Opening up an online store made easy!

   Anyone ever thought of having there own online store, but didn't know how to get started? I found a website that offers everything you need to have your own online store and all the help that comes along with it. Including the marketing and a real professional looking website. They also give you a certain amount of days free without even giving your credit card to see if it will work for you. Compared to online auction and stores like EBay and Amazon that charges somewhere of about 9% fees for selling your products, I found that this one called Shopify only charges about 2-3%.

SHOPIFY

   There are many more avenues on how to make money with Shopify including helping others build there websites, being a Shopify photographer, web designer, app creator, etc. If you live near there, they are also hiring at there company.

   I have been looking for a place to put my items besides EBay for a long while now and Shopify seems like the type of place to start. Not sure if I have to have many items or just a few, but at least I have some time to try it out before I have to pay. I did not find any bad reviews about Shopify out there when researching. It is worth a try!

Note: As I am a stay at home mom and my income depends on referrals, please click on my link below instead of typing it in your web browser. Thanks for checking it out!

SHOPIFY

Is there other Auction and Sell your stuff sites out there with lots of traffic beside ebay?

    I have to admit, I have done pretty well on Ebay in the last month. Although I have been a member with Ebay since 2001, I haven't even sold over 100 items. That's ok, I might make that quota in 2013.  I have made close to $500 in one month just selling my stuff around the house we no longer need. With that said, Ebay and Paypal fees added together have taken about 13% out of that amount. If I include free shipping and/or insurance, well that can take a bite out of my profits quickly.

    I have heard of a lot of other sites out there that don't charge so much or in fact are totally free where you can sell your items or put them up on auction just like Ebay. I am just wondering about traffic. I have heard from others that they do not provide the traffic like Ebay does or that there is many sellers on those sites, but hardly any buyers. So my question to anyone reading is what site besides Ebay to list your items do you use and how is the traffic on alternative sites besides EBay and Amazon, how are your sales, do you still use Ebay?

You can check into my ebay right here and add me to your favorites list Lisalisamm Ebay Listings

Is Harp or Harp 2 working, it hasn't for me

   Not that this topic is about working at home, but I thought it was important to bring up since it can save someone lots of money if it works out.

   I have been trying to refinance my home for over a year now with Harp 2. First I tried with a mortgage company, then a friend of mine referred me to the bank she works at, and  yet again with another bank whom a family member works for.  Time and time again they tried to refinance our home and finally on the last loan that we got declined for, the person told me at the end that only my current lender would be able to do this loan because of our Debt-to-income ratio and the house being underwater.

   Now our house has equity. Our balance is $302,000 and house is worth $355,000.  We have had the house for 4 years and have interest rate at 6%. Reason they say we would need to refinance with Harp is because we have to refinance it as an investment loan since we had to rent it out due to moving for job transfer. So in order to do loan with other mortgage company or bank, we would have to have at least 75% equity and show on our taxes as an investment. Otherwise, it looks as though we are paying for our mortgage payment and rent where we live now, but can't claim rent we get from renters as income.

   Bank Of America was our last resort because their fees to refinance are outrageous! Interest rates with BofA are also higher than the average. My husband and I decided since this was our last option, to go ahead with it. Now that we made our decision, the lender from Bank Of America told me that they are not doing investment refinance loans right now and would let me know when they are again. This was about 2-3 months ago. I contacted her and still doesn't know when. I am so sick of them!

   So Harp 2 did not work out for me, did Harp or Harp 2 work for you? Anyone out there tried refinancing with the Harp 2 with High Debt-to-Income ratio or investment loan? I would love to hear your experience or review with the Harp program or Bank / mortgage company you tried. Did it work out for you, how much will you save, what your interest rate was and is now, etc. Tell us what bank did you go through.

Non-Medical Senior Care

 

   I know someone who needed to make extra income. She took a CPR class and volunteered at some places that might get her some connections. She then made business cards with her information for Senior Care and placed them at her volunteer sites and all over town.

    She now helps seniors with their needs to pay bills, clean the house, make meals, be a friend, help with paperwork, shop, give a ride, anything non-medical that a senior might need help with. She does have them sign a form releasing her from liabilities. She has had clients that hire her for only a couple days, to a couple months and longer.

   We are in a time period where there are going to be more seniors than other generations.  It's a great feeling to help our aging community and earn an income all at once.

Advertising and Marketing Ideas

If you are in marketing or in need of advertising something and need some ideas here they are just for you.
There are soooo many things you can do, you just have to do what works best for you.
What works for someone might not work for you. Try many many things until you find something that will work and your having fun with it. Remember if your having fun and it's making you money, you won't feel like your ever at work. If anyone has ideas to add to these, please feel free to.

