day, pack the contents of the bags, then go on long hikes for unknown amounts of time and unknown distances. Counselors refused to ever tell children how long hikes were, how much longer the hikes would be, or what time it was. As a kid, this caused incredible feelings of fear, powerlessness, and that of what a prisoner likely feels.
Upon arrival, children are blindfolded, taken to a remote place in the mountains, then isolated from the group for days until they finish writing their 'life story' with zero guidance or instruction. Then, once they present it they are first told that their life story needs to be one with full accountability or they were forced to be isolated for days more and re-write it. This also comes at a time when children are most fragile, scared, lonely, powerless, and terrified - when they FIRST arrive, typically at night, having no idea what is about to ensue. Imagine this as well - the entire time in the program, children are outdoors. Whether in a snowstorm, windstorm, rainstorm, or any other weather. We were outside 24/7 in the middle of winter, and slept in nothing other than a sleeping bag and a blue tarp over our heads, for which we were responsible figuring out each day how to find a location in the mountains and hang it properly in order to not wake up soaking wet. One pair of underwear for each week. Weekly "showers" consisted of taking a couple of old dirty coffee containers, filling them with water, then stripping in the middle of the woods in the freezing cold and pouring that water on oneself. Not a good time, and very hard to do.
The counselors, who spend days with the children, seemed to have no backgrounds in therapy, no credentials, no schooling or degrees for it. I cannot confirm this but can only speak to personal experience. On what planet should young, inexperienced, uncredentialled adults be physically and emotionally responsible for taking full care of sometimes very emotionally damaged, addicted children, some of whom had psychological disorders. These poor kids should be in the hands of incredibly qualified, trained psychologists and psychiatrists, not counselors looking to make a couple bucks.
I want to review their financials to see if there is an expense item for 'referral fees paid.' I would be very curious to see if they are paying people around the country to refer parents to send their children to this place, creating a bias and moral dilemma. I have spoken with many, very scholarly, successful and brilliant psychologists and psychiatrists, all of whom have said they cannot believe that some people actually send their children to this place. It is shameful. Much more to say but limited character space.”
Andrew C.
Scarsdale, NY
📷
3/19/2019
I went here in September of 2019, and it was one of the most traumatic experience of my life. The therapists there are not people you can sit and talk to about your feelings, they are sarcastic, rude, and insulting. If you don't behave the staff will restrain you by pulling your wrists down and it hurts like hell. If they think you will hurt yourself they will restrain you. If you are too close to the fire, they will restrain you (happened to me twice). If your child is going to grow up and become this very troubled criminal, maybe this place could be beneficial. But if your child is struggling with anger issues, anxiety, depression, skipping schools, etc. This place is just over all not helpful and is not what you need to be spending tens of thousands of dollars on. I have been home for about 4 months now because my parents pulled me out due to harsh staff and rude therapist that my mom was fed up with. I am doing much better now thanks to some medication and I am so grateful my parents decided to pull me out of there. (By the way, if Second Nature is reading this, my therapist was Steve Debois)
Persondude H.
Houston, TX
📷
6/25/2018
“I wrote a review that was once on the top of this list and then it was removed due to the age restricting policy. Well Im 18 now and I'm finally old enough to not get this taken down lol.
Don't send your kid here if you care about your relationship with them. Also don't trust educational consultants or aftercares. Since being a victim of this horrible business model I have seen kids mental well being deteriorate into oblivion. I attended second nature in the summer of 2017 and have never been in a worse mindset than I was put through at this place. I "as well as others" became extremely depressed and suicidal and lost complete respect and trust in our parents. Usually educational consultants will get a commission from sending you here, so when they tell you "Oh your Son/Daughter would really excel here." they are 90% of the time speaking out of their ass and just want that sweet sweet commission.
When I first came to second nature I was extremely mad at my parents and thought I would never forgive them for such a traumatic experience. "Being Gooned/Transported." And to tell you the truth I have not forgiven them. Afterr all of this time. I want to kill myself and have horrible trust in all adult figures because of this place. And I am not the only one.
I'm not really sure what Im trying to do by posting this review but I just want to warn parents that this can severely mess up your kids relationship with you. From what Ive witnessed this is just an expensive business scam directed towards desperate parents that have money to throw away. 99% of the time the therapists and educational consultants will recommend your kid go to aftercare and you will end up spending a-lot more money than you initially thought. All of the kids I knew faked their progress so that they could impress the staff and parents just so they could leave sooner. Please just use this as a last resort and really try hard to think about what you are doing and try to talk with your kid about it instead of just blindly violating human rights and traumatizing them by waking them up to transports. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep thinking about this and I feel so alone now.
I hope you as a parent can help your kids, but do it from a better approach instead of Gooning them and forcefully sending them to shit in a hole for 3 months.
Thanks, Former 2N student.”
Fred X.
Jacksonville, FL
📷
12/3/2016
“They took off my pictures like many other people here I got PTSD from going there along with acute intermittent porphyria. A 1:100 disease for life. I throw up blood regularly I go to the bathroom and see blood in the toilet im now on 10 pills just for anxiety and sleep and 15mg a day of oxy. This place gave me nightmares and health problems for the rest of my life. I moved out never spoke to my parents again. I had pictures that were taken down part of porphyria is you get sun blisters my face back and chest have scars from the sun sores that will never be healed or covered up. I experience pain everyday I've had seizures as a result of the PTSD my last seizure dislocated my shoulder and tore my rotatir cuff. I came out worse than I went in. They refused to bring me to the hospital and I was told if I didn't stop throwing up i couldn't go home. I was so sick there from the salmonella I was throwing up daily one night I was so dehydrated I passed out half way to my tent and passed myself. Sending your kid here could kill them my doctors told me im lucky to be alive and what I have (porphyria) could be passed onto my kids. It mutated my gene. Screw them if you send your kid they will hate you. Im not the only one who came out worse than when they went in. If I got sick I was supposed to carry extra weight while hiking to metaphorically reflect the weight the group had to carry from dragging me by my backpack while I was unconscious on hikes. Luckily the staff although they were told not to bring me to the hospital they atleast didn't force me to carry extra weight after they found me unconscious when I passed out and passed myself. They knew I want faking but the therapist believed I was. I was also mocked because I read the bible cause I knew I was dying. I debated hanging myself while there because I knew I was dying I wanted to go out on my own terms. I had my will written inside my boots telling my parents to get an u/autopsy done. I also told my friends in my group to tell my parents what REALLY happened to me and why I died. I HOPE THIS PLACE BURNS TO THE GROUND. Therapist lu vaughn was my therapist. The staff I had knew something was wrong but they were helpless because of her orders. I been to jail and jail was better than that place. Imagine sending ur child somewhere worse than jail they will never be the same. I don't trust anyone and cut off my entire family because of this place. Look at the other reviews more ppl left with PTSD I wouldn't wish PTSD on my worst enemy!”
6/13/2019
“I attended Second Nature from September to December of 2017. I've thought a lot about writing this review because I didn't want others to think that I was writing this because I was pissed about what had happened. Second Nature did not help me what so ever. Before being sent to Second Nature I was in the middle of a depressive episode and my parents didn't know what to do. Someone recommended this place so off I went. As soon as I got there you are strip searched and examined. I was extremely uncomfortable being thrown into a new environment with no one that you know and being forced to do this. The staff members as a whole were very nice and caring and tried to do whatever they could to make Second Nature seem more enjoyable. However, the therapist that I was assigned did little to help me. She tried to stick so many disorders and diagnoses on me that weren't correct. (Since coming home, I see a therapist weekly and both my therapist and the psychologist I see strongly disagree with the treatment option that was made.) She told my parents that I shouldn't be brought home and that I wouldn't be able to last at home for a while without having another episode. She told my parents that I was unwilling to participate in therapy and that I needed more and more time in the Program. I was willing to participate, I just didn't agree with the diagnoses she was making. None of them made sense for me. While I was there, I had hurt my hip. The doctor on staff decided to provide me with a very strong pain killer that I easily could've been addicted to without checking with my parents first. Not only that, he diagnosed the wrong thing and I would up having to get knee surgery when I got home. I won't argue that Second Nature is not effective, because it is. But before you send your child there, see if that is really the right option for them. If it is the last resort, try it. But if there are other options, try those first. I proved the therapist wrong and I am thriving at home, two years later without being sent to another therapeutic program and have a great relationship with my family due to my current therapist.”
Kalep T.
Chicago, IL
📷
10/19/2017
“Second Nature helped me. How? I still do not know. However I struggle greatly with PTSD from being transported in the middle of the night. My first week I almost killed myself, not intentionally but just out of pure fear of being in the middle of nowhere. Not having contact with my family still haunts me, as now my communication skills are poor. I just wanted to get out of second nature. Once i got in the group i enjoyed it, along with the staff. I reached air phase and was able to go back home after 9 1/2 weeks. My motivation was simply to get home. When i got home no one seemed to understand the trauma i had just been through. I still struggle. All my close friends I made during a very hard time in my life all separated ways. Flashbacks are frequent and make me sad. Second Nature is a good program but my life was better off before going here. Just love your child and try to understand them. Do not send them to second nature. It will only do your child harm along with yourself. Just my opinion. If you are going to go with a wilderness therapy then I do recommend Second Nature.”
Max G.
Miami, FL
3/3/2020
“I was sent here 2 years back and I can openly say if you plan on sending your kids here there are so many better options. Don't even think about sending your kid away. If you don't want to deal with your child and send them elsewhere do be dealt with you don't truly love them or deserve to be their parent and this is how it will look to the child for the rest of their lives after. It's been two years and I can say I will never truly forgive my dad for sending me to Second Nature. It makes me hate that he's my dad. Yes I was struggling but I wasn't on the verge of death and therefore such intense measures shouldn't even be considered. The only beneficial skills I learned from second nature were survival skills and a general understanding of my emotions. But this doesn't matter whatsoever because the trauma from that experience has caused me more anxiety and depression than ever! I am not just an angry kid who was sent to Second Nature. I happened to enjoy my stay in many parts. But that's simply because I learned that I love the outdoors! but most children sent here are not so fond of their situation and in the end this program causes more problems than it solves. Everyone who was in my group has relapsed or gone back to old habits unless they DECIDED to change themselves. CHANGE DOESN'T WORK WHEN ITS FORCED.”
Zac H.
Asheville, NC
8/21/2019
“You are hiking in rain, feet of snow if you are injured they tell you to suck it up. I am not anti-wilderness, as I think it is a great experience. But this place is truly not therapeutic, the schoolwork is very hard to get help with. This program often leaves you hungry at night and staff will get aggressive over small things such as exchanging phone numbers, whispering, etc. I got my wrists grabbed to the point of bruises after exchanging phone numbers, and I got no apology until he met my parents. Send your child to another wilderness program this is miserable for all parties. My therapist was nice but the staff does NOT CARE except for a select people. Just remember this is your child.”
submitted by KillerSpaceBunny to troubledteens [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: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5//
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.

