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How to market your blog articles

So you’ve written a great blog post for your business and you want to share it with the world. Why not? Everyone should know about your great product or service, right? While that’s true, let’s first take a few steps to make sure you know how to market your blog articles. After all, you don’t want to spend so much time and effort on your blog posts that it doesn’t occur to you.

Check your blog article

Is your blog article interesting for others? Do you speak clearly and in a comfortable tone? Get to your point quickly and support you with relevant information?

You want your blog post to be interesting to others and to be shared on social media. So, take the time to look at it critically. And be sure to correct any spelling, grammar, and clarity issues with your copy. You don’t want to be misunderstood or put off by someone because your blog has numerous errors.

Better yet, have a professional review your blog post and proofread / edit it for you. They will capture things that you may not have, and your blog will be exponentially better for a professional to review.

(TIP: The spell checker is not your friend. It won’t catch everything, and neither will you. Even proofreaders need proofreaders.)

Know your audience

Do some research on your audience, preferably before you start writing. Who are they? What are your dreams, hopes, wishes, worries, and fears? What is your problem and how do you solve it? How would they want you to relate to them? Should your copy be informal and conversational or more formal and educational? Create a detailed customer profile, down to what they eat for breakfast, how they sleep and exercise, and what they do for fun. Get to know your audience first and then it will pay off.

Optimize your blog articles

You can have the best blog in the world, but if nobody finds it, what does it matter? Before publishing your blog, be sure to take all the necessary steps to optimize it so that it appears in search engine results. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Pick a long tail keyword phrase and use it in multiple places. Think about what people type into a search engine. Just type in your topic in a search and see what auto-completes. This will give you some clues as to what people are looking for. (TIP: it’s best to do this before you start writing.) Of course, you can also invest in keyword research for your website and topic. That way, you won’t waste time trying to rank for low-volume searches (virtually no one is looking for that) or high-competition searches (you’re competing against the big boys here).

When you’ve decided on a key phrase, be sure to use it in the following places:

  • Title (H1)

  • First 100 words, ideally first paragraph

  • At least one subheading (H2, H3)

  • Several times throughout

  • Call to action

  • URL (web address of the blog page)

  • Title tag (page name in search engine results)

  • Meta description (description in search engine results)

Add images

Plan to use one to three royalty-free images for your blog post. You’ll want to designate one as your featured image, and depending on the length of your post, add one or two more to break up long sections of text. Choose images that enhance your writing and add visual interest. Remember that the image may be the first thing people notice before reading your article, so keep it interesting.

Post it and don’t forget it

Once your article is published, pay attention to any compromises. If your blog receives comments, take the time to re-comment and interact with your followers. They want to feel noticed and valued too. Answer questions and encourage ongoing communication.

More on how to market your blog articles

Publishing your blog is just the beginning of your marketing efforts. At Precise, we encourage you to create three different social media posts for each blog post. Optimize your post for each channel (eg 280 characters or less plus 2 ̶ 3 hashtags for Twitter, additional hashtags for Instagram) and use an image with each post as well.

Test and measure each social media post to see which ones perform the best. Take your top artists and keep scheduling these social media posts for months to come (on different days and at different times).

Repurpose your blog post content

Next, make your blog posts work four times longer by repurposing your content. You can take your social media post a few steps further to get even more promotion. Here are some ideas:

  • Create charts using some key takeaways from your blog

  • Create a short video with key points too

  • Record a video of yourself talking about your blog. Include a few extra tidbits.

  • Record a YouTube video version of your blog.

  • Record a podcast version of your blog or chat with another expert on the subject.

  • Link to other related blogs on your site to keep visitors interested.

  • Use your blog in promotional materials.

  • Add email subscription / subscription on your blog posts.

  • Add social sharing buttons for each blog post.

  • Link to your post with an email newsletter trailer.

  • Add your profile to your blog. Let people know who you are.

  • Create an infographic to accompany your blog.

  • Submit your blog to an ezine.

