Truly Quirky Me

Living an Alternative Life

Free Blog Platform or Self Hosted?

Should you use a free blog platform or self hosted blog platform? This is a question that a lot of would be bloggers tend to struggle to understand.  I certainly did when I was starting out.  That is because for the novice the whole self-hosted concept is hard to distinguish from the free blog platform, except for the fact you have to pay for it.  Back when I was starting out I have to be honest and say I thought people recommended self hosting so they could make money from me.  Most of the research I did just said things like self hosted is better.

Instead of saying the same thing as hundreds of other start your own blog posts do, I am going to say use a free blog platform to get started if you want to.  I will provide the info here so you can make up your own mind on the matter 😉

Which Free Blog Platform?

If you want to use a free blog platform I highly recommend staying away from sites like Blogger and instead use WordPress.com.  This is simply because if you do find you want to develop your blog later, starting with WordPress.com makes the whole process a lot easier.  Sites like Blogger are perfectly fine to use, and they allow you to start a blog with about 3 clicks. It is because of this simplicity however that they can also be very restrictive.  If you are 100% sure you want to blog as a hobby, and not to build an income any of the quick start blog platforms will meet your needs quite sufficiently.  On the other hand if there is even a hint you might like to take things further go with WordPress.com which takes about 5 clicks to get started.

What Do Free Blog Platforms Offer?

Without going in to a lot of technical detail here, free blog platforms offer a cut down version of blogging.  Of course you can write posts, publish them and build an audience.  Most free blog platforms also allow you to change the appearance of your blog in certain ways.  You can change the colours, the layout and often the text as well.  One thing that free blog platforms offer which is very appealing to the beginner is a pre-exisiting blogging community (or audience).

If you do use a free blogging platform the main thing you need to know is your blog does not actually belong to you.  You are writing content on a site that someone else ultimately has control over.

What do Self Hosted Blog Platforms Offer?

Self hosted blog platforms offer you the opportunity to use and experience the full monty version of blogging.  Just like the free blog platforms you can write posts, publish them and build an audience.  Instead of allowing you to change a few things with regard to the appearance of your blog with a self hosted version the sky is the limit.  There are a practically unlimited supply of themes available.  You can change every single aspect of your blog in any way you choose.  Instead of working within the constraints of a free blog platform your imagination provides the only constraint.

In terms of an audience you do not have the people who visit one website already in place, however every person who uses the internet becomes a potential reader.  Most importantly the site you create belongs to you and you have full control of it.

Why Choose Self Hosted Over Free?

If free blog platforms offer the ability to write a blog then why would you choose a paid version? In my opinion a free blog platform is like having a tiny black and white 4 channel TV and a paid one is like having a massive flat screen smart TV with all the bells and whistles, surround sound, 3D, and unlimited channels.  They both allow you to do the same thing just in very different ways.  A free blog platform will enable you to take the first tentative steps into blogging, but so will a self hosted one.  They are not really more complicated than each other to use, the self hosted version just has a lot more to offer.  You can still take things slowly to begin with, but once you learn you don’t then need to start learning how to use a remote control instead of an on off button and dial.

They are very different animals, and quite frankly for the difference of a few pounds its better to be unlimited if you can.  If money is an issue then go with the free WordPress.com option which will at least teach you how to use some of the same controls.

Which Self Hosted Blog Platform?

There are loads of self hosted blog platforms available and they all have different prices.  The two that I recommend are Global Domains International or Bluehost.  Both are self hosted platforms and will grow with you if and when your blog develops.  They are both great for beginners and professionals alike aswell.  In addition, if you want to earn from writing a blog I can advise you and help you gain an income from Global Domains International – In my opinion you might as well make a little cash at the same time as writing a blog as not 😉

For more information about that you might like to read Want Cheap Website Hosting Fees? My Provider Pays Me!

 

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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Online Jobs – Websites and Apps that Definitely Pay

Online jobs  are available in their thousands, but many of these are scams.  Websites and Apps that definitely pay are always good to know about when you want to try online jobs or just something new.  I have a huge list of them which I will keep adding to this post!  Every site or app on this list has been tested by me unless otherwise stated.  If I have not tried them myself I have checked them thoroughly via several trusted sources before adding here.

Note the site links are provided.  You can click on any of the site names to be taken directly to the website.  Some of these are referral links and I may receive a bonus of some kind if you use those links to join.  Please be assured  I ONLY share referral links of sites I have a positive experience with.

Some sites on this list may be restricted by country.  I have tried to provide relevant information about this but often can’t list every country.  It may be worth trying each link to see what works for you.

