Affiliate Marketing Without A Website 2020 - High Paying


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Hello fellows, I was wondering if someone can advise me on these issues with my affiliate programs. I have this website that I use in promoting health and beauty products from and Clickbank affiliate pgm. I do get lots of impressions and clicks but no sales, the site is

Impressions + Clicks=No sales, why?
submitted by g74techs to AffiliateMarket [link] [comments]

Email list, no website - the problem with affiliate programs...

Hey there,
For the record, this question is mostly just curiosity speaking. I actually own two blogs (one is for fun, the other is more serious and launching soon - I'm not some big-time blogger or anything).
Let's say you wanted to create a niche email list but you don't have a website.
  1. Which email platform would you use? It would have to accept you without a website (or would you use your landing page link? Not all platforms accept that)
  2. My biggest question, if you wanted to monetize this email list with affiliate links (Of course giving value first, duh), how would you get accepted into these affiliate programs? Many affiliate networks or programs require a website and to say how much traffic you get.
I know how to build an email list without a website, but I'm more curious that, if I were to have an email list not associated with a blog, how would I go about monetizing that? I know I can join Clickbank, but I don't find a lot of affiliates on there that I genuinely like or have tried, and I'm not going to suggest something that I haven't tried before.
If you have done this before and made money off of your email list, feel free to share your experience with that. Success turns me on makes me motivated.
submitted by ToxxicWishes71 to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]

Newbie looking for affiliate programs accepting applications for websites with No Traffic

Title says it all. I'm looking for affiliate programs that accept websites with No Traffic as of yet. Preferably in the Consumer goods category. The bigger the better. Also do you know any that allow you to donate a percentage of your income to Charities.

Our Website is here:

If you know anyone who has an affiliate marketing company that is willing to work with us please send them to the link above and fill out the contact form. We will contact them shortly.

submitted by clickshoprise to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]

[Non-programmer] Is there a way to track whether users who click on a link from my website that leads to a third-party website with a store (which I have no relation to) go on to purchase any item from that store IF the third-party website does NOT have any affiliate marketing program whatsoever?

  1. Does such a program already exist out there or would it need to be created from scratch (I am no programmer so I would have to hire someone else to create it)? I have tried searching Google but all I get is specialized technical stuff that doesn't make any sense to someone like me who isn't a programmer and finds programming too difficult to get their head around no matter how hard they try (yes I admit that I'm pretty dumb).
  2. If such a program would need to be created from scratch, then what programming language/s would be needed to allow it to have the functions that I described? Is it something that would be very complex or fairly straightforward for someone that I hire to create?
  3. If I wanted it to also tell me more about the user's behaviour on the site like Google Analytics or Facebook pixel and track things like how long the user stays on the third-party website, what pages of the site they visit and what their actions they take, would this make the task of creating the program much more complex or are these relatively simple to add on?
  4. My website on WordPress. In terms of the practical logistics of putting such a program on my website, is it just a case of inserting the piece of code on the relevant outbound URL links from my website to the third party website online store and then once a user clicks on that link, their actions on the third-party website will be tracked?
submitted by bandwagon233 to AskProgramming [link] [comments]

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

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

Connections to Trump & family

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

Congress and other political connections

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

Other noteworthy recipients

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

The more you know

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

BeerSheets 2020-07-16 (Dan Snyder NEVER Edition)

BEERSHEETS REQUEST FORM Welcome to BeerSheets! Note that since things have just opened up please submit a request for your sheet and I'll try to process things over the next few days so folks have their first sheet. After that expect weekly updates through preseason. If you have any questions, the best way to reach me is via a DM to @BeerSheets on Twitter. I can also respond here on Reddit but it's more difficult to keep track of conversations.
What is this?
These are cheat sheets intended to help players in both snake draft and auction drafts. It uses a combination of value based drafting combined with a few of my own calculations to establish player value, positional scarcity, auction value, and tiers.
How do I get my sheet?
Click on the helpful link at the top of the post. It will direct you to a form that you can fill out. If your sheet is one of the previously generated formats it will automatically link to it, otherwise a request for a custom sheet will automatically be generated. Custom sheets are uploaded at least a week before your draft, which is why that field is included.
What's new this year?
  1. I redid the entire back end in Python... which meant I had to learn Python. Basically this allows me to vastly speed up the update process and should reduce the time delay between when sheets are requested and when they're processed.
  2. I've reconfigured the entire sheet to improve readability. The color scheme was changed to be easier for those who are color blind, the ECR column was reformatted to make it easier to read, and I've added color coding to show where there's a significant difference between APD and ECR.
  3. The value section has been changed to show the floor, ceiling, and average projection for each player. This should allow you to have a better idea of what the spread of player projections are.
  4. I removed the historical performance column. It took up a massive amount of computational time.
  5. I dropped the kicker section to make DST more useful. Now for DSTs you can see what the first four weeks are.
  6. We're partnering with our good friends at 4for4 to help offset some of the server costs! If you subscribe to 4for4 with the coupon code BEERSHEETS we'll get a bit of money as an affiliate and you get 10% off. I've been using 4for4 for quite some time and I love their site, so this was a logical way to mitigate some of our expenses.
What's not new?
We're still raising funds for the robotics team! The GoFundMe page is up and your generosity is sincerely appreciated! If the COVID-19 pandemic cancels the season the funds will go to another worthy cause such as STEM outreach charities or a local food bank.
What are the calculations based on?
I use as many projections as I can find to establish a range of projected values for each player. I use a Value Based Drafting approach to calculate the player value for each projection, and then average those values to get a final number. The standard deviation of those value projections are used to determine tiers. A key component of value based drafting is establishing the baseline player, which I set based on the "player-games" method. Essentially what I do is look at how many games on average each ranked player (RB1, RB2, etc) played the following year, and how many games are needed (#Teams x #Positions x 16 Weeks). The number of players needed to produce enough games to reach the desired quantity is the baseline. The original article is gone but pattertj does a great job of covering things here. Auction values are calculated using this method.
As part of our partnership with 4for4 we're using their rankings for the DST, as well as their unique Strength of Schedule estimations to determine which opponents will be easier or harder. 4for4 offers this capability for every position and is one of my favorite features.
What do the columns mean?
Player Name: The name of the player.
TM/BW: The player's team and bye week.
ECR: The player's Expert Consensus Ranking based on FantasyPros, formatted in a "round|pick" format so that you can also use it to judge ADP. In general ADP and ranking is closely correlated, and players with no formatting are taken in the same round as their ranking. Values in blue mean the ADP is more than a round before the rank. Values in orange mean the ADP is more than a round after the rank. These ADP predictions do not apply to 2QB leagues!
F, VAL, C: Player value in terms of Floor, Mean, and Ceiling. The average value of multiple projections relative to a baseline player (numbers shown in the title bar). Floor and Ceiling are the average value with the standard deviation of the projection either subtracted or added. In auction sheets these values are converted to dollar amounts.
PS: Positional Scarcity. The percentage of player value remaining in that position once that player (and all players above him) are drafted. This is the means by which you can determine the opportunity cost of selecting one position over another.
What does the shading mean?
The alternating white and gray shading represents different tiers of player projections based on the distribution of values from the multiple sources I use. Tiers are groups of players whose projections overlap as a result of the mean and standard deviation of their particular data set. Individual projections are notoriously unreliable (the top experts are lucky to be right 60% of the time), so players who are shaded the same should be considered roughly comparable in value.
Will you share the original data file?
Can you do a sheet for my 13 player 2QB/1RB/3W2FLX/TE/DST/2PK league with 0.314 PPR and 9 PPTD?
Fill out the form at the top of the post to request a custom sheet. I will try to get it uploaded a week before your draft. If your settings aren't in the drop-down menus click the 'Show Custom Ranges' checkmark above the Teams value.
Can you do points per first down or premium TE scoring?
Since I'm converting everything over the Python, and dealing with over half a million requests each year, I won't be able to do anything outside of the sheet this time. I'm sorry, but my goal in the long run is to add that capability back in.
This is awesome! These sheets help me win my league last year, and you deserve a tip! How can I throw money at you?
My workload has forced me to cut down on a lot, so just like last year I am raising funds for a high school robotics program that I mentor. Your dollars will directly help inspire students to become scientists and engineers and also help them build a 160 pound robot. Please click here if you're interested in helping, every dollar directly goes towards STEM outreach.
Will you do IDP?
I would like to, but it's difficult. The problem with IDP is that there aren't a lot of projections and the tiers become massive.
Will you do Dynasty?
This method doesn't work for dynasty, as the projections are only for one year.
What's the best way to use this? Which categories should I pay attention to the most?
The real meat of the sheet is value and positional scarcity. What I like to do is start off with value and see which players are available within each position that have similar value. I look at tier to get a sense of how many players are "clumped" together and see if I can't get value later on. It should be noted that the tiers are not absolute; comparing the last player of one tier to the first player of the tier below him is perfectly reasonable. Look at the floor and ceiling information to get a better sense of an individual player's expectations.
Positional scarcity shows how much value is remaining in each position after a player is taken. In general you want the player with the lower PS, because there's less value remaining once that player is gone. This will also give you a sense of just how much value an individual player takes from the "pool" of points for each skill.
Rankings are a great way to determine when a player should be drafted, when that player is actually being drafted, and also differentiating between players in a tier. They're a good way to pick between players who share a tier once I've decided which skill position I want to draft. It should be noted that rankings are limited to contemporary scoring and rosters; the more nonstandard your league the less useful the rankings may be.
Who else should I check out?
Let me know! I'm not sure who's back this year, so please message me or reply in the comments and I'll be sure to add them.
submitted by BeerSheets to fantasyfootball [link] [comments]

Blogging & YouTube Income Report for 2020 So Far ($16k per month)

Hey all, it's been a while since I posted an income report here. If anyone is interested, here are links to my previous posts on /Entrepreneur:
Idk why I stopped posting here...sorry about that.
I did publish a 2018 year-in-review and income report on my actual blog (The Modest Man), which you can read right here if you'd like.
My name is Brock, and I run a content site ("blog") called The Modest Man, along with a YouTube Channel under the same name. I did this part time for a few years before going full time about 4 years ago.


2018 Revenue: $117k (Halfway through that year, I partnered with a menswear brand, getting a small equity stake and joining the team part time. So my content business was sort of on the backburner for the second half of the year, hence no growth YoY.)
2019 Revenue: $126k (Last year, I was still working at least half time - often more - for the menswear brand, but I did see a little bit of growth with my content business. The position forced me to get better at outsourcing in my own business. I decided to leave that position in December to focus on my business full time again. Luckily, the business was in better shape than ever
2020 Revenue Jan-Jun: $96k
2020 Monthly Profit So Far: $12,198 (roughly 75% margin)
This comes from Ads, Affiliate Programs and Sponsored Content. If you want the nitty gritty on these categories, see my Q1 report and Q2 report.
Ironically, working for someone else for a while really lit a fire under my butt to get things streamlined for growth in my own business.
In 2020, I've been focussing on "e-mything" my operation as much as possible, although there's still a long way to go.


Hiring professional writers is worth it, and ProBlogger is the best place to find professional freelance writers. If you want to see the process I use to hire via ProBlogger, here it is.
It's a numbers game once your site is established. If you have a blog (content site) with decent domain authority, the name of the game is publishing more content. This includes refreshing old content (here's a case study/process for that).
Publishing a new post is like taking a shot on goal. More shots on goal = more chances to score.
Yes, your content has to be good, but not Pulizter Prize good. Quality is always a good play, but quality + quantity is how you get rich in the digital media game.
I focus on different metrics now. Rather than looking at traffic, I keep an eye on the number of keywords my domain is ranking for. I want to see this number increase over time. This is a leading indicator for traffic. I use Ahrefs to track this.
While I still look at top line revenue, I keep a close eye on truly passive income. This is income from my website (not YouTube or social media) that comes from affiliate programs and display ads. It doesn't include sponsored content because that's not passive.
I focus on this number because it matters most to potential buyers, and I'd like to sell this website at some point in the future. They want to buy money-making websites, not influencer businesses or YouTube channels.
So, even though on paper Q2 2020 was revenue was down from Q1, passive income was actually up. Good news!


Now, I'm still making YouTube videos and taking on sponsors when it makes sense. It's not passive, but it definitely brings in cash that I can use to live and fund the business.
My main goal is to grow the website with a more aggressive publishing schedule (3 posts per week), which is only possible with a great team of freelance writers, plus two assistants who do all the formatting, etc.
I'm currently putting about $2-3k per month into content and focusing on content with plenty of organic potential and/or affiliate opportunities.
If you have any questions about my business or the digital media game in general, feel free to ask!
submitted by themodestman to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Frontend Web Developer Roadmap: Everything you need to know to get started

If you're feeling lazy and would prefer to watch a full video summary, one is available here. Let me know if you have any feedback!
What is frontend web development?
It is using code to create the visual part of a website. The content, the colours and positioning, as well as the logic that is on a page, such as submitting a form. That's frontend. The other part is 'backend', which is everything related to the database and network; the non-visual things that are going on behind the scene.

