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How To Make Money Blogging

Hi everyone.  Are you trying to figure out how to make money online?  I’ve found the product that you’ve been looking for. You’ve probably seen a ton of different products out there that claim the same stuff.  The difference is I can prove it.  Go to google and type in “camping essentials”.  As of this writing, you should see the site campingessentials.net in the top result.  That site is just one of many affiliate sites created by users of Bring the Fresh.  The proof is in the pudding.  They got a crappy site like that to rank #1 on Google and so can you with their techniques.

My name is Andrew and I have been working on the internet as a programmer for the past 5 years.  I have read several ebooks on internet marketing and affiliate marketing over the past few years and NEVER had any success.  As a web programmer, I thought I had access to more tools and concepts that the average person doesn’t know and I was sure I could figure it out.  The problem for me was lack of effort and over-information.  I’ll tell you right now, it isn’t really simple to do affiliate marketing, but by no means do you have to be a genius to do it.  What it takes is some man hours which can be outsourced if you are willing to spend some money.

If you’re familiar with the concept of SEO and google ranking, they all follow a similar plan.  These steps are find a niche or keyword to target by doing market research.  Then you create a simple website based around this niche and market a product or service.  The final stage is to rank your website to show up in search results which results in targeted clicks to your website.  Niche finding and website building is easy and can be figured out by following a exact plan.  I’m not just saying this because i’m a programmer.  In fact, I was shocked at how easy building a website could be after joining Bring the Fresh.  All of my expertises knowledge went out the window, because it is just extra stuff I didn’t need to know.  To make a successful affiliate site all you need is a blog and ANYONE can set that up.

So what’s the tough part? It is getting ranked by google with SEO.  SEO (search engine optimization) is configuring your site to get displayed as high as possible in the search results when a search is run in google.  There are huge industries built on this and this is not a simple problem.  However, that’s why I showed you earlier the camping essentials search.  Ranking well in google is very possible and Bring the Fresh members know how to do it.  This article you are reading right now was brought to you with Bring the Fresh methods.  This proof is the number #1 reason I joined Bring the Fresh, and I have not regretted it.

I don’t want to sell you a pipe dream, but I can tell you that there are millions of dollars generated through affiliate marketing every day.  It is by no means rocket science and the greatest value of this product is in the community and the makers who are very active with updates.  This product launched some time in 2010, and they have just revamped it to a 2012 version.  This is the real deal!

To read more about this go to Bring the Fresh.

Is Affiliate Marketing Right For You?

I’m going to tell you the secret about affiliate marketing and you’re probably not going to be happy.  The secret is there IS NO SECRET.  When I figured this out this made me actually happy.  Why did this make me happy?  Because it means that anyone can learn to do it.  It isn’t just for the “in” crowd rolling in their money because they are an advanced hacker.  There may not be any machine you can buy to print you money, but there are some very valuable tools out there that gives you the leg up.  Affiliate marketing is not for everyone, in fact, it is not for most.  Here’s a checklist of stuff you should read before you venture into internet marketing.

Make sure you are the right person for affiliate marketing

  • Be prepared to work a lot.  All the big time people I’ve talked to and met in internet marketing work hard for their tons of money.  Similar to like Investment Bankers.  They make a lot of money, but they work very hard.  They are checking their phones like every 5 minutes.
  • Can you handle delayed gratification?  This means you will work hard on a project now and it may or may not pay out.  And if it does pay out, it might be like 3-4 months down the line.
  • Are you good at self motivation.  This ties into the working a lot.  You will need to motivate yourself.
  • Treat affiliate marketing like a business.  If you want to succeed, you got to put out quality work and and be willing to spend some money.  The amount of money you need compared to a conventional business will be significantly lower, but you don’t want to start with nothing.
  • Prepare to spend money.  You may think you can start with nothing, and you can, but if you do, you have to work EVEN harder.  If you try to do everything yourself, you might get discouraged down the line as it will take you longer and quit.
  • DON’T QUIT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.  Affiliate marketing is like a workout plan.  You can’t just buy p90x and expect a six-pack.  You got to workout 6 out of 7 days a week and follow a strict diet plan.  Don’t give up and you will succeed.

 

Ok, if you’re not scared away by now, here are some tips to getting started.

