Online Fraud Prevention and Control: PCI and VeriSign

Someone “purchased” from your site and one of two things happened:

  • The buyer’s credit card data is compromised & the buyer holds you responsible.
  • The buyer didn’t purchase the product, still the credit card is charged.

Fraud Control and Prevention Online: PCI and VeriSignAs a small business owner, marketer, merchant or a retailer, it is necessary to make the website secure, especially when the site is used for selling products and services.

Online Fraud Prevention and Fraud Control

Here I will talk about two important factors you should not ignore while setting up an online product-based business – PCI and VeriSign.

Let’s see what they are in detail.


PCI Compliance

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance policies were created to prevent Internet fraudulent activities. The huge amount of data theft possibility led to the creation of PCI compliance policies.

The VISA, MasterCard, Discover Card, JCB and American Express cards adhere to its policies. It is required from every merchant that stores and processes payment information maintain the “minimum security standard,” according to PCI guidelines. Non adherence to the guidelines results in additional fees or debarring from the credit card processing facility.

To help in this, the PCI has developed a 5 point guideline for the merchant to follow:

1) To protect credit card information by creating a safety network

The network in which the consumer card information or even the names are stored should be kept in a secure place.

For instance, if the consumer is paying through an online transaction then the web server page should be encrypted and contain an SSL certificate authority. Or, suppose that the merchant uses a personal laptop for storing information then the laptop should be kept secure behind a computer firewall.

Basically, the PCI compliance means creating maximum and effective security standards for fraud prevention.

2) To implement measures limiting access to the stored information

The card holder data should be accessed by those only who needs to use them. Even if all the technological applications are in place to prevent information theft, one cannot discount the possibility of human breach in security.

Therefore, PCI compliance guidelines strictly imply giving control measures only to those who really need them. Otherwise, no other person should have access.

3) To maintain the safety network by regular monitoring and testing

Regular monitoring and testing is necessary to detect security scams or any fault with the security. This does not necessarily mean any fraudulent activities; it only sheds light on any potential security risks that can become a big issue later on if the security risk is detected my any scam or phishing site. The merchant can sign up with security testing and auditing services to check the security system.

4) To create a management program to deal with any credit card information crisis

This PCI compliance is easy to adhere. In this, the person or merchant operating the computer containing sensitive cardholder information needs to update the computer security systems or browser now and then to erase any scope of data loss. Ensure that the security check system installed is always up to date.

5) To scan the data quarterly to remove any vulnerability

Whether it is a large or small firm / company, every establishment needs to scan the data quarterly to remove any possibility of security breach. If there is a big company involved, every employee needs to be trained on the PCI compliance rules and also should follow them strictly. Any discrepancy needs to be immediately sorted out.

Before a merchant is allowed to process credit card payments, they are checked first and then authorized. The authorization can be cancelled if the merchant company does not adhere to the PCI compliance policies.

VeriSign Seal

Since 1995, VeriSign has been offering SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates for online transactions to ensure data theft prevention and security to the online purchases. The SSL certificate authority is a major requirement for websites that sell products and services online because without guaranteeing transaction safety, it is next to impossible to convince buyers / consumers to purchase from a particular website.

99 percent of product and service based websites working today have the VeriSign SSL certificate seal or logo at the end of the page. It is an indication for the consumer to know that their personal data input on the site is kept safe and transferred to the merchant website in encrypted mode.

In simple words, a VeriSign certificate means complete safety and security with the financial transaction in process.

Other reasons for its necessity are:

Proof of Authentication

Not everyone is given the SSL certificate authority to publish the logo on their site. Before giving permission, the company performs authentication measures to ensure that the applicant for the certificate is the same person who will be operating the website.

Only with satisfactory identification does VeriSign allow SSL certification license. This process helps in guarding against unauthorized access to the particular website.

Functional Indication

An encrypted web session between the customer website browser and the merchant website browser can only happen when the customer website browser acknowledges the validity of the VeriSign SSL certificate.

When both the website browsers are linked, the merchant site browser gives the other browser an indication of its validity. Only when the validity is approved, the web session takes place. The data is encrypted and transferred to the merchant account securely.

Customer Satisfaction

How many times has it happened when a consumer wanted to purchase a product or service from a website but decided negatively at the last moment because there was no credibility in the transaction? By lack of credibility I mean the absence of the VeriSign certificate authority on the website, which made the consumer withdraw the purchase.

After all, a customer will always be worried about the safety of the transaction because he/she inputs sensitive personal and credit card information. Without any assurance from the merchant side about the credibility of the transaction, it is impossible to convince a buyer. It will only lead to business loss.

However, if the website displays the VeriSign SSL certification then the consumer will purchase with confidence. It will also give the merchant account a competitive edge against others.

Fraud Prevention

To protect online shoppers, the FBI has directed consumers to only use those websites that display SSL certificate authority. Only an SSL certificate ensures safe and secure transaction. A website with this certificate will have the web URL starting with ‘https’ and also display the safety ‘lock’ icon on the transaction page.

Without these two indications, a consumer should never make a purchase. Fraudulent practices are a huge problem with the Internet these days and authorities are trying their best to make online shopping a safe method.

Summary

A product or service-based website which is PCI compliant and has the VeriSign SSL certificate authority, it ensures two things – consumer safety and seller creditability.
 
Aren’t these two your priorities also?

Top 10 Advertising Platforms to Make Money

Anyone who runs a blog wants to monetize it. While some write sponsored reviews, some sell products, yet another group of bloggers create blogs just for selling space for advertising.

Advertising Platforms to Make MoneyEarning through blog advertising is one of the preferred ways to make quick money. People have been known to create niche blogs, publish 50+ pages, get high PR and then create advertising slots for advertisers.

Advertisers easily pay $5 to $150+ per month for each advertising slots depending on the incoming traffic and the Page Ranking (PR) of the blog.

If you are one such blogger, here are the top 10 advertising platforms to make money.

Process:

Since there are no fixed numbers of advertisements you can run on your blog, you can register on each of the advertising platforms and wait for their approval.

