Thursday, 3 September 2009

Profit from Twitter

Twitter seemed to emerge nowhere and take the e-business world by storm. When it first emerged, I thought it was ridiculous to be quite honest. Why on earth, in the Facebook heyday, would anyone want to be restricted to a few characters for updates, and on such a simple platform too.

I simply underestmated the power of Twitter and what it was to become. I now believe it is THE business tool that anyone who is looking to make money online needs to be using.

The question is: how on earth can I profit from Twitter?

First you need an audience which means you need a Twitter account. Depending upon the nature of your business, you may want your name to be your own name or your business name.

Your audience are your followers. Build a strong network of active followers. The aim is quality over quantity so you don't want to be following thousands of Twitterers and only have a few followers yourself. This tends to ndermine your credibility somewhat.

Providing useful information is key. Often you can use a tantalising intro, then, as many do, put your link in there for further information. Many sites get hits and earn revenue this way.

Offline (an online) home businesses can also use Twitter to advertise special offers to attrac custom. It's a free way to get your promotion out to a lot of people in one go.

Don't swear, don't write your personal secrets, don't use text-speak. Remember you are using this platform as a business. If you want to share your innermost secrets, do it through Facebook instead with your friends.

Link to new news items/posts/articles in your blog or wherever your internet base is. If you use affiliate or adsense modules, this can be a great way of attracting traffic to your site and hopefully, incresing your click through rate.

Like many businesses, I am new to Twitter and learning as I go. Please feel free to share your thoughts, Twitter profit strategies, knowledge or refuations to help others that land here looking for advice.

Oh, and if you want to follow me on Twitter, I can be found at Let me know you found me here and i'll follow you back.

Selling for profit on Ebay

One of the simplest ways to start generating some cash is to start selling on eBay. You might start with a few bits and pieces you have lying around the house, but this guide lies in using eBay as a business to actually generate a profit and get you started in home based business.

This post is an in-depth guide to selling on eBay, however, this article gives a pretty good overview.

1. What to sell?

When trying to decide what to sell through eBay, you need to bear a few key points in mind. Many buyers on eBay are looking for something they can't easily obtain locally to them. Niche products go down really well and thanks to the lack of boundary on the internet, your market is the entire country, or continent or world if you want to risk selling abroad.

If you want to make money from mainstream products that you can get in your local supermarket, then section 2 of this guide is for you. However, if you go for the niche market, you have a huge potential market and a real business edge. Niche products currently on eBay are gold bullion, second hand designer clothes, special Chinese slimming tea, products not easily available such as Castor oil, beauty clays, collectables and antiques etc.

2. How to get people to buy from you

eBay attracts millions of customers and they all have just ONE thing in common - they want a bargain. The better the bargain, the more sales you'll make. Now anyone can put a low price on goods, but whether they would stay in business over the long term if selling below cost is another matter.

The key to selling cheap is buying cheap. That means sourcing products from wholesale rather than mainstream suppliers and at low cost. Generally, the more you buy, the cheaper you get it, so try to build long term relationships with your suppliers. This article will show you how to source suppliers and wholesalers and ideas on what you might sell.

3. Word of mouth - building your reputation

If anything, this is the most important factor in whether your eBay business will succeed or not. It is covered in depth in eBay: Selling for profit - a traders guide and I recommend you read it as it's importance cannot be underestimated.

Hopefully, when you start you your venture you will already have an account with some activity (feedback)on it from earlier sales/buys you may have done. If you have, then as long as your feedback is 100% positive, you already have a very good head start if you can adapt this account for your business.

If you don't already have an eBay account you can use, or don't have the best feedback on your current account, then you will need a new account to build up from scratch. This means sales might be slow to start with until you start to generate good feedback. If you struggle to do this through sales (as some buyers refuse to do business with sellers who have no feedback), it might be worth buying some items for yourself to get a reputation as someone who is trustworthy and pleasurable to do business with. It might still be difficult to sell high value items until your feedback is very well developed, however you can build up to it buy selling lower value items (preferably bargains) until you are up and running.

4. The Power of Words - advertising is key

The power of Marketing can not be underestimated when it comes to selling through eBay. Say you're selling a designer dress. If you put it on with no photograph, and few details apart from Size 12 Dress in Times New Roman font in the description it's not going to sell at any price. If you take several photographs showing different aspects of the garment, including close-ups of the material and an image of the label, then write a well thought out, full page professional description, your item will at least generate interest, if not sell well.

