Israel-Gaza: Heavy firefight traded across the border between Israel military and Hamas

A bus set ablaze after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, 12 November 2018

Israel says its fighter jets have hit 100 Palestinian militant targets overnight in the Gaza Strip after militants fired 370 rockets at Israel.

Six Palestinians, four of them militants, died in the strikes on Gaza, while a man was killed in a rocket attack in the Israeli town of Ashkelon.

Both Israel and Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, have threatened to escalate their actions.

Violence erupted when a covert Israeli mission was exposed in Gaza on Sunday.

Seven Palestinian militants, including a Hamas military commander, and an Israeli lieutenant colonel who was in the undercover unit were killed in clashes.

The incident came after apparent progress in an effort by Egypt and the UN to secure a truce on the Gaza border, where more than 200 Palestinians have been killed during protests since March.

How serious is the upsurge?

After a brief lull following Sunday night’s violence, a barrage of rockets and mortars was launched towards Israel late on Monday, which Israeli medics said killed one person and injured 28.

A bus, which had reportedly been carrying troops, was hit by an anti-tank missile in the Shaar Hanegev region, seriously wounding a male soldier.

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Overnight, one man was killed when a block of flats in Ashkelon was hit by a rocket. Unconfirmed Israeli media reports identified him as a Palestinian from the West Bank.

Eight other people were injured in the attack, including two women who the Israeli ambulance service said were in a serious condition.

In response, the Israeli military carried out what it called a wide-scale attack against military targets belonging to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups.

It said they included Hamas’ military intelligence headquarters in northern Gaza and “a unique vessel” in a harbour in the south of the territory.

The building housing Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV was also bombed after being evacuated, disrupting broadcasts. Israel said the outlet “contributes to Hamas’s military actions”.

The building housing the Hamas-run television station Al-Aqsa in the Gaza Strip is hit during an Israeli air strike, 2 November 2018Image copyright by GETTY IMAGES
Image captionIsraeli air strikes targeted the Hamas-run television station Al-Aqsa

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said six people were killed and 25 others injured in the strikes. Four of the dead were militants and two are said to have been farmers.

This is one of the most serious rounds of fighting since Israel and Hamas fought a war in 2014.

The Israeli military has warned it is prepared to “dial up its response” to the rocket fire, while Hamas’s military wing said it was ready to “expand the circle of fire” against Israel.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov called on all sides to show restraint and said efforts were being made with Egypt to pull Gaza “back from the brink”.

“The escalation in the past 24hrs is EXTREMELY dangerous,” he tweeted on Monday night.

How did the violence start?

Palestinians said they discovered an undercover Israeli unit in a civilian car about 3km (2 miles) inside the Gaza Strip late on Sunday.

A firefight ensued in which the Hamas commander was killed. Israel launched air strikes and opened fire with tanks on the area, witnesses said. Six other militants were killed as well as one of the Israeli special forces soldiers.

The incident is reported to have happened east of Khan Younis, in the south of the territory.

  • Life in the Gaza Strip
  • Gaza protest image likened to famous painting

Why did Israel kill the commander?

Due to the secrecy of the operation, Israel has not revealed specific details about the mission.

The IDF said, however, that the operation was “not intended to kill or abduct terrorists, but to strengthen Israeli security”.

Palestinians look at wreckage of car destroyed in Israeli air strike in Khan Younis (12/11/18)Image copyright by REUTERS
Image captionIsrael carried out air strikes when Sunday night’s firefight erupted

The BBC’s Tom Bateman in Jerusalem says that according to a former Israeli general, the incident was likely to have been an intelligence-gathering operation that went wrong.

The exposure of such an operation by Israeli special forces inside Gaza would be extremely rare, he says.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, denounced Sunday’s incident as a “cowardly Israeli attack”.

Why are Israel and Hamas enemies?

Hamas won Palestinian elections in 2006 and reinforced its power in the Gaza Strip after ousting West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s rival Fatah faction in clashes the following year.

While Mr Abbas’s umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has signed peace accords with Israel, Hamas does not recognise Israel’s right to exist and advocates the use of violence against it.

