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Why I Still Love Network Marketing

March 21, 2013

When I first started my online business back in 2003 it was with a network marketing company. At the time I didn’t know anything about internet marketing or network marketing, but my sponsor in that particular company helped me along until I figured it out for myself. Had it not been for her I probably would have quit after a few months like most people do. But she helped me stick it out and eventually become a very successful internet marketer.

Anyway, I joined several more network marketing programs in the first few years of building my business. Some were great, some were alright, and some flat out sucked. Some didn’t last long and some are still around today. I did really well in a few of them and not very good in others, depending on how well the program was set up and how much effort I put into promoting it. Basically I have been there, done that!

There are plenty of bad apples out there, but for the most part, network marketing is a solid way to start your own home business. You can earn an incredible living from it if you do it right. But for whatever reason as I got better and better at internet marketing and my online business became more successful, I strayed away from network marketing. I mostly stopped promoting the programs I was still in and quit joining new ones. There were even times when I advised people not to get into network marketing for various reasons. I guess you could say, I forgot where I came from.

Now, it has been more than a decade since I joined that first opportunity that started it all for me. My online business has been doing incredibly well for a long time and I owe a lot of my success to some of those network marketing opportunities that I joined so long ago, especially the first one.

You might be wondering why all of the sudden I once again love network marketing? The reason is simple…

I sat back recently to take a long look at my successes and failures in my business up to this point, and re-evaluate the direction I want to take it in. When I did that, I realized that I was still getting paid every month from network marketing programs I joined back in the early days of my internet business, even though I had all but forgotten about them. Obviously I always knew the money was coming in every month, but I didn’t really take notice of where it was coming from anymore. I sort of just took the residual income for granted.

I’m still a member of that very first opportunity I started with and have been paid by them every month since I earned my first payment more than 10 years ago. And that’s not the only one I still get paid from monthly for work I did several years ago. That’s what you call true residual income!

Not to mention the fact that I made a lot of friends from some of those programs that I remain in contact with to this day. I have even partnered up with some of them on other business ventures in the years since we met and earned a lot of money from those partnerships.

Network marketing often has a negative association attached to it that makes many people run away as soon as you start to talk about it. And in some cases there is good reason for that. However, it can also be great and very positive. With the right opportunity and honest effort on your part, you can earn a lot of money and meet a lot of great people. And there are few, if any, easier ways for the average person to start a business of their own!

Basically what I am trying to say, in not so many words, is to have an open mind about network marketing and don’t write it off before you even give it a chance. There are plenty of great opportunities out there and earning a residual income is definitely a real possibility.

Dedicated to your success,
Trent Brownrigg

P.S. – If you want to know the business opportunity that I most highly recommend right now and am more excited about than any other one I have ever seen, you can find it at http://www.powerhouseprofit.com – It’s the only program I have found worth joining in a very long time and I evaluated it from every angle before coming to the conclusion that I had to get in right away.

3 Ways Blogging Can Pay For XMAS Gifts!

December 11, 2012

With the holidays right around the corner, many people are silently stressing about how they’re going to afford gifts. As we all know, the economy has been in a pretty deep tailspin for some time now. Jobs are incredibly hard to come by and if you are fortunate enough to still have one, you probably know what it feels like to be overworked and underpaid. Because of this, many people take to the internet to search for different ways to make money. Interestingly enough, how to make money online is Google searched over 300,000 times a month. That’s how truly desperate for alternative methods of generating income some people have become.

One of the greatest ways to make money online is by blogging. This is the perfect solution for money woes and a way to pay for xmas gifts. Successful bloggers make upwards of thousands of dollars a month. But how do they make that type of money? What is it that they do on a consistent basis and what type of techniques do they use to yield these type of profits? Keep reading to find out. Listed below are the 3 ways blogging can pay for XMAS gifts.

