Category: Make Money!


Let’s get one thing straight before we start: Second Life is not a video game; it’s a virtual world. There are people who will become upset if you neglect to make this distinction. And in this virtual world, people lead lives remarkably similar in depth to their “real” lives, or at least to the potential depth they could achieve in real life under different circumstances. A man who is a tax accountant in real life may develop a Second Life character — an avatar — who is a 19-year-old female fashion model. And that avatar may earn $100,000 Linden dollars per photo shoot, put $50,000 in a Second Life bank and spend the rest shopping in virtual stores for Manolo Blanhiks, buying virtual art at virtual auctions to decorate her penthouse apartment and handing out bottles of Cristal to everyone in the VIP room in her favorite club. The store, the art auction house, the apartment building, the night club — these are all run by other avatars. And these avatars are earning money from shoe sales, art sales, rent or co-op fees and cover charges (though no doubt the fashion model gets in free).

As far as virtual worlds go, this is impressive, but it’s not revolutionary. What is revolutionary about Second Life is that it’s not only legal to make real money from your character’s virtual endeavors — it’s encouraged. The exchange of your accumulated Linden dollars into U.S. dollars, Indian rupees or British pounds is built into the system through something called LindeX — that’s where you go to exchange your Linden dough into a form you can deposit in your real-world bank account. Yes — your actual bank account where your “real-world” paycheck gets direct-deposited every couple of weeks. And it works the other way, too. If your avatar finds itself broke in Second Life, you can charge the U.S. dollar equivalent for a certain number of Linden dollars to your actual, real-life credit card and voila — you’re rolling in virtual cash.

Second Life has basically obliterated the line between virtual commerce and “real world” commerce. People are making real money — mostly small bucks, but still — through their activities in Second Life. Their avatars are working as real-estate agents, land developers (this is one of the most lucrative ways to make money in Second Life), bouncers, bar tenders, prostitutes, ad execs and any other occupation that exists in the “real world.” Whether you can make serious money in Second Life is debatable and remains to be seen. According to Fortune magazine’s David Kirkpatrick, Second Life creator Linden Lab reported that in December 2006, “17,000 [Second Life] residents had positive cash flow in Linden dollars, with about 450 generating monthly income in excess of $1,000” in U.S. dollars. So it doesn’t sound like too many people can quit their day jobs yet, but the phenomenon is startling nonetheless: An entire virtual economy that not only mirrors but also ties into the real-world economy has developed to the point that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Consider this: An avatar who opens a night club needs employees. That avatar may put out a job search through a Second Life job-finder search engine, looking for cocktail waitresses, bouncers, bar tenders, janitors, and maybe a couple of professional dancers to keep things interesting. The night-club owner pays all of these employees in Linden dollars. Once any avatar collects the Linden dollar equivalent of $150 U.S., he or she or it can exchange the virtual dollars for “real” dollars and deposit them in the bank. The real bank. So is having a job in Second Life all that different from having a job in “real life”? Theoretically speaking, not so much, although the exchange rate of Linden to U.S. is pretty poor: As of January 2007, it’s approximately 268 Linden dollars to 1 U.S. dollar. So working in the real world is, at the very least, more profitable. But an interesting new money-making avenue has sprung up in recent months. Companies like IBM — yes, “real-life” IBM — are getting involved in Second Life.

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If you have a website or a blog, you should definitely sign up for Google Adsense. It’s one of the few programs you can truly ‘set and forget’ – once it’s there you don’t really need to do much else with it.

But there are ways and means to maximize your income from Google Adsense, and as you get to know more about it you can start to generate a decent income from it that will keep rolling in month after month. It’s a true passive income, which is why so many people are using it.

Most people have heard of Google Adsense, but not everyone understands exactly how to use it to its best advantage. So we’ll start with how to use it in its most basic sense and then progress to the more advanced benefits you can get from the program.

Basically if you have a website or blog you can sign up for a free account at Google Adsense and start putting contextual ads on your website. What do I mean by contextual? It means quite simply that the ads which appear on your site will be relevant to your content. So let’s say for example that your website is about tropical fish. The Google ads will then be related to tropical fish in some way. And because of the information that you give to Google, they will also display adverts that are relevant to your area. So if you are based in India the ads that appear will be relevant to Indian buyers; if your site or business is based in Australia the ads will appeal to Australian buyers.