Different routes to learn web development
CS Degree: The first is a degree, through either a university or college. This offers strong foundational knowledge in computer science, which can be very helpful, especially in certain areas of programming. However in my experience, this understanding of computer science is not necessary in order to get your first web development job and you can learn all of the theory and nitty gritty details of computers while on the job. Additionally, getting a degree is also a very long process, so 3-4 years, it's also extremely expensive - and the majority of it won't be focused on web development.
Bootcamp: Next -3-4 month coding bootcamps (offers good structure and forces you to be fully immersed, but expensive and must be full-time)
Self-taught: Finally -Self taught. What the focus of this guide is. This route offers a flexible schedule and inexpensive, and as long as you have the right set of online courses and curriculum set up for you, I believe it is the best option. Getting your first web development job is not about what certificate or degree you have. In most cases, it is a meritocracy - that is, if you have the skills to do the job, you can get the job.

How long does it take to be job ready? 4-12 months.
Outline a timeframe which you are able to dedicate towards learning web development(3, 6 or 12 months) and create a schedule around it. This way you can track your progress and hold yourself accountable if you set a specific date to, such as finishing a specific course or start apply to jobs. Whether it is 3 or 12 months, the only thing that changes is how much time per week you are able to dedicate towards learning this craft. If it is 3 months, you'll need to be working 12+ hours per day, and for 12 months, maybe 2 hours per day. The key is coding daily, so you can immerse yourself.
It's also important to stick to one programming language, based on the job you're wanting to get. Don't get distracted by other languages. They're fantastic, but your focus needs to be on the core frontend stack. You don't want to be a Jack of all trades, but master of none. You need to get vertical proficiency, not horizontal - and you get that by practicing that one thing, daily.
What do you need to learn?
HTML (the content - the text, images, links), CSS(the styling - colors, positioning and responsiveness), and JavaScript(the logic for your website, when you click a submit button - what happens?). Once you have learned those three and have a strong foundation in JavaScript, then you'll be at a crossroads; React, Angular or Vue. These are JavaScript libraries and frameworks, which act as wrappers around vanilla JavaScript, giving you additional functionality that would take longer to code otherwise. It is important that the first thing you do before getting too deep into one of these, is to look on job websites (LinkedIn, Glassdoor or Indeed) and ensure that there are a lot of jobs for all of these in your area. Search for titles including "frontend developer and frontend engineer", as well as the words 'Angular, Vue and React' and see how many listings there are. If there is more of one of these technologies in your area, it may be better to learn that one. You'll likely find many of each. Personally I would recommend React as it is easier to learn than a full framework and there are usually a ton of jobs out there for it.
As a bonus, I would recommend looking into TypeScript and Redux. In JavaScript, you don't have to say that variable x is a number. It will infer that x = 5 is a number type. This however can sometimes lead to hard to catch bugs. TypeScript is still JavaScript, but it allows you to add strong typing to your application, where you define that variable x will be a number.
Redux is a state management library. Angular, React and Vue all have their own variations of Redux. When your application gets bigger and there are lots of different parts with their own data, Redux acts as a centralized memory for all of your different UI components to read from. It acts as a single source of truth so that everything stays organized.
Also need to be familiar with the version control technology Git (allowing you to 'save' your app at a specific point, roll back to it if necessary, and share the code online to others using Github or Bitbucket).
May also be helpful to know the basics of SASS (CSS wrapper, giving you more utility. It is still CSS, but just some extra tools which can be huge time savers). Along the way, you'll also need to learn basic terminal commands, using NPM packages and the build tool Webpack. You should also be familiar with the basics of Agile methodologies, which is a management style that a lot of development teams work in. If you're familiar with the very basics, then it will be an easier transition for you to join a dev team, and hiring managers will know that as well.
Learning resources
So, what resources can you use to learn all of this? I found that between YouTube and Udemy, you can learn everything required. I am going to leave a list down below with a list of Udemy courses you can pick up for $15 (when on sale). Each course is about 20-30 hours and it will teach you the required fundamentals. I'm not affiliated with these courses and make no money on it. I simply know the instructors are excellent and am sure they are high quality courses.

Once you've completed a these courses and have built a few projects
After that, it is all about getting your first job. I am going to create posts (and videos) on each of these points, because they deserve a post of their own.
In short, you'll need to have a great resume which highlights your love for web development, while also emphasizing how all of your previous job experiences has guided you towards this new career path.
Have a GitHub with your own projects on it, as well as some of the work you've done while learning along the way. Build out a portfolio website which highlights the projects you've build and the skills you have. You can host your portfolio and projects for free on GitHub Pages.
Consider doing 1 or 2 freelance jobs(even if it is just for friends or family), where you're working with a real client, with a real deadline. This will be good practice for you, and will show your future employer that someone has already trusted you, and that you delivered.
Familiarize yourself with LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor - and start applying for 3-5 jobs per day. I did this for an entire month, had a few interviews and then landed my first job. It can take a few weeks, or a few months - eventually you will get your first opportunity. Getting your first job is the most difficult. Once you have worked somewhere and have some experience, finding your next job will be a lot easier.

On a final note, learning code is not easy. There will be roadblocks and it can be a difficult grind at times. Remember that the path you are on now is worth it and can get you to the place in your life where you really want to be, whether that is career satisfaction, ability to work from anywhere in the world, or financial freedom.
Thank you for your time! Consider checking out my YouTube channel, as I'm posting weekly now with videos specifically for frontend developers who are just starting out. Available here.
submitted by ProgrammingWithPax to learnprogramming [link] [comments]

How you can buy & sell profitable digital assets

"The rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.”
This quote has stuck with me for years since I've read the Rich Dad book.
By 2020, it’s estimated that a staggering 27 million Americans will leave the traditional workplace in favor of full-time self-employment.
A large percentage of these new entrepreneurs will start an online business.
So, is there still room for you online?
The answer is a big “YES”.
Unlike real estate investment, digital assets can be built even if you have no money to invest. If you have the right skills and are ready to invest your time, you can still build a high-value portfolio of online assets.
The faster path, however, is the one in which you invest both money and time in acquiring promising online businesses, improving them, and selling them for a higher price (just like flipping real estate)
For example, one investor acquired an online business for $7,500 from Flippa, worked on it for a year and sold it for $550K. (1)
This is why flipping websites, and other forms of digital assets, is one of the fastest and most lucrative ways to grow your wealth.
And many smart investors, including Robert Kiyosaki, are already doing it.
In this detailed guide, we’ll tell you exactly how the business of buying and selling websites works, why investing in digital assets is a smart move, the risks involved in this business model, and how you can get started as a website investor.
Types of digital assets
Every online business can be called a digital asset if it’s making money and has the potential to grow. Below are some of the common types of digital assets that people invest in:
  1. Websites Affiliate sites, eCommerce stores, blogs, magazines, etc. are all different forms of websites that are frequently traded on the internet. There are dozens of examples of high profile website acquisitions that turned common people into multi-millionaires For example, Viral Nova, a viral news blog run by just one person, was acquired for $100 million in 2015.
  2. Domain names Domain names (website URLs) become more valuable as they age which is why they’re considered a popular digital asset that people frequently invest in. For example,, bought for $49.7 million, is the most expensive publicly sold domain name ever. was sold for $7.5 million. The original owner bought them for a fraction of that price but held on long enough to profit.
  3. Mobile apps Mobile applications are harder to create as compared to a website which is why you don’t hear as many common people making a fortune by investing in them. Example, Summly, an app that served customized news content, was acquired by Yahoo for $30 million.
  4. Digital products People also invest in acquiring digital and info products like video courses, training programs, and membership programs that have the potential to grow by making small improvements. Acquiring digital products is slightly trickier as compared to other digital assets since they are mostly sold because of the original owner’s credibility and brand image. Unlike real estate, the value of a digital asset does not depend on its location (or the location of its owner) which is a huge advantage as compared to physical property. For example, 10Beasts is a simple product review site, started from scratch, by a marketer in his 20s a few years ago. Within a year of its inception, the site started making nearly $80K/month from Amazon commissions and sponsored content. The owner eventually sold it for $600K+ after profiting from it for over 2 years. Overall, he made more than $2 million from the whole project. You need to be careful though with some marketplaces charge high brokerage fees. There are some that have no buyer fees, do the due diligence for you and provide the legal docs. (2)
submitted by kensav to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Month 4 Update - Tough Month

Hi everyone,
Just done with June and this was a tough month for sure. I did not manage to hit my writing goals and revenue took a massive dip too. Read on for more
Previous Updates
Current State of Website
I have about 80 published posts with a total of close to 200K words right now. Most of these are single product reviews with about 12 info articles.
In June, the site netted $74, massively down from $195 from May. More on this below
What I did this month
I kept grinding on my content. I had goals of hitting 100K but I got distracted and only hit close to 50K.
What were my stats
Month # Month Words Written
1 Feb-2020 16,129
2 Mar-2020 50,000
3 Apr-2020 67,354
4 May-2020 45,000
5 Jun-2020 50,000
GSC Impressions CTR Avg. Pos Pages Indexed
95 2.1% 104 16
4370 0.1% 81 40
3940 0.9% 74 59
4550 0.7% 66 73
10300 0.6% 44 89
AMZ Clicks AMZ Ordered Items Earnings
0 0 0
0 0 0
24 4 14
657 101 194
324 29 75
Google Analytics Traffic
Traffic Sessions
Mar-2020 5
Apr-2020 85
May-2020 805
Jun-2020 529
Google Analytics + Search Console
Month Keywords in Top 5 Keywords in 5-10 Keywords in 10-20
June-2020 5 26 41
What did not go well this month
As you can see, my traffic and revenue took a big dip this month. I got a lot of traffic from Reddit in May since I was posting anywhere I saw a mention of the niche my website is in. I didnt do this for over half of June and paid for it. Lesson learned.
I also could not write as much content as I wanted to. This was mainly due to me getting distracted and trying to start other projects. I have now decided to pursue this website till it makes a revenue of $100/day.
What went well this month
I was pleasantly surprised to see a bunch of my keywords move up to Page 1 of Google SERPs. They have been creeping up steadily but at the end of June, I have 31 keywords on Page 1 with 5 in the top 5.
I also got contacted by a brand in my niche who paid me $100 for reviewing 2 of their products. A nice little bonus but I guess this means I am a sell-out now?
I also added two other Affiliate Programs so all my new posts now have 3 different CTAs. One of these programs has a 30 day cookie window and 7% commissions so I am hoping this can help diversify my income a bit.
I also overhauled the design of my individial review posts since I have to include 3 Affiliate CTAs. My best X for Y post design is also refreshed, and I have added in a lot of Google Sheets automation so my writing output should be faster. From what I see, these updates/refreshes are necessary every few months. The tough part is applying them to my older content.
I am also including multiple strips of Amazon Native Ads in my new posts now. I realized that since I write super long posts, there could be a wall-of-text effect and having ads also make the site look more 'legit' in a way. It also doesnt help that I have no sidebar and a very unprofessional looking footer right now. I am hoping to make all of these look more polished pretty soon.
Looking Ahead
I am swamped by the amount of content that is currently on my list to be written. I am able to comfortably write 2000 words a day so this month I am hoping to hit 75K or so. As I have updated my content formats, some of my older review posts need to be updated. I am guessing this will also boost their SERPs since Google likes updated content. I am also going to update content that is already ranking well to ensure that it stays there.
Reddit is a great source of targeted traffic for me so I plan to continue posting whenever I see an opportunity. I made a mistake of not doing this enough in June, never again!
My Stage 1 Goal for this website is to get to $100 a day at which point I will quit my job to focus on this full time. With my current trajectory, I think it will take me 6-12 months to get there. My philosophy of no keyword research, no paid tools, no outsourcing and no backlinking continues. I picked a niche and continue to slam out content. Excited about the next few months!
submitted by VladtheMystic to juststart [link] [comments]

How to access the "Forbidden Wiki"