1. Create a service or product around your blog. Figure out what your blog is going to be focused on, what type of subject matter you are going to cover and then work on developing something that would help those who are in need of it. Whether this is a physical product or an ebook that includes helpful tips regarding your niche, you could easily sell it to those who visit your blog and make a substantial profit. Especially if your product is well made and solves an issue that many people in that niche have.

2. Affiliate links. This is one of the top ways that bloggers earn a great income by blogging every single day. Affiliate marketing is a great way to sell your client base products that they need without having to create the product itself. Essentially, how it works is that you choose products that are in your niche, include your affiliate links into your blog posts and you earn a commission from every single sale you make of someone else’s product. So this means that you collect a finder’s fee for connecting your reader to another person’s product.

3. Build Your List. A great tactic that many bloggers use is to include an email submission form on their blog. This enables your blog readers to get updates about when your blog has a new post or even special offers that you are promoting, straight to their email inbox. What’s great about email marketing as a blogger is that most of the time these people want to hear from you because they signed up for the newsletter/blog updates in the first place. Include links to affiliate products or even your own products and you’ll definitely start seeing commissions.

These are all great ways to pay for xmas gifts with blogging. For many different reasons, blogging has become one of the top methods of working from home and generating income. So stop struggling and pulling your hair out while you try to figure out different ways to pay for xmas gifts. You’ve just found the perfect solution: blogging!

Guest post provided by Christian Cole, senior editor at Internet Business Inner Circle. Visit InternetBusinessInnerCircle.com to read reviews, learn how to avoid scams, and learn about the hottest internet business opportunities for 2013 and beyond!

Working from Home: The Advantages (or Disadvantages?)

December 10, 2012

Company employees often fantasize about working from home. With cheaper commuting costs, fewer distractions and no boss, working from home seems like the American dream. Of course there are advantages and disadvantages with everything, and working from home isn’t for everyone. But just in case you’re considering starting a business from the comfort of your own home, here are some of the advantages (and of course, disadvantages) you can expect.

Boss-Free

The boss is one of the biggest challenges of any job. When you work from home, you are the boss. While it’s nice not to have to answer to someone else, you still have to answer to someone. Your clients need results by a pre-determined deadline and bills are due on certain dates. You are now directly responsible when things go wrong.
However, if you’re one of those people who would rather lead instead of follow, or if you have a problem with people telling you what to do, you will thrive as your own boss.

More Affordable

Without costs associated with commuting, like transportation costs and daily lunches, working from home may be more affordable than traveling to the office. Of course you will be responsible for paying for everything that a business needs to survive. Utilities, Internet access, advertising, cost estimating software and meals are now all on you. There is also the issue of taxes.

Unless you telecommute and receive benefits from the company, your tax and insurance costs increase. As an independent contractor, you must pay self-employment taxes, contribute to Social Security and pay the full amount of your health and life insurance policies. Without matching funds from your employer, these expenses quickly add up.
On the bright side, you can wear whatever you want (no pants? No problem!) You can work wherever you want (including the comfort of your own bed), and you can make your own coffee, breakfast, and lunch, which is way more affordable than eating out in the long run.

Flexible Schedule

This is one of the greatest advantages of working from home. You can set your own hours and work at your own pace. Client meetings, project deadlines, bill due dates and balancing work and family require you to conform to a time clock in order to make money, but you will still have more flexibility working from home than you would in an office.
As long as you keep your clients happy, you are free to schedule your time as you please. If you want to sleep in until noon every day and work a little later into the night, that’s fine! Perhaps your spouse works early and someone needs to take the kids to school every morning—you are free to do that.

Fewer Distractions

This one is tricky. At the office, your co-workers, the telephone, the water cooler, boss demands and client meetings distract you from your work. It’s easy to think that someone who works from home can just lock his or her home office door and work distraction-free.

