50 World Leaders Quotes to Inspire You

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We all need a boost, even famous people! Enjoy these 50 famous quotes from some of your favorite (or not) celebrities, entrepreneurs and public figures! Enjoy! 50 Famous Quotes Inspiring You To Stay Positive   If you’re going to be thinking anything,…

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How to take your side hustle to the next level: Think BIGGER!

thinkbigger

This week, I had a Twitter convo with a mutual follow about how technology and the digital era is a powerful tool for bridging the economic opportunity gap between underserved unserved markets and the connected and privileged majority.

We both agreed that with the right knowledge, skills and tools to navigate and excel in the tech world, children and those who ordinarily would struggle to make a living and have a high hurdle to climb to success could actually do so.

Think about the fact that the DC area where I live, for example, there is a significant deficit in qualified tech workers. Jobs in this field go unfilled for weeks and months. The DC area tech field salaries are the third highest nationwide.

Now imagine, what could happen if all of those kids in inner city schools with dilapidated infrastructure, overworked and unmotivated teachers and other tech constraints would learn skills and knowledge to maneuver through the tech field. They could be hired while in school and be motivated to continue knowing that there could be a position with a higher salary upon graduation, and even more opportunities if they complete certain certifications, or go on to get a two or four-year degree.

Not everyone can make it in the rap game or on the court.  Getting paid a generous salary as an intern while still in school can even motivate others of an alternative path.

Similarly, the opportunities are boundless for those who have side hustles to take it to the Internet and go to the next level.

It’s never been easier to start up a online or digital based business.

For example, the other day while in the hair salon, a gentleman walked in selling stun guns and pepperspray to the stylists and clients. Most women said they were interested. Not all purchased however. That’s a hard way to make a living, burning all that money on gas and hoofing it in the hot summer heat from salon to salon- old school salesman like.

With a digital platform via a website, an online payment receipt system, and relationships with bloggers with active following, that guy could take his business global and realize many more sales world wide.

It’s about thinking BIGGER!

  • Yahoo! for example, offers domain for FREE and webhosting for $1.75 per month which includes galleries for photos, and videos and free set up and websupport.  domain can cost just $6.99.
  • PayPal offers card readers and a means to accept payment for free.
  • There are many mobile apps available for FREE that enables micro-merchants to manage merchandise and help them get leads and manage their products seamlessly.
  • To get bloggers, make the trip to attend one blog conference like BlogHer or some other lifestyle blog and go there to make connections. Offer the ladies an affiliate cut on the product and Boom!

A global market!  From long nights and low sales to the opportunity to make hundreds of dollars in sales from the office at home.

The internet economy really is a connector and bridge for opportunity.  It’s up to us that know about it to educate the underserved and make sure they are aware of how to take advantage of all there is to offer.



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How to be Authentic while monetizing your blog

authentic

This is not you. You don’t golf. You would look silly promoting golf clubs on your natural hair blog but you’ve been given a sponsored post opportunity to do so. So…how do you incorporate a product that you don’t use in a blog and still sound authentic?

First, be real and natural. Second, try to mention the golf clubs in passing, if you can not directly without coming off phony. There are many ways to do it.  Here is a sample of an article about casino resort wear with embedded links from various sites that shows how to interweave affiliates with your own voice:

I’m heading to a much needed vacation in a few weeks and seeing my childhood friend CaShawn’s fab vacation pics of herself at the Casino in New Orleans reminded me I need to start packing; and picking outfits for different events.

Pulling off the best outfit  is always a challenge because I’m never quite sure what to wear.  Do I wear a large muu-muu with big pockets to fit all my winnings, or nah?! Ha!

Really, the first time I traveled to one while on vacation in the Caribbean, I was amazed to see people dressed up. Who knew you were supposed to call ahead and get the dress code? Too funny.

When needing to put together a smart casual look, there are many options. For instance, dresses can even be part of a smart casual look.  For me, that means two things:  shirt dresses and wrap dresses!! I love a sheath dress and the wrap dress at least gives you shape and form.

When choosing a wrap dress, solid color are best that you can pair with ballet flats or sandals for a great look to wear to the casino. You may wish to accessorize with a necklace or perhaps a colorful scarf. Wedge shoes also look great with shirt dresses.

Another easy way to put together an outfit is to take an outfit you regularly wear to the office and modify one garment. This garment should be replaced with a casual piece. It might be wearing the top part of a suit and adding jeans or chinos to it. It could be removing the jacket and adding a pretty cashmere cardigan.

The options for what to wear are pretty limitless.

–end—

There you go! Hope this was helpful! Comment and let me know your thoughts!

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7 Tips for dealing with Bloggers like Journalists

journalism

People want the benefit of media exposure but want to control the way the message gets out via the blogger or writer. It doesn’t work that way and it’s better to go into an interview or a situation where you’ll have cameras, reporters, bloggers or writers at your event knowing the A,B,Cs of what to expect.