  • Submit your post to RSS directories.

  • Join a social sharing group.

  • And more!

Take action on a half dozen or more of these ideas, and you are sure to attract attention for your blog post.

Online business opportunities: readers, AdSense, and consistent content

I recently read that The Daily Mail website has become the most viewed online newspaper, even though it makes around $ 25 million a year, it still hasn’t made a profit. Neither did the Huffington Post, which was bought by AOL for £ 315 million.

So why aren’t these content-rich sites making a profit? I’m a big believer that content sites can and should make a lot of money. Why would AOL buy them if they don’t have any earning potential?

I think it is congruent; the potential revenue and advertising on these sites do not match the types of people who visit these sites. There are many sites that are packed with content and that have millions of visitors. The Huffington Post has reported having over 30 million unique visitors per month!

That’s a staggering amount, having so many visitors requires over £ 30 a year on a website, they’ll need their own servers and staff, it won’t be cheap, but how can they not make a profit from 30 million monthly visitors?

Sites like Photobucket and Icanhavecheezburger are content sites that depend on people uploading and sharing photos, we use Photobucket for nothing more than free storage of our images. The only thing I notice when I upload the images is that the advertising is not related to anything on the site or what I want.

We believe that the type of ads are those in which the network is paid every time an ad is displayed for more than several seconds, that is why they often show the please wait while we process / upload your photo. Prevents you from moving to another page before the allotted time has passed. So I can’t tell if Photobucket makes money or not.

The Daily Mail and the Huffington post are news and gossip sharing sites, so if you were reading about a train accident somewhere or what Kim Kardashian is doing, you will not be shown relevant ads or interested in the ones that shows. the publications.

Google AdSense is designed to show ads that are relevant to the content on your site; If it can’t match the content, it will display ads that won’t actually be clicked. The methodology is wrong. The online business opportunity of a content-rich site is still a good idea if done correctly.

Create a successful content-rich site

This is still a fantastic idea for a small home business and can be executed well if you decide exactly what you want to do and how you are going to do it. Thinking you will create a site that has a ton of funny cat images (everyone loves a funny cat photo / video) surround it with advertising and get a ton of money from visitors is not enough.

Someone looking at funny pictures of 14 year old cats probably won’t want to click on a ‘Mature Dating’ ad and someone who enjoys looking at poorly done plastic surgery photos is unlikely to want life insurance.

However, someone who loves Barcelona may be a regular visitor to a site dedicated to all things Barcelona. They would love to read about restaurants in Barcelona and places to visit. They may also be planning to visit Barcelona again; They can go regularly so any ad on the site about flights to Barcelona, ​​car rentals, villas to rent, or hotel accommodation in Barcelona is more likely to be clicked on.

When a site covers a topic or a place like Barcelona, ​​it can attract great relevant ads from the AdSense network. Vacation, accommodation and flight ads could pay more as there is a lot of competition and higher profits involved, so businesses can pay more for their ads to show.

You may be able to use Google AdWords to drive traffic to your site cheaper than any of the hotel or villa rental companies, as it will be more people and place-focused. It won’t try to compete for expensive keywords associated with hotels, flights, or vacations.

It is possible to have a setup where you enter £ 1 and get £ 2 on autopilot. If you can pay for traffic to the site and earn more ad revenue, then you are effectively generating profit and a huge increase in traffic that will eventually start coming back for free.

His idea is that everything has to match. You may never get the numbers that Icanhascheezburger.com gets as there are more people who can enjoy and share cat pictures than those who are interested in a suitable sub-niche, however your numbers will match the advertising.

The same can be applied to many types of websites, take DIY as an example, a site with many articles on how to do it will show advertising for DIY stores and DIY products, which can cover a wide range of things, and many can be high-priced items.

The idea is to add content regularly, this could be done by paying someone to write the posts if you can’t do it yourself or get some interested close friends to share the workload. Go to Gumtree and find people who want to become profit sharing writers.