Spoofing

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
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.
Dropshipping
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: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

CASE STUDY. Month Zero: Attempting to start, and build, a PROFITABLE website with ZERO experience or knowledge.

Alright, let’s do this!

...but I’ve never done anything like this before. I mean, I’m not even starting from ground zero,
I’m levels below that.
I have limited computer knowledge. I can fumble my way through an excel document and help my mom make an occasional post on Facebook—it’s been over a decade and she still can’t figure it out.
I fear I’m gonna be a lot more like my mom going forward. This is all new to me.
But! I have an idea, I have a dream, I have free time...
...and I even have a little bit of money.
I can spend countless hours obsessing, learning, researching, thinking, and dreaming... or I can take action right now and learn as I go.
If History has told me anything, it’s that I’m the King of Inaction. I’m 32 years old, and I’ve let many opportunities pass me by. No more. Time to do this shit.
Alright, let’s get to the nitty gritty of Month Zero, The Birth.

The Niche

I thought about what niche I wanted to tackle for less than two days before I made my decision. The blessing (and the curse) is that I have a lot of hobbies. A lot of interests.
I regularly partake in five-or-so outdoor activities that seem to be rather profitable niches, at least to my untrained eye. A couple are rather obscure, the rest far more popular. I have personal interest in the big niches too—weight loss, fitness, supplements, diets, self improvement... like, I really enjoy those topics already.
My suggestion for anyone searching for, and struggling to find, a niche is this:
Just look at things you do in your daily life, your hobbies, and google them. See what’s out there. Find one that you already partake in at some level. It will make the whole process more enjoyable if you have an interest in the niche yourself (at least that’s what I’m banking on).
There are niches everywhere! My “9-5 career” is, actually, rather fucking niche. Hell, my life style, in and of itself, is a niche.
I made a list of 10 niches, I like most of them and will tackle the rest if the one I picked works out.
Without giving you too many details, here’s a pro’s and con’s list I came up with for the niche:
PROS
CONS
Needless to say, I’m rather excited about this niche and that’s definitely a good thing.

The Goal

I would like the website to become profitable in 9 months. I believe that is an extremely tall order considering my lack of experience, but I like to aim high. I am prepared to sink some money into the project (more on that in The Budget section).

The Plan

I’m going to create an affiliate market based website, mainly focusing on amazon and eBay, and try to become an authority in the niche.
After doing further research I have discovered that Amazon Affiliates might not be the best option so I will begin to identify other options. I have found two affiliate programs specific to this niche.
I will try and build a strong email list through some sort of opt in program. Most likely I will create a short “how-to” e-book about a specific common problem in this niche.
If all goes as planned I will then use the email list to help market a much more detailed ebook down the road.
Outside of affiliate links, I also plan on running specific/targeted ad’s on the page. I will have to do more research on this, and it won’t come until later.
As I’ve stated multiple times, I have zero experience in the following: website creation/design, content creation, affiliate marketing, SEO/keywords, pretty much anything outside of browsing reddit and watching endless YouTube videos. This leads me to a very keystone concept to my business model...
I’m going to outsource... as much as possible. I will focus my energy and time on creating systems and models for my freelancers to follow. In addition, I will learn as much as I can about SEO and keywords in the following months.
This is my general timeline, broken down in 3 main phases.