In the past, I have gotten my journalistic and blogger integrity questioned. It all compelled me to jot down some basic tenets on what people who talk to journalists and bloggers should expect.

Although I just recently returned to the world of writing and reporting, I’ve been writing for publications for 24 years, starting with articles in High School publications to writing for one of the college newspapers all four years including serving as managing editor at one point.  During summers, I interned at US News & World Report, for the National Association of Black Journalists and a weekly local paper, the Laurel Leader before calling it quits and heading to law school. Even there, I continued to write and published pieces in our communications journal and served as the note and comment editor for it by my final year.  For four years, managing my public relations firm, representing various entities including serving as a publicist for a Grammy-nominated artist, I reversed course and spent time pitching stories to publications.

  1. Your boy may have grown up with you around the way, but don’t think he’s going to put less effort in writing about your event, IPO, or new venture differently than if he didn’t know you. But while a friend may be more likely to apply a gentler and favorable approach to a piece or post on you, don’t expect it. It’s a courtesy, not a right.
  2. Assume everything you tell  a blogger or journalist will be published.  A writer may have a recording device with her documenting what you say so she can accurately report it. Usually, a blogger tells you that she is recording or gives you indication.  Once you notice them with a recording device – even if it’s the voice notes in their iPhone or blackberry – or you see them writing down your statements in a reporters’ notebook, expect that it will be published or broadcast.
  3.  If you are saying something you are unsure you don’t want to end up in the paper, online, or broadcast on the radio or television, don’t say it.  In the alternative, offer it up as a courtesy and indicate that the information is either off-the-record or on background.  Off the record –means as far as the person speaking and the journalist is concerned the information should not be used or factored in the story at all. You are getting information for your edification to help frame the story for you, but should not use it in the ultimate published or broadcast piece
  4. You cannot control how what you say will be interpreted and regurgitated in the media.  You cannot always take back statements you say or said about you. You can post your own reply or ask for a retraction of incorrect facts, but if something is simply written in a way you disagree with, do not expect it to be edited out to suit your taste. It doesn’t’ work that way.
  5. If you are going to be in a situation where you’ll have to talk to the media or be on camera and recorded by various outlets, determine in advance the 4 to 5 talking points that you want to relay and try to stay on message.
  6. Be aware of making off the cuff messages and statements you may feel comfortable making within the confines of your basement hanging with your boys or girl. Such remarks, as we’ve seen in many instances in the past, will be picked apart and ripped to pieces when consumed by the public.  The audience will interpret messages in various ways that you cannot control or may not even imagine.  People have their own preconceived ideas and notions and usually will place you on their spectrum of where they think you fit.  All they say to you and you say to the public will be dissected from that skewed prism. It is reality though it may not be yours and may stray from your intent.
  7. Off the record differs from “on background” which means the information being supplied can be considered for purposes of the writer framing the story or as a launch pad for deciding where to get supporting data or quotes. The information cannot be attributed to the source, however.  The person giving the information expect the journalist to come up with some independent sourcing of the data, if they include it.

Respect bloggers and don’t look down on them or put them on a standard lower than professional journalists. In many instances, they have more klout, following, and are regarded higher than some journalist that work for major media conglomerate who have been accused in the past of manipulating the news and what gets reported or not.

Politicians, celebrities and CEOs of major corporations get media training to teach them how to deal with the press, appear on camera and respond to questions because their words are held to a higher standard.

Regular folks usually don’t realize what they’re getting into until it’s too late because they don’t know the rules…So there you go:7ips to keep you out of trouble.

Like G.I. Joe said knowing is half the battle.

photo: American Perspective

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How I got 40 Million Profile Views in Google Plus

Jeneba JJ Ghatt   Google

This April, I learned Google’s social media networking platform, Google Plus, had started to list profile or page views in users’ profile. Curious, I checked out mine and was shocked to see I had 33 million & counting page views! Wowza! This is like the MySpace days, I thought.

I was even more surprised to learn that I had more profile views than all of Google founders’, brand ambassadors and even its CEO’s, Larry Page (still is as of this post as I am nearing 40Million)

My first cynical response was to think it was a marketing ploy similar to the one social media business site LinkedIn pulled off last year. LinkedIn started sending emails to certain users telling them they were among the top 1, 2, 5, 10 or 15 percent of profiles, and inviting these privileged influencers to share the news among their many millions of social media followers, friends and fans, collectively.

Marketing gold!

Many took the bait and indeed tweeted or announced their top status proudly among their friends. However, many of these top profiles also included in their share the confession that they barely used LinkedIn since setting up their account years prior.

Needless to say, some dismissed it all as a gimmick! Pooh! And not everyone feel proud boasting about a privilege if they do not think they genuinely earned it.

And given that Google Plus had failed to become the Facebook alternative that would eliminated Facebook as planned and plotted when it launched in 2011, I figured this was an example of G+ following the LinkedIn model of drumming up interest and promotion. 

