Virtual Friends

These days, it can be hard to differentiate your real-life friends from your virtually created connections. I often find myself referring to virtual connections and friends (I call them VCFs) simply as “friends.” This tag (friends) often leads people to believe that I’m discussing someone I know in real-life, or have met face-to-face. However, this is often not the case. Yet I still refer to my VCFs as friends. I actually have a rather large contingent of friends, followers, advisors, and mentors… The majority (by a long-shot) of these people are VCFs that I’ve never met in “real life.”

With this article, I’m going to let you in on my super secret sauce. I’m not bragging when I say, I have more than 22,000 people in my virtual black book (address book). The majority of my connections breakdown as 4,000 in LinkedIn, 3,000 in the Facebook, 12,000 in Twitter, and more than 3,000 in other social media sites.

Many people believe that this virtual community is not worth much (or anything at all). I would argue that this community is every bit as valid as my real-life connections. In some ways, it might be even more important. The main reason I believe this is because on a daily basis I get VCFs who broker additional relationships and help me to build solid foundations with people I never would have had the chance to meet a decade ago.

The caveat is that you must make some extra efforts to communicate (reasonably) and stay in touch with a much larger contingent when you use a virtual community as a resource.

To help with this monstrosity, LinkedIn has really upped the ante by making your contact list much more robust. They have added built-in reminders that tell you when one of your 1st connections has any of the following events:

  • New job
  • Moved
  • Work anniversary
  • Birthday
  • News interview or article
  •  

    All that you need to do is hover over Network on the top menu. Move down the list and click Contact. This will open your contact list with one new very important addition… Now the top three contacts are ones that have one of the above listed life changing events happening to them. After you select one of these people and “congratulate” them, it pops another contact in the top three list. This list continues to update until you’ve patted all of these friends on their virtual backs.

    In addition, there is a new option; which I consider the most awesome (and powerful) contact change at LinkedIn… You can setup reminders to alert you when it’s time to contact a specific person. When you have clicked on a particular contact, look under the relationship tab and find the “Reminder” button and click it. You can now enter a recurring appointment that will alert you to reach out to this particular person. I use this to remind me to stay in touch with friends or colleagues on a regular basis. Let’s face it, in today’s world of having 22,000+ contacts you cannot possibly keep up with 1/10 of them… Using features like LinkedIn’s reminder tool helps greatly!

    Now that we’ve broken the ice and talked about how important social media is, let’s talk about something even MORE important. Keeping up with all of your contacts. *insert sound of fingernails scraping down a chalkboard*

    It is IMPERATIVE that you not only reach out and connect with folks, but also that you make regular (daily… yes, daily) routine messages to touch base and congratulate your VCFs. Don’t over burden them with petty discussions, and avoid barraging them with inundating information. However, when they pop-up on your list of contact events, make sure to at least :like: or say “congrats.” I prefer to add a minor personal message with each contact.

    The tough (and sometimes overwhelming) part of this is that you need to check on your contacts daily. Think about it, if a birthday passes, it is pointless to reach out and wish them a happy birthday. You absolutely MUST login to LinkedIn and/or the Facebook every day and (at the very least) check for birthdays and life changing events. I set aside twenty minutes of each morning to do this daily ritual. Believe me, if you make this effort you will become a genuine friend and valued connection to your VCFs.

    Now that you know to login and check this stuff every day, make sure that you are efficient with your time, and that you don’t waste time on there. You can easily get sucked into tons of time on social media sites reading through posts and statuses. Skip this time waster and be quick. Get in, get it done, and get out!

    Look for another VCF blog article coming soon… We will breakdown making your connections and offer advice on how to hook the more famous and or popular connections that often reject every day average Joes like you and me.

    Please feel free to reach out and connect with me. Here’s a linkable listing of all of my virtual personalities:

    Stalk Me Online

    My Online Blogs and Sites

    Also, a few months back I also wrote a social media post: Social Media is Here to Stay. Please check it out!

