If only it were that simple, right? These days you can't turn on the television without news of foreclosures, company bailouts, stocks tanking and consumer confidence plummeting. Yet where most continue to see this as an indication that the economy is hurting, The Monetizer suggests you look for the economy's golden opportunities. The flipside is of course, finding money to buy into those opportunities.
Here's 3 ways you can profit from the down economy, if of course you do your research and make good, calculated risks:
1) Invest in stocks - Stocks are especially beaten down right now and as Warren Buffet suggests you want to be greedy when others are fearful. This means don't view the low stock prices as a sign our economy will completely die. View it with more cautious optimism that there's some great deals to be had and money to be made. I can't suggest any stocks in particular, but look for names you know of well-built companies. High dividend paying stocks are always a great long term investment strategy, especially if you have the dividends reinvested.
I still like a company called Buyandhold.com which allows small-wallet investors to buy or sell stocks for $2.99 a trade. The catch with that is you can only buy during 3 different time slots a day, versus having the flexibility of real-time trading. Nonetheless, with Buyandhold.com you could begin to build a nice sized portfolio, whether it be an IRA for retirement or a regular account to build up a nice sum. Sharebuilder.com is another website with low buy and sell plans, worth checking out, or you could use one of the big boy brokers such as e-trade or Charles Schwab. Do your homework with well-known stock sites such as Smartmoney.com, CNN Money or Motley Fool to get ideas of what others recommend for investments.
2) Invest in Real estate - This is one area in which opportunities are presenting themselves daily. Foreclosures abound and according to some reports people are able to snatch up homes for pennies on the dollar. This one obviously will take a lot more funds than ideas 1 or 3, but possibly people begin networking to invest in real-estate, combining their funds to make wise buying decisions. It seems as if there may be a profitable business idea in some sort of program to help struggling mortgage-payers afford the payments until they can do so by themselves. Either way, I've seen many reports on the news and early shows about great housing deals out there. Those who know how to spot opportunities will most likely become quite wealthy if they buy now and sell later.
3) Start up a full or Part-time business - Whether it be a home-based ebay business, buying a franchise, inventing something, or doing something you love, some say right now is the best time to start. Others say it doesn't matter when you start, which could be true depending on the idea. With the economy down you can snatch up better deals on things you might need to get the business going. For example, the ebay business is a great idea right now if you can afford to bargain hunt. Between people having yard sales to generate income and retail stores slashing prices to move merchandise you can flip plenty of profitable products. With any other business they say if you get off the ground during rough economic times you can profit many times over when the economy starts to do well again.
Friends I encourage you to not ignore the news of the economy completely because that's going to be with us for some time. At the same time, when things are looking and sounding bleak you can use that adversity to spot opportunities and start making money. The next great ideas just might be born out of these trying times, and you just might be the one to do it!
As always party responsibly into the New Year...I wish everyone a happy, healthy and profitable 2009!
If only it were that simple, right? These days you can't turn on the television without news of foreclosures, company bailouts, stocks tanking and consumer confidence plummeting. Yet where most continue to see this as an indication that the economy is hurting, The Monetizer suggests you look for the economy's golden opportunities. The flipside is of course, finding money to buy into those opportunities.
(above logos are respective properties of the companies they represent)
As we head into 2009, opportunities will continue to surround us. One opportunity many individuals may consider is taking on ownership of a franchise. It's been said many times that buying into an established company with your own startup investment money and hard work can lead to prosperity. What a franchise seems to require most is finding quite a bit of startup money to invest in it, finding a profitable location, using a lot of your own elbow grease, marketing, promotion, human resources, accounting and many other skills. As you can see it's a risky idea as you're putting your money and time/effort on the line in the hopes of the company you buy into turning profitable. But it can also become an asset you can cash in with down the road, possibly bringing in a good source of passive income along the way.
The January 2009 issue of Entrepreneur magazine lists out the Top 10 Franchises as of right now. Without further ado...
3. Liberty Tax Service
4. Sonic Drive In
5. Intercontinental Hotels Group
6. Ace Hardware
7. Pizza Hut
8. The UPS Store/Mail Boxes Etc.
9. Circle K
10. Papa John's
As you can see people always love to eat as half of the Top 10 and 3 of the Top 4 franchises are fast food joints. Even in troubling economic times people will be patrons at these cheaper restaurants too. Subway continues to be one of the top choices for people to buy into, and you'd have to believe it's because it's such a profitable franchise and noble cause. The icon Jared devoted himself to losing weight by eating a certain type of sub sandwich daily. Others look to follow in his footsteps and "the world's largest submarine sandwich franchise" gives them a healthy way to eat out for lunch during their jobs. Subways promote "healthy fast food" and many people will buy into the notion of helping others to be healthy, especially with the way the US continues to label its children as becoming more and more obese. My cousin owns a Subway franchise currently and seems to enjoy the idea of owning his own business.
You can check out the Subway franchise process here.
So is a franchise for you? If you've got the die-hard work ethic to give your all to another brand, the ability to keep at it in the face of failure, and the desire to make that franchise branch into a profitable business somewhere, why not? Franchises take many of the skills you'll use in building, promoting and maintaining a profitable online business too. Just remember that the online business usually takes a lot less investment or startup money to get going. Weigh the pros and cons, and also consider the idea of combining your brick and mortar franchise with a blog or website to help drive new customers to both your online and real world businesses.
With the current state of the United States economy, retailers are finding it increasingly difficult to sell their wares. These days many big name items are selling for rock bottom prices. In some instances companies are using deals just to get customers onto their website or into the actual stores. According to a recent MarketWatch.com article, Cyber Monday saw increases in traffic and clicks for many online retailers with Walmart.com, Target.com and Circuitcity.com seeing the biggest jumps. It's no secret that shopping from home can save you good money these days, but finding the best deals online is essential.
With Christmas in a few days, The Monetizer's gift to you is this collection of great websites for hunting down the best deals the web has to offer. You can use these sites to snatch up some great merchandise online all year long. Many times you'll find free samples you can get as well!
Google Products/shopping - A good start for your online shopping is to look up the exact item you want (Make/Model etc) in Google's product search. You'll get a listing of online price results so you can then do some comparison shopping to gauge what the price range is you can expect to pay. Also if you've supplied your zip code, you can get an idea for shipping and tax charges. This is one of the best ways to find the deal you want or at least get an idea of what you might be paying. Many items won't be discounted too much like the always popular Apple iPod. From Google's product search you can head over to the #1 auction site online...
eBay.com - No secret here. The biggest online buying and selling auctionplace around. Type your item into eBay and watch the search results spit out. The usual words of caution apply though. There's scammers and dishonest sellers lurking. Always investigate the feedback levels of the person you're buying from. The deal might look great, but the seller may have recent strings of negative feedback about shipping, or even worse no feedback at all. Another thing to keep in mind is shipping. Recently there's many ebay sellers offering free shipping, but in these instances the items were bid up much higher. Know your auction bid limits and stick to them. Don't let desire for an item cause you to go on a bidding rampage!
Dealnews.com - A very comprehensive site full of the very best deals in several important categories such as video games, computers, media entertainment, clothing and more. Narrow it down to the type of product you're looking for and you'll find plenty of online deal news. Dealnews.com is one of those sites you could spend hours surfing to see what sorts of deals are going on!
Dealspl.us - This is a deals site crafted in the form of social media sites like Digg or any other bookmarking site. The way it works is a site member spots a deal online and other members can click to give that deal a thumbs up. The most popular deals of the day will be found on the front page, with full details. Members can also comment on the deals as well.
Slickdeals.net - The Monetizer would probably give this the #1 rating ahead of the rest, but there seems to be a time lag between it displaying deals some days. Slickdeals features a list of deals of each day that are in collapsed form. Click on a deal of interest and it expands to show you the details complete with a link to the deal and any coupon info you might need.
Spoofee.com - This one is alot like Slickdeals as their deals seem to overlap many times. In several rare instances, Spoofee or Slickdeals had a deal the other site didn't display immediately. Keeping an eye on both sites can be helpful. Each of these sites offers RSS feeds to help track deals better.
