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GOLD! Blogging for Profit (With Legendary GOLD Follow Up Posts)

Owner2Millions

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So my question is....with this blog as a introduction to the world and can be used to show you are very competent on a subject can you transiton this into also building a SAAS product? with the marketing already from the blog and views from it I would think it would be killing two birds with one stone? Has anyone done this yet? because Im thinking about it.
 

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Yoda

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can you transition this into also building a SAAS product?
Of course. Many do.

Think of a blog like a huge billboard on the side of the highway. It's there to get attention, show what you do, and ultimately either make you:
  • more informed
  • purchase something
  • talk about it
In essence, a blog gets traffic, traffic goes into the funnel, you convert traffic to X.

This X can be anything.

Want to add a forum? How about a SAAS? Maybe just a product? How about none of these, but someone else pays you a check each month to take your traffic?

A blog is a tool. Use it like one to build whatever you want.
 

Amaiwe Bryan

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After 4 years experience with Blogging, Here's is my take home. Blogging is a waste of time....

Instead of Blogging, learn to market products....

It could be your product or perhaps Affiliate products
 

Yoda

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Instead of Blogging, learn to market products....
I market products (over 50 now) with blogging.

Blogging is a form of marketing.

I'm not sure what you did the last 4 years, but I can absolutely tell you why you failed, because these are the only possible reasons:
  1. You chose a poor market
  2. You had bad monetization
  3. You didn't execute
There is nothing beyond market, monetization, and execution, no matter what form of marketing you choose!

Please write that on your wall.
 

Moneydluffy

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I market products (over 50 now) with blogging.

Blogging is a form of marketing.

I'm not sure what you did the last 4 years, but I can absolutely tell you why you failed, because these are the only possible reasons:
  1. You chose a poor market
  2. You had bad monetization
  3. You didn't execute
There is nothing beyond market, monetization, and execution, no matter what form of marketing you choose!

Please write that on your wall.
Thanks for the massive value in this thread guys, especially you Yoda.

I agree a lot with your point of view that you should focus on providing super high quality content instead with the intent of ranking 1st and it being evergreen content that will stay up for years.

Here is the thing though. I focused purely on content. But that alone didn't rank me. I neglected the Marketing and ranking part of my content.

Now through this thread I discovered backlinko which is really an awesome resource and I am going to start implementing that right away.

Any other tips to build that fist initial audience Yoda? You say you don't need millions of Followers and 10000 is plenty but how do you even get to these 10000 if you are getting only a couple of page views?
 

Aaron T

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Brand new to the forum and this is one of the first threads I have read through here and I am so happy I did.

First things first. Thank everyone for the insights, thoughts, successes and failures posted here. It is raw and real. Excellent read. I have really enjoyed insights from everyone but @Yoda and @Vigilante really thank you!

So I am a software entrepreneur but recently (as in about a year now) been focused on building a blog. I didn't do it to create some kind of high speed passive income, but more as a platform learning experience as I build software platforms that drive a lot of value creation. This was one area I initially lacked knowledge in. What better way to gain that knowledge than to just do it! Below are some of my thoughts and experiences with it:

  • For me it was not fast income at all, but there is income here
  • I failed many ideas before I hit a way to consistently monetize and make money "the hard way"
  • I post 1 - 5 evergreen articles a day to the blog
  • I started by writing all my own blog posts but now trained my writers for what I am looking for and they do the posts
  • I quickly iterated to testing post length and content to determine what was read the most and was most effective at rentention
  • I test ad placement (adsense) and spent a while figuring out what made the most sense here
  • I researched and found ways to get traffic that costs me as little as possible and could grow organically
  • I am now testing ideas for this blog that might possibly scale

I do all of this in what I determine to be spare time. If I spend more than 3 hours a day on any aspect, I as quickly as possible automate this aspect. I do work hard for the hours spent to make sure I understand why something failed or succeeded. Understanding metrics where ever you get them from is key and has been incredibly useful for me to know how to monetize the site.

I am not using this site to market products yet or to gather emails. I am consistently getting 20k+ page views per month. My average page view is 2.97 pages per session and only a 7.66% bounce rate. In other words, the content is decent enough. It is not a high traffic site though by any means.

Some hard truths for the moment:
  • The site is profitable as I spend about $15 dollars a day for all aspects of the site (hosting, writing, lead generation) and net out over $20 dollars per day doing this
  • It won't make me a millionaire at this time or at this rate without scale
  • It did take some time to get here
I love the blog idea and what it is doing. I think there is fantastic potential and I am going to be looking at a lot of different ways to expand this site into other marketing ideas which should then generate some legitimate income. It is just one piece of the platform puzzle and one worth pursuing for anyone that wants to grow a business idea. But, it can be a great source of income in and of itself. For me it is just that one piece.

