• in

    Personal Questions You Can Ask Every Girl

    Looking to get to know a girl a little bit better or need some questions for a girl you’ve known long time? Tired of the same old small talk questions? We’re here to help with a list of interesting and engaging questions to ask a girl. These aren’t your normal run of the mill questions and some can actually get quite deep.

    These questions will definitely get an interesting conversation going. You can pick and choose the ones you like or you can just ask them all. I added a bit of commentary about how to use each question and some possible ways to take the conversation. You can read through the commentary or just skip it. Your choice.

    These questions are great as stand alone questions to ask a girl, but for a really great conversation you’ll want to ask her plenty of follow up questions. Enjoy the great conversation, you can thank me later! If you’d prefer an image or PDF of our first 50 questions to ask a girl we’ve got that at the bottom of the page.

    Questions to ask a girl list

    This first list of questions to ask a girl is a great place to start. Each question has some commentary that might help with the questions but feel free to ignore the commentary if you want. There’s also many more excellent questions to ask a girl without commentary below the first set.

    Question 1: What random stranger has had the biggest impact on your life?

    This is one that she’ll probably have to take some time to think about, because it’s not a common question. But it can be a lot of fun to answer and can be quite thought provoking as well. Plus, she’ll get to tell a story about her past and how it affects who she is today; which is always good to know.

    To keep the conversation going; remember to ask more details about her story, ask about other random strangers that had an impact on her life, or tell her about a random stranger that had a big impact on your life.

    Question 2: What achievement are you proud of but most people would consider silly or weird?

    This question is a great way to find out more about who she really is and what she finds interesting / fun. If the girl you are talking to is a girlfriend you might be able to use that info to create a game / competition that only you and she plays or it might turn out to be great for future gift ideas. However she answers this question, you’ll probably learn something new and interesting about her. Don’t forget to ask a lot about the details.

    Question 3: What period in history had the best fashion?

    Not all girls are into fashion, but a fair number of them are. Even if she isn’t way into fashion, she still might like this question. It’s probably something she has an opinion on, but I can almost guarantee no one has ever asked her. To expand the conversation, you might want to ask about if different time periods were better for different genders.

    Question 4: What silly or funny thing makes you afraid or creeps you out?

    This is a fun question that doesn’t quite delve into deep fears, but can still get strong reaction. You can talk about why the thing creeps her out and if she has any funny stories about the thing she is afraid of. You could also move the topic into more serious fears if you wanted to get a bit deeper. But feel free to keep it light and talk about humorous fears.

    Question 5: How quickly do you jump to conclusions about people?

    This one is a great question to find out more about how she views other people and what stereotypes she has. To further the conversation, you can ask her about what she thought of you the first time she saw or met you. Or you can ask her about what the telltale signs for a good and bad person are.

    Question 6: How would the world change if super heroes and super villains actually existed?

    This is a question to get the creative juices flowing and I’m sure you both can come up with some funny and interesting situations that would arise if super heroes / villains existed. Sure, the girl you are talking to might not be too into this question if they don’t like comics or watching super hero movies. But with how popular super hero movies are, it’s probably a safe bet she’ll enjoy this question. If she doesn’t like those types of movies though, you might want to give this one a pass.

    Question 7: What would be your strategy for surviving an apocalyptic epidemic?

    Another one that is a bit off the wall, but I’m sure we’ve all thought about it. Especially with how popular post apocalyptic shows, movies, and books are. This one is an easy one to expand into a long conversation, because you can discuss the merits of each strategy compared with each scenario. I mean, there have literally been books written about this. So yeah, lots to talk about. Especially if you two are into the post apocalyptic genre.

    Question 8: What is the most important change that should be made to your country’s education system?

    This one is a bit more serious. But you can see how much she is into social change and probably get a good idea of her political leanings. Or you might find that she doesn’t really care about it. Either way it’s good intel. You can easily expand this question by bouncing different ideas off of each other and talking about the merits of each idea.

    Question 9: What is something you think you will regret in the future not starting now and what is something you already regret not starting sooner?

    Oh procrastination. Yep, we all do it. This will let you know how much she procrastinates as well as letting you know about what some of her goals are and what she finds important. Try not to nag her about her answers, because one, she probably already feels bad about it and two, you probably have stuff that you should’ve already started. If your goals line up, it’s a great way to get a conversation going about what you both would like to accomplish in the future. Also, it’s great opportunity to complain about how busy the present is.

    Question 10: What part of your culture are you most and least proud of?

    Our culture makes up a large part of who we are and she is no different. This one can get a bit deep but it’s definitely fertile ground for a good conversation. So dive in on cultural matters and see where you both have similar viewpoints and where you differ. There will be lots of chances for follow up questions. Just remember, listen and ask questions; don’t just think of the next thing you are going to say.

  • in

    The Most Powerful Writing Tools For Bloggers: Mac, PC, Mobile & Online

    Have you ever used MS Word to write your blog posts and wondered if there was something more blogger-friendly out there?

    As a blogger, you have unique needs. More than fancy features and formatting, you want:

    • A place to capture all of your ideas
    • A writing tool that cuts out distractions
    • A way to find and remove embarrassing grammatical errors.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of writing tools around to help you do all of the above.

    In this post, I’ll share some of the most powerful writing tools for bloggers. I’ll also cover Mac, Windows, mobile apps and web apps.

    Let’s dive in:

    Contents [show]

    Tools to capture and organize your ideas

    Have you ever sat down to write and come up with… nothing?

    The dreaded writer’s block is part and parcel of every blogger’s life. But things become much easier when you have a long list of existing ideas to work on.

    This is why every serious blogger I know maintains a central repository of ideas. These can be anything – blog post titles, new angles for older posts, marketing hooks, etc.

    The tools I’ve listed below will help you capture and organize all these ideas:



    Evernote usually sits at the top of the list for any serious note-taker, and for good reason.

    As one of the first “online notebooks,” Evernote lives up to its promise to help you “remember everything”. It is also available online, as a desktop app (Mac and Windows) and as a mobile app (both iOS and Android) so you can jot down ideas wherever inspiration strikes.

    What makes this particularly useful for us bloggers is the search functionality. You can make an unlimited number of notebooks and quickly search through them.

    Best of all, it is free to use, although you would need to upgrade to the paid plan to unlock more features.

    Price: Freemium

    Platform: Online, mobile, and desktop (Windows and Mac)




    If you’re like most bloggers, you spend a good part of your day just reading other people’s blog posts.

    But sometimes, you just want to file away an interesting blog post and read it later.

    This is where Pocket can be incredibly useful. Simply install the Pocket extensions (for both Firefox and Chrome) and click the icon in the browser when you land on an interesting page.

    Pocket will archive the page and format it for easy reading.

    If you download the Pocket app, you can read your saved articles anytime – even if you’re offline.

    Pocket also has thousands of integrations with cool apps (such as Twitter) to make saving articles even easier.

    Price: Free

    Platform: Online (Firefox/Chrome) and mobile (Android/iOS)


    Drafts (iOS only)

    Drafts iOS

    What if you just want to quickly take notes without scrolling through half a dozen menus and buttons?

    This is where Drafts comes in.

    Drafts was designed from scratch as a “write-first, organize-later” type app. Everytime you open the app, you get a blank page so you can jot down your inspiration right away. This design choice fits the writers’ workflow perfectly.

    But there’s more: once you’ve got your notes down, you can use one of the many pre-built ‘actions’ to get more from your notes.

    For example, you can automatically send the note contents straight into your Dropbox.

    Think of it as a built-in IFTTT for your notes. You can see a list of actions here.

    The only downside? It’s only available on iOS (iPhone, iPad and yes, even Apple Watch).

    Price: $5.99

    Platform: iOS




    A lot of serious content marketers swear by Trello, and it’s easy to see why.