Fatwallet.com - This site is crafted in the forum tradition, with users posting forum threads for "Hot Deals". There's even been a section where members gave each other spare Coke or Pepsi codes for their rewards programs. This site may take a bit more time to sift through as compared to the rest, but nonetheless it can offer some gems for online shopping. One other aspect of Fatwallet involves its "Cash back" program which is free to be a part of. Check out the various deals Fatwallet has from all sorts of retailers online. They change constantly but it's another way to help save money when making purchases online.
Woot.com - The Woot site provides a daily "Woot" which is their "deal of the day". It could be anything from airfare to a high-powered vacuum cleaner to computer accessories. Just recently they had a gyroscope air mouse that worked from up to 100 feet away from the computer. Most of their deals sell out fast so this is a site you may want to load up early in the AM and take advantage of a great deal they showcase. There's also wine Woot and shirt Woot which are linked to from their site, categories self-explanatory.
Now a few things to consider. Sometimes you'll see a deal on one of these sites, but always read the fine print whether it's on the website or the deal site. Other members may have commented on a deal to give people a heads up of any extra things needed for the deal. The deal may require an additional purchase, mail-in rebate or picking up an item in-store. Even so, I've seen plenty of deals on flat screen TV's, computer hardware and software for the internet surfer who stays attuned to these sites. You can also call most websites to get additional info. One thing I'd recommend is finding out if the product you're getting a deal on is available or back-ordered. I've run into an interesting situation with one deal I thought I was snatching up, which I'll explain in a future post.
Also, keep in mind these 4 sites will usually identify the very same deals. Despite this overlap, there's occasionally a deal missed by the other sites that you'll find on just one of them. For example, Spoofee identified a deal for 50 condoms shipped for $3.50, while the other sites didn't display this. This could be due to Spoofee having a different sort of audience than the other sites, but at least they stay protected while promiscuous... :)
I'd strongly recommend for anyone who doesn't have Paypal to sign up for an account. It makes for another great way to buy items online and recently I've seen several sites offering deals such as $10 of $50 or $20 cash back when you use Paypal. Also, Paypal offers their debit/credit card which can be attached to a 1% cash back on all credit purchases made. Yet another way to save a bit on those online purchases. 1% may not look like much, but it's $10 more or so if you're buying a $1,000 flat screen TV.
Keep an eye on these sites after Christmas day passes. There's a strong possibility there will be some great deals coming up due to retailers wanting to unload merchandise from the season!
Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas to all, from the Monetizer!
The book I'm currently reading, and thoroughly enjoying, is Felix Dennis' How to Get Rich. While the title may not sound all too original as there's plenty of other books with that name, Felix is a straight-shooter with a no BS approach to telling people about getting rich. That includes the fact that getting rich isn't for everyone, and that you'll never get rich while working for someone else. Felix Dennis is the founder of the popular Maxim magazine, and several other publishing ventures including Blender magazine, a monthly Bruce Lee poster magazine, and several computer magazines. He estimates his wealth is somewhere over 400 million dollars, but he's not exactly sure of the amount. His book offers plenty of great advice from someone who's struggled to succeed, learned from his failures, and eventually became rich in the process.
One of the concepts in Felix' book which applies to entrepreneurial endeavors including your own start-up business and blogging for money, is the idea of "thinking big, yet acting small". Many entrepreneurs and bloggers think big. They see their blog or business venture as eventually producing a full time income so they can quit their day jobs. They want to be the next Donald Trump, or Bill Gates, John Chow or Darren Rowse. They mimic the traits and successful patterns of these people and start to see their own great success as they continue to believe in themselves more and more. Felix warns that once you start to see an idea or concept take off and become profitable, don't get sucked into the idea of wining and dining yourself, buying fancy toys and showcasing the arrogance of someone's who's a multi-millionaire. Doing this can cause resentment from your employees or network connections, or it can make your employees start to take the same attitude as your own, buying expensive toys and ignoring the important things, such as the business itself. You need to keep your eye on the prize while continuing to work harder than even your hardest working employee.
I extend this concept to blogging in the following way. Think of your blog as becoming the next big success, but continue to act as if you are still small. In reality, until any of us are earning more from a blog than John Chow, Shoe Money or Darren Rowse, we're small fish in the blogosphere. How do you act small? You need to focus on the basics for building success, including networking with other bloggers (also trying to make a name for themselves), giving out link love, responding to reader comments, giving away free stuff, and working harder than the rest to make your blog a huge success. Hard work combined with your vision will lead to that success, but never lose that concept in the process.
You'll often see the phrase "fake it til you make it" tossed around too, but this may display the very arrogance Felix Dennis warns against. There's no need to pretend you're bigger than the rest, because you'll ultimately need the rest to make it. I stronlgy advise any budding entrepreneurs or business-minded individuals to check out Felix Dennis' How to Get Rich for a riveting look at the trials and tribulations of a self-made millionaire.
(image source: TIME.com)
The December 22nd issue of TIME magazine features a look at the "Top 10 Everything of 2008" through a series of lists. These include everything from "Top 10 Breakups" to "Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs" and "Top 10 Movies". The cover even had a Top 10 Buzzwords of 2008 which included "Tweet", a word many Twitterers know well. These lists can be a blogger's dream come true, providing you with some trending topics to blog about, if you haven't already this past year. Some of the topics may continue to be hot in 2009 and beyond, providing you niche material. Here's a few of TIME's Top 10 lists of note:
Top 10 Discoveries in 2008:
1. Snow on Mars
2. Mystery insect in London
3. Fetus in a man
4. Melamine in Chinese Milk
5. Virgin-born shark
6. iPhone "kill switch"
7. Seven human feet, washed up on Pacific Northwest coast
8. Red Sox jersey in Yankees Stadium concrete
9. Marijuana in 2,700 year old Chinese tomb
10. Lost Beatles interview from 1964
Top 10 Gadgets in 2008:
1. Optoma Pico PK101
2. Mitsubishi LaserVue 65 inch HDTV
3. Apple iPhone 3G
4. Nikon D90 Digital Camera
5. foxL Bluetooth Portable Speaker
6. Seinheiser MX W1 Wireless Headphones
7. Flip Video MinoHD
8. Kindle by Amazon
9. Roku Netflix Box
10. Sony Playstation Home for PS3
In case you're wondering, gadget #1, the Optoma Pico PK101 is described as the type of gadget James Bond might carry. It's a projector that plugs into your iPhone or iPod and projects video/movies onto a flat surface up to 8 feet away. Pretty nifty, with a price tag of $399, but only available for pre-orders right now. TIME believes the Roku Netflix box which streams movies to TV may replace DVD at some point in the future, and Amazon's Kindle may be taking the place of good ol' fashioned books.
10 Coolest iPhone Apps:
1. Pandora Radio
3. AP Mobile News Network
6. Adrenaline Pool Lite
10. Fake Calls
Top 10 Movies 2008
2. Synecdoche, New York
3. My Winnipeg
4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
5. My Winnipeg
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7. Slumdog Millionaire
8. Iron Man
9. Speed Racer
10. Encounters at the End of the World
The Monetizer needs to interject on the movies list. Where in the world is "The Dark Knight"??! The Batman Begins sequel was a smash hit at the Box office, and received acclaim for its story and acting, especially that of Heath Ledger as The Joker. It definitely was the superior superhero flick when compared to Iron Man.
You get the idea from the lists above, these make for great blog post titles and subject material for blogs to make money online. Possibly a new niche for interesting iPhone apps or the Sony Playstation Home, a virtual world that comes for Free with the PS3? The sky's the limit as we head into 2009, and millions more blogs are in the making!
Hello make money online fans! The Monetizer has been busy updating other blogs to try to increase their earning power. I recently started tinkering with two other money making programs you may or may not have heard of. One is Chitika, a program that serves mini-mall style product ads or in text ads. The other is Rocket Profit, which has a slew of great affiliate offers you can promote for cash.
