Saturday, October 30, 2010

How Not To Gain New Customers

I am writing this as I am still angry over what happened in the middle of last night: I was woken up at 2.30 am by a refuse truck emptying my neighbours' bin.

I don't blame my neighbours, it's not their fault they gave their business to a stupid refuse company. The refuse company in question operate in the West of Ireland region. I was thinking of switching from another refuse company over to them because they offer competitive prices, but now I'm not so sure I want to do that.

Last Saturday morning I thought they were very early at 5.00 am (I pity the poor sods who forget to take their bins out the night before), but 2.30 am is just not right for people like me who like to be in bed by 11.00 pm or at least 12.00  (if the movie's really good and I don't fall asleep in the middle of it; no, I'm not ashamed to show my age).


As I was in the middle of writing this, I phoned the office of the refuse company in question and I talked to a very nice woman who sounded really surprised to hear that any of the company's drivers would be out at that time; she said she would talk to her empployer about it on Monday, so hopefully if I am ever disturbed again in the middle of the night it won't be by them!


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Colgate Promotion Helps Against HSE Dental Care Cuts

The HSE decided to cut dental care costs that are not emergencies last April, so people like most of the Irish population who find it difficult (if not impossible) to spend €85 for a check up and cleaning (the price my dentist charges for about 20 minutes' work; I know, I know, there are overhead costs and dental equipment has to be paid off, but €85?...).

Yesterday I made an appointment with my local dentist and I knew that my medical card would not cover the cost of my visit so I was prepared to fork out some dough but it's only when I was standing outside the dental clinic this morning that I spotted this Colgate promotion:

During September, if you purchase in the same transaction:

  • a Colgate mouthwash (500 ml),
  • 2 Colgate 360 toothbrushes and
  • a Colgate Total 100 ml toothpaste,
Colgate will refund the cost of your dental check up or scale and polish up to a maximum of €65.

So even though I had to advance €101 this morning (Colgate products for €16 in addition to my €85 bill), I will get €65 back, meaning that I have spent €36 instead of the normal €85 with the Colgate products as a bonus.

Okay, so given the choice I would rather spend €5 at Lidl for the same products instead of the overpriced Colgate stuff, but it's not like I'm not going to use them and I don't have to stay loyal to Colgate, as I have been using cheap toothpaste and toothbrushes (the Lidl ones are actually good!) for years and still don't have any cavities (and I'm not making this up, after 5 years without visiting a dentist and half of the time not bothering to brush at night, although I do it every morning, I was told this morning that my teeth were in very good condition).

For more details on this promotion, go to colgateohm.ie and remember that this is only valid until 30th September 2010 so if you want to avail of it, don't waste any time!


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wicked Way to Save Money on Your Little Angels and Demons' Christmas Gifts...

...For years to come!

Buy them a Nintendo DS (or one of those handheld Playstation thingies) now for their birthday and let them know that from now on, all they are getting for all their birthdays and Christmases for the next 10 years is 1 (ONE, not 2 or 3 or more) game for their console.

The money outlay may be big now (I paid €179.99 for my six year old's Nintendo DSi package including protective case, cleaning kit, extra stencils and 1 game as well as the console) but then you shouldn't have to spend more than €39.99 at the most for a new game each time.

If this seems like a lot of money, especially if you have a few of those things (I'm talking about those wanting machines that are kids), just wait until they reach a certain age (so you don't have to buy more than one in one year, except for twins, triplets...don't get me started!), or maybe have an agreement with friends and family so that they each contribute some of the money for a console instead of each one of them buying a separate present (chances are they won't mind, it's always so hard to come up with an original gift that will please these kids anyway).

When my eldest daughter really wanted her Nintendo DS and it was not even her birthday (it was her sister's 5th birthday and I always get the other one a little something so they don't get jealous), I said that if she really wanted one she could buy it with her own money (she has her own account at the credit union and she's loaded, compared to my own bank account) and that I would give her some of the money. Now all she wants is Nintendo DS games (well except for that communion bicycle).

My youngest turned 6 this month and my parents and sister gave me some money, to which I added the difference to buy that Nintendo DSi she now spends a lot of time on, so I could still afford those school books and uniforms. She didn't mind getting one gift instead of 3 because she had wanted a Nintendo DS ever since her sister got hers last year.

Now not only the Christmas and birthday gifts for the foreseeable future won't break the bank, but I will also not have to go through the Smyths Toys and Argos catalogues wondering what the hell could I be buying them from now on!


