How to Make Money Selling eBooks

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One of the best ways to make money online is to sell eBooks. There was a time when this was one of the best ways to make money after affiliate programs. Well its still great except now the competition is fierce. You will find someone selling an eBook on virtually every subject on the net. So if you want to sell an eBook you will have to be smarter than others out there. If you are not – no one will buy your eBook and you will lose all money in writing, designing and marketing your eBook.

In this article I will discuss what are the important steps you would take to make sure you succeed in selling eBooks online.

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The benefits of selling an eBook:

1. You can share your expertise in a field with someone willing to know and pay a price.
2. You make money without doing any work. The systems are all automated. You just write the eBook once and the system takes care of the whole thing from taking payments to delivering the eBook to the buyer. You only need to make sure you are doing the right marketing.
3. You get free time to spend it anywhere you like. Remember money is abundance, time is not. You can spend time with family or friends or go visit a place you always wanted to see.
4. Financial freedom.

Some people make amazing money from selling just eBooks. I have never written any eBook but I was once an affiliate of a eBook seller. I got 75% commission from the sales. Since the author had no other expense, they can offer such high communions form the sale. I know I was just one affiliate giving him 3-4 sales a day. Just add sales from his own efforts and other affiliates. We are talking about hundreds of sales a day. EBooks have a near 100% profits (except affiliate sales). Imagine the kind of money you can make by selling eBooks.

You can even charge extra from people wanting to get a hard-copy of your eBook. Getting a hard copy is easy too. You can get on-demand printing from many service providers online. The on-demand printing service provider will take care of everything like printing the book, and sending it to the person through courier. They can be in any part of the world – they will get your book.

How does it work?

If a customer wants a hard-copy of your eBook you charge him extra. You send a part of the cash received to the on-demand publishing house. They take care of the rest. They have your eBook in PDF format. They will print it out. Make it a nice looking book and send it to the person who ordered it. You don’t have to do a thing. Of course you will have to pay the publishing house. You can pay from the money received from the client.

You got to write the book:

Most people who read this end up not writing the book. Why? If you don’t get started how on earth you are going to finish? It may take time – maybe there months, four months or even more. But the fact is if you do not start, it will never finish. So if you plan to sell an eBook – start writing now.

How to write the eBook:

Well you should have a “book-map” before you start writing the eBook. In a piece of paper or notepad write what you would like to write in your eBook. Write the topic of the chapters that you want in the eBook. Write a small summary in front of the topics so that you understand what you may write in those topics later when you sit to write. A book-map can also contain deadlines that you want to put up for yourself. Yes deadlines work especially if you are up against something yourself.

Tools that you need:

If you have a writing editor like MSWord, that is great. Else even free software like Open Office Word, Google Docs will do. The idea is your writing has to be well formatted with page numbers, headlines, sub-headlines, some text in italics, bold, bulleted text wherever required, images – you get the idea. If you are not able to format the text – the text will look very boring.

What fonts to use:

You should use easy to read fonts like Arial, Veranda, Times etc. Veranda is the most readable font. The size is important too. You don’t want to write an eBook with so small font that people find hard to read. The font size should be at least 10px. Yes do not make it very big as well. Even very big fonts are very difficult to read.

Let’s not get into the details of how to write the eBook, because that’s not what this topic is about.

But here are some important points before you start writing the eBook:

1) Know your audience: You should know for whom you are writing the eBook. If your eBook is written for college going grads, the language and style should match what the readers are looking for.

There are some websites that can help you to know the kind of people that may read your eBook. is one such site.

Further you should also visit some competitors website to know what they are writing about in their site. You should also buy their book if possible to know the topics they are writing about.

Your goal is to make a better eBook on that topic. If you make the best eBook on that topic online, then why people won’t buy?

2) Pricing: You should do some research before actually setting a price on your eBook. You just cannot write a 10 page eBook and ask 75 dollars for it. The price should be reasonable. Not very costly that people cannot afford to buy, nor very cheap that people think it doesn’t have any value. Pricing is a very important factor. Make a list of eBooks in your industry and their prices. See if you can offer a price better than what most people are asking. You must understand that less price does not necessarily mean more sales and high price does not mean less sales. Correct price is the best price. However you may need to test to find out the best price for your eBook.