    How do you use social media?

    I hope this blog article was beneficial!

    -Vaughn

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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    Numerology

    Today is 11-12-13. In recognition of this cool date and number, I decided to unveil a few more cool numbers. And, to talk about numerology in general. Numerology is any study and/or belief in the purported mystical and even divine (or other) special relationship between a number and some coinciding event(s). Whether you believe in numerology or not, I bet you have a favorite number anyway. Isn’t that funny? My favorite number is 9.

    • Cats (like me) have nine lives!
    • There are nine muses in Greek mythology. Who didn’t watch (and love) Xanadu?
    • Nine is the highest single-digit number in the decimal system and symbolizes completeness in the Bahá’í Faith. In addition, the word Bahá’ in the Abjad notation has a value of 9, and a 9-pointed star is used to symbolize the religion.
    • There are nine rings of power given to men, nine ringwraiths, and nine companions in Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.
    • In base 10 a positive number is divisible by nine if and only if its digital root is 9. That is, if you multiply nine by any natural number, and repeatedly add the digits of the answer until it is just one digit, you will end up with nine. Check it out:

    2 × 9 = 18 (1 + 8 = 9)
    3 × 9 = 27 (2 + 7 = 9)
    9 × 9 = 81 (8 + 1 = 9)
    121 × 9 = 1089 (1 + 0 + 8 + 9 = 18; 1 + 8 = 9)
    234 × 9 = 2106 (2 + 1 + 0 + 6 = 9)
    578329 × 9 = 5204961 (5 + 2 + 0 + 4 + 9 + 6 + 1 = 27; 2 + 7 = 9)
    482729235601 × 9 = 4344563120409 (4 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 0 + 4 + 0 + 9 = 45; 4 + 5 = 9)
    (okay, I admit that we may have gotten out of control on that one)

    • Buddhist rituals usually involve nine monks.
    • Nine is the number of innings in a game of baseball, the number of players on the field including the pitcher, and the number worn by Roy Hobbs in the movie The Natural.
    • Finally, six recurring nines appear in the decimal places 762 through 767 of pi. This is known as the Feynman Point. Surprisingly, the next sequence of six consecutive identical digits in pi is again composed of 9s, starting at position 193,034. Coincidence? I think not!

    (speaking of pi, I can recite 22+ decimal places from memory)

     

    Kristine, my wife, has always said that 22 is her favorite number. I’m not sure why she picked this number, but here are a few COo.oOL things I know about it… The standard port number for the Secure Shell protocol is 22 (but I mean, who didn’t know that??) 22 divided by 7 approximates the irrational number pi; which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (more about pi in a little while). The atomic number of titanium is 22, and that is pretty neat! Iron Maiden has a song named “22 Acacia Avenue” (this is another cool appearance). Did you know that there are 22 stars in the Paramount Films logo? And, drum roll please, my most favorite 22 (and perhaps the most famous use of the number) is in the title of the Joseph Heller book, Catch-22, and more recently added to the dictionary to mean, a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule. Freaking AWESOME!

    My motorcycle number (during my racing years) was 922; which was a combination of both of our numbers. Whenever my wife or I see a time of 9:22 (a.m. or p.m.) we always say, “Nine Twenty-Two, I love you!” On top of this, one of my all-time favorite movies is A Streetcar Named Desire with Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando… Can you guess what the streetcar was numbered? You got that right… It was 922! Bad ass!!!

    Stacey (a good friend of mine) loves the number 714. Oddly enough, Isaiah 7:14 starts Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign… The colloquial name for the recreational drug Methaqualone (Quaalude) is seven-fourteen, originating from the number 714 stamped on the tablets. And, Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs over his 22 year career (some might argue that Babe Ruth could also go under the number 22 for having that long and successful career).