1. Swagbucks

  • Free to Join
  • Available in UK, USA, Canada, France
  • Have used for 5+ years
  • Earning methods include: surveys, offers, daily polls, watch videos, regular competitions, bonus codes, cash back on shopping, searches and more. Also pays for screen outs on surveys.
  • Claim options include: paypal, Amazon Gift Cards, Mastercard, Charity Donation and more.

2. Gifthulk

  • Free to Join
  • Available in UK, USA and some others
  •  Have used for 5+ years
  • Earning methods include:  surveys, watch videos, play guess the card, bonus codes, offers, earning boosts, Apps, Tasks, searches and more. Also pays for screen outs on surveys.
  • Claim options include: Amazon gift vouchers, paypal, Multiple retail gift cards, Magazine Subscriptions, Facebook and Game credits and more.

3. Mintvine

  • Free to Join
  • Available in UK
  • Have used for 2+ years
  • Earning Methods include: Surveys and Daily Poll.  Also pays for screen outs on surveys.
  • Claim options include: Paypal, Amazon gift vouchers, Itunes, Mastercard, Multiple retail gift cards, Ticketmaster and more.

4. One Poll

  • Free to Join
  • Available in UK
  • Have used for 5+ years
  • Earning Methods include: Quick Surveys, Competitions on Facebook Page
  • Claim options include: Bank Transfer or Paypal

5. InstaG

  • Free to Join
  • Available worldwide
  • Have used for 2+ years
  • Earning Methods include: surveys, watch videos, bonus codes, offers,  Apps, Tasks,  and more.
  • Claim options include: Amazon vouchers, Paypal

6. Valued Opinions

  • Free to Join
  • Available in UK
  • Have used for 5+ years
  • Earning Methods include: surveys and bonus payments for reaching targets
  • Claim options include: Various gift cards including Amazon, Tesco, Sainsbury, Argos, Boots, Love2shop and many more.  Also offers charity donations

7. Bounts

  • Free to Join
  • Available in UK
  • Have used for 3+ years
  • Earning Methods include: Exercise tracking and gym check in
  • Claim options include: Products from brand store

8. Panelbase

  • Free to Join
  • Available in UK
  • Have used for 5+ years
  • Earning Methods include: Surveys, Research Forums, Program Registrations
  • Claim options include: Bank transfer or multiple store gift vouchers like Love2Shop

9. Global Domains International

  • Free to Join for 7 days, then $10 per month
  • Available worldwide
  • Have used for 2+ years
  • Earning Methods include: Promoting website
  • Claim options include: Paypal

10. Inbox Pounds

  • Free to Join
  • Available in UK, US
  • Have used for 5+ years
  • Earning Methods include: paid emails, searches, surveys, bonus spins, offers
  • Claim options include: Mastercard, Amazon Vouchers, Cheque

Do you recommend any other sites for me to try? Feel free to add referral links to this post so I can check them out!

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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15 Really Quick and Easy Ways to Earn Cash Online

Really quick and easy ways to earn cash online are always popular.  These will certainly not make you a fortune, but they do pay cash.  If you are savvy about it you can even use these to create a monthly income via  The Zero to Earning Hero Free Income Creation Challenge  😉

Every option on this list takes less than a minute to do…. so it creates a great daily earning plan if you are really short of time!  Each site also has additional ways to earn so you might like to try those if you have more time available.

Some sites on this list are available worldwide and others may be restricted by country.  If one site is not available to you do try the next on the list.

Swagbucks

There are several quick options on Swagbucks so I suggest you do those first.  I find the quickest way to do these if from the TO DO list which is on the left side of your home page.

 

  • Start off with Answer the Daily Poll, which is always one simple question.
  • Then go back to the to do list and Click on Daily Search link.  You don’t have to do a search as one is done automatically for you.  If you also try a search of your own that could win you extra points so might as well do that while you are there 😉
  • Next, just click on the Deal of the Day link from the to do list.
  • When those quickies are done check for the N Crave section on the home page and allow any available to play while you do something else.  That usually gives 4-6SB.
  • Lastly after N Crave is finished you can go to the Watch section on To Do List and let a 3SB playlist play while you finish the rest of things on this page.  Doing all of that should earn you 10SB+ each day.

Mintvine

There is just one thing to do on Mintvine – Answer the Daily Poll which is again one simple question.  That gives you 5 points.

Timebucks

There are several things available on Timebucks.  You need to use the tabs to navigate this site.

  • First thing to do is the Daily Poll.  To find this click on the survey tab .  This is again just one quick question.
  • Next Watch A Video.  You will have to click a link to take you to the video on youtube
  • Lastly on here click the view content tab and View a Slideshow

Gifthulk

Gifthulk is another site with several quick and easy options.