While I'm no expert on either program, I can fill you in on the basics. Chitika offers several types of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads with great features. Their latest they are promoting are the Premium - PPC Ad Units which will display only to search engine traffic on your blog or website, and also are fully compatible to place with Adsense on your site. The search traffic feature is nice, because that way your regular subscribers won't be pestered by annoying ads above your blog posts or site, only search traffic gets them. Chitika offers 4 other types of ads in addition to premium. There's Linx ads which are similar to Kontera, where certain words or phrases in your text are underlined. If users click those, that generates PPC income for you! Chitika's other choices are Graphic ads, eMiniMalls and Multiple Product Units (MPU's). Minimum payout is $50 with Chitkita, and from what I've heard the click through rates are great and the amount per click is also pretty nice. Check out Chitkia here.
Rocket Profit has some great potential as well. This affiliate program offers 100's of ads ranging from email, cell phone or zip code captures to lead/profile sign-ups. Some offers pay $2 just for someone submitting their cell phone number, zip code, or email address. Other offers are for leads such as $30 for purchasing various software or subscriptions. The minimum amount you have to earn with Rocket Profit is just $25. They provide you with your own account manager via phone, email and AIM for customer support. As mentioned have a lot of great banner, email and text type links you can use. It is my belief that when you apply to RocketProfit you'll need a dot com website, so keep this in mind. That's not to say you can't try with a Blogger blog though! I'll provide a more in depth on both of these programs as I become more familiar with them. Check out Rocket Profit here.
Hope everyone's having a great 2008 Holiday season!
The following post is a sponsored review. If you're part of the make money online niche, or just about any other niche, and want to present a professional site to the world, finding a good is key web host. It's been hammered into our heads by all the top bloggers as one of the first steps to take in branding yourself and finding online success. A site called Web Hosting Geeks has been providing hosting reviews, ratings and awards since back in 2004, so they are here to help you sort through the numerous options you face when trying to find a good host.
Webhostinggeeks.com provides a comprehensive look at the best of the best web hosts around including their various awards for top hosting services. These include categories like "Best Host for Email", "Best Host for Blogs" and the overall "Top 10 Best Web Hosts of 2008". Surprisingly, #1 was not GoDaddy or Hostgator, but instead Immotion which for $8.95 a month gives unlimited space, unlimited traffic loads, a free domain name, and the ability to host up to 6 domains on that one account. There are several hosting options on their list that The Monetizer will seriously consider, as they allow unlimited domains and give a free domain with the deal. Amazingly Hostgator was not there despite many bloggers liking their services. My preferred host right now, GoDaddy, was farther down the list but still made the Top 10. Web Hosting Geeks also provides a great selection of articles on their site related to hosting. Eager online entrepreneurs may want to check out the "How to Make Money with Web Hosting" article.
What's great about webhostinggeeks.com is you can read reviews of each of their hosting providers from customers using that host service. This way you can get a feel for the types of problems customers may be facing with the host company and how good their tech support is. A deal for hosting may look good initially but you may find customers complaining there's never any customer support, or their site is down often. You may want to stay away from a host company of this nature. There's a review of Bluehost that you can check out at webhostinggeeks.com to get an idea. Each review provides rankings for price, tech support, user-friendliness, reliability and about 5 other categories important to anyone using web hosting services. Then you can read through individual customer testimonials or complaints regarding the service to see if it's adequate for you.
With the limitless number of web hosting companies in service these days, it will pay off not just in terms of money but in terms of the success of your site. Do your homework and let the Web Hosting Geeks help ease the process!
Chris Crum at WebProNews.com has put together his "Top 10 Frustrations for eBay Sellers" List. Coming in at #1 is Management, which is CEO John Donahoe, a man many are calling for a resignation from. Also on the list are things such as the lack of profitability, Paypal issues, technical glitches and buyer issues.
Crum's full list of eBay frustrations:
2. Feedback Policy
3. Small Businesses Get Shut Out
4. Lack of Communication
5. Payment Policies
6. Fees/Lack of Profitability
7. Unwarranted Account Suspensions
8. The Buyers Themselves
10. Lack of Innovation
Read the full WebProNews article here.
In my experience with eBay so far, the Buyer issue has been the only issue I can say has caused frustrations. Lately it seems there are a lot of "practice bidders" or people who create fake accounts in order to just try eBay out. Perhaps they just joined to make money off one of those "Get Paid to" sites, where you need to join eBay and place 1 bid. In addition to that, there are always those dishonest souls who try to get items for free, claiming major damage during shipping or that they never received it. eBay is built on a community of honest buyers and sellers, but they will need to address this as they continue doing business online. My suggestion that new accounts must make a refundable deposit to eBay of $10, and their first bid can't go over that. It may seem ridiculous, but it'd be a great way to prevent those fake new accounts from being made.
As for profit, that hasn't really been an issue, as sellers just need to be creative and innovate more. Finding trash to sell as treasure from garage sales, Goodwills and consignment shops is a skill anyone can develop. With eBay selling, it will really be all about the idea of survival of the fittest. Adapt and expand your business as eBay changes its model. Crum mentions that there are alternatives to eBay too, such as Amazon, Wigix, SeeAuctions and Shopify.
The Monetizer also suggests everyone sign up for the Ebay Partner Network. I can't guarantee everyone will get approved, but the money you can make with this program has very nice potential. More on that in a future blog post...
There's another article at WebProNews discussing eBay and how Congress plans to police it (as well as Craigslist and other sites), by secretly investigating any sellers they suspect are selling stolen goods. The sellers won't be informed they are being watched/investigated. This stems from a bunch of Victoria Secret bra sales, where the bras were sold on eBay for $25, but usually fetched up from $40 to $80. In summation of the article, if the bills pass, anybody who claims to suspect a seller of illegal activity can file a police report, present it to the retail/marketplace provider and then the provider must shutdown the seller. Some commentors on the article are comparing this to the famous novel called 1984 in which the government is playing Big Brother, watching our every move.
Read Congress to Make eBay a Rat
The following is a sponsored review with PayPerPost. Since my study of choice in college was criminal justice, I'm always fascinated by those crime drama Television shows and movies, as well as real-life stories of crime. It's an interesting line of work, but not quite like what you see on Law & Order or CSI every day. Amongst my experiences were several visits to large state prisons (for work, not play) as well as police stations, courthouses, probation offices and more. I recall one trip to a police station in which we were shown the weapons storage area, complete with rocket launchers, battering rams and machine guns. Cool stuff!
LA Police Gear Inc. is definitely an interesting online retailer, providing everything from Gas Masks, Handcuffs and GPS Units to Surefire Flashlights, Galco Holsters and 5.11 Knives which are part of their tactical series. Surprisingly there's even Titanimum Smith & Wesson watches. Their headquarters if fittingly based in Los Angeles and the company was started by Los Angeles police officers. They pride themselves on fast shipping, quality products and excellent customer service. And they don't just sell to police officers either as everyday citizens can also purchase products there.
This may seem like a deviation from the normal money-making posts here for The Monetizer, but studying different businesses is a great way to learn about and form your own. La Police Gear Inc is a great example of a niche business formed by those specializing in the field of police gear themselves. Their website is well organized and just right in terms of visual presentation., offering pictures, videos and live online customer service. Also, if you're like me and enjoy the criminal justice subject or the crime drama TV shows/movies, just browsing through the LA Police Gear products makes for an interesting web-surfing adventure. You can visit their website at http://www.lapolicegear.com/ to see their variety of products and more about the company.
A few days ago I mentioned using Cyber Monday (12/1) to make money online with your blog or website via affiliate links to participating retailers. Well soon Black Friday will be hitting you just like Aunt Milfred's Green Bean Casserole and burnt yams the day after Thanksgiving. There's plenty of opportunity to make money using Black Friday deals, should you be brave enough to venture out into the "real world" the day after you've pigged out on Turkey, stuffing, potatoes & pie. Some great items can be had at rock-bottom bargain prices in all sorts of stores. The best thing to do with these is find great deals on hot items and re-sell them on eBay. In my experience, new sealed in the package items are always hot sellers on eBay. Keep in mind that items may be flying off the shelves in some areas, but readily available in yours. So if someone in another state was after a hot item and it ran out quick in their store, they may be turning online to eBay to find it!
