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Conference changes for 2020–21

It's July 1st, and you know what that means: time for the annual conference changes list! Thanks to Sir_Superman for letting me take over this year, and for helping fill in some things I missed.
Schools with football (including those adding or dropping it) are in bold. Note that I'm not including schools that have canceled football or other fall sports for 2020, since those presumably are temporary changes.

Division I

Seven schools are in the process of reclassifying to Division I. Their projected completion dates (after which they become eligible for the postseason) are as follows:
  • Cal Baptist and North Alabama in 2022–23
  • Merrimack in 2023–24
  • Bellarmine, Dixie State, Tarleton State, and UC San Diego in 2024–25
Future changes: Bethune–Cookman and Florida A&M from MEAC to SWAC; North Carolina A&T from MEAC to Big South. St. Thomas (MN) is applying for a waiver to reclassify from Division III to Division I beginning in 2021; if this is accepted, UST will join the Summit League, but no football destination has been announced.

Division II

Six schools are in the process of joining Division II. Their projected completion dates (after which they become eligible for the postseason) are as follows:
  • Savannah State this year, maybe? I haven't found any confirmation
  • UT Tyler in 2021–22
  • Frostburg State and Staten Island in 2022–23
  • Allen and D'Youville in 2023–24, if accepted
Future changes: Anderson (SC) adding football (2024; South Atlantic); Ashland from GLIAC to GMAC (2021); Converse adding men’s sports (2021; Conference Carolinas); Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke from Peach Belt to Conference Carolinas (2021; UNCP football unaffected).

Division III

Several schools are in the process of joining Division III. Beginning with this year's entrants, the provisional membership process lasts only three years instead of four. However, under the old system it has been common for schools to obtain a waiver to skip a year (usually the third year). Because of that, these projected completion dates are tentative:
  • Brevard, Dean, and Pfeiffer this year
  • SUNY Delhi in 2022–23
  • MUW, Pratt, and St. Thomas (TX) in 2023–24
  • Bob Jones and Warren Wilson also in 2023–24.
Manor is beginning an exploratory year and likely to enter provisional membership next year.
Future changes: Iowa Wesleyan from SLIAC (UMAC football) to NAIA (2021); Louisiana College from ASC to NAIA (2021); Macalester football from MWC to MIAC (2021); Mary Baldwin adding men’s sports (2021; USA South); Pine Manor is absorbed Boston College and drops sports (2021); St. Mary's (MD) from CAC to NEAC (2021); St. Norbert from MWC to NACC (2021); St. Scholastica from UMAC to MIAC (2021); St. Thomas (MN)from MIAC to likely Division I (2021); Southern Virginia from CAC (ODAC football) to USA South (2021).

NAIA

Future changes: Columbia (SC) adds men’s sports (2021); Iowa Wesleyan joins from D3 (no conference affiliation announced); Johnson & Wales (FL) closes (2021; currently in Sun Conference); Louisiana College joins from D3 (will likely join SSAC with football in the Sooner); Mount Marty adds football (2022; GPAC).

Other notes

submitted by Inkblot9 to CFB [link] [comments]

Case Study 1: Month 48. $4k/m.

Hi all,
Semi-regular commenter here: this has been a long time coming. I’ve been a 'Just Starter' for over 4 years. I figured it’s time to share my story, lessons learned, and try to open up some good discussion.
I know we've all been frustrated at the lack of original content on here (shout out to all the Case Study: Month 1 posts) so hopefully this gives you something to read. So, instead of Month 1, here's Month 48!

Background

I originally found Humble’s first case studies not long after he posted them. I was already looking at ways to make money online, and was instantly hooked.
With my web developer friend we made a broad home site, and I started writing. Basically just doing best of lists of blenders, ice cream makers, etc. I went through a summer of productivity: getting up at 5.45am before my office job and blasting out writing on the daily.
1 year later, with around 50 posts, two pages struck gold and we peaked at $2,700 in a month from US Amazon affiliate income. These were seasonal pages and a July heatwave helped a ton. It quickly died back off in the winter.
After that summer, productivity nosedived (I got a girlfriend). But sporadically kept building the site. Our income never got back to that peak, but the next summer saw a few $2k months. That's when I started to think doing this full time was possible. My job had become badly managed, and I wanted to move away from the city. So despite the site still making peanuts most months, I quit my full time job on July 1st, 2019.

1 Year Later

This year has flown by so quickly. I wondered so much about what it would be like to do this full time, and now here we are. Here’s the year in summary:
  • I’m nowhere near as productive as I thought. Initially my targets were an article published every 3rd day (including weekends) plus producing lead magnets, running outreach, etc. I was still the only writer. Turns out I can’t really stretch the 1-2 focused hours squeezed in around a job into 8-12 focused hours daily. Staying productive and focused has been (and still is) a challenge.
  • I remember Humble saying he works 12 hours a day without even noticing. Sometimes I get that, but often it's more of a battle. Especially during quarantine.
  • Still, the last few months have seen the full-time efforts kick in – we’ve been getting more traffic than I thought possible (peaking around 4k hits/day) and livable income from it.
  • Until the Amazon cuts, that is. My plan was to hit my old salary (circa $4k/m) then diversity away from Amazon into other affiliate programs. We were just about there when Amazon decimated our income. Damn you Bezos.
  • Due to the seasonal growth coming back and the momentum we have, our results are still growing despite the cuts. From the outside it looks like there wasn’t a change and it’s normal growth – but in reality we would've hit $7k last month.
  • After some trial and error I now have a fantastic writer publishing 2 posts a week ($40/1000 words). This allows me to focus more on outreach, skyscraper posts, and building out a new site.
  • Not having a standard job is scary. There’s no pension plan, no career path, and Amazon/Google could screw you in a moment’s notice. Don’t get me wrong – I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. But it does change things.
  • I cannot describe how much I miss working in cafés/libraries! Those were the life and soul of my work routine.
  • My dream (and inspiration to do this) was to travel the world while earning a real income. I was meant to leave for South America 2 months ago. Can't wait to grab the first plane ticket out of the UK in the next few months.

Traffic & Earnings

Traffic: https://imgur.com/ofnjfVa
The recent ‘explosion’ has been from the many informational posts I wrote after going full time. These are now finally maturing. Even with an established site it's still taking 3-6months for many of our posts to mature fully. Also we're still more summer focused than anything - still trying to get away from that.
Earnings: https://imgur.com/3Bfi5A0 (Amazon rate cut was April 21st). These don’t include UK/Canada which run at around 10% of US income. I couldn't get our earnings from the start - Amazon only goes back 2 years.
Until 2020, earnings were entirely from Amazon’s affiliate programs. Recently we signed up to Ezoic, though we were getting sweet f all ($6.5/1000 sessions). In the last month we switched to Mediavine and it’s changed everything. We’re seeing $25/1000 sessions, currently bringing $70+ a day. This alone has almost offset the Amazon cuts.

Our Strategy

I want to touch on how we’ve built the site, since that's always what I'm most interested in when reading other studies. Ours is about as simple a setup as you can imagine.
Until I went full time, 90% of our posts were simple ‘best of’ lists. These were lower competition keywords. We didn’t build a single backlink (mostly due to my lack of trying). Most of our success came from playing with the wording of semi-long tails. (For example instead of best blender, most reliable blender). Though this is getting harder with semantic search getting better.
Lately I’ve been doing more informational posts, with some level of link building to our top affiliate ones. These are 10x easier to rank for and, with a decent ad network, a good money maker.
Keyword Research
Nothing fancy here.
I’ve used a combination of Ahrefs (batching via their $7/7days trials) and Income School’s “alphabet soup” method to find keywords. Always manually checking the competition before committing to anything.
Article Setup
All on-page SEO is now covered in a publish checklist. Mostly watching out for:
  • Short URL’s
  • Optimized Images
  • Easy to read vocabulary
  • Highlighted text
  • Snippet magnets
  • Etc
I try to keep it up to date with the latest coming out of Authority Hacker, Backlinko, Ahrefs case studies.
Luckily my friend is a web dev wizard, so our theme is entirely custom with some slick formatting for product reviews, pros/cons, etc. This gives us a high authority look which I can only imagine helps.
Backlinks
Up until recently I hadn’t built a single backlink for the site.
We’d been pretty lucky with the keywords we went for – and mostly still are. There are very few posts I’ve actively built links to, and I’ve yet to deliberately win a medium/hard keyword with strategically built links.
That said, I’ve been trying to do much more in terms of link building. Especially now that I have the time. I’ve really noticed that it’s not about getting 400 money pages, but striking gold with 5-10 of them. We have 160 posts and the 80/20 principle definitely applies to the results we see from them.
Mostly the link building has been a case of shotgun skyscraper (Authority Hacker) and a few exchanges or paid links here and there. I’ve not had too much success, but I'm looking forward to sticking at it until we do. I’ve been inspired by the massive success jumstakl was sharing from this, and want to master it to his level. Though I do appreciate it's all pretty outdated now.
That said, our current top post (25% of all traffic) is a fairly random informational post that I’ve never built links to. For some reason it just topped a very nice SERP in Australia. Can't complain.
Content
One advantage we've had (imo) is in original, well researched content.
Having written over 150,000 words for this site I've gotten pretty quick at putting out articles. I typically take notes on every post in the top 10 results, collate that into one larger outline, and write. There's so many outsourced posts out there that sound like they were written using a Cambridge Thesaurus - so I try to keep things super conversational and easy to read.

The Future

The goal for this site is to keep maintaining what we have while continuing to build. I want minimal input for day-to-day writing, with my only involvement being keyword research, high quality posts, and outreach.
On top of that, I want us to hit a few ‘big’ keywords too. Topics with decent competition where our quality and real links get us to the top and blow up our income.
My ultimate goal is to hit $10k/month in income. This would be huge for me, give me friend some massive side income help (he gets 20%), and put us at a sale value that could buy an apartment.
Strategy
I desperately need to work with other affiliate programs away from Amazon. This has been something I thought would take days to fix, but I’ve spent ages analyzing potential affiliates and yet to make a sale with any. We’ve started on two silos built for new affiliate programs, so hopefully these will give some good returns.
From what I understand it’s going to be hitting huge success with smaller affiliate programs that will allow you to cruise past 5 figures a month in income. Though I'm a bit paralyzed because it feels like branching out into a new world – rather than the same old rinse and repeat I’m used to with Amazon.

Community Stuff

  1. I’d just like to shout out the mods for keeping this subreddit going. I literally wouldn’t be doing this without this sub (and Humble who started it). Thank you.*
  2. I’d like to agree with the recent sticky – there’s too much spam on here recently. I feel like Humble would lose his mind at the amount of shitposts. It’s up to all of us to report the dumb questions for the automod to remove, and to discourage the ‘Case Study: Month 1’ spam.*
  3. Are there any other communities you guys subscribe to for sites above the $1k/month mark? Speaking regularly to others with established sites would be a massive help - outside of this forum I don't really have anyone to talk to. Would love to become part of a community and make a few friends who also run sites like mine. If there’s anyone like that on here – particularly based in the UK – please hit me up!
Ask Me Anything
There’s obviously much more to our site than I can cover in one post. So AMA! It’s lockdown and I’m bored: if you want to know anything just ask. I may reply slowly, but I will reply.
Thanks for reading.
submitted by xferok to juststart [link] [comments]

CardWiz beta release 🎉- My attempt to solve credit card rewards. Feedback appreciated.

Summary -CardWiz.com beta release. Try it and let me know what you think :)
Over the last few months many kind members of this subreddit have helped test and provide feedback on the alpha version of CardWiz. I am now submitting as a formal post the beta version to be found at cardwiz.com. The changes are innumerable so even if you’ve seen it before, it’s worth another look. Any comments, questions, feedback or bug reports are incredibly appreciated.
For those of you not familiar, CardWiz is a free mobile first web app that is a more simple, accurate and fun alternative to spending hours collecting data and creating spreadsheets. I am not suggesting that there isn’t an important subjective element to choosing a card. In fact, I think of CardWiz as an excellent first step in the process to narrow down your options and then come to this subreddit to debate the subjective issues.
CardWiz has no affiliate links or advertising. No personal info or banking credentials needed.
Features
  • Quick and easy onboarding with no downloading or sign up needed (2 min to results)
  • Has up to date data on 1000+ cards in the US
  • Select your preferred bank/airline/hotel reward programs and customize point value
  • Select your desired perks and customize perk value
  • Import transactions from current accounts (optional, algo categorizes and does not save individual transactions)
  • Algorithm can factor in up to 20 cards you currently have
  • Algorithm can recommend up to 3 new cards in combination with your current cards
  • Algorithm uses point transfer ratios
  • Algorithm includes nearly all rules. Examples include:
    • Sign up bonus conflicts
    • Chase 5/24
    • BofA 3/12
    • Chase sapphire point redemption bonus
    • Many many more
Coming Soon (This month)
  • “Active Duty Military” User Type
  • First 3 month spend override to achieve SUB
Screenshots - https://imgur.com/a/WyNNVpf
Limitations
  • Algorithm does not include for the moment some temporary COVID-19 specific rewards like Chase Pay Yourself Back. If it’s clear this will become more permanent I will work to include it.
  • Quarterly rewards cards use last 4 quarters of category rewards info available to project into the future which is not always accurate.
  • Cannot include targeted sign up bonus offers.
Questions
  1. Is CardWiz useful to you?
  2. Is everything clear and easy to use?
  3. Is there anything you see as an error or design mistake?
  4. Are there any features missing?
  5. I can create a creditcards template generator to aid in posting to this subreddit. Would that be useful?
submitted by CardWiz_ to CreditCards [link] [comments]

Frontend Web Developer Roadmap: Everything you need to know to get started

If you're feeling lazy and would prefer to watch a full video summary, one is available here. Let me know if you have any feedback!
What is frontend web development?
It is using code to create the visual part of a website. The content, the colours and positioning, as well as the logic that is on a page, such as submitting a form. That's frontend. The other part is 'backend', which is everything related to the database and network; the non-visual things that are going on behind the scene.