  • Join a program.  I’m part of Bring the Fresh and I have no regrets about joining.  The reason you want to join a program is, if you’re serious about trying affiliate marketing, you need to keep up with the latest trends.  These specialized forums are great places for cutting edge information.  There is less misinformation because it is a paid forum and the bad spammers are locked out.
  • Check out my guide to affiliate marketing.  It is kinda high level and you may need to google a lot of terms to understand it.
  • Check out my suggested software and backlinking ideas when it’s time to market your website.
  • Do your research to minimize getting scammed.  Affiliate marketers walk a fine line very close to spammers.  There is a distinction, but you got to watch out for scams.  I guess everyone on the internet has to look out for scams.

What Are Backlinks And How Do I Use Them?

Backlinks are the backbone of rankings in Google search results.  A backlink is basically a link to your website which effectively is considered a vote to the quality of your website content.  The more people link to you, the more importance your website gets for it’s given keywords.  This is and has been the fundamental strategy of how Google and many modern search engines rank their content for the search results.  Once people discovered this, gaming backlinks were born.

Some Vocabulary

  • SERPs – Search Engine Result Pages
  • Anchor Text – When you create a link, the clickable text is considered the Anchor Text.
  • PR – Page Rank is a value 0-9 which indicates the authority of a webpage.  Each page has a pagerank where 0 is the lowest.

Basic Strategy

“Quality over Quantity in your Backlinks”

As I mentioned, the fundamental strategy IS/WILL BE (for the foreseeable future) backlinks.  The basic strategy is to get many links to your website preferably with higher PR to raise YOUR site’s PR and gain more authority in the eyes of Google.  The keywords your page will rank for is determined by your OnPage SEO and the anchor text at which your site is receiving links.  The amount of backlinks one needs to get to the top of SERPs is based on the competition of how many other websites are ranking for the same keywords.

Evolving Your Strategy

In the past people were able to just dump a ton of backlinks using automated software and keyword stuff their content to improve relevance.  Those days are pretty much over and even if  you could still do it I don’t recommend it.  The problem is when a ranking loophole gets exposed, it is flooded with people using that technique.  What ends up happening is Google will make an update and all your backlinking efforts will go down the drain and your rankings in SERPs will fall.  I believe in making more sustainable legitimate looking backlinks that will stand the test of time.

Pandas and Penguins

Google’s latest two updates Panda and Penguin were designed to hit scammers and spammers.  The effects of these updates are not 100% known, but I will summarize the general consensus.  Panda was to remove duplicate  content, especially duplicate content that were OUTRANKING the original.  If I wrote a blog post and someone else just copied it off my blog and put it on his, who should get higher rankings?  I should get the credit as opposed to the copycat EVEN THOUGH he may have a more popular website.  Google’s panda update centered around this duplicate content issue which was running rampant on article directories and autoblogs.

The latest update is the Penguin update which was designed to target spam sites.  The first to fall were the private blog networks.  Private blog networks are a collection of blogs with the intention of ranking other sites with them.  People started to buy subscriptions to access these private blog networks to rank their site and it worked well!  Unfortunately, like I talked about earlier, you should be thinking about longevity in your backlinking, because once google found out, they de-indexed these private blog networks and many websites tanked in the SERPs because those backlinks they had became worthless.  I also believe penguin is detecting spam and discounting their linking power.

It is more important than ever to have natural backlinks or “natural looking” (wink) backlinks more than ever.  If you chase these loopholes, you will constantly go back to step 1 after an update.

On Page SEO Tips For Website Optimization

On page SEO is about optimizing your website to be as SEO friendly as possible to make you website as appealing as possible to Google and other search engines.  Off page SEO is ranking factors outside your site, primarily other sites who link to you.

The Fundamental SEO Rule

“The key thing to remember about on page seo is to make your site organized, relevant, and user friendly as possible.”  

Although it sounds like we are optimizing our website to make it as friendly as possible to Google, what google is doing is trying to detect is which websites are the most friendly and useful to USERS.  People who do short term seo to “trick” google into thinking they are a relevant website for a given keyword may see an initial boost, but after periodic google ranking updates, those “tricks” can become a penalty for your site.  One example of this is keyword stuffing.  Keyword stuffing is a practice of putting in your keyword a bunch of times on your website to make it appear to be relevant to that keyword.  If you were to read an article that does keyword stuffing you would realize it wounds terrible.  Originally it worked great as google bots are really unable to read a website’s content as a human would.  But now the google bots are smarter and recognize that if a keyword appears too much in regards to the other content on the page, it will read unnaturally and be flagged as spammy.

