Blogging Hero

How to Make Money with Your Blog

Easy Tips to Make Money with Blog Advertising


You can make more money blogging by making your blog more appealing to advertisers.  Advertisers typically want to advertise on quality blogs that have a large following.  But what is a “quality” blog?

A quality blog could be different depending on who you are talking to, but I think most would agree that the basic formula for a good blog is unique & original content, a good domain name, an easy to read and easy to navigate layout and a well functioning site.

Here are some tips to make your blog stand out and appeal to advertisers.

Write Unique, Relevant, and Original Content

Constantly update your blog with original posts and pictures. If you write paid posts, do it sparingly or write several posts in between that aren’t paid.  If every single post on your blog looks like a paid post, your blog would look spammy.  People don’t want to read a blog that looks spammy, and advertisers won’t want to advertise on a blog that people don’t read.

Have a domain name

Get your own domain name, instead of using something at,, etc.  Bloggers with their own domain name look more professional.  Make sure you also have a good, descriptive domain name.  Don’t use something like “”.  Your domain name should relate to your blog’s topic.

Use an attractive, organized layout

Make sure your layout is appealing to the eyes. Use a unique layout – don’t just use the default.  Usually with blogging hosts like blogger, there are different themes you can choose from.  Choose one of these, rather than just using the simple layout format that it comes with.  Then customize it a little bit and personalize it. Add your own banner at the top.  Use colors and fonts that are easy to read.  Have a simple navigational structure that is easy for your readers to follow.

Make sure your page loads quickly

A webpage should load quickly, within several seconds. If it takes more than a minute for your webpage to load, then you have a big problem. Visitors aren’t going to stick around if your page takes forever to load, and if you don’t have a large following, then advertisers won’t want to use your site.  Overloading your site with too many widgets and extra code can often slow down the loading process, so you should avoid using these.

All of these things are simple for you to do and can help your blog stand out to advertisers and readers alike.  It will help you build a bigger following and increase traffic to your blog, which in turn will help you make more money because advertisers will pay more to appear on blogs with a larger following.

Getting Started: Types of Ads to Use on Your Blog


Lately we’ve been focusing a lot on promoting your blog. Blog promotion is great for building traffic, but to make money blogging you will need to do more than just promote your blog.

The more traffic, the more money you will make, but… you’ll need a way to translate that traffic into dollars.

How can you do this? Advertising.

Most bloggers make money through advertising, although there are definitely other methods, like selling your own product and establishing premium sections of your site.  But advertising is by far the most common method used to make money online.

Here are the most common forms of advertising that bloggers use:

Banner Ads

Chances are you’ve already seen these types of ads on sites you’ve visited.  Banner ads are basically pictures, often animated, that are links to another website.  They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but usually you’ll see the small square buttons on side bars or a long horizontal in the coveted top of the blog.

Common shapes and sizes:

  • 125×125 – a small square “button” that you usually see in sidebars
  • 728×90 – that long thin horizontal ad banner you’ll usually see at the top of a site and/or at the bottom
  • 120×600 – the tall skinny rectangle; you may see this in sidebars as well

Advertisers will probably pay more for more visibility. Meaning – you’ll want to put your banner ad near the top of your site and definitely “above the fold”.

(Vocab lesson: “above the fold” means whatever is visible on the screen without having to scroll down to read more).

To use these ads, you will need to know how to create a picture link.  This is quite simple

Pay Per Click Ads, Pay Per Action, & Pay Per Mille Ads

These are ads for which you get paid based on certain criteria.

Pay Per Click: paid based on how many visitors click the ad on your blog

Pay Per Action: paid based on the actions that a reader takes on the advertiser website.

For example, if you have PPA ad on your website, to get paid your reader needs to:

  • Click on the ad & go to the advertiser’s website
  • Sign up for their website / sign up for their newsletter / complete a form / etc

Pay Per Mille: paid based on the number of times the ad is displayed or viewed on your site.

These ads will often use banners for the link to the advertiser’s website.

These ads especially show how important it is to have traffic flowing to your blog.

Paid Reviews

Many bloggers get paid to write reviews of products and websites.  How much they get paid often depends on the advertiser, how many links are required, how nice the blog is and so on.  The highest paying ads will typically go to blogs that have a lot of unique and original content and higher amounts of traffic and higher page rank.

