Sometimes, you just have to kiss an ass
I’m back! Sorry to steal that line from Jack Nicholson and the “Shining”, but it’s been awhile, eh? Been busy, busy, busy. Life happens, right? I have been doing LOTS of on-line marketing research, reselling (mostly on Amazon and ebay) and even created my own private label products. Unfortunately, I’ve let the documentation of all of it fall off the face of the earth. Woops. No more!
Lets catch up. Since we’ve talked, I’ve increased my on-line income to about $1200 a month. Not much, you say, and I suppose it’s all relative, however what I like about this figure is that I literally spend less than TEN hours a month to make this amount. For me, time is money. I just don’t have much of it. I have adopted a little boy who is now three, and I work full time as a professional consultant, I maintain a 14 acre farm with multiple animals by myself (single parent). When do I find time for this on-line hobby? Well, let’s see, it’s 11:08 pm as I speak and my boy is sleeping beside me. We will be up at 5 AM to take him to daycare and from there on to my 9-5, followed by the hour commute home and supper and baths,feed the animals, do the chores, and then we are back to internet marketing time at 11.
Tv? Couch? What are these things I have heard of in the world of fantasy?
Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
What exactly have I been doing to make an extra $1200 a month?
Mostly selling on Amazon.com.
What do I sell? All kinds of things! Food, games (these are my favorite), books, small appliances, hardware…almost anything except jewelry and clothes.
Where do I get these things? My favorite place is Salvation Army because they are CHEAP. Next are garage sales, Craigslist, auctions, and clearance racks in retail stores.
There is such a huge rush in selling a product for literally 10 times what you paid for it, that makes this the funnest job in the world! Who can not like this!
What’s the bad side of this?
Well, one corner of my dining room has been designated the “Amazon corner”. It is stacked with product, packaging material, boxes, labels, and a scale. When the stack gets too large or too valuable, I drag myself over to the computer, login to Amazon, tell them what I have to sell and they tell me where to ship it. I then go about my way, labeling and putting things into boxes, sealing them, printing UPS labels and loading them into my truck. This is the part I consider work. The next day, I drop the boxes at my local UPS shipping center (which happens to be Staples for me) and I feel this big sense of accomplishment for making money. I know that within a weeks time, those products will be available on Amazon and I will instantly start to sell and realize a profit on my investment. Incredible.
Want an example, you say?
Ok. Three weeks ago, I went on Craigslist. An add had just been placed for about 20 college text books. No prices, just “make an offer.” I looked most of them up on Amazon and found that the average used price was $40 per book. You can also tell a little bit about the demand for an item from the Amazon listing and get an idea of how fast it will sell. Based on this little bit of research, I figured I was really interested in about 10 of the 20 books. So sent an email to the seller, “How much do you want for your books? What do you think is fair?” He says, “Which ones are you interested in?” I gave him my list. He replied, “How about $5 each?” And so the deal was made. I bought 10 books for $50, met him in a parking lot the next day and carted my books home to my “warehouse”. I sent them to Amazon and sold three the second they hit the site. Within a week I had sold all ten for a grand total of $528. Wow. How cool. Now, you’re right, this is not all profit. It cost me $15 to ship them and Amazon kept around $180 in exchange for their marketing and shipping to the customer. Net profit, turned $50 into over $250 after expenses, in two weeks with an hour of total “work”.
Can I make a living from these small deals? Not me. But man, is it a blast! And what’s nice is I do as much or as little as I want. Recently, I needed to come up with a little extra cash for something I really didn’t need, I just really wanted. I couldn’t justify it in the grand scheme of things, with two kids in college, an aging truck and a million animals to feed. BUT, when I realized all I had to do was make a couple of good finds to flip on Amazon, that became my new goal. I found two brand new water purifiers at GoodWill for $4 each. Sold both of them in a week for $45. Well on my way to that little perk that I would normally put off for a better time.
As you can see, I get a little pumped talking about this stuff. It’s so fun, and I’ve met some great people on Facebook and youtube that do the same thing. We geek out on our finds and call it the “thrill of the hunt”.
Products from China?
Next time, I’ll give you the rundown on the private label products that I had manufactured in CHINA and shipped to my company headquarters (Aka, my bedroom.) That has been an interesting learning experience. Profitable? Well, we will see. Until next time, do something fun!
Motivation is important
So much has happened since my last post that I have to start this one off with an explanation. When I started this site, my intention was to focus primarily on internet marketing and my experiences into that endeavor. That is going great, and I still want to share that with all of you, but a lot is also happening on a personal level and I need a platform to share that as well. Therefore, from now on, the primary purpose of this site, KristinBoster.com, will be to share my personal experiences.
