Beginner bloggers: 2 ways to make money

In the past week, some of you have asked me about mainly two things: What my thoughts were on Affiliate links (can you make real money with it) and what my thoughts were on Ko-fi (a link where your readers can buy you a ‘coffee’/donate $3.)

In this post I will tell you of 2 ways I know makes real money.

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Back in 2014 and 2015, I use to add affiliate links to my blog.

After that year, I stopped with most affiliate links because I did not see growth. If something doesn’t work after a considerable amount of time, and I’ve done my best, I simply move on to the next.

Now in 2017 I only do affiliate links that work for me and might work for you too, because there is logic in the method.

Tips on selecting affiliate links:
1. Go the website that you shop at the most, most companies have affiliate programs on their website. Sign up.

Why use a store that you shop at? Because if you are the average person, you don’t buy overly expensive things on a daily basis.

Most affiliate links that people put up, is overly expensive and so people don’t click on the link because they can’t afford it.
And if they do go to the website, mostly they don’t buy anything which influences your sales.

2. If you are thinking about selling a specific item, choose items that cost less then what people pay for currently in other stores.

Example: I found a company that sells human hair for extremely cheap. First, I bought the hair to see if it’s good quality. Once I saw it was, I contacted the company, told them I have a blog and would like to advertise their hair on my blog with an affiliate link.

I had the hair on my blog for a while but took it off once my blog content changed more to fashion rather than beauty.

(I’m getting back into beauty soon, so I might contact a few companies again.)

3. What’s your demographics? Which country visits your blog the most? Check your stats. Once you know, you can choose affiliate links catering specifically to those people. Get affiliate links from stores in those countries.

4. What do you post about? Fashion? Parenthood? Writing? It’s important to know this because the people who follow you are attracted to that topic. Choose an affiliate link that sells something related to that topic.

If you blog about being vegan, but your affiliate links are for meat products, you won’t make any sales.

Some readers asked about Ko-Fi
Let me first explain what Ko-Fi is.

It’s a platform where creators can set up a free account and link back to their website for readers to buy you a ‘coffee’.

It’s not an actual coffee but rather a donation of $3 (the average price of a coffee ) or more (if they want to give more) In this way, your readers can support you.

How do they pay and how do you receive it?
They choose an option to pay via their bank card or PayPal and you put your bank details or PayPal into your account.

Ko-Fi will let you know when you’ve received the money and it will be available to you immediately. No threshold.

I set up my Ko-Fi account last week and have received some caffeine from some of you, THANK YOU. It’s an incredible feeling to receive a notification that someone actually clicked on the button, and decided to support my blog in that way.

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Screenshot of how it looks when you receive a ‘coffee’

None of you will know the following, but here it is:

The past months I’ve been writing a book on ‘Beginner blogger tips’ and I’ve sent it to my editor, Gail Fay. The book will be available on 15 Dec 2017. Initially, the book was going to be $5,99 for the e-book and $6,99 for the printed version.

But the money that I received from Ko-Fi helped cover the editor bills, and so now the e-book will be available for $2,99. I cannot change the price on the hard copies.

So, again thank you.

If my posts have helped you consider buying me a ‘coffee’ click here. There will be a space where you can write a message to me, leave me your email and blog address. I will look at your blog and we can discuss how to grow your particular blog. This is my way of saying thank you.

Questions to the readers:
Do you use affiliate links? What’s the most difficult part for you when you think about affiliate links?

If you want to read more posts like these, I made a whole series of beginner blogger tips. Click here.

See you in the comments, happy living!

Chantal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to get sponsored blog posts (free media kit template )

If you are a beginner blogger, you probably don’t get many emails, if any at all, asking you to promote content. So in today’s post, I will tell you how to get sponsored blog posts. as a beginner blogger. I’ve also included free media kit templates.

Now that you know how to maintain your blog, the next step is getting a sponsored blog posts as a beginner blogger.

It takes preparation.

First, you’ll need something that is known as a media kit. What is a media kit? It’s a summary of your blog, mission, goals, and statistics.