I have been a part of and created many different platforms. Some did incredibly well, some failed. There was something to learn from every single one of them. In actuality the only true failure, is not taking action, not learning from your mistakes, giving up. For me this blog, is a resounding success. A lot is being learned, it is mostly automated, it is scale-able, and it is growing. Oh, and it doesn't take much of my time up at all. Time is of the most value to me.

However saying all of this, I am enjoying the new ideas, and the information in this thread on how to better utilize my blog and I appreciate this site so much. I been here for a few hours and it has already paid off! Thank you MJ!
 
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stefan

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This is a killer thread. Thank you guys for sharing so much value in here.

I love blogging because of the possibilities that come with it.

You start with a blank canvas (empty WordPress draft) and you get to create anything that you want. You're an artist.

Like Yoda mentioned, this means that you can do so much more than just write words on a page.

I've been forcing myself to add more custom graphics, YouTube videos, and unique pictures (taken using a basic iPhone) to my blog posts lately, and I've seen some good increases in traffic.

This leads me to believe that *media production* is the bigger picture that you have to think about for the future, rather than just "blogging".

WordPress is a really powerful tool that anyone can use. It's basically free. I'm using it to make a very basic living at the moment. But this thread has shown me that I still have a LONG way to go.
 

Baku85

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There is a much better way than blogging.

I think most of us want passive income and
traffic, right?

Is blogging passive?

No!

Because you have to write those blog posts. But I don't
want to write everyday or twice a week. I don't even
want to write once a month!

And I don't :)

Because when you write articles that are going to
be relevant and fresh even 10 years later, then
THAT IS the way to get passive traffic and passive
income.


The last blog post that I wrote was 3 years ago. I have
approx. 35 articles which I wrote 3 years ago.

And they bring about 160,000 unique visitors per month.

Yeah, 35 articles=160,000 unique visitors (my website has
a total of 70 pages approx.)

And I haven't written any new articles in the last 3 years.

And they still bring in traffic.

Even 10 years after those articles will be valuable and
fresh. And Google knows this. As years pass by, those
articles get more and more traffic.


So "you need fresh content, you have to write 100 posts
per day" is not 100% true.

And blogging is a bad idea, because you have to
actually write stuff on a regular basis.

I don't want to write stuff on a regular basis. It's HARD WORK.

I don't like hard work.

I want to write a few articles, and then I want them to
bring a ton of traffic and I don't want to write anymore.

So, in order to do that, all you have to do is do a really
really really good keyword research about evergreen
topics and then write those evergreen articles and
create a GREAT PRODUCT and then maintain the
system.

And do whatever you want after that. Create
other products, or go travel or get out of the
house, go to a club, and meet new people
using this line:

"Hey guys, I'm stupid, wanna be my friend? :)"

Yeah, I actually used to do this, and it works.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is this:

You don't have to write lots of blog posts, you
can find the evergreen keywords and then
write articles that are going to be fresh
15 years from now.

So now, you won't have to write regularly.

But you have to do a really good keyword
research. And be smart when writing
articles.

You shouldn't write about a topic that will
be out of date a few years later.
Thank you for this post..
Actually Im reading one blog, articles there are 5-6 years old, old wordpress ugly theme, but guess what - I bought ebook there ;) Lady still earns money, from time to time on newsletter I get short article , with max 10 sentences, but poiting to some old article.
She is at niche, no way to write still new articles about the same subject, but she got this idea about newletter with few words etc.
Blog still in google search on top.
 

Aaron T

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I do want to add to the statement about it being passive or not.

While I started my one blog writing my articles, I have totally outsourced that 100%. See my post above. Not only is it outsourced and new articles being added every day, many times old articles are picked up and go viral for some reason or another. I had one spend a week being viral and it was averaging $227 dollars a day in AdSense income alone for just that one article. That was months after it was written for me at the cost of $3. Totally worth it. Totally passive.

BUT, I definitely believe if you start a blog, you should actively do all the different aspects of it a little bit BEFORE turning it over to Admins/Editors/Writers or whatnot. The main reason is understanding what works or not for your blog. Other than that, automate all the things.
 

Philip Marlowe

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I had one spend a week being viral and it was averaging $227 dollars a day in AdSense income alone for just that one article.
@Aaron T Question if you don't mind answering. Are you selling your own product on your website? Does AdSense pull people away from your website (because they need to click on the add and get re-directed)? Unless your method of monetization IS Ads?
 