Adding content is the most important thing; the website must look alive and alive. Otherwise, people won’t come back and the website will go down the rankings into oblivion.

There are so many niches and places that you can create a website. Like everything, planning and work will come before success, but it must be done and it can be done easily if you have a plan to follow. There are millions of people on the Internet and not all of them go to the same websites.

Ian McConnell made $ 300,000 from a website dedicated to model trains, and Patrick Meninga built a $ 2,000-a-month AdSense site on addictions that he later sold for $ 200,000. At a christening I was told about a couple who travel the world funded by the proceeds of a couple of sites, one of which focuses on walking dogs! So do not go thinking that it is not possible.

Think of all the different niches out there, use me as an example, I love dance music, there are so many genres available to choose from, I love making music, I love graphic design, I love graffiti, I love Thailand and Ibiza. , I love traveling, I love science fiction, I love writing, I love Indian food, I love Chinese food, I love pizza, I love food !! Lol I am also a vegetarian. There is more I could add to this list.

There are so many things a blog / website could have about. Make a list of all the things you like and enjoy and you might find something suitable that you could create a blog dedicated to it and as you know if you love something you are more likely to participate so writing about something you love will be more easy to write. About things you don’t know That’s half the battle won!

Video Marketing: An Effective Tool For Affiliate Marketing Newbies

Video marketing is one of the best ways to generate traffic. Video is a very effective means of communication. Many people have been using it to earn money. Since YouTube became one of the most visited sites, many people became interested in creating and uploading videos to sell their products, create a larger market and generate traffic for their sites.

Why Should You Choose Video Marketing?

1. YouTube is one of the most viewed sites. Ranked as the third most important video site in the world, YouTube has already proven its importance in the business world. Uploading a video that brings viewers to your site is much better than using an SEO article. Another thing is that Google would invest more in YouTube mainly because they are the ones who own it. With the number of people visiting the site every day, you have a great chance of succeeding with your traffic generation activity.

2. The process of creating a video is very simple. You can use your webcam or any video recording camera. These are some of the things to consider when creating a video.

• Authenticity. Make sure everything you say or include in your video is factual.

• Copyright. Remember not to use copyrighted music because it can affect your business and its originality.

• Video length. Make sure you don’t bore your audience. Do something that quickly presents your site. Don’t make your presentation too long.

• Quality. It is better if you make a high definition video. It is very important to capture the attention of the audience.

• Slideshow. If you have different things to show in the video, you can use the slideshow to make it more presentable.

3. The presentation requires only minimal effort. Yes, you don’t need as much work to upload a video that can help you generate traffic for your blog or site. Here are some things to know when submitting a video.

• Keywords. When creating a name for your video, use keywords. Make sure the name is related to the content of the video.

• Description. When describing, make it clear, easy to understand, and straight to the point. Use a sufficient number of keywords, just enough that Google doesn’t flag your video as spam.

• Link. Learn to use links. Your main reason for creating the video is to grab the attention of your viewers and direct them to your site.

Tips for buying baby clothes wisely

Baby clothes are one of the most exciting things to buy, especially for parents of a newborn. If you are a proud mom, you probably want to spend an entire day shopping for baby things like clothes, toys, baby skin care products, and the like. Due to all the excitement, you will most likely start shopping for baby things indiscriminately. However, this is not going to be good for you. This is not the time to overspend when we can spend much less and get the same benefits.

When shopping for baby clothes, the most important consideration to keep in mind is the comfort of your baby. You may enjoy all these fantasies, but if your baby is not going to appreciate them, everything becomes useless. You don’t want to take your little one to a party and have her tie up her lace dress. If she’s going to be restless in that fancy outfit, you probably will be too. Get clothes that are simple and made of soft materials so that both of you can be comfortable.

