Category Archives: Ways to Make Money

The Laptop Lifestyle: Is It Really Achievable?

Making a living online has been nicknamed the Laptop Lifestyle as it can free you up from the limitations of a traditional business such as property and location. However not all online businesses fall under the Laptop Lifestyle name as some online businesses are selling physical items which need storing, physically packing and sending out to customers.

The Laptop Lifestyle refers to a person who can do as much or as little work they want on a laptop anywhere in the world and make a very decent living. They can move around from one place to another living an ongoing ‘holiday’ adventure and still get paid.

The Laptop Lifestyle focuses on the businesses which generate money by using the internet but does not require any physical items or a set physical location like a shop or office. Traditionally this is thought of as ‘Internet Marketing’ or IM as it is often called. This industry also has many different business models such as affiliate marketing, flipping websites, selling information products like eBooks and online video courses.

But the Laptop Lifestyle doesn’t have to end their, there are many other businesses which offer the Laptop Lifestyle such as being a blogger, a YouTube star, a writer, a trader, and a product creator. There are many jobs online these days that you can do using just a laptop and maybe a few other tools like headsets and webcams which can generate money wherever you are in the world.

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voice over fi

Do You Speak English? Would You Like To Get Paid To Talk?

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webcam busines fi

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

Someone who writes article content for example can do that anywhere in the world, they just need a laptop a comfy chair and an internet connection which does not always need to be constantly connected. They only really need an internet connection to receive orders, payments and send finished articles.

They could in fact spend their days writing on a beach or sitting at a table in a bar (which might have free wifi connection anyway). If your work doesn’t depend on you being online all of the time but requires basic contact with people to send and receive orders you could live without an internet connection and use many of the free wifi set ups that coffee shops, hotels and bars have.

It is likely that you own a smart phone which allows people to contact you using mobile internet for things like emails and messages so you would only need to use free wifi hotspots now and then for sending and receiving documents making a laptop based lifestyle very easy today.

Traders however will need an internet connection and a reliable one at that but again all they need is a laptop to trade the currency markets, stock markets and even football games. Some territories do not allow gambling and so sports trading and spread betting is illegal and unavailable to do in those areas but you can still travel many countries with a laptop trading the markets.

If you want to visit countries that will not allow you to access trading and gambling sites there are other options available like using a secure VPN on a proxy server which will allow you to access those sites within those restricted countries.

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building a profitable business using amazon and google

Building A Profitable Self Publishing Business Using Amazon & Google

People have made small fortunes by writing books and publishing them in websites like Amazon Kindle Store or their own websites which only requires a laptop and can be done anywhere. They can also design or have merchandise designed for them which they add to their stores and sell through 3rd party companies like SunFrogShirts.com.

Sticking with SunFrogShirts there are people who design T-Shirts using software they have on their laptops and add them to sites like SunFrogShirts and these T-Shirts are sold by an army of affiliate marketers. So if you upload a lot of quality designs they could easily get promoted by many affiliates and you could be generating sales each day.

The Laptop Lifestyle can mean different things to different people, for example you might just want to generate £1000 a month from minimal work to help fund backpacking around the world whereas another person might want to focus on making tens of thousands of pounds from it while they stay in their hometown playing golf and enjoying their lives and another person might just want to replace ‘working for a boss’ for a business of their own that gives them more freedom than money.

The Laptop Lifestyle is very much possible today and will only get more possible overtime as technology and business methods evolve and change with new ones being created daily. The world is changing and getting more money and freedom by working online is very possible but as my grandma would say ‘you need to set your stall out right from the beginning’. I guess she used to work on a market but what she meant is that if you want something you cannot start haphazardly, you need to get the foundations right, do good quality work whatever it is you do and be disciplined and stick to the plan.

Having a plan and building up the business is the way forward to a successful business, get that right and there is no reason that you could not be working and earning from wherever you chose using only your laptop.

Want to learn how to start several online Laptop Lifestyle business? Click the image below and join us Minions in the members only Digital Academy.

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How Youngsters Are Making Thousands Each Month Using A Webcam Whilst Eating Their Tea!

It was only a couple of weeks ago that I wrote the article Using Skype, Google Hangout & A Webcam To Generate A Second Income which discussed how everyday people are making money using their laptops and webcams.

bj patoo

Well today I want to go a little further and discuss how youngsters in South Korea are generating a lot of money using their laptops and webcams by broadcasting live to thousands of viewers… themselves eating their tea.

Yes you read that right, people watch and join them to eat food online.

I found this out after seeing a short video on Business Insider about Patoo and how he can generate up to $1,500 per eating session.

bj patoo 2

These online evening eat ins are called ‘Mukbang’ which is a word made by mashing up the two South Korean words for ‘Eating’ and ‘Broadcast’ so it literally means eating broadcast. These broadcasts are done using a platform called AfreecaTV which is a Korean online broadcasting platform that has been online for a few years now.

Broadcasters on AfreecaTV are called BJs and they get paid when viewers buy gifts like balloons (virtual balloons) at $0.10 which they send to the broadcaster, the broadcaster then exchanges those balloons for money.

I can only assume that there is a ‘creaming off’ of profit by AfreecaTV but what matters is that these Mukbang stars (or Mokbang as it says on AfreecaTV) are generating a fair amount of money from doing live eating broadcasts.

The viewers are mostly teens and young adults, some people say the popularity of Mukbang is down to the lonely lifestyle many South Koreans experience from living alone in small apartments, others think it is popular because it is a great way to satisfy food cravings without eating. (I don’t personally get that one)

One star of Mukbank, Park Seo-Yeon who you see on the news clip above, says she earns around $9000 a month from eating in front of the camera and chatting to viewers. This is pretty incredible and so I decided to take a quick look at AfreecaTV and YouTube to get more of an idea of what it is all about.

afreecatv

AfreecaTV has now gone global and is not just used by Koreans and YouTube also has plenty of Mukbang videos recorded from live broadcasts with many of them now being by people from other countries.

mukbang on youtube

To understand exactly what these broadcasts are really about I have shared a couple below that I found uploaded to YouTube.

The Junk Food Feast!

In this video one guy is sat eating a real takeaway feast. My first thoughts were ‘That is one costly meal’ but then if they are earning the amounts we are told then they can most definitely afford it.

