Category Archives: Ways to Make Money

Is Your Future Based Online?

future-online

Is the future of all entertainment online? If this is is the case, and I think that it is – mostly – then the future of making money is most definately online. This should be good news for you if you have been looking for ways to make money from home.

This is a changing world and it is changing more and more each day. Over the last 10 years retail has been growing online. We now can order our weekly grocery shopping online and have it delivered right to our front door.

home-delivery

When I Was A Lad!

Way back in the day when I used to go clubbing many ravers would drive hundreds of miles each weekend to see and hear their favourite DJs play the music we wanted to hear. We would buy tape packs which were recorded live at the raves so that we could listen to the music in our cars, in our homes or in our Walkmans.

rave-pack
If you lived in a city then you were lucky, you might have had access to the odd pirate radio station or even a real legal radio show with your favourite local DJs playing the music you liked but on the whole, as a nation you could only get to see the DJs and hear the music you loved at one of the many raves across the country. The DJs would travel to several events each night covering hundreds of miles.

Closing Clubs & The Increasing Access To Music

Times are changing, clubs all across Europe are now closing down due to the footfall dropping. Youngsters are no longer going to clubs like they once used to. The reason for this demise in the club scene is said to be the ease at which people can access music today via online streaming. As I write this article I am listening to KoolLondon online. KoolLondon was a pirate radio station set up 25 years ago during the rave scene which was popular at the time, the scene I loved.

KoolLondon is now legal and broadcasts to London as a radio and the rest of the world online. If I miss a show then they usually have a download available for me to listen to as a podcast. Many of my favourite DJs now record podcasts and put them on sites like Mixcloud or Soundcloud and then share them via social media and email. There is no longer a shortage of quality dance music. I can listen to many sources at any time of the day.

Many DJs are also now doing live video streaming performances thanks to the new Live feature on Facebook. I watched the final ever Carl Cox DJ set last week live from the legendary (but now sadly closed) Space club in Ibiza.

carl-cox-at-space
So why would you want to spend money to travel halfway across town or the country – or even the world – often standing in queues in the cold to go to a club costing a lot of money to get in when you can hear the music you love live from the comfort of your own home?

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be people who enjoy live gigs and shows that love to meet up with people and have a real night of it but they cannot afford to do every gig. Numbers are dropping and venues are closing.

Music is available to everyone these days at anytime of the day thanks to iTunes, YouTube, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, Spotify, Pandora and many more. The downside to this is not just the fact clubs are closing but musicians are not making a lot out of the sales.

pandora-money

But the site owners are and that is where the money is. They are middlemen businesses and you too can become one.

Starting A Middleman Business & Profiting From Other People’s Work.

Starting A Middleman Business & Profiting From Other People’s Work.

NetFlix And Chill

It is not just music though, we now watch TV and films online, we can stream the latest releases from the comfort of our own homes via companies like Amazon, NetFlix, Sky amongst others. With the cost of a cinema ticket being pretty expensive I can see that one day new films may bypass cinemas altogether and broadcast online for a fee.

This might happen not because the film industry wants it to but because the public are fed up of the expense of going to watch a film. At least from home they can be comfortable, not have to put up with others talking or throwing sweets around and they can pre buy their snacks from the supermarket for a lot less money.

cinema-price-rantDistant Learning And The Next Level

But it doesn’t stop there, it is not just music and TV that is being streamed, there are live educational programmes. People like Bob Proctor and Todd McFarlane are giving live training on Facebook and other dedicated websites. Bob is a life coach and self help guru whereas Todd is a professional comic book artist.

live-streaming

Let’s not forget that there are loads of people getting their (other) voyeuristic kicks online using webcams and online services as this article will show you.

webcam busines fi

Using Skype, Google Hangout & A Webcam To Generate A Second Income.

Self-Publishing Your Own Online Wealth

I have written several times about how the online world has changed the publishing industry. People are now becoming famous and wealthy self-publishing authors without the need of the backing from a large publishing house. A lot of these books are bought, downloaded and even read online.

Kindle readers and other ebook reading apps have turned tablets and smartphones into libraries. The new Hollywood film The Martian starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott came to life originally as an online story written by Andy Weir which he shared one chapter at a time via his website.

the-martian

It was read by fans who requested that he put it on the Amazon Kindle store. After selling 35,000 copies in three months it garnered the attention of audiobook and printed book publishing companies.

The rest they say is history. His-story is not only a fascinating and inspiring one but this also shows that people have and are buying books, reading books and creating careers and fortunes by going online instead of going down the old traditional routes.

steve scott kindle

How One Marketer Makes $25,000-$30,000 A Month After Swapping Affiliate Marketing For Writing Kindle Ebooks.

Eyes Down!

Think about other hobbies which required people having to visit a specific building. Apart from competitive and team sports such as football and athletics a lot of other hobbies are now played online from home. Before I started to write this article I watched yet another celebrity endorsed advert for online bingo.

mecca-bingo-louise

Bingo was once the chosen hobby for the blue rinse brigade. Old ladies would meet up and play a few games while having a natter. It became a social event for many of them. A chance to get out of the house for a few hours and meet up with close friends.  For some bingo provided an important community service.

blue-rinse-bingo-brigade

Now the story is different. The age range has changed with people of any age and sex playing bingo. But that is not the only difference, the big difference is that people play online using laptops, tablets and smartphones. Bingo halls have closed by over 200 over the past decade with around 6,500 jobs lost.

The crazy bingo tax and the smoking ban have played a big part in the demise but the rise in the popularity of online bingo websites certainly wouldn’t have helped. They are kicking the offline bingo industry while it is down!

foxy-bingoI Bet You Don’t Know What Is Next?

Times have changed for the old high street bookies, the old vision of smokey bookies crammed full with men having a flutter on the horses or football games is no longer correct. With many of the big bookkeepers now online along with betting exchanges like BetFair people are placing bets and trades online.

betfair

They are placing these bets from home, from the bars and even the sporting events themselves.

If you are not sure about what I mean by ‘trades’ take a look at this incredibly simple way to make money by trading horse racing – take a profit before any horse has had a chance to run!

2 Minute Trader Plus

As well as bingo and betting on sports, casino games like poker can now be played at home online against players from all around the world. No longer do you need to pop to the nearest city to go to the big casino. You simply play online using a laptop, tablet or a smartphone.

Its A Brand New World Out There.

Mark my words, the world is changing and will continue to do so. More of the things that we did years ago which meant having to go somewhere and deal with people in person will move to the online world.

Of course there will always be offline work, buildings need to be built. Farms need to be farmed, trains need to be driven and physical products need to be made, sold and delivered but there are a lot of things that we do now will change.

People are now learning and participating in online yoga courses, consultations are given over Skype and people are watching live club nights from the other side of the world. If you had told me that would happen when I went clubbing 20 years ago I would not have believed you.

So I shall leave you to sit and think for a while, is there a hobby, service or product that you can offer to people online? If you can then you could be soon building yourself a very profitable online business.

5 Ways To Make Money Online Writing

5-ways-to-make-money-online-writing

I want to talk about 5 very simple ideas that you could use to start to generate money online today by doing nothing more than writing. These 5 ideas separately could be a second income or you could build a full time business doing 1, 2, 3 or all 4 of these ideas.

I didn’t want to offer you ideas that were too complicated, were costly to implement or required a lot of new skills. I wanted to work with what we all have available now which is a laptop and the ability to read and write.

Some people might be slightly better at reading and writing than others but on the whole we all should have the relevant skills to make these ideas work.

This could be your new motto:

Have Laptop – Will Write”

It is common knowledge that many of the best successful and profitable businesses have legs, they have a future and they generally provide a service that will still be needed in 5 years’ time as much as it is now.

So when compiling these ideas I tried to think of tasks that people will pay to have done today and will still be paying to have them done for years to come. Also as I said earlier they were not to require skills that you do not already have now and have fully mastered. They had to be simple and easy.

These are not all just for other people, there are ideas that you can do for yourself such as become a self-published author. This can be very profitable.

Ok so what are these 5 perfect writing business ideas?

Idea 1: Transcribing Audio Into Text

Believe it or not but there is a big demand for this service and it is big business. There is also one huge reason why this is better than writing articles for people.

transcribing-fiverr

There are a lot of people offering article writing services and many often charging as little as $5 for a 500 word article which is ok but that involves creative thinking including having to research the topic that you need to write about.

With transcribing you simple listen to an audio recording or a Podcast and type down everything you hear bar the ‘umms’ and ‘errs’.

