Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can You Live on £1 a Day?

As President Bush's $700 billion bailout plan is rejected by Congress, the World's economy is facing even bigger trouble. In Ireland, hundreds of jobs are being lost every week so if you are having trouble making ends meet, you might find the following article useful:

Kath Kelly is an English teacher who recently spent a full year living on just £1 a day (£1 is currently $1.80 or €1.26; I used this currency converter). Kath Kelly paid her bills in advance and lived on £1 a day for her daily expenses. She lived mostly on freebies, and she says that her social life even improved during her "free" year (although I'm not sure a sane person would see drinking cheap booze outside as a social improvement).

Without going to that extreme, there are ways you can find to save money:
- Walk or cycle if possible instead of using your car;
- Bring the kids to the playground (if weather permits) instead of the cinema or overpriced activity centres;
- Plan your menus in advance, write a shopping list to avoid unnnecessary trips to the grocery store;
- Recycle stuff: here's how you can reuse you old toilet-paper rolls;
- Find out what foods are in season and that you can pick for free in your local area (apples, blackberries, mushrooms, mussels, winkles...);
- Keep your eyes open when you walk (my daughter has an eye for coins on the streets and she has a new addition for her money-box almost every day);
- Surf the Internet for free samples and enter free competitions (you might win something that you can keep or even sell on Craigslist, as Ebay is getting too expensive or so I'm told);
- Reduce you electricity bills;
- Don't spend money on stuff you don't need: make your own lunch to bring to work instead of buying the all-expensive, all-fattening Subway sandwich, don't fill your wardrobe with clothes you'll never wear, etc.

There are lots more ways you can avoid to spend money; I wrote an article a while ago on how to save money on your grocery shopping. Saving money is not rocket science, but sometimes it is difficult to resist temptation when you see TV commercials and all that's on offer in the shops.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Meet My New Best Friend: Social Marker

One of the things I find the most time-consuming for bloggers and anyone else who needs to get some sort of traffic to webpages is submitting content to social bookmarking websites. Up until now, it was a real chore that took me away from creating content (quite ironical since I had to submit lots of content to be able to actually submit my own!) and I just submitted my articles to a handful of social media sites manually but a few days ago I started looking into a few social bookmarking tools.

If you have been reading this blog for a little while, you probably know that I love getting free stuff so I was a bit disappointed last week when I saw a few automatic social bookmarking tools costing around $100; I came accross Social Submitter and downloaded the free demo version but I didn't get the chance to use it before the 3 day expiration period; then I heard about Bookmarking Demon which looks pretty good and I guess I could have bought it with my Clickbank affiliate ID but even though, the $97 price tag put me off.

Among the best I could find and that were free was Socializer, which isn't very bad, but isn't something I would call "automatic"; Socializer is slightly better than having a bookmarking folder containing all the social media sites you are a member of and inputing all your articles' details manually into each site, one by one.

I thought I was going to be stuck with using Socializer until I found Social Marker; I was pretty happy to find out this automatic Bookmarking tool was free and even though I had to download Firefox to use it (shame on me, I was still using Internet Explorer 7 until 2 days ago!), it is well worth the trouble.

When I find some content I want to bookmark, all I have to do is click on my toolbar link for Social Marker and I just have to type a description and tags for the article (the URL and title are automatically copied but check the fields, just in case) and select the websites I want to bookmark my link on (there are 49 to choose from and the most popular websites like Digg and StumbleUpon are included) and click on the "Submit" tab. You don't need to re-enter your article's details for each website as Social Marker makes it very easy for you to just copy and paste the details in each bookmarking site without making it feel like a spamming tool.

Other free Social bookmarking tools that I haven't tried:
Social Poster;
These seem to work similarly to Social Marker; you can do your own search and find the bookmarking tool that works best for you.

Of course as with all social bookmarking tools and websites, you still need to participate a little on each website and submit and vote for links other than your own but with Social Marker, that job is much quicker and best of all, it's completely free!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Squidoo Lensrank Experiment Is Finished!

About a month ago, I created a new Squidoo lens called Squidoo Lensrank Experiment.

