The Beginner’s Guide to Investing: Where Should You Put Your Money?

Do you have investing beliefs and an ultimate purpose?

Many investors have not asked themselves this question and the lack of answer has clouded their judgement.

Several times over the last hundreds years, we have seen market crashes, declines in interest rates, lower oil prices, and staggering precious metal prices.

When these things happened, investors panicked and started looking for gurus.

When all things are going wrong, many investors believe that there is someone out there who can predict when businesses will be good, when stock markets will fall, when interest rates will rise, and so on.

They end up following the herd or taking advice from people who have very little credibility and it is not unusual that they lose all of their lifetime’s savings.

So far, many people have not learned from the stock market crash of 1978, the dot com bubble in 1999, and the real estate bubble in 2008.

If there is really such a person who can make the right decision for your money, it is you and no one else. In this book, we will share basic principles about investing, why it is important to invest, and tips how you, the individual investor, can make sound decisions about your money.

The Miracle of Compound Interest

You may have heard or read what Sir Albert Einstein said about compounding:  “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”

Too many people do not realize how compound interest adds to their burden of debt. This is especially so for those who purchase on credit and fail to pay their bills on time. But what exactly is compounding and how is it calculated?

Compounding is a type of calculation in which the accumulated interests are added to the principal to calculate the current increase in interest. In a simple interest arrangement, you only pay the interest plus the principal.

In addition, the number of years that a principal and its interests are compounded substantially affects the end value.

Supposed you borrow $100 with a 10% interest on a simple interest arrangement, you only owe $110 in total. This you will divide by the number of years you have to pay, say 10 years, which results to $11 per year amortization.

In compound interest, you add the 10% on top of the $110 for the following year, which results to an additional of $11. This totals to $121. The next year, take 10% of $121 and add that to $121 and that is the total you owe.

This usually happens when you pay late on your bills. Your remaining balance, including interests accumulated, will be multiplied to the current interest rate and will be summed up to get the final amount of what you owe.

If you reverse this situation and you are on the receiving end of the equation, you will financially prosper provided you have enough patience to wait.

This is the power of compounded interest that one earns when investing long term. The longer you allow your money to compound, the greater the return.

If you save $10,000 today and it earns 10% interest per year, your total money would be $11,000 by the end of year one.

By the end of year two, your money will earn another $1100 ($11,000 x 10%). This gives you a total of $12,100 in only two years. By the end of the tenth year, your money will be worth $25,937!

To further understand its power, please see the table below demonstrating the difference between simple and compound interest investments.

As you can see, a simple interest only doubled your money in ten years. But the compounding increased your money by more than 150%

How to Determine Your Risk Tolerance

Peter Lynch, one of the most renowned investors and fund managers in the world, once said that you should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose for at least 10 years.

This is based on the reality that all investments have the likelihood to default or be lost. All investments have accompanying risks, albeit they vary in gravity.

Some are low risk like deposit accounts and government treasury bonds; some are medium risk like corporate bonds, and some are high risk like stocks and futures.

Identifying your risk tolerance will allow you to make an informed decision on which type of investment vehicle to take. It allows you to view worst-case scenarios and prepares you how you would react to them.

Determine Your Time Frame

The first question to answer is how much time do you have to invest? Better yet, how long is your horizon to invest?

Younger individuals have longer periods ahead of them and can take high risk investments.  People who are nearing retirement do not have a decade to invest and are much better off in low to medium risk investment platforms.

To answer this better, determine how soon you will need the money. If the money you have now is something you need to use within five years, your risk tolerance is relatively short and you are best suited for conservative investment portfolios.

If you do not need the money for at least ten years, an aggressive portfolio will fit you nicely.

Determine Your Risk Capital

Before you can answer this, you need to understand your net worth. Simply put, this is your personal equity. Your equity is calculated as your total assets minus your total liabilities.

Risk capital, on the other hand, is the amount of money you are initially investing. This money is something you do not need at the moment.

Think of it as money that will not be available in the near future. Consider it gone, if you will. This means that you should never invest emergency funds and money you need to pay for the rent or education.

If you have a high net worth, then it is also safe to assume that you can increase your risk capital and vice versa.

The problem is that those who have low risk capital and low net worth are usually lured into riskier investment programs because they want to earn bigger and quicker. It is unfortunate that it is the same people who usually lose.

Determine Your Financial Objectives

Although many think that the obvious answer is to earn money, there is much to be said than this. You need to have a specific purpose other than earning.

Are you saving for your children’s college education, a house, a car, or for retirement? Having a conclusive response to this will help you gain insight on your investment horizon and risk capital.

The assumption is that the money you are investing now is supposedly the money you are saving for the purpose mentioned above.

For example, let us assume you are trying to save $200,000 for a house and you want to reach this in 10 years. Ask yourself, how much of that money are you willing to risk now? Ten thousand? Twenty thousand? 

The key here is to fully understand that the money you invest is what you should consider as disposable income. It may disappear. So if you cannot bear to imagine losing ten grand, your risk tolerance is low and this will guide you in deciding whether to take low, medium, or high risk investment portfolios.

How and Why Automate Investment Contributions

It has always been said that successful savers are those who pay themselves first. This is easier said than done.

The common mindset of many people is to pay bills first, enjoy second, and whatever is left is the savings, which usually is none.

To invest successfully, you need a shift in your mindset. You need to start believing that every payday, the first thing you need to chuck off your check is your investment requirement. Then you live off if whatever is left. Below are the benefits of an automated investment contribution.

Dollar Cost Averaging Defined

It is the mindful and meticulous method of studying stocks and bonds and other investment vehicles that puts investors at high risk.

Time and time again, professionals have proven that there is no way you can time the market. In addition, changing decisions every so often is very likely to distract you from your original goals.

Dollar cost averaging can save you this agony by setting up an automatic payment arrangement with the financial institution who facilitates your investment.

Every payday, a fixed amount is taken off your salary and this is added to your portfolio, regardless of the condition of the economy, the market, or the interest rates of bonds.

The benefit of dollar cost averaging is that it disciplines you to contribute regularly, thus removing self-sabotage from the picture. It also reduces your risk by allowing your money to buy shares of mutual funds at a lower cost when the market is down.

How to Automate Your Investments

If your employer offers 401K, this is a good start. Money is taken off your paycheck on a regular basis. If there is none, you can choose to open a Roth IRA and contribute every payday.

Another set-up is to enrol in mutual funds. There are many companies that offer low capital funds with low monthly subscription rates.

These companies will invest money on your behalf and as the time progresses, the value of your investment will also grow.  Some banks can set-up an auto-debit process tied up to your checking or savings account.

You can also use digital products like eTORO. The wonderful thing about this account is that you can actually copy the trades of people who are successful in the stock market.

With eTORO, can see how much these people have earned, and you can create a portfolio that is based on their choices.

Essentially, they will do the thinking for you. All you have to do is to invest money. Now, if they lose, you lose. If they make huge amounts of money, you will also do.

The Most Popular Investment Options

Investment is probably one of those terms that is overused and misused. Today, people refer to their luxuries as investments, such as cars and expensive home theatre systems.

Investments are those that appreciate in value. These are things that generate money and anything that does not produce both is considered an asset but not an investments. Below we will discuss the most popular form of investments available to retail investors.

Stocks

The first type of an ownership investment is stocks. A stock is tangible certificate that you own a portion of a company. When a corporation or a business needs money basically splits its ownership into shares.

Let us say that a business needs $1000 in capital, it may split its shares into 1000 pieces, each costing $1. You as an investor buy these stocks in the premise that the company will do well and become profitable.

If you buy 100 shares in the previous example, you own 10% of the company and this entitles you to 10% for every penny earned, also called dividend.

You can own stocks or shares in a private or public company but it is a lot easier to acquire stocks in publicly listed companies.

These companies are those who needed to raise billions of dollars to either expand, fund research, or pay off debt. Publicly listed companies are found in the stock market and purchasing their shares is done through registered brokers.

The benefit of buying publicly traded stocks is its liquidity. You can buy these shares today and sell them tomorrow. Private stocks are less liquid because you need to find somebody who is interested to buy your shares. The stock market, however, has millions of potential buyers and potential sellers at any given time.

The way you earn through stock is through capital appreciation or dividends.  Dividends are usually paid annually when the company had a good year.

The downside in this is if the company incurred losses, you will not be paid anything. Capital appreciation happens when people are interested to buy shares from you at a higher price than what you bought it for.

This happens when the company has performed significantly well and is financially strong. Stocks have outperformed many investment portfolios in the history of time. This is also the riskiest of all investments because prices fluctuate every second.

Bonds

A bond is a debt. Bonds are issued by investors either to the government or private entities who need money but do not want to borrow from the bank due to high interests.

In essence, you are acting as the lender. Since you are not likely to have $500 million to lend, you issue bonds in denominations along with retail investors.

All the money is pooled until enough is accumulated to lend to a specific entity. In return, companies pay an annual interest to you until such time that the date of bond maturity is reached and you are paid in full.

There is still a risk involved here because some companies may go bankrupt and default on their debts. It is widely believed that government bonds are the safest because the government is not likely to go bankrupt.