    Trello is a ‘kanban’ style project management tool. You create a ‘board’ which can have multiple ‘lists.’ Each ‘list’ can have any number of items.

    You can use these lists to store and organize your ideas. Once an idea moves past the ‘ideation’ to the ‘production’ stage, you can drag and drop it to another list.

    For example, you might have four lists on a board – “Ideas, “To-Do,” “Editing” and “Published.”

    You can then manage your ideas like this:

    • Raw ideas go into the ‘Ideas’ list.
    • Finalized ideas go into the ‘To-Do’ list.
    • Once you have a draft of an idea, push it to the ‘Editing’ list.
    • Once the post is live, drag it to ‘Published’.

    Ultimately you can craft your own workflow by setting up the lists that matter to you.

    This will bring much needed clarity and control over your editorial process.

    Price: Free

    Platform: Online and mobile


    Writing tools that simply work

    The writing tool is the blogger’s sanctuary. This is where you’ll spend the bulk of your time; writing and editing your content.

    A poor writing tool will make you want to tear your hair out with annoying distractions and errors (remember ‘Clippy’ circa Office 2003?). A great one will make writing sheer joy.

    Below, I’ve compiled a list of writing tools for all platforms, budgets and experience-levels.

    Dragon Naturally Speaking

    Dragon Naturally Speaking

    I always tell bloggers to write like they speak – conversationally.

    An easier way to do that is to actually speak to your computer. This is where Dragon Naturally Speaking comes into the picture.

    Dragon Naturally Speaking is a speech recognition tool that lets you fast-track document creation by transcribing text through voice. Unlike the speech recognition tools of old, Dragon has a very high degree of accuracy – much more than Google Voice or Siri.

    Also, Dragon recognizes industry specific-terms and acronyms from a wide-range of industries such as healthcare, legal and small business to ensure transcription accuracy.

    In case of errors, the software is also capable of learning new words and phrases, giving you a completely personalized experience.

    Price: $35 for home version and $80 for premium version

    Platform: Desktop (PC and Mac) and online


    Google Docs

    Google Docs

    Google Docs is fast becoming the writing tool of choice for a great many bloggers, writers and marketers.

    It’s easy to see why:

    With Google Docs, you can invite team members to collaborate and edit documents in real-time (great for working with guest bloggers too). The close integration with Gmail also makes it easy to share your content with others.

    Other features include automatic saving, pre-created templates, and powerful add-ons such as speech recognition and label creation. All helping to ensure your attention is focused on the task at hand.

    It can also work great for hosting lead magnets.

    Price: Free

    Platform: Online and mobile




    Scrivener is essentially a project management tool masquerading as a writing tool.

    Originally built to help novelists write complex projects, Scrivener has quickly become the go-to writing tool for serious bloggers.

    Scrivener’s design focuses on creating ideas as ‘virtual index cards’. You can write your ideas on these cards and shift them around to create the structure and flow of your content. It also helps you take and organize comprehensive notes and make quick edits across lengthy documents.

    Most bloggers will find Scrivener overkill for everyday blogging. But if you to a lot of writing and creating of lengthy documents such as eBooks, guides etc. – you’ll find it an incredibly powerful ally.

    Price: $40

    Platform: Windows and Mac


    Bear Writer

    Bear Writer

    Bear Writer is an iOS-exclusive writing application designed for copious note taking.

    It supports writer-friendly features such as basic markdown support for quick text formatting, a focus mode for distraction-free writing, and the ability to export content to alternative formats such as PDFs.

    Another unique feature is the ability to organize and link thoughts through hashtags. For example, you can add the #idea hashtag to any paragraph that contains an idea. When you search for the ‘#idea’ hashtag, all of those paragraphs will show up.

    This makes content creation and organization much easier.

    Price: Freemium (premium version costs $15/year)

    Platform: iOS (iPhone, iPad and Mac)




    If MS Word isn’t for you, there is a perfectly viable (and even older) word processor out there: WordPerfect.

    WordPerfect has been around since 1979. For quite a while, it was the most popular word processor around before MS Word hit the scene.

    Today, WordPerfect offers most of the features of MS Word, but with a cleaner interface. You’ll find that it’s particularly well suited for creating long-form documents such as whitepapers and eBooks. It offers writers the ability to create, edit, and share these documents as PDF’s.

    You also get access to a wide-selection of templates which allows you to work faster and smarter.

    Price: $45 for home & student version and $179 for professional version

    Platform: Desktop (PC and Mac)




    As a blogger, you want to write, not deal with unnecessary features and menu options.

    This is why there has been a big increase in minimalist writing tools on the market lately. These tools do away with most features. Instead, they let you focus on what you do best: write.

    Paragraphs is one of the most popular offerings in this category. This Mac-only app gives you a clean, distraction-free writing interface. Instead of ‘ribbon’ menus and a laundry list of features, you get a blank page to jot down your thoughts. Formatting options are limited and within easy reach thanks to a contextual menu.

    The best part is that you can export your text as HTML. This is super helpful because you can simply copy and paste this HTML code directly into WordPress (or whichever blogging platform you use) to keep your formatting.

    Price: $10

    Platform: Desktop (Mac only)




    BlankPage is another offering in the category of minimalist writing tools.

    Just like Paragraphs, you get a clean, distraction-free interface for writing. There are no menu options or formatting choices to deal with – you open the app and start writing straight away.

    What makes BlankPage unique is its goal-tracking tool that motivates you to write more.

    Here’s how it works:

    You set a goal for the number of words you want to write every day. BlankPage will then track each writing session in terms of word count and time. If you meet your goal, BlankPage will indicate it visually on a daily calendar.

    This helps you visualize your progress which, as research shows, can help you stay motivated.

    Price: $100 per year

    Platform: Online


    Editing, proofreading and fine-tuning your content

    Before your content goes out to your readers, it’s always a good idea to put it through a proofreading tool.

    Spelling and grammatical mistakes are embarrassing and will hinder the impact of your content.

    Now, I must point out that you shouldn’t completely rely on proofreading tools.

    The truth is that no tool will catch every error and they can’t take your personal writing style into account.

    That said, they can still spot a lot of errors, so they do work well as an ‘extra set of eyes’.

    I also like to put my post titles through different headline analyzers to get an estimate of their potential impact.

    Here are a few tools to help you edit, proofread and fine-tune your content:

    Thrive Headline Optimizer

    Thrive Headline Optimizer

    Thrive Theme’s Headline Optimizer* is a WordPress plugin which ensures your headlines have maximum impact.

    All you need to do is create several headlines, add them to your post in WordPress, and it will automatically begin split testing each one using statistical analysis to determine a winner. This headline will then automatically be shown to your readers.

    What I love about this tool is that it doesn’t rely on social media traffic to work out which headline is performing.

    Here’s why:

    A few influencers could share one headline version, and not another. It wouldn’t necessarily mean one version was better. But it would usually skew your data.

    Instead, Headline Optimizer uses engagement metrics which feel far more reliable. This approach can also help to determine whether your content lives up to the promise you make in the headline.

    Price: $67 for a single site license (gain access to all other Thrive products for $228 per year)

    Platform: WordPress plugin only


    CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

    CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

    Need a quick estimate of the impact of your headline?

    Take a look at CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.

    This free tool measures the impact of your blog posts headlines, email subject lines, and social messages. Simply enter your headline and the tool provides a score based on usage of uncommon words, power words, and emotional words.

    Statistically speaking, headlines that contain all of the above word types tend to perform better on social media.

    Use this tool to weed out potentially poor-performing headlines before your post goes live.

    Price: Free

    Platform: Online




    Grammarly* is your spell checker on steroids. While any decent spell checker can detect common errors, Grammarly goes one step further and detects awkward phrasing, poor-word usage, and run-on sentences.

    Okay. So it’s not like you’ve actually got an experienced editor sitting next to you and pointing out all of the ways you can tighten your content. But it’s the next best thing.