Think outside of the box!
I may still discuss a few business topics, but for the most part, what I share here will be whatever is on the forefront of my mind at the time, whatever that topic may be. I still have the other sites, ForensicScienceHq.com and CrimeLabWorld.com and will post forensic science related topics there. Soon I will add another site specifically devoted to my journey into internet marketing.
Hopefully, this designation will help route traffic to the appropriate sites. Now you won’t have to read all about the latest updates with my children or vacation plans if all you care about is how much money did I earn with Google AdSense last month.
So, having said that, happy May!
Stay tuned for the next update soon!
A step by step guide to creating an authority web site:
- Pick a topic that interests you
- Research the topic through Google adwords.
- Find a specific area within the topic that is searched for often but has a low number of competing sites
- Pick a domain name for the topic
- Pick a web host provider to host your new website
- Install WordPress
- Configure WordPress and start writing content
- Promote your site and build links
- Add google adsense and other affiliate links
- Update content
An authority website is simply a website that people can go to in order to obtain accurate, up to date information about a given topic.
In order for an authority website to be a source of income, two things must occur.
First, the site must become visible to users searching google, yahoo, etc. for certain “key words”. The more often and higher up on the search result list the site is returned, the more traffic the site will gain and the more money it will make.
Second, the site must include potential sources of income, for example pay-per-click ads through google adsense or affiliate earning through advertisements for associated sites or services.
In a former life, I used to be a forensic scientist, so I have a passion for this career path and know a lot about it. For that reason, I naturally considered forensic science as a topic for an authority site. My goal in creating an authority site, is to rank number 1 in google search results for related key word searches.
To see how difficult this would be, I typed the words “forensic science” into a google search bar and evaluated the resulting list. What I saw was a wiki page, a few government owned sites, and a few private sites. As I looked at the content of all of these sites, I was not too impressed. Most had not only a small amount of content, but also some basic, un-inspiring posts as well. I couldn’t help but to think, “well, I could easily make a site that provides more and better information than all of these.”
So based on what I saw on competing sites, I decided to choose forensic science as my “authority” site topic. That was probably mistake #1. What I didn’t realize was that content alone is not the only factor to consider when trying to out-rank existing sites.
Google also takes into consideration:
- the age of the website,
- the number of other sites linking back to your site (backlinks),
- the name of the website itself,
- and a slew of other factors.
While my reasoning for choosing forensic science based on the content of the competition may have been a bit naive, I still see my quest to reach #1 on google as attainable. But I want to point out it probably would have helped a lot if I had studied up on all of these factors before picking a topic.
So if you are holding back on starting your own website because you don’t want to make a “newbie” mistake, let this be an example to you that mistakes can be overcome. It’s better to do something with mistakes than do nothing at all. Every day that you wait is a day that you are missing out on your journey to potential income.
After deciding there wasn’t much in the way of competition for the key words “forensic science”, I went into the Google keywords research tool and looked at the potential for traffic and pay-per-click (ppc) rates for people searching for “forensic science”. What I found was the average reimbursement a site received when a visitor clicked on a forensic science ad was around $5. That’s pretty good, in my humble opinion.
I was also able to see that google considered this keyword to be “highly competitive”, probably due to the age of the sites already existing as forensic science authority sites and the number of links they have.
In addition, there’s a whole slew of “related” keywords that my site would be sure to attract, if it contained all the content I planned on cranking out. These include things like “forensic scientist”, “forensic biology”, “DNA analysis”, “forensic toxicology”, etc. Because of my past work experience, I am very familiar with these terms and feel I could easily write a post about each.
Another main factor I took into consideration was traffic. Google Keyword Research Tool informed me that an average of 49,500 global searches a month are entered for the phrase “forensic science”. When people search for a term in Google, 40% of the time they will click on the sites at the top of the list. Therefore, a #1 ranked site for forensic science could expect a monthly search volume of 19,800 visitiors (49,500 x 40%). If even 5% of those visitors clicked on an adsense ad, the site would earn approximately $4950/month. Not too bad.
So, having decided on a keyword, my next step was to pick a domain name. A domain name is simply the name of your site. It is what a user would type into the address bar of their browser to get directly to the website. Since I chose the forensic science keyword, I wanted to have the words “Forensic Science” in my domain name. Having your keyword in your domain name is one thing google search engines look for when returning search results. Since our goal is to be found be google and ranked #1, this is an advantage I was not willing to overlook.