All of this is carefully worked out for you in order to attract the maximum click through possible for your website and your ads. Every time someone clicks on an ad you will get a few cents into your Adsense account, so it makes sense that the more attractive and relevant your ads are to your visitors, the more money you will make.

Let’s have a look at the appearance of your ads now, since this can affect the amount of click throughs you get. You can choose the color and borders of your ads to fit right in with the color scheme on your site if you wish, but it’s worth experimenting with having no borders at all around your adverts since this makes them blend in with your content more seamlessly and may encourage more click throughs in a subtle but effective manner.

However well you integrate Google Adsense into your current blog or website though, there is obviously a limit to the amount of money you can make from one site. If you get thousands of people visiting your site every day then you can expect to get a good income from it but many people don’t get this number of visitors and that’s where you need a separate strategy to try and up your numbers.

In this case you can go to the advanced level of Adsense income and think about starting several sites, all based around a different yet popular subject. You should think of these essentially as being content sites, since they are often chock full of articles and useful content which is carefully keyworded to attract plenty of search engine traffic on that particular subject. The Adsense ads are then placed in the optimum positions to achieve the best click through (the Adsense pages will give you ideas on where to position them but it’s worth experimenting to see what works best for you), and the site goes live for people to find and read through.

You can also insert affiliate links for products into these sites in order to gain even more income if you wish, but they are often known as Adsense sites simply because they are set up to attract visitors and click throughs on a specific subject.

One final note here – choose the subjects of your Adsense sites wisely. It’s tempting to go for whatever is in the news at the moment, but once the stories die down so will your traffic. You want something that people will always want to know about – saving money, getting a better job, earning more, and various other more personal subjects such as skin care and successful dating for example. There are plenty of options to choose from; you just need to get your thinking cap on to find them.

In short the best place to start making money from Google Adsense is to integrate it into your existing website or blog. As you gain experience and discover the best ways to use it you can start thinking about adding extra sites into the mix. You might end up being an Adsense guru and raking in plenty of money for very little work indeed. That’s the best thing about it – the ‘set and forget’ benefit that keeps on working even when you’re not.

Most people know that there are millions of dollars being spent every single day purchasing products and services online. But did you know that you could be earning a % on every sale made by simply referring and recommending the products that you like to people.

It’s one of the best ways to get started making money online – you don’t need a website, you don’t need a blog, you don’t even need any cash to get started, although these things can help, you can certainly start without them. By helping consumers research and choose products they already want to buy, which could be as simple as writing a Technebula.com article (just like this one) you could be earning a nice little second income.

Or if you want to take it a little more seriously, you can earn a full income, even more than most “real world” jobs pay.

But how do you get involved?

The best place to start is by going to a website that houses a wide range of affiliate products. This keeps everything together in one easy to access place and gives you plenty to explore. You can also get an idea of which particular areas you would like to concentrate on. The worst thing you can do in affiliate marketing is to use the scattergun approach.

This is when you try and promote a wide range of products that aren’t connected with each other, all from a single website. In essence it isn’t aimed at anyone – and you’ll make fewer sales as a result.

Instead, do some research and come up with a specific group of people that you can find a wide range of products for. Or find a particular problem that people are searching online for solutions too, and direct them to the solution. Not only do you stand a much better chance of making a sale, But people will actually thank you for helping them find a solution, and be more than happy that you got paid to help them.

But if you don’t have a website, how can you promote your products?

There are several ways of doing this. One of the best is to use article directories like EzineArticles.com or Web 2.0 sites like Squidoo.com, which allow you to build web pages for free on pretty much any subject you like. Once these get indexed by Google and you do a little promotion for them, then you’ll start getting a steady stream of traffic – if you’ve picked the right topics and search terms to target.

Or simply buy a domain for each product you are going to promote, and redirect it to the affiliate offer. There are plenty of free tools that do this for you online, and it’s really the safest way to protect your interests. It also changes a long ugly link into a nice short one – much nicer for the article directories!

Affiliate marketing is like any other business, once you start generating some income, then you can start to invest some of that money back into your business to ensure you enjoy ongoing growth.