One great example is those GPS units. It seems a lot of places are offering these at great deals. CVS in particular was advertising one at $79. If you've got any of those CVS Rewards bucks or gift cards, you can cash them in towards one, then sell on eBay at a nice profit. Other examples are video game bundles, individual games and accessories. Many of these items will be topping wishlists, so if you find deals on hot ones, grab em! Of course make sure to research eBay sold prices for the items, rather than blindly expecting to make money off whatever you buy!
Many stores have already started their Black Friday sales, with some going on on Thanksgiving. Wal Mart, Best Buy, Kmart, Sears, Toys R Us and Target are amongst those offering deals on Turkey day.
Here's a link to Amazon.com's Black Friday page
. The online retailer is also participating in the day after Turkey day sales too! Also be sure to check out the site SpooFriday.com which has links to the Thanksgiving day and after Thanksgiving day sales!
Hello to all twitters who love to tweet..It's not only the Thanksgiving holiday this week, but there's also Tweetsgiving going on..it's a mouthful just like the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes we'll all be enjoying. So what exactly is this "Tweetsgiving"?
Tweetsgiving is a special project created by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called Epic Change. Their objective is to show just how powerful social media is, by raising funds in the amount of $10,000 to build a new classroom in Tanzania. They have just 48 hours to do it, and as of my last check, they were at $3,622.29 and climbing, 36% of the way towards their goal. TweetsGiving started Tuesday at noon and ends Thanksgiving day at noon.
One way to get involved in this is to spread the word. You can do that via your blog or social media profile, or even via a tweet on your Twitter profile. They ask that you share something you're thankful for and include the #TweetsGiving tag, plus a link to: http://tinyurl.com/4thanks
You can also participate by choosing to donate at least $10. You'll be able email a TweetsGiving tweet to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your special tweet will be painted on a brick used to build the classroom in Tanzania.
For $100 or more you'll be noted on their website as a "Top Turkey" along with your Twitter profile link. You can also choose to do some shopping at http://shop.epicchange.org/ where your purchases will help add 1 or more bricks to the school project.
So get tweeting before you start eating! Drop by the official Tweetsgiving.org page and follow @TweetsGiving for all the details on this wonderful and generous social media project!
To all Monetizer readers and moneymakers, may your Thanksgiving be full of happiness, lots of great food and prosperity!
Yep, it's just about that time again folks. You might be familiar with those ads on TV with a male voice joyfully singing "it's the most wonderful time, of the year!". However, the current economy just might be casting a dark cloud and raining on many people's Christmases & Holiday shopping. The Monetizer is far from Mr. Grinch though, so to put a positive spin on things, you can still make money online with this. CyberMonday is considered the official "day after Thanksgiving for online shopping". According to CyberMonday.com, the online shopping day falls on December 1, 2008, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving. This day was set in anticipation of all those people back to work or home after the holiday who decide to shop online.
It's an understatement for me to say that people are cutting back this year, due to the economy, but we all know many people still want to give gifts and still save money. Some homes/offices may decide to do Secret Santas for their families or works in the interest of not having to buy everyone a gift. One area people are less likely to do away with completely is in giving gifts to their children, or possibly a significant other. This gives you a great way to capitalize on some online sales. Of course, this is the sort of niche site or blog to set up months ahead of time, but now you can begin to add in various merchants with affiliates to your blog mix. You can see just some of the CyberMonday participants in the image below to get an idea of how you might them into your blog content.
Many online retailers are simply offering free shipping, and with good cause. People would rather not fight with crowds or wait in lines, or go through the hassle of finding a parking spot at the malls. Some retailers such as Home Depot, Sierra Trading Post & Office Depot are offering percent or cash off discounts to online shoppers. So there's bound to be some sort of affiliate related to your blog or website material that you can promote on your blog for CyberMonday. Start now, because being accepted by affiliates can take a few days (sometimes longer).
Also consider that Amazon Associates works well around the holidays. The great thing with their associate/affiliate program is you just need visitors to click on a link, and buy something from Amazon within so many days. No matter what item(s) they purchase, you'll receive commission. Consider setting up Gift Wishlist posts on your blog or creative gift ideas related to your niche, then use the Amazon links (using the code they give you) as the item titles. eBay Partner Networks and ShoppingAds are two other programs to tinker with on your site as people look for great deals online.
So while the economy looks bleak, turn it into a great opportunity, as consumer interest and deal shoppers just might help you make extra money this holiday season!
The Monetizer recommends CommissionJunction and/or Linkshare.com for affiliate programs in addition to Amazon Associates. Find out more about these and other programs at Monetizer's Recommended Moneymakers!
Ready to blog about the latest or up and coming new trends? It can be a great way to increase potential traffic and blog subscribers, by staying ahead of the crowd. There just happens to be a helpful, stylish new site which consists of members who hunt down the coolest stuff out there... Trendhunter.com is an online magazine, community site where members spot and hunt for the latest and hottest trends. (join community for free) Built in 2005, Trendhunter is the brainchild of Jeremy Gutsche, who wanted a creative business site to spot trends. The concept has the site able to identify all sorts of trends & even micro-trends in anticipation of "the next big thing"s. One of the testimonial quotes promoting the site from MTV says "At Trendhunter, find out what's cool, before its cool". See more testimonials and media here. The site presents visitors with the hottest trends over the past day, week, or month. You may already see the wheels spinning in your mind as to how this can help you with blogging about the latest and greatest info for your particular niche...
Google Trends is the popular program many bloggers have taken a liking to as it helps you spot search trends. From there you can craft blog posts to take advantage of these hot topics, and possibly gain a lot of search traffic to your blog. Trendhunter may present an even better way to do this, and allows you to embed the hot new trends right into your blog. They offer 99 flavors of RSS to add into your blog's sidebar columns, as well as widgets for Myspace, Twitter & Facebook, banners and many other cool tools to show off the hot or upcoming trends.
Just to give an example of last Thursday's hot trends in a 24 hour period:
Real Furbys, 40 Facebook Innovations, Top 20 Kickass Extreme and Gothic Greetings ranked amongst the top 5 hottest trends over a 24 hour time frame on Thursday, November 20, 2008.
In addition to their free trend reports, Trendhunter offers what many companies really want, the 2009 niche trend reports. Their perfect for strategizing and marketing to the current and up-and-coming "it" generations. These reports come at a price which may be hefty for the average blogger or small business owner. A year long subscription to reports runs about $1,500, with individual reports costing up to $500 or so.
Trendhunter offers a section of "Top Sites", where websites and blogs which are identified as top trend-finding sites are listed. The aforementioned Google Trends is there, as are well-knowns like Boing Boing & Techcrunch. If you author a blog of this nature which looks at the latest trends (mixed bag niche even), it may be a great promotional idea to submit your blog or site to Trendhunter. According to the site, you'd leverage their 8 million visitors worth of traffic!
And wouldn't you leave it to the Monetizer to find the "EARN $" section of Trendhunter.com! They have a small section which they say is ideal for students or bloggers, because in reality we're all trend hunters. From the looks of their revenue-sharing program, you're payed for submitting new trends. They also run Google adsense, so you may be sharing in those profits, similar to Squidoo. They claim to have 8 million visitors to the site, which could make for a lot of page views if you get a trend into the top trends. According to their site, their top trendhunters earn $1,000 a month! You can read more info about their moneymaking program here.
So bookmark Trendhunter and keep an eye on it. It just might give you something to blog about before the rest of your niche does, and give yet another way to make money online!
The latest issue of Entrepreneur magazine offers plenty of great advice for starting your own business and promoting its growth, which includes marketing via a website. Amongst the articles is one which provides 5 Ways to Maximize Your SEO for your website (or blog). Below, The Monetizer provides you with each of their SEO tips, with my own commentary added in to each tip.