All it has to do is to print more money.  Compared to stocks, bonds are less risky because corporations are graded based on their credit worthiness.

This means that you have full confidence in lending a corporation based on its history of paying its debts.

Bonds are ideal for individuals nearing retirement so the individual can live off a fixed income—through interest of the bond. This is also an ideal investment vehicle for those who do not have a long-term horizon for investing. Typically, bonds are issued with maturity dates of up to five years.

The counterpart of bonds in stocks is mutual funds in which investor money is pooled to buy large blocks of stocks in the market.

Certificate of Deposits

Pretty much, this is your regular savings accounts with a twist. Also called as CD or time deposit, you cannot withdraw your money for a specific period of time. In return, the bank will pay you a higher interest rate.

Gold, Precious Metals

Gold is one of those metals that the earth cannot produce. Whatever gold we have on earth right now is the only gold we will ever have. This rarity is what makes it so expensive. Add to that the costs of labor and processing. In the same lines with gold are silver and copper.

REITS or Real Investment Trust Funds

This is a combination of stocks and real estate. In this form of investment, you do not buy your own real estate property.

What you buy are shares of companies who have real estate properties that they are renting out.  So essentially, you are buying a part of the property which will appreciate in value overtime.

Venture Capital and Lending

Being a venture capitalist simply means being a financier. You are funding projects or businesses and in return, you get a share of the profit. In most cases, venture capitalists become partners of the business they funded.

Lending, on the other hand, is giving your money to people on credit and interest. This is different from bonds because in most cases, you do not really assess the borrower’s capacity to pay.

In bonds, the companies borrowing money are rated by third party credit rating agencies. Today, there are peer to peer organizations like Lending Club and Prosper who accept money for lending on behalf of investors.

These organizations pool investors’ money to lend to people and interests are paid out once the borrowers pay their obligation.     

How to Determine the Right Investment Options

By this time, we would assume that you are done assessing your risk tolerance and you understand the different risks associated with each type of investment.

To sum up the previous two chapters, if your risk tolerance is higher and your investing horizon is longer, you are best suited for stocks and equities.

On the other hand, if your risk tolerance is lower and you have a short time horizon for investing, you are better off with bonds.

The next step is to determine whether you are a conservative or an aggressive investor. Look at the high level definitions below and determine where you belong. It is possible to be in between.

Conservative                                    Aggressive

Has shorter time horizon              Has longer time horizon

Has lower risk tolerance               Has higher risk tolerance

Financially unstable                       Financially stable

Now that you have indentified which bracket you belong to, look at the recommendations below on how you will allocate your funds.

Conservative Mix

If you rated yourself as very conservative, the recommended portfolio for you is to allocate:

  • 20% in domestic stocks
  • 50% bonds
  • 30% short term investments

This type of mix allows you to enjoy stable and steadier performance of your investment with a little room for growth.

Balanced Mix

This is ideal if you are not very conservative but somehow on the way to aggressive. This balanced portfolio is perfect if you are looking for opportunities for growth and you can tolerate minor fluctuations in your investment.

  • 45% domestic stocks
  • 5% foreign stocks
  • 40% bonds
  • 10% short term investments

Growth Mix

This is a type of portfolio recommended for individuals who are not that aggressive but as not as conservative either. These are individual who have a minimum of 10 years to invest and have moderate risk capital.

They are financially stable and the money they invest now are not needed near term. This is appropriate if you prefer growth and if you can tolerate significant volatility in your portfolio.

  • 60% domestic stocks
  • 10% foreign stocks
  • 25% bonds
  • 5% short term investments

Aggressive Growth Mix

This is most appropriate if you have a long term horizon and a huge amount of money to risk. An aggressive portfolio is designed for those who have very strong inclination for growth and can tolerate huge and sudden movements in their portfolio.

  • 70% domestic stocks
  • 15% foreign stocks
  • 15% bonds

Remember, you need to assess yourself carefully, most especially your time horizon and risk capital, before picking the type of portfolio for you. A mistake in your self-assessment can prove to be very financially devastating move.

How to Take Advantage of P2P Lending

In the previous chapters, we touched on peer to peer lending as a type of investment. Here we will dabble a little bit into it to understand how it works and we will compare two of the leading peer to peer lending companies in existence today.

Peer-to-peer lending or P2P lending is basically a crowd funding activity, supported by unrelated people, called peers, the aim of which is to lend money to those in need without going through the traditional lending companies or banks. The lending typically takes place online after applicants have passed credit checks.

The main advantage to the borrower is lower interest rates. Banks and financial institutions typically charge 10% while P2Ps charge below that.

From a lender’s perspective, the returns are higher than bonds but this is also riskier because the borrowers also have a likelihood of defaulting.

Today, there are two leading P2P Lending companies: LENDINGCLUB.COM and PROSPERITY.COM.

As an investor, you can utilize these companies to grow you money by lending your funds to them at an interest and allowing their fund managers to allocate the money to approved borrowers. Below is a comparison of the two.


Investment automation refers to investors’ capability to allow either P2P companies to invest on their behalf.

The investors will deposit money and the company will take care of distributing it to borrowers. Manual investing, on the other hand, refers to the investors’ capability to select a specific borrower based on his profile, credit rating, and interest rate.

TWO PASSIVE INCOME STREAMS

The last chapter of this book will provide two simple yet ignored ideas to generate passive income on top of your investments.

Many people believe that investing is a great way to earn passive income upon retirement. However, you have to realize that to raise $1000 in per month, you should have at least invested $250,000, assuming that it generates 5% annual return on a regular basis.

This is a feat to achieve so we are listing other ways for you to earn without any heavy involvement.

Real Estate

Perhaps this is the most profitable of all and the easiest to understand. All you have to do is to buy a property and rent it out. Just like any business, investing in real estate has its complications. You need to carefully assess and do the math if you can make a profit.

Calculate your mortgage and tax liabilities annually and check if the property can be rented higher than that amount. Add to this the expenses you will incur for repairs. The difference between this and what the tenant will pay annually is your take.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a type of marketing that requires a lot of hard work before it flies. You need to build a website and post contents that people will be reading and coming back to.

Later on, once you have built an audience, you can enrol in affiliate marketing services and add their links or banners to your site.

Whenever a person clicks on the link and makes a purchase, you are entitled to a commission. Average in the industry is 20% of the product cost.

You can learn more about affiliate marketing from my other posts as shown below:

While affiliate marketing is simple, it is not easy. Many people fail because they have false expectations. But if you just work hard enough, you can earn as much as $100,000 per month with little to no investment.

The truth is, many who have tried this failed because they did it without the guidance of a mentor. You will succeed if you invest in your affiliate marketing knowledge. Pay for a course and get support from the experts.  

Summary

As you can see, there are many ways that you can invest money. A vast majority of these are passive, but they still require hard work. As far as I am concerned, affiliate marketing is the one that has the least risk.

Affiliate marketing requires very little capital, not more than $100, but it can yield more than $100,000 over time.

FREE PROGRAM FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO EARN RECURRING AFFILIATE COMMISSIONS.

My second best recommendation is for people to copy what other successful traders are doing. With this approach, you can choose traders who have a long history of success in investing. To be able to do this, you need a free social media trading software, like eTORO.

Choose how you want to invest, and decide if you want an active participation or a passive one.

Good luck!

Top 11 Most Rewarding Online Jobs for Students

The internet has opened limitless possibilities for employment. Today, many people no longer have to work in an office. They can work comfortably at home and they are not limited with only one or two types of work. 

Better yet, students who are in high school or even college can help their parents make ends meet by freelancing.

There are hundreds of things you can do after your classes to make money. While the road to success may be bumpy at first, a bright person like you can certainly adjust and make it through.

Depending on your skill level, you can earn hundreds or thousands of dollars per month.

Although online jobs for students cannot fully match an office or a day job salary, what you will earn is significant enough to contribute to your daily needs while you are in school.

And who knows, maybe you can turn this into a full-time source of income if you are really good at it.

I will not talk to you about affiliate marketing or dropshipping. Neither will I talk about creating apps or building an online business.

But if you are interested, here is my suggested reading:

Affiliate Marketing 101: A Semi-Passive Income That Works

3 Fundamentals of Affiliate Marketing – Read This Before You Get Started


What I want to focus on are jobs where you do not have to spend a lot of money or time to get paid. I will focus on jobs where you get paid because of your effort and output.

Certainly, you need laptops and tools like software, which you may already have in your computer. If you cannot invest in these, I really have to tell you that there is no such thing as free lunch.

No, you cannot make a lot money with only a smartphone. Any person who tells you otherwise is either a lying nut job, or someone who wants you to enroll in a course.

But you do need a laptop or a desktop. You cannot perform online work without this.

So, shall we begin?  

1. Graphic Design

Graphic arts come in all sorts of expertise level. Even if you are not at a god-like level, yet you have to ability to create calling cards, logos, and simple infographics, you can earn money on the side.

How much will you earn?

On average, graphic artists are paid $30 per hour. You can earn more money if you try to bill for the entire project. What happens is regardless of the length of time you worked for it, you will be paid a fixed amount.