  • A media kit includes:
    An introduction to yourself and a picture: This can be brief. Tell the company who you are and add a professional picture.
  • Your mission/goals for your blog: What do you want to achieve with your blog? What do you blog about? What is your niche? Is there any particular post that you do weekly to draw your audience to your blog?
  • Your audience: Who are they? How old are they? Male/ female? From where are they? You can obtain this information from WordPress stats or Google analytics.
  • Testimonials ( See this post on how to get testimonials)
  • Blog post rates (See this post on how to charge for blog posts)
  • Your statistics: What are your WordPress stats? What’s your unique visitors per month, page views per month, email list? This information you’ll find on your WordPress stats or Google analytics.
    What’s the analytics for your social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc?
  • NOTE: If you fear that your stats are a bit low on one of your accounts then don’t mention it. A media kit is a cv of your blog and you want to showcase your best self.
  • Contact info: Include your name, number, blog address, email and social media.

As a beginner blogger all of these points should be fairly easy to summarize, the only two that may discourage you is your statistics and testimonials.

If you are just starting out, your numbers will not be so impressive. Everyone starts from somewhere. Do not let this discourage you. Instead, you can show how fast your blog is growing, by including “I’ve had this blog for 3 months and my subscription has grown 400%  each moth.’ This shows that your blog has potential.

I have created a professional media kit template for you. You can change the colour. Download it and add your information to it.

Pink Blogger Media Kit

Download the pdf here. Pink Blogger Media Kit

Download word doc here.MEDIA KIT TEMP

Congrats, you have your media kit.

Now that you have completed your media kit, the fun begins.

There are magical places where bloggers and advertisers live happily ever after. It is called blogger affiliate programs.

You sign up to one of the services for free and upload your media kit.

These companies will ask you to select what type of brands you are interested in working with, what type of products you would like to review, how much you charge per blog post, etc.

Once you’ve created your profile, companies browse it and will let you know when they are interested.

In 2014 I was part of a blogger’s group from the UK and received my first sponsored post after a month. I waited until companies contacted me, but you can browse prospective companies you are interested in and send your media kit to them.

Here are some companies you can sign up to:

IZEA

TAPINFLUENCE

Comission Junction

Let me know how it goes!

PS: Do you find the beginner blogger tips helpful? If so, consider buying me a ‘coffee’ 🙂 All the money goes to creating content for the blog. Confused? Click here.

For more beginner blogger posts, click here.

Until tomorrow, happy living!
Chantal

Should beginner bloggers do free promotional posts?

As bloggers we work our butts of creating content, taking Instagram worthy pictures and occasionally cleaning our sunglasses to carry on writing. So, is it worth it to do a free promotional blog post for companies?

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A while ago I wrote a blog post about how much money beginner bloggers should ask for sponsored blog posts.

I thought this next post will be fitting.

If you are a beginner blogger should you do free promotions?

If you are thinking that companies are not even contacting you to do free promotion on your blog, think again because chances are if you’ve been blogging constantly for 6months, have been tagging your post and left your email on your contact page, that these companies would have found you by now or will in future.

Here are 3 different examples from 3 different companies contacting me.

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The email normal starts of by them telling you that:
They’ve read your blog and they like it.
They have a blog idea for your blog.
They would like you to promote their website.
If you agree, you write the post and send it to them so they can check it and change a few things.
With these type of promotions, you don’t get paid, or send any products. Basically, you give the company free publicity. Some of the companies enter you into a ‘draw’ and you might be chosen to be featured on their website.

Firstly, pat yourself on the back, you’ve done it. A company recognized you. Secondly, don’t pat yourself on the back too hard because they’ve recognized you and 100 other bloggers. They are not paying you, they want free promotion from you.

They know a few things about the blogger psyche:
They know that we love to be recognized by a company or brand.
If they’ve checked out your blog they know that you’ve never or seldom worked with a company before, so you don’t know what to expect really.
They know that flattery gets them a free promotional blog post.