List of 10 Advertising Platforms


1. Google AdSense – One of the biggest advertising networks and the first choice of every blogger. You can use the existing Gmail account to apply for an AdSense key. It’s better to apply for AdSense once the blog completes 90 days of activity and gets a decent amount of traffic. It increases the chances of approval.

However, the only drawback I find in this is the non-ability to choose ads. The AdSense publisher can create an advertisement unit depending on the kind of space available on the blog but the publisher cannot choose the ads to publish until the publisher becomes a premium publisher.

Only premium publishers are given the opportunity to choose. Most of the popular bloggers who run AdSense get to choose their ads. Nevertheless, do give AdSense a shot. It has an interactive report of advertisement clicks and provides a lot of help with site monetization.

Don’t forget to read the AdSense TOS. It has an exhaustive list of what to do and what not to do.

2. Adbrite – After AdSense, it is the second most popular PPC advertising platform, an independent ad exchange network where the publisher is given direct access to campaigns with full control over its features. The working rubric is similar to AdSense. You can choose various kinds of advertisements such as video-in banners, inline text ads, CPM banners, full page ads and others.

The only difference between Adbrite and AdSense is in the choice of ads. While AdSense displays ads on the blog/s based on the published content; Adbrite displays the blog within a well synchronized ad marketplace where advertisers can buy blogger’s ad space.

When a blog has high PR and high traffic, the blogger can create a business model for advertisement displays. For instance, the PR 5 blog blogager.com demands $150 per month for a small advertisement banner display.

3. Value Click Media – The 13-year old company, Value Click media is an advertisement platform that deals in CPM earning mostly. At the moment, they serve 28 billion ads every month to users in more than 280 countries.

They are very choosy about advertisers; hence, publishers get to choose only the best advertisers for their blog. Their services are very reliable and they have been known to make payments every time. Its CPM network offers money per 1000 page views / page impressions.

4. Buy Sell Ads – Buy Sell Ads is a mediator site which deals with selling and buying of ads. Both advertisers and publishers can register on this site. Its huge database of advertisers makes it possible for a publisher to bid on ads.

The main reason for this site’s success is its easy navigational feature which helps both the parties to locate mutually beneficial partners in the same niche and make money profitably.

However, it is not easy to get accepted by Buy Sell Ads. Most of the time applications are rejected because the blogs do not meet their acceptable criteria. Hence, before applying, make sure that the blog has PR2+, a good stream of steady traffic, a good Alexa rank and better on-page SEO.

Buy Sell Ads makes money from the commission

5. OIO Publisher – Like Adbrite, OIO Publishers is a well known alternative to Buy Sell Ads. It works with a different mechanism and revenue model.

Once the blog is registered with OIO Publishers, you have to install their plugin on the blog. This plugin is linked to the OIO blog account which seamlessly sends user data like the number of clicks and other stats.

The OIO plugin displays the ads randomly, depending on the blog’s published content. The payouts are monthly.

6. Ad Engage – Ad Engage follows the Buy Sell Ads model. Ad Engage is part of the Technorati media. This model displays ads on a weekly basis on publisher’s networks’ and charges 25 percent as its commission from both advertisers and publishers.

The Ad Engage customer support people guide you with advertisement code integration on the blog and help the publishers to sell advertisement spots on the blogs. The advertisers pay handsomely to the publishers.

7. Advertise Space – This publisher network is one of the popular competitors of Buy Sell Ads. In the last few years, it has grabbed a large market share and has made a reputation for itself for being the easiest self serving advertising platform.

Apart from displaying ads on the blog, the ads can be configured on iPhone apps too. Moreover, there is also an option to feature the blog for additional payment.

8. Adsella – Adsella is a new entrant in the advertisement network industry. As emerging players, they have done well in the last couple of years.

They take personal interest in the buy and sell of ads. They help the publishers in identifying the best advertisement deals; they equally help the advertisers to understand their needs and display their ads on the best of blogs.

The advertisement platform is good for those advertisers who have a restricted budget. Accordingly, they budget the advertisement campaigns on blogs.

9. Info Links – It is the next-gen text-based advertising platform where you don’t have to keep separate space for displaying advertisements. Rather, when the blog account is approved by Info Links, they sync the blog content with Info Links which then displays relevant advertisements with the content.

To avoid making the content full of ads, the Info Links ads are subtly underlined. The user can select the number of ads to display on every blog page. The payment threshold is $50, payable by check, PayPal and bank transfer done every month.

10. Chitika – This advertising platform is used by Squidoo.com. With 3 billion monthly impressions, Chitika is one of the best advertisement platforms of the online world.

Conclusion

Before signing up for the above sites, kindly go through their terms and conditions. Most of the advertising networks are compatible with Google AdSense. Moreover, keep the blog/s stats ready before signing up as you will need them. Fix a minimum acceptable advertisement price per empty slot.

However, ensure than you do not make the blog/s loaded with ads as it is a big turn off for the readers. Place few ads at relevant places. Keep changing the ads every week to compare which advertising networks are giving you the best output.

Come back and tell us your experience.

How To Make Money Uploading Files Online

Making money uploading files online is a new concept for me that I stumbled upon while researching another issue to write about here.

Make Money Uploading FilesWhile we know about all the bigger ways to earn money online, uploading files falls under the lesser category that can give you a few hundred dollars per month if you can market the files well.

What exactly is file uploading?

Let’s suppose you have a document about “Tips to lose weight in 14 days.” You want to earn from it. How can you? You can make use of file sharing services where you upload files and earn money whenever anyone downloads the document.

You can also promote your files with blog readers, in forum discussions, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and other social networking platforms.

Where do I find file sharing services to make money by uploading files?

For my readers I have researched and listed here file sharing sites which I found to be credible. However, the list is not a recommendation. Please visit the site and join after you are fully satisfied with its authenticity.

