Monday, March 30, 2009

Making Money Online

Are you making money online yet? If you are still struggling and looking for someplace to get might want to consider...


I know that everyone has heard of eBay...and you may be already saying..."oh, I already know how to sell on eBay."Maybe so...but, did you sell enough to make 'Silver Power Seller' status?

To reach this level you have to sell $3,000 - $9,999 worth of product, each month, for three consecutive months and have more than 300 feedback that is, at least, 98% positive.

I'll be honest and tell you that I no longer sell on eBay. For one thing, in order for ME to keep up this level of sales, I had to work...literally...24/7. But, that was because I was selling original paintings...all painted by me. It would have been easier, if all I'd had to do was paint..but, there was all of the 'behind the scenes' work that go along with having a brisk eBay business.


-Photographing your product. (And you really do need to take as good a picture(s) as possible. Since the buyer can't examine the product in person, you should make it as close to the 'real' thing as you can.

-Finding a good template that 'compliments' your store theme. Auctiva has a large selection of free templates, in an assortment of different categories, that you can use. And you can set up your listings to automatically 'list' in eBay at pre-specified times. All of FREE! (I wished I had found Auctiva when I first saves soooo much time!)

-Layout the listing in the most complimentary and inviting manner. Wording the listing so that the descriptions are as complete and accurate as possible. Be positive and 'invite' the buyer to purchase your product and 'come back for more'. This requires a little 'study' of your competition. What makes their listings so appealing that you want to buy from them? Emulate but NEVER...EVER copy their descriptions word for word.

-Answer questions from buyers and potential buyers. Do this in a timely and friendly manner. If ever you receive a message from someone, that is less than friendly, 'sleep on it' for 24 hours before responding. Let your 'immediate reaction' have a chance to cool and then word your reply in a mature and appropriate manner. (I was once 'accused' of copying another artist. Truth be told, I had been painting in that fashion for years...probably while the 'accuser' was still in diapers. My immediate response would have been 'downright bitchy' but, I applied my 24 hour rule and simply responded, "Titles cannot be copyrighted (and included a link for proof of fact) and as for the similarities of styles, since I have been painting in this style for many years and have published evidence of same, I can only suppose that perhaps I have influenced your style of painting, rather than the other way around." ... I have never received a reply.)

-Marketing. If you list your items and leave them to 'take care of themselves', you might as well take a toddler and let them 'fend for themselves'. Your business is your 'baby' and needs to be nurtured. Don't leave it to 'chance' that your buyers will find their way to you. They'll find your competition...the ones tending to their marketing (like a mother tends to her child)...long before they find you. And, chances are more than 70% that they'll buy from the nutured shop first.

-Packing and shipping. In a cost effective and timely fashion. If you don't want to get low marks in your 'detailed seller ratings' - shipping costs and shipping times (these are two separate categories..and low marks in both could be a real 'killer' to your business)

- you'll want to have your shipping supplies on hand. A membership to a Sam's Club more than pays for itself in what you save on Bubble Wrap. I haven't found it online any cheaper, in quantities that I am able to store in limited space. As for boxes, it's cheaper for me to order boxes through Uline and ship USPS First Class or UPS Ground than to get the free priority boxes through USPS and pay the extra charge for Priority Mail -- unless, your merchandise is something that NEEDS to be shipped Priority.

-Customer Service. Email your customer when their item is shipped. If possible, give them a tracking number. Let them know to email you with any questions. Thank them for their business and let them know that you really do appreciate it. Do all of this through eBay, unless the customer has specifically instructed you otherwise, so that you are not accused of 'spamming your buyer.' People tend to get a little put-off if you direct mail them without their permission. So, don't do innocent as it might be...that sends any kind of warning flag to your customer. You want as much repeat business as possible. Repeat customers tend to send other customers your way and that is great for business.

