Avoid These Work-From-Home Scams During Lockdown


“Coronavirus” has become the most searched keyword today. Hundreds and thousands of websites attest to this observation. Unfortunately, up to 50% of these instant sources of information are phishing attacks; reveal studies.

Scammers ride on the popularity of coronavirus-related searches. They use it to design websites to steal your data through emails and other means. Malware, ransomware…The modes of stealing personal information are numerous. The former gets into your device as email attachments or through click-baits. The latter gets distributed through mobile apps.

A few days back, thousands of everyday Internet users and people working from home received a tempting offer. It was a free Netflix subscription that would last till the end of the lockdown. Those interested had only to click an attachment, fill a survey and forward it to ten people on Whatsapp.

Those who took up the offer were sure to regret it. It was a fishing attack; a scam meant to steal personal information.

As you know, the Coronavirus is wreaking havoc all over the world. Something similar seems to be happening on the world wide web. For scammers, this is a golden opportunity to realize their sinister goals. Users receive emails that appear to be from WHOM, ICMR or UN. They may take even the names of giants in the corporate world like Microsoft. These emails combined with secure-looking websites trick users into revealing their personal information. Cyber thieves use the following for that purpose:
• Discounts
• Freebies
• Latest information on COVID19
• Listings of Precautionary measures against the virus

They even sell fake medications, masks and other safety equipment to attract users. Some advertise work from home offers. Scammers on social media may announce funding ventures for the victims of the disease. Still others may come up with requests for investments for firms that manufacture safety equipment for the same.
Strategies are aplenty. But the mode of operation always remains the same. Scammers drop malware into devices through emails or attachments. Or they disguise ransomware as mobile apps and circulate them among mobile devices.

How they work

The malware or ransomware get access to your device. They are designed to steal your personal information; passwords, login information for your bank accounts and credit card data. Some may even copy whatever you type on the keypad. When the device gets infected, you lose access to it. Quite naturally, you lose your valuable data.
Below are a few scams aimed at work from home professionals and other Internet users :-

1. Coronavirus-related phishing attacks

Experts advise users to be wary of all coronavirus-related emails. These may claim to offer latest news on the pandemic. Some may even offer downloadable guides to ward off the infection. Don’t trust them; don’t even think of downloading such attachments.

Your source of coronavirus-related information and about the lockdown is Government-approved trusts and organizations.
Experts advise utmost caution even for emails that come from these sources.

Last month, a cyber security firm found out a particular phishing attack. It came in the guise of the World Health Organization.
The email had the link to a cloned official WHO website. It had another requirement; users should type in their passwords. Remember, no public organization will ask users for their passwords.
Another such attack was targeted at Italy. As you know, that is the country the pandemic affected most. And it’s still the place where the death toll is the highest.

The email was from an Italian. This required that users download a word document. The file contained a Trojan designed for stealing personal information. The file, when downloaded, encrypts all the files on your computer. This locks you out until you pay a ransom to get back in.

Certain hackers even make use of macros for the purpose. Macros are small pieces of code that Microsoft relies upon. The threat grew to such severity that the company took measures to protect its customers by disabling macros on all its applications.

Expert cyber thieves, however, tempt users. They disable Microsoft’s security mechanism and fall into the trap. When they enable macros, hackers encrypt the files on their computers.
In a similar attempt, hackers sent macro-embedded attachments. They disguised it as information on safety measures to protect people from the pandemic.
Cyber criminals may even take advantage of your goodwill. You may receive emails asking for donations to help less fortunate fellow beings. Before opening up your wallet, see to it that your donation does not end up in the bank accounts of predators.

Search for the recommended organization on reputed websites. There are sure to be hundreds if not thousands of them. Make sure that your choice organization is registered with the Government. It should also have a good reputation in its own field.

There are also advertisers offering home cures for the pandemic. A Facebook group may spring up. It will have a few know-it-all people claiming to be health experts. They may post long write ups on the pandemic. Read a bit and you will realize one thing. They are there to taunt a particular audience.

Be wary of any group that doesn’t have a specific description on its “about” section. Be alert for news from official websites designed for the purpose.

2. Phishing attacks targeting remote workers

Work from home professionals and students are the ones who suffer most from the nefarious plans of such cyber criminals. Following are the most common among them:

• Ad posting jobs: These are perhaps the most popular among work from home job offers. You post certain number of ads. And the company pays you based on the number of ads you posted. The ads will look something like:
“$600/month just by posting ads!” If done right, you can even quit your day-job.

How the scam works

You get an offer from a purportedly reputed company. It says, you will get $20 for posting an ad and handling people’s responses. The offer sounds amazing! You can become a millionaire within a year. But there is a catch. You have to pay a nominal fee; $50 or so to begin with.

