Even more ways to optimize your website

In a recent post, we discussed how you shouldn't fixate on just doing marketing, but you should also constantly optimize your website. In this article, we'll give you a few more methods to apply when assessing your web code in various respects.

The first big tools to consider are the HTML and the CSS validators maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C):

Some other less important tools that they offer:

Their tools could probably keep your web developer busy for two months fixing things. That's if you're running your website on a WordPress CMS with a custom theme that you've purchased. If your website is built from the ground up, repairing issues will probably take a lot less time - a matter of days.

Here are some more tools that you could use:

Less useful tools (usually because what they're doing is done better by one of the above):

We'll stop here because we fear that we might have given you too many interesting activities to do, and because of it, you'll end up using our own website less. Hopefully, one year from now this article ends up buried on our blog under content with more interesting titles. They'll probably help you less, but at least you won't leave our website. You might even end up bookmarking it, for when you need marketing services in the future. Thank you for reading!


Pandemics affect marketing companies negatively

Well... duh! During the recession that started in the U.S. on December 2007 and lasted until June 2009, the marketing and - especially - the advertising sector went to crap faster than many other sectors. For example, even though the global spending was down 9% in 2009, the ad spending was down an extra 3% on top of that. Pandemics affect marketing companies negatively, and since marketers aren't likely to prevent the incoming recession by finding a cure for Coronavirus, we're slashing the prices of some of our services:

Subreddit Subscriber - new price $0.99, down from $1.09. We've also added one more bonus at the end of the the service description:

[...] We'll also create activity with some of the new subscribers, like a few upvotes or a comment to a post.

We were actually already doing that, it just wasn't specified clearly.

Quora Upvote - new price $0.99, down from $1

This might not seem like much, but we have some clients with huge volume on Quora for which it will matter. There's also the next discount for them:

Quora Question Follow - new price $0.89, down from $1

And to some of our lower volume services:

Indie Hackers Upvote (max 5/post) - new price $1.39, down from $1.49

GrowthHackers Comment and Indie Hackers Comment - new price $3.95, down from $4.5

GrowthHackers Post and Indie Hackers Post - new price $13.5, down from $15

That's it, nothing else will get a discount. We're hoping that these will suffice in order for us to maintain a similar work volume throughout the next months of chaos.

If it's ends up not being enough, we'll begin studying molecular biology in order to defeat COVID-19 ourselves.