-Thank you 'gift'. This isn't required and I didn't do this on eBay. I started doing it when I moved my business to Etsy. I still sell original paintings but, now I've added prints and a few other things to my inventory. I have much more inventory and much less work. And, as a 'thank you' I include a magnet of one of my art prints. I use a letter size magnet sheet and print a dozen magnets per sheet, using my own printer. It costs me very little to include one of these little 'thank you's', it personalizes the 'gift' by using my own art prints, and it's something I don't offer for sale. I like to think it is one of the things that bring me a lot of repeat business.

If all of the 'behind the scenes' stuff didn't chase you are a few other things you need to know, BEFORE you decide to 'set up shop' on eBay. There will be fees associated with listing each and every item you post there.

Some of the fees will be charged, whether you sell anything or not. The 'up-front' fees include:

=Insertion Fees (the fee for 'inserting' a new item into your eBay 'shop'.) -- If you don't sell your item the first time, you can relist it one time, and not have to pay the second insertion fee. This does not apply to the Gallery Fee or any Listing Upgrade Fees, however.)

=Gallery Fees (it's hard to sell anything online without a photo, so your customer knows what it is that they're bidding on. So you'll need to be aware that these fees are separate from the Insertion Fees.

=Listing Upgrade Fees (these are fees that include such upgrades as; subtitles, Featured items, Reserve prices, etc.The 'back-end' fees:

=Final Value Fees (you will be charged a percentage of the actual sale price. If your starting price was $100.00 but the final sale price was $500.00, you will be charged a percentage of the $500.00 actual sale price, rather than the starting price of $100.00. For this reason, it is a little more difficult to determine how much your eBay bill is going to be each month.)

- Do note that the Final Value Fees are only on the final sale price and do NOT include shipping charges.Sometimes you won't be paid, (that's the price of doing business online.) You will still be charged the Final Valuation Fee unless you request a final value fee credit. It doesn't always come before your Bill is due, so you'll want to go ahead and pay your entire eBay Bill, but you should normally receive the final value fee credit without waiting too long.PayPal FeesPayPal will charge a fee as soon as a payment is made through PayPal. Fees range from 2.9% to 1.9% (according to their fees chart

- I did check my PayPal and note that on sales I have made very recently, the fees charged were closer to 4.5% to 5%, per sale depending on your amount of monthly sales. Please note that, PayPal charge their fees based on the amount they receive from the buyer, which also includes shipping charges.

Six Ways to 'Survive' on eBay .. during Economic Slowdowns.

1. Price it right! Lower prices aren't ALWAYS better prices. People will pay more for quality, even in the toughest economic times. Key here is, to keep the price as low as you can while still being fair to both buyer and seller.

2. The right 'stuff'! If you want to sell in volume, switch to items that you can sell for less and still make a profit. You can still make a good living from your eBay business, if you learn to adapt to the economic trends and adjust your inventory accordingly.

3. The 'Laws' of Attraction. They work both ways. If you put a 'positive' spin on your shop and your listings, it will work FOR you and for your sales. People will buy from someone who seems happy and trustworthy. On the other hand, if your shop has any kind of 'negative' undertones, like 'bargain basement' prices or 'times are tough' wordage, the buyers will 'sense' this and won't be as willing to buy from you.

4. Be Budget Minded and Frugal. Don't utilize Listing Upgrades that aren't 'absolutely necessary'. Why spend extra on the cost of a 'sub-title' only to use it to list the name of your shop? They can find out the name, when they click into your listing.Use free listing templates instead of paid ones.Recycle packing supplies and switch to First Class or Ground Shipping.Cut inventory to items that you believe are, or will be, your best sellers. Don't hang on to items that just 'waste space' and fees.

5. Offer 'high end' items too! If you've got them, list them! Don't avoid listing higher priced items, because you don't think there are any consumers left who will pay the price you would need. Go ahead and list them. If they don't sell on eBay, then get yourself an e-Commerce shop that doesn't charge listing fees and list them there.

6.!! You CAN list an item on eBay, set the price and the length of the auction and HOPE for the best. You may or may not get a nibble! You'll improve your odds 'dramatically' with the RIGHT marketing however.