Different routes to learn web development
CS Degree: The first is a degree, through either a university or college. This offers strong foundational knowledge in computer science, which can be very helpful, especially in certain areas of programming. However in my experience, this understanding of computer science is not necessary in order to get your first web development job and you can learn all of the theory and nitty gritty details of computers while on the job. Additionally, getting a degree is also a very long process, so 3-4 years, it's also extremely expensive - and the majority of it won't be focused on web development.
Bootcamp: Next -3-4 month coding bootcamps (offers good structure and forces you to be fully immersed, but expensive and must be full-time)
Self-taught: Finally -Self taught. What the focus of this guide is. This route offers a flexible schedule and inexpensive, and as long as you have the right set of online courses and curriculum set up for you, I believe it is the best option. Getting your first web development job is not about what certificate or degree you have. In most cases, it is a meritocracy - that is, if you have the skills to do the job, you can get the job.

How long does it take to be job ready? 4-12 months.
Outline a timeframe which you are able to dedicate towards learning web development(3, 6 or 12 months) and create a schedule around it. This way you can track your progress and hold yourself accountable if you set a specific date to, such as finishing a specific course or start apply to jobs. Whether it is 3 or 12 months, the only thing that changes is how much time per week you are able to dedicate towards learning this craft. If it is 3 months, you'll need to be working 12+ hours per day, and for 12 months, maybe 2 hours per day. The key is coding daily, so you can immerse yourself.
It's also important to stick to one programming language, based on the job you're wanting to get. Don't get distracted by other languages. They're fantastic, but your focus needs to be on the core frontend stack. You don't want to be a Jack of all trades, but master of none. You need to get vertical proficiency, not horizontal - and you get that by practicing that one thing, daily.
What do you need to learn?
HTML (the content - the text, images, links), CSS(the styling - colors, positioning and responsiveness), and JavaScript(the logic for your website, when you click a submit button - what happens?). Once you have learned those three and have a strong foundation in JavaScript, then you'll be at a crossroads; React, Angular or Vue. These are JavaScript libraries and frameworks, which act as wrappers around vanilla JavaScript, giving you additional functionality that would take longer to code otherwise. It is important that the first thing you do before getting too deep into one of these, is to look on job websites (LinkedIn, Glassdoor or Indeed) and ensure that there are a lot of jobs for all of these in your area. Search for titles including "frontend developer and frontend engineer", as well as the words 'Angular, Vue and React' and see how many listings there are. If there is more of one of these technologies in your area, it may be better to learn that one. You'll likely find many of each. Personally I would recommend React as it is easier to learn than a full framework and there are usually a ton of jobs out there for it.
As a bonus, I would recommend looking into TypeScript and Redux. In JavaScript, you don't have to say that variable x is a number. It will infer that x = 5 is a number type. This however can sometimes lead to hard to catch bugs. TypeScript is still JavaScript, but it allows you to add strong typing to your application, where you define that variable x will be a number.
Redux is a state management library. Angular, React and Vue all have their own variations of Redux. When your application gets bigger and there are lots of different parts with their own data, Redux acts as a centralized memory for all of your different UI components to read from. It acts as a single source of truth so that everything stays organized.
Also need to be familiar with the version control technology Git (allowing you to 'save' your app at a specific point, roll back to it if necessary, and share the code online to others using Github or Bitbucket).
May also be helpful to know the basics of SASS (CSS wrapper, giving you more utility. It is still CSS, but just some extra tools which can be huge time savers). Along the way, you'll also need to learn basic terminal commands, using NPM packages and the build tool Webpack. You should also be familiar with the basics of Agile methodologies, which is a management style that a lot of development teams work in. If you're familiar with the very basics, then it will be an easier transition for you to join a dev team, and hiring managers will know that as well.
Learning resources
So, what resources can you use to learn all of this? I found that between YouTube and Udemy, you can learn everything required. I am going to leave a list down below with a list of Udemy courses you can pick up for $15 (when on sale). Each course is about 20-30 hours and it will teach you the required fundamentals. I'm not affiliated with these courses and make no money on it. I simply know the instructors are excellent and am sure they are high quality courses.
https://www.udemy.com/course/modern-html-css-from-the-beginning/
https://www.udemy.com/course/javascript-the-complete-guide-2020-beginner-advanced/
https://www.udemy.com/course/modern-javascript-from-the-beginning/
https://www.udemy.com/course/complete-react-developer-zero-to-mastery/
https://www.udemy.com/course/vuejs-2-the-complete-guide/
https://www.udemy.com/course/the-complete-guide-to-angular-2/

Once you've completed a these courses and have built a few projects
After that, it is all about getting your first job. I am going to create posts (and videos) on each of these points, because they deserve a post of their own.
In short, you'll need to have a great resume which highlights your love for web development, while also emphasizing how all of your previous job experiences has guided you towards this new career path.
Have a GitHub with your own projects on it, as well as some of the work you've done while learning along the way. Build out a portfolio website which highlights the projects you've build and the skills you have. You can host your portfolio and projects for free on GitHub Pages.
Consider doing 1 or 2 freelance jobs(even if it is just for friends or family), where you're working with a real client, with a real deadline. This will be good practice for you, and will show your future employer that someone has already trusted you, and that you delivered.
Familiarize yourself with LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor - and start applying for 3-5 jobs per day. I did this for an entire month, had a few interviews and then landed my first job. It can take a few weeks, or a few months - eventually you will get your first opportunity. Getting your first job is the most difficult. Once you have worked somewhere and have some experience, finding your next job will be a lot easier.

Conclusion
On a final note, learning code is not easy. There will be roadblocks and it can be a difficult grind at times. Remember that the path you are on now is worth it and can get you to the place in your life where you really want to be, whether that is career satisfaction, ability to work from anywhere in the world, or financial freedom.
Thank you for your time! Consider checking out my YouTube channel, as I'm posting weekly now with videos specifically for frontend developers who are just starting out. Available here.
submitted by ProgrammingWithPax to learnprogramming [link] [comments]

Arbitrary list of popular lights - Summer Solstice 2020 edition

Happy Solstice!
In honor of Summer Solstice for the northern hemisphere, I've made an updated list of popular lights. Today is a couple days after (sorry!) the day you're least likely to need a flashlight north of the equator, but it increases every day after so it's a good time to buy a flashlight.
Because a definitive buyer's guide is too hard, I've made an arbitrary list of popular lights you should consider if you're shopping for a light. There is no best flashlight, so this is not the last word in what's good, but a list of lights that are often bought or recommended here with a touch of my own opinion thrown in. Exclusion from this list doesn't mean a light isn't good. To search more lights by their attributes, try http://flashlights.parametrek.com/index.html
Where possible, official manufacturer URLs are linked here. Sometimes the manufacturer offers good deals through direct orders, sometimes vendors have the best prices. There are coupon codes available that apply to many of the lights listed. I'm hosting a version of this list on my own site with affiliate links because a few people have asked for a way to give me a kickback.
Shipping/availability may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, items shipped from China are often taking 2 months to arrive. Supply chains and warehouse stock also appear to be disrupted as well, so you may have to be more patient than usual if you want certain flashlights, chargers, and batteries.

For those in a hurry

If you don't want to learn much, just get one of these.

All of the lights in this section come with a rechargeable battery and have a charger built in to the light. The battery will be a standard size you can buy online from third parties, and the charger will use USB as its power source, though some options do use a special cable. Aside from the Catapult, all have very good color quality compared to the average LED flashlight, improving your ability to see details.
  • Wurkkos FC11 - a general-use light for $30. USB-C charging, but it needs to use an A-to-C cable. There's a strong magnet in the tailcap, and a pocket clip for carry. A 25mm (1 inch) diameter and 120mm (4.7 inches) long is suitable for larger pants pockets. 18650 battery.
  • Skilhunt M150 with high-CRI LH351D LED option - a smaller light with many characteristics similar to the FC11, but a smaller (14500 size) battery and magnetic charging connector. This light can also use AA batteries, both rechargeable and disposable, but the built-in charger only works with a 14500. $40, and sometimes available on Amazon, but not always with the right LED, which is important since the color and beam quality of the other options is poor. 21mm (0.82") at its widest point and 84mm (3.3") long.
  • Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia 144A - a combination handheld flashlight, headlamp, and magnetic work light with high output and excellent color quality. An 18650 battery is included, and it uses USB/magnetic charging, which is a bit slow, but convenient otherwise. It's $90, but try coupon code "reddit" for a discount. I've linked Killzone Flashlights here rather than the manufacturer because the manufacturer's customer service is rather poor, and Killzone's is good. European buyers should consider Nkon and coupon code "AT25%off".
  • Acebeam EC35 II, Killzone special edition with SST-20. I swear I'm not trying to favor Killzone here, but this one is a dealer exclusive. If you're thinking of a handheld light to accompany a pistol, this is a great option because the tailswitch is high-only with other functions on the sideswitch. If you think you want a single-mode light, you probably want this instead. USB-C charging (A-to-C again), and it's a USB powerbank (C-to-C works for this). $77 with bundled 18650 battery, $67 if you bring your own battery.
  • Sofirn SP36 (Anduril/LH351D version) - with three 18650 batteries and a $71 price tag, this is a larger, more powerful, and longer-running light than the others in this section. It has USB-C (A-to-C only) charging. If you need to light up a room for a long time, or light up a field, this is up to the task.
  • Thrunite Catapult V6 in neutral white - for seeing far away. You can spot large objects with this at 750m, and see in reasonable detail at half that. The color quality here is only average, but neutral white will look a little more natural, and have less visible backscatter than cool white. MicroUSB charging and a 26650 battery is included. $75, but coupon code "20%" does exactly what you think.
These are at the top of the list not because they're the best in some objective sense, but because they're easy to own and use, and easy to buy. They score well on most measure flashlight nerds care about while also being suitable for non-enthusiasts.

About specs and considerations

Moved to the wiki due to character limit

Mainstream lights

Everyday Carry Lights

These are selected for pocketability first and performance second, but most of the larger options are perfectly adequate for house/cacamping/etc... uses. This section excludes right-angle designs that double as headlamps, but many people do use those for pocket carry, so see that section as well.

Keychain

  • Nitecore Tube - a brighter, variable output, USB-charging replacement for button-cell keychain lights with shortcuts to high and low modes from off. $10
  • Rovyvon Aurora A3x (Nichia 219C version) - neutral tint, 90 CRI, 450 lumens (briefly), USB charging, under 20g weight. Non-removable battery, so this will eventually wear out. Other Nichia Rovyvons are similar, offering different body materials, sizes, and sometimes colored LEDs on the sides. $33

AAA battery

  • Lumintop IYP07 - a 1xAAA tailswitch option with three modes (5, 40, 130 lumens), three colors (black, silver, pink), and two LED options, of which only the neutral white, high-CRI Nichia 219C is worth considering. $22
  • Lumintop IYP365 Nichia 219C - 2xAAA, 90+ CRI (Nichia version only) and neutral white. This is a longer IYP07. Not as bright as a Ti4, but light quality is often more important for being able to see clearly. $19
  • Fenix LD02 2.0 (warm white version) - 1xAAA, tailswitch, warm white, high-CRI, and a UV secondary. 1 lumen low, 70 lumens high. $30
  • Fenix LD05 2.0 (warm white version) - 2xAAA, 100lm max, and the same features as the above. $40
  • Thrunite Ti4 - 2xAAA - Neutral white available. Titanium sometimes available. High output for this form factor. $20
  • Nitecore MT06MD - 2xAAA, 90+ CRI, neutral white, and still shipping with the Nichia 219B as far as I know. Similar to the IYP365 on paper, but many people prefer the tint of the 219B over the 219C. $32

AA battery

  • Skilhunt M150 with high-CRI LH351D - this is the AA/14500 version of the M200, without the mode customization feature. It's only offered bundled with a 14500. The onboard charging works with any 14500, but won't charge NiMH AA inside the light. There's low-voltage protection for both battery types, so unprotected 14500s are OK. $40
  • Thrunite T10 II - a side-switch light supporting both AA and 14500 Li-ion batteries with shortcuts from off to high and low and a magnetic tailcap. Neutral white available and recommended. $20
  • Zebralight SC53c - 90+ CRI, warm-neutral white, e-switch with shortcuts to low, medium and high with several sub-levels for each. $57
  • Thrunite Archer 1A - a dual-switch 1xAA light that can also use 14500. 200 lumens with AA, about 450 with 14500. $28
  • Sofirn SP10S - 1xAA/1x14500, 90+ CRI with a Samsung LH351D LED and black, blue, or red body color. Slightly awkward UI with a long-press to turn off, but it may be worth it for the low price and high color quality. $16
  • Lumintop Tool AA 219C - 1xAA/1x14500 and a 90 CRI Nichia 219C. There's a Cree XP-L version of this that isn't so compelling, so I've linked Illumn rather than the manufacturer, but it may be available elsewhere. 22

CR123A/16340 battery

  • Acebeam TK16 (SST-20 version only) - 95+ CRI, neutral white, tail e-switch with shortcuts to lowest, highest, and last-used, plus two mode groups so you can choose between sensible runtimes and impressing your friends with the 1250 lumen peak output. 0.5 lumen moonlight. Battery included, but you'll need a separate charger. If you were considering the Olight S1 line, get this instead. Also available in copper. $55
  • Wowtac W1 - a basic light using a 16340 (CR123A won't work well, if at all) and USB charging. It only seems to come in cool white at the moment. Why is it here? Because it costs $20 on US Amazon and should have Wowtac's usual solid built quality and accurate specs.

