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5 Tools to Keep Your Email Safe from Spam

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If you’re a blogger, you probably want people to be able to contact you.

However, despite the rise in Twitter and other social networks, good old-fashioned email is still the most universal means of contact on the Web. The problem is that posting your email address online can result in spammers getting adding you to their databases and turning your inbox into a junk-filled cesspool.

So how do you share your email address on the Web without opening the door to every robot and Nigerian prince that wants to email you? Here are five very simple ways to help keep your inbox clear of spam while ensuring that your readers can still get in touch with you.

Scr.im

Scr.im is new service that works a bit like TinyURL or other URL shortening services, but for email addresses.

Simply type in your email address, create a custom link and then give that link on your site, Twitter account or anywhere else that you want people to have your email.

Scr.im works by creating a special CAPTCHA page that a user must click through in order to gain access to your email link. However, rather than having to type the CAPTCHA by hand, which can be tedious and difficult, Scri.im requires users to just click the letter combination from a list of selections, greatly speeding up the process.

Though it is likely spam bots could break Scr.im’s CAPTCHA system, the motivation to do so for just one email address is fairly low. If you want to view a sample of one of Scr.im’s pages, you can get my email address.

It is unclear if visually impaired users will be able to access email addresses hidden by Scr.im.

Contact Forms

Rather than having your email address on your site directly, it may be wise to encourage readers to fill out a contact form to send you a message. This hides your email address from the public and still makes it very easy for readers to get in touch with you.

If you run a self-hosted WordPress blog, there are several plugins that you can install to do this. They range from the robust and complex, such as CFORMS II, to the basic and elegant, such as the SimpleModal Contact Form.

Though Spam bots are capable of filling out email forms, and many do, if you set up your form so that you use nonstandard variables or use some other spam protection, a junk mailer isn’t likely to be motivated to reverse engineer your form just to reach one more email address out of millions.

Image Obfuscation

Since spam bots can only read clear text, you can easily hide your email address into an image to make it harder for the spammers to get to. The caveat is that you can not use a regular mailto link in order to make the image clickable as that defeats the purpose.

There are also email obfuscators that can counteract that mailto problem by converting your email address into garbled text that a simple spam bot can not understand.

Please note that the visually impaired will not be able to access an email address hidden inside an image.

10 Minute Mail

Though spam bots that crawl the Web are a huge problem, another common source of spam is all of the services and sites we register for every, punching in our email address every time. Even if we’re careful to not give our email to anyone unscrupulous, accidents happen and privacy policies do change. Emails, once given out, have a way of leaking.

A service called 10 Minute Mail fixes that by giving you an email address that lasts only 10 minutes. That gives you enough time to get the address, register for the service, receive the confirmation email and click the link/reply before the email address disappears for good.

Should your email address leak, there is no danger as the account doesn’t exist anymore. The problem is that, if you need a password reminder or to receive updates from a service, you have to either change your email address, if you can, or register for a new account.

10 Minute Mail is great for sites you plan on only visiting once or twice but are scared that your address might be in shaky hands.

Use Gmail

Sometimes the best solution to dealing with spam is to let it come and then filter it out. The problem is that it can be very tricky to do, especially if you’re using your own email server or your ISPs account.

To take the burden off, using a third-party service is often a good idea. Though there is a lot of debate about which service does the best filtering, Gmail works best for most as users can use their existing email addresses (even have Google host them with Google Apps) and there is even a hack to turn Gmail into a remote backup/spam filter for an existing email account.

Personally, I receive hundreds of spam messages per day but only have one or two get into my inbox using Google Apps, overall a pretty good record.

Bottom Line

Though a lot of the conversation on the Web has shifted to comment and blog spam, this is largely due to advances in email spam filtering. The truth is that email spam is more prevalent than ever and 2008 was, as predicted, the largest spam year on record.

The fact that we see so little spam in our inboxes is a true marvel of technology to say the least and shows the hard work of those that toil behind the scenes to battle spam, either by developing applications to block spam or working for companies like Google to keep their users relative junk-free.

But even with this technology, spam can be a tremendous headache and it is worth taking a few moments to protect your email address and ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Failure to do so could mean that you spend more time filtering spam than answering email or, worse yet, that your email could become almost worthless.

Your email is part of your identity, it is worthwhile to keep it safe.

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How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?

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I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.

In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.

I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.

Blogging and Fitness

Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.

Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.

I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.

Gratitude

Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.

Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.

Get fit.

Don’t quit.

Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.

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Why Doing this Works Better than Asking for Business Referrals

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After I released my flagship eBook – How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging – I noticed something neat. My sales increased 12 fold the day I published a guest post for a highly successful blogger.

Seeing this spike clued me in to the quickest, easiest way to increase business: help people for free. Being generous improves skills, increases exposure and expands your business. Greater traffic and profits follow generous bloggers because helping people for free helps you be skilled and see, two qualities in every prospering blogger who reaps sweet blogging profits.