While professional freelancers can charge anywhere from $150 to $1,000 for one logo, you are just starting out so you cannot complete with these prices. You are better off pricing your skills at a reasonable rate.

For graphic arts and all succeeding jobs, your best bet is to find competitors, and then view their samples. All online freelancers have a portfolio, so check these out and ask yourself if you can do that, or if you can do better.  

Then, investigate how much your competitors are charging, and then find yourself a middle ground. Price your service the right way, and clients will come your way.

2. Video Creation or Video Editing

This is the craze now. There are millions of people who want to build an online channel, yet they do not know how to create videos.

There are those who record videos, then pay freelancers to record an audio, mostly a script. Now, these guys do not know how to put that video and the audio together to create a coherent show.

If you know how to do this, then you can make money. There are also many clients out there who are looking for 3D animation, white board animation, and so much more.

Now, there are many free software out there, like Active Presenter. The thing with free software, however, is that they have a watermark on the video, which your clients will not want.

If you are already a skilled video editor, I would recommend that you upgrade and start using a professional tool like Camtasia, as this is one of the most used video editors that YouTubers use.

Another option you have is ViddyOze. It is a 3D animation tool that allows you to create cool videos for your clients.

ANIMATION SOFTWARE

3. Web Developer

No, you no longer need to learn how to code to be able to build a website, yet there are people who either have no time or simply have no technical skills to build one.

And this is where you come in. You can build dropshipping stores for your clients with Shopify, or build them a blog using WordPress.

To start this kind of business, you should of course know how to operate the web builder tools. You can charge $500 for a single project, or even $1,000, and it is up to you if you want to charge extra for the web content, like the content of About Us, Privacy, Terms & Conditions, and other pages.

If you do not know how to write, you can work with other freelancers who are in the writing niche. Order the required content from them, without your client knowing, and just charge everything from your client.

The trick here is that you should charge not just your fee, but also the money that it takes for the website subscription to happen.

For example, Shopify or WordPress may charge $120 per year. You should let the client pay for that, and only hand you over the credentials for Shopify or WordPress so you can build the website.

4. SEO Expert

There are many free SEO tools out there, like the ones from Neil Patel. In this service, it is completely up to you to choose what specific area of SEO you want to focus on.

You can help clients choose the right keywords to use to rank their articles, or you can do a complete website overhaul with SEO.

Know that you cannot offer this service without the right tools. The thing is, these tools have a cost. You do not have to buy them up front, but it all depends on the level of your SEO skills and what services you want to offer.

For a simple SEO keyword research, you can charge as much as $10 and not spend a dime. There are free SEO tools out there, like Google Trends and Google Ads, that can provide you with keyword suggestions, inclusive of monthly search volume and price competition.

What I personally use is Answer the Public. It is a keyword research tool that tells you what people in the internet are asking about a particular keyword. These key phrases are actual search words and terms used by people all over the world.

If you are ready to move to a higher level of service, you need a powerful tool. These tools require monthly subscription, but you can easily get a return on your investment.

Why?

If a client needs SEO, he will not buy an SEO tool. After all, that is just an added cost for his business. Instead, he will look for a person with that SEO tool, and then pay that person for the SEO service.

Think of your tool as a bus or a car. A person may not be able to afford a bus, but you can. This person is riding your bus as needed, and then pay you the fare, only as needed. You, however, will get paid regularly by passengers, and the bus you bought will pay for itself.

My two favorite tools are SEM Rush and Answer the Public. SEM Rush has a complete SEO tool. You can do keyword search, website check, SERP, rankings, and so much more.

SEMrush

It also has content marketing platform, which you can use for added services, plus PPC and SMM tools to know how your competitors are performing.

Answer the Public is free, but the service is limited. The free version works great only for amateur bloggers, but not for pros. The software, however, can be upgraded, and I prefer the upgraded one for my SEO needs.

5. Virtual Assistant

There are dozens of work you can do as a virtual assistant. You can do data entry, product descriptions, calendar management, and so much more.

The rate that you can charge depends on the how hard the job is, but it is usually paid per hour. The least amount you can receive here is $5, but as you grow and improve your skill, you can charge up to $20 per hour.

Usually, the clients here look for people who can commit specific hours per day. So, if you found a client who pays $20 per hour at four hours per day, you would roughly receive $1,600 for 20 days of work.

6. Audio Transcription

In audio transcription, you will listen to a sound recording and write what was said.  Many people think that in this job, the only thing you do is to transcribe audio from doctors and lawyers. This is not true.

If you watch movies with sub-titles, the person who created that sub-title is a transcriptionist. Many You Tubers also use the service of a transcriptionist so they can put a sub-title option in their videos.

This job is in demand so video creators can provide content to dead audiences. The smallest amount of money you can charge is $5 for each minute of audio. What this means is that for a 15 minute audio, you can make as much as $5 X 15 = $75!

7. Freelance Content Writer

Writing has many facets. You can write for bloggers who do not have the time to write for their websites. A vast majority of your clients here will be affiliate marketers who want to provide content to their audiences.

Writing is a lucrative career, but this is different from copywriting. I wrote a blog post once about the differences between copy writing and content writing, and it would be a good idea if you read it. 

All websites need content. And content is something that you can provide. Websites will need fresh articles every now so often and you will never run out of clients who will need your writing expertise.

Millions of people read these articles and they are voracious for more information.

In addition, website owners are in a race to rank high on search engines. And what makes them rank high in these search engines in the relevance of their website’s content to the keywords that an online surfer typed in the search box.

Writing for the web is not limited to articles and web content. Some clients need eBooks, resource materials, technical instructions, and many more.

And speaking of eBooks, there is a tool you can use to create eBooks, without you actually having to write something. This tool is called Sqribble.

Sqribble lets you create an eBook from its own library. All you need to do is to choose a cover page, change the name of the author, and then sell it. You can choose from many niches to serve different clientele.

You can also put a URL of the text, and this will be converted into an eBook.

This, of course, is not a free tool. It is a serious investment that will pay off in two ways:

  • Write eBooks for clients
  • Write ebooks and sell them on book stores online


If you choose to go this path, your work is pretty much cut out for you.

To start looking for clients to write for, look for websites that act as a mediator between clients and workers.

What these websites do is to allow employers to post what they need to get done. Freelancers place a bid and the winning bidder gets the job. All you have to do after you have been paid is to pay the website a small fee for its services.

8. Copywriting

Copywriting is the art of selling in written form. Any kind of advertisement you have seen is a copy. This includes words written on brochures, landing pages, white papers, and so much more.

The main goal of copywriting is to convince the reader to buy. And you will need a different skill set for this. Once you develop your skills in content writing, you can now branch out to copywriting.

FREE COPYWRITING EBOOK!

Copywriting can fetch you a lot more money than content writing, as writers can charge $100 per piece. Besides, your clients in this niche are businesses and companies that have a huge budget for advertising, not bloggers.

It can take years for you to be a copy writer, but you can speed up your learning if you take a course. Start by looking for free copywriting materials and courses, and then upgrade later on to the paid courses.

If you have been a content writer for a while, it is best that your arm yourself with the right skills set and take the course now. Once the course is over, you can start offering this service online, and product amazing results for your clients. 

9. Voiceover Work

In this job, you will read scripts that clients give you. The way you charge is by the number of words. Most professional voiceover specialists charge $150 for 100 words, and beginners charge anywhere between $10 and $50 per 100 words.

To do this, you need a good recorder, a microphone and a room that will serve as your studio. You can start with your phone, but make sure you have a good microphone.

The clients you are looking for here are those who release videos. They will attach your voiceover to the video. The end product is something like a TV show that has a narrator. 

This gig is best coupled with video editing service. You can create a package for both service, and charge a smaller fee that will make a client happy, without necessarily undercutting your prices.

If you ever combine these two services, you do not need a separate recorder if you are already using Camtasia or ViddyOze. But again, these two software are not free.    

10. English Tutor

If you speak English, there are many clients out there who need your help. Find clients from China, Japan, and other countries where English is not their second language.

You can do this in two ways.

The first one is to submit bids in freelance sites like Fiverr, and the second one is to design an English tutorial course.

GET STARTED WITH FIVERR TODAY!

English is such a big subject matter that you can cover a lot in it. You can focus on grammar, pronunciation, written English, and a whole lot more.

If you are going to tutor somebody, you can charge as much as $20 per hour of work. But of course, you need to prepare a course curriculum after you have discussed with your client what he needs.

In this case, the only thing you need is a stable internet connection and Skype, or any chat app that allows video calls.

Many clients who need an English tutor buy this service for their children, as they know that these kids will move to an English-speaking country one day.

For e-courses, you do not have to teach English live. You can pre-record your materials, and then upload them. The next thing to do is to either promote your course via paid ads, or wait until somebody finds the course online and enrolls.

You can use a tool like Teachable as your online course platform. For as littles $29, you can up-upload a course and have unlimited number of students.

With Teachable, you can even offer people a commission if they successfully referred students to your course. The site will also take care of charging your clients, and then pay out your funds into your account.

The e-course is a great passive income, and you are in the position to price the course the way you want. Many short courses today sell for $20. Just imagine of you have sold 1,000 of that in one year, you have $20,000 for only a little investment of your time and recording tools.