    Another magical couple of numbers in our lives are 1111 and 2222. Because 10:22 p.m. is 2222 in military (24-hour) format, we often point out that arbitrary time. Speaking of times, we also love to wish ourselves happy birthday when the time says our birth date (mine is 4:12 and Kristine’s is 7:31). By the way, my last post appeared on 11/11 and as I said earlier, this one is on 11/12/13… Too bad I didn’t post it at 9:10 as well… Eerie!!!?? Numbers are everywhere!!!

    There’s the superstitious and dubious 13. Friday the 13th is probably the most famous of these, but did you know that many tall buildings skip the 13th floor for this exact reason?

    Another creepy superstitious number is 666. Need I say more?

    One of the more painful and often appearing numbers for me is 911. I see that time on the clock fairly often, and it always brings back memories of that horrible attack.

    Let’s not forget the Fibonacci Series ratio (or golden ratio); which Dan Brown helped to make famous in his book, The Da Vinci’s Code. Also called phi, this number (phi = 1.61803…) can be found in the Fibonacci spiral (shell), pentagram, pyramids, pine cones, spiral galaxies, hurricanes, and DNA molecules.

    I half expect my buddies (Paul, Indy, Joe, Eric, and other geniuses) to comment with a bunch of mathematical fascinations such as Euler’s formula, Avogadro’s number, and the numerous constants (I can only remember: Champoleon, Conway, Feigenbaum, Euler-Mascheroni, and Khinchin). These are obvious neat numbers and calculations as well, but I didn’t want to write an entire book! However… I did want to mention one… Perhaps cooler and more amazing than phi, pi, e, or other numbers, is wau… Rather than try to type something up, I thought I would share an incredibly fun video found at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFLkou8NvJo:

    And, last but not least, what discussion about numbers would be complete without a look at the number 42; which was not only Jackie Robinson’s number, but also the supercomputer’s (named “Deep Thought”) answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything which appeared in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    Obviously, we tend to see the numbers that we appreciate more than other numbers. This is because our subconscious allows us to notice them on clocks, license plates, street signs, in movies, and so on and so forth. But, I still think numbers are very interesting!

    Do you dig numbers? What’s your favorite, and why?

    As a free gift, I’d like to leave you guys with a small piece of pi (actually nine hundred and twenty-two pieces):

    3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609433057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548074462379962749567351885752724891227938183011949129833673362440656643086021394946395224737190702179860943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132000568127145263560827785771342757789609173637178721468440901224953430146549585371050792279689258923542019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960518707211349999998372978049951059731732816096318595024459455346908302642522308253344685035261931188171010003137838752886587533208381420617177669147303598253490428755468731

     

    Did you notice that 922 digits into pi is my wife’s birthday (731)? How cool is that??!!

    I hope this was fun!

    -Vaughn

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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    Social Media is Here to Stay

    I occasionally hear some old school folks put social media down and I’ve even heard some say that it is a passing fad. To that I say, “Bunkum!” Social media is not simply a passing fad. What you may find is that some of the social media SITES are passing fads. They come and go so fast, many don’t even know they existed. Tobri is a good example of that. It was a small social media site that tried to act along the lines of the Facebook and others. Unfortunately, the popularity never was achieved and it slowly faded away.

    Did you know that when the internet first appeared many (including Microsoft executives!) predicted that it wouldn’t be used and would fail.

    Since we grasp the fact that social media is here to stay, we might as well use some of the websites and tools available to help make our online lives easier… Juggling a bunch of social media sites is impractical. Instead, you should seek out powerful dashboard and automation tools.

    Social Oomph is one of those tools. With it, you can automate DM (direct message) replies to anyone who follows you on Twitter. Or, you can preset tweets to happen at a specific date and time. This is a cool tool that can automate many of your social media tasks.

    Tweet Adder is another really cool tool that helps you to easily find folks to follow and to get followers on Twitter.

    I am also getting to the point where managing and staying on top of all of my social media outlets is nearly impossible. So, I joined XeeMe (pronounced See Me); which is not just another social media site to add to your deluge of sites. This one actually helps you to juggle that growing number of social media sites, and keeps all of your sites easily accessible and findable for your followers/stalkers. On top of that, XeeMe provides some pretty handy and useful analytic tools for your online presence.