How can you use this situation to your advantage?
You can tell them that you will do the post, but in return, you would like them to give you a review of your post. What do I mean by a review?

They can say something like “Very insightful, clear and funny blog”- Coca-Cola (or whoever)

Then you take the quote they have given you, add a page to your blog called ‘Testimonials’ and write the quote there including the company name etc.

This will help build your blog profile. When potential advertisers visit your blog, they will see that you have worked with different companies and this raises your credibility.

Should you accept all free blog promotion offers?
No. Try to do 4 or 5 ones that you really like. And get the reviews for your blog then don’t do any further. Why? PR companies talk. If they realize you are doing free promotional post all the time, no one would want to pay you to write a post in the future.

I think doing a free blog post does have benefits.
You get to experience working with a brand
You get a ‘review’ to build your blog
You build professional relationships
You get exposure to other parts of the blogosphere.

But do keep in mind, that you’ve worked hard for your blog. It takes time and effort to build a relationship with your audience and create great content. Don’t overwhelm your readers with so many promotional blog posts that you lose their interest.

If you liked this post and would like to read more beginner blogger tips, click here. 🙂

What do you think? When given the chance, would you do a free promotional post?

Happy living 🙂

Chantal

How much money you should charge for sponsored content? Beginner blogger tips.

I got my first paycheck after 3 months in 2010. It was 500$. But I didn’t know how much to ask so I let the company decide for me. I under sold myself.

So, how much money should you charge as a beginner blogger for your content?

Let’s get into it!

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I know now that I was underselling my blog. I asked too little and they took advantage of that. Does that mean that they are evil? No, just good business people. When it comes to business, there are no hard feelings. Don’t take it personally.

However, after 7years I’ve learned enough to know how much to charge for my blog content. Here’s the down low.

How much you should charge for your blog content:

There is no set amount that you should charge for your blog content.
people make it up as they go. (Later in the blog I will tell you how much I charge)

Here are two popular methods people are using:

First method: Take the number of page views + the number of social media followers divided by your page rank times $0.1 divided by 2.
That equals the amount you should ask

If you want to check out your page rank click here.

Second popular method:
Number of hours spent on writing the post times the number of hours you spend on taking pictures, editing, styling, curating pictures + your rate for your blog (Minimum is $50)
This equals the amount you should ask sponsored blog posts.

Why I don’t follow those rules and still get paid
1) If you follow those rules as a beginner blogger, you will barely get enough money to survive.

Those calculations were made by big time bloggers for big time bloggers.

2) There is no set rules for how much you can charge, why sell yourself short? If you have worked hard on your blog, interactions, views, and content, you deserve a decent paycheck per post.

How much I charge for sponsored content:

This is my personal method.
I charge $100 per hour for creating blog content. It takes me about 5hours to write a blog post.

Plus

I charge $120 per hour if I take the pictures myself and edit them. Normally it takes me 5hours to take pictures and edit it.

If I don’t take the pictures and the company provides it then I don’t charge for the pictures of course.

Then I charge my blog fee which is $500.

Why charge a blog fee? When I’m not writing blog posts I’m promoting my content, building relationships with other bloggers/partners etc. I do this daily from Mon-Fri. I work hard to make my blog successful. So when I write a sponsored blog post it does very well and it’s because of my hard work.

I plus all of that together and then I charge that amount. So on an AVERAGE, a sponsored I charge $1500 per blog post, depending on what the company needs.

This is a business transaction. They give you money, but what do you give them? What can your blog offer them?

Have you built trust with your audience so if you promote content will they trust you enough to buy it? Or are you just blabbering on when you can and not really putting in work on your blog so they see you as ‘a wanna be blogger?’

Your social media:
Are you active on social media? Do you have anything to offer to companies?

If you feel depressed after this post just remember:

1) You can work on getting interaction on your blog. It’s not that you suck at blogging, it’s perhaps that you don’t put in enough of effort.

I know not everyone can afford to spend as much time on their blog. If you spend only 1hour on your blog per day then you cannot expect people to interact with you like they do with Beyonce.

