Best International Affiliate Programs (and Global

Companies connected to Trump received large taxpayer-funded forgivable loans: A list

Yesterday, the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department disclosed the recipients of 660,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans. The list only includes those who received at least $150,000 in funding, which is less than 15 percent of the total number of loans. The administration originally tried to hide this information.
Recipients do not have to repay the loan if they keep (or re-hire to meet) their pre-COVID-19 levels of employment and compensation and spend the funds on approved expenses.
Explore the list yourself: The Washington Post turned the original spreadsheet into an online searchable database.
This post is about the relevant “highlights” from the list. Some of the connections to politicians are stronger than others. However, the point isn't so much that certain politicians are unethically profiting - the point is that the American people deserve to know where their money is going. Especially when so many "average" Americans are struggling. In other words, draw your own conclusions from the data.

Connections to Trump & family

A New York shipping business (Foremost Group) owned by the family of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, received at least $350,000. “Ms. Chao has no formal affiliation or stake in the business, but she and Mr. McConnell have received millions of dollars in gifts from her father, James, who ran the company until 2018.”
Kasowitz Benson Torres, founded and run by Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, received a loan for between $5 million and $10 million. Mr. Kasowitz and the firm represented Trump during Mueller’s investigation and for decades before Trump was elected president.
The American Center for Law and Justice, whose chief counsel is Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, got between $1 million and $2 million. Sekulow also defended Trump during the Mueller investigation and impeachment proceedings.
Jared Kushner connections:
  • Esplanade Livingston, a Kushner family entity that owns the land in Livingston, N.J., where the family’s Westminster Hotel is, got between $350,000 and $1 million. Esplanade Livingston’s company address is the same as that of the Kushner Companies real estate development business.
  • Princeton Forrestal, a real estate entity owned by various members of the Kushner family not including Mr. Kushner, received a loan of between $1 million and $2 million. It is at least 40 percent owned by Kushner family members.
  • The New York Observer, the news website that Kushner ran before entering the White House and is still owned by Kunsher’s brother-in-law’s investment firm, was approved for between $350,000 and $1 million
  • In addition, up to $2 million was approved for the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, a nonprofit religious school in Livingston, N.J., that’s named for Jared Kushner’s grandfather and supported by the family.
In April, a bank approved a loan of between $150,000 and $350,000 for the Pennsylvania dental practice of Albert Hazzouri, who golfs with Trump and frequents Mar-a-Lago. In 2017, Hazzouri used his access to the president to pass him a policy proposal on club stationery on behalf of the American Dental Association. He addressed the note to Trump “Dear King.”
A firm that raises money for Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee received a loan of more than $1 million, according to the data set, while a company that produces Trump’s political advertisements received between $350,000 and $1 million.
  • The New York Times does not identify these companies by name. I tried to figure out which companies they were referring to but could not be sure. We already knew that Phunware, a Trump re-election campaign data collector, received $2.85 million — nearly 14 times the PPP average of $206,000 (reported in April).
Billionaire property developer Joe Farrell, a prominent Republican fundraiser, received up to $1 million in taxpayer coronavirus relief funds. Farrell, a developer in New York's exclusive Hamptons beachfront community, has thrown fundraising parties for Trump… Farrell this year rented out his 17,000-square-foot, $40 million East End estate, Sandcastle, for close to $2 million to a wealthy Manhattan family trying to escape the coronavirus for six months.
Dozens of tenants at buildings owned by Trump or managed by his companies received funds… More than 20 businesses listed at 40 Wall Street, an office building that Trump has owned since the mid-1990s, also reportedly received government loans totaling at least $20 million. Among the recipients were law offices, financial service firms and nonprofit organizations.
Sushi Nakazawa, a restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, received a loan of between $150,000 and $350,000.
Churches connected to President Donald Trump and other organizations linked to current or former Trump evangelical advisers received at least $17.3 million in loans… City of Destiny, the Florida church that Trump’s personal pastor and White House faith adviser Paula White-Cain calls home, got between $150,000 and $350,000. First Baptist Dallas, led by Trump ally and senior pastor Robert Jeffress got between $2 million and $5 million. Other loan recipients included several churches and organizations connected to allies who joined Trump’s evangelical advisory board during his 2016 campaign.
A company with a name matching one listed on the 2017 financial disclosure of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos received at least $6 million.
Perdue Inc., a Bonaire, Georgia-based trucking company founded by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, received a PPP loan of between $150,000 and $350,000. An Agriculture Department spokesperson said the company is owned indirectly by a trust of which the secretary’s adult children are 99% stakeholders.
American Media, the publisher of the National Enquirer, received a loan in April from Bank of America Corp. of between $2 million and $5 million, records show. American Media is run by Trump’s longtime friend David Pecker. Furthermore, American Media is owned by Chatham Asset Management, a New Jersey-based hedge fund that oversees about $4 billion.
Cottage Hospital, a 25-bed critical access facility in Woodsville, New Hampshire, received between $2 million and $5 million in PPP loans. The hospital’s CEO, Maria Ryan, is a longtime close associate of Rudy Giuliani’s. Ryan currently co-hosts a talk radio show with Giuliani called “Uncovering the Truth.” Cottage Hospital’s annual revenues typically exceed $30 million, according to its most recent publicly available federal tax return. Ryan’s salary, the last filing shows, is nearly $300,000.

Congress and other political connections

Wineries partly owned by Rep. Nunes, R-Calif. Nunes listed on his 2018 public financial disclosure forms roles as a limited partner with investments in Phase 2 Cellars in San Luis Obispo, California, and Alpha Omega Winery in Saint Helena, California. The PPP data shows the wineries received loans of $1 million to $2 million.
KTAK Corp., a Tulsa-based operator of fast food franchises owned by Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), received between $1 million and $2 million. Hern had advocated increasing the size of loans available to franchisees, including in a March letter to Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) benefited when three of his car dealerships, located outside of Pittsburgh, received a combined total of between $450,000 and $1.05 million. Kelly is a multimillionaire.
Several plumbing businesses affiliated with Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), all based in Broken Arrow, Okla., each received between $350,000 and $1 million.
Rep. Rick Allen’s (R-Ga.) construction company in Augusta received between $350,000 and $1 million
EDI Associates, a company the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invests in, received between $350,000 and $1 million.
Rep. Nita Lowey’s (D-N.Y.) husband's law firm Lowey Dannenberg P.C. received a loan between $1 million and 2 million. Her husband, Stephen Lowey, is listed as chairman emeritus on the firm's website and is retired from the firm.
Lobbying and policy group Waxman Strategies, which is run by former Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and his son Michael, which received a loan of $350,000 to $1 million.
Before the release of the data Monday, three members of Congress said they or their spouses had received PPP loans: Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas; Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.; and Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev.
An affiliate of Americans for Tax Reform, the influential conservative group that has been a vocal critic of government spending, received between $150,000 and $350,000. ATR founder Grover Norquist has criticized the unemployment insurance provision of the CARES Act, which he said “delays recovery,” and signed a letter urging lawmakers not to approve a second stimulus bill.
The Ayn Rand Institute, named for conservative philosopher Ayn Rand, received a loan of between $350,000 and $1 million, which it called “partial restitution for government-inflicted losses."
Citizens Against Government Waste, one of the country’s most prominent anti-government spending organizations and a frequent critic of the CARES Act, took between $150,000 and $350,000 in loans as well.