In tweets, there too, you saw many people shocked that an account they NEVER updated EVER could really be showing 5,000 or 20, 000 views.  Many were skeptical.

As was this blogger:

jjghatt on Instagram4

Yet in the interest of making lemons out of lemonade, I figure I could use this number to promote myself as a top influencer and social media superstar but I still needed to learn more about the algorithm.

I decided to learn more about how come my number was so large.  I didn’t feel popular or famous. I  still am yet to break 1,000 followers.

A quick Internet search revealed that no one had even bothered to try to figure out the algorithm. Sad, it came and went and no articles on it. No one cares? Hrmph!

So yet again, I’d have to reinvent the wheel and try to decipher it on my own.

I think I’ve figured it out as I watched my views spike after a post I shared got a few +1s. Here is the deal:

  • Early Adopter benefit: I have had a Google account since before 2007 so it counts that I’ve had a 7 years to build up a following; and that includes all 3 years since G+’s launch.  I signed up for Google Pluse in Beta so I was a super early adopter, before it even became available to general public.
  • Google Authorship has a lot to do with it.  Again, always an early adopter, I signed up for a  relatively new platform, Google Authorship, which permits writers, columnists, freelancers, bloggers, content managers or curators to associate themselves with the publications they write for or own.
  • I listed in my profile the Washington Times for a column I own that used to appear on its old Communities section (Politics of Raising Children), My high-traffic mom blog that has been around since 2007 (Bellyitch);  my staff writing gig for a couple of political sites (Politic365) and my own blog properties  (Bellyitch Parent, TechYaYa).
  • All of these sites are technically part of my profile and thus views of my articles on them count towards my “view”. This is true even if I stopped writing for the site. All of these pieces, whenever clicked, count.
  • Google counts historical  pages towards my count. So for Washington Times, which is a top 15 Alexa rank site, there is a high possibility of people seeing my old posts even though I no longer have a column there.
  • Google counts images viewed. Given that a couple of my sites have been around since 2007 and the Bellyitch one, in particular, is heavy image focused and is updated between 3 to 5 times daily now, it has cranked out a lot of images to show up in Google searches or as part of Picasa which Google owns now. All those times my images showed up in searches, that counted toward my Profile views.
  • Being alone in space helps.  Since not a lot of my competitors are on Google Plus or use it actively, when others search on that platform for pregnancy or celebrity, for example, they will see one of my many posts. Those count. Score one for the little guys! I always tell people to go where no one is and spread their wings!
  • Scrolls count. Even if a person doesn’t actually click on my link but it comes up in their search or they scroll past it because they are in one of my Google Circles (like Twitter Lists or Facebook Group), that counts.
  • Using the Email Posts function in Google Plus helps. That brings me to the last point. When you share an image, link or something else in Google plus, it gives you the option to send an email to two of your “circles” . This allows the post to show up in their Gmail as an email and increases the likelihood of more people clicking your link and/or opening up your post.
  • It also increases your chances of getting more “pluses” (the equivalent of a like or heart) But the pluses may help you gain SEO traction so they have more weight than what a “like” means on FB.

blogger jj

That is what I’ve come up with so the moral of the story is:

  1. Sign up for Google authorship and include all the various outlets where you have ever written for even if you no longer are on staff
  2. Open up a G+ account and share your content there.
  3. Make sure your blog posts include many images.
  4. Share your posts in Google Communities/
  5. Use the function that enables you to personally email the posts to those you have encircled.

Do these things and watch your profile views soar then use that to bolster your social media resume and land a consulting gig or something.

And if you are looking for an expert to help your brand or company achieve similar results, check out my contact info at GhattMedia.com!

Good luck!

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10 STEM Worker Immigration Initiatives on hold during Border Crisis

immigration on hold

While the Obama Administration wrangles with Congress to approve a $3.8 billion dollar package of funding to help deal with a recent immigration crisis of hundreds and thousands of immigrant children from Central America flooding the border and spilling into the US, its immigration initiative to encourage more STEM immigrants is stalled.

In 2012 and 2013, President Obama proposed new rule changes aimed at making it easier for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math degree-seeking students who come to college here to stay after they graduate and work for American companies. And the Senate chamber of Congress passed a comprehensive bill that addressed STEM immigrants, including affording them many new opportunities to immigrate to the US and/or stay if they are already here.

Even though the White House, Democrats and Republicans have varying disagreements on how to deal with immigration, they all are united, to a certain extent, on providing some relief for STEM workers and answering the frustration of Tech companies who say they are frustrated about immigration limitations that stop them from retaining or attracting STEM degree holders.

Here is a summary of 10 major initiatives put on hold:

The first 7 come from  About.com:

1. Expand the eligibility for optional practical training programs

The government will allow immigrants here on student visas to obtain a 17-month extension for practical training after graduation with STEM degrees. Optional practical training (OPT) is a period during which foreign student with F-1 visa status to work here in their field without having to acquire an H-1B work visa. It is a way for talented young students to get real experience in the U.S. workforce without having to worry about the red tape involved in visas and green cards.