The amount appears small and you take up the offer. The payment is meant for training and other stuff. You wait and wait; nothing comes out of it.
If you have a job during this lockdown, you are one among the fortunate few. Don’t even think of quitting.

• Job as administrator assistant: Here, scammers make use of job portals. They collect your personal information like emails. And they contact you promising jobs as administrative assistants.

How it works
You receive a job requirement; a firm needs part-time administrator assistants. The pay-scale is in the range of $500-600 a day. The offer appears tempting. You sign up for it. Here too, there is a catch. You need to pay for training and other materials.

The amount required is $200. That will seem like a small amount compared to the profits you are promised from the job. And you take it up. All you receive is a dozen copy-pasted articles on how to succeed as an administrator assistant. The articles, according to them, justify the payment they received. You keep on waiting for the actual job; nothing happens.
Certain scammers may even ask for your personal information. And that may lead to identity thefts.

• Amazon work-from-home jobs: Amazon is one among the largest employers in the world. Within a short time, it reached that milestone; 700,000+. The company has a specialized recruitment department. It takes care of thousands of job prospects every day.

This promise of overnight success has led to a rise in scams. Here, the scammer creates the impression that there is a new job. And it will start next month. The payment is $20 per hour.
They ask you to apply for the job. You oblige. Afterwards, they inform you that you are chosen for the job. They even congratulate you. However, you need to pay a certain amount as fee. This is for the enrollment kit that will make the job easier. You buy it and wait in vain.

• Job as a regional sales representative: A scammer here posts jobs on job portals. People looking for regional sales representative jobs sign up. The moment you apply for the job, you are one among them. You fill up the application form and submit.

The moment you submit the form, you are in. All you need to do is to sell products. They can be anything; from gadgets to energy drinks. Every sale earns you a 10% commission. You calculate your monthly earnings and are thrilled. The entire thing is free; you are quite happy.

Shortly, you receive an order of $15,000. You just have to close the deal. Your commission here is $1,500. The deal closes. You get the money.
The entire price comes to your bank account as check. You can take $1,500 and send the rest. The check, however, is fake. It bounces back. And you become responsible for the money. And you will have to pay the entire amount to come out of the trap.

• Completing paid surveys: Do you surf online? If yes, you are sure to see these ads. The disaster happens only if you decide to accept such an offer.
The advertiser posts jobs requiring people willing to complete paid surveys. They will give you access to their database. And you will have to complete a fixed number of surveys to get paid. The payment may come up to hundreds of dollars. And it is sure to excite you.

This too, however, comes with a catch. You have to pay a nominal amount as membership fee. It may range from $30 to $70. You pay it and the company disappears with the money.
It never responds to your emails or takes your call. Same is the result even if you try their business phone. The phone numbers are fake. They are there to create an impression of being legit.

• Pyramid marketing schemes: Here, the scammer introduces himself. He will tell you that it is his job to help you succeed. The person is looking for bright minds to help them out.
He has done the entire job. And he will pass on to you the fruits of his labor. If you join, you will get an autopilot machine. All you have to do is to turn it on and watch the money pour in. You wait and watch for days, weeks and months; nothing happens.

• Data entry job scam: The scammer posts requirements for applicants for data entry jobs. The person, if selected, will get paid for entering data. All he has to do is to fill up certain number of forms on a company website. Some may ask for payment for tests and training. Others may not ask. Whatever is the strategy, the modus operandi is the same. They are there to steal credit card information or perform identity theft.

• Stuffing envelopes scam: “All that glitters is not gold.” If you feel the opposite, scammers will teach you that. The scammer promises easy money. You don’t need to post ads. You don’t have to advertise anything. Everything is free; postage and circulation. Upon completing the formalities, you just have to wait for the money. Certain fraudsters may even promise advance payment.

• Wire transfer scams: This scammer’s business is to export goods overseas. He has several small export contracts with him. But he doesn’t have the time to receive payment. The victim is requested to accept payment in his country.

• Rebate processor scam: Here, the victim just has to fill up certain forms that the scammer provides. You will receive payment for every form submitted. Upon submission, all you need to do is to wait for payment. The unsuspecting user waits and waits; nothing comes out of his efforts.

• Fake URLs: These types of scams are there to trap job seekers. The fraudster duplicates the official websites of reputed firms. The candidate applies for the job posting they see. Remember, if an offer is too good to be true, it is. Don’t fall for it. There exists no shortcuts to becoming a millionaire.

• Assembling or craft work at home: The victim will buy equipment from the company. He will then assemble the products the company requires. It will buy the things from you. You spend tons of money to acquire the equipment and other items for the task. But the company never buys anything from you.

