Jaaxy – the best SEO research tool

 

When writing online blogs, the strength of your written piece is given by its content as well as by powerful keywords – if you have missed it, have a look at my page on How To Write With Keywords to find out more.  In my quest to learn how to write blogs that would reach to the top of the main SEO rankings , when I started my online business some 15 months ago, finding out a strong keyword was my worst nightmare.  I have since then used several systems and research platforms.  Amongst others, I came across Jaaxy, and wanted to find out more about it.  Several reviews have questioned: is Jaaxy a scam?  Today, I would like to unveil the truth about what Jaaxy is all about.

Name:       Jaaxy

Website:   www.jaaxy.com

Price:       Trial version FREE, Pro $19 per month, Enterprise $49 per month

Owners:  Kyle & Carson (same owners of Wealthy Affiliate)

Rank:       95 out of 100

 

Jaaxy, the best SEO research tool


What prompted Kyle and Carson, the founders and co-owners of Jaaxy, to choose such funny word to name a keyword research tool, for the life of me I do not know.  But after testing Jaaxy on the ’30 Free’ trial, what I know for sure is that Jaaxy is the best SEO research tool available on the market.

If you have ever tried other platforms, the most painful thing about ‘playing about’ with keywords is the fact that you have  to manually find a strong one, or a set of keywords in a sentence, also called ‘long tail’, whilst at the same time interpret the statistical data that those systems are dishing out to you.

You ought to be a pro to be able to interpret all those data!!!  Quite off putting if you ask me.  If I am trying to set up an online business whilst learning how to do so along the way, but then find a platform that only speak professional jargon, how on earth am I ever going to learn?!?!?!  Those platforms are not designed to be user friendly, but, if you ask me, rather elitist.

Jaaxy is not like that.

The greatness of Jaaxy stands in the fact that it presents to you monthly searches and traffic against potential competition in an extremely user friendly way.  Let me show you in the below picture:

Jaaxy platform

What can you do with Jaaxy


Here’s what Jaaxy offers us:

  • Keyword search
  • Alphabet soup
  • Saved list facility
  • History search
  • Analytical search
  • Brainstorming
  • Site ranking

Yes, as well as searching for keywords, Jaaxy enables us to save our most successful keywords in brainstorming lists which we can then get back to for our future blogs.  You can also search keywords by your individual search history or by SEO or competition analysis.

But let me tell you a little bit more about a couple of functions that make Jaaxy unique: the alphabet soup and the site ranking.

Alphabet soup:

With this feature Jaaxy asks you to type in the search bar a word, or a group or 2 or 3 words at most, and comes up with a suggestion of sentences you can use your chosen 2 or 3 words in.  You can then check out through the Search function, how strong the sentences proposed are going to be, based on monthly traffic and search figures versus competition.

Normally, you would do the ‘alphabet soup’ search manually by going on Google and trying out all the different sentence options by inserting each letter of the alphabet to see which sentence Google proposes to you.  Jaaxy does all this for you.

Site ranking:

This facility is something that truly is unique for a keyword search tool.  Again, there are specialised online platforms which, for a fee, will tell you how your site is ranking.  But these sites are not keyword search tools.  They merely give you a ranking classification.  Jaaxy offers this as part of an overall package encompassing all the different functions.

Jaaxy Site Ranking

In the picture above, you can see that my article on Spike’s Disease in Border Terriers from my other website Living With A Border Terrier is currently ranking 4th on the first page of Google.  Just a little achievement which I go quite proud of 🙂

Three different memberships


OK, let’s cut to the chase.  Jaaxy offers a FREE trial which enables you to test drive the platform by allowing you 30 searches at no cost.  On the 30 Free version, you can make up to 30 searches of any nature for free; these can be keyword searches, alphabet soup searches or even site rank searches, but each of them count for one of the 30.

But Jaaxy, like all good websites, does build maintenance costs in the background, by those guys who compile the list of unlimited keywords used in the most prominent SEO search bars, such as the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo.  So, in order to keep Jaaxy alive, Kyle and Carson have put together another two levels of memberships, which for a monthly fee offer their members additional benefits.  So, here’s the breakdown of what you can get from Jaaxy:

Jaaxy Membership Table

I am currently on the Pro membership, where all the options that I could use for free have now become unlimited or enhanced:

Jaaxy Pro Upgrade

As you can see, the Pro option comes at $19 per month.  But if you want to take advantage of the yearly subscription for a total of $199, you can save a further $29 per year.

Jaaxy, learning and training tools


The beauty of Jaaxy is that, unlike with other platforms, it does teach you and explains to you how to get by on the platform.

Jaaxy has an extensive library of useful videos which walk you through the various tabs and functions.  I believe this to be the best way to teach newbies, or near newbies like me, how to get yourself acquainted with a new system at a time when you really do not know what you are doing – or not much.  At the same time as explaining, Kyle, the PR guru of the co-owners, does also talk you through more in details on what keywords or alphabet soup are, and how best they should be used to the advantage of your website.

In addition, both Kyle and Carson and their team of keywords experts keep posting regular blogs on the website which keep us up to date with the latest trends in the world of keyword search and use, as well as on how to best benefit from the many different uses we can make of Jaaxy.

It really feels to me that Jaaxy wants us to take the best advantage of the tool, given the fact that we are paying customers after all.

Jaaxy affiliate program – spread the word


If you have learned anything about me by now, you will have noticed my soft spot for affiliate programs.  That is my line of work as an online entrepreneur.  Therefore I could not overlook the brilliant, and generous, affiliate program offered by Jaaxy.

Very similar to the Wealthy Affiliate program (not a coincidence, given that the founders are the same winning couple Kyle and Carson), the Jaaxy one offers the following commissions:

Jaaxy Affiliate Program

But with Jaaxy you do not have to be a Pro or Enterprise member.  You can advertise Jaaxy whilst being on your 30 Free trial yourself, and for any 30 Free referral you get, you will be rewarded with an additional 10 free searches.

And you can advertise Jaaxy literally everywhere.  Not only on your niche related website, but also on your Twitter or Facebook accounts.  Or you can create a blog talking about the true beauty of Jaaxy on any niche related forum and then link your blog on other major social media account, such as G+ or Pinterest.

As I often mention, affiliate marketing is the winning card when it comes to online business.  And Jaaxy is a winning card when it comes to commissions and rewards.

Is Jaaxy a scam? – My verdict


As its Premium member, I have free access to Wealthy Affiliate keyword tool.  I use it every day, as it is most comprehensive and accurate in its search for successful and competitive keywords and alphabet soup sentences.

So, why did I also subscribe to Jaaxy?

For a start, Jaaxy offers a more broken down analysis of your search result – all again user friendly presented.  But the reason why I am with Jaaxy is because, whether you are a 30 Free member or a Pro member, Jaaxy offers a more comprehensive package – one that with other platforms you are not offered all at once under the same umbrella, and certainly not for as little as $19 a month!!!

All very good, but, like with all other keyword search tools, how do we know that Jaaxy does not make up the outcome of those searches.  In other words, is Jaaxy a scam?

Absolutely NOT!!

The genuine value of Jaaxy can be compared to a good restaurant.  A successful restaurant is the one where its returning customers recommend it to friends and family for the good food it serves and its varied but always high standard menu.

I can safely say that Jaaxy is 100% tried and tested, ranking regularly on page one of the likes of Google when searching for keyword search tools online for a number of years since it was founded in 2012.  And I would say, this is the proof of the pudding.  It is the level of customers recurrently using Jaaxy that makes this platform so successful, hence helps it rank top.  If Jaaxy customers are happy to keep paying to use its facilities, surely that speaks for itself in confirming Jaaxy reputable success as THE BEST SEO SEARCH TOOL.

 

Name:       Jaaxy

Website:   www.jaaxy.com

Price:       Trial version FREE, Pro $19 per month, Enterprise $49 per month

Owners:  Kyle & Carson (same owners of Wealthy Affiliate)

Rank:       95 out of 100

 


 

Do you want to build a reputable and successful online business, but do not know where to start from?  Learn with Wealthy Affiliate University.  Find out how to join here:

 

Can you make money drop shipping

Drop shipping, profitable but risky retail model

 

A few months ago, when starting establishing my home based business, I came across the concept of drop shipping as an alternative way to sell merchandise in the more original formats, such as from a retailing shop or a retailing website.  It took me a little while to get the gist of it, as it meant virtual business pushed to the limit as far as old fashion me was concerned.  But once I got the hang of it, my next question was: can you really make money drop shipping?

 


Drop shipping, how it works

The difference between running a retailing business and a drop shipping one is in the fact that the retailer does not hold stock, but order the merchandise directly from the wholesaler or manufacturers to be delivered directly to the customer or purchaser.  There are tons of advantages to this form of retailing.  The first that may spring to mind is reduced costs.  But I shall cross that bridge a little later.

