Affiliate Marketing AIM & Twitter Contacts - Zac Johnson

[Month 0] Growing An Informational Intent Site To $10,000 A Month From Scratch!

Although I have been wanting to start a new informational intent-based domain for a while now, I was planning to wait until 2021 to start it but due to the new round of commission changes in the Amazon Affiliate program, I have decided to put all of my Amazon projects on hold for now as I am massively overexposed to Amazon right now. Although I managed to earn almost $3600 last month from my money site network, the vast majority of it was from the Amazon Affiliate program.
Thankfully, I only had one small site hit by this latest round of changes with it taking about a 60% hit in commissions. My other two main domains are predominantly in the “All Other Categories” section and held at a 4% commission rate. That said though, I definitely think that there will be additional cuts and changes to the Amazon affiliate program in a few years so I want to get this informational intent domain off the ground as soon as possible.
My goal is to diversify both income and traffic sources with this new domain to help reduce future risk too as I have had a number of domains slapped by Google updates in the past. It will hopefully be making most of its money from display ad networks supplemented with a number of different affiliate programs with its traffic predominantly coming from organic search traffic supplemented by Pinterest and eventually Quora with any luck.
The majority of the content I am publishing right now is based around high search volume, low competition informational intent searches to try and scale the traffic on the domain as fast as possible to be able to apply to the Mediavine ad network. After that, I will start adding more content that is more suited to Pinterest and Quora traffic generation.
Niche
Although I have chased the commissions in the past and made sites around niches I had zero interest in, over the last year or two I have gone for lower-income potential niches that I actually know more about and enjoy. So far this is working well for me as I have been able to churn out tons of content without having to put much research in as I know a large amount of the information already as my last three domains have been based around my hobbies.
Although this new domain is not based around a hobby, it is based around something where I know a number of the sub-niches that I plan to cover on the domain well. This should allow me to churn out a ton of content when I have time while also bringing on freelance writers when possible to help me scale this new project as quickly as possible to get it off the ground.
Although the niche of the domain is specific, it is very broad so I should not be running into any problems with running out of content to write about any time soon. This has been an issue for a domain that I made in 2018 as well as one in 2019 where they are hard to scale at their current stage due to having covered so much of the niche already. With this new domain, I should be able to scale it for years to come without much of an issue. Also, I don't give out the specific niche to any of my projects so don't plan to reveal the niche that this domain is in.
Starting With The End In Mind
Although I do plan to keep this new domain going for a few years yet and focus on growing it, I am trying to build the domain in a way where it should be quick and easy to sell once its traffic and income are high enough. This should give me a way to quickly sell the domain if I want in a few years without having any issues but time will tell. On the subject of selling sites, I may sell one of my Amazon Affiliate sites in a few months to fire up some cash to scale this new domain even quicker depending on how it is looking in a few months but so far I have $1000-$2000 a month for this new project for various tasks.
One of my friend's purchases sites to diversify her investing portfolio and I reached out to her for things she looks for in a potential new domain and this is what she came back with saying the first 6 are the main ones she will try to get in any potential new purchase:-
Hosting Theme CMS
Although I have been a big fan of Cloudways previously, the ease of use of Sitegounds has won me over so I have gone with Sitegrounds for this new domain as my host of choice. I have stuck with Namecheap as my domain registrar as I have used them for years and never had a problem with them to date and I like how you get free WhoIs protection with them too.
CMS wise, Wordpress was a no brainer due to having so much experience with the CMS from my other projects. The developer community behind Wordpress pretty much ensures that I always have a plugin or custom code that I can use to do anything I need with ease too.
Although I used to use Newspaper and Colormag as my go-to themes of choice, I have since moved over to Astra as it is so quick and easy to set up so I have gone with Astra as my theme of choice for this new domain too. Without the adsense code on the domain, it is giving me a page load time of around 0.6 seconds for a 2000 word article and around 2.5 seconds load time for the same page with the ad code on it.
This is the load times for a 2000 word article on the domain. The top left is Pingdom without having adsense code on the domain, the top right is Pingdom with adsense code on the domain and the bottom is GTMetrics with adsense code on the domain. GTMetrics were having issues on the day I set the domain up so I never managed to get a speed test before adding the adsense code with GTMetrics. The page sizes are different due to the compression from the autooptimize plugin covered below.
Plugins
AAWP
AAWP is a premium plugin that allows me to quickly and easily make product comparison table and link out to the items on Amazon. It also offers automatic geo-targeting for Amazon as well as a few other things but it does need access to the Amazon API so if you are brand new to this, the normal Amazon One Link system will probably be better and easier until you get your Amazon account approved and get access to their API calls.
If you are new to making affiliate blogs then I go over how you are able to make decent looking comparison tables here using free tools. If you don't have access to the API for Amazon or are on a budget for your blog then it might be worth checking out as you can make them look surprisingly good and they don't take too long to build.
Ads.txt Manager
Not a plugin that I usually use and there are a bunch that does the same thing but it basically allows me to quickly and easily edit my ads.txt file to add the different networks IDs to serve ads on my domain. As this new project is mainly going to be an informational content domain, display ads should make up a solid part of its income and I plan to switch ad networks as traffic grows so this should save me a little time in the future.
Autoptimize
One of my favorite free plugins and offers basic caching and lazy loading of images to help compress your pages and speed your pages up. It's very easy to set up and can help you improve your GTMetrix scores if you care about stuff like that while getting your page load times down. I actually purchased the WP Rocket plugin that is a premium plugin that does a similar job but refunded it and came back to Autoptimize as I personally had better results with it and its free.
Disable Comments
I’m not looking to build a community in the blog comments of this domain or attract bots/spammers so I just disable all comments on all posts with this plugin. Quick and easy and takes ten seconds to set up and can prevent a ton of heartache if you end up on some bot auto-accept bot list.
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
I use this to automatically inject the analytics tracking code for Google Analytics for my domains. Although it is easy enough to do it yourself and manually add it to your theme's header, you have to remember to re-add it every time you update your theme if you do it manually so I just use a plugin to keep things easy.
Google XML Sitemaps
I have seen mixed reports about sitemaps and if it's even worth using them anymore, I still do but it's mainly out of habit rather than knowing if Google still needs them or just crawls your domain. This plugin lets you quickly and easily build out a constant sitemap with a few seconds of adding it to your domain.
Insert Headers and Footers
Pretty sure you can use this to auto inject your Google Analytics code to your header if needed instead of Monster Insights but I have never tried it. I use it to inject the Google Adsense auto ads code to the header of my pages to show their display ads, quick and easy, and offers the same advantage of you not having to go back in and re-add it after each theme update.
Pretty Links
A few uses but the main thing that I use it for is to add place holder links as I publish my content to later turn into affiliate links on the back end once I get approved to different programs. Make sure that the TOS for any affiliate program you apply to actually allows you to do this, it's a grey area with Amazon and a few other networks so be aware of that. It also lets you quickly and easily flip your links from one network to another.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Another great tool although it is freemium but for the majority of bloggers, the 100 credits a month that you get for free should be more than enough. It basically compresses your images when you upload them and has one of the best compression systems going from what I can see. It can drastically reduce the size of your images without having much effect on the actual image quality. This means the don’t take as much space up on your hosting while needing less bandwidth to actually send on a page required letting your page load quicker too.
Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg
Made by the same team who make the Astra theme, solid plugin considering its free, basically ads some additional blocks for the Gutenberg editor in Wordpress to let you do a few other things with it.
WP Revisions Control
This lets you quickly and easily set a maximum number of revisions for each post to stop it clogging up your database on bigger sites. This plugin does have its negative sides as if you set it to only a small number of revisions then you may not be able to back up to an old version of the post if you make a mistake or something but I like it.
WP Word Count
Probably useless/nothing more than a vanity metric for most people but I use it to quickly and easily screenshot the total word count for my domains for YouTube videos/Forum/Reddit posts. Basically you click its tab and you can see the information like this as well as your monthly published content and a few other things.
Other Plugins
Although I am only using the plugins listed above for this domain I have this post going over these plugins in a little more detail as well as a few other plugins that I use for my other domains. If you are looking to set your first domain up then it might be worth checking out.
Keyword Research
I have my old keyword research method posted on Reddit but keep in mind, its three years old now and has not aged well to keep up with how modern Google works and serves its page results for a user search. It shares the same problems as the KGR method and my own personal method that I use has evolved a ton since then but if you are brand new then it might be worth checking out but I have no plans to publish a guide for my current keyword research method as its one of my best assets for moving forward.
As this domain is based around broad, informational content rather than laser-targeting buyer intent keywords like my affiliate projects, I have been having great results from the free version of answer the public due to using much broader initial terms when using the tool. It's well worth checking out as it's free and provided you are careful with your free credits, you can probably stick to the free plan to get a ton of keywords.
I am also using keyword sh*tter too as its an excellent free tool. Although I never logged the keyword source for this current project, I think that answer the public has probably produced more high search volume/low comp keywords for this new project than keyword sh*tter but when it comes to the lower search volume stuff, keyword sh*tter blows answer the public out of the water so try both out if you want to do this yourself.
I have seen so many people say that they want to outsource their keyword research and to date, I have not seen any services that actually offer good keywords. Although I made this going over a keyword research service from Fiverr, I have had similar results with other services charging much more for the keywords they sell you. In my experience, the people who are good at keyword research just outsource and article and use it for growing their own domains so don't be sucked in by flashy sales letters promising your high search volume, low competition keywords as in my experience they are far from it and a waste of money.
Content
Although I linked it earlier in the post, here is the launch content count for the domain. I basically spent two weeks or so churning out content for the project and leaving it in draft mode then published it all at once. I have nothing to back this up data wise or even a theory as to why I do it, I just prefer to have a big chunk of content on the domain when launching it.
I have chosen this parent niche as I know a few of the sub-niches within it pretty well so should be able to churn out a large amount of the content myself with ease. In addition to this, I am planning to bring a few freelance writers on to help me scale the project as quickly as possible to try and diversify my income sources between the Amazon Affiliate program and display ad networks as quickly as possible.
The majority of the articles on my other domains are usually between 1000 and 2500 words and I plan to do the same for this one. I will basically be looking at the first page of Google and checking the word counts of the keyword relevant pages already ranking and at least planning to match the word count of those pages. Different people have their own opinions on this but this will be my plan for word count moving forward.
If you are brand new to this type of thing then I think that for modern google, scaling into content is one of the best ways to get started and you should aim for something similar to what I cover in this screenshot. Although you will likely fail in a large number of the initial keywords that you target, it should put you on the right track to build out your own positive feedback loops as you move forward to improve your own keyword research and content creation methods.
Although I used to type my content directly into the Wordpress editor, I have been using the Surfer SEO content editor as it saves me a fair bit of time when prepping my articles and lets me build templates for the freelancer writers quickly and easily. Surfer SEO is far from essential for this though and I personally think that it is over prices for anyone who just uses it for its content editor. I managed to scale to $3500 a month with my current money site network without it so there's no need to run out and subscribe to it.
I have typed up millions of words of content over the years for various projects and I made this going over some of the main tips that I have picked up over the years. If you are new to blogging then this may be helpful, it’s not going to shave massive amounts of time off your content generation but every little helps and saving time on every article can quickly add up over the coming months as you churn your content out.
I also made this going over how you can easily optimize your images for your blog I would highly recommend people watch it as its one of the few things I really do wish I had known about years back. I got involved in this type of stuff back in 2013/2014 and only really started optimizing my images in January 2020 and it has managed to shave a bunch of time off my page load speeds and storage space requirements. Depending on where you source your images, it can potentially take your image file sizes from 4MB down to >100KB and takes about a minute to do per image if that. If you need sources to get images for your content that you are able to legally use then I made this going over the three main ways that I get free images for my content that may be helpful too.
Backlinks
Although I will be using backlinks for this domain, they are not essential if you are just starting and target keywords that are low enough competition. I got the project I cover here to around $350 a month without backlinks and the project I cover here to $800 a month before I started building backlinks for it. I will initially be focusing on guest posts, niche edits, and manual forum posts for this new project though, and may move into additional link type in the future with it all being outsourced via agencies.
I don’t give out recommendations for the backlinks services I use either as I was using one of the bigger services until a few months back when they tried to scam me by delivering a PBN link instead of the niche edit that I ordered that had a list price of over $300 if I remember rightly. Although it's not the main point of the video, I go over the various ways that you can check any links that you do choose to outsource in this video so you can at least double-check any links that you outsource for your own projects to see if they are just PBN links.
I know that some people like to wait a few months before they start to backlink their projects but I am planning to start backlinking right away as it worked so well for the domain that I started in August last year that made over $1700 last month. I basically use the guest posts and niche edits to pass link juice to help increase my domains strength and hopefully help my pages climb in the search results. Although the main reason for using the manual forum posts is to increase the referring domain count to my project and dilute the anchor text ratio, it does look like they can help for getting your pages to climb in the search results from some tests I did on the domain I started in August.
Also, just to be clear, these are not forum profile links where you make your profile on a niche related forum and just drop your link on your profile page for your account on the forum. These are links dropped in niche relevant threads that have a fair bit of content in the thread making them much easier to index and they tend to have a higher chance of being a do-follow link thank forum profile links too.
Budget
Current Budget Spend For The Project
As I am trying to scale this project as much as possible I am outsourcing a fair few of the tasks but this is not essential as I have typed up most of the content for my other projects myself with the two domains I mentioned above-having none/minimal link building too helping to keep their initial budget costs down. This thread on Reddit from a while back might be worth reading if you have a budget available for your project as it's from a guy asking for advice on how to spend his budget on his site. One of the users has deleted their account in the thread now though so you have to manually click on the + near the deleted account name to expand the full thread.
This video also goes over a number of different tools with the majority being free that I use to do various tasks for my money site network too. This can help you do a number of tasks without having to hike your budget spend up so it might be worth checking out too as it can keep your costs as low as possible.
submitted by shaun-m to juststart [link] [comments]

Essay: Analyzing the Godric’s Hollow Graveyard Scene and Hermione’s Christmas Roses

In honor of a recent poll voting the Godric’s Hollow scene as the thing that makes people ship Harmony the most, I put together some further thoughts on that sequence. This essay will be more of a literary analysis than what I’ve posted here before, pointing to possible hidden meanings and examining potential symbolism, particularly around the wreath of Christmas roses. Much of what I’m going to discuss here is new and—as far as I know—never described before by anyone else in any depth.
A disclaimer at the outset: symbolic analysis in literature is not an exact science. For example, the hippogriff in some mythological interpretations is a symbol of (impossible) love, but the meaning of H/Hr’s ride on Buckbeak has been debated for decades among various shipping camps. I will offer some commentary here on likely connections and possible readings, but I can’t claim all of these were necessarily intended by JKR.
Another thing I will be assuming here is that JKR was conscious of the “charged moment” she was writing for H/Hr in Godric’s Hollow, and that she did feel a romantic “pull” between the characters, as she has admitted in several interviews. After looking at this further, I’m pretty convinced JKR deliberately introduced elements to heighten that connection and perhaps even hinted at a level of intimate desire that thoroughly undermines Harry’s later “like a sister” characterization of the H/Hr relationship. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Let’s begin with a review of the graveyard scene and some comments on possible symbolism and framing devices.

