Home Office – Computer Maintenance

So many people seem to have a cavalier attitude about their computers. As long as they can turn it on and it works and connects to the Internet that is all they are interested in. There are various very simple things that you can run without any gadgets, additional expense or technical expertise to keep your computer running smoothly. Just check around in your start menu or on ‘Computer’/Local Disk C.

Clean it Up!

There are ways you can ‘tune up’ your browser on a daily basis and you will be amazed at how things will run smoother if you are consistent about clearing your browser cache. When you encounter errors online or with anything you may type that is an error, your computer may build a ‘cookie’ to that error state. Now every time you try the same thing you are getting the same error. When a site has been down for a few minutes and has recovered you may still be going to the error for hours and even days through the cookie.

That is why you need to regularly go into your browser settings and delete your history, cookies and temporary files. You will be amazed at how much better your computing and Internet experience will be if you do that at least a few times a week and definitely every time you have been to an error site – whether a link that is not working or which you typed wrong.

Possibly the most critical issue is security. This involves having an up-to-date (up-to-the-minute=live update) anti-virus program preferably with firewall, etc. You can even get some effective free programs that if kept up-to-date will offer you a certain amount of protection. This one for the cavalier is particularly tragic because they will not listen and it will not occur to them until they may need a new computer or serious technical help to recover lost data (costing hundreds of dollars). Sometimes it is not even possible to recover but at least you may be able to get your computer back.

One very important thing you can do that is free, takes only a minute, and is easy to do, is to make sure your browser has the latest version. Just go to the ‘About’ link and it will tell you the version – many of the newer versions can be set to automatically update or at the very least to start the update as soon as you enquire. Out-of-Date versions of browsers are a red flag as hackers know those updates are usually security related and they know how to exploit a breach now that they realize you have one.

The same is true for WordPress versions and especially plug-ins. WordPress will warn you when there is an update available for either and you should take 2 minutes to run them the minute you see the message, because again this can be a serious security issue. Particularly plug-ins are frequently hacked and you can lose all your work. Some will make your site malfunction just if out-of-date. This can be serious where you can’t even login.

Still another and this is the most ridiculous one that is ignored the most, is use secure passwords. The dumbest password in the world is any real word or name in any language – even if you feel you are being clever by adding a number after it. It would take less than 5-minutes for a hacker to break into your account and possibly steal your identity, deface your site, or plant invisible malware links.
… but go on and keep ignoring all this – until that day when you have a rude awakening. Unfortunately that is what it takes for many people to get a clue. Good luck recovering, Rover123.

When Parents Work From Home

Because of financial necessity many parents believe they have no choice but to leave their children with daycare providers so that they can go to work outside the home. It would be better for the children if this wasn’t the case, and probably much easier if at least one parent had a way to work from home. When a parent works from home naturally they have more of a relationship with their kids.

work at home

Another important point is that kids don’t know about economics. What they do realize is that their parents are not there for them most of the time. The relationship does not have a lot of quality time. When you are working outside your home, you see the kids to wake them up, get them ready for the day, and shuffle them off to day care or school. At the end of the day, hopefully you have a nice dinner together, and maybe spend some time with them. Then it is time for them to go to bed.

Just by eliminating the commute times to and from work and daycare, you would have more time to spend with them and feel less rushed. While you are looking at this, don’t forget to consider how much money you can save for child care and transportation. That is money that is no longer going out of your pocket. If you are skeptical because you would make less money if you worked at home at least while you are developing a business, be sure to do the math on what you save by staying home.

When you have the freedom to choose what hours you will work it is really liberating and you will find it much more efficient. Working when your children are napping or at school would be ideal. Of course you can also be working off and on when they are up and running around the house and you can keep an eye on them to be sure they are safe.

There can however be some obstacles to this grand plan like anything else. One is to make sure that your family and friends understand you are actually working even though you are home. They need to respect that time and you can facilitate this by turning on your voice mail for one thing, so you won’t get interrupted. It really helps if you have a room with a door that you can use for a home office and teach your kids that there are boundaries.