For e-courses, they have to be professional, so the free video editors and recorders will not do it. Again, my recommendation is Camtasia for screencast recording, and ViddyOze for animations.

11. Social Media Marketing

The last one on our list is social media marketing, a job where your duty is to engage people in different social media platforms.

You can only do this if you know a little about graphic design. Your main duty is to post on your client’s social media account, and make sure that your posts are so good that they will have more followers.  

You can charge by the hour or by the project. Social media marketing can cost anywhere between $45 and $2,000 per project.

Again, your duty is to manage your client’s social media accounts. You have to respond to the comments, engage followers, look for other social media groups where you can promote the brad, and many more.

A Last Piece of Advice

These 11 jobs that we mentioned do not require that you wait too long to see the results of your work.

The thing is, you have to invest on your tools to be able to make money.

Can you imagine how a photographer will make money if he has no camera? This is how freelancing works. Whatever you choose, you need a laptop and another tool so you can deliver high-quality products and services 

Also, another mistake that many freelancers make is that they go to freelance marketplaces and offer their services without knowing who their competitors are.

If you are decided to do an online job, my recommendation is that you buy a service from a freelancer who offers a similar service as yours.

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After doing your research and putting a price for your service, find someone like you. Buy his service, and then check the quality of this work.

If that freelancer has great feedback, then you know that you can deliver the same kind of quality and earn a good reputation, too.

And better yet? You can offer something more, or something better, and crush that competition.

As far as where to find jobs is concerned, my recommendation is Fiverr if you are starting out. It is not true that you can only charge $5 here. You are free to price your services.

I like it because it is not overpopulated like Freelancer, a place where everybody is driving down their prices just to get clients. Also, it has no stupid rules like UpWork does.

In UpWork, you get charged a currency for every bid you make. Once this currency is out, you have to buy more so you can bid more.

In Fiverr, membership is free, and bidding is free. You only pay 20% of the project cost once you are paid.

Again, choose one or a few services that you can combine. Invest in the right tools, find clients, deliver top-notch service, and you will earn more money that you can imagine.

Many freelancers who succeeded left their day jobs over time, like me. However, I will not advocate that you leave school. Finish a degree if you can, as this serves as a great backup if the gig economy becomes bad.

Good luck!

The Top 3 Foolish Interview Questions We Were All Asked

I have been interviewed a dozen times in the 14 years that I worked innt eh corporate world.

And I have interviewed hundreds of applicants, too.

I have to admit that I asked the same asinine questions when I was starting out to hire and promote employees.

Over the years, I realized that these questions have no relevance whatsoever as far as my profession is concerned.

Here are the three foolish questions that most of use have been asked at one time in our careers.

What is your greatest weakness?

This is so cliché. I do not ask this question during interviews anymore. I know fully well that candidates prepare answers for this and I will only hear any of these three:

  • A completely irrelevant answer—candidate says “I am not an expert in MS Excel…” but the job he is applying for does not involve MS Excel.
  • A sugarcoated answer—candidate says “I take a lot of effort to determine what to prioritize. As a result, some tasks may be compromised…” This means the applicant does not get the job done on time.
  • A weakness that is spun into something positive—candidate says “I am very detail-oriented and this causes me to work long hours…”

If you are asked this question, then you are in a tight spot. Perhaps the interviewer wants to see how you react under pressure. As far as I am concerned, my weaknesses are not your business. I came to the interview to sell my service, not to destroy my reputation.

To the Interviewer:

A better way to find out about a person’s weakness is to ask straightforward questions.

  • Have you done a report like this?
  • Can you describe this specific task in detail?

To the Interviewee:

Answers like “I do not have a weakness” or “I cannot think of one” will only diss your Interviewer. Your best option is to choose an answer from the three examples above. You can also tell the interviewer that your weakness is chocolate or Starbucks. Perhaps it is her weakness, too.


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Where do you see yourself in five years?

Wait, my crystal ball is cloudy at the moment. Whenever I hire a plumber or a carpenter to do some repairs at home, I do not ask him, “Mr. Plumber, where do you see yourself in five years?”

Do you?

I say: “The toilet is clogged. That is my problem. Can you fix it? What is your plan? What tools do you need—wire, pump, or straw?”

To the Interviewer:

Answers to questions like this will give you nothing more than superficial visions of the applicant’s future. Sometimes, you get a glimpse of the applicant’s dreams or ambitions but nonetheless, I do not think there is any answer to this question that will relate to the applicant’s ability to perform his duties.

To the Interviewee:

This question is a trap. Do not say things like “I will go abroad in two years” or “my petition for the US is due in six months.” You will not get hired. Say that you want to stay in the same company or industry for many years and you will work hard to advance the company’s business interests.

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If you were an animal, what would you be?

I am a cheetah. See how fast I can run? Bolt to the door and do not come back. Seriously, this question should only be asked if the basic requirements for the job are creativity and imagination. Or perhaps you are looking for people who have specific characteristics—fun-loving, adventurous, etc… Otherwise, this should be banned from the corporate world.

Other variants of this dumb question:

  • Why is a manhole round and not square?
  • How many cell towers are there from your house to the office?
  • If you were a tree, how tall would you be?
  • What pet are you?
  • If you were a singer, who would you be?
  • Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
  • If you were a superhero, who would you be?

To the Interviewer:

Do not ask this question. Please.

To the Interviewee:

Oh yes. You will be asked this question and you are expected to provide a professional and smart answer. Say something like, “I am a horse. I am strong; I can carry heavy loads and travel great distances to achieve business goals.”

Summary

There are many more dum-dum interview questions like these and it is not likely that you can prepare for all of them.

Just make sure that your answers are not offensive and that that you try to relate your answers to the job.

If you are not sure, just say “I haven’t really thought about that.” It is better to say you are not sure than provide answers that may hurt your interview assessment.


Be a copywriter. No interviews. No dumb questions. Just write for a living.

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At Last- We Have the Top Six Mind-Boost Activities to Make You Productive

In the age of technology, we are all subjected to mental stress every day and sometimes, we cannot help but lose our concentration.

And then we feel terrible.

We become unproductive, we get lost in our priorities, and we accomplish nothing.

If you have been like this for a while, you can lose your job. You can damage your relationships, and worse, you can lose your self-esteem.

Do not let this happen to you!

Let me show you six things I do to keep me productive!

1. Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition is never negotiable. With this said, I am not talking about the number of times you eat every day. You can eat as much as you want but make sure that the foods you eat provide you with proper nutrition.

Stay away from fastfood.

NOTHING BEATS PROPER NUTRITION!

Brown bag it if you must. Cook your own meals at home and take it to the office.

Take a lot of fruits and vegetables, as they are rich in natural sugar that will give you a quick boost of energy. Fish is also a great brain food because it is rich in Omega oils.

You also need to watch the contents of the food you eat. To improve the mind, you need to eat foods rich in zinc, Vitamin E, C and A.

2. Eat Less

If you eat less, you will experience lesser of this thing called “brain fog” or “sugar blues”.

You see, the brain sometimes get so clouded with sugar and other nutrients that it starts concentrating on the distribution of these chemicals instead of focusing on what you are actually doing. This makes you sluggish and mentally weak.

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Eat several times a day, but control the portions. Eating less is much better as you are giving your body the opportunity to metabolize that food, and this will prevent your brain from getting your brain all too foggy.

3. Increase Oxygen in the Brain

The brain needs oxygen to work properly. People suffer from stroke or cardiac arrest if the blood flow to the brain is limited.

You can improve blood or oxygen flow to the brain if you take time to relax and simply breathe in and breathe out. You can also do this by taking food supplements rich in Ginko Biloba.

A weird thing to do, but is equally effective, is to invert your body. If your head is on the floor and your feet are up in the air, the blood will flow to your brain quickly. Do this only for a few seconds or minutes as this can cause you to feel nauseous.

4. Avoid Harmful Substances

Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco kill brain cells. Taking these substances damages your brains and the cells eventually die.

Keep in mind that once a brain cell is dead, it cannot be replicated. For every dead cell, you lost a memory. You lose that connection that once made you great at something.

You may not notice it now but soon, you will see that you have a poor memory and that your brain has lost its ability to think fast.

5. Take Food Supplements

There are food supplements designed specifically to help the brain function well. These supplements may contain drugs like Phophotidyl Serine and Vinpocetine.

These drugs are known to speed up learning and reverse memory decline. Keep in mind that supplements should be taken at a doctor’s advice because each person has a different tolerance level and reaction to drugs.

One highly recommend food supplement is Organifi Green Juice.

  • Packs 11 of the world’s most powerful super foods
  • Designed to kick-start your body’s important processes such as detoxification, energy production, and stress management
  • Great for people in weight loss programs and those who have health issues
  • A 30-second solution to get your daily dose of veggies

6. Relax and Meditate

Meditation can take the brain on another subconscious state. This allows the brain to fully optimize its potential. Meditation helps you relax, improve blood flow to the brain, and increase oxygen distribution to the head.

YOGA BURN IS FROM THE LEADING YOGA INSTRUCTOR IN THE WORLD, MS. ZOE BRAY-COTTON.