1. The Charged Moment

Then Hermione’s voice came out of the blackness for the third time, sharp and clear from a few yards away.
“Harry, they’re here… right here.”
And he knew by her tone that it was his mother and father this time: He moved toward her, feeling as if something heavy were pressing on his chest, the same sensation he had had right after Dumbledore had died, a grief that had actually weighed on his heart and lungs.
[…]
But they were not living, thought Harry: They were gone. The empty words could not disguise the fact that his parents’ moldering remains lay beneath snow and stone, indifferent, unknowing. And tears came before he could stop them, boiling hot then instantly freezing on his face, and what was the point in wiping them off or pretending? He let them fall, his lips pressed hard together, looking down at the thick snow hiding from his eyes the place where the last of Lily and James lay, bones now, surely, or dust, not knowing or caring that their living son stood so near, his heart still beating, alive because of their sacrifice and close to wishing, at this moment, that he was sleeping under the snow with them.
Hermione had taken his hand again and was gripping it tightly. He could not look at her, but returned the pressure, now taking deep, sharp gulps of the night air, trying to steady himself, trying to regain control. He should have brought something to give them, and he had not thought of it, and every plant in the graveyard was leafless and frozen. But Hermione raised her wand, moved it in a circle through the air, and a wreath of Christmas roses blossomed before them. Harry caught it and laid it on his parents’ grave.
As soon as he stood up he wanted to leave: He did not think he could stand another moment there. He put his arm around Hermione’s shoulders, and she put hers around his waist, and they turned in silence and walked away through the snow, past Dumbledore’s mother and sister, back toward the dark church and the out-of-sight kissing gate.
---
There are so many powerful elements within this passage, and I’ve discussed the context leading up to this in a previous essay about the H/Hr time alone in the tent. This is the first time Harry cries openly in front of anyone in the books, and the first time he reaches out and embraces Hermione in this intimate fashion. Even on a surface level reading, it is the most profound encounter between any two characters in the entire book series. And yet there’s much more to this scene happening in the background. We know JKR’s favorite author is Jane Austen, and, while JKR may not always live up to the Austen standard for writing, she really outdoes herself in crafting the Godric’s Hollow sequence around this moment.

2. Beyond the Kissing Gate

Contrary to what you may read online, there’s nothing inherently romantic about a “kissing gate.” Its name is derived from the fact that the gate swings only enough to “kiss” (i.e., touch) the inside of the enclosure. They’re common in rural areas to keep livestock from passing, in this case to keep them out of the graveyard.
But that doesn’t mean the gate in Godric’s Hollow is insignificant. H/Hr could have simply “entered the graveyard,” and we would assume they made it through whatever fence or gate may have been around. The very fact that JKR includes this detail and the specific name of a “kissing gate” (a somewhat obscure term) hints that there’s a reason for the description. In this case, the reason is obviously tone.
I repeat, there’s nothing romantic about a kissing gate. Yet notably, the gate isn’t even in view at the end of the “charged moment” quoted above. It’s literally “out-of-sight” and still JKR writes it again, because she wanted to put the word “kissing” into a charged romantic moment between two characters. In case we weren’t already clued into the symbolism going on in this passage when H/Hr polyjuice into a married couple before arriving at Godric’s Hollow, in case we didn’t get a hint when H/Hr arrive and stand “hand in hand” looking at the romantic setting of a snowy Christmas Eve with “glimmering” stars and Christmas decorations “twinkling” and “golden streetlights,” JKR beats us over the head with romance with this “out-of-sight kissing gate.”
And what of this gate? Gates are well-known sources of layered meaning in literature, one prominent example occurring in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Given JKR’s admiration of Austen, she’s undoubtedly familiar with one of the most well-known symbolic uses of gates, where Maria Bertram and Henry Crawford confront a locked gate that functions as a (moral) boundary. Rather than waiting for someone who went to get the key, Maria and Henry eventually dodge their way around the fence, despite Fanny Price’s warning that Maria may hurt herself against (phallic) “spikes” and will “tear her gown.”
We know Austen is writing symbolically here, as Maria herself clues us into the world of double entendres in text, asking Henry whether he means something “literally or figuratively.” Maria navigates the gate crossing with Henry, her (hymeneal) gown still “alive and well,” only to go beyond where they had promised Fanny and to disappear around a knoll. Fanny stays behind, not traversing the locked gate, and is later shocked to find that the couple had been “spending their time pleasantly” sitting down under the trees. The act of going beyond the locked gate and out of sight foreshadows the later moral transgressions of Maria and Henry, who end up having an affair and bringing shame to their families.
Like Maria’s explicit entreaty to consider words “literally or figuratively,” so JKR has Hermione invite us into the symbolic elements at play in Godric’s Hollow as she sees a biblical quotation on the Potter headstone and gently assures Harry that it isn’t a “Death Eater idea,” despite its apparent surface-level meaning. She knows it’s an allusion, as so many things around them carry hidden meanings that night. The graveyard scene is obviously quite different from the Mansfield Park one (and this gate is not locked), but I bring up the Austen scene to note the importance of gate imagery in JKR’s influences. When two characters enter a gated area alone, there is likely to be some transformation between them before they depart.
Indeed, the choreography and characterization of some elements of the graveyard scene somewhat parallel the excitement and gambits of a classic tryst sequence. Harry hasn’t even revealed his true aim for coming to Godric’s Hollow—to see his parents—and yet Hermione knows precisely what he wants, spotting the graveyard before he does. Harry’s mixture of anticipation and fear is overcome by her eagerness:
Harry felt a thrill of something that was beyond excitement, more like fear. Now that he was so near, he wondered whether he wanted to see after all. Perhaps Hermione knew how he was feeling, because she reached for his hand and took the lead for the first time, pulling him forward.
And when they pass beyond the kissing gate, once again they encounter a barrage of beautiful imagery (a “blanket of pale blue” snow flecked with dazzling colors from the stained glass in the church) as they create their own paths through the deep snow.
Harry then talks too loudly, and Hermione begs him to be more quiet as they head out into the darkness together. Yes, she’s looking out for their safety, but it adds a degree of secrecy and intimacy to the whole endeavor. She then breaks off by herself, only to call out, and for Harry to seek her with “his heart positively banging in his chest.” He takes off on his own, maintaining “excited trepidation,” only to be called back to her once more. Finally, the lights go off in the church, leaving the two of them in utter darkness alone together, when “Hermione’s voice came out of the blackness for the third time,” and he joins her.
Of course, H/Hr are definitely not going for a flirtatious Victorian gambol in the hedges here, but Harry’s excitement to approach Hermione again and again makes for a notable device to build anticipation. After all, Harry has actually gone beyond the gate into this dark graveyard in search of love—the lost love of his parents. Instead, all he finds is disappointment. First, he encounters Dumbledore’s sister’s grave and is appalled that Dumbledore never told him about anything or even thought to bring him there. Feeling rejected by Dumbledore, he still seeks his parents, only to realize that their decaying bodies can also offer him no comfort.
Yet Harry does find love in the graveyard that night, in the form of his best friend, who takes his hand and grips it tightly, who reads his mind yet again and produces a wreath to lay upon the grave. And Harry reaches out to this girl, and holds her intimately as they walk together through the darkness, the gate so far away that it is no longer in sight, yet its “kissing” still framing the closing of the chapter.
Notably, the next chapter picks up a bit later when they have returned near the entrance of the graveyard, still holding on to each other. If this were a Jane Austen novel, with two characters left alone in the darkness in an intimate embrace out of sight beyond a gate, we know precisely what they would have been doing with all the time during the chapter break. I don’t mean to imply that H/Hr were actually kissing here, only that the staging suggests great intimacy and lapsed time while they retain that intimacy. What may have gone on is left to the reader’s imagination, as Austen would leave it.
JKR in fact adopts this Austen-like hinting several times, as she’s writing a children’s book and can’t actually describe explicit romance. For example, when Harry earlier in DH8 thinks “back to afternoons spent alone with Ginny in lonely parts of the school grounds,” we’re surely meant to understand that more happened than a simple walk around the lake with Ginny or something. Of course, it’s a much taller order to read something into this time gap in the H/Hr moment in the darkness. Frankly, I don’t think they kissed here; but JKR’s framing and word choices are intended to make the reader think that they had the opportunity and at least might want to.
All of this potential meaning, though, is heightened quite a bit by the details of that wreath Hermione conjures for Harry, to which we’ll now turn. I’ll offer five different levels of potential interpretation, each one hinting at even greater intimacy within the H/Hr relationship. Not all of these meanings are likely intended, but all are possible given the context. And we know from a Pottermore article that JKR paid close attention to her choices of flowers and plants (and she elsewhere has discussed doing research in treatises on this topic).

3. Herbological Interpretation

When many readers see the wreath of “Christmas roses,” they probably assume they are just some variety of rose that would look good on a Christmas wreath. And if the flowers symbolize anything, it’s likely just love, as most roses do.
Yet Christmas roses aren’t actually roses, but rather an evergreen known as a hellebore that is botanically related to the buttercup. They bloom in winter and sometimes even in the snow, so they would be an appropriate flower for the setting, a traditional choice that had been cultivated for the holidays in Victorian times. Harry actually encountered the hellebore earlier in OotP12 in Snape’s potions class, where it was an ingredient in the Draught of Peace, meant “to calm anxiety and soothe agitation.”
On the most superficial level, the Christmas roses could be seen as a symbol of calming Harry’s anxiety at the moment, as well as perhaps metaphorically as a peaceful flower to place on a grave. (Snape also notes that the potion can induce an “irreversible sleep” if not brewed correctly.)

4. Legendary Interpretation

But something deeper is going on with these flowers. The Christmas rose gets its name from a medieval legend about a shepherd girl named Madelon, who was present at the Nativity of Jesus but was poor and had no gift to bring to him. She wept in sorrow and, like Harry, in some versions of the tale looked about wishing there was a flower among the frozen landscape to offer to Jesus. Depending on the version of the tale, her tears either miraculously bloomed into Christmas roses as they hit the ground due to her devotion to Jesus, or the angel Gabriel came and struck the frozen ground to grow them in the middle of winter. Either way, Madelon gathers the flowers and presents them as a gift to the baby Jesus.
After independently discovering this legend myself, I happened upon Beatrice Groves’s interpretation of the graveyard scene, which relies heavily on the Madelon story. (Groves is the author of the book Literary Allusion in Harry Potter.) While I agree with Groves that there are certainly parallels, I think she fails to go far enough and doesn’t fully unpack the roles here, merely pointing toward an interpretation of Harry as the weeping Madelon and Hermione as the angel who brings forth the roses.
While that’s possible, it overlooks the pervasive religious imagery surrounding the Godric’s Hollow scene, with its multiple biblical quotations (and Harry’s later vision from Voldemort about the attack on his parents, with its crucifixion-like overtones). These begin to point to Harry as a Christ-like child figure, a savior of the wizarding world who will ultimately come back from the “dead” to fight the final battle. As the focus of this essay is on the H/Hr relationship, I won’t delve into the deep religious symbolism (which JKR has alluded to in interviews). But we should note that it is Hermione—the young non-noble “mudblood” girl, like the lowly shepardess—who brings forth the flowers to offer to Harry, the Christ-like child of the House of Potter in this Christmas Eve “family gathering,” as a symbol of her boundless devotion and connection to him. (The roles are made clear here not only by Harry’s Jesus parallels, but also by the common association of the lily—Harry’s mother’s name—with the Virgin Mary.)
In any case, the Madelon legend is all about deep devotion and how it allows someone to conjure flowers from nothing in the dead of winter. At a minimum, these flowers therefore likely represent Hermione’s profound commitment and dedication to Harry.
But we’re only just getting started….

5. Floriographical Interpretation

We know JKR was rather obsessed with flower names and meanings, as referenced in the Pottermore article linked above. In Victorian times, this was known as the “language of flowers” or floriography. While a gift of a lily represented purity and sweetness, a gift of a petunia signaled resentment and anger. (Get it? Lily vs. Petunia!) Given how JKR apparently looked up other flowers and plants, it’s hard to believe she didn’t happen upon the meaning of the Christmas rose when given from one person to another. And 19th-century floriographical manuals are nearly unanimous in the message of the Christmas rose, which is “relieve my anxiety.” (Yes, that specific phrase.)
But this isn’t about relieving Harry’s anxiety and sadness. The traditional meaning of Christmas roses is roughly akin to a modern “we need to define our relationship” conversation. The sender wants to know whether the recipient returns affection and love. While ultimately these flowers are going on a grave, they are first produced by Hermione as a wreath for Harry.
Consider what has occurred between Harry and Hermione in the past weeks. Ron left, accusing Hermione of “choosing” Harry, and the H/Hr friendship suddenly becomes fraught with tension. Hermione avoids Harry the first day, deliberately dropping his hand, only to walk away from him and cry. She needs to place distance between them, lest Ron’s accusation be seen to be true. And Harry maintains that distance too, wanting to comfort her but unable to, again likely because of Ron’s accusation.
As I discussed in another essay, Harry and Hermione’s hand-holding is a profound symbol of their connection throughout DH. For Hermione to drop Harry’s hand is to demonstrate that something has become deeply broken between them. Although they continue to work well together by day in the tent, some tension remains for weeks until Harry finally approached Hermione with great trepidation to propose this trip to Godric’s Hollow.
While things seem to be going better between them now, it is a rather recent development, and they still have never discussed Ron or their relationship. And although Harry was the one to start the discussion about Godric’s Hollow, Hermione has been the one pushing for everything since then—getting him to train to apparate under the Invisibility Cloak, arranging the polyjuice potion, then taking his hand to lead him forward as they walk through the village. She’s been the one driving their renewed relationship so far.
When Hermione reaches out and grips Harry’s hand in the graveyard, she is again clearly signaling her commitment to their friendship, their bond symbolized through tightly entwined hands that recur again and again in DH. But are they still merely friends? When Hermione has abandoned everyone in her world—including her parents and letting her love interest walk away into the rain—because of her devotion to Harry, she knows she’s revealed all to him. Perhaps Ron’s accusation finally raised the question for her about Harry—”What are we to each other?” Could he possibly love her as dearly as she loves him?
A bunch of Christmas roses then bursts forth from her wand, proffering something Harry needs, a desire she somehow instinctively is able to know and satisfy, but also carrying the encoded Victorian message: “Relieve my anxiety.”
And Harry does. He immediately puts his arm around her shoulder, and she puts her arm around his waist, and they walk together in the darkness as lovers do, their relationship newly defined.
(To be clear, I am not suggesting Hermione or Harry are aware of the message encoded in these flowers, only that JKR likely was, given her interest in treatises on herbology and floriography.)
But wait… there’s more.

6. Hagiographical Interpretation

Christmas roses are traditionally known by another name: the Saint Agnes’s Rose, an association from medieval times and commonly referenced in floral literature. There are several associations for Saint Agnes, but of all the saints, she is the one most commonly affiliated as a patron saint of betrothed couples. The Eve of Saint Agnes (which falls on the 20th of January) in folklore is when girls could supposedly perform a ritual to see their future husband in a dream or vision.
While H/Hr visit Godric’s Hollow on Christmas Eve (not in January), it still seems rather poor news then for Ron/Hermione fans in this scene, when a symbol of Saint Agnes is shared in those flowers. I hope no one has forgotten that Hermione used polyjuice so that H/Hr now appear as a married couple in this scene—is this a vision of Hermione’s future?—and that they are here on Christmas Eve to satisfy Harry’s “dearest wish” to visit his parents. I’ve speculated in my tent arc essay that Harry’s initial approach in the tent to Hermione about this trip—preparing her a satisfying dinner, leaving off the Horcrux so they would both be clear-minded, then approaching her with great care and trepidation while she seems to be oblivious to his advances, until he finally manages to get the question out, after which they’re both happy with excitement and planning—seems to oddly parallel the tension and dynamics of a kind of proposal scene.
Again, I’m not claiming that it was a literal proposal, only that the dialogue is perhaps somewhat staged to resemble one, just as the Godric’s Hollow graveyard sequence is choreographed as two potential lovers first rushing in through a gate with excitement and anxiety, only to separate a few times and then finally rejoin to be together alone in the darkness as Harry ultimately realizes where his true love lies.
Consider the dark place that Harry visits in his mind in the graveyard, contemplating whether he might be better off under the ground with his parents. What pulls him back from this morbid fantasy? Hermione’s hand. The hand that grips him tightly and pulls him again and again through darkness in battle, even apparating him repeatedly in midair to save him. The hand that he will ultimately grab onto repeatedly in the final battle, drawing on her strength, her love, and her devotion for him. And tonight, in Godric’s Hollow, when the tears fall freely for the first time, it is Hermione who brings his mind back from death. It is Hermione who will ultimately pull him away from Voldemort’s mind at Malfoy Manor. It is Hermione who will be the first name on his list of those he loves when he wishes he could see them for one last time before marching to his death.
At Bill and Fleur’s wedding, it is her face he sees, turning around with tears flowing when the vows are said. They may not be literally betrothed, but they might as well be. Hermione may have sealed her fate with his in tears that wedding day, but Harry is now able to break out of his death obsession as his own tears fall in Godric’s Hollow: taking her in his arm, choosing the warmth of his best friend and her beating, loving heart over the coldness of the graves surrounding him. After all the anticipation and longing to finally come to that graveyard, he can’t stand another moment there, only wanting to walk away with Hermione in his embrace.
But the potential connection to Saint Agnes doesn’t just end with marriage symbolism. Agnes suffered a horrific martyrdom: first threatened with rape, then tortured horrifically for her devotion to Christ, and (according to some stories) ultimately killed by being stabbed in the throat. As an oft-quoted passage in Victorian times about the Christmas rose notes:
Even as the Flower of St. Agnes is whiter than other blossoms, so was the purity of St. Agnes fairer than most virgins; as the Flower bloometh in the season of winter, when there are few others, so did the saintly virgin flourish in the winter of adversity, and brave the storms of persecution, with few companions in excellency.
Hermione has always been a formidable partner at Harry’s side, but in DH her powers do indeed blossom in this “winter of adversity,” as her quick thinking and encyclopedic knowledge of magic save Harry again and again. It becomes a thematic element after Godric’s Hollow for Harry to praise her with superlatives. After she apparates them away in mid-air after the encounter with Nagini later that night, even though Harry is upset about his wand, he calls her “incredible” as she smiles at him. After the encounter with Xenophilius, where she comes up with a truly incredible plan on the spur of the moment and Harry places his complete trust in her, he “fervently” tells her that he doesn’t know what he’d do without her as she “beams” in reply.
And then, like Saint Agnes, after Hermione is threatened with rape by Greyback, after she is tortured for her association with Harry at Malfoy Manor, after Bellatrix was ready to kill her by stabbing her in the throat, Harry again is astounded by her ability to come up with a lie in the midst of torture, praising her as “amazing” as again she smiles in reply. Hermione is and will always be his closest companion, the one who saves him, his anchor, someone who can turn his mind from death, someone worth living for….