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Aaron T

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@Aaron T Question if you don't mind answering. Are you selling your own product on your website? Does AdSense pull people away from your website (because they need to click on the add and get re-directed)? Unless your method of monetization IS Ads?
Actually this is a blog I created for the sole purpose of seeing if money could be made from different ad networks including AdSense. I am selling nothing from the blog. I specifically didn't want to on this particular blog.

I have on other sites created for that purpose and yes AdSense can pull people away. However, there are other types of ad networks that you can use that won't do that. Still it is best practice to not run ads on a product site you are trying to make a sale on.
 

Charnell

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Intrigued, I am.
I think one thing that @Yoda is getting at, is using paid traffic for high ticket items. Stuff like insurance, medical supplies, lawyers, etc.
 

Charnell

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dru-man

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  1. You chose a poor market
I started a serious blog effort a while back using an approach closely aligned with the advice in this thread, and to add what little I can to the conversation here, I can certainly attest to the ability of even a small audience to be profitable if you produce high-quality, "evergreen" content.

In my experience, the multiple posts per day or daily posts some folks are mentioning miss the mark completely. I'd spend a week on one post and post only when I really had something to say, and even though the audience was still very very small, I quickly had money flowing in from ads, copywriting clients for thousands of dollars per project, and coaching clients at $600 a month. The traffic numbers weren't there, but the credibility, engagement, and entertainment factors were - and that was enough to put cash in the pocket in a very short time frame.

I took the content very seriously, when writing, but I suppose I never took the blog itself seriously enough to make it a long-term project. And yet even a year and a half or so after letting the site sputter out (it's not even live anymore), I get occaisional emails from people who once read this or that article and want some advice or want to know when I'm going to start blogging again. You won't get that kind of long-term interest often on an article you wrote in a day.

A commitment to authenticity and valuable content goes a long, long way online. It's truly humbling, and in a way even intimidating, to see how quickly people will hand over their cash if you get them to "like" you, which is really a huge key to building a loyal audience. If they believe you are who you say you are, and they genuinely like you, they often won't think twice about buying goods and services you sell or recommend - unless it's to email you with a half dozen questions about some big life decision they are making.

To me that's the real power of blogging....something so few businesses realize when they start some blog constantly rattling on about their products and services and wonder why there's no readership. Creating engagement isn't about stacking up a bunch of meaningless me-too comments - it's that unique ability to make people trust you and anything on your site as much as if they were sitting right there in the room with you, shaking your hand and offering to buy you a beer.

My experiences with that site lead me to believe I have what it takes to make some serious money through building a bigger audience, and this thread has me considering a renewal of that effort. Some might wonder why I stopped. I guess even though the numbers were right in front of my face, I was still listening to the naysayers about blogging - I knew it would continue to be profitable, but I didn't imagine it would be very fastlane, especially considering that I was mostly selling one-on-one services at that time.

Anyhow, I should stress that my experiences are limited in contrast to some of the posters here; I just wanted to offer a little of my own input to the other readers before asking questions.

@Yoda, if you have a sec, do you mind talking a bit on how you view market selection and picking a blog topic for building a particularly lucrative audience base? Some of this is basic business sense here, I know, and also largely dependent on the blogger treating the subject matter. But for the sake of this discussion I'd still love to hear more about your ideas in this regard.

Thanks again.
 
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Philip Marlowe

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it's that unique ability to make people trust you and anything on your site as much as if they were sitting right there in the room with you, shaking your hand and offering to buy you a beer.
Reminds me of this place!

Great, great, great reply. Thanks for taking the time to respond to the thread. If your blog posts are anything like this response it's really no surprise people respond to your content.
 

Yoda

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do you mind talking a bit on how you view market selection and picking a blog topic for building a particularly lucrative audience base? Some of this is basic business sense here, I know, and also largely dependent on the blogger treating the subject matter. But for the sake of this discussion I'd still love to hear more about your ideas in this regard.
Plenty of resources on niche selection on Google, but there are some basic principles which are mandatory:
  1. Evergreen
  2. Existing
  3. Entrance
  4. Enthralling
Evergreen - Don't pick a niche which is here today, gone tomorrow. What you think may be evergreen, may not actually be. Look beyond 10 years. It needs to have been, and will be. (Examples: Health. Beauty. Money.)