With meditation, your brain can rest. You can shut yourself out from the daily nuances of life, thus giving yourself, and your brain, more opportunity to focus.

After meditation, you will feel relaxed, in control, and highly-motivated.


Summary

Help your body achieve its full potential by being active, eating the right kind of food, and avoiding harmful substances. You can also do this by taking food supplements that will supply what your body needs. These food supplements are designed to give you what your daily food intake fails to provide.


RELEASE THE FULL POTENTIAL OF YOUR MIND!

3 Fundamentals of Affiliate Marketing – Read This Before You Get Started

Just because you saw a video how to make $1,000 per day doesn’t mean you should jump into it right away. Most likely you have seen a video about affiliate marketing, and you thought it was easy.

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True enough, the affiliate marketing industry has taken the world by storm. It is one of the few businesses that have used the information highway to its full advantage.

And this success can be yours, too.

But what exactly is affiliate marketing and how does it work? A lot of people claim that you can rake in money with very little effort. But how true is it and what are the risks?

The Business Model

Let us start by defining the concept of affiliate marketing. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is all about referring the products or services of another company to people.

For every product or service that your referral pays for, you earn a commission. It is similar to selling but you are not actually selling–you are promoting, which is easier said than done.

All you have to do is find a way for a person to click on a company’s advertisement from your website. And if he buys, the company whose product you sell will trace that the customer came from you.

Then you get paid a commission.

The only thing that you need is your own website, blog, or YouTube channel. Many affiliate marketers use social media, but we will talk about this on another post.

On your platform, your goal is to make sure that people are visiting your site. As you build your credibility, your followers grow, too.

One day, these followers will click on the products you are prmoting and buy. After that, you get paid a commission.

Before you can do this, you just have to be a member of the company’s affiliate program, receive your own affiliate ID and link to put to your website.

In summary: it is like advertising but you only get paid when a purchase is made.

The Business Benefits

Since this is an online business and you practically do not have to create or manufacture your own product, there is very minimal cost.

You only need a computer and an internet connection. Being your own boss, you do not need to rent an office and you do not have to stock your own products, much less do the hard work of inventory and all sorts of analyses that businessmen do.

All you have to do, at the comfort of your own home, is to fill your website with valuable content–things that will benefit people.


You can use SEO copywriting techniques to drive traffic or visitors. You can earn while sleeping since people from around the world may come across your site at any time of the day.

The payment scheme is also very convenient since you have options to get paid via check, PayPal, bank transfer, and many other means. It all depends with the company whose products you promote.

RELEASE THE FULL POTENTIAL OF YOUR MIND!

And most importantly, many affiliate companies offer membership for free. After all, you are making them rich, so why bother charging you for any membership fee?

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The Business Risks

Now, this is the part that many people forget, that there are busines risks.

You cannot be an effective affiliate marketer without spending money. While there are free methods to do it, like posting your links on forums and social media sites, nothing beats a real business.


Many people who claim that they earn money via free posting do not really have anything to show for it. and I have never seen an affiliate marketing guru who will tell you that the free method is the only technique they use.

In a real business, you need a blog a YouTube channel, and software tools to execute your marketing campaign. You need writers, autoresponders, automation software, screen cast software, web hosting, and whole gamut of products to run your business.

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And when you give up, you fail, and you lose everything you have invested.

And add to that the courses that do not make sense. I have heard about affiliate marketing in 2008. I took a course only after I have exhausted free resources online–from blogs and YouTube.

I have no regrets taking the course, as it came from a person I trust.


It is very important that you understand the threats in the online world. There are unscrupulous people who will make offers that are seemingly ridiculous.

Some may offer a guaranteed earning of $3000 a day. Any person who promises to make you rich quickly is likely a scammer.


Several people will also recruit you to pay for “secrets” which usually is something that you can easily find in the internet for free.

Summary

Always remember that if it is too good to be true, then it likely is. In addition, try to avoid joining affiliate memberships that charge fees. Keep in mind that you are trying to earn money, not give it away.


Before you start with affiliate marketing, you need a notebook, and turn this into a place where you can create a checklist. Create a plan, search for winning products that you can promote easily, and make sure you only attempt selling those that have high commissions.

Assess what you need, and check how much you will pay on the software tools on a monthly basis. Find a copywriter that you can afford with no compromise to quality.

Then, execute your plans.


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Finally, 3 Exercises That Actually Work to Get Rid of Love Handles

The flab on your waist, also called love handles, can be such an ugly addition to your physique. Many people find this very annoying, especially when they are buying clothes.

To the dismay of many, their love handles would not go away. As a result, they resort to processes like liposuction and surgery.

This is not necessary unless you are lazy. You can get rid of you love handles in a perfectly natural way: exercise.

In this article, we will present to you the top three killer exercises to get rid of love handles fast.

The Trunk Twist

Also referred to as the standing trunk twist, this is a great exercise that allows you to warm up for other exercises as you work on your love handles.


Since the love handles, also called obliques, are just around your waist, exercise can burn this fat and strengthen the muscles around it as well. Below are the steps to facilitate the exercise.

  1. Stand with your feet apart, parallel to your shoulders.
  2. Your knees should be slightly bent.
  3. Now, extend your arms with your palm facing away. The position is similar to how you will stand if you will push something away.
  4. The next step is to twist your upper body without shifting your feet. Your hands should go along the direction you are twisting.
  5. Do this from left to right.

You can also put a rhythm to it by counting.

The Lying Twist

Many people call this exercise the leg twist. This is a great exercise after the trunk twist because pretty much, you have already warmed up. To do the exercise, follow the steps below.


  1. First, you need to lie on your back on a mat. Avoid lying on a hard surface because it is not a relaxing experience.
  2. Make sure your arms are flat on the floor on your sides. The palms should be facing down to ease off pressure.
  3. Next, raise your legs upward with your knees bent lightly.
  4. The next step is to lower your legs to one side. Let it stay for around five seconds.
  5. Lift them again and then lower your legs on the other side.
Who is ZOE BRAY-COTTON of YOGA BURN?

The Oblique Crunch

This exercise is essentially a variation of a popular and common exercise: the ab cruncher. With the ab cruncher, you lie down on your back and you lift your upper body and lie back down again.


The problem with this exercise is it focuses on the fat in the stomach area but not on the sides. The oblique crunch is facilitated in a way that focuses on the muscles and fat on the sides of your belly.

  1. First, lie down on the floor and bend your knees a little bit. Make sure the soles of your feet are on the floor.
  2. Put your hands behind your head for protection and balance. A variation is to put your hands on your chest.
  3. As you lift your upper body, twist it so your right shoulder meets your left knee.
  4. Lie back down and lift yourself up again but this time, your left shoulder should meet your right knee.
  5. Complete several reps and you should be good to go.

Summary

Exercises work if they are done right, and regularly. Results happen differently to different people, and the positive outcome is also best supported by appropriate diet.

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Three Mistakes to Avoid When Looking Forward to a Promotion

I spent 14 years in the corporate environment, and now that I am reflecting back on success, and as I embark on a new journey, I want to share the three most common mistakes about promotion that I have observed from people I have worked with and how they were doing it wrong.

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Expecting It to Happen

There are employees who expect a promotion to happen simply because they worked hard and have been consistent all throughout. When an internal position is made open to everybody, some employees do not submit their application, believing that they should be promoted based solely on the merits of their performance.

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In some companies, career promotions happen without the need for formal applications, usually after the annual performance review.

From a hiring manager’s perspective, all employees deserve an equal chance to apply. If a department, including your own, released a career advertisement, you have to apply.

You may be the strongest contender but if you do not demonstrate willingness to get promoted—by making your intent known—chances are you won’t. You need to tell your supervisor or manager what your career aspirations are. If you don’t, your bosses may never know.

Talk to them; many leaders value listening.

This expectation is tantamount to hoping. We hope because something makes us afraid and uncertain. We hope because we are afraid of rejection—it is painful.

I applied four times before bagging my first promotion; twice for the second one; once for the third; twice for the fourth; three times for the fifth, and five times for the sixth. I have been rejected many times and at one point I thought of disappointment as my best friend.

But I have to tell you, you can never beat somebody who never gives up.

Not Looking for an Alternative

Don’t you think you should have moved somewhere else? I have advocated to several of my colleagues not to be afraid to move out. If you are ready for a promotion and your company cannot give it to you, ask yourself seriously what you value more—your career or loyalty.

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This choice is yours and yours alone. You may stay in a company for a long time for various reasons: friends, comfort level, location or proximity, benefits, and more. All these are good reasons to stay. However, if your career values are driven towards advancing, then by all means, explore what is out there.

Moving out of your current company is a very tough decision to make. One way or another, you will lose many things that you currently enjoy—friends, mostly. You will be out of your comfort zone.

You will be facing a new challenge—jumping into a void of uncertainty. You will meet new people, several of whom may reject you. I’m telling you, moving out is going to be tough. Your new job may be too difficult for you. Anyway, sometimes it is good to bite more than you chew.

Just make sure you keep on chewing.