7. Freudian Interpretation

At this point, some readers may be wondering if we’ve put too much emphasis on this wreath in the graveyard scene, but its symbolic importance is signaled when it appears again in Harry’s dreams on the following night:
Harry’s dreams were confused and disturbing: Nagini wove in and out of them, first through a gigantic, cracked ring, then through a wreath of Christmas roses. He woke repeatedly, panicky, convinced that somebody had called out to him in the distance, imagining that the wind whipping around the tent was footsteps or voices.
Like the repeated reference to the kissing gate, JKR draws our attention back to this wreath. This dream is not a vision of Voldemort’s (as many of Harry’s “dreams” have been in the books), but his own subconscious. While there have been many analyses of Harry’s dreams, few have commented on this one, and no one quite seems to know what to do with the wreath. The two analysts I’ve seen who have mentioned it postulate that it’s merely a symbol of Harry missing out on family holidays (a rather odd reading) or that it was a hint that Nagini in the guise of Bathilda Bagshot may have observed them in the graveyard.
I suppose the latter is possible, but it’s hard then to see what that has to do with the imagery of the ring in the dream. Some have argued that the “gigantic, cracked ring” is emblematic of Marvolo Gaunt’s ring, though it was not the ring itself that was cracked but rather the resurrection stone upon it. And Harry has had dreams of Horcruxes before, but yet again, we are left with no rationale for the wreath. Given that Harry laid it upon his parents’ grave, it’s possible that it’s connected to Harry’s vision of his parents when they were threatened and killed.
But we’ve seen so many different possible symbolic links between the wreath and Hermione that it’s difficult not to associate its appearance in a dream with her, as she was the one who created it. And maybe Harry’s subconscious is again feeling her threatened by Nagini: perhaps the “gigantic, cracked ring” parallels Bathilda Bagshot’s broken body, where the snake emerges from her dead neck only to come after Hermione. The previous night he had repeatedly grabbed onto Hermione desperately to shield her from the snake’s attacks:
Everything was chaos: [The snake] smashed shelves from the wall, and splintered china flew everywhere as Harry jumped over the bed and seized the dark shape he knew to be Hermione
She shrieked with pain as he pulled her back across the bed: The snake reared again, but Harry knew that worse than the snake was coming, was perhaps already at the gate, his head was going to split open with the pain from his scar—
The snake lunged as he took a running leap, dragging Hermione with him; as it struck, Hermione screamed, “Confringo!” and her spell flew around the room, exploding the wardrobe mirror and ricocheting back at them, bouncing from floor to ceiling; Harry felt the heat of it sear the back of his hand. Glass cut his cheek as, pulling Hermione with him, he leapt from bed to broken dressing table and then straight out of the smashed window into nothingness, her scream reverberating through the night as they twisted in midair….
So perhaps Harry’s dream is merely one of concern for Hermione. But there’s one more parallel that Hermione has to Saint Agnes that we haven’t yet remarked on. Aside from her association with betrothed couples, Agnes is also one of the primary patron saints of female virgins. (In the past, of course, betrothed women were assumed to be virgins, so these are related.) The purity of color for her white Christmas rose was also considered to be a symbol of chastity.
With that in mind, it now bears remarking that Harry’s dream is a textbook example of Freudian symbolism. Snakes in dreams are regarded as phallic symbols, but Harry’s dream goes so much further that its most straightforward interpretation is shockingly explicit. In his dream, the snake is weaving “in and out” of first a cracked ring, and then the (intact and unbroken) ring-like wreath of Christmas roses, a wreath associated with Hermione, a wreath composed of flowers symbolizing virginity.
I truly don’t it would be possible for JKR to sneak into a children’s book a more overt Freudian symbol of literal defloration, of an initial sexual encounter. This image bubbles up from Harry’s subconscious only hours after that second “charged moment” JKR identified when Harry closes his eyes as Hermione touches his hair, and on the same day that he gazed so deeply into her eyes that he registers their color for the first time while he looks at her. What then pulls him from that dream is the feeling that someone was calling out from the distance, footsteps that we later find out to have been Ron’s.
Harry and Hermione then agree in the middle of the night to flee from those footsteps. And JKR seems so pleased with her Freudian dream imagery that she runs a little sexual innuendo victory lap in the ensuing passage. Before you accuse me of reading too much into this, recall that JKR is someone who has Ron crack a Uranus joke not just once but twice (GoF13, OotP25) and has recurring gags about Aberforth Dumbledore’s inappropriate relations with goats (GoF24, too many to count in DH). She also learned her trade from reading Jane Austen, whose spikes and gown tearing were remarked on earlier as a sexual symbolism in Mansfield Park and who goes so far in that novel as to joke about sodomy in the British navy, when Mary Crawford declared: “Certainly, my home at my uncle’s brought me acquainted with a circle of admirals. Of Rears and Vices, I saw enough. Now do not be suspecting me of a pun, I entreat.”
What then do we make of the paragraphs immediately after Harry’s dream?
Half an hour later, with the tent packed, Harry wearing the Horcrux, and Hermione clutching the beaded bag, they Disapparated. The usual tightness engulfed them; Harry’s feet parted company with the snowy ground, then slammed hard onto what felt like frozen earth covered with leaves.
“Where are we?” he asked, peering around at a fresh mass of trees as Hermione opened the beaded bag and began tugging out tent poles.
While Harry previously experienced a sense of compression during apparition, there’s nothing typical about the phrasing here. “Tightness” is not a common word for JKR, appearing only once elsewhere in the book series. (I can give statistics, but just trust me that this is an unusual choice for JKR. I compared her word usage to the British National Corpus and Google Ngrams, and while she overuses the adverb “tightly” compared to typical written British English, she elsewhere appears to avoid “tightness,” preferring other words and phrasing.)
And despite the fact that they’ve spent months in the tent, this is the only time anyone handles the tent poles. (They are only referenced once elsewhere in DH14 as even being present as part of the tent.) Certainly this is the only time in canon that we see Hermione handling any poles—tent or otherwise—much less “tugging” on them. It truly should make the reader wonder, “Why now, JKR?” Like the earlier appearance of the repeated “kissing gate” phrase, it begins to strain credibility to believe this is all unintentional coincidence.
And what happens next, when they successfully flee from Ron, the one person who could disrupt the intimacy that has emerged since Godric’s Hollow? After Harry has a textbook Freudian dream about a snake moving “in and out” of a ringed object decorated with flowers that are connected with Hermione and symbolize virginity, and after they spend the night with Hermione “tugging” on poles and having “tightness engulf them,” they seemingly forego their usual watches to simply spend the day inside the tent huddled up in (post-coital?) bliss as Hermione takes care of Harry:
Here too snow lay on the trees all around and it was bitterly cold, but they were at least protected from the wind. They spent most of the day inside the tent, huddled for warmth around the useful bright blue flames that Hermione was so adept at producing, and which could be scooped up and carried around in a jar. Harry felt as though he was recuperating from some brief but severe illness, an impression reinforced by Hermione’s solicitousness. That afternoon fresh flakes drifted down upon them, so that even their sheltered clearing had a fresh dusting of powdery snow.
Note that the “wind” they are now “protected from” was what carried the voices and footsteps Harry wanted to get away from, the symbol of Ron’s return. What one chooses to see in the imagery and symbolism and likely double entendres is up to the individual reader. (For those H/Hr shippers who wish to claim “tent sex is canon,” this is the best I can do, and these references are my gift to you.)
My personal reading is that these are likely deliberate but meant to be part of the tone that hints at something that was imminent (not actual) between H/Hr, something only disrupted when Ron returned. But the snake imagery in the dream was obviously disturbing to Harry, a symbol of Voldemort and evil carrying into this sexualized context. As I argued in a previous essay, the Horcrux vision seen by Ron and Harry then repeats this snakelike imagery around Riddle-Hermione, creating an even more unsettling and distorted version of her that Harry witnesses.
The Horcrux has recently seen into Harry’s heart, so much so that Hermione had to magically cut it away from his chest after the Bagshot encounter. Moreover, the Horcrux knows what Harry feels about Hermione, knows how the powerful love between them is a threat, and again chooses to show Harry a sinister sexualized image of Hermione becoming snakelike, the temptation of lust now associated again with evil.
And Harry recoils, the “like a sister” excuse dropping from his lips as he soothes Ron, the subconscious murmurings and cravings for physical closeness to Hermione (at least temporarily) reined in.

8. The Purity of Heroic Love

At this point, I’m sure many readers of this essay are asking, “How much of this is really there? And if JKR really wanted to convey this much about H/Hr, why not just tell us outright that Harry’s feelings about Hermione were changing?”
To the first question, as I mentioned at the outset, literary symbolism is difficult to evaluate. I certainly think it’s unlikely that JKR could have intended all of the meanings for the Christmas roses I mentioned. But given their recurrence, there has to be more to those flowers than a mere graveside decoration conjured by Hermione. There are too many obvious symbolic elements like the kissing gate and the polyjuiced appearance for it all to be mere coincidence.
My main reason for arguing that at least a significant portion of this symbolism was intentional is partly because JKR seemed to really want to talk about this passage, again and again in interviews. Barely a year had passed after DH came out before she brought up the “charged moments” in an interview, stating “it could have gone that way” with H/Hr, knowing the stir it would cause. It’s almost as if she wanted readers to be drawn back to these passages, to read them again and see something they missed. And then in the Emma Watson interview, where JKR claimed she wanted to talk about Hermione as a character with Watson, she instead questioned the relationship with Ron and then steered the conversation immediately to H/Hr moments.
As to why she chose to bury all of this in symbolism rather than simply tell us that Harry is in danger of falling (or already is) in love with Hermione, JKR has spoken elsewhere of her instinct that a true love triangle would overburden the narrative. The Harry Potter books at heart are not romances. They are epic mystery and adventure stories surrounding a Trio of characters.
Any further digression into a love triangle would have drawn focus away from the War and likely destroyed the Trio irrevocably. If Ron found out, he would never be able to be feel secure around them again or in his relationship with Hermione. And if they didn’t tell Ron, readers would be left focusing on the fact that Harry carried feelings for his best friend yet hid them from his other best friend. That’s not what we expect of the heroic characters JKR is setting up in Harry and Hermione. We’d be left wondering about infidelity when Harry reached out for Hermione’s hand later, rather than seeing their bond as a symbol of strength.
Harry and Hermione are the epitome of a love that is so pure and deep that it can drive out Voldemort, with a devotion that knows no bounds. Harry is so worried about Hermione in the encounter with Nagini that he spends all the time protecting her, rather than fighting or defending himself. Later, Hermione submitted to torture rather than reveal anything about Harry. They have the hearts of heroes: two characters who always instinctively reach for each other. As much as I wish for H/Hr to be together, I personally would not want a canonical love triangle unless H/Hr would be endgame, as it would undermine the nobility of their connection within the greater narrative. That’s just my opinion, but I assume it went into the calculus of JKR’s decision to write in Austen-like symbolism and hints rather than expressing overt feelings in Harry’s internal monologue or even having a true romance between them. I am of course deeply saddened that she stuck with the canon pairings, but after looking into this further, I’m ever more convinced that she did feel strongly about the H/Hr connection and wanted to find a way to showcase it, most powerfully in the greatest passage from the entire series in Godric’s Hollow.
submitted by HopefulHarmonian to HPharmony [link] [comments]

IS ____ AN MLM? SEARCH HERE. (MEGA THREAD)

For a quick, easier search - http://www.isthisanmlm.com/ has compiled this whole thread. Special thanks to u/SHIFTnSPACE. - This is now a part of the sidebar as a button widget!

What is an MLM?