  1. Uploading (uploading.com) – You earn $20 per 1000 downloads.
  1. File Factory (filefactory.com) – You earn $15 per 1000 downloads and 20% commission when you sell their membership. You also earn 20% for referrals.
  1. Easy-Share (easy-share.com) – You earn $20 per 1000 downloads and 20% commissions when you sell their membership.
  1. BizHat (bizhat.com) – You earn $1 as signup bonus, $0.1 for referrals and $0.001 for each download.
  1. Share Cash (sharecash.org) – I think this site pays more than other file sharing sites. You can earn between $200 and $600 per 1000 downloads.
  1. File Sonic (filesonic.com) – Except for Hong Kong, the services are available worldwide. You earn $1 to $35 per 1000 downloads. This file sharing service site is ideal for aspiring artists.
  1. Hot File (hotfile.com) – You earn $2 to $15 per 1000 downloads and payments are automated, that is, you don’t have to withdraw manually.
  1. Upload Station (uploadstation.com) – You earn anywhere between $0.80 to $32 per 1000 downloads and the minimum payout is $20.
  1.  File Serve (fileserve.com) – A reputable site for media file downloads. They pay up to $25 per 1000 downloads.

The file sharing sites work worldwide. However, if you are from remote areas, please check the list of countries before signing up.

PayPal, MoneyBookers, and bank transfers are the preferred modes of sending money. The payments are dispersed weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

Are the file sharing sites free to join?

Yes, most are free to join. Check out the individual sites for details.

Do I need to join all of them?

Yes, join as many file sharing sites as you want. It will maximize your income potential. Moreover, if you depend on one file sharing site to host all your documents, the server can overload and create problems while downloading.

Are there copyright issues?

The sites are uploading your files so there are no copyright issues. You can upload the same file in as many file sharing sites as you want. As far as I could research, the sites do not have any rules stating that a user cannot use the same file on other file sharing websites.

BUT, make sure all the files you use are original. You cannot upload files containing movies, songs and other videos as your own. Whatever file you want to earn money from should be created by you only or you should have full copyrights to use it any way you want.

Tip – If you want to increase file sharing downloads; use the service while creating an email list. As a blogger, you want to create an email list for business. Right?

Therefore, as an incentive for visitors to sign up, upload a free eBook through the file sharing networks and use that link for visitors to download the free eBook and leave their email id in return.

The major plus point…

You do not need a website to earn money. You use the file sharing platform and your promotional tools, that’s it!

Are there any specific places to promote?

Like you have file sharing sites, you also have file sharing forums. You can drop the file links on the forms given by these forums or sign up with the forum and leave the links as you go on posting…

I found a listing of trustworthy forums for promotion. Some of them were: Hongfire.com, Warez-bb.org, forumw.org, animea.net, filestube.com, nattawat.org, forums.linkbucks.com, amaderforum.com, projectw.org, downarchive.com and others.

3 Tips How To Make Money Uploading Files

  1. Check the visitor location – Most of the file sharing sites pays high when the downloader is from the UK,USA and Europe. Before signing up, try to search the visitors profile and/or find the rate for 1000 downloads in your country.
  1. Use popular sites – Use popular forums, discussion boards, and social networking sites to market the file links. Before sharing on forums and discussion boards, read the TOS. Sometimes forums may ban user accounts if the user posts too many links.
  1. Save uploading time – Use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and remote upload tools to download and upload files quickly. The FTP is the standard method of uploading files on the net while the remote upload tool transfers data from a remote location to another. In remote transfer, you don’t have to download files from one particular site and then upload it to another; and it does use up the bandwidth as well.

While sharing files will not make you a ton of money, it can help you to earn a bit and pay off small expenses like website hosting, membership accounts, Internet charges and others.

File sharing is a good option as a side source of income. In fact, if you can write well, you can create eBooks on buzzing topics at the moment and give them away for free.

If you are an Internet marketer, you should consider sharing files as a great method of list building and free product/service promotion.

Have you used this method of earning money online before? What was your experience? Share with us below.

Can You Earn Money Through Forum Discussions?

Forums are open platforms where users can sign up free of cost, start new ‘threads’ (discussion topics) and communicate with fellow forum participants through posted messages.

Some people confuse forums with chat rooms. Chat rooms are entirely different. In forums, you can hold both public and private communication and turn those discussions into a money earning source.

make money online forumYou can earn a few dollars to hundreds of dollars from forum discussions if you know how to make use of them…So, let’s get started.

Are forums free to join?

Yes, they are. There are no memberships fees asked later in any of the forums you will find online.

Can you have more than one account?

No, you cannot. If you have more than one account, all of them will be banned. The forums register your IP address and the area you log in from. If you are using more than one email id to access forums, you can easily be caught.

How do basic forums work?

Forums always pay for starting discussion threads and for receiving responses on your threads. One of the most popular discussion forums online today is MyLot.com. This forum pays its forum posters on the basis of quality responses, images uploaded and other website usage. At the moment, they have 234,800+ members, a huge number for any forum.

You also get to earn for referring friends. Not only this, a forum will pay you a share when your referrals actively participate in the discussions.

The payout…?

Every forum has its own payout threshold. It can be $5 or $50. You can also select your own payment threshold. The preferred mode of payment is PayPal. Most of the payouts are on monthly basis.

This is important…

You have to keep in mind that not all forums pay its members for discussions. Some forums are used in two ways – for discussions and for Internet marketing.

You can earn lots if you use online forums for the purpose of Internet marketing, including selling products, eBooks and creating back links. In fact, forums are a treasure trove for online marketers.

Read on to know how you should go about making money from forums

[1] Find the RIGHT marketing forum network. You have to research and select the forum you would want to join. Look for niche-specific forums where you can gain expert status and build a rapport with other Internet marketers. Also, forums are an excellent way to gain traffic to your website/blog.

[2] Don’t begin product marketing at the outset. Most of the forum moderators will ban the account if the account user begins to promote products and services immediately after joining. You will be considered as a spammer.

First, you create the account and spend around 3-4 weeks getting to know your fellow marketers and then you can start with your promotions. Assuming that you would have created a favorable and trustworthy impression on other marketers, you will have greater success with forum earnings.