1) Get a Good Domain - You've heard this advice many times: If you're planning a profitable blog, make sure to purchase a domain early, and make it catchy and easy to remember. Avoid long names and dashes, & make it a dotcom if possible. According to Entrepreneur mag, you should also make sure your domain is built with keywords relative to your product or blog topic, if possible. For example "mypetproducts.com" if you're selling products for pets. Most small business owners know that these days with the economy hurting, using online marketing to create a presence is essential though.
There's open debates over whether your blog needs a domain though. The Monetizer prefers free Blogspot blogs for now, but definitely sees the advantage of having a domain. One thing I would have liked to have created is a forum section for one of my blogs. Having a domain with GoDaddy or HostGator would allow for this. If you are going to get a domain, make sure to purchase it early to allow for domain-aging, which will eventually help SEO.
2) Take Care with Titles - Make sure that each of your website's pages have unique, keyword-appropriate and search-engine friendly titles. According to the article, if you're building a website from scratch with an HTML editor, many times they won't point out you're missing title tags. Blogging platforms such as Blogger and Wordpress have the feature built in, which is why blogs continue to be so popular for SEO and money-making.
3) Use Keywords Wisely - In terms of your webpage or blog content, don't keyword spam them. For example, you've titled an article or site page "Helpful iPhone Apps". Don't continuously spam those keywords in your article or blog post. Instead, use that combination 2-5 times (sparingly) and also use keywords that relate to the ones you want to target.
4) Make Your Contact Info Obvious - This tip relates more to small businesses trying to start up a new venture, but it can relate to the idea of blog branding/networking as well. The article contends that you should hot link your email, even though there are email spammers running amuck. They contend that you want customers and network contacts to be able to find you. This is up to you my friends, and you may notice other bloggers use "myemail[at]hotmail[dot]com" to prevent being spammed. Personal preference here, but make sure you allow readers or site visitors a way to contact you. It could go a long way towards link building, networking and getting your site known by the masses.
5) Link Up - The biggest advice amongst SEO experts and from Entrepreneur mag, may be to get high quality backlinks to your site from similar sites. If you're blogging about travel, seek out blogs in your niche and try to work out friendly link exchanges. The more you get, the higher your PageRank can climb, and the better your search engine results can be! If you're using Entrecard, consider making up a friendly note to send to other bloggers there in your niche. It's an easy way to find a lot of related blogs in one place that you can easily contact and network with!
Keep the 5 above tips in mind when you're updating your blog next time. Recently, The Monetizer has started to work harder to title posts on other blogs I author, to make sure they have a shot at capitalizing off search traffic. When you think up a post, go to one of the SEO Tools like SEO Book or the Google Adwords Suggestion Tool, and type the keywords of your post. See if some other results come up you can work into your title.
You can find the above 5 tips and much more in the December 2008 issue of Entrepreneur magazine.
An interesting new development in blogging to make money has come about. As of last week, well-known make money online blogger, Garry Conn, is charging $1.00 to read certain articles on his blog. The reasoning behind Conn's charges was layed out on his Important Update post:
The level of quality in the articles I write on this blog, I strongly feel are of great value. With that said, I truly enjoy writing them and I truly enjoy helping you find success with making money online.
In light of that, I would like to start receiving a small compensation for the time I invest into writing and publishing my articles on my blog. Starting today, I will be making a change to my blog. Many of the future articles that I publish on my blog will provide a snippet. In order to read the full article, you are invited to process a $1.00 payment via Paypal.com. Once that payment is processed, you will be automatically redirected to the full article. From there you can view it, print it or even bookmark it for later use.
All's fair in love & making money online right? There will be some who object to PPV blogs, but it's their prerogative to choose not to pay for it. I consider this similar to the idea of Howard Stern. If you object to his material don't listen to him or buy satellite radio. All in all, I wish Garry Conn success with his latest venture, but I won't be charging people for my advice and ideas......yet :)
The Monetizer also wants to direct your attention to several blogs I check out regularly, and surprise, surprise, they don't include John Chow or Problogger...No disrespect to John or Darren, but these blogs are the ones to read if you really want to get more traffic to your blog and increase your passive income (through Adsense or affiliate programs, or whatever you please):
Internet Marketing School - Courtney Tuttle
Make Money Online for Beginners - Grizzly
The Keyword Academy - also by Courtney Tuttle
Keep those five blogs bookmarked (with The Monetizer), read their posts backwards and forwards, and make sure you practice their suggested techniques until your head's ready to explode! These guys definitely know their stuff.
Hello make money online fans, just wanted to let you know that real checks are sent by Kontera (see image above)! They're the advertising company that provides those underlined in-text links to various products and services, and you earn per click. Out of the blue, I received a check from Kontera in the mail last week (I don't check Kontera stats as regularly as some other advertising programs). Now while they took longer to earn with than Google Adsense does, they did send a real check as promised once my account reached the $100 mark. I recommend them strongly as a passive, additional income supplement. You may even be surprised with another check in the mail as I was! (That book The Secret really works!)
I was able to apply for Kontera way back when I first started blogging thanks to John Chow, A-List blogger. Chow provides a post on his blog called How to Make Money Online with Kontera which gives you a great starting point for this advertiser. Your best shot if your blog(s) haven't taken off yet in terms of traffic and page views is to enter “John Chow Kontera partnership” into the Comments field. This will allow smaller, newer blogs to participate with Kontera. Also be advised as John Chow tells readers, the Kontera advertisements take about a week to learn the content of your blog, so don't be discouraged if the links aren't showing up immediately!
Here's to your success,
The Monetizer Making Money Online
Having trouble reading this blog post or are you finding yourself squinting at the computer screen often? It may be time to get your eyes checked or purchase new eyeglasses! Zenni Optical provides Stylish prescription eyeglasses at very affordable prices. Zenni's prices start at just $8.00 for their selection of eyeglasses and stylish frames! Among the types of lenses offered by Zenni Optical are the single vision lens, sunsensor (potochromic) lens, tinted sunglasses lens, bifocal lens and progressive lens. It's the stylish shades that really can make your glasses a truly functional fashion accessory and Zenni doesn't disappoint with their multitude of frame selections!
Pictured above you can see just one of the stylish types of frames Zenni offers for Men. These are the 9116 Stainless Steel Half Rim Frames which start at $25.95. These particular frames are available in silver, grey, gold, blue or black depending on your preference. Zenni also offers goggles, Women's Fashion glasses, Children's Frames, Full & Half Rim frames, Rimless frames, Alluminum Alloy and Pure Titanium, plus many more offerings!
Zenni Optical also provides tints for your lenses in varying colors as well as clip on 80% polarized sunshades for $3.95 each. I know if you use the internet alot like the Monetizer does, you may need to get your eyes checked or increase your lens strength in your prescription. Zenni Optical provides you the ease and comfort of ordering stylish frames on your new glasses right from home!
For more info about ZenniOptical.com please see:
Hopefully our next president Barack Obama will bring us all the change we need... that is, large amounts of change deposited into our pockets! But seriously, one of the biggest dilemas facing Barack as president will be what to do about the poor United States economy. There's already been discussions of Mr. Obama signing a new economic stimulus package into effect once he steps into his new office. That could be great for our economy, and great for you and me!
Now there's some other ways you can make money with president-elect Barack Obama right now. Recently, I've given you tips and advice for how to effectively run an eBay business. Right now, Barack Obama is hotter than hot, and all sorts of his items are selling like hotcakes on eBay! People across the country and even across the world want to own a piece of history, so they're willing to pay for Barack Obama merchandise or memorabilia online.
A recent example which you may be able to get in on, is the special commemorative Barack Obama issue of Time Magazine, pictured above. The magazine (sans mailing label) is selling for around $17 or so on eBay. If you're lucky enough to have received a copy in the mail with no label (maybe yours is delivered in plastic bag), or even grabbed a copy or two at the newstand, then why not take advantage of selling it to gain some extra cash? Or perhaps you'd like to hold onto your copy and see if the value jumps, pending Barack's success in office!
Other items you can consider selling, Barack T-shirts, Barack buttons or any other novelty you may have received during the campaign and historic election! Just make sure you have the item in a condition people will want. Sky tends to be the limit for what you can sell on eBay, but people will always prefer mint items to ones you have stepped on, recovered from the trash or taken away from the dog...