• Medical billing remote work: The scammer offers you free business advice. Health care sector is under immense pressure. This is a golden opportunity for you to become a millionaire. All you have to do is to offer services like electronic billing or accounting. The company will give you the training and the software required for the price of $3000-9000. They, however, promise no business. There may be those who are able to be on their own after the training. But it is quite rare.

• Reading books for money: The scammer here gives you a list of publishers. They are willing to pay for your reviews of the books you’ve read. You may even have to buy the list.
You take up the offer. You read as many as possible and review them sincerely. Within a few days, you realize that your efforts were in vain. You never get paid.
There are publishers willing to pay for reviews. They, however, practice utmost caution when advertising. They make sure that they don’t receive any spam calls or unprofessional resumes. Besides, you don’t need to buy the list of books to read. They are there on the Internet for free.

• $6 chain letter scam: If you receive any such letter, run away from it. The letter is a promise of thousands of dollars at the cost of $6. Remember, such a system never works. And it is illegal. No company will ask you to pay for you to work for it.

• Correspondence manager job scam: Scams of this kind appear in a variety of styles and designs. A company may require correspondence manager, shipping and receiving manager, quality controller, or a mailing assistant. The applicant doesn’t need any particular qualification. A high school diploma will work fine. All it requires is a high-speed Internet and 9-5 availability. You don’t even need prior experience to work with the firm.

If accepted, you will become the sales representative of an offshore firm. You are there to help it possess the goods being sent to your place.
You have to reship them to the place the company asks. The prospect is definitely appealing. And the great thing is that you will even receive money in your account for the process.

How it works
The scammer buys goods using stolen money. He gets it by stealing credit card information from unsuspecting victims that fall into his trap.
The thief then sends the items to the owner’s address. This they do, because the address in the credit card has to match the owner’s address.

He then calls the victim posing as a shipping representative. He will tell him that an order has been sent to him in error. The victim will be requested to allow them to send a courier to take it. The person agrees without knowing that the scammer bought the item with his own money.

You go there. You are the company’s shipping representative. You accept the order and resend it to the place mentioned in your assignment.
Take up jobs like this after in-depth research on your choice company. Negligence here will bring FBI to your home.

• Typing job from home scam: The theft here is targeted at those who type a lot. You receive ads like “opportunity to make money with your computer or chance to make money online” To get in, you will need to pay a registration fee.

The company then sends detailed instructions with the promise of training. There are also those who don’t send anything. They just run away with your money.
If at all you receive instructions, they will be simple. You will get a downloadable file. It will be a detailed guide on how the business works.

You post ads on a particular website. And you send the instructions you received to anyone who responds. And you become part of a chain of scammers. Your payment is the registration fee each victim pays.

• Video game tester job scam: This one targets those who enjoy playing video games with a partner. One day, you come across an ad. It talks about needing a video game tester. The payment seems attractive. You will even get to play a game before its official release. The payment is quite tempting; up to $70 per hour.

The ad excites you and you register yourself with the gamer. You also pay an apparently nominal amount as registration fee. For you, that is minimal when compared to the tons of money you wish to make as a game tester.

You wait for a confirmation of your registration. But the company disappears. It won’t attend your calls or respond to your emails.

Points to remember

Offsite job scams can come in any form or fashion. However, there are certain telltale signs that become visible at a glance. Below are a few such:
• Run away from anything that appears illegal
• Don’t fall for promises that are too good to be true.
• Remember, no legit company asks you to pay for you to work for them.
• You don’t have to pay for a list of books to review and get paid. It is there free on the worldwide web.
• There exist no legit get-rich schemes.
• Don’t fall for unsolicited emails offers.
• Stay emotionally intelligent. Remember, appealing to your emotions is the first tactic that scammers use.

Stay alert, do your homework, use your common sense and stay legal. No scammer can trick you if you’re aware of their tricks.

Lissy is a Content Writer at Weaving Thoughts / GaiaQ both of which were founded by Aakshey Talwar in 2008 and 2016 respectively.

Find Weaving Thoughts on:-

Here’s a link to Aakshey’s personal website: Aakshey.com
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s Facebook page: facebook.com/AaksheyT/
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s LinkedIn page: in.linkedin.com/in/aakshey-talwar-33693010
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s Twitter handle: twitter.com/aaksheyt
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s Instagram page: instagram.com/aaksheytalwar/
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s GaiaQ page: Aakshey@GaiaQ.com


The Power of Emotional Marketing for Businesses Trying To Survive The Covid-19 Lockdown



If this coronavirus covid-19 lockdown has taught the world anything, it’s the precarious nature of life. Anything can happen… Staying indoors for the covid-2019 quarantine has led nearly everyone to rely on the internet to keep themselves informed, entertained, and stocked.

This is precisely the theme of today’s blog post. It is the renewed resurgence of importance given to ‘content marketing’, whose value has only grown during this lockdown.