5. Get repeat business and keep those profits flowing

Never, ever send out a parcel of your goods without a reminder inside of who you are. Send out, at the very least, a printed slip with your eBay account, shop name, address, email address and contact details. Some good sellers often send money off vouchers with their packets to encourage the customer to return.

If you can, send everything by Recorded Delivery. It may seem like an unnecessary extra cost, but it protects against items going missing in the post or some unscrupulous buyers claiming the item was never received. Recorded delivery does not add a lot to selling costs when you consider the impact on profits of numerous 'not received' refunds you may get as your volume of sale increases.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Business Opinions - offering cash for opinions

Business Opinions is a relatively new opinion site which asks you for your views in order to help shape the future of business products and services. What's more, they're offering points which you can then turn into cash!

It is particularly aimed at those involved in their own business or in management, which is why I thought it would go down a storm here!

Three lifestyle questionnaires net you 50 points each and referrals get you a whopping 10 points, where each point is a penny. You can sign up here.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Domain Name Stress

You have a great idea and you're sure it's going to sell. You're going to sell kitten's mittens, they're going to be all the rage and you're going to retire next year on the proceeds.

There's just one snag - you surf over to your domain restration company and find that kittensmittens, mittensforkittens, mittysforkittys, catsgloves, mitsforkits and warmpaws have gone in all your desired domain suffixes. You can't think of anything else to call your site without it sounding ridiculous, so what should you do now?

1. Do some market research
This means looking at the sites that have 'your' names and see what they sell/do, google your product and see what other creative names people have come up with to sell their product etc.

2. Do some more market research
No, it's not a joke. There are two types of market research when it comes to internet markets. Why? Well, there is 'what people want', which is covered by approach 1, but there is also 'what people type into Google to find what they want'. This is crucial to the success of your internet business and can help you narrow down a good domain name. The best way to do this is to find out what people are searching for and you can do this using Google Zeitgeist which will allow you to see trends and identify keyword chains related to your site.

3. Make someone an offer
Someone has a domain you want, so you type it in to see what it is they're doing on there, only to find it's a parked domain. Someone has bought the domain you need and aren't even using it! Unless they're a private registrant, you can use a tool like whois to find out how owns the domain and contact them if you want to make an offer. If it's the ONE, and you're site is sure to be a success it's woth paying a bit more than you would if you'd bought it direct. There are also web based companies/auction sites tat deal in selling domains.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Home Business Ideas

So you want a little cash on the spare, or as is the case for many at the moment, you are currently not in work and you want to use the time to generate some income. The best way to do this is to work from home, but to do that, you need an idea.

Trying to decide what to base your home business on can be the most daunting part of actually doing it. We all have thousands of ideas on a daily basis, but we write them off because we don't think they'll work or there's too much competition already.

To help you out with this, as it's something I've struggled with in the past, I've got together 10 home business ideas you can get started with right away:

1. Child minding - if you're a lady (usually) and you are at home most days with your own children, why not offer a child minding service for parents who work. You could even offer a pick up service, where you pick up children from school and entertain them for a few hours until their parents finish work.

2. Sell on Ebay - and I don't just mean all your personal possessions! The trick with Ebay business is to buy low and sell cheap. Is there anyway you can find cheap stock which you can then sell for a profit on ebay? If you need some ideas about doing business on ebay, then look HERE at this article to get you started.

3. Home based administration - Many small companies struggle under the weight of administrative tasks. These are tasks that must be done to keep the business running smoothly but which do not add immediate value to the company. Lots of small companies will pay people to take this burden off their hands and will favour the option of using a self-employed secretary, thus reducing the overheads and legal burden of employing someone. For more info on how to get into home based office work, SEE HERE.

4. Set up an events organisation company - you could make money from home by organising coach trips to attractions or events. By negotiating on large numbers of hotel rooms, admissions etc, any difference between the package price and your costs is your profit. For example, you could organise a two night stay to blackpool. You would first call some suppliers (coach hire, hotels, theme parks...) and negotiate your prices to be as low as possible. Don't give up until you have the best prices!! Then work out your costs and work out how many people, at what price you need to at least cover this. This is your break even mark. Any more takers, or a higher price = profit.

5. E-shop - in the same vein as selling on Ebay, setting up your own internet shop by buying low and selling high is a good way to make money from home if you get the product right. Products that will sell well over the internet are usually products that it's not easy to go into a shop and buy, especially in rural areas. Don't forget too that if it's something quite common, the whole fun in buying over the internet for many is that they save money, so bear this in mind and try to choose high-margin products.