The Homeland Security Department is also open to reviewing emerging fields of study for possible inclusion in STEM degree programs.

2. Allow spouses of F-1 students more study options

This regulatory reform would permit the spouses of foreign students to take additional academic classes on a part-time basis while their spouses are studying full-time. Schools would also be allowed increased flexibility to staff their programs for foreign students and their spouses.

3. Authorize work for spouses of some H-1B visa holders

Specifically, employment is authorized for H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders who have begun the process of seeking lawful permanent residence status through their employment. The idea is to keep families with budding careers together and working in the United States.

The government believes this initiative will help companies retain talented professionals and allow them to contribute to the U.S. economy.

4. Make it easier for professors and researchers to document their achievement

This change would increase the types of evidence the government requires employers to submit to prove their prospective foreign employee is outstanding in his or her field. DHS is willing to accept a wider range of documentation in the hope of attracting more talented immigrants in the STEM fields.

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5. Harmonize rules to allow visa holders from Australia, Singapore and Chile to continue working here longer.

A technical, administrative change that the government hopes will help more STEM-talented immigrants from those three countries to get their careers firmly rooted in the United States.

6. Launch and develop the ‘Entrepreneurs in Residence’ initiative

Entrepreneurs in Residence was started in 2011 with the idea of using the expertise in corporate America to help stimulate foreign investment, immigrant investors and immigrant entrepreneurs.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas characterizes the initiative as an attempt to get the government and U.S. business working together to attract the foreign talent the U.S. economy needs.

And from the White House’s own page from a 2013 proposal:

7.  “Staple” green cards to advanced STEM diplomas.

The proposal encourages foreign graduate students educated in the United States to stay here and contribute to our economy by “stapling” a green card to the diplomas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) PhD and Master’s Degree graduates from qualified U.S. universities who have found employment in the United States.  It also requires employers to pay a fee that will support education and training to grow the next generation of American workers in STEM careers.

8. Create a “startup visa” for job-creating entrepreneurs.

This initiative would  allow foreign entrepreneurs who attract financing from U.S. investors or revenue from U.S. customers to start and grow their businesses in the United States, and to remain permanently if their companies grow further, create jobs for American workers, and strengthen our economy.

9. Create a new visa category for employees of federal national security science and technology laboratories.

This proposal creates a new visa category for a limited number of highly-skilled and specialized immigrants to work in federal science and technology laboratories on critical national security needs after being in the United States. for two years and passing rigorous national security and criminal background checks.

A Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill passed by the Senate but stalled in the House would also:

10. Increase and creative new STEM Visas

The annual H1B Visas cap for highly skilled workers will be increased from 65,000 per year to 110,000 per year. The advanced degree H1B cap for STEM degree holders from US schools, will be increased from 20,000 to 25,000 visas. The H1B cap could be potentially increased to 180,000 per year, if there is extreme demand for highly skilled workers that fiscal year.

There would be no Green Card limits for individuals with extraordinary abilities, especially research fellows, Professors, MNC executives, athletes.

A new 250,000 merit based visas to immigrate to USA. The point system will be based on education, employment, length of residence in US, etc.  The 55,000 diversity visa lottery program that is currently used today will be removed to cater to needs of employment and merit.

Well there you have it…but not until this border crisis gets resolved I guess….

 

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How to Valuate a Blog for Venture Capital Funding (A Primer)

2012 re:publica Digital Society Conferences

I recently saw an Internet controversy over a very popular natural hair blogger who blogs about curly hair or natural hairstyles for and by black women.

But according to the natural hair community, she “sold out” MAJORLY last month by featuring a white curly haired woman on her blog.

All hell broke loose among the African American and Black natural hair community interwebs and especially after the discovery that the blog was bought out by a company owned by white women, Texture Media, two years after  its founding!

Normally, I’d be all over that natural hair debate, as a woman who has worn her hair in braids for over a decade, I usually am opinionated in these matters, but alas, I was too distracted by the fact that the blog, Curly Nikki, was bought out a mere two years after launch!

That is virtually unheard of as many out-of-the box blogs with no prior affiliation or connections usually take a while to catch the eye of an investor that would deem a stand-alone blog worthy to acquire.

However, what you can do when trying to place a price tag on your blog is factor in qualitative factors and quantitative and add a multiplier for good measure

The only true and definite quantitative numbers are your expenses and revenue. However, many blogs make nominal amount of money and have nominal expenses. Thus, the numbers on paper come out to virtual pennies to major investors.

Your blog wouldn’t even qualify to be presented before them with those numbers.

Oh but she “sold out”. Yeah. Yeah. As a digital entrepreneur and independent digital publisher (this definition includes bloggers), you should not just be blogging willy nilly.