If you decide to use paid reviews, you should be careful and make sure that your blog doesn’t become spammy. Remember that your reviews should be relevant to your readers and you should always give an honest opinion of the product or website.

You can use any or all 3 of these methods to make money with your blog.  The main thing to remember when you decide to monetize your site is that you should always keep your audience in mind.  Use ads that you think are pertinent and helpful to your readers.  Stay focused on creating original content, as well.  This will make you more successful in the long run and help you attract better paying advertisers.

posted under Monetization | 1 Comment »

How Fewer Ads can Make you More Successful


We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare.  The hare, overly eager to win the race, rushes ahead, but then becomes so confident in his ability, that he decides to take a nap.  Meanwhile, the tortoise pushes ahead at a steady pace, eventually surpassing the hare and winning.

How does this relate to blogging?

I’ve come across a few blogs recently where the front page was completely monopolized by paid per click ads, paid reviews, and banner ads.  Every single post was clearly paid.  I know that many people blog for money, but I think when you’re that overloaded with advertisements, you probably won’t make as much.

These bloggers are like the hare.  They are eager to make money from blogging, and so they “rush” to take put ads on their sites (whatever it is – banner ads, PPC ads, reviews, etc – they’ll put anything and everything up).  Like the hare abandons the race to take a nap, they’ve abandoned the true purpose of blogging: to write and create original content.

To understand why flooding blogs with ads is bad, let’s take a look at three different perspectives.

The Advertiser’s Perspective

Are they going to want to advertise on your site when they have little chance of standing out? Many good (read: higher paying) advertisers look for blogs that have unique and original content, and that have a large following or high page rank.  A blog covered in ads is unappealing to an advertiser who might pay more money.

Search Engines’ Perspective

If every post on your blog has paid links in it, if your side bar is flooded with paid links and banner ads, then you might lose credibility with the search engines. When they crawl your site, the spiders will see all the links, and you might lose your page rank.  Then you’re back to the advertiser – many advertisers prefer blogs with higher page ranks, because this is a way of measuring how popular your site is.

Finally, most importantly, the Reader’s Perspective

What reader is going to stick around to read a blog covered in ads?  If every post is selling them something, they won’t keep coming back. Readers want to read rich content.  If you’re going to use ads, you also need to make sure that they’re relevant to your readers. Make sure that you have original and engaging content between paid posts, make sure that any sites you do link to are helpful resources for your readers.  Only link to companies that are relevant and that you think your readers will be interested in.

It’s very important that you make sure you write original content constantly, and do not overload your side bar with banner ads and PPC ads.  Evaluate how much money you’re really making with these things.  It’s especially important if your blog is relatively new, and you are still trying to build up a following.  This can be difficult to do if your blog is overloaded with ads.  (This is not to say you can’t have any ads at all, but rather to be careful about the quantity, quality and relevancy of the ads you are posting).

If you plod along like the turtle, and post ads sparingly, in the end you will probably find yourself making more money with higher paying ads. So in the end, we see that it’s really the patient turtle the wins the race, not the over enthusiastic hare.

How to Promote Your Blog Using Branding


Certain products and services just stay in your mind.  How do they do it? How do they stand out from the crowd?


Branding is a way to make your blog memorable and recognizable.  It involves taking multiple elements of your blog – your content, your look – and making them all stay consistent with each other.

Mainly, then, it’s about repetition. But be careful, because there’s a subtle difference between repetition and redundancy.

When you first create your blog, no doubt you picked a particular theme.  Cooking, maybe, or technology or sports, whatever.  Branding goes a little bit further, though, and includes things like the tone you write with and the layout and colors of your design.  All of these things need to come together to create one unique package.

To start branding your blog, you want to use a particular design, theme and repetition that help your “brand”, or style, stick out to your readers.

Here are some steps you can take:

1. Choose your subject and your angle

Pick something that you know a lot about and that you are passionate about.  Let your enthusiasm for the subject bleed into your writing.  This can help your readers get excited about what you’re saying and keep them coming back for more.

Say your subject is cooking.  There are different ways you can talk about cooking.  For example, you can write from the point of view of a mother trying to find healthy ways to feed her family, or perhaps from the point of view of a vegan looking for tasty recipes.  The subject “cooking” is a little too broad, but if you stop and consider what kind of “angle” you’re writing from – and this will depend on who you are – then you’ll take one more step towards developing your unique brand.