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blackberry picking

 

001

Ok, these are not really blackberries, but on my hunt for ripe blackberries this morning I came across a few of these bushes. They look like blueberries but I can’t be 100% sure and since I did not want to mix poisonous berries with my blackberries I thought it safer to leave these undisturbed.

I looked for pictures of blueberry bushes online but even though the fruit look like them, the leaves look a bit different, mine seem to be narrower than the ones I found online; I learned that there are several species of blueberries though, so this could just be a variety that did not come up in my search (or so I wish, because my tummy could find a good use for these!)

Please can anyone help me identify this plant?


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Getting Distracted

Some people call it procrastinating, I just call it being distracted, disorganized, whatever, this is my big excuse for not writing any new articles or blog posts for a while.

The fact that I haven't earned any commissions since I have started my affiliate marketing campain last March has not motivated me into writing articles for a while. I am wondering if I should just give up on that one but at the same time I know I have not given that project everything I have, so I might come back to it later on.

I have started something new so if this one works out, you should hear about it soon. I don't want to say too much about it now, in case it just flops miserably, but it is something that was on my mind for a long time so I have to get it out of my system.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Save Money by Switching Mobile Phone Networks

I regularly check the website of my mobile phone network provider to check whether they have any good special offers, particularly on upgrades but lately there have not been any.

Since my mobile phone has been working great since I have had it, the only way I am willing to upgrade it is if I get more free credit than the cost of my phone but for a good while now there has not been any offers of more than €30 free credit for the most basic mobile phones starting at €29.99, not really worth the hassle of changing.

There are, however, great offers at the moment for anyone willing to switch mobile phone networks:

  • Switching to O2 gives you €130 free credit, 
  • Vodafone gets you €120,
  • Meteor €150.
You get the free call credit monthly €10 at a time provided you top up by at least €20 every 30 days until all your free credit has been given to you, which for some, may mean that they will end up with a big amount of credit but if you are not a big mobile phone credit spender, you could end up not having to buy any credits for a full year after that.

Also keep in mind that some network providers may charge you for the cost of unlocking your current phone if you decide to keep the same handset when switching and if you are a pre-pay customer you must make sure that you have spent all your current call credit before switching over to a new network unless you don't mind losing it.

I have €0.38 left to spend before I switch; now who shall I call?


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Affiliate Marketing Update 5: What Is Taking So Long?

Some article directories take a very long time to approve articles. So far, I have had good experiences with Ezine Articles and GoArticles but Isnare and Article Dashboard are taking their time in reviewing articles.

I wrote 2 more articles that I have submitted to Ezine Articles so now I have 12 articles on this article directory that have attracted so far about 480 pageviews since I have submitted them. I have just received my article stats report for April and I have saved it as it is in giving me new keywords for my next articles.

Go Articles have brought me about 250 pageviews since submission.

earlier this week I have submitted to Idea Marketers the same articles as I had previously submitted to Go Articles and even though I have done no promotion on these articles, I did get about 100 pageviews.

After 15 days, Article Dashboard has at last approved my articles but my article stats do not show the number of pageviews so I have no idea how this article directory will help my blog (and especially my affiliate link!) get visitors.

I wonder what is taking Isnare so long in approving (or rejecting!) my articles. I have submitted them about 3 weeks ago (the earliest on April 13th, the latest on April 16th), and still no news from this directory! I came across an Internet marketing forum in which members were complaining about how long Isnare is taking in reviewing their articles, so at least I know I am not alone.

I know I said I would follow the exact affiliate marketing method I am using but I have decided to deviate just a tiny bit: I have started posting keyword rich short articles (each accompanied with a banner between the post title and the article body as well as a hyperlink with my affiliate link in the article) in order to improve the quality of my content. This should make it more search-engine friendly as well as giving me material for longer articles to post on article directories.

Now for my Clickbank commissions: well surprise, surprise, I have so far made $0! At least you know I am not lying to you. My blog has had about 80 visits which is not all that much for over a month's work but I am hoping that this will increase after I start posting more regularly, which will not happen for over a week because I have some family members visiting from tomorrow (I am hoping for the volcano ashes that are hovering over Ireland to go away before tomorrow afternoon, thankfully some of my relations are travelling by Ferry) as my daughter is doing her 1st Holy Communion at the week-end.

Hopefully the next time I post I will have earned some commissions, and if not, at least I will have a better idea of what works and what doesn't in affiliate marketing.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Friday, April 30, 2010

Associated Content Changes For Non-U.S. Residents

Associated Content is changing its payment scheme for contributors not living in the U.S. and this is bad news for a lot of us.