In reality, different distractions plague home-based workers. Personal calls, dirty dishes, computer games and family responsibilities can steal time during the day. Likewise, friends and family often think that it’s okay to bother you because you’re home. This all depends on how crazy your home life is. If you don’t have children and you live alone, you will have minimum distractions. If you do have children and you work at home, you may have a few more distractions. The main thing to remember is that even though you’re at home, you’re still at work. Once you balance that out you’ll learn how to manage your distractions.

Like everything else, working from home definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. The real question you need to ask yourself is do you think you would thrive better in an environment where you are fully responsible for yourself and your company, or do you need that office mindset to be productive. Everyone is different, you just need to figure out where you would produce the best you.

Guest Poster Byline: Michelle is an aspiring writer and blogger with a passion for the Internet, specifically social media and blogging. She loves how social media connects people across the globe, and appreciates that blogging gives her the opportunity to voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

The Most Rewarding Online Business Models That Can Be Started Right Away

December 9, 2012

Currently internet based businesses are the most rewarding ones and guarantee good returns in minimum investment and efforts. As the internet world is growing, this is the right time to be a part of it to be at a better position later. Here are some amazing internet based business ideas for you that are easy to implement and guarantee great returns.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and fun type of business to start with. The pre-requisites are having a successful website or a blog. If you don’t have any of them, you can start right away by investing in a domain name and a good Website Hosting for Business platform. If you would like to taste the water first before making any investment, that can be done as well! For this you will need a free blog in the websites like WordPress or Blogger. You can even start with HubPages, Squidoo or any other platform that enables you to create free blogs or pages.

What exactly is affiliate marketing? Basically affiliate marketing is defined as utilizing one website for driving the traffic to another. You as a publisher receive rewards for helping a business by promoting the banners of their products or services through your website or blog. Commissions are generally a percentage of sales, at times they are also based on fixed amount. The affiliate commissions might differ in accordance with the rules stated by the companies offering them. If you have a well performing website or a blog, promoting the affiliate links is one of the most rewarding forms of earning money online.

Pay Per Click

Affiliate marketing and pay per click marketing go hand in hand at times. Once you become an affiliate for any merchant, you can also promote their products through PPC.

In case you don’t have a website yet, or if you haven’t made the decision about which niche is right for you, PPC provides you with a great opportunity for testing several markets. It is important to research before you start as there are possibilities of losing a lot of money really fast if you are not cautious. However if you have a proper setup and tracking system, you can earn really well through PPC marketing campaigns.

Here are some To Do’s before you start the PPC business:

  • Read and gain as much information as you can for PPC marketing

  • Start with a small budget initially. It’s a fact that you will progress slowly. Setup the daily budget in such a way that even if you lose it all, your daily life won’t get affected

Selling Your Own Product / Service

You can start selling your own products or services online. Although there are websites present online that enable you to sell your products, the best way of doing this is through setting up an eCommerce website. This requires you to spend some time for deciding on factors like:

  • Website design

  • Shopping cart software

  • Payment gateways

  • Web hosting platform

  • Prices of the products

  • Shipping / delivery methods

With proper planning of the factors mentioned above, it is possible to establish a great online store website. However if this is what you want to do, you will need patience, you cannot expect immediate returns from the online store business. You will start getting the returns after achieving a good web presence.

List Building

It’s a known fact that list building is a crucial aspect of any online business. In case you have a list of people with whom you have built and nurtured relationships, establishing a brand and creating a good web presence will not be difficult for you. This will be your complete business : create a responsive list and send them excellent information along with the product descriptions and recommendations.

How do you build a responsive list? Initially you must offer the potential customers something that they are looking for, so that they don’t mind giving you their email address. It could be some of these reports as well – ‘top 5 ways to…’, ‘how to avoid…’ Etc. You can write on any of the topics your niche needs to know. When it comes to link building, it is important to be consistent; if you email the subscribers once or twice in a couple of months, there is a possibility that they might have forgotten you. Also make sure that you are not annoying them with frequent emails, it is important to schedule the emails appropriately.