--The Right Title. Make sure your title is 'marketing friendly.' For instance, you want to put as much 'pertinent' information as possible, into the title.If you're selling an original oil painting of a Rooster, don't title it 'At The Break of Dawn'..(even if it is the title of the painting)...that doesn't tell the buyer anything.Keep in mind that many buyers will type in more specific 'keywords' and none of those will include 'break' or 'dawn'.

--Put a 'face' on it! Many people want to 'know' who it is they're buying from. It's easier to purchase from someone you 'know and trust'. Listings that are worded properly can help, but you'll probably need to take it a step beyond and write a blog. You can help your buyers get to know you and what you have to offer in a more 'personal' manner. There are several free blogsites that are very good, including Wordpress and Blogger. If you want a good example of a seller who really 'sells herself' through her blog...visit this blog.

GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE IS VITAL TO YOUR ONLINE SUCCESS! Consumers can get an original painting, an Apple iPod, and, occasionally, even that rare PEZ dispenser from a number of other Sellers.Maybe your prices are the lowest, but if that potential customer takes a peek at your feedback and at your detailed seller ratings and finds that; your shipping prices are high, shipping times are slow, your products were not as described and you didn't offer good communication...they'll move on to another seller, even if the price is higher.I have only disregarded these factors once and it was a purchase that I ended up, not only regretting, but also without product and most of the purchase price. With really GOOD Customer Service, you can be a step above the competition. Most of the time it doesn't cost anymore to offer good customer service as it does Not to. Often times, poor customer service costs More.

What to Sell?I frequently look at the eBay Pulse to keep on top of what items are best sellers. Almost all of the items currently in eBay's Top 10 have been there for months.EBAY TOP 10!

1. wii

2. ipod

3. xbox 360

4. iphone

5. wii fit

6. coach

7. psp

8. bakugan

9. digital camera

10.ipod touch

Here is a link that explains, in further detail, almost everything you need to know to start selling on eBay.But, WHATEVER you do...don't put ALL of your eggs into One eBAY Basket! Whether the economy is booming...or on the 'down-side'...with all of the opportunity that is out there on the internet, having 'multiple streams of income' just makes good 'cents'.

If you are an artist, a crafter, a dealer of 'vintage' goods, a scrapbooking supplier or ...well, there's a lot of categories you might not have ever thought of before, over on Etsy. Take a look. It costs $.20 a listing and each listing is good for four months. It's not an auction site. When a sale is made, payment is almost always immediately received through PayPal.

Whatever you choose to do, to start making money right away, the TWO most important things to remember:

1. GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE - is money in the bank!

2. MARKETING IS KEY -- you are your own best public relations expert! Don't be bashful...bang your own drum!! Take a look around and you'll see those that are selling well do that very thing!

Friday, March 27, 2009

21 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Sites

One of the biggest problems I have encountered, in my 'quest' to "make money online" is...traffic!
How to get it!
How to keep it!
How to convert it!
I absolutely REFUSE to 'buy into' any program that I know little about. One of the biggest problems I am encountering...even as a 'bum-affiliate' marketer ALL of the 'info' sites that are just 'bum-affiliate' sites. Of course, these are going to give good reviews....they're all trying to sell the product....just like me. (Well...not that product...but, since this is what I'm 'into' right now...I'm recognizing the 'pitch'.)
Anyway...I decided to take a trip to 'You-Tube' surprise there...and I ran across this little video.'s an 'automated' audio...meaning that the voice is 'automated' it's a bit boring! However...there are some good 'tips' for getting more traffic, so I thought it worth a post.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writers Beware!

Writers Beware of Freelance Home is a Scam!

In these unsettling times, when folks are losing jobs or needing more income, just to make ends' meet, it is easy to be taken in by some clever advertising and end up the victim of a scam.
Recently, it ALMOST happened to me.
I received an email, from one of the 'what seem like "millions"' of work-at-home opportunities, advertising Freelance Home Writers.

It seemed to offer a great service for people who are interested in earning money from writing and the money sounded very good.