    You can use Grammarly as a browser extension, as an online tool, as a desktop app or as an add-in for MS Word. By using their Chrome/Firefox extension, Grammarly will automatically proofread your text across the web. Every word you type into email, social media, or a content management system is automatically scanned for grammatical, contextual, and vocabulary mistakes (with solutions offered on-page).

    You can also simply copy and paste your finished post into Grammarly to see a list of errors.

    Although the service is free, you might want to upgrade to the premium version to detect more advanced grammatical/phrasing errors.

    Another premium feature I find useful is Plagiarism checker – I use this for every guest post I receive, just in case.

    Price: Freemium (premium version costs $140 per year)

    Platform: Online, desktop app and MS Word add-in


    Hemingway App

    Hemingway App

    Inspired by the sparse writing style of Hemingway, the Hemingway App analyzes your writing for mistakes and highlights them visually through color coding.

    Hemingway can automatically detect complex words and phrases, unnecessarily long sentences, and an overabundant presence of adverbs. Besides detection, it can also offer simpler alternatives to complex phrases.

    The tool is available for free online, although there is a premium desktop version which lets you access advanced features such as offline use, exporting privileges, and the ability to directly post content into a CMS.

    One of the things I love about the desktop version is that it’s a fairly minimal word processing tool. This makes it a great alternative to some of the writing tools mentioned above.

    Price: Freemium ($19.99 one-time fee for desktop version with advanced features)

    Platform: Online and desktop (Mac and Windows)




    WhiteSmoke is a word-processor and grammar checker designed with non-native English speakers in mind.

    The software uses an advanced algorithm to detect not only grammatical mistakes in your content but offers tips on how to improve style, tone, and clarity. Think of it as a Grammarly alternative built for writers who struggle with casual English-language expression.

    Although you can use it as a writing tool, you’ll get maximum benefit from using it to proofread and grammar-check your written content.

    This tool is available both online and as a desktop app.

    Price: Online version ($160 as a one-time purchase or $80 per year), desktop version ($300 as a one-time purchase or $120 per year). Grammar checker is available for free.

    Platform: Online and desktop (Windows only)




    StyleWriter is another editing and proofreading tool that helps to improve your writing.

    Designed by professional proofreaders, this tool focuses on bringing clarity to your writing and making it more reader-friendly. It automatically detects jargon and awkward phrasing, grammatical errors and spelling inconsistencies.

    Although the interface can be a bit confusing at first, you’ll appreciate the kind of spelling/grammar errors it can detect once you get used to it.

    Price: $90 for starter edition, $150 for standard edition, and $190 for professional edition

    Platform: Desktop (PC only)


    Wrapping it up

    As a blogger, words are one of your greatest assets.

    Having the right tools can ensure you never forget ideas and that your copy is optimized to drive engagement with your readers.

    Use this list as a starting point to discover your next favorite writing tools. Try them out at your own pace and see which ones fit your workflow and writing style.

  • in

    Computer Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know

    Many hardcore computer users might consider themselves above learning new tricks, but there are always new ways to sharpen your skills on the PC and we bet that you will find at least one useful thing here that you didn’t know before.

    We’ve compiled some of the most handy computer tricks you should be taking advantage of. The ultimate goal is to help you become more productive by shaving valuable seconds off your workflow. Of course, you can always pass along these tips to your not-so-savvy friends and family members to help them become better PC users as well.

    The original Tips & Tricks guide was published in 2013. We’ve since revised the article, pulled some tips that are no longer relevant, and added many more that we find to be must-haves on this list. The original guide was also very Windows-centric, and it continues to be to an extent, however we’ve added a lot of macOS equivalents and information relating to shortcuts generally used by desktop power users.

    General Tricks

    Bring back a closed tab We have dedicated a section to web browsing further down below, but this one is too useful to be missed. Accidentally closed a tab? Simply press Ctrl + Shift + T to reopen the most recently closed tab and get back to what you were doing (Cmd + Shift + T on Macs).

    Window snapping and multiple monitor control Pressing the Windows Key + Arrow Keys will cause a window to quickly snap to each side of either monitor. Alternatively, hitting Shift + Windows Key + Arrows will cause the window to jump to the other monitor. While pressing Windows + P will allow you to quickly set up a second display or projector.

    As mentioned before, in macOS we favor leveraging the power of Mission Control to handle virtual desktops, switching between apps, and peaking at your desktop beautifully. Though Macs don’t support window snapping out of the box, a $0.99 app called Magnet comes highly recommended.

    Password-protect files A simple way to lock down access to certain files is to create an encrypted archive. Odds are you already have installed a copy of 7-Zip, WinRAR, or The Unarchiver (Mac) or some equivalent. Create a new archive, select to encrypt its contents and password protect them.

    Undo everywhere to fix those little mistakes Did you know you can undo almost any action? Ctrl + Z is the ultimate hot key, and for sure you knew about it already, however note that undo doesn’t just apply to typing. If you accidentally delete or move a file, you can hit Ctrl + Z to bring it right back to where it was (Ctrl + Y will redo whatever you undid).

    YouTube keyboard shortcuts If you thought using the spacebar to pause a YouTube video was effective (except when focus is elsewhere and it doesn’t work), instead try using K for pausing, while J and L will step backward/forward 10 seconds. M works for mute. Super handy.

    Screenshot like you mean it Simply hitting print screen on your keyboard is the easiest way to capture a screenshot. But Windows and macOS provide several other ways to screenshot, many of which are better options. But then, there’s grabbing a screenshot and annotating. We love Monosnap for doing just that thanks to its simplicity, speed, and cross-platform support.

    Windows Power User Menu You can open a quick list of common power user destinations in Windows by right clicking the bottom left of the start button on Windows 8 and 10 which opens a context menu with shortcuts to power options, the event viewer, device manager and so on. This menu is also accessible by pressing the Windows key + X.

    Easily extract images from a Word (.docx) file Change the file name from .docx to .zip and open the file. The pictures will be in one of the directories.

    Find/delete large files wasting space A handy tool called Space Sniffer can be used to easily find which files and folders are taking up the most space on your drive. From there, you can delete them and open up a ton of storage space. Other Windows alternatives (free) include WinDirStat and TreeSize. On macOS you can use Finder or Siri to find large files with no third party app, but we like to use GrandPerspective.

    Delete the Windows.old folder. If you have plenty of free space and don’t mind the untidiness, you can simply ignore the folder and it should be deleted automatically 30 days after the update. But if you are strapped for storage space, you can use Windows’ own tools to remove it with ease.

    Command prompt here In the Windows File Explorer, type “cmd” into the address bar and it will open the command prompt in that directory.

    Reduce the number of programs running at startup If your PC is taking too long to boot, it’s probably because you have far too many programs running at startup. It’s easy to reduce these and it will make your PC launch noticeably faster. Make sure you research what you are turning off as some processes might be needed by third party programs you have installed.

    • Windows: Open the task manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and head to the startup tab to configure what programs you want to launch with your system.
    • Windows 7 and prior: Open run (Windows key + R) and enter msconfig to access a window with a similar startup section.
    • macOS: Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Select your user and click on the Login Items tab. You can remove or hide startup applications from here.

    Windows hidden “god mode” folder Windows offers a centralized Control Panel for all of the OS settings, making it easy for users to tweak everything from desktop background to setting up a VPN. To enter this mode, create a new folder with this exact name (copy and paste it): God Mode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. The folder icon will change to a Control Panel-style icon, and you will be able to jump in and change all kinds of settings.

    Typing Tricks

    Paste the plain text of what was copied When you copy text from any source, programs will usually include any formatting that comes with it. To paste this as plain text, press Ctrl + Shift + V instead of the standard Ctrl + V, and the system will paste unformatted text. This also works on Mac: Cmd + Shift + V.