When worded like this, drop shipping will sound ideal for those of us that want to specialise their home based business in buying and selling goods online.  And particularly if you trade through auction based platforms such as eBay.  Nevertheless, it is deemed that drop shipping is also used by smaller businesses or retailer who only have room in their retail units for one or two samples to display – the customer can view the item and appreciate its quality, but when the retailer has enough orders, he will place a buying order directly from the wholesaler or from the manufacturer at a discount rate, for the goods to be delivered directly to the customer (credit of Wikipedia).

When you think of it, the applications of the drop shipping business model can be truly endless!

 


Advantages of drop shipping

As mentioned at the beginning, the most resounding advantage to drop shipping is in the fact that the retailer saves money by not having to purchase stock that may not sell, nor to have to find (and sometimes rent) room to store the stock of merchandise.

Going back to the online auction platforms, the seller here often advertise the item with a reserve price which will include or surplus the buying price from the wholesaler as well as the selling fees, in order to ensure that, when the item is shipped from the wholesaler to the highest bidder, a profit is guaranteed .  In principle a lot of auctioning platforms do not recommend drop shipping.  In the case of eBay, their policy is based on the principle that the merchandise should have been owned by the seller before being sold over.  However, it appears that drop shipping is tolerated by eBay, so long as the seller keeps receiving positive feedback.

One of the dangers of drop shipping online is that your customer may realise they have been overcharged when receiving delivery of the merchandise directly from the wholesaler.  In that case, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the goods are shipped from the wholesaler with a ‘private label’ which may show only the retailer’s details as seller and as potential return address.

Some time ago, I wrote a short article on drop shipping.  Click on the below picture to find out here my personal take:Drop shipping pros and cons

 


Disadvantages of drop shipping

Drop shipping may sound very appealing when it comes to the possibility to reduce costs and increase profits.  Nevertheless the biggest disadvantage of drop shipping is in the fact that, as a retailer, you remain responsible for the faulty or malfunctioning merchandise.

If you benefit from added profits, as a drop shipper you are the one who ultimately will have to deal with the complaint part of the business transaction as well.  If you went and bought a radio from a shop or from the local supermarket and you went home to find out the radio is not working, you would take the radio back to the shop where you purchased it in first instance, and you would ask for a replacement or for a refund.  And if not satisfied with the service, as a customer you would be more than entitled to post a negative review on one of the many feedback sites online!

As a seller, you represent to the customer the same as what a red scarf represents to a wound up bull: you are liable for all the troubles they have endured since purchasing the item from you!

The difference is that, if as a shop retailer you may have been able to see the merchandise before selling it, or you may witness to the fact that it is malfunctioning once the customer returns it to you, as a drop shipper you never get to see the merchandise.

As the merchandise gets shipped directly from the wholesaler, you cannot ensure it is in working order.  Likewise, and unless arranged for the returns to come to you with a private label, you may not be able to verify whether the goods are truly malfunctioning.  In other words, you may be prey of SCAMS from both the wholesaler and from the customer alike.  You are the middle person, and this makes you double vulnerable.

Scam Alert!!

As a buyer from wholesaler, you may become victim of some wholesalers who advertise a product from their catalogue or online catalogue as brand new, when in fact the product is a knock off or imitation of an original brand.  And likewise, you may be lead to believe you are buying from a wholesaler when in fact you are buying from another middle person, who charges you over-priced figures, hence leaving you with very little or no room whatsoever for profit.

Finally, you may want to watch out for those primarily online based companies who yes give you access to a marketplace of wholesalers who deal in drop shipping, but demand that you pay a monthly membership fee.  Most of these companies will be genuine and legit: you pay for the privilege of being introduced to a vast plethora of legit drop shipping wholesalers.  Nevertheless, before you commit to paying monthly fees, you want to ensure that you your profits will cover the expense.

 


 

My verdict

Hands up: have I tried drop shipping yet?  No, not yet.  And that is for two reasons.

The first reason is that, as mentioned, I only sell the odd second-hand items online whenever I do not need something anymore or if I come across an old unwanted Christmas present, or if I find old and quirky goods at the local booth sale.  But the second reason – and call me a coward if you wish – is in the fact that I do not like unnecessary risks.  And, as far as I am concerned, drop shipping is too risky for someone as naive and still relatively inexperienced as me.

The truth of the matter is that I find affiliate marketing much more profitable and definitely less risky.  And that is the direction I have take for my home based online business.

As an affiliate marketer, I can review merchandise, goods or services positively or negatively, but the purchase is still made directly from the selling company.  If things do not go to plan therefore, the customer will contact the seller directly for complaints and for liability.  I will get my commission when goods are shipped to the customer, or my commission will be cancelled if the customer decides to return the malfunctioning merchandise.  But nothing more will come of it as far as I am concerned.

Not only that, but with affiliate marketing, you do not need necessarily to have a retail website or to advertise specific items.  A website blogger or the owner of any other form of website content can benefit from joining affiliate programs, as often programs will pay you a commission for the sale of goods or for generating leads to their site.

 


==>  I learned all about affiliate marketing from Wealthy Affiliate.  Do you want to know how?  Find out from Wealthy Affiliate University.


 

Have you sold merchandise on a drop shipping arrangement with your wholesaler?  And have you ever experienced a negative outcome?  Share your thoughts with us, leave your comment below.  Your advice and recommendations are valuable to us!

Is Swagbucks legit or scam?

Website:  www.swagbucks.com

Price:   FREE

Owner:  subsidiary brand of Prodege Llc

My rating:  80 out of 100

 

When discussing different ways to make an income from home using the powerful online tools available on the market nowadays, I mentioned Swagbucks as one of the most successful and most popular sites.  But what is Swagbucks sll about?  And is Swagbucks legit or scam?  Let’s find out below.

 


What is Swagbucks all about?

Swagbucks is another PPC website working on the same lenghtwave as InboxPounds, or very similarly.

The principle behind Swagbucks, much like with InboxPounds, is that you get awarded SB points for activities you already perform daily online without realising.

Therefore, you will be awarded points for searching on the web when using Swagbucks as your search engine, or you will be awarded SB points when shopping with specific retailers that are in partnership with Swagbucks.  Equally, you are going to be awarded points when playing games available on the Swagbucks platform, or when you watch short videos, which can include trailers to new movies about to be launched.

Finally, you can earn points by answering the usual surveys – activity, this one, which seems to raise to common denominator to most of these PPC platforms.

The points you accrues will be converted to free gift cards which you can redeem with major retailers, such as Amazon or Walmart shops.

But when answering email inviting to shop with specific brands, you can equally be rewarded with cash back.  And the cash back can be paid into your PayPal account.

 


How does Swagbucks make money

If you check out the About Us page on Swagbucks website, you will find that Swagbucks was created as a subsidiary of Prodege Llc, an American company specialised in online marketing of leading brands and retailing companies.

Now, on researching for Prodege, it became clear to me that they specialise in e-commerce and e-marketing, but they also specialise in market research and consumer auditing – all activities aimed to discover the market latest tastes and trends when it comes to spending money on any categories of goods.

It makes quite sense to relay the activities you get rewarded for on Swagbucks with the type of business Prodege runs, as it is through surveys, as well as web browsing, and of course through the actual consumer shopping, that Swagbucks collects market flavoured data to work with to put together an action plan for their clients, the retailers themselves.

Retailing companies therefore, pay Prodege and Swagbucks for participate in the rewarding scheme offered by Swagbucks.

 


Is this form of PPC legit?

But of course it is.  Swagbucks, like all other PPC based platforms, is only the reflection of how market research companies work nowadays.

And if you are still stuck to the idea of employees stopping you when you come out of the train station, asking you to judge between two different brands of yogurt, you could not be further from the truth.

Doing market research online using a reward scheme for its participants is in fact more effective, as it encourages us to take part whilst we feel rewarded for giving our time to answer questions.

In fact, moving one step further, Swagbucks’ principle is that they reward us for doing daily online activities without us even realising that – they are activities we perform every day, such as web browsing, but with the additional perk that Swagbucks pays us for the bother.

Furthermore, any online activity you may be encouraged in participating, is of legal nature, and does not include content of racist, harassing, or sexual nature.

 


Who can take part in Swagbucks

One of the ways to redeem SB points is through its sweepstake.  This has elements of gambling attached to it, as it essentially asks you to use the points you have earned to purchase lottery numerical combinations or to attempt to win additional points or additional Amazon gift cards.

Due to the gambling nature of this type of rewards, age and geographical restrictions may apply in specific areas, where the local law will be applied.

Otherwise, with the exception of the above limitations, literally everybody can join and claim their earned points back.  All you need is access to a wi-fi connection, and a computer or phone to perform your daily online activities.

I use Swagbucks browser, alternating it to InboxPounds, for instance to do a lot of web searching.  It is normal browsing of websites I would perform anyway every day, but with the added bonus that I get rewarded for it.  But, when I have a minute to spare, I also like to go through their videos, which do not last longer than up a a couple of minutes.

And if you are into apps, you can easily download the Swagbucks one, and access it from your mobile when you are on the move.