We all love Wikipedia, don’t we? A seemingly endless source of information, all consolidated on a well-formatted, visually pleasing website. And despite what your teacher might tell you, I can guarantee you that just about nobody’s trying to rewrite history pages with false information. Nobody has the time for that, nor does anybody care enough to do it.
Beyond research and general curiosity, there’s a ton of fun stuff you can do on the site. For example, there’s the Wikipedia game, where you start on one topic page and then click on related hyperlinks until you reach the pre-specified destination page. Also, did you know that if you go on a Wikipedia page relating to any topic, click on the first hyperlink and repeat the process, you’ll eventually find yourself in a loop that always directs you back to the page for philosophy? Deep stuff, really.
Now, that’s all fun and whatnot. But did you know that there’s something else you can do on Wikipedia? A ritual of sorts?
I recommend proceeding with caution. There is a certain level of risk involved when pursuing something like this. Would I recommend it? Not really. So why am I talking about it at all? Well, I’ll explain later.
This is what you’ll need:
A device with internet access. Preferably something mobile, like a laptop or smartphone. Make sure that none of your personal information is stored on this device. If it’s a smartphone, take out the SIM card, delete all your contacts, social media apps, photos, etc. This is not an optional step.
Internet access. Preferably public, like a library or a large, crowded coffee shop. Obviously not so feasible right now, so I’d wait until the virus dies down. You can also just use your home internet. Not recommended, though.
A weapon/bodyguard/vehicle. Optional, but also not at the same time. You’ll only need these things for reasons I’ll explain later. But more often than not, you won’t be needing these things. 15/100 times, I’d say. Still, better safe than sorry. Try and pack some heat.
Here’s what you’ll need to do. Sit down at a library, coffee shop, university campus, or any place with public Wi-Fi. Start off by visiting an extremely popular Wiki page. For example, Michael Jordan, World War 2, Elon Musk, Google, etc. Now, here’s where you gotta exert a bit of brain power. You’re gonna have to traverse from this popular page to an obscure page that has hardly been seen at all in comparison. But don’t go searching up something like “creepiest Wikipedia pages”, or “most bizarre Wikipedia pages” and try to get there. If those pages are on a list, then they’ve probably received a lot of traffic.
You’ll need to find a page about something truly unknown/inane, like some unheard-of Romanian folk singer from the 1960’s who only released 2 songs before dying in their 30’s or something. Doing this is harder than you might think. The page truly has to be something that very few people are aware of or would bother to learn about.
Once you’ve found a page that you deem suitably obscure and unseen, you’ll have to click on the Wikipedia home page, find another popular topic and repeat the process. Maybe 3, 4, 5 times at the very max. But don’t worry about clicking pages endlessly. You’ll know that you’ve done it right when you come across a seemingly blank page. The Wiki symbol and side options will still be there, but the page itself will be devoid of any pictures or text. Except for the title of the page at the top, that is.
It’ll say “INFORMATION LIMIT”, followed by a string of numbers. Remember that string. You’ll need it later. Also, don’t close the browser.
You’ve done it. The “ritual” has officially begun. At this point, you’ll have to leave the location you accessed it at. For the love of God, don’t just go back into your house. Get into your car or walk on foot to a remote location without internet access. You can’t just be disconnected from a network. There should be no networks available to scan for at all.
Make yourself comfortable and open that Information Limit page again. Hit refresh. Another page should load up, despite the lack of connection. It’ll be a login screen, with a single prompt.
“Enter access point: “
Enter the string of numbers you memorized earlier, EXCEPT for the last 2 digits. Most people who try this just type in the string as it is. Do not do this or you’ll be met with a horrible fate. Pay attention and refrain from fucking it up. Once this is done correctly, you’ll be directed to something that looks like the Wikipedia home page, but just a bit different.
Now, I’m not quite sure what kind of site this is, or where it even originates from. A lot of people just call it the “Forbidden Wiki”, myself included.
I need to note something of great importance here. If the page that loaded up is not in English or whatever language that you originally accessed it from, then click off immediately and go home. You… shouldn’t try and subject yourself to any of the images that may pop up on the pages you visit. They aren’t meant for you. Aren’t meant for human perception. If you glance upon these images, you’ll end up with a fate worse than the one that you’d get if you entered the entire string into the prompt. And that one is bad to begin with. You’re curious, but don’t take the risk.
But if the page is in the language you recognize, then go ahead and proceed. You’ll notice that the Wikipedia symbol will now be a bit different than the one you’re familiar with. It might be a different shape. A different color. Different symbols, perhaps. More often than not, it’ll look more ominous. More sinister, I suppose.
You need to keep in mind that the articles and topics you might stumble across on this site do not exist in our world. They are not something we need to be worried about. Don’t stay up at night thinking about what you’ll see. As far as we need to be concerned, they’re not real.
From this point, you have free range to explore as you please (somewhat). Be sure not to look at more than around fifteen pages, spending less than a minute on each. If you linger around forbidden knowledge for too long, they will know you’re looking. And they’ll be sure to look for you as well. This is information that you shouldn’t be privy to, and they’ll make sure it remains that way.
Who are “they”, exactly? Anybody who has a solid answer to that question likely isn’t around to divulge it. Just know that they are not from this plane of reality. That they possess far more strength and knowledge that you could ever imagine. Don’t think you’ll be able to evade or God forbid try and fight back against them. Even the most decorated government field agent who’s been through hell and back wouldn’t come close to succeeding. Humans that try and overstep the boundaries of what they’re supposed to know are nothing but pesky bugs that need to be exterminated to them.
Or in the worst case… bugs that need to be made an example out of first.
But don’t be too scared. Like I said, just don’t linger on any one page for too long and don’t visit too many. If you do this, you’ll more or less be able to bypass their detection.
But don’t think this means you’re somehow getting the best of them. You’d need to read and analyze these forbidden articles for upwards of hours before understanding what they truly mean and the ramifications of their existence in the multiverse. With less than a minute of exposure, you’ll only be able gain a surface-level understanding of the subjects at best. And “they” hardly care about that.
However… there is a way to legitimately bypass their detection, enabling you to look at the articles for a longer duration of time. But these involve complicated strategies that require extensive knowledge in both programming and arcane occult rituals. And even then… the risk is still astronomically high. Again, not recommended.
You might be wondering why you can’t just take pictures and look over them afterwards for however long you want. Well, I suppose you could. But it makes no difference. They’ll still know you’re looking and react accordingly.
So why bother bringing any kind of weapon, you might ask? Well, it’s not to fight back against “them”. Like I said, that’s a fruitless effort. Nah, these weapons are for the “Lurkers”. Sometimes, if you’re unlucky (around 15% of the time, like I said), your mere digital presence on the Forbidden Wiki will alert them to your location, and it’s something that can’t be helped. But even though the Lurkers aren’t in any way affiliated with “them”, they do have comparable goals. They don’t want you looking at that information either. But unlike “them”, the Lurkers don’t want you to have any kind of awareness of the subjects at all.
You won’t be able to anticipate them. They might fall out a tree if you’re in a forest. They might step out of a dark corner if you’re in an abandoned building. They might crawl out of a lake. You get the gist of it. You won’t see them coming.
Some will be more humanoid in appearance. Some will look more… unfamiliar. They will try and kill you in any way possible should you keep looking at the site. One sure way to guarantee your survival in these situations is to just close the browser, drop your device and take off. If you do this, they’ll have no reason to chase you down.
However… if you do want to keep looking, the Lurkers aren’t impossible to dispose of. In fact, if you’re armed well and have moderate combat experience, you should be able to wipe them out relatively easily and then continue exploring the site. Conversely, you could hire somebody else to deal with them on your behalf while you continue browsing. I’d recommend this option. Like I said, you can’t stay on one page for too long. And if the Lurkers start giving you trouble... then you might be a bit screwed.
I’m not quite sure what the deal is with the Lurkers either. One theory is that they’re simply interdimensional agents/mercenaries hired by a 3rd party who wants to protect their information from outsider eyes. But then who is this 3rd party? And why are they trying to protect the info? This is why I don’t bother with the theorizing. There’s simply too much that we can’t know.
Well, now that that’s all out of the way, let me tell about some of the pages I’ve come across on the Forbidden Wiki. Keep in mind that I had under a minute to glance over these, and despite having a fairly good memory, I’ll only be able to describe so much.
The Great Lakes Incident
“The Great Lakes Incident was a naval battle that took place across all five Great Lakes on the Canadian-US border from 2007-2011. Reports about a mysterious ship rising out of the water alerted Canadian authorities in late 2010… the belligerents were of an unusual nature, able to withstand conventional weaponry… possessing multiple heads, considered in between amphibian and humanoid… finally resolved using firebombs and chemical weapons…”
Inhabitants of the Bermuda Triangle
“…the beings living on these small, scattered islands are extremely hostile towards human contact… reported to be able to fly, causing trouble for aircraft travelling through… believed to have originated from a large, underwater volcano…
The Grand Canyon Void
“The Grand Canyon Void is a hole in the ground in Northwest Arizona measuring approximately 4.6 meters in diameter… hikers reported staring into the hole for hours on end, before they were dragged away from it by park authorities… an average of 12 hikers were reported to have jumped into it during the month of March, with their bodies turning up in different countries…”
Mr. Dream
“Mr. Dream is an Australian DJ from Perth… his self-proclaimed style is known as ‘infernal trance’. People at his live shows have been reported to experience moments of incredible euphoria, before disemboweling each other in the crowd… the manhunt is ongoing, with his latest show reported to have occurred in June 2019, at an underground venue in Paris.”
The Akroid mansion
“The Akroid mansion is a large estate located on the outskirts of Houston, Texas, belonging to the Akroid family… famously known for being the founding members of the cult known as ‘The Dawn of the collapsing Moon’… 77 attempts have been made to infiltrate the house, resulting in 587 Officer casualties. Only one known member of the Akroid family has been neutralized… the members are known to conduct rituals involving biological transformations of the human body… these creatures react in accordance with lunar cycles, exhibiting the most violent tendencies when the moon appears early in its first quarter…”
Channel 51 News
“Channel 51 news is a controversial news station that broadcasts on Channel 51 between 3-4AM… the reports presented on the program have been considered nonsensical and disturbing to the viewers watching… sometimes the hosts have reported incidents that have not occurred up until that point, only for these incidents to transpire one week after, as was the case with the Tokyo Massacre… The location the channel broadcasts out of remains impossible to pinpoint…”
As hard as it may be to believe, these are some examples of the more normal pages on the Wiki. Some of the other ones I’ve seen are… downright fucked.
The man inside your head
“The man inside your head is an arcane entity that exists within your subconscious. His intentions are malicious, and a good portion of your mental capacity is used to suppress him from escaping at any given time. Don’t let him escape.”
Eye in the Sky
“The Eye in the Sky is large eye measuring approximately 4400 meters in diameter that appears in the sky every so often, usually during violent storms. When it appears, it is advised not to look at it under any circumstances. The only exception to this rule is for those who have been forsaken and absolutely need to. You’ll know if you need to.
The corner in your basement
“The corner in your basement is that one dark spot in your basement tucked away in that far corner. No matter how much light you shine on it, it’ll never illuminate, and you’ll never know what’s lurking within it. You better figure out what it is soon.”
The Snowstorm Angel
“The Snowstorm Angel is that figure you see in your backyard during heavy snowstorms. You’ll think your eyes are playing a trick on you, and that your senses are somehow being distorted by the snowfall but make no mistake. It’s there. People often assume its nature to be benevolent, given its name. That assumption is incorrect.”
These kinds of articles were always shorter in length. In fact, what I described above pretty much represented the entirety of the text. These articles all included pictures as well. I regret ever looking at any of them.
You might be wondering why I’m telling you about the Forbidden Wiki at all, along with how to get there. As contradictory as it may seem, this is a precautionary tale. Most people will read this and believe it to be fake, or simply lack the time, energy or motivation to go through with it. Good. Be one of those people.
But then there’s the people who don’t fit that bill. The “thrill-seekers”, so to speak. These are the ones who’ll look for it no matter what. Eventually they’ll find another set of instructions written by somebody else. But one that might not include a proper warning. One that doesn’t tell the whole story.
I am here to give you that warning. Don’t do this.
I thought I was safe just browsing around. I followed all the rules. I hired hitmen off the dark web to accompany me in case the Lurkers showed up. I always made sure to not overstay my welcome on any of the pages, in order to keep myself hidden from “them”.
In reality, the Forbidden Wiki is a strange and complicated place. You may think that you’ve experienced enough and that you’ve figured out all of its tricks… but don’t underestimate it. We were never meant to lay our eyes on something like this.
I stumbled upon a ‘particular’ page the last time I paid a visit to the site. This was the page that ruined everything. The title was simply a phone number. A phone number that contained my area code. Here was the description. I remember this one verbatim:
“(XXX)-XXX-XXXX is a number that will be calling you in a few days. You are obligated to answer his call and follow his instructions. If you refuse, he will come to you. You will only have two chances.”
Here’s the thing. I live in an apartment so I don’t have a basement. I’m pretty sure there’s no demonic entity living inside my head. I’ve never seen a giant eye in the sky. I’m in the South, so snowfall is rare and sparse at best. Up until a point, the shit I’ve seen on the Wiki had been 100% separate and disconnected from my real life. I really thought I had no cause for concern.
But… I did get a call. A call from a number I really hoped I wouldn’t see again. I let it ring through without picking up.
One last chance.
submitted by Mr_Outlaw_ to nosleep [link] [comments]

From 10 to 14,000 Youtube Subscribers in 3 Weeks. Here’s What Happened, & What I Learned.