From tomorrow, May 1st, 2010, all non-U.S. members of Associated Content who are not featured contributors will not be receiving performance payments anymore. This comes just as my rate had been increased from $1.55 to $1.60 per thousand page views so I am a bit disappointed by this, not being a featured contributor.

I have 2 options to choose from:

  1. Apply to become a featured contributor, where I have no guarantees to be accepted as the standard of writing is high and I would need to specialize in a topic, which I don't really want to. Also, the minimum threshold to receive a payment from Associated Content will move from $1.50 to $100. For the last 2 years or so, I have had payments of between $3 and $4 every month, so unless I do nothing else than writing for Associated Content and get more page views by really working hard on keyword-rich content, I will get paid once every 2 years and that's if I'm lucky!
  2. Take the money and run: I will still get the money owed to me up to May 1st and can have my content removed. I can always keep a copy of it and rewrite a few articles to publish elsewhere if I ever decide to do more article writing.
Right now, I am trying to earn affiliate commission so all the articles I am writing are going on article directories that let me post a link in my resource box, meaning they are the ones that do not pay me. Since I don't have a lot of time available (I am thinking of switching from once-a-day housework to once-a-month). I should probably focus on blogging more and writing those articles for my affiliate marketing campaign, without speaking of the novel I started and then lost when my PC died (maybe someone's trying to tell me something on this one, like my novel was crap, for example).

So this is is the end of me and Associated Content, I guess I should get on Facebook and Twitter and unfriend everyone from AC (apart maybe from the Barefoot, whom everyone should listen to because if there is one person on the Internet who is worth listening to, Barefoot is).

Well, maybe unfriending everyone is a bit rash so for now I will just go and save my Associated Content articles before they disappear.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Affiliate Marketing Update 4: Not Making Any Sales Yet

I haven't done much in terms of my affiliate marketing campaign during the week but I have decided to write an update anyway, just so that you don't think I have forgotten all about it.

I have not written any new articles but now have my 10 main articles live on Ezine Articles which so far have attracted 271 views and 27 clicks on my author resource box. One thing I like about Ezine Articles is that it gives you detailed statistics about your articles; you can even check the most popular traffic search terms for your articles.

I have submitted 10 rewrites of my original articles to GoArticles and Isnare. Isnare hasn't approved my articles yet and the total page views for my content on GoArticles totals 145.

I haven't bookmarked a lot of my articles, apart from the automatic submission that Ezine does to my Twitter which also appears on my Facebook profile; I have used another 6 bookmarking websites but I find them too time-consuming because I need to bookmark other stuff than my own content to be able to keep submitting (I have been banned from Propeller before). Also, some of them don't accept links from GoArticles I will keep trying even though I should spend more time writing than submitting. I have started a spreadsheet to keep track of what I am submitting and need to organize my time better in order to keep doing this.

I regularly check my clickbank account and so far I haven't made any sales; If I did I would probably be more motivated but I will try to continue. There are still a lot of articles to write and a lot of article directories and bookmarking websites to submit to.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Irish Taxpayers, You're Being Scammed!

"As if we didn't already know this!", you are going to say. Well I am not talking about NAMA or any other schemes that are being covered so much in the media and designed to protect the fat cats at the expense of Irish individuals.

I am talking about the free travel pass that some people living in Ireland are entitled to. I have nothing against the idea of this scheme and I do understand how society can benefit from this, making travel easier for people who might otherwise stay at home, meaning that these people can visit friends and relatives as well as participating in the economy by being able to do more shopping.

I don't know if this is true for the bus services but I know of a particular scam that Iarnod Eireann, the Irish national (and only) train company, is running: when someone with a free travel pass want to go somewhere, they have to get a ticket even though travel is free for them; the ticket shows a charge of €0.00. I guess they do this so that they have a record of the journeys they need to charge the government (or the taxpayers). So far, this is perfectly fine, except that if a person wants to travel for only a portion of the Galway-Dublin route on the train (say Galway to Athenry, which is the closest station to Galway), their ticket shows that the route they are travelling on is Galway-Dublin.

If you were travelling on the train from Galway to Athenry (a 10 minute journey) and Iarnod Eireann charged you for a ticket from Galway to Dublin (a 2 and a half hour journey), I don't think you would be very happy (I know I wouldn't!). As taxpayers, we are being asked to pay for this unnecessary surcharge everyday, several times a day, and keeping in mind that this is just one example of how easy it seems to be to scam the taxpayers' money out of their pockets, don't you think there should be a better system that could be put in place in order to stop inflating some companies' profits at our expense?