On Page SEO Checklist

  • Page Titles that are relevant, enticing, and unique. (<title>My Title</title>) for EVERY page on your website.  Do not duplicate titles on different pages!
  • Meta Description Tags that are relevant, enticing, and unique. (<meta content=’my description to my page’ name=’description’>)  for EVERY page on your website.
  • Meta Keyword Tags that are relevant to your page.
  • Keyword In Your URL.  If your page is about SEO optimization, make sure the permanent URL for that page has the term “seo optimization” in the URL
  • Heading Tags like H1, H2, H3 tags.  H1 is the most important and relevant to the content on the page and so on.
  • Work the keyword(s) your are trying to optimize for in the above areas, without Keyword Stuffing
  • Unique content is the only stuff that is going to rank.  You can’t just take an article you found and rank it better than the original writer.
  • No Follow outbound links to keep your website from giving authority (link juice) to others, unless you want it to.
  • Speed Up Load Time.  You can use a plugin such as WP Super Cache to cache your website and use a fast reliable host such as HostGator.
  • Keyword Density and LSI Keywords.  If you have a well written and relavant post, you don’t have to worry about this.  Basically don’t under or over do keyword density and same for LSI keywords.
  • Too Many Ads can hurt your page.  Adsense is limited to 3 ads per page, but you can add more non adsense ads.  The thing is if you add to many, especially above the fold, it can hurt your rankings.

There are a ton of other SEO factors that may come into play, but these are the most important that i’ve outlined.  A lot of smaller SEO thing are already accomplished if you use a platform such as wordpress because the way wordpress handles, links to, and organizes the internal pages are already optimized.

Can You Really Make Money Online?

You probably have seen a few websites out there that tries to sell you a system to make money online.  You should be skeptical, because there is a lot of mis-information online.  I am also afraid of getting scammed around every corner of the internet. I just realized I got scammed just today with the purchase of a travel voucher off one of those groupon-clone sites.  FYI don’t buy anything from Next Stage Travel.  They offer things like $850 worth of travel for like $100, but they just mark up the price of their packages, so you end up paying the difference.

I think money making systems is very similar diet plans. You can’t just buy P90x (fitness plan) and expect to get a six-pack. You gotta do the workout 6 out of 7 days a week and follow a very strict diet plan. I’ve talked with many fitness experts and they all agree that dieting is actually like 80% of being in shape and looking good! This is hard to do and most people that try are going to fail, not because the plan was a scam, but they just quit. Just like a lot of money making systems, you get a plan, but you just gotta keep trying and NOT quit.

But there are also miracle diet pills people try to sell (scam). A lot of people don’t know the difference between some of these diet options, but unfortunately a lot of diet products/systems get grouped together and get a bad reputation for some bad products. What i’m getting at here is that not all making money online systems are a scam.  Sure, a lot of people who purchase these systems will not succeed, but if you continue at it and don’t quit, you will succeed.

Now don’t go out and buy every promising product, but don’t be so jaded to try to dream a bit.  I have joined a program called Bring the Fresh and I think it’s well worth the value.  I have learned invaluable information about online businesses which can transfer to my professional work.  The greatest thing about this program is membership to an exclusive forum where I have met very successful people and receive help and support on my new projects.  I am determined to succeed and this is my blog to document my progress.

Creating Content for Your Affiliate Website

If you follow the google way, content is king.  The best place to get content is by writing it yourself.  Hopefully you are creating a website that you are interested in.  This helps tremendously if you are trying to write about a subject if you are interested in it.  There has been very successful websites about some of the smallest niches, so long as the information is good.  To write your own content, just google your keyword and research first.

But the truth of the matter is I’m a terrible writer and not all my websites are stuff I want to write about.  Here’s where some outsourcing can come into play.  Just note that if you are going to outsource and get articles written for you for about $5 – $10, you are NOT going to get a masterpiece.  Minimum wage in the US is about $8/hr.  So maybe someone is willing to spend 30 minutes to RESEARCH and WRITE your article for about $5.  Who ever is writing your article is not going to be expert on the topic in 15 minutes of research.  You can request to get some articles written and then correct/polish them yourself.