In order to pick a domain name, I went here, to GoDaddy.com and used their domain name search tool. This tool is very easy to use, just type in your desired name and click search. GoDaddy will tell you if the name is available and if not it will even suggest similar names that are available. Unfortunately, www.forensicScience.com was already taken, so I chose to modify it slightly by adding “HQ” to the end of the name. This domain name was availabe and I was in business. I personally like to use the .com extension, although you can use something less popular like .net, .info, .biz, etc. While there is no verifiable evidence that .com sites earn rank points in google over the others, there does seem to be some indication that they do. Just to make sure, I went ahead and bought ForensicScienceHQ.com, ForensicScienceHQ.net and ForensicScienceHQ.info. My plan is to have all of these domain names point to the same site.
GoDaddy had a special on pricing, so I paid $9.99 for the .com name, and only $0.99 for the .net and .info names. You can purchase domain names at about a half a gillion sites, such as HostGator.com, BlueHost.com etc, but they are all roughly the same price. I chose goDaddy because I’ve used them before and find them easy to use, with good customer service. By they way, the goDaddy links I’ve provided here are affiliate links, so if you choose to use them I will get a commission for your purchase and I want to say thank you! It is very much appreciated.
This next step, working with WordPress, was completely new to me. WordPress is basically a tool to build your website. Now remember, I am a computer programmer by profession, so the idea of using a “kiddy” tool for people with no technical skills was a hard pill for me to swallow. But, based on the great reviews I had read from many, many folks about how easy and extensible it was, I decided to give it a try. I am sooooo glad that I did. WordPress is awesome. It is a free tool that you can either use on their site (WordPress.com) or you can download onto your own self-hosted server. What’s the difference? If you use the wordpress.com site, you can’t use the domain name you just purchased. So, for example, lets say you wanted to have a site about turtle races.
If you picked the domain name www.TurtleRaces.com. and chose to use the wordpress.com site, your followers would have to type in wordpress.com\turtleraces to get to your site. This is not easy, and not good for google rankings. If you host your own site through a hosting provider like GoDaddy, you install WordPress on your account and assign your domain name to the site. This way, visitors type in www.TurtleRaces.com and they are taken directly to your awesome looking wordpress site.
There is some expense to this option, as most self-hosting plans cost around six to seven dollars per month. However, another benefit to buying your own hosting plan is that you can run an unlimited number of websites for a single fee. So if you love the results your getting from TurtleRaces.com, you can start another site, maybe www.RabbitFarming.com and you don’t have to pay any extra, except to register the domain name.
So I set up my hosting plan, installed WordPress.com, picked a theme to make it look all forensic-like and was ready to add my first post. I realize this may be a bit confusing for some of you, so I’ve put together a video which you can watch that walks you through the entire process of getting a hosting plan and installing wordpress. The entire process can literally be done from start to finish in less than ten minutes, and you can have your site up and running and ready to write your first post. I’m in the process of adding the final edits to the video and will have it posted soon. Of course, if you have any questions or need my help with anything, just send me an email or write a comment below.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts , a big goal of mine is to travel the country and then the world.
Since I don’t currently have millions of dollars lying around waiting to fund this travel, I have to continue to generate an income while I’m on the road. Many of you may have this same need, either because you too want to travel, or because you just simply want to be able to work whenever and where ever you want and not have to actually clock in at a typical 9 to 5 job somewhere in a nice little cubicle.
There are actually several ways to make money from anywhere, and if you sit and think about it a minute, you could probably come up with a list fairly quickly. Some examples that I thought about include:
- Write, publish and sell a book.
- Invent and market a product.
- Buy and rent real estate.
- Act as a consultant if you have a specialized skill to offer
- Resell products via Ebay or Amazon
- Internet marketing
As you look at this list, you will probably quickly find reasons why one, more or all are not for you. However, expand your mind a minute and open yourself up to the possibility that at least one may be an option.
I am actually doing a couple of the items on the list, but the one option I am going to focus on and am really excited about is Internet Marketing.
For me, internet marketing has set a fire in my brain that won’t go out. I actually stumbled upon this whole idea after listening to an awesome podcast that I highly recommend called the Smart Passive Income Podcast, by Pat Flynn.
Pat is amazing and I give him full credit for giving me the courage and the motivation to take the next step in achieving my ideal lifestyle. He also has a ton of videos and blog posts that walk you through the most common questions and stumbling block you may encounter.