6. Blogging and article writing - this is a one for creative types with a flair for writing. By writing blogs, articles and even websites, you can generate an income. No, no one buys your writing unfortunately (unless you get talent spotted by a magazine or newspaper!), but you can generate considerable income from blogging and writing for the net. This is a very low cost way to make money from the internet and working from home and if you're good, you can make plenty. See HERE, HERE and HERE for more information on making money from blogs, articles and websites here.

7. Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate marketing can be very lucrative if you get it right. Its basic principle is that you get paid to refer customers to a company through your sites, articles and blogs. The trick is in getting those referrals and that means dedicating each affiliate site to one product and making it keyword rich and informative. There's so much more to affiliate marketing than we can get in this little ideas guide so start HERE for much more information and guidance on getting started.

8. E-lancing - E-lancers is the new term for freelancers who work through the internet. If you have any skills, knowledge or talent, there is probably someone out there willing to pay for some of it. There are many sites that deal with uniting elancers with people requiring elancers. See our GUIDE TO ELANCING here.

9. Cosmetics/products agent - Okay, so this is not entirely home based as you will have to go out and see clients, but selling products as an agent for a major company can be a great way to make extra money. To get a better idea of what you could sell, see our GUIDE HERE.

10. Sell your own expertise - why not base your home business around something you know well? If you're a techie, you could set up a techie site and forum. If you can do accounts, set up as a freelance book keeper. You can clean right? We can all clean - so why not set out as a mobile cleaner. You can even specialise in something, like cleaning for landlords or commercial premises. Think about what you can do, do your market research and go for it. Your best asset is yourself!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

AddThis - Sharing

Some brilliant tips on generating traffic to your blog! (Not mine i'm afraid but very useful to every budding blogger).

AddThis - Sharing

Shared via AddThis

Monday, 6 July 2009

The Top 4 Cash Back Sites

These are my all time favourite cash back sites. I'm a member of each of them and have been paid from all of them too.

Greasy Palm - Greasy Palm are one of my favourites simply because their tracker works on top form, so you never lose out on any cashback and never have to raise a query wth them. I also got £70 back for changing my energy supplier, both saving money on my electricity and earning almost what I use in a year in electricity back. You can't lose and there's no subscription fee. Plus, you get £7 every time you refer a friend and £2.50 just for joining up!

Money Back Madness - Sounds cheesy, but is actually my favourite site. You get £10 just for joining up, plus £5 for every friend you refer, meaning there are no joining or subscription fees.

Fat Cheese - Offer 100% cashback, which unlike most other cashback sites mean you get the full value of your cashback from the site you shop or click at instead of sharing the revenue with the site itself. You also get £5 for every friend you refer to the site. The subscription fee is £5, but this is taken from your earnings so you do not have to pay this if you never earn it.

quanti - again, 100% cashback but this one has the added bonus that they affiliated with Amazon (cashback @ 5.25%) so if you do a lot of shopping through Amazon especially, this is for you. There are no joining or subscription fees for quanti.

Join GreasyPalm - the site that PAYS YOU to shop!

Hidden profit - the best cashback sites

I went through a phase of joining lots of cashback sites about 6 months ago. I spent some of my free time doing the daily clocks and earning pennies, which really didn't get me very far. However I am starting to make good money by checking my sites before I buy anything that I would normally buy on the internet.

The nice thing about this unexpected income is that I didn't have to expend any effort to get it. Thus far, in six months and without really trying, I have earned over £300 on things I would have paid for anyway. That's not a bad return for no effort and no outlay and is a massive discount on the things I did buy.

Join - Earn FREE MoneyBack on your Shopping!

Now, don't go thinking it's all high-end items like TV's and stuff either. I've been earning £££'s for car insurance quotes, joining the National Lottery (which has been a life saver as we always forget to put it on), opening a savings acocunt and other everyday things that I needed to do anyway. The good news about the Lottery is that, as we don't foget to put it on anymore as it's all done online, we have won 4 x £10 and last week won £71!!!!

Cashback sites won't pay your mortgage and bills but it is a fantastic way of adding to your current income and an added bonus where you would have spent the dosh anyway. And don't forget, you don't even have to spend to earn as all sites offer free daily clicks which build up a decent little pot over time.

See the next post for my top 4 cashback sites. There are loads of them, but these are tried, tested and paid up.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Why work at home?

There are loads of reasons why someone would want to work from home and there are loads of blogs and websites about it. But what I find about the information out there is that it's often difficult to find everything you need to know in one place.