These business models are efficient, rewarding and user friendly. If you want, you can also combine some or all of them beautifully into a customized online business model of your own. If you are a beginner, you might want to start with any one of them first. Go ahead and start making money online.

Guest Author Bio:

My name is Carol Wales. I specialize in writing on topics related to technology and search engine optimization. For me, the purpose of writing articles is for simplifying things for the readers and providing them with the best of valuable information.

Best Business Tip Of 2012

December 4, 2012

It’s been a long time since I have written on Can I Make Big Money Online. It will probably be a long time before I do again, because I am getting ready to start writing quite a bit on our web design/SEO blog.

However, I wanted to quickly tell you the most important thing I learned this year and it’s the best business tip I can give you in 2012:

The people you surround yourself with have a HUGE impact on your success.

I know it’s a simple concept, but it’s true. Surround yourself with people who support you and your goals. People who are abundance minded and believe the things you either believe or the way you want to believe. Who have the success you want to have. Because you become like and think like the people you surround yourself with.

That’s all for now. Here’s to a prosperous New Year!

Most Comprehensive SEO Guide for Small Business Owners

November 17, 2012

Performing SEO as a small business owner can be a difficult task. As a small business, you may have less time and money to devote to your online marketing campaigns, which can have a negative impact on your SEO efforts. Also, the fact that search engines such as Google favor large brands hinders your ability to gain a first page ranking for specific keywords. However, even though it may seem difficult to get your website to appear on the first page of the search engine results for specific keywords, you should not give up as obtaining a first page ranking can have a huge impact on your business.

Importance of SEO

The biggest reason why your small business needs to continue to spend time working on its SEO is to be seen by consumers in your local area. Consumers are no longer using the phone book to find a local business and traditional marketing methods are becoming less effective. When you are able to obtain a first page ranking in the search engine results, your website will be able to drive a larger number of consumers to your business.

How to Perform Local SEO

While you may think it is difficult to obtain a first page ranking for your website, local SEO is actually not that difficult to perform. A good local SEO campaign starts with keyword research. You need to find local keywords people are actually searching for that do not have a lot of competition. Once you have found several keywords you will target with your campaign, you are ready to move on to the next step of the local SEO process.

On-Page SEO – On-page search engine optimization is a fancy way of saying you need to set up your website in such a way so that the search engines know what your website is about. This includes putting your target keywords in the title of your blog posts, using H1 tags and writing a compelling meta description that also includes your keywords.

Ensuring your website has a good internal linking structure is also important for your on-page SEO. Linking to other pages of your website will allow you to inform the search engines what your content is about while also making it easy for the spiders to crawl your website and index all of your content.

Claim Your Profiles – After your on-page SEO is complete, you will want to claim as many local profiles as you can for your business. To do this, you need to create an account on the major social media profiles and local directories. The more web pages you control on the internet that point back to your website the easier it will be to increase your website’s ranking for your target keywords.

When creating all of your profiles, you will want to use your target keywords in your profile. This will help the search engines associate your website with your keywords, increasing the chances of your website appearing on the first page of the results.

Include Contact Information – On all of your social profiles and on your website itself, it is important that you include your business’s contact information including your address. By including this information, the search engines will know what region of the world your business is located and can serve up your website in the local results.

Update your Site with Fresh Content – Search engines love to see websites with fresh content. Placing a blog in your company website is a wonderful way to ensure your website is regularly updated with content that focuses on your local keywords.

SEO Tools

The biggest challenge facing small business owners when it comes to local SEO is finding the time to do the work. Using some SEO tools will help you reduce the amount of time you spend working on your local SEO campaigns while still being able to see positive results.

Google Webmaster Tool – Gives you insight about your website including where it appears in the search engine rankings, any errors encountered by the search engine spiders and the overall health of your domain.

Google Adwords Tool – This is a good tool for discovering local keywords. This tool will also allow you to gauge the competition levels of a specific keyword to determine whether or not you want to include it in your list.