    Note that many but not all programs follow this parameter, particularly Microsoft programs like Word or Outlook don’t, which is annoying. There are a few alternatives that go beyond copying and pasting in Notepad: 1) Ctrl + Alt + V will show a ‘paste special’ dialog box. 2) Ctrl + Spacebar will remove formatting in already pasted text. 3) Download Puretext and choose a hotkey to always paste plain text with it.

    Delete an entire word Instead of deleting a single letter, pressing Ctrl + Backspace will delete the entire word behind the cursor. This makes deleting text quicker if you screw up a whole word.

    Move cursor to beginning of the next or previous word Moving the cursor around manually while typing is a great way to make your work take longer than it needs to. To speed up the process, move the cursor around with keyboard shortcuts. To move it to the beginning of the previous word, use Ctrl + Left Arrow. To move it to the beginning of the next word, use Ctrl + Right Arrow. In macOS you can accomplish the same using the Option key. To select words/paragraphs as you’re going, hold Shift + Ctrl + Arrow (up or down will select entire bodies of text).

    Making sub and superscript text If you need to make sub or superscript text (think exponents for superscript), press Ctrl + = for subscript and Ctrl + Shift + = for superscript.

    Use Windows’ character map to identify and create foreign symbols Search the Start menu for “character map” and you should find a utility that lets you copy every character imaginable and even provides an Alt + Numpad code for later use. For example, the euro sign (€) can be made with Alt + 0128.

    Keyboard Shortcuts

    Open the task manager directly If you want to bypass the interrupt that happens when pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del and jump right to the task manager, hitting Ctrl + Shift + Esc will launch it directly.

    Use Spotlight Windows built-in search is not useless, but it certainly is unreliable and slow. macOS’ Spotlight on the other hand is brilliant. Hit Cmd + Spacebar to open an app by typing just the first 2-3 letters of its name, search for files, or even do calculations.

    Interrupt all processes Ctrl + Alt + Delete used to be a common PC shortcut, and one almost all power users are familiar with. The important thing to note is that it interrupts all processes, including the one that is bogging down your system, which can mean the difference between needing to restart or not. In macOS, you can also summon the Force Quit dialog box by using Cmd + Shift + Esc.

    Cycle through open windows Pressing Alt + Tab allows you to cycle through currently open windows (Alt + Shift + Tab will cycle backwards). This makes switching back and forth between running processes quick and painless. In macOS the shortcut is Cmd + Tab.

    Launch programs with your own hotkeys Right click the shortcut to any application in Windows, head into the properties and in the shortcut tab you should see a “shortcut key” field where you can type your preferred launch combo. Also of note, if you click the “advanced” options in the shortcut tab, you can set it to run as an Administrator, which is particularly useful for creating a shortcut to an elevated Command Prompt. This could be set to launch with the keys Ctrl + Alt + Numpad 1 for example.

    Close the current program Typing Alt + F4 will close the program that is running. This is useful as it saves you time mousing over the “X” and clicking. People will often use this as a joke, telling you to press Alt + F4 to fix a problem. Don’t fall for it unless you want to close what you are doing.

    Minimize all windows Sometimes you have a bunch of stuff running, and you want it all to go away so you can get to the desktop. Simply pressing Windows key + D will minimize everything you have up, which will save you some time pressing the minimize button for each window. It should be noted that Windows + M offers similar functionality, but there is no undoing, so Windows + D is the more favorable approach. In macOS we favor leveraging the power of Mission Control to handle virtual desktops, switching between apps, and peaking at your desktop beautifully.

    You can use the menu key on a keyboard to right click Not every keyboard has the key (shown above), but many do. Pressing the button will right click whatever you have in focus/selected in Windows.

    Close the current window/tab Stick of moving all the way to that X button? Press Ctrl + W and the current window will close. (Don’t do it now, or you will miss the rest of the tricks!)

    Bring up the system information window This is so much quicker than digging this out the traditional way… Just press Windows + Pause/Break and the System Information panel will be ready to go. This might be the only use for the Pause/Break key you will ever find, so enjoy it!

    Use your keyboard to launch programs on the Windows taskbar Tapping the Windows key + the number that corresponds to the position of the program is a quick way to open them. For instance if Chrome were the second icon on your taskbar and that’s what you wanted to open, you’d hit Windows key + 2.

    Use your keyboard to navigate system tray icons Tapping the Windows key + B will automatically select the system tray area at which point you just have to highlight something with the arrow keys and hit enter to open it.

    Enable copy and paste in the Windows command prompt While you’re tinkering with the command prompt shortcut, if you right click it > head to Properties > Options > and check the box next to “QuickEdit mode” you will be able to select text with left click, copy with enter and paste with right click.

    Web Browsing Tricks

    Jump to address bar There are a number of ways to jump right to the address bar from anywhere in browser. Pressing Ctrl + L, F6, and Alt + D all accomplish this goal.

    Automatically add www. and .com to a URL You can shave off a couple of seconds typing in a URL by simply click Ctrl + Enter after you type the name of the site. Need .net instead of .com? Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter instead.

    Cycle through open tabs Pressing Ctrl + Tab while in a browser will flip between each one (Ctrl + Shift + Tab to go backwards). This can be much faster than moving the mouse and clicking on a tab. Ctrl + Num (1, 2, 3, 4, n..) will also take you to certain tab in that numeric order. Ctrl + 9 always brings you to the very last tab, even if it’s beyond the ninth one.

    Scroll through pages with the spacebar Tapping the spacebar on a website will scroll down in full page chunks and hitting shift + space will take you back up.

    Instant image search (Chrome only) If you hold down the “S” key and right click on an image, it will open an image search on a new tab.

    Use private browsing The uses for not having cookies and history saved are obvious for certain activities, you know, like shopping for gifts on a shared computer (of course!). Pressing Ctrl + Shift + N will launch a new private in Chrome, Ctrl + Shift + P will do it in Firefox and Internet Explorer.

    Convert your browser into a notepad Type this into the address bar and you can write notes. Alternatively, while not as fast. Use Google Keep or Gmail’s compose mail to write notes and have those saved on the cloud as you type and go.

    Icon-only bookmarks on your toolbar You can delete the name of your bookmarks leaving only the icon so they take up less space on the toolbar. In Chrome: right click the bookmark > edit > delete the name and save.

    Use the scroll wheel Put your middle mouse button to use by clicking on links to automatically open them in a new tab/window. Also if you use the scroll wheel button on a tab, it will close it.

    Copy links quicker Right click the link like usual but tap E on your keyboard to copy the link.

    Make content editable Bring up the console on Chrome or Firefox (right click, Inspect). On the console enter the command document.designMode = “on” that will let you edit any text on the screen.

    Zoom In, Reset Zoom Use the browser magnifier to adjust a website for more comfortable reading. Ctrl/Cmd + (plus/minus sign) does the trick. To reset to the default zoom level use Ctrl + 0.

    File Management Tricks

    Rename a file quickly Right-clicking and selecting rename is not very efficient. Instead press F2 while a file is selected to change its name. To alter the name of another file, type Tab without deselecting the current file. On Macs, hitting Enter will rename (which may sound counter-intuitive to Windows users) while Cmd + O is used to open.

    Cloud backup important files If you’re working on a critical project, make sure you aren’t backing up locally only. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or any of the other popular cloud storage solutions will do the legwork for you in the background. Of course, you can also throw the files on a thumb drive or external HDD to be extra safe, but backing up to the cloud can be done seamlessly.

    Rename files sequentially in Windows or Mac You actually don’t need to download any programs to perform a batch file rename. Instead, you can select all the files you want to change, right-click the first one in the list, select rename (or use F2), and type in the name. This will automatically change all the other files with the same root name with a suffix: (1), (2), and so on.

    On Mac, you can do something similar. Select the files, then right click and an option to rename the whole batch as a series will show up.