  • On this site you should start with playing guess the card.  This can often give you bonuses and codes to boost your balance.
  • Next just check in to the survey page for 5 points
  • Finally use the search box to conduct a search

Inbox Pounds

  • The first option on this site is to open the the paid emails and confirm them using link at the bottom of each email.  To find these just click on the envelope icon at the top of the page.  Click on each email in the list to open.
  • Once the emails are done click on search on the top bar and conduct 4 searches.  If you space them out and open something on search results page you will tend to earn more.

BTC Clicks

On this site just click on the Surf Ads tab.  There will be a list of ads available.  Click the ad link to open and allow the timer to count down until you have a sum to answer.  You need to stay on the ad page and answer the sum to be credited for each view.  There will probably be quite a few ads on here so just do as many as you have time for!

As I said at the start of this post doing the really quick and easy things on this list will not make you a lot.  Depending on what you do it will make you around 10-20p per day.  My advice to boost your income considerably is to use Future Net to invest the money you make from doing these small tasks.  That will allow you to create a monthly income over time… be patient and it will work 😉

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

 

 

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The Entrepreneur Mindset – Retraining Your Brain

The entrepreneur mindset is often considered to be something you either have or have not got.  Yes some people naturally appear to be more of an entrepreneur than others, but what does that actually mean?

Entrepreneurs are those who use their own initiative to create a profit.

You can see that ‘trait’ in some children when they buy and sell sweets, toys, lemonade etc.  Adults who open a market stall or use a hobby to make money also display that ‘trait’.  Do they all go on to become successful entrepreneurs though? The simple answer is no.  Some do of course.  People like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Coco Chanel, Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump are all on that list.

The other people on the entrepreneur list are those who work from home.  Anyone who has taken the plunge into MLM or internet marketing or blogging are all budding entrepreneurs.  Sadly some will make money doing this and others won’t.

In my humble opinion those who do make money have developed an entrepreneur mindset, while those who don’t make money have not.  It is that straightforward.  Some will argue of course that is it all about luck or being in the right place at the right time.

The Entrepreneur Mindset

With my background in psychology human behaviour fascinates me.  I could quote all sorts of theories here, but the main one argues that we all have a bias in our thought patterns.  That bias means if we succeed at something we believe it to be due to hard work.  If others succeed though it is more due to luck.  In other words we minimise the efforts of others and maximise the efforts of ourselves.

These cognitive bias exist for many reasons and have been thoroughly  researched.  (A few terms to search for are selective perception, cognitive bias, confirmation bias and explanatory attribution should you wish to read more about that).  What is interesting about this though with regard to entrepreneurs is they tend to have less cognitive bias than others.

Entrepreneurs tend to recognise the fact that other people have worked really hard to become successful.  They also recognise that rather than timing being the main reason for success it is due to simply not giving up.  The reason for this difference is because entrepreneurs have learned to question and examine outcomes.

Let me explain that a bit more…

You see the brain is always trying to take short cuts.  It is performing thousands upon thousands of tasks all at once and so it creates shortcuts to help it perform all of these tasks faster.  It is these shortcuts that create cognitive bias.  Entrepreneurs do not let their brain take shortcuts and instead look in detail at the reasons something didn’t work.  They are constantly using ‘failure’ as a means of feedback.  It is a learning curve that allows them to move closer towards success.

In other words, each time an entrepreneur tries something and it doesn’t work they just don’t give up.  They take the information gained from the experience and use it to improve the next attempt.  This is why those considered as entrepreneurs always seem to be working on a plan or a new venture.  It is not about finding ‘the one opportunity’ that works, it is about building skills.

Retraining Your Brain

This is where I get rather excited, because retraining the brain is my thing! Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (or CBT) is all about retraining the brain to think in different ways.  It changes thought patterns that are no longer useful to the individual and helps to establish more helpful ones.  A lot of the time CBT counsellors are working with cognitive bias.  They highlight the assumptions an individual has made and provide evidence that it is an assumption and not a fact.

The idea that luck and timing are what makes people successful are assumptions.  They are the brain taking a shortcut to explain why someone else is successful while you are not.  If you allow your brain to take these shortcuts it is like saying to yourself that there is nothing you can do to improve and you might as well give up.  When you retrain your brain to look at the facts and simply give the situation more thought however, it becomes more likely you will learn something and move forward.

Remove the right place, right time idea and it becomes apparent that everyone has the potential to become successful.  Its quite exciting really isn’t it?

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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What is Amazon Mechanical Turk Online Earning Opportunity?