Blogs need Exit Strategies too
Your blogging is a business and like most business model it should have an exit strategy for getting out in case:

1) you want to pursue other endeavors but would like the venture to survive without you;

2) you need capital to start a new venture and expand and need to find Angel, VC or Mezzanine level funding as fund managers would need you to have an idea of how they can recoup their investment plus some modest dividends and divest if need be; and/or

3) you might just find the business/blog has run its natural course and want to cease operation.

Getting #2 is hard as a stand-alone one blog but this woman has managed to do it.

I had a conversation with venture capitalist who said that generally, investors do NOT invest in stand alone blogs. They prefer to fund companies that publish numerous sites that target different audiences and are all generating revenue and are well branded and established. They need the scale to make the investment worthwhile and would rather not dump money in one website.

Stand alone blogs are rarely funded by VC, though they may get angel funding. And even for those, it is hard to get independent Angel funding unless the blog gets a tremendous amount of traffic and is raking in ad revenue in the millions annually.

Needless to say, there are not that many sites that will qualify.

Another option is to be a name brand or have a following (a la Andrew Sullivan or Ezra Klein) and be part of a ecosystem that trusts you will be able to build a multi-million dollar site and the following to show for it.

Again, most people do not qualify. To start, how do you put a price on a blog?
Putting a price on your blog is always a good idea no matter at what stage you are with your blog. You want an idea of the value of what you are pouring all your hard work and sweat into.

Current Automated Website Valuation Tools Online SUCK!
But it is a very hard to get an accurate valuation of a blog and the current online automated ones are inaccurate. The free valuation tools commonly available online focus on general and too broad measurement tools like page views, unique views, minutes on the page, Google Page Rank or Alexa Rank.

Therefore, to elevate your blog’s valuation numbers to upper hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, you have to play up the subjective areas such as: the brand cache, the reputation of the blog among others in your niche area, whether it is cited by competitors or news organizations, the social media reputation.

Here are the objective and subjective factors to consider:

monetization

The OBJECTIVE FACTORS

Expenses - Does your blog take a lot to manage it? What are the hosting costs, software upgrade costs, SEO or social media costs? Do you have an editorial assistant or paid intern? What about the software and app productivity upgrades and blog  security and hosting costs? Then the big ticket, your time as the blogger. If you were working for an employer, how much would you make per hour and then allocate that time towards the expenses. If you are seeking venture capital, you will need to include your salary in the expenses column.  Your effort to build the brand and blog counts towards sweat equity. But also add it back when considering the multiplier because your time and work and effort sacrificing employer-based income brought value to the blog.

Revenue Analysis - How much does the site earn? Do a month-to-month breakdown of how much it earned.  This will represent realistically how much revenue it will come. Identify what are the major revenue sources.  You want to have multiple sources: Ads, Affiliates, eBooks, Seminars, Products, etc. to be able to valuate the blog higher. Relying on Google Adsense alone when you can barely crack the $100 threshold needing to send you a check is not good.

You cannot invent revenue that doesn’t exist, but you can put a number on ongoing projects you are working on that you hope to bring in income.

Traffic Sources - Does the blog have high search engine rankings? How many feed subscribers? Is there a mailing list / newsletter? If so, how many people get the mailing list?

Site Age  – Older sites are established and reflect that it’s had a longer time to build a reputation. Unless you are a celebrity or come from another major site, with an established branding, it’s going to be harder to get a high valuation as a start up blog.

home business stock

The SUBJECTIVE  (The Premium)

Niche Potential –  To determine if your site is a niche leader, you will need to take a  qualitative measurement of the audience and the source of traffic. Does your analytics show visits from The  White House, Department of Justice and major universities? If so, chances are your site is influencing major political figures who rule the world. Screen capture any traffic data that shows this. You can also capture and take note of influential followers you have in social media, especially those who do not follow a lot of people back. It shows that you are an influencer of the influential even if you don’t have a large number of followers yourself.  [This is my situation for this  blog]

Brand Cache – Is the blog known and mentioned by mainstream media sites. One thing I noticed is that shortly after Ezra Klein‘s new website, Vox, launched, many mainstream sites quoted it often which helped solidify it as an expert source for information.  Having others in your industry recognize the value of your blog and talk about it on their sites is great! Is the content worth much to search engine rankings or traffic?

Active Comment Section  - Having an active comment section is plum because it means you have built a community and brand of followers. You have a captive market for promoting other blog projects. Also an active comment section means repeat guests which should be reflected in blog traffic.

Domain Brand  - What is the value to the  domain name? You can factor in those independent sites that try to put a price tag on domain names and use that to show that the domain is a commodity and independent third parties recognize the value of it.

Social Reputation – Beyond its reputation among competitors, is the brand popular and known among audiences as a leader in the segment? Do niche bloggers and readers also read the blog? In social media, like Twitter, for example, are updates from the blog always part of the “Top Tweets” in certain category, meaning that many people will see the blog listed among other top Twitter account holders in a niche area?