Multi-level marketing (MLM), also called pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing, is a marketing strategy for the sale of products or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce selling the company's products/services, while the earnings of the participants are derived from a pyramid-shaped or binary compensation commission system. ​
THIS LIST MAY CONTAIN COMPANIES THAT HAVE PREVIOUSLY HAD MLM BRANCH BUT MAY NO LONGER HAVE ONE.
If you see a company and are not sure that it belongs on this list, please reach out. I have compiled this list from the sources listed at the bottom along with input from community members. This list may not be 100% accurate but the goal is to get it as close as possible.
31 - Bags
5Linx - Home & Business Services
Abby & Anna - Clothing
ACAN Pacific - Utilities
ACN - Utilities
ActiLabs - Skincare/Health
Adornable.U - Accessories
Advocare - Dietary Supplements
AeroGrow - Garden Tools
Agnes & Dora - Clothing
AIM Global - Nutritional Supplements
Akasuka (Japan) -
Alcone - Beauty
Alice's Table - Flower Arrangement Classes
All'asta - Home Goods
Allysian Sciences -
Aloe Vera of America (Young Living) - Nutritional Supplements
Aloette - Beauty
Alphay Int - Nutritional Supplements
AlureVe - Skincare/Health
Amare Global - Nutritional Supplements
Ambit - Utilities
Amelia James -
Ameo - Essential Oils
American Income Life - Financial
Amsoil - Motor Oil
Amway - Health/Beauty/Home Goods
Ann Summers - Product
Ann Summers (UK) - Adult Novelties
Anorak (UK) - Home Goods
Anran (China) -
Apollo (India) - Juice
Apriori - Skincare/Health
AquaSource UK - Nutritional Supplements
Arbonne - Skincare/Health
ARIIX - Water Purification
Arsoa Honsha (Japan) - Fitness/Weight Loss
Asea Global - Nutritional Supplements
Asirvia (shut down) - Marketing
Aspire/Digital Altitude - Marketing
ATC Coin - Crypto Currency
Athena's - Adult Novelties
Atomy - Skincare/Health
Ava Anderson -
Ava Rose - Clot
Avisae - Weight Loss
Avon - Beauty
b:hip Global - Health
Bachar Nutrition - Nutritional Supplements
Bamboo Pink - Jewelry
Barefoot Books - Books
Bath.Ologie - Bath Bombs
Beach Body - Fitness/Weight Loss Videos
BearCereju (Japan) - Cosmetics
BeautiControl -
Beauty Counter - Cosmetics
Beauty Society - Beauty
beCAUSE Cosmetics - Cosmetics
Become International (US & AUS) - Cosmetics
Bedroom Kandi - Adult Novelties
Beever (UK) - Hair Care
BelCorp (Latin America) - Cosmetics
Bellame - Skincare/Health
Bemer - Appliances
Better Way Design/Imports - Clothing
Biogreen Argentina -
BioPerformance - Automotive (Fuel Pills)
Bod-e Pro - Nutritional Supplements
Body by Vi/Visalus - Health
Body Shop at Home - Beauty
Boisset Collection - Wine
Boston Finney (shut down) -
Bounce Life/Network - Insurance
Bud Star (Canada) - CBD/THC Products
BurnLounge (shut down as pyramid scheme by FTC in 2012) -
Buskins - Clothing
Butterfly Beauty - Cosmetics
Cabi - Clothing
Cambridge Weight Plan/Diet - Dietary Supplements
CAN - Utilities
Captain Tortue - Clothing
Carico Int - Home Goods
Celebrating Home - Home Goods
Cellements - Skincare/Health
CEO Movement (Not MLM but scammy) -
Chalk Couture - Chalkboard Signs
Chalky & Co - Home Goods
Chandeal (Japan) - Clothing
Charle (Japan) - Clothing
Charlie's Project - Clothing
Chef's Toolbox (AUS) (Insolvency) - Kitchen Accessories
Cherish Natural Products -
Chloe & Isabel - Jewelry
Clever Container - Home Goods
Close to My Heart - Scrapbooking
Cloud 9 Parties - Adult Novelties
Cobra Group/Appco -
Cocoa Exchange - Food
Color by Amber - Jewelry
Color Happy -
Color Street - Nail Wraps
Colour Me Beautiful (UK) - Clothing
Compelling Creations - Jewelry
Conklin - Roofing
Cookie Lee (shut down) -
Cosway (Malaysia) - Health/Beauty/Home Goods
Country Scents - Product/Candles
Create Your Life - Health
Creative Memories - Scrapbooking
Credit Repair USA - Financial
Crunchi - Cosmetics
Cutco - Knives
CVSL - Multiple Companies
Daisy Blue Naturals - Personal Care
Damsel in Defense - Product/Self Defense
Darceys - Candles
David Lerner Associates, INC - Financial
Dazzle and Daze - Clothing
Deutsche vermögensberatung/Dvag (Germany) - Financial
Diana (Japan) -
Dione Cosmetics - Cosmetics
Direct Cellars/DC Nation - Wine
Discovery Toys - Educational Toys
Divvee/Nui -
Dot Dot Smile - Clothing
DoTERRA - Health/Oils
Du Northing Designs - Clothing
Dubli Network - Financial
Dudley Beauty - Cosmetics
DXN - Health/Beauty/Home Goods
Dynamic Essentials -
EcoWarehouse - Home Goods
Elepreneuer -
Elk River Soaps - Personal Care
Ella Tina - Clothing
Elli Kai - Clothing
Elvacity - Nutritional Supplements
EmGoldEx/Global Intergold -
Enagic/Kangen Water - Ionized Water
Endless Xpressions - Clothing/Accessories
Enersource Int - Nutritional Supplements
Enjo (AUS) - Cleaning Producs
Envy Jewelry - Jewelry
Epicure (Canada) - Food
Equinox International (dissolved in 2001) -
Ergo (Germany) - Insurance
Essante Organics -
Essential Bodywear - Clothing
European Grouping of Marketing Professionals/CEDIPAC SA (dissolved 1995) -
European Home Retail (dissolved 2007) -
Evanescence Network - Health
EVER Skincare - Skincare/Health
Evolution Travel - Product
EvolvHealth - Health
Faberlic (Russia) - Health/Beauty/Home Goods
Family First Life - Insurance
Family Heritage Insurance - Insurance
Fantasia - Adult Novelties
Fantasia (Canada) - Adult Novelties
Farmasi -
FES Connect - Financial
Fibi & Clo - Footwear
Fifth Ave Collection - Jewelry
First Fitness Nutrition - Dietary Supplements
Fit4Mom - Clothing
FITTEAM Global - Dietary Supplements
Flamingo Paperie - Art
Fleuresse -
FM World (UK) -
For Tails Only - Pet Supplies
Forever Living - Health/Oils
Forex Education (iMarkets Live branch) - Crypto
Forex Entourage - Financial
Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (dissolved 2013) -
Four Oceans - Health
Fragant Jewels - Bathbombs
FreeLife - Nutritional Supplements
Frontrow -
Fuel Freedom Int - Automotive
Fund America (Bankrupt 1990) -
Gano Excel - Nutritional Supplements
GelMoment - Beauty
Gemstra - Jewelry
Genesis Pure - Nutritional Supplements
Global Legacy Initiative -
GoDesana - Pet
Gold Canyon - Product/Candles
Golden Days (China) - Health
Grace & Heart - Jewelry
Green HoriZen - CBD
Greeting Cake Company - Cake Kits
H2O At Home - Personal Care
Hale - CBD Oil
Hanky Panky Parties (Canada) - Adult Novelties
Happy Coffee - Coffee
Harvard Risk Management (Legal Shield) -
Hayward's Gourmet Popcorn - Food
HB Naturals - Health
He(L)o - Health
Healthy Peach - Dietary Supplements
Heavenly Chia - Food
Heka Corp - Fitness
Helo Wristbands - Health
HempWorx - Health
Herbalife - Health
Heritage Makers - Scrapbooking
Hinode - Cosmetics
Holiday Magic (shut down) -
Home Interiors - Home Goods
Honey - Beauty
Honey & Lace - Clothing
Hualin Biotech (China) - Health
iCoinPro - Crypto Currency
ID Life - Health
Igniting Passion (Canada) - Adult Novelties
iMarketsLive - Financial Trading Software
Immunotec - Health
Imperial Candles (UK) - Candles
In a Pikle - Bags
Income Advantage -
India Hicks - Product/Accessories
Infinitus - Health
Initials, Inc - Bags
Inkd Up Nails - Beauty
innov8tive nutrition - Nutritional Supplements
InteleTravel - Travel
Intimo (AUS/NZ) - Adult Novelties
Isagenix - Dietary Supplements
ItWorks! - Health
J. Elizabeth - Clothing
J. Hilburn - Clothing
J.R Watkins -
Jafra - Beauty
Jamberry - Beauty
Jamby - Clothing
Jamie at Home (shut down) -
Janice Collection - Home Goods
Java Momma - Coffee
Javita - Coffee
Jbloom - Jewelry
Jequiti - Cosmetics
Jerky Direct -
Jeunesse - Beauty
Jewel Kade (31) - Jewelry
Jewelscent - Product/Candles
JK Apparel (Canada) - Clothing
Jordan Essentials - Beauty
JoyMain (China) - Health
Joyome (Plexus) - Beauty
JuicePlus - Nutritional Supplements
Jump Natural - Health
Kaesar & Blair -
Kalaia - Skincare/Health
Kalo & Co - Pearl/Jewelry
Kangen Water -
Kannaway - CBD Oil
Karat Bars - Gold
Kaszazz - Scrapbooking
Keep Collective - Jewelry
Keep Me Safe - Cos
KETO (Pruvit) -
Keto Coffee - Coffee
Ketones - Health
Kirby - Vacuums
Kleeneze - Home Goods
Kobold (Vorwerk) -
Kyani - Health
Labella Baskets - Home Goods
Lady Godiva Beauty - Cosmetics
Lavylites - Beauty
L'BRI - Beauty
LeadUp Consulting -
Legal Shield - Legal Services
LegArt (Canada) - Leggings
Legend Age (China) -
Legging Army - Clothing
Legging Girl - Clothing
Lemongrass Spa - Beauty
LeReve (Canada) - Cosmetics
Le-Vel (Thrive) - Health
Lia Sophia (dissolved) - Jewelry
Life Abundance - Pet
LIFE Leadership - Financial
Life Tree World - Food
LifeBrook -
LifePlus (US/Germany) - Dietary Supplements
Life's Abundance - Pet Supplies
LifeVantage - Dietary Supplements
Lilla Rose - Jewelry
Limelife - Skincare/Health
Limu - Health
Limu - Nutritional Supplements
Linen World - Home Goods
Lion Crown -
Lipsense - Beauty
Liv International - Travel
Live Sore - Clothing
Longabeger Company - Baskets
Longrich (China) - Beauty
Lorraine Lee Linen - Home Goods
Love Winx - Adult Novelties
LR Beauty & Health - Beauty
LuLaRoe - Clothing
Lulu Ave - Jewelry
Luminess - Cosmetics
Lyconet/Lyoness -
Lyoness - Financial
M. Global (Jamberry) - Jewelry
M. Network - Nutritional Supplements
Maelle Beauty - Beauty
Magnabilities - Jewelry
Magnolia & Vine - Jewelry
Makeup Eraser - Cosmetics
Man Cave - Kitchen Accessories
Mannatech - Dietary Supplements
Mark. - Financial
Market America - Health/Beauty/Home Goods
Marly Ray - Pearl/Jewelry
Marvelous Mouse Travels - Travel
Mary & Martha - Home Goods
MaryKay - Beauty
Maskara - Beauty
Matilda Jane - Clothing
Max & Madeleine - Skincare/Health
Maxwell Clothing - Clothing
MCA - Financial
Medifast - Nutritional Supplements
Melaleuca - Health/Beauty/Home Goods
Metabolife (dissolved in 2005) -
MiA Bath and Body (Closed) -
mialisia - Jewelry
Miche EU - Accessories
Miki (Asia) - Nutritional Supplements
MOA Nutrition - Nutritional Supplements
Modere -
MojiLife - Essential Oils
Monat - Hair Care
MonaVie (went into foreclosure 2015) -
Morinda Bioactives - Personal Care/Dietary Supplements
Motives Cosmetics - Cosmetics
Multpure - Water
My Club 8 - CBD Oil
My Daily Choice - Nutritional Supplements
My LALA Leggings - Clothing
myEcon - Financial
National Safety Associates - Dietary Supplements
National Wealth Center - Education
Natura (Brazil) - Cosmetics
Nature Direct (AUS) - Essential Oils
Nature's Sunshine Products - Dietary Supplements
Neal's Yard Remedies Organic - Beauty
NeoLife - Dietary Supplements
Neora (Nerium) -
Nerium - Skincare/Health
NeVetica - Pet Supplies
New Era (China) - Nutritional Supplements
New U Life - Health
Neways - Personal Care
Nikken -
Noevir - Beauty
Nomades - Jewelry
Noonday Collection - Jewelry
Norwex - Cleaning Producs
Nouveau Riche (real estate investment college) (dissolved 2010 -
Nspire Network - Feminine Products
NuCerity - Skincare/Health
NuSkin - Tooth Paste/Personal Care
Nutriboom -
NXIVM - Financial
Nygard - Clothing
Omnilife - Dietary Supplements
One Hope Wine - Wine
Optavia - Health
Opulenza - Jewelry
Organo Gold - Coffee
Oriflame - Personal Care
Origami Owl - Jewelry
Our Hearts Desire - Jewelry
Paid 2 Save - Travel
Pampered Chef - Kitchen Accessories
Paparazzi - Jewelry
Paperly - Paper
Park Lane Jewelry - Jewelry
Party Girl - Candles
Party Lite - Candles
Party Time Mixes - Food
PartyLite - Candles
Passion Parties - Adult Novelties
Pawtree - Pet
Paycation - Travel
Peach - Clothing
Pearl Chic - Pearl/Jewelry
Peekaboo Beans - Clothing
Perfect (China) - Cosmetics
Perfectly Polished - Beauty
Perfectly Posh - Beauty
Personally Poetic - Jewelry
PHP - Insurance
Pierre Lang - Jewelry
Pink Zebra - Candles
Piphany - Clothing
PixieLane - Clothing
Plexus - Health
Plumeria Bath - Beauty
Plunder - Jewelry
PM International - Health
Pola (Japan) - Skincare/Health
Poofy Organics - Beauty
Powur - Solar Panels
Premier Designs - Jewelry
Premier Financial - Financial
PrimeMyBody - Health
Primerica - Financial
Princess House - Kitchen Accessories
ProDoula -
ProYoung - Health
Pruvit - Health
Pulse Cosmetics - Cosmetics
Pure Haven - Cosmetics
Pure Romance - Product
PureHaven - Home Goods
PUREly - Essential Oils
Purium - Health
Qnet - Nutritional Supplements
Quanjian Natural (China) - Food
RadiantlyYou -
Rain International - Health
Rainbow Vacuum - Vacuums
Real Time Pain Relief - Health
Red Aspen - Beauty
RED Safety - Security
Regal Home and Gifts - Home Goods
Reliv - Health
Reliv - Nutritional Supplements
Renatus Real Estate - Education
RevitalU - Coffee/Health
Riway - Deer Placenta
Robert Kiyosaki -
Rodan+Fields - Beauty
Roland (Vorwerk) -
Rolmex (China) - Kitchen Accessories
Royal Tongan Limu (dissolved in 2003) -
Royaltie Gens - Marketing
Ruby Ribbon - Clothing
Saba - Health/Beauty
Sabika Jewelry - Jewelry
SafeGirl Security - Self Defense
Salad Master - Home Goods
SARSO (India) -
Scentsy - Health/Oils
Schneider's Gourmet World - Food
Scout & Cellar - Wine
Seacret - Beauty
SendOutCards - Gift Cards
Senegence - Skincare/Health
Shakeology (BeachBody) - Dietary Supplements
Shaklee - Dietary Supplements
Shopping Sherlock -
Shrimp & Grits - Clothing
Signature Homestyles - Home Goods
Silpada - Jewelry
Silver Icing - Jewelry
Simple Man - Personal Care
Simply Success Elite -
SimplyFun Games - Education
Skinny Body at Home - Dietary Supplements
SkinSanity/Tomorrow's Leaf - Skincare/Health
Smart Circle -
Smartway -
Solavei (dissolved 2015)[ -
Solvei (bankrupt) -
Sophie Paris (France/Asia) - Clothing
South Hill Designs - Jewelry
Southern Living at Home - Home Goods
SouthWestern Advantage - Education
Sseko - Clothing
Stampin Up - Paper
Steam Energy - Utilities
Steeped Tea - Tea
Stella & Dot - Clothing
Stream Energy - Financial
Style Dots - Jewelry
Success University - Education
Sun Hope (China) -
Sunrider - Health/Beauty/Home Goods
Sunset Gourmet - Food
Sunshine Empire (dissolved 2009) -
Surge 365 - Travel
Sweet Legs - Clothing
Sweet Minerals - Beauty
Symmetry Financial Group - Insurance
Syntek Global - Automotive
T.O.P Marketing Group -
TAG Team Marketing -
Taisei/Green Planet/Kaikisui (Japan_ - Purifiers
Tara at Home - Home Goods
Tastefully Simple - Food
Tavala - Health
Tealightful - Tea
Team National - Financial
TeDivina - Tea
Telecom Plus (UK) - Utilities
Telexfree (bankrupt 2014) -
The Advert Platfrom - Crypto Currency
The Body Shop at Home - Beauty
The Landmark Forum - Health
The Super Affiliate Network - Marketing
Thermomix (Vorwerk) -
Thirty One - Bags
Thrive - Health
Thrive Life - Food
Tiber River Naturals - Beauty
TKO WorldWide -
Tocara (Canada) - Jewelry
Tom James - Clothing
Total Life Changes/TLC - Health
TouchStone Crystal - Jewelry
Touchstone Essentials - Dietary Supplements
Tracy Negoshian - Clothing
Trades of Hope - Jewelry
Tranont - Financial
Transformational Beauty - Cosmetics
Travel Evolution - Travel
Traveling Vineyard - Wine
TraVerus Global - Travel
TriVita - Nutritional Supplements
Tropic Skin Care - Skincare/Health
True Peak Revolution (Europe) -
Truvision Health - Health
TS-Life - Nutritional Supplements
Tupperware - Tupperware
Unicity - Health
United Sciences of America (dissolved in 1987) -
United Warehouse (UK) -
US Health Advisors -
Usana - Nutritional Supplements
Usborne - Books
Utility Warehouse (UK) - Utilities
Valentus - Dietary Supplements
Vantel - Product/Pearls
Vasayo - Health
VectoCutco - Knives
Vemma - Dietary Supplements
viaOneHope - Wine
ViBella - Jewelry
VIC Cosmetics -
Vida Divina - Tea
Vie at Home (closed) -
Virtuity Financial Group (World Financial Group) -
ViSalus (Body by VI) - Dietary Supplements
Vitality Extracts - Essential Oils
VivaMK - Cleaning Producs
Volo - Health
Vorwerk - Home Goods
Votre Belle Maison (UK) - Giftware
Voxxlife - Health
Wakaya Perfection - Health
WakeUpNow (dissolved 2015) -
Watkins Inc - Health/Home Goods
Wealthperx - Travel
Wikaniko - Home Goods
Wildtree - Food
Willing Beauty - Beauty
Winasun - Health
Wine Shop at Home - Wine
Wines for Humanity - Wine
Wink Naturals - Health
World Financial Group/Pinnacle Leadership Development - Financial
World Leadership Group (dissolved in 2008) -
World Ventures/Wealth Wave/TKO WorldWide - Travel
WoTaBu - Travel
XanGo/Ziji - Health
Xerveo - Dietary Supplements
Xoom Energy - Utilities
Xooma - Weight Loss
Xstream Travel - Travel
Xyngular - Health
Yanbal Int - Jewelry
Yandi (China) - Nutritional Supplements
Yelloow - Beauty
Yevo (closed) -
Yofoto (China) - Health
Yoli - Health
Yoonla -
YOR Health - Weight Loss
Young Living - Health
Youngevity -
Younique - Beauty
YTB International - Travel
Zepter -
Zija - Health
Zilis - Health
Zinzino (Scandanavia) -
Zrii - Skincare/Health
Zurvita - Health
Zyia - Clothing
Zyn - Travel
TOTAL COUNT = 594 ​ This list will be continually updated (5/19/2020).
2018 Archived MLM Mega Thread

Sources: https://mlmtruth.org/2018/02/08/the-mlm-master-list/ , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multi-level_marketing_companies Special thanks to u/Copacetic1515 (I could not stick your thread)

For income disclosure information: Updated 2019 Thread

Other Helpful Links: Discussion about World Financial Group
submitted by antiMLMmod to antiMLM [link] [comments]

Converge files for largest IPO in Philippine history (Monday, July 6)

Happy Monday, Barkada --

The PSE closed up 9 points to 6373 ▲0.13%.