2. Think about your audience

What type of audience are you looking to appeal to?  Different people are attracted to different types of themes.  Perhaps you’ll want a more “cutesy” theme, or perhaps a technical theme.

3. Make your layout match your subject

Two blogs could be about cooking, but one might have a more sophisticated, high class look while another might have a more fun and homey type of look.  Your layout is important for creating an atmosphere, and you want to make sure that that atmosphere matches your writing style and the goals of your

4. Create a logo

The logo should match your layout (or you can design a layout that matches your logo).  The logo is a KEY element to branding.

How to Get a Logo:

  • Design it yourself
  • Run a contest on your site
  • Ask/pay someone else to create a logo for you

When you design your logo yourself, you have the most control and you’ll know what you want.  The problem of course is that you may lack the skills to create what you want.  If you don’t know how to do graphic design, then you can look at these other options: run a contest, pay someone else, or (website that helps create logos?)

Which option should I choose?

When running a contest, you can’t guarantee that you’ll find anything that was what you had in mind.  You’ll have to choose a winner, but there’s no guaranteeing that you’ll really want to use the winning logo as your logo.  Maybe it’s the best… but still not quite what you wanted.  Of course, you could approach the winner and tell them this (politely of course).  Explain that theirs was the best, but ask if they would be willing to make a few tweaks (be prepared to try offering them something extra)…. Of course at that point you might as well just pay someone to create something for you.

Another thing to think about is that you’ll need to provide some sort of prize.  “Bragging rights” might be enough for some, for others perhaps the prestige of winning and the publicity it provides will suffice.  However if you are not well known yet or don’t have a big following yet, you may want to actually offer something

When you’re paying someone else, you can have a dialog and explain to them what you’re looking for; if it’s wrong, then you can easily ask them to fix it; after all you’re paying them.  The downside though is that this will cost money.

Remember, it’s not just about the logo, it’s about the “feel” of your site.  Your layout, your writing, your logo, your colors – all these things come together in one package to create your brand.  Everything should match and remain cohesive.

What does your blog look like to your visitors?


Have you checked to see what it looks like in other browsers?

If not, you might want to start.  (For the newbies, a browser is the program you use to view the internet, like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer.)

Different browsers support different things, different types of code, so they can display websites differently.  It’s important that you make sure your blog layout works in all of the popular browsers.

You want to make sure first of all that your website functions properly and the navigation is clear in all browsers, and then that your layout looks appealing and how it should.  Sometimes, because browsers display sites differently, you can get awkward spacing that makes your website look like a mess!

Imagine if you were a visitor and came upon a website with awkward blank spaces and obscured navigation.  It wouldn’t look professional and you probably wouldn’t come back.  You want to make sure that your blog is friendly to every visitor who stumbles across it.

You don’t need to download a bunch of different browsers to check your blog.  (You can if you feel the need, and it might help for you to have the most popular browsers.)  You can visit websites like, which will give you screenshots of what your blog looks like in various browsers – not just different browsers, but also different versions of each of them.

While you’re at it, you should also consider the resolution size that people are viewing your website with, as this can also affect how the layout is displayed.

How do I know what my visitors are using?

Analytics programs (like Google Analytics) can provide these statistics for you.  They can tell you what browsers your visitors are using and the percentage of visitors using that browser, and also what screen resolutions they are using.

6 Ways to Promote Your Blog


Last week we talked about using Facebook to promote your blog.  Here are 6 other options for promoting your blog.

Here’s a quick list of the places you can go to promote your blog.

1. Blogs within your Niche

Leave comments on other blogs that are in the same niche as yours.  Make sure that your comments are relevant, polite and well thought out.  If people respond to you, respond back.

2. Forums

Find a forum in your same subject, and join it.  Post frequently, but make sure that you are making thoughtful posts that are relevant to the discussion and aren’t just repeating what other people are saying.  They don’t have to be long posts, they should be meaningful.  They should add to the topic at hand.  Once you’ve been active for awhile, you could even start threads of your own as well.  This is a great strategy because more people will see read the first post.

Put your link in your signature.  When you post, the same etiquette applies as to comments – always be relevant and polite.