For example, you might be interested in doing affiliate marketing from home, whereas someone else might be more interested in an actual at home business. My website, is about bringing all of the information together into one informative source and this blog is where I can keep on top of the latest happenings in the world of working from home and making money online..

Of course, I don't know everything and may not be able to find everything out. There are some excellent sites out there and I do not feel the need to regurgitate their hard work and research, so I’ll direct you there when necessary.

Please feel free to leave comments on my blog. If we're in the same subject, please PM to have a link back on my site and/or blog.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Yougov - only one pay out per person?

I used to do YouGov and in a way I still do, or at least I would do if they would send me some more surveys to do.

I finally got to my payout level of £50 after some lazy years of responding to about half the requests to complete surveys and received the cheque about 9 months ago. In that time, after resolving to do every one that came my way now that I had confirmed they do actually pay out, I have received 3 measly survey requests!

Now it might just be me, but I get the impression that once you've had £50, they're pretty reluctant to give you any more in a hurry. I suppose they need fresh blood, however, I don't seem to be earning anything more in referrals, despite knowing a few people who have signed up with my link.

Well at least I don't have to actively maintain anything so it's worth just doing them as they come in and who knows, in five years I may be getting my second £50 cheque!!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Work Space Worries

If, like me, you live in a one bedroom apartment, you'll understand the difficulty that comes with working from home. But do not despair! It is possible to create an idyllic workspace in the smallest of places. All you need is a little creativity and a few bits and pieces.

Working from home has many plus points. You don't have to commute to work, you don't have to deal with office politics (especially if you just want to get on with the job) and often, you'll notice vastly increased productivity. But working from home also has drawbacks, the worst being the increasingly disappearing line between work time and play time.

If you find yourself sitting on the sofa updating your affiliate sites, or propped up in bed finishing your freelance assignments, then the line between working life and private life has been crossed. That is why we need a dedicated workspace, no matter how tiny our living space.

In my apartment, I have a desk in the corner of the living room, behind the actual living space and surrounded with bookshelves:

In this way, my books, files, PC and all other work related items are compartmentalised away from the actual living space, so I have a mini-office.

It doesn't matter how small your space (mine is very small). Of course you don't have to have it as cluttered as me. A simple laptop desk with maybe a flower, lamp and bookshelf should suffice for the minimalists out there.

The most important thing is to have a place you can think and get into the work mindset and a separate place for cooking, watching TV, sleeping and so on.

Of course, I often wind up on the dining room table just for the space, but then we very rarely ever eat on the dining room table anyway!

Friday, 30 January 2009

The beginners guide to Affiliate Marketing

A business relationship with a merchant or other service provider who allows you to link to that business. When a visitor clicks on the link at your site and subsequently makes a purchase from the merchant, you receive a commission based on the amount of the sale, a referral fee or a pay-for-click fee.

Affiliate marketing can be an excellent resource for income. Whether it be part-time with a supplemental income or full-time with a large income flow is entirely your choice. It all depends on the time and effort you intend to commit as goes with any other business.

What's An Affiliate Program?

Affiliate Programs are a way for you to sell another company's products or services and receive a commission (or when you are ready, it is a way for you to get others to sell your products). Selling through another company's affiliate program is a great hands-off way to sell on the Internet. You promote the product or service on your web site (and don't forget your email). The company is responsible for the product or service; they process payments and ships the goods. You get the commission.

The Best Affiliate Programs:
- pay fair commissions
- pay you for returning customers
- provide you with detailed statistics on your sales
- ideally, are two tiered- pay you on the sales of the affiliates that you refer

The Best Way to Sell Affiliate Products & Services

Don't expect to paste up a banner and have the commission start rolling in. Choose products that visitors to your site would purchase and that relate to your web site content. In addition, ensure you include editorial comment about the product on your site. Make people interested in the product before they click on your link. A banner won't necessarily accomplish this. The best way to sell affiliate products is to use them yourself. That way you can promote a product that you believe in and about which you have knowledge. Don't spend all your savings, but do try products when you can.

Above all, before you sign up for any affiliate program, ensure you read the agreement. Make sure you are comfortable with all the terms and that you are receiving a fair commission. Then, enjoy the easy way to sell on the Internet.

'Take Dead Aim' with Affiliate Programs

One of the key success secrets for those that are successful with affiliate programs is to focus. You must take dead


There are many thousands of affiliate programs you can join. Yet to succeed you must ignore 99% of them. You must select a subject area and stick to it.