 


User friendly Swagbucks platform

Finally, let me go through the Swagbucks platform with you.

It is a platform that I find most user friendly – and on this point, Swagbucks in my opinion beats InboxPounds.  Not only it allows you to navigate easily between one activity and the other, but it notifies you promptly about new offers and surveys which you may be interested in.

You also get notifications for online offers by a lot of high street brands.  And if you are into cash back rewards, that is an easy way to build up a bit of easy cash.

But the one element that I like is that, although the company was born in the States, and is based in Los Angeles, the platform converts everything to your own currency, from participating companies to the actual way of paying back on pound sterling rather than US dollards.

And likewise, when presented with retailers’ offers, it is the UK brands that are displayed to me as a UK resident, rather than the American ones, which I would make very little use of otherwise.

In this again, Swagbucks differst from InboxPounds, where you log and sign up for different websites, depending on whether you deal in pounds or dollars.  Swagbucks proves to be more user friendly in this respect too.

 


The affiliate program

A good PPC website would not be as such if it did not incentivise its promotions through an affiliate program.  And as it is custom, Swagbucks has its own too.

The initial button at the top of Swagbucks bar leads us to believe that we will earn 500 SB points for every referral – and that unfortunately is misleading.

But you still earn 10% in SB points on any earnings your referral may get for as long as they keep using the Swagbucks platform.  And when comparing the 10% commission scheme to other popular ones, such as Amazon, Swagbucks starts faring rather generously.

Swagbucks allows you to refer by direct emails, but you can equally use a selection of banners to add to your reviews.  Such as this one for instance:

Or Swagbucks gives you your unique link for you to use when promoting Swagbucks on your social media accounts.

 


My verdict

Do I like Swagbucks?  Yes, I most definitely do.  So, why am I only rating this platform with an 80 out of 100?

Negatives

Firstly let me remind you that with PPC websites you do not make huge earnings.  And in this Swagbucks is no different from any other platform.  And it will take you time to build up to a decent number of SB points to be able to redeem them.  If you look at the reward page, the minimum required to claim a £5 Amazon gift card is 700 SB points.  Bearing in mind that it is unlikely that you will perform a lot of activities on SB every day, again it may take you up to a few months to qualify for a substantial reward.

Positives

Nevertheless, I rank Swagbucks slightly higher than InboxPounds for the fact that its platform is definitely more user friendly.

Also, and unless I am mistaken, I feel that Swagbucks offers a wider variety of activities to perform, hence enabling us to earn on a wider scale.  You may feel differently, in which case do let me know – share your experience below in the comment area.

And again, call me gullible, but with the point system, I do not feel like I am paid pittance for opening an email or watching a video.  Possibly it may be true that if you convert points into pennies, you will end up being rewarded for even less.  But the monetary aspect becomes secondary to the fact that you are accumulating points.  And that’s what matters when ‘messing around’ with Swagbucks.

Swagbucks also breaks down your achievements in daily goals, incentivising them by offering an additional 3 SB points when the daily target is met.

In such way you can ‘budget’ your activities or start working harder, based on how quickly you want to reach your target.

Yes, Swagbucks is what it is when it comes to monetising out of it.  But it is a relatively good contributor to ensuring that a small part of your earning is kept in the PPC basket (see one of my past articles ‘Keep Your Eggs In Many Baskets‘).

 


Website:  www.swagbucks.com

Price:   FREE

Owner:  subsidiary brand of Prodege Llc

My rating:  80 out of 100

What is InboxPounds

 



Name:  InboxPounds

Website:  www.inboxpounds.co.uk

Price:  FREE

Owner:  Daren Cotter

Rank:   70 out of 100


When browsing on the internet for ways to earn with an online business, we all seem to be bombarded with ads of free and easy money spinning ideas. One of the websites that hits the first pages of the most affirmed search engines is InboxPounds, or its American counterpart InboxDollars.  But what is InboxPounds?  And is InboxPounds a scam? Or is InboxPounds legit?  Read on to find out, so that you can make up your mind for yourselves.

 

What is InboxPounds


In my page Internet Is Your Oyster I have briefly touched on ways to earn with an online business through PPC, or pay per click website – although its team likes to refer to it as ‘online reward club’.  InboxPounds is exactly that: a website with a variety of online based activities which earn you a few pence per action.  In other words, and mostly, you get paid per every click you action on InboxPounds dashboard activities.

From the onset, it appears quite clear that you will not make a lucrative income, not a basic revenue, by using InboxPounds.  But, as mentioned in my latest post Keep your Eggs in Many Baskets, the overall money you may cash out every so often can contribute to enrich your pocket money stash.

 

How InboxPounds works


As you get on to InboxPounds website, you will be invited to register, setting up a username and password.  Once you have done so, InboxPounds opens the doors for you to a variety of different activities, including:

  • ​completing surveys,
  • opening emails redirecting you to other websites,
  • searching on the internet by using InboxPounds browser,
  • playing online games,
  • referring friends, and many others.

My favourite PPC is opening emails I receive every day on my email inbox, clicking on the website I am prompted to enter, and getting paid the 1p (yes, unfortunately only one penny!) for the time invested.



Which admittedly is not much of my precious time.  And this may explain why the pay scale is so low.​

 

How much does it cost


Joining InboxPounds is completely free of charge.  And that is another reason which may explain how low pay the scheme is.

InboxPound is not unique, mind you, in paying the so called pittance.  Many of these PPC programs pay as little.  However this does not make them scam.  Certainly it does not make InboxPounds scam.  I can assure you that InboxPounds is legit!

The reason why I know is because I did get paid, legitimately and promptly.  So, definitely no scam there.

And whilst we are talking money, the payout is £20.  Which, considering the low rate of payments for each online activity, you may think it will take an enormous length of time to put together.  If you thought along those lines, you would not be far off from the truth.  But ultimately, it depends by how much or little you decide to participate to the InboxPounds online activities.

Alternatively, you can opt to be paid in Amazon vouchers, which, if you are an Amazon shopaholic like me, can turn quite handy.

 

The concept


InboxPounds was founded by university student Daren Cotter back in 2000.  Whilst reading Computer and Information System, Daren saw the potential of rewarding customers for online activities, and has maintained that concept since then.

He first created the older sister InboxDollars, as he is American and based in the States after all.  He only launched the UK version of InboxPounds in 2012, so relatively recently.  But in the process he managed to bag accolade after accolade, reaching a company revenue of $10 million after only seven years.

It’s amazing how successful and, let’s admit, wealthy you can become from the simplest of ideas!!



InboxPounds referrals


Let me, for a minute, talk a little more in details about InboxPound referral scheme.  The payout is, again, rather low – again, we are talking pence rather that the solid pound coins (or USA dollars) the website prides of paying as per their name.  But, you know how strongly I feel  about referral schemes.

And that is because it is a sound form of passive income.  And in the case of InboxPound, it does not require any further maintenance or input.  Provided the friend you refer completes the signing in process by registering, you will earn 10% of your referrals for most of his or her activities.  So, when compared to other affiliate programs, such as Amazon, whose commission rate is never beyond the 7-8%, you will find that InboxPounds stands on a slightly more generous position.  So, over regular payouts of £25, each and every of your referrals could earn you some £2.50.

As mentioned above, it is not the £2.50 that is going to make you rich or that is going to pay your monthly bills.  But when you think that you might get some 10 referrals a month, you can potentially earn a regular £25 without doing anything – and that money could easily add up to your regular activities on InboxPounds.  Not bad for passive income!

 

Available support


Where InboxPounds, unlike some other PPC websites, does not fail is in providing good customer services and good support.  When you log on to InboxPounds, you have a Support link on the right hand corner, just next to your Sign In link.  The Support link takes you to a self help separate screen where you find explanation to how to use the website, and answers to other users’ questions.

At the same time, if you scrolls to the bottom of the site, you will find available a Tour of the Site, and a link to F.A.Q. which again contribute to assist with using the site, as well as answering questions about the pay scheme and about referrals.

InboxPounds is obviously most supporting of its referral scheme.  And proof of this is in the fact that it has many tools available for you to promote the site and its referral scheme.  InboxPounds offers a fairly generous array of banners, as well as your unique URL link to ensure future commissions from your referrals are allocated and paid to you.  And it has direct links to Twitter and to Pinterest for direct link promotions.

Yes, this is my account at present with InboxPounds - and the Jules is my username
Yes, this is my account at present with InboxPounds – and the Jules is my username

My verdict


So, why am I only rating InboxPounds with 70 out of 100?

Positives

This site has many positives.  For starters, it is FREE.  And this point must not be disregarded.  Many websites ask for an initial deposit, which may be reimbursed at a later stage.  To join InboxPounds you don’t need any of that.