18350 battery

  • Thrunite T1 (neutral white suggested) - 1x18350 (included), MicroUSB charging, magnetic tailcap, 1500 lumen max mode with a ramping UI for medium levels. $40, usually

18650 battery

This category is so popular it gets subcategories. If you're looking for a lot of power and runtime that's still possible to carry in most pants pockets, this is your battery.

Dual-switch lights

A tailswitch controls power, a sideswitch changes brightness. The ease of explaning the UI makes these perfect to hand out to others.
  • Eagletac DX30LC2 - slimmer than most 18650 lights, with a unique take on the dual-switch interface: it always starts on high, unless the mode switch is held, in which case it starts on low. Longer throw than most, neutral white available from some dealers. $75
  • Thrunite TC12 - essentially a TN12 with USB charging, a thermal sensor to limit temperature, low-voltage protection and a battery included. $56
  • Sofirn SP31 v2.0 - efficient driver and XP-L HI emitter for more throw than most lights in this class. Cool white only, unfortunately, but a good value with the features of the Fenix PD32 at half the price. $37 with battery and charger on US Amazon. $21 without accessories on Sofirn's own site, but shipping from China is likely to take more than a month.
  • Acebeam EC35 II (Killzone special edition) This has a bit different UI than the others here. The tailswitch is alawys high, with half-press for momentary. The side siwtch is an electronic switch with shortcuts from off to low, last-used, and high. This offers versatility in combination with dead-simple reliability under stress. USB-C charging (note: requires A-to-C cable; does not charge from C-to-C), optional battery, and it's a USB powerbank (powerbank function does work with C-to-C). The Nichia 219C is a bit cooler with a fairly balanced beam profile, and the SST-20 is warmer with some more throw. $67 by itself, or $77 with a battery. $10 less for the 219C.

E-switch lights

Electronic switches enable shortcuts from off to useful modes - usually lowest, highest, and last-used.
  • Zebralight SC64c LE - the SC6x series has long been an EDC favorite for their compact size, high efficiency, great low modes, and a user interface that was well ahead of the competition when it came out. Now, many would prefer ToyKeeper's Anduril firmware as used on the FW3A and D4v2, but Zebralight has added some configuration options that should keep most users happy. The 828 lumen max output sounds low next to today's hot-rods, but lights this size can't sustain more than that for longer than 5 minutes without burning the user's hand. $80
  • Zebraligh SC64w HI - the above, trading some color quality for more output and throw. $80
  • Thrunite TC15 - like the Neutron in form, but trades battery flexibility for 2300 lumens turn-on output and replaces the ramping UI with fixed modes. $56
  • Skilhunt M200 (high-CRI LH351D option recommended) - Were you considering the Olight S2R? Consider this instead. Magnetic charging, but with a standard 18650. Optional high-CRI neutral white LH351D. Magnetic tailcap. Magnetic charging. The linked version even has configurable mode groups, and you can decide whether to pay extra to get it with a battery. Pending due to lack of reviews, but Skilhunt stuff is usually solid. $43 without a battery, $51 with.
  • Wurkkos FC11 - 18650 EDC light, high-CRI Samsung LH351D, battery included, magnetic tailcap, USB-C charging, e-switch with the option of fixed modes or ramping. Wurkkos is affiliated with Sofirn, and this seems very much like some SP36S parts found their way into an SC31. Early versions had some UI wierdness, but the UI has been revised and is now very good. The tint could stand to be better, but the color rendering is very good, and it's $30

Other by use case

Right-angle lights and headlamps

If I could have only one portable light, it would be a right-angle light that functions as both an everyday carry light and a headlamp. Some lights in this form factor also offer a magnetic tailcap, allowing them to act as mountable area lights.

Small

  • Zebralight H53c - All the Zebralight goodness described above for the SC64c LE, but in a right-angle, 1xAA form factor. The Cree XP-L2 may make a less attractive beam than the Samsung LH351D, but most people report Zebralight's optics smooth it out well. H53Fc for a frosted lens for a very even beam. This one even comes with a pocket clip, and the headband does not have the top strap the 18650 versions do. $59
  • Thrunite TH20 - 1xAA headlamp available in neutral white with infinite ramping and shortcuts from off to low/high. $30
  • Acebeam H40 with 95 CRI Luminus SST-20. This is very similar to the TH20, but trades having a good sub-lumen low for high CRI. It would be nice to have both in the same light, but for that, you'll need a soldering iron. $35
  • Fenix HL10 - a 1xAAA headlamp that weighs 40 grams with a lithium battery. It's here so /ultralight doesn't feel left out, as I would recommend something with a larger battery for a primary headlamp. This would make a good backup. Two is one. $30
  • Nitecore NU25 - the other ultralight option. Sealed Li-ion pouch cell, so no carrying spares, and it's effectively disposable when the battery wears out. The primary emitter is cool white and low-CRI, but there's a high-CRI secondary. Some sacrifices must be made for a weight of 28g. $36
  • Thrunite TH01 - 1x18350 battery dedicated headlamp, 1500 lumens burst (450 stable). This is a USB-charged option without going to the larger 18650 battery. $40

Medium

All of these use one 18650 battery.
  • Skilhunt H04 - the popular version has a honeycomb TIR optic for a diffuse beam pattern. A reflector for more throw and a version with a reflector and a flip-out diffuser are sometimes available. Uses a timed stepdown. Available in neutral white. Magnetic tailcap. $40, roughly
  • Wowtac A2/A2S - another budget option, this time with a reflector. Both come with an 18650 that has a USB charge port right on the battery, but can be used with any 18650. The A2S also offers neutral white, which I recommend. $20/$30
  • Zebralight H600w IV - very compact, neutral white, great efficiency, well-regarded user interface, boost driver. What's not to love? The pocket clip isn't so good. $89
  • Zebralight H600Fd IV - the above with 90+ CRI, a frosted lens for a more diffuse beam and a slightly cooler neutral tint that's a close match for the midday sun. $89
  • Zebralight H600Fc IV - the H600Fd, but with warmer tint, like the late afternoon sun. $89
  • Zebralight H604d - the H600Fd with no reflector and a clear lens for a very floody, perfectly even beam. $89
  • Zebralight H604c - if you've read the above, this needs no explanation. $89
  • YLP Panda 2M CRI - 1x18650 dedicated headlamp, with high-CRI neutral white LH351Ds. Not the most efficient, but the light quality is great and with an 18650 battery, most people won't mind. $38
  • Thrunite TH10 V2 - over 300m throw in a right-angle light for those who need it. USB charging, and battery included. A bit more bulky than most. $60
  • Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia 144A - this light was my idea. After reviewing the Wizard Pro XHP50, I convinced them to put a 90 CRI, 4500K Nichia 144A in it. It took a couple years, but they did, and it is glorious. The Wizard Pro is the most versatile light I own, and the one I'd keep if I could only keep one. The first batch of these had some battery safety issues (broken low-voltage protection), but that's fixed now. I suggest buying from a dealer like Killzone or Nkon, and checking for coupon codes for those dealers because Armytek's customer service and shipping are questionable. $90

Large

  • Acebeam H30 - 21700 battery (also compatible with 18650), USB-C charging, powerbank function, 4000 lumen main output with optional neutral white, red secondary, choice between a green secondary, UV secondary, or a high-CRI Nichia 219C secondary. Boost driver for stable output when the battery is low or cold. Many people would consider this too heavy for a headlamp, but it weighs a lot less than a motorcycle helmet. Noncompliant USB-C behavior requires charging with an A-to-C cable. $120
  • Fenix HP30R - 2x18650 batteries in a remote holder that can be worn under a jacket. This is probably the most reliable battery option for extreme cold environments as the batteries can be kept warm. The battery case features USB charging and can be used as a USB powerbank. There are flood and spot emitters, which make 750 and 1000 lumens respectively, and can be used together for 1750 lumens. This is the heaviest headlamp on the list by far, but much of the weight is in the battery pack. $130

Duty lights

These are suitable for first responders and possibly members of the military in combat roles. The focus is on simple operation, reliability and a good way to make sure the light starts on high.
  • Acebeam L30 - 4000 lumens from a single 18650 or 21700 (included). Neutral white available and recommended. High-CRI secondary emitter optional. Not the prettiest light, but there's a lot of it, and enough thermal mass to sustain it for a few minutes. Stable output without overheating is 2000 lumens. Forward-clicky tailswith is always max output, but the side switch has shortcuts to low and last-used. USB charging. $110
  • Eagletac GX30L2 Pro - for those who want a better Streamlight Stinger. 2x18650. Neutral white with XHP35 HI recommended for more natural color and throw distance. Onboard charging. Neutral white optional. The included battery pack is just two 18650s in series. It says not to charge standard 18650s, but there's no technical reason for that, and it is reported to work. Protected cells recommended. $155
  • Skylumen M2Rvn - about that neutral white... and it gains over 100m of throw in the process by switching to the XHP35 HI. This is a modified Olight M2R with different warranty terms from the original, so read those carefully. $120
  • Eagletac T25V - a 21700-powered duty light with USB-C charging and battery included. Twist the head for output selection between three configurable levels with the light on or off, so it can be left locked in high. 2600 lumens and 214m throw with the XHP70.2, or 1640 lumens and about 400m throw with the XHP35 HI. The latter emitter in neutral white does the most to make this light stand out from its peers, if you can find it that way. This is a good alternative if the Olight M2R Pro looks appealing or you missed out on the Acebeam T36.$96

High-performance lights

Most lights on the list are easy to carry, with performance constrained by size and thermal mass as a result. After all, the best light is the one you have. Here are lights to bring when you know you'll be using them.

Flooders

Turn night into day, but not necessarily very far away
  • Thrunite TC20 - 1x26650, 1xXHP70.2. This is still small enough for a jacket pocket, but has a bigger battery than most EDC lights, and a spectacular 180 lm/W efficiency on medium. USB charging. Ugly tint, even when neutral. 3800 lumen max, and more efficient than most competitors in all modes. $72 with standing "20%" coupon code
  • Acebeam X45 - 4x18650, not pretty even in neutral white, but it makes 18,000 lumens. $180
  • Sofirn SP36 BLF edition - 3x18650, 4xLH351D, Anduril firmware, USB-C charging. Be careful, there's another version of this light with Cree XP-L2 emitters, which are ugly. There's currently a bundle with Sofirn batteries on US Amazon for a very small additional cost, but these usually don't come with batteries. 90+ CRI, 5500+ lumens, 350m FL1 throw. This replaces the BLF Q8 in the list due to the LEDs offered and USB-C charging, though the Q8 is easier to disassemble for those interested in modifications. $50

Throwers

What's that over there? WAY over there? The hotspots of these lights tend to be too focused for comfortable use up close, though using a diffuser is an option. These tend to be most useful for search and rescue, boating, and the like.
FL1 throw is the distance at which large objects can be detected in clear air. At half that distance, there's usually enough illumination to see clearly, though with more extreme throwers, the distances may be so great as to require binoculars to see clearly even during the day. Throwers have visible backscatter from the atmosphere even in clear air, which may obstruct the user's view of the target. Warmer color temperatures tend to have less.
  • Wowtac A4v2 - 1x26650, MicroUSB charging, 1982 lumens and 564m throw according to zeroair. The A4v2 isn't quite a pure thrower; it's more versatile than that. Boost driver for near-full output even when the battery is low and better performance in the cold - that's rare to see in the A4's price/performance category. $50, but check for coupons
  • Thrunite Catapult V6 - 1x26650, MicroUSB charging. This is the Wowtac A4, but with a more expensive shell and a bigger reflector for more throw. $60 with a coupon code
  • Acebeam T27 - 1x21700/18650. This is like a thrower version of the L30 duty light above, though its charging is USB-C, and oddly, it can act as a USB powerbank. Boost driver for full output on a low battery. 5000K recommended. 1180m FL1 throw. Noncompliant USB-C behavior requires charging with an A-to-C cable. $140
  • Acebeam T28 - it's a T27 with a bigger head and even more throw. There's not much more to say about it than that. $160
  • Thrunite TN42 - 4x18650, 1550m FL1 throw advertised, 1700m observed by reviewers. $160

Hybrids

Some throw, some flood... probably a lot
  • Acebeam K30GT - a hybrid, but leaning toward the throw side of things with 1km. 5500 lumens, but not for long due to heat. 3x18650. $160
  • Acebeam K65 - probably the original dedomed XHP70.2 version. 1km and 6200lm, but much bigger than the K30GT with 4x18650 batteries, giving it the ability to say bright longer without overheating. $195
  • Imalent MS18 - proprietary battery pack, 18xXHP70.2. Heat pipes. Fan cooling. 100,000 lumens. 1350m FL1 throw. This thing weighs 5 pounds, isn't waterproof, sounds like a jet engine, and I trust Imalent's build quality about as far as I can throw an MS18, not to mention the price. It makes no sense for nearly any practical purpose, but it's the brightest flashlight you can buy, so it goes on the list. $500

Other lights

Stuff that doesn't fit somewhere else goes here.