The Home Made Feast!

This next video has a guy eating bought/packaged food so I am wondering if he is getting paid by the companies to actually eat them or at least attempting to curry favour (or should that be curry flavour as it is a food related post? No? oh ok :-)) with the companies to get some kind of affiliate/sponsorship deal.

What is important here is that they are not just sat ‘troughing’ as we say here in the UK (meaning eating a lot) but they are chatting to and interacting with their viewers.

In 2013 the top earner on AfreecaTV made $250,000 not bad, not bad at all, I cannot say for certain whether that was for eating food or maybe another ‘webcam’ related scenario.

What Can You Do With A Webcam And An Internet Connection?

So the point of this article is to draw your attention to another interesting and unique way that ordinary people are making money from home using just their laptop, webcam and internet connection.

webcam couple 2

After the previous ‘webcam business’ article where I mentioned the couple (seen above) who were making money using webcams while they toured across America in their campervan it seems that there must be many other ways to profit from using a webcam, after all people are paying to watch people do all kinds of weird and wonderful things on camera like ‘eating their tea!’.

So I really want to end this post not with you going away thinking that it was interesting or that there is some funny old things online in this crazy world of ours, no I want to leave you thinking and contemplating what other things can you do to make money online using a basic set up like a laptop and a webcam.

You have to agree, there does seem to be some very profitable people out there doing the simplest of things.

Soooo is there anything that you can do to make money online using just a laptop and a webcam?

How To Replace Your Monthly Income With A £5 Per Month Membership Club

This is going to be quite a bold and adventures article but very informative and thought provoking I think. Well I intend it to be anyway. In this article I want to discuss how you can swap your monthly wage with a membership site that costs as little as £5 a month to the user.

You can charge more if you want but in reality to charge more you really need to give a lot of content and then it needs to be possibly groundbreaking and life changing. When you look at other subscription models such as Netflix and Spotify you will see that people get access to a lot of content for a small amount and this is going to be the benchmark which people will compare you with.

netflix and spotify

The spending habits of people would suggest that it is very possible to run a membership based website that will generate enough money for you to leave your job. When you look at how much people waste each month on trips to the coffee shop, buying papers and magazines then why wouldn’t some spend that money accessing what you have to offer?

People will spend a fortune on food and drink which most of the time they do not need but will only make them fat… and they then spend a lot of time and money trying to lose weight. Mankind is really illogical most of the time but hey that is another story for another day. What is important to remember is that there are a lot of people who will happily spend money on the things they enjoy.

When you look at papers and magazines you will see that most people spend at least £5 on them a month, now they do pack a lot of stuff into magazines and papers and much of it is junk to be honest but they still have people spending money on them. Huge publishing empires have been built by people buying magazines and papers of all kinds. Why can’t you do something similar with a website?

I see this as very doable, even today when there are so many websites giving a lot of stuff away for free. I think anything is possible these days and not everyone wants things for free because ‘free’ usually comes with the headaches and annoyances of having adverts plastered all over the website and videos and can often mean you having to wait for the adverts to finish before you  get to see or hear the things you want.

This is why Google have just launched the new YouTube Red subscription model. Only in the Us for now but users can pay a monthly fee and get access to YouTube without any advertising causing interruptions and annoyances. YouTube has a lot of content and they also have mobile/ tablet friendly versions of their site which I think is going to be very important to running an online subscription service.

The Monthly Income Replacement Plan

So looking at the average monthly wage of people in the UK research suggests it was £2250 in 2014, now that is what they say but I know a lot of people are not making those kind of wages. Bar staff are said to only have a monthly wage of around £1200 and even actors which you would think lived a wealthy glamorous life really only roughly earn the same as bar staff each month.

There are millions of people who are doing unskilled work which certainly do not get paid more than £1200 so I am going to use that figure as the example for this article.

If you wanted to replace or generate a further £1200 a month then you would need to have 240 people paying you £5 a month. 240 sounds a lot but compared to the traffic most sites get in a month it is nothing, it is like a handful of rice from a paddy field harvest.

Remember that there are over 500 million people living in the five main English speaking nations and that does not include South Africa or the countless millions of others around the world who speak English as a second language.

main english speaking nations

How many of those people are online and might want to learn something new or be a member of an online club associated to something they love?

Getting 240 people to join and sign up is not going to be the easiest thing to do nor the fastest but it is possible especially if you deliver quality content to the right market and you give them plenty of it for the money.

In the book The Science Of Getting Rich Wallace D. Wattles said this about becoming rich and successful…

“You cannot give every man more in cash market value than you take from him, but you can give him more in use value than the cash value of the thing you take from him. The paper; ink, and other material in this book may not be worth the money you paid for it; but if the ideas suggested by it bring you thousands of dollars, you have not been wronged by those who sold it to you, they have given you a great use value for a small cash value.”

Basically what he is saying is that you need to give more value than what your customer is giving you in money for example, If I tried to sell one 30 minute DVD of me doing Yoga for £1000 I would not get any sales but if I sold a similar DVD that was over an hour long for £5.99 then I would sell more.

Not only am I giving them more to watch and do but the effects of Yoga could benefit their health for many years to come. But those benefits no matter how great they are would not justify the £1000 price tag for the first DVD especially when there are many other Yoga DVDs and books around.

Giving value to your client is the best way to go when building a profitable business and you should never forget that. If you offer something that is new, completely life changing or has a completely new unique twist then yes you probably can charge more.

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In this article ‘Why A Home Run Adult Membership Site Should Inspire You To Start Your Own (non adult) Membership’ site I wrote how a couple in Canada were charging people around $30 to access a monthly membership where they were producing very little new content each month but their clients wanted to see this one ‘specific’ action performed by this one ‘certain young woman’ and so they were willing to pay more.

If you were able to build yourself up to become a popular band or person then people might happily pay to be a member for nothing more than getting access to you, news about you and your opinions.

Remember the ‘pop star’ fan clubs that youngsters used to join back in the 1970s and 1980s? They had a small joining/membership fee to be a member and for that you would get a newsletter and maybe some signed (printed signature) posters and that was generally it but youngsters still joined and stayed joined as long as their favourite pop star was their favourite and/or making music.