    Select multiple files using the keyboard To select a bunch of files using your keyboard, you can press Shift + Down Arrow to select a single file or Shift + Page Down to select a large group of files at one time. Ctrl + A will select everything.

    Right click drag files and folders in Windows And you’ll be presented with a context menu containing options to move, copy, zip or create a shortcut.

    Security Tips

    Lock your computer if you get up Sick of your “friends” going onto your computer at work or home and posting things on your Facebook/Twitter page on your behalf? It’s certainly an annoyance, but an easy one to prevent.

    Windows + L will lock your system right away, requiring a password (if you’ve set one) to log in again.

    On macOS use Cmd + Option + Power to log off. On the latest revision of macOS (High Sierra) a quicker option to simply lock the screen was added which works using the shortcut Cmd + Ctrl + Q.

    Scan suspicious files with VirusTotal If you’re worried about a file being infected, you can upload it to VirusTotal to have it checked by a few dozen antivirus engines from the cloud. Often times someone has already uploaded the same file, sparing you the wait.

    See who is logged on to your router Software such as Wireless Network Watcher makes this particularly easy and even has alarms for when someone new appears. You can also do this by logging into your router (common router IP addresses) and checking for a list of wireless clients which should display the name of the device, its currently assigned IP address and its MAC address.

    Permanently remove deleted data so software such as Recuva can’t undelete files/folders Open a command prompt and enter cipher /w:C: to wipe deleted files from your C: drive (change the letter to target a different drive or folder). If you need to go the extra mile and use a file shredder program, check out Eraser (Windows) and FileShredder (Mac).

    Read installers Even major programs can install toolbars and other unwanted pieces of software during installation. Take a few seconds to read each step to make sure you are not agreeing to install something other than the program you were actually seeking. Far too often people just push next over and over, and end up with a browser covered in various search bars that just aren’t needed. In the worst of scenarios, these can have nefarious intentions.

    Run programs on an infected PC Malware may prevent a computer from running certain programs. Changing the name of the .exe file can often override this. If that doesn’t work, changing the extension to .com is another useful alternative, and the program will still be able to run despite the extension change.

    Other Third-Party App Tricks

    Steam: Move games to another drive or partition Software such as Steam Mover used to be required for this process and although these third party solutions should still work, Steam now provides the ability to store games on multiple drives: Go to Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders, make a new Steam library folder on the new drive, then right click on an already installed game in your Steam library > Properties > Local Files tab > Move install folder… > Choose the directory > Move folder.

    Repeat last command in Excel Pressing F4 in Excel repeats the last command. A great example we found on Reddit: if you select a cell and highlight it yellow, you can then highlight any other selected cells yellow by pressing F4.

    Use Windows’ Problem Steps Recorder This handy tool automatically records any mouse clicks and takes screenshots for you. If you need tech assistance with your computer, go to Start and search for “steps recorder“. Use the tool and by the time you are finished, you can send this information, neatly compiled automatically, to the person helping you with the issue. It will make the process of finding the problem much easier for them, which means you will be able to get your system up and running faster.

    VLC: Fix unsynced audio and subtitles In the popular media player VLC, if your audio loses sync with the video or subtitles, there is an easy way to fix this. Simply pressing J or K will move the audio forward or backwards. Similarly, to sync the subtitles you can press H or G.

    Expand your text to full page width in Microsoft Word We don’t see this feature used quite enough and by default Word leaves a lot of unused space toward the margins. Head to View > Zoom > and choose Text Width > OK. Now whatever you’re writing should fill out most of the Word page.

    Using these tips and tricks on a daily basis will most certainly make your time on the computer more enjoyable, or at least more practical.

    So, did you learn something that you didn’t know before?

  • in

    Speed up a Windows 10 computer

    The Microsoft Windows 10 operating system is quite efficient and performs well using default settings. However, it is possible to speed up Windows 10 even more and improve its performance. Try one or more of the following options to speed up your Windows 10 computer, as well as help reduce or eliminate potential errors.

    Turn off shadowing and visual effects

    Windows 10 includes some appealing look and feel features to program windows, text, icons, and other areas. While it may look nice and even flashy, it comes at a cost. Those features, otherwise known as shadowing and visual effects, use up system resources, which can cause Windows to run slower.

    To turn off these resource draining features, follow the steps below.

    1. In the Search Windows text box, next to the Start button on the taskbar, type sysdm.cpl and press Enter.
    2. In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab.
    3. On the Advanced tab, click the Settings button in the Performance section.
    4. In the Performance Options window, select the Adjust for best performanceoption, then click the OK button.

    Windows 10 Performance Options

    Tip: If you have picture files and like to see a thumbnail of that picture as the icon for the file, check the box for the Show thumbnails instead of icons option. Doing so will result in the Custom option being selected instead of the Adjust for best performance option, which is okay.

    Adjust Windows power settings

    Computers use power, that is no secret. However, how and where computers use power is something that most people are unaware of. By default, the Windows operating system often utilizes a power plan that can result in slower computer performance. If you have a desktop computer, or a laptop computer connected to a power adapter, you can adjust the power plan used by Windows and increase the computer’s performance.

    Note: If you have a laptop computer and are using the battery instead of the power adapter, it is recommended that you do not adjust the power plan. The battery can be drained much faster if you adjust the power plan to allow for higher performance in Windows.

    To view and adjust the power plan in Windows, follow the steps below.

    1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
    2. Find and click the Power Options utility.
    3. In the Power Options window, select the High performance power plan, then close the window.

    Windows power plan options

    If you want to adjust or the settings of the High performance power plan, click the Change plan settings link next to that power plan option. You can adjust two power settings in the Edit Plan Settings window, or click the Change advanced power settings link to further adjust the power plan settings.

    Run Windows System Maintenance

    Windows 10 has a built-in maintenance utility that can help find and fix issues in the operating system. It can also identify and run processes that can help improve computer performance.

    To access and use the Windows System Maintenance utility, follow the steps below.

    1. In the Search Windows text box, next to the Start button on the task bar, type system maintenance, then press Enter.
    2. In the Security and Maintenance window, click the Troubleshooting link towards the bottom of the window.
    3. In the Troubleshooting window, under the System and security section, click the Run maintenance tasks link.
    4. Click the Next button to run the Troubleshooter utility. If a message appears saying to run the Troubleshooter as an administrator, click the Try troubleshooting as an administrator option.

    Windows Troubleshooter

    1. If any errors or issues are found, or any suggestions are provided, follow the steps to fix the errors and issues, and implement the suggestions.

    Stop/remove TSRs and disable startup programs

    Programs and processes that run in the background, known as TSRs, use up memory on the computer and can cause the computer to run more slowly than it could. Some of these programs and processes are not essential to the operating of the computer and Windows operating system, and they can be turned off.

    To turn off and disable TSRs and other programs that startup with Windows, follow the steps provided on the web page linked below.

    • How to remove TSRs and startup programs

    If you are unsure which programs and processes to turn off and disable, visit the Should I Block It website linked below and search for the name of the process or program. The Should I Block It website can help you determine if the process or program is needed or not for correct computer, Windows, or other software operation.

    • Should I Block It?

    Clean the Windows registry

    The Windows registry stores lots of information about the operating system, software, and files. If there is bad information, incorrect shortcuts to programs, or other problems, it can cause the computer to run slow. Issues in the registry can also cause errors, including blue screen of death errors.

    Correcting problems in the registry can help to speed up a computer, allow it to run more efficiently, and eliminate errors. The registry is very complex and not something you want to fix manually, as it could cause even worse problems. Using a registry cleaner is a better option. Below are a couple registry cleaners that we recommend.

    • CCleaner – fixes many registry issues, and includes several additional tools to speed up a computer
    • EasyCleaner – a basic, but powerful registry cleaner
    • Glary Utilities – a powerful registry cleaner, and includes several additional tools to free up hard drive space and improve computer performance.
  • in

    Top 10 computer mouse tips everyone should know

    Most computer users don’t take full advantage of the computer Mouse. Below are computer mouse tips and secrets that help you get the full potential of your computer mouse and increase your overall productivity while on the computer.