When you talk about the comfort of your baby, it is not just about the design of the garment you are buying. It will also be a question of how the item fits your baby’s body. Even when you have a lace blouse for your little girl, if she gets a size slightly larger than her actual size, she can feel comfortable in it. One thing babies really hate is having something stick to their bodies, especially clothes that are made of a harsh material that causes irritation. Getting clothes that are slightly larger than your baby’s actual body size will not only be good for ensuring comfort. It can also mean more savings because then your child will be able to wear that garment for longer and will not have to keep buying it as he or she grows.

Cost is another thing that you would like to consider when shopping for baby clothes. Sometimes you can end up with a huge bill even when you thought you only bought very few items. Baby things may seem small, but they can be overpriced. Take a look at baby clothing stores that offer these things at a practical cost. It’s nice to be able to splurge on a designer outfit every once in a while for the cute little one, but it’s totally impractical to do it more than once a year, especially now that times don’t help.

8 steps to ensure privacy online

I expect serious privacy and civil liberties issues under the Trump presidency. I highly recommend that you take steps to protect yourself, steps that I will outline shortly.

We now live in conditions that would make the great authoritarians of yesteryear salivate with envy. The government’s ability to monitor us has never been greater. And, as that capability advances, politicians and bureaucrats adjust their understanding of privacy and constitutional freedoms in ways that allow them to use it.

The only thing preventing them from fully defining those things is the residual respect for constitutionality held by those in key positions. As I said last week, evidence of such respect is very scarce in the incoming Trump administration.

So, love it or hate it, you must be prepared …

Privacy is your responsibility

No matter who is in charge, the government forever find a way to justify new methods to invade our privacy.

For example, the Justice Department’s legal basis for monitoring our emails and phone calls is based on the old postal letter. When postal mail was king, the courts ruled that any information on the outside of a letter (recipient, sender, place of dispatch) was in the public domain and therefore available to government investigators. That’s why the post office scans and records every piece of mail in the United States … every day.

That logic now applies to the metadata for every call you make and every email you send. It may soon apply to your web browsing history as well. I just don’t trust Trump appointees to resist that logic. So this is what I recommend:

  1. Get Signal and / or WhatsApp for mobile messages: Signal is a sophisticated Swiss messaging application that fully encrypts all your text messages. It requires both parties to use it, so it is not ideal for everything. However, Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Signal developer Open Whisper Systems, says there has been a huge expansion in its user base since the election. So you will probably find more bookmarks on your contact list as time goes on. It is not as secure as Signal because it is owned by Facebook, whose approach to court orders is uncertain, but for ordinary purposes it will avoid real-time monitoring of your communications.
  2. Encrypt your computer’s hard drive: Full disk encryption makes the contents of your computer totally unintelligible to anyone without the password. For example, if you are stopped by the Department of Homeland Security when you return to the US, your laptop can be registered before officially entering the US But if it is encrypted, no law says you must disclose the password. itself activates it. That is fine for most purposes.
  3. Get a password manager: Using secure apps and utilities like the ones above means having passwords, a lot of them. Don’t write them on your palm. Get a password manager that stores your passwords (encrypted, of course) in one place and generates and even changes passwords for you. Other good password managers are 1Password and KeePass. I don’t recommend LastPass, another popular one, because they got hacked last year. That’s not good enough.
  4. Use two-factor authentication: Most email programs, cloud storage utilities, banking applications, social media, and other sensitive applications currently offer two-factor authentication (TFA). TFA requires that every time you log in, you go through a secondary layer of security – a code to enter at login that is sent to your phone via text message. Some offer these codes by email, but do not use them. If hackers gain access to your email, they can gain access to your accounts by submitting TFA codes.
  5. Use HTTPS everywhere: My friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation developed a browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome that forces the websites you visit to use the most secure connection protocol. If encryption is available on the site you visit, your connection to the site will be encrypted and protected from various forms of surveillance and hacking during that session.
  6. Don’t rely on your browser’s “incognito mode” to do things it wasn’t intended for: Browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge allow you to start a browsing session that does not record anything you do during that session. All visited websites, downloaded cookies or other connection statistics will be erased when the session ends. The “private” browsing modes protect you from searches on your computer. But unless you connect to an encrypted site (via HTTPS Everywhere, for example), whoever operates the site can collect all of your browsing data anyway, as the site’s server records it.
  7. Use DuckDuckGo for sensitive searches: If you’re not convinced that Google’s motto “do no wrong” is more than just a marketing ploy, use DuckDuckGo, an alternative search engine that doesn’t log your searches or anything else about you. It produces great results, so you really won’t lose much by using it instead of Google.
  8. Use a virtual private network (VPN): A VPN is the best comprehensive protection you can get on the internet, because it encrypts everything you do, including your identity and location. VPNs can be used on both your computers and your phones. That’s important, because as Eva Galperin, Global Policy Analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says, “Logging into the airport’s Wi-Fi network without using a VPN is unprotected Internet sex.” As a bonus, you can also use a VPN to spoof your location and gain access to region-locked streaming content, like Amazon Prime, when you’re abroad. The only downside is that they slow down the connection a bit. VPNs are provided by specialized hosting companies that charge around $ 5 a month for the service.

