Connect with us

Blogging

5 Tools to Keep Your Email Safe from Spam

Published

on

scrim-logo

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.

Continue Reading

Blogging

Are You Trying to Rank or Help People?

Published

on

Check the intent behind your blogging actions. What are your drivers? Some bloggers desperately want to rank, to place articles on page 1 of Google, to drive sweet, passive search engine traffic. Good luck with that. Nobody succeeds ranking until you give virtually all of your attention and energy to helping people with your blogging efforts. The rank comes after the generous help and that generous help often spans years of your life because developing page 1 Google skills is no joke. If it were easy, everybody would rank on page 1, right?

But you would be surprised by how many folks struggle blogging because the focus on rank over help dominates their minds. I never fell afflicted to this common limiting belief because I give scant attention to ranking on Google. Most of me could care less. I help people through my guest posts, blog posts, course and eBooks. My intent is to help people not to try to get traffic and money through manipulating things. Be honest about the big difference between the two because making this shift will improve your life tremendously, along with positioning you to experience increasing blogging success.

Focus heavily on people and little on things to discover the secret of blogging success. Bloggers succeed by generously helping human beings for sustained periods of time. Imagine some blogger who appears to be all over their blogging niche. Study this individual. Guaranteed, this bloggers generously helped people for years, hours daily, through multiple methods of helping people. Imagine guest posting, blogging, broadcasting live on Facebook and podcasting. See how the top bloggers always seem to be assisting people from a generous, genuine energy? Be that person. The tops never obsess over ranking because doing so attaches you to outcomes. Attach to outcomes. Feel fear. Attachment is fear. Any time you blog from a vibe of fear, you will struggle, fail and quit eventually. Top bloggers feel fears but release the energies versus panicking and bailing on generously helping readers. Everybody else panics, bails and tries to manipulate things to get traffic and money, failing horribly over the long haul.

Nobody gets ahead trying to manipulate things because money flows through humans mainly, then, through things which act as receiving channels. Imagine if I sell a copy of my blogging course. Generously helping human beings instills trust in the person who bought my course. Money flows from them to me through Selz, and my bank account, from their credit card or bank account. The things – Selz, bank accounts – are receiving channels, facilitating the sending and receiving of money, but generous service and trust put the financial transaction into action.

Stop trying to rank before all else because dealing with things solely – SEO and Google – moves you out of the realm of reality, into thing-ality. Bloggers who succeed keep helping folks generously and keep promoting themselves, realizing the things are just tools humans use to connect with each other, to help each other and to prosper each other. Focus on helping humans, not trying to rank on page 1 of Google, to uncover the secret to successful blogging….and to uncover the secret of ranking on page 1 of Google.

Continue Reading

Blogging

Why Blogging Jealousy Is a Damaging Emotion

Published

on

I spent today enjoying lunch and a hike through the forest with my wife. But like the past goodness knows how many years, I will work 6-8 hours daily….or more. I put in an hour or so this morning. Now I get to work a bit before 5 PM. People love my travel photos. Folks often tell me how jealous they feel, envying our life. We are so lucky! We are blessed. We are aligned. All that jazz. But the same folks NEVER feel jealous or envious of the fact that I worked 6 hours daily for the past goodness known how many years of my life. I tell folks about my workload sometimes; most look at me like I have 3 heads, people proclaiming themselves lazy and definitely, believing I can have this workload because working long and persistently is not for them.

Before you envy my movie-worthy life, envy my movie-worthy workload. Before you jealously bust my chops about my photos in Fiji and Bali, be just as envious and flat out jealous of the 20,000 hours I have blogged over the past decade of my life. You cannot have the sweet fruit unless you patiently water the seed and allow for it to thrive, during growing season. Likewise, you cannot have blogging success unless you patiently, persistently and generously work, to succeed.