  • Newspaper and Online ads (consistently and even weekly if possible to Craigslist, classifieds, advertising sites, online forums that allow you to advertise )
  • Hang up fliers on bulletin boards (if aloud) (grocery stores, laundry rooms, fast food, bingo game halls, near mailboxes or by apartment boxes, activity centers, etc.)
  • Hold a meeting, workshop, informative or related to your business (home, community center, park)
  • Hold a party for your products or business (be honest with the invites, no tricking them to get there)
  • Cold market mailings or calling opt in lists (but 95% do not like to do this and that's ok)
  • Online advertising (google AdSense, paid ads on sites with lots of traffic )
  • Tell friends family what your up to, but don't bug them or try to sell them anything.
  • Give samples of your product or magazine( with a reorder label- call me at... or go to this site)
  • Put business ad in local play programs, athletic sport programs, weekly church bulletins/program guides, or high school year books
  • Throw a neighborhood open house or at a center with other consultants of non-competing businesses. (The more vendors you get, the more they will spread the word, and more traffic you will get to your event.Could advertise opportunity and or products/)
  • Set up a table at a home show, baby expo, business/employment expo, etc. (Tons of traffic, remember to give out your business cards as well as product info/samples. You could have a raffle drawing or contests too.)
  • Make a new moms info bags or folders and see if hospitals will give you permission to hand out to new moms. They might let you bring them in weekly.
  • Place your business info on back of grocery store receipts.
  • Bus stops also have business ads on their waiting seats, call up to see how much.
  • If you have a website, print your website and info on mouse pads or calenders, give them out.
  • Donate your products to charity or donate to popular websites that give out prizes.
  • When sending out your mail, put your business somewhere on the envelope. A stamp or label with your site or bus. info. Have a business card inside.
  • Offer a referral reward to those that refer others to shop with you, make referral cards.
  • Make re-order labels and make sure to place them on your products if you can.
  • Ask your ice cream man if he will pass out flyers for you.
  • If aloud, put a yard sign in your front yard or back yard fence if facing a road
  • Join your child's PTA, they are always looking for fundraisers and get to know other parents.
  • Join your local chamber of commerce.
  • Make bags of candy with your info/samples and give to kids or parents on Halloween.
  • Look for upcoming local events/concerts and advertise in their ads or becoming a sponsor.
  • Place your ads in home buyer guides or renter guides and also local directories.
  • Moving companies and apartment complexes usually give out welcome packs or folders, find out how to include your business.
  • Make calenders, pens, pencils, post its, etc. with your info and give out to local offices, doctors and dentists offices.
  • Make bookmarks or book covers and then give them to colleges, libraries, tech schools, etc.
  • Give some of these freebies out with your product orders.
  • Make coloring sheets for children with your advertising info on bottom. Give to restaurants or childcare places. Can wrap a crayon or 2 in with them. 
  • Business info on matchbooks and then give them to smoke shops, bars, candle shops, etc.
  • Print your business logo/site on your bank checks and labels to match. Will pass through many people
  • Write a business press release . You can submit to your area newspaper, television station, radio, and online.
  • Offer fundraiser options to groups like girl/boy scouts, YMCA, red hat society, new moms, neighborhood watch, bunco groups, etc.
  • Attend new neighborhood meetings, have one of your own, get to know others.
  • Local radio stations offer low-cost area ads. Am channels are usually the most inexpensive.
  • If you see tables set up for fundraisers, leave them your fundraiser info for next time.
  • Contact your fire department dpt.and ask to leave your info or set up a table at their next event
  • Make filler bags, include other consultants info and have them make bags too. Pass out or run ad for free giveaways to those looking for business opportunity info or new products.
  • Most public libraries have a place you can leave catalogues or business cards/fliers
  • Leave folders with your info at employment agencies, ask if they will refer some people to you, offer them samples or something.
  • Donate old magazine to libraries or hospitals or senior centers, include your label donated by with your business info

Blogging and Affiliate Marketing

     "Affiliate marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by their marketing efforts." -wikipedia.org

   There are so many websites that offer affiliate programs. It's kind of like referring someone that is looking at your website over to another companies website. When you see an ad on someone's website advertising something, it is probably an affiliate program that website is partnered with.

   If you are interested in this, the main thing would be to create a website of your own or some kind of blog. Blogging is simply what I am doing here. First find a niche. Find a subject that you are good at, interested in, something dear to your heart, or that you are an expert on. You may want to talk about something your passionate about or might be something you want to do to help others or teach. Always be genuine and truthful and the money will follow.   

  There are many ways to make money on your blog, including ads (could be your own or from a source like Adsense), donations, or other sites you are referring others to (affiliate). But again the main thing is to help others. If someone comes to your site and gets something valuable out of it, they will continue to come back. They may bookmark your site, subscribe to it, follow it (like you may want to do on this site), save in their favorites, etc. . If all they see is ads blasted all over your website and it is overpowering all relevant information they came there for, they will probably click off your site within a couple seconds and never return again.

   So I make money when someone clicks on one of my ads from google or affiliate advertisements that I have joined from another company. Most of the job places I refer someone to, I do not make money from. That is part of my blog, but I do put google ads that are related and that's how I get paid.

Godaddy or Blogspot is a good place to start a blog or website. Beside Google's Adsense, you can join big companies affiliate programs like Share-a-Sale, or Commission Junction. Some of them will deny you if you don't have website they think will make you money. There are also many companies that have there own program, these are a little easier to join.