You’ve got to be a bit crazy to leave a cushy job and a stable career to start your own business. Two months ago, I did exactly that when I left my multi-six figure salary and founded Your Auto Advocate with my business partner, AKA my dad.
At that time (the first week of March), it wasn’t clear what effect coronavirus would have in the United States. As the days and weeks unfolded I couldn’t help but get depressed. I’d talk with family or friends, and they’d say, “Boy, don’t you wish you had kept that job just a bit longer?” And I’d think to myself, “maybe?” I was confused, scared, and certainly not making much progress on my new business venture.
Then, amidst all this negative energy, my dad had a great idea; “Why don’t we film YouTube videos via Zoom?” Before working full time on Your Auto Advocate I had filmed a handful of videos with my dad. He would talk about the car business, I would post them on our YouTube channel, and we’d get a few hundred views. I had a vision for growing our YouTube channel into something sustainable and scalable for the business, but it never really took off.
Until… We started recording Zoom conversations like Ray had suggested. Here’s the story (and lessons learned) from growing Your Auto Advocate’s YouTube channel from 0 to 14,000+ subscribers in three weeks. Below you’ll see I am as transparent as I possibly can be, with screenshots from Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and Youtube Analytics. I hope you find this valuable.

What is Your Auto Advocate?

To provide clarity on what you are about to read, you need to have a brief understanding of what Your Auto Advocate is, and how YouTube (and content marketing in general) play into the company’s overall growth strategy.
Your Auto Advocate is a professional car buying service.
Let’s say you’re in the market to buy a new vehicle. Odds are, the thought of going into a dealership (or in our current state, going onto a dealer’s website), makes you queasy. That’s because most people do not trust car salespeople. I can’t blame them. Interacting with car dealerships is far from pleasant, and it’s tough to walk away from buying a new car feeling confident you got a great deal.
No one wants to be the guy or gal that makes the dealership a lot of money.
That’s where Your Auto Advocate helps. Instead of going to a dealership, you hire Your Auto Advocate. You tell Your Auto Advocate what vehicle you’re interested in, and they handle all of the dealer outreach and negotiation. Their only compensation comes from you, the client, so you have confidence they’re working the dealers for the best deal possible without a “kickback” of any sort.
That’s Your Auto Advocate in a nutshell. We make car buying simple, easy, and fun.
Now, to gain awareness for this new venture I was adamant that we needed to leverage Ray’s 43+ year career in the car business to teach consumers the ins and outs of how dealerships work. That led us to create videos and write written guides. My thought process was that if we could build trust with our audience early on, and give them the tools they needed to feel more comfortable buying a car on their own, then eventually, we’d find prospective customers that would pay us to simply do it for them.

Before we got traction

It’s important to recognize that Your Auto Advocate’s YouTube success did not occur overnight.
Before gaining traction, I fumbled around with a few videos that didn’t get more than a few hundred views. Those videos were shot in 4k, with professional lighting, a microphone, and more. The “new” videos we created from recorded Zoom calls (using our free Zoom accounts of course!), were in 360p, with no microphones, and no editing.
What changed from those original videos, to the recorded Zoom calls that allowed us to get over one million views in a few short weeks? Here’s what I think happened:
These three characteristics are what I think allowed us to find traction on YouTube.

The growth we experienced

As I wrote about a few months ago, finding your first paying customer is not easy. It was on April 19th, nearly 6 weeks after I quit my job, that we had our first paying customer. This is an important date, because it was just four days later that our YouTube videos began to pick up steam.
Screenshot of YouTube Analytics
As you can see in the screenshot of our YouTube analytics, we saw a massive increase in viewership over the past week or so. Before this spike, we were averaging around 100 views per day across all of our videos. On Thursday April 23rd we knew something was happening, because we spiked to 1,852 views.
I sent my dad this message on that day:
Views on Friday the 24th grew to 4,400, then 21,916 on Saturday. This kept going until it reached the top on Saturday, May 2nd at 131,417 views in a single day.
We’ve seen viewership decline since then, and if you asked me “why,” I wouldn’t be able to provide a concrete answer. I don’t know why.
We have a base of 14,000+ subscribers now though, so each of our new videos receives a few thousand views when we upload them. We’ll see if we’re able to grow more rapidly again in the future.
I have a lot to learn when it comes to developing a YouTube channel!

Converting viewers into customers

The goal of content marketing is to generate customers for your business. One of the benefits of YouTube is that you can monetize your content (you may have noticed in the screenshot above it showed nearly $3,000 in revenue from ads on our videos, for example), but the primary goal is to convert readers or viewers into customers.
We saw a huge spike in website traffic in conjunction with our growth on YouTube. People that found Your Auto Advocate on YouTube would then google search our name. Here’s the search data for “Your Auto Advocate”:
Once traffic reaches your website it’s important to have a clear “flow” for how users can convert into customers. Fortunately for us, the traffic that made it to our website was converting at a high clip! In the screenshot below you can see (to the right) the “goal conversion” for Marketing Qualified Lead. That is anyone that completes our Sign Up form.
Google Analytics screenshot
The bounce rate has been incredibly low, and the time on site has been incredibly high.
About 2% of traffic has converted into MQL, and over two thirds of that traffic has converted into a Sales Qualified Lead.
Those SQLs have converted into paying customers at a high clip too!
The funnel (as of writing this) is:
39% of visitors that fill out our sign up form have gone onto become paying customers!
Anecdotally speaking, the other 61% who are not converting into customers right now, have told us they’d like to work with us in the future, when they are ready to buy their next car. That being said, I anticipate more than 70% of our MQLs will convert into paying customers over the next few months. There really has been limited to no negative reaction to our business model, pricing, or value proposition. People really hate going into car dealerships or dealing with car salespeople, and we can take them out of that pain.
As in any service business, the more you can delight your customers, the better your chances are of gaining referrals and word of mouth recommendations. With that in mind, we created a compelling thank you page after paying your final invoice:
And, new reviews have been coming in too!

Where do we go from here?

Well, all this growth has forced Your Auto Advocate to mature more quickly than I had previously imagined. Our first employee will be joining us on May 25th to help us expand and meet demand! If you had asked me if this was possible one month ago I would have said “No way!” But look where we are now.
It’s truly incredible that some Zoom recordings with my dad have enabled our business to grow as quickly as it has. Authenticity goes a long way I suppose. Incredible.
There are a few high priority tasks I will be focusing on over the coming days and weeks:
I hope you found this interesting and valuable. I’ll post another update once I get a chance, sometime in June I imagine. Thanks for reading.
submitted by zachshefska to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

To support a statue of Matthew Gaines, we need to know why.

I want to preface this by saying this has no bearing on Sully's statue staying or going. We can put up other statues as we see fit (and can fund) without keeping or removing others. TL;DR at the bottom, otherwise, buckle up.
We have seen 3 pushes to raise a statue of Matthew Gaines (with the entire 12th Legislature as a footnote) on campus. One back in the late 90's, another circa 2007, and again, here in 2020. These efforts are promoting Gaines as "instrumental", "crucial", "pivotal", etc to the formation of Texas A&M through his "implementation of the federal Morrill Act. It certainly makes it sound as if he deserves a statue, and specifically one here at Texas A&M. But a bit of digging quickly brings up questions...
If you start Googling Matthew Gaines, nothing comes up about him and Texas A&M outside of comments and opinion pieces by individuals associated with the Matthew Gaines Initiative/Memorial Council. Even one of the Wikipedia citations uses one of their unsourced statements. This is not inherently concerning because, after all, he didn't attend Texas A& didn't exist.
So if you dig up the old Senate records from the 12th legislative session, you find that Texas had 2 Black Senators; Gaines and George T. Ruby. Ruby was also a staunch supporter for education and black equality in his own right. I have seen absolutely no one supporting a Gaines statue mention this man's name in any capacity anywhere I found. If you pull up the Senate Journal and scroll down to page 681 (or Cntrl+F search for "mech" it will be the 3rd result), you can find that Senator Saylor suspended the rules to have SB 276 brought to a vote. It passed 21-4 and both Gaines and Ruby voted for it. It passed handily, with bipartisan support from the Black senators, the former Confederate Senators, and even a former Union solder Senator from California (transplants, amirite?). Nothing in these Senate records indicate this was a difficult vote or that it was controversial.
So if you dig up the House record from the 12th Legislature, you find that Texas had 12 Black House members; none of which I have ever seen named by anyone supporting a statue of Matthew Gaines on campus. Admittedly, there is much less information about these individuals out there, but to not even name them concerns me. If you pull up the House Journal on their vote for SB 276 and scroll down to page 1023 (Cntrl+F "Mech" and it's the 30th result), you can find where the 3rd reading was passed 40-26. Of the 12 Black House members in the House, 5 of them didn't vote at all (Dupree, Mullens, Burley, Medlock, and R. Williams). This was the 3rd reading because the first and second people tried to reduce the amount of money and make an amendment to it and it failed; Gaines' name was not mentioned in any of the readings, nor were any of the Black House member's names mentioned as presenting it, sponsoring it, etc.
An opinion piece the Houston Chronicle by Jason D. Schall, "advocacy chairman of the Matthew Gaines Memorial Council, is a 2002 graduate of Texas A&M University" states that Gaines is "one of Texas' first Aggies". This is blatantly not true as he never attended A&M, couldn't have for 5 years after his vote was cast, and if he's doing it as a honorary Aggie-type of thing, then he should mention that.
Further on in the piece, Schall states "14 newly elected black state lawmakers led by Republican State Sen. Matthew Gaines...". I can find nothing to indicate he "led" those lawmakers. It would be uncommon for 1 man to lead groups on both sides of the aisle in the first place. His leadership also allowed 5 of them to miss the vote in the House; 5 out of 12 missing doesn't indicate much leadership to me.
Schall goes on, "Because the act also required the creation of a school for blacks, many white Texans undoubtedly opposed Texas participation in the program." The 12th Legislature was dominated by Republicans who supported education and were more pro-Black than those many white Texans. In The Texas State Constitution: A Reference Guide by Janice C. May, she wrote "The Republican-dominated Twelfth Legislature (1870-1872)...". It's hard to find party affiliations for some of those people, so I used her book for a source on that fact.
Schall goes on to quote Dr. Dale Baum (A&M professor), except he doesn't actually quote him. He doesn't put anything in quotations so we can't really be sure if it's a quote, a paraphrase, or what. But the gist of it is that those 14 men played a significant role in getting the bill passed. I, however, fail to see how 2 out of 21 is playing a major role when only 4 voted against it. I also fail to see how 7 out of 40 is playing a major role when only 26 voted against it AND you had 5 not even show up to vote. I fail to see how Gaines, specifically, played a major role other than casting 1 vote. He didn't read it, he didn't make the motion to suspend the rules to have it read, etc.
In light of all that...why are we pushing for a statue of Matthew Gaines instead of any of the other Black legislators (or at least the ones who voted)? Why are we not reaching into A&M's past and pulling some of our prominent, black former students? Why are we instead reaching back to someone who was just a general supporter of education for both whites and blacks and whose action was not remarkable from his peers at that time? One could argue that the Governor who signed it instead of vetoing it played a larger role than Gaines himself.
If there is evidence that Gaines lobbied for, pushed, whipped votes, etc...I can't find it and I have repeatedly asked for it on multiple platforms and of multiple people. None have yet responded with any evidence. (Including 3-4 threads on this sub).
TL;DR. Why Matthew Gaines instead of prominent, Black former students or any of the other legislators who voted on the same bill?
Edit 1: I have since found a digital copy of Black Leaders: Texans for Their Times by Alwyn Barr available through UNT's website. It appears Republicans in the 12th Leg. held a 10 vote majority (per the Houston Union in a Dec.9, 1869 article). Per that book, Gaines' "background was not notably different from that of several of his fellow black solons", which made his "action and attitude seem more extraordinary". It goes on to say that he was very vocal in debate and gained enemies in the Senate but attracted a loyal following among his constituents. It does not mention him "leading" a black delegation. He and Ruby were two very different politicians with different styles.
It should be noted that Pridgen appeared to really dislike Gaines on a personal level; yet still voted in favor of SB 276 later on.
The book goes on to describe Gaines being "one of the most active defenders" of desegregated free public education (which didn't apply to the unformed Texas A&M as of yet anyway). This is surely notable, but not in the context of Texas A&M. He argued with Dillard and Flanagan about this issue, but both of those men voted for SB 276 later on and public schools were obviously not desegregated, so he did not sway them. There is no mention of SB 276 itself in the book.
Dr. Dale Baum has a book, but there is only one mention of Matthew Gaines and it says he was "a self­taught former slave from Washington County who spoke up for black agricultural workers". Nothing else is mentioned.
submitted by TwiztedImage to aggies [link] [comments]

Big list of Benefits.

