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Review of How We Learn By Benedict Carey

I just finished reading the book, “How We Learn” by Benedict Carey.

This book has been on my radar for a while. Ever since I’ve become an online teacher of sorts, I’ve realized that my job isn’t only to share information. It’s also to make it EASY to learn that information.

As a teacher, I’m responsible for leading students towards a goal and helping them retain as much information as possible so that they can transform their life!

I had a few good takeaways from this book. I’ll share some of those below. To help myself (and you), I’ve also put together a few practical ways that you can apply these strategies to your own life.

If you wanna check out the book, I’ll link ya down below!

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens

I’d love to hear what you thought of the book. Leave a comment down below.

My Major Takeaways

  • Testing and quizzes cause anxiety in our current school system. Instead, they should be used to aid comprehension, not as an evaluation tool.
  • You should take a test before you learn something to prime your brain. You’ll focus on the questions you got wrong as you learn the material.
  • Don’t just passively read or look over information when you’re studying for an exam. This leads to informational fluidity. It leads you to believe you know more than you do.
  • When you work harder to remember something, you strengthen the connection.
  • Take out a blank sheet of paper and write down everything you remember. Helps to strengthen the connections and shows you what you don’t know.
  • Studying with music and in different places can help memory.
  • Cues prompt and unlock memories.
  • Sleep helps with memory storage, both for physical motor skills and recall. Wake up later for better motor memory.
  • Recall and testing over time will strengthen memory vs. all at once .
  • Teaching something to someone helps you learn something.
  • Mixing up helps you discern differences. Also helps motor coordination rather than just trying one thing over and over again.
  • Airplane gauges -> what it means in a situation.

How to Apply These Techniques

There are a lot of techniques that are mentioned in the book. I think when I read psychology books, it’s very easy to get wrapped up in new discoveries or research. I have to remember to stay practical and think of how this information can apply to my own life.

When I’m trying to learn something new, I can do the following to aid with my overall learning speed.

  1. Teach about the topic I’m learning to help learn it better.
  2. Quiz myself throughout the process using a blank sheet of paper to see what I’m remembering and what I’m fuzzy on.
  3. Quizzing myself over time to keep the memory relevant.
  4. Setting up cues that I can use to help recall other memories.

There were tons more I learned from this book, so I’d go check it out!

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens

I’ll probably be sharing more of my findings on my YouTube channel.

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Top 10 Blogging Income Streams

I’ve been blogging professionally since 2012 and I’m proud to say that I hit the grand daddy this year.

In one month, I earned $10k+ from blogging. Woah!

Of course, my income fluctuates from month to month. I don’t always earn that much. But it certainly shows you what’s possible if you stick with blogging for the longterm.

With this article, I want to give you an idea of some of the income streams out there that you can use to monetize your blog.

These are the strategies that many bloggers who are making far more income than me have used to create a healthy living doing what they love.

It’s important that you diversify your income stream in the longterm, because you never know what might happen. It helps prevent you from going out of business.

If you haven’t already, go and start a blog right now. You’ll thank me later for giving you this push. A blog can seriously transform your life. It can totally change the trajectory of your career.

To tell you the truth, I never actually thought I’d be able to make a living doing this. But, I underestimated how small steps towards your goal can add up over time.

Writing even one blog post a week can make a big difference! You can either grow your monthly income or stay at a job you hate!

1. Services, Consulting, and Coaching

In the early days, this is how most bloggers earn an income. They’ll offer consulting, coaching or business services to their readers.

You might think… why would ANYONE pay me money for my advice?

Good question! The main reason is that when you write a comprehensive article, you demonstrate your knowledge on a particular topic.

It shows people that you know what you’re talking about. It also gives them a chance to get to know you a little. This makes strangers more comfortable hiring you to help them with their business or life.

But, this shouldn’t surprise you. This is why many authors write books. They want those high-priced speaking and consulting gigs. They want to solidify themselves as an “expert” on a particular topic.

You can begin to earn income by using your blog a secret weapon for generating leads that will pay you for your time.

2. Banner Advertisements

It doesn’t seem like it, but banner advertisements actually still make money. I still generate a significant income stream from advertisements in the form of Google’s Adsense Program and BuySellAds.

The great thing about advertisements is that they’re passive income. You’re selling the attention of your blog visitors and readers to a 3rd party. Typically, this is a company that’s interested in reaching those readers.

While you probably won’t get rich from banner ads, they are an easy way to begin to generate some cash in the early stages.

I fondly remember earning my very first $2 from Adsense in 2012. I was able to take my girlfriend out to coffee – haha!

For me, Adsense was a great motivational tool. It proved to me that I could make money from blogging. I just had to generate more traffic.

Seeing my earning going up made me want to write EVEN MORE high quality articles and get them out there as fast as possible.

I had never experienced anything like it. Advertisers were actually paying to be shown on my blog. This wasn’t Monopoly money. This was cold hard cash.

3. Sponsored Content

Sponsored articles are another easy way to begin to earn some income as you’re getting started as a blogger. They’re an important income stream, just don’t oversaturate your readers.

With a sponsored article, a 3rd party company is basically saying that they want to reach your blog readers in a more engaged way than a banner advertisement.

They might have you write the article or they might provide their own article for you to publish on your blog. Not only will this give them access to your readership, but it also gives them a back link, which is powerful in the eyes of Google.

Technically, you should always “nofollow” your back links for sponsored posts, but not every blogger does that.

While you can earn healthy money by taking offers for sponsored content, don’t compromise your values!

Your relationship with your readers should always be your highest priority. Otherwise, they’re going to smell that you’re money-hungry and they won’t take your recommendations as seriously.

4. eBooks and Guides

Before I talk about eBooks, physical books, and guides, let me just say that it’s scary to ask people to actually pay money for something that you’ve created.

An easy way to begin to work up the courage to charge for a higher priced product, like a course, it to begin with eBooks.

When you host the ebook on your own website, you can charge anywhere from $10 – $30. You might even be able to charge more if the content is very sought after.

If you’re publishing the book on Amazon, you’ll probably be pricing the ebook at $2.99 and the physical book between $6 – $10. Amazon will then take a fee and distribute you royalties.

