Dec 072022
 

Here is a simple business anyone with a van or SUV can perform: haul stuff for other people who don’t have a way to do it themselves.



You could move lawn mowers, bags of garden soil, playground equipment, Christmas trees, musical instruments, furniture, big dogs from the groomers-you get the idea.



Starting this home business is easy. Make sure your vehicle is in good shape. Be sure your car insurance is up to date. You don’t want any trouble if your vehicle should get into a fender-bender.



Now, print up flyers advertising your business. Place the flyers in furniture stores, garden centers, grocery stores, laundromats, and wherever else you can find a bulletin board. College bulletin boards are prime hunting grounds for business. Also, place ads in your local newspaper.



Once your business takes off your customers will soon be telling their friends, “Hey, I know a guy with a van who will haul it”. Word of mouth is a priceless form of free advertising.



How much you should charge for your service depends on what you’re hauling and how far you have to haul it. You want to keep the price reasonable, or word will spread of your high prices and your customers will go elsewhere. Reasonable prices and friendly reliable service will build your hauling service fast.



Here’s another way to put your gas-guzzler to work: Start a grocery shopping service.



Your customers would call or fax their grocery order to the supermarket. Your customer gives you the money to pay for the groceries. You go to the store and pick up the order for your client.



The growing senior population would love this service. Make sure you place ads in the paper and flyers in supermarkets, laundromats, and senior citizen clubs.



Here’s one more way you can put your vehicle to work! If you have a safe driving record you could provide a taxi service for senior citizens and any latchkey kids who need to get to an after school activity.



You could charge five or six dollars per trip. Give your frequent travelers a break by offering a free ride after a certain numbers of trips.



It would be wise to provide the parents of any kids you transport proof you can be trusted. If the parents say it isn’t necessary then insist they check out your driving record, car insurance, and whether or not you have a criminal record. You are protecting yourself by doing this. Bad things happen. You don’t want to get caught in the crossfire.



Make sure your vehicle is comfortable and clean for your travelers. Have a fully outfitted first aid kit, a primed fire hydrant, and a toolbox in your car. Accidents do happen, people, even to the safest of drivers. You need to consider the safety of your passengers so insist everyone buckle up.



Prove to be a reliable and trustworthy taxi service and many other parents will soon have you shipping their kids to and from soccer practice.



Hauling furniture, grocery shopping, and a taxi service. You use your vehicle to do these chores for yourself all the time. Start making money doing them for others!

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Dec 062022
 

Copyright 2005 Ryan Blake

I’ve been doing this for a while let’s and thought I’d mention 2 list building methods which I suggest you STAY AWAY from.
You might get different opinions from other people, but as for me, I’ve used some of these techniques and burnt my fingers

The first method is buying optin leads.
There are some services which will send you a list of subscribers along with their full names, I.P. addresses and date/time stamp. While having all of these as proof that someone opted into a list, it doesn’t mean that they opted into your list. If you buy a list of these leads and email them and get a Spam complaint, which will surely happen, you can stay out of trouble because you have all the information as proof that they opted in but it’s a continuous fight. Still, I wouldn’t go this route.
I once bought a list of 10,000 names and after trying to show them that I’m a nice guy and want to help them, I didn’t get much of a response from the list.
I gave them lots of free stuff but they weren’t interested.

The second method is to use Pay per lead programs.
These programs are a little better than the above method in that they list your optin form along many other forms, and people have to check your form and fill in their information to get placed directly on your list.
Let’s say you pay for 500 subscribers for $50 you pay that money first and then they will list your form on one of their partner sites until you get 500 subscribers or the number that you ordered.
The better the description you create, the faster you will get to that number that you paid for.
The bad thing about this form of optin, which I’ve also tried, is that people see a bunch of checkboxes, and they just click through each checkbox impulsively.
That means that they’ll be getting emails from many other people all at the same time, and then they end up getting overwhelmed and unsubscribe from all lists.
Heck, I’ve done this myself.