Be careful of their 'special' low cost registration fee. Take a closer look at the small print and you'll find that this is ONLY a seven day trial period. Then they will charge $49.95 every month. Even though they also state that" if you are not satisfied", there is an 8 week money-back guarantee. I've learned that others sent them a message through an online 'contact form' asking them to cancel the account and refund their money. None of them received a reply, even though several follow up emails were sent.

Most of the material on their site can be easily found on other sites for free. And, they do not have any 'connection' what-so-ever with employers, or anyone 'looking for writers'. They provide the same kinds of lists that you can find for free on Elance.

Here is a forum thread where I found folks who are having problems with this company: You might also find a few links to some free sites if you have an interest in freelance writing, with or without the Bum Marketing.

Unfortunately there are a lot of sites and offers like this, they really are timeless, and these people can make these offers look absolutely genuine.

Careers In Writing - Freelance and Creative Writing(ebook)
Writing Feature Articles (ebook)
Write To Publish (ebook)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bum Marketing Method

I have a lot of respect for Travis Sago...the 'author' of the Bum Marketing Method and I've given him a couple of 'plugs' here on my blog.
My main reason for starting this blog...was to do an experiment on whether or not it was possible to make consistent money, on the internet, for little or no investment.

I've run across several programs that 'fit my guidelines' and I keep coming back to 'Bum Marketing'

He'll give you step by step instructions and 7 videos....all for FREE.

There's nothing in it for me...just trying to keep to my 'quest' of providing the best programs for little or no investment...and what's better than...FREE??

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Some FREEBIES -- Check them OUT!!

I wanted to get this post out ASAP as this first FREEBIE is to Beta Test a new Program "Earning In Hard Times".
I've signed up for this program and there are a lot of instructional videos that take you through - Copywriting - Celebrity Blogging - Photoshop - Freelance/ Outsource - eBay - eMail Marketing - How to outsource your Traffic Building - Affiliate Info.'ll have to hurry if you want to get into the FREE Beta Testing ... those doors close on Monday -- MARCH 23rd!!


The 2nd FREEBIE is also a NEW Beta Test Program "Traffic Dynasty". It is just getting up and going and looks to be a very good program. You have to sign up with an email to get started, but it is free and they are going to be having some 'important guests' drop in...perhaps to the it might be a good opportunity..especially considering that it's least, for now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another 'Zoobie' internet marketing adventure!

I seem to be 'hooked on Zoobie'....but, as frustrating as it can be...trying to learn how to do legitimate internet marketing and make a decent living...I think it's also good to 'laugh' once in awhile.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Complete" Payday Formula Review

I am impressed with this program...because I am a 'visual learner'...
if I have to 'read' the instructions...I tend to get distracted and end up
having to 're-read' several times...before I 'get it'.
"Show" me and I can...almost always...get it the very FIRST time.
If you are a 'visual learner' me...the 'Instant Payday' may very well be the
program for you.

Have a look at this short video, it's a quick review of what the program looks
like....and the $20 'savings' that Travis offers is available...if you click out of the site,
an offer...with a $20 savings will 'pop up'. Don't sign up though, unless you can get the
savings...who couldn't use an extra twenty bucks in their pocket?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More 'Newbie' Adventures in Internet Marketing

The 'saga' continues....
I do see 'myself...and so many these little characters'

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A 'Newbie' Adventure in Internet Marketing

Everyone who reads my blog knows that I like to 'troll' You Tube for anything I think might be helpful at 'making money at home.'

During one of my 'trolling visits' I ran across a couple of videos that I thought, kind of 'summed up' Internet Marketing for Newbies...and decided to share.

This is episode 1...and I will be doing more episodes...because I like the near future.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Article Writing - 5 Articles A Day

Fast Article Writing...

First...have your subject (niche) selected.
Second...use Google.

Type in the keywords that you want to use...and remember (this is probably more important than the articles SURE you have done the proper 'keyword' research.)

You've typed your long tailed keyword into attention to the site size...its the "k" size directly following the website address, for - 36k (it's the 36k)

Find the four or five sites (on the first page) with the largest sizes (these usually have the most content) and locate a couple of 'points' from each site that you want to cover in an article.