There are a lot of tools that you can use to deliver this ebook to website visitors, including:

Like with banner ads, you’re not going to make a tremendous amount from ebooks. However, it will prove to you that:

  1. Yes, you can sell a digital product online
  2. Yes, people will be happy they paid for it.

You’ll begin to gain more confidence knowing that you can actually sell products through your blog to your readers. It’s also pretty sweet that you’ll be generating a passive income stream.

Once you create the ebook or physical book, you don’t have to make another. You can just sell copies, and you don’t even have to be there for the transaction to take place, hence the passive income.

5. Affiliate Marketing And Selling Other People’s Products

Affiliate marketing is another important income stream for my blog business. It’s something that I started to get involved in after the first year or so of blogging.

The concept behind affiliate marketing is simple. Rather than creating your own digital or physical products, you can sell OTHER PEOPLE’s products.

You’ll then get a commission when you sell one of these products.

Now, in order to make decent money from affiliate marketing, you’re going to need an audience that you can broadcast these offers to either via email or linking to the products in your blog post. This is why most beginners don’t start here.

Aside from online courses, which I’ll get into later, affiliate marketing is the closest thing I’ve come to in terms of “magic money.”

You can have income distributed into your bank account without even doing anything. The other company takes care of all of the customer service. You just collect commission checks.

It’s pretty freaking sweet. It’s also 100% passive income.

I have blog posts that I’ve written years ago that still earn me income.

I recommend reading through my other article on affiliate marketing if you want a quick primer.

If you’re ready to hit the ground running, take a look into these affiliate programs:

These are broad affiliate programs where most people can find products to sell. There are also niche-specific affiliate programs. You can even hash out a deal with a company in your niche, as I have, to earn commission when you refer customers.

I know that the allure of money is enticing for a bootstrapped blogger, but again, don’t compromise your vales. You’ll regret it later. Don’t sell shitty products.

6. Online Courses

In the last several years, online courses have grown into a massive revenue stream for many bloggers out there. Personally, they’ve contributed a lot to the growth of my income.

Online courses go hand and hand with blogging. Most bloggers that I know are teachers. They’re educating a particular niche about a specific topic. They’re helping them answer questions and solve problems.

When you take this approach, ebooks, consulting, and online courses are a complete no brainer. They are more ways that a blogger can help educate and teach readers.

The reason that online courses are so powerful is that, like an ebook, you can create it once and sell it many times. This is the formula for ongoing passive income!

Simply put, online courses are scalable and what’s more, they command a high price point. While you have to sell 20 ebooks per month at the $20 price point to make $400, you only need to sell one or two courses.

With a high price point, you can also afford to advertise the course on social media networks like Facebook. This will bring in new students and allow you to advertise even more. Cool, eh?

I foresee online courses becoming a major source of income for myself and other bloggers in the next 5-10 years. It’s where the action is at!

There are many software tools that you can use to create an online course. For a complete step-by-step tutorial, check out this free guide. Also, here are a list of tools you can use:

7. Freelancing and Content Marketing

If you’re a good writer and you know how to get traffic to your articles, you possess a valuable skill that others would LOVE to make use of for their own business.

You can use your newly acquired skills and experience to land some great freelancing gigs. You could even offer to manage the content marketing of a larger business.

Keep in mind that when you’re freelancing for a company, you’re getting paid by the project by the hour. You’re not building your business directly, but you are creating an income stream that you can use to go full time as a blogger.

There are a bunch of websites that you can use to find freelancing gigs like:

8. Social Media and Advertising Packages

As you begin to grow your blog, you’ll come to find that your audience will spill over across multiple social networks and other channels, like an email subscriber list.

At this point in time, you should think of yourself as a small media company. Media companies don’t only make money from banger ads. They also sell advertising packages.

Your advertise package could take the form of:

  • Social media promotion
  • Banner ads
  • Email list blast
  • Sponsored content, etc.

Creating an advertising package will naturally allow you to command a higher rate. You’ll also give advertisers maximum exposure to your readership.

9. Live Events and Online Summits

Hosting live events are another great way to monetize the audience that you’ve built up. You can sell tickets to a conference or even an online summit where you’ll be going more in-depth into your subject matter.

Live training can command a very high price point and create some great social proof for your brand in the way of photos and videos. It will also give you the opportunity to form deeper one-on-once connections with your readers.

One of the big benefits of holding a live event or online summit is that you can also bring in other voices to teach your readers about a particular subject. You’ll be able to network with other experts in your community and grow your brand alongside theirs.

10. Mastermind Groups

Lastly, a growing income stream that I’ve noticed, particularly for big-name bloggers is the concept of ultra exclusive mastermind groups.

A mastermind group is designed to forward the business goals of the members also also form tight knit connections among the participants.

Premium mastermind groups typically will charge members to become a part of the group. A simple example of this is Lewis Howe’s Summit of Greatness.

Of course, in order to create this income stream, you’re going to need to have been blogging in your niche for a while. Usually members of the mastermind will be readers who have gotten results from your teachings and want to take it to the next level.

You’ll also need the connections with other high profile influencers to persuade readers of the value of joining your exclusive mastermind group. 

Where To Go From Here

These are a few different top common income streams for most professional bloggers. Naturally, the degree to which you emphasize certain ones, like online courses or advertisements, is going to vary from industry to industry.

Now that you’ve discovered the different sources of revenue for a professional blogger, it’s time to take action! Sign up for my email newsletter for more information on how you can go full time on your blog.

I’d also recommend checking out this article, where I go far more in-depth into how to create an online course.

Finally, if you still haven’t done it… set up your blog!!

There’s no excuse if you haven’t done this yet. It’s been proven that yes, anyone can make a living blogging. It’s not terribly difficult. It just takes time and consistent work.

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6 Ways to Get More Traffic To Your Blog

News flash! Setting up a new blog isn’t the hard part.

With great hosting companies out there, it’s super easy to create your own WordPress blog.

The difficult part is getting traffic to your new blog.

Am I right?

Anyone out there can start a blog, but only a select few are able to build up enough of a readership to go full time as a professional blogger.

With this post, I’m gonna reveal a few key ways that you can get more traffic to your blog, so that you can grow your readership, boost your sales, and make a living doing what you love.