Existing - Don't pick a niche which is new, most of the time, unless it's a sub-niche. Banking somewhat on the point above, it better be something which has been, and will continue to be. It doesn't mean you should avoid micro-niche topics which come and go, just look at the bigger picture. (Examples: Computer keyboards. They've been around a while now, but there are micro-sets of keyboards niches which are coming and going all the time. However, the big picture is still keyboards.)

Entrance - This is the most closely related to fastlane, so I doubt I need to talk too much on it, but it bears repetition for the blogosphere because there are some niches which are worth diving into, others not, strictly based on entrance. You want something which is difficult, yet bearable. (Example: Good - Law. Bad - Pens.)

Enthralling - Seriously consider a niche which has some type of interest or fascination where people talk, discuss, argue, and actually participate in forums, etc. While there are riches in niches where this is not the case, it kills scale. If you want to blog and grow rapidly, you need scale in your back pocket, and nothing is more scalable than probing human behavior to acquire social shares, but, more importantly, acquiring other people's content (OPC). (Example: The Fastlane Forum)

If you've got a niche which fits, you're only just beginning. Let's take computer keyboards, now and dive in deeper. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Is there room in the market?
  • Do you have special expertise or experience with the market?
  • Are there niches to exploit within the market?
  • Is there potential for cross selling to closely related markets?
  • What are the existing methods of monetization available in the marketplace?
Computer keyboards have plenty of room in the market. There are several main competitors, which is a great thing, because there is no single dominant player. It also allows you great opportunities to pit the competitors against each other, and their respective audiences will be happy to get in on the conversation.

Expertise is up to you, but let's say I know quite a lot about them. Great. I would also have the capacity to find proper writers who are more expert than me, and I would also know how to employ OPC to get free content on my site. People who use computers are more likely to be proficient in using search, forums, etc., so OPC is probable. On a sidenote, younger crowds are more vocal than older, on the whole.

There are plenty of smaller niches within the keyboard space, yes. From basic, old school keyboards, up to the latest and greatest fully integrated full-scale keyboards with trackpads, to budget wireless or high-end gaming boards.

Cross selling would be a breeze, because you've got everything from accessories to the keyboard itself (keycaps & LEDs, for example), up to additional peripherals because you're likely dealing with someone who may want a matching mouse, keyboard dock, mouse pad, headset, etc.

Monetization could be everything from being a direct affiliate, to being able to build and source your own product, though electronics aren't the easiest. One thing I would do is build a list of email subscribers and pass along a monthly deal on the last Friday of each month. I'm not going to tell you why that's the ideal day for this type of niche, though. ;)

That's what I'd do. YMMV.

Tools are you disposal are Google Trends, watching the news, monitoring sub-reddits, and even just being open to what people say on a day-to-day basis about their lunch, dogs, vehicles and favorite widget they just found out about. Just listen. See what blows by on your facebook feed. See what products are hot sellers every year at Christmas time or Black Friday.

Be open to any niche, and don't get emotionally tied to it, just in case you find out it's actually a horrible niche, after all.
 

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dru-man

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Plenty of resources on niche selection on Google, but there are some basic principles which are mandatory:
  1. Evergreen
  2. Existing
  3. Entrance
  4. Enthralling
It would take some SERIOUS digging to find something even close to as solid as this post digging around in the top results of Google. Thanks a lot @Yoda - I really appreciate the time you put into this post. This is a basic topic, to be sure, but you've given me some great things to think about in the meanwhile that I wouldn't have otherwise,

Meanwhile, I purchased a new domain for my old blog and put in a request to HostGator to transfer it over.
 

Georges Ch

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I was wrong. - Vigilante

There you go, haters. Print that out and frame it on your wall, stalkers and ego maniacs.

I was wrong about blogging.

I have been quick to dismiss people's concepts of starting a blog for sustainable, passive income.

I was wrong.

I am doing some inquiries within a small subset of the internet, in one area specialty. I am reaching out to top bloggers in one small sector of the consumer marketplace.

And I am flabbergasted by their rate cards.

Many have professional marketing companies managing their advertising. If they get 2-3 sponsored posts a month (and the top bloggers in this space get more than that) they're pulling in six figures annually.

Blogging.

So, to those of you who I have discouraged from blogging... sorry. Some of you probably left, sad. Sorry.

There is still gold (and maybe growing stacks of gold) blogging.

Get writing.

When you can get to a million page views a month, with less than 20,000 fans... you can make a living selling information and advertising via. a blog.
Really what I wanted to read after starting a blog and thinking weather it was a good or not :)
 

NuclearPuma

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Just launched my first post of my behavior and influence "blog".