Setting Yourself Up On Outsourcing Sites

On Fiverr there are people charging $5 to transcribe 5 – 20 minutes of audio, once Fiverr have taken their $1 out of the deal you are left with $4 which is around £2.35 at today’s exchange rate. There are people on sites like Odesk offering their services at better higher prices.

This idea could have you posting your services on Fiverr and then you make more money by adding extras to the gig such as ‘express 24 hour turnaround for $10’ making it now $15 to transcribe someone’s audio.

You could also offer your services on sites like Odesk as well and find work. Remember often the best customer is a repeat customer, if you do an excellent job for the price and build up a relationship with your customers, they will come back to you when they need more work doing.

Having A Dedicated Website For Your Business

Creating your own website dedicated to the business would be good for…

  1. Authority
  2. Repeat work (sending past clients from Odesk and Fiverr directly to deals on your site)
  3. New clients

Having your own site also means that you can drive potential clients to it by advertising your services on Facebook and Google using their advert networks. The website will add authority weight to you and your services by having testimonials and a page or two of who you are and what you do.

The website can come later if you want to keep costs down and try out the system first using Fiverr and Odesk. Or for a cost of less than £60 for the year you could have your site up and ready for future clients and work.

If you are wondering who would want transcriptions doing or why then let me remind you that having an online business or building a brand is all about being ‘everywhere’ and having as much quality content all over the web in as many different mediums as possible.

Podcasts are very popular at the moment and many marketers want to have a text version available as a download or as an article on their site. Some will add them to Kindle as a monthly magazine and a 30 minute podcast takes up valuable time to transcribe so many marketers or website owners would rather pay someone else to transcribe them so they can focus on the things they do best like recording podcasts etc.

Sometimes it will be videos that they want transcribing so that the viewer can also download and read the transcription. These simple documents help viewers understand what was said in the video and for the marketer they can add a lot of value to a training course or product.

Some website owners, marketers or business owners might prefer to write their articles or information by talking into a dictaphone then paying someone to write it out for them. Very similar to how old businesses use to pay copy typists, they would employ people to write down information from a recording; they used to be paid well.

katie price jordan

Many authors do the same thing, the British model Katie ‘Jordan’ Price is a bestseller author (I know? Read that again… she is!) who never wrote a word herself, she has publicly stated several times that she would use a dictaphone and then send her recordings off to a ghost writer.

I know of a few successful marketers who create loads of short kindle eBooks using this exact model, they talk about a subject and someone else types it up for them. There is a big market for this and all it requires is the ability to listen and type. That is it.

Obviously the faster you can type the more you can get done and the more money you can earn, your hourly rate depends on how fast you can type. If you do 20 mins audio for say £5 and can do that 20 minutes in say half an hour then you can do 2 jobs per hour earning you £10 etc.

Please note: 20 mins audio will often take longer depending on the speed you type and if you have to keep stopping and starting the recording. If you intend to do this as a second income from home and not too bothered about building up a big business then it doesn’t matter how fast you type and you can focus on each job individually.

You might simply decide to do 1 job an evening for the 5 working days of the week at £5 and generate an extra £100 a month. You can do as much or as little as you fancy or are capable of.

There is little thinking involved with this business idea, you just need a laptop with a copy of MS Word and the abilities to listen and type. As I said there are many authors who will send their ‘creations’ to people who will write out what they have put down on an audio recording. How hard is that?

Imagine landing the job of transcribing a brand new 90,000 word thriller for someone. That would surely pay well.

Idea 2: Ghostwriting

As mentioned in the Katie Price example, some people want ghostwriters to write articles or books for them which they then publish under their own name. This is a lot more common than you may realise.

I have in the past used ghostwriters when creating articles, I would give them a topic, they would then research it and then write about it. I wouldn’t publish their finished article though, I personally edit the articles that I had written. I just wanted to pay someone to research the topic and lump all of that research together into something that I could shape into my own words.

I have paid $40 US for articles around 1500 words long. That is roughly £32 today, so if you were able to write 2 or 3 articles a day then you are making a good daily wage. There are top ghostwriters who are paid a lot more.

The multimillionaire author James Patterson uses ghostwriters, he would write up a story idea then give it someone else to write. They are classed as co-authors these days but he outsources most of the work to others. Basically he pays people to write his books for him.

If you are good with creative writing and have a good imagination then you could become a ghostwriter for many aspiring authors. There are many successful marketers who self-publish books in the Amazon Kindle Store under pen names. Not the names of the people who wrote the books because they were simply paid to write the books and nothing else.

It is a very common thing. As I said earlier, it is not just books that are being ghostwritten. Articles, video scripts, speeches and a whole lot more are outsourced to writers. All you need to be a ghostwriter is a laptop, an internet connection (now and then) and a good command of written English. That is it.

Ghostwriting is not just for entertainment books like fiction. Many marketers hire writers to create information ebooks about products and software that they are developing to sell.

You can hire yourself out on sites like Fiverr.com and UpWork aswell as set yourself up with your own business website.

Idea 3: Hired Article Writing

This is similar to ghostwriting but articles are not always edited or published under a pen name. Content is often outsourced for websites and these articles can be added to websites without any name or sometimes the paid writer is credited.

Generally the article that is written and submitted to the client needs to be perfect and ready to publish. Clients pay for finished articles, they do not want to waste time having to edit them. This is not ghostwriting, this is finished article writing.

If it is not right they will send it back and ask for corrections or for it to be done again.

This too can be a very profitable business, an article like this one to the right client could be worth several hundred dollars. I have seen writers charging around $0.20 per word which is roughly £0.15 per word putting this article at a value of at least £380. (In an ideal world)

Like the other methods above, you can set yourself up on outsourcing sites like UpWork and Fiverr.com. It would definitely pay for you to have your own website where you offer your services and inform people of what you do.

Some clients may ask for a lot of articles or ebooks to be written on specific niches so that they can sell them to hundreds or thousands of people as information products or PLR products – which leads us onto the next idea.

Idea 4: Writing PLR Content

This is different to the first 3 ideas, instead of being hired and working to order a PLR writer creates content packs which are then sold for a few dollars to hundreds or thousands of people with the rights that they can use them in any way that they want.

A thousand people buying a package of 200 articles at a price of £20 is £4000. That is just an example, some people might charge more or might do smaller packages. What I do know is this, in my experience PLR articles which are sold are very basic and short in length. They are not hard to write. The better quality articles or ebooks that you write the more you can charge for them.

But remember, you are selling these in bulk and so they will be cheaper compared to the longer unique articles a writer is contracted to write. A one off article could be worth £30 or more whereas a PLR pack could be £30 for hundreds of articles.

plr-fiverr

This idea would require more from you as you would need to market your PLR products or at least hire someone to market them for you. PLR writers can do joint ventures with marketers. The idea is to find a niche or topic which is very popular, write all about it then sell those articles or ebooks to people who can then sell them or give them away to build email lists, add content to their websites or rebrand and sell for profit.

Basically you create the content, sell it on and allow others to do whatever they like with it. You will not be credited as the author but you can earn a lot from providing PLR content for other people.

I was a member of a membership website that was supposed to teach people about internet marketing but a lot of the content on the website was not created by the site owner but was PLR content that he had bought and rebranded. He was charging over £30 a month to access his site.

PLR content is very sought after!

Idea 5: Becoming Self Published Author

This one we have covered several times before in the following articles. Take a read of them and you will see how profitable becoming a self-published author really can be.

How One Marketer Makes $25,000-$30,000 A Month After Swapping Affiliate Marketing For Writing Kindle Ebooks.

steve scott kindle

How One Man Generated $746,256.61 In 2014 Using What Was Thought To Be An Outdated Business Model

How One Man Generated $746,256.61 In 2014 Using What Was Thought To Be An Outdated Business Model.

Building A Profitable Self Publishing Business Using Amazon & Google

building a profitable business using amazon and google

There will be marketing involved and of course you will need covers designing for your books but both of these can be learned or outsourced.

This will require some money to promote your books but there are things that you can do for free to get your books out in front people such as using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and other popular websites like Pinterest and Tumblr.

I want to say – depending on what type of books you write and how good they are you can make a lot of money from being a self published author – but there are people making good money on Amazon Kindle publishing what can be described as terrible books.

What they do is different to the traditional idea of what an author does, they don’t spend months or even years crafting the perfect book instead they write and publish loads of ‘ok’ books. They rely on selling a handful of each book each month. A handful of sales of 20 or 30 books can add up to a nice monthly income.