Other noteworthy recipients

More than 5,600 companies in the fossil fuel industry have taken a minimum of $3bn in coronavirus aid from the US federal government. The businesses include oil and gas drillers and coal mine operators, as well as refiners, pipeline companies, and firms that provide services to the industry.
Yeezy, which California business filings show is a holding company registered to Kanye West, received between $2 million and $5 million to support 106 jobs. West is estimated to be worth $1.3 billion.
Washington lobbying shops, high-priced law firms and special-interest groups also received big loans, according to the administration, the latest indication of how the government’s centerpiece effort to shore up mom-and-pop shops set off a race by organizations far afield from Main Street to secure federal money.
  • Wiley Rein, which has a large lobbying practice focusing on trade issues, received between $5 million and $10 million
  • Van Ness Feldman and Beveridge & Diamond, two law firms that focus on helping energy industry clients push their agendas in Washington, received loans between $2 million and $5 million
More than 100 law firms received loans ranging from $1 million to $10 million, the data showed. The list included well-known names like Boies Schiller Flexner, the high-priced law firm run by David Boies, which received between $5 million and $10 million.
A number of prominent private schools were listed as loan recipients, despite the controversy over whether such institutions should take the money. Some also have political connections in DC.
  • In New York City, St. Ann’s School took a loan valued between $5 million and $10 million.
  • Kent Place School, a private school in New Jersey, was reported to have received a loan worth between $1 million and $2 million.
  • Sidwell Friends, which has educated the children of presidents, received a loan worth between $5 million and $10 million.
  • Georgetown Preparatory School, which the Supreme Court justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch attended, received a loan worth between $2 million and $5 million.

The more you know

Fair distribution? There was no apparent link between the amount of economic damage suffered by states and how successful the small businesses in them were at getting the loans from the program. North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas all saw loan approvals of at least 90 percent of their eligible small-business payroll, even though they rank among the least-affected states in terms of unemployment claims during the crisis.
Just a small fraction of the bailout. Keep in mind that the Paycheck Protection Program is just one part of the government’s bailout. There are other, bigger, bailout efforts that the federal government is not required to tell us about.
Here are some articles about the bigger business and financial sector bailouts:
  • ProPublica: How the Coronavirus Bailout Repeats 2008’s Mistakes: Huge Corporate Payoffs With Little Accountability
  • Brookings: What’s the Fed doing in response to the COVID-19 crisis? What more could it do?
  • NYT: How the Fed’s Magic Money Machine Will Turn $454 Billion Into $4 Trillion
submitted by rusticgorilla to Keep_Track [link] [comments]

CASE STUDY: Transitioning my niche site to ecommerce using Shopify

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

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

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

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

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

Shipping Logistics and Tools
One of the things that I think could be a dealbreaker for people is something I personally really enjoy -- stocking, packing, and shipping items. My inventory is small enough to fit in a walk-in closet in my apartment. I love the process of getting the Shopfiy "ca-ching" notification, packing the order, and dropping it off at the mailbox. Here are some tools I have used to make this process more efficient:
Here is part of my dedicated "ship-station" where I manage my store and print labels/packing slips.
https://i.imgur.com/TdRfvEK.jpg
I would probably wait to receive the items you're selling before selecting the packaging you're going to use. That way you can take exact measurements and consider alternative sizes/types of packages. One of my items is a collection of smaller items. I throw away the box that my supplier ships it in, and put it in a bag that goes inside my small mailer box. I use a particular size of bubble wrap which was also specifically chosen to protect the item, while also taking up all of the surrounding space. It's much easier to make all of these choices when you have the item in front of you.
Here's the previously mentioned item (spark plugs) in the box I chose (bubble wrap not shown!) There is no wasted space when it is packed.
https://i.imgur.com/IXgTxm0.jpg
For me, I use USPS for nearly all of my orders. It's usually the cheapest option and very fast for the size of item I have. I live in an apartment complex and I can just drop my packages in the mailroom and they get picked up daily. Shopify will show you all of the available shipping options with speed and price. For international orders, it's only a few dollars more, and I think it goes from USPS and gets picked up by DHL.

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

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

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

My Stats
Here are my income sources over time. I apologize for the colors used in the line charts of individual sources, I could not figure out how to configure those.
https://i.imgur.com/bkeK6PJ.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/8ES9cG5.jpg
As you can see, my site is very small. However, the relationship between the decline these past few months in display advertising revenue (Ezoic literally sent an email saying to expect lower rates) and the Amazon Associates rate cut charted against my growing Shopify revenue really opened my eyes to the benefit I gained from diversifying towards ecommerce/Shopify. I still keep the older sources of revenue, but I actually think I will consider eliminating them in the future, especially display ads. Diversification is necessary when the revenue source lacks control -- Amazon Associates can slash rates willy-nilly, eBay Partner Network can apparently just decide to not pay me for a large sale I made, who even knows what these display ad networks are actually getting paid for our clicks or if every click is considered, etc.
Selling the items yourself gives you a lot more responsibility, but a lot more control. One of the primary reasons I'm so excited about this is that my inventory is still VERY small. I am working to add new items and it's wonderful because even if I only sell a few, the profit margins make it so much easier to spend the time to create the content and stock/ship the item -- a luxury I never had with Amazon.
Please feel free to ask any questions! I'd love to help if I can.
submitted by Mark-JST to juststart [link] [comments]

$25K+/mo - Further Diversifying Away from Amazon [Short Update]