Affiliates  – Is the brand affiliated with partners or are an off-shoot of spinoff of an existing top blog or site? Has the blog done advertising campaigns or featured ads from major brands? The appearance of certain brands on your site is a positive indicator that the blog is ad-friendly and marketable. It means that finicky brands trusted the quality of content on your site enough for their hard-established brand identity to be linked to it.

All of the aforementioned factors are valuable pluses of your site. Apportion a value of 1-20K for each category or higher, perhaps add $1,000 for each factor in each category.

blog formula

 

THE FORMULA

Now that we’ve determined the definitions, next is to plug in a formula:

The Blog Value is: Premium (all the subjective) + (Monthly Revenue – Monthly Costs) (all the objective numbers)  x Multiplier.

After you figure out and assign numbers on the premium, and plug in the hard objective numbers, the next step is to decide what that multiplier should be.

This is a hard one

Digital, electronic and online businesses usually have a multiplier which is 1 or 2 times the yearly profit, where for brick and mortar businesses that number would be 10 times of yearly profit (plus premium).

But if your blog is a top one among its niche area, you could get 5 x profit and thus your multiplier can be 5.

If you have multiple monetization methods, have built a great brand, have grown an active community and have established your blog as indispensible in your niche, you can give yourself a higher multiplier.

If your blog gets traffic exclusively from Yahoo, only earns from AdSense and is unknown outside your niche, it’s not going to get more than a 1x multiplier.

SAMPLE VALUATION: My calculation

When I plug in the factors above, for this blog, I estimate its worth at about $250,000.

$49,000 (The Premium) + $1,000 (Objective) x 5 (Multiplier) = $250,000.

That is for a niche, tech, policy and industry analyst blog with influential followers and readers, that is regularly updated, is nearly 5 years old, with a good brand cache and social reputation and domain branding and has a Google Page 4 Rank.

I have about four other blog properties of varying value which I would pitch together and try to make a compelling case to an investor to invest $1,375,000 to help them grow to their max potential.

If you have more than one blog property like I do, after you valuate all of them, you too can organize them under one company and pitch for funding based on the scale and the cumulative value.

Have you valued your blog? If so, please share your methodology and what factors you considered most important.

images: Getty, iStock, MorgueFile

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FEDS Tech Start Up tries to lure tech workers from Silicon Valley

obama 1776

Most people who enter STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) fields work in the private sector: about 70% while just 4% take jobs at the federal government, a recent Ford Foundation report found.

Juxtapose that with the report of tech salaries released this week which showed that Washington, DC has the third highest salaries for tech salaries.  Perhaps it is a supply and demand issue.  A Brookings Institute report  recently released show that Washington, DC has the 3rd toughest market for filling STEM jobs.

So this is a ripe time for the current White House to try to lure tech workers from Silicon Valley to DC to help meet the needs of the US government which most recently was marred by a scandal when its healthcare overhaul website failed miserably during initial insurance sign up period.

A Start Up called 18F ,named for  its location on 18th and F Streets, has existed since its March 2014 launch and is tasked with upgrading the federal government which currently has 80,000 tech workers. It has a hard task in front of it as currently,there is under 100 employees working at the office.

The difference between 18F and traditional government tech work, infoWorld notes, is the “build it first” model versus the government’s “get permission first” dichotomy.

An early project for the group is NotAlone.gov, a repository of information tracking sexual assaults on college campuses that is regularly updated with resolutions.

The 18F initiative is but the second White House effort at bridging the tech gap.

In 2012, the White House created the President Innovation Fellows program to recruit employees in the tech industry to work on government IT projects for six to 12 months. The program’s first round received 1,200 applications for 18 positions, according to Tom Kalil, the White House deputy director for technology and innovation.

Oh boy! Talk about tall order.

 

h/t HuffPo

photo: The White House

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Bloggers: Here is Where to Get FREE Content to post when You’re too busy to Post

Make-content-shareable

If you are starting out as a blogger, you may find yourself scrambling to post regularly because of time, work or other restrictions on your time.  You know consistent blogging is key to growing your site, but struggle squeezing it in. Tumblr, WordPress and many sites offer the option of reposting another’s content for free but it doesn’t look natural or fits into your style or mode of writing. It sticks out like a “repost” and not your own content.

An alternative and option is to sign up for the many sites that allow you to embed content created by others onto your blog as an embedable link.

10 Creative Female  StartUps   JenebaSpeaks

Do you see how it is barely noticeable that it is content from another person’s blog and could appear to the uninitiated who just scroll through my site as if it is “native” to my site?

Equally, when you join these content-sharing sites or download their plugins, you are allowed to have your content shared and embedded on others’ blogs and websites.

You may be wondering why on earth would someone give away their hard-created content for free. There are several reasons:

1. Access New Audiences: It exposes new audiences to your work, blog and website. You may get new followers by showcasing your work on others, some more well-trafficked sites.

2. Access New Leads: If you have affiliate links embedded in your post, you are essentially expanding the market of people who may click your link and earn you a commission.