Working Smart But Never Working Hard

This is a good subject for debate. For me, there is no way you can succeed if you do not work hard enough. It’s just not going to happen. Even CEOs, rich businessmen, and geniuses worked like a cow. Plow the field yourself before telling someone else how it is done.

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Working smart is great but there are only two ways you can achieve this: you either work hard or have somebody mentor you. Working hard allows you to experience things. It allows you to be sandwiched between problems and find solutions on your own.  It involves dealing with people, using your time wisely, planning, organizing, and finally executing.

The forerunner of working smart is working hard. After years of working hard, you would have had enough experiences that will allow you to work smart—you will not repeat the same mistakes, you will find ways to be efficient, you will create action plans that will solve two problems at a time, you will make decisions that will prevent future problems, and so on.

A mentor, on the other hand, shares what he already knows. He allows you to learn faster than what it would take if you go at it on your own. But how often does one find a mentor who will share what he knows?

Summary

Before you attempt to work smart, you have to work hard. If you can do both at the same time when you are just starting out in your career, good for you.

Always remember, people who are on top of the mountain did not fall there: they climbed.


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The Value of Listening in Leadership and Management

When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart talk with your team member? When things go bad at work, do you take the time to sit down with an employee and listen to his concerns? Or do you swiftly pass judgment and brush off the issue?

Many managers are led to believe that courage is equated to speaking and dominating a conversation. They just delegate with no regard when delegation can be done effectively. This leads to disgruntled employees.

However, let us not forget what Sir Winston Churchill said—that courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.



This happens because many managers never went through training. They did well in their job as an individual contributor, and when they got a promotion, they expect their subordinates to do well as they did.

This can be corrected, of course, given the proper guidance.

The Definition of Listening

In the office, we deal with dozens of issues everyday. On top of our deliverables, we have a lot of administrative work to do and things to manage. Managers have their plates full most of the time that they forget to listen to what their employees need.


In many round tables or brainstorming sessions, it is not uncommon for bosses to shoot down people’s ideas because they want to get things done their way. Little do they realize that listening as a manager is the first step to wisdom and it is also a sign of effective leadership, which has subtle differences from management. But how does one manager effectively listen and understand?



Listening is an art. It is an art when it is done well with the aim of achieving a win-win situation between all parties involved. Listening is a part of good communication skills; this is the best way to develop mutual trust and respect and it fosters an atmosphere of affirmation and interest. To be effective leaders, we must learn to communicate two-way—one of which talking and the other is through listening.

The Process of Listening

When talking to an employee, it is necessary that you take down notes. This is not for the purpose of show but to ensure that you remember. You do not want to miss the important details of what your employee is telling you. You need to repeat the information you heard and validate. Confirm if your understanding of the issue is correct.

If the employee says otherwise, it will not hurt if you ask him to repeat what he said. Only then will the two of you come to the same page. If there is something vague, do not assume that you understood what the person is trying to say. Always remain curious and ask for clarification.


If you have a question, do not interrupt. Ask the speaker if you may say something or write it down and ask your question later on. Your team member will definitely give you a chance to speak. If the discussion is about something sensitive and your employee is being emotional, do not match his anger or frustration with yours.

Keep in mind that you need to be both mentally and physically present. Your eyes should meet the speaker’s and you need to nod to from time to time to show interest.

The Benefits of Listening

As a leader, you can benefit a lot from sitting down with your employee and listening to his issues. First off, you discover things. You have to realize that you are always away from the front lines and you may have little understanding of the daily goings-on in the workplace.


Listening to your employees will enlighten you and will make you reconsider some decisions you made in the past. You will be able to make better decisions because you are armed with information. The things that you heard will give you a different perspective of what you need to get done. It will show things to you in a new light and will clear your head in case you are confused.

Summary

Your employees will appreciate you if you listen. They will be thankful to you for finding time to listen to them amidst your busy schedule. At the end of the day, it is always going to be a win-win situation for you.


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Top 4 Home Business Ideas That Earn Money

Whether you are keeping a regular eight-hour job or are staying full time at home, there are many home business ideas that you can explore.


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After all, whatever you earn in the office today will be significantly supplemented if you allow yourself extra hours a day for a second job. This is especially important in today’s economy, where even college graduates are competing for minimum-wage jobs.

We will start with four simple but doable business ideas, not complicated ones like dropshipping, and then expand from there over time.

Pet Care

People love their pets and you should capitalize on it. Dog grooming alone, without bathing the dog, costs an average of $30. Hundreds of people, including your neighbors, buy pets and fail to groom them. Many pet groomers charge exorbitant fees because they have to pay their overhead costs such as the rent, the employees, electricity, and so on.


You, however, will not have to pay these since you will operate at home. Even if you only have a regular clientele within a two-mile radius from your house, you will have a steady source of income. Just make sure you provide high quality service so your customers will refer you. There is no advertisement as powerful as word of mouth.

Day Care

If you have children of your own to take care of, chances are you know how to deal with their tantrums and you understand their needs. At a minimum, you can charge $300 a month per child.


If you do not have an office job to maintain and you pretty much stay at home the whole day, you might as well open a day care. Scout your area if there are many working parents. Find out the average age of children so you have an idea of the type of day care you will provide. 

Photography

This is probably one of the best home business ideas only if it also falls within your line of interest. If you have a talent for this, setting up shop in your own home should be a breeze.


You can start with basic photography and then move on to portraits later on. Many hobbyists have found financial freedom through photography, especially now that everything is digital.

With digital cameras, you do not spend on films and you can guarantee customer satisfaction because you can show your customers the output right away prior to printing. In addition to this, you can take photos of a lot of things, and sell them online.

One way you can sell your photos online is through Fiverr. You can find clients, too, who have specific requirements. charge clients for these photos, and charge more if they want to retain 100% copyright.




Bonsai

Bonsai is an art. It is difficult to really master the art of bonsai but from business perspective, it really pays. Acceptable bonsais, which refers to bonsais that are still artistic in quality but not really that high in grade, can sell for an average of $700. Very good bonsais can be sold for about $2,500.


The only challenge for this home business is that it takes a while for a bonsai to grow. This means that your capital is stuck in the plant for a while.

Summary

Keep in mind that before you start your own home business, you must be aware and compliant of state laws. If the type of home business you want to start requires permits and licenses, please obtain so prior to setting up shop.


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Content Writer VS Copywriter: What is the Difference?

In the last ten years that I have been writing content, there were particular occasions when some of my clients asked if I write copy.


This stumped me, as I did not realize back then that there was a difference between content writing and copywriting. I skirted around the issue, and simply asked what they wanted me to do. Despite researching, it was a tad difficult for me to understand what copywriting was until I took a copywriting course.



Now, I do both, and I am going to share with you the differences between these two types of content. If you are a writer, I am hoping this will help you classify your services better. If you are a client, this article should help you decide what kind of writing service you need, depending on your goal. 


If you are a small business, you need to hire only one writer who can do both.


What is copywriting?

Do not confuse copywriting with copyright. A copyright is a legal term, which denotes ownership of written material. Copywriting, however, is a writing skill whose main focus is making sales. You typically see these forms of writing in commercials, billboards, and radio scripts. You will also find this in Google and Facebook ads. 

Examples of copywriting materials are: 

  • Advertisements
  • Product reviews
  • Product descriptions
  • Landing pages
  • Email campaigns

A copywriting material is there to make a reader take action. Companies need this to make sales, or to get leads into their sales funnel. A copywriting material always has a call to action found in the end, like Buy Now, Register for Free, or Download a Free eBook Now.

According to Dan Lok, “Copywriting is closing in print.” It is a skill where you have the ability to persuade the reader, influence his decisions, and make the reader engage.

What is Content Writing?

Content is pretty much everything that is not copywriting. For as long as the content does not aim to make a sale, it is content writing. 

Examples of these are: 

  • Listicles
  • How-to articles
  • Essays
  • Opinions
  • News

You write content to provide consistent value to your reader. Content is mainly used to connect to your readers, improve your credibility, and add value to your subscribers.  

The Similarities of Content Writing and Copywriting

Despite this main difference, sometimes there is a blurry line between the two. They do have similarities, too, and it can be confusing for both the client and the writer.

Here are the similarities:

  • Use of spoken words – both these two writing types talk to the reader in spoken words, not written ones. The audience is comprised of consumers, not academics. When you write content or copy, you are not supposed to create content in the same way a professor writes his thesis for his PhD. 
  • Adding Value – the bottom line for both styles is to add value to the reader’s life. The reader should have learned something after reading the content or copy, as both share important information—be it a product or be it about entertainment. 
  • Generate Leads – both content and copy eventually generate leads. While the copy is focused on making a sale, content is focused on convincing a reader to take action, like subscribing to an email list of a blog. 

So, what is really the difference? 

Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

The Differences Between Content Writing and Copywriting

To make it easier, we are going to layout the differences on a table. Take note, however, that these differences may be cross-functional. In cases like that, we can call the content as a hybrid. 