And InboxPounds is definitely a legit business.  On my first payout, they actually sent me a cheque mispelling my name – no surprise there, as I do have a rather unusual combination of letters (but that’s a story for another day).  The point I am making is that, I contacted their customer services by email, and they sent me a new cheque within a week, with the correct spelling, and at no extra charge.  Which to me proves that, not only the company truly pays out, but they also have an extremely good and fast responding customer services team.

Negatives

But, there are a couple of issues which I feel I cannot disregard.

Starting with the online activities. not all of them are easy and quick to execute.  For instance, the surveys.

It is with surveys, more than with opening emails and accessing the ad link you are sent, that you can earn higher money.  Personally though, I have even stopped trying to do surveys.  No matter what time of the day or night you access surveys, you are always told that either they have already reached their audience target, or that you do not qualify as not fulfilling the age group or demographic required – and that is after you have already spent possibly five minutes answering questions.  That to me is pretty low.  You waste your precious time and you come out empty handed.

The second issue which I find pretty poor is the low pay rate.  In this time and age paying a penny (or cent) per opened email is only typical of scam websites.  Or maybe it is not, but then that is why scams are scams: they promise you a lot, and deliver nothing.

No matter how you see it, however, surely you can imagine that it takes you a little while to reach the minimum payout figure of £20!

Do I recommend InboxPounds?  YES!!!

In spite of its drawbacks, I would definitely recommend at least giving it a try.  Because, however little you get, it is definitely easy money.  My main activity is opening their emails – which takes me no extra effort nor time, as I can easily do so whilst going through my inbox every day.  And, when I remember, I search their internet through InboxPounds browser – and again, no major effort there, as their browser has a wide scope as much as the more renowned search engines.

The main thing, when signing up for InboxPounds, is to remember that you are not there to make big money, but solely to get a big of extra pocket money with fun activities.




Click on the below link if you want to join today!  Or share your thoughts about it, leave your comment below.

 

Name:  InboxPounds

Website:  www.inboxpounds.co.uk

Price:  FREE

Owner:  Daren Cotter

Rank:   70 out of 100

 

 

 

Keep your eggs in many baskets

No, I am not referring to ways to store your weekly supply of eggs in your kitchen. What I am referring to is to make a success of working from home.  Excuse my wacky attitude, but allow me today to suggest a flexible approach to help becoming an entrepreneur right and proper.

 

Keep your eggs in many baskets


A couple of years ago in my line of work (my ‘day’ job, that is) I came across a young lady who told me she was an actress.  I asked what she was working on at the moment, and she answered me she was freelancing.  This meant her keeping her eggs in many baskets, so to speak.  She was registered with different acting agencies, she was doing some teaching, she was doing some online work, and of course she worked with her agent for potential auditions and gigs.

My concern was: how could she make a living based on such uncertain terms?  The way she put it to me though was equally eye opening.

She explained, if my employer went burst, or less dramatically decided to reduced its workforce and I was given redundancy, I would be left with no income at all, given that my sole source of income was my day job.  Equally, if I were to fall sick of some form of ailment that prevented me to carry on working (such as particular cancers, which could potentially affect my current day job), my employer would pay me reduced sickness salary for up to six months, but after that and if still not fit for work, I would be asked to leave.  And some employers do not even have such more generous sickness packages, but pay the bare statutory basic sickness.  In other words, working for an employer is only marginally more secure than working on a self-employed freelance basis – that is what the freelance actress was trying to point out to me.

When you juggle many balls at the same time, she explained there is always something going which will generate an income.  She was primarily referring to various and different ways for her to advertise her acting skills and to reach out to potential gigs and opportunities.

But her take on ‘keeping your eggs in many baskets’ got me thinking.

 

Diversity is key to run a successful home business


And there is nothing more true than this approach when working from home.  Especially at the beginning, when you are barely monetising from your ventures, and you are far from matching a full time average salary if not more, it is advisable not to focus on one business only.  If one venture earns you a quarter of your monetary target, four entrepreneurial activities will make up the full salary that you are aiming to and that you need to sustain household and living bills – exactly as if you were working for an employer.

 

Diversifying versus specialisation


But how does diversifying translate in practice?  At the end of the day we cannot all be good at every type of home based business, surely!

If for instance my speciality were teaching maths, and I were to plan to do freelance teaching, how can I branch out into other areas of expertise?

Well, that is where you need to appeal to your most entrepreneurial vein.  When working from home, you need to become most creative.  And specialisms can walk hand in hand with diversification.

So, if teaching, you may want to advertise your freelance lessons actively, both on local papers, on shop windows of local newsagents, in the local community notice board.  But you may want to also approach local school, to see if they may be happy to refer students to you that may need additional tuition.  Or you may want to enrol with specialised recruitment agencies.

And you may also start learning how to leverage social media to advertise your enterprise.  Or you could learn how to build a website and attract further teaching business leveraging on your website outreach.


When sitting down and start brain storming, possibilities are endless.

 

Retain your identity


As mentioned above, diversification doesn’t have to stretch as far as doing a variety of different things to earn a bit of extra cash.  You can retain your identity as specialised entrepreneur in a specific business enterprise.

If for argument sake you were setting up an online selling point on eBay, and your speciality were to buy and sell antique items, nothing stops you from keeping a small ongoing stock of electronic gadgets, as you see fit pending the demand on the market for the latest trend.

Likewise, as I am specialising in blog writing, I could consider stretching my efforts into writing an e-book, and market it on Amazon Kindle with the aim to make a bit of cash and to create an ideal form of passive recurring income.

In other words, and like with the example of the maths teacher, you can still retain your identity as a teacher, trader or writer, but employ your skills and expertise in a more proactive and interactive way.

The main thing, I believe, is that, whichever business activity you embrace, you never loose focus in believing in what you are doing, and in wanting to share your findings with others and for the benefit of others.  If the sole motivation for what you are doing is making money, believe you me, it will not work.  Potential customers and clients will smell your thirst for money, and that will work as a deterrent instead as an incentive for people to trust you and your business.

 

Think outside the box with online business


Online business possibly lends itself better than other ventures to diversification, possibly due to its nature where you can find wide ranging and endless opportunities.

Let me introduce you to a short tutorial put in place by one of my dear friends at Wealthy Affiliate, Robert aka boomergp08, on diversification as a writer.  The tutorial, How to Earn Money Writing Online, goes through the various revenue possibilities as an online writer.  Click the blue link to find out Robert’s take – I can assure you, it is inspirational!

With an online business, and with a website, you can easily monetise on your blog, but it will take time for you to become visible to online browsers in order to attract clicks that will convert in purchases.  As mentioned in my page on creating good website content, the revenue generating process does take its time.  But whilst we produce content for our website, we all become better and better at it.  So, why not put our newly found expertise to use to others and produce writing for others?

And again, whilst putting together a website for ourselves, why not getting paid by acquaintances and friends for designing their website, based on their requirements and needs?

As Robert mentions in his tutorial, think outside the box, and use your skills to the benefit of others.

 

 Diversify your skills with telecommuting


Naturally, diversification is not solely limited to home based business enterprises.  You may well be working for an employer, part time or full time, and have additional ways of making extra money on the side.  The general approach, as far as employers are concerned, is that so long as the employee’s additional income attempts do not interfere or clash with the employer’s line of business – in other words, so long as there are no conflicts of interest – employers welcome the proactive attitude of employees, so long as your additional revenue activity is not run whilst you are working for your employer.

In the home based business opportunities examined so far, I can easily work on my 9-5 job, whilst trying to sell some items on eBay, and whilst doing some online marketing job, and whilst chancing my luck at binary option trading.  Or you could make a monetary investment for additional source of revenue in the shape of passive income.

But diversification is not solely about making money, or making additional money.  It is very much about expanding your areas of expertise.  So, whilst working for an employer, you might want to approach your HR or line manager with a view to be put forward for courses or workshops to gain additional skills.

Because it is through the initiative, a proactive and creative attitude and a variety of acquired skills that we can broaden our horizon and become a 360 degree entrepreneur.  We are all born naturally gifted with the mind set of an entrepreneur – I most certainly am not!  But we can all reach success if we work hard at it.

 


Please share your story about how you established your entrepreneurial business venture successfully.  Or tell how you diversify your business.  Leave your comment below. 

Make money with passive income

I am sure you must have heard the term ‘passive income’ referred to in many financial magazines and papers, or on business reports on the telly. But what is the definition of passive income, and how to make money with passive income?

 


What is passive income

Think of a singer or song writer.  A singer and the writer of a song can have one or a couple of big hits and score really high in the pop or country music charts.  But they temporarily loose inspiration and creativity and stop writing and singing for a while until they come up with another successful idea.  In the meantime, however, and for as long as that song is played for years and decades to come, that song writer and that singer will earn royalties from that music piece.  And the profit made by that song could potentially be passed to their heirs, depending on the record deal with their producers.

Passive income is exactly that.  You work hard on a project, and income is generated automatically from that project thereafter. 