These techniques make some or all of your electronic data and communications instantly invisible to anyone. They use levels of encryption that would take hundreds of years to break a bank of supercomputers.

When it comes to protecting your privacy, now is the time … because later It’s too late.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Nintendo has a great selection of marquee characters from Mario, Link, Yoshi, and Samus, but most people forget about poor Donkey Kong. Even Luigi had his own year in 2013! It’s a shame because the Donkey Kong franchise has had some of the best Nintendo titles in the last 20 years. With Nintendo’s new title in the DK Country series, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, we have one of the best Wii U titles to date.

As the action begins, Donkey Kong and the other members of his gorilla family are celebrating the big boy’s birthday. Like any good action game, nothing goes according to plan. Poor Donkey Kong’s birthday festivities are ruined by the Snowmads who make the tropical island freeze over. It’s not exactly exciting by any kind of imagination, but the Kong family’s reactions are priceless.

Donkey Kong and his family try to reclaim their home island, fix the ice climbing, and return their tropical paradise to normal. Throughout the game, Donkey Kong travels to all areas of the world, and in my experience, all worlds are refreshingly unique from one another. You may be playing on an island in one setting and then jumping into a desert in another. The classic variety of levels in Mario games is present in “Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze”. The game makes the player want to see the next adventure.

As you try to make your way through the story, you will notice how simple yet extremely challenging this game is. Like the Mario franchise, Donkey Kong has a limited number of moves available to him. You can jump on enemies like the famous plumber and take part in exciting platforming challenges, there is a swing attack that will take down enemies, and the charming brute is surprisingly agile once he climbs the branches and vines. They all sound simple, but the game offers a brutal way to force you to master Donkey Kong’s skills.

The huge increase in difficulty could really put a damper on the spirit of expert platformers alongside younger gamers. The game forces you to have pinpoint precision no matter what you are doing. Either jumping on the head of a baddie to extinguish it or timing the movements of the vine perfectly to avoid an obstacle. The game never stops, but when you manage to complete the task that has been giving you trouble, there is hardly a more rewarding experience in games. It’s not Dark souls ii frustration level but close.

Along with the difficult jumping, swinging and rolling game of Donkey Kong, you will get a chance to call his family members. Like the SNES classic Donkey Kong CountryDiddy Kong, Dixie Kong and even the wise Cranky Kong will join the adventure. Diddy Kong will help you in your vertical suspension time with his jetpack, Dixie will allow you to stay in the air for longer with his pigtails. My personal favorite is Cranky Kong, which will allow you to bounce higher and longer with his Duck tales baton maneuvering style. They will only help Donkey Kong during certain parts of the game and you will have to free them from their barrels, but the opportunities are frequent.