There are many advantages if you can see a way to start a business from home, but for parents these are some very important considerations that may encourage you to pursue this idea.

Pursuing Careers Online

Particularly in the current economic climate, people are being displaced from their usual careers. The may use job recruiting websites that will help them find new opportunities. Available as well on the Internet are resources to help folks find low-cost and even free online training that may help them to improve their chances of finding a new job opportunity.

get a job

Displacement could be a golden opportunity to find out how existing skills and experience might translate for careers online from home. Of course the additional training mentioned above would also be applicable if it would help the chance for success to enhance their expertise.

Whatever your skill set thus far – be it technical, marketing, sales, management, administrative, or accounting, there are many opportunities either in finding new employment through online resources or starting your own business from home on the Internet.

Obviously you need some money to get out of being ‘between a rock and hard place’. Ideally you have some sort of benefits such as unemployment insurance or severance pay and even possibly savings that you can use to survive until you are able to secure another steady income. If not then the best way to go would be to try to find at least a part-time or temporary job to tide you over. Then you can use your spare time to look for a full-time job or to develop a home business opportunity.

Give yourself a few days to let this big life change sink in and get your bearings. Even if the separation was expected, it is still a shock. Rather than to allow yourself to be scared, which while normal is not very productive, psyche yourself up to move forward. This can be a positive change for you and one that you might not ever have made if you were not forced to!

Be aware of the fact that you are in control of your own destiny. This knowledge can be very empowering if you stop and think about it. Although you may take it for granted, it can be something we often forget when we get into the rut of long-term, stagnant employment. You are driving and it is up to you which way you go and how far.

Be very methodical in your approach. You will find that being organized is not only being professional but it really will help to calm you as you will feel that sense of control when you know where everything is. Treat finding a job or business the same as you would an actual job. Set your hours where you will do various things – for example have hours you will search the job boards for employment. If you can, schedule appointments or interviews and/or make calls or send emails in this regard. Of course you will need to get your resume together and this may be a little time consuming if you don’t have one to use as a ‘backbone’ to build on.

Make some time to look at ‘home business opportunities’ in a search engine like Google.com. Devote some energy to clicking the links to learn about the endless possibilities for starting your own business. Just get some examples of what they do and how it appears they do it. If you can find some programs to join free just as a research project if nothing else. You might find something that really jumps out and make some money.

Network Marketing Opportunities

Network marketing opportunities might fall under several different business models. For example, there are sales distributorships, aka independent consultants that sell tangible products. This is probably the most well-known and there are a number of very successful mega-billion dollar corporations that are ‘household words’.

networking

Encompassing both tangibles and intangibles, there are also multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses, which include many different online affiliate marketing programs. With this model people may earn money for referrals as well as by selling the product or service of the company to earn commissions.

The principal difference in the two business models above is that the distributorships focus on selling products, whereas MLM and affiliate marketing programs focus mainly on the business opportunity (referrals). Of course these referrals are made easier if the company has quality products and services and has a good reputation as a profitable opportunity for affiliates.

Participants in most network marketing opportunities are considered to be self-employed. This is an ideal situation because they can work for as many different companies as they prefer. The ‘multiple streams of income’ concept works very nicely in any case. Mainly this is due to the fact that there is no limit to how much money they can earn as there would be with an employee’s ‘salary’ or ‘wages’.

The other major reason having multiple streams of income is a very wise way to build a business, is that there can be a balance where if one company has slow sales for any period of time, it is not as detrimental to the bottom line in that the other companies may be doing fine or better.

Additionally, they do well with the concept of ‘multiple streams of income’ because you can technically earn money in multiple ways within each individual organization. With MLM and affiliate programs you can earn money from referrals as well as from selling the products. As you get more sophisticated you could actually have separate advertising that focuses on either.

With regard to any network marketing opportunities, take advantage of your associations in the various networks and use them wisely. You can “cross-promote” in your own organization or network by ‘back-end’ and ‘OTO’ (one-time-only) sales to your existing clients. That is once a customer buys your products or agrees to participate in a business opportunity you can invite them to follow you into some of your other opportunities.