Those are the two methods of list building which I’ve tried and will not try again because they produced poor results for me and will do the same for you.
You might get different results, but if you don’t want to risk being disappointed, rather try some more successful methods to do so.

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Dec 052022
 

1. You don’t make people feel safe when they order. Remind people that they are ordering through a secure server. Tell them you won’t sell their e-mail address and all their information will be kept confidential.



2. You don’t make your ad copy attractive. Your ad lists features instead of benefits. The headline does not attract at your target audience. You don’t list any testimonials or guarantees included in your ad.



3. You don’t remind people to come back and visit. People usually don’t purchase the first time they visit. The more times they visit your site, the greater the chance they will buy. The most effective way is to give them a free subscription to your e-zine.



4. You don’t let people know anything about your business. They will feel more comfortable if they know who they are buying from. Publish a section called “About Us” on your web site. Include your business history, profile of employees, contact information etc.



5. You don’t give people as many ordering options as possible. Accept credit cards, checks, money orders, and other forms of electronic payments. Take orders by phone, e-mail, web site, fax, mail, etc.



6. You don’t make your web site look professional. You want to have your own domain name. Your web site should be easy to navigate through. The graphics should be related to the theme of your web site.



7. You don’t let people read your ad before they get your freebie. When you use free stuff to lure people to your web site include it below your ad copy or on another web page. If you list the freebie above your ad they may never look to see what you’re selling.



8. You don’t attract the target audience that would buy your product or service. A simple way to do this is to survey your existing customers to see what attracted them to buy. This information will help you improve your target marketing and advertising.



9. You don’t test and improve your ad copy. There are many people who write an ad copy and never change it. You have to continually test and improve your ad copy to get the highest possible response rate.



10. You don’t give people any urgency to buy now. Many people are interested in your product but they put off buying it till later and eventually forget about it. Entice them to buy now with a freebie or discount and include a deadline date when the offer ends.

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Dec 042022
 

What you don’t know can hurt you. Next time you connect to one of them, be very observant you’re connecting to a legitimate one and not an evil twin.


What is an evil twin?


They are fake Internet gateways posing as a legitimate wifi hotspots. Supposing you visit the local Internet cafe who has a paid hotspot. You boot up your notebook computer, your wifi connection software seeks out available networks and gives you an option of two (maybe more) networks you can get online with. One of them is from the Internet cafe, but wait. You see one that says “Free Wifi courtesy of Wifi Hotspots Nation” or whatever. Everyone loves a deal, who do you get on with? If you chose the one from Wifi Hotspots Nation, then you may have connected to the Internet on the Evil Twin’s network. Note Wifi Hotspots Nation is a fictitious name I created but that is the irony. An evil twin usually operates using a fictitious or deceptive name that’s always changing. Since there is no authority governing the names of wifi hotspots, there is nowhere you go to check up on their legitimacy.


Wifi hotspots networks are like doors. In one place (hotspot) you can have many doors. Through one door, you can enter a solid brick room and do what you like since no one is watching you. Through another, you enter into a room with a two-way mirror where someone is watching and recording your activity quietly without you knowing. Both doors are marked in a way you think you’re going to the same place but in reality you’re not. One of them is really an evil twin; A wolf in sheep’s clothing.


Enough about doors and sheep, what does this mean to you? I think you’re smart enough to figure it out by now. By connecting to the evil twin, it’s easy for the people running it to capture any information you’re entering onto websites or even snoop around in your computer and private files. And while they’re there, why not drop some kind of malicious software that’ll run in the background you’ll never even know was there. Who knows that they do.


Aren’t these fake wifi hotspots easy to detect?


If you’re the owner of the legitimate wifi hotspot, you can tell which network belongs to you or not but not to the average user because they aren’t visible and it’s very easy to setup wifi hotspots. You and I can do it. There are no alerts and sadly, often the people who work at these hotspots aren’t knowledgeable enough to warn you either. The person sitting next to you whom you think is doing work online could be operating an evil twin, or they could be one of those duped by one.