3) Format of the eBook: Most people prefer the PDF format. Acrobat Reader is required to read a PDF book. It works in any operating system. The reason PDF is preferred is that the file size is small, its easy to convert any document to PDF, navigation links is possible, linking to other websites is possible, images can be inserted etc. Its just like a hard copy of a book converted into a soft copy where links work. Of course you can use other formats as well. But PDF is the best format for selling your eBook.

4) How to collect payments: If a visitor wants to buy your eBook then how they can do it. The best way is that if you can make the whole process automated. It means right from the payment to delivering of the book, the whole process should be automated. How bad it will be if they deposit the money in your bank account and mail you the details. Then you send them the eBook via email. Nobody will buy the book if the process is not automated or cumbersome.

Note: You will find many merchant account providers online for website owners. Do a research and get the cheapest one with good service. For the same sale you will make less if you get a merchant account provider that costs too much and take a lot of commission per sale. You don’t want to pay this commission, and should be able to keep the maximum from a sale. Some examples are: Ejunkie, PayPal, Clickbank etc.

5) Most importantly how to market the eBook: This is the most difficult part. Everything else is very easy. You can set up a website. Get it designed. Write content for the website. Write the eBook. Get it in a good downloaded format. Set up a merchant account. But after all this if you cannot sell your eBook – all your efforts will go in vain. You should know how you want to reach people who may buy your book. This can be done through good SEO and/or PPC advertising and/or social media advertising. There are thousands of advertising networks in the US alone. But the idea is to make sure you are profitable. Its important you don’t buy junk traffic. Lots of advertising platforms in the US are very cheap but they will send very bad quality traffic to your site. You may lose money so be careful there. Chose a reputed advertiser.

Note: The most popular form of online advertising is Google AdWords – but its costly as well. But there are thousands of longer-term keywords that you may try that may not be very costly. Bing advertising is another way to get traffic. Its slightly cheaper than Google Adwords but it lacks volume like AdWords. You may need to test a few advertising platforms before finalizing one or two where you want to advertise and scale your sales. Depending just on free traffic will be risky as its getting increasingly difficult to get websites ranked well organically. It may take years before you see your first sale. The choice is yours.

Another great way to market your eBook is to have affiliates sell your eBook. But frankly the top affiliates charge very high fees. They may demand 70-80% of the sale. If its a high priced book and selling well you can negotiate. Many affiliates search clickbank for selling eBooks. You can advertise your book there. But for that you may need to have a clickbank merchant account. Remember good affiliates charge more, but they sell more as well.

For other affiliates you can fix a lower commission percentage. Remember if the commission in terms of dollars (not percentage) is not attractive, not many affiliates will try to advertise your eBook. You have to give them the maximum possible commission.

Note: If you can make eBook selling a profitable business model, you may then start writing more eBooks on similar topics. You can sell these eBooks to your people who are already your customers. If you have written a great eBook chances are that they will buy another eBook from you as well. You will make 100% profit from selling this second eBook. You can then try writing your third eBook as well.

Have you ever tried selling an eBook online? What was the experience? I would love to know if you are still profitable or not.

How To Promote Your Website Content Through Twitter and FaceBook

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Just writing good content and getting quality back links in this new age won’t get you there. You will have to promote your content. The more you promote the more people come to your website. Remember there is stiff competition there for the dollar and its not easy to take your share without some promotion.

Sometimes you will have to promote your content shamelessly selfishly, sometimes using some tricks and sometimes by spending money on advertising. But you will have to promote no matter what. Else there is little chance people will be able to read your content.

So lets get into in to know what are the methods to promote your website content:

1. Twitter: Do you have a twitter account? No not your personal Twitter account. Your websites twitter account. Its OK to use your personal account for your main website account. Like I use for this website. But I don’t use this account for my personal use. I try to build relationships with this account and inform everyone about my latest posts.

But if you already have a twitter account but are using it for personal use I strongly recommend that you create a new account for the website that you want to promote. Never use this account for any other purpose. This will be your account for spreading word about your latest posts or anything related to your website.

So go create a Twitter account for your website right now. Name your twitter account similar to the website name. For example if your website is then your twitter handle should be GetCheapWax or something very similar if you are not getting that username.