A school under closure in Sderot (12/11/18)Image copyrightAFP
Image captionSchools have been ordered to close in Israeli border communities as a precaution

Israel, along with Egypt, has maintained a blockade of Gaza since about 2006 in order, they say, to stop attacks by militants.

Israel and Hamas have gone to war three times, and rocket-fire from Gaza and Israeli air strikes against militant targets are a regular occurrence.

map of Gaza showing buffer zone (on land) and six-mile fishing exclusion zone
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Best Website Types That Earn Most Money at Google AdSense

Earn Money With Google AS

Want to know which kind of website is going to earn the most money with Google AdSense? Knowing which type of website is most likely to generate ad clicks will help you monetize your site and maximize your ad revenue.

In this article, we’ll show you what kind of website you should create if you’re looking to earn with Google AdSense.

What is Google AdSense?

Google AdSense is a free advertising program run by Google that allows website owners to display text, image, video, or interactive media ads on their website in the hopes that site visitors will click on them.

Google is in charge of displaying the ads on your site. And, the ads are often relevant to the content you’re publishing. This helps encourage site visitors to click on them.

After every click your site’s ads get, you get paid about 68% of what the advertisers paid to have their ad shown on your site.

The main goal when it comes to earning money with Google AdSense is to generate as many clicks as possible. If you want to earn the most money with Google AdSense, be sure to check out our helpful guide on increasing your AdSense earnings.

Any website owner can use Google AdSense. And since monetizing your website using AdSense is one of the best ways to make money online, all website owners should consider this free service.

But there are some types of websites that consistently do better than others.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at which types of websites earn the most money with Google AdSense.

1. Blogs

Blogs are known for having consistent and unique content published on them all the time. In fact, some blogs post new content daily, or even hourly.

This is attractive to advertisers paying to have their ads displayed on a website through the Google AdSense program. The reason is, popular blogs that are optimized for SEO rankings generate a lot of daily traffic that will see the ads being shown and actually click on them. This means more money in your pocket.

You might consider placing AdSense ads in the top generating spots on your blog to generate the most revenue possible:

  • Within blog content
  • Under the navigation menu but above the content
  • To the left of the blog title
  • Below blog content in the form of a native ad
  • All whitespace areas on your website

From there, you can use MonsterInsights to track Google AdSense clicks using MonsterInsights ads tracking:

  • Find out how many clicks your blog’s ads are getting
  • Find out where on your blog the most clicks are happening
  • Remove the low performing ads so others can get more clicks

For step-by-step directions, check out our tutorial on how to track Google AdSense in Google Analytics.

Using Google AdSense on your blog is the easiest way to monetize your site.

Take it from Amit Agarwal.

Google AdSense Blog Example

Earning $10,000/month with AdSense placed all over his site Labnol.org, including within blog content and at the end of blog content in the form of native ads, Agarwal is just one example of how starting a blog can earn you the most money when paired with Google AdSense.

2. Forum Sites

For some, writing blog content and attracting loyal readers is not something they want to do. However, many find that forum sites are a great way to give others a platform to speak their mind, while also generating AdSense revenue.

Instead of writing extensive blog posts, all you have to do is list forum discussion points and let users interact.

From there, drive traffic to your site, establish yourself as an authority, and create a brand, just by getting people together to talk about a variety of topics.

For a great forum example, take a look at CatForum.com. This simple forum site dedicated to cat lovers uses Google AdSense below the navigation menu and above the content.

Google AdSense Forum Site Example

There are also some ads seen at the footer of the forum section. This further monetizes this highly-trafficked forum site.

3. Free Online Tool Sites

Have you ever thought about the type of traffic a website that offers a free online tool might see? If not, you better believe if the tool you offer is valuable, lots of people will visit your site daily.

And, those site visitors are going to click on relevant ads at some point, which makes you easy money.

For example, GIFmaker.me is a free online tool that lets you create animated gifs, slideshows, and video animations, complete with music.

And, since this tool is free for everyone to use, they use Google AdSense to make some money.

Google AdSense Online Tool Example

Notice how they use the header section of their site to display ads. Plus, they use the sidebar whitespace to display ads for site visitors to click on. These ads are easy for site visitors to click on and have the potential to generate lots of money.

And there you have it! The 3 types of websites that earn the most money with Google AdSense.