1. Automate Social Media

I’ve found the easiest way to begin to get some traffic to a new blog is with social media. Take a second to create a social media account for your blog on the major networks like:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

One you set up an account on each service, sign up for Buffer. Buffer is a life changing tool that lets you pre-schedule social media messages to go out on your various profiles.

Rather than remembering to post updates every day, you can use Buffer to automate the entire process. A great alternative to Buffer is Edgar.

Once you sign up for a social media tool like the two above, you no longer have to worry about continually posting on social media. They’ll do it for you!

This frees up your time so that you can concentrate on doing what you’re best at…. blogging!

2. Create SEO Optimized Content

The vast majority of my traffic comes from search engines like Google. This is repeat traffic that I get day after day, month after month.

In my opinion, SEO traffic is the holy grail of blogging. It’s the reason that full time bloggers only have to work one or two hours per day to maintain their income streams.

The #1 question that you want to ask yourself with every piece of content that you create is:

“What would a reader type into Google to find this post?”

By asking yourself this question, you’ll be able to title your blog posts more effectively and stay on topic. It will also help you produce articles that are USEFUL for your readers.

Once you’ve identified that you’re answering a question with your blog post, you’re going to want to optimize your post for search engines.

There are a few easy ways to do this. I’ll also link to an SEO guide here. Consider:

  • Including at least one image with keywords in the file name/name.
  • Link to other blogs or articles that are related to your topic.
  • Don’t keyword stuff your posts, but include the keyword regularly.
  • Use headlines like H2 to help search engines understand your content.
  • Write 2,000 word posts, as they are proven to rank better in search engines.
  • Get linked to from other blogs and websites.

Google really likes niche websites that are authoritative about a particular topic. The key to boosting the traffic to your blog is to stay consistent. Produce content regularly around a specific topic.

Over time, you’ll become an authority on that topic in the eyes of google. The more that other websites link to you, the higher your domain authority will become.

3. Build Up An Email List

When you use a blogging platform like WordPress.com, your readers will get notified every time you come out with a new blog posts.

Professional bloggers will build up an email list that they can use to:

  • Announce new articles
  • Unveil new products
  • Direct readers to a particular website

There are many different ways that you can grow this email list to thousands of subscribers. One of the best ways that I’ve seen is to begin to direct traffic to a specific landing page with some type of lead magnet.

That lead magnet could be a free ebook, checklist, guide, or other helpful resource. The landing page will track the number of people that come to that page, and the percentage that convert into email subscribers.

You can use a simply landing page builder like Leadpages to do this. The software is super easy to use. You’ll be able to set up a landing page in a few minutes and start collecting email addresses.

Leadpages gives you all of the tools that you need to set up a landing page fast. I use them myself for webinars, giveaways, and to convert website visitors into email subscribers.

Having an email list will help you increase your traffic to new blog articles. You’ll instantly get readers commenting on new articles and sharing them on social media networks.

This is the reason that for the first few hours, even when a big internet celebrities like Tim Ferriss publish a blog post, there won’t be any comments. He and others won’t start to get comments and social shares until he sends it out to his email newsletter.

4. Do Guest Posts on Other Blogs

Other blogs have already built up an audience of loyal readers. Rather than trying to build up your own from scratch, you can get some exposure in front of their audience and bring some back to your blog.

The most important aspect of guest posting is making sure that your content is absolutely stellar for the other blog. It should be freaking awesome. That’s the only way they’re going to want to publish it on their site.

In addition, you need to make sure that your article topic is a good match for their audience. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been pitched guest post articles that are clearly a bad match for my audience.

I can easily tell that the individual is just trying to get a link back to their own blog. They don’t care about the quality of the content.

5. Write a Roundup Post To Maximize Shares

A roundup post is simply an article that links to and quotes other bloggers. Let’s say that you’re writing a travel blog. You could do a roundup post like… “10 Travel Experts Say To Bring This On Your Next Trip.”

You’d then quote the individual travel experts and link to their website. Since they were featured in the post, they’re more likely to share the article on various social media networks and with their email list.

There’s something in it for them.

6. Keep Writing!!

The formula is pretty simple. The more quality content that you write, the more likely someone is to stumble upon your blog.

They could visit your blog from a social media link, another blog post, or discover it because you’ve linked back to your previous content.

The more that you write, the better the chance that someone’s going to find you online. Plain and simple.

I would recommend putting out 3 quality blog posts per week in the early days. You can scale that back and increase the length of your articles as time goes on.

When you’re first getting started, you need to build up a library of content that you can reference and promote. In addition, putting out more content on a regular basis is going to help you rank better in the eyes of Google.

Over time, you’ll be able to earn a full time income from blogging.

If you enjoyed THIS post, can you take a second to subscribe to this blog and don’t hesitate to email me! Would love to hear from ya.

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How to Make $50k Per Year Blogging

Months before I graduated college I was offered a job working at a great startup company in Washington, DC.

My starting salary was gonna be a little over $50,000.

It was in a terrific area of the city. The team seemed young, hungry, and motivated.

But, to everyone’s surprise, I turned down that job.

I had made up my mind that I wanted to build my own company after college. This was my one shot.

I was going to do whatever it took and work however many hours I needed in order to be successful.

I moved to NYC with one month’s rent to my name and started grinding away.

Two years later, all the hard work paid off. I earned $50k that year directly from my blog.

I had made it. I was living the laptop lifestyle. I could go and travel any time I wanted. I could work however much or little I wanted. I was my own boss.

Now… I know there are some bloggers out there earning millions of dollar per year with their blog. I’m not one of those (at least, not yet).

I can’t show you how to get rich, but I can show you exactly how to earn a healthy income doing work that you love.

1. View The Blog as A “Lead Magnet”

A blog isn’t a business.

A blog is simply a collection of FREE content on a particular subject.

If you produce high quality blog posts, then this free content will attract regular visitors to your website.

Once a visitor is on your website, that’s where the fun begins!

A funny thing happens when someone around the world reads your content. They get to know you a little bit better.

When you help them with some aspect of their business or life, they’re far more likely to trust you, and as a result, do business with you.

Fundamentally, a blog is a lead magnet. You’re using to create a bunch of leads that you can sell products or services to down the road.

A simple WordPress plugin like OptinMonster is going to help you capture the email address of these leads and convert them into customers.