Twitter will not work if you don’t have followers. Who will see your tweets if you don’t have any followers? By the way you will find many people selling followers for as low as 5 dollars. Do not fall for them. There is a way to get followers. They will come, may be a bit slow, but eventually you will get them.

Here is what you will do in Twitter:

1. Create an account with the official name of your website.
2. Search with the primary keywords of your business/website.
3. Start following people. Do this everyday for the next few days.
4. Some people will follow you back, some wont. Do not worry. You keep following people in the same industry.
5. Once you get a few followers say 200-300 you can start tweeting about your industry. At this stage DO NOT tweet about your latest blog post or your website. Just tweet interesting facts about your industry.
6. Within a few days you will see that more people are following you back. The speed of following back increases.
7. Now re-tweet some of the interesting tweets. Reply to tweets etc.
8. Once you are accepted in the tweeter world you can start telling your followers about your latest blog post. At this stage most people who follow you will visit your website.
9. Some of them will re-tweet your tweet. And voila you get more visitors from their tweets.

Some points to not: Do not hard sell your stuff in twitter. You should mostly tweet interesting things. Only when you deem fit that your post needs a mention – you should post the link in your twitter account.

2. FaceBook:

Everybody now days have a Facebook account. If you don’t know Facebook can be used to market and promote your website content. The way to do is the same as it is in Twitter expect for some strange reason – Twitter is a better tool to market your site than Facebook. Probably because Twitter is used by people to know what people saying whom they follow. In Facebook people just go to have some fun, see pictures of their friends etc. Of course FB can be used in a very effective way to build brand image. So Facebook is an important tool for branding your site and Twitter is good for spreading word of mouth and bringing people to your site.

Now lets know how to promote your site using FaceBook:

1. Make a page for your website in Facebook. Do not market your website in your personal page. Facebook pages are free to make. So please do not be lazy and start promoting your site in your personal account. Some of your friends may not like it. Of course you can mention about your site page in your personal account.

Make a separate Facebook Page for your website. If possible get it designed professionally. Then let your friends know about this page from your personal account. Bet some of your friends will like it. And some may share it. But do not ask them to like or share it. Let them do it themselves. Why this is important is that because you don’t want people not interested in your product like your page. This will be counter productive.

2. Now search for leaders in your industry. You may have to search for them. Not all will accept your friends request, but some will. Keep doing this for a long time and you have a lot of friends. Their friends will then start knowing about your website. Some will like it. You will see that in a few months time you will have many friends.

3. Time to post. Post relevant stuff on the page. So not just post article recently posted on your blog or website. Promote stuff that are interesting and from the events from your industry.

4. Other than industry news motivational posts works great. You can also share stuff that are interesting. Post them when most of your friends are online.

5. You should also comment on your friend’s status. You may also like what they post. Please do not like everything that they post. That will look like a fake like. Like things that you really like. Similarly do not post on everything they have to say. They may get irritated and remove you from their friends list. Just write when you feel something interesting to write. You may also ask questions and reply to questions.

6. If you start getting friends request, you should accept them as they could be your future customers.

Common to both Twitter and FaceBook: Do not hard sell your products. Just inform your followers and friends about your product or service. Those who are interested will ask questions. Reply them promptly.

In Facebook you can also buy paid promotion. However it is meant for brand awareness. You should keep a fixed budget for the site’s promotion, and measure it effects. If its proving worthwhile, you may continue promoting your site.

After a few months of doing such stuff, you will now start seeing traffic from Facebook and Twitter.

Link Building Strategies After Penguin 2.0

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Note: This article does not discusses internal linking. It only discusses external linking i.e… links from other websites to your website. While internal linking (links from one page of your website to another page) helps the search engines to crawl the pages easily, external links help significantly to determine “votes” for your site. The more votes the better ranks.

The most important factor in search engine rankings after content is the link profile of your website – internal as well as external. Content and external links alone are more important than all of the other factors combined that determines the rank of a website in the search results pages.

Which means if you focus most of your time in writing good content and get quality links from good websites online, you should see your websites getting top ranks in the search results. Of course if your niche is NOT very competitive your website may rank well even without any links pointing to your site. But otherwise if there is good competition for the keywords you are targeting, its very important that you acquire links for your site from sites relevant to the topic of your site/page and from good quality websites only.