So to generate £1200 a month at £5 you would need 240 paying members. £5 is not a huge amount of money, as mentioned earlier, people regularly and happily pay £5 or more on coffee, cakes, cans of pop, chocolate bars and crisps which they probably do not need.

AAF-Costa-Coffee-1

I recently spoke to my daughter who works in a popular high street coffee shop and she told me that they had a lot of regulars who would call at least once a day every day of the week and spend on average £2.80 for a medium sized drink and then many of them would also buy a biscuit, sandwich or cake.

They were spending roughly £14 – £20 a week on coffee and food…. in that one store. That is a staggering £56 – £80 a month and she also went on to say that they got a lot of young mothers, students and benefit claimants so it seems that there are many different types of people in our society with disposable income. I wouldn’t be surprised if during the month they bought food and drink from other stores too.

£5 isn’t a lot, but when money is spent on food like coffee and cake it does seem to be more justified and acceptable by most of society but it is still shows that people will spend small amounts on the things they ‘want’ and not necessarily need.

Over the course of the year £5 a month is only £60 which is nothing much at all, only two days ago I spent £20 on one takeaway meal for two of us. That one meal cost the equivalent of a third of a £60 a year membership fee. So in reality it is not a lot and there are people who will happily pay that.

The reason I decided that £5 is a good monthly price it that many people do not feel like they are losing much money if they do not visit your site often or that it is a lot to spend. It also means that if you do not deliver a ton of new content each month people do not feel cheated or under valued… after all, it is just a fiver… it is a price which I believe people think is enough to warrant a fair amount of content but if they don’t it is not a big issue or loss. It is a balanced amount.

What Can Your Online Membership Club Be About?

So now the hardest part is to find a niche or topic that you can build a site around which you can charge a membership fee for that has not been done to death already on the internet. The biggest problem I think you have to the membership model is that you can be competing against the big giants like YouTube as there are millions of videos online covering all kinds of niches for free and if music is your passion then there are loads of free music sites and again YouTube is a big player here as countless thousands of copyrighted mixes and songs get uploaded daily.

But all is not lost as sites like YouTube can be a real pain to search through as there is so much rubbish on there and people cannot always find reliable stuff so you could be the one to create an environment where people can come to your site and just find the stuff that they want to see, learn or read and that is the stuff that you provide. Also you can remove the annoying adverts and pop ups that you get with these free sites which just annoy people.

Is there something that you can teach? Is there something you know that others would pay to learn? Is there something that you can do that is entertaining and that people would love to watch/read or see and pay to see more of?

The success of a membership site is solely based on supplying something that people want to see or learn, it is as simple as that. Fail to deliver that and people will cancel and stop paying. This model is very popular in the adult niches but there are many niches and subjects that people love which they are willing to spend money to be part of an exclusive club.

spotify

The reason I chose £5 as the monthly fee is that there are a lot of big sites offering a lot of value for that price. Maybe you could charge more, for example Spotify charge £9.99 a month to access thousands of songs, you would have to go a long way to be able to offer that kind of value for entertainment unless you really niched down and focused on a specific music genre.

neflix

Netflix has a basic package at £5.99 going up to the premium at £8.99. They offer a lot of entertainment in the way of TV shows and films as well as now making their own shows so again you have to go a long way to offer value worth more but this is where being niche specific helps.

If you chose a niche like ‘off grid living’ or ‘prepping for a disaster’ then you are focusing only on one set of people who are willing to learn more and pay to learn that information too. As long as you are giving great information that is either very entertaining (think adult entertainment) or very educational then you should be able build a profitable membership that could replace your wage.

When I say educational it really does need to be educational because the web is awash with information and you need to give your paying members a little more.

When it comes to deciding what you could build the membership website around it is a good idea to write down all of the things that you love to do and the things that you can do well or know a lot about. It is possible that you can create a membership site around one or more of the things on your list.

list of passions etc

The other thing you can do is pop to the local newsagents or supermarket and see what magazines are on the shelves, there is a huge selection of magazine which are in print because people have done the market research to see if there is indeed a potential paying market out there. If it is in print then people are buying and if people are buying then there is a market.

Setting up a membership site is relatively easy, I recommend using WordPress to build your site. A nice looking WordPress theme will give your site a great look and then to create the paid membership lock I would recommend using the plugin s2Member.

s2 member

The free version allows you to take payment via PayPal and is enough for managing one membership site but there is a premium version called S2 Member Pro that allows you to use other payment gateways which for a single site license is a one of payment of $89 roughly £60.

I shall be doing more posts and videos on how to set up and run a membership site so keep your eyes open for them

the digital academy

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

The technology that most of us have in our homes and even our pockets today is astounding when you really think about it. We can talk to people anywhere in the world at the touch of a button and not just talk with the sound of our voices, we can actually see them and talk to them live as if they were in the room with us.

Technically they are, they are in our room and we are in theirs, it is pretty damn incredible when you think about it.

I recently watched a documentary about people who were making money using nothing more than their laptops, a webcam or two and an internet connection to make money. The show was mainly about couples performing sex acts while paying fans around the world watched.

secret diaries webcam secrets

Webcam couple – Kitty and Moses Photo: Rory Mulvey/Channel 4

Now I am not going to going to talk about that industry much, nor do I recommend that you do it, as there were more interesting things that the show revealed and also I wanted to take the information and try and create other business ideas around what I had seen … minus the naughty nookie.

So don’t panic I am not going to suggest that you enlist the wife or husband or partner to become an active member in your new bedroom based business, we will leave that to those who love to perform on camera.

What was interesting was that there was one couple who was travelling around the USA in a campervan and were now earning money by interacting with their fans and being watched while they did the mundane daily jobs.

webcam couple 2

It was not clear whether they actually had sex in front of the camera much now, which is how it all started, as they were making enough money from people watching them wash the pots, play with their pets, hoover the camper van and play games… it was like a real life ‘Big Brother’ scenario…. but more interactive.

The Fast Pound

One couple said that they loved performing in front of the camera because they could generate an extra £50 when they needed it. It was like a personal cash machine, they would log on via the website/company they were using, wait for people to join them and then they would be paid to perform. People were paying on a per minute basis similar to the old phone call and line rental.