What you put in is what you get out. But you know that. Don’t be depressed. Do something about improving your blog.

If you take just one month to really focus on growing your blog, setting time aside for it, you WILL see improvement.

Here are tips to help you with that. Click here 🙂

If you learned anything in this post, please let me know in the comment section. It helps 🙂

Happy living,

Chantal.

 

500+ followers in 2 weeks

About two weeks ago I decided to start the “beginner blogger series’ and share all I’ve learned over the period of 7years of blogging.

This has gone very well since now I have 500 subscribers more than I used to. Some of you even emailed me to tell me ‘thank you’ because you applied what I shared and got some followers etc.

I work Monday- Friday 8hours writing those blog posts so imagine my happiness when I receive the emails and comments. 🙂

So, I think this post is needed to explain my ‘absence’ during weekends.

There’s a simple reason for that. Which is I take weekends off 🙂 I’m reading some books, sipping some wine and getting loved up with the husband.

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If you are blogging this weekend and want to check out some blogger tips, then click here.

Otherwise, see you Monday 🙂

PS: What are you doing this weekend? Blogging? Family time?

 

 

How to make money as a beginner blogger (How I got my 1st paycheck after 3 months of blogging)

In this post, I’ll say things that other bloggers advise against, such as, ‘as a beginner blogger you should not put ads on your blog.’

I say put ads on your blog.

Their reason to not put up ads: When you put up ads too soon on your blog it will be a distraction to your viewers. And as a beginner blogger, you will not make enough money anyway by putting up ads.

My reason to put up ads: We are used to seeing ads on blogs. Our eyes are not distracted by it so much anymore. Keep in mind to put the ads, not in the way of your post. If you put it in the middle of your post, that will distract readers, but if you put it out of their way, they will still have an enjoyable experience.

Second reason: You won’t make a lot of money with the ads you put up. How much? About 2cents. It will teach you to get excited about 2cents and then it will go up to 5cents, 10 cents, 20cents and when you hit that $1 you’ll feel like a boss. Also, 2cents is more than nothing. When the $1000, $2000 starts coming you will appreciate it more because you know where you came from.

(I look back at those 2cents going up and up. I remember when I first reached my $100. And then the bigger checks.)

Third reason: You need to think for yourself. As I’ve mentioned the majority of people advise to only put ads on your blog after a year or two. Their reasoning behind it is valid and it has worked for them. But will it work for you? Your personality? The way you think and act. You are not them and they are not you. ‘Miracles’ can happen for you that did not happen for them. I received my first paycheck after only 3 months of blogging on WordPress (not my Blogspot blog) in 2015. I speak more about it later in this post.)

But then again, if you cannot get excited about your posts getting 2 cents in the beginning, then perhaps you can wait until after a year.

How to get ads on your blog?

Adsense: You create an account with AdSense. It’s free and easy.
When do you get paid? Many people just say when you’ve reached the threshold of $100. I found that that’s true if you are American.
But for other countries, you get different thresholds. Here are some:

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Note: You only get your money when it reaches the threshold.
Something cool about AdSense: You can monetize (put ads) on your blog and other websites like Youtube. Then your threshold will be reached sooner because you have two places you put up ads instead of one.

How do you get paid? Check or bank account?
In the past, it used to be in a check like this (Here my surname is my maiden name)

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But nowadays Adsense deposits it directly to your bank account.

Adwords:When you upgrade your blog to premium, you can use AdWords.
Adwords places ads on your blog and when you’ve reached a threshold of $100 they deposit into your bank account or PayPal account. I chose PayPal.

Note: You cannot have Adsense and Adwords. You have to choose one.

Promoted content

This is where you start seeing the dollars $$.
When a company approaches you to do a blog post for them advertising their brand on your blog. This can either be a post that you have written or a post they have written. Or advertising space on your blog.

This is an example of a company contacting me to advertise on my blog. This was after only 3 months on WordPress.

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How do you go about getting brands to sponsor you?
Finding brands that want to sponsor bloggers is not difficult. They even find you. Brands want to advertise their businesses.