In these times when people are being squeezed out of the homes they cannot afford anymore because of some bankers' greed and gambling and the Irish government taking their side, when whole housing estates (which in my understanding should now belong to the government) are being threatened to be bulldozed even though there are thousands of Irish families in need of stable housing, when the government who is supposed to represent the Irish people burdens them with taxes that they cannot afford anymore to bail out the big banks that have defrauded us and everyone (except the fat cats) is already tightening their belts so much that they are choking at the thought of yet another bail-out, do we really need to pay more than we have to?

We need change in this country, and by change I don't mean to replace Brian by Enda, by change I mean to take this whole system apart and rebuilt it bit by bit, ensuring that there is no way anyone can ever defraud us again. I guess that is never going to happen and I'm just being naive, but at least I got this out of the way, now I can go back and bury my little head into the sand again.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Friday, April 9, 2010

Affiliate Marketing Update 3: All 20 Articles Submitted

All my 10 original articles and 10 rewrites have now been submitted to 2 article directories.

Ezine Articles still have to publish 7 of my articles and I have just finished submitting my 10 rewrites to Go Articles where publication is immediate.

My next step is to submit all the published articles (and my blog, why not?) to social bookmarking websites but first, in order not to be called a spammer, I have set up a Google alert about my niche so I can bookmark not only my own articles but also content related to it that is not mine whithout having to look too far (I get email updates regularly and I will bookmark the sites and blogs that I like, but not the ones promoting an affiliate product).

On another matter, I have just realised that I missed out on $59 from Clickbank last September! How? Well it seems that some people have bought some of the affiliate products I promoted in 2 different Squidoo lenses (that are not live anymore, I will have to edit some links). So far so good, but the problem is that I moved out last August and forgot to edit my address on the Clickbank website so the check must have been received at my old address but there is no way I can get it back, and if I did get it now, I would have to send it to Clickbank before they send me a new one (probably with some administration charges deducted). After a bit of headbanging, I edited my details, at least I know that I can make a little money even a long time after starting to promote something.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Affiliate Marketing Update 2: All Articles Written

Phew! Writing articles based on certain keywords is not that difficult but keeping focused when you also have kids and a house to run is!

Anyway, my 10 main articles are written and I have rewritten another 10 articles so now I have a total of 20. I still have to read them and correct any mistakes, write summaries and find popular tags as well as publishing them on several article directories.

If you are wondering what the heck rewriting means, it is something that I like to compare to plagiariazing: but since I am not taking content from anywhere else but the articles I wrote myself, it doesn't really matter (I am hardly going to sue myself, am I?).

I keep coming across other websites belonging to my niche that make me realise that I really need to improve my own site so I will add another page this evening, something that can be helpful to people looking for information on the topic I am writing about.

I am also going to use Google Analytics on my site, so I have an idea of where visitors are coming from and what it is they really want.

This is it for now, the bulk of the heavy work is done and still plenty more to do: this is not a case of sitting on my own arse and letting the dosh roll in, as so many Internet marketers will have you believe (usually when they are trying to sell you some miracle product)!


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Affiliate Marketing Update : Things Are Moving Faster Than I Expected

I am still in the process of writing keyword-rich articles in my niche and on monday I submitted my first 3 articles to Ezine Articles. I did this before having all my articles written because I knew that it might take a while (usually up to a week) for them to approve my articles and also to upgrage my author account to platinum (where I get to submit an unlimited amount of quality articles instead of just 10 with basic membership - this upgrade is free once you have 10 articles on their directory that meets their quality standards).

Since I had already 8 articles on the site that I had submitted previously on different topics (3 of them have been removed but they still count in the total of published articles), I thought I would have to wait a few days before my articles were approved and my author status upgraded but Ezine Articles published my articles and upgraded my membership in less than 24 hours, which took me by surprise.

I now have 8 articles written for my niche (3 of them published) and I also spent a little time adding some content to my blog: I did not want to have people reading my articles, and then clicking on my links to be brought to a crappy site that looked more like a blatant sales page than a website that was supposed to help them find the information they were looking for (so yes, I did stray a little from the method I am following, just trying to make it better).

I found out that I can make my blog look more like a website by adding pages so I am planning to add more but the most important thing for me today is to write another 2 articles to bring my total up to 10.