 

Here are some sites where you can hire writers for articles. 

  • Articlez  Articles range from $12 – $50 depending on length
  • iWriter  Pretty cheap.  Articles range from $3 – $20 depending on length and writer rating.  I suggest you get only 4 stars or higher.  They are very fast here.
  • Fiverr  There are a lot of people offering to write content on this site for $5.  Read the the feedback try to find a good writer.
  • Pro Article Writing  This is another site to get articles written.

 

Whether you are writing your own content or hiring out for content, you should be aware of the following things.

  • Only publish original content.  Google can detect if what you post is a repost from a different website.  Duplicated content will not rank as high for the reposter as it does for the original creator.  This doesn’t mean you can’t write about a subject that has been covered, but just don’t copy and paste stuff.
  • If you hire people make sure they are writing original content.  There are tools like copyscape that can help you detect this.
  • Make sure your title of your post contains or is close to the keyword you are targeting.  This is part of onpage SEO where google analyzes your title tags and header tags to detect how relavant your post is to the keyword you are targeting.  If you use wordpress, just correctly setting the title of your post will do this for you.
  • Don’t keyword stuff.  If your article is about dog training, don’t put “dog training” everywhere on your page.  Google is going for natural readability, which means if it reads good then you’re probably not keyword stuffing.  If you are reading your work and it reads like you’re trying to target “dog training” and reads unnatural, google will notice this as well.

 

Tips

  • Proofread your work:  Sounds obvious
  • If you are putting the title of your blog post in the url, make sure you get it right before you start promoting it.  Change the title and thus the url can mess up your efforts.
  • If you have an iPhone and maybe it’s on android, download the dragon speech to text app if you want to dictate some of your writings.

How to Build a WordPress Blog For Affiliate Marketing

So you got your niche picked out, your keyword you want to target, and your product.  Here is my quick start guide and checklist for making a super site.  If you never created a wordpress blog before this may take you a day.  For me, I can do it within an hour.  That’s right, I can have a ready to go fully functional website to go all setup in about 30 minutes.  There are some services you want to sign up for that are optional but recommended.  The idea is to make this short and sweet.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, google it, because if I wrote about each item on the list it would be a really really long post.

Sign Up For:

QUICK START GUIDE

  1. Godaddy
    1. Register Domain
      1. Change name servers for your domain to nsXXX.hostgator.com.  The particular name servers you want to use will be listed on the side when you log into your hostgator account.  This lets users find your webhosting when they try to visit your domain.
  2. HostGator- Login
    1. Add the new domain in “Addon Domains”
    2. Fantastico install WordPress
  3. WordPress Admin- Login to your site at http://www.YOURSITE.com/wp-admin
    1. Settings/General
      1. Set the Title.  Work the keyword you are targeting into here
      2. Tagline.  Work the keyword you are targeting into here as well
      3. Setup the www prefix.  I personally like my blogs to have be like http://www.quickmoneyidea.com rather than http://quickmoneyidea.com
    2. Settings/Permalinks
      1. Change post urls to /%postname%/  This is good for SEO as the title of the post will not be part of the url.
    3. Settings/Privacy (do last)
      1. Set to crawlable to ensure that search engines find your blog
    4. Pages
      1. Delete unused pages
      2. Add Compensation Page
      3. Add Privacy Policy – Google “privacy policy generator” and find a website that will create one for you
    5. Appearances
      1. Pick a theme you like.  I like to use socrates theme.
    6. Socrates – Has built into it widgets for header images, ads, analytics, and some SEO optimizations
      1. Setup header/title size/tagline size – Just go get socrates.  Will save you
      2. Setup meta-description tag.  If you don’t have socrates then download a free plugin that will let you edit this.
    7. Posts
      1. Edit/Delete first post to something else.  Preferably mention the keyword
      2. Add Category for post containing the keyword or variation of the keyword
      3. Add some keyword related tags
      4. Edit/Delete first comment
    8. Users
      1. Create user type author
      2. Go to Settings -> Writing -> Check XML-RPC
    9. Plugins
      1. Automated WordPress Backup – Or something similar to backup your blog automatically on a schedule
      2. Affiliate Link Cloaking – Often time affiliate links are really ugly.  This plugin lets you make a link on your website and have that redirect to the actual affiliate link
      3. Contact Form 7 – Easy to make make contact page.
      4. WordPress SEO by Yoast – Must get if you don’t use socrates theme
      5. Auto Post Thumbnail - optional.  This plugin makes pretty thumbnails to display on your homepage.
    10. Content
      1. Write a lot of posts about what you want to sell
      2. Makes some pages and widgets for your blog.
      3. Rinse repeat.  More content and contant content is good.
  4. Google Analytics
    1. Set it up.  Get the tracker code and paste it in socrates or another wp plugin for google analytics
  5. Google Adsense
    1. Create some ads and paste the code into socrates or another ad plugin for wp.  I think some ads add some color to a site and makes you money.  It’s a win-win.  I don’t like putting to many.  Just looks bad and is a bad user experience.