The opposite of this way to make a revenue would be for you to work for an employer, where unless you physically go to work every day and work in your role, you will not get paid.  In some sales roles, in fact, you may only get paid a basic salary, where the biggest share of your salary is dependent on the number of sale deals you seal every month or quarter.  So if a month is a little on the slow side, no salary at all – or very reduced!!

Naturally not all ways to make an income from home that we have looked into so far will generate a passive income.  Generally speaking, freelance positions are deemed the prototype of active income.  You must be proactive in seeking job, and your work will often be paid through a commission scheme.

So, a photographer will first of all have to find a client that will hire his services as specialised in wedding photos, and will then get paid only on delivery of the picture snaps, and provided the newly wedded couple is happy with the outcome.

Likewise, a teacher offering private tuition will need to look for clients constantly.  A teacher will agree a pay rate which she will receive at the end of every teaching session rendered to the child.  Her or his earnings may not necessarily be affected by whether the child passes or fails their exams, but having a child passing a test with flying colour will be an added bonus for the teacher, who will promote her or his services with the added accolade.

 


How to get passive income from home

There are two ways to make money through passive income.  Some ventures require that you make a monetary investment, others require a time investments.  

What has to be clear is that with passive income ventures, you never make immediate money.  Nor the word ‘passive’ should lead to you to in to the false belief that it is an easy way to make money and does not require much elbow grease at all.

As mentioned in my other posts and pages, no matter which avenue you intend to explore as ways to make an income from home, you must always be prepared to work your socks off.  At the end of the day, you are trying to set up a business, your own self employed business, from scratch.  And it will take commitment and hard work for you to see the fruits of your hard labour.

Just as if you were employed by a big corporate magnate, or if you were on a commission based salary with a smaller family run company.

 


Ideas requiring a monetary investments

Ok, admittedly this type of passive income may not suit many of us, as we may be short of cash to start off  the business, or we may find it too risky to put our hard earned savings in a venture that may have a risk element attached to it.

Nevertheless, let me give you a few ideas:

  • Property investment – you could consider investing in purchasing a property, or a few properties, which you then may want to put on a rental market or you may want to refurbish and sell on for a profit.  A good way to invest in properties is to purchase at auction, where it is deemed that the sale price is reduced over figures open market.  Either way however, it is always good to do a good upfront research on the property you are having in mind, as there may be hidden costs from local authorities and for legal services involved.
  • Rent your garage – if you have a garage adjacent to your property, you could consider renting it on.  Again, you do not have to do much, other than ensuring the tenant is reliable enough to pay you on time, and you may want to put in place a basic tenancy agreement which may have legal value.  Unlike with properties, people tend to go for cash in hand payment solutions, but this arrangement may turn up risky for both landlord and tenant likewise.
  • Get a lodger – Or you could consider renting a room in your house if you are under-occupied and have a spare room that you no longer use.  Admittedly, this solution may require your daily input in preparing meals for your lodger, or in having to do housekeeping for the room.  But again, you can agree terms with your lodger by giving them access to the kitchen and by making them responsible for the housekeeping of their own room.
  • Invest in stock shares or trade in binary options – of all the solutions I have spoken about, possibly stock market is to me the riskier option.  But on the other hand, you do not need an investment of thousands of pounds or dollars, as you can join for as little as a few hundreds.

 


Ideas requiring a time investment

This option requires that you invest a lot of time to set up your venture before you see the results, but once you start monetising on your project, the results are outstanding.  And, because most ventures are website based, this is the kind of passive income that I prefer.  All I need is an internet connection, my laptop, and willingness to work hard at a project to start off with – no need for upfront financial investment.

So, what can we do with time investment?

  • Affiliate marketing – in a way this is my area of expertise.  As mentioned when outlining the basics of affiliate marketing, this method is particularly successful if you have a blogging or review based website, or an e-store.  And it may take a long time for your website to start bringing in revenue, but once the ball starts rolling and you start ranking higher and higher with SEOs, visitors are likely to use your website to make purchases without you having to contribute to your site as regularly any longer, as you would have built your reputation of credible reviewer in the niche you are working within.

  • Creating an app – if you are a guru and regular user of apps on your smart phone, you can easily relate to this concept, and surely you will have ideas of an app that will not yet have covered the demand of regular users such as yourself.  You can create an app with the help of a programmer, and then sell your app to any App store.  The passive income is determined in this case by royalties similar to the ones adopted in the musical world.
  • Produce music – this does not necessarily means that you may have to be ‘hired’ by a production company.  There are music storage companies, which will store your music to be used in commercials or on videos.  You will earn a passive income every time that your licensed music is played or used.
  • Selling photos – again, you will have to invest in time (not necessarily in a camera, as often smart phones nowadays take very high quality pictures) to create a portfolio of pictures.  You can then make your portfolio available to photo storage companies, such as Pixabay.com to mention one like many, and you will earn every time that somebody uses one of your pictures.
  • Create paid for training videos – there are several online platforms where you can published training videos in whichever subject you feel strong and passionate about.  Anybody can purchase your training over and over, and that is where the passive income is generated.  If you will, it is teaching taken to a wider distribution level.  Udemy.com is one of the many available marketplaces available online, and possibly the most diffused, and widely used by students worldwide.

 


Work harder for a more lucrative outcome

The suggestions I mention above do not want to be an exclusive list, as in fact there are myriads of business opportunities that you can translate in passive income.

No matter which type of passive income you intend to try out, the one thing you must be prepared for is to set out a solid basis.  And to do so you will need to put hard work in your project.

You must also be prepared initially and for a period of time not to see fruition from your project for a period of time.  And particularly when you try to establish yourself online and build your reputation as an honest and trustworthy brand, this will take time.  Then again, once you do, customers will be attracted to your portfolio of pictures, or to your website, and they will bring in income without any more of your initial effort.

It would be interesting to hear whether you have attempted any of the above avenues, or how you have made a success of your passive income based business.  Please do leave your comment below to share your experience.

AWin best affiliate network program in UK

In my discovery journey to find out new ways to make an income from home (or well established ways, but new to me), I have come across affiliate network programs and CPA based programs.  One of them, and in my opinion the best CPA affiliate network program in UK and Europe, is AWin.

 




Name:  AWin (formerly Affiliate Window)

Website:  awin.com

Price:  Initial deposit of £5 refundable

Owner:  Merge of Xanox and Affiliate Window

Rank:   85 out of 100

 


What is an affiliate network program

The likes of Amazon, or eBay or even Wealthy Affiliate are corporate companies big enough to be able to afford to run their own affiliate program.  Such companies will also prefer to manage their program in-house so that they can keep better track of selling or click trends.

However there are smaller companies, or big companies which do not want to branch into the self-management of their own affiliate programs, but want to benefit from being part of an affiliate program.  Affiliate programs, and we affiliate marketers, are an asset to such companies, as through our reviews do attract customers, who will generate sales and revenues to their business.  Just like a salesman, but with the added bonus for corporate advertising companies that we affiliate marketers are passionate for the niche we promote.

And that is where the concept of affiliate network comes in the game.  An affiliate network program will manage the affiliate program of different companies – which are referred to as advertisers – charging them a fee for the privilege.  What the affiliate network program does then is recruit an array of affiliate marketers like you and me – they call us publishers – so that we can apply to join a number of different affiliate programs from a wider range available on the network.

 


Why AWin?

AWin (formerly known as Affiliate Windows) is one of the best CPA – or Cost per Action – affiliate network programs in UK and Europe.

AWin is in other words, the European answer to American CJ (Commission Junction), offering a range of over 6,000 advertisers for affiliate marketers to choose from.

I have found a recent video published by AWin on YouTube, which explains how Affiliate Window has recently become AWin, and what its strengths are:

 

So, not only AWin is, dare I say, the most extensive platform of affiliate programs under one hat that UK and Europe has to offer, but it also offers the advantage of paying publishers on a CPA basis, depending on the agreement with its advertisers.

How this translate on most affiliate programs offered by AWin is that the publisher is not only paid if the visitor to their website ends up making a purchase, but for any other action the viewer takes on your website, whether that is a click on a banner or link, or form filling.  For each of these actions, the affiliate program you promote will pay you via AWin.

 


AWin is for all

Absolutely anyone with a website can join AWin.  Awin has as many as 6,000 advertisers, who use the network to promote their business. Registering with AWin as a publisher is easy enough.  You can then browse to check the many advertisers available on the program, which can meet the requirements of your niche.

To put it more visually clear to you, let me give you an example of how I landed on AWin.

As you may know, I have another website, where my aim is to share my love affair with Border Terriers  – just in the same way as I want to share my learning experience here of finding ways to make an income from home.  My canine website is a blog where I share and exchange information particularly related to Borders, but to other breeds too, and including breed related medical conditions.  In the process, I like to review products that I have been using for my border Indy.  If, for instance, I wanted to discuss the benefits of pet insurance, I would want to recommend an insurance that covered ailments on older dogs too.

On AWin I registered to advertise my intent with my blog website as an affiliate marketer, and then I started browsing for dog related businesses, whilst at the same time advertisers also started contacting me promoting what they had to offer me in terms of merchandise as well as commissions for my referrals that would fit with my canine niche.