    Shift key and mouse click

    Many text editors and programs allow you to highlight all or portions of text using the Shift key and the mouse.

    Bonus Tip: Holding down the Alt key while dragging and highlighting text in a text editor allows you to selectively highlight text. Highlighting text this way is useful if the paragraph or other text is in a column. Note: This tip does not work in the above box and has to be done in a text editor or word processor.

    Take full advantage of the scroll wheel

    Today, everyone is familiar with a mouse wheels ability to scroll up and down on a page. However, this wheel can also do so much more, below are just a few examples.

    • The mouse wheel is not just a wheel. It can also be used as a button. Pressing down on the wheel will acts like a third mouse button. The wheel button can be used to open a web page in a tab by clicking the wheel on any link and can also be used to close a tab by clicking the wheel on any open tab.
    • Zoom in and Out on a web page, word document, excel spreadsheet, etc. by holding down the Ctrl key and scrolling up to zoom in and down to zoom out.
    • Hold down the Shift key and scroll down in most Internet browsers to go back to the previous web page.
    • Some mouse wheels can be pushed left or right to also move back and forward between web pages.

    Select with double and triple click

    Any word can be selected by double-clicking the word. If you want to highlight the whole paragraph or sentence, click the mouse button three times on any word. Try it now on this paragraph by clicking three times fast on any word in the paragraph.

    Bonus Tip: If you double-click and then drag your mouse, it will highlight one word at a time.

    Use the right-click

    Right-click menuTake full advantage of the right-click any time you highlight text or want to view the properties of an object. For example, if you highlight a file or text, you can right-click that highlighted item, copy it, and then right-click anywhere else to paste it.

    Bonus Tip: If you highlight or select any file or text and then click and drag while holding the right mouse button, when you let go an option to move or copy that file is shown. This saves you the extra step of having to right-click where you want to paste the item.

    Bonus Tip: While in a browser, pressing and holding Ctrl while clicking on any link opens a menu with options for that link.

    Ctrl key and mouse click or highlight

    While holding down the Ctrl key, you can left-click to select multiple objects or highlight multiple sections of text. For example, in the below selection box, if you wanted to highlight more than one of the items listed, you could hold down Ctrl and select each item you want highlighted.

    Bonus Tip: Mozilla Firefox users can also hold down the Ctrl key and individually click on each cell in a table they want to copy. They can also hold down the Ctrl key and drag their mouse down a row to select just that row or text without selecting any of the other text in that table.

    Use the mouse side buttons

    Many new computer mice also have buttons on the side of the mouse. These buttons can be programmed to do anything. However, by default, the left-thumb button can be used to go back on a web page. Using the thumb button makes browsing the Internet more efficient since you do not need to move the mouse cursor to the browser’s back arrow button to go back a page.

    Use the Windows Snap To feature

    Take full advantage of the Windows mouse Snap To feature, which will automatically move your mouse to buttons that appear in a dialog box. For example, if you delete a file or close a window, you may get a prompt asking you if you are sure you want to perform the task. With the Snap To feature enabled, the mouse cursor automatically moves to the Ok button, so all you have to do is click the left mouse button if you agree. This saves you the time of having to move the mouse cursor to the Ok button and then click Ok.

    To enable this feature, open the Mouse properties under the Windows Control Panel and check the Snap To check box under the Pointer Options tab.

    Bonus Tip: While changing this feature, we also suggest looking at other available options in the Mouse properties. For example, increasing the Motion speed can also help increase your productivity while using the mouse.

    Manage the open window with the mouse

    Double-click the top title bar of any window to maximize a window or, if it is already maximized, resize it to a smaller window. You can also double-click the icon for the window in the top-left corner of the window to close that window.

    Move the mouse with your keyboard

    Instead of using the mouse that came with your computer, you can also enable Windows to use the number pad as a mouse.

    Customize your mouse

    Finally, if you have a mouse with more than two buttons, installing the included mouse software allows you to customize the mouse even more. For example, if you don’t use the side buttons to move back and forth in a web page, change it to something you do more often, such as switching between open windows or opening the calculator.

  • in

    Maximum Allowed AdSense Ad Units on a Web Page

    We all know that AdSense is (to date) the best contextual, high-paying ad network.

    But AdSense also has very strictly enforced program policies. If they find that a website is in violation of their TOS, they will permanently disable the offending account.

    It is very important to follow AdSense’s quality and program guidelines in order to avoid having your AdSense account banned.

    Here’s one of the most common questions new bloggers ask:

    • “What is the maximum number of AdSense units I can put on a page?”

    Google AdSense offers different types of ads and most are categorized in the following formats:

    • AdSense Content Unit
    • AdSense Link Unit
    • AdSense For Search

    (AdSense used to offer AdSense video units as well, but they ultimately retired this option.)

    Here are the maximum AdSense ad units allowed for a web page:

    AdSense Content Unit:

    Earlier, AdSense had a maximum limit of 3 ad units (while “premium partners”enjoyed serving up to 6 ad units).

    In August 2016, AdSense lifted the ad unit limit for every site.

    • You can now place an unlimited amount of AdSense ads on a page.

    However, advertising and other paid promotional material added to your pagesshould not exceed your content.

    In other words:

    • You also need to maintain the quality of your site.

    AdSense Content Units are available in following sizes:

    • 728*90
    • 468*60
    • 234*60
    • 125*125
    • 120*600
    • 160*600
    • 180*150
    • 120*240
    • 200*200
    • 250*250
    • 300*250
    • 336*280

    Personally, I have found 336*280 and 160*600 to be the most effective.

    You can also use ads from multiple publisher IDs.

    (Note: I have started serving ads using Ezoic which is also helping me to increase my overall revenue.)

    AdSense Link Units:

    AdSense Link Units perform really well when blended with your theme and placed above the fold.

    I tested this by placing one in the Navbar and it turned out to be one of my best-performing ad units.

    Again, you can place unlimited Link Units as long as the ads are not exceeding the content.

    You can find the various sizes for AdSense Link Units here.

    AdSense For Search:

    For a big website, AdSense For Search units perform really well.

    If you have not yet set up AdSense For Search units, read our guide:

    •  How To Set Up AdSense For Search

    How many AdSense ads can you put on a page?

    As mentioned above, Google has lifted the limit restrictions. As long as your ads do not exceed your content, there is no upper limit on the number of ads on a single page.

    It’s important to note that while picking the number of ads, you should think about the short posts on your blog. If you decide to place more than 5-6 ad units, and you are placing them sitewide using a plugin, you might be spamming your own short posts with a large number of ads.

    AdSense has explicitly mentioned:

    • “We may limit or disable ad serving on pages with little to no value and/or excessive advertising until changes are made.”  

    So I suggest you keep less than 5 ads per page.

    I usually stick to 3 or 4.

    But you should identify your own limit according to your blog’s layout.

    A few things which I have learned from my own experience:

    • Sometimes lower number ad units perform better than more ad units.
    • Placing ads above the fold yields better results.
    • A combination of image + text ads performs better.

    There are many different options available for the placement of ads, but I highly recommend using a minimum amount of ad units or utilizing adverts only at the bottom or on the sidebar.

    Let us know how many AdSense ad units you are using on your blog. Now that Google has lifted the limit, are you using more AdSense ad units, or are you keeping it the same? Share your experience in the comments!

    As always, feel free to share this post with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus!

  • in

    PayPal Referral Program: Earn up to $100 by inviting other users to PayPal

    This is going to be interesting for every U.S. PayPal account holder. You now have the chance to earn up to $100 by referring people to PayPal.

    For those that don’t know, PayPal is one of the most popular web tools for people who work online & need to get paid.