This is going to be short as I'm currently in the process of going through my pages and adding additional affiliate links to retailer(s) other than Amazon. How badly am I affected by the recent changes in commission rates? According to last 30 days of category-wise shipment data, around 35% (including international Amazon locales).
Earnings (yesterday): https://i.imgur.com/TkpYgU5.jpg (a good way to end the stint with the old rates!)
Earnings (last 30 days): https://i.imgur.com/w9ulq2F.jpg
Additionally, I've been earning around 15-20% of this from other affiliate programs (mostly digital stuff) since a solid few months ago.
A couple of months ago, I had received an email from a niche-specific e-commerce retailer that's very popular with core users / enthusiasts in this niche. In fact, I've read on related forums and subreddits things like "Why do people still buy from Amazon when there's [X] ?" Although I was already planning to test them alongside Amazon since a while now, I wasted no further time in getting started with them after Amazon reduced their commissions. They offer double (sometimes even more) the rate of Amazon's new rates, and the cookie duration is way longer. It's only been a few days. Their average order value seems to be around 4x of Amazon's. Coupled with the 2x (or more) commissions, it does seem lucrative. Now comes the important part, do they actually convert well? They're struggling a bit to keep popular items in stock due to the overwhelming demand and non-availability of third-party sellers which Amazon enjoys. Despite that, the conversion rate hasn't been too bad (only 1-3% worse than Amazon), and the EPC is around 3x of Amazon (w.r.t. Amazon's old rates).
Why am I still offering people an option to check out a product on Amazon as well? First of all, because I think a considerable percentage WILL buy from Amazon no matter what. So if I don't offer them that option, I'll earn 0% instead of 3%. Secondly, Amazon is better at mitigating the effects of COVID-19 related supply-chain issues due to their huge pool of third-party sellers. They've in fact tweaked their product pages recently to give prominence to third-party sellers offering their own shipping if it's faster than what's Amazon themselves are offering. Thirdly, not giving people the option of Amazon would make my Canada and UK earnings take a big hit, since few people prefer international shipping, and Amazon's affiliate link localization is excellent. Lastly, Amazon can't be matched when it comes to the sheer number of products on offer. Some products are simply not available on other retailers.
1 interesting insight - a significant percentage of people do buy outside of Amazon's short 24 hrs cookie duration. I've received even 4-figure orders that were cookie'd 3-4 days ago (and maybe this will increase going forward, since I've only started with this alternative platform since the Amazon commission rate change).
Plans going forward (still in idea stage):
Lastly, I personally do not think that these rate changes are permanent, no matter what any of their support staff says. They're not management people. If they don't see a deadline / fixed date of switching-back-to-old-rates, they will always say these changes are permanent. From what it seems to me, Amazon is just trying everything they can to reduce demand right now. They've literally suspended their affiliate partnerships with big media, i.e. the Wirecutters and NY Medias. They've also kicked out VigLink, SkimLinks, etc. They've suspended their ad campaigns with Google and Facebook. Why pay someone to bring new customers to you when you're already at full capacity serving customers that you're getting for free? They're getting this unprecedented volume of orders only because of the present situation. Because physical stores and most other e-retailers are unable to compete with them and they're often the only choice for people stuck at home. Will it be like this forever? I guess you already know the answer. They've had to hire a lot of new people, so if the demand falls after the situation becomes normal, what do they do? Just fire all those new hires? I doubt it, because it takes time and money to hire new people and get them up to speed. So, what'll they do? They'll most likely try to increase demand again, in which case affiliate marketing would be a much cheaper solution than paid traffic, as it always has been the case. This is just what I personally, think, by the way. There's a chance that most of their top performing affiliates, being lazy and/or out of ideas/options just keep sending as much traffic to Amazon as they were doing before the rate cut, in which case they might not increase the rates again or not increase them fully back to their previous levels, at least. But even then, I don't think people in the health, personal care, grooming etc. niches will have any interest left in promoting Amazon at 1% commissions, when there are so many higher paying alternatives in the space. So, Amazon keeping commission rates exactly as they are now even after things become normal again seems a bit unlikely to me.
I didn't realize this after I started writing this post, but it seems to have ended up being way longer than I expected. Feel free to share your thoughts.
Edit: Forgot to add links to my previous posts related to this site:
submitted by jumstakl to juststart [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]