Check out this search results page for Barack items at eBay to get some more great ideas!
There's other ways people are cashing in on Barack's success by creating their own T-shirts or novelty items at Cafepress and of course creating blogs and fan sites devoted to Obama. Use your imagination and you just might be able to cash in on the amazing amount of hype and hoopla riding the new President-elect's coattails!
Monetizer's 5 Tips for an eBay Business
Ways to Make Money with Craigslist & eBay
Auctiva.com - eBay seller's Best Friend!
As mentioned before, The Monetizer recently started another part time internet income venture, the almighty eBay business. Many individuals have turned trash into treasures as they've scoured garage sales, yard sales and thrift stores. My experiences have been interesting so far, and I feel that if you truly commit to this sort of part time business it can be fun and rewarding. I'd like to share 10 things I've learned so far that may help you in your own eBay venture.
1) Best deals come from yard sales - I've had more success so far buying items from yard sales and garage sales to resell on eBay. I also read about a lady called the Queen of eBay sales who once bought a yard sale item for just $2 and sold it for over $2,000!! It's amazing that people are willing to part with items for the prices they are, but there are many people who just need money badly right now. For example, picking up a portable DVD player for $5 at a yard sale, and it turned into a $40 sale on eBay. Most of my best deals have been items I purchased for under $5 at garage/yard sales. Make sure you have specific items you target...
2) Know what to buy - The biggest personal investment you can make into this business is constantly being up-to-date and knowledgeable about what sells. After your rounds at the yard sales and thrift shops you'll remember items you considered buying. Look them up on eBay when you get back home. See if you missed a blockbuster deal and start to learn what's selling. For example, many yard sales list in their classified ads "childrens toys" or "DVD's". There's also some great blogs out there which suggest items to buy from thrift stores and places like Dollar stores or Wal Mart. Knowing what's hot on eBay or familiarizing yourself with these categories will go a long way.
3) Buy what you know - This is very similar to blogging in that if you focus on buying items that you know about, you will tend to enjoy your business more, and in turn enjoy greater success. At one yard sale, a woman was selling probably about 100 different DVD's. The Monetizer enjoys movies and was able to select 15 of the hotter titles she had (action, drama movies from the past few years) for just $5. That $5 purchase turned into another $40 sale on eBay. You can already see the potential profit if you do your homework and buy what you know.
4) Handle shipping from home - One way to greatly save yourself money and make sure you're not losing money on shipping charges, is to invest in a postage scale. The Monetizer bought one soon into this business venture from Amazon.com for just $25, and it's worked quite well. It's already allowed me to save on several shipping jobs. Knowing what your items weigh with packaging is key to pricing the auctions right. You can also order free priority mail boxes, print USPS (or UPS) postage online and have the mail carrier pick up your packages. All of these things save you time and money with your business. You can also set a flat rate shipping charge and should you get lucky, your winning buyer is from a close by state meaning you can either refund the extra shipping money, or you've made a little extra!
Another tip is to utilize the flat rate boxes from USPS, as they can save you money on shipping heavy items. The charges on these are about $9 and $12 to ship as much as you can fit in them. There's also been important recent changes made to eBay shipping. For items such as books, DVD's and other media eBay has a maximum shipping charge you can charge ($3 or $4). I was able to slyly change a category to "Toys" just by adding a toy to the auction, therefore allowing Priority shipping. Keep this in mind before you try to sell. Also, I strongly recommend using the shipping insurance option on your auctions for items that are breakable. It goes a long way to protect your customer's purchase and your eBay reputation!
5) Reinvest in the business - The biggest goal is always to grow the income and profits of the eBay business. Warren Buffett gave the advice that reinvesting profits into your business is one of the most important things you can do to help it grow. So that means if you've made $20 off your latest eBay sales, take that money back out the next weekend to more garage and yard sales. Set yourself an item budget in the beginning or else you might buy just 1 item you think is great for $20 and end up not selling it. That's a quick way to diminish your profits and your eBay business! Also, consider buying necessary items for shipping or your business. Examples are the postage scale, bubble wrap, packing tape and books to educate yourself on eBay selling.
Once again, I guarantee that an eBay business can be profitable for you, but you have to put in the effort and not give up quickly. If you start it on a part time weekend basis, take it slowly. Do your research, find ways to save on shipping costs and keep reinvesting in the business to make it thrive!
(Bonus tip: Find freebies to sell to offset your eBay and Paypal costs. These can be things like new gift items you received that you don't really want, coupons you get in the mail, or free sample products. These days people buy just about anything on eBay so look it up, you may be surprised!)
(image source: Google.com)
This is a friendly Public Service Announcement from The Monetizer. Today is November 4, 2008 and we all know what that means...time to vote! Google's got the spirit as you can see, so make sure to get up, get out and vote today!
You may ask what this has to do with making money. One of the biggest issues many people are focused on is the poor economy. There's been rising prices at the gas pumps and grocery stores, less opportunities for work, companies needing bailouts and families in need of money. So if nothing else the economy is great motivation to go cast your vote! The next president faces a tough challenge with all that the nation faces. Let's hope the right man for the job wins this!
Just to give some voting day humor, check out the official page for the Rabbit Hash Mayor Election. You'll find the candidates quite humorous in their official election!
Have a great day, and may the best man win the presidential race in 2008!
Happy belated Halloween! Hopefully you all received nice 20's, 50's and crisp 100 dollar bills in your trick or treat bags last night! The Monetizer didn't receive candy, but Google recently provided The Monetizer with a nice additional treat, another way to make money online! It took about a month or two before Google transferred over my various blog feeds from Feedburner's site. Feedburner is now integrated with the Google Adsense Feeds, where I have set up several of my feeds with Adsense and am implementing tests.
As seen in the picture above, the Adsense feed ads can be adjusted just like regular Adsense code. You're allowed to choose text/image, just text or just image ads for your blog. You can arrange color schemes of your choosing, and set how many ads are seen on your feeds (every feed, every 2nd item, every 3rd, etc). It's a nifty little setup. If you haven't transferred your feeds over yet, give it a shot, as I've already seen some profit from it. To get started you'll need to log into your Google Adsense, go up to "Manage Ads" and select the Feeds tab or link. There should be a link on the next page which you can click to "migrate feeds" from Feedburner. Google is now in control of Feedburner (as they are of most online stuff), and you simply supply your Feedburner login info to migrate all of your feeds into the new Google Adsense setup. It may take several weeks or month for the migration so get to it early!
Once you're migrated, any Feedburner feeds will have a new feed URL which will now have "googleproxy" in it's URL, rather than Feedburner. This new URL won't automatically be updated if you've manually added it to spots on your blog or blog entries. For example, if you've put a link on your blog sidebar to allow Feedburner RSS subscription, it will most likely need to be changed now to the new URL address. And you may need to update other widgets on your blog that use the feed link such as the buttons that allow people to choose their reader. (If someone has had a different experience with this, please comment below). The good news is that when you log into your Feedburner account, they will have your new RSS feed links correctly listed. So the Google + Feedburner connection seems to be paying off and going smoothly.
I referred to the great John Chow's feeds and have mimicked his Feed ad style. Currently Chow uses the basic blue URL links, a light gray border around his items, and allows both text and image ads to run above each of his feed items. Give it a try yourself, or if you have been using Adsense feeds, drop a comment to let me know of your experiences or findings.
I also want to give a nod to John Cow who presents a great way to find "golden nugget" search terms for your blog or website using Google Insights tool. Check out Cow's blog entry to find Search Keyword Gold! It's a great technique for creating blog entries that will bring in more traffic!
A July 10th, 2008 Wall Street Journal article examines the concept of working at home, during these tough economic times with high gas prices, job losses and credit crunches. The article cautions those looking for cushy jobs where they can earn a regular salary from home, saying that many of the work-at-home opportunities are for mundane, difficult tasks that other people would find tough. An example is telemarketing, transcribing inaudible MP3 files from meetings, or hours of tedious data entry.