SEMRush – Another keyword discovery tool that provides a little bit more data than the Google

Adwords Keyword Tool – It is definitely the best free tool on the Internet for keyword research.

SEO Book – Offers a keyword density checker to assess the keyword density on your website. If you over-optimize your website for a specific keyword, you could receive a penalty from the search engines.

Majestic SEO – This tool allows you to assess your inbound link profile. See which websites are linking your website as well as your competition to discover new backlink opportunities.

Guest Post Author Bio: Ben Sawyer is in Internet Marketing for more than 5 years. Currently he is working as SEO strategist for Vandko Candles NYC company. In this article Ben provided useful advice about importance of SEO for small business websites.

Building Your Small Business

October 4, 2012

If your dream is to start a business, you most likely have plans to see it grow into something larger. After all, no one starts a business in their basement expecting it to stay there forever. If you want to grow your business, there are several things you should be doing from the very beginning in an effort to ensure growth and plan for the future.

Review Finances

The first thing you need to examine is where your money is going and how the most money is made through your business. You should take great care to identify and avoid the pitfalls that can result in profit loss. This can be anything from the materials used in production to product theft, be it from customers or employees. In turn, you should put as much emphasis as possible on the activities that bring the most money to your business.

Decide How to Measure Success

Whether you’re looking to ensure profitability or simply cut expenses, you need to plan and do so in a way that can be measured as time passes. If you fail to meet your goals, you will know that you need to adjust your production or spending in order to meet this criteria. This means that you should be identifying specific goals as opposed to general “decrease production” or “make more money” type goals.

Know the Condition of Your Industry

A key step towards building your business is having a solid knowledge of both the history and current climate of your business. You should be in tuned to what your competition is doing and, to a certain extent, how they are doing it. If they are successful, take steps to emulate them where possible while avoiding the areas where they may be lacking. Success is business is about adaptation and staying ahead of you competition, so you should always be on the lookout for original ideas to improve your customer experience and bottom line.

Know Your Customers

Your customers are what drives your business. This is common knowledge among the most successful businessmen in the country a quick look at Charles E Phillips CEO profile shows that he has risen through the ranks of several different companies because of a desire to give the customer what they want. You should be looking for direct interaction with your clients whenever possible, be it surveys, panels or any way you can imagine to improve their experience.

Your business is as large as your dreams, and using the above tips will go a long way towards building your future success.

Is Working from Home the Easy Way Out?

September 29, 2012

The daily grind of full-time employment can become tedious very quickly. Aside from having to spend time away from family and more satisfying interests, waking up early, commuting, and dealing with distractions in the office can take their toll.

Telecommuting is becoming more commonplace, as many companies allow employees, contractors, and freelancers to work remotely. For many, it’s a way to bail out from office politics. Working at home has several perks, but its few drawbacks affect some people more than others.

Benefits of Setting up a Home Office

Being at home immediately eliminates the distractions in the office that impose on your work time. Annoying co-workers are non-existent, so you don’t have to worry about being social when needing to concentrate, or having your reputation put on the line by nosy workers.

Whether you assist in sales for a retail business, or provide writing services for an SEO company, you are usually free to work on your own time. There isn’t a boss to look over your shoulder or determine when a good time to take a break would be. If you’re tired, you can just stop for a while, or take a walk around the block.

Commuting time is cut out, allowing wasted hours on the train or in the car to be set aside for work or extra sleep. If waking up early just seems unbearable, then this setup could be great for you. There’s no dreading the ride home after a hard day working for the boss.

Financial Benefits

You also save financially on travel expenses, including for gas and bus or train fare. Slacks, shirts, and shoes worn at the office are not a concern when you work at home, so you also don’t have to buy these or deal with the discomfort.

If you are at home, you also save on rent for a separate office, while expenses such as telephone bills can be cut down as the same phone line can be used for domestic and business purposes. By filing the expenses that do come up, you can also save on taxes. Deductions can include phone and Internet bills, computer software, and supplies such as printer paper and ink.