Daily meme

COVID Update

WW: 11375043 PH: 41830 

Top 3 MB indices:

 #COVID-19 ▲1.14% POGO Prop. ▲0.84% Power Gen. ▲0.39% 

Bottom 3 MB indices:

 MiddleClass ▼1.53% Media ▼1.06% 2019 IPOs ▼0.97% 

Main stories covered:

  1. Converge ICT files for largest IPO in PSE history
BARKADA BOTTOM-LINE
Now that is a spicy meatball. The timing is right for this kind of play, as there is so much capital sloshing around that is looking for a home with massive growth prospects. Home broadband is that kind of market. But, if the opportunity were so great, why are the lead shareholders selling their own shares so substantially, instead of going with a primary-heavy offering to assault the nation with an aggressive campaign of unrelenting capex? Perhaps The Other Dennis is looking for a massive/immediate lifestyle upgrade, and is content with the majority ownership that he will still enjoy even after closing the largest IPO in Philippine history. Then there’s also the matter of this whole “70% of the deal aimed at foreign investors” thing; what’s that about? Stay tuned, this is going to be a fantastic voyage.

About Merkado Barkada

Merkado Barkada is a daily email newsletter covering all the stocks, bonds, companies, characters, and issues that make up the Philippine Stock Exchange. I don't make any money from MB, I don't use affiliate links or anything to trick people, and I don't sell email addresses for quick pesos. I simply like researching news and writing about current events in a way that helps my friends, family, and barkada to understand more easily what is happening.

Join our Barkada here

Read today's full email here

submitted by DuncnIdahosBandurria to phinvest [link] [comments]

2017* Electropopflops Rate (Allie X / Charli XCX / Kim Petras / Tove Lo)

Hello everyone, and welcome to the 2017 Electropopflops Rate! I'm your friendly neighbourhood women-singing-over-electronic-production stan and I'll be your co-host this month, alongside the stellar u/worlds-okayest666! After a few cycles of attempting to get these albums rated, it is FINALLY happening! We're super excited to celebrate pride month by rating these ladies that are very appreciated by the LGBT+ community for their support and, for a couple of them, inclusion within said community.
Here's what flops we'll be rating this month:
Allie X - CollXtion II
After making her official debut in 2015 with the EP “CollXtion I”, planned to be the first in a series of five releases, Allie X quickly garnered momentum in the pop world and got to work on her first full length album. In 2016, Allie announced the project “CollXtion II: Unsolved”, which saw her releasing various demos and potential album tracks throughout the year to see what fans wanted on the album. Finally, in 2017, “CollXtion II” was released, with only three tracks from the Unsolved project making it onto the final tracklisting. The album revolves around themes of longing and being lost, with each track intended to represent different pieces of herself. Ranging from moody, strikingly personal synth-pop tracks to pure 80s-pop inspired bangers, the album is somewhat more Top 40-friendly than CollXtion I but luckily manages to still retain her unique aesthetic and dark pop sound, resulting in an album that’s anything but generic. Despite some of the singles charting relatively high in Canada, the album itself ended up seeing little commercial success and failed to appear on any major charts. While it may not have reached the heights it deserved to, CollXtion II is a perfect showcase of the reason Allie’s garnered such a dedicated fanbase; her sheer talent in crafting perfect pop songs. (-u/worlds-okayest666)
  1. Paper Love
  2. Vintage
  3. Need You (feat. Valley Girl)
  4. Casanova
  5. Lifted
  6. Simon Says
  7. Old Habits Die Hard
  8. That's So Us
  9. Downtown
  10. True Love Is Violent
  11. Casanova (Remix) (feat. Vérité)
Charli XCX - Number 1 Angel
In 2016, Charli XCX released “Vroom Vroom”, a collection of 4 tracks produced entirely by PC Music affiliate SOPHIE. This EP saw Charli eschewing the pop punk attitude and commercial appeal of her previous album, Sucker, in favor of a more experimental electropop sound. Although reaction to the EP was somewhat divisive at first, this didn’t deter Charli, who sought to bring this sound to the mainstream with her third studio album. Unfortunately, the album would go on to suffer various delays, causing Charli to become frustrated with her label and start recording music behind their back. This would end up resulting in her third mixtape, “Number 1 Angel”, created in two weeks with PC Music founder A.G. Cook, as well as several other producers associated with the label (including previous collaborator SOPHIE). Boasting features from MØ, CupcakKe, and Uffie, among others, the 10-track mixtape builds upon the avant-pop style of Vroom Vroom while also fusing it with Charli’s ability to write amazing commercial pop hits, resulting in a surprisingly cohesive project with some of her biggest bops to date. Although the record is often overshadowed by its far more experimental successor, “Pop 2”, Number 1 Angel is a fantastic record in itself and a highlight of Charli’s discography. (-u/worlds-okayest666)
  1. Dreamer (feat. Starrah & RAYE)
  2. 3AM (Pull Up) (feat. MØ)
  3. Blame It On U
  4. Roll with Me
  5. Emotional
  6. ILY2
  7. White Roses
  8. Babygirl (feat. Uffie)
  9. Drugs (feat. ABRA)
  10. Lipgloss (feat. CupcakKe)
Kim Petras - Era 1
Kim Petras, already known for her appearance in the media as a teenager while she transitioned, debuted in 2017 with the synthy, bratty, and infectious single “I Don’t Want It At All”, which kickstarted the career of one of pop's most promising newcomers. Over the next year or so, Kim released ten other tracks to accompany her debut in a singular “era”, signified by the rainbow neon outline of her visage on the single covers. Though not officially released as an entire album, Kim and her fans alike have taken to calling this group of singles Era 1, and it is certainly a cohesive enough project to be considered an entire project - each song is an unabashedly electropop bop. With the release of these songs, Kim was gaining many new fans, but she was also garnering a lot of criticism for her decision to work exclusively with Dr. Luke in her music despite the lawsuit wherein pop icon Kesha accused him of abuse and sexual assault, and unfortunately Kim has said very little on the matter. Still, she’s managed to carve out a solid fanbase, and is a trailblazer for trans artists seeing mainstream success. (-u/hikkaru)
  1. 1,2,3 dayz up (feat. SOPHIE)
  2. Homework (feat. lil aaron)
  3. If U Think About Me...
  4. Heart to Break
  5. All the Time
  6. Can't Do Better
  7. Faded (feat. lil aaron)
  8. Slow It Down
  9. Hills (feat. Baby E)
  10. Hillside Boys
  11. I Don't Want It At All
Tove Lo - BLUE LIPS (lady wood phase II)
Following her explosion into the mainstream across the world with the smash hit “Habits (Stay High)” and follow-up single “Talking Body”, Swedish artist Tove Lo looked to continue that with 2016’s “Lady Wood”, an album that stuck to current trends in attempt to gain another hit. However, that album failed to replicate the success of her debut, with the lead single barely charting. Lady Wood was the first of two albums in an anthology, with the sequel Blue Lips releasing just a year later. While Lady Wood aimed for success, Blue Lips goes completely raw and dark - tracks range from emotional wails backed by roaring synths to sweaty (and very horny) club bangers like lead single “Disco Tits”. Ultimately, Blue Lips failed to come anywhere close to Tove’s first two releases on the charts, with it debuting at #138 on the Billboard 200 in lieu of the top 20 positions she had seen previously. Despite that, Blue Lips is a solid and immensely cohesive album that certainly deserved far better. (-u/hikkaru)
  1. disco tits
  2. shedontknowbutsheknows
  3. shivering gold
  4. dont ask dont tell
  5. stranger
  6. bitches
  7. romantics (feat. Daye Jack)
  8. cycles
  9. struggle
  10. 9th of october
  11. bad days
  12. hey you got drugs?
  13. bitches (Remix) (feat. Charli XCX, Icona Pop, Elliphant, & ALMA)

The Rules

  • Listen to every song listed below and assign each of them a score from 1 to 10. Decimals are allowed, but refrain from going past one decimal place - 7.5 is fine, 7.75 is not!
  • You may give ONE song a 0 and ONE song an 11. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. These should be reserved for your favourite track and least favourite track!
  • Rate all forty-five (45) songs! If you skip any, your ballot won’t be counted (We will let you know if you do so you can remedy that).
  • Please use the pre-prepared link to submit your scores! Note that if you're trying to access on a mobile device or on the new reddit layout it may not work - as such, we have made it so the link will take you to old.reddit.com, and you should use a computer to send in your scores if possible! If it still does not work, a pastebin with the submission form is at the bottom of this post and may be copy/pasted into a DM if need be!
  • If you desire to change any scores after you’ve already submitted, simply message either of the cohosts (u/hikkaru, u/worlds-okayest666) and we'll be glad to help!
  • We will be keeping an eye out for sabotage, and there will be a minimum average enforced for the albums. If you truly do have very strong opinions on a song or album, leave a comment explaining why and things will go over much more smoothly.
  • It is highly encouraged that you add a comment to your song ratings! Do this by adding a space after the score and then typing to your heart’s desire, like this:
    Lipgloss (feat. cupcakKe): 10 Miranda Cosgrove is shaking
  • You may also add comments for whole albums! You may do this by adding a colon to the album title in the rate form, like so:
    Album: Blue Lips: Why is the album cover red?
We're both incredibly pumped for this rate, and are equally nervous and excited for the messiness it is sure to bring. The rate will be due July 17th! If you have any questions about this rate or rates in general, feel free to ask any questions in the comments, DM either of the cohosts, or find us in the popheads discord server!
Spotify Playlist
Apple Music Playlist
YouTube Playlist
Pastebin of submission form (in case the link below is not working)

Click here for the submission form!

submitted by hikkaru to popheads [link] [comments]

[Month 0] Growing An Informational Intent Site To $10,000 A Month From Scratch!