Using my knowledge and the knowledge of other lensmasters (I found a great number of Squidoo tips lenses that were very helpful and I also used information from Squidoo's forum) I gathered all the all the Squidoo tips I could come up with and used them in my Lensrank Experiment.

What makes my experiment interesting for other lensmasters or anyone thinking of joining Squidoo is that not only I used all the tips I am talking about, I also disclosed what I was doing as I was applying my tips; I reorganized everything and republished my all-new Squidoo Lensrank Experiment yesterday.

The outcome of my experiment is not bad, as I got my best lensrank on August 26th with my lens getting an overall lensrank of 765 (I started out at 641191). Although lensrank changes everyday, my lens has been in the top 2000 for most of its lifetime so far; I still have to try and update it often to try and keep a good lensrank (at least until the end of this month, as Squidoo royalties are now being calculated based on average lensrank for the month), and I am also also working on a few new lenses at the same time. The good news is that I now have my own Squidoo blueprint to help me with my other lenses.

If you have a Squidoo account, check out my Squidoo Lensrank Experiment; you can even bookmark it if you think you can use my Squidoo advice in the future. If you are wondering what the heck Squidoo can do for you, why not find out by making your first lens for free?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

No Fee Data-Entry Jobs, Another Scam?

I already talked about data-entry jobs and how I am never joining one of these so tempting opportunities that require an upfront payment but yesterday as I was doing an Internet search I came across some no fee data-entry jobs.

Don't get all excited here because when I say no fee data-entry jobs, I don't necessarily mean that these aren't scams either. There might be some legitimate work at home opportunities out there, but I think it would take a very long time finding one.

Let me explain: the first No Fees Data-Entry Jobs I found required me to sign up to Dubaimlm! I am sure that signing up for an MLM Scheme (free or not) isn't your idea of a legitimate work at home job; it isn't mine either.

I looked for another No Fee Data-Entry Job and came up with a website asking me to sign up to Revolution Money Exchange; I had never heard about this website before but apparently they are yet another PayPal alternative. I am not sure they are legitimate and even if they were, do I need one more online payment processing thingy? I keep wondering why can't I sign up to a No Fee Data-Entry Job that uses Paypal (mmm, I wonder, have they got their Paypal account closed for some reason?).

More links to No Fee Data-Entry point to full pages of Google ads (some for sleazy automatic money-making systems, others for survey websites and everything else except what I am looking for) and a few not-so-legitimate-looking websites containing lots of Google ads and what looks like a list of comments copied from somewhere else with links pointing to the same website (?!); I guess these websites are just looking for some clicks (someone's gonna get their Adsense account closed!).

Well it looks like I spent the best part of my day doing some useless Internet searches and, as the Irish band U2 would say: "But I'm Stilllllll Haven't Found What I'm Looking Fooooooooor!"

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Large Selection of Online Affiliate Programs to Choose From on Affiliate Ranker

I was doing a search for affiliate programs the other day when I came across a website that should be very useful to anyone interested in affiliate marketing.

When people talk about affiliate marketing these days, the names that cross almost everyone's mind are Clickbank and PayDotCom but there are many more affiliate programs to select from if you want to earn money online by selling affiliate products.

Affiliate Ranker is a search engine and directory for affiliate programs so if you are looking for a new affiliate program to join, I recommend you to take a look there.

Clickbank is not the only affiliate program and if you are tired of the way Clickbank operates (there are a few conditions to fulfill before getting paid that may seem a bit strict to some), Affilate Ranker's directory of affiliate programs includes a large selection of categories from books and web hosting to consumer electronics and furniture without forgetting weight loss, dating, casinos and many more.

Affiliate Ranker makes it easy to select the affiliate program for you with a detailed description of each program and the methods with which you can earn commissions from these. Some programs pay their affiliate members a fixed amount per sale, percentage per sale, number of banner impressions, number of clicks or leads so you decide what type of product you want to promote and if the commission type for your selection suits you, away you go!

As always with affiliate programs, only join the ones that don't require a sign up fee, read all the terms and conditions before you start and only join if you are comfortable with these.

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