Another caution is that you often receive spam emails or see sites advertising simple data entry for thousands of dollars salary a week. Be warned that these need to be treaded cautiously and can be scams. The WSJ article provides some great resources on freelance type jobs such as virtual assistant or travel agents. The three sites listed below will help you identify if a job you've found online for working from home is legit or not.
3 Sites to Use to Find Legitimate Work-at-Home Jobs:
bbonline.org - Click on "For Consumers"
WomenForHire.com - offers resources/ideas on working from home.
FTC.gov - In the search box enter "work at home scam".
Websites for Legitimate Work-at-Home Jobs: The following websites were all profiled in the WSJ article. As always read the details and find print on any opportunity you get involved with. These all appear to be legitimate companies which hire freelancers for clients, post job listings, and provide work at home opportunities.
Arise.com - 8,000 home business owners as agents, with plans to add another 4,000 by year's end.
AlpineAccess.com - 7,500 home agents, hiring at least 2,500 more by December 08'.
Elance.com and oDesk.com - Link clients with freelancers from around the world. Freelancers can take skills tests on the site and have results posted. The sites also work on commission, taking 4 to 10% of the freelancer's fees. A college student dropped out of school realizing he could make up to $60,000 doing computer programming on a freelance basis through oDesk.com.
LiveOps.com - Has 20,000 home agents who work on at least a part time basis each week.
Sologig.com - A work at home posting site with screened free-lance opportunities.
TeamDoubleClick.com - Offers $10 to $20 an hour for "Virtual Assistants", who perform the tasks of Administrative Assistants, but from home.
VirtualAssistants.com - For $14.95 a month get screened job postings for at home work.
WestCorp (west.com) - Has 15,000 at home agents and is currently expanding.
(Info source: Wall Street Journal "Nice Work If You Can Get It: We Sites for At-Home Jobs" - WSJ 07/10/08)
Note: Another great site to check out is WAHM.com which provides info on work-at-home job opportunities, points out scams and much more!
Keep this work out home sites in mind and you just might be working from the comfort of your aeron chair in your own home office...That's the American dream right?
The Monetizer recently checked out a website which offers a variety of helpful resources for the beginning or avid gambler. Before we get too far into a look at the site, realize that the site is written in German. If you read or speak the language you're all set. However, they also offer a sister site, which is in English, which The Monetizer also examined.
The look of the site is appealing just as many online gambling sites are. This site provides a great number of links to help you learn gambling skills, rules and possibly improve your chances at winning big. The Casino.de site provides instructional trainings on various casino games such as Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Poker, Roulette, Slots, Video Poker and the recently popular Texas Hold Em'. Casino.de also provides reviews of various online casinos and betting sites as well as links to check them all out. Upon checking out the American sister site, www.online-casinos.com, you can find a wealth of info regarding various gambling systems and methods. I found the information to be easy to access and plentiful. The gambling strategies section provides several gambling methods such as the d'Alembert System (based on "The Law of Equilibrium") and the Fibonacci Sequence developed by the Italian mathematician Leonardo Pisan in the 1700's.
The fun starts when you try out the online training and practice tools at the site. I found the Video poker tutorial fun and informative to try out. As you play it keeps score of how many correct moves you make while playing. This way you can practice and practice for free, then take your skills to an online casino or real life one and hopefully cash in with your newfound skills! Casino.de also offers several free slot machines online such as "Fruit Fiesta" and Pub Crawler". These slot machines offer prizes to the top scorers each month.
Overall, the American version of the site is a great wealth of info for gamblers, and even though the Casino.de site is completely in German, it appears to offer the same quality and amount of information. So get started and give your luck a boost with their training guides and resources if you love to gamble!
The Monetizer will be the first to admit a love for new technology. While some hate it, I embrace it. I also love making money, and saving it. So today, I wanted to let you all know of an interesting and impressive piece of technology today called the MagicJack. MagicJack seems to be a worthy rival to the well-known Vonage VOIP phone service. You know the company which allows you to make calls using your home computer and claims to cut down on bills? Well MagicJack is just a small device with a USB jack on it that you plug into your computer. Plug a regular phone cord into Magic Jack from any phone you'd like to use with it. Turn your PC on and presto! Within 3 minutes, MagicJack has installed itself and downloaded the latest upgraded software to allow you to make FREE phone calls through your hi-speed connection. (Windows XP, Vista or Intel based Macs)
I set Magicjack up today, but have to admit I was slightly skeptical before I tried it. I've heard people complain about delays, echos and poor sound quality with Vonage. Hasn't been the case yet with MagicJack. Once the software installed, it allowed the Monetizer to choose any area code for my MagicJack phone number. What's great about this, you could essentially set up a virtual business office somewhere else in the US (New York, LA, etc) and make it seem as if you're an established business. Also, you could choose an area code from a state perhaps where many friends and relatives are located, making the calls cheaper for them. Quite a cool concept. MagicJack allows you to change your area code for free one-time, and then you can change it for a charge of $10 each additional time.
(A look at the cool display/interface for MagicJack on the PC)
MagicJack offers some great additional, no extra cost features as well. First off, you can see in the screenshot above, there's a cool interface that you get on your computer screen. It displays a phone keypad, menu options, contacts, website favorites, link to Google, Redial, 411 and more. You can dial your phone/check Voice mail from the computer, or the phone itself. When a call comes in, it pops up a message on your screen to "ACCEPT" or "IGNORE" the call. If ignored, the call heads straight to your no extra-cost voice mail. The same happens when your computer is shut off, or if you lose hi-speed service, calls go straight to the voice mail, which you can also set up with various messages.
So far I like what I've seen and heard with MagicJack. It's definitely a viable option to eliminate long distance phone bills or cell phone bills which can really add up. MagicJack's phone service is free for a year from the date of install on your PC. Then it costs $20 or so annually to keep the service going. Calls are free, and you can even bring MagicJack with you on road trips/travel and use your current phone number to make free calls.
With Vonage I've heard the complaints: hard to hear the people on the other end of the phone, monthly bills, and the fact you need a special extra device hooked up to make it work. Not the case with MagicJack..Until it starts bringing in tons of telemarketer calls, calls from The Ring villain, or acting possessed, I'd fully recommend this little device which can be picked up for about $35-40 if you shop around! Check out some of the latest MagicJack auction listings on eBay to find yourself a deal, and start saving money!
Find out more info about this product at MagicJack.com's official website.
If you're in the money making business world offline, you may be required to wear professional attire daily to your job. Suits can always be a challenge, as you want them to look great, fit properly, yet still be affordable. A helpful website known as MySuitNY.com provides Made to Measure suits in about 2 weeks time starting at just $495.00! This is a great way to get an upscale look to your business or personal wardrobe. I recently toured the My.Suit Experience on their website to check out their services. I personally prefer charcoal gray suits with 2 or 3 buttons, that work well in many occasions, and have a lightweight fabric. Judging by MySuit's website experience, it would be very easy to get a made-to-order suit that would fit me properly and work well in many seasons or situations.
MySuit is a company which is global and has over 40 years experience in retail and manufacturing. It also lays claim to being one of the largest suit makers in the world. They're able to price suits affordably due to direct selling to customers, and also because of on demand productions. There's 3 easy steps involved in getting a suit made to your specific measurements with MySuit. There's measuring, styling and fabric selection. A consultant guides individuals through these steps to ensure complete comfortability with the overall MySuit experience and final product. For measuring, the consultant uses a "Gauge Suit" after determining your specific body type. The gauge suit allows for your particular body type, posture and stance to help find the most accurate specs for your suit. The consultant will take about 30 measurements total, providing a true made-to-measure suit, versus the 3 measurements you get from "off the rack" suits (waist, suit size, inseam).
Next you'll move on to step 2, deciding on styling for your suit request. The two basic choices you'll have are jacket type (buttons) and pant type (flat-front or pleated). The consultant will help you personalize your selection with additional details and style elements such as lapels, pockets, vents and sleeve buttons. Then you're on to step 3, selection of the fabric type to be used. The consultant will help you determine the fabric weight, color/pattern and most importantly whether the suit will be for social or business occasions.