For example, if you are wanting to market an 'herbal remedies' would type in 'best herbal remedies' (or whatever the maximized long tailed keyword is for this niche) in Google.

Locate the four or five sites with the most content (thus the file size) and select a couple of 'good points to cover' from each site.

You're not plagarizing or copying're simply getting the points you want to cover in your articles.

You've listed the two or three 'good points to cover' -- from each of the four or five sites. (You have the basis for four or five articles.) Use the 'good points to cover' as your outline...along with the who, what, when, why and how...keep the articles between 250 and 350 words each...and you can have the articles written in an hour or two.
Herbal Remedies for Allergies
Spring Allergy Remedies
Herbs to keep Spring Allergies at Bay
Breathe Easier this Spring
Don't let Allergies Keep You Indoors all Spring

Proof read them for grammar, punctuation, and head on over to Ezine Articles, Associated Content, GoArticles...etc...and get them published.

The next day...use the same concept and the same niche...but, double the 'good points to cover' and write 4 or 5 articles (I like 5's... it works better in my little get to 100 articles a month, at 5 articles a day x 5 days a week x 4 weeks a month!)
this time it can be...articles on...
5 Herbal Remedies for Spring Allergies
5 Tips to Keep Allergies at bay this Spring
5 Herbs that Relieve Spring Allergies
5 Spring Allergy Remedies
5 Ways to be Allergy Free This Spring
You could probably get an entire week's worth of articles, using this same niche subject..delving a bit deeper into the site content each day.
This is just an example so you can see where I am 'going' with this.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Article Writing for Beginners

Article Writing for Beginners.

It's been a while, but I still remember my high school journalism basics.

3. When
4. Why
5. How

Who did what? Why, when and how did they do it?

Let's say that I want to write an article about, 'earthworm castings'.

I would begin the article by, explaining WHAT earthworm castings are.
WHY earthworm castings are used. HOW we use them.
WHEN is the best times to use them. WHO can we get the earthworm castings from.

Just by using the 'traditional' basics...who...what...when...where...and..why...I am able to put together a very quick and very basic outline. Answer those five 'questions' about pretty much any subject and you have yourself an article.

I'm able to write a quick 350 word article in just a few minutes, if I know what subject (or niche) I want to write about and I use this very basic outline

Friday, March 6, 2009

Work At Home -- Real or Not?

Is IT a SCAM or NOT??

If you are wondering, whether or not a
"Work At Home" opportunity
is legitimate or not....consider the following!

You Won't Get Rich Quick
Avoid those programs that guarantee wealth,
unbelievable financial success,
or offer to help you "get rich quick".
Stay clear of any listings that offer,
high income for part-time hours.
More often than not,
they will do none of the above.

Hang on to Your Money
Never send money!
Legitimate employers don't charge
to hire you
or to get you started.
And, don't send money for
work at home directories
or start-up kits.
(A few years back...when jobs in my area
were simply unavailable...I got taken in by a company
that ...for $40.00...
would send me a book of companies looking
for 'home workers'
complete with a description of what
each company was looking for.
I sent my $40.00...
got my book..
signed up with a 'cottage industry' company'
that paid for 'completed craft items'...
for (more money) they would
send the 'supplies' I would need to
do the crafts...
then..I complete the crafts...send them in...
and start 'raking in the profits'....IF the finished product
met their specs.)
It didn't take me long to discover that
my 'completed crafts' would NEVER meet their specifications...
(I felt pretty much like an idiot!)

'Work at Home' Jobs To Avoid

Assembly Jobs -
Learn from my example that,
you can't make lots of money assembling craft kits
or any other type of kits.
It's very possible to waste money on books and packages
to get you started though.

Data Entry Jobs -
You'll see listings for data entry jobs
all over the place.
Problem is, these are most often either
positions 'posting similar ads'
or a pitch trying to sell you a kit that will
"get you started".

Posting Ads -
You won't 'get paid' to post an
ad on bulletin boards or forums...
you have to 'sign people up'
in order to get
any compensation at all.