A step-by-step guide of how I would build a SaaS company right now - part 2

This is part 2 of 5.
Part 1
LET'S DO THIS!
Big thank you to everyone that upvoted and commented on the last post.
I’m pumped, this is part 2 of 5 for those keeping track at home.
  1. Start with your revenue and monetization plan (are you targeting a sector that has money and can/will pay - Part 1)
  2. Align yourself with others in your space (cheapest way to get traction/credibility)
  3. Work on road mapping your product to align with what complements your partnerships (cheapest distribution)
  4. Work on building a marketing strategy that can help expose and align your brand while strengthening its recognition with your partners (will this make us both look good)
  5. Build customer advocates along the way, tell their stories (lead with examples)
Early traction, everyone wants it, very few people know how to do it effectively. Hell I’ve seen it all, run all the experiments, all the tests and I can tell you from experience if you have the patience, slow, steady, and surgical is the way to grow. Especially in the beginning.
In part one we spent a lot of time asking some basic fundamental business questions. Including, an exercise in the importance of being able to niche down.
We’re going to expand on the niching down because it’s how you gain clarity and find people to align yourself with early on.
The goal of this will be to understand:
  1. How to niche down
  2. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
  3. How to position within that market
  4. How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
I’ve chosen to outline these in all our steps for niching down.
You’re going to see these steps move from research to market evaluation to list building stopping just short of outreach. We’ll touch on this in part 3.
Last week I took a call where someone told me their target market is males 25-45 that like sports.
This is the most important part of your entire business. I’m serious.
Let’s rock through this together so we can get you super focused and know where and how to spend your time and money.
(The below was laid out in part 1 and was the layered niching exercise)
LEVEL 1: We’re a helpdesk product.
How to niche down
The big question is “for who”?
So you’ve picked the type of product you are building and a use case, the problem is there are lots of people like you out there and this doesn’t tell me much about your market, it’s too broad.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Because this is so broad, it’s impossible to actually target a market and without being able to do that, it’s not possible to recognize opportunities, there’s just too many of them.
How to position within that market
Competition is good and bad, but it’s always better to be a big fish in a little pond, the best way to reduce the size of your pond is to niche down as much as possible while still understanding a large enough TAM (total addressable market).
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
No wasted effort. Every idea, concept, must have a small goal attached to it.
It’s too expensive to try to be everything for everyone and when you take this approach you end up failing at doing any one thing well enough for people to switch.
Let’s build on this.
LEVEL 2: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies.
How to niche down
Pick an industry or trend that is on the rise - look towards a shift or something that relates to changes people are making in their daily routine.
In this case we picked eCommerce because it’s on track to hit over $7 Trillion worldwide this year and has steadily been increasing across all brands. So we have an industry with a large enough economic driver to let us start niching down.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
We now buy things online that we never would have thought to do so even just a few years ago. Amazon is selling Tiny Homes now, seriously, if you can buy it, odds are you can do it online. There are massive opportunities to bring goods and services to people through convenient online shopping. And with that increase they will all need a help desk platform to provide the best experience for their customers.
Customers today don’t want to speak with people, they want answers quickly and easily. It’s all about reducing friction.
How to position within that market
Narrow down within the market. eCommerce is a good starting point, there are different industries, subsets, and categories. Go narrower. Start thinking about where the friction exists in the industry and for what subsets.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
In the beginning, it’s going to be an uphill battle, picking the right trending industry will give you the best chance of success. Something that is rising up to the right in popularity is way easier to sell into than a trend that is declining.
Know your competitive landscape.
Everyone has a competitor, whether direct, partial, or mildly related. Spend a lot of time on understanding this and knowing that your product is part of a very large landscape or landscape of potential competitors. Any one of the existing partial or mildly related competitors may be building something to more directly compete with you down the road.
Practical advice
Most companies stop here and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a go to market plan or a sustainable business model.
There’s an important bit worth mentioning here as it will become a theme of this entire post.
Great products enhance workflows through features, the focus isn’t on the product but what the product enables people to do. Success in the software business is all about understanding existing workflows and simplifying the experience.
As you do this exercise to niche down ask yourself:
What does the current workflow look like?
What are they currently using?
How are they currently using it?
Where are the gaps?
What are the best practices for creating workflows?
Always seek to understand how your product works in a workflow - what role it plays, how it best optimizes - this is the data play referred to in Part 1.
What are the things that matter most to people in the eCommerce space?
That’s a lot of questions with even more answers, when you peel everything back it becomes very clear that it’s not possible to answer all of them without going deeper.
Too many people to talk to, too many industries, too much everything.
Let’s take a different approach - how I got to Shopify in the next niche down.
No successful new SaaS company today launches without an integration.
So let’s find an eCommerce platform to integrate with.
We have to look for a stable player that has an app store and is a market leader.
As a starting point, my goal is to be a help desk for ecommerce companies.
  1. I need a list of all eCommerce platforms
  2. I need to understand which help desks they already integrate with
  3. I need to understand what people like and don’t like about them
  4. I need to find out which platform is going to be the best fit for my product
There are lots of sources for this and even more articles, google and read.
If you’re looking for numbers though and data, use BuiltWith and run a search on the platforms after you have your list to figure out which is the most popular.
Ok so we have our list of eCommerce platforms, we’ve analyzed the data, made sure they tick all the boxes and we’ve run our reports and found that Shopify powers 1.2 million stores.
Let’s lock it in as our next step in niching down.
LEVEL 3: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify.
How to niche down
It’s more than just market size. Going with a market leader is always a safe bet but it also provides the most competition. Sometimes going with a smaller platform that doesn’t get all the attention is a worthwhile research project.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
There are two sides of the opportunity and this is something that I didn’t touch on in the original niching down. Shopify and BuiltWith categorize the types of stores that are on the platform, so you can niche down to a certain type of store, for example just cosmetics or just apparel.
The other side of the opportunity is putting together your list of companies currently operating in the ecosystem.
How to position within that market
Smart people are really good at collecting data and interpreting it.
Let’s get some data.
  1. Go to the shopify app store
  2. Type in “Support”
  3. Click paid on the left margin and click the “Support Category”
  4. Use something like Simple Scraper ( a great chrome plugin, no affiliation)
  5. Get your scrape on, this shows 87
  6. Time to get busy - categorize them
  7. Pick the ones most similar to your offerings
  8. Click on them, look at their reviews - all of them on shopify Scrape them
  9. Go to G2 and Capterra and look through all those reviews as well
  10. Put them all in a spreadsheet, read them all, highlight those that stand out
  11. Find the ones that are popular, others that have features people like etc.
  12. Document, and integrate the baseline features into a trello board on your product roadmap
  13. Take all the bad reviews and complaints - look for gaps that you can fill
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
So take a look above, we went from a bunch of questions to being able to do a ton of market research to do product research and understand the current market offerings and where we might be able to gain some ground and offer something people might be interested in and ARE PAYING FOR.
How do you stand out?
You need to have a workflow that is 10x better than a current competitor in the market with a strong roadmap that lays out how you intend on optimizing this workflow. Features are built to augment the workflow and simplify the work of your clients employees, less work, more data, better understanding.
Ok so we’ve narrowed it down to eCommerce and Shopify and we have a list of other products that are currently playing in the space. We’re now looking at workflow - let’s figure this bit out.
LEVEL 4: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation.
How to niche down
Add another variable - it doesn’t have to be Shipstation, but it’s a good example as for eCommerce you’re likely shipping products places. By adding another variable, we’re shrinking our population to target.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
The biggest problem for all companies these days is combining different one off services and getting them to play nicely together. Stand alone products usually outclass all in one products as stated above because the focus is better. This is generally always going to be where you can find a gap in the market as the integrating of products is an afterthought rather than something contemplated in the very beginning.
How do you decide on the technologies you want to work with?
How to position within that market
Don’t guess. Understand the workflow of an eCommerce company and how it relates to support. For instance, most support tickets relate to order status, tracking, and returns. These all involve the store, transaction, the service desk, and the shipping carrier. Look for ways to streamline the experience for the service rep - for instance if refunds require approval, build a system that allows for all those tickets to be queued up with an easy interface for approvals or different color tagging to allow for them to be easily sorted by type.
By focusing on two technologies you can start by creating a better visual collaboration between tools to improve overall experience.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Stack the deck in your favor.
Focus on where you can drive early alignment between your product offering and the audiences of your now two products. When you reach out to both companies especially the smaller ones like a Shipstation, you can collect more information about who they are catering to, volumes etc.
Most companies have a partner program - look into connecting with the lead.
When the time is right you might even get a shoutout on their social or blog or you can decide to co-publish some research report together. Lots of options.
Let’s double down on what being niche allows us to do:
  1. Know our audience
  2. Research with purpose
  3. Personalize outreach with early feelers
  4. Better understand a realistic TAM (total addressable market)
  5. Understand overlap between products
  6. Early alignment with bigger names
This whole topic is about alignment, alignment with partners, customers, and your product.
We have a list of potential customers now, but we need to segment them down further.
LEVEL 5: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus.
How to niche down
Why less than 100 skus?
This means they are small enough to try a new product. It also means you can see what works and what doesn’t work on a potentially smaller store. When you’re managing a store with more than 100 skus, things get a little complicated, it’s an arbitrary number but changing internal processes and workflows when you get to that level means that your staff is coming from a place of having used a system before that could handle the volume and trying out something newer or unproven is a tall order.
This process can be applied to anything, if your product does better project management look for people that run less than 20 projects at a time or projects that are less than 6 months, whatever it may be. We’re starting small.
Always default to the path of least resistance. Work smarter, not harder.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
I’m sure this could be automated, but in lieu of it being automated, you should start by manually figuring this out for yourself.
That list you have from BuiltWith that has urls, yeah we’re going to use that one.
Put the websites in the spreadsheet you downloaded, then create a new column and add “products” to the url - so you have the website in cell A, the word “products” in cell B then in blank cell C write “=CONCATENATE(A:B)” congratulations now you have cell C that will take you straight to the product page to see how many skus they have.
Update this hack doesn’t work on all shopify websites like I had hoped and after some research it seems like this is a bit of a struggle point for others as well.
I’m sure someone could write a script to scrape this information.
Go find an intern or hire someone to do all the lookups for you or find someone to write a script to automate the results - remember always work smart.
Run this and you’ll come up with your go to target list.
How to position within that market
The best helpdesk for stores on Shopify using shipstation with less than 100 skus - all of a sudden this starts to sound like something someone would almost search for. That’s the point.