Phase 1: “The Birth” Month 0-1 

Phase 2: “The Growth” Month 2-3 

Phase 3: “The Takeover” Month 4-9 

Hiring the Freelancers

I will be doing all the initial website creation. After exactly one hour of research, I have decided that it doesn’t seem too difficult to figure it out and get it at least up and running.
I will hire 2 content writers and I’m planning on paying them (no more than) $30 / article. These will typically be simple 1500-2000 word articles. Mainly focused on product reviews and buyer-like “best x-product” type lists, and general informative content. I will write 1-2 lengthy and informative how-to articles (4000+ words) each month, but that’s about all the time I’m willing to commit to content creation.
I have two possibilities for the hiring outlet for these writers.
  1. Use a third party freelance network like Upwork.
  2. Reach out to the four online communities I am a part of that are in this niche. There are a lot of people out of work right now that are looking for extra side income. Although they probably won’t have any experience in content writing, they would be very knowledgeable about the niche and that would allow me to give them more involved and informative content to create.
Either way I go, I will have to properly vet the potential freelancers. I will ask them to either provide an example of their work or write a 500 word story about a specific topic. I will ask them to put [insert random word here] in the title of the email to screen out anybody that didn’t follow the directions.
If I like the writing, I will pick 4 and give them a trial article to write, which I will pay them for. Then, I will pick my two favorite and draft up some sort of contract for them to sign relating to the content usage and pay. I will let them know what to expect and how to submit their work, probably using something like Trello.
At first I think I’m just going to cap them out at one article per week each. I will do very brief google/amazon research to identify a topic. Then I will assign it to a writer along with a general and rough idea of what I’m looking for and a few keywords to use (although I’d only be guessing at this point). They will have the rest of the week to turn in the article.
Virtual assistant... not sure if I need one at first, or if I will have enough work to even warrant one. However, there are just some tasks I don’t want to and don’t like to do. If the VA could take the content and format it properly, upload it to the website, and add the affiliate links... that would be great! But, with only two articles coming in a week, how much time would that take? 1-2 hours?
I do have a personal project that would be perfect for a VA. It’s something that I have been putting off for over a year and would take approximately 5-8 hours of work. I figure I could hire a VA for this, and for the website, to test the waters.
Whatever I end up doing, I plan to find a VA for no more than $10/hr. They would have to be familiar with Excel for the personal project and Trello and Wordpress for the website. I would eventually like to have him/her do some basic research on competition and possible content topics for the writers.
I will have to hire a freelance graphic designer for a headebanner and logo design. I will use fivver and I’m looking to spend no more than $50 for this service.
By phase 2, I plan on starting the social media campaigns. I think I can manage those myself, at first. Facebook and Instagram are the two biggest social platforms for my niche, and I am very familiar with those. The third big one, however, is Pinterest... and I know NOTHING about that. I will evaluate the need for hiring a Pinterest social media VA in Phase 2.
If I can’t figure out SEO and keywords by Phase 3, I will have to hire a SEO guy... I don’t know exactly what that entails or how much that will cost me. I’ve read that I can get a VA experienced in SEA and keywords, which is probably what I will do if I need to.
Website design... same as the SEO shit. If I can’t figure it out I am fully prepared to outsource or at least hire a one time consultant to optimize the site. I will evaluate this need during Phase 3.

The Budget

Now I don’t even know if it is crazy or not to drop a chunk of money on starting a website when you have no clue what you are doing, but I’m prepared to do it.
I’m only going to focus on the budget for the first two phases. I don’t expect to make a single cent in revenue from the website during (at least) the first three months. That means it will be all out of pocket.
disclaimer: I am fully aware that I have no clue what I’m doing. These numbers are just my best guess. I will adjust accordingly as it plays out.
1) Phase 1: Month 0-1 “The Birth” (This phase will have a lot of up-front costs
scroll over for notes
Cost Notes
BlueHost $125 (for 1 year) Choice Plus plan 1 year. The 3 year plan is cheaper, but I’ve heard bad things about BlueHost and I don’t want to commit that much in case I decide to switch.
WordPress** $120 Premium plan 1 year. I don’t know if this is the plan I need or not. They offer a free plan, is that sufficient? Or, do I need the even more expensive business plan for the plug-ins and themes?
Content Writers $240 2 articles a week, $30/article. This will give me 10 articles the first month (8 + the two I write)
Virtual Assistant $120 $10/hr x 3hwk I didn’t include the personal project and I don’t actually know how much (or if I even will) hire a VA, but this would be my budget for one if I did.
Graphic Designer $50 One time fee
Total $535
^(\*i was informed that I do not need to pay for Wordpress, so I will be cutting this out of my budget)*

2) Phase 2: Month 2-3 “The Growth”
scroll over for notes
Cost Notes
Content Writers $240 /mo x 2mo = $480 Same as before, which will give me a total of 30 articles by the end of month 3.
Virtual Assistant $160/mo x 2mo = $320 $10/hr x 4hwk Might start ramping up the work (adding some search reports) if I end up hiring a VA.
Pinterest social media campaign $240/mo x 2mo = $420 (hehe) I didn’t know how much a Pinterest VA cost, but a quick google search showed me $15/hr. I didn’t know how much a Pinterest VA would work, so I guessed about 30 minutes a day, 7 days a week, rounded up to 4 hours /week. After looking at this cost, I don’t know if it would be worth it.
Total $610/ mo = $1220
Like I said, I don't know if I will spend the $420 on a Pinterest VA at this stage. I think it would be best put towards the writers and generating more content. The overall budget will stay the same, however.
This means, over three months, I will plan on spending $1755

Additional Costs

Shit, I almost forgot.
A lot of those SEO and keyword tools cost money. If I was to allocate $100 total to this category, what would your suggestions for tools be? What would get me the most BANG for my buck?

In Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading this.
I know it’s been a long, long write up. It was mostly for my benefit to hash out the idea and create a plan, but I hope somebody might get some use out of my thought process.
And please...
If you have ANY opinions or suggestions, I welcome them with open arms (just maintain that 6 feet).
Cheers.
ps, I tried to format the best I could.
submitted by Ibecolin to juststart [link] [comments]

Side incomes from Blogging for FIRE, my 2019 revenue report

So I've been in this sub for quite some time and like many people, were first drawn to the premise of FIRE from a blogger. I think everyone on this sub gunning for FIRE are smarter than average and realize that these bloggers have supplemented their incomes with blogging. How much is the question? I've also seen many people that were genuinely curious at the detailed breakdown of blogging. Whether this is because it's been your childhood dream to blog about something you're passionate about, or you think it is your way to salvation to your FIRE dreams (it's probably not), i think there are many people that want to know how much bloggers make and hopefully this post helps.
Most of these bloggers hit their FI numbers long before they really started making money from their blogs but nonetheless, they are earning passive incomes from writing online. How much this amount is rarely shared and i think people speculate wildly and of course some bloggers are much more successful than others. I've also seen many people on this sub keen on how people started up blogs and how they've managed to monetize their blogs. As someone that is almost FIREd, here is a rundown on my website and how much I made in 2019. This post will be a summary but if you want the detailed breakdown with charts and stuff, you can visit my page (link at bottom of post)
It's not easy to make money from blogging so please don't think because I created something that generates money, it is an easy move for you. I wanted to shed some light on the subject and I know plenty of people here are keen to create a blog of some sort before or after FIRE so hopefully this will help or inspire!