  • Pelican 3315 CC - 3xAA, 130 lumens, intrinsically safe. The only reason to get this is because an intrinsically safe or explosion proof light is required. This is the least bad option with a warm color temperature and high CRI. $55
  • Viltrox L116T - a 95 CRI, adjustable color temperature LED panel intended to be used as a camera light with adjustable output from about 200 lumens to 1000 lumens. Also works great as fixed lighting with a DC power supply, or a portable area light with a Sony NP-F camera battery. A battery holder and a bit of soldering will allow it to run on 2x18650. $34
  • Viltrox VL200T - The 2500 lumen version of the L116T. DC power supply included. Radio-based remote control. $65
  • Litufoto F12 (AKA Viltrox FA-D10) - A smartphone-sized LED panel with 96+ CRI, adjustable color temperature, USB-C power (note: noncompliant, A-to-C only), and sealed Li-ion battery. 800 lumens on high with 80 minute runtime, 70 lumens lowest, adjusts in 5% increments. 65% output available continuously without draining the battery while plugged in. This would even be viable as floody EDC flashlight if it wasn't for the obnoxiously long press for on/off. $48 on US Amazon

Enthusiast lights

Enthusiast lights can be subject to a bit of a flavor of the month phenomenon, and this section isn't necessarily going to try to include them all. What you'll find here are enthusiast lights with some staying power. There will probably be an Emisar D4 of some description this time next year, but not necessarily the latest new FW variant or whatever's currently trendy from Nightwatch.

Everyday carry

  • Lumintop FW3A - this light was designed by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts. It's unusual in having a tail e-switch, while most others position it on the side. It has an open source firmware with continuous brightness adjustment and lots of options. 2800 lumen max (briefly), about 800 lumens relatively sustainable (thermally regulated). There are currently five LED options, and I would recommend most people go with one of the high-CRI options. Luminus SST-20 for more throw and less heat, but the Nichia 219C may have more pleasant tint. Caution: this light requires an unprotected, 10A rated battery and can set things that get too close to its lens on fire. This has fairly inefficient electronics, but the large capacity of the 18650 battery makes that a minor issue for a lot of use cases. There are titanium, copper, etc... versions for more money. Build quality and reliability may be a bit questionable, but these pack in a lot of features for the money. Several larger versions with higher output exist, but the original still makes the most sense to this list's maintainer. $40
  • Lumintop FW1A - an FW3A with fewer emitters (one) and more reflector (again, one, in place of the FW3A's TIR optic). Less output, more throw, less demanding on the battery. $40
  • Emisar D4v2 - every flashlight geek's favorite way to burn a hole in their pocket has been upgraded. It now comes with colored aux LEDs that can serve as a decoration, locator, and battery status indicator. Some versions of this light can exceed 4000 output at power-on, though efficiency is not one of its goals, even at lower levels. Not to be outdone by the FW3A, there are eight LED options, from which I'd suggest the 4000K, 95+ CRI SST-20 to most people. Optional extras include a tailcap magnet, steel bezel, pocket clip, 18350 and 18500 battery tubes, and different optics. There are exposed programming headers on the battery side of the driver for those who want to modify the firmware, or just keep it up to date with ToyKeeper's latest revisions. That's right, it's 2019 and you can get software updates for your flashlight. $45 or a bit more from the US warehouse for those wanting faster shipping.
  • Noctigon KR4 - This is almost a tail-e-switch D4, but it uses a variable linear driver that provides a bit better efficiency and more stable output as the battery drains as well as allowing brightness adjustment without PWM and enabling the use of ultra-low-voltage LEDs like the Nichia E21A. If you were thinking about the Lumintop FW4A, this is likely a better option. SST-20 4000K would probably still be my pick here because the E21A doesn't seem to play all that well with the Carclo quad optics. $55, and often stocked in the US warehouse.
  • Convoy S2+/219C - Popular light for DIY and modification. Many parts are available from the manufacturer and Mountain Electronics. S2+ linked. S3 is similar, but with a removable steel bezel. S6 has a deeper reflector for a narrower spill and longer throw. Recently updated with the high-CRI Nichia 219C and Luminus SST-20 LEDs, which are strongly recommended over the prior options. 219C 4000K will probably make the largest number of people happy. "Body color" is actually drive current. More 7135 chips means more power, which means more output, shorter battery life, and more heat. x6 is a reasonable choice that should never get too hot to hold. x3 or x4 for giving to people who will waste the battery. x8 for max output. Convoy will assemble other combinations of compatible parts not listed in their store - just contact them and ask. $15

Jacket pocket, maybe

  • Noctigon KR1 - Do you miss the Emisar D1? This is a jacket pocket light can reach nearly 700m FL1 throw with certain emitter options. It's the only light I've ever seen offer a high-CRI Cree XP-L HI, which in this case is an incandescent-like 2850K. $50
  • Convoy C8 SST-20 - 1x18650. 4000K and 7135x8 will produce the best results for most users. Over 4000K is low-CRI for the SST-20, and yes, CRI still matters in a semi-thrower like the C8. This isn't in the performance class of the other high-output lights, but it's over 500m FL1 throw that fits in a jacket pocket for $20. Note that there are a lot of C8s on the market from different companies, but this C8 is the one most people should get. $20
  • Haikelite SC04 - 1x26650/2x26650, 4xSST-20. The neutral white option is 95+ CRI and about 3000 lumens with 500+ meters FL1 throw. Side e-switch with a ramping UI and shortcuts. 2x26650 configuration is probably suitable for thumping someone on the head for those who miss that aspect of the classic Maglite. Boost driver for stable output when the batteries are low. This replaces the Convoy L6 on the list due to its LED choice and switch position. $60
  • Emisar D4Sv2 - 1x26650, four emitters, lots of options. This is very similar to the D4v2 from the EDC section, but with a bigger battery, more thermal mass, and more throw. 3000-5000 lumens, 280-480m FL1 throw. SST-20 4000K recommended for most users. $50 US buyers should check the US warehouse for faster shipping
  • Emisar D18 - 3x18650, 18xSST-20 (XP-L HI by request). 4000K recommended for 10,000 lumens of 95+ CRI light (thermally limited). Efficiency is not a goal with this model's FET driver, but the battery capacity will make up for it for a lot of use cases. Uses ToyKeeper's excellent open source Anduril firmware. $100 - again, check the US warehouse
  • Astrolux FT03 SST-40 FET driver, SST-40, big reflector, 26650/21700/18650 and USB-C (probably only A-to-C) charging. 955m throw and 2313 lumens according to zeroair. There's also an XHP50.2 version that trades some of the throw for output. 5000K suggested. $34
  • Noctigon K1 - 1x21700, USB-C charging (including C-to-C!), and probably the most throw of any single-cell LED flashlight (LEPs are impressive, but not quite ready for prime time). 1600m FL1 throw with the Osram White Flat 1, 4500 lumens and nearly as much throw (briefly) from the Luminus SBT-90.2. A balanced beam and stable output from the boost-driver equipped Cree XHP35 HI. Several other emitters are available, though some are not listed and can only be had by request - email and ask if there's a combination you want. $90 and up depending on emitter.
  • Astrolux MF01 Mini - 1x26650/21700/18650, 7 Luminus SST-20s (4000K, 95 CRI available), USB-C, Anduril firmware, FET driver, aux LEDs. Like a bigger D4v2 with more emitters and a USB port. $65, but check for active discounts

Big

  • BLF GT - 8x18650, over 2000m FL1 throw. 4000K neutral white available and recommended. Do you want to win a display of machismo against a lighthouse? This is your flashlight. $180 (on Banggood at the time of this writing)

* BLF GT90 - the GT with a Luminus SBT-90.2 for over 7000 lumens and 2700m throw claimed, but that's going to be limited by heat and power. For sustainable performance, the original may have the advantage. For short bursts, this will be most impressive. 360, but look for discounts

Edit 20200624: added Tool AA, NU25, KR4, KR1
submitted by Zak to flashlight [link] [comments]

Ad Revenue/Content Site Case Study Mth#6

Hey Redditors!
Month 6 is in the bag. Starting to ride that passive income wave and improve the overall ROI on my site now - a lot can happen in 6 months!
You can see previous updates here if you want (but it's rinse and repeat each month, I just publish content):
Month 4
Month 5
For those seeing this for the first time; this site is basically an exercise in targeting low comp keywords, ranking content, and monetizing with ads.
If you want to see all the traffic and earnings screenshots for this month - you can check out this post on my blog.
Here are the stats to date:
Mth # articles # pageviews Ezoic $ AdSense $ Amazon $ Total $
Jan 31 109 0 0 0 0
Feb 70 677 0 0 0 0
Mar 86 6,533 0 0 11.49 11.49
Apr 33 30,001 190.84 18.89 64.82 274.55
May 35 48,275 474.67 46.83 94.60 616.10
June 22 42,748 454.75 60.41 62.52 577.68
Totals 277 128,343 1,120.26 126.14 233.43 1,479.83
Total expenses to date are <$100 for hosting and Ezoic Premium.

What I did this month:

  • I added 22 posts taking about 25 hours in total.
  • I realised a site I’ve been sending traffic to has an affiliate program and applied. They don’t advertise their program anywhere, I crawled their sitemap and it's not listed. I only noticed because a competitor was linking to them with an affiliate ID, so a nice spot.
  • I added some Amazon affiliate links to some of the posts I published. I mentioned previously, I’m going to try and target some keywords with a little commercial focus. None of the “best” or “X v Y” stuff, more so things like “How can I stop X from happening?” and the answer is a product.

Why traffic and earnings were down a little:

This is mostly just due to variance. I didn’t do much work on the site, so I don’t expect to see much improvement. Simple as that.
I wish the 6-month sandbox was a thing and a magic curtain was about to be lifted to allow loads of traffic to flow through, but I just don’t see it happening. It’s never happened on any of my sites due to the types of keywords I go for.
My sites always start to plateau around months 4 & 5 and tail off a bit because my posts index so high to start with.
Maybe I need to switch up the type of content I’m producing, I’ll do some research into this - or take into account any help you guys can offer.

A note about expenses for new bloggers:

I’m not looking to start any controversy or bash any tools, there are some great paid tools out there.
I just want to say something to try and help some of the new (or some of the experienced) bloggers.
My only expense is hosting (and Ezoic Premium but that comes back to me). It’s possible to build sites and make money without paying for any tools.
If you follow internet marketers, they are great at convincing you that you need some paid tools (the ones that pay them the most commissions) and I know for a fact some new bloggers get sucked in.
I just wanted to say that it’s not necessary in most cases. My approach is content monetized with ads, but I also know u/VladtheMystic said he’s building an affiliate site without paid tools. So, whatever your style of site, you can bootstrap it when you’re starting out.
I actually have access to ahrefs and SEMRush though clients I work for, but choose not to use them for my own sites.
So, it’s not a case of me knowing the value of tools; I have to use them on clients’ requests.
If you’re paying for any tools just ask yourself what value you’re getting from them, that’s all I’m saying.
If it’s paying you back in value, awesome.
If it’s not, and this helps one person cancel that $99/mo subscription, my work is done. Just think, that’s $1,200/yr, you can take a vacation. :)
Anyway, thanks for dropping by, I hope my approach to low-comp keywords also helps some of you drive more traffic to your sites.
Any questions, feel free to fire away.
submitted by PhilReddit7 to juststart [link] [comments]

Growing A Blog Network To >$25,000 A Month! - June 2020 - $4744/$25,000.