    I have a tendency to separate my business and personal aspects in social media. In other words, I use Facebook primarily for personal status updates and connections. I use LinkedIn for business connections and updates. I usually use Twitter for both personal and business updates. And, I have two different accounts on Google+ (one for personal and one for business).

    Checkout my entire social media presence and how to stalk me here.

    Let me know how you juggle your social media sites! Also, do you think that social media is simply a passing fad?

    -Vaughn

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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    Communication Timeline

    Since the dawn of mankind, we’ve been communicating in some form or another. One thing that fascinates me is the fact that when communication first started it took thousands of years before the next level was invented. During the information age (the time-frame after the industrial revolution), we have started inventing new forms of communication much faster. It is now to the point where we essentially come up with several high-level new forms each year!

    Here’s a list of many of the forms of communications along with their approximate introduction dates. Notice that I said “many” and “approximate”… I simply created a list of many of the more important communication thingies and some of the dates were tough to track down. Therefore, I did my best job in compiling this list. Don’t use it as the end-all be-all, but it should be good enough for government work. Most of these invented ways to hold discussions have patents, but several came from a time before patents!

    (;

    Communication Technologies Through the Eons

  • Talking (circa 100,000 BC)
  • Writing (circa 3,200 BC)
  • Courier (circa 2,400 BC)
  • Smoke signals (circa 150 BC)
  • Mail (circa 9 AD)
  • Chinese Print the first book (1100)
  • Gutenberg Printing Press (circa 1450)
  • Morse Code (circa 1836)
  • Telegraph (circa 1837)
  • Fax (circa 1865)
  • Telephone (circa 1876)
  • Radio (circa 1893)
  • Commercial Flight (circa 1913)
  • Airmail (circa 1918)
  • Television (circa 1927)
  • Cable TV (circa 1950-ish)
  • Modem (circa 1950-ish)
  • Computer Printer (1953)
  • Modern Fax Machine (circa 1964)
  • Instant Messaging (circa mid-1960s)
  • Satellite TV (circa 1967)
  • CompuServe (1969)
  • Email (1971)
  • Mobile Phone (1973)
  • BBS (1978)
  • Cellular Phone (1978)
  • AOL (1985)
  • Satellite Phone (1988)
  • World Wide Web / Internet (1993)
  • IP-based Cam Chat / Video Chat (circa 1990s)
  • Geocities (1994)
  • On Demand TV (circa 1994)
  • Voice over IP (1995)
  • Blogging (1997)
  • Google Search (1998)
  • Social Media – Friends Reunited (1999)
  • Wikipedia (2001)
  • Google Gmail (April 2004)
  • The Facebook (2004)
  • Twitter (2006)
  • Apple iPhone (2007)
  • Google+ (2011)
  • Google Hangouts (May 2013)
  • Google Glass (Available in early 2014)
  •  

    What’s next? I’m not sure if it will be next, but I seriously believe the “brain modem” is coming. This will read our thoughts and convert them to digital information that can be transferred to others. The scary part of this technology (to me) is the capability of government and others to hack into our very thoughts! Think about that for a minute!!

    Regardless of what you believe is coming, know that it is not only coming, but these technological advances are coming faster-and-faster each year. As I alluded to above, it took us nearly 2,000 years to go from mail to the telegraph. Yet, we managed to go from the telephone to the radio in fewer than 20 years! These days (with the advent of the computer), we manage to make technological leaps at least every year.

    What do you think will be the next major technological invention in the communication timeline?

    Last note: Did you notice that Google has been banging out the last several on my list? Interesting??!!

    Thanks for reading,
    Vaughn

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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    Start Your Own Business

    Creating a business is rarely as easy as you might think. Sometimes it’s as easy as doing work and charging for it. This is called a sole proprietorship. However, most of us would like at least a partial veil of protection, and that requires incorporating in some form or fashion.