In short, start slowly and keep those visions of a huge income in perspective to begin with. You’ll soon get to know your way around the business and with each new experience you can build your knowledge and earn even more in the months and years to come.

The most important thing to do though, is to just get started, do something right now, then follow it up tomorrow with something else… Try and do something every day towards your goal, don’t put it off for a single day, and before you know it, you will have a nice steady stream of profits coming in.

More and more people are realising that blogging is one of the best ways to start your own online business. It requires minimal start up costs, you can build an impressive and loyal readership over time and once you know how to monetize your blog it can also bring in a decent income that will keep on coming even on the days when you don’t update your blog.

There are several ways to set up a blog online. You could use WordPress, Blogger, or another free site that hosts your blog for you; or alternatively you can set up your own blog under your own domain name.

If you want to make serious money from blogging, you must have complete control over your blog – and that’s something the free blogging accounts won’t give you. You’ll be bound by their terms and conditions and that usually includes not being able to actively promote anything. There are plenty of people who have established a blog only to have it removed without notice some weeks or months later.

It will cost you a few dollars to buy your domain name and set up a web server that will host your blog, but the benefits will far outweigh the cost involved. It can literally be as little as $20 a year we’re talking about here – and that buys you total freedom.

Once you’re ready to set your blog up you’ll need to choose a good theme and layout for it. You might find one that relates to your choice of subject (more on that in a moment) or else there might be one you just like the look of. But there are thousands of templates available for you to use – a simple search on Google will reveal the ones that will be best suited to your topic.

But perhaps the most important question is what you are going to blog about. The whole world is your oyster here – some people blog about their lives in general; some blog about their jobs; some blog about their hobbies; some tell the world about their kids and what it’s like to be a parent, and still others blog about the weird world of celebrities. But whatever you choose to blog about it needs to be something you are passionate about. Don’t forget, you are going to be writing about this topic several times a week, and if you don’t have the enthusiasm for it, that will show in your posts – and no one else will have the enthusiasm to read them.

Okay – so you’ve got your subject. Now you have to start writing your blog posts. If you take a look at just a few of the blogs already online, you’ll notice that the length of the posts varies a lot. Some people only write a paragraph or two each time, but you’ll get better results if you go for something a little longer than this. Around 400 to 500 words makes for a good post with a lot of information in it; some people write hugely long posts that are thousands of words long and could be called an e-book by another name.

But you can also take the format of this blog, by posting a short blog entry which leads into a longer article. This has the benefit of highlighting a lot of blog posts on the home page of the site, and people can then click through and read the ones they like the most.

You should remember however that there are no real rules when it comes to blogging. Over time you will naturally find what works for you, and your blog will settle down into a nice pattern that both you and your readers will enjoy. You’ll find your character and personality will start to come through in your writing too; don’t fight against this as it is one of the hallmarks of blogging. It is, after all, a personal account of an individual’s life and experiences, so show people what you’re made of! You’ll get a more loyal – and bigger – audience like this.

So you’ve got your blog up and running and you’re posting to it on a regular basis. The next step is to get it in front of as many interested eyeballs as possible.

One great way to do this is to submit it to as many of the social bookmarking sites as possible. You can also join social networking sites and build a profile which contains a link to your blog. Other no cost ways to generate traffic include writing free articles for article directories with a link to your blog at the end, and creating signatures at the end of any posts you make to internet forums, and also in all the emails you send out. When you really start thinking about it, you don’t actually need to spend anything to generate plenty of traffic.

All we need to do now is monetize the blog itself. You’ll want to generate some money from all the visitors you’ll start getting, and there are plenty of ways to do this easily. Google Adsense is probably the most well known method – you can join the program for free and display contextual ads that your visitors will be interested in to maximise your click through rate.

There are also a handful of websites which give you the opportunity to get paid for each blog post you make on a specific subject. Pay Per Post and Review Me are two such examples, and they will pay you a certain amount of money to review a product or website for the owner. In a similar vein you can also review and recommend other people’s products through affiliate links inserted into your blog posts, and earn money on commissions earned through any purchases people make.

And once you’re more established you can offer ad space on your blog too, and charge a fee for both classified and display ads if you wish. What could be better than setting your own price?