3. Pay it forward. Permitting your content to be embedded and featured on others’ sites is reciprocal good karma for all those other people’s blog posts you too used to fill up your site during times when you had writer’s block or were too busy to blog.

4. Become an expert. If you blog or write about a niche area. Allowing others to embed your posts will help you develop yourself as an expert in the area as you will be exposed to larger audiences who may continually see your writing in a particular area and begin to associate you as a leading go-to for information about that area.

I use AtContent on my sites and blogs and I love the model because it is a simple plugin. After joining, you add your sites and then select the various content areas  you want streamed in your feed. Follow some bloggers and you will see others will follow you. Your followers will have the option of reposting your content onto their sites.

Fashion   Style — Content for Reposting — Page 1 — AtContent

It even has a Chrome plugin AdOn to make sharing content you see around the web easy to repost.

It’s FREE!

However, if you have a particular blog post you want amplified, you can start a Native Ad Campaign and pay as low as $10 for 200 views to promote it. There is even monthly subscription plans available for serious bloggers and other eCommerce sites who may need to routinely and regularly amplify specials and other special posts to extended networks of other content creator members.

Consider signing up for AtContent to do a Native Ad promotion of your content and get it in front of their massive network of bloggers.  I am currently running a campaign and am excited about the results. Consider running your own and if you do, use my Invitation link HERE!

 

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Bloggers: 15 Affiliate & Referral Marketing sites that pay YOU for leads

affiliate marketing

New Bloggers often want to quickly monetize their site immediately or shortly after launching and before building an audience. Most will not be able to make much earnings from their site without first growing a tremendous amount of site traffic.

Notwithstanding these realistic limitations for beginner bloggers, one of the ways they can earn income before growing traffic is through affiliate and referral marketing.

They are different things although mistakenly often mentioned interchangeably.

What is Affiliate and Referral Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is when products and services partner up with online publishers including bloggers and other website owners and offer them a sales commission every time one of their readers click a link and eventually purchases a product or service from the affiliate.

Popular Affiliate marketing company Commission Junction, an industry leader, explains it well:

What is Affiliate Marketing   Commission Junction US

For new bloggers, getting accepted to an affiliate network may be way easier than getting paid advertising especially when web traffic is still low, but if you are blogging in a niche area, you can benefit from referral commission without having the traffic.

Simply, blog what you know and occasionally write about a product or service you’ve used in the field and add a link asking your readers to try it out. You get paid if they purchase the service or product based on your recommendation.

Also, another benefit of having affiliate marketing banners on your website is that they may entice potential direct advertisers to buy an ad on your site. Affiliate click-per-purchase banner ads may resemble general ads.

Pay-Per-Call

In addition to just posting a banner or linking a word to an affiliates website, some affiliate marketing networks also offer Pay-per-call (also called Cost-per-Call). It too is a Performance-based advertising model and compensation method.

Pay-per-Call is similar to online Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising. However, with Pay-per-Call instead of paying a fee per Click, the merchant pays the service provider a fee per Call for connecting the consumer to the advertised number.

Some creative companies like Skimlinks are making it easier for bloggers by creating a plugin (it works on Blogger too) that skims content on posts and auto-hyperlinks words to affiliates. Bloggers get paid when a reader clicks the word and buys something from the affiliate. Many major sites like LuckyMag.com, Refinery29, and Gawker use it.

There are literally dozens if not hundreds of affiliate marketing companies and networks. Affiliate Summit conference has on its page of conference attendees a pretty comprehensive listing of the various affiliate networks.

Can I share an affiliate link in social media and not just on my blog?

Many affiliate marketing networks will give you the option of creating a short link (like a bit.ly) so you can share a shortened version of your personalized affiliate link embedded with your publisher id in it. Given that Twitter, for example,  is limited to 140 characters as other social media sites have limited caption space, you’re covered.

This option is great for influential social media personalities who may not have a blog or website they update regularly but who want to monetize their massive social media reach.

You should and are legally required per the Federal Trade Commission, if you are a US blogger, to disclose the fact to your audience, Facebook friends and others online that your are an affiliate promoter of a product you are sharing to them to buy, and that you will earn a commission if they actually do buy it.

Not all do and they use the shortener options to hide the fact that the link has embedded affiliate info in it.

Links that have the words “id:__” like below is indicator that the link is an affiliate link:

AffiliateLink

REFERRAL MARKETING

Referral marketing is when a site generates a “lead” and sends traffic to a third party site or get their readers to do  something simple as join the third party site, usually by signing up or providing an email.

This type of monetization program is and can be more lucrative because the publisher gets paid just for the email account referral, in some cases, even if the referral doesn’t purchase the product.

Online subscription or invite-only discount shopping boutiques and shopping sites often rely on referral marketing to build up their customer database.
Their business model includes paying popular fashion bloggers, for example, a referral fee for getting their readers to join their online fashion eCommerce site.