The game could not be easier, as what I did at that point was select which programs I found more suitable to my niche, and joined the affiliate programs of those companies.  AWin has provided me with advertising tools, such as links and banners for me to use on my website when reviewing individual products and businesses.  And AWin pays my commission on a CPA basis, not the company whose merchandise or service I am reviewing.

 


Any costs involved?

Virtually not.  AWin charges an initial £5 deposit, which they then refund you along with the first payment they make you.  In other words, eventually joining as a publisher becomes free.

 


Advertising material and tools

For each advertising program you join within AWin, AWin will provide you an extensive array of banners in different sizes and interactive level.  But they will also provide you with unique links in HTMS or URL version, which will contain your unique publisher ID code.  Like with all affiliate programs, having your code showing on the links, or on the banner HTMLs, is important as it will be the determining tracking device for AWin and for you as publisher to keep records of your commissions and payments.

 


Why my rating

AWin is the first affiliate network I have ever joined, along with the American CJ (which I reserve to discuss at a later date).  And I still find AWin the best network I have worked with so far.

But there are a couple of negative issues that I struggled with, at least initially.

  • Layout and terminology – remember that when I first joined AWin, my sole experience of joining an affiliate program was with Amazon.  Coming from Amazon’s fairly straightforward online environment, I had to learn my way around the AWin platform, to find out where banners are, and to find out how to create URL or HTML link with my unique identifier.

On a positive, AWin have an absolutely brilliant support centre where, no matter how many tickets you raise, and however menial or futile the question may sound, is there to promptly answer you and to guide you through the motions step by step.

  • Payments – AWin is very good at making payments to you.  However they will not pay you until the advertising company you make referrals to have approved your commission and have paid your fee to AWin.  And a lot of advertisers have long payment terms.

Advertisers of retail merchandise will have shorter terms, as your commission will be approved as soon as a sales is confirmed.  However if you refer to financial services, such as pet insurance for instance, or to a membership entry, the advertiser will want to ensure that the person I am referring will remain in the scheme for a period of time.  Therefore their payment terms are much longer, before enabling AWin to pay you.

However each advertiser clearly states their repayment terms, leaving to you the choice as to whether to join them or not, not only based on the product they offer you to review, but also on their terms and conditions.

Against these two couple of issues, there are many positives to joining AWin.  To me, the main ones are:

  • All under one hut – what I mean by that is that you do not have to have so many different accounts spread all over the net with so many different advertisers.  Your account is with AWin, which means you do not have to disclose your personal information to many different providers, but only to AWin – data protection of your personal information is secured more tightly.
  • Low payment threshold – again, a most advantageous condition.  Whereas if you were an affiliate of individual programs, you would have to meet their different threshold for each advertiser, AWin has a very low threshold of £20 only, which you can easily reach through referring to a combination of programs rather to an individual one.

In other words, if I am publisher to Nike brand, and to Zooplus, and to Body Shop, I don’t have to wait till I have reached the £20 threshold of each of the three programs to get paid.  AWin will pay me as soon as I have reached that minimum threshold from a combination of referrals to the three different advertisers.

 


My verdict

So, all the above said, would I recommend AWin as a multiple affiliate program platform as one of the most effective ways to make an income from home?  Without a shadow of a doubt.

AWin is not only the biggest affiliate network program for UK and Europe, but is fast expanding in the States, where it has recently purchased ShareASale, and in South America and Brazil.  The potentials for you to meet a wider reach with your website and with your website, hence the possibilities to convert to sales with your reviews and to earn on referral commissions, are really high.

And the fact that AWin pays on low threshold from the combination of sales from different advertisers’ programs is an advantage that not many other networks offer, hence enabling you to have a regular source of income coming your way frequently enough.

Don’t wait a minute longer, if you have a website join AWin today!!!

 


Name:  AWin (formerly Affiliate Window)

Website:  awin.com

Price:  Initial deposit of £5 refundable

Owner:  Merge of Xanox and Affiliate Window

Rank:   85 out of 100



 

 

Home worker or remote worker?

There are immense benefits to working from home on a self-employed basis. But is working from home possible for everyone?  Some people may find the safety net offered by corporate working more suitable to their personality or to their financial circumstances.  So, let’s find out which one suits you best.

 


The mechanics of working from home

Personally, I think there are endless advantages being your own boss.  But it is also true that to have a successful home-based business – of whichever legit nature – you must fulfil pre-requirements without which you will fail in making a feasible and sustainable earning.  Here are a few ones, which I found out from my direct experience.

#1.  Keep your eggs in many baskets

You must be prepared to be a champion of multi-tasking, and to explore different avenues.  When working from home on a self-employed basis, you do not have a regular salary, like in the corporate world, where your monthly salary is guaranteed, regardless of whether this week you have an important project to deliver by a tight deadline or whether the workload has suddenly gone quiet.

When working from home, you earn for what you deliver.  And in order to deliver regularly, you must ensure that the demands is kept alive constantly.  So, if your field of expertise is in selling merchandise, you may want to branch out to various selling markets, so as to satisfy the demands of different client platforms.  And whilst your speciality may be in selling antique items, you may be prepared to try out other products like electronic gadgets, or you may want approach different buyers, from a booth sale fair to antique shops to online buyers.

#2.  Promote yourself

It’s all very easy to choose to work from home, if to the core you are a very introvert person, who achieves more when not having to interact constantly with work colleagues or customers.  The reality of it is that, in the same way as you must try to experiment in different direction, you must also try to promote your business as much and as persuasively as you possibly can – naturally within the boundaries of your professional ethics, and not by making up lies and false statements!!!

In a practical example, in my online affiliate marketing business, I would want to have a number of websites, all tackling different niches, so all aiming to a different market.  But once I have built many websites, where I review the products I believe in, I must also ensure that I make people out there aware that I have just posted a review – and in doing so, I would want to use social media for promotional purposes.  In other words, I must market my business proactively, and never wait for customers to come to me.  Because if potential customers do not know about my business, they are never going to be given the opportunity to become my customers!

#3.  Keep learning

When working within a corporate environment, you will be proposed courses and training which will keep you up to date with the latest developments in the business industry you are working in.  Sometimes, as it’s often the case in the public sector, your boss will just tell you you have to attend that training – and whether you believe it is relevant to your role or not, well, tough.

As a home worker, you must source that learning independently.  You must ensure you are kept up to date with the latest selling techniques, or with the latest software packages if you work online, or with the most up to date teaching material, if your job is freelance mentoring – just to mention but a few examples.

And of course you might have to invest in courses and in training tools.  In doing so, you need to ensure your investment is one that will pay off eventually, by making you more competitive in whichever your field of expertise is going to be.

#4.  Self discipline

The majority of us that love to work from home, do so because we love the flexibility, independence and freedom we gain from not having any boss but ourselves to be accountable to.  The ideal picture for potential home workers is the one of us working whilst slouched on the sofa and wearing our favourite slippers.  Without discipline, however, you may slip down the dangerous road of lack of productivity.

You will still have deadlines you need to maintain as requested by customer or to retain a healthy and successful business.

Not only that.  But sticking to a flexible routine helps you with a positive attitude toward your working day, which in turn will turn you more creative and proactive toward your job.

 


Benefits of being a remote worker

Remote workers are those people who are employed as part of a corporate business, but are given the opportunity to work from home.  And again, there are benefits and downturns to this type of working environment, and it will be your job to find out whether this is for you.

  • Benefits

Working for a corporate company or in the public sector, no matter whether you have a busy workload or a period of quiet, you will always have the guarantee of a salary.

Not only that, but depending on your contract of employment, you may have sick periods paid for, as well as a paid for period of annual leave.  And a lot of companies offer pension schemes!

  • Disadvantages

I have worked in both corporate and public sector for many decades, and I can quite honestly say that the benefits of working for an employer do not come ‘cheap’.

As an employee you will always have to negotiate your personal needs against the needs of the company you work for.  I cannot remember the number of school events I have had to miss, when my son was taking part in a show or in a sports day.  And I have lost count of the times I had to beg for time off when my son came down with flu and I had nobody else that could look after him, when he was a kid.

To this day, if I need to see a doctor or the dentist, I have to ensure my appointment is either at the beginning or at the end of the day.  If I can only get an appointment in the middle of the day, I am frowned upon, and sometimes I’m told I cannot take time off.  And do not start me on the subject of booking holiday, which I can only do provided the service is covered and my needs do not clash with the ones of other colleagues!

I could not make it plainer in words.  You work for others, you are bound to their terms and conditions of employment.  Which in many case are a lot!

  • Requirements for remote working

The main requirement is for you to find an employer that will allow you to work remotely from home.  This is not easy task, as many employers are still reluctant to let go of having staff sitting at a desk, to ensure they are productive at all times.  Other employers shield behind the idea that the nature of their business requires that you are available on site rather than managing the job virtually.