Internet marketing services

An article that we started in 2016 in order to rank for the keywords "internet marketing services", which at the time had approximately the traffic and competition noted below:
1K – 10K
We haven't finished it, and we actually forgot about it, but in the interest of content generation, we'll just publish it like it was. Internet marketing services, for whoever might care: Colours map: PURPLE - it means that the task can be extremely time-consuming PAID - this costs money, you might want to leave it last
  1. Upvotes Club, by far the best option in this list. We're the only ones concentrating on marketing services that actually work, and we don't waste time with pretend-marketing.
  2. Start your own blog for your company/startup. Make it really interesting. Be candid. Show off new features. Show off stuff you're working on. Show off your team or your technology. Build up your own tribe of followers. They will make all the difference when it comes to saving you on del.icio.us, Digg, Reddit, and so forth. Do marketing for each post with the help of https://traction.pw
  3. Present your creation on Hacker News in the Show HN section. Read the rules first.
  4. Post content from your blog on Hacker News.
  5. Find out where users of competing businesses gather (forums, Facebook groups, Google groups) and work your way into their attention zone.
  6. Create a digest with your content on http://www.cubecamp.com
  7. Present your startup on http://www.thestartuppitch.com
  8. Add your business on https://startupbuffer.com (add it even if it's not a startup; the same goes for all startup directories)
  9. Add your business on https://betalist.com
  10. Add your business on https://www.f6s.com
  11. Browse the offers from https://www.f6s.com and see if there's anything you can take advantage of.
  12. Add your business on https://angel.co
  13. Add your business on platforms similar to the now-defunct startupli.st
  14. Add your business on platforms similar to the now-defunct justgonelive.com
  15. Add your business on http://www.kickoffboost.com
  16. Add your business on http://geekopedia.me/startupsubmit
  17. Add your business on http://killerstartups.com
  18. Add your business on http://www.startupbird.com
  19. Add your business on http://ratemystartup.com
  20. Add your business on http://www.new-startups.com
  21. Add your business on http://www.nextbigwhat.com
  22. Add your business on http://www.launchingnext.com
  23. Add your business on http://www.startupproject.org
  24. Add your business on http://startuplift.com
  25. Add your business on http://www.paggu.com
  26. Even if it's not European, add your business on http://www.eu-startups.com/directory
  27. Add your website on http://101bestwebsites.com
  28. Add your business on http://vator.tv
  29. Add your business on http://www.springwise.com
  30. Add your business on http://www.techpluto.com
  31. Add your business on https://gust.com
  32. Send an email with your business pitch to http://netted.net/contact-us
  33. Send an email with your business pitch to TechCrunch http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/14/please-dont-spam-us
  34. Pitch your business and a giveaway to http://www.makeuseof.com/contact
  35. Add your business on platforms similar to the now-defunct breakpoint.io
  36. Add your business on http://sideprojects.in
  37. Add your product on https://beta.techendo.com
  38. Present your business on http://firespotting.com
  39. Add your business on https://startupbuffer.com
  40. Add your business on platforms similar to the now-defunct startuptabs.com
  41. Add your business on http://www.startupranking.com
  42. Add your business on http://www.randomstartup.org
  43. Add your business on http://betapage.co
  44. Add your business as a maker and add your product here: https://makerbase.co
  45. Add your business on http://wibblewaggle.com
  46. Add your business on https://www.sideprojectors.com
  47. Add your product on https://www.producthunt.com
  48. Add your company on https://www.crunchbase.com
  49. Add your products on https://www.crunchbase.com
  50. Add an event on https://www.crunchbase.com
  51. Add your company on LinkedIn
  52. Reach out to people from your industry on LinkedIn
  53. Track what's being talked about your company/products and reply when needed: use both Google Alerts and mention.com
  54. Create an event and try to find sponsors for it with http://eventie.io
  55. Cross-promote on social media through specialized platforms (in the past, this was done with AdHipster; you might want to start with finding current alternatives for it)
  56. After you know for sure what customer acquisition cost you can afford, start using Google AdWords.
  57. Same as above with Bing Ads.
  58. [...] Facebook Ads.
  59. [...] Twitter Ads
  60. [...] LinkedIn Ads.
  61. [...] StumbleUpon Ads
  62. Find as many blogs in your niche as possible. Pitch them properly. DON'T JUST GO FOR THE BIG ONES! The smaller blogs are more likely to link to you if you're friendly to them and develop rapport (they want to see you are friendly and genuine).
  63. Find journalists to write about your startup through http://submit.co
  64. Find journalists to write about your startup through http://www.pressfriendly.com
  65. Find journalists to write about your startup through https://press.farm
  66. Promote your product to this community: http://erlibird.com/app-promotion (others similar: http://www.centercode.com | https://www.usertesting.com
  67. Notify tech blogs about your app: http://pitchpigeon.com (even though it's just helping you a bit with the message and sending emails, this costs $50 or more)
  68. Have your startup submitted automatically to directories, review websites and communities https://startuplister.com or http://promotehour.com
  69. If you're selling a B2B app, add it on https://crozdesk.com
  70. If you're selling a smartphone app, add it on https://feedmyapp.com
  71. If you have a web application or service, add it on http://appuseful.com
  72. If you have a web application/service or smartphone app, add it on http://webdevtwopointzero.com
  73. If you have a web app or smartphone app, add it on http://devpost.com/software
  74. If you have a web application, email http://www.appvita.com about it
  75. If you have a brand that fits in any of their categories, list all the stores that carry it on http://www.thelabelfinder.com
  76. If it fits in any category, add your product on http://stackshare.io
  77. If you're Romanian, add your startup on http://www.romanianstartups.com