Figured I would make one big list of benefits people might not know about. Compiled from a bunch of Reddit threads, articles, and things I’ve found on my own. A bunch of these I haven’t used personally so if I’m mistaken on anything please let me know so I can change it! Also if you have anything to add ill put it on the list!
Tuition Assistance. Up to 4000 dollars per FY for college classes, you can sign up at the local Ed Center or some posts have collages on posts that offer day classes which with your commander's approval you can get out of work for 2 hrs a day to go to class. as well as night classes if in-person learning is more your thing.
Army COOL: Up to 4000 dollars per FY (shared with TA) to get credentials. A great new resource to help get yourself set up Promo points and get recognized for the skills you already possess. I haven’t used this myself so hopefully, someone else can share their experiences.
CLEPS/DSST: Military personal are allowed 1 free exam per CLEP AND DSST so if you fail one, you can take the same exam again through the other. that’s even more free college credits and you don’t even need to sit in a class for them
Skillport: Lots of IT and Technical classes here, I don’t believe that they give you certs but they definitely prepare you for the exam whenever you take it. I had to sign up for an account on ATTRS (Gov. Computer)
Pell Grant: Even more free money! get up to a couple of thousand dollars from the government as long as your going to school, and its a grant so you don't have to pay anything back!
Posse Veteran's Foundation: They partner with top schools to ensure groups of veterans are successful in elite undergrad programs. The program will pay for the rest of the time it takes to complete your degree regardless of G.I Bill benefits left. U Chicaco/UVA/Wesleyan/ Vassar College are all sponsors and would love to have more veteran students. The program consists of 3 interview rounds and there is no GPA/SAT threshold to reach to be eligible.
Warrior-Scholar Project: They host academic boot camps to prepare you to perform at elite schools. The boot camps are hosted by Yale/Harvard/MIT/Princeton/Columbia etc. and offer some great exposure college. The instructors exponentially increase your writing ability in the short time they have you.
Service 2 School: They match you with a mentor from a Vetlinked school and help tailor your entire application to the schools you want to apply to. They have had incredible success getting veterans to the Ivy League schools by providing 1:1 instruction for as long as you need.
Yellow Ribbon Schools: Ever want to go to Harvard or Yale or another big name school, but the tuition is so expensive you don't think GI Bill will cover it? Well, guess what? a lot of big-name schools will LOWER their tuition to the maximum amount the GI Bill pays out!
FedVTE: Another more technical/Cyber training website for government employees.

Space A. Travel: Free flights! If they are available, it can be a great way to vacation with a little bit of planning and luck involved.
Epic Ski Pass: For $170 to get access to over 30 resorts including some big names ones.
VetTix: Great way to get tickets to sporting events concerts and stuff. Just have to pay for shipping.
Blue Star Museum: HUGE amount of museums offer free admission to military and families. (not doing 2020 because of COVID)
Armed Forces Vacation Club: Weeklong Resorts/House/Hotel stays starting at $359 have locations all over the world. Some places offer shorter stays as well. (There's also a version of this for Veterans which is basically the same thing.)
Seaworld / Busch Gardens: Seaworld offers military 1 free admission per year.
National Parks: Tons of National parks offer free admission to military personnel. You have to get it in person from a park but it’s still a great deal.
Disney World: Disney World offers 4 5 and 6 day passes for as low as $265 with the park hopper option.
TSA Precheck: Free TSA precheck. Just enter your DOD ID number in the Known Traveler number box.Games2Grunts: Free video games. First come first serve but normally they have some pretty good games and addons.
Hunting & Fishing licenses: A lot of states offer free or resident rate hunting and fishing licenses. Have to look into your individual state for more details.
SFL-TAP: SFL-TAP offers a lot more than just the mandatory classes and resumes reviews that most people, They offer Carrer Skills programs which you can do while you’re still in the Army, Gets you away from the unit for a while, help you learn a skill, and normally they will hook you up with a job when you get out. There are also some other things that are a lot more post dependant, Fort Riley, for example, offers free OSHA10/30 and Defensive Driving classes multiple time a year.
LinkedIn Premium: Free year of premium for Soldiers. Offers resume builders and other great resources for finding a job.
Boots2Suits: Resume, Professional picture. And other sorts of career placement help. The same people also offer 2 free business attire outfits.
American Corporate Partners: Free yearlong mentorship in a career field of your choice. From what I've heard its a better more specific version of SFL-TAP
CDL: Depending on your MOS (or what vehicles you have one your license) some states will waive the Skill test required to get your CDL (Most states I've noticed will still make you pass a knowledge test.)
OTHER. This verifies you’re military affiliation and enables discounts through sites like apple’s military deals. many other benefits use this to verify your service.
Childcare: ChildcareAware offers assistance with paying for Childcare when On post isn't available. Apparently they also help cover summer camps.
GOVX: Online superstore with pretty good discounts on a lot of items and big-name brands.
ExpertVoice: Basically same thing as GOVX
Firearm Discounts: many firearms and accessory manufacturers offer discounts to LEO and Military, most just require you to email them your proof. Glock and Vortex optics are just some of the options.
Veterans day Meals: Every year tons of places offer free meals to veterans. There's too many to list here so here's a list I found of last year. should be similar year to year.
SCRA: SCRA from my understanding allows you to refinance all Pre-military loans to a 6% interest rate. Lots of places go above and beyond for this including AMEX and Chase, Who offer their premium cards to active duty personnel with 0 annual fees. and they all come with a host of benefits including Uber credit, access to premium airport lounges. and lots of other things.
MilitaryOneSource: What DOESNT this site do? They offer free anonymous counseling, access to digital MWR libraries, a guide to space A. flights. an amazing resource for almost all things military.
Speech Therapy: This was one I was really surprised about if you suffer from a lisp or stutter or some form of speech impediment, give Behavioral Health a call and ask if they offer this. I was able to meet with a therapist once a week for a couple of months and now the lisp i had my entire life is almost completely gone. All for free
ASAP: Everyone hears about it as this bad thing, but if you feel you have a problem with alcohol this is an amazing resource to help you.

Special Thanks to

submitted by Sethman27 to army [link] [comments]

Amazon Affiliate Application Rejected - Not using tags

I am new to Amazon Affiliate Marketing and have been using it since March. I just got an email from Amazon saying my application has been rejected.

The reason stated, " We noticed that you are not using tags associated with your store in any of the Amazon Special Links you have created on your website. As a result of this, we were unable to determine the source of traffic."

I don't understand the issue. The example of the violation that they have sent me links to my homepage ( which has no Amazon links. All the links I use on my website are directly generated from Amazon Associates Central. I don't change the link. Even the image links I generate from Amazon. I also write that they link will redirect the user to the Amazon website for purchase and have a disclosure on my site for the Amazon Affiliate program.

I tried reaching out to them but haven't received a reply.

Has anyone dealt with the same issue or has advice on how do I resolve it? Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you.
submitted by marcusaurorelius to juststart [link] [comments]

Applying to ART College: A Megathread

Hi! After using this sub for much of my junior & senior year (on a separate account), I've noticed there’s fairly little information on applying to art college. As such, I thought I'd compile all my knowledge and research about applying to art school as someone that used to obsess over the A2C process for both normal and art schools.
This ended up MASSIVE as I tried to stuff everything I could think of related to applying to art school in here. Hope it helps some of y’all out there :-)


Having applied and researched applying to both art and normal schools, I feel that applying to art school is much more straight forward. There are so fewer moving factors and it's definitely much less of a crapshoot than applying to T20s and Ivies. If your art is good enough and you know what they're looking for, I think getting into even the top art schools is very doable and a lot less scary than one might initially think.
For some context, I'm currently an incoming freshman at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and was accepted with highest merit scholarship to all art schools I applied to, including RISD, Parsons, Pratt, and SVA. I was a 2019 and 2020 YoungArts winner in Visual Arts, a 2020 Scholastic National Gold Medalist, and a 2017 Congressional Competition where my art was hung in the U.S. Capitol for a year.
While part of it was hard work, another part of it was also figuring out how to navigate the process and choosing where to apply my effort. Figuring out what AOs want is super important if you want to maximize your chances at success.
Applying to art college is ultimately a game that anyone with a drive to create art can learn how to play, no matter how much art experience you have. And if you know how to play, it becomes a lot easier to succeed!

The Portfolio

The portfolio is no doubt the MOST important part of your application. This is a selection of your artwork that AOs will look at to determine if you're qualified enough to be admitted. Grades and ECs often matter little to none depending on the school, so if you're set on art school, make sure to focus on creating the best portfolio you can.
Depending on the school, they may ask for anywhere from 10-22 pieces. Each school has different quantitative requirements; make sure you check their website and/or Slideroom portal (where you'll upload your portfolio) for details.
Important note: Please keep in mind that my portfolio was mainly 2D fine arts with a little bit of Graphic Design from my time at RISD Precollege, which I attended in the summer before 12th grade (2019). As such, most of the research I did was about fine arts portfolios and I don't know if the information here is as applicable to portfolios with or centered on photo, video, animation, etc. It's also most specific to RISD & other top art schools in the U.S. (but we're all overachievers here anyway lol).

Major-specific vs Non-major-specific portfolios

Some schools want portfolios that are specific to the major you apply to (though this is relatively rare) or portfolios that are "focused" on (rather than only on) a specific major (this is a little more common). They may not even mention it explicitly on their website, so make sure you clarify what the school wants.
The advice & info I'll give is about non-major-specific portfolios (which schools like RISD (especially), Pratt, Parsons, SVA, SAIC, MICA, etc. want/accept), so keep that in mind!

What to include in a portfolio? (For art schools)

While this honestly varies from school to school, I know that top art schools not only want to see technical skill, but conceptual thinking and experimentation as well. I think a current RISD student that gave a portfolio lecture at RISD precollege put it really well—RISD (and many other top art schools) look for things that they admit they can't teach you, like a POTENTIAL to grow, a drive to experiment and explore, a proclivity for a type of thought-process that they think makes great artists. Realism and technical drawing skill are all things that anyone can learn with enough practice (and at many art schools like RISD, Pratt, and Parsons, you WILL be practicing through foundation year studies).
That being said, schools still want to see that you have adequate technical skills to build upon. You want a mix between technically-strong pieces and conceptually-strong pieces, i.e. pieces that show off your rendering abilities and pieces that show off your ability to put ideas and thought behind your pieces. Of course, these two categories can heavily overlap (and it's probably better if they do!), but if they don't, make sure you have BOTH in your portfolio.

Technically-strong pieces

Technically-strong pieces are pieces that demonstrate your mastery over your medium. Many this means super-detailed colored pencil still lives, well-crafted and purposeful sculptures, intricate landscapes, accurately rendered buildings, etc. In addition to making things detailed, technical skill also includes a strong grasp of color, light, composition, form, space, etc.
Tip: Composition especially is something many art school applicants don't pay much attention to (according to some AOs I've talked to), so make sure you're not putting everything right in the center of your page/canvas/etc. Also, play with cropping and having parts of the subject & objects go off the page rather than containing the entirety of the subject/object within the bounds of your page.

Conceptually-strong pieces

Having a portfolio of impeccably rendered but purely technical pieces may get you into some schools, but top art schools will still turn you down. I know of so many people who've submitted portfolios full of hyperrealistic graphite shoes or tools or other objects, only to be rejected. Such portfolios show that the artist lacks the ability to go beyond depictions of life and given another dimension to their art—a conceptual dimension.
By "conceptually-strong" pieces, I mean pieces that are idea and thought-driven rather than just purely technical. Think about how you can indicate a narrative within your piece or say something.
Think also about how you intentionally choose certain compositions, certain lighting, certain colors, certain styles, certain painting techniques, etc. to help subtly build the narrative of your piece. This is really important as it shows you're thinking about these things.
This DOESN'T necessarily mean that there has to be some explicit "moral" or message to your piece; trying to spoonfeed a story through very explicit (i.e. not-subtle) imagery can result in cheesy symbolism and pieces that feel cliche.
(I hope to add more to this later when I can put it into words better—this category is so broad and vague and I wish I could be more specific. Feel free to ask more specific questions about it below!)