SEO – Search ‘Emotion’ Optimization

Branding is basically an Emotion. You communicate an emotion through your brand; its logo, colour, shape, and design. Much the same can be said of the kinds of words you use to new and old customers alike who are currently indoors during the lockdown.

• The word ‘traffic’ feels almost soul-less. Let’s use the actual word it stands for: People. People are who make the internet what it is.
• One of the best moves you, as a business or service provider, can make during quarantine is to reach out to the humanity in people.

The core aim of this relatively slower approach to SEO is to get ‘forever-customers’, namely people who will remember your kindness during this corona lockdown and be ready to support you once the lockdown has lifted.

Know Thy Customer…Truly Know Them

Moz.com says that SEO ‘is a great way to increase the quality of a web site by making it user-friendly, faster, and easier to navigate.’ What better way to do this than to actually connect with consumers and customers.

All over the world, people respond to a kind word or a good deed. Let us break apart the earlier website quote and see it from an emotional perspective…

• User-friendly: The quality of your business will improve because you were friendly with your clientele, who currently happen to be stuck in lockdown.
• Faster: The speed with which you interact is not important, but the very act itself is. This relationship will bloom and grow even after the lockdown, making it a powerful long-term speed-growth booster for your business.
• Navigate: Easy navigation can also mean how smoothly you ensure a bond between your business or company, and the people who are destined to help grow it.

How do I start doing this?

Simply begin with your in-house marketing and social media team. Get them on board the ‘new idea’ of actually messaging people during quarantine and simply asking them how THEY are doing, and if they and theirs are safe.

• It really is as straightforward as that. Simply getting to know your customers requires not-so-simple effort on your part.
• As a business, you need to understand that people see you as a far away cold and untouchable entity, by default. They need to feel the human core of your business.
• The best way to communicate that is to actually communicate it. Slogans and fancy advertisements are not always guaranteed to draw more customers, especially during this time of trial and tribulation.
• In fact, you can save more money simply by chatting or emailing people, and/or seeing if you can help them out with a care package.
• Obviously, you will need to set up a corporate fund to buy said supplies. But if you can help people/customers in lockdown with groceries or safety supplies, say, once a week, it will genuinely improve your standing with them.
• Their opinion of you will go through the roof, even if you drastically discount said package as opposed to giving it away free to a select few customers.

The above ideas are not just intended for the purpose of growing capital, but for forging authentic connections between you and your customer base. To know them is to serve them better.

Where Does SEO Come In?

By using the right keywords for a target audience, you make sure that search engines like Google and Bing bring it to their attention when they search for, say, ‘best ice-cream to pair with fruits’.

• Using the above example, and supposing you have an ice-cream business, simply reaching out to people who order ice-cream online will give them a ‘feel good’ sensation (like ice-creams are known to do J).
• Quarantine and lockdown during the global covid-19 crisis (that sourced in Wuhan, China) can prove a difficult time. A kind word from any business is sure to impress a customer who is probably waiting to get back to their lives.

This is especially important for local businesses. According to SearchEngineJournal: “Local SEO… optimizing your digital properties for a specific vicinity… [P]eople can find you quickly and easily… one step closer to a transaction.”

Even an infographic will do wonders for your business, not just written content. These picto-versions of your content can be used on various social media platforms. This is detailed below under its own heading.

What are some instances where ‘Emotion Optimization’ can be applied?

This has become something of a curious query, because the aim of content marketing is to reach out to people. And the best way to reach out to them during this quarantine period is to stir their emotions.

• Admitted, and sadly, that some businesses will take a cold clinical approach and simply reach out with the intention to grab attention and earn purchases instead of a long-term customer base.
• Building customer trust is crucial, and kind words with absolutely nothing to get in return is the best way to go about this.
• Go out of your way and do something for your most loyal customers while giving a little something to your new ones.
• Acts like these ensure that those very customers come back for more. They will even talk, tweet, and share all about it.

THIS is what every business needs in a time where job losses and a plunging economy is the new normal.
Reliablesoft phrased it well: “SEO can put you ahead of the competition. If two web sites are selling the same thing, the search engine optimized website is more likely to have more customers and make more sales.”

SEO performance is calculated as ‘rank’. The right words will rank you higher on search engine results pages. By being ‘emotionally intelligent’ with your customers and clients, you ensure regular traffic to and from your site, which in turn boosts your ranking.

[Image Source/Credit: Reliablesoft]

What to do with distraught or upset customers during this quarantine?

It would be easy to say there is little or nothing you can do about customers who see you as the ‘bad guy’. However, with a little patience and calm you can appeal to their better natures and help them realize that shopping with you is a step in the right direction.