  78. If you have a European startup, apply to the "EU ROADSHOW + SV STARTUP SCHOOL" on https://www.f6s.com/euroadshowsvstartupschool/about
  79. Submit your startup story for a feature on http://www.snapmunk.com/submit-your-startup/
  80. Submit your startup story on http://www.newbiggie.com/submit/
  81. Pitch your startup to http://startup88.com/pitch-your-startup-trying-to-raise-capital-or-get-publicity
  82. Find ancillary reasons to get your service mentioned in blog posts and tutorials. For example, if your startup is an RSS mashup generator of some sort, you need to have tutorials out there that recommend your service. Get those tutorials and posts on to Reddit, Hacker News, Digg, etc.
  83. If people write about your site, write tutorials that mention you, etc, PROMOTE THAT CONTENT EVEN IF IT'S NOT YOURS! Get people reading stuff that's about you - not by you!
  84. Remember that bigger sites like TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb (if applicable to your sector) love exclusives. Don't bother mass pitching those - focus on one, whichever you can get the best rapport with, and offer an exclusive. Your product needs to be AWESOME for this to work though.
  85. Follow a search.twitter.com search on terms related to your service (and even the name of your service)... get in touch with people who might be interested, respond to all comments about your service.
  86. Try to submit as many press releases as possible. Use prlog.org if you can't afford to pay for this or prnewswire.com if you're a boss.
  87. Build ancillary "fun" services that tie into your main web app. Something fun, free, perhaps something that you can relate to sites people find interesting, such as Twitter. Let's say your main service is an online graphics editor. Perhaps you could create a separate site where people can create avatars for Twitter / Facebook from a small set of templates.. separate project but promoting the first.
  88. Use both mention.com and google.com/alerts in order to stay on top with mentions of your company, your competitors and subjects on which you could comment about your product.
  89. Comment on other blogs and online news outlets in order to try to get your link out there in a non-spammy way.
  90. (To extend this with the actual links; search terms "CSS design show-case", "CSS design submit website", etc.) Does your design rock? Get on to the "CSS design", and "Web design" showcase type sites. There are hundreds of them around. Not amazing exposure, but the more links the better and any one of your visitors might turn in to a serious contact.
  91. Find your way into interviews (you can't just read something like this and keep reading; you have to actually do it)
  92. Find your way into podcasts
  93. Twitter follow/unfollow marketing (it's easy to find with Google what's it about); To do it, use this free tool: http://unfollowerstats.com or this freemium: https://manageflitter.com; You'll also need an auto-clicking AHK script (use F8 to toggle auto-clicking).
  94. Interact daily with the people that you've followed on Twitter, fav many of their posts and retweet the best ones.
  95. Set up a message that everybody receives when they follow you. Use https://plugg.io for this, from settings -> new followers.
  96. Implement as many of these methods as possible in order to gain more followers on Twitter: http://twittertoolsbook.com/how-to-get-more-twitter-followers/(except tip #21)
  97. Find accounts (from the same field of interest as you) which engage a lot with their followers and send them offers to cross-promote, even if you have more followers than they do.
  98. Create a viral contest by offering a prize to whoever sends the most traffic to your contest page. Make entrants use a contest hashtag and a bit.ly link so you can track who sends the most traffic. You can track bit.ly link clicks by adding a + to the end of any bit.ly link.
  99. Increase sales using Twitter by giving special offers and coupons to your followers. The best way to do this is to give access to those offers only to those that RT one of your tweets.
  100. Post a lot of non-promotional content as well (retweeting others might be enough). Use a scheduling tool (ManageFlitter) to space out the tweets. Promotional content can also mean pictures of your products with no text (or text on image); these get retweeted easier.
  101. Add the location of your business to Google Maps (Google Places). If you're a perfectionist you can add it with searchable text, coupons, hours of operation, brands carried, maps, photos, video and reviews. https://www.google.com/business/
  102. [...] Bing Maps (Bing Places) https://www.bingplaces.com/
  103. [...] Yahoo Maps (Yahoo Local) http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2016/01/29/now-you-can-fix-your-yahoo-local-listing-without-paying-for-yext/
  104. [...] Yellow Pages platforms similar to the now-defunct adsolutions.yp.com/listings/basic  or yellowpages.com
  105. [...] Yelp https://biz.yelp.com (they are a bit scammy)
  106. [...] MerchantCircle https://www.merchantcircle.com
  107. [...] AllPages http://www.allpages.com
  108. [...] YellowBot http://www.yellowbot.com
  109. [...] Manta http://www.manta.com
  110. [...] CitySearch (http://www.citysearch.com) https://signup.citygrid.com/cyb/find_business
  111. [...] MapQuest (http://www.mapquest.com) https://listings.mapquest.com/pl/mapquest-claims/preview.html
  112. [...] Local (http://www.local.com) http://www.local.com/claim-your-listing/default.aspx
  113. [...] FOURSQUARE (https://foursquare.com) http://business.foursquare.com/claim
  114. [...] The Business Journals http://businessdirectory.bizjournals.com
  115. [...] Angies List (https://www.angieslist.com) https://business.angieslist.com/Registration/SimpleRegistration.aspx
  116. [...] Hotfrog http://www.hotfrog.com
  117. Add the contact info of your business on White Pages (at the moment not possible) http://www.whitepages.com    
  118. Add your website in all the directories for SEO purposes (especially if you're running a blog on it as well) http://www.clambr.com/49-free-web-directories-for-building-backlinks/ 
  119. If you're selling through Amazon, read this article http://www.ripenecommerce.com/amazon-seo-insights
  120. Find more ideas on http://pronthego.com
  121. Find more ideas in other articles of ours
We have even more internet marketing tips on this website, in another article that was actually published at its time. No internet marketing service looks as if it could beat Reddit marketing anytime soon though.