It seems that anyone can become a self-published author and become a successful one at that. As with all things that have a lot of potential they require patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, a book wasn’t written in an hour and a self-published fortune wasn’t generated in a week.

Can You Outsource Your Way To Wealth?

Starting a new online business can be hard, it can require a lot of time and often a lot of money. Strange as it may sound, especially if you are short of spare cash, but paying people to do a lot of the work can – in the long run – be more economic for you.

If you are already working in a job and earning money then why not put some of those earnings aside to help build your online business? Especially if there is a chance of overtime, the extra money from doing a job you know inside out can really fund a business forward. I have a great example of how doing it yourself can cost you dearly.

A close friend of mine was once owner of a large building which he was converting it into apartments and shops. He was a very in demand electrician and had a lot of work that he could have done in the evenings and weekends. But instead he decided to spend his weekends and evenings working on his property. He would do all of the plumbing, a lot of the woodwork and decorating.

Partly to save money and partly because he wanted to do it. Maybe for the accomplishment or simply for the ego but he wanted to basically self build the whole project. Which is great but… even after fifteen years it never got finished! Eventually he had to sell the property to pay off debts the project had accrued. It sold for a loss and not all debts were paid off. So why am I telling you this?

As an in demand electrician, working for big factories and the farms in the area, he was charging more per hour than what the other trades were charging. He had a lot of work to catch up on with a lot of potential extra overtime work in the evenings and weekends.

Had he decided to really throw himself into the electrical work in the evenings and weekends as well as during the week instead of working on his project, he would have earned a lot more than what was needed to pay joiners, plumbers and decorators to do the work. Plus the work would have been done and finished a lot quicker. The whole project would have been finished in less than five years in my opinion.

As a joiner I did some of the work and watched as the project changed from one badly planned idea to another and then not getting finished. Not one of the tasks were fully finished, two flats in one part of the complex were finished but the stairway to them hadn’t been decorated or had the skirting boards and flooring finished. This was repeated across the whole building.

If you want to develop an old building or build a family home would you do all of the trades yourself such as the electrics, joinery, roofing, bricklaying, plastering and plumbing? Most people can just about manage the decorating but would you try and do everything yourself? If you were doing a day job and had very little building skills how long do you think it would take you to finish your project?

Property developers do the same thing, their business is to convert old buildings or build new ones but they generally use the skilled trades people to the work while they focused on the marketing and selling of the business.
doc-savageAnother story I want to share is the one about the pulp fiction writer Leslie Dent. If you have been reading our posts on this blog you will know that I have talked about pulp fiction writing before.

How One Man Generated $746,256.61 In 2014 Using What Was Thought To Be An Outdated Business Model

For the self published author or publishing company it has become very profitable. Lester Dent was the creator and main author of the series of novels about the superhuman scientist and adventurer, Doc Savage. The 159 novels written over 16 years were credited to the house name Kenneth Robeson.

The publishing company Street and Smith  published 181 Doc Savage novels before it ceased publication in 1949. Dent wrote around 160 of the Doc Savage books and was paid around $500 per novel which is a huge amount of money back in the 1930s and 1940s. Today it has an equivalent spending power of over $6,800.

But here is the thing, Street and Smith banked on earning far more back because they would print the stories on cheap paper and then sell them for 10c originally to a mass market. Pulp fiction magazines and novels were huge back in the mid twentieth century. They would sell tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of the magazines. Of course this would add up to a substantial profit.

Smith and Street were the publishers, their business was publishing adventure stories for the masses but they themselves – Mr Street and Mr Smith – did not write the stories themselves nor did they design the cover art. They outsourced the whole thing and it was a very profitable business.

The internet is now a global concern, you have access to people all over the world with the skills that you need. There are web designers, article/ebook/ghost writers, video producers, content creators, WordPress developers, software developers, artists, ebook designers and social media managers to name a few available to use – and often at a great price.

For $10-15 dollars you could have a fairly good short article written while you get paid by work. Do this daily or weekly and you could be growing an online business fast.

So if you are thinking of building an online business, maybe a simple Cash Curator style website or maybe a bigger authority niche website I would recommend that you have a good think about whether you should outsource much of the main work like writing website content and social media management otherwise you may end up like my good friend… with an unfinished project that has cost you a lot of time and money and is worth less than when you started.

The Changing Face Of Business

I am sure you are aware of the global economic crisis that has been happening over the last few years. We have heard of the horror stories where the economic and social foundations of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus have nearly collapsed. These have all added fuel to the fire which resulted in the British public leaving the European Union in last week’s referendum.

brexit

Unemployment is high in these countries now. As I write this Spain is having a second general election because the last one in December did not result in a decisive outcome and so Spain has been run by a caretaker Government.  It is said that unemployment is at a staggering 50% with more and more people in Spain forced to get food from food banks because they cannot afford a full weekly shop.

Greece is slowly recovering after seeing regular street protests and rioting resulting in shops and businesses being attacked. Times have been so desperate lately that people are turning on themselves.

greece

Many of the issues in places like Spain and Cyprus were made worse by people in places like the UK not being able to afford overseas holidays so they chose to stay in their own countries which meant a lot of tourist places that relied heavily on income from tourism and tourist based work were seriously affected.

Many people believe that the bankers with greedy intentions and dodgy dealings have caused many of the issues, and they might be right. Governments bailing out banks have had to force cuts within the public sector which simply amplifies the misery that people are living with. But bankers and capitalism isn’t the cause of all of the issues that protesters will have you believe.

We are living in a different world these days and what worked 10 – 20 years ago is slowly changing.

Do you remember Woolworths, Blockbuster video and HMV? Over the last few years they have been in the headlines because they were forced to close making a lot of people unemployed. And of course the  BHS collapse has been in the news recently. But when we look closely at these stores what do we see? We see companies that have been around for years offering the public products that were once expensive to buy, expensive to manufacture and that you could only get from the big stores that could afford to stock them.

hmv blockbuster woolworths

Products like video and DVD’s, music CDs, books, stationery and even household goods. What is the first thing most people think when they look at those items?

‘Videos? DVD’s? They are so last decade!’

Many of today’s big stores are not suffering because of the economic crisis that has been caused by the bankers, many jobs are not being lost because of the banking system, they are being lost because the way our society is changing, they are being lost down to the advancement and development in modern technology and working systems.

We are at a similar stage to the industrial revolution of the early 19th century. Advancements in technology is making life easier and better for all, unfortunately with those changes some things and some people may suffer.

We are now living in the digital age; music is now in MP3 format and can be downloaded to mobile phones, MP3 players, computers, tablets and even eBook readers like the Kindle. Books are in PDF or Kindle form and can also be downloaded directly from the online store to Kindles, mobile phones, computers and tablets.

Movies and TV shows are the same; they come in digital format that can be downloaded and streamed live via your computer and mobile phone. I mean think about it, mobile phone? We can sit and watch TV on a phone while travelling on a bus or train!

Tesco now have their own Film and TV streaming service called BlinkBox to rival Netflix and Amazon. All are growing and changing the way we receive our entertainment. What was just an online thing routed to a TV by HDMI leads from a laptop is now becoming a defunct technology with modern TVs now coming connected to the internet via wifi or with USB sticks like Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire. Internet TV is now being watched on large TVs!

blinkbox love film netflix

Imagine trying to tell someone one back in 1988 who owned one of those huge car phones that within 20 years we would be watching TV or listening to radio broadcast live from the other side of the world on hand held mobile phones! Then tell them that these phones are capable of storing more books and music albums than what most people have on their shelves.

scooby doo mobile

We live in a new age, we cannot overlook that, Woolworths might have closed down their stores but their online business was thriving until they recently joined the huge online store Very.co.uk. An online store has far less overheads and running costs compared to the traditional retail business model which requires having loads of stores in each major town across the UK.

There are rents and rates to consider, the utility costs such as electricity needed for lighting and running tills, water and possibly gas for toilets and heating. There are the costs of fitting out the stores with shelving, stands and equipment, there are the big costs of insurances, the cost of replacing products that have disappeared thanks to light fingered shoplifters, the cost of repairs after ’10 Stella’s Steve’ decided to put a road sign through the window on a Saturday night when he realised he was too late to buy a kebab and finally there are the wages that come with having so many staff. Offline businesses are very costly to run.