    Back in the days when PayPal started, they used to have a referral program where they were offering people $20 if they opened an account and $20 if they referred someone. However, PayPal then became so popular that they completely removed their referral program.

    For the past several years, PayPal was undoubtedly the winner of the online payment system services. However, in the past two years or so, things have changed & many new players are coming into this field every day. The number of PayPal alternatives are increasing; we also can’t ignore the popularity of Bitcoin in the past few years.

    I can’t claim that these are the reasons why PayPal is bringing back their referral program, but it would make sense.

    Regardless of the reasons, the PayPal referral program is back.

    PayPal referral program: Earn $5 for every referred user

    The PayPal referral program is available for anyone who has a U.S. PayPal account in good standing. If this sounds like you, let’s go ahead & learn how you can earn up to $100 by inviting others to join PayPal.

    You should also note that the users who are joining on your invitation will also be getting $5 when they open a U.S. PayPal account & complete an eligible transaction within 14 days of signing up.

    An “eligible transaction” means an online checkout payment of at least $5 USD which gets marked as “complete” in the referee’s account and which has not been canceled, refunded, or reversed by either the referee or the seller.

    Before I add more, let me show you how to get your PayPal referral link.

    How to get your PayPal referral link:

    As I mentioned above, this option is available for anyone who has a U.S. PayPal account in good standing. To get your referral link, use the PayPal mobile app. If you haven’t started using it yet, simply download the app by searching for it in the Google Play store or the iOS App store.

    Steps for PayPal app:

    • Log in to the PayPayl mobile app.
    • Click on the gear icon at the top right (settings button).
    • Click on “Invite a friend and get $5”.

    • Click on “Share an invite” or “Choose contacts” if you want to directly invite a contact from your phone.

    If you need your referral link for posting on a blog or message board, click on “Share an invite” & select your email. Send an email to yourself & you will have your personal PayPal referral link.

    I have tested & verified this on my U.S. PayPal account & it works seamlessly.

    Here are a few fine points about the PayPal affiliate program:

    • You can earn maximum of $100.
    • Only allowed to send to personal contacts.
    • Not allowed to post publically where people who are not personal contacts can see it.
    • Here are the complete terms.

    If you post your referral link on any third party website, such as a social media website, you must also comply with that website’s terms of use.

    Please note that whenever you decide to share your referral link, you must tell your referees that you will receive a commission from PayPal if they sign up and complete an eligible transaction. Failure to disclose this information is a violation of the terms and could result in PayPal disqualifying you from the program, and may result in you forfeiting any rewards you would otherwise have earned through the program.

    If this is your first time becoming a part of such a program, you should read our earlier guide on FTC affiliate disclosures.

    Again, this is for people who are operating within U.S. boundaries. I hope in upcoming days, PayPal allows users outside the U.S.A to reap the benefits of their affiliate program as well. Until then, it’s a good time for U.S. PayPal users to get a chance to earn up to $100 by recommending other users.

  • in

    6 Best Ad Networks For New Bloggers (with Fast Approval)

    Are you a new blogger & looking for an ad network which lets you monetize your new & low-traffic blog?

    Well, if your answer is, “Yes!” then today is a lucky day for you.

    Today, you will be learning about five advertising networks that are very friendly to new bloggers.

    AdSense is clearly a great ad platform because of the quality of their ads, but the problem is getting AdSense approval. Even though the “6 month-old domain” requirement is a myth, not everybody is as lucky as this guy to get instant AdSense approval.

    Unique content is not the only factor for AdSense approval. There are many other factors AdSense wants to see before giving your site the thumbs up.

    Small blogs usually cannot get AdSense approval, so I have found several other good ad networks for new bloggers.

    At the same time, there are many ad networks in the industry. But not all of these ad networks are good. They may end up cheating bloggers by refusing to pay even when the minimum payout is reached.

    But I’ve outlined 5 trustworthy and reliable ad networks which you can use right now to monetize your blog.

    This article is written for small publishers. If you are a small blogger, this post will be a gold-mine for you.

    6 Ad Networks for Small Publishers for Fast Approval:

                                           1. Pop Ads

    PopAds is a premium pop ad network.

    This is a good ad network for small publishers because they have no minimum traffic requirements.

    They started in 2010 & promise to offer 100% fill rates. They allow all types of blogs including illegal ones, porn sites, and other “adult” related content. Once you signup, do setup auto withdrawal option. This way, you will get paid automatically once you reach minimum payout threshold.

    Approval is instant.

    Pros of PopAds:

    1. High CPM rates when compared to other networks
    2. No minimum traffic requirements
    3. Minimum payout is $5
    4. Auto money withdrawal

    Cons of PopAds:

    1. The only available payment mode is PayPal, Payoneer

                                           2. Propeller Ads

    Propellerads is a CPM network which is idle for any beginner or intermediate bloggers. All you need to do is after signing up;

    • Create ad
    • Place it on your blog
    • You will make anywhere between $1-$4 for 1000 views.
    • Minimum payout is $25

    Getting started with Propellerads is easy & they pay using Payoneer, WebmoneyZ & other methods.


                                                 3. Revenue Hits

    Revenue Hits is very different when compared to the other ad networks on this list.

    Revenue Hits won’t pay you anything for clicks or impressions. They only pay when a click is turned into action. For example, if advertisers need user information, they advertise using Revenue Hits.

    Publishers place the ad code on their blog. When a visitor clicks the ad and gives his/her name and email to the advertiser, the publisher (you) will get paid.

    • They pay $10-$50 per action
    • The minimum payout is $50
    • They pay via Paypal, Payoneer & bank transfer

    I have seen many publishers making between $10- $100 per day using this ad network.

    I personally love Revenue Hits. This is a great ad network for small publishers with no minimum traffic requirements.

    Pros of Revenue Hits:

    1. Very high CPA rates
    2. Good minimum payout when compared to other ad networks like AdSense
    3. Good support
    4. Instant activation (Yup!)

    Cons of Revenue Hits:

    1. The ad format. They don’t use CPC or CPM methods. They only pay for actions.


                                           4. Bidvertiser

    Founded in 2002, Bidvertiser is one of the oldest ad networks.

    They offer a large range of ad formats.

    • More ad formats means more ads, more clicks, and more money.

    The minimum payout of Bidvertiser is $10 via PayPal, $20 via check, and $50 via bank transfer.

    Pros of Bidvertiser:

    1. The minimum payout is very low
    2. They offer a lot of ad formats

    Cons of Bidvertiser:

    1. Bidvertiser ads are not high-quality ads.
    2. Sometimes mobile users will be redirected to the app/play store which is very irritating.
    3. The interface looks old and dated.
    4. The earning potential is low

    You can get paid using PayPal, Payza or check.


                                                   5. Chitika

    Back in the day, Chitika was one of the top AdSense alternatives.

    Over time & with newer advancements in technology, many other networks have replaced Chitika.

    But there’s one thing that is still the same: Chitika is popular among new bloggers.

    This is because of their:

    • low minimum payout ($10 made via PayPal)
    • easy to use interface
    • no minimum traffic requirement

    One thing which you should know about Chitika is it really only works if you have search traffic. If you don’t have search traffic, don’t use Chitika.

    If a majority of your traffic is from social media sites, you should use other suggested ad networks.

    Pros of Chitika:

    1. No minimum traffic requirements
    2. Good support for both publishers and advertisers

    Cons of Chitika:

    1. Chitika works on a zero-tolerance policy. Any invalid click will permanently ban you from Chitika
    2. Chitika only monetizes search traffic
    3. It takes some time to get an approval or rejection decision
    4. Not the best ad network for making money.

                                                    6. Infolinks

    Infolinks is another popular ad program which is also very newbie blogger friendly.

    Infolinks offers many ad types & is popularly known for their in-text ads.

    You can learn more about Infolinks here.