What cryptocurrency needs in order to succeed

Legal tender. It needs to become legal tender. That's all folks! Until that happens, we're all forced to sell valuable assets like ETH for hyper-inflationary poorly-backed crap like USD or EUR. And we don't want that. We'd rather use trustless money that actually belongs to us, and which is also a gateway to modern financial tools like dY/dX, Uniswap, Compound and Dharma. The old monetary systems and the old financial system need an upgrade.

Here's the definition of legal tender:

Legal tender is a medium of payment recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency and coins are common forms of legal tender in many countries. Legal tender is variously defined in different jurisdictions. Formally, it is anything which when offered in payment extinguishes the debt. Thus, personal cheques, credit cards, and similar non-cash methods of payment are not usually legal tender. The law does not relieve the debt obligation until payment is tendered. Coins and banknotes are usually defined as legal tender. Some jurisdictions may forbid or restrict payment made other than by legal tender. For example, such a law might outlaw the use of foreign coins and bank notes or require a license to perform financial transactions in a foreign currency.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_tender

While Bitcoin can be used to buy anything from huge shopping chains like BIC CAMERA, it is not legal tender in Japan, even though /r/cryptocurrency or /r/bitcoin propaganda might have convinced you otherwise (source). Realistically, we will probably not see it happen in enough countries until a cryptocurrency actually wins, meaning that because of its properties and its fair distribution, it has wide support from the young generations. Sadly, even Ethereum has had bad initial distribution: more than 40% of the ETH sold went to the top 100 purchasers (source - page 59). The years of mining that followed ensured that the distribution fairness improved, but it's still far from optimal. New projects like Cosmos and DFINITY have such bad initial distributions that it's not even worth considering that they might win. Projects like Ripple or Bitcoin Gold make the entire space look bad, even though their holders will turn a blind eye in the hope that they're somehow going to get rich for just holding onto them and making others buy (I wonder how we should name this strategy, maybe "inverse pyramid" or something like that, I don't know).

Centralized exchanges have been hacked time and time again, and their morality is also deplorable. Binance is slowly becoming as hated as Bitfinex (and Tether) because of their multiple bad decisions (like putting ETH pairs in the "ALTS MARKET" category). While decentralized exchanges will keep growing, they still won't replace fully their centralized counterparts because people still need to buy USD/EUR in order to pay for food, utilities and rent. And decentralized exchanges that use fiat gateways are not fully trustless, and don't get rid of the KYC/AML abuse.