Change Is Inevitable!

coal not doleIt is a sad fact that when change comes people will lose their jobs. When the Miners were shouting ‘Coal not dole’ during the strikes of 1984 it was a desperate attempt to keep Britain in the past, what worked 20 years ago might not work now. No one likes to be out of work, (apart from those on Channel 5 documentaries!) but when one door closes others open.

Woolworths sold items that were becoming available to smaller shops like stationery and even household items, now they can be bought online and even personalized from the comfort of your own home by using sites like CafePress.com. How can these big shops still compete?

An ex Woolworths employee might have lost their job but today they now have the opportunity of creating an online store selling mugs, T-Shirts, notepads and bags with their designs and photographs using sites like CafePress or Zazzle for very little outlay. This was not possible 20 years ago, where a Woolworths store once sold to the local populace, a CafePress store owner can sell to people worldwide.

cafepress

As the popular saying goes ‘when one door closes another opens’; the doors to the world have been thrown open wide. When I was printing T-Shirts and selling them on my eBay shop I was sending T-Shirts to place like Russia, Singapore, the USA and Australia. I was sending items abroad every week, many of the places I had never visited.

Musicians are now able to take control of their own music. Typically I cannot remember the name of the band I wanted to use as my example but I remember the story well.  Several years ago there was a new young indie band that had been signed to a record label, they were quite good, they were fairly popular and even had records in the UK charts and an album out.

Surprisingly the record label decided to let them go, maybe they were not generating enough sales for the label – I am not sure. Record labels do spend a lot of money producing albums and promoting bands but with shows like the X-Factor coming along which creates the market for the winner and generates money from the voting system, the music industry has changed a lot. It has moved away from the old days where record labels risked their money on new bands so it is possible this band was a victim of the current state of the industry.

Does the band regret being left high and dry by their label? Not at all, in fact it is quite the opposite; to start with they might have been a bit deflated and miffed but now? They are in complete control of their own future. With social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and with music stores like iTunes, the band were able to keep growing their following and producing music that they wanted to produce, music which they were able to sell and promote themselves while keeping all of the rewards.

They can dictate where they go and what they do, they are completely free to go in the direction they and their fans want without the interference of the record label who were focusing primarily on getting back as much profit from their investment as possible.

How many people have we seen that have become stars worldwide because they took the time to use the tools we all now have at our disposal? Tools we take for granted?

The Scottish singer Sandi Thom, who was signed to a small record label, released a single “I sandi thomWish I Was A Punk Rocker” which flopped big time. Travelling from a gig her car broke down and as she sat waiting an idea popped into her head, Sandi created the “21 Nights from Tooting Tour” which were 21 live performances from her basement flat in Tooting.

Tickets were sold but the basement could only hold 10 people with most of them being the band. These performances were recorded and put out onto the web, using the then popular social media network MySpace to promote her webcast she gained a following; she went on to do a series of live webcasts.

With the help of several national newspapers who ran the story, one of Sandi Thom’s live webcasts was watched by a reported 70,000 people. Record label A&R men flocked to her shows to see what was going on. Sandi was eventually signed to Sony and her single was re released and became a huge hit worldwide making it to the No 1 spot.

She has since gone on to released 5 studio albums and 1 Best Of album. There is more to the story, some say it was a well-planned marketing campaign where she had help with promotion by her tech savvy friends but what is great is how they took a flop, created an online buzz using tools and networks we have available and created a career for herself.

After releasing 6 albums and playing across the world at many great festivals, it is fair to say that she hasn’t looked back.

the digital academyIt’s A Changing World

This is a changing world and that is good, people may lose jobs which is always a shame but when change happens new jobs are created. What people generally do is find something they enjoy (or at least are comfortable with) and want life to stay that way. When they are doing a job they love, working with people they like, it hurts when it is suddenly taken away from you. It is like being in a long term relationship which suddenly ends and you can do nothing about it.

You spend most of your day at work with your working friends so when it goes there is a big loss and a period of grief with a lot of fear, not only do you lose your daily life and work friends you now have no money coming in which can be very scary so losing a job is not a nice thing at all and not something to be taken lightly.

But when you look back at the days of the Miners strikes, there were no mobile phones, no laptops, no tablets, no websites and no internet. When you think how bleak it was at that time with many miners being made unemployed it was scary and you see the world getting worse.

But it doesn’t get worse, it changes, there are new advancements in technology and those advancements require people to make and sell these new fang dangled machines.

The internet meant people were now creating websites which opened up new doors for the young to become designers and coders, mobile phones have developed to a point where more people are employed to create apps and mobile technology. Do you think the BBC can suddenly appear on your phone without employing or hiring people who know how to do it? No of course not.

Social media has opened the doors for social media managers and people who now specialise in online marketing campaigns. Even your electricity company and your favourite supermarket now have dedicated teams monitoring social media for complaints, questions and enquiries. I recently contact Morrisons on Facebook regarding a missing quorn sausage when we had our shopping delivered.

morrisons fb chat

The Amazon Kindle has allowed people who didn’t think they could become authors to write and sell their own books. Read the fascinating story about Nick Spalding here: Building A Profitable Self Publishing Business Using Amazon & Google

These ebook readers like the Kindle also need making and selling, yes many of the technical items are manufactured overseas but the world is shrinking around us, we in the UK can benefit from overseas workers too, especially if the work we want done is in the digital domain. Many people have become very successful by outsourcing work to people overseas and being nothing more than the project overseer.

elance upwork

Stay at home mothers and fathers can be paid to write website content, do research or even answer emails for people. A cheap computer desk from Argos, a relatively cheap laptop, an external hard drive for backup and a small quiet room is enough for many people to start making money from home.  Joining outsourcing sites like Elance and Upwork can be a great start to finding work online.

There Is No Looking Back

This is a changing world, we cannot rely on others to give us job security, we have to rely on ourselves instead and that is the hardest part but there are so many new opportunities and ideas that we can get involved with.

Take Forex Trading as an example, 20 years ago a person working on a building site or in a shop would not be able to make money trading the markets very easily, you could I guess play the long game and buy a currency and hold it until it was ready to sell to make a profit. My dad’s cousin in Australia used to do that; he would get up early to catch the UK markets and brokers; he was probably one of the first to trade using computers, I don’t think I had even heard of eBay at that time.

That was 16 years ago, now it has become far easier for people to get involved in the Forex Markets and generate money using a combination of software. Some software is free and given to you by brokers and some tools that make the whole process easier and faster costs less than a pound a day to run.

advantedge

We Minions work with a guy called Charlie who makes several thousand pounds in tax free profits each month from his home based office using just a computer, a good quality broadband connection and software that is available to anyone. He even appeared on a BBC documentary about successful traders, you can learn more about Charlie and watch parts of that documentary here: AdvantEdge The Simple One Click System.

Even gambling has changed; no more visits to the bookies on the high street having to take the odds you were given. People now regularly make money by trading bets at online betting exchanges like BetFair. Yes you read that right, trading bets, not placing them.

You buy a bet at one price and then sell it off later at a profit. An online betting exchange is different to a high street bookmakers, the exchange is an online middleman business, they make their money from putting two set of people together. The internet has made it possible for many ‘Joe Public’ people to open up a middleman business and become successful. Read Starting A Middleman Business & Profiting From Other People’s Work.

the greater good

The days of having to be part of the ‘in crowd’ or move in the ‘right circles’ are over. The creation of the internet and the big worldwide online family has opened up so many ‘circles’ and ‘crowds’ to all of us. The doors and walls have be blown wide open.

We no longer need to be signed by a publishing house to sell books; we no longer need to even have paper books made from trees – which is great for the planet. We no longer need to be signed to record labels, we no longer need to press records or make CD’s which again is also great for the planet. We no longer have to buy printing equipment, inks or T-shirts to sell our own designed T-shirts worldwide.

I will say it again… This is a changing world.

What was not possible many years ago are now possible and in ways we never imagined, jobs have been developed as others have gone. Many shops and industries may be closing but that isn’t always down to the economic crisis, it is simply down to the evolution of society and change.

Is it time you invested in yourself to learn new skills and take control of your life to reduce the risk of this changing society causing you grief and harm? I will leave you with that thought.

How One Family Made $100 Million In Two Years Using YouTube And A Grumpy Cat

Disney is not the land where dreams are made: It is the internet!

Not all internet wealth comes from hard work or specialised business systems. A lot of it has come from simply sharing fun stuff. If you are not yet aware, cats dominate the internet. Some say that the internet was just invented to share funny cat pictures and videos.

Their popularity can be seen everywhere. Today I wanted to talk to you about a family who have generated a whopping $100 million within two years thanks to their less than happy cat. The cat itself is probably very happy but it has a face which always looks sad and grumpy.