Stuffing Envelopes -
I signed up for this 'job'
back in the 60's!
Yep! It's been around, at least,
that long!
I remember I had to send some
postage stamps, then run the
same 'ad' that I answered, for people
to send me 'postage stamps'...
I never did figure out
what that was all about!
But...the 'stuffing envelopes' scam
is still
around...and to be avoided
at all costs!
If you have a question
about whether or not a
work at home position is legitimate or not...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Don't get 'snookered'

As a general rule...
"if it sounds too good to be true...
it usually is"
I ran across a program that fit this description to a 't'.
It has a pretty good sales pitch...good enough that I decided to,
at least, check it out.
One of the things I have begun to do...after being 'ripped off' a time
or two, when I didn' to go out and do my 'homework'...
what are other people saying about their experiences.
Paidsurveysetc....doesn't get high marks from me.
Here are a couple of 'reviews' of folks
who purchased this program...
"I discovered to my horror that in order to get paid for these surveys you had to not only complete the survey you had to sign up and pay for a business offer. You either had to purchase goods or services. I was very dissappointed. My objective was not to make money by spending money on goods and services over and over again. Many of the opportunities involved services that could be cancelled later but who wants to go to all that trouble? I decided this wasn't for me and requested a refund. I haven't heard anything back yet but they did offer a money back guarantee..." Link to complete review.
I gave the author a five star rating for the review...please consider doing this
also. The review could very well, not only saved me money, but
saved me the aggrevation of a program that promised big...and delivered very small.
"My mailbox was inundated with as many as 800 emails per day - all garbage.Countless attempts to get my guaranteed refund have been in vain. No response whatsoever from these turkeys.I traced their physical address to a vacant strip mall in California.The website is very convincing and appears to be heartfelt - someone who has been duped in the past wanting to be sure you only have legit sites - yeah, right!" -- Link to complete review.
The author of this review needed extra income so they
could stay home with their son, while he was undergoing chemotherapy.
How heartless!!
I could go on and on with scam after scam after scam, from this program.
I'm a little horrified that the program is still being offered as a Clickbank affiliate product...
and I will say that...
the ONLY positive reviews I ran across
were from folks..who are actually trying to
'peddle the product'....
You will not find my affiliate link on
any paidsurveysetc product...
I will never...knowingly...lead anyone to a bogus product.
This is my 'review'.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Make Money At Home! Bum Marketing!

Bum marketing in a nutshell!

Write an article, publish it through Ezine Articles, GoArticles, Associated Content or one of a number of other article publishers.
Provide a link to your blog or website, within the article or the author's resource box and do it all over again!

Sounds easy enough, but there really is more to it than that. For one need to be sure the article, blog/website is something that you can monetize.

This is one of the biggest reasons that I 'broke down' and joined Wealthy Affiliates. I wasn't 'figuring it out' on my own. Now that it has become 'clearer'...I'm having to go back and rework a lot of my Squidoo Lenses, in order to maximize those.

But, until I've figured it all out...I'm going to be concentrating on my Associated Content Articles
because that is the one site that actually pays for some of the articles upfront, and the rest of the articles for the visits they receive.
They give you 'Calls for Content' case you're stuck about what to write about. You can include links to money sites (like Etsy and others) within the articles, provided it is pertinent to the article itself.

My 'plan of action' is to:
1. Select my niche
2. Write an article for Associated Content (embedding the money site link into the article)
3. Write a separate article for Ezine Articles, with a link to either a blog, website or Squidoo Lens.
4. Build a lens, blog, or site around this niche...occasionally a combination of all of these.
5. Link the articles to the site.
6. Go out and 'promote' the heck out of the site in forums, social networks, etc.
7. Write some new and different articles, for Associated Content, Ezine Articles, and Go Articles..on the same niche.
8. Include the links.
9. Do some more promoting.

I may do this four or five times, per niche. The key get myself out somewhat of an 'expert' or 'authority' on this niche.

By this time, I should be seeing income from the niche itself, rather than just from the visits I receive through Associated Content.