What is Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Amazon Mechanical Turk is an online marketplace which allows individuals and businesses to collaborate on small task completion.  Very basically, businesses are able to post tasks they need completed on the site and workers can apply to complete them.

Tasks listed for completion are pretty varied.  A few examples are:

  •  choosing the best among several photographs of a storefront,
  • writing product descriptions,
  • identifying performers on music CDs
  • Select the correct spelling for search terms
  • Categorize articles

All tasks listed are those that require humans rather than computers to complete them.  For this reason the work is referred to as Human Intelligence Tasks or HIT’s.

Here is a screenshot of some HIT listings:

How Much Can You Earn?

The individual payment for each task is set by the business and so rates can vary.  It seems common that $0.01 or $0.02 is paid, but some offer a lot more.  There are tasks which require specific qualifications and these tend to offer a higher rate of payment, so its worth checking for those.

As with most online work of a similar nature, earnings are based on how much time you are willing to spend completing the tasks.  There is no referral program to help boost income though so this is worth taking into account.

Who Can Apply?

Currently Amazon Mechanical Turk is available in 30 countries as shown below:

If your country is not listed you can contact Amazon to suggest it gets added.  They actively encourage this on the site so it seems they are willing to add countries depending on demand.

How to Apply?

To apply to be a worker on Amazon Mechanical Turk you simply need to visit the MTurk Website.  On the top right of the screen you will see a link to sign in as a worker.  Click on that and either sign in to your existing Amazon account or create an account on that page.

Once you are signed in just complete the basic form and submit.  My application was processed within a few minutes.

Personal Experience

Unfortunately I can’t provide a personal review of this opportunity as my application was turned down 🙁 How very dare they!! LOL I also have no idea why I was turned down as they refuse to tell you.  I am wondering if it is because I have an account with Crowdflower already….. I have a feeling it might be!  If you are accepted to Amazon Mechanical Turk and already have a Crowdflower account do please let me know 😉

It is not very often I will share an opportunity that I have not personally used to make sure it is genuine.  I have however completed similar tasks as these via the Crowdflower site.  The Amazon Mechanical Turk opportunity has also been around for a rather long time., so despite not being able to use this myself I have no doubts about sharing it with you.

I would really love to hear more from anyone with experience of using Amazon Mechanical Turk so I can share additional information with my readers.  If willing to provide a personal review do please contact me!

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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Blogging Mastery E-Course – Learn to Blog for Profit

My blogging mastery e-course is now available for registration.  The course is designed to help anyone interested in blogging to get started, but also to develop various blogging skills.  On the course you will be guided through the process of starting a blog step by step.  The course has several main sections:

Before You Start

This section will help to prepare you for writing a blog.  Most people who write a blog do not adequately prepare for the process and as a result can find their blogging efforts frustrating and ineffective.  Blogging Mastery starts with several sessions to help address this.

It includes:

  • Things you should know before you start writing a blog
  • The benefits of writing a blog
  • Which topic is most likely to work for you
  • How to choose a name and address for your blog
  • What it is like to be a blogger
  • The purpose behind your blog
  • The reasons to choose self hosting or not
  • Why use WordPress

Getting Started

This section provides step by step instructions to help you actually get started.

  • How to register a domain name
  • Navigating the WordPress dashboard
  • Choosing a theme for your blog
  • Changing the structure of your blog
  • What to write in your first blog post

Blogging Income

This section deals with generating an income from your blog.  It covers many different options that are available to bloggers

  • How to use a blog to create a full time level income
  • Shortcuts to generating an income with a blog
  • How to use a blog for team building
  • How to use Adsense to monetise your blog
  • How to use a blog for selling
  • What is Affiliate Marketing

Developing Skills

This section covers more of the technical side of blogging.  It is all about professional marketing skills and running a blog as a business

  • Increasing traffic to your blog with SEO
  • Hints and Tips to improve your blog
  • Analysis and Review
  • Multiple Income Streams
  • Creating Marketing Funnels
  • List Building

Additional topics are being added to this course according to demand as well.  If there is something specific you would like to know about blogging do please let me know!

The course is sent via email so you will always have a copy for reference.  In addition we offer extra support via our Blogging Mastery Facebook group.

To register please complete the form below:






Would you like to make a $250 bonus while you learn all about Blogging?  

 

Enter details below for my free course today:

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What Would I Do Differently? A Personal Learning Curve

Why Ask What Would I Do Differently?

Its very interesting to consider the question What would I do differently? For some people this might seem like a pointless exercise unless I have a time machine. In my opinion however a lot can be learned from reflection.  Not only do I learn something about myself, I can also explain to others why I would have done things in a different way.