[3] Use forum signatures. While you are waiting to promote your products and services, you can begin indirectly by placing your website and/or blog link/s in your forum post signature space. However, be sure to read the forum’s TOS because some forums do not allow you to post affiliate links in the signature line while others allow only those links that go directly to the users’ website/blog.

Take the signature thing seriously because it is also a chance to show up on Google search engine results, especially when you are posting on popular forums.

Google spiders crawl and index forum posts as well, which means if you have interesting and popular posts to your credit, it will automatically rank on Google, along with the website/blog URL.

In fact, if you are a clever writer, you can use targeted keywords in your discussions and post them on forums. Make sure the keyword insertions do not look forced or spam and the keywords itself should not be out of context or unrelated to the discussion topic.

[4] Be serious about posting. Don’t think that forum discussions are a quick way to build a client base online. You have to be diligent and serious about forum participation. Most of the Internet marketers registered on forums fail to succeed because they just post a few times and disappear. Instead… acclimatize yourself with the forum and create interesting discussion topics.

[5] Build relationships. Forums are a good way to build trusted relationships and to become a valued member of the community. Involve your time in forum networking.

[6] Give review copies. For forum marketers promoting their product or service online for the first time, it works when you create a promotion thread on the forum and invite others to review it.

By review, one means that you send the product or lend the service free of cost the first time and ask other forum users to read, use or apply it. Ideally, those forum users who have a good feedback score/rating and experience should be welcomed.

You can give away, let’s say, 10 review copies, and when you receive positive feedback, you open the product/service for sale, using the feedback received as recommendations.

[7] Use your feedback. Of course, the feedback you received on the forum will help you to make money but don’t forget to use those feedback to promote the products and services at other sites. In fact, you can link the forum to your website in the testimonials section as a proof for people who can expect value for their money in buying from you.

Or, you can send the forum feedback link to new clients that you contact outside the forum as proof of your authenticity and credibility.

To conclude, forum discussions are one of the best ways to earn money online. You can earn through discussions and promoting products or services, or both. It is a quick and effective way to create your business presence online.

And to answer the question asked in the blog title, you can earn a great deal of cash through forum discussions.

6 Ways to Make Money Without Substantial Investment

Opening a business without any investment is practically impossible. Of course a lot depends on the kind of business you want to open. For instance, developing a small handicraft business requires more capital than perhaps creating an online business but the initial investment is still there.

Ways to Make MoneyIf you search the Internet, you will get various ideas of making money online without an investment but such information portals often leave out mentioning that you have to make up for the lack of financial capital with your time.

Therefore, ignoring the unpractical idea of listing out top ways to make money online without any investment, I will tell you about those businesses which need very little financial investment.

6 Easy Ways to Make Money Online

1. Online Photography

If you are good with lenses and have a knack of capturing myriad images, you can start an online photography business. Here what you do is sell the photographs to buyers. Moreover, there are various online galleries you can approach to display your creations.

Unlike a physical business which is restricted by geographical barriers, you can approach these art galleries established anywhere in the world. Showcasing your works will increase your credibility and art connoisseurs are more likely to buy from you. Also you can receive commissions or assignments to capture events like wildlife excursions, weddings, and others.

What you need:

  • computer connection
  • high speed internet
  • good camera
  • good photo editing software

Cost – $500 to $1000.

You can either hire online marketers or self-market your services online. Give this business 8-9 months to show any progress.

2. Online Writing

One of the most popular forms of earning money online. Small, medium and large scale industries regularly outsource writing tasks of various capacities to individual freelancers or content writing companies.

If you have good writing skills, ability to communicate clearly with readers and a grasp of various writing styles, you can easily become a writer online. To give you an idea, online content writers are needed for business promotion material, magazines, news writing, blogging, article marketing, e-book writing and host of other niches.

Of course, you have to find the right resource to work as well.

What you need:

  • computer connection
  • high speed internet
  • printer / fax

Cost – maximum $50 per month

Read our reviews on various online marketplaces to get a good idea. Market or self-promote yourself religiously for 45 days constantly and you will definitely get a response. Clients often look for samples so prepare some and publish them on Ezine or Associated Content, then forward these links as samples.

Writing for Associated Content to Make Money
Get Paid for Writing Reviews
Can Writing Yield Passive Income?
Earning Potential of a Professional Resume Writer
Can You Earn As An Academic Writer?
How to Set Up Writing Business Online

3. Promoting Products

If you are a marketing professional or have a fair idea about what marketing is all about, you can become an affiliate marketer online. As the Internet industry grows, the demand for marketers continues to increase.

As an online promoter, you have to promote the products of other companies and bring them in leads or sales, depending on the contract you have.

Or, if you want to be a self starter, head to Amazon or ClickBank, select products of your choice, and start promoting them. For every sale through your account, you earn a percentage.

What you need:

  • computer connection
  • high speed internet
  • printer / fax

Cost – Maximum $100 per month. This includes web hosting, promotion charges and net usage.

Be aware of choosing highly competitive products because they already have well established marketers promoting them. The trick is to choose moderately competitive products with high potential.

Women in Affiliate Marketing – 3 Success Stories
How to Use Affiliate Programs on Your Blog
Affiliate Automated Payday – Your Guide To Quick Cash
A Comprehensive Outlook on Affiliate Marketing
3-Ways to Spot Affiliate Marketing Scams
Affiliates Making Money from ClickBank

4. A Mystery Shopper / Foodie

If you love to shop and/or are a great foodie, you can become a mystery shopper. A mystery shopper is a mysterious surveyor who visits shopping arcades, malls, restaurants, hotels and others to try their services and then return feedback to the employer.

These are basically contractual positions. You can work as a mystery shopper not more than 3x’s a week. There are online mystery shoppers as well who are paid to try out new products and services.

What you need:

  • computer connection
  • high speed internet

CostNOTHING, Travel and other expenses are paid by the company or agent.