  • Make sure that you:
    Have a contact page with your email address, social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc. Preferably the ones that are doing good. No not Beyonce good, but your good.
  • There are different types of companies, a lot that’s looking for smaller bloggers because they charge less (not cents, dollars) and often would work harder on a post and advertising.
  • Don’t be afraid to turn down offers if it doesn’t fit well with your audience and blog. Other offers will come. Be patient.
  • Know how much you will charge for sponsored content. How many hours do you have per day to spend on your post? Will you promote it also on you Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat? Other social media?
    (If you want me to write a post about how you know how much to charge, let me know because that needs a post by itself)

What are businesses looking for?
They are looking for a blog with interaction. Why? because if they are going to pay you to promote their content, they have to be sure your audience will check out their business.

That’s why it’s important to build up your audience. Just be sure that when you do accept a sponsor that it is something your audience will benefit from. You have worked hard for a relationship with your audience, don’t lose their trust.

Be honest and upfront. Your audience is human. They understand that you need money to live. So don’t bullshit them. Say straight up ‘I’m doing a sponsored post because I don’t live on comments alone, Mama is getting that money and I’m bringing something useful to you.’ … Or in any other way you want to let your audience know it’s a sponsored post. 🙂

I think I will stop here otherwise the post is going to turn into a book. Would you like me to do a more in  detailed post about how much money you should charge as a new blogger for sponsored content?

If you have learned anything in this post let me know, also let me know any other questions you have or want to see a blog post on.

As always, if you are interested in more beginner blogger tips like these, I wrote a bunch of them here.

Until tomorrow.

Happy living!
Chantal

PS: Don’t forget to be a human being and step away from your laptop to get some fresh air and live. Work hard on your blog but also live life.

(Congrats you’ve read 1091 words, 5789 characters in about 4 minutes)

Unnecessary things beginner bloggers do (BEGINNER BLOGGER TIPS)

When you are starting to blog you might feel the need to spend more time on unnecessary things because you don’t know it’s unnecessary.

Today’s blog post in the ‘beginner’s blogger tips’ series will discuss what you shouldn’t waste your time on in the beginning.
(Yet I will give options for those of you who are stubborn because sometimes the best way to learn is to feel the burn 😉

Let’s get into it.

Themes

Many people get stuck on what type of theme they should get. I was one of those people. I would spend hours looking for the ‘right’ theme for my blog. Because I wanted my blog to look the way the professional blogger’s blogs looked.

I bought themes after themes and have discovered many things people don’t say when promoting the themes.

When you buy a theme you think it’s going to look exactly like it’s being advertised right? Wrong. (If you wonder why check out this post about advertising)

The truth is that your theme is not that important in the beginning. You might think your theme sucks, but if you choose a free theme on WordPress, it will do just fine.

But uhmmm. Is it free?

Just because something is free doesn’t mean that no work went into creating it. Professional people got paid actual money to make the ‘free WordPress themes. WordPress choose the best out of the lot. Remember WordPress is also a business competing against other blogger businesses such as Blogspot and so will try to give  good themes, even if it’s free.

If you have the money to buy an epic theme, one that captured your heart, go ahead. But if you are broke AF. The free WordPress themes will do.

If the theme is not important then what is?

A theme that will do for now. WordPress has many themes. Pick the one you like and start blogging.

I get that you want your blog to look professional. But that might take a while. What you don’t know is after you bought the perfect theme, your blog will not actually look like the theme you bought.

Why do I say that? When people advertise themes, they use the ultimate professional pictures, layout, font etc. The engineers are trained in what pictures work with what font etc. Yes, it’s an occupation.

You probably already tried the themes and consider to buy a theme.

Okay, fine.

If you are stuck on buying the right theme before you start, first ‘try out’ the theme.  WordPress let’s you try out the  theme before you make it public.

To try out a theme before using/buying it do this:

Go to the top left of your page and click My sites and click on themes. (Not on customize, if you click customize it will open a window for you to customize your current blog theme. If you click on themes it will show you all the themes WordPress has)

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Then this page will appear. Type in what you blog about. (I used the word Blogging. ) I chose the theme The parisian.