Mastery over a range of mediums

Top art schools like seeing that you skillfully use and experiment with different mediums. Maybe if you mainly work with pencil and pen, you can try paint, which is wet and a lot looser than highly controlled dry mediums. Maybe you can try 3D!! Many high schoolers are scared of it so it'll make you stand out (if it's well-executed).
Tip: You can also play with combining multiple mediums in one piece. Consider less conventional mediums like e.g. painting on wood (having the wood show through under the paint can create a cool effect, plus you can also burn wood to create designs & cool effects), creating texture with crumpled newspaper, incorporating wires to create a 3D aspect, etc. The list goes on and on!
That all being said, don't put in a bad piece just for the sake of showing that you work with different mediums. If the piece isn't very good, it can end up hurting you more helping you :')
Additionally, some art schools may not care all that much about seeing a range of mediums. This is definitely more of a thing at schools like RISD.

Life studies: figure drawings, still lives, landscapes, etc.

Art schools want to see that you can draw from life. This means literally looking at things IRL and drawing them instead of drawing from a photograph. These pieces don't have to fully executed, fleshed-out pieces—it's common for people to send shaded black-and-white charcoal sketches of figures. They can also be sketchbook pages from sitting at a coffee shop, a park, a train station, your room, and just drawing the people, animals, objects, scenery, etc. around you. This is also a time to combine mediums if you want to add a splash of color to pen/pencil drawings. You can have fun with it!
That being said, it's still very important to display well-executed technical skill, ESPECIALLY for still lives as those are probably the most common life drawing + are in nearly every single portfolio and probably the easiest of the 3.
Tip: Put shadows underneath your still lives; don't just have them floating in a blank white page! Try to also draw at least some part of the background so that the object is indicated in a space. Play with composition and try to break away from putting everything right in the middle of your page/canvas with nothing going off the edges (bc still lives are like that and it gets very boring!)
If you can't access live nude models for figure drawing, there are some online resources where you can draw nude models meant for this exact purpose, both timed and untimed (posted below!). Though it won't be from life, it may still be worth including as human anatomy is important and something many art schools focus on, especially in your first year.
Although the vast majority do, some schools don't care about life studies or purely technical pieces at all (notoriously parsons!), so make sure you do your research through attending National Portfolio Day & contacting admissions with questions (more on that later).
Note: You should only submit a few of these!

Sketchbook pages

This very much depends on the school—some really want to see them and some may only want to see your best, most completed work. Typically, a school that DOES want sketchbook pages will explicitly ask to see them. Make sure you check their website or ask them!
If they DO want to see sketchbook pages, you can include thumbnail sketches, planning for another piece, life drawings, small experimentations, anything that gives a "behind the scenes" look into your art making and thinking. It's great also to show sketchbook planning for another piece you have in your portfolio. Schools like RISD really want to sketchbook pages so make sure you keep one!
Note: You should only submit a few of these!

School-specific assignments/tests

Some art schools will require you to create art based on a specific prompt. This prompt may change every year or stay the same. This is an important chance to show how you tackle an art assignment given by the school itself and a good assignment response can really boost your portfolio. I wouldn't go as far as to say these "make or break" your portfolio, however, as schools have explicitly stated that the rest of your portfolio is also important and not to devote all your time and energy onto the assignment at the cost of a lower-quality portfolio. Still take it seriously though!
Cooper Union (tbh it's the only school I know of that does this) gives a "home test" where they mail/email you a list of prompts to make art from that they assess you on. There's also a bunch of questions you have to answer (I don't know much about the home test so please let me know if this info is wrong or misleading!).
RISD's this year (just released a few days ago!) is "Identify something in need of repair. Use any material or approach to fix it." and an accompanying written response (further details here).

Portfolio tips

Be creative. Come up with unique concepts.

I'm sure someone out there is reading this thinking, 'Well, DUH, it's art school! Of course I have to be creative,' because I'd probably think the same. Yet, you'd be surprised how often AOs continue to see still lives of fruit or glass bottles, green landscapes, a portrait painted with a flurry of unnatural skin tones, etc.
Don't make things just because everyone else is making them. I guarantee you that you don't need a still life of fruit to get into art school. Instead, think about what pieces like that show AOS (for still lives, it'd be technical skill) and think about ways you can show those same skills but in a less-generic way. This piece by @lemoncholy_(IG) (link to a timestamped youtube video) is a great example of a fun and original still life that also works in a narrative while displaying technical skill.

Break out of rigidity

Common among applicants who are really skilled in realism are portfolios full of tightly rendered portraits and scenes from life, but nothing else. This is bad because it shows you don't know how to experiment and that your artistic skills and vision are limited within the very narrow realm of photographic realism.
Play with adapting a "looser" hand. Watercolor is great for this because it's so fluid! You can also play with combining realism and abstraction or illustration. An artist that I think does this well with oil paint is Jenny Saville. You can also experiment with stylizing some of your realism. Degas's pastel portraits

Don't place everything in the center

I mentioned this earlier, but placing things in the dead center is probably the most common composition that high school applicants use, usually without a particular reason why and just because it's the "default." Many AOs I talked to really emphasized it so definitely play with putting things off-center and asymmetry!!

Have backgrounds. Yes, even to still lives!

Also mentioned earlier, but pure white backgrounds should be avoided whenever appropriate. They can make pieces look unfinished and usually happen because people are scared of them. Break out of your comfort zone! Even if the background is simple, it still indicates the object in a space instead of it just floating in space.

Don't be afraid of color

Try to make more than half of your pieces in color! I'm not sure if this is as much of a problem now, but don't be afraid of it! It's much easier to work with it when the colors are controlled, like with colored pencils, versus when you have to mix your own colors, like with watercolor.

Make your artistic choices intentional

Why did you choose this certain composition? This color palette? This style? This lighting? Realism vs semi-realism? How can these choices help build a narrative without having to shove it down the audience's throat through explicit imagery?
Answering these questions can help you make more intentional and meaningful choices! and explaining these choices in the description will definitely give you a boost as it shows you're thinking deeply about critically (critically thinking) about your art-making.

Spend time on your written descriptions

Honestly, even if the work itself is subpar, a stellar description that reveals a lot of depth to the piece can save it and show that you think a lot about your artistic choices and art-making in general. From then, it just becomes an execution issue which you can work on in school.

Quality > quantity, but don't add too few pieces either

Don't try to reach the max-pieces limit with "filler" pieces that aren't very good. It'll bring the overall quality of your portfolio down.
At the same time, don't include too few pieces. If it asks for 20 pieces, try to give at least 13. If it asks for 12, try to give at least 9. Not every piece has to be absolutely outstanding!

Common mistakes

A purely technical portfolio

I'm sure I'm beginning to sound like a broken record at this point lol, but this is super important!! It's so so common for technically amazing applicants to get rejected because their portfolios are all just technical studies without any narrative or conceptual thought behind the majority of their pieces.
Tell narratives through your art. Go to art museums. Ask yourself what it means to be an artist and your role in society. What power does art have that other methods don't? How can you use your art to say things and reach others in ways that only art can?

Fanart or anime

Especially anime. They don't like it at all. The reasons are a little BS imo :( but you can't fight them; just don't do it.

Master copies

Mastercopies are when you replicate/copy famous pieces of artwork—art from "masters"—as accurately as possible.
This is a lesser offense than including fanart/anime and whether schools actually care will vary from school to school, but I know that schools like RISD & Parsons really don't like them and RISD specifically advises against them. They don't show any originality and the display of technical skill is also damped by the notion that it was copied from someone else's art.
Personally, I think master copies are actually super beneficial to people learning a certain medium and I really encourage people to do them as studies. Just don't put them in your portfolio!

Badly photographed pieces

The documentation of your pieces is an often overlooked yet highly important part of your portfolio. Try to take photos of work outside in bright but shadowy areas. This way you get natural light but not the glare of direct light. Rent a camera and learn how to use its basic settings or use a phone with a high-quality camera.
Crop your photos to the edges of your piece. Alter weird lighting, contrast, and color inconsistencies using a photo editing software. Photoshop is perfect for this as it's super powerful. If you don't have a subscription, PM me and I can help you with getting it for free.
Art Prof also has tooons of stuff on documenting your work here in the middle/second column of links near the top.

What makes the best portfolio? (For NON-art schools)

When submitting a supplementary portfolio to non-art schools, non-art schools typically prefer high-technical skill works and fully fleshed-out, finished works. Unless your experimental pieces are also highly skilled, it's best to go for very well rendered pieces that also have some conceptual thinking behind them.
The people looking at your supplementary portfolio may often be normal AOs that don't know much about art, and high-skill pieces will seem most impressive. And whereas the applicant pool for top art schools like RISD consists of many high-technical-skill low-conceptual-skill portfolios, supplementary portfolios to non-art schools on average usually aren't as good so you don't need as many risky, conceptual pieces to stand out.
Plus, non-art schools don't give two shits about your "potential to grow" in art so show off all the current skill you have rather than what you could have in the future! Especially if you don't even plan to do art in college.

Ordering your pieces

The order of your pieces does matter. You want to leave the best impression you can on the AOs and psychology plays a part in it. People generally agree that the first two and last two pieces should be your strongest pieces. You want to start and end with a bang.
Other than that, it's up to you and depends on your portfolio pieces. You could try grouping similar pieces together, but if two pieces are too similar to each other, it can seem repetitive and you should probably take one of them out (instead of just moving it somewhere else). You could also play with mixing things up, but be careful not to break the cohesion of your portfolio by jumping between pieces that have completely different purposes and moods—you want the order of your pieces to flow without seeming boring or repetitive.

What is Slideroom?

Slideroom is a portfolio uploading site where the majority of schools (including non-art schools) will ask you to submit portfolios on. Each school will have their own Slideroom portal (usually something like "[schoolname]") and you'll have to submit your portfolio separately for school you apply to.
When you upload pieces onto slideroom, you'll have the option to add a title and description for your piece. You may also have a box for year, medium, size, etc. depending on if the schools asks for it.
Tip: I highly recommend creating a separate document/spreadsheet with all your artworks' names, mediums, years, sizes, and descriptions as you'll have to put in that information again each time you submit a portfolio to another school (there IS an option on Slideroom to copy all your entries from portfolio A into portfolio B, but portfolio B may ask for yeamedium/size/etc. while portfolio A may not, which would require you to put it all in for portfolio B).

More tips!

Two ~1hr Youtube videos about "art school portfolio secrets" with tons more tips from Clara Lieu (former adjunct RISD professor) @ Art Prof!! Here and here.
A bunch of portfolio tips + more common mistakes by Art Prof (again lol) here (same link as the one about documenting artwork)!

Grades, Tests, Extracurriculars, Awards, Classes, etc.


Generally, grades and test scores very little to art schools. Most art schools barely care about your GPA and SAT, if at all. Even RISD, which probably cares the most out of all the art schools, has accepted people with sub 3.0 GPAs and sub 1200 SAT scores. Contrarily, many 4.0 UW 1400+ SAT people have been rejected because their portfolios are subpar. And it makes sense when you think about it, as academic strength matters little relative to your artistic strength when at art school.
Extracurriculars are more or less the same deal. Some schools only ask for art related ECs, so it's nice to have a few. It also may give you something to talk about.

Art Competitons/Awards

From my understanding awards also don't matter very much to art schools, and at least not as much as your portfolio. I know people who've won numerous Scholastic National Medals that were rejected from schools like RISD. IMO this makes sense, as art school AO's would definitely trust their own judgment when looking at someone's portfolio over that of a competition's that they aren't affiliated with, especially since they're admitting them to art school, which values potential, while competitions value skill.
Some schools give a few scholarships based on art competitions like YoungArts, Scholastic, etc. I always think it's a good idea to try for these as you often have nothing to lose except for your time and the application fee and you may end up with some portfolio pieces while preparing for them.
There are mainly two large art competitions that I know of:

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

This is probably the largest art competition in the country. It has both regional and national awards. It's not too difficult to get some regional awards and it looks good on a resume. Anyone 7th-12th grade can apply and you need to do it while affiliated with a middle school/high school art teacher.
They have many different visual arts categories such as photography, drawing & illustration, sculpture, mixed media, design, digital, comic art, etc. They also have a whole writing section that also has a bunch of different categories.

National Youngarts Foundation

This is a fairly prestigious competition with only ~50 winners nationwide, only half (or less) of which are Finalists. For visual arts, you submit a portfolio of 10 pieces that generally follow some unifying theme (the specifics change from year to year so make sure you check their site for details). Anyone 15-18 OR in 10th-12th grade can apply (so many college freshmen still qualify!). The due date is in October and if you get notified if you're a winner in December.
There are also many other categories outside of visual arts, such as theatre, writing, singing, dancing, classical music, etc.