You’ll also need your allies for the game’s outstanding boss fights. Like any classic classic Nintendo game, you will have multiple stages of the encounter. For example, one that gave me tremendous trouble was the giant owl, which threw razor-sharp feathers at Donkey Kong and his family. So much happened during the fight that every button press was a matter of life and death. I haven’t had this much trouble (or fun) in a game in quite a while. The feeling of accomplishment was better than any achievement or trophy unlocked from other systems.

One aspect of this game that didn’t shine as well as other Nintendo platformers was co-op. My friends and I just disagreed when it came to jumping, fighting, or just solving puzzles. When we were in a boss meeting, it was more successful to turn off one of the controllers and let one person handle it. There is too much action on the screen and the game is simply best played with one person. However, the multiplayer option is always there in case you have a curious viewer who wants to see what the fuss is about.

This generation’s games are too easy, it’s great to see a game like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze it really challenges the players. Even for the youngest players, once they get past a portion on their own, there won’t be a bigger reward. However, it would have been nice to have real unlockable characters to work with. The Wii U desperately needs great games and with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has found one. This is one of those games more suitable for any type of gamer, and if you can resist breaking the controller, a rewarding experience awaits you.

Capricorn: the most strangled astrological sign

Capricorn, the agile goat, is the second most likely astrological sign to suffer an unnatural death (after Virgo).

An extensive study of the causes of death and the astrological sign of the deceased was carried out over a period of almost ten years. More than 60,000 deaths were reviewed and the results were compiled in one study. The intention behind this massive project was to see if the traits and characteristics of each astrological sign influenced the way they died. In particular, whether or not there was a link between the astrological sign and the type of unnatural death (suicide, murder, accident, etc.).

The results showed that Capricorns were the second tallest overall, making them the second most likely astrological sign to die unnaturally. Capricorns were found to be the leaders (most likely to die) in four of the causes of death examined in the study. Capricorn had the highest score in death by fire (equal first to Taurus), drug overdose (equal first to Leo), as a pedestrian and was also the astrological sign most likely to be strangled.

Astrology studies show that there are two types of Capricorns: the agile and ambitious mountain goat and the charming grass-chewing garden goat. The Capricorn mountain goat will amaze everyone around her with her tenacity and drive to achieve her goals. The Capricorn garden goat is equally capable of greatness, it just needs a good kick to the butt to get moving!

So the questions that arise from the results of this study are why Capricorn ranks second overall in the ranking of unnatural deaths and first in the four categories mentioned above. In this article, I’ll look at the possible reasons why Capricorn ranks first in strangulation and drug overdose.

Capricorns, for all their attractive and impressive positive qualities, have some very unpleasant traits; being stingy with money, self-centered and pessimistic. Being an Ebeneezer Scrooge and self-centered could certainly go a long way in getting someone else to strangle them. In fact, apart from involvement in crime, selfishness and lust for money were frequently cited in death case studies as the main contributing factors to the Capricorn strangulation.

The pessimism and sadness that often mark the Capricorn personality could be a contributing factor to the large number of Capricorns who die each year from a drug overdose (suicide). This high rate in Capricorn could also be partially explained by the ambition factor and the tendency of successful young people (and not so young) to use drugs as a status symbol or as a risk activity.

Dealing with tennis fathers

Talk to any tennis coach these days and they will quickly tell you that the biggest challenge in training is dealing with and communicating with tennis parents.

My first tip for coaches is this.

“Master your communication skills as fast as you can.”

The best tennis coaches are great at communicating with their players and parents.

Well.

Here are 3 tips that can help you make your job easier and less stressful.

1). Listen with the real intention of understanding them.

Let me explain what happened to me.

Japanese parents are very protective and raise their children for life.

Therefore, you would always have to have these long meetings with them on a weekly basis and you wouldn’t really be listening to them during the meeting!

I started disconnecting them!

Which was bad, but the problem was, I hadn’t even realized it.

Now, looking back at it, I realize that they felt it too.

But here’s the fun part.

When I finally stopped resisting the meeting, I began to listen with a real intention to understand their concerns.