If any of you are like me, you’re asking yourself, “Internet marketing? What is that? Sounds like a scam type of deal or a get rich quick scheme.” Simply put, internet marketing is a fancy term for selling products, services or information via the internet. The types of things you sell could be those things in the list above, like a book a how-to guide, consulting services, actual physical products, or even just information.
Ok, so great idea Kristin, how do you actually go about doing this and make it work? Give us some details!!!
Lucky for you, I am going to let you in on all the information that I have been devouring over the past two months to answer this very question. I am going to be sharing each step in my process of generating internet marketing income right here on this blog, absolutely free. You will witness every success, every failure and every stumble. In doing so, you can learn about the internet marketing world and decide if it is for you. I will make every effort to be as transparent and forthcoming as possible. If you have a question, please, please ask. I guarantee I will not be offended and it is probably not something that I did not ask myself as I started this endeavor.
Why is this an advantage for you?
The simple answer is: time and money.
My research and trials and errors will save you lots of it.
In January, I listened to all of Pat’s podcast which are very rich in content and packed with resources. I also listened and read other internet marketing materials from people who are successfully making money on-line. These include people like Cliff Ravenscraft from PodcastAnswerMan.com, Adam Baker at www.manvsdebt.com , Scott Young at www.SottHYoung.com, Tim Ferriss at FourHourWorkWeek.com , and Tyrone Shum at www.TyroneShum.com.
I studied for countless hours on how to get traffic to your site, because even if you have the best product in the world, it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. I’ve spent money on tools and classes in order to learn:
- How to get your site to the top of the results list produced from a google search
- How to use social media (things like Facebook, Google+, Twitter) to spread the word and about your brand and sell more product
- How to earn money through affiliate marketing (selling other people’s product and earning a commission)
- How to effectively use paid advertisement like Google Adsense on your websites to generate income
- How to outsource your work for a very reasonable price to free your time
- How to set up an on-line store
- How to create and use an email subscriber list
I actually read Google’s technical user manuals and watched their tutorials. For a lot of you, this sounds as exciting as watching paint dry. For me, it’s how I work. I’m one of those geeks that actually reads the instruction manuals that come with new electronics or assembly required furniture. Why should the worlds leading search engine be any different?
I have over ten years of experience as a computer consultant and know my way around the internet pretty well and can code myself out of a paper bag. This is certainly not a necessity to be successful in internet marketing, but it definitely helps.
internet marketing questions
Does all this sound greek to you? That’s ok. I have literally spent hundreds of hours researching these topics and I’m going to share the results with you so you don’t have to. If what I’ve learned works for me, it absolutely can work for you. It has worked for countless of others, it really has! There is no reason we too can’t successfully earn a substantial income via internet marketing and live the life we want with the freedom of working from anywhere that has access to an internet connection.
You still probably have quite a few questions, so I’ve kept it short and sweet to answer a few of them here:
- Do you need to have a college education? No.
- Can you do this while working a full-time job? Yes
- Do you need to be a computer programmer? No
- Can you do this with little effort? No
- Will you make millions? Probably not, but you can make enough to live comfortably.
- Is this a scam? No
- Is this easy? Depends on your definition of easy.
- Is it an overnight solution? No
- Is it legal? Yes
- Is it honest? Yes
- Is it respectable? Yes
- Is it helpful to others? Yes
Ready for the details? My next post will dive right in to my first endeavor as an internet marketer and will teach you how to make your very own website to get started.
If you like this page and are starting to catch the bug of working for yourself, from anywhere, like this post and leave me a comment, telling me your ideas or what you are struggling with to get yourself started.
Have you determined you’re tired of living for “someday” and want to start enjoying your life now? Have you realized that time is too limited to wait for things that our society tells us are out of reach until we have given the best years of our lives to fulfilling someone else’s dream? I have!
Don’t get me wrong, I live a very happy, fulfilling life right now, every day, however…..I still catch myself saying,
One day, when I retire, I’m going to travel and go to South America and sky dive, etc., etc., etc.”
No more. After the last several blog posts, I’ve asked you to think about your “someday”, write it down, figure out what you’re waiting on and what’s holding you back and then ask yourself again if you’re really serious. If you are, then let’s do it.
Here we go.
To illustrate how, I’m going to have to give you an example, and the best one I know of to give is my own.
My “someday” is to buy an RV, take my dog and go.
Image: Paul Martin Eldridge / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Go where? Who knows? Everywhere. For how long? Don’t know that either. Maybe a month, maybe a year, maybe forever. Do I need a house to come home to? I don’t think so, but my kids think differently on that one, so the jury’s still out there.