If you were wondering how some top fashion bloggers & YouTube vloggers earn so much, it is a combination of being a paid brand ambassador for many design houses and because they refer their readers to make purchases embedded with their commission-based affiliate codes.

Here are some of the Affiliate and Referral sites I work with and if you are learning about these resources for the first time here, I would appreciate it if you would pay it forward and sign up with them using my referral link. Join up and start earning money off of your blog today!

1. Google Adsense - The most popular and best known is Google Adsense. Website owners add code from Adsense which feeds ads onto the sites. Google pays on a CPM – Click per mile/thousand basis. It’s pretty hard to generate much income though if you have low traffic so that’s why the more recent affiliate networks in this list are better for new bloggers. 

2. Commission Junction- To assist publishers and advertisers manage their relationships and make everything seamless, CJ brokers its massive database of hundreds of brands allowing publishers to apply for and get accepted as an affiliate. Once accepted, the blogger or publisher gets access to html code  links to embed on their site.

3. ClickBank -This company connects smaller brands, creators and large ones with digital marketers. Publishers and bloggers simply browse offers for promoting a brand and then if they accept, do whatever online promo required and earn money on the sale.

4. Linkshare -Rakuten LinkShare is a leading provider of Affiliate Marketing, Paid Search, and Customer Acquisition company which is one of the industry leaders.  The UK-based company  has a portfolio of thousands of brands and companies that use it to get access to millions of websites and blogs. Site owners apply for an affiliates program and if accepted get access to links and codes for ads they can embed on their sites.  Sign up using my Affiliate referral Link HERE!

5. Skimlinks – Using innovative technology, Skimlinks finds specific product references in your content and turns them into links to where your users can buy the items mentioned. Sign up using my Affiliate referral link HERE!

6. Affiliate Window- Like Linkshare, it is also UK-based but it essentially also offers a wide range of multinational brands and links them with content producers and other digital marketers. Join me on Affiliate Window by signing up using my referral link HERE!

7. Amazon- Unlike the major affiliating networking sites, Amazon.com is its own massive commerce site. It has many programs that ecommerce sites, self-publishing authors bloggers and other publishers can take advantage of.

8. RewardStyle – This is an invite-only affilliate network site for Fashion bloggers. For those accepted, the site pays a commission when readers purchase an item referred to them from the fashion blogger. This pay-per-sale option is perfect for highly influential bloggers who have followers who are like “sheeple” in that they want exactly and precisely what they wear or recommend. I applied for it and got rejected, perhaps because they may have noticed I was already partnered up with their competitor, Shopstyle.

9. Shopstyle Shopsense – This site, owned by Popsugar entertainment company that runs a series of celebrity and fashion websites, is the equivalent of Google AdSense for fashion bloggers. It is a combo of pay-per-sale and pay-per-click.  Sign up and get access to thousands of labels and brands. Use a code to embed widgets or images onto your website and get a commission if your readers click through and purchase a piece of clothing, or toy or other item from the Shopstyle affiliate bank.  The good thing about shopsense compared to Reward Style is that you also generate commission for clicks not just for sales. It’s a better option for new fashion blogger still building up an audience.

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REFERRAL MARKETING

10. HauteLook – Is a discount online boutique of Nordstrom rack. It is available only to members. To join and get access to the major fashion deals, users must provide their email to sign up. However, it also offers a $20 commission on orders from friends when they make their first purchase.

Sign up for HauteLook using my Affiliate referral link HERE!

11. Rue La La – Like HauteLook, Rue La La is also a discount online fashion website that offere deep percentages off for past season and other overstock. It pays members a $10 referral bonus for the first order friends they refer make. Sign up for Rue La La using my Affiliate referral link HERE.

12. Dreamhost – In the tech world, there are many webhosting companies that pay for referrals for hosting. Dreamhost pays $97 for each referral if you sign up though its Affiliate program. If you are looking to get hosting, check you my affilliate link HERE.

13. Yahoo! Small Business Affiliate Program- Similar to Dreamhost, Yahoo!’s hosting subsidiary pays commissions starting at $40 for business referrals from your site. It is currently paying out $500 per sale to affiliates when they refer a 5 year hosting client. That’s an awesome deal!  If you’re looking for hosting as low as $1.75 per month, Sign up up HERE!

monetization

PAID BLOG SPONSORSHIP

14. IZEA- Izea has taken the headache out of sponsored posts by creating a platform where brands can present opportunities for bloggers and other influential publishers to consider offers to tweet, share images, post about or blog their products.  Bloggers simply apply and pick which program best fits the audience and get paid up to $100 or more per share.  Sign up for IZEA today using my affiliate referral link HERE!

HIGH ROLLERS

There are many high paying affiliate programs out there too. One that caught my eye but would require having a rich set of contacts is:

15. Jet Charters - This jet rental company pays out $275 for each booking…and for every $200 payout, you also get a $500 credit towards your own jet set booking including fuel! Sweet!

This is a great place to start! Good luck

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