As I say I don’t want to focus on this or recommend that you do anything like this but I couldn’t help think that there must be other things that people want to know or see. I have often thought that in the future music events and live gigs by your favourite acts will become more online pay per view affairs.

So if U2 were playing in London people going to the gig could pay big money for the tickets but at the same time they could live stream the show around the world to other fans who pay a much smaller fee to watch from the comfort of their own sofa.

Could you do a live performance for a small fee where people pay to watch you perform? It could be music, it could be a play or it could be some kind of live TV show.

The Online Course

On Sunday  I received an email from a techno/dance music producer who was taking bookings for his music course in October. Now I love dance music and have made my own tracks in the past so out of curiosity I decided to take a look at his music school and lessons and was surprised to see that it was all done online.

mark egI expected that he was running classes at his studio but no, I was wrong. He offered five lessons for £500 and they were all online. After an initial online consultation possibly using Skype or Google Hangout to find out what software or skill you wanted help with or to learn the lessons would then be tailored to meet your needs and done online.

At £500 for five lessons imagine how much he would make if I wanted to learn everything on the list on the advert!

If the software is computer based then they would probably use a system that allows screen sharing but if the lesson was about hardware such as studio mixing desks then the lesson would be through a webcam. It is pretty rare that you would use a service/system that does not do both webcam and screen share options. I believe Skype does both but you might need to use the premium option.

Google Hangout however is free and allows you to do a screen share so the pupil can see exactly what the teacher is doing while he/she is talking through the process and if required the pupil can also share their screen so that the teacher can assess or check that things are being done right.

Recently while doing a Google Hangout with a friend 200 miles away we shared screens and it worked perfectly, he was able to watch me while I showed him something new. So if you have a set of skills that other people might need then maybe you could run a series of online tutorials or consultations.

Languages are probably one of the easiest things to teach online, if you speak two languages like Spanish and English then you could probably charge to teach Spanish to English students of vice a versa. You might even be able to charge to converse in the language with students who need more real native talking to help with their studies. That would mean that you arrange a time, take a payment by PayPal and then meet up and chat online.

spanish lessons

I am just thinking through these ideas, there is a growing network of teachers, schools, communities and companies that rely on and offer these online teaching services. What you see in the open public sector usually means that there is also a growing need for those types of services in the private sector.

If students such as language students or music students, as we have previously discussed, are needing professional tuition and if the only way they can get ‘quality, affordable and reliable’ lessons is by using the person who lives several hundred miles away or in another country then it is going to have to be online using a service like Skype or Google Hangout.

The Unique Selling Point

This is and has to be a growing market. It doesn’t have to be just sex shows or educational lessons that make money using this type of service. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone could make money by filling their house with webcams and charging for voyeurs to login and watch them just ‘live’. Nothing surprises me these days, if marketed right I imagine anything could work, even the real obscure things that you wouldn’t expect to be profitable.

bake bean shower

Another documentary called Web Cam Girls explored the bizarre world of women who work in the alternative adult industry which included niche interests as watching women taking showers in baked beans or crushing tiny cars in stilettos… I kid you not! It seems people will watch any old thing!.

I mentioned earlier about the pay per view live streaming of gigs, there are so many fantastic resources of free recorded and live music online and there are many people like Sandi Thom who have built careers out of doing free webcam gigs from their homes but I think it is possible that someone could generate money performing live sets online.

Most people might disagree saying that because there are so many free music sites and countless hours of free music online (SoundCloud, Mixcloud, YouTube DI.FM etc) why would someone want to pay to listen & watch a live webcam gig online? But if your music was an ambient and chilled set you could market it as an online audio meditation and combine the two and create a unique service which people might enjoy.

People might join you once a week to sit and enjoy a meditation session as you play your chilled out ambient grooves especially if you were set up on a terrace overlooking the sea on a clear blue day.

gigee 1

There are Middle Man websites like Gigee.me where you can create an account, create an event and promote a live ticketed gig where you will get 80% of the revenue. This would be ideal for those wanting to perform to larger audiences which would suit musicians & producers, comedians, shows & performances and yoga sessions looking at the screenshot below.

gigee 2

Sites like Gigee.me allow you to get set up and promote your events and even test the market without having to spend time and money developing your own site which can come at a later date if needs be.

You can also open up a Gigee store and sell merchandise from the same site which is great if you are a band/musician doing regular live gigs.

Marketing the product/service, giving it a unique angle and finding your market might be a touch harder than just switching on the webcam and being paid for doing a few minutes of ‘whatever it is you want to do’ but it could mean that you make more money.

Success In Anything Comes From Participating Actively

Like everything in life, to make it work and get the best results you will need to actively work on it and not give up too soon. You need to take the business from just started to being established which is where most success will come from.

That is how those couples are making money by doing live sex shows online… they are entering into a very lucrative business that has been around for years and opening up accounts on established (Middle man) websites that deal with all of the marketing, technological and payment requirements this business would need.

equipment

For you starting a fresh in a non sex industry, you might need to do a little more work and build up that reputation and become established but once you are making money from nothing more than a laptop, a webcam (comes with all laptops as standard) and an internet connection … you will be able to do this from virtually anywhere in the world.

This is just one of the many ways you can earn money online without having to sell anything to anyone, ever … find out more at: Tim’s Minions Digital Academy

the digital academy

The Return On Investment Principle: Are You Getting It Wrong?

There are many ways to look at a business and the most talked about is the principle of Return On Investment better known as the ROI.

The ROI is a measure of what a business gives back to you after you have invested into it. This is often a very important figure but it is also open to a lot of different interpretation. For example, Investment is often seen as a monetary investment which is a very important factor when running a business but it is not the only investment people can give to a business.

Time is another major investment which is also very important and something that many people forget about.

The idea of ‘Return’ is also open to interpretation, as many people see money as the only real return when they try to figure out the ROI and for most people this is true. In fact for everyone it is true but it is not the only ‘Return’ which is important. Again time or as many business people prefer to call it ‘time freedom’ is a very important ‘Return’ from their business.

The return for some is not in a monetary value or a value measured in time, at least not yet, the return for them is measured as a form of education. The return is the new set of skills they have developed or information they now possess which further down the line could generate them more money or free up time.