AP Art

I personally never took this class as it wasn't offered at my school, so I wish I could say more about it. From my understanding, this class is a good portfolio builder, and many who take it before 12th grade end up with portfolio pieces. I think most art colleges don't allow you to use AP Art credit in college.

School Art Classes and Private Art Classes

In terms of getting you into art school, I don't think having these on your transcript or resume will increase or reduce your chances at all. However, these are definitely great opportunities to work on portfolio pieces and get feedback from teachers and peers.
Private art classes (if you find a good one) are definitely a great place to work specifically on portfolio pieces. Usually your instructor will work closely with you to build a portfolio and create pieces. Having not really done or learned anything in my school art classes, private art classes definitely helped me churn out a lot of art for the first half of high school.

Choosing an art school

Your major matters

The quality of your education at a certain institution will be VERY major dependent. While it may be tempting, don't just look at acceptance rates because they can mislead you (sidenote on this: try to get acceptance rates from students or the school's website because the ones Google reports are always much higher for some reason).
Even reputation can sometimes be misleading—for example, while RISD is sometimes considered the "Harvard" of art schools, it has a poor animation, video, and photography department. Contrarily, SVA has a great animation program despite having a high acceptance rate and despite some of their other departments being questionable in quality.

Flexibility in switching majors

If you aren't sure which major you want to go into or unsure if you necessarily will want to stay in your current major, keep in mind how easy or hard it'll be to switch majors. Some schools require you to apply to a certain major and are very inflexible about changing majors. For example, to do Fashion at parsons (which is famous for their fashion), you have to specifically get into the Fashion major because it's so competitive and they probably judge the applicants at a different standard.
Additionally, their first-year curriculum is completely different from all the other majors' first-year curriculums (which is usually a foundation year where ALL majors take the SAME classes on fundamental art skills like drawing and design). If you get into Parsons for something else, I've heard it's relatively easy to change majors from say Illustration to Graphic Design to very hard to change majors into Fashion.
It also may be hard to transfer out of such majors. Animation at SVA has a different first-year curriculum than most of the other majors (which also have a foundation year) which SVA brings up as why you can't switch from Animation to GD or Illustration but why you can switch form GD to Illustration or vice versa. I've heard of people who went into SVA for animation but realized after their second year that they didn't actually like animation. As a result, they either had to stick with it for another two years and 140k later or drop out.


This is true for both art and non-art schools. Depending on your major, it may be easier to find work in more urban areas or certain cities. That gives schools around SoCal or NYC an advantage compared to schools in, say, Florida. Make sure you consider if that's something important for you and your major.


This may only be applicable for 'industry majors' like Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Textiles, etc. and not so much for very fine-arts majors like Drawing and Painting. But for those formerly mentioned majors, I've been told straight up that you pay for art school for the connections and the networking. Reputable schools have well-connected faculty and networking events with renowned companies and employers. This is super important in art industries like Graphic Design, where your salary can fluctuate GREATLY depending on where you work.

Ultimately, the name doesn't matter that much

While prestige may help someone graduating from a NON-art school find a good job, for art schools, your graduating portfolio matters a LOT more (NOTE: The portfolio I mention in this section is the one you build during your time at art college. The portfolio I mention in the next section and for the majority of this post is the one you apply to art school with). This is the body of work that you come out of college with and is what hirers (for industry majors) are looking at to decide if your artistic vision and skill is what they're looking for. The best art school for you then is the one that helps you build your best body of work, and that may not be the well-known big-name schools.

Do you like their student work?

Some schools have an affiliated Behance site where students (and alums) can post artwork that they make. You can usually filter the work in the site by major and year. The URL is typically "portfolios.[schoolname].edu" but I'd look up "[schoolname] portfolios" or "[schoolname] student work" in google as many schools don't have an affiliated Behance site.
This is a great way to see what students are currently making. You may find that you particularly do or don't like the work produced, and that's a really important indicator for whether that school would be a good fit for you.

Other options

Art at a non-art school

This can sometimes be risky imo as art programs in non-art schools are often small and not very good. Especially when there's only one professor for your major, you run the risk of getting a limited/narrow education in a field that requires fresh ideas and creative problem-solving (for most majors). The quality of the education may also just not be very great, and you'll also have fewer peers to grow from (Your classmates in art school are super important imo as you'll constantly be learning and growing off each other. You literally spend a third of your time in art school getting feedback from your peers.).
That being said, there are definitely some non-art schools with a strong arts and/or design department, like Yale, UCLA, and Carnegie Mellon. It can be hard to find stuff about this online and I wish I knew some better ways to research this, but it's best if you can talk to a professor or art student who's more 'in the know' about this stuff.

What if I don't only want to do art?

Most art schools only offer a very arts-centered education. Some have an art history/liberal arts requirement but those classes are limited. You'll still have to take some non-art classes, and if that's enough for you, great! But if not, you could consider doing art at a non-art school, where you'll have access to the school's non-art majors and courses too.
At RISD, you not only have a (relatively) heftier liberal arts requirement, but you also have the opportunity to take classes at Brown University right next door starting your sophomore year. However, I've heard that it's actually pretty difficult to schedule these classes as RISD classes are usually really long and the two universities don't really work together to coordinate classes.

Dual Degree Programs

There are also some dual degree programs, most famously the Brown | RISD dual degree program. This shit is competitive as fuck to get into (3-4% acceptance rate) but an amazing opportunity as you get a degree from both Brown University and RISD after 5-years. You can find a lot more info about it online. Overview of some specific logistics about its admissions here. There's also the Tufts SMFA 5-year dual degree which also has a 4-year option if you only want a degree from Tufts.


I only recently got into art/I don't have a lot of experience. Do I still have a chance at top art schools?

Contrary to popular belief, people who are good at art are rarely truly "talented." Much of it is really just practice, practice, and more practice. Even with talent, practice is still essential (just like how talented athletes still have to train really hard in order to do well).
But imo, you can practice "smartly" and not-so-smartly. I know of multiple people who only started making art mid-high school or never took an art class before an art camp the summer before 12th grade and these people got into some of the best art schools in the country! They weren't secret Van Gogh's who had finally uncovered their god-given talent; they just knew how to build a portfolio that highlighted their strengths over their weaknesses and showed they had potential above all else.

How expensive is art school?

Top art schools are as expensive as top non-art schools. Some, like RISD, are notorious for being stingy about giving money. It's a sad reality. However, there are definitely other affordable but decent options outside of the big-name schools. Remember that a school might be alright overall but really good for your major, specifically!

How do I know if art school is right for me?

I struggled with the same question and am honestly still struggling with it. Is art to you a hobby or a passion? Would you be ok with doing art as a job, even if it means sucking some or most of the joy out of it? Would you be willing to go into debt for a degree that may be hard to pay back?
Do you want to go to school with passionate and driven students doing what they love? Do you want to go to school with students all more-or-less doing the same thing as you? Are you ok with focusing mainly on art but dabbling in other subjects too?
Ultimately, you can also always transfer schools!


Oh boy,, my favorite part lol. Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with any of the links or organizations below :’)

Portfolio reviews

National Portfolio Day - A collection of days throughout the year where you can have your portfolio reviewed & critiqued by representatives from a whole host of art schools. There's typically one in a certain state/region per year. It's a great opportunity to get legit feedback on your portfolio and I highly recommend people to attend if possible, especially if they're unsure about what direction to move forward in with their portfolio. Also a great time to ask art schools questions!! Calendar here.
Virtual National Portfolio Day - NPD but online through Careereco. Many schools also attend. Dates for upcoming VNPDs are on the NPD website. Their most recent one (as of the time I'm writing this) was on May 22nd, 2020; you can find the details for that one here.
This is still fairly new (first one was in 2019) and can get very hectic with long wait times but the whole thing usually runs the whole day from ~6 a.m.–5 p.m. EST. I'd definitely recommend NPD over VNPD if possible.
AICAD - If you can't make NPD, you can submit a 5-piece portfolio online to have it reviewed by a select list of art schools that you get to choose from. Not many schools participate but some decent ones do, like RISD and MICA. You'll get an email with feedback.
In my experience, a lot of schools used it as an advertising platform and I didn't get that much useful feedback on my portfolio. However, some schools (like RISD) did give feedback and it's definitely worth trying though if you want as much feedback as possible!
Art Prof Portfolio Critiques - Art Prof, a free online art education service, posts 30+ min critiques of user-submitted portfolios on their Youtube channel. The reviewers include art school professors and grads. You can buy a review on Art Prof's website.
They also have a ton of live art piece critiques (scroll through the created playlists) on all categories of visual art that you can submit your own art for for free!

Portfolio Examples

Admitted Portfolio Youtube Videos - A playlist of admitted art school portfolios + tips + general videos with info about art school. As of now, it hasn't been updated with the Class of 2020 acceptances, but has most of the ones from before then.
Art Prof Portfolio Critiques - (as mentioned above!)


Art Prof - The HOLY GRAIL of free online art education. The founder and head, Clara Lieu, is a former RISD Adjunt Professor. There is a TON of useful stuff on here, including tutorials in oil paint, marker, animation, printmaking, 3D, etc; ideas for art and portfolio pieces; guides on composition, light, portraits, etc; guides for photography art; etc. Literally sooo much useful content.
Here's a post with a ton of useful info on art school portfolios!
They also have a Youtube channel that is also incredibly useful and heavily integrated with their main site. As mentioned earlier, they have a lot of full portfolio critiques which you yourself can also purchase. You can also submit art on their site to get critiqued on their channel. They have tons of useful guides on just about everything art related, like it's seriously crazy. Literally God Prof.
New Master's Academy - Tons of solid lessons on all sorts of fundamental art skills, including anatomy, oil paint, watercolor, etc. A not-free subscripton based service. They also have a Youtube channel where they post some critiques and lessons here.

Reference Photos

Figures (nude and clothed)

Line of Action - Timed nude and clothed models. Also has facial expressions, animals, landscapes, etc.
Quick Poses - Timed also; same as Line of Action but the images vary more in quality (though they're also more diverse). - Tons of nude poses with some clothed. Not timed.
Senshistock on DeviantArt - Clothed and nearly-nude poses. Many are from dynamic perspectives and they're overall more suited for anatomy reference in illustrations but still serve as good practice.

Royalty-free images

For when you want to heavily reference a photograph that isn't yours. It's a good habit to start building as it's you could get sued using copyrighted photos + it's looked down upon. Take reference photos yourself if possible!
...and tons more!
Hope this was helpful! I knew this would be long but it's now very very close to the 40k character limit lol and I'm out of space. I'll definitely try adding and editing stuff as I remember more art school-related content.
Feel free to ask any additional questions below and I'll try to answer them if possible!! I'm sure there are some things I've unintentionally glossed over, so please don't hesitate to ask :') If you have questions about specific schools, I may also be able to help!
submitted by batsbatsrats to ApplyingToCollege [link] [comments]

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We are field staff at the SBA, ask us [almost] anything.

**Edit: I'm signing off for questions for the night folks. Thank you for your time and fantastic questions. I really appreciated it. **
Hi everyone,
My name is Noah and I work out of the San Francisco District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Our office has been working closely with business owners and doing our best to manage calls right now. The local offices are very small outreach teams and I spend most of my days right now talking directly with our local business owners about how the shelter-in-place orders are impacting folks.
Everything from cake shops and hairdressers to tech start-ups and manufacturers come through my (now virtual) door. That's actually normal, even during non-disaster situations! Regardless of industry and stage the uncertainty that folks share with me is universal. We're doing what we can to alleviate some of that, where we can but also be transparent and honest about our own limitations.
When working with business owners I work really hard to make it clear what's known and what's not known, as well as not provide answers that I can't answer. Sometimes I make mistakes.
Each morning our team gets incorporates new updates into our discussions as these programs are changing daily right now.
Here's what I can't do (unfortunately)
Pretty much all of these questions I'm going to refer to my government-assigned work-from-home Bureaucat Nina Zoobie Halloumi.
The moderators sent me a list of questions consolidated by the community. I'm joined today with a field representative for the Office of Disaster Assistance West Bill Koontz and another district representative in DC David Hincapie. All three of us are field staff, so that means that we work with the public regularly, but also that we're not policy makers.
We're going to start this off by doing our best to answer the questions consolidated yesterday:

Program Organization

* Which programs does SBA oversee and where can we get information about ALL of them, including the less known ones?