It appears to be quite a pain-free process to get a made-to-measure suit created by MySuit. You can schedule an appointment with no purchase necessary just to get your proper suit measurements done. The MySuit website allows for customers to set up appointments for the New York store, which is located on 1270 Broadway (@33rd Street) in NYC. Hours are Monday to Friday 10AM to 8PM, Saturday 10AM to 7PM and Sunday 12PM to 6PM.
eBay & Craigslist continue to be two of the big online buying and selling sites. Craigslist is a great place to advertise not only items for sale, but also services (such as your blog). There's quite a few ways you can combine the eBay & Craigslist websites in order to generate income. Sometimes if I'm selling items I like to cross-promote them on eBay just by picking out random spots to advertise. Usually I like big cities like NYC and LA, but I've tried elsewhere. It's hard to say if it helps, but its a free form of advertising. Some eBay expert sellers like to go into the "Free" sections of Craigslist and grab anything they might be able to sell on eBay. Or, they look for items being sold on Craigslist locally that they can sell at a profit on eBay. Both are great ways to start a part-time eBay biz with little or no real start-up cost.
Craigslist also provides "Wanted" sections, where people can list off things they're looking to buy. For example, if you're currently selling items on eBay, you can do Google searches for the items you're selling as "wanted" items on Craigslist.
An example Google search: "craigslist wanted toddler Halloween costume"
Now it's not guaranteed, but you're likely to turn up at least a few results from around the United States of people looking for toddler Halloween costumes (or whatever items you're selling on item) on Craigslist. You can consider foreign Craigslist want ads such as UK/Canada, but only if you're offering sales and shipping to these on eBay. Once you find some want ads, check out the Craigslist want ad to get a feel for what they want, and reply to the email given. Make it simple, saying you noticed their ad, wanted to help and are selling an item they may be interested in. Provide them a link to the item auction and the eBay item number, but don't be overly agressive or pushy about it. Make it calm and simple because you don't want to get blacklisted as a spammer from the email.
Taking this concept a step further, you can become an eBay or Shopping Ads affiliate and start doing this for items you're not selling. You can go to the various Craigslist cities around the US and check the "Wanted" sections for items such as mp3 players or video game systems, or anything else that is hot on the market. Again, make the email calm and simple but not a pushy sales pitch. Write it simply as if you're just helping someone out by providing the item # of something they want to buy. eBay and Shopping Ads offer nice commissions for signups and sales on eBay, so check into their program details for more info.
My experience is generally that Craigslist buyers want even better deals than eBay has to offer so this may be tricky to pull off. Also many Craigslist buyers seem to prefer buying items in person, rather than paying the shipping charge. It's worth a shot though, and if you have your own domain/website you may also consider setting up a page full of listings for items such as the iPod or video game systems. With Shopping Ads you can set up ads to be PPC (pay per click). Provide a Craigslist buyer with a full web page of listings you've created, and profit from the clicks and buys!
If you've had experience making money with Craigslist and eBay combined, feel free to share your info and tips below!
They say money doesn't grow on trees, but it can grow online! A few days ago, The Monetizer gave you some suggested ways to get Cash fast during these trying economic times. Today I'd like to provide you with some of the best deals for online banks to stash that cash! These particular banks offer the highest interest rates going today for Savings accounts & CD's! Make sure to do your homework and see what other fees or rules may apply, but generally these are some great places to grow money.
Listed below you'll find savings accounts, certificates of deposit and Foreign currency CD's. If you currently make money online, you definitely want to consider allocating some of it to these spots!
If you have money just sitting in your Checking account, let it grow here.
If you are afraid interest rates may fall, it might be a good time to lock down with a CD.
Don't forget FDIC insures up to $250,000 until December 2009. We still recommend holding a max of $100,000 / bank.
Savings Accounts ( Can Pull Out Money Anytime )
- OneUnited - 3.75% APY ( min of $1000 )
- FNBO Direct - 3.50% ( no minimum )
- WT Direct - 3.31% ( min of $10000 )
- HSBC - 3.25% APY ( no minimum )
- Savings Square - 3.05% ( no minimum )
- Emigrant Direct - 3.00% APY ( no minimum )
- Citibank e-Savings - 3.00% APY ( no minimum )
- E-Loan - 2.76%+ APY ( no minimum )
- Bank of America - 0.20% ( don't consider )
Certificate of Deposit CD - ( Cannot Pull Out Anytime )
If you don't mind keeping your money in the bank for a certain time, CD (Certificate of Deposit) would give you a slightly better rate and rates will not change for that time period.
- 3 Months - Virtual Bank 3.51% APY ( min of $10000 )
- 3 Months - Eloan 3.41% APY ( min of $10000 )
- 6 Months - Imperial Bank 4.35% APY ( min of $1000 )
- 6 Months - Corus 4.25% APY ( min of $10000 )
- 9 Months - AmTrust 4.35% ( min of $1000 )
- 9 Months - Imperial 4.15% APY ( min of $2000 )
- 1.0 Year - Patelco 7.00% ( max of $1000 )
- 1.0 Year - Corus 4.65% APY ( min of $10000 )
- 1.0 Year - Flagstar 4.50% APY
- 1.5 Year - Advanta 4.50% APY ( min of $10000 )
- 1.5 Years - Capital One 4.46% APY ( min of $5000 )
- 2.0 Years - National City 4.75% APY ( min of $10000 )
- 2.0 Years - Discover 4.5% APY ( min of $2500 )
- 3.0 Years - Pentagon 5.0% APY ( min $1000 )
- 4.0 Years - National 5.25% APY ( min of $10000 )
- 5.0 Years - Advanta 5.25% APY ( min $2500 )
- 5.0 Years - Discover 5.21% APY ( min of $2500 )
Foreign Currency CDs
With the government printing a lot of money lately, fear of inflation is roaming around. You can put money in foreign currency CDs to protect yourself
- EverBank.com Foreign CDs ( min $10000, protected by FDIC )
"Tough Times don't last, tough people do" is a very fitting statement right about now. The stock market has dipped to its lowest levels in about 5 years time. Gas prices have soared up over $4.00 a gallon, and luckily come back down a bit lately. Airfare travel has become even more expensive as the airlines are forced to add more and more charges so they can continue to operate. Grocery store and roadside stand prices have even been on the rise. With the way the economy has become a major issue in our lives as well as the upcoming 08' presidential election, it's time we adopted more of a deal-finding, opportunistic and saver's mentality!
The Roanoke Times has a recent article titled "How to Get Cash Fast" as part of its Good Housekeeping Reports. The article gives several tips on how to get money right now. Some may be obvious, others might be something new to consider.
1) Sell your unwanted gold jewelry - Gold is valued at over $900 per ounce right now so why not cash in? You've seen the ads all over TV. The article says to stay away from those places, but instead consult your yellow pages for jewelers who buy gold. Then begin the process of calling or going to each and finding out their commissions and offers. Draw up a list and find the best deal for your gold. Also, don't worry about workmanship of your gold pieces as the buyers will just be melting it down. Turnaround for this is about a day to sell your gold.
2) Borrow from peers - This doesn't mean your friends, because we all know if we're hurting financially, then so are they. Instead try out peer-to-peer lending at sites like prosper.com and lendingclub.com. You can usually borrow $1000 or more with an interest rate around 8% or so depending on credit. Good credit is vital to getting a loan this way. Turnaround for this is 1-2 weeks.
3) Tap home equity - As the article describes it, a home equity credit line is like a big credit card account with your home as the collateral. You can write checks against the credit line and interest is often tax-deductible. Use this in extreme desperation, because you'll be paying it back. Ask your bank or mortgage lender for their terms, as you may get a break as their customer. Turnaround for this method is about 2 weeks or so.
The Monetizer suggests IDEA #4, start your own home-based or internet-based business. Things like eBay sales, monetized blogging, paid article writing, affiliate marketing, survey sites and more can get you money without you even having to leave the house. You can consult the Monetizer's Moneymakers for a great list of sites to sign up for today!
And #5 is of course to play the lottery every week, but we all know about the chances associated with that!