COPYWRITINGCONTENT WRITING
GOALMake salesConnect to the audience
STYLEDirect to the pointSupportive content to the actual copy
EVERGREENYESYES
  • Make sales – when you write copy, it is your duty to convince the reader to buy a product. 
  • To connect to the audience – the content is leaning towards creating a connection with the audience, and you typically do this by being informative, personable, and being an expert. 
  • Direct to the point – a copy is direct to the point. You layout the features and benefits of the product, what it costs, and what makes it stand out from the competition.
  • Supportive content to the actual copy – you generally need web content to support a copy. For example, you write content about why giving away free eBooks is important in growing your email list. This content supports a copy that aims to sell an eBook writing service or eBook writing software.
  • Evergreen – both types should be updated regularly to keep up with the times


What about a hybrid? If you are a writer, you can use the best practices of both types in one article. It is not unusual to find articles with headlines like Top 10… or The Best 10…

Articles like these are hybrids in a sense that they are content, and yet the writers are actually convincing you to pick one of those products in the list.

Do you need content or copy?

My answer to this is you need both. As a business, you need supportive content, and you need a landing page. You also need email campaign materials, which you can automate.




If you are a business, you definitely need copy for your ads on Facebook, Google, and other platforms. You also need landing pages, and only a copywriter can do that. You may also need these:

  • Website copywriting
  • LinkedIn content 
  • Video script copywriting
  • Brochure copywriting

Your website, however, needs SEO content for search engines to rank it. Your audience also needs valuable content to keep them coming back or to make your website credible. A website that has no content is nothing more than a billboard.  

Take a look at the screenshot below. It is the landing page of an affiliate marketer who is trying to sell a product called Vert Shock. The product teaches students how to improve their jumping skills so they can dunk like a pro.


The landing page is the copy. But on the top right, you will see that there are Shoe Reviews, Tools, and Articles. The content of those links is called content.


vertshock.com

Do you need different writers to do it?

This depends. Not all content writers write good copy, and vice versa. But there are those who have been in the industry so long that they can shift from one type to another.

For one, I have been a content writer and copywriter for over a decade, and I switch from one to another, depending on what my client needs. I have written for both individually owned businesses and large corporations, both for content and copy. 


If you are a small business, you need to hire only one writer who can do both. Big businesses can afford marketing agencies who have dedicated copywriting experts.

As a small business, the costs of paying these agencies may not do you financial justice, most especially so if your profit margins are not as high as the big boys’.


Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

ClickBank University does not own or operate this website and is not responsible for its contents. It is owned by Aaron Matthew Ang, an independent marketing affiliate.


Summary

The main difference of content writing from copywriting is that copy aims to close a sale in written form, while content supports the copy and provides value to the reader.

If you are a small business, or perhaps an affiliate marketer who needs content for your blog, you do not need to hire both. Instead, hire one writer who is flexible enough to do both for you. You will save a ton—that I guarantee you. 


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5 Steps to Write an Article That People Actually Read

Whether you are a blogger or a copywriter, you need to write an article that people would actually read. The thing is, it is easier said than done. If you look at the work of marketing gurus like Neil Patel, you would realize how he puts a great deal of effort on just one article. 


As a copywriter for years, I want to show you how to write an article that people actually read. First, you have to understand that the audience on the internet is not the same as your newspaper or book. People today want information, and they want it fast.

Here is a snapshot of what we will cover:

  • Step 1: Start with the end goal in mind
  • Step 2: Write an article with a structure
  • Step 3: Provide in-depth information
  • Step 4: Get personal in your writing style
  • Step 5: Cut, cut, and edit

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Start writing with the end goal in mind

What is the article about? This is the first question you have to ask yourself. Keep in mind that writing for the internet must be focused on adding value to the user, so it is best that you sit back and approach it from the top.

Your goal must reflect on your headline or title. And since you are writing for value, your article title must grab attention. The best article types, with the goal in perspective, are shown below:

  • How-to – these are articles that show people how to get something done. You use this type of article to provide instructional materials. It is a common goal of affiliate marketers and writers for product support.
  • Review – whether it is a product or a movie review, this article is about your opinion, the goal if which is to tell your reader how you feel about something. An example is this review of SaleHoo.
  • Listicle – the goal of this article type is to provide entertainment. It is somewhat closer to a trivia. This, however, can be a variation of a product review, as you can write articles about the top ten best phones, or the top ten dropshipping software tool

Here are two examples:

  • Comparisons – this is another kind of product review, but you pit one product against another. A typical product review focuses on the features, pros and cons, and benefits of a single product. This, however, is a direct comparison between at least two different products. The goal of writing this article is to help a reader decide which product to buy.

Now that you have a goal, you can start drafting your article, and you can do this by following the next step. 


Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

ClickBank University does not own or operate this website and is not responsible for its contents. It is owned by Aaron Matthew Ang, an independent marketing affiliate.


Step 2: Write an article with a structure

Any kind of work that provides great results come from a structure. Buildings have a structure, and so do written materials. A structure serves as the backbone of your article. Without this, you will ramble. 

In general, the ideal structure of an article is shown below:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Summary

Let us discuss each part of the structure further. 

Introduction

It is this part where you give your reader of a taste of what is to come. A bad introduction can cause churn. This is your elevator pitch, and you must be able to convince the reader that he has to continue reading. 

An introduction should be no more than three paragraphs. And make these paragraphs short. Somewhere in the introduction, you have to provide a short list of what you will talk about, especially so if you are doing a product review. 

This list applies on a case-to-case-basis. If you are writing a how-to article, you cannot possibly enumerate all the list on the introduction. In a case like this, a statement saying that a step-by-step instruction will be provided should be enough.

Body

The body of the article is the meat of the sandwich. If you manage the reader to get past the intro, then you must put in more effort to keep them reading the body. 



This is the part of the article where the reader gets value from your work. If you promised a listicle, then provide a list. If you promised a how-to, then provide step by step instructions.

This is where many writers fail, and they start to rumble, causing the reader to tap that dreaded X symbol on a browser.

Here are some tips to keep your readers hooked:

  • Write short paragraphs – no more than five lines, please. Huge paragraph blocks are a pain in the eyes and the head. 
  • Use numbers – use numbers in listicles and instructional articles. People find it easier to follow the steps if they know they are on step 1, or 2, or 3. It is also a great psychological tactic, as people have this mental craving to follow numbers to the end. 
  • Use bullet points –bullet points organize ideas under one category, and it makes it easier for a reader to skim through information.
  • Use bold typeface – select important words and highlight them. It makes an impact on the reader and helps the reader remember the important points you are trying to make.

Remember, the body of your article must deliver what your article title promised. Keep it simple. Keep it short. 

Summary

Never forget to add a summary or a conclusion. What is the difference between the two? 

A summary is a short version of what you wrote. A conclusion is like judgment, or a verdict, which you typically use in product reviews. 

It is in the summary part where you should add your last effort for a call to action. This is important if you are writing copy, or if you want your readers to subscribe to your blog.  


Step 3: Provide in-depth information

I know what I said—keep it simple. This does not mean you cannot keep it in-depth. People read for several reasons, the most common of which are:

  • Learning
  • Entertainment

A person who wants to learn would appreciate if you provide valuable information in every sentence. Amateurs use fluff, especially if the writer is paid to produce the content for someone else. It is not unusual for paid copywriters to fill their work with fluff just to meet the word count requirement. 

On the other hand, a person who reads for entertainment wants juicy information. If you are writing about the top ten NBA rivalries in history, then each rivalry in your list must contain enough information for the reader to understand:

  • The teams involved
  • How the rivalry started
  • The key events in the rivalry, like one player smacking the other
  • How the rivalry ended

Now, there is a pitfall to writing something in-depth. This commonly happens in how-to articles, where the writer adds irrelevant information.

If you are writing how to use a tool, and you told the reader to click on a particular button, move on to the next step. You can discuss what that button is for, but talking about who created that button, what year it was invented or used on the internet does not make sense.

This pitfall is called digression, a situation where the writer or speaker gets away from the main subject matter. 

Step 4: Get personal in your writing style

One of the best approaches to use today is to stop being an academic, unless, of course, these are your target audience. 

You have to write in spoken words, not in written words. Spoken words are informal, and writing this way makes the reader tread on familiar grounds. 

Here are some tips for writing in a personal, spoken form:

  • Do not be afraid to use slang
  • Use “I” and “you” instead of “we”
  • Use contractions like don’t, she’s, we’d have, wouldn’t, and more

Formal writing is a pain in the head, and it does not help in building a relationship with your reader. 

Step 5: Cut, cut, and edit

Still here? Great! 

The last step is to cut your article and make it short and sweet. Remove any elements that make it long-winding. Once you are done with your article, let it sit for a few hours. Read it again, and cut parts of it that do not add value. 

Read your article out loud, and decide if every sentence in there makes sense if you were to say it to a live audience.

As far as grammar is concerned, you can use tools to check your accuracy, like Grammarly, or you can hire experts to do it for you. Tools like Grammarly require a monthly subscription.

The great thing about hiring a freelancer is that it will cost peanuts to get it done, like about $5. I recommend the Fiverr marketplace because you get high-quality results at affordable prices. Registration is free, too.

Summary

Remember, there are only five steps you need to be able to write an article that people actually read. Start with the goal, write the body, and end the article with a CTA if you are writing material for a copy, or for marketing.