Blogging is not factored into my FIRE #
Full disclosure, I am almost at FIRE (probably in the next year or two) but it is completely separate from my blogging activities. I work a full time job (Earning 200k+) and the blog was merely a hobby started many years ago and only recently started to generate noticeable amounts of money. I don't count the blogging income into my SWR as it is still a relatively new profession and past success does not guarantee future returns. When I FIRE, my SWR will be purely from my investments.
Nevertheless, it is something i truly enjoy doing and whether I FIRE with $1m, or $10m, I would continue to blog regardless. The extra cash is just a nice perk on the side. I'll use the extra cash for fun spending money, reinvesting in the markets or taking punts on single name stocks. Who knows?

What is my blog about?
My blog is not really related to the topic of FIRE but rather a travel blog. I guess these things kind of go hand in hand like Gocurrycracker. I started it when i was living abroad many years ago to document my experiences and just kept writing stuff over the years about places I've traveled to. I've also written a bunch of posts about how I take advantage of US credit cards and fully engage in hustling the crap out of them for travel benefits. I've not written much in the sense of FIRE besides making a spreadsheet tracking Net Worth (which you can find if you google "Net Worth Spreadsheet", it should be one of the top 5 results).
So in summary, it is a blog about 5 years old that is about travel. Blogging takes a lot of work if you actually want to monetize it. I feel lilke people here think "oh they're a blogger so they must make lots of money". It couldn't be further from the truth. Sure there are plenty of bloggers that do make money but the vast majority never do. It takes a long time to write quality content, consistently while at the same time optimizing your SEO. Nowadays, it's very easy to make a blog look nice because of all the premium themes out there but it can't make up for quality content which takes a long time to write. I've written about 250 posts and each post is somewhere between 2000-3000 words. This means I've written almost a million words and who knows how many pictures.
I never had the intention of making money in the beginning because I enver thought it would become anything. However, the money generated is just a nice affirmation that you have created a product on all your own that is "worth" something. It's a nice feeling to get compensated for something you enjoy.

How much traffic do i get?
Traffic is of course wildly important for generating income on a blog. It's pretty linearly correlated; the more traffic you get, the more money you can earn. In 2019, my traffic increased significantly as the year went on so saying what the average over the year is not so accurate. So i'll use the last quarter's traffic as this is a better indicator for future traffic. This is not to say my traffic won't decrease because of certain factors, but it would also increase too.
For q4 of 2019, I had roughly 1,500 unique visitors a day and roughly 2,200 page views per day. This translates to 50,000 unique visitors a month and 70,000 pageviews a month. With this amount of traffic, you can start earning some cash. As of the beginning of 2020, I have been getting almost 2000 unique views so hopefully it keeps growing.

How do I earn money from blogging?
Before I write a single word, let's preface it by saying EVERYONE has different ways of making money. How I mak emoney is not how another blogger would. There are probably much better ways to monetize that I've not been exposed to but this is merely how I made the amount of money i did for 2019.

How much did I earn in 2019?
So now that you know how I made money on blogging, this is how much I made:
Advertisements: $5,500
Sponsorships: $3,500
Affiliate Programs: $3,000
Expenses: ($100) - This is primarily costs from hosting and a few premium Wordpress plugins.
Total 2019 Profit: $12,000
If you want a detailed breakdown of that number with charts,you'll have to go to my blog.


Projections for 2020
2020 is looking good. Ever since I moved to Europe for work, there's been lots to write about and i've seen a pretty solid growth of traffic in 2019 that was probably more SEO related than content, but nonetheless I hope that trend carries forward into 2020. If i extrapolate my q4 2019 to 2020, I should hopefully make around $16,000-$18,000 or more in 2020. Let's see what time brings!

How much do the big guys make?
So there you have it. How much I made in 2019 from a blog that you'll never have read before. So someone writing about financial products like FIRE bloggers with the type of traffic that gets sent their way by the press, reddit etc, it is easy to estimate they could make well into the 6 figures for blogging. Of course, not everyone is MMM. He was first to market and really capitalized well on the movement in the beginning. He is an outlier along with many of the other FIRE bloggers. While I will never make 6 figures blogging, I am totally content with growing my little mini presence online and making a few bucks doing it.
submitted by johncnyc to financialindependence [link] [comments]