You can also sell other people’s products and services to this audience by way of sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and advertisements.

2. Create Multiple Income Streams

When you work for an employer, you have ONE income stream. Your paycheck.

As a blogger, you’re going to need to build up multiple income streams if you want to earn a healthy amount from blogging.

This could include:

  • Coaching and consulting
  • Services
  • Advertisements
  • Sponsorships
  • Ebooks
  • Online courses
  • Physical products
  • Affiliate marketing

If you’re using the blog to teach about a particular subject, then I’d recommend starting out with coaching and services.

After that, you can invest some time in creating an online course. You’ll then be making money in your sleep!

3. Build Your Email List with Landing Pages

The size and quality of your email list is directly going to affect how much money you can make from your blog.

You’ll be using this email list to drive traffic to new articles, products, and convert website visitors into customers.

The absolute best way to generate an email list of highly targeted individuals is to set up a landing page and give away a free book, checklist, or other type of lead magnet. You can use Leadpages to do this.

Leadpages makes it super easy to get a list going of hot leads that are interested in learning more about your topic.

Remember, you should view the blog as a lead magnet. You’re using the free content to build up a list of leads that you can sell products to at a later date.

I know that doesn’t sound sexy, but we’re talking business right now. We can discuss writing style, beautiful design, and writing about topics that you LOVE another time.

Of course, there are many ways that you can build up your email list quickly.

4. Produce Content Regularly On a Schedule

The traffic that I get to my blog typically correlates with the amount of regular quality content that I’m putting out there into the universe.

When I stop writing, my blog traffic goes down.

In the early stages, I’d recommend publishing 3 high quality blog posts per week. This is going to accelerate the rate at which the blog grows.

As you start writing more and more, you’ll also become better as a blogger. You’ll learn how to write SEO optimized posts so that you’ll get traffic from search engines like Google.

Naturally, it’s hard to stick to a schedule.

If you pre-schedule your blog posts to go out one or two weeks ahead of time, you’ll take a bit uncertainty out of the equation. You also won’t be as rushed to get out new content every week.

5. Invest in a Trusted Host and Professional Blog Design

When I first started blogging, I was using WordPress.com and a subdomain. My domain was thethoughthole.wordpress.com. This was a mistake!

The most important step towards turning your blog into a business is to register YOUR OWN domain name and host your own blog.

When you host your own blog, you’ll be able to install plugins and premium themes to extend the functionality of your website.

I personally use this hosting company to host my blog. They have great customer support and an easy way to install WordPress on your site. You can learn more about them below.

After you set up your WordPress blog, you’re going to want to look into getting yourself a professional-looking theme.

No joke, the theme that you choose will make the difference between people thinking you’re an amateur or a professional. A well designed blog will also allow you to charge higher prices for your products.

Below, I’ll link to a marketplace with a lot of different premium WordPress themes that you can choose from. Make sure that the theme is up to date with the current version of WordPress.

After you pick out a premium theme, you’re ready to rock and roll!

It will be time to start producing content and promoting it to get your name out there.

6. The Harder You Work, The Luckier You Get

You have to treat the blog like a 9-5 job. You gotta show up every single day and write.

Don’t spend lots of time worrying about your stats or checking your email. Just write, write, write. Then promote your writing.

In your free time, you should be learning about key topics related to your niche and online marketing as a whole. These include:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Content Marketing
  • PPC (Pay Per Click)
  • Copywriting
  • Social media marketing
  • PR
  • Storytelling
  • Buyer psychology

I’d begin to take note of the various blogs that you come across that you like. You can see which plugins their using or even which them they’re using.

The harder that you work at this journey, the more likely you’re going to see results fast. You never know which article is going to blow up. Before you know it, you could be getting thousands of website visitors every day.

If you have any questions, take a sec to leave a comment below or sign up for the newsletter!

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15 Tools to Create, Market, and Sell Your Online Course

There are many different tools out there that you can use to create, market, and sell your online course!

Now a days, it’s super easy to get your course up and running. Before you know it, you’ll be welcoming new students and seeing payment notifications in your email inbox.

When I launched my very first online course, I didn’t know about all of the software tools that I could have used simplify the process. I would have saved myself considerable time and money.

I hope that by the end of this blog post, you’ll have a clear understanding of the resources that are available to you. Then, you’ll be ready to create your first online course.

1. Screenflow: This application will allow you to take a screen recording of your screen, so that your students can see exactly what you’re doing as you’re walking them through a tutorial.

2. QuickTime Screen Recorder: If you have a Mac and you don’t want to invest in a copy of Screenflow, you can also use the QuickTime Screen Recorder to take a video of your screen.

3. Blue Yeti Microphone: This is the microphone that I use to record my voice for my online courses. It comes with a gain, volume, and pattern knob.

4. EOS 70D Camera: The trusted high quality camera that I use for my YouTube videos and my premium course videos. The package that I purchased also comes with a microphone.

5. Canva: An amazing application that will take care of a lot of the graphics work for your course launch. You can easily create Facebook cover photos, blog post images, slide shows, and more.

6. MailChimp: The email list management provider that I use. MailChimp is free up until 2,000 subscribers. You can segment your email list, send auto responder messages, and get information on open and click-through rates.

7. Leadpages: Hands down, this is the best software out there for creating landing pages. A landing page will help convert your website visitors into email subscribers. Seeing as your email list is responsible for the majority of your sales, this is an important tool.

8. YouTube Hangout: If you don’t want to invest in a pro webinar software tool, you can use YouTube Hangouts to host the webinars that will sell your online course. They’re easy to manage and have live chat functionality.

9. Webinar Jam: This is a premium webinar application that comes with a lot more functionality than a simple YouTube hangout. You can also create evergreen webinars with EverWebinar, another product put out by this company.

10. Teachable: If you don’t want to deal with the hosting of your course, but you also don’t want to put it on Udemy, then Teachable is for you. Teachable hosts your course and gives you the tools to make it look professionally designed.

11. Thinkific: A great alternative to Teachable, Thinkific also hosts your course and comes with a bundle of functionality that any teacher needs to hit the ground running.

12. Optimize Press: If you DO want to host your own course, then this is the WordPress plugin for you. Along with creating landing pages and sales pages, OptimizePress gives you the functionality you need to create a membership website.