• If you come across customers who reveal they need help or are in serious trouble during this covid-19 pandemic, assure them that you will reach out to the authorities and see how best to help them out.
• In case of customers who complain about having a bad experience with your company pre-pandemic, convince them that you have new personnel and better management this time round.
• Remain calm and polite throughout. This is the best way to make customers feel wanted and supported in these dark times.
• Use your clout as a business to connect them to services that (and authorities whom) they cannot find on their own.

Social Media Marketing

When you so much as think ‘social media marketing’, one of the first things that springs to mind is an array of products on your screen. You can scroll for days and not see the tail end of the list. This is not truly the case. Here’s what social media marketing honestly consists of: People!

• You are not marketing products. Rather, you are marketing products TO people based on WHO this or that person is.
• This key perspective shift has silently been taking over the social media marketing realm.

[Image credit: NeilPatel]

According to NeilPatel.com, this is how many users the Internet has collected over time. The sheer number of people who are online, more so now during the covid-19 quarantine, has certainly streamlined marketing strategies for all sorts of companies and businesses.

How do I start? Where do I start?

You are already late to the game! That was not meant as an insult, but rather a call to action.

• Millions of people are following and subscribing to hundreds of brands and services almost every hour.
• They are keeping track of their favourites, and discovering something new everyday.
• Your brand or service can be that ‘new’.

They say the first step is often the most difficult. If you haven’t already done so, these are the main social media sites you need to infuse your presence in: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and YouTube. Other players include: WeChat, Messenger, Tumblr, and Whatsapp.

Not only will the people you reach out to help drive leads, you will also encourage them to buy (i.e., sales).

1. Your aim is to grow ‘devoted brand advocates’. These are people who love your brand, product, or service so much that they share everything you do, and pay attention to any fresh announcements coming from your side.
2. You get loyal customers by spending time with them online when they are strangers.
3. You spend time with them by offering them discounts, value-for-money deals, opportunities to win something, a chance to showcase their own interests through your brand-lens…
4. But most important of all, you show them that you care by writing thoughtful content, and tailoring it to them as an individual.
5. Such content has to take into consideration the current covid-19 crisis.

More on that last point: If, for example, you know that Mrs. Singh is a homemaker, your content to her (and others like her) should reflect the hardwork she does everyday (and has been doing to date) in raising a family and keeping her marriage going.

There are so many variations you can use to spin your content. The women and men in question can be single, divorced, re-married, with kids, without them, in same-sex relationships, or waiting to find The One.

To answer the question we started with, your care for such details and appreciation of people’s life choices is a means for you to start learning more about your potential customers. Such acts will, over time and with consistent effort, lead to a customer base filled with ‘devoted brand advocates’.

Alright, that makes sense. Now, is there a technical strategy I can implement?

Once you have embarked on the ‘emotionally intelligent’ idea detailed above, here’s the other side of the coin ready to toss…

• When it comes to ‘engagement’ and ‘brand awareness’, you need to stay consistent on social media.
• Select your top-3 social media platforms based on the type of content you create. Example: Entertainment and Education are two similar but distinct areas, and they can inspire either written or videographic content.
• The best thing about social media marketing is that you can be flexible. Meaning, you can change online e-strategies if they do not suit your brand. This level of digital adaptability is outstanding, and is in fact required for small businesses.
• The previous point is even truer during this coronavirus lockdown, when you yourself are guessing your way through a fast-changing digital landscape.
• According to Buffer, almost 3 billion people use social media! By relying on a core set of post scheduling tools, you can create posts to engage with all the right people in all the right times (and timezones).
• You need to generate an atmosphere of open dialogue. Meaning, people should be encouraged to comment on your posts, share and re-post them, tag you in their own posts, and so on. This further increases your online presence, reach, and visibility.
• Varied analytics tools are open to you via social media platforms themselves. Your team needs to keep track of these numbers, so they can better advise you on where to invest your energies.
• While advertising has hit a new low during the covid-19 crisis, it can prove to be an ally to help ‘spread the word’ about your business. The only real change you need to make is to choose specific niche areas to target using your advertising campaign(s), as opposed to throwing the net wide.
• People can be sub-divided into: demographic, interest, behaviour. These three factors are all you need to help you understand an individual, or a group of like-minded individuals. This in turn helps you target all the right customers with apt campaigns and posts.

A good idea at this time will be to focus on offers that genuinely help people who could be going through a hard time during the coronavirus crisis. This will take some brainstorming, perhaps even a little expenditure on your part, to accomplish. However, the long-term results will speak for themselves.

You are looking at winning the hearts of customers who, till the very end, will be your ‘devoted brand advocates’ once all this is over. Long-term goals should certainly eclipse any short-term gains you might conceivably earn.

New and risky ideas vs. Established trends

The internet and its search bars are programmed to show customers what they want to see. They reinforce the ‘particular demand’ of what people want or need. People naturally lean towards something familiar instead of something new.