Disadvantages

Settling on the opportunity to work from home, just because it seems like an easy way out, is the wrong attitude from the start. For some people, it can be hard to set their own schedule, and distractions like contacting friends, browsing the Internet, and household chores can interfere. There is also less socialization, so some effort in networking is required to maintain interaction with others.

Responsibility is up to you; nobody is going to remind you when to start working or file taxes ― a must if you run a business. Relationships and other stresses at home can contribute to distractions from work. If you can manage the few downsides, however, then working from home has many advantages over traveling to a job.

Guest Poster Byline: Michelle is a Content Specialist and Blogger with a passion for the Internet, specifically social media and blogging. She loves how social media connects people across the globe, and appreciates that blogging gives her the opportunity to voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

How To Implement Online Video SEO

September 19, 2012

Video Transcript…

Welcome to the online video masterclass. Today we”ll be looking at a hot video topic; implementing video SEO.

1. Use Keyword Specific Titles:

Just like if you were creating a landing page for a website or writing an article, your videos need to have clear and specific titles. Having your content correctly titled will make the search engine Gods smile fondly upon it. The last thing you want is to create content that can’t be found because of a poor title. Every online video you upload needs to be titled appropriately to give it a strong chance of popping up in both Google and YouTube Page 1 searches.

2. Optimize Your Online Video Descriptions:

Descriptions are an essential piece of the video SEO puzzle that must be optimized. Always put your website URL on the first line of your videos descriptions. This will help to improve conversion rates and give your website a little bit of link juice. Use all the text space available in your descriptions to tie in your keywords and phrases to your videos content. By doing so, you can make your online videos as search friendly as possible.

3. Use Keywords As Tags:

Given YouTube is the number two search engine and owned by Google you want to be on as good terms with it as you can. Tags are one way to do so. Tagging your videos with your keywords and words relevant to your niche will help to link your online video to other videos in the same field, which will increase its chances of being seen. Beware though, YouTube is pretty strict on Tags, try to switch them up from video to video and only use a few of them at a time in order to avoid the Spambots.

4. Use Closed Captions:

Transcripts and Closed Captions are very unused in online video and need to be optimized. Closed Captions and Transcripts in practice function as subtitles for any users with hearing impairments. However, in online marketing terms they provide great SEO benefit. Google and YouTube search through the text in these Transcripts allowing you to optimize them for your keywords and phrases. This will help your content appear higher in the search results.

5. Generate Social Activity:

Whether your hosting your video on Vimeo or YouTube you will have a user account and so will the majority of the audiences visiting the site. Generating activity amongst users on your online video content will help to boost your favour with the search engines. In pretty much every social media the users with the most views, friends, subscribers, likes, comments etc are always going to be top contenders in search results and the same principle goes for the activity on your online videos.

6. Refresh Your Video Content:

Update your old content regularly. By keeping your content updated you’ll be seen far more favourably in the eyes of the online video search engines. This in turn will help you get your content more views and let it stand a better chance at generating a better conversion rate as a result.

7. Use Your Channel To Its Full Potential:

If you’re on a site like YouTube you have a whole Channel at your disposal, not just your video. You can brand your Channel, include your URL, keywords, key phrases, provide calls to action and prompt connections to your social medias. Having a well branded Channel will work in the same way as your website, making your content seem more credible and trustworthy, which will help to generate conversion, content shares and more online activity.

8. Share & Connect On Social Media:

Video sharing sites are fantastically compatible with social media sites. They offer great ways of sharing content to wider audiences and help to promote not only your online video, but interaction with it. Ensure you’re videos are being shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs and Tumblr. Google search now scans such sites for links and content giving your online videos a higher chance of appearing on Page 1 in the search results.