So this is my second monthly update post for Reddit and it is essentially a text-based version of my monthly update video that I post too. Income is down this month but I think that it is due to having so many returns for the Amazon Affiliate Program but thankfully, returns have normalized towards the middle/end of June so I am hoping that July won't have this issue. My theory is that people started using their stimulus cheques to purchase the professional level gear in one of the niches that I have an affiliate blog in and then ended up returning the items as they realized they only needed the amateur level gear or something.
My income screenshots for the month of June are below but the site level income screenshots later in the article are for Amazon.com only as it makes up around 75% of my income and going into the other Amazon storefronts to get screenshots for their trackers is a pain.
Previous Updates
May 2020
Just a few points to quickly cover from FAQs from last month's update. I don't give out any of the actual URLs for my affiliate blogs as it is too easy to use a tool like AHRefs to scan them and duplicate the more profitable keywords with your own articles on your own sites. I had a number of people reaching out last month as they wanted to see what my affiliate blogs look like but I go over examples of how I format my affiliate and display ad articles in this video and little to nothing has changed in the layout of my articles since publishing that.
I also had a few people reaching out and asking what my daily workflow looks like as an affiliate blogger and this a day in the life video pretty much covers it. I am still in the scaling phase for my blogs so doing a large amount of the work myself while outsourcing various tasks where possible too. I also had a bunch of people reaching out and asking how they could get started with affiliate blogging and I published this Quora answer to a similar question over the weekend that's almost 4000 words that may be helpful.
Generation One Domains
My generation one domains use a keyword research method that is not as efficient as it once was due to the 4th May 2020 Google update to their algorithm. Additionally, many of these first-generation domains were tests to transition from old school automated black hat SEO to a more Google-friendly method of off-page SEO.
Domain 1 - $164
- Analytics
- Income
- Wordcount
Nothing has changed for this domain since the May 2020 update due to it having been hit by the Google Media algorithm update as well as being in a niche where the April 2020 Amazon Affiliate commission cuts reduced its income by around 60%. I don't plan to work on this domain anymore due to this and I haven't added a new article to it since early 2018 if I remember correctly. I am happy with it ticking over bringing in $164 a month from now on as the domain has been profitable for a while now. It's just a shame that just as its traffic starts to pick up, Amazon decide to cut their commission rates for its niche else I think this domain would be >$500 per month now.
Domain 2 - $1179
- Analytics
- Income
- Wordcount
- Dedicated Site Report Video
Similar to domain 1 covered above, nothing has changed for this domain since the May 2020 update and I haven't published a new article to the domain since September 2019. It has also been hit negatively by two Google updates but thankfully the Google update in November 2019 recovered it from the negative updates and it's now doing better than ever. I put a video up on what to expect for your first six months of blogging featuring this domain as I feel that it is likley the best example that I have from my current portfolio for anyone wanting to get started with affiliate blogging.
Domain 3 - $1952
- Analytics
- Income
- Wordcount
- Dedicated Site Report Video
Although I have not actually published any new content on this domain in the month of June, I have been researching some new products that have been confirmed for the niche. The regular teaser videos are on YouTube with photos on the brands social media accounts but there is no real information on the specs, price, or release date for the items. Out of the three, I think two will be really good and popular within the niche so once I have more info I will be putting out more content for them but the third item seems to be a more expensive version of one of their current items so not sure how that one will do.
The community based around this particular niche has been putting out a bunch of speculation regarding price, specs, and release date but I can't find anything solid from the actual brand. As we are already a week into July I doubt they will be released this month now but time will tell. Even if the brand releasing these products would just confirm the specs and price I can start knocking out the bare bones of some articles with the correct information but until then I will just focus on growing my newer domains.
I have noticed a compeating domain in this niche that seems to have used a tool like AHRefs to scan my domain and pull the keywords that it is ranking in Google for. The new compeating domain is only publishing articles targeting keywords that my domain is already ranking in the top three of Google for but their on-page SEO is not as good as mine and from what I can tell, they are not doing any off-page SEO either.
Right now I am not taking this compeating domain as a threat but if they do start to build backlinks to their content and fix the on-page SEO issues they are having I may have to spend some cash on this domain to get it stronger backlinks so it can keep ranking for the terms it is pulling traffic for.
Domain 4 - $284
- Analytics
- Income
- Wordcount
This domain is the one I started in January 2020 and it surprisingly saw some really solid growth in both traffic and income considering the problems it is having. Essentially, there is an issue with the Google indexing system right now that they have confirmed they are aware of but seem to be struggling to fix. They tweeted out at the start of June that they had fixed the issue but the comments on the twitter post and my own experience contradict this with some people on twitter saying that the "fix" actually made it worse for their domain.
This is a screenshot of this domains coverage tab from my Google Search Console and as you can see from the verticle bars, there was a dip in the pages that were excluded from the Google Index when I used the force index option in Search Console but Google kicked the pages backout of their index a few days later again. It's a shame because I have a bunch of keywords ready to go for this domain but I don't want to put the time and effort into publishing them only for them to not get indexed in Google and not be able to pull traffic and make money so I will be waiting until Google fix the issue.
I have had a bunch of people reaching out about this issue and how to fix it but it does just seem to be a gamble right now. Force indexing in Google Search Console fixed this issue for this domain for around a week before Google kicked the articles out of their index, for Domain 5 I used the exact same force indexing system and it fixed the issue for the domain. I'm just hoping that Google can work out what's actually wrong and fix it asap.
Domain 5 - $1.87
- Analytics - Google Traffic
- Analytics - Pinterest Traffic
- Income
- Wordcount
This is the domain that I launched on 1st May 2020 only for Google to release their 4th May 2020 update and make the keywords that I was targeting on the domain much higher competition. For this niche the Google update seems to have given sites like YouTube, Reddit, Quora, and Amazon much more weight in the SERPs and pushed them really high on page one. Although Domain 3 was also hit by this update dropping by around 20% in traffic (starting to see some recovery now), that niche was not hit anywhere near as badly as this one and I can definitely see how some people were reporting >80% traffic drops back in May for their blogs after taking a more in-depth look of how the update affected this niche.
All of the keyword research for this domain that was done in April is pretty much useless now due to the update. That said though, I have spend some time using my post 4th May update keyword research method to try and find keywords to grow this domain in the future once I am done with Domain 6. Although I have been able to find around 50, it is much harder to do in this niche now due to the way the May 4th update hit it.
I keep flip-flopping between trying to find more keywords to get it up to 10,000 monthly sessions so I can get it on Ezoic or Monumetric for the higher display ad income or just scrapping it and letting it die and going with a new niche for my display ad project. I am kind of using keyword research for this project as a way to break up the monotony for churning out the articles for Domain 6 though. I basically smash out an article for Domain 6 and then take a little break doing keyword research for this domain so I will see how many actionable keywords I have by the time Domain 6 is finished and I need something new to focus on content-wise.
One of my friends who is more experienced with informational intent keywords for display ad sites has a theory that this may just be an extension to the Google Sandbox effect for some niches/keyword combos. He is having the same issue with his latest domain and has sunk much more cash into his project than I have for mine. I'm not sure if this will pan out but there's not really anything else to do with the keywords already published on the domain than wait and see if it does pick up at the >6 months of age mark or not.
Generation Two Domains
My second generation domains are build using a keyword research method that I am developing after the 4th May 2020 Google update that affected the way I did keyword research for my first-generation affiliate domains above. These domains are also based around being smaller niche sites rather than large multi-niche sites so if a competitor does scan my domains with a tool such as AHRefs, they only get a small portion of the keywords for my full money site network.
Domain 6
- Wordcount
This domain has been my main focus for July and it was launched around the 1st June with the Wordcount count above. I have freelance writers helping me with the content for this domain and they are focusing on the longer buyer guide type posts for higher search volume/higher competition keywords while I am focusing on trying to knock out 50 articles using the zero search volume strategy that I have been playing with over the years.
The keywords that my freelance writers are working on are essentially a proof of concept for a theory I have for keyword research after the Google 4th May update and if it works then I will move forward with that method for my affiliate sites. The articles that I am focusing on are based around the latest version of the zero search volume strategy on the theory that as keyword tools usually say the keyword gets zero searches, most people ignore it and they tend to be lower competition and much easier to rank for.
From the test batches of these keywords that I have been putting on my older domains, these keywords do tend to get traffic, usually, around >50 hits per month but they don't require backlinking to actually rank in Google. Although 50 hits per month is not much, the last round of this strategy that I tried on domain 3 are running at around $100 per 1000 hits to the domain so with the right item price point, 20 of these articles can potentially bring in $100 a month and they are usually 1000-1500 words rather than 2000-4000 words too. Although its slightly different, Phil who runs this case study has confirmed that he uses a similar keyword research method and has managed to have his second >$500 month on a domain that is only six months old.
If this test batch of the zero search volume keywords works then I am actually considering making domain 7 based around nothing but these keywords with zero backlinks to it too as it can be another way to scale. As the method can be used for both affiliate and display ad keywords, I might try to use the method to try find keywords for Domain 5 too but as its a display ad site, the RPM might be too low to make it worth it.
submitted by shaun-m to Blogging [link] [comments]

The truth behind Puskás Akadémia FC - How Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán stole a legend, built a stadium in his backyard and guided his team to Europe

The 2019/2020 season of the Hungary’s National Football League (NB1) – being one of the first leagues to restart play - came to an end on 27 June. If a casual observer (for whatever reason) decides to check out the final standings, he would be not surprised at the first two positions: record-champion Ferencváros defended their title, while regional powerhouse Fehérvár (Videoton) came in second. However, the third place team, Puskás Akadémia FC might seem unusual and one could think that there is a story behind that. Is there a team named after Ferenc Puskás? Did some academy youths make an incredible run for the Europa League qualification? Well, the observer is right, there is a story behind all this, but it’s absolutely not a fun story. It’s a story about how one powerful man’s obsession with football stole a legend, misused state funds and killed the spirit of Hungarian football. (Warning: this is a long story, feel free to scroll down for a tl;dr. Also, I strongly advise checking out the links, those images are worth seeing).
Naturally, political influence in football has been present ever since the dawn of the sport and we know of numerous state leaders who felt confident enough to use their influence to ensure the successful development of their favored clubs – Caucescu’s FC Olt Scornicesti and Erdogan’s Basaksehir are well-known examples of such attempts. However, I fear that very few of the readers are aware of the fact that Puskás Akadémia FC is nothing but Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s grandiose project for establishing his hometown’s club as one of the country’s top teams. Considering that Orbán managed to achieve this goal using state funds in an EU member democracy in the 2000s, one might even say that it might be one of the most impressive attempts of cheating your way through Football Manager in real life. Now that Puskás Akadémia FC escaped the desolate football scene of Hungary and is getting ready for the European takeover, I feel that it’s high time to tell its true story.

Part 1: Part time striker, part time PM

Our story begins in 1999 when the 36-year-old striker Viktor Orbán (recently elected as the country’s Prime Minister) was signed by the sixth-tier side of Felcsút FC residing in rural Fejér County. It might sound surprising that an active politician would consider such a side job, but given that Orbán has been playing competitive low-level football throughout his whole life and has always been known as a keen football enthusiast, people seemed to be okay with his choice for a hobby. Orbán spent most of his childhood in the village of Felcsút (population: 1,800), so it seemed only natural that he would join the team after one of his old-time acquaintances became team president there.
Orbán’s arrival to the club seemed to work like a charm as Felcsút FC immediately earned a promotion to the fifth league. The Prime Minister’s busy program did not allow him to attend every training session and game but Orbán did make an effort to contribute as much as possible on the field – there is a report of a government meeting being postponed as Orbán was unavailable due to attending Felcsút FC’s spring training camp. The 2001/2002 season brought another breakthrough for the side as Felcsút was promoted to the national level of the football pyramid after being crowned the champion of Fejér County. Sadly enough for Orbán, he suffered a defeat on another pitch – his party lost the 2002 election and Orbán was forced to move to an opposition role.
No matter what happened on the political playing field, Orbán would not abandon his club. Just before the 2002 elections, Felcsút was surprisingly appointed as one of the regional youth development centers by the Hungarian FA. Orbán continued contributing on the field as well (he had more spare time after all) but his off-the-field efforts provided much more value for the team as he used his political influence to convince right-wing businessmen that they should definitely get sponsorship deals done with the fourth-division village team.
Club management was able to transform the influx of funds into on-field success: Felcsút FC was promoted to the third division in 2004 and achieved promotion to the second division in 2005. Although these new horizons required a skill level that an aging ex-PM is not likely to possess, Orbán regularly played as a late game sub and even appeared in cup games against actual professional opponents. The now-42-year old Orbán did not want to face the challenge of the second division, so he retired in 2005 – but this did not stop him from temping as an assistant coach when the head coach was sacked in the middle of the 2005-2006 season.
Success on the playing field did not translate to political success: Orbán lost the elections once again in 2006. However, this was only a temporary loss: the ruling party committed blunder after blunder and by early 2007 it became absolutely obvious that Orbán would be able return to power in 2010. Now confident in his political future, Orbán opted for the acceleration of football development in Felcsút – by late 2007 he took over the presidency of the club to take matters in his own hands. Sponsors seeking to gain favor with the soon-to-be PM were swarming Felcsút FC, so the club was able to stand very strong in an era where financial stability was a very rare sight in the Hungarian football scene, accumulating three medals (but no promotion) between 2007 and 2009.
On the other hand, Orbán realized the value of youth development as well, and started a local foundation for this purpose back in 2004 that gathered funds for the establishment a boarding school-like football academy. The academy opened its doors in September 2006 (only the second of such institutions in the country) and Orbán immediately took upon the challenge of finding an appropriate name for the academy.
He went on to visit the now very sick Ferenc Puskás in the hospital to discuss using his name, but as Puskás’ medical situation was deteriorating rapidly, communication attempts were futile. Luckily enough Puskás’ wife (and soon to be widow) was able to act on his incapable husband’s behalf and approved the naming deal in a contract. According to the statement, naming rights were granted without compensation, as “Puskás would have certainly loved what’s happening down in Felcsút”. However, there was much more to the contract: Puskás’ trademark was handed to a sports journalist friend of Orbán (György Szöllősi, also acting communications director of the academy) who promised a hefty annual return for the family (and also a 45% share of the revenue for himself). Ferenc Puskás eventually died on 17 November 2006 and on 26 November 2006 the football academy was named after him: Puskás Academy was born.
Orbán shared his vision of the whole organization after the opening ceremony: “It’s unreasonable to think that Felcsút should have a team in the top division. We should not flatter ourselves, our players and our supporters with this dream. Our long term ambition is the creation of a stable second division team that excels in youth development and provides opportunity for the talents of the future.” Let’s leave that there.