The Starting Point

For those who don’t know already I started working from home because I lost my job through ill health. Unfortunately at that point in time I had debts of over £20,000 and I had a mortgage to pay as well. I have to be honest and say I really thought I was going to end up loosing everything.

Now if I did have a time machine I would definitely go back to when I was debt free and I would never lay my hand on a credit card ever…. Its easy to say that now, but most of my debt was due to paying for training or general living costs while at university. I thought I was investing in my future career.

No credit card would mean never trying to follow my dream of becoming qualified as a psychologist and counsellor. I regret the debt but not the experience of that.

For this learning curve exercise I will assume my time machine can only go back to the day I lost my job.

If I Knew Then

Knowing what I know now would mean I certainly would not panic, in fact I would celebrate. As it turns out loosing my job was the best thing that could have happened because it forced me to learn how to work from home for a living. In fact, had I known what an amazing journey that would be I would never have worked for an employer in the first place.

Sadly my time machine is firmly set to that day when I lost my job and had £20,000 worth of debt. From that point on I would do quite a few things differently.

I would manage my debt differently as well as the working from home side of things. Today I want to focus on the earning learning curve experiences, and I will discuss the debt management another time.

The First Opportunity

One of the first work from home opportunities I discovered after loosing my job was Neobux. This paid to click website gave me my first experience of earning money online. I, like so many others, clicked ads, made pennies and promptly came to the conclusion that would never provide me with an income. I just did not understand the potential that I had at my fingertips.

Now, after many years of working online, I do understand the power of being able to make a small amount of money every day. That is the basis of my Zero2earninghero System after all. Had I learned more about how Neobux works I would never have tried the hundreds of other casual earning websites that took so much time and effort.

So that would be the first thing I would do differently. I would spend time learning more about PTC sites and how to use them properly.

Meeting My Needs

Of course back then not only did I not understand the PTC concept, I also needed money to live on. Neobux would not have provided me with a decent income for months or more likely years even with ‘proper’ use. What I could have done though was both.

That would be the second thing I would do differently. I would use both a way to earn for now, and a way to earn for the future.

Too Many Opportunities

In my ‘earning for now’ mode I also made the mistake of trying to join as many different free online earning sites as I could find. I think I had accounts with over 50 sites at one point. Like so many other people who do this I found having so many accounts was just impossible to manage.

More importantly I was also spreading my earning across a lot of sites that had minimum withdrawal limits. I added a little cash here there and everywhere and as a result it took me ages to make any claims.

Thats number three on the list. I would focus on a small number of sites that had low claim levels.

Survival Mode

In my hindsight state I can see that back when I was joining all these online earning sites, the only thing I was thinking about was getting some extra money to buy food and electric. I was in survival mode.

Over the past 6 years or so I have seen that in others many times.

It is like the brain shuts down the ability to think past the next few days or weeks. Perhaps it knows if you don’t sort the next few days or weeks there is no future. There is no point in thinking months and years ahead because you won’t be here to see it.

With my interest in psychology I find that fascinating. However, now I can see it also kept me trapped in a cycle of earning for survival for much longer that I needed to be.

Let me explain that a bit more. The cycle was I made a some money and I spent it on necessities like food. When the money was gone I needed more. The casual earning sites allowed me to make enough money to survive (and pay my debts). Believe me I was really really grateful to have found a way to do this.

Changing Strategies

I spent years doing exactly that; Making a little extra money online to help me pay the bills and buy food. Eventually I did pay off my debts of over £20,000 and then something strange happened.

My brain changed out of survival mode and allowed me to think about the future again. I changed my earning strategy around to building an income over time rather than living for now.

All that time I spent earning for now I could have also been working on the future. I would be a lot further forward now if I had started building an income years before this change.

Ah but you were only making enough money to live on my survival brain keeps trying to remind me…. The future planning brain though knows that I could have started building an income from nothing!

Building Income Mistakes

When my future planning brain did join the party I made several attempts at building an income over time. Oh this is when I made some big mistakes…. or should I say learning curves?

The first one was I started listening to so called experts. People who had made a lot of money by working from home (or so they said). Don’t get me wrong, I did get some good advice from them, but I forgot to listen to myself.

The things I was being told were the usual ones:

  • “This is the next big thing”
  • “You need to join now to be at the top”
  • “You might not be earning much yet, but you will if you keep going”
  • “The money you are paying is an investment in your future”

The things my brain were trying to tell me were:

  • “This sounds good but it is new, so be careful”
  • “I don’t really want to be at the top if it means other people are losing out”
  • “Its ok for you to say keep going, you are making money out of the money I am paying”
  • “I want to invest in my future, but is this the way I want to do it?”