But think for a second, if it were possible for you to change that. If you could make customers latch onto something or someone new and unique – something or someone they might never have heard of before. This is where ‘continuation’ evolves into ‘innovation’ in the lives of those people.

• People’s perspectives about, and associations with, certain content and how it makes them feel is essentially what drives the internet.
• This is, after all, the core logic behind search engines. They rely on spiders and bots to gather data concerning what people are actively looking for.
• This in turn helps businesses come up with digital content using keywords and phrases that are oft-used online, i.e., SEO.

If you can use the current coronavirus situation (which is relatively new to them) and connect it to content that people are actively seeking (which is familiar to them), you got yourself a magical moment. The game therefore changes from following trends to actually starting them.

Pay Per Click

PPC (pay-per-click) is the term used for marketing content that you pay for ONLY if there is legitimate interaction to it from a person online. Instead of directly encouraging people to come over to your website and check out your content, you advertise through search engines; and other online portals.

• The clicks that people perform through such sites becomes ‘traffic’ sent to your website.
• The advantage of this marketing technique is that you only need to pay for clicks performed, as opposed to paying a large amount beforehand and hoping for the best.
• Not only is it safer and more cost-effective (small businesses, take note), PPC marketing has long established itself as a potent way to earn more website traffic by paying less than expected.

Disclaimer: This technique is in no way a guaranteed means of success. You should have confidence in your products and services, because if they do not entice customers to buy then you will end up unnecessarily paying for advertisements using money that can be used to evolve your business standards instead (no insult intended, just commonsense advice).

GoogleAds vs Others

The reason we mention GoogleAds is because it serves everyone quite well when it comes to Quality.

• You bid on keywords, which when they appear in the Google search bar, lets you earn money by presenting your advert, if it has won the bid, to the person who is searching.
• You win said bid by providing all the right keywords, and having quality content in relation to that ad.
• If your content and keywords provide ideal information, it is considered ‘relevant’ by Google’s powerful program.
• Your ‘Ad Rank’ therefore goes up. How much you are ready to spend on your advertisement (i.e., your CPC bid) is coupled with your content’s relevance and usefulness (i.e., its Quality Score).
Your cost per click is adjusted accordingly to ensure that you pay only what is needed each time a customer clicks on your ad after searching using those keywords.

How do I know if my keywords are ideal?

This is a work in progress, to be honest. Keywords do not always come easy, because that depends heavily on the type of content you choose to write/upload/publish.

Keyword Planner is a great place to start. However, there are other resources for you to check out as well.
• The most important thing for you to remember is Simplicity… Keep your keywords relevant to what you are offering/selling. This ensures that your content generates leads by packing the substance needed to increase your PPC click-through rate.
• During this covid-19 quarantine, all sorts of new keywords have popped up on the relevance meter. Tailor your content to suit the idea or theme of what your site is all about, more so in connection to the lockdown that’s currently ongoing in several global hotspots.
• Good keywords ensure a low cost per click. This means you pay less for better content, especially those containing properly integrated keywords.
• In addition, you do not always need to rely on commonly used keywords for your type of service or product. You can use niche or ‘long tail’ keywords too.
• Whether it be online users who know a great deal about what you are selling, or if it’s just to further infuse your content with quality and variety, specialized keywords are never a bad idea. Also, they attract less competition, which means you pay less for them in the GoogleAds bidding arena.
• As a clever rule of thumb, negative keywords also help your content accrue quality. Through such keywords, you tell search engines that you are not selling this or that. Meaning, certain particular users will not waste their time and yours by clicking on your link. This in turn leaves room for relevant customers, which further raises your rank in GoogleAds.

A little more about negative keywords

The decision to use negative keywords in your content helps you rid your site of ‘unqualified traffic’. Whatever your choice of keywords, if an online user happens to append the word ‘free’ to their search, then there really is no point to you putting your product or service up for ‘sale’, is there.

Even at discounted rates, that user is most probably not looking to spend a penny. This makes them ‘unqualified traffic’ for your site. By adding words like ‘free’, ‘bargain’, and ‘cheap’ to your list of negative keywords, your advert will not show up on search results pages for those who might only end up wasting your time.

On the other hand, if you are actually planning to set up a free campaign to help customers during the covid-19 lockdown, you can adjust your keywords accordingly.

A quick-guide to PPC Marketing

Your basic aim during this Wuhan virus-induced quarantine is to keep your business afloat. Below are two of the key players in the PPC marketing circuit who can help you do just that:
1. Google Ads
2. Microsoft Advertising

Here are some of the core elements involved in crafting a good keyword-rich advertisement campaign…

• Keyword themes – These are directly connected to your product or service. For instance, if you are selling wardrobes, then that right there should be your keyword theme.
• Ad groups – Using your keyword theme, craft multiple ad groups. Taking the previous example, you can create ad groups like: tall wardrobes, short wardrobes, thick wardrobes, wooden wardrobes, etc.
• Keyword variations – This is just as important as the other steps. You essentially extend your ad group words. Using the same example as before: tall wardrobes for bedroom, short cupboards for office… You can also modify the capitalization of letters to suit your need.