Our relationship improved and we became good friends.

You need to make your parents feel like they are the most important person in the world when you listen to and communicate with them.

Next thing.

two). Harmonize with them.

This is a great analogy for this tip.

Imagine your tennis parents as a fast train coming your way.

That means.

If you stand directly in front of him, he will run you over, right?

Exactly.

That is the key point right there.

Coaches should never do that.

Instead, seek to harmonize with them and delve into their mindset and their world.

3). Redirect them.

After having harmonized with them.

Seek to redirect them to your point of view.

They will often follow suit as well.

Please understand this.

Most parents and people seek leadership.

There are many weak energies out there and the person with the strongest will always need to lead the others in the group.

You must do this in a non-direct way.

It has to be natural or they will figure out what you are doing and resent you.

But do not worry.

With daily practice, you will master this way of communicating.

Let’s go over the steps for dealing with tennis parents.

“Listen with the intention of understanding them, then harmonize with them and their feelings and finally redirect them to see it their way or how is best for the team.”

Do you know something?

After dealing with tennis parents for over 25 years, this 3-step process has helped me enjoy working with tennis parents and will do the same for you.

Goal, warning.

This is not easy, you must be aware and you must also let go of your coach ego or it will not happen.

Alibaba IPO: approach with caution

International exposure is key to building a well-diversified portfolio, but foreign companies can pose problems that you wouldn’t find in the United States. Take, for example, a common solution to foreign ownership bans in China-based companies: the variable interest entity (VIE).

Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba is preparing for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Alibaba’s sheer size – a total value estimated at more than $ 200 billion – has drawn a lot of attention from investors, but some of that attention comes in the form of concern. Alibaba uses the VIE structure, and a recent article in The Wall Street Journal reported that a US government commission found that US investors face “great risks” if they buy shares in companies structured in this way. (1)

VIEs are not new. Chinese Internet companies began using this structure in 2000 as a solution to Chinese restrictions that prohibit foreigners from investing in certain sectors, including telecommunications. To avoid breaking the rules, non-Chinese investors own a foreign-listed business entity, which owns a subsidiary located in China. The Chinese subsidiary then owns one or more nationally licensed companies, which are VIEs. In the case of Alibaba, US investors will buy shares in a Cayman Islands entity called Alibaba Group Holding Limited. This entity will have a contractual right over the profits of the Chinese company, but will not own the assets of the company.

While this structure has been maintained so far, the risks identified by the commission are not insignificant. Since ownership of the company is indirect, foreign investors should rely solely on contractual agreements to ensure that they retain the economic benefits of ownership of the China-based company. These contracts should be enforced through the Chinese legal system in cases where shareholders believe their rights have been violated, a process that has historically been difficult for outsiders.

Even with these contracts in place, foreign investors have relatively little control. For example, in 2011, Alibaba’s Chinese entity ignored the objections of Yahoo Inc., a large shareholder in the offshore entity, and divided the assets of a payments unit to bring them under the control of the company’s founder, Jack Ma. Alibaba He said the transaction was necessary to ensure that China’s central bank would allow the payment unit to continue operating, eventually reaching an agreement with its shareholders, The Wall Street Journal reported. (2) While some investors view the VIE structure as the cost of doing business in China, the lack of control that comes with it requires caution.

Still, investors run a similar risk with stocks in US companies that have a majority shareholder, whether that shareholder is the founder or not. Investors sometimes decide that being at the mercy of the majority shareholder is a price they are willing to pay to invest in a certain company. Some private equity firms, including The Carlyle Group, KKR, and The Blackstone Group, have also gone public using a limited partnership structure, where investors receive a portion of the proceeds but remain at the mercy of the general partner in regards to business decisions. That said, choosing to buy a company with limited control in the United States comes with a number of rules and regulations designed to protect minority investors. While these are not bulletproof, they do offer some peace of mind. Investing in Alibaba or another Chinese company structured by VIE means giving up not just control, but transparency.