These factors combined can make a far better return but it doesn’t stop there, sometimes measuring the ROI is not always straightforward, the ideal results or ‘Return’ will not be seen today, or next week or may not be seen for quite some time.

For example I recently heard about a guy who spent around £30,000 investing in a franchise where he went around the country writing people’s wills for them. He offered a service that ensured his clients affairs and estates were properly dealt with when they die so that there are very few issues for their loved ones.

He is expected to make roughly £12,000 a year which means he will not see his investment paid back until he had worked at least two and a half years.

The return is not always determined on the amount of money that you have invested, what you do is a HUGE factor. Obviously, the £30,000 that was invested in the will writing business is a huge investment and it needs to have some return but that money itself will not bring back any returns as it only bought the franchise name and tools. It is the actually doing the work which will bring the money in.

So if the guy worked 40 hours a week and wrote 20 wills it would bring in ‘X’ amount per week but if he worked 60 hours and wrote 25 wills then it would bring in more money. If he only wrote 5 wills a week then he would earn less meaning that it would take a lot longer to earn back the £30,000 he invested.

Money can be ‘seen’ to have a direct return if it is used in the form of online CPC adverts as seen on Facebook.

People have ran a series of ads sending people to websites where they were either selling something, promoting a product or just relying on 3rd party advertising click revenue.

For every pound or dollar these advertisers spend they would generate two or more back and they would set out to improve the ROI for every pound/dollar they would spend.

Online businesses monitor everything they do or spend to get a complete ROI, in this article  Using SunFrogShirts To Generate Extra Revenue From Your Website I show you how to generate money promoting T-Shirts in posts and that it only takes a few minutes to do. The return on TIME investment can be huge especially if a post does well.

The ROI can be measured in many ways and I have already touched upon the fact that the education and skills you get from something is a return which has dividends later on in life. Over the years I have personally paid out a couple of thousand pounds for DVD courses and access to several online membership courses.

the digital academy online course 3

Inside The Digital Academy

the digital academy

For the first few years there were no monetary or time returns that I can say were beneficial and at times it caused some heated discussions with my better half but now, six years after I started I am now in an excellent position.

The list of the skills and ways I know how to make money online include…

  • I can work from home and from most places around the world,
  • I know how to create websites,
  • I know how to write articles and eBooks,
  • I know how to publish eBooks on Amazon Kindle, Free-ebooks.net and others
  • I know how to create YouTube accounts
  • I know how to create videos
  • I know how to create and use social media platforms
  • I know how to promote affiliate products like T-Shirts
  • I know how to build squeeze pages and op-tin boxes
  • I know how to run email newsletters
  • I know how to run membership sites
  • I know how to generate money from Google AdSense
  • I know how to run CPC & CPM adverts on Facebook and Google AdWords
  • I know rudimentary SEO practices
  • I know how to manage overseas workers

Not bad for a guy who spent twenty or so years working as a carpenter and joiner from the age of sixteen. I am sure there are many other things that I have missed off that list but it isn’t until now that I appreciate what the returns are from those initial investments of those thousands of pounds and the time I spent at weekends and evenings learning those new skills.

Even though it seemed costly, one course was costing me roughly £69 a month, I kept at it because I knew…

  1. I was learning a whole lot of new skills which I could take anywhere and change my life.
  2. I was ‘wasting’ more than £70 a month on food and drink using coffee shops, bars and restaurants including take away food.

Certainly none of the food and drink that I was buying was going to benefit my life or change it so if I was willing to spend money on things which basically were a waste then I could afford to keep investing in my future and education. I also decided to cut down on a few ‘nights out’ and ‘take away nights in’ to save some money.

beer and pizza

After all, if I wanted to change my life situation then I needed to do something and investing time and money into learning WAS THE THING I needed to do and spending on ‘non essential treats’ was not changing my life but keeping me stuck in the life I wanted to escape.

I would most certainly say that investing that time and money in myself has paid off now and that the return is a better life and a complete new skill set that I can take anywhere.

So when you are starting something new and you want to look at the ROI remember that it is not always about what you get back that same day or that it is solely reliant on the monetary investment, there is so much more to consider.

The one thing I think people need to consider is that ROI is a meaningless measurement if you invest money but do very little work.

Many people invest money on programmes, do very little then give up saying that the method ‘does not work’ or that they were ‘taught wrong’ when in fact their lack of focused constant action is to blame.

Actually doing work and doing that work constantly over a period of time is the most valuable investment a business needs. If one man can invest only time and no money but works hard for weeks at a project he can make it work whereas another man who can invest thousands of pounds/dollars into a project but does nothing will have nothing to show and no success.

It would be good if we could write just one eBook and have huge success from it or create just one video that goes crazy on YouTube that brings in a lot of money meaning that the ROI was into the thousands of percent but the truth is that is not always going to happen.

On Free-ebooks.net I see the name Mike Bozart everywhere, he is publishing a lot and I do mean a lot of short stories. It would appear that either he is doing a lot of writing and has 44 books on Free-ebooks.net as we speak.

books by mike bozart

He could be using the site as a traffic generator sending people to bigger and better books for sale on Kindle or to a website where there are audio books or adverts. I am not sure what his business model is, but I can say that it must be working. It is working because he writes plenty of books and the fact that he writes plenty of books shows that it is working, he has not written one or two and then given up.

He has invested quite some time into writing these short stories and they will bring in results, those better results will be dependant on the more time he invests in creating books.

Obviously if you invest a lot of your time and money in a project and the results are pointing to a complete failure then you should stop but it is often very hard to predict a failure or a success until a set time has passed but it is easy to give up too early and prevent that success from happening.

the digital academy

Building A Profitable Self Publishing Business Using Amazon & Google

If you have thought about becoming a self-published author but unsure whether you should give it a go or would like to know if there are people doing well from it then you should enjoy today’s article.

I am currently writing a couple of books myself and like most people I am dropping onto them as and when I can.