Naturally sometimes this is true.  But, even when your role demands that you are front desk, such as in my current job as a customer adviser, compromises can be reached, where you can be working from home when you are to serve customers online or over the phone, whilst going to work on those days that you are scheduled to meet customers face to face.

However another requirement, provided you are allowed to work remotely, is that your home equipment be adequate enough to sustain the data exchange between your home internet connection and the more powerful servers a business may be provided with.

Finally, there is always the risk that you are missed out by colleagues in being kept up to date with the latest information (or why not, gossip!) as you are based remotely.  It will be your job therefore to ensure that people at work do not forget about you – create a communication system that will ensure so.

 


Ideally, a balance of the two

After working full time at a corporate and public sector level, I am now trying to build that fine balance between retaining my customer services role with my employer on a part time base, and using the remaining of my working week to make my online business successful from home.

Why not go ‘solo’ straight away?  Because it takes time to make a self-employed business successful and to monetise from it in such a way that it may replace my current salary and gives me sustainable financial security.

I am still working mostly for my employer.  The plan is to see my home-based business grow a little bit more to propose to my employer to reduce my hours further.

At the moment, although I have proposed remote working, my employer feels the scheme cannot be applied to my role.  Who knows, maybe one day things will change.  But until then, and until I can afford more financial freedom, I shall keep enjoying the perks of a secure salary, whilst nurturing my online business – just like a mother would want to see her baby grow into a healthy boy and man.

 


Do you think you would ever be suited to take the risks of home-based working?  Or are you more of a corporate person, with all its benefits and restrictions?  Share your opinion, leave a comment below to let me know how you feel about both options. 

Earn money on holiday

It is renowned that, when working for an employer, one of the perks as part of your contract of employment may be for you to have sick periods paid for, or to be entitled to paid-for annual leave. When working on a self-employed basis, such as when you work from home, you cannot guarantee that your earnings will keep coming if you are unable to work for a period of time due to illness, or if you want to take a break of a few days.
Things are totally different when you earn with an online business.  And I have found out a solution for you not only to go on holiday for free, but to earn money on holiday.

 

Name:  Trusted House Sitters Limited

Website:  trustedhousesitters.com

Price:  Annual membership of £90 approximately

Owner:  Andy Peck

Rank:   80 out of 100



 


How it works

You would like to travel, locally or abroad.  Plane fares can be quite cheap, but it is the stay that can become rather expensive.  So, how to afford it?

All you have to do is register, for free, as a house/pet sitter with Trusted House Sitter!  And once you have registered your interests and your potential holiday destinations, a myriad of house/pet sitting opportunities will be presented to you, where the ball is in your court to apply for the ones that most take your fancy.

Naturally, by registering as a house sitter member, you are given the opportunity to describe yourself, your likes and dislikes and, of course, your love for pets.  Potential home owners need to feel that they can entrust their home and their beloved pets to you.  Therefore a match will only take place if the home owners feel there is a connection between them and you or, for lack of a better word, if they like you at first site.

Once you have applied for that specific ad and the family have accepted your expression of interest, Trusted House Sitters advises that a face to face communication starts taking place between the home owners and yourself, so that you get to know each other better.

 


A bit of history

This company was started in small scale in UK as a start-up business back in 2010, after the founder and co-owner Andy Peck found himself in the position of sitting for cats and dogs of the house he was staying in whilst on holiday.  He spotted a gap in the market, and that is how Trusted House Sitters was born: from the realisation that the ideal surrounding for pets, when their owner want to go on holiday, is to be left in their own homes rather than kennels or catteries.  With this ethos in mind, Trusted House Sitters has grown from then to connect a world wide community of potential home owners and potential sitters, with a mutual interest in preserving their homes and caring for the pets involved.  In other words, it becomes a win-win situation for both parties, and it is now deemed to have home and sitting members in over 140 countries.

The idea is based on mutual respect and trust.  For this reason, Trusted House Sitters has put together a pledge that encourages both home owners and sitters to reach that mutual agreement that will guarantee a free pet care in exchange for a free holiday retreat.  The pledge encourages all parties involved to communicate extensively prior to the sitter arriving to the house, and also during their stay.  For this reason, demand or offer of payment for sitting is highly discouraged by this company.

But Trusted House Sitter also has a vetting process for potential sitters, which will check references, ID, documents and their criminal records.

This scheme has become so popular in the space of 6-7 years, that it’s earned the company many accolades in the business industry, including Website of The Year 2015, nomination to the American Webby Award for Best Community Website 2016 and global media features by the BBC and The Sunday Telegraph, to name but few.

 



 


Who is Trusted House Sitters for

Trusted House Sitters is for single individuals, or couples, that want to have a holiday without having to pay for accommodation, and who love dogs, cats or any other pets specified by the household they apply for.  Which means it is for, virtually, anyone who love pets.

You must demonstrate, when you are apply as a sitter, that you can meet the specific requirements of the home owners of course.  So, if for argument sake, the home owners asks that you drive their dog to the groomer during your stay, you must demonstrate that you can drive.

Personally, I find this solution ideal for students, who through this settlement can afford free accommodation whilst being given the opportunity to explore all corners of the earth.  And it is also very good if, as a young person, you want to improve your knowledge of a foreign language by immersing yourself in the local culture.

But it can equally be ideal for people that do not like to idea of hotels, but prefer the comfort of a home, where you can cook your own meals and have a whole house available to yourself.

 


Costs involved

The only cost involved is the annual fee of £89.04 (correct figure at the time of this post being published).  Trusted House Sitters advertise the fee as being only £7.42 a month, but they demand an upfront payment for the whole 12 months at once.

Other than that, no other costs are involved – other than you taking yourself to your holiday destination, and the cost of living when you are on holiday.  But for however short or long period of time you are sitting, the accommodation is totally free!!!

The website at one point suggests that you may want to contribute to running costs of using the house/flat if you are required to sit for more than a month, but they leave this arrangement between you and the home owners.

And even if the home owner made such a suggestion, it’s money you will not spend for your own home whilst you are away.

 


Where’s the earning

Hold on.  So, this program asks for an upfront annual payment to become a member.  So, how to earn money?

Well, here’s the catch.  Not only you pay nothing for your stay, and whilst away you save on your home bills but not being around to use utilities, but if your business is based online, you can work whilst being away!!

So, the earning comes from:

  1. Saving on bills whilst being away (and if you budget your holiday carefully, all you will have to pay for may be food and some sightseeing fees)
  2. You can take your online business with you and carry on working whilst on holiday (but you are allowed to  give yourself a break!)

Again, another win-win solution for you as a house/pet sitter!

 


What I think of it

Naturally, I would not propose this as an alternative way to keep your online income coming in, if I didn’t think it were a good idea.

In fairness, I haven’t tried Trusted House Sitter myself for my dog when we have been away, nor as a sitter myself.  But that is purely because I only came across this idea recently, and I believe it would be a bit much to put on sitters’ shoulder to burden them with the responsibility of a 13 year old dog, who has had all sorts of ailments under the sun.

Leave it to me, I would try the sitting part of it any time.  But I am a little more adventurous than my husband, who would find taking on board the responsibility for somebody else’s house and, more importantly, pet far too much to enjoy everything else about the holiday.

Nevertheless, I do believe the scheme to be an absolute brilliant idea, and one that would work as it matches together people who all have the same interest at heart: the welfare of the pets.

Positives to me are:

  1. the fact that primarily you do not have to pay a penny for your stay
  2. you can choose the location, family and length of your stay – you just bid for the holiday that suits your needs
  3. there are different options of house sitting to suit everyone’s needs, with home owners advertising from so many different countries, and for different lengths of time
  4. you have a house or flat all to yourself, as opposed to the restrictions of a B&B, a hotel or even renting rooms from a landlord
  5. by living in a local family’s home, you are given the opportunity to absorb the local culture.

But, like with all things, this idea is not flawless, and to me it has very few negatives:

  1. membership is required in a one-off upfront payment, rather than on monthly instalments – this can more so pose risks if you end up for whatever reason not going on holiday after all
  2. you must be an animal lover, as primarily this is an opportunity embraced by pet owners as as alternative solution to kennels and catteries for when they cannot take their beloved pets on holiday with the rest of the family.

 


My verdict

For the above reasons, I can only rate Trusted House Sitters with a earthy 80 out of 100, and that is primarily due to the membership fees.

If I would try it?  Definitely!  But what I would do as a sitter, I would start in small doses, by trying out dog sitting for a long weekend and where owners decide to take their long weekend break not too far from home.  And I would be keen on communication with the home owners extensively ahead of my stay at their home, to ensure all corners are covered, especially when it comes to emergency care for the pet.  Trusted House Sitters does offer 24 hours a day access to veterinary advice, but I would want to make sure I follow the advice and the guidelines given by the pet owners, as ultimately I would want to respect their wishes.