IMP: If you buy links you are fine till you are caught. And this is what exactly Penguin 2.0 has done.

Before proceeding forward lets first understand what changes Penguin 2.0 algorithm of Google did to the ranking of websites.

Small note: Before the Penguin update, there was Panda update. Panda update targeted sites with low quality / spammy / rehashed / copied / scrapped / automated generated content. Panda update destroyed the ranks of the websites who used such low quality content. A website with even a few pages of bad content was pushed down the rankings.

Results: All the websites with low quality content have virtually vanished from the top 30-40 search results. In fact I don’t see them in the search results anymore.

Now lets discuss what Penguin did to the sites:

– Network of all artificially link building companies were de-indexed from Google. This effectively means that if you were buying links for your websites from one of these networks, the links were no more effective and did not count towards links to your site.

– Paid links were identified and again discounted. Sites buying paid links and to some extend sites selling paid links were penalized.

– Any links made to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results was totally discounted as a link.

– Link exchanges like a->b->a, a->b->c->a, or any other types were identified and the links discounted.

– Too many keyword only anchor text links were discounted.

– Any method of link building to inflate rankings were identified and discounted.

– Websites found participating excessively in all or any of the above were penalized and webmasters informed in the webmasters tool.

Conclusion – Penguin has destroyed easy link building strategies. So does it mean link building is dead? No, it still works and works well. But shady and easy ways of getting links are gone. Sooner or later your website will be caught and banned from ranking in the SERPs if you are still getting shady links.

So are there any ways to get quality back links from good websites to get the high rankings? Of course there are but you need to be patient. Real links come less often but bring in more value which lasts longer.

Here are some link building strategies that may help you to get genuine links that will help your site in getting top ranks:

1. Never cloak links for the bots of Google or Yahoo. If you cloak (sending different bots to different pages), eventually it may get caught and your site may be banned.

2. Do not follow page ranks of the site from where you want to get links. Page ranks are updated rarely. So the rank that you are seeing may be very old and not the real ones. You may be unnecessary chasing a bad page to get links.

3. All links are not equal. Some pages or websites are regularly crawled and indexed by Google. These are the websites that are given more value by Google. This also means that links from these pages carry more value that links from other websites that are crawled say once a month.

Please note that there is a time delay between crawling and indexing. Crawling means Google has downloaded the page into its servers and indexing means Google has indexed the page to be shown in the search results pages. Some websites takes months to get indexed and some few hours. For example news websites gets crawled and indexed in seconds, while a blog started by an unknown person may take months to be crawled and indexed.

To know when Google crawled a page is to go to Google and see the cached page. Google will show that date it was crawled.

If you notice the search results pages, you will see that Google shows the dates of the pages indexed. Its almost always better to target pages for links which were crawled and indexed recently. These will carry more weight than links from pages that were crawled and indexed months or years back.

4. Get links from niche directories: Quality directories like Yahoo Directory and DMOZ have tremendous weight in Google rankings. Yahoo is paid but it is still worth to get a link from their directory.

DMOZ is run by volunteers and it may take months before your website is included in their directory.

5. Youtube: This one is easy. Create a video of what your website does and upload it to youtube. Then write a description with a link to your website. How easy is that. But a word of caution – do not make a bad or unprofessional video. You will do more harm than good to your website in the long run. You are just not doing it for getting a link, you may get visitors from Youtube and you don’t want them to have a bad impression on your company.

6. Get links from quality websites: Google has made this easier for you. Just search in Google the keywords that you are targeting. Google will display a list of websites. The top 40-50 websites are what you need to target. If Google thinks these are the top websites for that keyword, then they are really good websites to get links. Remember getting links from related websites is important.

Visit these websites. Find their contact address and write on a notepad. Then write an email to every webmaster asking them to link to your site because their visitors may find your site good. Not every webmaster will give a link. But even if 10% give a link, you should be good. It also depends on how good your site is. If they think their visitors will benefit by visiting your website they may give a link. But frankly do not expect a lot of links through this route. People now a days fear to give links (or even get linked to their websites). One bad incoming link may trigger SPAM flag at Google and the website may be in trouble.