Harry Reid's Words Only Scratch the Surface of What His People Really Know

Harry Reid's Words Only Scratch the Surface of What His People Really Know
Like other key members of To The Stars Academy, Harry Reid is no longer a vigorous man in the prime of his life. He's grown old and increasingly frail after his extensive career in politics. Stating the obvious, he probably won't be with us in another ten years – unless he can beat the odds for the life expectancy of a man of his age. This likely inevitability of having to finally succumb to the ravages of the aging process also applies to Dr. Harold Puthoff, Dr. Kit Green, and to a lesser extent other individuals affiliated with their organization who are no longer “spring chickens.” Yet despite the fact these quasi-insiders know they have more, or in some of these cases far more, days behind them than ahead of them, they refuse to go on the offensive against the UFO cover up by addressing the crown jewel of the dark world of unacknowledged Special Access Programs: crash recoveries.
The crashes and recoveries of mostly intact extraterrestrial space craft have occurred. Those who have been in this field long enough to do their research recognize this truth. Roswell is a prime example. Yet it wasn't the first or the last. Dr. Eric W. Davis, Dr. Hal Puthoff's former chief scientist and now an employee of Aerospace Corporation, has stated bluntly during interviews that a long series of crashes took place. His comments are astounding, because he also implied strongly that he was “read in” - at least partially – to one or more highly classified Special Access Programs dealing with these events. Looking back at these statements today, we know that the path that put him on the track for such initiations likely began the day he interviewed Adm. Thomas Ray Wilson in the parking lot of the EG&G building Las Vegas. This meeting which Hal Puthoff inadvertently confirmed near the end of an exhaustingly long Q&A session likely intensified his already growing curiosity about the subject. Since then, his knowledge base has likely grown – qualifying him to make such confirmations about incidents like Roswell and others.
Before the identities of his original three insiders – Gen. William McCasland (a former Director of Special Programs for OUSDAT who was positioned at the nexus between the DoD and the corporate overlords of the black world), Robert F. Weiss (a former high level executive from Lockheed Martin), and Gen. Michael Carey – were outed by Wikileaks, Tom Delonge repeatedly spelled out several general facts that had been shared with him. Roswell happened. There were other crash retrievals. Reverse engineering projects did happen. And, even more brazenly, due to the reverse engineering of these extraterrestrial vehicles we've cracked gravity control. Moreover, he specifically stated that the TR3B depicted in his book Sekret Machines is not fictional: it's a real-world human built craft. These claims were what excited the minds of millions around the world and helped provide his organization with an initial boost. But now, like Dr. Eric W. Davis who went silent after the Adm. Wilson document was leaked, Tom Delonge won't dare whisper a word about a crash recoveries. When asked directly, he'll simply state that he can't talk about such issues.
Dr. Eric Davis and Tom Delonge are not the only two members of To The Stars Academy who could be considered quasi-insiders with information that could help unravel the UFO cover up and expose the eighty year long lie that has kept humanity in near total ignorance about our place in the universe. Dr. Hal Puthoff is probably the most seasoned veteran in the bunch. Considering his involvement in the formerly classified “remote viewing” programs of the 70's, John Alexander's “Advance Theoretical Physics Working Group” in the 1980's, his role in Bigalow's NIDS organization (National Institute for Discovery Science), his contracting work for AATIP, and his decades of investigating exotic, outside of the box technologies through his own company (Earthtech), he has probably been in more classified briefings and talked to more true insiders than any of his peers. Christopher “Kit” Green, a long time colleague of Puthoff's, has also had a multitude of bizarre encounters that he's certainly gleaned priceless intelligence on the UFO cover up from. This medical doctor has confessed he was briefed into a UFO program by his employer (the C.I.A), was shown autopsy photographs in the Pentagon (which he now thinks could have been hoaxed), received ten or so alleged autopsy videos of extraterrestrials (which he thinks could have been hoaxes or had more mundane explanations), and was even expected at one point to become a member of MJ-12. Although he seems unsure of the significance and authenticity of the various forms of evidence he was presented, the experiences of Dr. Kit Green are a treasure trove – if he'd ever share them in an unreserved manner.
There's other members and former members of TTSA that beyond a doubt have important information that could be used to expose the cover up. Obviously, this includes Luis “Lou” Elizondo himself, the former director of AATIP. Practically anyone who has been following this field closely over the last few years should remember him stating that there were a multitude of additional videos – even better ones – that had not been released. So he obviously has information about these other incidents that AATIP investigated. But he knows something else, too. Dr. Eric W. Davis, who worked for AATIP through his boss Dr. Hal Puthoff who was a contractor for the program, has stated that at some point during the course of the programs research that they located the Special Access Programs that were involved in reverse engineering. This means that Luis Elizondo knows more than the facts about a multitude of military encounters in the sky with UFOs and the videos that were acquired: he knows of the programs that have physical craft and therefore the bodies of their occupants. But, so far, he has not decided to commit the patriotic act of revealing these programs publicly, exposing their existence to the world. Perhaps another example of someone with potentially useful information is Dr. Gary Nolan who knows the location of an alleged crash site of extraterrestrial craft. In fact, according to what has been written in at least one book, he has acquired samples of wreckage from the site and there may be even more to be found.
All of the individuals above form an extended network of knowledgeable individuals who have encircled Harry Reid and his closest associates for decades. The quasi-insiders – who obviously don't know everything but have individual pieces of the greater puzzle – have most certainly been providing him with information for ages. However, his position as Senate Majority leader could have put him in a position to access critical intelligence on his own: perhaps even allowing him to directly demand information on various Special Access Programs. Inevitably, of course, they would have resisted his efforts to disclose their activities, research, or even their very existence. They've been hiding out behind other programs and coercing the the leadership team of the Senior Review Group of the Special Access Project Oversight Committee to assist them in remaining completely off the radar for decades. Likewise, they've been doing the same with the Department of Energy, hiding their programs behind the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. But with Harry Reid's accumulated clout and connections, he may have been able to sneak a peak into their inner workings.
Despite all the knowledge and evidence collected during their careers, these individuals won't speak up clearly and concisely about what they know. When they do say something, they are reserved and exhibit extreme caution – terrified of stepping on the toes of any classified programs or leaking sensitive information. Despite their deep desire for the truth to come out about the UFO topic, they continually hold back, sharing only a tiny fraction of evidence they have collected. This is why their efforts are doomed to overall failure. No, I'm not saying they haven't done good work: they get an A+ for raising awareness about the UFO subject. But they are behaving as if there's a real chance that by sharing declassified information about sightings of unknown craft that they'll put a large enough crack in the dam that the full truth will eventually spill out. That simply won't be enough. Some of their own associates have explained how the Special Access Programs spend huge sums on security to maintain the secrecy that has been ongoing since the 1940's. Even a dozen low resolution short clips of UFO sightings – despite how significant they really are – wouldn't budge the parties that have been managing this topic. They have contingency plans for every possible scenario including the release of gun camera footage from our own military aircraft. Even if a rogue employee of whatever version of AATIP exists today were to reveal a high resolution version, they'd be ready to activate their paid disinformation agents to spread overly skeptical comments across the internet – planting ridiculous seeds of doubt in the minds of those who would otherwise start investigating themselves.
If To The Stars Academy, their myriad of associates, and Harry Reid want to even have a chance of seeing full UFO disclosure happen in their lifetime, they cannot keep on doing what some of them have been doing for the past several decades. Repeating the same actions over and over and expecting a different outcome is one definition of insanity. Instead, they must decide they are going to unite together, accept the risks involved, and openly share in a unified release everything they know about the crash recoveries and reverse engineering of extraterrestrial craft. Anything else would be like a puny mosquito bite to the powers that be managing these programs!
The names of the individuals involved, crash site locations, project names, codewords, vehicle designations: they must put all of their cards on the table in unison at once. Only with one sudden strike of truth – to combat eight decades of lies – do they have a hope of making an impact. Would this be enough to overcome the massive inertia of a cover up that's been in place since the first recoveries in the 1940's? There's no way of knowing for sure. However, it's plain to see that any thing less will have no hope at all – zero, zilch, nada.
If they continue down the same path of not even utilizing already leaked documents (such as the one describing the meeting between Dr. Eric Davis and Admiral Thomas Wilson) to apply pressure on the SAPs, decades will pass and they'll go to their graves with nothing to show for their lifetime of research. Due to fear or perhaps some sense of misguided loyalty towards the rogue programs that have been managing the subject, even their children and grandchildren will remain ignorant of the amazingly complex, life filled universe in which our species resides. Meanwhile, without access to the reverse engineered technologies that could transform our civilization from one of resource scarcity to one of true abundance, the challenges facing humanity will continue to become more severe. Only with these technological wonders that can manipulate the fundamental properties of the vacuum itself can we provide for the welfare of the billions of inhabitants of our planet and prepare for the “black swans” that hold the potential of ending the world as we know it.
Bucking the system, bending the rules, or even breaking security oaths are not traitorous acts – they are heroic when done to expose the lies, corruption, and illicit behavior of the Special Access Programs. If any of the individuals mentioned in this essay desire to create an enduring legacy for themselves that will be remembered for generations, they can do so by sharing everything they know and establishing the precedent that continued UFO secrecy – not only to the public but democratically elected representatives – is totally unacceptable and worthy of revolt.
Harry Reid, the former and current members of AATIP, and the members of TTSA have the collective information and evidence to end the UFO cover up once and for all. But they have to be willing to stop tippy toeing around and instead become more like a raging bull in a china shop: making waves, exposing lies, revealing all the hidden truths. If they won't do this, I encourage them to quit wasting their golden years, stop using up their last remaining strength on a losing battle, and plan extended vacations with their children and grandchildren. Because the battle is already lost and their years of effort, in large part, have been wasted. Because of their reluctance to take the bold and daring steps that are required, their priority should be to spend their days making lasting memories with their families. Or, in the case of those who are slightly younger, making the most of their current careers to guarantee a comfortable retirement in the years to come. And just maybe, at a ripe old age on their death beds, they may summon up the courage to share a few secrets before they slip away to eternity.
submitted by PepesPetCentipede to UFOs [link] [comments]

Want to know how to get leads and sales faster with content marketing? Here are the 7 content types I've found most effective to get leads and sales.