Part 2: No stadium left behind

Orbán became PM once again in April 2010 after a landslide victory that pretty much granted him unlimited power. He chased lots of political agendas but one of his policies was rock solid: he would revive sports (and especially football) that was left to bleed out by the previous governments. The football situation in 2010 was quite dire: while the national team has actually made some progress in the recent years and has reached the 42nd position in the world rankings, football infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. Teams were playing in rusty stadiums built in the communist era, club finances were a mess, youth teams couldn’t find training grounds and the league was plagued by violent fan groups and lackluster attendance figures (3100 average spectators per game in the 2009/2010 season).
Orbán – aided by the FA backed by business actors very interested in making him happy – saw the future in the total rebuild of the football infrastructure. Vast amounts of state development funds were invested into the football construction industry that warmly welcomed corruption, cost escalation and shady procurement deals. In the end, money triumphed: over the last decade, new stadiums sprung out from nothing all over the country, dozens of new academies opened and pitches for youth development appeared on practically every corner. The final piece of the stadium renovation program was the completion of the new national stadium, Puskás Aréna in 2019 (estimated cost: 575 million EUR). Orbán commemorated this historic moment with a celebratory video on his social media that features a majestic shot of Orbán modestly kicking a CGI ball from his office to the new stadium.
Obviously, Orbán understood that infrastructure alone won’t suffice. He believed in the idea that successful clubs are the cornerstone of a strong national side as these clubs would compete in a high quality national league (and in international tournaments) that would require a constant influx of youth players developed by the clubs themselves. However, Orbán was not really keen on sharing the state’s infinite wealth with private club owners who failed to invest in their clubs between 2002 and 2010. The club ownership takeover was not that challenging as previous owners were usually happy to cut their losses, and soon enough most clubs came under Orbán’s influence. Some clubs were integrated deep into Orbán’s reach (Ferencváros and MTK Budapest club presidents are high ranking officials of Orbán’s party) while in other cases, indirect control was deemed sufficient (Diósgyőri VTK was purchased by a businessman as an attempt to display loyalty to Orbán).
Pouring taxpayer money into infrastructure (stadium) projects is relatively easy: after all, we are basically talking about overpriced government construction projects, there’s nothing new there. On the other hand, allocating funds to clubs that should be operating on a competitive market is certainly a tougher nut to crack. The obvious solutions were implemented: the state media massively overpaid for broadcasting rights and the national sports betting agency also pays a hefty sum to the FA, allowing for a redistribution of considerable amounts. However, given that the income side of Hungarian clubs was basically non-existent (match day income is negligible, the failed youth development system does not sell players), an even more radical solution was desperately needed. Also, there was definite interest in the development of a tool that would allow for differentiation between clubs (as in the few remaining non-government affiliated clubs should not receive extra money).
The solution came in 2011: the so-called TAO (“társasági adó” = corporate tax) system was introduced, granting significant tax deductions for companies if they offered a portion of their profits to sports clubs – however, in theory, funds acquired through TAO can be only used for youth development and infrastructure purposes. Soon enough, it became apparent that state authorities were not exactly interested in the enforcement of these restrictions, so some very basic creative accounting measures enabled clubs to use this income for anything they wanted to. Companies were naturally keen on cutting their tax burdens and scoring goodwill with the government, so TAO money immediately skyrocketed. Opportunistic party strongmen used their influence to convince local business groups to invest in the local clubs, enabling for the meteoric rise of multiple unknown provincial teams (Mezőkövesd [pop: 16,000], Kisvárda [pop: 16,000], Balmazújváros [pop: 17,000]) into the first division.
Although it’s not the main subject of this piece, I feel inclined to show you the actual results of Orbán’s grandiose football reform. While we do have our beautiful stadiums, we don’t exactly get them filled – league attendance has stagnated around 3000 spectators per game throughout the whole decade. We couldn’t really move forward with our national team either: Hungary lost 10 positions in the FIFA World Rankings throughout Orbán’s ten years. On the other hand, the level of league has somewhat improved – Videoton and Ferencváros reached the Europa League group stage in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Too bad that the Instat-based top team of 2019/2020 Hungarian league consists of 10 foreigners and only 1 Hungarian: the goalkeeper.

Part 3: Small place, big game!

As seen in the previous chapter, Orbán did have a strong interest in the improvement of the football situation Hungary, but we shouldn’t forget that his deepest interest and true loyalty laid in the wellbeing of Felcsút and its academy. Now that Orbán had limitless means to see to the advancement of his beloved club, he got to work immediately. Orbán handed over formal club management duties to his friend / protégé / middleman / businessman Lőrinc Mészáros in 2010, but no questions would ever arise of who is actually calling the shots.
First of all, no club can exist without a proper stadium. Although in 2011 Orbán explicitly stated that “Felcsút does not need a stadium as stadiums belong to cities”, no one was really surprised in 2012 when the construction of the Felcsút stadium was announced. Orbán was generous enough to donate the lands just in front of his summer home in the village for the project, locating the entrance a mere ten meters away from his residence. Construction works for the stunningly aesthetic 3,800-seater arena (in a village of 1,800 people) started in April 2012 and were completed in April 2014, making Felcsút’s arena the second new stadium of Orbán’s gigantic stadium revival program.
The estimated budget of the construction was 120 million EUR (31,500 EUR / seat) was financed by the Puskás Academy who explicitly stated that they did not use government funds for the project. Technically, this statement is absolutely true as the construction was financed through the TAO money offered by the numerous companies looking for tax deduction and Orbán’s goodwill. However, technically, this means that the country’s budget was decreased by 120 million EUR unrealized tax revenue. Naturally, the gargantuan football stadium looks ridiculously out of place in the small village, but there’s really no other way to ensure that your favorite team’s stadium is within 20 seconds of walking distance from your home.
Obviously, a proper club should also have some glorious history. Felcsút was seriously lagging behind on this matter as though Felcsút FC was founded in 1931, it spent its pre-Orbán history in the uninspiring world of the 5th-7th leagues of the country. Luckily enough, Orbán had already secured Puskás’ naming rights and they were not afraid to use it, so Felcsút FC was renamed to Puskás Academy FC in 2009. The stadium name was a little bit problematic as the Hungarian national stadium in Budapest had sadly had the dibs on Puskás’ name, so they had to settle with Puskás’ Spanish nickname, resulting in the inauguration of the Pancho Arena. But why stop here? Orbán’s sports media strongman György Szöllősi acted upon the contract with Puskás’ widow and transferred all Puskás’ personal memorabilia (medals, jerseys, correspondence) to the most suitable place of all: a remote village in which Puskás never even set foot in.
While the off-field issues were getting resolved, Orbán’s attention shifted to another important area: the actual game of football. Although academy players started to graduate from 2008 on, it very soon became painfully obvious that the academy program couldn’t really maintain even a second division side for now. In 2009, Orbán reached an agreement with nearby Videoton’s owner that effectively transformed Felcsút FC into Videoton’s second team under the name of Videoton – Puskás Akadémia FC. The mutually beneficent agreement would allow Videoton to give valuable playing time to squad players while it could also serve as a skipping step for Puskás Academy’s fresh graduates to a first league team. The collaboration resulted in two mid-table finishes and a bronze medal in the second division in the following three seasons that wasn’t really impressive compared to Felcsút FC’s standalone seasons.
It seemed that the mixture of reserve Videoton players and academy youth was simply not enough for promotion, and although Orbán had assured the public multiple times that his Felcsút project was not aiming for the top flight, very telling changes arose after the 2011/2012 season. Felcsút terminated the Videoton cooperation deal and used the rapidly accumulating TAO funds to recruit experienced players for the now independently operating Puskás Academy FC (PAFC). The new directive worked almost too well: PAFC won its division with a 10 point lead in its first standalone year which meant that they would have to appear in the first league prior to the completion of their brand-new Pancho Arena. Too bad that this glorious result had almost nothing to do with the academy - only two players were academy graduates of the side’s regular starting XI.
Orbán did not let himself bothered with the ridiculousness of an academy team with virtually no academy players being promoted to the first division as he stated that “a marathon runner shouldn’t need to explain why the other runners were much slower than him”. Orbán also displayed a rare burst of modesty as he added that “his team’s right place is not in the first league, and they will soon be overtaken by other, better sides”.
The promotion of PAFC to the first division made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Supporter groups were united in hatred all along the league and not surprisingly, away fans almost always outnumbered the home side at PAFC’s temporary home at Videoton’s Sóstói Stadium (demolished and rebuilt in its full glory since then). One of the teams, however, possessed an extraordinary degree of anger against PAFC: supporters of Budapest Honvéd – the only Hungarian team in which Ferenc Puskás played – felt especially awkward about the transfer of their club legend’s heritage to Felcsút. Tensions spiked at the PAFC – Honvéd game when home security forced Honvéd supporters to remove the “Puskás” part of their traditional “Puskás – Kispest – Hungary” banner – the team answered the insult with style as they secured a 4-0 victory supported by fans chanting “you can’t buy legends”.
Despite Orbán’s prognosis, other better sides did not rush to overtake his team, so PAFC, now residing in their brand new Pancho Arena, came through with a 14th and a 10th place in their first two seasons. Naturally, conspiracy theories began to formulate, speculating that government-friendly owners would certainly not be motivated to give their best against PAFC. However, as the league size was reduced to 12 for the 2015/2016 season, PAFC found themselves in a dire situation just before the final round: they needed a win and needed rival Vasas to lose against MTK in order to avoid relegation. PAFC’s draw seemed to be unlucky as they faced their arch-enemy Honvéd at home, but Honvéd displayed an absolute lackluster effort – fueling conspiracy theories – and lost the fixture 2 to 1 against a home side featuring four academy players. Vasas, however, did not disappoint, their 2-0 victory resulted in PAFC’s elimination and a very relaxed sigh all over the football community.
PAFC’s relegation seemed to be in accordance with Orbán’s 2013 statement, so public opinion supposed for a while that Orbán’s project came to a halting point and the Academy would go on to actually field academy players in the second division (especially as rostering foreign players was prohibited in the lower leagues). However, if you have read through this point, you know better than to expect Orbán to retreat – obviously, PAFC came back with a bang. With a ballsy move, PAFC didn’t even sell their foreign players, they just loaned them across the league, promising them that they would be able to return next year to the newly promoted team. The promise was kept as PAFC went into another shopping spree of experienced players (easily convincing lots of them to choose the second division instead of the first) and easily won the second league.
Orbán – now aware of his negligence – opted for the doubling the team’s budget, making PAFC the third most well-founded club in the whole country (only coming short to his friend’s Videoton and his party minion’s Ferencváros). With an actual yearly influx from TAO money in the ballpark of 30-40 million EUR, PAFC management had to really work wonders in creative accounting in order to make their money look somewhat legitimate. The books were now full of ridiculous items like:
  • Construction of a new tea kitchen for youth players for 650,000 EUR
  • Construction of a new “sports and conference center” for 40 million EUR
  • Employment of a 45 person “cleaning and maintenance staff” for the academy.
Naturally, in the country of no consequences, absolutely nothing happened: PAFC went on with its spending and signed 35 foreigners between 2017 and 2020. They did so because they could not hope to field a winning team in the first league consisting of academy players, despite the fact that Puskás Academy has been literally drowning in money since 2007. This seems to somewhat contradict Orbán’s 2013 promise, stating that “Puskás Academy will graduate two or three players to major European leagues each year”. To be fair, there have been players who managed to emerge to Europe (well, exactly two of them: Roland Sallai plays at Freiburg, László Kleinheisler played at Werder Bremen) but most academy graduates don’t even have the slightest the chance to make their own academy’s pro team as it’s full of foreigners and more experienced players drawn for other teams’ programs.
Despite their unlimited funding, PAFC could not put up a top-tier performance in their first two years back in the first division, finishing 6th and 7th in the 12-team league. Many speculated that the lack of support, motivation and even a clear team mission did not allow for chemistry to develop within the multinational and multi-generational locker room. Consistency was also a rare sight on the coaching side: club management was absolutely impatient with coaches who were very easily released after a single bad spell and there were talks of on-field micromanagement request coming from as high as Orbán.
Even so, their breakthrough came dangerously close in 2018 as PAFC performed consistently well in the cup fixtures and managed to reach the final. Their opponent, Újpest played an incredibly fierce game and after a 2-2 draw, they managed to defeat PAFC in the shootout. Football fans sighed in relief throughout the country as ecstatic Újpest supporters verbally teased a visibly upset Orbán in his VIP lounge about his loss.
Obviously, we could only delay the inevitable. While this year’s PAFC side seemed to be more consistent than its predecessors, it seemed that they won’t be able to get close to the podium - they were far behind the obvious league winner duo of Ferencváros and Videoton and were trailing third-place Mezőkövesd 6 points just before the pandemic break. However, both Mezőkövesd and PAFC’s close rivals DVTK and Honvéd fall flat after the restart while PAFC was able to maintain its good form due to its quality roster depth. PAFC overtook Mezőkövesd after the second-to-last round as Mezőkövesd lost to the later relegated Debrecen side. (Mezőkövesd coach Attila Kuttor was fined harshly because of his post-game comments on how the FA wants PAFC to finish third.)
PAFC faced Honvéd in the last round once again, and as Honvéd came up with its usual lackluster effort, PAFC secured an effortless win, confidently claiming the third place. PAFC celebrated their success in a nearly empty stadium, however neither Orbán, nor Mészáros (club owner, Orbán’s protégé, now 4th richest man of Hungary) seemed to worry about that. While Orbán high-fived with his peers in the VIP lounge, Mészáros was given the opportunity to award the bronze medals (and for some reason, a trophy) to the players dressed up in the incredibly cringe worthy T-shirts that say “Small place, big game!”. Big game, indeed: in the 2019/2020 season, foreign players’ share of the teams playing time was 43.6% while academy graduates contributed only 17.9%.
On Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after PAFC’s glorious success, György Szöllősi, now editor-in-chief of Hungary’s only sports newspaper (purchased by Orbán’s affiliates a few years back) published an editorial on the site, stating that “the soccer rebuild in Felcsút became the motor and symbol of the revitalization of sport throughout the whole country”. Well, Szöllősi is exactly right: Felcsút did became a symbol, but a symbol of something entirely different. Felcsút became a symbol of corruption, inefficiency, lies and the colossal waste of money. But, hey, at least we know now: you only need to spend 200 million EUR (total budget of PAFC and its academy in the 2011-2020 period) if you want to have a Europa League team in your backyard. Good to know!