What are the different types of advertisement campaigns available for me to try?

This can get slightly complicated for some business owners looking to take their service and/or catalogue online. Fret not, below is a simplified version, the detailed version of which you can find on PPCHero.

1. Display Network
Granting access to video ads, images, and Google text, millions of such sites make up this network. Instead of relying on conventional keyword targeting, your display network ads target demographics and audiences. In such instances, it is not uncommon for your ad to show up on a visitor’s screen whether or not they are interested in buying your products or availing your services. The fact that they visited a site or blog that featured your sort of ‘goods’ made them ‘eligible’ for certain display network ads.

2. Search Network
Google’s manifold search partners comprise this sort of network. As conventional as it gets, this network is all about keyword based targeting. As detailed above, users find ads specifically linked to what they typed into the search bar.

3. Search Network /w Display Option
This is a hybrid version of the previous two network types. Aside from your usual search network accessibility options (in Google Ads experience), you can also opt for a display network ad. However, what you gain in options you lose in choice. Meaning, Google ‘arbitrates’ which of your ads go where and to whom. As an advertiser, you will have no control over your ad campaign(s) past a certain point.

4. Product Listing
After submitting apt content to the Google Merchant Centre, you can then go about creating shopping campaigns via Google ads. Instead of directly dealing with keywords, you get to access ‘feed attributes’: brand, product type, item ID, condition, and other custom features. Google then matches a seeker’s need to the type of attribute they are most probably searching. This links your product to their demand. Your titles and descriptions therefore need to be spot-on.

How do I go about Targeting the right customer base?

With PPC, it is all about targets. Whom you need to impress, entertain, encourage, and convince all depends on the type of ad campaign you plan to run. But this also means your business relies on WHERE you choose to send those ad campaigns.

1. Device Targeting
It is not just desktop PCs that you need to focus on but sundry devices like laptops, mobile phones, and tablets too.

• Formats and alignments change based on device, adding to your marketing design capabilities.
• Based on the device you choose to target, you can alter or modify your business designs to better reach out and attract varied customers.
• ‘Bid modifiers’ are open for mobile devices. As for the others, the same bid can be integrated without any major distinction.

This further expands your cost-saving potential, a point that most small businesses need to note as they try to swim in an increasingly digital world, especially during this covid-19 quarantine.

2. Location Targeting
You can couple your PPC campaigns with certain specific locations. Your bid modifiers can also be crafted accordingly. These modifiers can be ‘modified’ based on different location targets, adding to the flexibility of your marketing options. The power of location targeting during the coronavirus lockdown is exemplary. When you know that cities and districts are labelling red zones, and closing them off for safety purposes, why would you want to waste time catering to an area to which you cannot deliver anyway? Why build hopes in potential customers only to have them dashed?


Digital marketing during the covid-19 lockdown can prove to be life or death for small businesses. In fact, the big fish aren’t swimming that strong either. Finding a way to adapt to the new logistical situation that the Wuhan virus has brought into all our lives is a major way to stay afloat commercially.

Through online content, keyword-sprinkled sentences, and smart targeting strategies, you can make sure that you do more with less during this lockdown period. You need to become a business owner who is understanding of people’s current conundrums. You need to be human.

Gradually dying are the old ways, when people felt they could get away with ‘cold distance’ approaches in business and sales. If the coronavirus ‘surprise’ has taught us anything, it’s how fragile life can be, and how we are all connected. One government’s attempts to hide the truth has resulted in the whole world, including them, paying a hefty price for it.

Reach out to people in this time of need. Your ideal customer base desires to feel a human side from the brands and services they often rely on. They need you to check up on them, and to help them save money during this ‘tight crunch’.

Such customers become devotees for life, so to speak. They will never forget that a ‘person’ was there for them when the world was in a near-apocalyptic state. People need people, not distant entities.

That said, sit down with your in-house business team over a video conference call (preferably not Zoom) and redo your strategies. Make sure that you craft your advertisement campaigns with a human element. Make all needed modifications if it means new and old customers alike benefit in some memorable way during this covid-19 virus quarantine.

Go, and make ‘devoted brand advocates’. Go, and simply be human.

Bijesh Nagesh is a Freelance Content Writer at Weaving Thoughts / GaiaQ both of which were founded by Aakshey Talwar in 2008 and 2016 respectively.