Are you struggling to get traffic that just isn’t converting like you think it should?
You feel like your business is not growing. And no matter how hard you try, you aren’t able to meet your revenue goals.
We have all been in this situation at one point in time in our businesses. It’s only when we take a step back and try to figure out what is wrong with our content strategy, that we will be able to fix it.
What can the right content strategy do for your business?
With the right content strategy, I helped a startup:
All in six months! And as an early-stage startup, they didn’t have a massive brand or resources for them to leverage either.
I own a product marketing agency, Growth Ramp, that is on a mission to help 1,000 entrepreneurs to obtain their first 1,000 customers.
Switching to serving early-stage startups has tuned my mind to what will get more customers faster.
In this article, I will help you understand six types of content that will help you attract leads and turn them into valuable customers.
Are you ready?
Then let’s begin by unpacking the five stages of customer awareness.

The 5 Stages of Customer Awareness

Before looking at what content drives sales, you need to understand the principles which make this work.
In the 1960s, copywriting executive Eugene Schwartz identified the five stages of customer awareness in his book, "Breakthrough Advertising." These are:
  1. Most aware
  2. Product-aware
  3. Solution-aware
  4. Problem-aware
  5. Unaware
Let me briefly touch on each:
  1. Most Aware Customers:
    Your customer knows your product and recognizes his need for it. He is almost ready to buy from you.
    It is now up to you to give him reasons why he should buy from you today, such as time-limited offers and displaying glowing customer testimonials.
  2. Product-Aware Customers:
    Your customer is aware that your product exists but isn’t sure whether it is right for him or how your product is better than your competition’s.
  3. Solution-Aware Customers:
    Your customer is well aware of his challenges and knows the solution he needs. However, he may not be aware of your product and how it can solve his problem.
  4. Problem-Aware Customers:
    Your customer recognizes her challenges but does not know the solution. This customer also needs to learn more about how they can identify potential issues they are facing and what options they have as a solution.
  5. Unaware Customers:
    Your customer has problems but is not aware of them. Think of this customer as someone who is suffering from a disease but hasn’t received a diagnosis yet from a doctor.
By understanding the five stages of customer awareness, you can apply them to every element of your marketing strategy.
For example, you can also apply these principles to social media content. With more than 2.77 billion people using social media, there are many opportunities to connect with customers further down the funnel.
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Another way to do this is by educating your customers with different types of content.
Here’s Adam from Loganix sharing his take:
"Content marketing isn't as simple as writing content. It's about optimizing content for each stage of customer awareness with a strategic content plan. Doing so allows you to create content optimized for search intent and your customers."
Let’s take a look at these types of content and how they can help bring customers to you.

7 Types of Lead-Generating Content

1. Teardown/analysis content

Teardown/analysis content helps solution-aware customers. Since these people are reviewing solutions, they want to see your thought process in detail.
Teardown pieces of content are highly specific, detailed accounts of how your company solves a customer’s problems. It gives potential customers insight into your company’s thinking process and shows them your strategies on a high level.
Here are two excellent examples of teardown content:
  1. Improving Close CRM's Growth Strategy by $345,240/Year
  2. Improving CartHook's Growth Strategy by $217,500/year

2. Comparison content

Comparison content targets the second category of people, product-aware customers.
Create content by comparing your product to a competitor’s product. This sort of comparative advertising will give you a chance to showcase your product against a competitor.
Typically comparison content targets keywords like:
  1. [Competitor] Alternative. Example: MailChimp Alternative.
  2. [Competitor 1] vs [Competitor 2]. Example: MailChimp vs. Mailerlite.
Here are some examples of comparative content in action:
First we have Intercom vs. Drift for Live Chat.
You see, the content starts by highlighting the audience (fast-growing companies) with the benefit they want (drive revenue).
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Further down the page, Intercom shares different numbers to prove they’re the best choice at driving revenue.
Second, here’s a comparison page of sites like Upwork which curates review articles (which I’ll share more in a moment). This is a simple page to get more organic traffic, which you can redirect to other money pages.
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Third, let’s look at LastPass vs. 1Password.
As you can see, each feature has a clear winner between the two. These feature comparisons can help the reader decide which tool to use in the event they prefer certain features.
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Readers who may be indifferent to a specific feature may want to get to the punchline. So at the end of the post, there is an overall winner.
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3. Review content

If you’re like me, you’ll at least look at Amazon’s reviews before buying their product. But what if your product isn’t on Amazon? (Or if it is, is there a way you can maximize the value for people looking for more reviews?).
The answer is to review content.
Review content targets solution-aware customers. When you create content reviewing a particular product or application, you can tell people why it is the best of its kind in the market.
Use keywords such as this in your content title: “[Competitor] Review. Example: Mailchimp Review.”
Here is an example of review content: Toptal Review: Is Toptal Worth It for Hiring?
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Review content is an excellent play if you have an affiliate program. All the product marketer needs to do is reach out to bloggers and see if they would like to write a review.
Need some more inspiration? Check out these review examples:
  1. Is Magento Right For Your Business? Magento Features, Pricing, Security and More (Compared To BigCommerce)
  2. 7 Best eBook Subscriptions To Keep You Reading in 2020
  3. 27+ Best Web Hosting Of 2020 (Biggest Guide + Pricing)
  4. Grammarly Review: Best or Overhyped?

4. Case study content

Case studies show how your product helped a customer overcome a specific challenge or receive a certain outcome. As a result, this type of content can target both product-aware and solution-aware customers.
Case study content:
  1. Helps product-aware customers compare your results with the competitor.
  2. Helps solution-aware customers understand how you work and how you can solve their problem.
There is a way to get leads even if you don’t have a case study yet. I’ll share how to do that in the next section.
Case studies should show the results your customers desire and how you can obtain those results for them. You can even set up email sequences for existing leads by showing them case study content related to their needs.
Here are some examples of case studies in action:
  1. Decibite case study. Typically, businesses want one of three outcomes: traffic, leads, or sales. With Decibite, I stated I was able to generate 127% more annualized revenue. Additionally, I overcame a common objection clients have, “How long will it take for us to get results?” Mentioning it took six months gives potential clients a clear understanding of the value they’ll get from my services. \
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  1. Hotjar case study. Big brands are mentioned countless times online by many publications. The problem? These mentions often are unlinked, providing zero referral traffic that generates leads and sales. In this case study, uSERP built a custom outreach plan, detailed the process, and generated a 25% conversion rate on placing a referral traffic driving link.
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Both of these case studies show the process and the outcome.
You can also create a page dedicated to a short case study. This allows someone to quickly digest the results you deliver.
By linking to the full case study, this helps customers understand your process step-by-step. Here are a couple examples to consider:
  1. Growth Ramp Clients and Results Page
  2. Powered by Search Clients and Results Page
You can also do in-depth studies of your subjects.
Take EachNight, a company comprised of sleep experts in the field of wellness, for example. This page is a content hub for their original data and studies, and is both informative as well as visually appealing to customers:
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This content is both informative and helps to promote their own merchandise. Whether it’s a marketing case study or a sleep case study, original data, research, and information helps customers trust your brand as a leader in your space.