9. Use Sitemaps:

A sitemap is the best way of letting Google know where your online video content is. If you’re using embedded video from Bitsontherun, Brightcove or a Vimeo or YouTube video you’ll need to include a sitemap. It’s a common misconception that YouTube videos are automatically sitemapped to Google in their embed code. Sitemaps are a great SEO boost if you’re not using video sharing sites and merely want to use the content on your landing pages for your website visitors to see.

10. Use All Video Sharing Sites:

Everyone has a favourite video sharing site for watching or uploading content. YouTube is an obvious choice due to its sheer popularity, but getting your content, keywords and URL on all video sharing sites can be a great SEO boost. Check out underrated sharing sites like Daily Motion and Viddler and make sure you follow all the rules of the above on every one of your online videos. A website you can get SEO value from and generate traffic from is never a prospect to turn your nose up at.

That’s it for today’s online video masterclass. Be sure to share your knowledge and your thoughts in the comments section below.

About The Author:
Andy Havard is a Marketing Executive at Skeleton Productions, a UK based corporate video production company.

How Technology Is Affecting The Financial World

July 30, 2012

Technology has been constantly improving and changing over the last few years, and it is slowly taking over both our personal and professional life. These aren’t the only areas that are being affected by technology, however. The financial world and retirement planning are literally evolving and changing every day due to new technology, and this technology is making life easier for people all over the world.

Financial Apps for Smartphones – Although many people depend on their smartphone to keep in touch with friends, family and professional contacts and to e-mail their friends or check their social networking pages, there are actually ways that your smartphone can make keeping track of your finances even easier.

There are plenty of financial apps out there for a variety of smartphones, from iPods to Androids and much more. These apps allow you to keep track of your finances at the quick touch of a button, and you can make updates any time during the day. You can also synchronize your smartphone to your desktop or laptop PC in order to share data across the two platforms and to keep your data backed up, just in case. Financial apps allow you to make a budget, keep track of your spending and your bills, and it can even help you with your income taxes. You can even get help with retirement planning through financial apps.

Investor Software – Whether you are highly experienced when it comes to the stock market or if you are just starting out, you can probably use a bit of advice every now and then. Investor software installed on your PC can really help you out. It can give you tips and tricks on what moves to make and more.

Virtual Wallets – Keeping up with your checking account, savings account, investments, bills and more can be a major hassle, and it can result in a lot of paperwork. Luckily, however, technology has once again stepped in to make your financial situation even easier. Instead of balancing multiple checkbooks and statements, you can use a virtual wallet to make things easier. A virtual wallet allows you to create a budget, pay bills online, keep track of paydays and days that bills are due and can even help you to make smarter decisions when it comes to saving.

If you have not tried financial software, apps or websites yet, it is time to give it a chance. Not only will you be able to save yourself a lot of paperwork and headaches, but you might be able to learn a thing or two as well.

Can’t Get a Job? How About a Micro Job!

July 25, 2012

With the economic crisis continuing to bite deep into families’ pockets, many people have suddenly found themselves out of work, or simply need a bit of extra cash to get by.

For those who have been made redundant, finding a new job can feel like a task akin to squaring the circle. And there’s no getting away from it, the jobs’ market is getting more and more competitive.

It’s a reality clearly on display when jobs fairs take place, with queues of applicants snaking round the block. At a recent two-day fair in California, which was looking for servers, bartenders, cashiers and reservations agents, more than 1,000 people showed up the first day alone to interview for 200 positions available.

If you’re in that soul-destroying position of firing off hundreds of applications and attending dozens of interviews, only to be turned down time and time again, have you thought of looking at micro jobs?

As businesses look to cut their own costs, they are increasingly looking to employ freelancers rather than full-time employees so sites such as eLance, TaskRabbit, Fiverr, 99designs and 3to30.com are becoming the way for firms to find staff they can take on board for a short-term period or for one job.

Microworkers.com is another site that has recognised the trend for micro jobs. “Our unique approach guarantees employers that a task paid is a task successfully done,” says the site’s blurb, “while at the same time guaranteeing workers that a job completed is a job paid.”