Find Weaving Thoughts on:-

Here’s a link to Aakshey’s personal website: Aakshey.com
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s Facebook page: facebook.com/AaksheyT/
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s LinkedIn page: in.linkedin.com/in/aakshey-talwar-33693010
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s Twitter handle: twitter.com/aaksheyt
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s Instagram page: instagram.com/aaksheytalwar/
Here’s a link to Aakshey’s GaiaQ page: Aakshey@GaiaQ.com


Adolf Hilter – An honest tale of true unrequited love


First things first, I don’t care whether or not you believe this story. I don’t care enough to back it up with proof, nor do I think that would be feasible. If you’re one of those history students, please consider this a work of fiction or feel free to give a pass on this story altogether. It’s up to you whether you want to consider this the true love story of the long gone Fuhrer or a tale of fiction. Regardless, be prepared to be shocked and surprised each step of the way if you decide to proceed from here.

We all know who Hitler was and what he did. I don’t need to even touch those subjects. But what people often wonder is why? What made him do what he did? The why often goes unanswered.

This story is the answer to that question. This story is about why some rando from the middle of nowhere, somebody who could be considered as far from royalty as was humanly possible, ended up changing the course of history.

You’ll soon know why innocent Adolf turned into the opportunist orator people feared by the name of Hitler.

And make no mistake, this is the weirdest, wildest but truest story of one sided love you’ll ever hear about. Something that made young Adolf go up against all odds to destroy the very basis of humanity. Only to stitch it together later on. How? You’ll soon know.

And it all leads back to Stefanie Isak…

Adolf was 16 at that time. I think Stefanie was maybe 17. One fine day, he happened to have a good look at her while she was strolling with her mother, an army widow.
And then and there the crush began.

Days passed. He would see her strolling by almost daily. Sometimes they would exchange glances. But never did they ever say a word to each other. Never did they ever meet. Yet, they would often be in conversation distance though.

Before he knew it, he was in love. Madly in love. Might seem odd but it was really the case. He used to write poems for her. He used to write letters. Trusting his good friend August would have them delivered. Unfortunately, the betrayer never did.

In a few months, the spark that would burn the world had already been lighted. He just didn’t know better at the time.

He decided he couldn’t deal with all the dating non sense and would propose her straight for marriage. But how could a rando propose the prettiest girl of all time without accomplishing something first?

He decided to pursue Arts in Vienna, return in 4 yrs to inform her mother of his accomplishments and then live happily ever after.

But fate had something else in mind. He was destined to go down as the most hated man of all time. So things didn’t really pan out.

Adolf had written a letter to Stefanie which he had of course given to August to deliver to her. As usual, August conveniently forgot or so was his excuse.

And on the other hand he didn’t make it to his dream college either.

And I’m not saying that even if both of the above had happened as planned, that he wouldn’t have lighted the world on fire. I don’t know what would have happened then. But we all know what happened next. And it wasn’t pretty.

Shattered and torn away. He spent the next few years going from one thing to the next. Only until WW I happened. And from there it’s all history.

And it all comes back to Stefanie Isak….

So why did his unrequited love make him to what he did?

To be honest by that point he hated God. All humans were children of God as far as he was concerned. All were heartless, petty and selfish or so he believed because of the darkness and hatred that had shadowed his heart.

And hatred thinks of no reason or logic. It strikes. And this time it was to strike the Jews?

Hitler didn’t really care whether it was the Jews or some other community. What he did know was, get the majority against a minority, and that’s enough to cause riots. And the Jews were made the scapegoat.

Now. Why were the Jews chosen as the scapegoat?

Hitler had one goal in life. To go down in history as the most hated man of all time. And to be known for that for his love. He couldn’t really have openly told people that was the reason though. So he had to leave a hint. People thought he believed Stefanie was Jewish. I’m sure you’re smart enough to get the point now.

Make no mistake. He knew his hatred would unite the world to fight him. And his hunch was right. He wanted to die. But he didn’t want to commit suicide to take his life. At the same time, he wanted people to understand how damaging hatred could be. And he would rather that he be the villain than somebody whose limits he couldn’t predict. So he did what was needed to get all his wishes fulfilled. And that was his masterstroke. He ensured WW II was so fierce that WW III didn’t happen post that.

I know you still have many doubts in your mind, that’s if you believed any of it for one bit. But going into more detail would have made this post like really long. So forgive me for not answering some of the questions that you might be struggling with.


Author Bio:

Aakshey Talwar is an audiophile, Apple lover, big foodie, and technology enthusiast. The worst PC gamer you met and the least fitness friendly dog lover you’ll probably ever meet. He’s also the owner of his full-stack digital marketing agency GaiaQ (formerly called Weaving Thoughts) and his consultancy Aakshey.com.

Source – https://gaiaq.weavingthoughts.com/adolf-hilter-an-honest-tale-of-true-unrequited-love/