3. Use directories

Again, find a directory with your niche, or, if you can’t find one, submit your link to a general directory.  Directories are not as popular as they used to be, but can still be helpful.  It never hurts to cover all your bases.

There are directories for blogs and then directories for articles.  You can submit articles at sites like Some sites like this will allow you to post a link in your author bio or within your actual post.

4. Write a guest post

Once you’ve networked and developed friendships with other bloggers, approach them and see if you can do a guest post.  Explain what topic you would like to write about, but don’t send them an already completed post.  Start a discussion.

Make sure you look for any rules the blogger might have about how to submit a guest post.  Some blogs have procedures for that kind of thing, and you will not only look foolish if you do not follow their instructions, but you probably won’t end up getting to write that guest post.

5. Use “share” icons

Many bloggers have icons at the end of their post or at the top of their post that allow readers to share – either using Facebook, Twitter, etc.  This makes it easy for readers to pass along a post that they liked.

6. Tweet it

When you publish a new post, update your Twitter status as well.  Let your friends and followers know you’ve updated, and see if your friends will retweet your post.  Timing is important. Try to tweet or update your status at a time you feel more users will be online and will see your update

The main thing, as you may have noticed, is that you will have to explore your niche and start networking with those within it. What everything comes down to is: networking.  Be polite and be relevant.

Use Social Media Sites to Promote Your Blog


The idea is simple: whenever you update your blog, post a link on Facebook.

Many bloggers do it. I know a number of my friends on Facebook do it, as I’m seeing blog links popping up more and more frequently in my news feed.

Why use social media sites?

Some people will argue that social media is the new way to go, the new playing field.  It’s easy to see why, since more and more people are using websites like Facebook.  Why wouldn’t you want to use Facebook to promote your blog?  You have a network of X amount of friends, and when you post a link there, you know some amount of those X number of friends will see it.

Compared to the big scary Rest of the Internet, where you could easily get swallowed up in the crowd and remain unnoticed.  At least with Facebook you know you’ll get some readers.

So why not use Facebook?  I can only think of a few reasons people might hesitate. You might not want your family seeing or commenting on your blog.  You might be afraid of sounding vain or spammy.  As for the first – there are probably privacy settings around that, and for the latter: there are ways you can post to avoid “shameless plugging”.

How should you use Facebook?

Think about what hours of the day most of your friends are on Facebook, and post the link at that time.  The link will pop up in their news feeds and the chances are higher that they will see it and click on it.

Use an enticing headline and even a description or excerpt of your post.  Don’t just post a random URL, give people a reason to click it.


DON’T Spam Your Friends

When you first start posting your links on FB, it will help draw in initial viewers.  However, if you do it too frequently (every hour on the hour, every day…) your friends will probably get bored of constantly seeing your link pop up in their Feed.  You don’t want them to hit the dreaded “Ignore” button and knock you out of their Feed permanently.

So be considerate of your friends, and wait a little bit between posting a link.  If you do update your blog frequently, consider only posting links to blog posts that you feel are your best, your most interesting, your most controversial, those ones that really get it right.

Ask Your Friends to Share the Link, too

The good thing too is that if your friends like your post, they can also share it via Facebook to their friends and this can help you build more of a following.  So consider asking them to post it, especially when you’re first getting started.

More to Think About

On the other side of the coin, the one thing about Facebook though is that you don’t get link cred if someone else shares your article. Normally, when someone on the internet links to your blog, that link will count as a “vote” towards your site, and will go towards your Page Rank for Google.  On Facebook… this doesn’t happen.  Links shared on Facebook are NoFollow, meaning you get no vote no matter how many people link your article (on FB).

Also even when people share a link, there’s not really a permanency about it.  If another blogger links to your blog, it’s there on your home page and it stays there until they take it down.  No such thing on Facebook.  There are a few spots on a person’s profile where they could share a link, but there’s not really a place to share them.

In light of this, you might want to consider creating a page for your blog on Facebook, but don’t do this if your blog is new or doesn’t have that many followers.

The best way to promote your blog is to use all the resources you have available.  Yes, post a link on Facebook, but do all that other stuff too: find blogs in your niche, build relationships with those bloggers, get backlinks.  Post on forums and put a link in your signature.  Use Blog Carnivals.  Write Guest posts.