Just as the name suggests, the tasks assigned to workers are usually quick and simple – that’s why they’re called microjobs. Tasks include social bookmarking jobs, forum participations, creating backlinks and writing reviews or articles.

Whether you want to make these short-term gigs a career, or just help you get your finances back in shape, they can help you meet specific goals like paying off a debt, creating an emergency fund or saving up for a much-needed family holiday you may otherwise not be able to afford.

You may decide you don’t want to join the clock-punching employment market again after dipping your toe in the waters of micro jobbing. But, if you do, the skills you gain while doing freelance work can prove invaluable in getting back into the world of permanent work.

While working for yourself is challenging, there are a myriad of benefits. You can set your own hours, there’s no daily commute, no need to dress in a suit every day and no limits on the amount of vacation you take – so long as you get your work done.

It’s a system that can work particularly well for students who want a little extra income or stay-at-home moms who need to complete their tasks between school runs.

But there are disadvantages too. You may think it’s easier to get your work-life balance in order but, actually, you can find yourself sitting at your desk at midnight if you’ve had other commitments during the day. You have to make sure your bookkeeping is up to date and you file your taxes, there’s no insurance or retirement package and income is unpredictable.

And, if you’re thinking you can earn enough to live an Orange County-style lifestyle, it’s unlikely you’ll get it through short-term gigs. But if you want to get back on the employment ladder or fit work around family life, micro jobbing may just provide the career turning point you need.

Guest post by Liz Hands, a financial blogger who writes for currencyconverter.co.uk

Making Money By Participating In Online Paid Surveys

July 10, 2012

If you are looking for legitimate ways to make money online, then you have probably heard of paid surveys. In essence, paid surveys are online polls designed to collect opinions about products and services. Upon completion of these surveys, the companies who administer them pay you for your time. Let’s get a little more granular on how these work.

How Do Paid Surveys Work?

The number one question people have about paid surveys is, how do these work? It all starts with a business. Businesses, large and small, need information from consumers about their current and future products and services to help them better run their organizations. To get this information, they hire marketing research firms to help.

These marketing research firms put together strategic surveys in which they administer to their registered base of participants. They collect their responses, analyze the data, and return the data with their findings to the business. From there, the business can then decide if they need to revise current products and services or add additional ones to their line up.

The businesses pay these marketing research firms to collect and analyze the data and then the firms pay the end user for their opinions. That is how these “paid survey” companies have the money to pay you for completing surveys.

How Do You Get Started?

After folks understand how paid surveys work, their next question is typically, how do I get started? To start off, you will have to find a great directory of paid surveys. You see, there are dozens of legitimate paid survey companies out there, but there are also lots of scammers waiting to take advantage of you. Find a directory of paid surveys will help you weed out the legitimate companies from the scammers.

Once you find a paid survey directory, you will need to sign up for all the companies. The more companies you can sign up with, the more surveys you can take. The more surveys you can take and complete, the more money you will make. It’s really that simple.

Once you sign up, you will start to get paid surveys coming to your email account. It is important that you take all of them, even those that may not sound that interesting to you. You need to remember that if you stop taking the surveys, these companies will stop sending them to you and you will have wasted valuable time, so keep taking them religiously!

How Do You Get Paid?

Now that you are taking surveys and completing them, the last question is, how do I get paid? Most survey companies award you points for taking surveys. These points can then be converted to cash. You will need to find the payout section of each site and select whether you want to be paid by check or through PayPal. I like to get paid through PayPal so I can have my money now.

As you complete you surveys, you will be able to track your points and then cash them out. Folks will generally start to redeem their points after a week or two.

As you can see, paid surveys are truly a legitimate way of making money online. It does require some effort on your part, but nothing in this world is free. If you have anything you would like to add to the post, or if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Guest post by Steve Anderson, VP of ProfitablePaidSurveys.com, the leading provider of paid surveys online. To learn more about paid surveys, you can visit their site or check out their blog.

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