Opportunities of mystery shopper / foodie is not advertised openly by various companies. Such companies hire agents to do the work for them. Google the term ‘online mystery shopper’ online and you will come across various gigs.

Apply to those you think are trustworthy. Read the feedback section. And never pay any kind of money for membership fees.

5. Entering Contests

Truthfully, this is not a long term way to earn money online but still it’s worth a try. These days, with the arrival of mini marketplaces, there is a demand of more professionals.

You will come across forums, discussion boards, and websites that occasionally host contests to encourage new talents. For instance, a few months back, freelancer.com hosted a contest for developers to create API modules. The first prize winner was given $10,000. Again, Glimmer Train encourages writers to submit their fiction every month.

Cost – Nothing substantial.

Search for such running contests online which falls under your interests and keep on submitting.

6. Online Teaching

In our truly globalized world, teaching is no more a limited profession. With the Internet, you can now teach students residing in any part of the world. Websites like classteacher.com allow you to interact with students and teach them online. There are various similar websites as well.

No matter which subject you are proficient in, there is always a demand for online tutors. Fees are decided based on your experience and time given. Moreover, there are no fixed timings, you teach on your own time.

What you need:

  • computer connection
  • high speed internet
  • printer / fax
  • webcam

Cost – maximum $100. This includes membership costs and Internet usage charges.

It is best to take membership packages in this earning line as it increases your chances of getting students. Moreover, before signing up for online teaching sites, contact them personally if possible to judge their credibility.

Are there any other online earning ways that you know of which requires a minimal investment? Share with us below…

Effective Tips for Managing Interruptions in Your Business

There are a number of things that get in your way when you are trying to manage your work. These can be termed as interruptions or time wasters.

Managing InterruptionsMost of us find it very difficult to avoid them. But the truth is some of them can’t be avoided. However, it’s just that we don’t know how to deal with them…

These barriers include different things like not setting time limits, not arranging your work in order of priority, inefficiency, interruption and overwhelm.

By making some slight changes in your working habits you can overcome all of them. It will also lower your stress and you will work with more efficiency.

Here are a few suggestions you need to work upon to make best use of your time and also coach you on how to overcome these pesky time wasters.

Interruptions

Any perfect plan can fall prey to interruptions that come up unexpectedly. Training yourself to think about what the reason of the interruption is can help you recognize the problem and not lose your focus from what you want to achieve. It helps you to take control over the situation.

You can’t avoid a situation but what you can do is to minimize the impact so that it doesn’t deviate you from your work. You need to implement strategies to deal with the interruption. Give a sincere thought to the fact of what can minimize the interruptions as well as its impact.

Efficiency

You may find yourself busy all the time and think you are working well but the fact is, it’s not always true. You should rather look at your work in terms of what you want to achieve in an entire day and what you are achieving. Just see what the difference is and try to figure out what is creating this difference.

Find the factors that are decreasing your efficiency and set routines and systems to deal with them. You need to learn to work smarter and not harder to reach the goals you fix for yourself.

Think of how efficient you are today and think what you can do to improve it. Figure out the smartest way to focus better. It will help you cope with the demand and also feel energized.

Prioritizing

Identify what is most important for you and keep it on the top of your list of priorities. You need to sequence things according to your priority and distribute your time to your work according to their priority level. This changes your approach to things.

You won’t be working hard to meet your deadlines; instead your work will be finished before and also without any extra effort. Plan to turn your goals into achievements. Make a habit to deal with the most important, rather than urgent work because when important things are done in time… nothing becomes urgent.

Overwhelm

When you are overburdened with demands and responsibilities, you feel overwhelmed. Take a look at your workload in such a way that your feelings of overwhelm will be reduced. Find a way to work more efficiently and to reduce the amount of things you have to deal with.

Try and prevent your work from becoming so tough that you can’t deal with it and ultimately create backlogs for yourself. Create a “to do list” to remind you of the things you still need to work on.

Setting limits

This is about knowing when to say ‘no.’ Recognize your limits and take back control of your time. Learn how to answer your priorities. So ask yourself what restrictions are needed now in order to complete your work and just follow them. Also, ask yourself what are you actually working on or, if you’re just keeping yourself busy and not really working on anything important.

Overcoming such things which get in your way to achieve your goals, lowers your frustration and you feel more in control…

Set a schedule regarding your work. Create a routine and inform everyone about it so that nobody comes to visit you while you are working. All the friends, family and relatives should strictly follow and respect your rules to not disturb you while you are working.

Your routine should include a beginning time and a finishing time. Keep your personal stuff out of the computer you use for work as that can be pretty distracting. Keep in mind not to work passed your finishing time. If you feel overworked, your load becomes heavier – boring and your efficiency decreases many times over.

No one can tell you what kind of schedule and limit is best for you because it is you yourself who understands your workload and what it is you want to accomplish. You are the best planner for yourself so just analyze your work, make a schedule, decide your priorities and stick to it.

You may need to do a few changes in the environment around you to keep more focused. Separate your office computer from your personal computer and have a separate place for your office so that you can work without being distracted with kids, neighbors, etc.

However, keep the difference between family time and work time both as equally important.

Sometimes you need to make tough decisions to achieve your goals, so never back off. You should never spend a day not following your work schedule because then you will have back logs and the same problems will just keep resurfacing.

Be strict and face the interruptions with tactics that don’t keep you away from your success.

If you want your aspirations to become your destiny you need to work on all your shortcomings that keeps you away from it.

Legitimate Ways for College Students to Make Money

Ways to Make Money in College

The economic recession in the U.S. is hindering almost all individuals to manage their finances and meet their basic needs.

Ways for College Students to Make MoneyEven college students have been trapped in this dark phase of the economy due to which they often face the problem in paying for their semester fee and for books.

So as a result, they increasingly turn to the most viable option of payday loans in order to support their educational expenses.

Payday loans usually come with high rates of interest, which the students are often not able to pay in time, and ultimately are overwhelmed by payday loan debt.