5. “Case study content” even if you have no case studies

You just saw how case studies can generate revenue. But what if you haven’t worked with any clients yet?
In that case, you can interview influencers on outcomes that your customers want.
My agency’s mission is to help 1,000 entrepreneurs get their first 1,000 customers. Getting 1,000 customers takes time. Before I could show how to get these results, I interviewed other founders to find out how they got their first 1,000 customers.
  1. How Hiten Shah Got 1,000 Customers (Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics, & FYI)
  2. Steli Efti's Path to Close CRM's 1,000 True Fans
  3. Spencer Fry's Path to Podia's 1,000 True Fans
You may think, “Since I did not get these results, why would this content generate leads?”
There are two reasons this works:
  1. You are associating your brand with the outcome. Yes, you did not get the result. But by interviewing others, people will rightly assume you will understand this process better.
  2. You can add your thought leadership to the content. After each interview, I shared my own perspective of what someone did. As a result, this became similar to the teardown and analysis content I shared earlier.

6. ‘Best of’ listicles

Many marketers I talk to hate these types of articles. However, it is important to remember that your goal is to serve the customer, not your personal preferences.
To create a ‘Best of’ listicle post, you must create a list of your competitors and review each one briefly. You can put your product or company first on the list, but remember to be honest in your reviews.
Here are a few examples:
10 Best Content Marketing Online Courses in the World - In this article, Tomas reviews 10 different content marketing courses. If he had a content marketing course, this would be a great article type to sell it.
Best Podcast Microphones [2019] - In this post by Buzzsprout, they compare some of the top microphones for podcasting. Because it relates directly to their niche of podcast hosting and products, it’s a no-brainer to provide this information to customers. If Buzzsprout sold microphones, they could also include their product in the list.
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The post is quite extensive and reviews different microphones with their pros and cons, images, and prices.
It serves as a guide to customers who can then make an informed decision and choose your product.

7. Answering common customer questions and problems.

59% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. People are most likely looking for ways to earn additional income to support themselves.
SwagBucks’ homepage contains a ton of information on how people can earn money working online. It also has prominent CTA (Call-to-action) buttons displayed that act as lead magnets/ opt-ins.
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Final Thoughts

Customers are in one of five stages of awareness of your products and solutions. It is up to you as a business to reach out, educate them about the issues they are facing, and show them why your solution is the best option available to them.
Comparison articles, review content, case studies, teardown articles, and listicles are some of the best types of content that will help you drive sales.
Creating different types of content generates leads and boosts sales. Both of these help you increase revenue and develop a strong relationship with your customers.
If you’d like more product marketing advice like this, check out this 14-day email series on product marketing. I think you’ll find it valuable because you’ll learn the principles I use at Growth Ramp to grow a startup’s revenue by +127% in six months.
submitted by jdquey to SaaS [link] [comments]

New Grad Guide?

This is a new account, I see it fit not to use my main as I frequent reddit enough for me to potentially be doxxed. I recently had a new grad engineer that I mentor via an alumni program expose me to this sub and it is apparent that 90% of these questions are from junior engineers, so I felt it necessary to share what I learned from guiding my mentee through to his first job during the current economic climate. This is a question as the title states and I want to gather opinions such that the guide may be revised.
Just graduated?
Now is the time for reflection. Let's gauge where you are at using a simple decision tree.
No matter where you stand after reflection

At the end of it all, "Nobody cares. Work harder!" Getting into this industry requires a lot more work than it used to, and getting out of it requires even more work. If you want the big bucks from a corporation you have to prepare for the interview more than ever before. But if you don't want to kiss ass up the corporate ladder, you have to prepare and then some. No easy path in this industry, don't let anyone fool you. Stay hungry.
submitted by Reasonable-Citron216 to cscareerquestions [link] [comments]