During this experience I did try to help those in my team as much as possible. I even told them not to pay for things if they couldn’t use them (much to the disgust of my upline). It was clear I was not happy making money at the expense of others. I already knew that though so had I listened to myself it would have saved me quite a bit of heartache.

For that reason listen to myself is definitely high on the list of doing things differently.

Passion

Related to listening to myself has to be the ‘do things that you enjoy and beleive in’ thing.

I discovered it was not enough to do something that works when I had no passion for it. I knew how to make sales and was happy enough to sell a product that did get the desired results. Somewhere in that mix though doing that just didn’t float my boat.

I did make sales and a little money with this opportunity so it did work. Deep down though I knew I didn’t really want to be selling things. My passion and motivation comes from being able to help people. The product I was selling did help people, but the price excluded people as well. That simply increased my desire to find something that works for everyone.

Make sure to connect with your passion and motivation therefore is another one for the list.

Chaos

When I finally did come up with something that does work for everyone I found I was so motivated and passionate that I turned into a swirling dervish. I wanted to get everything in place all at once. The ideas were pouring out of me on a daily basis and I simply couldn’t keep up with myself. Not only was I trying to do too much all at once, I was being completely chaotic about it.

A lot of that is realted to my health problems. Some days I can do a lot and others I can do next to nothing. Somehow my survival brain stepped in again and told me to slow down and do less. Very reluctantly I put together a very simple daily routine for my own earning. By doing that I finally saw the progress I had been aiming for all along.

That means, remember to recognise and work within your own limits is next on the do things differently list. That one was extremely powerful for me.

Finally, at this point in time, slowing down and working with a daily routine allowed my future brain to pop up and wave at me again. It said “you can do the daily earning thing now with no problem. Now you just need to use that to do something within your own health limatations”.

The thing I came up with is investing.

Fear

I was quite scared to try investment opportunities before. I guess my experience of debt and not having enough to live on did make me very cautious. When I discovered I could invest as little as £10 though I knew I could cope with that. Even if I tried something and it didn’t work I knew I could make another £10 to try something else.

Guess what? It worked!

Putting all of my ‘learning points’ together has allowed me to focus on doing something I truly believe in. I know it is something I can continue to do on a daily basis. It meets my health demands and limitations and my desires to help others. I have the ability to create a never ending source of those £10’s and I see what works to make more.

Everything has fallen into place….

The last thing on my list of what to do differently is to not be scared to try something that costs a little money.

As long as you are able to cope with loosing a small amount of cash should it not work out there is nothing to be scared of. I have a system where I can replace that investment cash within a few days. Its not a big deal. Investing everything you have in anything that has no guarantees…..now that is something to be scared of!

I hope you have enjoyed this journey of reflection.  Perhaps it has given you some things to think about as well!

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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Overcome Your Growing Pains When Building A Small Business

When building a small business it is inevitable there will be some growing pains.  Things do not go as planned, you get caught in a slump, you can’t get referrals or sales to go up, and sometimes you even go backwards.  If you are building a small business I am sure you will recognise at least some of those!

Thankfully there are some easy steps to take to help you overcome these pains:

Talk to Yourself

Ok so I know its considered a sign of madness but in my opinion we are all a bit mad lol! Joking aside though if you are struggling you do need to learn to tell yourself certain things. For example, building a small business is not an easy thing to do.  It is normal to struggle a bit when you are trying to expand.  If it was easy everyone would do it.

Personally I know I can be a bit hard on myself, and my superwoman complex needs put in its place quite often.  Talking to yourself is important, but do make sure what you are saying is realistic too.  If you find you are putting yourself down or expecting too much then you need to be able to challenge those messages.  Building a small business is hard enough without you being your own worst critic!

Believe it or not talking to yourself is actually a skill.  If you were not working on your own you would have other people to help put things into perspective for you.  It takes time to learn how to do this for yourself in a balanced way.

Manage Your Workload

Perhaps one of the most common cause of growing pains when building a small business is not managing your workload well.  It is a major juggling act to be director, manager, sales clerk, accountant, advertiser and all the other roles you have too.  When doing all of this yourself the roles can get muddled and you can end up busy getting no-where.  In my opinion it works best when you have specific tasks for each role.  It also helps when you can split your time according to role and task.  For example I am currently in my writing role.  I try to spend around 1 hour per day writing now, and that means not being on social media, not thinking about what else I have to do and generally just focusing on writing.  When I finish my hour of writing I change roles to focus on marketing. I find taking a break between the roles to do something unrelated (like taking Molly for a walk) really helps with this.