We’re working our way down where it becomes a simple checklist if someone was searching for things.
Shopify - check
Shipstation - check
Built for smaller stores - check
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Remember you’re not building a product for everyone yet, your goal is to dominate a niche. You can always expand from there.
So we’re about half way through and we have figured out our potential partners and now we’re working on narrowing down this customer list. Before we dive in and start reaching out we need to really understand who we’re targeting and we need to start small.
Let’s narrow this down even further.
LEVEL 6: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue.
How to niche down
Why the less than $10 million in annual revenue? The only reason I would say this in the beginning is that they won’t have as much traffic and ticket volume, they make for better early clients, you can learn a lot more from their use cases and improve the product without worrying about something going wrong and a larger client really getting mad and churning. You also usually have greater access to work with their staff to improve your product.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Unless you’re currently on the front lines, you need to find some early providers of feedback that are on the front lines. In essence, this is the starting point of a community and information play.
There aren’t a lot of data points available about companies in the early stages. People always have questions and there are limited resources in the early days, even across similar companies.
(Just look at reddit there are tons of repeat answers and questions.)
Someone answering tickets all day is the last person that wants to provide feedback, as much as they would like their job made easier, they don’t have the time.
How to position within that market
“But I need a big logo to let people know that I’m real.” You don’t, not in the beginning. All you need is a few good customers that are open to lending you the feedback you need to get better. A lot of smaller brands do a good job of branding, play the long game, find brands that are growing and try to get in early - grow with them.
Logo hunting has its place but you need to find product market fit before you can really make that happen.
By now you have probably figured out that whenever possible you should automate things. The way you do this is through data collection.
Using logic, math, and a spreadsheet you can do enough to be dangerous.
Use a service to figure out what their unique traffic is, take a look at their products and assume that their cart value is around 2-4 products per order then take the conversion rates by industry - you can find these online they are openly listed.
Your sheet will look something like this:
Company, Traffic, Conversion Percentage, Order Value, Sales Percentage, Revenue
eCommerce blended average is 2.2% - go use a spreadsheet and some formulas and bam you now have the revenue numbers. We’re not looking for exacts here, but more generally a good estimate.
I’ve actually run these numbers, if the products are sold through other channels, Amazon, retail, etc, then a rough estimate would be around ~33% of the revenue will come from the ecommerce store.
Factor in a range based on the size of the brand and it’s channels this should give you a rough estimate of the revenue even if they don’t publish it.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Provide value - the most overhyped phrase but still true - the question then becomes, with something as subjective as “value” rather than just create, instead ask and create. This part is coming up, we’re almost ready to turn this on.
We’ve started to move from who are partners are to who are our potential customers. This is on purpose - my stance is that your first customers are really your partners and you should work on aligning yourself with those that are the best fit for your product.
You want your first clients to buy into your vision and invest the time to help shape it.
Ok on to the next -
LEVEL 7: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people.
How to niche down
So now we’re getting into the easier stuff - this is just a simple LinkedIn Search - small teams are usually before the real deep process point, they are also really good at providing feedback on tools that can actually help them out.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
If you have less than 5 people on a team, it’s a small enough number to target the entire team - multi prong approach to product awareness.
For customer support they are often the least paid and they have the most stressful jobs - it’s an all around shitty position to be in, so if you can provide them joy, you’re going to make fans quick. Also, they aren’t usually sold into, they are rarely asked their opinion, etc.
How to position within that market
Give them a voice. The same goes for any lower level positions as well by the way. When people are getting started in their careers they are looking to hear about the jobs people have even at the lower levels but the resources just aren’t there. Even for more senior roles, it’s hard to get a beat on what the current status is of their projects, people don’t like sharing - I still don’t know why.
We’re seeing communities around Sales popup SalesHacker, sales, Bravado etc. We don’t see as many for other roles, there is a wide open space in this. I don’t see any places for people to better understand customer support/success which is THE ONLY INBOUND TOUCHPOINT WITH CUSTOMERS POST SALE.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
This is part of the philosophy and psychology of understanding human dynamics. Find a persona that you can relate to immediately and build your product around fixing their problems, be obsessed with this.
They get paid nothing, but they’d like less tickets, how do you reduce that ticket count, how do you bring other parts of the business that they may need to have access to more prominently in your support system so they don’t have to have multiple windows open. How do you build something to maximize their efficiency?
Better yet, how do you tag someone in the CRM and flag it over to the sales system to see if they purchase more product as a result of a good interaction with support - this is how you turn a cost center into a revenue generator. This is a killer feature that I’m not aware of out of the box.
This could unlock a commission structure and reward system for what is arguably becoming a dealbreaker for most companies.
Which is a great segway to the next drill down - you should be starting to see how this all really blends together if done correctly.
LEVEL 8: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people who are looking to automate their processes.
How to niche down
They have to be looking to automate their process or improve their workflow. When people find a tech stack that works, oftentimes new technology doesn’t stick around very long, we’re all creatures of habit.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
You’re only looking for people that are talking about processes or a company that has something related to the pride they take with their process - you can check out BuiltWith and see a list of products they have tried over the last 18 months.
When a company is testing a bunch of different products it means they are looking for a better process. This is your sweet spot.
How to position within that market
You’ve seen me sprinkle “workflow” into this post. This is pretty much a preview of Part 3 and the importance of product design.
Your product must improve someone’s existing workflow. If it doesn’t it’s not a viable product.
There are two parts to this, does your product improve an existing workflow AND how easy can your product be inserted into that workflow?
Remember, this is their business and they need to make a transition as smoothly as possible with as little disruption as possible. This goes for any product you’re selling. Change is hard.
Understanding a company’s process really is everything.
If people aren’t looking to automate or improve their process, there’s a good chance you should change your approach immediately and work towards more of an education campaign and double down on what it would take to let people quickly switch over from an existing platform. Focus on reducing friction.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Looking for people that are interested, not those we need to educate early on.
Data migration and implementation is one of the main reasons people don’t want to switch or entertain new products. There is always a fear of lost productivity.
Everyone is looking to automate right now, but the price has to be right, and that includes not the subscription amount, but the training, the migration, the new workflows, the time to adopt, the willingness to adopt, etc.
During almost any transition, the company will be paying for two systems at the same time during that handoff. This is rough, not enough companies actually address this in a meaningful way.
The argument is that a pure SaaS play doesn’t exist or shouldn’t exist for an early stage company, there should always be a service and consulting component. Hold everyone’s hand, understand their problems and make them feel like you’re building a product just for them.
Ok we’re almost there -
LEVEL 9: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people who are looking to automate their processes who are currently using Zendesk.
How to niche down
Let’s spearfish.
Zendesk - great platform - but has its limits that only show up based on workflows. Zendesk will work great until you have a workflow that incorporates other tools - then it starts to struggle.
This is true of most large legacy platforms. As legacy platforms moved up market to Enterprise for revenue reasons, they usually forget about smaller teams. Instead relying on dev house partners to do customizations.
This is where industry experience really comes into play - knowing the goals of a company or team, their workflows, and where you can create a better solution for those with those workflows for things that the legacy platforms prefer to source out to their dev house partners.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Your calls can now go from generic to focused with questions that can hone in on workflows and gaps. For example, Zendesk’s UX/UI sucks for partner integrations, we’ve seen companies like Kustomer, Gorgias, and others become more popular because of a better UX/UI that supports the whole customer experience and journey. This is a fundamental switch in approach.
From one of our earlier research steps we found 87 companies that people were using for support with shopify, we have them in a spreadsheet, we then could take those and put all the competitors in builtwith to run some reports to understand market penetration (you can do this with number of reviews as well by the way if you’re lazy - don’t be lazy).
Download your list - populate your CRM - you now know what people are using, how long they’ve been using them.
Narrow down your list to the top 20 clients - yes only 20.
Even if you have 100 clients or a thousand clients at this point, this process works for every single Sales rep you have - and I’m going on a 95% chance none of them are doing this stuff. And if you tell me they are, I know from the amount of generic ass emails I get regularly spewed out to me they aren’t doing it well and I guarantee you money is being left on the table. (Topic for another day)
How to position within that market
You know what software they are using, you know their tech stack, your goal is to figure out their workflow. If you don’t know, ask. You should understand the general business workflows for the industry - again industry knowledge is required.
Engage them with conversation and find out. Base your questions on conversations you’ve had with other people in the space and be a source of information about how other people are doing it.
The above is completely able to be put into a human measurable process, one based on quality over quantity, relationships over transactions, and geared towards long term growth.
Be about the things that other platforms are not. Focus on changing the narrative from cost center to revenue generator.
The helpdesk for Shopify and Shipstation customers looking to streamline their processes and free up their support teams to become revenue generators in an organic and measurable fashion.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
It’s all about workflows, data, and automation.
Niche down, learn from the inside out, follow the trends and work on being able to tie back data to creating more revenue no matter what your product does and you’ll be able to start conversations with people actively looking to create more optimized workflows.
Focusing on a legacy product and small businesses usually allows you to find a sweet spot, they don’t find value in all the features because they won’t use them all. But they do want the more advanced features like automation and workflow help. These are usually cost prohibitive in the platform.
This is why you focus on workflow over features, you’ll never catch up with the big guys in terms of features, but there are always ways to compete on workflows, because everyone has their own independent goals around them. There aren’t standards, only best practices.
Side note - there are entire companies that are hired to implement systems like Zendesk and build integrations on top of it and it’s a market leader. The same goes for any market leader.
LEVEL 10ish: You can add location to the end of our narrowing down. A company physically local to you (at least this was the case prior to COVID-19) can allow for an in person visit which has been massive in building trust with early clients. Makes it easier to have a conversation as well.
That’s it. Go through this process, substitute your values, keep drilling down and recognize opportunity along the way. When you do it correctly you’ll see massive improvements for your initial outreach.
Emails go from:
We’re a new helpdesk company.
To:
We’re a new helpdesk company for customers that use Shopify and Shipstation. We help agile support teams that are looking to better automate their workflows. Our integrations also allows your support team’s interactions to be directly tied into future revenue generation.
___________
I can tell you from experience I’m visiting the url for the second email even if I’m not looking to make a change.
This is a good place to stop, we hit question 2 of 5 and we’re almost at the halfway point.
If you have more specific questions about this part just drop them in the comments and I'll respond to them.
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Nick Cordero, Broadway actor, dies at 41 after battle with Covid-19