Increase Your Blog’s Traffic with an Email Newsletter


A great way to connect with your readers is to create an email newsletter.  Email newsletters allow you to contact your readers and better guarantees that they’ll remember your website.

How a Newsletter Can Help You

  • Tell readers about new posts
  • Inform readers about updates on your site
  • Entice old visitors who have not visited in awhile to check out your site
  • Solicit feedback

In short, all these things will help drive traffic to your blog.

How to Do It

You can post a “Subscribe” form somewhere on the home page of your blog.  Don’t bombard readers with a subscription offer before they’ve even had a chance to read your content – this might turn them off and they won’t even bother reading your blog, let alone signing up for the newsletter.

Post the subscribe form near the top of your blog, so it’s easily seen.

You can also develop incentives for people to sign up for the newsletter.

For example:

  • Include articles with content not available on your blog.
  • Send readers some free product if they sign up
  • Allow them access to a premium section of the site if they sign up
  • Etc…

Make your newsletter short and easy to read.  Post short articles, or post excerpts with links to “continue reading”.  Entice readers with informative and catchy headlines.

Solicit Feedback about your Blog

You can also use a newsletter to solicit feedback.  Send readers a special issue or include an article in your regular issue asking them about the usability of your website.  Ask readers what they think about your site’s navigation (is it intuitive?) and design (is it easy to read?).  For more information, you can read this post about gathering feedback about your blog.

Email Marketing Websites

There are email marketing websites that make sending out newsletters easy.  I’m familiar with Constant Contact, but other sites you can use are AWeber or Get Response.

These types of websites can help you do some interesting things.  For example, you can send out “auto responders”, which can send out an automatic newsletter depending on certain criteria.  For example, you can set up an autoresponder “welcome” email, or an automatic email that asks for feedback (you can set it up so that it will send out say, 30 days after a user signs up for the newsletter, so you know they’ve had time to use your site).

You can also set up groups, so that it is easy to send a newsletter to a particular demographic of users on your site.  So now you can target certain visitors.

Of course, you can also just write the newsletter yourself using just text or using HTML.  However, these websites can help you manage your newsletter more easily.

Always Write Quality Content

Always write relevant, quality content.  Don’t bombard your readers with too many emails… develop a routine schedule and space them out, especially if you don’t have that many subscribers yet.  Include an unsubscribe feature.

Some people might be hesitant to use an email marketing campaign because they’re afraid of sounding spammy, but if you follow these guidelines you should be alright.  Just make sure that your content is always helpful and worth reading.

Monetize Your Blog: Sell Your Own Product


There is a multitude of ways to make money online, and most bloggers know about only a few of them.  In order of greatest popularity (at least from what I’ve seen), there are Google AdSense ads, banner ads, PPC ads, and paid reviews… you’ll notice that all of these have something in common: they’re all ads.

Ads are a great way to monetize your blog and they’re probably the easiest option for you. Some people can probably make a good amount off of ads alone.  But there are plenty of other ways to make money as well.  Here are a few of them:

Create a premium content section

Have users sign up and pay a fee to see a particular section of your site.  The best way to do this would be to have a good portion of your site that’s free.  This will help visitors get a feeling for the kind of content that you provide.   Consider it like an appetizer.  Entice them to see your premium section by showing off your expertise in the free section.

Of course, you will have to make sure you deliver.  Your premium section should enhance the content that you provide for free.  It should be “better” in some way than what you do offer for free.  Perhaps in the free section you offer basics and fundamentals, while your premium section provides more advanced knowledge.

Write a book

You can compile your posts and publish a book.  You can write something new, related to your blog topic that those readers would want, that they’ve never seen before.  You could do a mix of both.  Whatever you do, you can write a book – and you should probably make it an eBook as well – and then promote and sell it from your website.

Provide a product

You can provide your users with anything… a knitting blog can sell scarves, sweaters, hats, and cooking blog can sell customized oven mitts, a recipe book, or maybe a box of chocolates.  Don’t confuse this with an affiliate or giveaway program, although you can try those as well.  What I mean is that you can actually create something yourself and sell it.

In some ways this could be harder for you then just selling ad space, but for other people it might be a more ideal business model.  The point is that there are other ways of making money online instead of relying on ads… so brainstorm and think outside the box!