 

That’s it for now. If you don’t understand what all this means, then leave a comment or google it. As you delve further into affiliate marketing you will understand the importance of every step. Just try it out.

Sign Up For Market Research Companies – Quick Money Ideas

Another pretty good way to make some side income is Market Research Companies.  They pay anywhere from $50 – $150 hour.  Most that I’ve been to are generally like 1-2 hours and are actually pretty fun if you like to give your opinion on stuff.  You really can’t be wrong on anything as all they want is some genuine quality feedback.

I’ve gone to ones where I just played around on a test website, talked about healthcare, talked about a job website and a few others.  It doesn’t get much EASIER than this.  I found this website that lists such companies that might be in your area.  http://www.greenbook.org/

I suggest you sign up for them all and fill out their pre-screener surveys whenever you get request.  You might not qualify for them all, but if you do it’s about the most easily paid gig you can do.  I honesty find them pretty interesting.

 

 

How To Monetize Your Webpage with Adsense or Affiliate Products

There are quite a few ways to monetize your website.  I’m going to talk about the 2  simplest ways which is adsense and affiliate products or services.

Adsense

Adsense is operated by google and it is just about the easiest way to put up ads on your website to make money.  All you do to get adsense working is:

  1. Sign Up For Adsense
  2. Pick a Size Ad you would like to display
  3. Copy and Paste the code snippet that adsense gives you to your website.

Adsense will automatically display relavant ads depending on the content on the page it is displayed.  So google does all the work picking out the ads and all you do is determine where you want them.  If you using wordpress there is several plugins you can get to display ads where you just copy and paste the code from google adsense into a widget.  I use a theme called Socrates, which is NOT free.  That theme is optimized for placing adsense ads, seo, and affiliate marketing.  If you’re serious about trying internet marketing I highly suggest you get this theme for wordpress.  The time you will save in configuring and optimizing your site is way worth it’s price.

Affiliate Products and Services

This is a way to make way more per click than adsense can make you.  You can and should put adsense on all your legitimate pages, but don’t clutter your page too much with ads.  If you are targeting a niche or keyword you are probably trying to obtain targeted traffic to your website.  If you are targeting the keyword “coffee beans” then people who are coming to your site are going to be interest in coffee beans.  So why not try to promote your visitors to useful services like coffee bean wholesalers or coffee machines?  Here’s a list of popular places for affiliate programs.

  • Commission Junction: A lot of big companies use Commission Junction to run their affiliate program.
  • Clickbank: A lot of individuals run their affiliate programs through clickbank and it can be very lucrative.
  • Amazon Associates:  Promote things sold on amazon and get a 4-8% commission on all sales.
  • Google Affiliates:  Google also does affiliate marketing for big companies

Tips for Picking a Product

  • Some people find a product they want to do before they do their keyword research.  You should pick something you are interested in and making your site will be more fun.
  • It’s a sad reality, but a lot of the top money making affiliate programs are from needy people.  Such as people looking to get back their wife/husband, losing weight, looking for help about their disorders.

 

How To Host Your Website(s) for Affiliate Marketing

Time to find hosting?  Well there are several options.  Do you just want the best answer so you can get going on your website?  Get your hosting from Host Gator and order the Baby Plan.  It’s only like $4 – $8 a month depending on how much you want to prepay and lets you host Multiple Websites.  Read below for lengthy explanations of other hosting types.