13. Facebook Ads and Groups: Unless you have an existing audience, you’re going to need to advertise your course to potential new students. Facebook is the best way to do this. Along with Facebook advertising, you can also use the group feature to manage all of your enrolled students and give them a forum to interact with you and each other.

14. Buffer: Buffer is the ultimate social media automation tool. You can use it to pre-schedule the messages that go out on your various social media accounts. You don’t have to worry about sharing messages every single day. Buffer will do it for you.

15. WordPress: Lastly, if you want to set up a professional looking website for your business, I’d use WordPress. The link will take you to my recommended hosting provider, which has a one-click WordPress install feature. After you set up WordPress, you can install one of these premium themes to make your website look beautiful.

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How To Make Money With an Online Course

There are A LOT of ways to make money online. But, that’s no surprise.

You already know this.

If you’ve Googled around at all, you’ve probably come across articles telling you how to make money with:

  • Blogging
  • Affiliate marketing
  • YouTube
  • Ebay
  • Amazon
  • Instagram
  • eBooks
  • And many more.

Am I right?

I’m just like you. I first got started blogging professionally at the end of 2012.

I read a post from Problogger’s Darren Rowse, which told me that I could ACTUALLY earn a full-time income from blogging.

I didn’t believe that I actually could, but I was in my 3rd year of college and I had nothing to lose. I launched a blog and started producing regular content.

I went full-time on that blog in 2013 and haven’t looked back.

It’s paid for my apartment, all of my tech gadgets, and my lifestyle in New York City.

Pretty crazy!

At the time, making money from Adsense was all the rage. After that, it was ebooks.

Now a days, it’s online courses.

I’m here today to show you how you can start making money online right now with online courses. I’m also going to share why online courses are better than all of the options I mentioned above.

Darren Rowse launched my career online. I hope that I can do the same for you!

1. The Formula Used to Sell Courses

Creating an online course isn’t the hard part.

There are lots of tools that you can use to create and host the content.

The hard part is getting students to enroll in your course. The difficult part is SELLING the course that you’ve created.

Not only is selling inherently scary, but it also seems complex and foreign.

Think about ALL of the courses out there that you could take right now. Just imagine the piles and piles of dusty books that fill libraries around the world. Many go un-read.

Anyone can create a course or write a book. The only way that you’re going to make money is if you convince potential students that it’s worth their time.

Thankfully, no matter how much you screw up, there is a formula that you can fall back on to keep your hopes up in the early days.

Here it is!!!

Email List Subscribers * .01 = New Course Sales

Typically, about 1% of your designated course launch list will end up becoming students of your online course. This assumes that:

  • You’ve warmed up those “leads.” You’ve shared helpful content with you, and they have an idea of your expertise.
  • You’ve collected those leads ethically. People have opted-in to receive content from you.
  • You’ve created a course on a topic that people actually want to learn. More on that here.
  • You’ve clearly stated the benefits of the program. You can’t just expect people to assume what the benefits are.

Now… when you first hear this, it might sound depressing. Actually, I think it’s motivational!

You don’t have to be a sales expert to make money with online courses. You just have to deliver value.

Of course, if you want to improve those numbers, you can learn a thing or two about sales.

2. Make Money In Your Sleep (no joke)

When I was 19, I read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. It completely changed my life.

I became OBSESSED with the concept of passive income. I wanted to figure out how to earn money in my sleep!

It took me several years, but I’ve finally cracked the code. I can teach you exactly how to earn money in your sleep. You don’t have to do anything. You just gotta collect the cash.

Here’s the answer… create PRODUCTS that customers can BUY.

Woah… groundbreaking right!?

Let me explain. When you run a service-based business, you’re still trading time for money. You’re working from project to project. You’re on the clock helping grow someone else’s business.

When you run a product-based business, there is a one-time transaction between YOU and the customer. After that transaction, you might have to do a little customer service, but aside from that, you don’t have to do anything else.

Now, here’s the secret.

You want to work to produce products that don’t require you to be there for the transaction to happen.

Yeah, you could open up a deli and sell products at a retail price, but you have to show up every day and manage that location.

Yeah, you could open up your own pizza shop, but you gotta be there every day. You gotta greet customers, make pizzas, and run the cash register.

When you offer an online course, a student can enroll at any time during the day, and you don’t have to be there to manage the process.

They can learn a bit about the product, watch your teaser videos, and buy it. It’s all automated. You don’t have to be there.

Cool, huh?

You can spend 3 months making a kick ass online course and then reap the rewards. There is very little time investment going forward, unless you want to include a specific hands-on component.

What’s great too is that, as long as the content is still relevant, you can continue to see sales years later.

It’s pretty powerful. 

3. Choose a Profitable Topic

No matter how convincing you are, you can’t get around simple math.

There are a certain number of people on earth at this very moment that want to learn key skills.

Of ALL of the skills that people want to learn, some are more popular than others.

There are a lot of people who want to learn how to play guitar. There aren’t many who want to learn how to speak Klingon.

But, popularity doesn’t equal profitability.

A course topic is only profitable when there are enough students who want to learn the material AND who are willing to pay premium prices to acquire that knowledge.

Think of it this way. A teenage YouTuber might have a big audience, but that audience probably doesn’t have a lot of disposable income. They’re unlikely to invest in a $3,000 program, particularly if it’s a boring business topic.

In this case, a business course wouldn’t be the best business move. That YouTuber would need to build up a separate audience first.

Now, let’s say there is another YouTuber that has an audience of 10,000 aspiring business people from age 30 – 45. This group has disposable income AND they want to learn a particular topic.

For them, teaching a course on business would be very profitable.

Consider these decision points:

  • What topics can you teach?
  • What will students pay money to learn?
  • Where can you gain access to these potential students?

Don’t shy away from a topic just because someone else is teaching a similar course. That actually means that there is demand in the marketplace for this knowledge!

You can also gain a quick understanding of the subjects that people want to learn by browsing book topics on Amazon. Which ones are most popular?

4. Enlist The Help of A Mentor

This entire process is gonna be a lot easier if you study someone who’s done what you want to do. Learn from their strategies, techniques, and overall mindset.