Networking is always going to emphasize building relationships with people. Get to know your prospects and existing customers. Don’t ever be accused of ‘taking the money and run’ where they will say ‘I was very important until they got my money and now they have disappeared. I can’t get any help and at this point I just want a refund’. Stay in touch.

Network Marketing Leads

To begin with, the least effective way to get good network marketing leads is to buy them, with few exceptions. Buying leads has a poor ROI (return on investment). For the most part they are all but useless, however if money is not an issue for you, then you might be able to get a sale or two from the bunch.

network marketing

The truth is whoever is selling you the leads may honestly say they are ‘fresh’, because they themselves just purchased them. The fact is that they have no way to know exactly how old the list may be that the leads came from. They may have been regurgitated literally hundreds of times over the years.

This explains why the vast majority of ‘leads’ will be unresponsive. If you do get a chance to reach them at all, they will very likely not recognize your name, your opportunity, or understand why you are contacting them. Some may be quite irritated if they have been contacted too many times.

So how did they get on the list in the first place even if it was years ago? One theory is that they may have been ‘interested’ only in a very abstract way. Perhaps at some time in the past they inquired about a related matter and their contact information was captured. Since then they have moved on and forgotten they ever heard of the opportunity. In any case more than likely, they are not interested in what you have to offer.

Having to first convince someone they requested information they don’t remember asking for is not the best environment to begin a relationship. It would be much more productive to spend your time contacting people who have “opted-in” very recently and have first-hand knowledge of you or your company.

The best of all possible scenarios is that they are interested in what you have to offer and are contacting you to get more information with the definite purpose of taking action. Now the dynamic is very different. Instead of you trying to convince them, you will simply be providing them with the information they requested. Big difference.

The definition of “networking” is ‘to be known without having an agenda’. This says that it would be very wise to participate in various activities where you can be known and get to know others. You can share your knowledge without trying to sell anybody anything and then watch them come to you for more. This is the best way to get really good network marketing leads.

Social networking and online business forums are two very popular venues where you could get to know others. Both of these avenues gives you an opportunity to build a relationship of trust and respect and eventually to discreetly introduce the possibility of a business transaction. It is highly likely that someone will be more approachable and open-minded to someone they trust as opposed to a stranger who is pushing something.

Less personal but still attracting interested people with a pulse, are lead capture ‘portals’. For example web forms that offer a free newsletter or report in exchange for providing your email address. You build the relationship through your communications and over time the leads may take action and you will generate a sale.

Ideas for Working from Home for Free

If you are thinking about working from home, the easiest way to get started is to get involved with affiliate programs that provide you with a ready-made sales web page and an affiliate ID. They do all the technical work and even accounting and customer service for you. Once you see what is necessary otherwise, then there are many different ways to create jobs you can work from home.

work from home!

If it is necessary to start absolutely free, then one example of something you could do to introduce yourself to the concept of affiliate marketing programs would be to sell digital products for a site like ClickBank.com. You can just go there and sign up for a free affiliate account.

Once that is established, then you pick whatever products look good from the opportunities featured on the ClickBank site. Each program has a URL associated and by adding your Clickbank “nickname” (affiliate ID) to the URL, you create a ‘hoplink’. When someone clicks that link they ‘hop’ over to a web page that explains and either provides an order form or another ‘hoplink’ to one.

ClickBank is known to pay the highest commissions, which can be up to 75% of the cost of the product. By comparison you will see how high that is to the normal affiliate commission. Clickbank will process the sales transaction and provide customer service and send you a check!

There are many ways to advertise this hoplink online, many of them free. An example of a free way would be to create a free blog at blogger.com and write articles and post reviews about the product. Each post would include the hoplink which could be placed discreetly in either the body of the text (blog post) or in your signature or author bio box at the end of each message.

If you have not actually used the product or service yourself, you can still describe it in some detail (read the sales page and more or less rewrite it in your own words). You can detail the applications that you might use a product like the one you are promoting.