What do you do?


In an ideal world, don’t connect to wifi hotspots networks or don’t get on a public wifi at all. If you absolutely must get an Internet fix, don’t conduct online transactions like buying stuff, logging into your online bank or any place you’d be asked for sensitive information.


Next, disable all kinds of file or print sharing. If using WindowsXP operating system, go to Start, Control Panel and then Network Connections. Right click on the Internet connection or the Network connection and select Properties. In the General tab, locate and uncheck File and Printer Sharing. Click apply.


If you set up your notebook computer to connect automatically whenever a network is found, you’d want to disable that or change it to manual connection.


Make sure your firewall is turned on and any antivirus software is up to date.


As a good practice, if you have any sensitive files or information on your computer, consider putting them into one or several dedicated folders and then securing those folders by making them private. In WindowsXP, select the folder in question, right click on it and select properties. In the sharing tab, locate and check “Make this folder private”.


These suggestions aren’t fool proof but can help put stumbling blocks in an offender’s path. The best protection is still being knowlegeable about wifi hotspots networks and not to connect to a suspicious network. And if you’re in doubt, don’t connect at all.


Sidenote: Similarly, if your neighbour offers their wifi network for you to use, make sure this is someone whom you trust.

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Dec 032022
 

Most people think – mistakenly – that if you have credit problems, you have to wait 7 years for them to go away. Well, that’s not always true.



Credit repair can help you…once you know how to do it. The time to clean up your credit and pay off your debts is RIGHT NOW, before you start looking for houses and applying for mortgages. Cleaning up your credit and lowering your debt will help you:



• get a better interest rate

• borrow more money

• and save lots of money in interest

Clean Up Your Credit Report



These days, getting credit is easy. Unfortunately, so is getting into debt or financial trouble.



But just because you’ve had some money problems does NOT mean you can’t get a mortgage and buy a house. There are all kinds of loans:



• loans for first time homebuyers

• loans for people with bad credit

• loans for people with perfect credit

• and loans for people without a lot of money for a down payment



So, most people can get a loan these days. The question is, HOW MUCH will you pay in the long run for higher fees and interest rates?



A lot of people think that if something bad goes on your credit report, that it must stay there for 7 years, or longer. But that’s not always true. Credit repair can work, if you know how to do it.



And, you can do it yourself.



For example, I had lots of debt (from a business idea that did not work) and got a lot of bad credit listings while getting myself out of debt.



And within 6 months of paying off my last credit card bill (remember, even if you have some debt you might still be able to get a house loan) I repaired my credit to the point that I got both a car loan and a mortgage. More importantly, I got the LOWEST POSSIBLE interest rates, which over the life of a 30-year loan could save me tens of thousands of dollars!



How did I repair my credit?



I got a copy of all my credit reports, and kept writing letters asking the credit bureaus to remove the bad credit.



So it CAN be done. (And I had some pretty bad stuff on my credit reports.) The worst that can happen is that the credit bureaus can say “no” to your request. The best that can happen is that your credit score will improve, and you’ll pay a lower interest rate, get a bigger mortgage, or both!



So, how do you clean up your credit report?



The first step is to get a copy of your credit report from the 3 credit bureaus, listed below. You might have to pay a few dollars, but it is well worth it. If you moved, changed jobs, and had any other personal info change recently, you can send it to the credit bureaus, and request a free copy.



NOTE: You are now entitled to one free credit report each year from http://www.annualcreditreport.com.



The next step is to circle or highlight the bad credit items, and write a letter to each credit bureau asking them to remove the item. If you have a lot, focus on one or two at a time.



Then, wait a month or two, and ask for another one or two items to be removed.



It might take a few tries.



But if you keep trying, eventually most (or all) of the items will be removed.