However, there is nothing to panic about how to save your neck from the debt. You can begin your debt management plan and can also unlock the entrepreneur inside of you so that you can pay off your debt as soon as possible.

Here’s a list of ideas for college students to get them thinking about the different ways of earning money to pay off the debt…

  • Tutoring younger students or your peers can be a healthy source of income. You can hold your tutorial sessions at your school library, an empty class room or your home. You may also offer a home service and can charge a bit more for your travel. You can charge on an hourly basis and if possible, teach several students an hour for your income to multiply substantially.
  • If you have enough time on your hands then you can also earn some cash by assisting a writer in proof reading and editing. For this profession, you only need to have good research and writing skills. No matter how good the writers are, they always prefer to have a second pair of eyes take a glance at their work. You can also help the students in writing their papers or preparing the thesis.
  • Every campus organization loves to have a great web presence but most of them are boring and outdated. So if you have a technical know-how to design the web, then you can earn some money in your free time by designing the web for the campus organizations.
  • If you are blessed with a bit of creativity you can indulge yourself in making t-shirts, flyers, banners, business cards, or other types of promotional items for student organizations in order to earn money.
  • If you have some artistic ability and have some passion for photography then you can click images and sell them online. You can upload your images on the websites like Fotolia or iStockPhoto, and sell them to millions of people.
  • If you have a flair or skill of writing then you can be a freelance writer and write for the websites like Associated Content, Helium and others. These are good platforms for freelance writers and publishers. You can choose to write on suggested topics that publishers are actively looking for content on or… you can choose any topic to write on. If the publishers like your article they will buy the one, and pay for it.

Hence, it is to be concluded that college students can earn money in several legitimate ways to pay off their debts and to meet their regular expenses.

Stewart Smith is a financial analyst and writer. He has written some great articles on topics like bankruptcy, payday loan debt consolidation, investment opportunities, and more. He has created diverse content for the edification of various finance communities.

6 Tips – How to Avoid Freelance Scams

In the last few years, freelancing has become a preferred way of earning a second source of income. For some people like writers, web developers, journalists and online designers, freelancing is their primary source of income.

Freelance ScamsOwing to the vast economic problems in both developed and developing countries, people find it lucrative to work online and earn a decent amount of money.

How to Avoid Freelance Scams

As a beginner, you can become a victim of online freelance scams. The scammers are not behind: as numerous freelance opportunities emerge, they find new ways to scam people online.

You won’t find mailer-list scams as you would have five or six years back, but today you will come across more serious scams that really look authentic, erasing the subtle features that distinguished genuine money making online opportunities from scams.

Common Types of Freelance Scams or Work from Home Scams:

[1] Ad Typing Jobs
[2] Home Product Assembly
[3] Envelope Stuffing
[4] Medical Billing
[5] Multi-Level Marketing Affiliations (where no ‘real’ product-selling is not involved)
[6] Email Processing Jobs
[7] Book Typing Jobs

Basically, any advertisement that promises huge earning potential with little time input and no details whatsoever should be completely avoided.

Since scammers are also brainy intelligent people, they too have found ways to make their so-called make money online businesses too lucrative for people to resist. If you have found any freelancing or work from home that falls in the above common types, here are some warning signs you should be looking out for and some steps that you can take to make sure the jobs are genuine.

[1] Avoid any kind of work from home or freelance jobs that requires you to actively participate in seminars, that is, the company asks you to attend seminars to actually know how the work from home option works.

Please note that there are some genuine companies, mostly writing companies, which sometimes organize meetings to train freelancers regarding work profiles.

If you have been contacted by such a company and it’s located in your state, you can take a chance and visit. Otherwise, if it’s a company selling products and requires you to learn about direct selling, it’s best to avoid.

[2] The payment you are supposed to receive is either too good to be true or is based on advertising revenue. These kinds of freelancing offers should be avoided as well.

For instance, if you are a newbie and a freelance writing gig offers you $500 for a 500 word blog post, it’s clearly a scam. Again, freelance writing gigs based on advertising revenue may not be a scam per se but it’s not a beneficial way of earning. Why? Where is the guarantee that your blog or article will lead to advertisement clicks? Is there any? No.

[3] If you find freelance opportunities too good to be true, you need to perform a background search.

For instance, check the Yellow Pages for a record, do a WhoIs online search for website details, search about any complaints against the company in BBB (Better Business Bureau) records, or you can check with the states general’s office and ask for work from home scams (if any) are registered against the company.

[4] Never fall for freelance gigs that ask you to send money either for more information or to get a membership.

For instance, freelance websites like freelancer.com, elance.com, guru.com or odesk.com do not have a mandatory policy to take memberships. If you want or feel that a membership will benefit you, you can purchase monthly memberships, otherwise, these freelance sites are free to use and their genuineness is time proven.

Be careful of individuals who ask for money to send work from home details. They are surely scams.

[5] You should never take any kind of home freelance jobs at face value. Never take them for granted. Perhaps the only disadvantage of freelance work is that there is no sense of permanency or certainty with jobs.

The job you are doing now may continue for 2 months or 2 years, who knows? Therefore, if you are associating yourself with any company that offers a freelance/work from home option, try to get contractual work.

[6] Favor working with those people or companies that have a social media presence like a page on Facebook, a Twitter account, active blogs or active participation in forums. Such people or companies are more genuine than those without any social media presence.

Finally, the best ways to steer clear of work from home scams or freelance scams is to Google the company name or the individual’s name and see what kind of responses you get. In the end, the judgment is yours.

Have you been scammed? Share your story below…

16 Most Successful Blog Sales – Success Stories of Multi-Million Dollar Blogger

It is a well known fact that every person who puts up a blog and wants to tell the world his or her story through that blog is actually trying their hand at being a writer some day.

Blog SalesHowever, what if they can make millions without being a writer of whatever subject that they hold so close to their heart?

Well!! How can that be possible one would ask.

Naturally, running behind the clock and then living paycheck to paycheck will not make that distant dream get anywhere near to being realized. Or will it?