7. Google hates paid links. Never ever think of paying any website owner to get a link. Asking for a natural link because it will benefit their visitors is OK, but not a paid link even if useful.

Matt cutts the head of Google SPAM team recently released a video explaining how Google determines paid link. Watch the video to know more about it.

If you don’t want to see the video then you can read about it at

8. You can outsource link building: This one is a bit tricky. Big companies with big fat wallets do exactly this and it is OK in the eyes of Google because they are big companies. But we are small fish in a large ocean. We need to be careful. You can of course out source link building but you need to be careful. Ask the company you are outsourcing link building that how are they going to give your site links? If you are satisfied with the answers, if it adheres to all the rules laid down by Google on link building then please go ahead and pay for their services. Else you are better off trying link building on your own. But frankly the good ones are really costly. If a company is offering link building services for peanuts, stay away. They will only offer SPAM, auto generated, forum profiles or trash links. You will get your website banned.

9. Disavow Links: If you find some suspicious links to your website that you never asked for and if they look like SPAM, you should Disavow them in your webmaster account. But be careful with this tool. You do not want to block the good links coming to your site that give your site a boost in the ranking. I have seen webmaster Disavowing 100% of the links to their site when they panic seeing a drop in their sites ranking.

This could be a temporary ranking shuffle by Google, and you may get panic and Disavow all links. That is certainly a bad idea. If you are absolutely sure the link source is a SPAM, you should Disavow them.

Never Disavow links that are nofollowed. You are unnecessary working hard. All links of pages in Disavow will be treated as nofollowed.

10. Press Releases: if you are launching a product, press releases also help in getting traffic, spread the word around the web and get some links too. But do a press release if absolutely required. You should not do it to get links. It may not help.

You may also be interested in reading Best Link Building Practices 2013 and Beyond.

Recommended Readings:

What Content to Write in Your Website

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Till now we have learned how an affiliate makes money, how you can make money from affiliate programs, how to get a domain name, and how to get a reliable and cheap web hosting company to own your first website.

If you haven’t read the above articles I highly recommend you read them first before reading this article. However if you are familiar with the above topics, you can continue reading this article.

You see you have got a great domain name and you have bought hosting for cheap. You got your website designed and it looks great. Now its time you write something in your website that people can read, learn or enjoy.

The idea is to write something that makes sense and leaves an impression that the writer has enough knowledge on the subject. The reader should feel that what is being written is coming from an expert.

You see there are millions of websites out there. One more website makes no difference to the universe of websites. So how does your website stands apart? Remember if your website doesn’t stand apart it will be lost in the galaxy of websites that never see the light of the day.

The biggest search engine in the world – Google, is very smart in recognizing a good website from a bad website. This includes everything – domain name, design, content, images, coding, download speed, social signals, back link quality etc.

All of the above matter, but the most important signal is the content. If your website can get respect from Google, I bet it will automatically get respect from people who visit your website. So do not try to fool Google or the real people visiting your website. No short cuts will help. Good and sensible content will always have an edge in the long run with any search engine for that matter.

If you write good content right from the very beginning in your blog, you need not bother of any algorithmic changes Google (or any search engine) may introduce in its ranking algorithms. Your website will survive them all, until you start cheating or start taking short-cuts.

As you may have read in the article how to chose a domain, you probably know on what topics you will be writing your articles on. You already have a fair idea of the niche that you want to write about. Now is the time to do some research on this to make sure there is a market for this niche.

In fact this should be done before buying a domain in that niche. But I always believe every niche possible on earth has a market. Its is the marketing guy who should know how to market. The only thing is that your niche should make a marketing sense, or there could be related niches that you can diversify later.

To know whether there is a market or not head to keyword tools provided by Google. You may have to have an adwords account to get inside the tool. You will get many keyword tools online but its better to rely on what Google is saying as it is the one search engine you shall be targeting to get traffic.

If you don’t have an adwords account or do not want to create one, I would suggest buy an online service provider of keywords search data especially for Google.

Bing also has a keyword tool and it should help you to get ideas, but knowing the estimate search for a keyword in a month in Google is very important. You should try to write for keywords that have at least 1000 searches a month in Google to get some meaningful traffic from every page on your website.