If you’re thinking about using Google AdSense to monetize your website, be sure to check out how to view your AdSense reports in Google Analytics so you can optimize your ads and boost revenue once you get started.

7 Surprising Ways To Successful Affiliate Marketing for eCommerce Business

10 Surprising Ways Affiliate Marketing Will Transform your eCommerce Business

You’re always looking for a good recommendation, right?

Chinese food, car mechanic, or the latest tech gadget – we want confirmation from someone we trust that it’s a good buy.

Essentially, affiliate marketing is the eCommerce version of product promotion through an online influencer.

Affiliate marketing can be the strategic move you need to increase sales and connect with clients you otherwise would never reach.

  • By 2020, U.S. affiliate marketing spend is expected to rise to $6.8 billion.
  • 81% of brands use affiliate marketing programs.
  • 16% of all online orders are generated through affiliate marketing,

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the only marketing channels that offers a 100 percent return on investment every time. It’s one of the only tactics that allow you to pay for marketing spend after the sale.

The affiliate marketing process involves the merchant – that’s you – and the affiliate. The affiliate, or publisher, is the company or individual that promotes your products and brand on their website. Your affiliate receives a commission when someone clicks through to your website and makes a purchase.

The best affiliates will have:

  • A trusted website that generates traffic.
  • Updated content.
  • Influence on their audience.
  • Valuable content (blog, product reviews, how-to guides).

Since the affiliate is counting on commissions, you’ll need a game plan for converting your site visitors to product buyers. It’s all about providing affiliates with the highest earnings per click (EPC). Even if you work with the best affiliates, they’ll promote your products less and switch their concentration to other eCommerce sites that have higher conversion rates and EPCs, so you need to be strategic in your approach.

With 38% of marketers calling affiliate marketing one of their top customer acquisition methods, it’s worth adding to your eCommerce strategy.

Here are 10 ways affiliate marketing will transform your eCommerce business.

1. Indirectly grow your sales team

Your entrepreneurial juices are flowing and you’re ready to grow your eCommerce business without limits. If you’re just one person or a small group, affiliate marketing can instantly expand your indirect sales team to include experts in your niche and beyond.

Affiliates are skilled in driving quality traffic to your site.

Quality traffic = More conversions.

More conversions = Higher revenue.

Higher revenue = More opportunity to grow your eCommerce business.

A highly qualified indirect sales team that doesn’t waste time designing traditional ads, getting them approved, and tracking their progress? We’ll call that a marketing win.

2. Improve customer loyalty

Customers that continue to support your brand over time will spend 67 percent more than new customers. Affiliate marketing allows you to benefit from the trust and expertise of your chosen affiliates.

When a social influencer, affiliate marketing blogger, or celebrity signs off on your product, they bring their audience with them. G-Shock has its own set of fans and customers, but now they’re benefitting from @elorabee and her nearly 183,000 Instagram followers.

eCommerce Affiliate Marketing Image 1

3. Multiple paths to conversion

What does success look like for your eCommerce business? Unlike digital advertising, affiliate marketing allows you to choose what your successful conversion will be through manually setting incentives. Choose from conversions like:

  • Sale of a particular product.
  • Email capture.
  • Filling out a survey form.
  • Downloading a how-to guide.

You can manually set incentives through affiliate marketing by offering commissions on the success of your choice. Your eCommerce business is unique, so how you rate success should be just as distinctive.

Plus, affiliate marketing quickly gets your eCommerce website in front of more eyeballs by featuring your products across the web. Instead of working on getting 1,000 new visitors to a product page, you can leverage a high-traffic affiliate site and get visitors to your site that way.

Make sure to work with your affiliate partners to optimize the path to conversion. You should have them focus on your highest average order products and send traffic to your highest converting pages to maximize impact.

4. Better budgeting and ROI

You don’t have to spend loads of cash hoping your ads hit the right audience or that Facebook and Google’s algorithms won’t change overnight.

It doesn’t matter if your marketing budget has a couple of commas or you’re shaking your piggy bank, affiliate marketing allows you to more precisely budget for marketing campaigns.

It’s simple: Choose your conversion target. Offer commissions. Make money.