Once this is done, the most difficult part of my affiliate marketing campaign will be over but there are still a number of things that will need to be done. This is time-consuming, but so is having a full-time job. I am just hoping that a little revenue will come my way at the end of all this.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Friday, March 26, 2010

I Am Giving Affiliate Marketing Another Go

I came across some free videos about a week ago on how to make money selling affiliate products using article marketing.

I have already tried this and made a little money from promoting a couple of products using Squidoo and a few articles but I did not really push it and even though I had studied a few methods, I did not really follow them to the letter. This time I am going to follow every step without getting distracted in the middle of a campaign.

I have already selected a list of keywords, written 1 article and set up a blog to use as a landing page. I still need to write lots more articles and publish them on article directories as well as promote them and then wait and see if I make any sales. I am aiming for my first 10 articles to be written by the end of next week, even though I may get delayed by the kids being on their Easter holidays but if I manage to write 2 articles a day for the next 5 days I should then be able to do my rewrites and article submissions by the end of the following week.

If you are interested in taking a look at this method that claims you can make $100 a day online using it, here is the link I followed to get my free videos: it requires following someone on Twitter and sending an update; you will see the intructions when you visit the link.  

I wish I could share the method on this blog but I guess it would be a copyright violation; don't worry though, I will post regular updates on how I am doing. I don't expect to earn $100 a day as the videos claim, but I would be happy enough if I could make $10 a day for a start after I have all my articles published.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Monday, March 22, 2010

Save Money On White Goods With Online Vouchers

Pigsback.com is a website that lets you enter free competitions to win great prizes and print vouchers for products that you can buy in most shops in Ireland and the UK.

Usually you can get between 10c and €1.00 off branded grocery items, which often are no good to me because I do most of my shopping in discount stores that don't sell these brands but today I came across an offer for huge discounts on white goods from Expert, an Irish company that sells electrical goods.

If you were thinking of buying a washing machine, a dishwasher or a dryer, check out first the competition page where you can win an LCD TV from Expert (it can't hurt to enter that either!) and follow the link to view the partner offer that will bring you to a page where you can print vouchers ranging from €48.00 to €71.00 on these products from Expert.

I know that if I had a printer and space for a dryer, I would just jump at the chance to buy a dryer using their voucher!

If you have never heard of Pigsback.com, I urge you to take a look and join their website, registration is free and even if you don't buy anything from their partner websites, you get the chance to earn points just by visiting some pages for 10 seconds and also by answering a few weekly quizzes. Even without buying anything, I usually earn on average 50 points every week and that's only by visiting the site once a week for about 10 minutes; I redeemed their points for a book (The Girl With A Dragon Tatoo) that I received last week in perfect condition. You can redeem your points for lots of different products such as books, mobile phone credit, cute Pigsback merchandise, charity donations and money off vouchers for DVD rentals, restaurants, salons, etc.

If you are living in Ireland or the UK, you can join Pigsback.com here if you haven't already done so.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Earn Money For Shopping Online At Fatcheese

I joined my very first cashback website yesterday, you know, the sort of website that allows you to earn money back on your online shopping when you access one of their partner websites through one of their links.

In the past I have had trouble finding a cashback website that allows people from outside the U.S. to earn money and  Fatcheese is the first one I have come across that works even for Irish shoppers. I haven't done much online shopping but looking at the wide selection of participating websites, this could all change very soon.

Fatcheese is a cashback website based in the UK but they now also have a branch in Ireland (good news for me!). They have offers from about every known company that has a website and trades in Ireland and the UK. Some of their partner sites are Tesco, O2, Vodafone, Dell, Dorothy Perkins, Pixmania, Sky TV, Aviva, Mothercare, Air France, Amazon, Ebay and lots more.

If you do any online shopping at all, check them out, you can even earn money back by ordering a takeaway; and even if you don't shop online that much, Fatcheese also has a few offers that don't require you to spend any money or to give them your credit card details: I earned €5 yesterday just by completing free offers.

A cashback website: what better way to beat the credit crunch? If you'd like to join them or just to take a look, just click through to http://www.fatcheese.ie/?referrer=30002081 and happy online shopping!


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Sunday, March 14, 2010

To Kleeneze Or not To Kleeneze?

One of my neighbours was trying to introduce me to Kleeneze last week. She is a very nice lady and also very persuasive but I'm just not sure about this.

Kleeneze is a company that sells mostly cleaning products, but they have a selection of other products as well, basically anything that you need around the home; I went through their catalogues a few times but I always thought their stuff was really expensive and was never tempted to buy anything from them.