There are many other issues, and the good news is that all of them are slowly getting solved. Many of the most difficult issues have already been solved. Cryptocurrencies and smart contracts platforms are slowly and surely winning. There are more brilliant minds operating in this industry than in many others. The people that are in will not turn back their mentalities. You won't see a Monero holder respecting USD more than XMR. This just won't happen. The enhancement is spreading, and for this reason, maybe the initial premise is actually wrong. What cryptocurrencies need is just more time, because there's no turning back.


How we are helping the cryptocurrency ecosystem

We've been taking payments through cryptocurrency for more than two years, and not only through this website. Most of the time we've accepted more than 60 different cryptocurrencies as a method of payment. Lately, we've only been accepting the ones that are actually getting used, plus two exceptions:
  • DASH, because of how much they work towards adoption in countries that need a stable currency
  • Zcash, because of all their work in expanding the science and the possibilities from this field
Since NANO seems to be the front runner for a deflationary trustless cryptocurrency on which centralization forces do not act, we're trying to help it more than we help others:

[1] At Checkout, we're accepting payment with NANO through BrainBlocks, with no transaction fees and no payment processor fees.

[2] We're running 4 nodes on the beta-net and 2 nodes on the main-net, in different data centres around the world, and we'll keep them up in perpetuity.

[3] Two of the six nodes offer open access to their RPC interface. The ports won't be changing in the future, and they're being kept updated automatically.

For the main-net, this one can be used:

The RPC is open for anybody to use at port 7888 (no GPU, enable_control is true):

curl -d '{ "action" : "version" }'

Anybody can play with it, or integrate it with any business/tool/service/whatever.

For the beta-net, this one has RPC open on 55888:

The main-net server is auto-updating on the :latest docker tag, and the beta-net auto-updates on :master.

[4] We'll soon be running a stress test script on the beta network in perpetuity, with low frequency, in order to create a more realistic environment for devs and testers.

[5] We'll choose two of the nodes that we've set up, and make them representatives. Anyone will be able to delegate voting weight to them. We want them up flawlessly for at least 30 days first.

We often donate to free open source projects from the cryptocurrency space. Even with the bear market of this year, there haven't been more than 5 days in a row where we haven't made at least one donation.