Because you only pay out when products sell, you can use your marketing budget for other revenue streams – sponsoring social media influencer posts, social media, or unique content creation optimized with your keywords.

Plus, eCommerce affiliate marketing has an incredible ROI. Since you’re paying a small percentage for each sale generated (typically 3-10%, based on your vertical), you can see a return on ad spend of 10:1 or more. After factoring in your products COGS (cost of goods sold), profit margin, and affiliate commission, you should still have room for some solid profits.

Most eCommerce affiliate marketing commissions are paid out based on a percentage of the product’s sale cost. And you can set different commissions for different affiliate partners. For example, you may want to send a coupon or loyalty site an IO (insertion order) with a commission of 3%, while sending an influential blogger an IO with a commission of 10%. Get creative! Inside your affiliate platform, you can create multiple offers for your affiliates. You just want to make sure you are as competitive as possible – check your competitor’s affiliate programs and match or beat their commission rates.

5. Enhance credibility

When an affiliate promotes your service or product, you can use that promotion to add credibility to your business. Use images, icons, or text to publicize where your brand has been used and reviewed.

Chelsea Krost, a top influencer, showcases where her brand has been publicized with an “As Seen On” section on her homepage.

eCommerce Affiliate Marketing Image 2

6. Develop brand ambassadors

People are talking about your brand, and if you’re not leading the conversation, you may be unaware of what prospective customers are reading. Affiliate marketing puts your brand in the hands of influencers who help create brand ambassadors.

When trustworthy influencers blog about your products, post photos of them or feature them in videos, they’re telling all their fans and followers that your brand is awesome. It’s approved, and 82 percent of consumers say they’re highly likely to follow a recommendation made by an influencer.

According to a survey of more than 4,000 social media users from the U.S. and Europe, an influencer:

  • Has 10,000+ followers.
  • Is someone who brands contact to help promote products and services.
  • Shares info on brands they love and reviews popular products.
  • Is considered an expert in their niche.

The influencer’s fans become your new brand ambassadors by trying the products, posting about the products, and sending even more traffic to your eCommerce site.

7. User-generated content overload

Have you ever sat down at your computer and had nothing? It’s a couldn’t-create-something-good-if-the-business-depended-on-it kind of day. One very evident way in which affiliate marketing enhances your eCommerce business is with UGC (user-generated content).

Even for the Instagrammers who don’t have mass followings, this can make a difference. Here’s why:

  • The vast majority of consumers (92 percent) say they turn to people they know for referrals above any other source.
  • Twice the amount of sales are generated through word-of-mouth compared to paid ads.
  • Nearly three-fourths of all consumers depend on social media for information about a product.
  • 84 percent of consumers say they’ll go with peer recommendations above all other advertising methods.

When your fans and followers snap photos, leave reviews, or post videos about your product, use that content as marketing power. It’s always better to have someone else say what a killer brand you have than to proclaim it yourself.

Wrap

You need an affiliate marketing strategy to enhance your relationship with customers and strengthen partnerships with businesses and social influencers you admire. While the method will call for your time and energy in the beginning, you’ll soon be well entrenched in your specific niche with time to focus on what matters to you – running your business.

Business Planning (The Start-Up)

A business plan is a written description of your business’s future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. It is a to do list and not to do list strategy to become successful. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you’ve written a plan, or at least the game of the plan. In planning you must involved many people in your circle or in your team to get their ideas and evaluate the best ideas and use that ideas.

Business plans are inherently strategic and very important in business at all levels and all type of industry. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities. You want to get to there, a point in the future (usually three to five years out) at which time your business will have a different set of resources and abilities as well as greater profitability, people, management and increased assets. Your plan shows how you will get from here to there. In good planning you need includes all possible risks and factors that will surely encounter in the way. Lists all the risks and factors and it’s corresponding measures or prevention to that matter.

Starting a business is stressful, need much time, capital and resources but it i also a full excitement and inspiration to achieve something you want in the future ahead. You’re wearing a million different hats trying to establish and grow your business, and there are always going to be unexpected challenges and obstacles that put a strain on your objectives. As a result, many entrepreneurs have to work long hours often, while keeping their day job battling uncertainty and still do great work.