At first I was interested by the opportunity to earn money by putting catalogues through letterboxes and picking them up (hopefully with some orders) a few days later, but the more I think about it and the less this seems attractive to me: the fact that Kleeneze agents have to buy the catalogues from the company seems a bit dodgy to me and I know that I am bound to find people who will just throw them in the bin instead of giving them back if they haven't seen anything they'd like to buy from the catalogues, and that is assuming that they'll even look at the catalogues. Also, I am sure some people will tell me to F*** off.

By the time I manage to sell anything from Kleeneze, I bet the catalogues will be out of date and I would have to spend more money to get up to date ones, especially since I know there are at least 2 other people doing the same thing in the area where I live.

Well, I guess that I'll just have to say no: as I read in one of the forums I am a member of, Kleeneze probably just earn most of their profits selling the catalogues to the agents as opposed to selling their products to the customers. I need to spend more time blogging and less time wondering about offline opportunities that look too much like scams!


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Unicef Master Card Lottery Scam

 

066

Ever get anything like this in the post? This one says I have won €1,415,810.00. Yeah, right!

067

Unfortunately, I have never entered any such lottery and I didn’t even have to Google “Unicef Master Card Lottery scam” to know that there is no such thing as the Unicef Master Card Lottery, and if there was, I bet they could think of more charitable causes than me to give their money to, like, oh, I don’t know: I’ll take a wild guess and say maybe help feed starving children in poor countries?

Of course this letter was accompanied by a form to fill with my personal and banking details. I know you’ve been told this dozens of times but it doesn’t hurt to say it again: don’t get caught, never give personal information to anyone you don’t know.

By all means if you can afford it, donate to Unicef, they are a very worthy cause. I really wish low-life crooks didn’t use the names of reputable charities in vain; worse, much worse than blaspheming!


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Save Money With Free Books Online

Some say chocolate is better than sex; well, in my opinion, reading a good book is better than chocolate (even though I have never had sex while reading a book and eating chocolate all at the same time).

This is a bit of a hypocrite post coming from someone like me who fantasizes everyday of making money from writing books, but for those who love reading but can't afford to buy books, here are a few simple (and really cheap) ways to indulge in my favourite hobby:

1- Libraries:
I'm not sure about other countries, but in Ireland a yearly subscription only costs €5.00 and adults can borrow up to 4 books every 3 weeks. Children can only borrow 3 books for a period of 3 weeks in my local library but it is free for them.

There is a wide variety of books available to borrow as even though my local library is quite small, it looks like they renew their stock quite often. I have read about half of John Grisham's thrillers, laughed at lots of chick-lit novels (not that I'm very proud of being entertained by Marian Keyes or Sophie Kinsella's writing but let's not be a snob, I can't help it if I like it!) and discovered the dark side of modern Ireland with Ken Bruen thanks to my local library.

As to my 8 year-old daughter who is a hard-to-please avid reader, she came home with 3 Horrid Henry books last Saturday that she couldn't put down (except for when she had to eat, sleep and go to school); 3 weeks before that she was enjoying one of Enid Blyton's Amelia Jane books.

2- Project Gutenberg:
If you like classics or want to re-read some of your childhood's books online for free, head to Project Gutenberg, a site that claims to have the largest library of free ebooks. This site contains only books that have their copyright expired so even though laws may be different elsewhere, it is legal for the majority of people in the Western World to download them on a computer or e-reader, and the books can also be read online on the website (no downloading involved).

Again there is a huge choice of authors here, from Jane Austen to Mark Twain. All of the listed authors are already dead, so if you feel guilty about not paying to read a book you can always donate to Project Gutenberg through Paypal. What's the point in buying books that are only going to make the editors richer since the authors can't benefit from the sale of their books anymore?

3- Free Online Books For Children:
When you've run out of bedtime stories, you might want to check out Children's Storybooks Online. Since the children's books on the previous site are a bit out of date and will seem boring to young children, the little ones will certainly enjoy these better.

4- Online Bookswapping:
Instead of letting dust gather on the books you own and don't want to read anymore, why not exchange them? If you have friends or relatives who like to read you can offer to do this offline and if not, register with a site such as Bookmooch.com or Bookswap.ie and start swapping.


Disclaimer: please check the laws of your country before downloading books or other content from the Internet. Registering with any of the websites featured in this article is at the user's own risks.


Get a Free Clickbank Portal with Free Hosting