Of course it will if one…

…and finally selling the blog to an investor or a company that will turn the pot with gold inside and turn it into a pot that is covered in gold and has some diamonds studded in it.

Okay. This sounds all so gleefully optimistic and of course utopian also.

However, there are so many blogs that were setup with the minimal investment and finally sold for a fortune.

How about you trying your hand at creating your very own blog? Who knows…maybe your name and blog will be added to this million dollar list!

List of Most Successful Blog Sales

Here is the lowdown on the different blogs that garnered some astounding amount of sales.

Blog Sales

Ugo.com: This website was founded in the year 1997 and finally sold ten years down the line for a whopping $100 million. It had a daily worth of approximately $ 27,937.

Originally founded by Chris Sherman as Unified Gamers Online, they rechristened it to UGO Networks. And even this name was later changed to Online Underground. Eventually, Hearst Corporation bought it over for a $100 million.

Blog Sales

Fotolog: Fotolog website was founded in 2002 by Scott Heiferman. However, just three years later, it started facing problems. This happened because the servers could not handle the pressure of the numerous visitors and the members of the site.

The website presently receives 20 million unique visitors every month. It was sold to Hi-Media Group for a neat sum of $90 million.

Blog Sales

Consumersearch: Founded in 1999 by Carl Harmann and Derek Grew, they also held a privately owned corporation. With a daily average worth of $11,301, it was finally sold at a princely sum of $33 million.

The then buyers About.com were later themselves bought over by the New York Times, which first ran the story of the sale of Consumersearch to About.com

Blog Sales

TechCrunch: TechCrunch is a well read and famous website publication. It has a firm rooting in the technology and the gadget niches. Michael Arrington founded the blog in the year 2005.

And it was such an exhilarating fact that he created a site in just five years that was filled with such valuable content that AOL bought it over for $30 million.

Blog Sales

PaidContent: Founded in the year 2002 by Rafat Ali and later sold in the year 2008, it was a website that had a daily update of not just news but also views and analysis. It had a daily average of $13,698.

Since Rafat Ali was a journalist by profession, this blog came naturally to be his best bet venture and a natural progression to his personality. Eventually, Guardian Media Group bought over his blog for a sum of $30 million and he is still associated with the blog as an editor.

Blog Sales

Tatter and Company: Tatter and Company was founded in 2002. It is also known as TNC and was founded by Chang-Won Kim and Chester Roh. It was itself a blogging platform for the bloggers in Korea and even now is the same. Google’s decision to buy the blog came as no surprise when they paid $30 million to the entrepreneurs three years ago.

Blog Sales

Ars Technica: In 1998, Ken Fisher founded Ars Technica and quickly gained prominence as a blog of authority for the technology industry.

It had an authoritative presence since it provided a great amount of news and sometimes reviews on the niche of their choice and preference. Conde Nast Publications bought the blog in 2008 for $25 million, ten years after it was founded.

Blog Sales

Weblogs.com: Weblogs was created in the year 2003 and sold two years later to AOL. Conceived by Brian Alvey and Jason Calcanis in 2003 and funded by Mark Cuban, it was initially put together for professional readership. They had many other websites running parallel. As a matter of fact, there were at one time nearly a dozen websites. Eventually, AOL purchased the blog in 2005 for a sum of $25 million.

Blog Sales

Livejournal.com: In the eight years journey from being founded to being sold to Six Apart in 2007, this website enjoyed a unique position amongst its users since it was a virtual community where users could maintain a blog or a digital diary thanks to their free open source server technology. And that was not all.

They had the software that would enable users to easily create blogs and online diaries. They even allowed users to have polls, calendars and guest bloggers. It was eventually sold for a sum of $25 million.

Blog Sales

Bankaholic.com: Founded in the year 2006 and sold within a short period of two years, it merits being at the top of the list since it made a cool killing within just two years.

John Wu created this blog that was filled to the brim with credit card offers as well as personal finance advice and interest rates to its customers. Bankrate eventually bought the website for a super price of $15 million and now has a robust team of finance professionals which has prompted the watchers of the space and the company to wait and watch where the company is going.

Blog Sales

Deadline Hollywood: This blog started as a column in a Los Angeles weekly by Nikki Finke. Basically, the column was designated to be an entertaining and informative column bringing the best lifestyles from around the world of glamour and glitz that is epitomized by Hollywood.

She also had some exclusivity woven around by writing about the rich and the famous. When it was famous, she decided to take it to the online world. Called ‘Deadline Hollywood Daily,’ it was so popular that the Mail Media Corporation bought it from her for a $14 million deal. And these days, it is known just as deadline.com

Blog Sales

Celebrity Baby Blog: With an approximate daily value of just under $6900, Celebrity Baby Blog is as the name suggests…about famous babies. Because of the celebrities being the current trend of the time and also due to her website witnessing a steady stream of visitors, she managed to sell the blog at an eye popping price of $10 million from Times Inc. It is certainly not bad for a blog based on babies. The name of the blog has been changed to babyrazzi.com

Blog Sales

Tree Hugger: Graham Hill, who is an environmentalist entrepreneur, who knew how to use technology to his advantage, managed to sell the blog to Discovery Communications for a tidy sum of $10 million in the year 2007.

Blog Sales

The Consumerist: Also developed by the Gawker Media Group, this blog has been doing quite well. Nick Denton and Lockhaart Steele, both were ranked quite high in the Gawker Media Group. They eventually decided to sell the site to Consumer Media LLC when an offer of $7 million proved too good to be true.

Blog Sales

World Hum: A highly regarded and also award winning magazine style blog was created by Jim Benning and Michael Yessis. Both were obsessed by travel and decided that the blog would be an outlet for their passion.

They had various sections, like the how-to section, the question-and answer sections, which were the best places to travel, etc. Eventually, they sold the blog to the Traveller Channel as they were given an offer of $6 million, which was good enough deal to haggle with.

Blog Sales

Arseblog: Although the name of this blog sounds outrageous, it is a blog that is put up for the followers of the English football club, Arsenal FC. The blog owner was made an offer which he couldn’t resist and walked away with $5 million. Ole ole purchased the blog and has since names it as OLE OLE.