But there is one final step you can take with your blog if you enjoy a change of scene every now and again. You can sell your blog! Once it is established and has plenty of revenue and traffic, you can usually sell it for ten times its monthly revenue.

And then, you can start all over again with a whole new subject!

There is a lot of money to be made as a seller on eBay. Thousands and thousands of sales are made each day, resulting in a lot of income for a lot of sellers. And there is still room for you if you want to get involved – whether you want to earn some part time cash or set up a whole new full time business on the side.

But where do you get your stock from? How do you get started? And how can you build a business that gives you PowerSeller status? Relax – you’re about to find out.

It’s easy work to get started earning money on eBay. Once you’ve signed up for your free account the best way to get a feel for what selling is like is to auction off some of your personal items that you no longer want. If you are going to start buying stock to resell, you’ll do better by getting some basic selling experience first.

While we are on the subject of stock, you’ll need to decide what kind of business you are going to set up. Of course you can sell anything you like, but if you want to make a name for yourself it helps to become known for selling a specific type of product.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean your product area needs to be a small one; on the contrary it could be quite large. You could sell toys for example – there’s plenty there to keep any seller going for months on end without selling the same thing twice. You do need to pick a popular product though, and it’s worth doing some research using eBay’s advanced search feature to find out what is selling and how much it’s selling for.

So let’s say you want to sell computer games, for example. There are hundreds of games you could buy to sell here, but if you don’t know which ones will sell you could lose a lot of money buying the wrong stock. By searching the ended listings you can see which titles consistently sell well, and which ones will produce the best profit for you.

Okay – so you know how to figure out what to buy. Now you need to know where to get it from. It stands to reason that no seller is going to tell you where they get their stock; that would be like giving away the keys to their business. In order to find the best sources for stock you need to do a bit of legwork.

We should mention here that there are two main sources for stock – wholesalers and dropshippers. Both have their pros and cons; it just depends on which method you personally prefer.

Dropshippers hold all the stock for you, so you only actually pay for an item once you’ve received payment from the customer. You may have to pay a fee to join the scheme in the first place though. If you choose to go with one or more wholesalers you will need to have the room to buy the stock, and the money to buy it in advance. This comes with more risk since you could buy stock that doesn’t sell, but with the tactic we’ve already covered for checking completed listings before you order anything, the risk here should be kept to a minimum.

So – back to where to find these sources. If you have a particular product in mind that you want to sell, the simple act of looking at the packaging can often reveal the name of the supplier. You can then check out their website to see what else they do.

Another method is to search for what you want on Google. This sounds deceptively simple and in fact many people don’t think of doing this. It can be a bit hit or miss, but it’s possible to find some excellent wholesalers through this method. Over time you will go from having one wholesaler to a handful of sources to get your stock from, and you can build up your product range as you start to grow.

Building your feedback is an important part of being a good seller and the higher you can get your score the better. It sets you apart as being a dedicated seller. And the faster your score climbs, the closer you get to attaining PowerSeller status.

The PowerSeller symbol is highly prized among serious eBay sellers, and there are five levels to strive for. The first is Bronze, and it’s a lot easier to reach than you might think. While you might set a goal for yourself to reach PowerSeller, you will find that if you build up your product range and gradually increase your sales, you will reach it in no time. And if you get off to a great start you might just do it in three months – the minimum time you can actually do it in.

Many sellers have their own shop on eBay, but it’s not necessary when you first get started. In fact you are often better off waiting until you have a good range of stock before opening a shop, since it can look rather empty if you only have a handful of items.

The final thing to think about is the price of the items you are selling. It stands to reason that if you sell a hundred different products in the $5 to $10 price range, you won’t make as much cash as you would selling a hundred in the $50 to $100 price range.

But you need to work out what you enjoy selling and what you can sell lots of to experience real success on eBay. Don’t go for expensive products just because they might bring a bigger profit. Go for your calling – that’s where you will experience the biggest success.

Above all, remember that it can take time to build a successful business – but if you’re determined to achieve real success on eBay you should be enjoying the journey.

Are you looking for a legitimate way to make money online? Maybe you want some extra spending money. Or perhaps you need the money to pay bills. Either way, getting paid for filling out simple surveys can be a fun and lucrative way to earn that extra cash.