We release a national resource guide that provides an overview of all of our programs. That resource guide doesn't include the PPP or the EIDL advance, since these were just added a few weeks ago. There are ~20-30 programs for business owners through the SBA. They fit into 4 different areas:
Disaster Contracting Counseling Financing
Disaster Physical damage Loans 8(a) certification program - qualifying businesses to sole source contracts and more Small Business Development Centers 7(a) (with about 30 different flavors) - working capital loans
Economic Injury Women Owned Small Business Certification Women's Business Centers 504 - commercial real estate loans
PPP loan (new) Veteran Owned Small Business Certification Veteran's Business Development Centers Microloans
Economic Injury Advance (new) Surety Bonds SCORE mentoring SBIR seed grants for new products
HubZones Procurement Assistance Centers SBIC - equity/venture funding
Export assistance Centers

* What is the specific role of the SBA vs. the banks?

This is a complicated question. The short answer is that it depends on the program. For our larger lending programs, SBA operates essentially as an insurer for loans that are made in accordance with our policies (If a lender agrees to follow our guidelines for a business loan, we will "guarantee" it - meaning that we will pay for a portion of the losses should that loan go bad.) Borrowers pay a packaging fee for our normal guaranteed loans and these fees offset any of the losses in normal times, not taxpayer dollars.

* Why do the guidelines the SBA is implementing seem to be different from what was described in the law authorizing the programs?

At a high and very general level I can say that laws and procedures/rules are two different things. The latter will always be more specific and can't conflict with laws. For instance, the Small Business Act is a 300 page law. It rarely gets updated and needs an act of congress to do so. Our standard operating procedures, or rules for implementing for just one element of that act is a 500 page document that goes through a public rulemaking process where comments and feedback must be taken and responded to. It gets updated more often than the law.
The Bureaucat will answer most of the why questions, except where that reasoning was included in the interim rulemaking.

* Why did the SBA implement a $1k/employee cap in addition to the $10k cap? On what programs does the number of FTEs limit amounts?

[Bill]To ensure that the greatest number of applicants can receive assistance. The only other area where the number of FTEs may impact a business owners are where SBA size standards might make an applicant ineligible for our programs.

PPP/EIDL Specifics

Loan Organization

* How do EIDL/PPP loans work together or conflict?

  1. EIDL and PPP loans can't be used for the same expenses.
  2. EIDL advances (which are forgivable) will reduce the amount of forgiveness received under the PPP. This is to avoid duplication of benefits.
  3. Technically an EIDL can be rolled into a PPP. Further guidance may be coming out clarifying the process and conditions under which this can occur.
  4. EIDL loans are broader in what they can be used for. PPP loans are narrower. For that reason we generally suggest that payroll costs be paid with the PPP and other business needs (rent, utilities, inventory, etc) be covered with EIDL loan funds.

* What is the process flow for the loan/grant programs(apply, approved by SBA, apply at a bank...) or where can we see these flows?

The simple EIDL process flow is:
[Bill]The status of a specific application will be available to the applicant when processing of their EIDL is near completion. SBA will provide an email notification inviting the applicant to set up an account electronically. This account will enable applicants to check the status of their application, loan decision, loan amount, sign loan closing documents, schedule disbursement, etc. Again, we appreciate everyone’s patience while their applications are being processed.
We're not going to delve into the details on this because these processes are getting updated and changed constantly to work better. They also haven't been shared even with the field offices in many cases. Any information shared, even from the processing centers, would be out of date quickly or only represent a narrow perspective.
The PPP has a different process at every bank. It's different at every institution. From an SBA perspective it's a black box on both ends, except where we've made requirements in the application process (such as the information that an application has to collect. That's by design because SBA is not the one originating these loans.

* Does the SBA communicate directly with the businesses seeking these loans? How can we recognize legitimate attempts to communicate with us?

SBA won't contact a PPP borrower directly. If someone contacts you about a PPP loan and says they're from the SBA please report this to our Office of Inspector General. They released a special FAQ on Scams and Frauds earlier this month. If you haven't applied for an EIDL and you get contacted by someone from the SBA telling you about it you should suspect a scam or fraud as well. Once you've applied for EIDL, you may be contacted by an office of disaster assistance loan officer.

Loans and forgiveness

* Which loans get forgiveness, which loans are automatic, which require proof, how can we find the restrictions? What actual guarantees are there that loans will be forgiven if the rules are followed? Will the rules still be subject to change after the loans are made?'

Only PPP loans and EIDL advances get forgiveness. EIDL advance forgiveness is automatic. PPP forgiveness must be applied to and the details on that process have yet to be released. Questions about the future I'm delegating to the bureaucat

* Are there restrictions on how payrolls are paid for programs that require documentation of payment of payroll for forgiveness? (i.e. changing employee, emphasizing different operations, firing/hiring but attaining a particular payroll overall

This question would only apply to the PPP. The answer is yes, maybe and that the detailed rules on the forgiveness portion of the PPP has yet to be released. bureaucat

* How does forgiveness work if business conditions change like the company is forced into bankruptcy, employees refuse to return to work or the government orders the business to be shut down for more than 8 weeks?

  1. If you take the funds out and declare bankruptcy and don't get the forgiveness the PPP will act like any other federally funded loan.
  2. If employees don't return to work you may hire others to replace them or receive forgiveness proportionally to what you are able to spend on payroll costs (the details on how this is calculated have not yet been released). You can also return the funds that you weren't able to use. There are no pre-payment penalties for the PPP.
  3. PPP funds are expected to be paid towards payroll costs even if the business is shut down. There is no requirement that the business be in operation. Some business owners have taken the opportunity to find other work that can be done remotely for their employees, some are simply paying even though noone is working, some are having employees self-study/develop new skills. There are a lot of options here.

* Why are loans set up so PPP forgiveness only applies if EIDL is not used for payroll even after PPP is exhausted paying for payroll?

  1. They aren't? You can use EIDL for payroll costs, but you should document very clearly which funds (PPP or EIDL) are going towards which pay periods. Many business owners are just keeping the two totally separate to make for cleaner and easier bookkeeping.

* Why can the self-employed apply for 2.5 months of income but only 8 weeks is forgivable?

This was a decision by the administrator in consultation with the Treasury. Page 12 of the Interim Final Rule lays out the reasoning:

Obtaining approvals

* Why are different banks requiring different documentation between what financial companies require for documentation?

The short answer is because they have the discretion to do so. Every lender needs to exercise due diligence and make an effort to verify payroll costs. Among 5,000+ lenders you're going to see the full spectrum of approaches here.

* How much does creditworthiness or credit score matter for these loans?

PPP: Depends on the lender. EIDL: It is a factor.

* What happens if multiple applications (in good faith) are submitted to multiple lenders?

SBA's loan system should only allow for a single application to be submitted on behalf of a borrower. The first borrower to submit will lock-out all other submitters. I've dealt with a number of business owners who pursued this strategy. There are upsides and downsides.
edit: We've also encountered some situations where the above has not occurred and we're actively investigating this situation. If you are approved for two loans a borrower should notify their lender, only accept one, and should return the funds from one.

Loan status

* Where can businesses go to find their status with the SBA (i.e. confirmation numbers, status, etc)?

For the PPP, they need to go to their lender. We can only see if an approval exists. For the EIDL they need to go to the 1-800 number. ((800) 659-2955)

* Do you have any information about the order of EIDL grant processing?

[Bill]We are processing disaster loan applications and Advances on a first-come, first serve basis as fast as we can.

* If someone has an approval number but their bank does not act what options do they have besides waiting?

Banks were instructed that the expectation for PPP is that they disburse funds within 10 calendar days from approval.
EDIT: new guidance was released. The expectation remains 10 calendar days from approval. " Loans for which funds have not been disbursed because a borrower has not submitted required loan documentation within 20 calendar days of loan approval shall be cancelled by the lender" If a loan was approved prior to April 28th, the 10 day clock was reset to start on April 28th.

* Can SBA loan confirmation numbers be transferred away from lenders who are failing to fund in a timely way?


* Do the confirmation numbers have a structure (region, number in line, etc)?

I'd advise against numerology. I'm not aware of a specific structure with much meaningful information and Application numbers are assigned as applications are received.

SBA Structure

* What are tiers 1, 2, and 3 on the SBA helpline and what questions can they each answer?

[Bill] Our customer call center has not provided ODA field office staff members any information about Tiers 1, 2 or 3. As with any operation, there are supervisors in the call center with oversight responsibility and more authority than others.

* Within the SBA, what is the role of the ODA (Office of Disaster Assistance)? What sub-organizations should we be aware of relating to this pandemic?

[Bill] The Office of Disaster Assistance's mission is to provide low interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. ODA has their own field offices, but not sub-organizations.

* Does the SBA outsource operations? Which ones and to whom?

[Bill]Normally, no. For the COVID19 response, SBA’s ODA established a public/private relationship with an unnamed outside vendor to process COVID19 loans.


* How can we best recognize solicitation attempts by financial firms without proper affiliation to the SBA or access to the programs?

There are a few resources: 1. Check the Find a Lender tool if they have a physical location near you 2. Ask your local SBA district office 3. See if their name showed up on this list of institutions that made loans in Phase 1.
This can be legitimately difficult overall though because there are sometimes intermediaries that authorized lenders will allow to package loan applications for them. If a website has a "banking partners" section on their website they're usually an intermediary or a packager. You can do detective work using tools put out by the Treasury. A regulated bank will always have that information in the footer of their website with a number that you can independently verify at their regulator's website. For intermediaries, you just have to go off of reviews online.

* Customer service reps have been giving out unhelpful or confusing information. What processes are being put in place to make sure they can give us the accurate information we need?

[Bill]Our field office staff are sharing any reports we receive of unhelpful or confusing comments made by employees in SBA’s call centers. SBA will release any customer service representative who is unable to properly perform their job.

* Outside of, what are the routes the SBA uses to talk to us? Where can we see a daily or weekly briefing?

Folks can sign up for national updates here, or also sign up directly for smaller, more specific email distribution lists here. You can also view our events page, where local offices and our non-profit partners are holding hundreds of webinars on a variety of topics every month.

* How can we see the total amount of loans made?

Check our Freedom of Information page. New reports and data get published there.

* What communications should small businesses expect as they go through the process, including about errors, denials, progress or acceptance? (Might be integrated with another question)

[Bill] The status of individual applications will be available to the applicant when processing of their EIDL is near completion. SBA will provide an email notification inviting the applicant to set up an account electronically. This account will enable applicants to check the status of their application, loan decision, loan amount, sign loan closing documents, schedule disbursement, etc. Again, we appreciate everyone’s patience while their applications are being processed. Regarding files that are suspended or delayed due to errors or denials, our field office staff have not yet been informed how files in this category are being handled or when to expect resolutions.

Public Relations

* What does the SBA think of the job they have been doing so far?

That's a response I'll leave to our national press release. SBA isn't one thing.

* Which businesses or industries does the SBA think need help most? Does size (smaller than "small") matter?

SBA exists to help all small businesses. Some industries are much more represented than others (there are just more food service and construction firms than clog manufacturers out there.)
The federal definitions of "small" are often contentious, but the SBA definitions are often pointed to as more comprehensive definitions because we make an attempt to create a different definition for every single industry. You can use this tool or look at the table at the bottom of this page. The standards are designed to be broadly inclusive and for most of our programs are not the sole item used to determine eligibility.
My experience is that for our regular lending and counselling programs, business owners usually grow out of them before they become ineligible(they hire their own consultants or find they can get better terms than an SBA loan.) I don't work as much on the contracting side of things, but I think the size standards are more frequently needing to be evaluated in those programs.

* What are the most common questions you have been answering?

Additional questions

* Are there limitations on funding foreign owned but otherwise US companies built into the programs?

For the PPP technically the program can accept these applications so long as the business is a US operated business. It is overall more difficult to document and submit these in a way that is acceptable to SBA systems though. A lender has to be willing to slow down and work closely with the borrower and SBA to get it submitted. For all of the other SBA programs, a business needs to be majority owned by a US citizen or legal permanent resident to qualify.

* Some applications made 3/29 and 3/30 seem to be stuck in credit pull. Is there any plan for these? (Might be integrated with another question)

[Bill]We in the field offices have not yet been informed specifically how these files will be handled, or when. Any business that applied for a Coronavirus (COVID-19) SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) prior to the release of SBA’s new streamlined application the week ending March 29, must reapply using SBA’s streamlined online application (in SBA’s new loan processing system) available at If a business doesn’t have an application number or received one that begins with a “2”, they must reapply under SBA’s new processing system. SBA is presently contacting everyone who applied through the old system, and asking them to reapply at when applications re-open. If a business owner has an application or conformation number that begins with a “3”, they don’t need to do anything – their application is in process in the new system.
submitted by Noah_SBA to smallbusiness [link] [comments]

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