HOSTING 101

Ok i’m a programmer by trade, so I’ve tested several hosting services and types.  There are several types of hosts.  There are dedicated hosts, virtual hosts, cloud hosts, shared hosts.

Dedicated, Virtual, Cloud Hosting is NOT for you

Unless you are a programmer or system administrator you don’t want a dedicated host, virtual host, or a cloud computing host.  They are not meant for people who aren’t unix knowledgeable and are generally most expensive.  They are more expensive because you are paying for a certain amount of STABLE computing power 24 hours a day.  Honestly, if you are running an affiliate website the amount of traffic is not going to require this type of hosting.  These types of hosts range from $20/month to hundreds a month depending on how much power you need.  Also with these types of hosts, you have to set a lot of stuff up manually which you don’t want to learn how to do.

Shared Hosts

Shared Hosts are web servers that host multiple websites with other customers.  When you buy shared hosting your website is sharing a computer’s resources with other peoples’ websites.  The benefit is that it is much cheaper and the interface is much better for non-tech people.  The downside is you don’t have complete control over your machine (which you don’t need for simple wordpress blogs).  This sharing allows hosting companies to give you cheap prices because most websites don’t get much traffic and having a single computer run 1 website is OVERKILL, depending on the traffic numbers.

Why You Should Get Shared Hosting Summary

  1. Easy to Setup.  The good ones have a really easy interface called cPanel which makes launching a WordPress Blog done in like 3 steps
  2. They offer UNLIMITED* websites.  With one plan you can have 10, 20, 100 websites.  I starred unlimited because if your website(s) get too much traffic you are gonna have to upgrade hosting.  If this happens, believe me, that’s a GREAT problem to have.
  3. It’s CHEAP.

I recommend Host Gator, because everyone uses them and I don’t have any complaints.  There are a few out there cheaper by like a $1 a month or something, but honestly, Host Gator is cheap enough and you don’t wanna be stuck at a bad hosting company, because you generally have to prepay for months in advance and migrating your websites to a different hosting company is a pain.  A bad hosting company will overload the sharing on the computer server and when one of the websites on that server has a traffic spike, it will bring down your site.  Believe me, I have had to move hosts and it’s a PAIN.

How To Pick a Domain Name for Affiliate Marketing

Picking a Domain Name is very closely tied with picking a keyword/niche.  Read that first before you read this.  Generally I find a viable keyword I want to work on, then I check to see if the domain is available.  If the domain is NOT available, I either move on to another domain or I try a few variations.  Here are some tips I use in trying to get a good domain name for my keyword.

GOOD

Here’s a rough order of how I would pick a domain.  It’s not an exact science, but here it is.  Don’t blame me if i’m wrong.  It’s just the general consensus of what i’ve read and slightly tested.  For this example, let’s say our keyword is “acai pills”.

  1. acaipills.com. Dot com is KING.
  2. acaipills.net or acaipills.org. Dot net or org works pretty good
  3. acaipillsSTOPWORD.com.  Stop words are lil words like ‘a’, ‘in’, ‘for’ and are basically ignored by search engines.  The stopword doesn’t necessarily have to be at the end of the domain  Here’s a list of them.
  4. acaipillsreview.com.  Try to add review to it and do a review site.  You get the benefit of people searching for the keyword “acai pills review”.
  5. PREFIXacaipillsSUFFIX.  Like #4, you can possibly add different prefix and/or suffix to your keyword.  Here’s a list of prefixes/suffixes
  6. acaipillsreview.net or acaipillsreview.org

 

BAD

  1. One thing I avoid is hyphens in my domain name.  I think they look spammy and generally are.  I have seen hyphenated domains show up in serps, but I generally don’t use them.
  2. Common misspellings is another type I avoid.  Unless you can get something like gogle.com or yaho.com this is generally not a good idea.  Commen misspelled domains are good for really high traffic sites where people type the web address DIRECTLY into the address bar.  Most people type what ever they are looking for into search engines which correct the spelling for them and therefore rendering your misspelled domain useless.
  3. Do not put profanity in your url.  Also avoid accidental profanity such as the keyword “push it”.  I’ve seen the rank sometimes, but a lot of times you will be filtered out.

 

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