Jealousy and Damage

Most bloggers never realize the intense jealousy that damages their blogging campaign. Why does jealousy hurt you and your blog? Delusion, that’s why. Take my Fiji or New Zealand or Costa Rica pictures. Most people who see the pictures envy my life because most folks CHOOSE to work a 9-5 job and CHOOSE not to travel. In the same breath, after expressing intense jealousy at me living a cool life of travel, I advise the person to begin blogging, to engineer a similar life for self and family. In an instant, most bloggers complain about having no time, no time, and no drive to design such a life of fun and freedom. Why? Being jealous of bloggers immediately places you in a “they have it, but I cannot have it,” type victim, non-empowered, weakling energy. If you believe only I can live this life, and envy me, and you foolishly believe you cannot life this life, you make endless excuses to cling to your belief system. Said excuses guarantee your unhappiness and comfort.

If you envy my life of travel, envy the 6 to 10 hours or more I have worked every single day of my life over the years. Do you envy working 8 hours every Saturday and Sunday? Are you SOOOO jealous that I will work 6-7 or more hours today, after being out of the house for about 6 hours, hustling into the evening? Nope. I did not think so. Few human beings envy someone who works generously, diligently and persistently because most people hate doing the very thing that sets them free. Why? Doing the thing that sets you free forces you outside of your comfort zone, to face deep, pulsating fears. Facing these fears seems highly unpleasant. Nobody enjoys facing fears, but you need to face fears in order to grow, to succeed, and to live a life of movie-worthy levels, you being the object of blogger envy.

Stop being jealous. Get to work, admire industrious bloggers who live their dreams, and you too will live your dreams.

eBook

Do you need to face deep fears on your blogging journey?

Buy my eBook:

11 Techniques to Conquer Anxiety

Continue Reading

Blogging

How to Ride out Traffic Swings

Published

on

Traffic swings occur for every single blogger who ever blogged.

Literally, nobody is immune from seeing traffic stats swing high, low, back, medium and all over, in between. How do you ride out these swings? Blog for the love of blogging and see traffic as an extra, a bonus, or some add on to your blogging campaign. Make the blogging work, the reward. See all else as extra, or a bonus, and you become totally chill in response to inevitable traffic swings. Way too many bloggers become obsessed with traffic stats. Even more make the foolish mistake of obsessing over traffic stats on a daily basis. Guys; this is nuts. How can you focus on daily traffic swings when you know all good, lasting things take time, energy and a willingness to have a vision? Relax. Slow down. Calm down. Trust in yourself. Trust in the blogging process. Good things take time and generous service.

Imagine if Jeff Bezos panicked over day to day traffic and sales numbers on founding Amazon over 2 decades ago? Imagine how doing so would have crippled his campaign? Everybody experiences swings – usually, wild swings – as a newbie entrepreneur and blogger because no growth is perfectly linear. Over time, with generous effort and a blanket trusting in the blogging process, you traffic increases month over month. But day to day analysis is a silly way to assess how you are doing. How in the heck can you honestly make a blanket assessment of your blog over a 24 hour period? It’s only 24 hours! We measure success in thousands and tens of thousands of hours…..not 24 hours. Come back down to earth. Get your head out of the clouds. Nothing of meaning, of lasting value, unfolds in 24 hours. Please be gentle with yourself and be even more gentle with your silly mind because the mind wants fast results but your heart knows; successful blogging is a long term gig.

Check Stats Infrequently

Do you have an absolute blast checking stats? If so, check stats monthly. Allow momentum to gain by generously helping people daily, over a monthly period. Observe your traffic stats to iron out any kinks and to not be swayed by the day to day fluctuations leveling most bloggers, creating a roller coaster wave of emotions in mind. I barely check metrics because if I love what I do, trust in the process and trust myself, the more generous service I put into blogging, the more blogging generously serves me. Simple equation here. Why in the heck would I assess my success based on 24 hour increments? Blogging success hinges on thousands of hours of generous service, not 24 hour blogs of work, right?

Pump your breaks guys. Get uber busy helping your readers by creating as much quality content as humanly possible. Be generous. Focus heavily on giving, not getting, to allow your daily stat checking obsession to dissolve just a wee bit. Blogging become uncomfortable here and there but does get easier and easier the more often you give freely of your time and talents. The challenge is not to panic when you resist checking stats for a few weeks as most folks go bonkers mad, ready to explode, once they try to detach from frequent stat checking.

eBook

Do you want to make more money blogging by managing my energy?

Buy my eBook:

Law of Attraction Series: How to Make Money

Continue Reading










Trending