This news is distressing, but we must also be aware of a problem. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the society. Many companies have begun to lay off employees, even file for bankruptcy (like Pizza Hut), or start to change the way they work, such as everyone. Start working online. What you can see is that people are starting to reduce their chances of going out. This is to prevent the occurrence of illness and death, so it is a special trend in 2020 to start having an online job.
Nick Cordero, a Broadway actor who had admirers across the world rallying for his recovery, has died after a battle with Covid-19, according to his wife, Amanda Kloots.
He was 41.
"God has another angel in heaven now," Kloots posted on her official Instagram account Sunday night. "My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth."
Kloots has been regularly updating her social media accounts with news of her husband's ups and downs as he battled the virus and complications, including an amputated leg. She said Cordero battled the disease for 95 days.
Transfer from CNN
If you don’t know which online jobs you can develop, then read on.

Summary of this article

Exactly How to Earn Money Online: 10 Genuine Ways
  1. Begin Dropshipping
Given that we're a dropshipping blog site, we might also begin our listing off with among the most preferred means to make money online. According to Google Trends, dropshipping's popularity is quickly growing, highlighting its practicality as a method to make money online. With success tales regarding exactly how a business owner made $6,667 in eight weeks or exactly how a store owner made 6 numbers selling simply one item, there's lots of evidence that dropshipping is a genuine way to make money online.
In case you don't understand what dropshipping is: dropshipping is a business design where you sell an item to a customer, however the vendor stores, packages, and also ships the item to your clients in your place. With ANTDIY, you have accessibility to countless items that you can add to your store. ANTDIY also enables you to send distributors the consumer details in just a pair clicks instead of doing the work on your own.
what is dropshipping
The most effective method to generate income online dropshipping? A lot of entrepreneurs have been focusing on a couple of advertising strategies: running Facebook advertisements, having influencers promote your items, and also sending Direct Messages (DMs) to potential consumers on social media sites.
  1. Attempt Publish on Demand
Print as needed is showing to be a prominent alternative as well. Graphic designers are resorting to business design to offer their styles on apparel and also various other items to much better monetize their art. With their one-of-a-kind styles, they can produce a consistent and also recognized brand name for their service.
Print on demand resembles dropshipping in the feeling that you do not need to bring supply or ship products to consumers on your own. There are two slight differences though. Initially, you can include well-known tags on packages. Second, shipping expenses are excessively high, making it hard to develop a sustainable service unless you bill higher prices or offer higher quantities.
The best means to earn money with your print as needed organisation? Free advertising and marketing networks. Your best bet would be to advertise your products completely free on Instagram, Pinterest, or with affordable influencers who convert their audiences well. This will certainly aid you earn money on the internet instead of breaking even with paid marketing channels like Facebook Ads.
earn money with print as needed
  1. Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate advertising is just one of one of the most popular means to generate income online. Throughout the years its popularity has fluctuated yet it continues to confirm to be a steady method to earn money online. The most effective part regarding affiliate advertising is that you can be an affiliate for almost any type of company, from Shopify to Amazon to Uber to FabFitFun.
Affiliate advertising and marketing permits you to work by promoting various other brands. If you're a savvy marketer, you can earn a compensation from sales by promoting retail products, software program, applications, as well as a lot more. While gaining a commission might appear small, keep in mind that you can be an affiliate for a number of brands and consist of a number of associate links on a solitary post.
If you truly want to earn money online doing affiliate advertising and marketing, your best bet is to focus on content marketing. By developing out a blog with a number of web pages of material you basically develop a property you can call your very own. The very best component about focusing on content marketing is that if an affiliate program closes down, you can change the affiliate link to a competitor without negatively affecting your side hustle earnings.
  1. Beginning a YouTube Channel
The highest-paid YouTuber is 7-year-old Ryan, that assesses toys on his YouTube network that made him $22 million in 2018. In the number 5 place is Jeffree Star, who made $18 million on YouTube and also has a cosmetics brand that markets about $100 million in items yearly. His YouTube (as well as Myspace) popularity helped him utilize his influence to generate income online past his YouTube revenues.
Your YouTube channel need to focus on a solitary particular niche so you can construct a solid, devoted audience. As an example, you can produce make-up tutorials, stream computer game, review products, educate abilities, develop prank videos, or anything else you assume there 'd be an audience for.
The secret to earning money on YouTube is to create content people desire that either informs or entertains. You can utilize a headline that's clickbait to entice individuals to watch or you can utilize key phrases that are enhanced for YouTube search. As soon as you've reached the 1,000 subscriber milestone, you can officially monetize your network with YouTube ads.make money with youtube
  1. End up being an Influencer
Developing a personal brand name can help you make money online. Did you recognize in 2018, Kylie Jenner made $1 million for every funded Instagram post, making her the highest-paid influencer? While it may seem like reality celebrities, singers, as well as athletes are the biggest influencers, keep in mind that even smaller-scale influencers can make more money today than they did a year earlier.
To come to be an influencer you need to build a huge following. The most convenient systems to do that: YouTube and also Instagram. Several of the greatest non-celebrity influencers commonly gained their first taste of direct exposure on these systems. You might want to look into exactly how to get even more Instagram fans if you want to construct a large Instagram target market.
To earn money as an influencer, you can bill for sponsored posts, talking gigs, produce your own on-line store as well as sell products, add affiliate links in your bio, market your photos, market advertisements on your own podcast, earn money as a brand name ambassador, develop a publication, get paid to show up at events, and extra.
  1. Develop an Online Program
Sharing expertise is one of the most effective means to make money online. If you're a specialist on a subject you can monetize your knowledge by developing training courses online. You can offer your program on Udemy or, if you already have your own audience, on your own web site.
To develop a prominent and successful training course, your best choice is to watch other programs on your topic. After that, check out the reviews. What are the elements that individuals praise and what are the important things people dislike? Just how can you create something much better than what's already been created? Focus on producing content that addresses the greatest problems while emulating the positive facets people rave around.
The system you sell your training course on will establish exactly how to best generate income. If you sell your program on Udemy, you don't have to do much to promote it. You can almost establish it as well as forget it. Maybe promote it to some blogs or by yourself internet site. Nevertheless, if the course is hosted by yourself internet site you may want to run advertisements to advertise the course. You can likewise build an email listing so you can continue to advertise future programs to that exact same audience.
exactly how to make money online with courses