    Pros of Infolinks:

    • Trusted advertising company
    • Timely payouts

    Cons of Infolinks:

    • Minimum payout is $50

    Apply for Infolinks

    It’s good to have a collection of advertisement networks for entry-level bloggers.

    They might not be as popular as other premium ad networks such as AdSense, Media.net, or any other, but they ensure that new bloggers can taste the joy of earning an online income.

    Here are a few more monetization networks that you should check out:

    • VigLink
    • SkimLinks
    • Famebit
    • Peerfly

    I would be happy to hear about other ad networks that you are using & is helping you generate revenue. Do share what other ad networks you are using in the comment section below.

    Know anyone who could benefit from this article? Share it with them on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!


  • in

    HilltopAds Review: Get High CPC/CPM Pop-Under Ads

    Finding a good, reliable ad network to monetize our blogs is a headache, isn’t it?

    There are many well-known ad networks out there like AdSense and Media.net. And while these well-known networks are pretty good, there are many other lesser-known ad networks out there which have a greater chance of making us a lot more money.

    One of these lesser-known networks is HilltopAds. In this guide, I will share a review of HilltopAds and how to get started.

    If this is your first time here, you should know that I review many ad networks so that you can pick the one that is most suitable for your blog, your traffic level, and your niche. After reading this review of HilltopAds, you should browse- Make Money Online category to find more topics that will help you monetize your blog.

    Now, without further delay, let’s take a look at HilltopAds.

    • Also check out: 5 Best CPM Ad Networks For Bloggers & Media Houses

    HilltopAds Review: A Complete Overview Of This CPC/CPM Ad Network

    HilltopAds is a CPC/CPA/CPM ad network that offers various ad types.

    The most popular are the pop-under ads, which are available for both mobile and desktop sites. They also have banner ads and social ads (CPA).

    HilltopAds is a U.K.-based advertising network that uses a combination of smart tech and a custom approach to help businesses grow their profit, while also helping publishers/bloggers earn more money.

    HilltopAds is most popular in the following niches: Gaming, Downloads, PinSubmits, Dating, Sweepstakes, Video Streaming, File Hosting, and Entertainment.

    They also offer ads for all Geo locations, but if you have more traffic from places like the US or the UK, you’ll make more money.

    HilltopAds has a minimum payout requirement of only $50, which makes it well-suited for small and medium-sized publishers. The payments are made weekly, and you can use Payoneer, Bitcoin, Paxum, Webmoney, and ePayService to receive payment.

    For a few payment methods, like Bitcoin, you need to have a minimum of $100 for payout. If you are a premium kind of publisher and are making more than $1000 with HilltopAds, you should opt for wire transfers as your payout method.

    • They are most suitable for pop-under ads.
    • Minimum payout is $50 in most cases.
    • No mixed content warnings for publishers as they offer HTTPS ad tags.
    • Their in-house tech rejects bot traffic, click farms, malware, and viruses.
    • Advertisers can do advanced targeting based on country/city/language, device type, retargeting, browser/OS, keyword, time/frequency cap targeting, IP range, mobile carrier/wi-fi.
    • Ad network rotation and eCPM real-time optimization.
    • Publishers can add more than one website from the dashboard.
    • You can’t use HilltopAds with AdSense as AdSense is not compatible with pop-under and pop-up ads.
    • You can manage your account as a publisher or as an advertiser from a single dashboard.

    How To Get Started with HilltopAds and Make Money

    Here’s what you need to do:

    • Click here to create an account.
    • Once you are signed up, click on Manage Site & Zones. 

    • It can take up to 3 days for getting your account approved.
    • Once your site is approved, click on Zone and create an ad code.
    • Add it to your blog and let the HilltopAds rotation do its magic.

    Using HilltopAds For Your Blog

    HilltopAds is a growing ad network that is becoming more popular every day.

    Their anti ad-blocking technology and superoir ad targeting are what make them stand out from the crowd. Another notable thing is Net7 with a minimum payout of $50. This makes it easier for a blog with medium traffic to receive their payment quicker.

    If you are someone who is looking for pop-under ads or an alternative to AdSense, HilltopAds is a great ad network to try out.

    Create an account on HilltopAds

    Are you using HilltopAds to run advertisements on your blog or advertise your business? Do share your HilltopAds review in the comments section below.

  • in

    PropellerAds Minimum Payout Is Now $25 For New Publishers

    A big challenge any blogger faces related to making money from their blog is finding a good advertising company that offers a low minimum payout.

    For anyone who has just started out or is blogging as a hobby, reaching a high payout target takes a lot of time.

    This is why ad networks with low minimum payouts are so popular among new blogs, and we even have a dedicated post for such ad networks here.

    Recently, one of the most popular ad networks, PropellerAds, made a significant change to their minimum payout structure.

    PropellerAds lowered down the minimum payout to $25 for all publishers, with one condition. The condition here is that this only applies to publishers who signed up after 1st October 2017.

    For publishers who signed up before that, their first payout needs to be greater than $100. If you signed up after 1st October 2017, your current balance is below $100, and you haven’t received any payouts previously, you need to wait until your balance reaches $100 to request the first payment.

    Right after that, the minimum for your account will be lowered to $25.

    Currently, PropellerAds supports payment using the following methods:

    • Credit card
    • Payoneer
    • Bank transfer
    • PayPal
    • Webmoney
    • E-payment

    Their wire transfer costs $50 in fees, and you are much better off using Payoneer or PayPal to withdraw your payout. If you are someone making more than $10,000/month from PropellerAds, then you can consider using wire transfer.

    You should read my earlier case study on Payoneer vs. PayPal to understand which one will be more cost effective for you.

    Note: At the time of this writing, PropellerAds has yet to update their minimum payout page.

    Sign up for PropellerAds

    Here are more ad networks that offer low minimum payouts:

    • PopAds – $5
    • Infolinks – $50

    Other popular ad networks’ minimum payouts:

    • AdSense – $100
    • Media.net – $100

    Are you happy with the new minimum payout threshold of PropellerAds? What other ad networks are you using that offer a similar minimum payout? Let me know in the comments below!

  • in

    ShareASale’s New Shiny Dashboard Is Exactly What We All Needed

    When it comes to affiliate networks, ShareASale is one of the most popular names out there.

    I have been using ShareASale for the past 6 years and have never had any issue with tracking conversions and getting paid.

    Also, ShareASale lets me discover some of the new, unheard of companies offering the world something of value. You can read my review and getting started guide of ShareASale here.

    Even though I love everything about ShareASale, I never enjoyed their dashboard. I always felt like it was way behind the times and needed a facelift.

    If you are like me, there is some good news…

    ShareASale has revamped their dashboard, and it looks really good.

    Here is a sneak peek of the new, modern ShareASale dashboard:

    Here is how the activity page looks:

    Quick Review Of The New ShareASale Dashboard’s Look And Feel:

    The new ShareASale dashboard is definitely a much-needed upgrade, and the dashboard provides all the important information that we need.

    The bigger fonts and good use of white space make it easier to quickly find what we are looking for, which was a bit of a hassle with the old dashboard.

    Another major difference that I have noticed is access to important features. Earlier, I never realized that ShareASale had 2-factor authentication, and now, it’s prominently displayed as you browse through the Account Settings page.

    The Merchant Discovery page (one of my favorite spots) has also been revamped, and now it’s easier to search for merchants to promote.

    Overall, the new UI will make life easier for all existing ShareASale affiliates and merchants. It will be good to see some personalization options in the future, but it’s not necessary right now.

    I have to go back and re-do my ShareASale video tutorial. For now, you can still refer to my earlier guide which gives you a lot of details about this popular affiliate network:

    If you have not yet checked out the new ShareASale dashboard, you should go and play around with it now.

    Do share your initial review and feedback of the new UI with me in the comments below. Let me know what you like and what else you would like to see in future versions.

Load More
Congratulations. You've reached the end of the internet.