    I’ve done this a few times, so I thought I would lay out how to do it for those of you who are curious. I’m going to use a real example for this article, only I will change the business name to protect the guilty. Let’s call our fictitious company, EIEIO.

    I thought of this article, because I’ve created several businesses, and it has always been a bit of a tedious experience. I have read about twenty books on forming a company/corporation so far and I am still a little out of my league! Anyway, let’s pretend I am starting a company to do computer consulting and I want to name it EIEIO. I want to form a company (as opposed to sole proprietorship), because this will make us take it more seriously. And, it will make others take us more seriously.

    If anyone has questions, insight, or whatever, please feel free to respond with a comment and I will try to tackle it.

    I decided to make my company a limited liability company (LLC). Why LLC? I selected LLC as the entity type, because it is a “pass-through taxation” (unlike C-Corp, but similar to S-Corp entities). This means that the owner gets taxed, not the company. Also, it is a tad bit easier to run, because you do not have a board of directors or stockholders. Instead of shareholders as owners, you have “members.” Finally, I wanted either Corporation status or LLC, because Sole Proprietor and Partnerships do not offer liability protection. In other words, if someone sues my company, they can’t come after my house, boat, savings accounts, etc without “piercing the corporate veil.”

    I decided to name our new company: EIEIO, LLC. I chose this name simply because I already own the web domain ( I don’t really own eieio.com, but I sure wish I did!) and it is easygoing for a technology business name. It works.

    In this example, I’m going to have sole ownership (100% ownership) for ease of use.

    Pretend that I decided on sole ownership for now, because my plan is to apply for an 8(a) status in two years (or sooner, with a waiver) and it will require that I (the “discriminated-against” individual) have a majority ownership in the company. Look for future posts about 8(a) and other special small business types.

    Forming the LLC was fairly straight forward. I found the following websites; which all offer LLC creation. My plan is to create the LLC myself, but I wanted to share some good sites and pricing to make it easier for you:

    Legal Zoom $550
    LLC.com $720 (comes with three NOLO books)
    BizFilings $523
    My Corporation $423
    The Company Corporation $720 (suspiciously like llc.com)

    This company will be formed in Maryland. Maryland’s fees end-up being about $200. However, most of the above mentioned “packages” include Article of Organization (which are required documents to start an LLC), a company stamp, documents and agreements on CD, state filing, EIN filing, etc. For the money, I think that these services are worth every penny.

    Other BLOGs (and info) About Forming a Company:
    zacjohnson.com/how-to-form-an-llc-for-your-business
    entrepreneurs.about.com/od/businessstructure/ht/llcsetup.htm

    Kits can be found here:
    www.corpconnect.com/category.aspx?categoryID=5
    www.corporateseal.com/search_results.cfm/Search/KeyWordSearch/search_term/kit
    www.corpkit.com/store/catalog/LLC-Kits-p-1-c-487.html

    Sample pricing for doing this three different ways looks sort of like this:

  • File by myself: $100 (state fee) + ~$60 (company kit) = < $200
  • File using an online service = > $500
  • File using an attorney = > $1,500
  • In light of frugality and the simple curiosity I decided to do this myself and register on my own. This added a little bit of technical jargon to my process, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

    Using the state of Maryland expedite fax form ( www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/charterfax.pdf ), I registered EIEIO, LLC.

    Because the fax service is automatically considered an “expedited filing,” it is registered in about seven business days. You can verify that your business was registered at this link: sdatcert3.resiusa.org/UCC-Charter/CharterSearch_f.aspx

    The fees were $100 filing fee + $50 expedite fee (this means it will take seven days as opposed to the “normal” six to eight weeks to form an LLC in MD), for a grand total of $150. Maryland’s fees can be found here: www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/fees.html

    Once I receive the information back from MD, I filed with the IRS for an EIN and also got a DBA (doing business as – or, fictitious name) for EIEIO (along with EIEIO, LLC).