In the worst case – even if you only get a few removed – it might still improve your credit score, reduce your interest rate, and lower your monthtly payment!



So don’t give up.



It might take a little time to repair your credit – especially if you’ve had quite a few money problems. But every little bit helps your credit score, your interest rate, and the amount of money you can get.



Then Pay Off As Much Debt As Possible



I know, when preparing to buy your new home money is real tight. But if you have any extra money – any at all – try to pay off as much debt as possible. This will help you:



• Be more likely to be approved for a mortgage

• Be able to borrow more money

• Have one (or more) less bill to worry about once you start having to pay a mortgage every month.



If you can’t pay off your debt, you might want to consider waiting before buying your new home. Or, look into a debt reduction program that can help you get out of debt faster.



There are no rules that say you can’t have some debt and still buy a house!



But think very carefully about your financial situation. And TRY to pay off as much debt as possible before buying a house. There is enough to worry about as a new homeowner, without having to worry about paying your credit card bills.



At the very least, if you do have any debt, MAKE SURE you can comfortably afford to pay your credit card bills as well as your mortgage, before getting started!

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Dec 022022
 

There are many eBay scams out there to keep an eye out for when you are buying or selling on eBay. This article will cover some of the known and not so well known scams to be aware of. Whether you re a causal buyer or seller, or a professional on eBay, you need to know about these scams so that you can take measures to prevent or recognize if it s happening to you.

Bid Shielding

This scam is something you need to watch out for as a seller on eBay. Basically the scam is run using two separate eBay accounts. The scam works like this. You put your item up for auction. Let s say your item is worth $100 and you have no reserve. The first bidder (scammer) comes along and bids $5 on your item. Right after that, another bidder working with the first bidder comes along and bids $200 on your item. Since your item is only worth $100, you receive no more bids for the duration of your auction. Right before your auction ends, the first bidder backs out and cancels their bid, leaving the $5 bidder the winner, effectively shielding all other potential bidders because of the $200 bid.

Because of the potential for this scam it is always good to have a reserve on your auction. Also, I would put some sort of disclaimer on your auction stating that if you suspect bid shielding on your auction, you reserve the right to back out of the sale. It s always a good idea to keep an eye on your auctions and watch for this type of behavior. If you suspect this is happening to you, be sure to report the parties involved to eBay right away.

Wholesale List Scam

This scam takes advantage of the fact that many people don t pay close attention or read the fine print on an auction. This scam is targeted at buyers who are looking for deals on electronics and technological items on eBay. The wholesale list scam is basically an auction that looks like the seller is offering a great deal on a product like an iPod for example. They may have a buy now price of $40 for an iPod that is worth $150. However, if you actually read the fine print on the auction, you will find that you are not really buying the iPod. In fact you are purchasing a wholesale list.

To avoid this scam, just be sure that you read the entire details of the auction before making a bid or a purchase. Basically, just use common sense. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is, so read the auction carefully.

Bad Check Scam

This eBay scam is exactly what it sounds like. The bad check scam is simple. Someone purchases your item and sends you a check as payment. You receive the check, and send out the item. However, 2 weeks later you find out the check bounces and now you are out your item and the money.

To avoid this, simply do not send out any products until the check has cleared.

Spoof eBay Emails

This eBay scam is an attempt to get your personal information and/or eBay account information. Basically the scammer sends you an email that looks like it s from eBay. The email may direct you to a website (that also looks like eBay) where it asks to you verify your information. In reality, the website is created by the scammer to collect your personal information and use it for identity theft. The scammers can be very tricky and make everything look very official.

To avoid this scam, you need to be wary of any emails that you get. The first thing you need to check is the email header. Emails from eBay, will have “@ebay.com” as the last part of the senders email. Also any links that are in the email may be directing you somewhere other than where they say they are. Also copy and paste the links into your browser, and only visit official links that start with “www.ebay.com”. If anything seems suspicious to you, forward the email to eBay and wait for their response. They will let you know if it s legitimate or not.