Introducing the internet sensation… Grumpy Cat!

grumpy cat

According to the UK newspaper The Independent (December 2014) Grumpy Cat’s owner Tabatha Bundesen and her family have reportedly earned $100 million which is a cool £64 million in real money.

Tabatha now 30 said:

“What she’s achieved in such a short time is unimaginable and absolutely mind-blowing. I was able to quit my job as a waitress within days of her first appearance on social media and the phone simply hasn’t stopped ringing since.”

Grumpy Cat whose real name is Tadar Sauce earned more in 2014 through merchandise sales, advertising  and other revenues than the world class professional Cristiano Ronaldo who earned an estimated £27.1 million and Gwyneth Paltrow whose income for 2013 was around £12 million.

That is incredible! It all started when they put a picture on the popular website Reddit. People accused the picture of not being real and that it was ‘photoshopped’ so Tabatha recorded a few videos and added them to YouTube. Those videos went viral and the rest is history as they say.

The Original Grumpy Cat!

Just look at this video. It has had nearly 20 million views!

Grumpy cat has her own website, she has nearly 140 products in her online store split into departments like ‘Electronics’, ‘Clothing’ and ‘Home & Pets’.

grumpy cat merchandise

She has been in her own movie “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever”, which was produced by Lionsgate –– the people behind several Jason Statham movies –– she has a couple of books on Amazon, one which was a New York Times bestseller, that are doing very well.

grumpy cat books

She even has her own range of coffees called ‘Grumppuccino’ which are available to buy in over 100 stores across the US.

grumpy cat coffee

Why I am saying she has I don’t really know as she has done very little herself. A lot of this is down to Tabatha and Grumpy Cat’s agent Ben Lashes. Ben is a self-proclaimed ‘meme manager’, whatever one of those are. He has turned the public’s love for funny cat images and videos into cold cash. He has managed other popular online cats including Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat.

Since Ben took over managing Grumpy Cat he has created a brand that has grown landing them the book and film deals as well as Grumpy Cat now being the official ‘Spokescat’ for Friskies. A deal with Nestle Purina PetCare what would be worth a small fortune.

Grumpy Cat is not the only cat to become an internet sensation and she certainly wasn’t the first. It is now generally accepted that posting a picture to Reddit, Twitter or Facebook or a video to YouTube can launch an internet sensation.

YouTube has generated millions of dollars for people because it allows average joe public to get their homemade videos out in front of millions of people.

Read:

technology rich and famous

How The Technology We Take For Granted Today Could Make You Rich And Famous

Some YouTube stars can earn more than Hollywood films and stars. Especially when you consider the return earned on products with the difference in layout costs.

Hollywood spends millions to make millions whereas Felix Kjellberg AKA PewDiePie, a Swedish video game commentator, would spend a miniscule amount compared to Hollywood and yet it is reported that he can make as much as $7.4 million in a year thanks to his YouTube based business.

Read:

Sitting On Your Bum Playing Video Games YouTube $7.4 million How To Profit From Creating Simple YouTube Videos

Sitting On Your Bum + Playing Video Games + YouTube = $7.4 million: How To Profit From Creating Simple YouTube Videos

So the questions are: Do you own a pet? Do you own a video camera? (smartphone will do) Do you want to make money doing something which is fun?

If the answers to all three questions are yes then you could be the next internet sensation like Grumpy Cat. Who knows?

But what we do know it that no one will ever know if they never try.

How One Man Generated $746,256.61 In 2014 Using What Was Thought To Be An Outdated Business Model

Today I am going to discuss a business model that has been used very successfully by several people recently but the model itself is an old one. One which virtually died when new technology –– such as colour TVs became cheaper and more readily available –– destroyed its popularity with the masses.

It soon became outdated and was virtually unheard of again until now. The change in modern technology, the invention of the internet and the new phenomenon of the online self publishing system that Amazon Kindle and others have brought to the world has had a strange but interesting twist –– it has brought back the opportunity for people to make money from this old business method.

So what old business model am I talking about here? The business was known as ‘Pulp Fiction’ and it was named after the low grade paper that fiction stories were once printed on. The reason these stories were printed on low quality paper was that it was cheap and made them affordable.

pulp fiction covers 1

The USA had just experienced the big depression and the economy was at a low as was morale, publishers wanted to cheer people up and give them some excitement and adventure to allow them to escape the humdrum life that so many of them were living. But because people had very little spare money they needed to make it affordable and so they came up with the concept of hiring writers to create short fiction stories which they printed on cheap paper and sold cheap to the public.

The writers who needed work were paid pennies which kept the costs down. They might not have liked how little they were being paid but they needed the work. The idea of the Pulp Fiction business was similar to the Woolworths principle of stack them high and sell them low.

Instead of a long novel type book they would produce a collection of short stories and sell them. Many people couldn’t face reading a big thick book, they prefered the thinner comic style magazines. The stories were often in a series and spread out over time just like how TV shows are made today. Each episode is a new mini episode within one big story.

pulp fiction covers 2

Inside these Pulp Fiction magazines were crime and detective dramas, war stories, cowboy & westerns and science fiction stories based in outer space People loved them, people love to be entertained and that is what Mike Shreeve focused on when he made over $700,000 a year by starting his own Pulp Fiction empire.

Before starting his Pulp Fiction empire Mike spent several months studying the pulp fiction writers of the early twentieth century.

Mike along with many others has made good returns by writing short entertaining fiction stories which they have sold on sites like Amazon Kindle, Kobo, B&N and more. There are two ways to make this business work for you:

1 You can either write the short stories yourself which you self publish

2 Or you become a publisher and outsource the writing and then publish the stories under ‘pen names.’

Or there is a third option: do both!

Mike made a great point when he discussed the difference between his business model and other writers: Most writers want to become famous by having a bestseller on one of the popular lists such as the New York Times Bestseller list and those writers dream of that one bestselling book making a lot of money and changing their lives around. Mike on the other hand made his money from many books and not just one.

He said It’s the myth of the bestseller…Authors are the only business people (and if you want to make money selling books you are in business… no two ways about it…) that I know of who think that they can make a year’s salary off the sales of a single product. It doesn’t make sense.”

It is a very valid point, why do authors think that they can change their lives with just one product? Yes it has happened before for many people but it is never guaranteed.

Mike didn’t just write one long bestseller. They can take ages because writers get so lost in the writing. The story they write constantly changes, it is forever growing, it evolves because as you write you think up new ideas to add to the book and also novels have roughly 90,000 words and so they can take ages to write and edit.

pulp fiction covers 3
Mike along with others focused on writing shorter stories (called novelettes ) of 10,000 words more or less and they published them as a series. Any ideas that popped into their heads while they wrote they put into a list of ideas for future follow up stories.

This is what Mike had to say about it all: “Instead of trying to write one perfect book, write a higher quantity of your best books. It’s a slight difference, but so damn important. Do your best work 100% of the time, but don’t pretend you are going to write a bestseller. Instead, pretend that your life depends on finishing your writing for the day. Set higher goals. Get better. I never worry about whether my books will make a “list”. I only care that the books get finished.”

For every book that is finished it can be published and when it is published it has the potential to earn money. Mike had loads published which were bringing in money. In 2014 he published 36 books. If that sounds like a lot of writing to you then do not despair, he didn’t write most of them himself. He outsourced the writing.

David Lee Martin is another successful writer who self publishes short stories. David said that he generally pays between $100 and $130 for ghostwriters to write his short stories. He finds a target niche, creates a story outline with characters etc then sends the information to the writers who write the finished books. He may do some editing but his job mainly is to market the book. He creates the book covers himself because he loves playing around in Photoshop whereas Mike Shreeve prefers to outsource the covers.

So as you can see you do not need to write the books yourself but if you want to then you could. Mike published 36 books in 2014, that would be some going if you wrote the books yourself but I personally would say that –– if you were a discipline character –– you could write 25 great short stories in a year.

That means that you can write one book every two weeks. At 10,000 words per book, writing as little as 1000 words per day you should have a book done in ten days with four spare for editing. Now it sounds a little more achievable doesn’t it? I have tip that can help make writing 10,000 words a lot easier later on in the article.

Kindle Self Publishing Masterclass New ModuleThe more stories you have published the more sales you can generate. Here is something that you should consider as a publisher or writer. When someone reads a story that they really enjoyed they want to read another. If they loved the characters they may want to read another story featuring those characters or if they loved your writing style then they may want more of that. What happens if you publish a book and have nothing else for the reader to buy? They can get bored and forget about you.