Is Dropshipping Profitable?

There are many ways to start and grow a dropshipping business. Our success stories talk about merchants who have started dropshipping businesses to make a few extra hundred bucks a month, while others have grown multiple six-figure stores. Whether you are looking to start dropshipping as an introduction into ecommerce or a business model to last forever, it is important to understand how dropshipping can be profitable to you.

What are some dropshipping product ideas?

If you're interested in dropshipping but don't know where to start, here's a list of product ideas for inspiration. We tried to only list auxiliary items that could fit the product range of any industry.
· Tote bags supporting a cause or charity.
· Novelty t-shirts.
· Funny coffee mugs.
· Motivational bookmarks.
· Inexpensive watches or jewelry.
· Marketing merchandise (shirts, bags, mugs, pens, etc., with your logo).
Otherwise, see the section above on market research for a more personalized approach.

Do dropshippers ship internationally?

This varies widely by dropshipper, so you'll need to check.
International shipments can quickly get expensive, and getting accurate quotes regarding shipping fees, customs and duties for hundreds of countries is complex. It also takes a drop shipper significantly more time to process an international order as there is more paperwork involved. Some will charge an additional fee while others simply won't bother.
Learn more
How to Start a Dropshipping Business?
10 Marketing Tips for a Successful Drop Shipping Business
Ideal dropshipping supplier collection
To meet customer needs, you need to do this
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NAIA Consortium says entire NAIA rehab project in jeopardy (again) (Wednesday, July 8)

Happy Wednesday, Barkada --

The PSE closed down 62 points to 6268 ▼0.96%.

Thanks to filipino13 for the nice comments, and for being an MB reader for months already!
Shout-out and thank-you to @niko for the compliments, and for recommending subscription to MB to the PHinvest Discord server crowd. Your testimonial is humbling and appreciated.
Programming note: We will introduce the 2020 IPOs MB subindex on Monday... I'm just in the process of gathering the historical data (and getting the graphs to look normal). It's going to start with just MM and APVI... that's right, I'm going to count APVI as an "IPO". (I know, I know... your objection is noted, Matt!)

Daily meme

COVID Update

WW: 11732581 PH: 46333 

Top 3 MB indices:

 Media ▲1.00% Fast Food ▲0.00% 2019 IPOs ▼0.04% 

Bottom 3 MB indices:

 #COVID-19 ▼3.19% POGO Prop. ▼2.36% MiddleClass ▼1.76% 

Main stories covered:

MB: Whether the release from escrow will result in downward pressure on the price remains to be seen. The HOME stock price is heavily underwater from its 2019 IPO price, but who knows if the financial standing of the shares’ owner may have materially changed in the past 365 days (crippling COVID lockdown, anyone?) in such a way so as to make the sale of the underwater shares more palatable.
MB: Following this negotiation for the past two years, it feels obvious to me that the government is “just not that into” the NAIA Consortium, its plan, or some combination of the two. The big-ticket plan seemed to fit the bill of the government’s Build Build Build program, but nothing happened… and then nothing happened… and then nothing happened (again). Could this be evidence to suggest the rumors that the government is pushing to build-out Sangley, under a hefty concession to a state-owned Chinese firm, as the replacement to NAIA are true? I’m not certain, but my development bank contact’s whispers about that tension between NAIA and Sangley haven’t been getting less accurate over time.
MB: An interesting bit from the MDA section indicated that the company’s “feeder services” declined by 46% due to the “dearth in container delivery shipment from one port to another.” Setting aside my complete lack of knowledge on what feeder services are (doing a deep dive into an industry can be fun, but I’m not doing tugboats just yet), it’s unsettling to see evidence of the collapse of the domestic supply chain like that.