I could spend more time on them if I chose and have in the past but with so many tasks and projects on the go I find I often put them on the back burner which runs the risk of them not being finished. I don’t want this to happen and I will make sure it won’t… one day 🙂

For this article I am going to use Nick Spalding as an example of an Amazon Kindle success story.

nick spalding

The Story Of Nick Spalding

It seems Nick Spalding was in a similar position to that I find myself in; Nick worked for the Police force in the press office and he desperately wanted to be an author. He decided that he had to take action or his dream would never happen.  It really was a case of ‘now or never’ and so one Saturday morning he sat down to write a whole book in one sitting.

From start to finish was the challenge and so he sat writing for 30 hours, I assume he slept Saturday night and carried on the Sunday but who knows. He created a book with over 50,000 words in that one 30 hour session.

He spent a bit of time editing the book then published it on Amazon’s Kindle platform. His girlfriend Gemma wasn’t so excited about Nick’s new venture and got a bit fed up with Nick constantly checking his Amazon account in the evening for new sales.

He was excited at the fact that he would sell a book here and a book there to people he didn’t know and would never meet. It was quite a buzz. I cannot say how well his first book ‘Life With No Breaks’ did but he went on to write another book called ‘Love From both Sides’  which started to sell very well.

nick spalding books

Nick would sit and watch as the sales grew and went over 1000 sales in the same afternoon. This was very ‘head spinning’ as he put it.

Depending on the price of your book you can choose to have 35 or 70% commissions, the higher you price your books you can then ask for 70%. I believe Nick was working on 35%, the lower you price your book the greater the chance you have of selling more. If he sold a book at £4.95 his 35% commission would be £1.73.

That year Nick sold over 430,000 books on Amazon, so with a 35% of each sale it is safe to say he made some money from them.

Is Amazon A Viable Place For Everyone?

Some people suggest that Amazon is overcrowded with too much competition whereas others will say that the audience on Amazon is huge. We live in a shrinking world, think of how many people own a Kindle or a smartphone/tablet that uses the Kindle app. I for one use the app on my Samsung phone.

The world really can be ‘your oyster’ as they say. If a book sells well on Amazon.co.uk do you think people in the other English speaking nations would not be interested? Look at the TV, films and books we see around us daily, we have a healthy mix from across the English speaking world.

Think of ‘50 Shades Of Grey’ and ‘Harry Potter’ then consider also how many other people speak English as a second language worldwide. It is a huge market and with free social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus it is possible to grow a worldwide fan base from the comfort of your own home.

Real Book Publishing Deal Please Step Forward.

It gets better, Nick was approached by a book publishing company that wanted to sell his books in shops so he was able to cash in twice, he was paid a 6 figure advance for his books.

He now writes full time and has retired from his job in the Police forces press office, he is very happy with Amazon and their self-publish platform as it has, as he put it, bought me a house”

nick spalding 2

What Is Success & Can You Become A Success Too?

Nick is a success story and one of many; he has mastered an opportunity that is open to all of us.

I cannot and will not say that you personally will be a huge success if you give this a try as that can depend on your writing skills and more importantly the niche and style of books you create.

There are many people doing very well writing short stories, fiction of all styles including erotic fiction. Below is an advert I saw on Facebook last Christmas for another popular and successful Amazon kindle writer.

charlotte edwards

I have heard of several people making money from the ever popular information eBooks & how to guides covering subjects like ‘Smoothie Recipes’ and ‘Cures for Anxiety’. There are many people building publishing businesses using ‘Public Domain’ books.

Also success is different to many people and can be measured in many different ways, for example, you might have the idea that you are successful once you have a million pounds in your bank account and you are travelling the world in first class seats.

The next person may see themselves successful when they are free of debts, no longer working for someone else and simply generating money by working from home doing what they enjoy most.

Nick Spalding is a success in many ways, he no longer has or needs a day job, he has generated a nice amount of money which bought a house and he has several income streams allowing him to work from home creating more income streams by writing new books.

That sounds a big success to me and one that I believe many people would be happy with, especially in this day and age with many people facing job uncertainty and struggling with debts.

Can You Do It? Yes   And Here Are A Few Tips To Help You

You might think to yourself that you cannot write or that you are not really good at writing, if that is the case do not despair; we have several different ways that you can create books by doing little writing yourselves.

katie price jordan

Outsourcing The Writing

The easiest way to get a book written which can be ideal for those who are busy working a day job and who is earning money is to pay someone to do the writing for you. It is called outsourcing and you can find plenty of good writers online who will construct a book to your direction.

The Dictaphone Method 

The ex-glamour model Katie (Jordan) Price is now a successful author and she has never written a word herself, she simply talks into a Dictaphone and creates a story which she then hands over to a ghost writer who fleshes it all out with written words.

Dictaphones are pretty cheap to buy and means you can record audio files anywhere then send them to your ghost writer.

Most smart phones come with a built in voice recorder so it really isn’t hard to make audio files of your ideas.

The Story Plan/Background

The other method is to create a story plan; this is similar to a story board often used in making movies except you use words and not images.

You create a backbone to a story in a text document like Word or Google Docs listing all of the main characters, their history, and their important features such as body build, eye colour etc and the places that events occur.

The story plan will list everything you want happening in the story, where it happens, who is involved and in what order.

story background plan 1

These are pretty easy to write really because you are not fattening things out or trying to describe in great detail what is happening with words but just listing everything in a basic straight to the point way.

You may decide to add images to help with the detail for example you may decide that you want some of your characters to spend a night in a beach hut on a certain beach, you have an idea of what it looks like but cannot think how to explain it in your plan so you add images like these.

story background plan images

This is done so your chosen outsourced writer has a great plan to follow and knows everything you need putting into your story. Now this might not be the cheapest way but if you are working and earning that could pay for it, it could save you a lot of time and frustration.

Ideally you want to be in constant contact with your outsourcer so that the job runs smoothly, which in turn means the job is done better and probably faster saving you money in the long run.

Outsourcing can have its downsides, sometimes people just cannot deliver what you would like and many people struggle with the idea to outsource work and rather do it themselves so that they have complete control over everything.

Writing It Yourself

If neither of those outsourcing methods appeal to you and you want to do it yourself the traditional way then you could do what Nick did and spend a whole weekend writing until you were finished or set yourself a set amount of time aside each day or week and work at it when you can.