In business planning you need to plan everything set all your goals, objectives, and target of achievements. You need to set up how much capital, manpower, and what type of business you are trying to engage in. It is in business planning that really matters for you to become successful in your business. In business don’t be on a rush but at the same time don’t be to slow because resources, time and competitive environment are always their that might affect your business and affect your plan. In business you need to gamble of being successful or failure.

That’s why it’s important to try to do other things in your life to help relieve some of that strain. By living a healthy lifestyle like exercising, eating right, have a healthy hobby then you will have more energy and positive mind to help you jump any hurdles in your way. The first 60 seconds of a business pitch can be the difference between reaching your highest goal or falling flat on your face. If not, it’s back to the ground floor and starting from scratch again  but this with lesson.

A successful business entrepreneur always plans ahead, think ahead and take risk head on. The higher the risk is involved the more return you will get. It is just a matter on how you plan your business and take everything in consideration all factors that may affect the business performance.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

— Winston S. Churchill

What Causes Financial Crises?

Accounting Management Finance Marketing Business Concept
Accounting Management Finance Marketing Business Concept

One of the great ironies of the 2008 financial crisis is that it was sparked by a product created from a historically safe investment asset: residential mortgages. In the past quarter century, delinquency rates of single-family home mortgages hovered below 3% for the most part except for the time around the Great Recession, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Then Wall Street bundled mortgages of various qualities into complex, opaque securities to be bought and sold, often using debt to turbo-charge the investment. When defaults began on Main Street, the tremors reached all the way around the world.

Today, the financial crisis seems like a footnote in history. But like other crises, it has sparked a period of soul-searching. What signs that a crisis was brewing did experts and regulators miss? Why didn’t regulatory reforms in the past prevent it? How could regulators stop another crisis from happening? What are the lessons from this and other meltdowns? These and other questions were the focus of a panel at the “Financial Markets, Volatility, and Crises: A Decade Later” conference held recently in New York by Wharton’s Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research.

While this year is generally acknowledged to be the 10th anniversary of the crisis, in actuality there is “no real consensus about when it all began,” said Wharton finance professor Richard Herring, who moderated the panel. Some point to 2006 as the start, when home prices peaked, while others think it began with the 2007 collapse of two Bear Stearns hedge funds that bet heavily on subprime mortgages. Perhaps it was when BNP Paribas froze withdrawalsfrom $2.2 billion worth of funds in the same year. Still others have argued that “it was manageable until the Lehman … orderly liquidation,” Herring said. That was the start.

Whenever the crisis actually began, panelists said that it bore similarities to other Wall Street meltdowns of the past, such as the 1987 market crash and the 1998 collapse of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management. Time and again, the chase for a higher investment return, the creation of new, complex securities, the relative inexperience of young traders, the popularity of a new theory to make money and lagging regulations have brought the financial system to the brink.

Free Lunches and the Illusion of Safety

Bruce Jacobs, principal and co-founder of Jacobs Levy Equity Management, said that while the 1987 crash, Long-Term Capital Management and the 2008 credit crisis were different events, they had similarities. “The common theme is that the strategies promised to make investing safe,” he said. “There is an expectation of protection and safety and at the same time they were sold on the basis of higher returns. They become irresistible.” But these “free lunch strategies” later backfired.

In the 1980s, belief in a trading strategy called portfolio insurance was supposed to take out risk. The strategy called for hedging against market downturns by short-selling stock index futures. Jacobs quoted Nobel laureate Robert Merton — who co-created the famed Black-Scholes-Merton calculation to determine fair pricing for options — as saying that if one literally traded continuously, all the risk would disappear because it is being shifted to someone else all the time. But practically speaking, Jacobs said, one can’t trade continuously in practice.

Portfolio insurance also can fail. “We all know what happened in 1987 — there was a major [stock market] crash, the largest one-day decline in the history of the U.S. markets, greater than the decline in 1929,” Jacobs said. It’s fine to shift risk to someone else, providing there are “counterparties on the other side willing to buy,” he said. But as many investors tried to shift risk at the same time, they could not find enough folks to take it off their hands. “The buyers were not there,” he said. “The markets became fragile. And the decline was over 20%.”