You can also approach this from another perspective and create an article about working from home in other mediums besides a blog – for example an article directory or ezine. You could describe your experience with being a ClickBank affiliate. Use the hoplink in your profile on the article directory as the link you want to associate with your account and articles.

In addition to blog and article marketing, you can submit your hoplink to link directories, search engines, classified ad bulletin boards, and use it at social networking sites and business forums. These can all be free. Of course you always have the option to use paid services as well such as list builders, PPC ads, traffic exchanges, etc., for a faster, easier ride.

How to Start a Home Business Online

Would you believe that it just takes a few small steps to start a home business online? Once you make up your mind to actually do it, even if you are not quite sure what you will do, there are just three steps. Turn your computer on, connect it to the Internet, and start working!

biz in a box

Do you get the message that your Internet connected computer IS your ‘business in a box’? Have you heard that expression and wondered where you would get one? Now you know you can just create your own. If you don’t know exactly what kind of a business you want to conduct, you should go to a search engine like Google.com and query with ‘start a home business online’. You will get possibly millions of links that each represent an idea that you might be able to use.

If you double click the links on the first few pages, and really spend some time learning about the various opportunities, you may find all kinds of ideas. For the ones that really stand out, copy the link address along with some key words to remind you what it is about. Then continue on until you get at least a few that sound feasible. Take note of the program’s products or services, the compensation plan (how much you can earn), the cost to start and maintain membership, resources, etc.

Brainstorm these ideas and try to imagine how they might work for you. Determine whether you want to do this part-time or full time. Find out how much time you could devote to it for now – and going forward – it could be more or less depending on you and your preferences (and what is required to succeed with the business).

Let all that information stew for a while and see how you feel in a day or so. If you are serious about wanting to move forward and really believe it could be done, then go for it. While it is not necessary to make a long-term commitment (contracts), etc., you may as well not waste your time or money if you are not really serious. This is not to say you may not have a few trials and errors. If at all possible join the program for free just to get acclimated and then upgrade so you can actually make some decent money.

The bottom line is the only way to make any business work is to really focus on promoting it so that you will generate traffic. If the traffic is quality traffic, eventually you will get prospects and then actual sales! This is the fun part! Remember that nothing will happen no matter which business model you choose unless you are actively engaged in advertising and marketing your business in as many ways as possible over time. Nothing happens instantly or by magic, even on the Internet, but if you are willing to treat your business seriously there is every reason to believe you can succeed!

Home Based Work

Home based work can include many possibilities to earn money. Even if you do not want it to be computer-based, there are still many things you can do. With that said, though using the Internet for research and many other aspects of a business is probably the only really smart way to go. Why not use the ocean of free information at your fingertips?

work at home

If you enjoy hobby crafts and have talents and skills, this is one avenue that really could lead to an income generating business. Nothing better than enjoying what you are doing to make money! For example if you are good at creating dried flower arrangements, like to bake or sew, know how to make jewelry, candles or soap, there is a good possibility you could build a business around any of those arts.

Believe it or not one of the best opportunities to make money is using ‘homemaking’ skills like child care, house cleaning, laundry, gardening, shopping or cooking. You can use these skills to create income if you will just promote (advertise) that you can do it. It is incredible how especially house cleaning people just come out of the walls when they hear you talking. You have instant prospects.

You can get jobs doing one-time clean-ups or have regular clients that you see weekly. Many will start with the massive clean-up and then want you to keep it up. There are many people who are busy in their careers and can afford to pay someone more than they have the time or energy to keep up with it themselves. There are also people who are unable for reasons of their health and/or age to take care of themselves and they can use a hand with housekeeping chores.

If you have business skills and experience in your career, such as data entry, word processing, accounting, proofreading and editing, or customer service, these also can represent opportunities to make money from home. If you can write at all many marketers and other online businesses need to have new content all the time. You can make decent money for any of these tasks.

Online home business has been growing and growing for years now, and this represents a new world of opportunities to create home based work to make money. There are many one-person home businesses online that need assistance with marketing and advertising. They may have done it themselves for a while in order to get to the point where they can thankfully pay somebody else to take it off their hands! They can teach you how to do what they need very easily.