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End of Venezuela’s Oil Fortune Looms Over Maduro’s Regime

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/end-of-venezuela-s-oil-fortune-looms-over-maduro-s-regime-1.1453492
(Bloomberg) -- Oil revenue, the financial lifeline of Venezuela, is quickly drying up, adding to the growing instability of Nicolas Maduro’s embattled regime.
Crude exports that once accounted for 95% of foreign currency inflow to the country tumbled by almost half this month, after hitting a 73-year low in May. The plunge comes as U.S. sanctions continue to target Venezuela, home of the world’s largest oil reserves.
Maduro’s regime is already plagued by a humanitarian crisis aggravated by the global pandemic that’s sapping domestic demand for fuels. There’s only one more oil tanker expected to load for the remaining 12 days of the month, documents show. Venezuela used to load two vessels per day two years ago before financial sanctions were imposed.
Oil storage tanks in the country are nearly full, forcing operators to shut in production to levels not seen since the end of the Second World War. It’s next to impossible to sell crude to foreign buyers with most oil vessels booked to export crude forced to cancel due to the Trump administration’s sanctions.
“Without oil money life gets a lot harder for Maduro,” said Diego Moya-Ocampos, a political-risk consultant at IHS Markit in London. “He will have to rely more on gold mining and illegal activities such as drug trafficking to pay for his security apparatus.”
Shipments of oil, used to barter for fuels and food, slumped to 167,222 barrels a day this month through Thursday, down 45% compared to the same period in May, data from loading programs and ship-tracking compiled by Bloomberg show.
After the U.S. levied sanctions on Mexican firm Libre Abordo SA de CV and its affiliate Schlager Business Group, Venezuela began relying on shipments to its ally Cuba and to Italian refiner Eni SpA and Repsol SA from Spain. Both Eni and Repsol have said in the past they are collecting oil as payment to settle old debts.
“Repsol receives cargoes as payment for outstanding debts,” said spokesperson Kristian Rix in an email. “Repsol is fully compliant with international laws and regulations and will, of course, remain so.”
Eni has been recovering receivables from PDVSA via the supply of crude oil in full compliance with U.S. sanctions, according to a company statement.
Inventories have ballooned as exports tumble. Stockpiles are averaging 15.2 million barrels in June, up 43% compared with January. Tanks have enough spare room to store no more than 800,000 barrels, documents show. As a result, oil upgrading facilities run by state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA in partnership with Chevron Corp. and China National Petroleum Corp. had to stop activities in June as they ran out of space to store crude.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
submitted by HarvosMom to oilandgasworkers [link] [comments]

Covid-19 update Saturday 11th April

Good evening from the UK. The sun was out on what turned out to be a perfect day weather wise with temperatures soaring above our average of 15C to hit a giddy 23C (76F), just below the temperature threshold at which our print media seems to begin to call the weather a “heatwave”. Unfortunately, we need to continue to stay at home. How many will do so when faced with such pleasant (and rare) weather is unknown across a 4 day weekend; fingers crossed it’s as many as humanly possible.
Virus news in depth
‘I’m Sorry I Can’t Kiss You’—Coronavirus Victims Are Dying Alone - Her father was 83 years old, sweating and gasping for breath. Nancy Hopkins leaned down and rubbed his arm just before paramedics put him into an ambulance. “I’ll be with you every step of the way,” Ms. Hopkins promised him. That was as close as she would ever again get to her dad. When she arrived at the nearby hospital in Conway, S.C., that evening in mid-March, she learned she could not go in because of visitor restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic. She sat alone in her car in the hospital parking lot for hours, crying when she finally drove off. Her father, Robert McCord, a retired livestock dealer, was sick with the coronavirus and lay for 14 days in an isolation room on the top floor of Conway Medical Center. When he neared death on April 1, Ms. Hopkins said goodbye through a phone, placed in a plastic bag and held to his ear by a nurse. “It has been the biggest challenge of my life, knowing I couldn’t be there,” says Ms. Hopkins, who is 59 and a schoolteacher. “Because my father depended on me.” The Wall Street Journal offers some personal stories of the victims of the virus and the family they leave behind (not behind their paywall).

The role of the WHO is continuing to become more and more politically controversial - Today’s Guardian live blog (link below) says that Taiwan has accused the World Health Organization (WHO) of playing word games in a dispute over details it sought in an email querying if the new coronavirus could be transmitted between people. Taiwan is not a WHO member, because of objections from China, which claims the island as its own and deems it to have no right to membership of international bodies. Such an approach, Taiwan says, deprived it of timely information to fight the virus, and it accused the WHO of having ignored its communications early in the pandemic, which has infected 1.6 million people and killed 100,000 worldwide. Last month, Taiwan said it had received no reply from the WHO to a 31 December query for information on the outbreak in China’s central city of Wuhan, including whether it could be transmitted between people. The WHO has said the email it received made no mention of human-to-human transmission. In Taipei on Saturday, the health minister, Chen Shih-chung, quoted the text of the email written in English that the government sent to the WHO.

Will we all need to sign up to a digital tracking app to speed up the reopening of our countries? - There is increasing chatter on social media and in some parts of mainstream media about whether the general public in each country will need to sign up to some kind of tracking app (a system that’s in widespread use in China already says CNN). Andy Slavitt ran a poll asking whether people would sign up to it here; at time of writing it was 53.6% in favour with another 34% in favour with caveats and only 12.5% flatly rejecting it. Dr Farzard Mostashari, formally an Epidemiological Intelligence Service officer with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and also formally a national health IT coordinator has written a twitter thread where he says it’ll be feasible, usable and hopefully acceptable from a privacy stance - but it’ll only work if a large proportion of the population sign up to it. For now though, Apple and Google are teaming up to begin work on a solution.

Vox news: I’ve read the plans to reopen the US economy. They’re scary. - Vox news has written an article suggesting that the only options to reopen the economy all involve significant changes from societal norms. “Over the past few days, I’ve been reading the major plans for what comes after social distancing. You can read them, too. There’s one from the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer. I thought, perhaps naively, that reading them would be a comfort — at least then I’d be able to imagine the path back to normal. But it wasn’t. In different ways, all these plans say the same thing: Even if you can imagine the herculean political, social, and economic changes necessary to manage our way through this crisis effectively, there is no normal for the foreseeable future. Until there’s a vaccine, the United States either needs economically ruinous levels of social distancing, a digital surveillance state of shocking size and scope, or a mass testing apparatus of even more shocking size and intrusiveness”. The article goes into more detail: “While similar efforts have borne fruit in Singapore and South Korea, the US is a very different country, with a more mistrustful, individualistic culture. Already, polling shows that 70 percent of Republicans, and 46 percent of Democrats, strongly oppose using cellphone data to enforce quarantine orders.” There’s more on the topic here: (link).

Virus news in brief


Source: Today’s Guardian live blog unless otherwise stated

















Supply chain news in depth


Two more significant companies in the US trucking and transportation field have implemented layoffs and furloughs - Freightwaves reports that Echo Global Logistics they had a “small reduction” in staff this week that constitutes less than 5% of the company’s workforce. “A large portion of these were furloughs and will come back as business conditions dictate,” (the CEO) wrote. Of those who were not furloughed but dismissed from the company, they were provided with severance, according to Waggoner. At less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier Saia, the President and Chief Operating Officer told FreightWaves in an email that the company “temporarily re-aligned some sales functions, which included a furloughing of a small number of sales personnel.” Saia has the “intention of bringing them back as business levels warrant.” No numbers on the size of the staff impacted was provided.

Supply chain news in brief

















Donations

Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/
France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/
Germany: https://www.tafel.de/
Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/
Italy: https://www.bancoalimentare.it/it/node/1
Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/
Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/
Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/
USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.


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I ran out of time to also do the stats, sorry. No post tomorrow (Sunday), Monday's (if I manage to make time) is highly likely to be posted evening UK time. Apologies for any inconvenience caused to anyone.
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]

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