In conclusion, most people you run into on eBay are good honest people and not out to scam you. You may do business on eBay for years and never run into any of this. However, occasionally these things do happen so it s important to use common sense and use your best judgment when it comes to this stuff. Just be aware that it can happen, and take the necessary precautions and you will be fine. There s a lot of money to be made on eBay, so don t let anything scare you off. Keep yourself armed with knowledge and information and you will be successful out there in the auction world!

Resource Box:

This article was written on behalf of eBayBusiness.net by Webmaster and Internet Marketing Specialist Jason Cooper. Visit http://www.ebaybusiness.net and download 3 Free eBayBusiness.net Success Reports today! (c) 2005, eBayBusiness.net. This article may be reproduced in all venues so long as the content and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are set live.

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Nov 302022
 

Copyright 2005 Donovan Baldwin

There’s another term for it, but I prefer OPGI for three reasons:

1. Nobody’s ever heard of it and it arouses curiosity,

2. I think it’s more complimentary to the people involved,

3. It’s less likely to turn people off than “swipe” file.

So what DOES OGPI stand for?

It stands for Other People’s Good Ideas.

Let me ask you a blunt question. Just how creative are you? Do you believe that you can write exciting, order pulling ads off the top of your head? Sure you can, but are there other people doing it more effectively than you could? Really, just how good are you at that sort of stuff?

(Aside here: If you are really great at it, have I got a deal for you! Now back to the rest of us.)

I’M WILLING TO TELL YOU THAT I’M NOT THAT GOOD AT IT!

Most of us are not that great at creating effective ads and ad copy. Simple fact. Even if we have the basic talent, there’s going to be a lot of trial and error before we get it right.

Whenever we want to learn a new technique or skill, we go to the experts. We read books, we watch professionals at work, we listen to the instructions of those who have been there…done that. We do this all in order to acquire the basics and refine our skills as they develop. This works in the world of business as well.

By the way, did you ever see a fast food company establish a new location? Shortly after, there were several other fast food facilities there as well, weren’t there? They saw what the first one did and learned from their research, didn’t they? It’s a lot easier to plan something if you can see who’s being successful and how they are doing it.

That’s what you need to do. That’s why you are going to learn from your competition (and others) and not just read books on marketing. A book can give you some great generic tips and ideas on product, location, presentation, etc. but what is going to show you what actually works? Simple question, simple answer. What’s working for others is what will probably work for you.

To use Other People’s Good Ideas, you first want to establish a “swipe file”. This will be a collection of advertisements, letters, and other marketing material that appears to be successful, eye catching, or of other value to you in preparing your own ads and copy material. Now, you are not going to use someone else’s material word for word, but if a technique, headline, or turn of phrase is working for someone else, surely there is some way to adapt it to your needs.

If something stands out or catches your attention, you want to keep a copy of it and see if you can use a variation of it in your own marketing. Something a little less obvious is the ad that doesn’t seem to that great, but keeps running week after week, or month after month. It will usually only keep running like that if it is helping someone make money! You may have to study the ad carefully, maybe even order the materials offered, or acquire a sample of the product in order to determine the effectiveness of the ad.

Maybe it’s the guarantee, the service after the sale, the quality of the product. Maybe it’s the backend.

In marketing, companies often lead with a freebie or inexpensive item in order to elicit inquiries. Once the marketer establishes a relationship with the customer, he or she begins to present other products to the customer. This will be the backend, or the actual product the marketer wants to sell.

For example; I could offer a free network marketing report, such as this one, which cost me nothing to acquire, since I wrote it myself. When someone requests the report, I can include an offer for a collection of my network marketing reports for a small fee…barely enough to cover my mailing and advertising costs…maybe even at less than my cost. If the customer is willing to part with cash to order these reports and trusts me enough to believe that I will fulfill my end of the bargain, it is time for me to present my backend (no, not that backend)…the product or service on which I really hope to make money.