The days of taking the scattergun approach with affiliate programs are long gone. Once upon a time this was a good method for making money with affiliate programs but now the opportunities in this area are all but gone. Today, you need to be a sniper and sniff out the best affiliate programs around. You need to take a shotgun approach. Do some affiliate marketing research by reading as many articles on a subject as possible. Pick an area you are good at and know something about.

Then pick 3 affiliate programs in this area to join. That's right, just 3! This way you will focus. You will force yourself to concentrate on fewer areas and fewer affiliate programs. If you focus and find your own niche you will stand a much better chance of making decent money with affiliate programs.

You see, one of the biggest problems with affiliate programs is there are just TOO MANY opportunities. The irony is that by ignoring most of the opportunities you will actually do well.

The real key to success is not which affiliate program you chose but the affiliate marketing strategies you choose to implement. With 3 affiliate programs you are able to focus more energy and effort into these products. You may even be considered an expert in this particular area because of your knowledge.

Taking dead aim means becoming a specialist. The internet is a great place to specialize and affiliate programs make it just that much easier. The new breed of affiliate that focuses on particular products or services is succeeding now. They are spending all their time on affiliate marketing because that is what differentiates the successful affiliates from the rest.

Take aim with your affiliate programs. Pick just a few. Concentrate all of your time into marketing these programs - because you are so knowledgeable about the product or service you are selling, you will automatically drive more targeted prospects to what you are selling.

Tips For Successful Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be an excellent resource for income. Whether it be part-time with a supplemental income or full-time with a large income flow is entirely your choice. It all depends on the time and effort you intend to commit as goes with any other business. The following are a few tips to increase the effectiveness of your marketing.

Writing articles with worthwhile informational content is an excellent strategy for successful marketing. Make sure that your article contains useful information that targets your audience and doesn't sound like a sales copy or ad.

Studies have shown that banner ads are not the best strategy and that visitors actually avoid them. If you must use them make sure they're used sparingly and well placed. Do not place a banner on the same page as your article. Placing a banner on the same page as your article can very quickly turn your well-written article into nothing but a huge ad.

One very important tip to remember is that as an affiliate it is not your job to sell. The only job you have is to pre-sell. Once you've done your job correctly and "get the click" then it's the merchant's job to close the deal.

Last but certainly not least, another important tip is to know your product. If you know everything there is to know about it then it's much easier to inform your readers of how it can work for them or why they should buy the product. So, therefore, if it's in your budget you should buy it before you pre-sell it.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Work at home jobs can be genuine!!

Finding genuine work from home opportunities isn't difficult once you know what to look for. I have been working from home for the past 2 years and have enjoyed having the flexibility of spending time with my family and earning a substantial income at the same time. I also worked from home and had a ‘real’ job meaning that, whilst my salary covered living costs and the odd treat my self-employment income was put into savings to allow us to build a nest egg.

There are, however, an increasing number of scams as well as unscrupulous people who prey upon housewives and those who are interested in earning a living from their home. Knowing what to look for in a legitimate home job can help ensure that you won't be taken advantage of.

The first step that you should take to prevent yourself from being tricked into a scam is to check the references of the company with either the Better Business Bureau, the Rip off Report, or even by using the Who Is feature to find accurate data relating to the company's website. By using Who Is, you can see how long the website has been in operation and who owns the site. If a company claims that they have a long successful business history, yet their website shows that they have been in operation for a few weeks, you may want to proceed cautiously.

The first rule of thumb to remember is that you should never have to pay for a legitimate job opportunity. This is the number one ploy used by scam artists to take consumers money. If you are going to be working from home, then a company will hire you based upon your skills, your attitude, and your resume. You will not need to pay a company to be employed; neither will you need to pay for a list of "legitimate work from home jobs."

Every job that you can work for is available to find online, and for free.

Have you ever heard the saying, "If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is? Well, this simple piece of advice can go a long way in your legitimate work from home job search.

Many job search boards will post legitimate work from home jobs, but they are also often targeted with numerous scams. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that if the job posting was listed on sites such as, Career Builder, or Hot Jobs, that it is a legitimate position. This couldn't be further from the truth. You must do your diligent research before choosing a business or company to work for.

Something that I found to be very helpful when I first began working from home was to network with other work at home moms. I found that this was easily accomplished by joining message groups or forums. There are two forums that are wonderful resources for those who are seeking legitimate work from home jobs. They are: and Work Place Like Home. Not only do these forums and message boards list legitimate work from home opportunities, but you can also ask questions regarding companies that you may have discovered in your job search. Boards like these are also hotspots for finding timely job leads as well. By taking the time to research, network, and ask questions you can rest assured that you will find legitimate work from home jobs in no time at all.

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