Thankfully, because the internet is around and stuff, I can reach out to you right now with a video! This video goes into more things that you need to know before making money from your first online course.

I’ve put it together for you below. I hope that you enjoy it.

Once you watch the video, I’d love it if you could take a sec to leave a comment on YouTube and let me know about any questions that you have.

You’re about to embark on a very exciting journey. I took the same road as you.

When I first got started, I didn’t know anything about online marketing or sales. I was completely clueless.

It was very intimidating. Being a young guy, I also felt like I didn’t deserve to stand out online. I had to wrestle with my own inner demons.

Making the decision to go out on my own was the BEST decision of my life. I’ve grown so much and can’t wait for what’s in store for the future.

I hope you make the same decision. When you do, I won’t be there to judge you or laugh at you. I’ll be there to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

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Two Proven Strategies To Get More Email Subscribers For Your Blog

We’ve all been there… staring at the number “0” and wondering how you’re ever going to get people to actually subscribe to your blog.

It doesn’t have to be zero. It could also be 50 or 100 or even 500.

In the early days, it’s difficult to fathom how you will crack the 1,000 subscriber mark.

I started my very first professional blog at age 21 with 0 subscribers and grew it to more than 20,000.

Had I known then what I know now, I could have gotten there SO MUCH faster and with so many less headaches.

With this blog post, I’m going to share with you two proven strategies for getting more email subscribers for your blog.

Don’t just read about these strategies. You gotta go out there an implement them right away.

Otherwise, months and years will pass by with little progress. When you finally do execute on these strategies, you’ll wonder why the heck you didn’t do it earlier.

1. Install OptinMonster To Quickly Boost Subscribers

Actually, it doesn’t have to be OptinMonster. It could be any plugin that enables popup functionality on your website.

You might think that popups will annoy your visitors, but actually, I saw a MASSIVE increase in email subscribers when I installed OptinMonster.

Before I installed the plugin, people were coming to my website and I’d see a trickle of email subscribers. After I did, I started to see a regular stream of subscribers.

This means that while I was getting traffic to my website, it wasn’t converting as well as it could have.

Popups serve to:

  • Capture attention
  • Present an offer to your visitor
  • Track opt-in rates and split test your offers.

You can easily see how one offer converts better than another when your opt-in rate goes up.

To give you an example, I split tested two different simple messages with the plugin and showed you the results below.

It’s important that you test two messages that get relatively the same amount of traffic. This way, you’ll eliminate sample size bias.

This test tells me that readers of THIS blog prefer the message “Make Passive Income Online” to “Make Passive Income From Home.”

Now… I’m not sure why that is, but in marketing, I’ve always learned to follow the numbers.

2. Create an Account on LeadPages to Get More Subscribers

The second thing that I did that had a powerful effect on the growth of my email subscribers was to begin to use a landing page software tool like Leadpages.

You don’t have to use Leadpages, but it’s what I use. You could also use one of these.

The reason that landing pages will boost your subscriber count is threefold:

  1. You’ll be able to optimize for a conversion. There is only one thing someone can do who comes to the landing page, subscribe to your email list. You can see how wording and image changes affect this goal.
  2. You’ll gain access to simple, but professional-looking design tools. We tend to judge the quality of businesses online based on their design. If you have crappy design, people assume you’re an amateur.
  3. You can present an “offer” more effectively. This offer could be an ebook, a webinar training session, a free online course, a checklist, and more. You can list out the benefits of the offer and use other tools like count-down timers to persuade visitors to subscribe.

Below, you can see a very simple example of a webinar registration page that I created. It’s not super fancy, but there is only one thing that my visitors can do… sign up for the webinar.

Keep in mind that visitors that I send to this page already know what I look like, because of my YouTube videos. They also know that I’m an expert in my space, so they don’t need much convincing.

The count-down timer helped to create a sense of urgency.

Looks pretty dumb and boring, right?

Don’t hate!

Haha, but actually, let’s take a look at the results. Numbers speak for themselves.

This simple webinar had a sign up conversion rate of about 75%! Can you IMAGINE how big your email list would be if 75% of the people who came to your website signed up for your email list?

I made a decent amount from this webinar too. Your ultimate goal should be to monetize your email list, not just inform them of your new content.

What else can you do to grow your list?

There are many more ways to get more subscribers for your blog. I invite you to subscribe to THIS blog so that you’ll be notified when I come out with new content.

In addition, if you’re more of a visual learner, I’ve put together a YouTube video that goes a bit deeper into the topics I discussed on this post.

You can watch the training video below.

Hope you enjoy it!

Let me know by leaving a comment on the video. I’d also appreciate a thumbs up!

This post contains affiliate links.

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How to Create Your Own Online Course

Whether you’re trying to make money from home, monetize your skill set, or just make some extra dough, online courses are an excellent way to build up a passive income stream.

When I first got started with online marketing, I did everything under the sun to generate revenue. This included:

  • Consulting
  • Services
  • Ebooks
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Advertising
  • And much more.

Of all of the strategies that I’ve used to monetize the audience that I’ve built up online, I’ve found online courses to be the #1 way to grow my sales while also serving my community.

In fact, I just recently did a course launch that raked in more than $4,000! I could barely believe it myself…

There are a lot of reasons that I prefer online courses over the above mentioned revenue generation strategies.

  1. They command a high-ticket price. This is very different from a $10 ebook.
  2. They’re scalable. You don’t have to be there for the transaction to happen. You can be doing other things, like taking care of your kids or chilling on a beach in a foreign country.
  3. You can track progress. You can track the progress of your students when you use one of these course creation software tools.

Overall, I also love it when my students get results. I only have so much control over the learning process when they’re passively reading a book. With a course, I can have more say over their results!

So… let’s talk a little bit about how to create your very first online course!

1. Brainstorm Your Course Topic

Online courses are very different from college courses.

With a college course, you can teach something as obscure as Klingon or medieval literature and get paid for it. Pretty weird, huh?

I had many friends who absolutely hated taking some of these types of courses, because they weren’t practical and weren’t related to their degree.

That’s very important when you’re shelling out $50k a year to go to school!

What you’ll notice about online courses is that students want to have a clear understanding of the tangible results they’ll see after they go through the course.