Both Mike and David wrote/published under different pen names unlike James Patterson –– who is famous for outsourcing his writing! ––  so to make sure that people can access more of their work (under that pen name) they do something a lot of Novel Authors do not do: They write a series of separate short stories first and do not publish one until they have a few of the series ready and then publish several at the same time.

pulp fiction covers 5

This means that each new book in the series can cross sell the others and that they will be shown by sites like Amazon in the By The Same Author… section. Instead of selling one they can sell several at the same time to the same people without the fear of losing them later. Those who write longer books which takes months or even years to write will be making their fans wait ages for another book which can be damaging to sales.

The price point for these shorter stories vary from between $0.99 to $2.99 –– or pounds if you are in the UK. What is important is that you create great books, they may be short and the turnover is fast but you cannot publish sub standard books. Remember; the Pulp Fiction business of the 1930s printed on sub standard paper but the stories and cover art was the best they could produce. The quality of the stories on those sub standard pages was the most important thing.

James Patterson is one of the biggest selling authors of all time, he writes novels and he can publish a lot of them in a year because he too outsources a lot of the writing to co-authors. He creates the book ideas and sets about creating the characters and story and then has others to flesh it out. I was recently reading one of his books and noticed that all of his books have a lot of chapters and that many of those chapters are just a few pages long. I wanted to know why and so I found out.

james patterson and co authors

James Patterson likes to write a scene as a chapter, so for example, if he had two people talking in a kitchen about a murder, that would be a full chapter. If one of the people left and drove away leaving the other in the kitchen to mull over the discussion, that would be another chapter. So to help you write a short story I came up with a template.

The Short Story Template

When writing a short story of 10,000 words break it up into ten scenes which become ten chapters and each chapter should be around 1000 words each. This will help plan the story and if you prefer change the template to suit so if you prefer write 20 chapters of roughly 500 words and so on. This is not an exact science but a way to help set the story out. As James Patterson would tell you, it is easier to write a story when you have an outline or full plan to work to.

I would also say that the rule is to be flexible. If one chapter has 800 words and another 1057 then so be it. It is just a guide to help write 10,000 word stories. If you need more or less words/scenes and chapters then add them. Do what you need to do but remember, as Mike Shreeve said “I only care that the books get finished.” and so should you. Get them finished and get them published. That is the only true way to start making money from selling books on Amazon Kindle.

After the books are published to Amazon, Mike and David would then start to market them using Facebook adverts to send traffic to the sales page. They also build up email lists by giving away a free story and those email lists have made it possible for them to sell more books without using advertising meaning that they get more money and need to spend less on advertising.

But for now –– if this idea sounds good to you ––  you better start writing or planning your stories otherwise you have nothing to market.

Oh and by the way, I have written just under 2000 words in the last few hours for this article so writing 1000 – 2000 words a day can be done 🙂

Looking To Fund A New Project Or Business? Maybe You Need KickStarter

I did wonder whether I should call this article ‘How To Generate $3 Million In 26 Days’ but that is a little misleading even though it actually happened . (Read On)

I was recently wondering how people could fund new projects when they do not have much spare capital and would rather not have a bank or business loan which would mean repayments.

I remembered about the new world of ‘crowdsourcing’  (also crowdfunding) as it is known which has change the way many people get their projects funded and started.

Crowdsourcing itself is not new, there have always been groups of investors and ‘angels’ willing to lend capital to new projects that they believe have potential to give a return but the new form of online funding is different in the way that it now allows large numbers of fans to donate money to a project they believe in or want to see happening in exchange for the product itself, and in some cases just to give and see something special happen.

There are several websites online that allow the general public, people like you and I, to donate money to up and coming art, music and technology projects including films.

There have been a few films that had not been given the backing by the big Hollywood studios but were made because they were backed by eagre fans wishing to see the film become a reality. Iron Sky from 2012 being one of them. (Click the Play button below to watch the trailer for Iron Sky)

When you have a product that a lot of people want to ‘have’ or ‘see’ then many of those fans will be compelled to donate otherwise it might not get made. The great thing about crowdsourcing is that you set a desired amount that you need and if you hit that amount you get the money but if you don’t then those who were willing to donate are given their money back.

How To Generate Over $3 Million In 26 Days The Cyanide & Happiness Story

I was recently looking at crowdsourcing campaign by the guys behind the brilliant Cyanide & Happiness online comic strip. I love these guys and wrote about them previously in this article: Becoming A Funtrepreneur: Building An Online Business Promoting Fun Stuff

The guys have been wanting to create a card game using their comic characters and so they set about running a crowdsourcing campaign to get funding as seen in the image below.

cyanide and happiness kickstater 1

Did you notice how much people have pledged to back the project? It says it in the bottom right corner… if you didn’t see it take a look at the screenshot below.

cyanide and happiness kickstater 2

Yes, you read that right! Take another look at that final total below…

cyanide and happiness kickstater 3

They set a goal of $10,000 which should have been enough to get the game made and have ended up with 63,758 backers who have pledged over $3 million dollars! That is insane!

They ran their campaign on the KickStarter.com website which finds backers for new projects, campaigns run for 26 days. As I said earlier, within 26 days these guys generated over $3 million!

Kick Starting Your Project & Product Venture With KickStarter

kickstarter logo

Today there are 5,340 live projects looking for funding on KickStarter: the screenshot below shows you some of the projects which are looking for backers.

kickstarter 1

These are some of the most popular ones and you can see that they have reached their funding goals as it shows you the percentage that they have hit. 100% is as you would expect the full goal and as these screenshots show these projects have gone over just as Cyanide & Happiness did.

In the screenshot above there is one project which has hit 2939% which is just incredible.

kickstarter 2

There are 15 categories to choose from, if you want to get crowdfunding from people your product must fall into one of these categories on KickStarter.

kickstarter 3

In many ways this can be seen as creating an audience for your product and pre selling it before it is complete.

There is one guy called Grek Pak who is promoting a guide to using KickStarter as seen below and he has gone well over his set goal… and he still has 23 days to go. He has sold his book probably before he has finished writing it.

kickstarter 4
He has used KickStarter before several times and is the guy behind the very successful ‘Code Monkey Save World’.

greg pak
“Code Monkey Save World, a graphic novel based on the songs of internet superstar musician Jonathan Coulton, became Kickstarter’s highest grossing original comics project of all time in 2013.” – KickStarter

What Makes A Successful KickStarter Campaign?

There are some really cool projects on KickStarter like those by Cyanide & Happiness and Greg Pak but there are some really bad ones too like the one shown below.

kickstarter 5

The guy has 57 hours to go and has only had $1 pledged so far to bring his ‘Ultimate Salad Spoon’ to the world. It is a shame really as he has been working on the project for a long time and is very excited about it… but it seems no one else is!

The success of your campaign on sites like KickStarter are down to two things really,

  1. The quality of the project
  2. The way you share it out.

For Cyanide & Happiness it wasn’t too hard, they have a HUGE following and I do mean huge, they have their own website, they have millions of followers on social media and go to comic conventions so they can inform their fans of their campaign and share the details with millions of eagre fans.

The guy behind the ‘Ultimate Salad Spoon’ might not have such a following and to be honest, may never get a decent following… after all, it is just a salad spoon!

The screenshot below shows a campaign for a music dance caravan called The BOOM BOX in Montreal Canada.

kickstarter 6

With 20 days still to go they have over half of the backing they need.

Incentives, Videos & A Great Write Up

When people pledge to back a project they can chose one of several options set up by the project owner. When scrolling down the campaign page you will see the options to the right of the page.

kickstarter 7

Pledges are for different amounts and for different amounts you get different things back in return. For the Boom Box project owners their minimum pledge is $1 and for that a pledger would get…

boom box pledge

…basically they get nothing for their donation apart from gratitude. If backers pledge money in the other options they get sent things like stickers, phone call to say thank you and videos of the team dancing in front of the Boom Box caravan.

For the Greg Pak project the minimum pledge is $12 and for that the backer receives…

greg pak pledge

… a PDF copy of the book he is writing. If people pledge from the other options they get extras like copies of his other books in PDF form.

The extras and bonuses that you offer help to get better pledges but as you can see you can ask for very small amounts and offer a sincere thanks and nothing else.

I cannot say whether you could generate a few thousand dollars by asking for a few thousand people to donate $1each in return for gratitude within 26 days. Unless your product was groundbreaking and going to change people’s lives I doubt you would do it.