Internet marketing uses many of the same skills as you may have used in your previous career so with some modifications you are already ‘experienced’. Even basic computer skills can be very useful to you and other online businesses that need assistance with day-to day operations. So don’t rule online marketing and advertising out because you may believe you don’t know anything about it. You can learn, just like anything else. It is not mysterious or overly technical, so don’t feel intimidated. Just do it!

Finding Money to Start a Home Business

The truth is you can probably get money from yourself. If you would just take stock of what money you have coming in and going out for necessities, you may find there are at least a few ‘luxuries’ that you could do without in order to generate some ‘extra’ money. It might take you a while to save some money but if you really want to start a business you will find a way.

you've got money!

If you do not have any money and do not see any way to generate some cash, the best way to get money to start a home business is to join a free affiliate program online. You would advertise that program’s products to earn commissions. There are a number of free techniques you can use to do this, if you at least have time.

These free affiliate programs will provide you with a sales web page to advertise including your own affiliate link so that you receive credit for your sales. If you can complete and submit an application you can start immediately after you receive your affiliate information from the company.

The one thing that any affiliate program won’t do is to promote your business for you. You must make this effort yourself. Nothing will happen instantly so you have to understand that you may need to put forth consistent effort over time before you see any money. Affiliate programs are the easiest way to make the money to start a home business, but anything you do will require effort and time to produce results. That’s just reality and if you can’t accept that then you should just get a job.

Some people really must believe that there is a magical process when you have a web page or link on the Internet. They must think that having the link or webpage running online will automatically generate income. Big mistake as nothing is likely to ever happen if you don’t promote your business aggressively. Putting forth a half-hearted effort will also not be likely to produce much of anything although anything is possible. (It is much wiser to give it your best effort if you really want to start a business).

On the Internet you can reach millions of people for little or no money if you just take the time to learn the strategies and then consistently put forth a sincere effort to accomplish your goals. It is very possible that in the future you may have the money to pay others to perform services for you that although they are easy, can be time-consuming. It is best in any case that you learn the techniques yourself in order to have the most control of your business.

Create Your Own Affiliate Marketing Directory

It seems like many successful affiliate marketers have a kind of ‘portfolio’ of companies that they have promoted. In all likelihood they have multiple income opportunities that they are presently participating in. If they have their own membership program then they probably encourage their members to try the various opportunities they are having success with.

affiliate income index

This would all seem very complicated and tedious after a while to keep track of it all. To whatever degree preferred they can create a website that includes everything that they have to offer in a directory format. One of the good things about affiliate marketing is that each program provides a web page that can be used to advertise it without doing anything else. It wouldn’t be that difficult to put all the links on one website.

The main beauty of this so far is that you can advertise one website with multiple opportunities. Not only does that keep you from duplicating your efforts to promote each program, but your prospects may just become attracted to additional offerings while on your site. You may therefore make additional sales from one visit.

One thing that Internet marketers seem to have in common is that they love shopping for new opportunities. They are very enthused and excited when they discover something new and are not afraid to put their resources behind it to find out if it has any substance. At the end of the day, while every program may not be the favorite, highest earning opportunity, if it has value that someone else may appreciate, then it would be a good addition to the directory.

It would be important to keep the directory website organized and easy for people to navigate. This can be accomplished by a simple site map and/or index that may list the opportunities in different ways. For example the list is indexed by company name on one list and by product or service (description) in another. This is to increase the chances that someone will find what they are looking for on either the first or subsequent visits.

This scenario also lends itself well to other kinds of related ‘one-stop-shops’ where people can find related resources all in one place. For example since we are looking to attract Internet marketers, you could create another website that has all the marketing and advertising programs you may have found and had good luck with over the years. If you become an affiliate of those programs, you could have a link from the affiliate business opportunity directory to the resource directory and vice versa.

The bottom line is making shopping convenient and keeping people on your site because there is no need for them to jump all over the place to find what they need. This will increase your chance both for sales and customer loyalty because they will appreciate the environment.