Although I have been wanting to start a new informational intent-based domain for a while now, I was planning to wait until 2021 to start it but due to the new round of commission changes in the Amazon Affiliate program, I have decided to put all of my Amazon projects on hold for now as I am massively overexposed to Amazon right now. Although I managed to earn almost $3600 last month from my money site network, the vast majority of it was from the Amazon Affiliate program.
Thankfully, I only had one small site hit by this latest round of changes with it taking about a 60% hit in commissions. My other two main domains are predominantly in the “All Other Categories” section and held at a 4% commission rate. That said though, I definitely think that there will be additional cuts and changes to the Amazon affiliate program in a few years so I want to get this informational intent domain off the ground as soon as possible.
My goal is to diversify both income and traffic sources with this new domain to help reduce future risk too as I have had a number of domains slapped by Google updates in the past. It will hopefully be making most of its money from display ad networks supplemented with a number of different affiliate programs with its traffic predominantly coming from organic search traffic supplemented by Pinterest and eventually Quora with any luck.
The majority of the content I am publishing right now is based around high search volume, low competition informational intent searches to try and scale the traffic on the domain as fast as possible to be able to apply to the Mediavine ad network. After that, I will start adding more content that is more suited to Pinterest and Quora traffic generation.
Niche
Although I have chased the commissions in the past and made sites around niches I had zero interest in, over the last year or two I have gone for lower-income potential niches that I actually know more about and enjoy. So far this is working well for me as I have been able to churn out tons of content without having to put much research in as I know a large amount of the information already as my last three domains have been based around my hobbies.
Although this new domain is not based around a hobby, it is based around something where I know a number of the sub-niches that I plan to cover on the domain well. This should allow me to churn out a ton of content when I have time while also bringing on freelance writers when possible to help me scale this new project as quickly as possible to get it off the ground.
Although the niche of the domain is specific, it is very broad so I should not be running into any problems with running out of content to write about any time soon. This has been an issue for a domain that I made in 2018 as well as one in 2019 where they are hard to scale at their current stage due to having covered so much of the niche already. With this new domain, I should be able to scale it for years to come without much of an issue. Also, I don't give out the specific niche to any of my projects so don't plan to reveal the niche that this domain is in.
Starting With The End In Mind
Although I do plan to keep this new domain going for a few years yet and focus on growing it, I am trying to build the domain in a way where it should be quick and easy to sell once its traffic and income are high enough. This should give me a way to quickly sell the domain if I want in a few years without having any issues but time will tell. On the subject of selling sites, I may sell one of my Amazon Affiliate sites in a few months to fire up some cash to scale this new domain even quicker depending on how it is looking in a few months but so far I have $1000-$2000 a month for this new project for various tasks.
One of my friend's purchases sites to diversify her investing portfolio and I reached out to her for things she looks for in a potential new domain and this is what she came back with saying the first 6 are the main ones she will try to get in any potential new purchase:-
Hosting Theme CMS
Although I have been a big fan of Cloudways previously, the ease of use of Sitegounds has won me over so I have gone with Sitegrounds for this new domain as my host of choice. I have stuck with Namecheap as my domain registrar as I have used them for years and never had a problem with them to date and I like how you get free WhoIs protection with them too.
CMS wise, Wordpress was a no brainer due to having so much experience with the CMS from my other projects. The developer community behind Wordpress pretty much ensures that I always have a plugin or custom code that I can use to do anything I need with ease too.
Although I used to use Newspaper and Colormag as my go-to themes of choice, I have since moved over to Astra as it is so quick and easy to set up so I have gone with Astra as my theme of choice for this new domain too. Without the adsense code on the domain, it is giving me a page load time of around 0.6 seconds for a 2000 word article and around 2.5 seconds load time for the same page with the ad code on it.
This is the load times for a 2000 word article on the domain. The top left is Pingdom without having adsense code on the domain, the top right is Pingdom with adsense code on the domain and the bottom is GTMetrics with adsense code on the domain. GTMetrics were having issues on the day I set the domain up so I never managed to get a speed test before adding the adsense code with GTMetrics. The page sizes are different due to the compression from the autooptimize plugin covered below.
Plugins
AAWP
AAWP is a premium plugin that allows me to quickly and easily make product comparison table and link out to the items on Amazon. It also offers automatic geo-targeting for Amazon as well as a few other things but it does need access to the Amazon API so if you are brand new to this, the normal Amazon One Link system will probably be better and easier until you get your Amazon account approved and get access to their API calls.
If you are new to making affiliate blogs then I go over how you are able to make decent looking comparison tables here using free tools. If you don't have access to the API for Amazon or are on a budget for your blog then it might be worth checking out as you can make them look surprisingly good and they don't take too long to build.
Ads.txt Manager
Not a plugin that I usually use and there are a bunch that does the same thing but it basically allows me to quickly and easily edit my ads.txt file to add the different networks IDs to serve ads on my domain. As this new project is mainly going to be an informational content domain, display ads should make up a solid part of its income and I plan to switch ad networks as traffic grows so this should save me a little time in the future.
Autoptimize
One of my favorite free plugins and offers basic caching and lazy loading of images to help compress your pages and speed your pages up. It's very easy to set up and can help you improve your GTMetrix scores if you care about stuff like that while getting your page load times down. I actually purchased the WP Rocket plugin that is a premium plugin that does a similar job but refunded it and came back to Autoptimize as I personally had better results with it and its free.
Disable Comments
I’m not looking to build a community in the blog comments of this domain or attract bots/spammers so I just disable all comments on all posts with this plugin. Quick and easy and takes ten seconds to set up and can prevent a ton of heartache if you end up on some bot auto-accept bot list.
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
I use this to automatically inject the analytics tracking code for Google Analytics for my domains. Although it is easy enough to do it yourself and manually add it to your theme's header, you have to remember to re-add it every time you update your theme if you do it manually so I just use a plugin to keep things easy.
Google XML Sitemaps
I have seen mixed reports about sitemaps and if it's even worth using them anymore, I still do but it's mainly out of habit rather than knowing if Google still needs them or just crawls your domain. This plugin lets you quickly and easily build out a constant sitemap with a few seconds of adding it to your domain.
Insert Headers and Footers
Pretty sure you can use this to auto inject your Google Analytics code to your header if needed instead of Monster Insights but I have never tried it. I use it to inject the Google Adsense auto ads code to the header of my pages to show their display ads, quick and easy, and offers the same advantage of you not having to go back in and re-add it after each theme update.
Pretty Links
A few uses but the main thing that I use it for is to add place holder links as I publish my content to later turn into affiliate links on the back end once I get approved to different programs. Make sure that the TOS for any affiliate program you apply to actually allows you to do this, it's a grey area with Amazon and a few other networks so be aware of that. It also lets you quickly and easily flip your links from one network to another.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Another great tool although it is freemium but for the majority of bloggers, the 100 credits a month that you get for free should be more than enough. It basically compresses your images when you upload them and has one of the best compression systems going from what I can see. It can drastically reduce the size of your images without having much effect on the actual image quality. This means the don’t take as much space up on your hosting while needing less bandwidth to actually send on a page required letting your page load quicker too.
Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg
Made by the same team who make the Astra theme, solid plugin considering its free, basically ads some additional blocks for the Gutenberg editor in Wordpress to let you do a few other things with it.
WP Revisions Control
This lets you quickly and easily set a maximum number of revisions for each post to stop it clogging up your database on bigger sites. This plugin does have its negative sides as if you set it to only a small number of revisions then you may not be able to back up to an old version of the post if you make a mistake or something but I like it.
WP Word Count
Probably useless/nothing more than a vanity metric for most people but I use it to quickly and easily screenshot the total word count for my domains for YouTube videos/Forum/Reddit posts. Basically you click its tab and you can see the information like this as well as your monthly published content and a few other things.
Other Plugins
Although I am only using the plugins listed above for this domain I have this post going over these plugins in a little more detail as well as a few other plugins that I use for my other domains. If you are looking to set your first domain up then it might be worth checking out.
Keyword Research
I have my old keyword research method posted on Reddit but keep in mind, its three years old now and has not aged well to keep up with how modern Google works and serves its page results for a user search. It shares the same problems as the KGR method and my own personal method that I use has evolved a ton since then but if you are brand new then it might be worth checking out but I have no plans to publish a guide for my current keyword research method as its one of my best assets for moving forward.
As this domain is based around broad, informational content rather than laser-targeting buyer intent keywords like my affiliate projects, I have been having great results from the free version of answer the public due to using much broader initial terms when using the tool. It's well worth checking out as it's free and provided you are careful with your free credits, you can probably stick to the free plan to get a ton of keywords.
I am also using keyword sh*tter too as its an excellent free tool. Although I never logged the keyword source for this current project, I think that answer the public has probably produced more high search volume/low comp keywords for this new project than keyword sh*tter but when it comes to the lower search volume stuff, keyword sh*tter blows answer the public out of the water so try both out if you want to do this yourself.
I have seen so many people say that they want to outsource their keyword research and to date, I have not seen any services that actually offer good keywords. Although I made this going over a keyword research service from Fiverr, I have had similar results with other services charging much more for the keywords they sell you. In my experience, the people who are good at keyword research just outsource and article and use it for growing their own domains so don't be sucked in by flashy sales letters promising your high search volume, low competition keywords as in my experience they are far from it and a waste of money.
Content
Although I linked it earlier in the post, here is the launch content count for the domain. I basically spent two weeks or so churning out content for the project and leaving it in draft mode then published it all at once. I have nothing to back this up data wise or even a theory as to why I do it, I just prefer to have a big chunk of content on the domain when launching it.
I have chosen this parent niche as I know a few of the sub-niches within it pretty well so should be able to churn out a large amount of the content myself with ease. In addition to this, I am planning to bring a few freelance writers on to help me scale the project as quickly as possible to try and diversify my income sources between the Amazon Affiliate program and display ad networks as quickly as possible.
The majority of the articles on my other domains are usually between 1000 and 2500 words and I plan to do the same for this one. I will basically be looking at the first page of Google and checking the word counts of the keyword relevant pages already ranking and at least planning to match the word count of those pages. Different people have their own opinions on this but this will be my plan for word count moving forward.
If you are brand new to this type of thing then I think that for modern google, scaling into content is one of the best ways to get started and you should aim for something similar to what I cover in this screenshot. Although you will likely fail in a large number of the initial keywords that you target, it should put you on the right track to build out your own positive feedback loops as you move forward to improve your own keyword research and content creation methods.
Although I used to type my content directly into the Wordpress editor, I have been using the Surfer SEO content editor as it saves me a fair bit of time when prepping my articles and lets me build templates for the freelancer writers quickly and easily. Surfer SEO is far from essential for this though and I personally think that it is over prices for anyone who just uses it for its content editor. I managed to scale to $3500 a month with my current money site network without it so there's no need to run out and subscribe to it.
I have typed up millions of words of content over the years for various projects and I made this going over some of the main tips that I have picked up over the years. If you are new to blogging then this may be helpful, it’s not going to shave massive amounts of time off your content generation but every little helps and saving time on every article can quickly add up over the coming months as you churn your content out.
I also made this going over how you can easily optimize your images for your blog I would highly recommend people watch it as its one of the few things I really do wish I had known about years back. I got involved in this type of stuff back in 2013/2014 and only really started optimizing my images in January 2020 and it has managed to shave a bunch of time off my page load speeds and storage space requirements. Depending on where you source your images, it can potentially take your image file sizes from 4MB down to >100KB and takes about a minute to do per image if that. If you need sources to get images for your content that you are able to legally use then I made this going over the three main ways that I get free images for my content that may be helpful too.
Backlinks
Although I will be using backlinks for this domain, they are not essential if you are just starting and target keywords that are low enough competition. I got the project I cover here to around $350 a month without backlinks and the project I cover here to $800 a month before I started building backlinks for it. I will initially be focusing on guest posts, niche edits, and manual forum posts for this new project though, and may move into additional link type in the future with it all being outsourced via agencies.
I don’t give out recommendations for the backlinks services I use either as I was using one of the bigger services until a few months back when they tried to scam me by delivering a PBN link instead of the niche edit that I ordered that had a list price of over $300 if I remember rightly. Although it's not the main point of the video, I go over the various ways that you can check any links that you do choose to outsource in this video so you can at least double-check any links that you outsource for your own projects to see if they are just PBN links.
I know that some people like to wait a few months before they start to backlink their projects but I am planning to start backlinking right away as it worked so well for the domain that I started in August last year that made over $1700 last month. I basically use the guest posts and niche edits to pass link juice to help increase my domains strength and hopefully help my pages climb in the search results. Although the main reason for using the manual forum posts is to increase the referring domain count to my project and dilute the anchor text ratio, it does look like they can help for getting your pages to climb in the search results from some tests I did on the domain I started in August.
Also, just to be clear, these are not forum profile links where you make your profile on a niche related forum and just drop your link on your profile page for your account on the forum. These are links dropped in niche relevant threads that have a fair bit of content in the thread making them much easier to index and they tend to have a higher chance of being a do-follow link thank forum profile links too.
Budget
Current Budget Spend For The Project
As I am trying to scale this project as much as possible I am outsourcing a fair few of the tasks but this is not essential as I have typed up most of the content for my other projects myself with the two domains I mentioned above-having none/minimal link building too helping to keep their initial budget costs down. This thread on Reddit from a while back might be worth reading if you have a budget available for your project as it's from a guy asking for advice on how to spend his budget on his site. One of the users has deleted their account in the thread now though so you have to manually click on the + near the deleted account name to expand the full thread.
This video also goes over a number of different tools with the majority being free that I use to do various tasks for my money site network too. This can help you do a number of tasks without having to hike your budget spend up so it might be worth checking out too as it can keep your costs as low as possible.
submitted by shaun-m to Blogging [link] [comments]

[Month 0] Growing An Informational Intent Site To $10,000 A Month From Scratch!