Untitled2Then this page will appear. Click ‘Open Live demo’ (Do not click activate design, because that will make the design you choose activate without editing it)

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Then this page will appear. Click ‘Try & customize’

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Go to the top left corner of the page. Play around with the colors and styles. Like it? Click save and activate on the top left. If it’s free, you are free to go. If it’s for sale, take out your credit card 🙂

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Considering a paid theme?

See how your content fits, with your pictures. Does the theme still look as fancy? Or do you see white spaces where there is not supposed to be white spaces because it didn’t look like that on the theme?

Companies who sell themes usually have 24/7 support. Even though sometimes you might have to wait for a technician to get back to you.

The good companies will actually help you… over the phone. Then you have to figure it out by yourself. Are you tech savvy? Do you have time to spend on waiting? Are you procrastinating on writing that blog post? These are things to think about.

I bought cheap themes and expensive themes, and after all of that I find myself right back at the WordPress Zoren theme. A lot of money and time wasted, but knowledge acquired.

Pick a theme you like, move on and start working on your blog’s content.

Themes will always be there

After you’ve published some post, you can always get back to finding the perfect theme. Just be warned the perfect theme doesn’t exist, because as you grow, your blog will grow and your taste will grow. Finding one theme that will last for all eternity is a near impossible task.

Your domain name

When the internet was made available to the public in 1991 a good domain name was very important. Google’s search engine would favor your website because of your domain name. But in this present time, 2017, it no longer does that. The internet has evolved and so will you.

However, if you want the perfect domain name that reflects what your blog is about, go ahead.

Time yourself. Searching for the perfect domain name might be a sign of procrastinating.People will ultimately come to your blog for your content and not for the domain name.

How much is a new domain name?

If your domain name is 69sexhottie.wordpress.com and you have met Jesus and want to change, then the price for a new domain is:

WordPress:  $18 per year
Bluehost:      $2.95 per month
GoDaddy:     Depends on what extension you want. Example: .com, .org
Name.com    FREE

When I said that I’ve been blogging for 7years and made a lot of mistakes, I was not kidding. I think that’s why I can write this beginner blogger series so honestly. I know better now.

What do I use?

Currently, I’m using WordPress domain. http://www.chantaldegeus.com

Here’s how to get it.

Click on ‘My sites’ on the top left corner of your blog and click on ‘Domains’

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Click on ‘Domans’ and then ‘Add domain’. Choose the name you want. Finish.

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I’ve used Bluehost two years ago. I had some problems and called them. They did their best over the phone but I was not tech savvy enough (Even though I had computer as a subject in high school for 5years and 1year of software engineering at university)

So I took the easier road, which for me was WordPress. My blog was already on this platform and getting a new domain name was one click away.

Godaddy I used for a business I started in 2011. I bought the domain name, it was live but that’s all I can tell you because I didn’t understand the blogging world yet, I thought one year of software engineering was enough to write my own online clothing website, how naive I was.

If you are considering Godaddy then make sure that the name you pick is your actual name.

Example: I searched for chantaldegeus.com (I knew it wouldn’t exist since I have it)
They gave me something very close. If I didn’t read carefully I could’ve ended up with chantaldesgeus.com An extra ‘s’ that’s not in my surname.

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I can laugh at all of this now, but back then it was frustrating because I’ve tried my best but felt like I got nowhere. So if you are feeling frustrated, I know the feeling. I’m happy I persisted and after 7 years I can blog for a living.

The only service I mentioned but haven’t used is the Name.com website. My one blogger friend told me it works. I cannot say if it works or not. Just thought I’d throw it in there for those of you who are broke AF.

I hope this helps! If you learned anything in this post, please comment below 🙂 Any questions?

If you enjoyed this blog post, here’s more of my post for beginner bloggers.

(PS: Congrats! You’ve read 1390 words, 7458 characters in about 5minutes)