Depending on what your project is at least the people who pledge should get a copy of it, for example if you were looking to write a book then they should get a PDF version even if you were planning to get a physical book printed, the lower pledges should get a a shorter PDF version.

Campaigns that have an intro video have a better success rate than those that don’t.

kickstarter 9

Creating a video that is hosted on the campaign page along with a very detailed and clear write up will help you have a successful campaign.

Before starting a campaign it would be wise to plan out everything such as the video, incentives and the write up otherwise it is very likely to flop. You could test out the system asking for just a couple of hundred dollars before trying to run a larger campaign for several thousands.

The question is what is it that you want to get funded?

Warning: Why You Should Be Careful When Buying Clickbank, Warrior Forum & JVZoo Make Money Systems

This week I wanted to write a warning article, I wanted to warn you about some of the types of ‘make money’ products that are found on affiliate networks JVZoo and the Warrior forum. This might come as a bit of a surprise especially when you consider that we talk extensively about ways to make money online.

(Please Note: Not all products on these networks are bad, there are some good educational and informative products available but you should be wary of the ‘Incredible Make Money Systems’)

But I think it is only fair that I warn you of some of the things that these product developers do before you part with your cash.

What I want to warn you about are some of the products which claim to make a lot of money fast using revolutionary software that they (the product owners and developers) have had developed for their brand new system.

I have tested many of these and there is a common thread running through a lot of them and that is that they work… initially … but when they are released to the public they will not work for long because of several factors which I shall go into now.

When these ‘marketers’ come up with a new business system or model, they don’t do it to make money from the system, they do it to make money by selling it to loads of people. They come up with an idea then they test it to see if it makes any money, they do not always test it fully either. It has been known that some people will run a simple test and if it generates a few dollars then that is proof that the system can and does make money.

If it makes any money they will then have some cheap and nasty software developed which will become the backbone of this revolutionary ‘automated’ money making system.

Some of these systems can make money and they can potentially make a lot of money… in the testing stage but that is because only one or two people are running tests. Many of these systems use other people’s content or websites to generate money in underhand ways which is ok when one or two people are doing it but when there are several hundred people all trying to do the same thing the system comes to a crashing halt when those content and website owners become aware.

A few years ago I tried out a system called Limitless Profits which was sold as a great way to generate thousands each month by promoting Clickbank products using a system they had developed. The idea was to create a lot of ‘eBooks’ using other people’s articles from article directories.

limitless profits

They even had this cool piece of software developed which would search article directories looking for articles based on any search term or keyword you gave it. You would choose which articles to use from a list it gave you and then it would bundle them together and convert them all into one PDF eBook adding in a related Clickbank product using your affiliate nickname which you add to the software when you first set it up.

It would do this all automatically for you, all you had to do was add the keywords of a niche that you wanted to focus on. This software had a second part to it, it would also create accounts on eBook and PDF sites like Scribd.com and Free-ebooks.net and upload these eBooks to your account for you.

They also supplied several popular eBooks for you to get started with, you just needed to add your affiliate IDs into them and start sharing them with pre found related affiliate products embedded within them.

The big idea was that you would fill the internet up with loads of eBooks on free sharing sites and have loads of people reading them and sharing them which would/should lead to a small amount buying those related products from Clickbank using your affiliate link and generating you commissions. If you had tens of thousands of people reading your hundreds of little eBooks you would generate a great affiliate income. It sounds great… in principle.

Here is the big issue, these free sharing eBook websites are not dumping grounds, they are owned by people who want these sites to be full of quality eBooks and articles and they do not want a load of eBooks which contain articles that are published elsewhere by other ‘authors’ that are sourced from article directories, nor do they want them duplicated on their sites.

So when hundreds of people who want to promote high paying weight loss products all start uploading mini weight loss eBooks full of the same articles which were sourced from the same article directories the eBook websites would either remove them, not allow the upload to finish or even worse close down your account.

This you can understand, when you have an idea for a great website business and have spent a lot of time and money developing it and growing it to a website that people love you will become very protective and not want other people to simply abuse it.

And this is the big problem with many of these systems, when they try to ‘game the system’ and abuse other people’s websites or work, they will always end up dying a death once they have opened up the idea to loads of people who all start to game the system at once.

The idea itself is not a bad one, if someone sat down and focused purely on creating ‘top quality’ eBooks which were unique and properly added them to sharing sites they could probably generate a lot of affiliate commissions via their eBooks or a website their eBooks sent people too.

The system could work if done properly but the developers of the software do not care about that, they want to sell the software, they want to sell the speed and easiness of their ‘incredible new automated money making’ system and sell the potential rather than sell the hard work of a business model that could work… if done properly.

Another product I looked at a couple of years ago was called ‘Clink Jacker’, from the outside it looked promising, but again it was a new system developed to gain a ‘quick buck’ by gaming the system using other people’s content and websites.

click jacker

This system would ‘borrow’ the pages of other websites which were opened up in an iframe (new window within a window basically) on your website and then a popup box would open in front of the ‘borrowed’ page promoting affiliate products.

The ‘borrowed page’ was added to your website thanks to a WordPress Plugin, it didn’t actually add the page or the content to your site but you would make a new post and add the redirect link to it so when anyone went to that post, it would open up a window within your post and show the original page on the original website. You would also set your affiliate product link in a specific box and the plugin would do the rest.

When you posted the link of your new post featuring the ‘borrowed page’’ on Facebook it would actually show the summary of the story which it pulled from the original website so for example if I used an article from the BBC website about losing weight, people on Facebook would see the information and click through thinking they were going to the BBC but instead were going to my own website which would open the original article in an iframe.

Then as soon as they started to read the article they would be subjected to my pop up promoting the affiliate product I had chosen which would have been a weight loss product from Clickbank or a CPA network like Maxbounty.

bbc tesco click jacker

It really was ‘click jacking’, you were stealing the traffic (clicks), the trust and the reputation of a big site like the BBC for your own gain. But as always, when you start stealing other websites traffic, content and abusing networks like Facebook it isn’t long before they start to get heavy and ban those links being posted which in turn means you have invested in a system which once again does not work.

This system would stop working not long after purchasing because several hundred people started using it at the same time triggering off alarm bells on Facebook and other sites. Facebook will not tolerate bad posting practices and other websites will not tolerate people stealing their traffic or content for monetary gain without permission.

This system could make a lot of money for the guy who hit upon this idea and developed the plugin, if he did it alone or with a few friends they would have gotten away with it for a long time until it was discovered by Facebook but they decided to sell it to others as a product which once again threw a lot of copycats into the arena which set of alarm bells at Facebook HQ.

Affiliate commissions can be made by sharing articles on Facebook and other social media sites which have affiliate products embedded within them but again this has to be done properly with a lot of dedicated work and focus. Not by buying a cheap software and system from JVZoo, Clickbank or the Warrior Forum. (Please Note: Not all products on these networks are bad)

Software and systems are about making an established business model or idea work better, not to replace them.

The Cash Curator for example is a system that has simplified a business model which works brilliantly well online using Facebook, a business model that is actually older than the internet itself. There is work involved but nothing which is hard, taxing or time consuming. But… it does require dedicated work and focus… what doesn’t? Oh yes the JVZoo stuff we tested… which failed!

cash curator tmbThe use of modern technology like tablets, smartphones and laptops and networks like Facebook and Twitter have given the average person the opportunity to generate money online from sharing fun and interesting articles that people love to read which … as I say… when done properly this business model can not only make you money online, it can do it for as long as you actively work on it.

What Niche Can You Run A Profitable Membership Website Around?

If you hadn’t realised it by now, one of the best types of online businesses is a membership website. The subscription model is a fantastic business because not only do you get paid a recurring income each month (for as long as a person is subscribing to your website) but you can create content once and sell it over and over again to many people.

Membership sites are not hard to set up, using the simple to use WordPress system to build your website you can use plugins like S2 Member to lock your content away behind a registration page with a PayPal subscribe button. It is a great plugin, we Minion’s recommend it because we use it ourselves.

s2 member

Membership sites can be built around any topic that you can think of, if you promote and market it well there will always be people willing to pay to access your site and enjoy your content.

Spotify and Netflix are technically membership sites as people pay a monthly subscription to access the content and then when they cancel their subscription they lose that access. Both Spotify and Netflix offer exceptional value for what you pay but they are also in a very huge market dominated by big companies like Sky TV, Amazon and many other TV/music companies.