    After receiving my EIN, I applied for a merchant business bank account; which will allow me to accept credit cards.

    Finally, I purchased a cheapo (that’s a technical term) LLC company kit. Each kit comes with a stamp, stock certificates, record book, and “official” articles of organization.

    Also, I registered this business from my home address and I plan on writing work area off.

    For accounting, I opted for Quick Books Pro Online (starting at $9.95 per month); which I use as an easy way to share my business financials with partners and my business CPA/accountant.

    Here is some good information about Merchant Bank accounts:
    www.home-business-savvy.com/home-based-business-merchant-accounts.html
    www.gspay.com/the-difference-between-merchant-accounts,-payment-gateways-and-third-party-processors.php

    After all of that hoopla, I may simply choose to continue to use Paypal via a “Website Standard” business account:
    www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_wp-standard-overview-outside

    Here are some links to resources that I am using to make sure that I follow all procedures in starting my business:

    Small Business Development Center
    Maryland Department of Labor, Licencing and Regulation
    Legal Zoom’s info on creating MD-based LLC’s

    Next, I went to the IRS page and registered my newly formed business. There was no charge associated with this, and the whole process took about four minutes.

    I ordered a standard LLC kit; which cost $76.00 + S&H = $83.45

    I received the LLC kit/package a few weeks after ordering it and then finalized the “Operating Agreement” for my LLC.

    Next, I signed-up for (and received) my business credit card from Capital One.

    Next steps:
    1. open a business bank account;
    2. buy the business domain (if I didn’t already do so);
    3. setup simple web page with content for my company;
    4. plan and implement some marketing ideas to get some consulting work.

    When you start your business banking account, don’t forget to bring your original Articles of Organization (that you originally filled with state), the response from your state, and your IRS EIN documentation.

    As planned, I created a Paypal account for EIEIO, so now I can accept credit cards.

    For government work (if you plan to work with the federal government) you will need:

    A CAGE Code (you get this when you register in SAM).
    DUNS Number.
    and you need to register in SAM (System for Award Management); which used to be CCR.

    Here is what I have located so far:

    By registering for SAM, you will automatically be assigned your CAGE code.

    I got my DUNS number by going calling D&B’s dedicated Government Customer Response Center at: (866) 705-5711, or by browsing to:
    to: fedgov.dnb.com/webform

    GSA information can be found here:
    www.gsa.gov

    And, these guys have some good GSA info as well:
    www.gsaadvantage.gov

    I located this site for Federal Opportunities for businesses: www.fbo.gov

    And, here is an SBA link to some additional goodies: www.sba.gov/services/contractingopportunities/index.html

    I registered for my DUNS using the SIC code: 7379 (you can search for SIC codes here)

    I looked up my NAICS code and came up with: 518210 (Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services)

    More info can be found here: www.census.gov/eos/www/naics

    I ordered my company logo from thelogocompany.net

    I went with these guys because I liked their portfolio and price. Some of the companies I found cost as much as $1,999.00. I was able to get my logo designed for the web and stationary plus 500 business cards for $289. They will send you five ideas and then you pick one and they work on it until you’re happy with the final artwork.

    They will also provide a greyscale version for trademark with the Patent and Trademark Office.

    Finally, I finished setting up the initial website: http://www.ThisAintReal.com

    I’m (you’re) ready for business…

    I realize this was a long article, but I really wanted to cover all of the steps for anyone truly interested.

    Have you created a business? Or, do you have experience in this area? Please comment below with your thoughts, ideas, and questions!

    Thanks for reading,
    Vaughn

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

    Monetize Your Website with Advertisements

    As you can see on my right sidebar (bottom of page on your mobile device), I use Google AdSense and highly recommend it to monetize your website. That said though, there are some fairly strict rules that you must adhere to, or you risk being banned from the program. For instance, I cannot ask you to click on my ads, and would never dream of requesting that, even though it would help support my blog. This post is going to discuss some of these rules in a little bit of detail.