Daily Routine

I hate to say it but having a daily routine is vital.  I used to actively avoid routine when possible, however when building a small business it just works.  It doesn’t really matter if your daily routine takes 10 mins or 5 hours as long as it is:

  • Regular.  In other words you do follow it each day.
  • Practical.  You need to be able to do it every day without fail so make sure it is practical to do so.
  • Result Driven.  This is a biggie.  We can all use our time in ways that are not directly linked to getting a result.  If you want to increase sales make sure what you are doing is designed to get more sales.  Sounds obvious but sadly its not.  Some people spend all their time increasing the number of likes on their Facebook page for example.  Nothing wrong with that, as long as those likes are from people who are actually interested in buying your product….
  • Reviewed.  There is no point in doing something every day unless it is getting results the want.  Check that it is working for you on a weekly or monthly basis.  Remember that external factors change and you may need to change tact to keep up.

Ask for Help

When building a small business it is often the case you are working alone, especially if you are also working from home.  Just because you are working alone however does not mean you can’t ask for help.  There are many forums, social media groups and support networks.  Whatever you are struggling with someone else will have struggled with it too.  Reaching out and asking for help is so much easier than ever.

Do Something Different

The do something different option is another way to overcome growing pains.  If you always do what you always do, chances are high you will always get what you always got! Remember that small changes can be much more effective than drastic ones.  Tweaking what you do already is always worth trying before you try to make massive changes.

Take a Break

Sometimes difficulties arise purely because you have been working non-stop.  Small business owners can easily work up to 80 hours per week and more.  Due to non stop working you can experience burn out and the only thing that helps with this is to take a break.  That might be as simple as taking a day off.  It really can make a difference to stop and come back refreshed.

Is there anything else you find helps? I would love to hear your opinion!

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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Free Referrals for Free to Join Programs

Free Referrals Service

I am very pleased to be able to offer a free referrals service to members of our Facebook Group.  I always like to help people to earn a little more when I can so I have introduced a system to the group to help with team building.

Group Requirements

There are some requirements of being a member of the group:

  • It is for free to join opportunities only.  There is to be no discussion of opportunities that have a fee to join or use.  That includes programs that you can sign up to for free but have to pay to earn anything.
  • To be eligible for the free referrals you need to be an active member of the group.  That means sharing hints and tips, bonus codes etc.  Sharing an opportunity without any hints and tips etc is NOT considered as being active.
  • The free referrals allocation happens daily.  One group member is chosen at random each day to receive the referrals for that day.
  • Spamming the group by sharing referral links is against our group rules.  Instead you can add a link to a specific thread in the group.  This is to make the group more pleasant for all members.
  • Sending friend requests or a PM to group members without their permission in advance is also spamming.
  • Removal from the group without notice happens due to inactivity, spamming, arguments and any other inappropriate behaviour.
  • The group links directly to my Facebook Page.  I provide support to those who work from home on this page as well.  There are several additional activities available on the page as well to help with team building, income generation and general development.

Join the Group

If you agree to abide by the requirements above you may click here to request to join the group.  There is a waiting list at times so please be patient while we approve group members.

If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

 

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Before you Start A Blog You Should Read This..

Before you start a blog there are lots of things you should know.  The first one is….Its very easy to start a blog, almost too easy in fact.  Yes I really said that!

You see to start a blog  all you have to do is come up with a name, register with a blog site and start writing.  I love the fact it is so easy and so accessible, I really do. However in some ways that also makes it seem like being a blogger is an easy thing to do.  Before you start a blog you should know it is not easy to become a blogger.

To explain, let me take you back to the beginning of my experience of starting my very first blog:

When I Started Blogging

To be honest I don’t remember the actual date but it was around 2012.  I heard about these blog things and was really curious.  The idea that I could write about my life online appealed to me, and at the time I was trying really hard to make a few extra pounds to live on.  I had discovered the whole earning online thing, and was wading through hundreds of websites managing to make a few pounds here and there.  My motivation was to start a blog basically to record my own experience.

Before you start a blog to do something similar, read on…

I chose to start by using Blogger, which is a free blog platform.  After pondering a while I came up with a name, registered on blogger and started writing. From day one of writing my first post I was in love with blogging!

I wrote and I wrote on a daily basis.  I wrote about sites I found, how much I made and when I got paid.  It was great.  Writing kept me motivated and on track with my earning sites.  It also helped me to keep a record of what sites I used.  Because I was using so many, that was really helpful.