Perhaps most worryingly, the Chinese authorities have never formally confirmed that VIEs are legally valid. If the Chinese government sees fit to challenge the legitimacy of companies using VIEs, a foreign investor may be able to do little. While China has a strong economic interest in preserving companies as large as Alibaba, investors rely on the Chinese government’s self-interest without a legal safety net. Some observers have warned that Chinese legal precedents suggest that VIEs may fail if challenged.

This is not to say that investors should always avoid structured companies like VIEs at all times and in all circumstances. Asia-focused equity mutual funds, as part of a well-diversified equity portfolio, can provide diversified exposure to thousands of different companies, we can live with less exposure to investments in VIE-structured companies like Alibaba.

But keep an eye on your exposure to Chinese company stocks, regardless of how they’re structured. There are reasons to be wary of the risks of investing in a place that does not always respect the rule of law or the principles of corporate governance that we take for granted in the United States. The VIE’s investor-hostile structure is all the more reason to proceed with caution.

Sources:

1) The Wall Street Journal, “US report casts doubt on legal structure of Alibaba and other Chinese companies”

2) The Wall Street Journal, “Alibaba Founder’s Recent Deals Raise Flags”

Holly Mann’s Honest Riches Review: Is This A Scam?

Honest Riches was written by Holly Mann, a mother and a disabled veteran. He started doing internet marketing to supplement his income. After several requests, he decided to write the Honest Riches e-book. This book teaches you how to start a successful online affiliate business with little start-up money. Several of the strategies mentioned are free. When Honest Riches was updated, Holly added more information and renamed Breakthrough Money Making Secrets Revealed.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll receive with Holly Mann Honest Riches:

Chapter 1:

This chapter is mainly for beginners. It explains how to choose a topic that will produce the fastest results and the greatest chance of success when selecting a subtopic (niche). For example, if you are interested in cars, you might want to choose a niche in custom car wheels.

The next topic is how to get information for free. Holly provides links to several free websites to improve your site’s ranking. The basics of search engine optimization and domain name selection are explained. I wish I had read this book before choosing my domain name. Your domain name is very important. Most people don’t think about it enough.

Holly explains how to get inbound links by submitting articles. She gives you the actual links to the best sites. This is very useful and will increase your search engine optimization. Keyword selection is the next topic. Holly provides links to various tools to help make setting up your website easier. Some are free.

She provides enough information to help the beginner get started on a limited budget. This chapter also explains how to see what your competitors are doing. The next section is about setting up a partnership if money is tight. A model contract is attached.

Episode 2:

This is a relatively short chapter on how to find content that will attract more people to your website for free. Links are provided to search for free content.

Chapter 3:

This chapter explains how to create a free website in minutes. Holly explains how to set up your own free blog. Here are some ideas on how to make money blogging and how to improve your rankings. You don’t have to spend money to get ranked on Google and other search engines. A free tool is provided to update your blog.

Chapter 4:

This chapter is about advertising your website. Links to free online advertising directories are provided. AdWords advertising is also briefly mentioned.

Chapter 5:

This chapter explains how to get free site traffic from forums. This technique is completely free and has worked very well for Holly. It also explains how to start your own group or forum. Paid advertising is also mentioned here.

Chapter 6:

This chapter lists the affiliate programs that pay the most to sign up. This is completely free. Holly provides information on each affiliate program. It also mentions some of the highest paid affiliates to promote.

Chapter 7:

This chapter is about drop shipping and wholesalers. A list of 6 droppshippers is provided.

Holly also offers some additional good advice for eBay users at the end.

Holly Mann’s Honest Riches teaches you how to make money online successfully with very little startup money. Holly offers you several methods that are totally free. This e-book is also very easy to understand. Everything is well explained.

As I am always looking for free or very low cost advertising, I have used some of the Holly Mann Honest Riches techniques and they have worked very well for me. This is one of the best books to start with if you are on a tight budget. Holly has also added a free website and forum for anyone buying Honest Riches.