  • Will they now be able to speak Spanish?
  • Will they grow an email list that will enable them to make money?
  • Will they grow their business revenue by 10x?

You must pinpoint what you want to be the “result” or “transformation” when a student goes through your course.

You may want to teach some obscure topic, like how to collect noteworthy beanie babies, but if no one care about that topic and no one has the burning desire to own many beanie babies, then you’re not going to see many course sales.

Typically, I would recommend teaching a subject that you yourself have mastery over. It will also help if you’ve personally gotten results in this field or industry.

However, that doesn’t mean that you need to be a black belt level expert in the subject. You just need to be one step beyond them.

Often times, top performers actually have trouble teaching basic topics because it’s been so long that they’ve encountered them.

To think about this another way, the best swimmer isn’t always the best swimming teacher for beginners.

2. Outline Your Course Modules and Materials

Next, I’d recommend creating a simple outline in word that breaks down all of the various modules and lessons that will be included in your course.

Along with putting together an outline of the various sub-course topics, I would list out the ways that you will convey these lessons. Some common teaching strategies include:

  • Powerpoint slides with voice over
  • Screen capture videos
  • Talking to the camera to convey concepts
  • Checklists or worksheets
  • Quizzes to cement the material
  • Templates or examples to illustrate concepts
  • Homework, in the field assignments, etc.

If you’re afraid of being on camera, no worries! Many of the courses out there do simple presentations via powerpoint and screen capture videos to convey concepts.

Personally, I include on-camera footage with my course, but you don’t have to. I include this type of footage because I’m comfortable being on camera, having produced many YouTube videos, and I want to deepen the relationship that I have with my students.

Finally, I also want the course to be easy-to-consume. I find it harder to maintain a student’s attention when they are looking at a slide show presentation for 40 minutes. That’s why I work hard to create bite-sized lessons and bring my energy to the videos.

3. Choose Your Technology and Course Hosting

Arguably, this is the easiest part of the course creation process. Funny, huh?

Years ago, this would be a pain. It would cost a ton of money to hire programmers to create a website that enables membership registration and payment processing.

Now a days, there are many software solutions out there that will do just this. You can either go with a platform that hosts all your course content, or you can use WordPress and host your own online course.

It really comes down to the amount of money that you want to spend and how technically proficient you are.

If you know what you’re doing on the tech side, I’d say that it’s very easy to look into how to host your own course using WordPress.

If you struggle with technology and don’t want to host your own course, I’d look into Teachable or Thinkific.

Whatever you do, don’t just go with Udemy. You’ll be charging pennies on the dollar for the course, which won’t help your bottom line. Unfortunately, whenever you’re a part of a marketplace like Udemy or Amazon, there will always be downward pricing pressure.

When I first got started, I used Gumroad to host the course content and sell it. I also recommend looking at Wistia, which is a professional video embed player. This is a good solution if you’re hosting the videos on your own website.

4. Plan for Your Course Launch

This is by far the HARDEST part of the equation.

When you think about it, courses are a commodity. They are very similar to books.

There are SO MANY people out there teaching various topics online. Why would anyone choose to learn from you?

This is where marketing comes in!

Personally, I’ve seen many great teachers who quite simply don’t know how to get the word out. They don’t know how to effectively present their course to potential students.

This is why although they make great content, they hardly get any sales.

You need to have a proven marketing plan for getting course students. I’ve put together a YouTube video to outline a few different ways to go about this.

If I had to sum it up, take these points into account:

  • Getting potential students: There are only two ways to reach out to potential students. You can do organic or paid marketing. Organic marketing is mainly through social media, content marketing (blogs/podcasts), online groups, etc. Paid marketing is traditionally Facebook ads or ads on other platforms. You can create a landing page using Leadpages to drive signups.
  • Managing potential students: It’s best to get interested students on an email list. You can use a simple service like Mailchimp, ConvertKit, or Aweber to manage this list. This software will easily let you see who’s opening your emails and who’s clicking the various links.
  • Converting potentials into buyers: Thus far, the most effective way that I’ve seen to convert potential students into enrolled students is to tease the content you’ll be teaching. You can do this with things like an email auto-responder or a webinar.

5. Get Your Students To Take Action

So you’ve had a bunch of students enroll in your online course… this is NOT the end of the process.

Next, your goal should be to limit buyer’s remorse and make sure that they actually take action on the content that you’ve put together.

A dismal number of people who start online courses actually finish them. If they don’t finish the course and act on the new knowledge they’ve accumulated, they’re not going to get results!

By fostering a positive relationships with your students, you’ll not only ensure that they buy from you in the future, but you’ll also be able to capture some great testimonials that will persuade more students to enroll in your course.

Remember… the most likely person to buy from you in the future is someone who’s bought from you in the past. They know what to expect and they know the quality of content that you deliver.

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5 Easy Ways To Sell Online Courses From Your Own Website

One of the best ways to make money online and from home is to put together an online course.

I’ve personally created two online courses which continue to earn me income each month.

There are MANY different ways that you can sell online courses online or from your own website.

In this post, I’m going to introduce you to a few different software tools out there that will allow you to:

  • Sell courses via PayPal or Stripe from your website
  • Handle new member registrations
  • Manage membership levels
  • Ensure that your premium content is secure and can only be accessed by paying customers.

Hope you enjoy! If you want more information like this, take a sec to subscribe to my weekly newsletter.

P.S. You’ll need to have WordPress installed for most of these options. I recommend this WordPress hosting provider.

1. OptimizePress

OptimizePress is the plugin that I used to initially sell my course on my own website.

You can use the software to create landing pages, set up sales pages, make membership portals, accept payments, and more.

You can purchase a license of OptimizePress outright and receive 1 year of support and care. If you want continued updates, it will cost 50% of your pricing plan ($37 for the basic package).

Pricing: $97 – $297

2. Sensei

Sensei is a course creation plugin that integrates with WooCommerce. You can use it to host a course on your WordPress website.

This plugin comes with analytics, payment options, quiz grading, and a bunch of extensions to add even more functionality. For example, as added functionality, you could drip content, include student certificates, have a course progress bar, and more.

If you’re familiar with WooCommerce, this is going to help you get up to speed accepting payments. Either way, WooCommerce is pretty easy to use.

Pricing: $129.00 for a single license.