In those early days I thought that was all I had to do to be a blogger.  I had a blog and I published posts on it so I was a blogger…. how wrong I was!

Today I would love to be able to read back over those very first blog posts.  Sadly, and without warning months and months of writing just disappeared…. I was heartbroken.  I got a quick email from blogger to say they had removed my blog because of some of the comments other people had left on it.  There was me thinking oh its great that others were leaving comments and little did I know that would finish it off…

Of course I should have taken copies of my posts and backed them up.  Actually I was in the process of trying to learn how to do just that when it disappeared.  Had I also learned the fact I could moderate comments before they appeared on my posts that would have saved my writing as well.  Me, I was too busy enjoying myself writing and earning to spend time learning what being a blogger actually means.

Before you start a blog I think you should know what it actually means to be a blogger.

What Being A Blogger Means

Firstly it is important to realise there are many different levels of blogging:

  • Some blogs are written purely for enjoyment.  Really they don’t mind if not too many people read it.  It is written mostly for the joy of writing and there is little or no attempt to build an audience.  There is certainly no desire to turn writing a blog into a career.  A lot of people do this at least for a little while.  It is a hobby and it is fun.  I would call this casual or hobby blogging.  This is what I was doing when I started my first blog.
  • After writing a casual blog for a while some people like it so much they decide to take things a bit further.  They start to learn about things like how to get more people to visit their blog.  The writing perhaps becomes more aimed at other people reading it.  The writer might or might not want to use the blog to earn a bit of money or promote something they are doing.  The blog becomes a means to achieve something different from the joy of writing.  I would say this is when writing a blog starts to change into becoming a blogger.
  • With experience of writing a blog and wanting to develop it further comes a lot of questions.  How do I get more people to read it? How do I generate money from my blog? What is the actual purpose of this blog? What is the difference between self-hosting and third party hosting? These questions mean there is a desire to learn how to become a blogger.  Some people have this desire before they start a blog.  Some people develop this desire after they start writing
  • When the writer starts learning about things such as search engine optimization, readability, marketing of a blog and direct or indirect revenue generation then, in my opinion they are training to be a blogger.
  • Once the blog just starts generating organic traffic AND is helping the writer to meet targets such as income, team building, making sales and such like, the writer is, in my view, an amateur blogger.
  • Only when the blog is established, with regular daily organic traffic and it provides a regular direct or indirect income can the writer call themselves a blogger.  They are a professional at this stage.  To me a great comparison is with those who have qualified to be a teacher, a plumber, a nurse etc etc.  It takes years of study, years of experience and an awful lot of doing things over and over until you learn how it actually works.

Others may not agree with me on these definitions of course – it is purely my opinion.  Is there anything wrong with hobby blogging? Of course not, its wonderful! Does everyone who writes a blog want to earn a living as a blogger? Of course not! Is everyone who writes a blog a blogger? Well no, just as teaching a child to read does not make everyone who does it a teacher….

What Does This Mean for You?

It means if you want to start writing a blog as a hobby then just go ahead and start writing and have fun.

If you want to use a blog to create an income or help you promote something else then just start writing, but be prepared for a large learning curve.  Also be prepared for the fact it is very unlikely to happen overnight.  There are some shortcuts you can learn but you will need to study.

For those of you who want to become a blogger, a professional blogger, then just start writing, but know you have a great journey ahead.  It is fascinating, frustrating and time consuming.  The twists and turns it will take you on can not be predicted…. I Hope to see you when I finally make it there too 😉

Ready to Start A Blog?

If you feel you are ready to start a blog then I highly recommend either Global Domains International or Bluehost.  They are both paid services which technically you don’t need if you want to write a blog as a hobby.  Both however will grow with you if and when your blog develops and they are great for beginners and professionals alike.  In addition, if you want to earn from writing a blog I can advise you and help you gain an income from Global Domains International – In my opinion you might as well make a little cash at the same time as writing a blog as not 😉

For more information about that you might like to read Want Cheap Website Hosting Fees? My Provider Pays Me!

If you are sure you never want to develop your blog into anything but a hobby and want a free to use option to give it a try I would recommend WordPress.com rather than Blogger.  Just make sure you make a back-up of any posts your write!!

Want More Information about Blogging?

If you want more information about blogging and how to do it you can register for my free blogging course below.  I cover all sorts of things such as how to choose a name, what the benefits are and lots of blogging tips too.  I also include several step by step guides.  There is no obligation to start a blog if you choose not to later of course and you can unsubscribe at any time.






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If you have found this post useful or inspiring please feel free to share it with others.  Thanks in advance to those who do share it, I always appreciate your help in reaching a larger audience!

Ellie xx

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