    First things first – If you fail to follow Google’s AdSense program policies, you might be banned for life. I’m not kidding! Fortunately, the gist of the program policies are straight forward and easy to adhere to. Basically you cannot encourage clicks or click your own page ads… Also, your content must meet the guidelines (no porn, gambling, and so on).

    AdSense is what you join to get advertisements to post on your site. If you’re looking to advertise on websites, you need to look into Google AdWords.

    Before going down this path, I highly recommend that you investigate the policy and read other information you can easily find. Make yourself comfortable with the rules before proceeding. Remember: it is your responsibility to check this stuff out. Just like everything else in your life, the onus falls on your shoulders.

    Let’s define a few no-no’s that are recognized by several of the big advertisement companies:

    Click Fraud
    Click fraud is when a website owner clicks on his own ads to boost the number of advertisement ad clicks that he gets. Clicking your own website ad is against the policy of nearly all advertisement companies, and should never be done. Not even once to test that it’s working okay.

    Cloaking
    This is a technique that some website developers use to make a search engine think your site is something completely different than what it actually is. If you participate in this sort of bad behavior than you can lose your AdSense account and you may even have your website removed from Google (and other) search engine indexes.

    Keyword Stuffing
    When you inundate a website with repeated keywords, this is known as “keyword stuffing.” Usually done by hiding keywords inside content by matching the font color and background color. In this way, visitors rarely see the extra words, but search engines pick them up.

    Title Stacking
    Essentially this trick is done by using the HTML “title” tag redundantly. By making multiple title entries using same or different keywords, you can optimize your site for searches. However, this is pretty easily found out and you chance having your website removed from the search indexes.

    Unrelated Keywords
    Any time you pile up keywords that aren’t related to the content of a page, you are guilty of this practice and chance having your site banned from search engines.

    Duplicate Content
    Website administrators sometimes put up the same article on different pages to enhance and boost the page views that they receive.

    All of these “dirty tricks” are considered bad and can easily get your site removed from advertisement companies and search engine indexes. DO NOT DO ANY OF THEM!

    In all honesty folks, it ain’t complicated. If you want a descent amount of visitors and repeat customers than your best bet is to do things the old fashioned way… Earn them! This isn’t rocket science. There truly is a simple formula to get tons of visitors and returning readers:

    1. Create good content.
    2. Create regular content.
    3. Be honest.
    4. Offer your knowledge and help when you can.
    5. Don’t be a bozo! (okay, I just made that one up)

    Is that so tough? Not really.

    Now that we’ve covered how to get you kicked out… Let’s talk about getting you in! Before we stand-up your AdSense account, let’s quickly go over what you need in order to get validated.

    You need a website that has existed for a while and is loaded with great and frequent content. Your website will need to have been created more than a month ago (longer is better, as long as you’ve been pumping it with content). A blog works really good for this, because you update the content on a daily (or at least weekly) basis – Don’t you? Once you have about 22 blog articles posted, you are ready. Google doesn’t publish there standards, so these are only guesses based on previous experiences.

    In order to request an AdSense account, you simply login to your gmail account (you will need one of those) and follow these quick steps:
    support.google.com/affiliatenetwork/publisher/answer/156883?hl=en.

    BTW – You only need to be accepted at one of your websites, so pick the very best one with lots of content and updates and submit that one for approval. Once you’re approved, you can use this account for ALL of your websites (as long as they follow the guidelines).

    After you’ve setup your account, go to AdSense and create your ad. After creation, AdSense will give you the short bit of code that you can insert into your webpage(s). Viola!

    Now all you need is for people to click your ads! Like I said, you want people to click your ads, but you can’t ask them to. Remember this rule. As much as I’d love to tell all of you to go over and click my ad, I cannot. As an honest and upstanding blogger it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to cheat the system. Instead, provide good articles and information and wait for the readers to start clicking on their own accord.

    I hope my post was helpful.

    See you next time,
    V

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