It could help to set yourself a word goal for each day or week, make a sheet where you can tick off each day/week when you hit your chosen word count.

You might not be in a big rush to become published but it is worth remembering these two points…

The more you write and the quicker you do it means…

  1. You have plenty to work with and edit. (You cannot edit what is only in your mind)
  2. You can get your book published quicker and start to change the direction your life is going.

google search for books

Using Google To Create Books

We live in very exciting times, they are so much different to several years ago. Only a small amount of people were able to create and sell books in the past.

They had to be dedicated and do a lot of serious research. Research would involve buying magazines, books and papers to trawl through looking for information.

There were companies who specialised in paper cuttings. They would buy papers and cut out interesting stories and for a price send you a folder of them. I saw some advertised in the back of magazines where they would send out photocopies of articles. Obviously they couldn’t send out the originals when they were selling folders of UFO news reports in the back of magazines as they were hoping to sell more than one.

ufo paper clippings

[When I created this image where do you think I found the paper clippings? Google of courseJ]

For many aspiring writers, a lot of time was spent at the local library going through books, papers and magazines and in many cases maps too. Imagine trying to write a book in the 1970s about a spy like James Bond who travelled the world, drove foreign cars, ate foreign food and used secret weaponry.

It couldn’t have been easy, at least not as easy as it is today. I personally believe that I could write the backbone of a story in a day from the comfort of my own home.

This would include the places and street names where events happen, the names and ages of the characters, the food and drink they consume, the transport they use and any weapons or tools they need etc.

Another example of a story backbone/plan…

story background plan 2

Writing the story itself is obviously going to take time, this will include detailed descriptions of what is going on, what people are wearing and what they see for example. Also there will be a lot of conversations and interactions to write about. This is harder to construct than the backbone.

You will need to be fairly good at writing and understanding English however what really matters is that what you write needs to stimulate the imagination in people’s minds and takes them away from reality. If you can do that then that is great. Good writing like everything else in life is relative, we Minions often disagree what books are well written. It is interesting how two people in the same room can read the same book with one saying it was brilliantly written and the other thinking a child could have done better!

You do not need to write fictional books or ‘how to guides…’ to make money, there are so many different types of books around that are simple collections of fun or crazy facts and these can be simply created by doing research and rewriting what you find.

‘You cannot copyright fact, only the way it has been written’

This leads me onto true stories like crime and murder, how many books do you see that are written about topics that are by people who have nothing whatsoever to do with the victims or the case itself? What about biographies or stories about famous celebrities? I see many written by journalists or people who simply have access to the information more than actually being part of the celebrities’ life.

The World’s Largest Research Resource Centre Available In Your Home

Well you have access to all of the information you now need to write great fiction, how to guides, true stories, biographies and collections. How do you find all of this great information? It is stored in a vast ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’ style warehouse.

raiders of the lost ark store

This warehouse is called the internet. It is a huge powerful and fast resource that people…

  • Take for granted
  • Do not know how to really use properly.

Yes as hard as it is to believe, people do not know how to search properly on the internet. I often see people posting really simple questions on Facebook waiting for answers that may or may not come or if they do could take ages where as a quick search in Google or Bing would have given them the answers they needed within minutes or even seconds.

Yes OK some people do it to start conversations or are too lazy to look for the information opting to put the question ‘out there’ and hoping the answer is there waiting when they come back but in reality the question is often never seen or answered.

I mean who actually thinks their small close knit group of friends, family and acquaintances possesses more information than Google with its countless millions of websites? Bit stupid to think that really, I too am guilty of it, but I am happy to say that I now just do a Google search.

Writing books is competitive and not everyone becomes a J.K.Rowling making untold millions but there are a lot of people who are able to make really good money and work from home, anywhere in the world doing what they enjoy because they were selling books just like our example Nick spalding. Doesn’t that sound good?

The wealthiest people on the planet talk about creating multiple streams of income, this way you don’t have just the one wage coming in you have several and should one stream dry up and do badly one month you are still earning from your other income streams.

If you think about it this way, if you wrote 7 books all selling around 20 copies a day earning £50 a book you have 7 x 50 x 7 = £2450 a week which is £10616 a month. Should books 1 & 5 not sell for a week you still have £1750 coming in that week which is a monthly income of £7583.

Some books like those in the self-help niche (Think Chicken Soup For The Soul) or children’s stories (Think Harry Potter) sell millions worldwide and keep selling due to the nature of the book. People are always looking for self-help and answers and children are being born daily who as they grow older will always need to be entertained.  Children still read ‘Danny Champion Of The World’, a book I remember from my child hood, it was written in 1975 by Roald Dahl.

If Ian Fleming was still alive how much do you think he would be earning each year? The creative world is often the most lucrative, ok these are exceptional cases however they were once unpublished and J.K. Rowling was a single mother who originally wrote the first Harry Potter in cafés around Edinburgh, not the easiest starts. So who knows what you can achieve.

the elephant house

Well anyway, I shall bring this lengthy post to a close and let you watch this video. This is one video taken from a tutorial module in the members area of the Tim’s Minions Digital Academy about publishing books on Amazon Kindle. This video was recorded to inspire people to take action and to show you how to use Google search for more than finding funny pictures of lol cats! 🙂

As you will see when you watch the video, it is long and detailed and that is what you always get inside the Digital Academy.

 

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

In this article The Incredibly Successful Combination Of Guinea Pigs, Disney Toys & YouTube I wrote that Daiane DeJesus (Sandy Summers) was the highest paid YouTube partner generating over $5 million from playing with childrens toys, well it seems that she has competition.

Unless YouTube tell us exactly who is the biggest earner or if the people in question actually come out and tell us their true earnings it can be a bit of a guessing game as to who is actually the biggest earners but it has been said that Felix Kjellberg aka PewDiePie was the biggest YouTube earner of 2014 generating around $7.4 million all from the videos that he uploads… which are… of him playing computer games!

Felix Kjellberg

He does interact with his video viewers and it is not just a case of him playing games, recording them, uploading them and forgetting about them, he has grown his channel into a giant resource of fun videos and his videos are watched over and over again by millions of people.