Why You Should Have Your Own Domain Name… And How to Get One


It’s a question asked by new bloggers, “Should I get my own domain name? Or is it okay to use blogspot?” (or, or any other free blogging site).

Well, it is “okay” to use to use a free blogging site, but… getting a domain name is better, and getting one as early as you can is ideal.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is anything like or or  It belongs to you specifically.

Why is it better?

Having your own domain name:

  • Increases your credibility
  • Looks more professional
  • Helps with branding by making your blog more recognizable and memorable
  • Gives you more control over site, and therefore more flexibility in regards to layout and set up
  • Is sometimes more appealing to advertisers

Many people use blogspot blogs to spam, so some advertisers and some readers may not trust a blog they see at blogspot.

To some readers, a domain name just looks better.  It’s easier to read and remember “” than to remember the longer “”.  Because that “blogspot”, or “wordpress” or whatever is so common and so recognizable, your eye just kind of… drifts there, instead of to the front part of the URL (or at least, that’s what happens for me).

Something about just gives you more authority.  Consider the “blogspot” the training wheels on your bike… you’ll look like a newbie using it.

Oh no! I already have a blogspot/wordpress/etc… What should I do?

It’s best to get a domain name straight from the beginning.  Maybe you didn’t know, maybe you couldn’t for some reason.  If you are on a free blogging site, don’t fret.  You can switch over, and should, as soon as possible…

But wait! Don’t go running to a registrar just yet.

Consider first:

  • How long have you had your blog?
  • What is your blog’s Page Rank?
  • How many visitors go to your blog?

It may be “dangerous” to switch over.  If you have had your blog for a long time, then chances are you probably have a higher Page Rank and a larger amount of traffic.  You may lose your Page Rank if you switch your blog to a new domain name. (This is why it’s better to get your own domain straight from the beginning).

If your blog is profiting and successful, you may want to take more time to reconsider what you want to do.  Will switching over help you become more successful, or will it just be a hassle that won’t make much of a difference?  Every blog is different, and while having a domain name is better for most bloggers, maybe you are the exception.  And maybe you’re not.  Weigh the pros and cons yourself.

You can transition over, but be aware of what will happen and do your research.

Oh, and if you’re worried about all your old blog posts, there are ways to import them to your new domain name.

How to Make the Switch

1. Choose your domain name

The name that your blog is using at (which would be the “yourblogname” part) may already be fine, and may be usable as a domain name.  …but then again, maybe it’s not perfect.  Here are some tips for choosing your domain name and fun domain name ideas.  Make a list of choices, because the one you want may already be taken.

Your domain name is important and helps with branding, so you should give this a good amount of consideration.

2. Get the domain name

Go to a domain registry and buy the domain.

Some domain registries: GoDaddy, BlueHost, Moniker,, Network Solutions, eNom, but there are many others out there as well.  Take a look around before choosing one.  Do your research so you know the pros and cons of each company.

3. Get hosting

Your host is where your website is stored, and is different from your domain name, although companies like GoDaddy offer both domain names and hosting.  Hosting companies provide space on a server for your website.  So you buy your domain name, but then you need a place for your website to be hosted.

4. Move your blog

Make sure that you let your readers know ahead of time that you will be moving and what you will be moving to, so they aren’t surprised.  Ask people that are linking to you to use the new URL.  Make sure that they are all using the same URL… there is a difference between www and no www (ie: or

5. Set up a redirect from your old URL to your new URL

So that if there are any backlinks to your old URL, when people go to your old URL they will automatically be redirected to your new URL.  I think the most used is a 301 Redirect.

6. Be patient and keep updating at your new domain

You may lose your PR, but it should come back in time… Google updates every few months so you may have to wait a few months.  Understand that ultimately, it’s not your PR that matters, but the community that your blog creates.  And your community you can definitely bring with you on the transition, as long as you make sure that you’ve followed these steps.

Before making the transition, you should put a lot of thought into it.  Weigh the pros and cons and understand what risks you might be taking and what those risks mean for your blog specifically.  Every blog is different and there is no one right answer or one right way to do things.  For more information, you can read this link on Google Webmaster Blog about how to move your site, and/or this entry specifically about transitioning from Blogger to WordPress.

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