However there are many MANY other niches and topics where you can start a membership website with paying subscribers. The adult business has shown this to be true, there are big porn companies that sell monthly subscriptions for users to access their adult videos and websites and there are smaller home run adult membership sites which are generating money via paying subscribers. (Click the above link or image below to read the article)

adult membership

Anyone can run a membership site as long as you can produce the content that keeps people subscribing. This can be easy if you love the niche that you build your membership website around or if you turn your website into one where the subscribers add the content for you. I remember many years ago reading about a membership site which was set up by a couple of gardening lovers, at one point they had over 70,000 members paying either a quarterly fee of $5 or an annual fee of $15.

These were people paying to access a website with a forum about gardening…. if there was one subject that you can find loads of information for free all over the place it is gardening. Since I can remember there has always been magazines, papers, TV shows and books focusing on gardening, and yet here were people paying to access a website about it.

Gardening might be too broad a subject today to have as a membership site, you might need to niche down a bit and focus on a specific area of gardening like growing vegetables, growing bonsai trees, indoor plants etc. These are topics that will have a keen group of fans looking for information.

If you are not sure how powerful membership websites can be think of them this way, a membership website is a kind of online magazine. People will happily pay for magazines that are published around the hobbies and topics that they love. Do you regularly buy magazines? If so then you have a great source of information for your membership website/online magazine. 🙂

magazines

The one thing that will keep people subscribing is to deliver quality content and when I say deliver quality content I do mean OVER delivering quality content. A successful business will always deliver more in value than what it takes in payment. This might sound harsh for anyone wanting to make money but the truth is when people feel like they are getting value for money especially if the value worth is greater than what they are paying for it they will keep paying and coming back for more.

With a membership website you can deliver more value than what you take in payment and still make a lot of money because you offer the content to many people. For example, if people paid £$20 a month and had access to a series of videos and that series was grown each month by five more videos which they thought was value for money… you only need to make five new videos each month even though you could have one hundred and thirty people paying for those videos.

It’s all about the numbers, to over deliver in content is actually very small when you have a lot of paying customers… you are not making new content for hundreds of subscribers… you are making content for one subscriber… which is enjoyed by hundreds of subscribers.

To end this article I shall list a few (and I mean a few) of the thousands if not millions of niches that you could possibly build a membership website around.

  • Football (Specific team fan club, football tutorials)
  • Rugby
  • Cricket
  • Breakdancing
  • Line dancing
  • BMXing
  • Snowboarding
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Cooking (Specific styles like Chinese, Thai & Indian)
  • Music (Specific genres & bands, music & instrument tutorials)
  • Fashion
  • Writing (Specific genre, writing tutorials)
  • Magic
  • Travel (Location specific)
  • Singing training
  • Acting lessons
  • Forex
  • Stocks & Shares
  • Poker
  • Gambling Tips
  • Horror and zombies
  • And the list goes on

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Multiple Income Streams – How The Rich Get Richer

When I first started to study online marketing and wealthy business people, one of the first things that I learned from them was that their wealth was very often grown by having multiple income streams.

This is one of the biggest differences between a wealthy successful person and the average Joe & Jo Bloggs on the street. When a person has a job which pays them for their time in the form of a wage they have only one income stream.

If that person has a second job or creates something which earns them some more money then they have a second income stream. What wealthy people generally try and do is to create as many income streams as possible and there are good reasons for this.

Not only does it increase your monthly income but it is also actsas a safety valve in case anything should go wrong with one or two of their other income streams. If a person working one job for an employer was told that they were to lose their job because work had slowed down or the company could no longer afford to keep them on then they would be up the proverbial ‘shit creek without a paddle’.

Their income would come to a crashing halt meaning that they would probably not be able to pay their rent or their mortgage and many if not all of their utility bills.This is a very scary position to be in, I have been in that position myself and it is no fun I can tell you.

There are many different styles of multiple income streams, some people own different business in different fields such as a cleaning company, a building contractors company and a haulage company. (This is an example)

Take Richard Branson for example, at one point he had Virgin Records and Virgin Airways, two completely different businesses in completely different industries. He sold Virgin Records but he now runs Virgin Airways, Virgin Trains, Virgin TV and Broadband, as well as many others.

richard branson

He even once had a ‘pop’ at the soft drinks market selling Virgin Cola trying to take on rivals Coke and Pepsi. I don’t think that one was that successful, but it didn’t matter as he was still earning from his other businesses and so he did not hit rock bottom.

There are those who have multiple income streams in the same industry coming from different products such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets and other technology. Some may not think of them as multiple income streams but they are, if a tablet sells brilliantly one day but then suddenly stops selling, the company will lose profits but it will still keep earning thanks to the other products they sell.

You and I may not be able to join such big and expensive markets like aviation and computer technology and we may not have the funds or interest to start up several ‘real world’ businesses like cleaning companies and building contractors but there are other styles of multiple income streams we can build.

I love the ‘creative’ world, the creative world can create many multiple income streams especially now that we live in the digital age. But even before the internet became part of everyone’s daily life the creative world has created millions for people who have been creative.

authors and artists

I will use Stephen King, J.K Rowling, The Beatles and one of my favourite bands of all time Orbital as examples.

stephen king

Stephen King has written many great books, many of which have been turned into films and TV shows. Each one of his books is a separate income stream. They can generate money for years to come.

Yes they will have a peak when they are first released and end up in the bestsellers charts as will the songs by pop artists like the Beatles and Orbital but books were often reprinted and re-released meaning that they could be bought by new readers years later.

jk rowling

J.K. Rowling is another author who has written several books as part of the Harry Potter series which have also been turned into big box office films. There is also a lot of merchandise with the Harry Potter franchise.

I cannot say whether she gets a percentage of sales from the DVD sales, merchandise sales or box office ticket sales for the films or if she gets an annual license fee for the rights to use the names and brands but what I do know is that she has earned a lot of money from those different products.

Each book is an income stream, each DVD is an income stream as are the merchandise products which are sold. She also writes other books in other genres under a pen name which yet again is another income stream.

the-beatles

The Beatles are a band that have not performed together since the early seventies and will never perform again due to two of them sadly not being with us anymore yet they still generate sales from their songs and albums.

I am not sure who gets the money though as Michael Jackson bought the rights to the Beatles back catalogue but Paul McCartney still has numerous albums and songs that still sell today.

Orbital

Orbital are a UK based techno band that were performing and recording before the internet was readily available as it is today. They generated sales from singles and albums as well as doing gigs just like the Beatles did.

They also generated money from merchandise like T-shirt sales and DVDs (I have had both over the years). They even did live recordings of their Twentieth Anniversary gigs which they sold on a memory stick at the end of those gigs creating a unique income stream.

orbital live in sheffield 2009 wristband

I bought the recording of the Sheffield gig which I was fortunate to have gone to.

What I want you to think about is that before the digital age, books, singles, albums and films needed to be republished and made for them to be restocked in shops and sold. Today however, it is a different game altogether. With the invention of digital music files and digital eBooks we can buy these products anytime we want from a multitude of stores online.

This has given birth to many online entrepreneurs that you won’t know about who generate a fantastic living by creating many income streams such as books, music and clothing that they can sell online from various stores. Each track, book or T-Shirt is an individual income stream.

Let’s think about T-Shirts, if you are good at design or can pay someone to create unique and individual designs then you could sell T-Shirts online using all of the social media platforms and you own website via companies like SunFrogShirts.com without ever having to do any of the printing, packing and posting.

tshirts

Every T-shirt that you design is essentially a new income stream. Now I am not going to say that everyone is going to be able to design 20 unique T-shirts and then sell 3 or 4 of each design each day but some people do.

As for Stephen King and J.K Rowling, they were introduced to the public by passionate and well funded book publishing companies, you may decide to be a writer and you may not become as popular as those two but you could still make a great living just as Nick Spalding has. Read more about Nick’s story click on his name or the image below.

building a profitable business using amazon and google

And let’s not forget, J.K. Rowling was turned down by 8-9 publishing houses who didn’t think Harry Potter was any good and didn’t think it would sell. How wrong were they? Incidentally, the Beatles were also famously turned down by a record company saying that they would not amount to anything… yes that is right, the Beatles… the biggest band known to man!

Multiple income streams are the best way to grow your wealth, there are many different ways to create different income streams, some require a lot of money, equipment, contacts and staff whereas others require a laptop, a desk, some spare time and a good idea. Is it time that you considered creating another income stream or two before it’s too late?

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