If you have learned something from this tutorial, subscribe to my blog here. As a copywriter, I constantly write articles to help writers overcome their challenges—challenges that I faced before. 


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4 Tips to Delegate Effectively

Before you read the tips to delegate effectively, ask yourself: do you need to become better at delegating? In my 14 years in management, I have met a variety of leaders who complain about being overworked; having too much to do and not enough time to do it; and simply bogged down doing ‘stuff’.

I first asked them about what they are delegating to their team members and I was always surprised that many of them do very little to alleviate their pressure and stress by delegating some of their work.

According to Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush, “Don’t be a bottleneck. If a matter is not a decision for the President or you, delegate it. Force responsibility down and out. Find problem areas, add structure and delegate. The pressure is to do the reverse. Resist it.”

I have written something about the subtle differences of a manager and a leader. Delegation is a combination of both. This means you should not have to do everything on your own but whatever happens, you are accountable for your own unit and the things that your team members do. However, you need to learn how to put responsibility to the people around you so all of you will share the accountability.

Understand Why Managers Avoid Delegation

It is important that we understand why some managers do not delegate to their members. The first reason is effort. It is difficult to delegate because this also entails the extra task of checking if the job was done right. Oftentimes, leaders would rather do the job themselves because they are sure that the job will be done right and in a timely manner.

Though the intent is good, this does not expose your members to bigger responsibilities. I have to say this cliché: experience is the best teacher. No amount of classroom trainings, coaching, and meeting will put your members at a state where they are ready to move up unless you start trusting them and giving them more tasks relevant to their advancement.

“Don’t be a bottleneck. If a matter is not a decision for the President or you, delegate it. Force responsibility down and out. Find problem areas, add structure and delegate. The pressure is to do the reverse. Resist it.”

The second reason is distrust. Some managers do not completely trust their team members’ abilities. Perhaps the task that needs to be done is a new one and the subordinate has not yet shown an expertise about it. In some cases, the team member failed the first time and the manager now has reservations to delegate again.

But how will someone learn if you do not let them make mistakes? As a good manager, you should trust your team members, forgive mistakes, coach and then move on. It can take a while to develop a person but it is all worth it.

When and Who to Delegate Effectively

Delegation does not mean passing the buck but I have to say that there is a thin line between delegation and being irresponsible. As a good manager, you need to choose which tasks need to be delegated and which ones need your personal attention.

You need to delegate if:

  • the task will give the person an opportunity to grow
  • the nature of the task is requires an expertise that your team members have
  • the task is recurring
  • there is enough time for the member to accomplish the task
  • you need to share decision-making responsibilities
  • there is a lot of work to be completed
  • your staff has low morale

However, you also need to be able to measure how critical the job is. If it is critical, you need to do it yourself.

Choose the right people when delegating. You need to check the competency and readiness level of the person you want to assign the job to. Ask yourself what experience, skills, and knowledge your employees have. If they do not have adequate knowledge, you need to ask yourself if you have the time and resources to train them. You should also factor in the current workload of the person who will receive the job or task form you.    

How to Delegate Effectively

The success of delegating jobs will still depend on how you provide your instructions. Whether or not the person is new to the task you want done, you need to:

  • establish a clear goal.
  • explain what you intend to achieve
  • set timelines when the project needs to get done

As a good manager, you need to foresee possible roadblocks or obstacles and be prepared for it. Set clear boundaries as to what is expected of the employee. The team member should also know how far he can make decisions on his own and what his accountabilities are.

Be On Top of Things

Your job does not end in delegating. After the expectations have been set, you need to spot check your team’s progress from time to time. This does not mean that you need to micromanage them. What you need to do is to be aware of the current status of the task or project and make corrections if necessary. As the team progresses, you should also look for their opportunities and help them grow through your guidance.

Summary

Lastly, there might be a need to involve the whole team so you can empower them to make decisions. In several cases, especially for activities that require team effort, you may need to match the type of responsibility with the current skills of each team member. If you do not do this, you might be dressing the team up for failure.


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Diablo 3 Character Review: the Five Heroes on the Quest to Destroy Hell

Perhaps the most anticipated PC-based game for the last decade, Diablo 3 is dubbed the fastest-selling game of all times, having sold 3.5 million copies in 24 hours on the very first day of its release. Fans of Lord of Destruction will surely love to continue the journeys of the heroes in Diablo 3, albeit all the heroes are new with the exception of the Barbarian.

Perhaps the most anticipated PC-based game for the last decade, Diablo 3 is dubbed the fastest-selling game of all times, having sold 3.5 million copies in 24 hours on the very first day of its release. Fans of Lord of Destruction will surely love to continue the journeys of the heroes in Diablo 3, albeit all the heroes are new with the exception of the Barbarian.

Diablo 3 Character Review: The Barbarian

Returning from the original series, the Barbarian has better skills than what he had a decade ago. He is still the same bulky warrior that specializes in hand-to-hand combat and melee attacks.

He is proficient in the use of swords, axes, maces, and can wield dual weapons while taking blows from opponents. He can call the spirits and powers of his ancestry with powers like Shout. To be a successful barbarian, you must capitalize on his attack damage while consistently increasing his passive skills for defense.

Perhaps the most anticipated PC-based game for the last decade, Diablo 3 is dubbed the fastest-selling game of all times, having sold 3.5 million copies in 24 hours on the very first day of its release.

Diablo 3 Character Review: The Witch Doctor

This is a new character that has similar traits to the Necromancer in the last game. However, the Witch Doctor is much more associated with religious practices such as voodoo and shamanism.

He can summon monsters, harvest damned souls, and cast curses at his enemies. To succeed as a Witch Doctor, you must develop proficiency in ranged attacks through zombie spells and summoning creatures.

Diablo 3 Character Review: The Wizard

Very much like the Sorceress in the last game, this character has multiple abilities that can range from shooting different elemental weapons—such as fire and ice—to teleporting.

The Wizard also has the ability to slow time and does not need mana to regenerate his casting ability. Instead, he uses arcane power, a new source of energy that regenerates much faster.

Diablo 3 Character Review: The Monk

Diablo 3 introduced this character sharing the physical prowess with the Barbarian. The Monk uses his expertise in the martial arts to cripple his opponents. He is a spiritual and religious warrior on the side of good to fight evil.

He has the ability to resist damage by deflecting blows. Very similar to the Paladin of Diablo 2, the Monk gets his defensive power from the Spirit, some sort of manna that only generates after successful attacks.

Diablo 3 Character Review: The Demon Hunter

This character will remind you of the Amazon and the Assassin classes from Diablo 2. This character specializes in crossbows. What’s cool about this class is the ability to throw bombs directly at enemies.

Fueled by discipline and hatred to power-up his active and passive skills, he hails from a clan of fanatical warriors who share a single purpose: destroy all living creatures of burning Hells. He does this by using special offensive weapons such as the Hungering Arrow, a type of arrow used for ranged attacks that has the ability to seek enemies.

Summary

These characters are clearly reiterations of the previous ones, but on steroids! Which character will you play, and can you conquer hell this time?


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Breaking the Web Through Internet Marketing Articles

The internet offers limitless possibilities. We now live inside it,–people get information from the web, shop, watch TV, and so much more. If you have an online business, you know the value of content: it is the King.

Whether you are an affiliate marketer, blogger, or launching your own store online, you need content.

Internet marketing articles allows you to hit two birds with one stone. You can provide value to your redaers and site visitors, and also open doors to make sales.

It is unlike those pop-up ads that annoy readers. With written content, you can provide instructions, amuse, and convince someone to use your product, provided that it is done right.


How do I write internet marketing articles that convert?

Times have changed. There was a time when search engine algorithms preferred short entries. At that time, the shorter, the better. The ideal word count was about 300-500 words. This has changed.

Today, long-form articles are favoired this is not to say that a 600-word article will not do its job. it really depends on the quality of your content, and what value it provides.

Here are some tips to implement when writing:

  • Be direct – you don’t have to use metaphors to teach a reader how to fix their defective gaming consoles or what-have-you. If your articles are about solutions, be direct to the point. Do not use fluff, and talk to your audience as you would when speaking.
  • Use sub-headings – sub-headings allow your readers to skim through your article and find the information they want. People today no longer read from top to bottom. If they like what they see, they are likely to read your entire post.
  • Keep it simple – you must write in spoken English, not in written English. Your audience is the world, not a group of academics.
  • Talk to your target market – use a voice that your target market can relate to. Also, use words like “you” and “I”. Get personal.
  • Never deceive – no one likes clickbait. If your headline reads how to install a bidet, then your article must teach the reader how to install it, not what bidets are the best ones to buy. Clickbaits are great for getting traffic, but you will never make a sale.

Should I write the article myself?

Not really. Not everyone was born with a knack for words. But the internet is a place for videos, photos, and written content so definitely need content for your website.

If you do not have the time nor the skill to fill your page with juicy marketing articles? That is not a problem at all. Fortunately, there are people who will write web content for you for a small fee.

These people are called copywriters, like me. We write the content to help you convert your leads into paying customers.

Freelancers and ghost writers provide services to fill up your site and boost your profit earnings. And there are many benefits in hiring them, which we will discuss on another blog post.

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