3. WP Courseware

WP Courseware is another powerful plugin that you can use to set up a course on your website.

Similar to the above options, WP Courseware gives you the option to create quizzes, offer certifications, manage students, handle payments, and more.

This is a perfect option if you’re running a WordPress website and want to expand the functionality.

Pricing: $99 – $175 per month.

4. CoursePress Pro

CoursePress Pro was put out by Wpmudev to give you the tools you need to teach students online from your own website.

There’s a lot of different features to this plugin, like reminder & notifications, automatic grading and reporting, accepting online payments, simple course pages, paywalls, and more.

Pricing: $49 per month.

5. Rainmaker Platform

Finally, if you don’t want to go the WordPress route, you can also use the Rainmaker platform to host and sell your online course.

It’s important to keep in mind that Rainmaker is a complete solution. It’s not just for courses. This means that it comes with a lot of functionality like landing pages, membership areas, content creation tools, email marketing, and more.

In this way, it is a little bit similar to OptimizePress, but definitely comes with more functionality (for a price) and private hosting.

Pricing: $145 per month billed annually

Other Options

Now, if you don’t want to host the course on your own website, you can use an option like Teachable or Thinkific to handle that.

I’ve put together another blog post that goes through all of these options.

Hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to leave a comment down below and let me know which part of the world you’re visiting from.

 

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How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?

I had this same question when I started my first professional blog in 2012.

In the last several years, I’ve learned a TON about blogging, online marketing, podcasting, and more. I’m here to today to share that knowledge with you!

Now, you might wanna know how much money you can make so that you can figure out whether or not to spend time on this whole blogging thing. Right? 

Before we talk turkey, let me just say that making money from a blog is not something that you do over night. It takes time, consistent work, and a lot of learning.

For me, it took a year before I was able to go full-time on my first professional blog. In that year, I made ~$30k.

My initial sources of income:

  • Adsense: This is Google’s advertising program. You can put banner ads on your website and make money. I have a video about this program.
  • Consulting: I was making money by offering consulting services.
  • Services: I was offering a business service to my readers, which generated income.

This first year, I also wrote an ebook that I sold on my own website, but it didn’t make a tremendous amount of money.

It takes a lot of traffic to make good money from advertisements or affiliate marketing. It also takes knowledge and time to put together digital products.

Therefore, when you start out, your primary source of income is going to come from services or consulting. You’ll be trading time for money.

Can you make money directly from blogging?

Since a blog is free, the simple answer is no. The free content that you put out is meant to develop a relationship with a particular type of reader.

Once that reader is on your website, you can monetize their attention in a variety of ways. For the most part, this includes advertisements, sponsored content, digital products, services, and affiliate marketing.

How much can you actually make?

The top bloggers don’t really consider themselves to be bloggers. They’re content marketers.

They use the blog to attract ‘leads’ and monetize those leads by selling them digital courses and products.

Now, of course there are fashion and entertainment bloggers out there that aren’t selling these types of products. However, they’re selling other people’s products in the form of sponsorships advertising, and affiliate marketing,

At a certain point, a “professional blogger” might decide to use their excess funds to hire a team and turn their online presence into an education company or an entertainment company.

All of this being said, as an individual blogger, you can probably expect the upper tiers to make $100k – $200k max with a lot of hard work over a span of 5-10 years.

This income is likely not solely derived from blogging. It probably also comes from services, products, affiliate marketing, etc.

You can certainly make more than this, but at this stage, you’re transitioning more into an internet marketer and using things like webinars to sell high ticket products.

A more realistic goal is to make between $30k – $80k, depending on how hard you’re willing to work and the breakdown between selling services vs. other forms of monetization. Your niche also plays a big role.

Overall, the majority of bloggers don’t make very much money at all. It’s more of a hobby for them. If you want to make money, you gotta treat it like a business.

The real benefit of blogging

This can be summed up in one word… FREEDOM!

Just imagine how awesome it would be to be your own boss.

You don’t have to commute to work every day.

You can work from home, a cafe, a beach in a foreign country, or really, anywhere you want.

I’ve worked from a lot of different locations including:

  • Co-working spaces in Manhattan
  • Cafes in Brooklyn
  • Other countries (Thailand)

Since you run your own life, you can also decide when you work. You don’t have to wake up early if you don’t want to.

Pretty cool, eh?

So… is blogging dead?

Not at all. The “heyday” of blogging was about 2005 – 2009. I started mine in late 2012. I made $30k when I went full-time about a year later.

I think that most people see the popularity of online video and social media platforms and they assume that people don’t read blogs any more.

This is 100% false. After all, I started the blog that you’re reading and I still continue to grow my other blog.

There are some factors that have changed in the blogging industry, most notably comments and SEO, but it’s not going anywhere.

You can still start a blog today and be VERY successful.

The first step you MUST take

The first step is simple: find a mentor. 

You’re chances of success are much higher when you’re learning from someone who’s been there done that.

I’m happy to help you along your journey. Just reply to one of the emails that I send out with my newsletter.

The other HUGE step that I recommend taking ASAP is to set up a blog with Bluehost. The main difference between a hobbyist and a professional blogger is that a pro blogger has a unique domain name and a privately hosted blog.

You will use Bluehost in conjunction with WordPress to power the blog. WordPress will give you all of the functionality that you need to create posts, upload images, get professional themes, and more.

A lot of professional bloggers use and recommend Bluehost to set up your blog and get a unique domain.

If you need some hand holding as you’re setting up the blog, I’ve put together a Youtube video that will show you how to set up a WordPress website with Bluehost.

I hope that you find this training video to be helpful. If you do, can you give it a thumbs up on YouTube? Thanks!

Now… just because I recommend using Bluehost, doesn’t mean that you have to. There are many other hosting providers out there that you can use to host your blog. You just gotta search around.

The next step for making money

Once you set up the blog your next step is going to be to start driving traffic!

It’s not as hard as you think.

To give you an example, I wrote up a post on how this very blog got its first 78k views. You can read that article here.

There are many more topics that I’m happy to help you with on your blogging journey. If you want to receive more content like this, you can subscribe to my newsletter down below.

I’m a real person (shock and awe)!

Yes, I’m an actual human being.

You can reply to any of the emails that I send out.

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