However it is also possible that there may be some topics that you may want to write on but may not find enough searches in a month in Google. You can still write on those topics, but make sure you link these pages from the popular pages on your site and also from related topics.

Why is this important? This is because the things you know about matter a lot. It is important that people read these pages as it is the only way to make sure you get regular visitors. Until and unless people don’t perceive you to be an expert in a topic they will not be interested in whatever you say. The situation will be like shouting on top of a car and people walking around thinking that you are mad.

Once your website visitor read things that you really are an expert of, they will flock to your site for new articles. Else they will never return.

By now it should be clear that you should write on topics that are

1. Highly searched in the search engines especially Google, and
2. Known to you thoroughly and they should be linked from the most popular pages on your website so that people read these pages.

Now lets now know about the articles themselves.

How much to write?

There is no fix rule, but you should write at least 4 articles in a month. You should try that at the end of one year your website should have at least 100 articles. But frankly you will never be penalized by Google or any other search engine for writing too much or writing too less. There are many bloggers and website owners who write one article a day. And there are very popular sites that does not get updated for ages but still get traffic.

For example some online newspaper publications publish many articles in a single day. Whereas some newspapers online publish new content only once a day. People who are very popular like celebrities publish content once in a month or less and they still get traffic.

But for starters, the more you write the better, except if you are writing garbage. Google will reward you for writing great content, not for bad one. In fact for bad content your website will be penalized.

You should therefore maintain quality and quantity. In my view quality is more important than quantity. If you cannot write more than one article a week, so be it. But make sure whatever you write is of high quality.

I know many websites that have hundreds of thousands of pages but no visitors because they were dumped by Google and other search engines for poor quality content.

Remember, content, is, was and will remain the king. So make sure your content is of very high quality.

What should be length of the articles?

For some very strange reason Google does not like short articles. In fact it now shows in depth articles separately in some of their listings. Which clearly indicates that Google loves lengthy articles.

But the question is how long?

Try to write at least 1500 word article. 2000 words is better and 3000 words even better. I agree that writing high quality lengthy articles is difficult. But you have to give it a try. If you think you cannot write 3000 words articles every time then let a few articles on your website be 3000 words, a few be 2000 and rest be 1000 word article.

A mix and match approach will prove to be great.

Believe me with practice and time you will find it easier to write lengthy articles. In fact it will be fun to write. And once you start making money from your website you will feel like writing whenever you are free.

Do not worry about ideas. One article will give birth to many ideas and you will eventually have more ideas and topics to write than you can handle.

If you are somehow stuck in a writers block, just take some rest and brainstorm ideas by either looking on the internet or by asking your friends or relatives or reading books. You will never be short of ideas to write if you have the motivation to write. Here are some articles to overcome writers block:

People who make money from their website, have the motivation to keep writing on their website almost on a daily basis. And you know what most of these famous bloggers have been in the business from the last 5 to 10 years. How on earth do you think they get ideas to write each and everyday?

If you want a website that has a million words you need to write the first word to get there right? So sit now and start writing. Do not wait for the perfect time to write because that perfect time will never come. Even if it comes it will be once or twice in a year. That way you will never be able to write a million words in your life time.

Balance it.

It is important to balance your writing habit. Discipline is important in every sphere of life, and its important in writing as well. Sit back, relax and think how much is good for a day – 300 words, 500 words, or 600 words? Once you decide make sure you stick to writing that many words a day on an average.

For example I write 500 words a day, five days a week, every month, year after year. And I have many websites so I balance it among all these websites depending on how important they are to me.

To start with you can write 100 words a day. Once you have some experience you can increase the amount of writing. But make sure it doesn’t get boring else you will quit writing. Go slow and pick up with time. It is not as difficult as it sounds.


1. Write lengthy articles. At least 1000 words. No less. Let some articles in your website be 3000 words, and some be 2000. Mix them well.

2. Quality over quantity. Just because you should write lengthy articles does not mean you throw garbage in your articles. By doing that you will do more harm than good to your site. Even one bad article can take your site deep down the search engine rankings.

3. Link the relevant articles. If you have written on something that people don’t search often, it should be linked from the popular pages of the site.

4. Write everyday. This will ensure your work is balanced and you don’t get bored.

5. Enjoy your work.

I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing this article. I will be glad to answer your questions in the comments section.

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