Epilogue: What's in the future?

As there is no foreseeable chance for political change to happen Hungary (Orbán effortlessly secured qualified majority in 2014 and 2018, and is projected to do so in 2022 as well), PAFC’s future seems to be as bright as it gets. Although consensus opinion now seems to assume that Orbán does not intend to interfere with the Ferencváros – Videoton hegemony, we can never be really sure about the exact limits of his greed. One could also argue that entering the European theater serves as a prime opportunity for making splashy transfers who could be the cornerstones of a side challenging the league title.
However, as all political systems are deemed to fall, eventually Orbán’s regime will come apart. Whoever will take upon the helm after Orbán, they will certainly begin with cutting back on the one item on Orbán’s agenda that never had popular support: limitless football spending. Puskás Academy, having next to zero market revenue, will not be able to survive without the state’s life support, so the club will fold very shortly. The abandoned, rotting stadium in Felcsút will serve as a memento of a powerful man who could not understand the true spirit of football.
But let’s get back to present day, as we have more pressing issues coming up soon: PAFC will play their first European match in the First qualifying round of the Europa League on 27 August. We don’t have a date for the draw yet, but soon enough, a team unaware of the whole situation will be selected to face the beast. I hope that maybe one of their players does some research and maybe reads this very article for inspiration. I hope that the supporters of this club get in touch with Honvéd fans who would be eager to provide them with some tips on appropriate chants. I hope that other teams gets drawn as the home team so Orbán wouldn’t get the pleasure of walking to his stadium for an international match. But most importantly, I very much hope that this team obliterates PAFC and wipes them off the face of the earth. 5-0 will suffice, thank you.
And if this team fails to do that, we don’t have to worry yet. Due to our shitty league coefficient, PAFC would need to win four fixtures in a row. And that – if there’s any justice in this world – is a thing that can’t, that won’t happen. Ball don’t lie – if I may say.
TL,DR
Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán redirected some 200 million EUR of taxpayer money over 10 years to fuel his ambition of raising a competitive football team in his hometown of 1,800 people. He built a 3,800-seater stadium in his backyard, expropriated football legend Ferenc Puskás’ trademarks and heritage and built up a football league where almost all clubs are owned by his trustees. His team, Puskás Akadémia FC was originally intended to be a development ground for youth players graduating from Orbán’s football academy, but eventually the team became more and more result-orianted. Finally, a roster full of foreign and non-academy players came through and finished third in the league, releasing this abomination of a team to the European football theatre. Please, knock them out asap!
submitted by pogacsa_is_life to soccer [link] [comments]

READ THIS FIRST: Official Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Important Up to Date Information You Need To Know about EIDL

\*LAST UPDATED 7/14**)

OFFICIAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR EIDL


PURPOSE:
This post will be a master thread with everything we have collectively learned on EIDL about the loan and the application process. It will be updated on an ongoing basis and will always contain the most current information. Things change frequently at the SBA with policy and you should check back on this thread on a regular basis.
Please post any questions not covered and I will respond and add them here.

INDEX OF QUESTIONS:

  1. How do I get in touch with customer service phone support?
  2. What are my chances of being approved for this loan? Can I know in advance?
  3. I received a decline letter for “Business activity not eligible”. What can I do?
  4. How is the loan amount calculated? How can I request a specific amount?
  5. What is the maximum loan amount?
  6. When will I get my portal invite?
  7. I finally got a portal invite and accepted and submitted an amount. My application says it is "processing", now what?
  8. I understand that processing really means "underwriting", but how long will it actually take? What is the normal amount of time?
  9. Does contacting my congressmen or senator actually work?
  10. I accidentally entered the wrong revenue or COGS on my application and my offer amount was lower than I expected, is it possible to change this?
  11. I need to change my Rev or COGS and I already accepted an amount in the portal, Tier 2 told me to do it! Is it too late?
  12. Who are you, cue378? Can you help me?
  13. My loan as obligated or already funded, I made a mistake with my COGS or revenue and I am not happy with the amount. Can I change it?
  14. How do I show support for the volunteers and moderators for EIDL
  15. I received my portal link, but when I go to create an account it just takes me to the login page. What can be done?
  16. I was declined for "unsatisfactory credit". What are my options?
  17. What documents are required? Will a loan officer contact me?
  18. What is the status of the Advance/Grant program? Can I still get a grant?
  19. What are the eligible uses of EIDL funds?
  20. I received a denial letter for the reason "ECONOMIC INJURY NOT SUSTAINED". What does this mean and what can I do?
  21. What is CAWEB and how can it help me track my loan disbursement and other status?
  22. I received my portal invite link, however when I go to create an account I just get the message: "The user account has not been confirmed yet. Please confirm using the link in the e-mail". What can I do?



1. QUESTION: How do I get in touch with customer service phone support?
ANSWER: The highest level of official customer service is known as "tier 2" and can be reached by calling 1-800-659-2955 and asking for Tier 2. (NOTE: As of 5/29 the previous direct number is currently out of service) They are unfortunately, a very limited means of support. They are able to check your application status and see the current "stage" and leave notes in your file, but unable to directly make any changes or escalate anything in a meaningful way.
Most are very nice and well meaning people but are usually poorly informed and often provided contradictory information between calls. The important thing to understand is that notes left by T2 do not actually notify a loan officer or anyone, they are simply waiting to be read if someone happens to open your file and takes the time to review the case notes. So if a T2 says they requested a change do not assume it was or will be made.


2. QUESTION: What are my chances of being approved for this loan? Can I know in advance?
ANSWER: The loan is relatively easy to get approval for by loan standards. The exact underwriting criteria the SBA is using was leaked by some helpful people (hat tip to u/Sbaleaky) and thus you can have a good understanding what your chances are.
Underwriters look for the following:
-Minimum Credit Score of 570. They will pull from experian. Close to Vantage 3 model found on nav DOT com or TransUnion numbers on credit karma. They do NOT use FICO. Credit score is largest factor for approval for this loan and no exceptions are made for under 570.
-If economic injury was sustained based on formula described in QUESTION 4. If this is a negative number you will be auto declined. (SEE QUESTION 5) The SBA does not consider potential revenue lost or general expenses in the loan amount.
-Tax liens or tax issues are NOT a disqualifying factor or taken into consideration for COVID19 disaster.
-Business start date must be prior to 1/31/20
-open bankruptcies = Declined. Closed OK.
-Arrest for felony < 5 years = Declined
-Arrest for misdemeanor < 5 years = Declined
-Sole proprietors with delinquent child support > 60 days = Declined
-Any business principals with 50% or more ownership with delinquent child support > 60 days = Declined
-Your business must pass verification in some way that it is a valid operation. If they can find it on google it will suffice. Otherwise you may have to provide documents to prove it's a legit business.
-Your business type must not be on the list for ineligible business activity. See list on FAQ.
-All owners on application must be either US citizens or Permanent Residents. E-2 Investor visa is NOT eligible and any attempts to appeal or add a co-borrower who is a citizen or LPR will be unsuccessful. Corporations, Partnerships, and Limited Liability Entities (LLE): Alien-owned corporations, partnerships, and LLEs properly registered and licensed in the state where the disaster occurred are eligible. If any member, partner, or shareholder, owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business is in the USA they must be a qualified alien. If the alien resides outside the USA an exception may be made.


3. QUESTION: I received a decline letter for “Business activity not eligible”. What can I do?
ANSWER: EIDL has a list of restricted business categories, if your type is NOT on this list and you still received this letter you may have been improperly classified.

The following applicants are not eligible for EIDL assistance.

  • 7-Eleven Franchise Stores, despite what corp office says. (advance is OK)
  • Lending or Investment Concerns (except for real estate investments held for rental)
  • Multi-level Sales Distribution (Pyramid) Concerns c. Speculative Activities d. Non-profit Organizations that are not considered a Private Non-Profit
  • Consumer and Marketing Cooperatives. However, other cooperatives and small agricultural cooperatives meeting applicable size standards are eligible f. Not a small business concern (except for PNP of any size) g. Gambling Concerns. Concerns that derive more than one-third of their annual gross revenue from legal gambling activities.
  • Casinos, Racetracks, Etc. Businesses whose purpose for being is gambling (such as casinos, racetracks, poker parlors, etc.) are not eligible for EIDL assistance regardless of their ability to meet the one-third criteria established for otherwise eligible concerns.
  • Loan packagers who derives more than one-third of their annual volume from the preparation of applications seeking financial assistance from SBA
  • Religious Organizations.
  • Political or Lobbying Concerns.
  • Pawn shops, when 50 percent or more of previous year’s income was derived 50 30 9 71 Effective Date: May 31, 2018 from interest
  • Real Estate Developers. Establishments primarily engaged in subdividing real property into lots and developing it for resale on their own account.
  • Life Insurance Companies.
  • Concerns Engaged in Illegal Activities (as defined by Federal guidelines). p. Government-owned concerns, except for businesses owned or controlled by a Native American tribe.
  • Concerns with Principals Incarcerated, on Parole or Probation: remain ineligible if the parole or probation is lifted solely because it is an impediment to obtaining a loan.
  • Concerns engaged in live performances of, or the Sale of Products, Services, of a Prurient Sexual Nature.
  • Businesses considered as hobbies.
  • Concerns Involved in Change in Ownership Situations: Concerns which had a substantial change of ownership (more than 50 percent) after the impending economic injury became apparent, and no contract for sale existed prior to that time are ineligible .


4. QUESTION: How is the loan amount calculated? How can I request a specific amount?
ANSWER: There is no way to request a specific amount, the eligible amount is calculated automatically by formula based on your inputs. There are three known formulas:
  1. Standard Small Business: Revenue minus COGS divided by 2 minus advance, subject to maximum of 150K
  2. Not for Profit: 6 months operating expenses year prior to 1/31/20
  3. Business that collects rental property income, your offer is calculated by lost rents due to the disaster, not the standard formula. If your offer is lower than expected you may have been wrongly classified into this formula.
  4. Agricultural businesses: 6 months operating expenses year prior to 1/31/20
If the formula results in a negative number or less than your advance you will be declined for "ECONOMIC INJURY NOT SUSTAINED"

5. QUESTION: What is the maximum loan amount?
ANSWER: As of last update it is currently 150K cap. This will not change anytime soon and there will be no way to request more at present. The only way to avoid the cap is if your loan was already being obligated prior to the change by the SBA from 500K. If I hear anything new on this it will be updated here.

6. QUESTION: When will I get my portal invite?
ANSWER: Portal invites are a fully automated process and not strictly sequential but follow general group patterns. If you see someone that has a higher number than you get a portal invite it does NOT mean you were "passed over".

7. QUESTION: I finally got a portal invite and accepted and submitted an amount. My application says it is "processing", now what?
ANSWER: This is when the actual loan process starts and underwriting begins. Your application will be assigned a loan officer for review using the criteria listed in question 2. The exact process is as follows (hat tip u/sbaleaky and u/LOL_Face_69) with the actual stages from start to finish. Keep in mind that once you accept in the portal a number of things are going on behind the scenes, which is why "processing" can take a great deal of time. Once you see a loan amount in your portal, this is NOT an approved offer. It is simply a potential amount you are eligible for based on the stated formula if you pass underwriting.