How to start your blog in 2020

How to start your blog in 2020 "How to start your blog in 2020" is one of the first things every new entrepreneur hears when they search for how to make money online on YouTube or on Google. People think they need hundreds of dollars to start their blog and make money from it but that is not true. In this article, I will show you how to start your blog in 2020, but before I begin, let's learn some basics. What is a blog? A blog is a website that publishes blog posts (articles) and the person who writes blog posts is called a blogger. The purpose of the blog is to solve people’s problems and to share our ideas. Should you start a blog in 2020? Yes. People think you need to be the best writer in the world to write a blog post but what they don't know is that it's not true. You don't need to be the best writer in the world, all you have to do is write whatever you can think of on that topic and once you finish writing it, organize the article and then publish it. So, without further due, let's learn how to start your Blog in 2020 in 9 simple and easy steps. 1. Choose Niche The very first thing you need to do before starting your blog is to choose your niche.Niche is a topic in which you will write articles on your blog.This can be a difficult step because it involves a lot of thinking. So, what I recommend is that you choose your niche if you are interested in it. So, for example if you are interested in cars then you should start your blog on Cars, or if you are interested in cooking then you should start your blog on Cooking. If you choose your niche that you are not interested in, the possibilities are not today, but tomorrow you will stop blogging. Therefore, it is crucial that you choose your niche carefully. Moving on to the second step. 2. Choose the platform First choose whether Free Blog or Self Hosted Blog. Free Blog: We all love free, but when it comes to free blogging there are a few downsides, but before looking at the downsides, let's see which platforms offer us to create our own free blog.
- WordPress
- Blogger
- Tumblr Now let's look at the downsides of free blog.
  1. Ugly URLs If you create a free blog, your URL will look like https:// yourblogname.something. comIn other words, your website looks unprofessional.
  2. You cannot make advance customizations on your blog
  3. Your website looks like spammy Self-host-blog: The self-host blog is not free, but it makes your blog more professional and you do not have any limitations. So now comes the question, which platform should I choose for my blog? The answer is simple: WordPress Why? Because WordPress is very beginner-friendly and 76.5 million websites on the Internet are using WordPress as their platform and this number is growing rapidly day by day. 3. Choose the name of your blog So now that you have chosen your platform, it's time to choose your blog name.Your blog name depends on what niche you are in. For example, this blog is related to making and saving money, so I chose Bucks Profit as the name of this blog. Once you've chosen your blog name, it's time to check the availability of the domain name.The domain name is the URL or in other words address of a site.For example, the domain name of this site is bucksprofit Therefore, it is crucial that after you have chosen the name of your blog, you should check if you can get a domain name the same as your blog name.There are many websites where you can check the availability of a domain, but I recommend these websites.
- instantdomainsearch
- godaddy .com/domains/domain-name-search
I also like Blue Host because they provide expert support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a 60-day money-back guarantee. Once you have purchased your web hosting, it is time to install WordPress. To install WordPress on Bluehost, all you have to do is log in to the Bluehost cPanel account, then find the website section and click install. If you want to make any changes then you can do it. Read the agreements and click the Install Now button. So, after WordPress is installed, it's time to do the basic setup. 5. Set up WordPress - Choosing ThemeAfter you have installed WordPress, you should now choose the theme for your blog. Choosing the right topic is key, if you don't choose the right one, your website will look spammy and not professional.There are thousands of WordPress themes, but below are the main themes you should use if you're just getting started.
- Hestia
- Agama
- Ascend
- OceanWp
I recommend these themes for your blog because they are very clean and most importantly, they are all beginner-friendly. To install a WordPress theme, all you have to do is go to your WordPress dashboard, then click on Appearance and proceed with the themes.Then click Add New, choose your theme, and click activate to install the theme on your blog. - Basic Configuration 1. Google Analytics account connection Google Analytics is a tool created by Google that gives you information about your visitors.It gives you information like how many visitors came to your website, where they came from, how long they stayed on your website, etc. 2. Make your password stronger Nowdays hackers are getting smarter and smarter by creating advanced tools that can easily help them crack your passwords. Therefore, it is crucial that you should change your password to a more secure one, otherwise your website could be hacked. Try to create a password that is a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters like #, @, %. 3. Add a contact form Adding a contact form to your website will not only make your website look professional and it will also help your visitors connect with you. If any of your visitors have a problem or need help, all they have to do is fill out the form and you will receive their message. 4. Change permalink link If you post an article on your new WordPress blog, by default the URL structure would look like this: bucksprofit .com/2020/04/10/sample-post This type of URL structure is not ideal for SEO. So, you need to change it to bucksprofit .com/ sample-post To change your URL structure, all you have to do is click on Settings, go to Permalinks and select the Post name option. 6. Install plugins Plugins are snippets of code written by someone else, they add advanced functionality to your website. To install the plugin, all you have to do is go on your WordPress dashboard click on Plugins go to the add new and select whichever plugin you have to install. There are thousands of plugins, but below are the plugins you must install. - Contact form 7 Contact form 7 allows you to add contact forms on your website.Take a look at Contact form 7 - Yoast SEO Yoast SEO will help you optimize your content, so you have a better chance of getting a higher ranking.Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins and this plugin has over 5,000,000 active installs.Take a look at Yoast SEO - Akismet Anti-Spam This plugin helps prevent spammy comments.Take a look at Akismet Anti-Spam - OneSignal OneSignal allows you to send push notifications to people's browsers.Take a look at OneSignal - Smush This plugin compresses all your images, which makes your blog load faster and it is also ideal for SEO.Take a look at Smush 7. Create a blog post Congratulations! You did all the things, it's time to create your blog post. Creating a blog post may seem difficult for most people, but it's actually not that difficult. You just need to write what you can think of about the topic you are writing. But before you start writing, you need to do some keyword research. Keyword research is a process in which you find search terms that people use in the search engine like Google to find something. If you're just getting started, always go with keywords that have little competition. Tip: Choose long-tail keywords because most of the time they have little competition. There are many websites that you can use for keyword research, some of which are detailed below. - ahrefs
- Ubersuggest
- Google keyword planner Once you've chosen your keyword, it's time to create a blog post optimized on the keyword you've chosen. When I say optimized, I mean adding the target keyword in your blog post multiple times, adding the target keyword in the blog post URL, and also adding your target keyword in the meta description. It also does not mean that you need to add your target keyword where it doesn't make any sense. How long your blog post should be?Your blog post should be at least 2,000 words because Google loves longer blog posts and if your blog post is longer then there is a high chance that your blog post will rank higher. 8. Market your blog When it comes to marketing your blog, there are mainly 2 ways: paid and free Free Most people when they are just starting out they don't have enough money to spend on ads but don't worry, there are many ways you can market your blog for free, here are some. - Quora
- Facebook groups
- Pinterest
- Reddit
Paid - Google Ads
- Facebook Ads
9. Making Money With the Blog There are many ways to monetize your blog, below are the best ways. - AdvertisementsShowing ads on your blog is the easiest way to monetize your blog. And you don't need to worry about advertisers because Google has done all the work for you. Google has created a platform called Google AdSense that has advertisers who want to promote their products.You can check out Google AdSense here: Google AdSense - Affiliate MarketingAffiliate marketing is when you promote other people's products, and in return you get a commission. There are many affiliate platforms such as Amazon Associates and eBay's affiliate program that allows you to promote their products and they will give you a commission in return if someone buys something using your link. So, all you have to do is sign up on any one of these platforms and once you sign up, start sharing product links and once someone buys something using your link, you will get a commission, - Selling productsSelling products is one of the most effective ways to monetize your blog. You can sell both physical and digital products and If you want sell digital products, then congratulations!
You don't need to worry about any kind of inventory because the quantity of your product is unlimited. The digital product can be an eBook or a course, you only need to create it once and it can be downloaded countless times. - Sponsored PostsAfter your blog starts to generate a fair amount of constant traffic, people will come up to you and pay you for posting sponsored posts on your blog. Most of the time, these types of posts promote the advertiser's products or services so that they can sell their products or services to the people who enter your blog.
Tip of the day
- Learning HTML and CSS Html stands for Hyper Text Mark-Up Language.
It is the skeleton of the website, which means that every website you see on the Internet is an accumulation of HTML.
CSS stands for cascading style sheet.
CSS Adds style to a skeleton, which means that each color, the margins you see on a website are because of CSS and without CSS your website will look nothing. So why is it important to learn HTML and CSS?
If you learn HTML and CSS, you can make advanced customization on your blog, and secondly, if you encounter any kind of problem on your blog, you can easily fix it. And you don't need to buy any kind of course to learn HTML and CSS, you can just search on YouTube like "HTML and CSS Tutorial" and you will see a giant list of videos that will teach you HTML and CSS completely free. Also, I don't want you to learn each and everything about Html and CSS, just learn the basics so you can easily fix any kind of problems when you encounter them.
Summary of how to start your blog in 2020
  1. Choose niche
  2. Choose the platform
  3. Choose the name of your blog
  4. Buy web hosting
  5. Set up WordPress
  6. Install plugins
  7. Create a blog post
  8. Market your blog
  9. Make money with the blog That it!!! how to start your blog in 2020 Now comment below which of these tips you liked the most.
submitted by bucksprofit to blogs [link] [comments]

The Ahrefs footer without a link to their affiliate page (February 2019) Affiliate Programs for products similar to Ahrefs. If you were looking for the affiliate program of Ahrefs, we’re sorry to disappoint you: it doesn’t look like there is one coming soon. However, you might want to give these programs a try. How to Use Buck Books Promotion Service. Despite Buck Books not ranking so well in the Alexa Rankings, we’ve found they’re still the 2nd largest book promotion site when it comes to actually sending new book readers and sales with anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred sales per promotion. When I tried to explain this to the Buck Books representative who was our handler for the whole promotion, we received this email from Matt Stone, the founder of Buck Books: Hi (my name) Todd (this is our agent who handled us) passed along his exchange with you regarding your affiliate account and payment, and upon close review, I'd like to, on Most Affiliate Programs are fixed monthly payouts, so it’s nice to see a new up-and-coming affiliate website willing to buck the trend. They have digital payout options. Another thing many Affiliate Networks don’t offer. This scores them even more bonus accessibility points. Incredible rewards for top affiliate earners. The Most Lucrative Health Affiliate Programs. Now that you know where you’re going, you’ll need to find solid affiliate programs that can help you earn cash in these lucrative affiliate niches. Here are some of the top health affiliate programs. DietBet; This weight loss community is an interesting twist on your average diet program.

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