Questions to ask about a potential cryptocurrency-related ICO investment

You want to know the biggest reason why most ICO's suck? It's because the old system is stifling new technology. If startups would be allowed to offer equity through ICO's, they wouldn't have to invent those stupid reasons for why their tokens must exist. We'd just use Ether to transact on most new platforms, and the tokens bought in the ICO's would provide equity and dividends. If you're planning to invest in a cryptocurrency-related ICO, then make sure you do your due diligence because even though the number of scams is lower than people suspect, many of the projects are still bad enough that the risk is not worth the cost. Just as buying equity in most startups would be like throwing money away, investing in an ICO can be the same. Right now, the best ICO's are those set up in jurisdictions that allow them to sell equity through tokens. When this will be a more global phenomenon, the quality of ICO's will rise dramatically. Right now, just make sure you do more research than usual, and while you're at it... being a bit paranoid is fine. Here's what to ask about each potential cryptocurrency-related investment, before taking part in its ICO:
  1. Does it solve a problem or alleviate friction anywhere?
  2. Does it really need decentralization and other such properties?
  3. What is their current tech? (check repository code from all branches, check Gitter channels, do static code analysis, compile and run code, etc.)
  4. What is their future tech? (check whitepaper, research, milestones, repository pull requests)
  5. How close to ready is it?
  6. How is the dev team? (check their open source contributions, etc.)
  7. Do they have a funding scheme? What kind? (community donation, venture capital, institutional investment/buyouts, ICO etc.) Is it a good fit for what they're doing? (for example, if they're doing a cryptocurrency with low network effects because of a badly chosen funding scheme, it's best to just wait for its first fork)
  8. How are they organized? (dev-lead like Bitcoin, or non-profit like Stellar, or company like Ripple, or cooperative like Rchain etc.)
  9. What is their track record?
  10. Do they have any institutional or prolific backing?
  11. Does it have competition, and where does it stand within that?
  12. Any plans to create, stimulate, and maintain adoption?
  13. Does it have a good media presence? (articles, reviews, feedback on Reddit, etc.)
  14. Does it have a good marketing team? Does it have a solid bounty program that has gathered a large community?
  15. How is the community? (count on Telegram, objectivity, etc.) Are intelligent people interested in the project or just gamblers?
  16. How is the accessibility and liquidity of their tokens?
  17. Growth potential based on current price and supply, and also considering supply that will be coming from inflation, or lockdown? (for example, private sale participants that have their tokens locked for one year will surely take profit when the lockdown is over)
  18. Is it an interactive coin offering? If not, what protections are there that the token distribution will be fair?
  19. Do the investments go into a DAICO? If not, what protections are there that the milestones will be reached?
  20. Can it survive or at least get around the regulatory hammer? (for example, if they're based in the US, but they're selling security tokens or utility tokens that are expected to go up in value, it's too risky)
  21. Has the ICO contract been audited?
  22. Do they have a bug bounty program for their code?
  23. Did they employ any kind of censorship (on Telegram, on Reddit, etc.)? (On Reddit, for posts it can be discovered with https://ceddit.com/r/iota/new, or by opening with the same tool controversial threads and looking for removed comments. )
Other positives:
  • write other positives that you can think of
Other negatives:
  • write other negatives that you can think of
Recommendation: (what's the probability that this is a good buy?)
  • write your final recommendation
If planning a sizeable investment, get a third-party assessment. (from Amazix, Multicoin Capital, etc.) To understand what is a fair ICO structure, read https://github.com/Thetta/GitBook_ICO-Approaches Some of the advice given in this article was copied from here: https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/7n3fxk/im_truly_disappointed/ Good luck! There's money to be made by the people who choose well, but ultimately you'll also need a bit of luck.

How to use Reddit (Guide)

How to use Reddit? First, understand how this social media platform is structured:

The focus of Reddit is communities (named "subreddits"), where users make relevant contributions. If you try to make it about yourself, you won't get very far. Search around for topics (subreddits) that interest you and subscribe to them. The subreddit search can help you with that. If you have any specific questions, go for them in our comment section here! If you've just created the account, you will have defaults: subreddits you're automatically subscribed to (the same subreddits that you see when you're not logged in). You probably won't be interested in most of them, therefore consider unsubscribing. You do it from here: https://www.reddit.com/subreddits. These are not e-mail subscriptions, they just determine what shows up on the main site page after you log in.

programming language subreddits by subscribers, an image that helps you understand how to use Reddit

Find a post that interests you and join the discussion!

Don't start by posting a couple of links to your own website on the same subreddit. People might take that as self-promotion, which is frowned upon. As a new user, it may be better to get involved in discussions that are already happening, just to get a feel for how Reddit works.


For a longer guide on how to use Reddit,

you might want to check out the Reddit 101: https://www.reddit.com/wiki/reddit_101

It is well written and will teach you all the basics of how to use Reddit. You'll find out about Karma (a point system that lets you know how your submissions or comments are doing), sidebars, moderators, admins, reddiquette and will also answer to a few frequently asked questions (for example the all-important "Help! What happened to my post?", if you're promoting yourself in the wrong way).

After you've used this network for a few days,

read this article to understand what can be done with our help on Reddit and other social media networks (yep, you can actually promote your blog or services/products, it's just not that straightforward): http://upvotes.club/what-can-be-done/

You might also want to read our articles from the Advanced category, which will transform you into a social media guru, who can actually get a lot of traction through these platforms and make money or gather a following. Good luck and work hard!

Thank you for checking out our Reddit guide and we hope you've learned everything that you needed to know about how to use Reddit.