  • Initial Call Needed (credit not ran)
  • Credit Pulled (waiting for automated portal invitation, this is by far the longest part of the process)
  • Quoted (received portal invite with an eligible amount)
  • Offer Accepted (you confirmed and submitted an amount in the portal)
  • Submitted Deal (waiting to be assigned to a Loan Officer)
  • LO assigned and makes decision: Declined, Duplicate, Approved
[The following takes place behind the scenes and will not reflect in your portal, but will still say "processing"]
  • Approved: T2 Rep can now see your loan is approved on their screen. This means the Loan Officer has approved the deal and it is now going to the Senior Loan Officer. If the SLO does not approve the deal then it will go to declined.
  • Obligating: SLO known as a "team leader" reviews the work of the first LO to ensure everything was done correctly. Once they sign off on the deal the loan is now fully approved. The loan is being sent to the E-Tran system to receive a loan number. The loan has not yet received a loan number from E-Tran while obligating. This is the most common phase where hang ups in "processing" can error called "error in obligating". Usually due to small technical issues or errors in your information that need to be sorted.
  • Obligated: A loan number from E-Tran has been obtained and now closing documents can be drafted and sent to the borrower. This is when your portal would change from "processing" to approved. There may be a delay between when your offer is obligated to when it actually shows approved. I have seen it happen in as fast as 10 minutes or as long as 12 hours. You can also see approved but not have docs available. Docs will not show up until you get an email with the approval. The delay on this can be a few hours or more.
  • Funding: Docs are signed and the loan is automatically moved to funding stage to have treasury issue an ACH. This happens very quickly and you should see the ACH sent right after with the funds arriving in 24-48 hours on banking days. **NOTE** Currently as of 6/10 we are seeing delays in funding of up to a week or even more, as it is very backed up in the queue.*\* At this point you can track the disbursement with your loan number from the docs using CAWEB to see if the ACH has been sent. See CAWEB question.
  • Funded: Process complete, funds are successfully in your bank account. Congrats
Note: The exception to this process is that some applications which are considered easy (based on unknown factors) to approve are subject to full automation and may go straight to approval bypassing the above steps. This only happens in rare cases.
You may also see a status that says, "On-Hold" Amount $0: This status typically is when your loan was temporarily declined and is still in the reconsideration department pending possible reconsideration approval.


8. QUESTION: I now understand that processing really means "underwriting", but how long will it actually take? What is the normal amount of time?
ANSWER: The amount of time it is normal for your portal to say "processing" is highly variable as a hundred different factors are involved behind the scenes. As of 6/10 we are seeing extended delays in processing time and obligating stage specifically. The average we are seeing is around 14-16 days total in processing. If your application has been in underwriting for greater than 14 days it may merit investigate, but not necessarily indicate a problem with your chances of approval. Do NOT panic if it seems "stuck" with no communication from anyone. This is normal.


9. QUESTION: Does contacting my congressmen or senator actually work?
ANSWER: Yes, the SBA treats congressional inquiry very carefully and will flag and sometimes white glove your application. Often they will assign a special case worker during the process. The important thing is when your local congressional office reaches out they do NOT contact the local district SBA but this email: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). This email is NOT for use by applicants but only official government purposes.


10. QUESTION: Help! I accidentally entered the wrong revenue or COGS on my application and my offer amount was lower than I expected, is it possible to change this?
ANSWER: Yes, but two factors are important:
  1. You should NOT have already accepted an amount and submitted for processing in the portal. *If you already did see note below.
  2. You have documentation to backup the changes such as Federal Tax Returns 2018 or 2019 or P&L Statements. Tax returns are strongly preferred if available.
****The important thing here is DO NOT accept the offer in the portal if you need to revise your numbers.****
*IF YOU HAVE ALREADY ACCEPTED THE OFFER: Call tier 2 support as soon as you possibly can and ask them to make the following note in your file: Loan Officer, DO NOT approve this file without calling me, the applicant, because my (revenue or COGS) figures are wrong. I have supporting docs to make the changes. Please contact me ASAP.
If you meet the above two criteria contact me via email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with your Reddit username in the subject and put COGS REVISION REQUESTED in the subject line. I will respond and give you private advice on the matter.


11. QUESTION: I need to change my Rev or COGS and I already accepted an amount in the portal, Tier 2 told me to do it! Is it too late?
Answer: Unfortunately tier 2 is currently giving absolutely terrible advice in this situation. They are telling people to accept the offer in the portal to speak with a loan officer to make the revision. The problem is that once you accept you set the process in motion and then it gets obligated by treasury it is impossible to adjust. The proper time is prior to accepting. Often times loan officers never are needed, never reach out or even read these notes. I see it every day and people are stuck its the "kiss of death" advice. If you already accepted you may have time but would need to work quickly from date of submit.
UPDATE: As of 6/15 there is now a way to fix this. See question 13.

12. QUESTION: Who are you, cue378? Can you help me?
ANSWER: I am a small business owner who is a full time volunteer offering to assist in the EIDL process. I have experience assisting hundreds of other business owners in applying for and getting approved. I am sharing the information, strategies, and general knowledge I have gained over the course of 2 months. I do not work at the SBA nor do I have any affiliation with the SBA.
Do to an extreme flood of requests for help, I may not be able to answer PM's or chat requests. I have setup an email you are welcome to contact me on, but due to the volume I may not be able to respond right away or at all. My email is [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Some people have asked how they can support my efforts. While I do not ask for donations, our subreddit founder decided to setup a tip jar in case people want to show their support. To be clear I do not ask for donations for my help, but if you decide to spare anything I do appreciate it greatly. The tip jar can be found HERE.


13. QUESTION: My loan was obligated, already funded, or I already accepted the amount in the portal. I made a mistake with my COGS or revenue and I am not happy with the amount. Can I change it?
ANSWER: As of 6/12 loan modifications are now being allowed. You can contact [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) and request a "Loan Modification increase". It is a 3-4 week process that requires documentation. A second loan will be given for the difference from the first one. It will be processed as a 20xx series loan in the old system/portal. For more details email me. Note if you have not yet accepted the offer the normal process is much faster.


14. QUESTION: How do I show support for the volunteers and moderators for EIDL
ANSWER: For supporting Cue378, there is a tip jar listed above. If you wish to show support to our community moderators, a separate tip jar can be found HERE. Proceeds for this jar will be split between u/innocul8 and u/Scorpio14534. Donations in this jar do NOT go to Cue. Any amount is very appreciated. It takes a great deal of time and effort run the community and they are putting in a near full time effort.

15. QUESTION: I received my portal link, but when I go to create an account it just takes me to the login page. What can be done?
ANSWER: Follow these steps:
  1. Open the email to create your portal account. Right click on the green button that says, "create your account". Click "copy link address" or "copy hyperlink" depending on your browser.
  2. Use a VPN service, such as NordVPN or ProtonVPN (free), to connect to a VPN server in different state than yours, preferably on the opposite coast you are located.
  3. Open an incognito browser window, or private browser session if on firefox.
  4. Right click on the URL/web address field and paste the link you copied. Hit enter.
  5. You should then successfully be able to create a login, enter the portal, and accept your offer.
Alternately if you don't have a VPN or want to use one you can use a mobile phone to login incognito, with WiFi off on a cellular network, to create the account.

16. QUESTION: I was declined for "unsatisfactory credit". What are my options?
ANSWER: You have a few options.
  1. You can bring your vantage 3 score over 570 by paying down cards, when you are ready you can request the SBA re-pull your report and reactivate your account via [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
  2. You can request to add a co-borrower that has a higher score than 570 with no open bankruptcy and run their credit to reactivate your application.
You can expedite your request for a co-borrower by having this ready to go. You can also do this preemptively if you expect to be declined for credit. The co-borrower does NOT have to be involved with the business and can be anyone. The form is available here:
SBA Form 3501 - Adding Co-Borrower
Only fill out the following:
Line #14 - Add the co-borrowers information under owner #1
Line #15 - Answer question for co-borrower.
Line #16 - Answer question for co-borrower.
Sign page 10, co-borrower signs.
Ownership percentage can be 0% if co-borrower is not part of business.
Attach and send with your co-borrower request to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with your application number.
NOTE: If you have an urgent need to have your co-borrower request expedited, please email me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with the subject line: "ADDING CO-BORROWER REQUESTED URGENT" I will respond within 24 hours.

17. QUESTION: What documents are required? Will a loan officer contact me?
ANSWER: In most cases no documentation is required and everything is self certified. In some cases a LO will need to contact you to clarify some things about your business or request specific documents. In most cases you will never be contacted by or communicate with a loan officer.


18. QUESTION: What is the status of the Advance/Grant program? Can I still get a grant?
ANSWER: As most of you already know, the EIDL Advance/Grant program has ended and the full 20 billion in funding for the advance has been exhausted. The option has been removed from new applications. Getting funding for the advance as a new applicant at this time will not be possible.
For older applications please see this post for more information:
https://www.reddit.com/EIDL/comments/hr3l41/eidl_news_714_update_regarding_the_current_status/

19. QUESTION: What are the eligible uses of EIDL funds?
ANSWER: These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. What are all the possible uses of the funds? The wording ‘obligations that are unable to be met due to lack of revenue’ seems to be a catch all, but how much so? The EIDL working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion.

20. QUESTION: I received a denial letter for the reason "ECONOMIC INJURY NOT SUSTAINED". What does this mean and what can I do?
ANSWER: This occurs when the numbers entered on your application for COGS are greater than your revenue. The SBA calculates economic injury based on the formula in question number 4. You can also be denied for this reason if the resulting number is less than your advance amount. Please note that the SBA is only taking into account revenue earned prior to the disaster date of 1/31/20 to calculate your economic injury. If your only revenue was earned after that date as a newer business you may not qualify.
If the numbers on your application were correct, you would not be eligible for an EIDL. If you made an error you can request an amendment and request reactivation of your application. I can assist with this process. You need at minimum Profit and Loss statements for the period 12 months prior to the disaster starting 1/31/20. Email me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with the subject: COGS DENIAL REVERSAL REQUESTED. Include your Reddit username. I will respond with instructions on how to file this amendment.

21. QUESTION: What is CAWEB and how can it help me track my loan disbursement and other status?
ANSWER: You can use the Capital Access Finance System to track your EIDL after your documents have been signed and submitted through funding. It allows you to see disbursement status and other details related to your loan.
****Hat tip to u/tahoechick36 for this amazing write up*\*
Using the Capital Access Finance System to track your EIDL after your documents have been signed and submitted through funding.
Visit caweb.sba.gov or click the link at the top of EIDL
Setting up an account:
You need a SBA Loan # to set up an account - for EIDL it appears on the first page of your documents, in the upper left hand area, and says "SBA Loan # XXXXXXXXXX.”
SBA loan #'s are 10 digits. Your Application # will NOT work for account set-up.
If you have a PPP Loan, you can use your SBA # for this loan to set up an account. Sometimes this # is easy to figure out, sometimes not. That has to do with an intermediary (like your bank) being involved, but if you can track down an actual SBA Loan #, you can go ahead and get registered without your EIDL loan number.
  1. On the home page click on "Not Enrolled?" in the top left. This takes you to a screen to enter info. You may come to hate this screen, this process is very finicky.
  2. Look at the rules for creating a User ID and Password by clicking on "Rules..." next to the fields.
  3. Write your exact ID & password down somewhere - if you ever get locked out and call the SBA for help, they are going to tell you that Borrowers are not supposed to be able to access CAFS CAWeb. Apparently we still can, so don't make this a big deal or maybe that will change!
  4. For user type - select "borrower" from the drop down menu.
  5. Fill in the highlighted fields with your info. Click on the "ZIP LOOKUP" button after you enter your zip code. This auto populates some other boxes, and registration won't work if you don't do this.
  6. For the country code in the phone number section enter "1" for the United States.
  7. Financial commitment ID is your Loan # - 10 digits.
  8. If you don't have a landline, it has been reported that just entering your mobile number in both fields works. You will have to select 3 of their security questions, enter the Captcha image info, then hit "submit" at the bottom.
If it didn't like the info you have entered, it will give you an error message for what part it didn't like, and you will have to try again, which requires re-entering quite a bit of the information. It's a pain.
But if it takes it, you're in! There may be a verification step now as well.
Finding your loan on CAWeb
  1. On the caweb homepage, login (if you aren't already), it will be personalized and show your name. You have to scroll down and check the "Agree to Terms" box when you are logging in.
  2. Click on "Borrower" in the top left, then click on "Borrower Search". This should take you to your "Loan List" showing the loan #, borrower name, loan type, amount, and loan status.
  3. PPP loans typically appear as "Active Un-Disbursed" - if your PPP is already funded don't worry about that. Your EIDL will show up as "Disbursed Current" if funds are on their way. It may say something else if you look immediately after you send back you Docs, but it should change pretty quickly. Logging out and back in again will sometimes refresh the status. Loan status will say "Active Un-Disbursed" until Treasury send the funds to your bank, then it changes to "Disbursed Current".

  • It depends on your bank when they post in your account (same day, next day, time).
  • If your banking info didn't verify, the transaction will fail to go through, and the status will revert.
  • If you are not funded within 3-4 banking days, there is likely a problem - check your info in your portal, call the SBA, and then email Cue if needed.
  • If you click on your loan# in the list, it opens up a page with details about your loan.
  • There's even a box at the bottom to check if you want electronic account statements only, but if you check that, a warning pops up about "all attached to this loan will be affected by this change", so we recommend not selecting that option just yet.

22. QUESTION: I received my portal invite link, however when I go to create an account I just get the message: "The user account has not been confirmed yet. Please confirm using the link in the e-mail". What can I do?
ANSWER: This is a known bug/error normally relating to either getting the invite ahead of schedule or other missing information in your file that would prevent the account creation from moving forward. Tier 2 cannot solve this and it need a special approach to resolve. Please email me with the subject line: "USER ACCOUNT HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED". Include your reddit username in the email somewhere. My address is [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])



submitted by cue378 to EIDL [link] [comments]

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