It just shows the world that not all blogs are sold for even a fraction of these costs. However, what is needed is tenacity and the ability to be at the right place at the right time.

The most prominent amongst all the blogs listed above who started small and ended up laughing all the way to the bank shed a lot of blood – sweat and tears that made the original owners the money that they made selling the blog. Not all blogs maybe sold at such amounts. But then not all blogs have such substance either.

Behind the success of these blogs, there are reasons and hard work, which made these blogs a money spinner.

Learn How To Create A Website From Scratch

In this day and age when presence on the World Wide Web is not limited to either social networking sites or a simple email address, it is no surprise that many people are taking the path of blogging and having personal websites put up that signify their presence to the world.

How To Create A WebsiteHowever, just having a website with a flashy or an imaginative name doesn’t get it. Neither does just a hodge-podge of random articles put on the website.

Then what is it, one may ask, that would significantly increase the face value – click through rate or hits to their website?

There are innumerable ways to drive traffic and ultimately generate enough revenue to afford a life of comfort where you can actually visit places that you always desired and dreamed of while being an arm chair traveler.

And…how about selling your blog for millions? Believe me, it’s quite possible for you. Check these multi-million dollar bloggers here!

Although there is not much difference between a blog and a website as is professed, a website is a 360 degree view about a particular individual, company or a country whereas a blog can show different shades of your persona on a single file of posts that one may publish from time to time.

A website can have different pages which the visitor can click and explore.

However, any amount of flashy graphics or content posted on the website cannot be a sole guarantee of the success of the website. There are things that one has to do to make it a site that is not just useful but also more and more popular.

How To Create A Website?

Here are some tips to keep in mind in creating your website…

First, you have to get a domain name registered. After all, that is what’s going to be your identity on the net. It helps if the name of your website reflects your ideas – aspirations and goals.

If you have a website with contradictions, it may confuse the viewers.

E.g. Something like musicfortheears.com cannot have content related to chainsaws and hammers.

Here is an easy video tutorial with step-by-step instructions how to register a domain name.

Second, web hosting is an integral part of getting your website so that it is possible for people to visit it. To choice the right web host watch this how to choose and register a web hosting provider video and find out how you can get your hosting for 1 cent!

And last but not the least is the need for proper software that will allow you to add, edit and delete pages to your website.

WordPress is one such software. Additionally, you could also have plug-ins that empowers additional things to be done on your website.

The whole process of getting these three steps done should not take even the uninitiated souls more than an hour or so…

With these steps in place, one has to follow the next steps and then work hard in the real world to get the website the success that it deserves.

Domain registration:

You can have multiple domains or you could make do with one having multipurpose uses.

Whatever it is you want with your website, you have to keep in mind that the naming convention fits the actual purpose of the domain that you may want to register. Here are 4 Hot Tips for Choosing a Domain Name.

Once that is accomplished, we recommend download WordPress which is a free blogging software and is used by millions of bloggers across the world.

Also here is a video how to set up a domain name server which can be done after the domain name is registered.

WordPress on your site:

Back in the day when blogging was just beginning, it was a nightmarish experience to get this thing going.

One would have to upload thousands of files and also try to learn lot of technicalities that would help in getting your website up.

But those days are gone. Today, you can set up your WordPress site within minutes of domain registration.

All you have to select is a suitable theme, that too provided by WordPress, adjust the settings and get the ball rolling!

Content that is relevant:

Now that the nitty gritty and technicalities have fallen in place, it is time to develop content that can catch viewers eyes and get you hits.

There are two ways to go about getting content on your site. Either you write the content yourself and uploaded – or you can outsource the content writing to a company that specializes in content development or content management.

In fact, it is advisable to get the work outsourced if you have a website where content needs to be updated frequently and yours is a small company.

However, bigger companies or the ones who are in the field for a longer period of time may have access to a team of in-house content writers that can write content that is relevant to the domain and which can keep the visitors on your page longer.

After all, it is always said ‘content is king.’ And quality content is strongly desired on the worldwide web.

  1. Five Blogging Tips for Beginners
  2. Does Original Content Exist?
  3. 7 Common Mistakes in Writing Blog Posts
  4. How Should You Announce Your Blog?
  5. 5 Simple Blogging Tips to Apply
  6. Should Bloggers Use PLR Articles?
  7. 5 Ways to Retain Your Blog Readership

How To Make Money From A Website?

Advertising
There are several ways of making money from your website or blog. However, many of us fail in this quest since we lose our patience after only a couple of tries to make money with website.

There is an old Japanese saying which says “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” This couldn’t be more applicable to anyone else than the website owner.

There are hundreds of ways to make money from your blog or website. One of them is to get advertisements from small firms initially and then move on to bigger companies who may want to get to know you more and study the feasibility of garnering more sales from your website or blog.

  1. How To Market A blog?
  2. How to Use Affiliate Programs on Your Blog
  3. Can You Make Your Living Through Blogging?
  4. Can You Really Use AdSense in Blogging and Earn Money?
  5. Can All Kinds of Blogs Make Money?
  6. Blog-Insider: Ultimate Strategy To Monetize Your Blogs

Posting Jobs
This is another sure fire way to make money from your website. You may post jobs that your readers can see and apply for.

However, the biggest pitfall is if they do not get inquiries from your website, they may just stop since it won’t be feasible to them to keep that advertisement going if they do not see responses coming to them as a result of posting on your job board.

Service Vending
The easiest way to start selling advertising on one’s website is creating a new page and naming it as Advertise With Us, Selling Services or anything else that you deem suitable.

You can put in the information about your service; testimonials and a buy now button, preferably from PayPal. That will make it easier for your visitors to see the wares displayed and make a decision. Then you can have a checkout cart designed and a payment gateway set up.

With all of the above things put in place, your website is really good to go and you can start make money with your website.

Any problems with creating your website? Leave a comment below and we’ll help you as best we can…