I'm approaching this more as a redirection of my attention and focus into something more productive than as a fastlane business.

I have become addicted to the internet over time and have been very active on message boards.

The way I look at it is, I'm already generating tons of content in forum discussions but have zero return. And the topics are just driven by the boards discussion.

Well, I've been fascinated by behavioral psychology since I left college though I never studied it in class work.

I'm going to shift my time on message boards and writing in forums to instead publishing articles on behavior and influence.

I won't use any ads, it is totally opposite of the readers interest and message of the site, but I may add affiliate marketing in the near term.

I know going into this that chasing money would not be the right mental state.

I've set a goal of 100 research based posts that include citations. This will push me to do more reading and research of my own as well as providing lots of quality content. I will also illustrate each concept myself in a very basic way.

I'm not setting any monetary goals for this website until I see what type of following forms. I want to share actual research based self improvement and behavior information, not self-help feel good platitudes.

It's taken a while to finally get to this point as I began in September but only today have I gotten around to publishing the first post. However the rest of the infrastructure is in place, the post was the last thing I set up, so from here on out all I have to do is make content.



How many people create blogs just to really be helpful and provide insights as opposed to chasing money? I want to start from the place of giving actionable insights and not chasing money.
 
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Saavik

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I've got something of a detail question here, would appreciate your experiences:

When you start blogging, often the right focus is not yet there (that was the case for me, anyway). So, older blog posts may not be as "on target" with regard to the audience one has picked out, and may be different in tone and topic than later posts, after one has refined the audience and business model.
Would you keep these old posts around then, creating more visibility for the blog on search engines (many of the keywords being the same or similar), or delete them in order to avoid confusion for potential advertisers about the focus of the blog?

I hope some of the original posters of this very useful thread (@Yoda in particular) are still around to weigh in. :)
 
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Andy Black

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I've got something of a detail question here, would appreciate your experiences:

When you start blogging, often the right focus is not yet there (that was the case for me, anyway). So, older blog posts may not be as "on target" with regard to the audience one has picked out, and may be different in tone and topic than later posts, after one has refined the audience and business model.
Would you keep these old posts around then, creating more visibility for the blog on search engines (many of the keywords being the same or similar), or delete them in order to avoid confusion for potential advertisers about the focus of the blog?

I hope some of the original posters of this very useful thread (@Yoda in particular) are still around to weigh in. :)
I deleted them.
 

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Why? For the reason I suggested or others?
I started a blog years ago by writing articles about AdWords. Then I started writing about how I prospected, made sales, and was growing my business.

My own focus changed, from learning a skill, to selling the skill, to scaling the skill (as described in a podcast in thetropicalbma).

Eventually I realised that reading how I was growing my own business appealed to the folks who wanted to replicate what I do, rather than the businesses who want to hire me. For people who wanted to hire me, my later articles weren’t appropriate.

Also... I realised I preferred being in communities such as TFLF rather than posting on a blog that no-one read and that was inherently a one-way conversation anyway.

HTH
 

Saavik

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My own focus changed, from learning a skill, to selling the skill, to scaling the skill
Yes, that helps, thanks a lot. It's pretty much the situation I'm in now.
But if you'll permit one more question: If you had left the old articles, which most likely had similar keywords to the new articles, your blog would have ranked higher in the search engines for related searches (unless I'm being stupid about SEO here). So you specifically deleted them to prevent customers finding your old articles and considering your current business as less professional, less advanced etc. than they would have otherwise. Is that right?
 

Andy Black

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Yes, that helps, thanks a lot. It's pretty much the situation I'm in now.
But if you'll permit one more question: If you had left the old articles, which most likely had similar keywords to the new articles, your blog would have ranked higher in the search engines for related searches (unless I'm being stupid about SEO here). So you specifically deleted them to prevent customers finding your old articles and considering your current business as less professional, less advanced etc. than they would have otherwise. Is that right?
The opposite actually. The newer stuff made it less professional.

In the end I left the AdWords stuff on my personal branded site and moved the freelance and growth stuff to a new site.

Then I decided I didn’t want a personal branded site anymore and blew that away by redirecting it to my LinkedIn profile.

The personal branded site is for when people who already know me checked out my website from looking at my email address. So I figured my LinkedIn profile was the best for that.

I don’t see the point of blogs for what I’m doing. Why do my articles have to be date and time stamped? Why post content and have no interaction and feedback like if I posted in a busy community?

I don’t care about SEO. I’ll blow the other site away once everything has been posted to a paid email newsletter.
 

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