Note - Blogging is far from passive when initially getting the domain off the ground and setting everything up but the three established domains that I earn most of my income from have not been touched since January 2020, September 2019, and sometime in 2018 respectively so all the effort can pay off and lead to some solid delayed income that some people may call passive income.
Although I have been wanting to start a new informational intent-based domain for a while now, I was planning to wait until 2021 to start it but due to the new round of commission changes in the Amazon Affiliate program, I have decided to put all of my Amazon projects on hold for now as I am massively overexposed to Amazon right now. Although I managed to earn almost $3600 last month from my money site network, the vast majority of it was from the Amazon Affiliate program.
Thankfully, I only had one small site hit by this latest round of changes with it taking about a 60% hit in commissions. My other two main domains are predominantly in the “All Other Categories” section and held at a 4% commission rate. That said though, I definitely think that there will be additional cuts and changes to the Amazon affiliate program in a few years so I want to get this informational intent domain off the ground as soon as possible.
My goal is to diversify both income and traffic sources with this new domain to help reduce future risk too as I have had a number of domains slapped by Google updates in the past. It will hopefully be making most of its money from display ad networks supplemented with a number of different affiliate programs with its traffic predominantly coming from organic search traffic supplemented by Pinterest and eventually Quora with any luck.
The majority of the content I am publishing right now is based around high search volume, low competition informational intent searches to try and scale the traffic on the domain as fast as possible to be able to apply to the Mediavine ad network. After that, I will start adding more content that is more suited to Pinterest and Quora traffic generation.
Niche
Although I have chased the commissions in the past and made sites around niches I had zero interest in, over the last year or two I have gone for lower-income potential niches that I actually know more about and enjoy. So far this is working well for me as I have been able to churn out tons of content without having to put much research in as I know a large amount of the information already as my last three domains have been based around my hobbies.
Although this new domain is not based around a hobby, it is based around something where I know a number of the sub-niches that I plan to cover on the domain well. This should allow me to churn out a ton of content when I have time while also bringing on freelance writers when possible to help me scale this new project as quickly as possible to get it off the ground.
Although the niche of the domain is specific, it is very broad so I should not be running into any problems with running out of content to write about any time soon. This has been an issue for a domain that I made in 2018 as well as one in 2019 where they are hard to scale at their current stage due to having covered so much of the niche already. With this new domain, I should be able to scale it for years to come without much of an issue. Also, I don't give out the specific niche to any of my projects so don't plan to reveal the niche that this domain is in.
Starting With The End In Mind
Although I do plan to keep this new domain going for a few years yet and focus on growing it, I am trying to build the domain in a way where it should be quick and easy to sell once its traffic and income are high enough. This should give me a way to quickly sell the domain if I want in a few years without having any issues but time will tell. On the subject of selling sites, I may sell one of my Amazon Affiliate sites in a few months to fire up some cash to scale this new domain even quicker depending on how it is looking in a few months but so far I have $1000-$2000 a month for this new project for various tasks.
One of my friend's purchases sites to diversify her investing portfolio and I reached out to her for things she looks for in a potential new domain and this is what she came back with saying the first 6 are the main ones she will try to get in any potential new purchase:-
Hosting Theme CMS
Although I have been a big fan of Cloudways previously, the ease of use of Sitegounds has won me over so I have gone with Sitegrounds for this new domain as my host of choice. I have stuck with Namecheap as my domain registrar as I have used them for years and never had a problem with them to date and I like how you get free WhoIs protection with them too.
CMS wise, Wordpress was a no brainer due to having so much experience with the CMS from my other projects. The developer community behind Wordpress pretty much ensures that I always have a plugin or custom code that I can use to do anything I need with ease too.
Although I used to use Newspaper and Colormag as my go-to themes of choice, I have since moved over to Astra as it is so quick and easy to set up so I have gone with Astra as my theme of choice for this new domain too. Without the adsense code on the domain, it is giving me a page load time of around 0.6 seconds for a 2000 word article and around 2.5 seconds load time for the same page with the ad code on it.
This is the load times for a 2000 word article on the domain. The top left is Pingdom without having adsense code on the domain, the top right is Pingdom with adsense code on the domain and the bottom is GTMetrics with adsense code on the domain. GTMetrics were having issues on the day I set the domain up so I never managed to get a speed test before adding the adsense code with GTMetrics. The page sizes are different due to the compression from the autooptimize plugin covered below.
Plugins
AAWP
AAWP is a premium plugin that allows me to quickly and easily make product comparison table and link out to the items on Amazon. It also offers automatic geo-targeting for Amazon as well as a few other things but it does need access to the Amazon API so if you are brand new to this, the normal Amazon One Link system will probably be better and easier until you get your Amazon account approved and get access to their API calls.
If you are new to making affiliate blogs then I go over how you are able to make decent looking comparison tables here using free tools. If you don't have access to the API for Amazon or are on a budget for your blog then it might be worth checking out as you can make them look surprisingly good and they don't take too long to build.
Ads.txt Manager
Not a plugin that I usually use and there are a bunch that does the same thing but it basically allows me to quickly and easily edit my ads.txt file to add the different networks IDs to serve ads on my domain. As this new project is mainly going to be an informational content domain, display ads should make up a solid part of its income and I plan to switch ad networks as traffic grows so this should save me a little time in the future.
Autoptimize
One of my favorite free plugins and offers basic caching and lazy loading of images to help compress your pages and speed your pages up. It's very easy to set up and can help you improve your GTMetrix scores if you care about stuff like that while getting your page load times down. I actually purchased the WP Rocket plugin that is a premium plugin that does a similar job but refunded it and came back to Autoptimize as I personally had better results with it and its free.
Disable Comments
I’m not looking to build a community in the blog comments of this domain or attract bots/spammers so I just disable all comments on all posts with this plugin. Quick and easy and takes ten seconds to set up and can prevent a ton of heartache if you end up on some bot auto-accept bot list.
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
I use this to automatically inject the analytics tracking code for Google Analytics for my domains. Although it is easy enough to do it yourself and manually add it to your theme's header, you have to remember to re-add it every time you update your theme if you do it manually so I just use a plugin to keep things easy.
Google XML Sitemaps
I have seen mixed reports about sitemaps and if it's even worth using them anymore, I still do but it's mainly out of habit rather than knowing if Google still needs them or just crawls your domain. This plugin lets you quickly and easily build out a constant sitemap with a few seconds of adding it to your domain.
Insert Headers and Footers
Pretty sure you can use this to auto inject your Google Analytics code to your header if needed instead of Monster Insights but I have never tried it. I use it to inject the Google Adsense auto ads code to the header of my pages to show their display ads, quick and easy, and offers the same advantage of you not having to go back in and re-add it after each theme update.
Pretty Links
A few uses but the main thing that I use it for is to add place holder links as I publish my content to later turn into affiliate links on the back end once I get approved to different programs. Make sure that the TOS for any affiliate program you apply to actually allows you to do this, it's a grey area with Amazon and a few other networks so be aware of that. It also lets you quickly and easily flip your links from one network to another.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Another great tool although it is freemium but for the majority of bloggers, the 100 credits a month that you get for free should be more than enough. It basically compresses your images when you upload them and has one of the best compression systems going from what I can see. It can drastically reduce the size of your images without having much effect on the actual image quality. This means the don’t take as much space up on your hosting while needing less bandwidth to actually send on a page required letting your page load quicker too.
Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg
Made by the same team who make the Astra theme, solid plugin considering its free, basically ads some additional blocks for the Gutenberg editor in Wordpress to let you do a few other things with it.
WP Revisions Control
This lets you quickly and easily set a maximum number of revisions for each post to stop it clogging up your database on bigger sites. This plugin does have its negative sides as if you set it to only a small number of revisions then you may not be able to back up to an old version of the post if you make a mistake or something but I like it.
WP Word Count
Probably useless/nothing more than a vanity metric for most people but I use it to quickly and easily screenshot the total word count for my domains for YouTube videos/Forum/Reddit posts. Basically you click its tab and you can see the information like this as well as your monthly published content and a few other things.
Other Plugins
Although I am only using the plugins listed above for this domain I have this post going over these plugins in a little more detail as well as a few other plugins that I use for my other domains. If you are looking to set your first domain up then it might be worth checking out.
Keyword Research
I have my old keyword research method posted on Reddit but keep in mind, its three years old now and has not aged well to keep up with how modern Google works and serves its page results for a user search. It shares the same problems as the KGR method and my own personal method that I use has evolved a ton since then but if you are brand new then it might be worth checking out but I have no plans to publish a guide for my current keyword research method as its one of my best assets for moving forward.
As this domain is based around broad, informational content rather than laser-targeting buyer intent keywords like my affiliate projects, I have been having great results from the free version of answer the public due to using much broader initial terms when using the tool. It's well worth checking out as it's free and provided you are careful with your free credits, you can probably stick to the free plan to get a ton of keywords.
I am also using keyword sh*tter too as its an excellent free tool. Although I never logged the keyword source for this current project, I think that answer the public has probably produced more high search volume/low comp keywords for this new project than keyword sh*tter but when it comes to the lower search volume stuff, keyword sh*tter blows answer the public out of the water so try both out if you want to do this yourself.
I have seen so many people say that they want to outsource their keyword research and to date, I have not seen any services that actually offer good keywords. Although I made this going over a keyword research service from Fiverr, I have had similar results with other services charging much more for the keywords they sell you. In my experience, the people who are good at keyword research just outsource and article and use it for growing their own domains so don't be sucked in by flashy sales letters promising your high search volume, low competition keywords as in my experience they are far from it and a waste of money.
Content
Although I linked it earlier in the post, here is the launch content count for the domain. I basically spent two weeks or so churning out content for the project and leaving it in draft mode then published it all at once. I have nothing to back this up data wise or even a theory as to why I do it, I just prefer to have a big chunk of content on the domain when launching it.
I have chosen this parent niche as I know a few of the sub-niches within it pretty well so should be able to churn out a large amount of the content myself with ease. In addition to this, I am planning to bring a few freelance writers on to help me scale the project as quickly as possible to try and diversify my income sources between the Amazon Affiliate program and display ad networks as quickly as possible.
The majority of the articles on my other domains are usually between 1000 and 2500 words and I plan to do the same for this one. I will basically be looking at the first page of Google and checking the word counts of the keyword relevant pages already ranking and at least planning to match the word count of those pages. Different people have their own opinions on this but this will be my plan for word count moving forward.
If you are brand new to this type of thing then I think that for modern google, scaling into content is one of the best ways to get started and you should aim for something similar to what I cover in this screenshot. Although you will likely fail in a large number of the initial keywords that you target, it should put you on the right track to build out your own positive feedback loops as you move forward to improve your own keyword research and content creation methods.
Although I used to type my content directly into the Wordpress editor, I have been using the Surfer SEO content editor as it saves me a fair bit of time when prepping my articles and lets me build templates for the freelancer writers quickly and easily. Surfer SEO is far from essential for this though and I personally think that it is over prices for anyone who just uses it for its content editor. I managed to scale to $3500 a month with my current money site network without it so there's no need to run out and subscribe to it.
I have typed up millions of words of content over the years for various projects and I made this going over some of the main tips that I have picked up over the years. If you are new to blogging then this may be helpful, it’s not going to shave massive amounts of time off your content generation but every little helps and saving time on every article can quickly add up over the coming months as you churn your content out.
I also made this going over how you can easily optimize your images for your blog I would highly recommend people watch it as its one of the few things I really do wish I had known about years back. I got involved in this type of stuff back in 2013/2014 and only really started optimizing my images in January 2020 and it has managed to shave a bunch of time off my page load speeds and storage space requirements. Depending on where you source your images, it can potentially take your image file sizes from 4MB down to >100KB and takes about a minute to do per image if that. If you need sources to get images for your content that you are able to legally use then I made this going over the three main ways that I get free images for my content that may be helpful too.
Backlinks
Although I will be using backlinks for this domain, they are not essential if you are just starting and target keywords that are low enough competition. I got the project I cover here to around $350 a month without backlinks and the project I cover here to $800 a month before I started building backlinks for it. I will initially be focusing on guest posts, niche edits, and manual forum posts for this new project though, and may move into additional link type in the future with it all being outsourced via agencies.
I don’t give out recommendations for the backlinks services I use either as I was using one of the bigger services until a few months back when they tried to scam me by delivering a PBN link instead of the niche edit that I ordered that had a list price of over $300 if I remember rightly. Although it's not the main point of the video, I go over the various ways that you can check any links that you do choose to outsource in this video so you can at least double-check any links that you outsource for your own projects to see if they are just PBN links.
I know that some people like to wait a few months before they start to backlink their projects but I am planning to start backlinking right away as it worked so well for the domain that I started in August last year that made over $1700 last month. I basically use the guest posts and niche edits to pass link juice to help increase my domains strength and hopefully help my pages climb in the search results. Although the main reason for using the manual forum posts is to increase the referring domain count to my project and dilute the anchor text ratio, it does look like they can help for getting your pages to climb in the search results from some tests I did on the domain I started in August.
Also, just to be clear, these are not forum profile links where you make your profile on a niche related forum and just drop your link on your profile page for your account on the forum. These are links dropped in niche relevant threads that have a fair bit of content in the thread making them much easier to index and they tend to have a higher chance of being a do-follow link thank forum profile links too.
Budget
Current Budget Spend For The Project
As I am trying to scale this project as much as possible I am outsourcing a fair few of the tasks but this is not essential as I have typed up most of the content for my other projects myself with the two domains I mentioned above-having none/minimal link building too helping to keep their initial budget costs down. This thread on Reddit from a while back might be worth reading if you have a budget available for your project as it's from a guy asking for advice on how to spend his budget on his site. One of the users has deleted their account in the thread now though so you have to manually click on the + near the deleted account name to expand the full thread.
This video also goes over a number of different tools with the majority being free that I use to do various tasks for my money site network too. This can help you do a number of tasks without having to hike your budget spend up so it might be worth checking out too as it can keep your costs as low as possible.
submitted by shaun-m to passive_income [link] [comments]