And the tough part about this plan, is I don’t want to have to worry about money. I don’t want a lot of things, so being “rich” is not a priority. However, gasoline is not cheap and I expect to use a lot of it. AND, I want to work when I want to and where I want to. No more commuting an hour and a half to a cubicle, getting paid by the hour.
I still want to work, because for me it’s important to be productive and contribute to a better society in some way shape or form. And I think I have something to offer in that aspect, as most people do. But I want to be able to do it on my own terms. In a nutshell, that’s my dream life.
What has held me back so far?
Two things: family and money.
Family first. I’ve never really lived far from my parents and my siblings and I’m a divorced mom with two teenage kids. My parents were in good health until this last summer when my mom passed away a bit unexpectedly. I didn’t want to start traveling and be unavailable to help them or to enjoy them.
My kids, also, don’t share my dream. Like most teenagers, they’ve established roots in our sleepy little town and want to graduate high school with the kids they’ve known forever. So, for family reasons alone, I’ve put off my “someday” until they both graduate.
My second hurdle is money.
Image: Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I am lucky enough to make a good income as a self-employed computer consultant and can provide a comfortable living, but in no way have a healthy savings. And even though most of the work I do is web-based development, I still physically travel to my client’s place of work (a state agency) and work eight hours a day, five days a week (your typical 9 to 5). If I were to pick up and leave town, obviously I would have no source of income. Woops. That’s a problem.
So, like many of you, I begrudgingly planned to continue this routine, pay on the mortgage, the truck, see the kids through school and try to squirrel away enough money for retirement at the same time. Even with this plan, though, my timeline was pretty ambitious by most standards. At least I had a plan.
Well, sort of. I am 44 and had a goal to start my “someday” within five years, which would make it 2017. I figured within five years I could have a decent amount of money saved and invested, my kids would be out of school, and as for income…I’d figure something out.
That was the plan. No real detail, no steps, no outline. So really, it was just a vague idea, pie in the sky kind of hope.
And I can’t be too hard on myself, but it just having the dream was not going to make it a reality.
So what has changed?
A couple of things.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my house was hit by a tornado. Within 3 minutes, I had no place to stay and my family narrowly escaped death. Talk about a wake-up call. Three months later, my mom passed away. Wake–up call number two. Moral of the story, enjoy today. Right now. This minute. Not tomorrow.
Then, as I also blogged about in that earlier post, I read Tim Ferriss’s book, “The 4-Hour Work Week.” This guy seemed to be reading my mind. (To see more about how this changed my life, go hereto read my earlier post.)
End result, my “someday” starts today. I have started this blog to share the experience with you. If you are considering the same type of thing, do it with me! Learn from my mistakes, let me hear about yours. I don’t have all of the answers, but I don’t care! I know what I want and I’m am taking steps every day to get there. No more talking and planning, just doing.
What exactly have I done?
Number one, I’ve started this blog.
Not only will this record what my steps and progress, it will also act as a guide for you or anyone else who may need a little push to get started or some re-assurance to keep going. Writing every day keeps me focused and motivated. It also shows me that I’m “getting there”, not just watching time pass by waiting for the right moment.
Number two, I’ve started to downsize.
When I do buy the RV and hit the road, what will I do with all my junk? Sure can’t take it with me, and why would I want to? Who needs it? I’ve got to admit, this step was made quite a bit easier for me because of the tornado. The quickest way to clean house is to have it blown away! LOL.
Number three, I’ve figured out my plan for income on the road.
Image: jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This is the one where I promised in an earlier post to expand on later and because it’s so involved, I’m going to have to stick with that approach. But, in a nut shell, I have started an internet marketing business, a profession that can be done anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
Stay tuned for more info on this, as I plan to devote an entire section of this site to what I’m doing and how you can do the same if you’re interested.
This step is also consuming the majority of my time, as it is not a get rich quick scheme and takes a lot of hard, steady work and because I’m new to it, a lot of research. By the time my youngest graduates from high school in 2015, this business will be generating enough passive income to fund my lifestyle and will be established to the point that I will be able to do it from anywhere.
Just like that, all major hurdles have been addressed. There are details remaining, but I have a plan and the important thing is I am doing something every day to make that plan a reality. Every day is a part of that plan. This internet marketing business is amazing and I’ve already learned so much and met some fantastic people.
As I said earlier in my post about the tornado, this is what is important to me: the relationships built with friends and family, not the material things I own or the position that I hold.
Now you’ve heard my story, what’s yours?