That’s an overview of the backend, and that is where the money is made in direct marketing. Ads requesting up-front payment for products or services don’t do very well overall, but once trust is established you can start asking for money. If you don’t believe me, just order my report on the two-step marketing process. It’s only a dollar!

I’m just kidding. It’s free, and there will be a link to it at the bottom of this report.

There are two other areas in which OPGI’s can help us.

First, the products other people offer may be important to us. Sometimes people new to marketing see a large group of people marketing the same or similar products and conclude that the market is saturated. Let’s take a fresh look at this. All this activity may very well indicate a hot market or product. If a lot of other people are selling something, it may very well be because they are successful doing it!

Secondly, see where ads are being placed. In terms of types of products and services, there isn’t much new under the sun. There may be a new weight loss product, but weight loss products have been around for a long time. If people selling a certain product or opportunity are not advertising in an established publication or at an established site, it is probably because it has already been tried and didn’t work. Don’t reinvent the wheel. If exercise equipment is not being advertised in a quilting magazine, there may be a reason! If fourteen ads offering power saws are found month after month in a woodworking magazine, there may be a reason.

Of course, if you have the insight to establish a link that has not been seen before, that is great. For example, I marketed weight loss meals that required no refrigeration and could be prepared several different ways. I marketed to truckers who not only tend to have a problem finding healthy meals on the road, but who are constantly searching for less expensive ways to eat while over the road. (I know because I was one once.) I made the point to them that using my meals, they can eat for a day for about the same amount that one truck stop meal would cost…plus they eat a healthier, balanced diet and are less likely to gain weight while over the road.

Anyway, if you are selling drill bits, ask yourself, “Where are drill bits being sold?” Is it in cooking magazines or in woodworking magazines? Look thru a magazine for computer games. How many ads for weight loss products do you see? Now look thru a health magazine. Did you find some weight loss products? If you did, ask yourself why that company chose to buy that expensive ad in that magazine. The same steps apply to the internet. Just look at web sites instead of magazines.

By the way, if the ad looks great, add it to your “swipe” file.

The way to be successful is to copy what successful people are doing.

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Nov 292022
 

Search engine optimization or SEO is the hottest way to drive targeted traffic to your website. Maximizing the benefits of a well optimized website will yield lots of earnings for the marketer. However, optimizing your site might cost you thousands of dollars if you are not skilled in this area.



But to tell you the truth, you can essentially get information on low cost SEO anywhere in the Internet. But only several really show you how to work out an affordable search engine optimization endeavor. And those few that really inform include this article.



1. Link exchanges



One cheap SEO method that can get you best results is through link exchanges or linking to and from other web sites. Depending on the websites that you would like to exchange links with, this tool could even cost you nothing at all. Contact the author or owner of the web site you want to have a link exchange with. You will be surprised with the eventual spiking up of your page ranking using this means of getting your website optimized.



2. Write or acquire key word rich articles



Writing truly informative and keyword-rich articles is one surefire way to make your Internet business more visible than ever. It’s either you write your own articles or you get them from article directories that allow you to post these articles on your website as long as you keep the resource box or the author’s byline in tact. Just don’t stuff your articles with keywords that even idiots would get bore of reading them. The readability and freshness of your articles will still be the basis of whether your writers will keep on coming back to your website or not.



3. Catchy Domain Name



What better will make your target visitors remember your website but with a very easy-to-recall domain name. Something sweet and short will prove to be very invaluable. Registering your domain name is not for free. But creativity is.



4. Organize your site navigation



Providing easy steps in navigating your site is one way to make your visitors become at ease with your site. This, in turn, will improve the flow of traffic to your website.



Low cost SEO is always evolving like any other approach in information technology. There are many methods that can very well land you on the top ten rankings of Google or on any other search engines. Some may cost a lot but there are methods that can give you the same results at a low price or you can even do on your own such as those mentioned above.

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