When people hit replay he gets paid more, Felix has been nicknamed the King of YouTube. I recently read that his YouTube channel had 37.7 million subscribers and his videos have had over 9 billion views. I see in the video descriptions he also has affiliate links to the games he plays so he is also getting paid from product sales.

At $7.4 million that would make every subscriber worth $0.20 to him. This is indeed an incredible story and again just one of many.

Some of the successes have come from easy to make simple videos, in the The Incredibly Successful Combination Of Guinea Pigs, Disney Toys & YouTube I also wrote about one woman who recorded her Guinea pigs running around their cages and pens and uploaded them to YouTube. Those videos were making her around £1000 a month.

So this had me thinking… how can anyone start a successful YouTube channel and quickly cash in on the power of YouTube by becoming a video creator and a YouTube partner?

Obviously I got thinking up some really creative ways to make videos but they would take a lot of creative work and require some additional equipment which would not be cheap. One idea I had was based around using drones and they are not cheap, especially if you were to add a camera like the GoPro to them. It could cost several hundred pounds before you had even started.

I wanted to think up some ideas that could get people started without having to…

  1. Buy a lot of equipment or splash out on anything expensive
  2. Steal video, images or audio from other sources
  3. Learn a lot of new skills

So I sat down and came up with a few ideas which I think people could start with now, maybe even today, with very little start-up cost if any. I wanted to focus on simplicity, I even had Russell Brand’s YouTube channel ‘The Trews’ open while getting ideas.

Russel Brand the Trews

I am not Mr Brand’s biggest fan, I have had to wash my eyes and delete his channel from my YouTube history but what is important to remember is that he has 630 odd videos where he just sits facing a camera talking about ‘stuff’. Much of it has nothing to do with him either; one video in the celebrities category was about the verbal to and fro between Katie Hopkins and Katie Price. Why???

It is often the amount of videos and the stuff people talk about that can make simple videos work well.  Russell Brand releases a new ‘Trews’ video three times a week.

Fortunately for Mr Brand, who has 1,170,630 subscribers, he already has a history of TV performances and a celebrity status as a film star, comedian (debateable) and was formerly married to one of the world’s most popular pop singers which will help him build a big fan base.

We normal folk will have to start without that kind of popularity and notoriety already in place.

simple youtube profits

Learn How to Profit Using YouTube In Our Digital Academy Here

Finding Your Angle

So after seeing the success of the woman who opened up toys and played with them for children and made around $5 million I think it could be a good idea to film yourself reading children’s stories in a kind of child centred ‘Trews’ style.

All that is required for this is a comfortable chair in the corner of a room with maybe a few toys placed around the chair to make it more interesting to children and a big stack of children’s books. Also a confidence in yourself that allows you to be filmed and seen all across the world is needed.

A half decent camera that connects to your computer is all that you need to record yourself reading out the stories. It is very simple and many videos could be recorded over a day or two or a few weeks.

Many parents might put their children to bed and have your videos playing in the back ground to help their children drift off to sleep. Imagine that!

The important thing to remember with any online business is that you DO NOT expect success right away. Perseverance is the key to most success stories, you might hear of one or two videos that go absolutely crazy and viral with millions of views but there are many channels on YouTube that have hundreds of videos that only have a few thousand hits but those few hundred videos add up to a lot of views meaning that they can generate a nice sum of money if you are a YouTube partner.

If you like writing your own stories or poetry then that is even better but if you feel self-confident you could create a character and dress up so that no one recognises you like a clown for example or a nanny character similar to Nanny McPhee.

A lot of the money is made when videos are seen a lot and replayed so with that in mind many people try and make videos which are funny hoping that they will be shared and re-watched. If you are not self-conscious and happy to make a fool of yourself then you can do many things in front of a camera.

Think of the success of shows like Jack Ass and Dirty Sanchez, I do not get why people would chose to inflict pain on themselves but these guys do and it has been good for them in many ways.

Copyright will always be an issue when making videos on YouTube but it is possible to use other people’s work under ‘Fair Use’ if it is done in a good way such as borrow clips from films if you create something ‘new and unique’ from those clips. This is not set in stone though, some people may still object to you using a few minutes of a film or music so I think the best idea is to always create something new.

A musician who creates his own music should have a YouTube channel to show case their work but that alone does not mean they will get a lot of shares unless they are outstanding. You do see videos being shared of a young woman or man who does a sensational cover version of a popular but bland chart song but there are a lot more styles of music which have millions of fans but unless certain videos are shared many fans will not see them.

So it is important that you create videos that people want to share and there is nothing better than a video that is either very funny or makes the viewer think …’WTF?’

I think musicians should probably stop trying to ‘recreate’ arty and serious style music videos that they see on the TV but go and do something seriously ridiculous which should hopefully get a few more shares than the music itself.

As I am talking about trying to create videos fast and simple without the need to buy expensive tools a mobile phone or a web cam would do for recording people doing some bizarre dancing or even running up and down the streets dressed in super hero outfits or as animals. Think of Trigger Happy TV where people dressed in dog outfits would start fighting in busy shopping centres.

trigger happy fighting dogs

When you consider that two people I have mentioned in this article have collectively made $12-13 million from simple to make videos, and when I say simple I mean simple, then you have to agree, there is money in this video making lark.

I have to say though, and I shall keep saying this, it is not just a case of doing one video at the drop of a hat and then packing up when you have only had a few views. A video has to be planned, even if the whole video is simple to record and the idea is simple it still needs to be thought through properly and … it has to be a consistent flow of videos for people to start to take note and become aware of you.

There are the odd ‘one hit wonders’ in the music charts but when you really look into the history of the super successful bands, none of them did just one track or one gig and give up. They stuck with it and kept on and on and on until they started to get a following. You must think of a YouTube video business/plan in the same way.

A following will share out your videos and then your following will grow, your videos will be seen by more people and re-watched more and you as a YouTube partner will be earning more money from the advertising revenue that you are generating for YouTube with all of those video views.

I shall bring this post to a close by using a quote the YouTube King Felix gave to a Swedish newspaper which sums up everything I want to get across…

“IF YOU THINK SOMEONE’S FUNNIER, GO REFRESH THEIR VIDEOS OVER AND OVER, BECAUSE THAT’S HOW WE GET PAID.” – Felix Kjellberg

That says it all really!