Basic and detailed cost breakdown information about the event coming up in the next few days

Lately many people are asking many questions about the event - almost like they want to know how to prepare, or some crazy such idea?:-) So this may help. Previously I posted a list of references to read about past events, but this is a synopsis of all the information from those sources, all in one place.
TLDR "executive summary":
a) Even the newest player can get a super-powerful new hero to R2, which saves you 3000 gems later so whether you want it or not, you should get it. Plus it will become your new MVP so you'll definitely want it:-).
b) New players should also consider whether you want to aim for R3 or not - it's not for everyone, but it saves you 800 gems later, and an event box also happens to cost 800 gems, so it's worth at least buying one of those.
c) "Everyone" should save up 10 keys in RS, and at least 2k gems (maybe more) just in case you want them. You can always spend them later if you don't need to use them during the event.
d) Established players should definitely get the R4, as it offers quite a bit more rewards over doing normal RS - this is the most efficient option for a F2P, offering a new hero for quite a bit cheaper than a usual R4.
e) R5 is much tougher to obtain, and only for veterans who have the best heroes already and want an edge in tournament play (e.g., would a new hero's R5 help you if they were like Raida or Koi? granted, Shamiko sucked, but hopefully was an aberration). Random gains mean that you'll need to spend anywhere between 6-15k gems, but most likely ~8k will do it, plus having to play 59 levels during the event, powering that map up to almost +300 difficulty by the end. And then buy several event boxes too.
f) R6 is almost completely beyond the reach of F2P, but a great way for a P2W to get ahead. You'll need to buy both money bundles, and the 10-box pack, plus play the levels, and several more boxes besides to finish you off.
g) This is almost unquestionably the single greatest use of real-world money in the entire game (although some say they prefer unlocking a world, less for efficiency and more to avoid frustration, but in any case this is still very good): offering a late-game hero at a higher rank that can power your way through campaign, RS, and tournament situations, plus to later avoid up to 6.2k gem expenditures and also the time to have to obtain the 155 tokens to reach R6, which could take 22-78(39) days at 7-2(4) RS runs/day. Though you don't *have* to buy your way all the way to R6 for it to be worthwhile - a newer play may do well to buy just 1-2 real-money packs (which you are limited to being able to purchase just 2) to reach merely R4-5.
And now the excruciating detailed explanation about every little thing:
  1. The interface *should* pop up a few (3-7) days prior to its' actual start and give a precise countdown until it can open fully and the event officially beings - but don't trust this to happen and it may not be sufficient time to prepare anyway. Make sure to buy 10 keys in RS, at their efficient cost of 2/day for 5 days, to prepare, and also try to save up maybe 2k gems (note: the 800-gem cost of those 10 keys is not factored into most of the cost estimates below, intentionally to make it easier to talk about direct gem costs during the event, but if you want total costs instead then just add this 800 back in:-).
  2. Every event lately has lasted 7 days - though the last one started 3 hours before the reset so if you hadn't used up your RS yet that day, you could squeeze in an extra "day" of play. That may not have been intentional but even so, you might look at the countdown timer when it comes and be prepared to take advantage of this just in case it happens again!:-)
  3. Generally you play the event instead of doing RS, though the necro-Connie event was special, and yet since then the Shamiko event used RS so we expect the new one to do so too. Don't worry about pausing the training of your heroes - this is well worth the delay - and the keys can always be used later, so you lose almost nothing from participating except a slight delay, in return for astonishing power from the new hero (which every hero has been so far - e.g. Caldera, Azura, Raida, Koi, necro-Connie, with the major exception of Shamiko but we'll hope for the best for the next one!:-).
  4. Instead of the normal RS rewards, for a hero token of your choice (and if you play at higher difficulty settings, some RS medals that can be exchanged for gems; more on that below), a new option opens up in RS offering a unique currency in the form of "event pieces" instead - usually miniaturized versions of the new hero - which if you play at higher difficulty settings, gives you more of them. Unlike normal RS, these are not random levels that reset after playing, and instead are always the same level, over and over again (and thus get VERY challenging! though the Koi event let you get pieces from a choice of two different levels, as well as having odd mechanics like cards bought with in-battle coins, plus a mini in-battle fishing game; and yet none of these options have been repeated since). Also unlike normal with RS medals, you exchange these event pieces in return for "event boxes", *not* in the lower-right corner of RS, but in the event interface (which again, won't open up until the event begins).
Note that **all event pieces leftover at the end are completely wasted and cannot be exchanged for anything else after the event - so you should endeavor to do just enough RS runs to exchange for a box, and then no more**. Event boxes similarly disappear when it is over, but there is a grace period of several days during which you can no longer earn additional event pieces, but you *can* wait to open up an event box, buy new boxes with gems or real-world money, or claim other rewards in the event interface (especially useful if you want time to change the R4 milestone reward offering). e.g., the last event, which lasted 7 days, had an *additional* 7 days afterwards before the event interface closed.
To clarify about the costs of doing additional RS runs during an event: instead of the "usual" discount that you get from buying an additional RS key but then receive 50 gems back for every other play in exchange for the RS medals - e.g., paying 80 gems for the first 2 keys but then the discount makes this an average of 55 gems per key - during the event if you choose to participate it will cost you the *full* amount for each additional key, since you will get no RS medals in return. So this is 80 gems for the first 2 keys, then 160 for the next 2, and finally 320 for the last key to allow a 7th RS run that day, if you so choose.
5) You (typically) get 10-15 event pieces per play, with +1 for each level of difficulty, so **up to 15 pieces if you can handle +5 every time**. **It takes 35 event pieces to open up an event box** (typically, though a year ago it took only 30 so there is a slight possibility that this could change again). Usually each box offers: 2-4 "new hero tokens" (you can keep these after the event, but you won't be able to earn them until the new hero is added to RS, which is usually not done until around the time of the next new hero event), 1-2 random hero tokens (although I thought I got much more than that last time!?) (chosen from among ALL heroes - even those you don't own yet or haven't even unlocked), a medium (~50%?) chance to get a meteor, and extremely tiny chance to get 10000 gems.
6) During & after (for a few days) the event, you can also buy event boxes for 800 gems apiece, or a special deal to buy essentially 10 of them (actually 350 event pieces) for 7500 gems. Or this is one of the best values for spending real-world money, though limited twice, to purchase a special bundle (at whatever cost in your country - typically about $8 USA) containing 175 pieces, 10 new hero tokens, and 800 gems. One example of their use is for a (new?) player to get a better hero to use *before* playing with that hero in RS to get better rewards than would be possible otherwise. Another example is to play as much as you can in RS as F2P, then buy 1-2 or however many boxes would be needed to finish off a particular rank. Note that you cannot (typically) buy event pieces other than in a multiple of the number needed to open an event box, so there is (usually) no way to buy only a few to finish off a box. Also, it is slightly less efficient to purchase a box with real money than it is to play additional times in RS, *if* you can handle +5 difficulty per play, even for the 7th play per day at a cost of 320 gems for the 5th and final key - though the cost of that final key may be only slightly less efficient than the 10-box bundle, and depends ultimately on your level of skill, how much you value money, etc.
7) Very specially, the normal cost to awaken the new hero (800 gems per rank) is waived - but *only* if you do it *during* the event. If you get the new hero tokens now, but wait to awaken until after it's over, then it will cost you the normal amount. Thus, by prioritizing the event now, you can save yourself 800-3200 gems later.
8) As you reach each successive new awakening rank for the new hero (by the normal process of getting their tokens, though from boxes rather than RS, and then going to Hero Camp and choose awaken), you *also* qualify to receive a reward from the event interface. Remember that tokens are "consumed" by the awakening process, but to be helpful, both the additional and total numbers are reported here.
R1 (5 tokens) - 70 event pieces
R2 (10 tokens, 15 total) - the hero him/heitself
R3 (15 tokens, 30 total) - 5000 elixir
R4 (20 tokens, 50 total) - 30 hero tokens
R5 (40 tokens, 90 total) - special, unique *never-to-be-repeated* event skin
R6 (80 tokens, 170 total) - another different special, unique never-to-be-repeated skin
Additional notes:
R1 => essentially 2 event boxes worth, so adding 4-8 new hero tokens, that covers a good half of the additional requirements towards R2
R2 => starting from reaching this point you can play the hero, both during the event and forever afterwards - you'll need to feed them elixir though, so if you plan to use them during the event then I hope you saved up a lot for this purpose, as the requirements for a high-level hero are insanely high compared to early-game ones
R3 => that amount of elixir is 8 days worth for a level-5 elixir mine, though not even a full days worth for a level-10 mine, so may or may not be worth it to you
R4 => these tokens always offered for the hero at highest rank that you have unlocked, whether you own them or not, as long as they are not within 30 tokens of their maximum rank (or 30 meteors if you have all heroes at maximum rank already) - this is updated in real-time and during the grace period after the event so that you can force the reward to be for a different hero by getting them a few more tokens than whoever is chosen, though it is best to plan for this ahead ASAP. e.g. if you own Narlax and want the tokens to go to him, but the game has chosen Leif as also being at R5 and yet unlocked later, plus you already earned lets say 2 tokens for Leif as part of the random ones offered during the event, then simply get 1 more token for Narlax than Leif has (3 tokens total), and the reward will go to him instead.
R5 => not for the new hero but for some other, early-game hero instead (past choices: Bolton, Hogan, Efrigid, etc.)
R6 => tend to be for late-game heroes (past choices: Azura, Raida, Azura again, etc.)
9) Especially with the help from the R1 milestone marker reward, a new player is all but guaranteed to receive the new event hero, just for participating in the event. Dialing the difficulty down to +0 reveals the option to watch ads instead of playing, so when you reach the point where you can't handle it anymore, switch to watching ads and continue to get the event pieces, to open boxes, and reach these milestone markers. Proof: 7 days * 2 plays/day * 10 pieces at +0 difficulty = 140 event pieces, which is enough to open 4 boxes, that should yield 8-16 new tokens, which is definitely enough to reach the R1 milestone marker already that offers enough pieces for 2 more boxes (and thus 4-8 more new hero tokens). On average this just might do it for you already?
Adding 10 more plays from the 10 keys saved up adds a further 100 event pieces, and thus a further 2.8 boxes, or doing the +5 difficulty even just once brings this up to an even 3. Altogether even without having to buy additional plays in RS each day during the event or any boxes is 6 boxes and thus 12-24 total tokens, or with the 10 keys saved up in advance (& 1 play at +5 difficulty) 9 boxes and thus 18-36 tokens total. Or if you didn't save up the keys in advance, *and also* are supremely unlucky in receiving new hero tokens from boxes, at worst you could buy another event box (or two) at 800 gems apiece, to get the last few tokens to reach that marker. So if you saved up 2k gems in advance, *or* 10 keys in RS, *or* do a few extra plays each day, *or* do some of the levels at additional difficulty, then you will have no trouble reaching this minimum.
On the other hand, if you join the game during the event, or haven't unlocked RS yet before it starts (which happens at level 40, at the end of W2 - so rush forward to at least that point ASAP!), then you might miss it (unless you are willing to spend real-world money to compensate?), although even then as a F2P you will have a chance to purchase the new event hero much later in your game, though at a cost of 3000 gems so definitely try to get it now if you can! (whether you plan to use the hero or not)
10) Reaching the R3 milestone is also not terribly difficult, though whether the costs outweigh the benefits is another matter, and depend purely on what YOU value in your game. You gain: (a) the use of the hero as you go through your campaign, which likely will be a strong boost to a new player as the new hero will become your MVP; (b) avoidance of the 800-gem cost to awaken them to R3 later (i.e., a single box now is exactly the cost of what it would take later so *definitely* worthwhile if 1 box would be enough to complete the R3 requirements); (c) other random hero tokens - which are scattered all over rather than focused but hey, aren't nothing - plus also meteors, and a (tiny) chance to win that 10000 gem prize; (d) 5000 elixir, which depending on the level of your elixir mine could be nearly worthless, or a little bit helpful. If it helps to hear from a more senior player, I had a maxed-out elixir mine, and didn't want to use the new event hero during my campaign (I felt like it was somehow "cheating" - rather, I *wanted* the struggle with the tower strategy, to better understand their mechanics, instead of overpowering levels with mere raw hero power), so I didn't bother getting the R3 rank for my first two hero events. But YOU may want to do so for YOUR game? (if you can)
As mentioned earlier, 10 stored keys + 2 more "free" plays each day, even with all but one played at +0 difficulty (and playing just *once* with +5), would yield 18-36 tokens, which alone might reach the 30 total new hero tokens to reach the R3 level, if you are lucky. But you can also fairly efficiently buy 2 keys in RS each day for 80 gems each (for 7*2*80=1120 gems total), which again even at +0 difficulty will yield yet another 140 event pieces, which again is yet another 4 boxes, that should yield 8-16 new tokens. That brings the cumulative total to 26-52 new hero tokens, which at the absolute worst case is just barely shy of the R3 milestone, and in the best case even exceeds the R4 marker. At worst, playing at +5 difficulty in 7 more of your RS runs would yield an additional 35 event pieces (though bringing the difficulty total up to +36 for the last play, ending it at +41 whereupon you could switch to watching ads subsequently), and thus one more box with an additional 2-4 hero tokens, and/or you could buy 1-2 boxes in exchange for 800 gems apiece to achieve the same effect. Thus, in the absolute bare minimum, most highly unlucky case, it could require 2720 gems to reach this level, though if the event continues for 14 days, then ignoring the additional gems from the Wheel of Prizes, you would earn 1300 gems during that time (excluding the last day just to be safe), thus lowering the requirement to have been saved up in advance to only ~1400 (in addition to the 800 for the 10 keys stored in RS in advance).
11) **Reaching the R4 milestone is something that should be done by all players who have managed to finish the campaign.** This offers the greatest *efficiency*, to avoid the 800-gem cost of awakening (per rank) for the hero later, plus having the use of that hero (and at that rank) in the meantime (to complete the campaign, for RS, future events, or tournaments), and especially getting the 30-token reward. BTW, slow-, mid-, or fast-tracking a hero at 2/3/4 RS/day for 7 days yields 14/21/28 tokens, so using that time for the new hero event instead offers triple rewards: even more tokens than fast-tracking (30 from the R4 milestone marker) for a single hero (though perhaps for a different hero than you otherwise would have picked), plus 1-2 hero tokens per box (though offered in a scattered, random fashion instead of focused on the heroes that you want) and meteors & such too, and also the new hero tokens (which again, you keep regardless of whether you end on a rank marker or not), PLUS avoiding the cost of awakening later. It's really a great deal!
10 keys stored in RS + 4 RS runs/day for 7 days, at +5 difficulty each time (which if you have good heroes for RS, especially Leif, should be do-able; and maybe the new hero at R2-3 could even help you out further?), yields 570 event pieces, plus the 70 from the R1 marker is 640, and thus 18.3 boxes, which translates to 36-73 new hero tokens. R4 requires a minimum of 50 total tokens (20 beyond the R3 level) - so this is on average jut a bit more than the minimum requirement for R4. Going further: each box that you buy adds an additional 2-4 hero tokens, so at maximum to guarantee that you reach this milestone you would need a total of 7 boxes for 800 gems apiece, and thus 5600 gems for boxes, which when added to the 1120 gems mentioned previously for the 2 keys/day, is a total of 6720 gems. Though lets face it, what are the odds of getting "heads" every single time on a coin-flip literally 25 times in a row? (answer: a little more than a billion-to-one chance, if I did the math right:-) The more boxes you open, the more likely you are to get the "average" value of 2.5-3.5 total new hero tokens rather than either extreme of the 2-4 range, including the worst-case minimum of merely 2. So assuming this average of 3 tokens per box, then 18 boxes + 2 more from the R1 marker should yield 60 total tokens, well beyond the minimum of 50 to reach this point, and if need be you can still buy a box or two, for a grand total of <3k for this event. Although...to be on the extra-safe side, avoid any purchases that you can before the event, to make *certain* that you aren't just barely short of the cost of the single box that could've made the difference for you:-). Or if you really want to get ahead, consider spending real-world money (limited to 2 such opportunities per event, done either before or after you play the levels in RS) to get 5-10 boxes worth (which should yield 10-40 new hero tokens), another direct 10-20 new hero tokens (so 20-60 of those total), and 800-1600 gems.
BTW, at 4 RS runs/day for 7 days, plus 10 saved up keys, the final difficulty setting should be +191, after your last play. So you should aim to have hero power sufficient to tackle the late one hundreds, in a setting such as a late-W6 map. If you can't handle that, you can switch to watching ads, but then you may need to buy some event boxes or a real-world money bundle to make up the difference.
12) **The R5 milestone is only for advanced players though, or P2W, but not intermediate F2P.** Do this if you are okay with the decreased efficiency, and want an advantage in tournament (especially if R5 offers a good talent, which e.g. for Raida or Koi *definitely* did, though Shamiko...was an aberration in this regard), or the unique skin, or just the fun & additional challenge - but again beware the costs. Here you again get to avoid another 800-gem cost of the 5th awakening, and too get the random hero tokens, meteors, etc., but unlike lower ranks, there is no way to reach this with the "efficient" cost of buying just 2 keys/day - it will take a much higher commitment.
10 keys stored in RS + 6 RS runs/day for 7 days, at +5 difficulty each time, plus the 70 event pieces from the R1 marker, yields 850 event pieces. This is 24.3 boxes worth, which translates to 48-96 new hero tokens (plus the 24-48 random hero tokens, meteors, 30 tokens from the R4 milestone marker, the unique skin from the R5 marker, etc.). To reach R5 you would have to get 90 tokens total, so you would have to be *extremely* lucky with this alone, plus even here the additional two keys in RS triples the daily cost of the event (+200%) from 2*80=160 to +2*160=480 gems, so total costs rise from 1120 to 3360 for the 7 days. The next most efficient path forward, if you have a powerful enough hero line-up to handle the increased accumulated difficulty, is to purchase the most expensive key in RS at 320 gems, thus raising the daily cost by an additional 67% from 480 to 800 gems (+400% compared to just buying 2 keys), for a total of 5600 gems for the 7 days, and in return you get 1 additional play per day, or 105 pieces and thus 3 additional boxes, for 6-12 additional new hero tokens, or 54-108 total, or a more likely range being 67.5-94.5 at a less extreme 2.5-3.5 tokens per box. Thus, even at an "average" of 3 new hero tokens per box, the 81 new hero tokens still falls a little short of the 90 that would be required to reach R5, so you are almost definitely going to have to buy boxes. At an absolute minimum you'd have to buy 18 boxes (at 800 gems apiece and thus 14400 gems total) to guarantee reaching this marker, but as discussed earlier this is so unlikely as to not really be worth discussing. Instead, (-1) to 9 boxes is a more realistic figure, and so again assuming an average of 3 new hero tokens per box translates to just 3 boxes needed, and thus a total of 2400 gems for boxes. Adding in the 5600 total gem cost to buy the keys translates to a range of 5600-12800 gems, most likely close to 8000 give or take a box or two.
At 7 runs/day, plus 10 saved keys, the final difficulty setting should be nearly +296, so the level of hero power sufficient to tackle this option is significantly more than the R4 milestone - e.g., Koi won't cut it, although anyone who can power up towers (specifically those laying on blessed spots) can easily keep pace, even if their direct defense+offense are no longer significant. Read more at https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Realm_Siege_Strategies.
13) **The R6 milestone is basically purely for P2W players.** R5 already required more investment than playing through the tournament in RS is likely to provide, plus likely a few event boxes besides, and so not surprisingly R6 (which requires almost literally double the total number of tokens) will require far more. The gem cost to reach this milestone, assuming 3 event hero tokens per box, is 21333 gems above the R5, which ignoring the Wheel of Prizes, is 4.7/7.5/17.8 months worth at 2/3/4 RS per day - certainly far more than an entire tournament season's worth - and thus beyond the reach of anyone except the most veteran of players who already have all heroes to maximum rank (and thus are unlikely to be reading this guide:-). Buying the 2 paid bundles provides 10 more event boxes, plus 20 more direct new hero tokens, and thus 40-60 new hero tokens total, and buying the 10-box bundle for 7500 gems provides another 10-40 new hero tokens, for a total of +50-100, which when added to the earlier total from 7 plays per day + 10 saved keys yields 104-208 tokens, or an average of 156 assuming 3 hero tokens per box. Since R6 needs 170 tokens, this falls slightly short (unless you are lucky with your draws), and you'll need to buy maybe 5 more boxes on top of that. Adding in the 5600 gem cost for all the keys (except the first 10) yields a total of 17100 gems (though if you are unlucky in your draws it could be a bit more than that - e.g. assuming as low as 2.5 instead of 3 new hero tokens per box raises it to 23500 gems total, though that's unlikely, but still ~20k is not an unreasonable figure), plus the ~$16.
14) Most people want to know: "can my heroes handle it?" Of course that depends on your heroes, and your skill, and luck, and level of preparation. Especially: more gems = more chances to buy event boxes, to make it more likely to happen, though it might not be as "efficient" past some point (seeing how I did the math above, you can figure it out for your specific situation). There is a *ton* of in-depth information on the wiki - e.g., at https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Battle_Mechanics, and https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Realm_Siege_Strategies - that can help, explaining for instance how blessed tower spots work, etc. But extremely briefly: some heroes are more well-suited to RS than others, since their powers are more *scalable* to increased difficulty - Efrigid is one, especially at her R4, and any hero who can power up towers (Leif > Yan > Helios), plus necro-Connie is supreme with defense, especially upon reaching her R3.
A team like Fee R3 + Lance R3 + R2 Mabyn should be enough to get you to R2-3, especially with sufficient gems to buy event boxes when they can go no further. R4 is going to start to require some better heroes, like Helios at an absolute minimum, and perhaps surprising to you is that Raida + Koi aren't great for this game mode, where they die in a single blow against the absolute weakest of enemies at +150 (plus Koi can't remain in dragon form for the long duration of an entire wave, and while heroes like Yan & Helios & Shamiko can get him back quicker for a second round during the same wave, what will you do in the meantime?). R5 would take an even deeper investment: Leif under a W6 haste tower plus Yan further hasting him can keep a blessed tower boosted literally 100% of the time (or lacking the haste tower, still almost that often), and a R5 necro-Connie can use her bunny spam to further help keep enemies in range until they die from tower damage, plus at R6 she can halt any single or clustered flying creature(s) in range too (although not scattered ones - they go through too quickly), but again, even a R6 Koi will be of almost no use to you when the difficulty reaches these levels.
15) Nobody knows what maps it will use. If it features W6 ones as have been used in the last several events, then players who finished the campaign already will have a significant edge, since their stars from having completed the levels in that world can go into tower upgrades that are used in the RS levels. However, it is also quite likely to feature new W7 levels, before that world is even officially released yet, at which point nobody will have stars, or any knowledge of the enemies or tower types, etc., and we'll all just have to figure it out as it goes. Though the chances of early-game heroes being of much use in W7 situations is slim...certainly R4 would be exceedingly difficult if not impossible to attain, while R2 is still possible, and maybe R3 even just with event boxes bought with gems. Note that while the hero will be made available to purchase later, you'd have to unlock W7 first, and pay 3000 gems, plus 800 for each awakening after the initial R2, so getting the new event hero to a minimum of R2 is a great value!:-)
Surely people will also share specific strategies, a few days after the event starts - this is a truly awesome community where people share, instead of hoard their great ideas to themselves - but until then, do the best that you can, and rely on the fact that you don't have to 3-star it, as just passing a RS level with even a single life left is sufficient for it to count!
16) The new event hero will almost undoubtedly *not* come at R7, but instead capped at R6, as only a few heroes in the earliest parts of the game have those and they seem to be in the process of being rolled out sequentially. Although truthfully anything is possible so who knows...maybe the new hero will come available up to R7 after all? If so, then likely almost everything in this guide will become instantly outdated and all the math will have to be re-done with the new parameters, whatever they end up being. Though at least you will have this as a template to aid you in that case.:-P

Additional references:
part 1 of this here: https://www.reddit.com/RealmDefenseTD/comments/glmajh/questions_about_upcoming_event/, basically just listing a bunch of references, such as the all-important https://www.reddit.com/RealmDefenseTD/comments/cy0dst/event_information_for_new_players/, and of course tons of info on the wiki such as https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Hero_Release_Events
Also I was inspired by https://www.reddit.com/RealmDefenseTD/comments/hcoak2/hero_release_event_cost_breakdown/, which could be really helpful to you?
It seems really hard to find videos on youtube for this, but here are some: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b02vHJow94 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdd8PWF10Us show some play-throughs, though much of the info is outdated (e.g., now 70 instead of 60 tokens offered as R1 milestone reward, and requires 35 rather than 30 event pieces per box), plus the strategy is REALLY horrible to offer as a guide to a new player (e.g., W6 bell towers do ZERO damage, so to place them on a blessed spot is a huge waste of its' potential, and they only did that b/c they had supremely powerful heroes that didn't need more than a couple of actual damage-dealing towers, but a player with less supreme heroes could not get away with that as easily), and here's a more updated one that shows the event interface for Koi a few days before the event starts, but no actual playthrough after that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk_ft-6gaaQ. Please let me know if you have found any better ones. BTW, I have no YouTube account myself, and definitely am not associated or affiliated with these in *any* way.:-)
One last thing: I wish you good luck!:-)
Edit: this post has now been made a permanent part of the wiki at https://realm-defense-hero-legends-td.fandom.com/wiki/Guide_FAQ_for_upcoming_event, with the thought to keep it updated during and after the event.
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