Sunday, March 17, 2013

Money Hack #18 - Sell Stock Photos

Got a camera?  No?  Got a Smartphone with a camera? You had better unless you are reading this from a rocking chair.

There are a few cool places on the web to sell photos, but they have to be pretty unique to make real money.  iStockPhoto.com is one of the better places.  Take a look at the site and see what is selling well - then copy them.  The key is to have unique or eye-popping photos.  Some of these can be rendered on your comptuer with free graphic design software.

Anyway, when you sign up for free, they ask for three pieces of your best work.  Wow the crap out of them and you could heave a pretty steady gig taking/designing and selling photos.

Have fun!




Money Hack #17 - 90%+ Margins at Etsy.com

Now I know there are shit-tons of people and websites out there that tell you complete crap ideas about how you can make $5K a month picking your nose at the kitchen table and selling it online with one hour of effort per week.  This is just stupid and annoying.

However, there is a really cool up and coming site caled Etsy.com that allows you to sell crafts pretty easily online.  Obviously you have to be slightly talented in this area to make this idea work, but you can sell just about anything on there and they actually do offer a quite a portfolio of services to help you market your produt/business (Think SEM, SEO and other advertising mediums).

Anyway - here is an idea that a friend of my wife's did last Xmas.  She spent about $100 in raw materials (Ribbon and other stuff) and created snazzy card holders that you could hang anywhere.  Cost of each holder = 50 cents; retail price on Etsy $10.  Nice margin!  The shipping was also cheap due to light materials.

Think about putting your wife, girlfriend, brother, sister or whoever to work making cheap crafts and then selling them for huge markups via Etsy.com  You only have to be "slightly" creative in my opinion to pull this off.  The real necessity is having a good cheap idea.

Let me know what you have/will come up with - maybe I will buy one!





Money Hack #16 - Working for a Public Company

Some of us actually work for a living ... alright, most of us do in some way.  Some of these things may seem obvious, but if you work for a public company you SHOULD be taking advantage of them.

The first thing many of you may not be aware of is that almost all of the Fortune 1000 companies offer their employees the chance to buy stock at a 15% discount.  I know some of you think that is a stupid idea, especially if the stock drops.  But ...

Most companies allows you to flip it the same day you buy it.  The Federal maximum allowed is somewhere around $10K-$15K, but 15% of that for almost no work at all is a nice payday.  Just buy the maximum stock possible and sell it the next day.  Boom ... at least $1000 in your pocket.

Check out your companie's HR page - you might be surprised.

And the obvious - if you aren't putting enough money in your 401k to receive the FREE employer match then you are crazy.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Money Hack #15 - American Airlines Points & Miles

Ok, so I used to be a Management Consultant and travelled via plane twice a week for over 5 years.  This lends me a bit of knowledge and credibility on how to milk things like free tickets and first class upgrades from airlines.

So ... here is something American Airlines will NEVER advertise, but is a completely legitimate program that will land you in first class on almost 80% of your flights.

Ever heard of Silver, Gold, and Platinum Status?  Discouraged because it takes a million miles and trips to get there?  Well, I have a really cool semi-secret way to get there.

American has something called the "Gold-Challenge" and "Platinum-Challenge".  Basically if you fly 5,000 or 10,000 miles in a three month period and pay a $100 or $150 fee, you will be fast-tracked to platinum status.

This is all about timing.  If you have a big trip coming up anyway that will likely qualify you - just give them a call and take the "challenge".  Pay the fee and enjoy First Class for the next 18 months without having to fly like crazy for it.

Let me know if this works for anyone?  They may have updated prices since I did it a few years back.  I do know that you have to call and ask specifically for the program - they do NOT advertise it.

Good luck!










Money Hack #14 - Affiliate Marketing

Messing around with Google Adsense on your site?  Blah.  Boring.  Getting a few cents per day in clicks? "Yawn"

The bottom line is that unless your blog has a huge readership, Adsense sucks as a way to make money.  Just forget about it.

There is a better way to make a few bucks and that's affiliate marketing.  Up until recently, Google had a monopoly on this piece of the online industry, but a new offering has emerged.

Check out Commission Junction (www.cj.com).  I consider this the more "mature" affiliate marketplace and in my experience it provides a much more informed, targeted way to make money.

Check this site out ... they have great analytics and a solid assortment of sponsoring companies.

The message I'm trying to get across is that you can put a very targeted limited time offer banner on your site and pretty easily make 20-30 bucks a day in referrals through it.  I bet it takes you months to make that in Adsense.  Worth a try anyway ...

If anyone is interested I can post some of the affilitates I have had the most success with.




Money Hack #13 - Google Adwords $100 Credit

So you use Google Adwords ... great.  Tired of paying for it?  Of course you are.

You probably know this already, but Google has become so large that they heavily rely on automated monitoring of "misbehavior" with their accounts.  This allows for a lot of oppotunities to slip through their cracks and capitalize on things like using a "new user" coupon an infinite number of times.

Where do you get a coupon in the first place?  There are lots of options.  The one I like best is eBay.  Go on there and search for $100 Adwords coupon and you will quickly find several options for less than $5.  Buy a few of them.

Open a new gmail address and Adwords account with one credit card, and open another with another one (as many as needed).  After spending $25, you will get $100 credited in each instance. 

I have done this literally dozens of times to capitalize on the $100.  If they ever put a stop to it, I'll just use a phony address and repeat the steps.

Enjoy!