In fact, there’s quite a lot of money to be had — and the cool thing is that you can earn it in your spare time. Any time you can spare a few minutes — or a few hours, you can make money.

It’s easy too. Once you have signed up with the right survey companies, all you have to do is check your email and pick the best surveys, and you’re off to earning money every time you fill in the blanks.

How do I pick the right survey sites?

Start by joining a survey club that will connect you with the best sites. After all, how much you can earn will depend on which survey sites you sign up for. Some of those sites will pay you money every time you fill out a survey, while others use more of a sweepstakes approach, and offer cash and prize draws to those who fill out their surveys.

How will it work?

First you join SurveyClub. Then, you’ll get access to a list of pre-screened survey companies which in turn will send you the surveys.

You sign up for several of those companies and fill out your profile with as much information as you can. This will help the site in deciding which surveys to send to whom.

Do all survey companies pay cash?

No they don’t. SurveyClub will be sure to steer you towards survey companies that have lots of cash-paying surveys and away from those that don’t.

How much can I earn?

The amount you will receive for each survey or market research exercise varies between sites and countries, and it depends on the amount of time each one will take you. One site pays between $4 and $50 which is about average, although most surveys will be at the lower end of the scale. Of course, you can fill in several surveys per hour, so the earnings can add up.

Can I answer the surveys any time I want?

Yes you can. However, you should know that you’re usually competing with other survey takers. Each survey may only need to be answered by a set number of people and they often send it to more than is needed to make sure they get enough replies. The sooner you can complete each one and send it back, the better – and the faster your money will add up too.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Make sure you set up a new email account purely for use with your survey sites. After all, you will be getting lots of emails to plough through, and you don’t want them all going into your normal accounts. That way, you won’t have to sort through them to find your personal email. You also don’t risk missing a potentially lucrative survey in an inbox full of personal email.

If you’re a software developer with a little ambition and a good idea, then Facebook may be the company that makes you a very wealthy person. The social networking site that began in 2004 as a way for college students to keep in touch has expanded to allow everyone to create their own Facebook page. Since then, Facebook has carved a niche for itself in the tech world as a company that is willing to break through the traditional barriers of business.

In May 2007, the company opened its platform, allowing software developers to add their programs to the Facebook site. This in turn allowed the site’s users to choose from a wide variety of programs and add them to their personal Facebook pages. To show that its platform is truly open, the company held f8, an eight-hour-long competition where developers created their own programs for Facebook’s interface. Eighty-five new programs — ranging from video sharing to a Scrabble offshoot — were added to Facebook as a result of f8.

Now, the company is taking its cultivation of new applications even further. In September 2007, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the company has a $10 million pile of cash waiting for software developers who want to share their programs with Facebook. The company calls it the fbFund.

The grants range from $25,000 to $250,000, and a good idea could fatten a developer’s bank account. The company hasn’t announced any restrictions on the number of applications each developer can contribute, so potentially one developer could make a lot of money with a few applications. And while $250,000 isn’t anything to sneeze at, the fbFund grants are actually just the tip of the iceberg.

As it turns out, the company is interested in providing more than grants — it wants to serve as venture capitalists for the right application. Developers receiving grants from Facebook will not only get the initial cash, they will also maintain ownership of their programs. Facebook just wants first crack at providing the money needed to take the software and turn it into a viable start-up business.

It’s a basement software developer’s dream come true, and it’s no coincidence that the offer comes from a former basement software developer. Zuckerberg seems like Willy Wonka, having sent out the gold-wrapped candy bars and waiting patiently in his chocolate factory for the arrival of someone like Charlie.

Of course, Zuckerberg is probably not secretly planning on handing over the keys to Facebook’s front door. But with the fbFund, he has thrown out the traditional, frustrating search between venture capital and good ideas and simply put out notice of where the money can be found.

Facebook has attached only one stipulation to its fbFund: The company won’t consider applications from any developer or company that has already accepted venture capital from another source. This satisfies two dilemmas. It spreads venture capital around to those who have been overlooked — an example of infracaninophilia, or love for the underdog. The stipulation also keeps Facebook out of any sticky potential legal battles over who actually owns the software backed by Facebook’s capital.

For unknown developers with good ideas and drive, Facebook’s fbFund offer could prove to be a cash cow.