With this in mind, you need to be in the right frame of mind to take on board the responsibility of looking after somebody’s house and pet.  You must be able not to let the sense of responsibility overwhelm you, otherwise you will risk not being able to enjoy the holiday – which would defeat the object.

But as a dog owner and online marketer myself, I see no particular flaw to this idea, and would welcome the opportunity.

 


Name:  Trusted House Sitters Limited

Website:  trustedhousesitters.com

Price:  Annual membership of £90

Owner:  Andy Peck

Rank:   80 out of 100

 


 


Would you consider a free holiday which would include pet sitting, with the opportunity to keep an eye on your online business whilst sipping a cold glass of wine on a Mediterranean terrazza?  Or have you already had such holiday experience?  Let me know your views, leave a comment below.

 

Earn with the lottery

 

Name:  Free Postcode Lottery

Website:  freepostcodelottery.com

Price:  Absolutely FREE OF CHARGE

Owner:  Chris Holbrook

Rank:   95 out of 100

 

Call me a coward, but I do not condone gambling or taking any risk when it comes to business opportunities. But I have recently discovered a free of charge way to earn with the lottery, which I would like to make you aware of.

 

How to make money with the lottery

Yes, I am not kidding you when I say that you can earn with the lottery.  Admittedly I’m not talking millions, but rather a few hundred pounds at a time (or dollars, or whichever monetary currency goes in your country).  And no, it is not a guaranteed regular winning.  At the end of the day, it is called lottery for a reason, as it can only guarantee for as long as you win randomly.  But it certainly is free of charge, and for this reason if not any other good one, it is worth playing it.  Because you don’t have to loose anything!!!  Yes, you’ve guessed right: I’m talking about the FREE POSTCODE LOTTERY!!!

 

How does it work

The name is self-explanatory.  Every day the Free Postcode Lottery draws a a postcode randomly from the country, for a stake of some £300 or thereabouts.  If you have registered that you live in that postcode, you win.

Along with the main draw, the Free Postcode Lottery has other minor daily draws that you can take part in, albeit for a lower winning – these are survey draws (but you can take part even without taking 1 or 2 question surveys) or the video draw, where you listen to a video of an emerging singer in order to have the winning postcode revealed, or other draws.

 

Less money, more chances

As mentioned, the potential winnings are far from the wealthy ones of weekly national lotteries.  And, if by any chance your neighbours have also registered and claim the winning when your joint postcode is drawn, unbeknown to each other, you share the draw.

But the beauty of this type of lottery lays in a few simple advantageous facts:

  1. it’s drawn daily, hence increasing chances;
  2. it’s down to the reality of you living at that postcode;
  3. even if other participants are registered at the same postcode as you, often enough you end up winning the whole jackpot, as most people forget to check if they are winners from the reminder email you get sent every day.

If nobody claims the winning within 24 hours, the money at stake goes to add to the next day draw, making the jackpot higher.

Last but not least, you do not have to pay to take part!!!

 

Where does the money come from

The most immediate thing that will strike you about this lottery is that its website is packed with ads.  And that’s where the money comes from.  The Free Postcode Lottery relies solely on advertisements.  As mentioned before, you don’t have to pay a dime!!! Although the winning criteria for the main draw is in the fact that you must live at the winning postcode drawn on the day, with all the other draws you in fact access survey companies or video promoting companies – those very same companies that pay the Free Postcode Lottery for the privilege of advertising on its site.

One thing is for sure: we participants do not fund it!!

 

Who can take part

There are only a few qualifying criteria to take part in the Free Postcode Lottery: you must be over the age of 18, and you must live in UK.

Please do not mistake the Free Postcode Lottery with the People Postcode Lottery, which requires for you to purchase tickets.  The Free Postcode Lottery is FREE OF CHARGE!!

Otherwise, absolutely everyone can take part – no matter which postcode you live in, whether it is Wales, or Scotland, everyone can give it a try.

Admittedly the only restriction I can think of is that you have to have an internet connection.  Like all things in this time and age, in order to take part you must register online on to its website.  Likewise, as mentioned, every day the Free Postcode Lottery sends you a reminder email inviting you to enter their website to find out whether your postcode has been drawn.

I expect long gone are those days where you could check the winning numbers of a lottery on the daily paper!!  Mind you, I believe some papers still do so.  But then again, those lotteries that publish their winning combination on paper have a different way of financing the business, which is funded through the purchase of tickets.  The Free Postcode Lottery relies solely on you visiting the website – this increases traffic to the website, makes it more appealing to potential businesses that will want to advertise on its pages, and will then pay the advertising space.  In a way, with a the Free Postcode Lottery, you are the customer of a behind-the-scene affiliate business – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it!!!

 

Pros and Cons

Let me get the negative points out of the way before concentrating on the winning side of this type of lottery (pardon the pun!!).

I believe I have a pretty fast internet connection, unlimited data use and more.  Nevertheless, at times going through the Free Postcode Lottery pages is very slow.  And I expect the reason may be due to the enormous amount of graphic loaded on its pages by the advertisers.

Even so, going through the motions of checking the daily draws is never too painfully and exasperatingly slow.  Yes, the pages may take a few seconds longer than usual to load, but it does not detract from the fun.

And again, the winning will never be in the region of hundreds of thousands, but it is still a few hundreds, which are still a good pocket money figure.  Which you will have earned by just checking a daily email.  Not bad at all!!

One final point to mention is that this particular lottery is currently available and applicable to UK postcodes only.  I have searched for similar schemes outside of UK.  The only free of charge lottery I have come across for US residents, or for people living in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa is BoxLotto.  With this lottery, you choose 6 random numbers on each ticket, you can play up to 30 tickets per week and once a week you receive an email to tell you if you have won.

Again BoxLotto is indeed free of charge, but the lucky strike is purely randomly based on whether you choose the winning numbers, and to me it detracts from the fun of seeing your own postcode appear on the winning draw – again, I believe the concept of making a postcode a winner is far more fun.

 

Talking of affiliate

Did you also know that you can earn extra money by referring viewers to the Free Postcode Lottery?  Yes, the added perk is that you can earn up to £200 in bonus, which is payable to you when you introduce somebody to the website, and the somebody registers and keeps checking their account regularly every day.

In other words, if you follow this link: Free Postcode Lottery, and if you end up joining the actual lottery, I shall be earning a tiny penny every time that you visit the website to check of you are one of the winners of the day.  This costs nothing to you, but in the long run it will accrue me a little bit of extra pocket money.

You may ask what the big fuss it is to go through all this effort for a penny per visit.  Am I having you on?!?!?  I am not even going to start counting how many days of one of you checking their lottery account it would take me to put together £200.  But if it is not one of you, but many of you joining through this post, then the process of putting together a bit of extra money does no longer sound as long and painful.

And you don’t need to have a website to promote the Free Postcode Lottery.  You are given a unique link to your account, which you then can insert in any of your social media messages to invite your followers to join in.

So, what are you waiting for?  Join Free Postcode Lottery to be a winner and to earn by referring others!!!

 

Too good to be true

Some people may question whether all this is too good to be true.  Let me break this news to you: Free Postcode Lottery is NOT a scam!!!

Testimonials vouch to the fact that this lottery is a genuine affairs.  And accolades are documented both on their Facebook page and in other social media forums.

In UK this lottery is not the only free of charge one.  Others make their money through advertising too, but this lottery has the added element of fun, by building your expectations to the realistic possibility that it will be your postcode to be drawn today!  So much so that Money Saving Expert also endorses Free Postcode Lottery.

I am not sure that, if this lottery had not been tested as true and realistic, Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert would have chanced risking his reputation!!

 

My verdict

I have kept banging on for the whole of this review about how I find this type of lottery purely fun.  Its simple and straightforward formula, and that fact that it relates to the postcode of where you actually live, the fact that it is free of charge, it all combines in my opinion to create a bit of innocent, not mind blowing, fun.

You don’t have to worry as to whether you have chosen the winning combination of random numbers.  The responsibility of you becoming a winner is not on your shoulders, but down to sheer luck.  And it doesn’t matter if all you win is a couple hundreds pounds – the fun outruns the thirst of big winning by far.  Notwithstanding the fact that, as Free Postcode Lottery is only restricted to UK, where there are only so many postcodes, chances become higher.

The winning combination with Free Postcode Lottery is in the sharing.  Not only by referring people to this lottery, you can earn up to £200, but the more people register as living at the same postcode as yours, the more the chances of your postcode to be drawn.

For however little inspiring the winnings may be, I highly recommend having a bit of fun with Free Postcode Lottery.  Join in the fun with me!!!

 

 

 

Name:  Free Postcode Lottery

Website:  freepostcodelottery.com

Price:  Absolutely FREE OF CHARGE

Owner:  Chris Holbrook

Rank:   95 out of 100

 

Are you enrolled on Free Postcode Lottery, have you ever won?  Or are you still not persuaded that Free Postcode Lottery does work, do you have any concerns?  Join in the conversation and post your comment below.  I shall be happy to answer any question at my very best.