A large set of bloggers goes in another direction. Some ask for business referrals from trusted blogging buddies to drum up business. Feel free to take this route but know referral fishing is an ineffective way to drive profits because of two clear reasons:

  • referral-seeking seems to be time-wasting
  • referral-seeking rarely inspires trusted bloggers to take clear, business-building action, for you

I know 20 plus web developers. A few trusted blogging web developer buddies have reached out to me, seeking referrals. Two issues arise:

  • the referral seeker has no idea if I know bloggers needing web development; non-targeted campaign
  • I already know 20 plus developers, trusted buddies all, so I could never choose one to refer to someone if 20 seem qualified

Top Bloggers Become Ruthlessly Effective with their Time

Versus seeking referral business by asking blogging buddies if they know someone requiring your service, spend 20 minutes to write and publish a quality guest post for a blogger in your business niche. Instead of pitching 1 human, show off your web development skills for free, via a guest post, for 1,000 people. Do you see what I mean? Leverage. Do not ask for business. Serve for business. Although time needs pass and generosity needs inclusion in blogging business-building, helping for free is the quickest, simplest way to increase blogging business because you reach large, targeted audiences of clients with your attention and energy versus asking 1 person for business in non-targeted, ineffective fashion.

12 Times Daily Sales

I recall the day vividly, 5 years ago. I created and launched Blogging From Paradise. Before writing 100 plus eBooks, I wrote one. I did drive some sales through my blog but guest posting woke me up; why not leverage my presence and grow business by helping people for free, via different platforms? Eye-opener for me. Instead of asking, I gave. How easy? Giving freely is the easiest way to get freely. I observed a 12 times daily sales eBook increase for good reason that day: helping people generously through sites other than your blog is a simple way to grow your blogging business.

The simplest, direct, effective way to grow your business is to help people for free. Asking for referrals leads to a client or customer here and there, but full time bloggers are not in the “here and there” business as far as growing your venture. Pro bloggers drive steady profits through their blog by being generous on their blog and on other platforms.

Be helpful for free. Publish posts. Submit guest posts. Run a podcast. Broadcast live on Facebook. Help people for free to help people for pay. Versus untargeted referral-seeking, this is the effective way to grow your blogging business from a generous, genuine energy.

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Why Does It Take Time to Be a Successful Blogger?

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Successful bloggers implore you: it takes time to succeed.

I advise following your fun, helping people generously, trusting the process and seeing the blogging journey through. I mention in my eBook how time saving tips make your journey easier.  But in the same regard, this journey takes time. Impatient bloggers weed themselves out. Generous, patient, persistent bloggers succeed. Sometimes, successful bloggers realize not the time element and how it works, and never explain in detail why it takes time to succeed. Why do you need to be patient? Why does it take time to succeed? I uncovered 3 reasons why it takes time to be a successful blogger.

1: It Takes Time to Practice a Skill So You Become Really Good At It

Today, I can write 10 to 20 blog posts daily if I so desired. I could easily create 20 videos daily.

10 years ago, I could write 1 blog post weekly and feared doing videos, to where, I never recorded videos as a newbie blogger.

Generous practice plus time made me prolific. Nobody gains skills in 1 day. Humans gain skills practicing 1 craft daily for months, then years. I love basketball. A handful of NBA players disclose how terrible they played after picking up a ball for the first time, 5 or 10 years, prior. Patient, persistent practice and time polished their skills to the point they became successful enough to go pro. Blogging is no different. Successful bloggers practice daily for years before being skilled enough to become a pro.

2: It Takes Time to Gain Big Exposure

Gaining big exposure for success takes time. Every creative act expands your presence a little bit more but those little bits add up over time. New bloggers blind themselves to this concept, believing 1 day and 1 blog post gives them successful exposure enough to make money and gain clout. Nope. Time reveals persistently generous bloggers because getting massive exposure requires months to years of generous, patient, persistent service.

No human can begin blogging at 8 AM as a new blogger and land a Forbes appearance by 12 noon. Nobody knows you. You have no exposure. Humans require time to create and connect in enough spots to gain success promoting exposure. Relax. You are on the way. But allow for time and generosity to leverage your presence. Time is required to be seen in many places.

3: It Takes Time to Uncover and Feel and Release Fears

Do you want to know why I wrote this post? I uncovered this reason a few moments ago. I noticed one income stream yield lesser amounts over the 2 days prior and felt a tiny but palpable surge of fear. Aha! I got you. Feeling fear, I released it and proceeded. I blogged for 10 years. I still feel tiny fears if an income stream yields less money, day to day, based on my expectations. But I needed to face this fear to make more money. New bloggers generally have deep fears concerning money, success and freedom. It takes time to feel and release fears concerning making more than $1 a day until you vibe at the $100, $1000 or $10,000 monthly – or more – level of blogging income.

Time unearths fears for feeling and releasing, to reach the next level of blogging success.

Be patient.

Time is a great blogging ally.

All you need flows to you over time.

Generously create, connect, follow your fun and nudge into fears.

Success is yours.

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