How To Make Money With Your Laptop: 3 Savvy Ideas

Do you have web skills? Would you like to learn how to make money with your laptop? Maybe you’re a WordPress fanatic with a new or established blog that rocks your corner of the universe. Perhaps you’re a savvy wordsmith that dishes awesome fashion tips, meal ideas or other great advice and tips.

how to make money with your laptop

If this describes you and you’re well versed in all things web, consider offering your services to others who don’t have – but need these skills. This could be small business owners, individuals who have a site or blog but need help in promoting it or it could be a specific sub niche (say, for example accounting) you’re familiar and experienced with.

You might be surprised to find out how others are willing to pay for your writing, social media and web development knowledge. Don’t underestimate how your deft use of Facebook or better yet Instagram (which according to this 2017 web trends article) is poised for massive business growth this year.

Massive business growth? That means you are or will be in high  demand for sometime. Many small business owners need help as they don’t have the time to manage or learn social media – if you already do; this is a prime opportunity for you. Take it.

Below are three ways to make money with your laptop and web based skills. Read on.

How To Make Money With Your Laptop

1. Pinterest Power User? Offer A Service

When Twitter first came out there was hesitation (for years) to jump on board and this includes bloggers and business owners. As with any new social media site there will always be those who sign up right away (early adopters) and those who wait a bit to see how things pan out.

Same goes with Pinterest. Even though Pinterest has been around for several years now, it doesn’t mean it’s been mastered by users or casual observers. It hasn’t, not by a long shot. I’ve been on it for years and have yet to see a return. Mainly because I spend way more time on Facebook than I do on other networks – which is the case with others as well.

However if you’re a Pinterest power user and have learned how to reap rewards from it, teach others how. They will pay you and pay you handsomely. First thing is to create a page on your blog letting others know how YOU have used Pinterest for traffic, leads, sales, etc. and how you can help others do the same. List your rates, contact information and then promote the page on Pinterest itself.This is where your potential customers are – go there. Try it this week and do let us know how it goes.

Get a free month of tailwind to help you schedule your pins better.

2. Blogging for Small Business Owners

There are a ton of small business owners who either have started a blog but don’t have the time to update it or have not yet started a blog but would like to. This is where you come in. You can go after a very specific niche (such as real estate brokers, if that’s your specialty) or market to a broad audience.

The goal though is to make yourself known in the space and then to reach out and get the word out about your “blogging for small business owners” service. You can charge per blog post or a weekly recurring fee. For recurring payments, you can use Paypal or invoice directly through another established provider. Put your online shingle up straight away and get to promoting yourself; once you net that FIRST client – you’ll be glad you did.

3. Local Niche Writing

This idea is similar to the blogging one mentioned above except you would be focusing on your local market as opposed to web clients. Again it’s always best to niche out and not market to anyone and everyone. Go after a specific client group. This will make your marketing efforts easier and faster. You can try to market by zip code, by category of business (auto repair shops, dentists, coffee houses, etc) or maybe even local home based businesses.

How would you find them? The local chamber of commerce is a great start, as they often publish an updated directory of new businesses in the area by just these metrics – zip code, category of business, new business, local business and so on.

You can reach them via phone calls, emails probably best (as they’re busy) and (you can track your conversations) or in person by visiting the establishment. Again you might be surprised at the results, get your local marketing mojo hat on and give this idea a good go.

Don’t let your savvy web based skills go to waste, earn a side income or more by helping others achieve their online business goals. What you make is up to you and your market.

Missy Diaz writes on many different topics including personal finance for Wealth Kept – a financial education blog that aims to make money topics educational, informative and fun. Wealth Kept is updated weekly – visit us today to discuss other money making and money saving ideas.

Here are 3 easy ways to make money with your laptop

What Is Affiliate Marketing And How It Works

If you’re new to blogging community, you might have heard about making money with affiliate marketing. Maybe you asked yourself: what is affiliate marketing and how it works?

what is affiliate marketing and how it works

Affiliate marketing can be a great avenue to increase traffic to your website and generate additional income. However, you shouldn’t start affiliate marketing without doing your research first. Just adding affiliate links willy-nilly won’t help much. you’ll end up spending too much time on something that won’t work for you.

Many bloggers think affiliate marketing will make them a quick buck without doing much work or preparation. The truth is that in order for affiliate marketing to be profitable, it’s going to take time, effort, research, and perseverance.

If affiliate marketing is something you are interested in, take this quiz and evaluate the responses so you can learn more about what affiliate marketing is and how you can use it to your advantage.

Ready to make some affiliate income? The Affiliate marketing masterclass by Robin and Leslie will show you how!

1. Affiliate marketing is an Internet-based method of marketing that…

a) uses one website to drive web traffic to another website
b) is based on revenue sharing
c) both a and b

Answer is C – In affiliate marketing, a business offers compensation to affiliates for each lead or customer that comes as a result of the affiliate’s marketing efforts.

Affiliate marketing includes search engine optimization, paid search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, and display advertising. In order to be compensated, the majority of affiliate programs use revenue sharing or cost per sale (CPS). Other affiliate programs use cost per action (CPA) or cost-per-click (CPC).

2. The affiliate marketing industry has four key players:

a) the merchant, the network, blogs, and web banners
b) the merchant, the network, the affiliate, and the customer
c) the retailer, the publisher, search engines, and text advertisements

Answer is B – The merchant is the retailer or brand. The network acts as a liaison between the affiliate and the merchant. The affiliate is the publisher. And lastly, the customer is the person who experiences the marketing.

3. In order to be a successful affiliate marketer, you will need the following:

a) your own website and a newsletter
b) an e-book and your own product to promote
c) multiple e-mail addresses and your own product to promote

Answer is A – In order to be a top-selling affiliate marketer, you will need to have both your own website and a newsletter. The website is your affiliate marketing ground and it will also help you collect e-mails addresses (build a client list). Once you have a list, you can stay fresh in your customers’ minds,  earn their trust and bring them back to your affiliate offers.

4. True or false: You don’t need a product of your own to promote as an affiliate marketer.

True – It is not necessary for an affiliate marketer to have their own product. An affiliate marketer is free to promote virtually anyone’s product.

5. True or false: As an affiliate marketer, you are in charge of handling product shipping, support, and refunds.

False – Product shipping, support, and refunds are never affiliate marketer’s responsibility. The merchant takes care of it all.

Now that you know a little bit more about what affiliate marketing is and how it works, you can use this effective money-making model to grow your business.

One of the best guides I’ve come around that teaches affiliate marketing is the Affiliate marketing masterclass by Robin and Leslie: it’s what helped me make affiliate income 😉

Wonder what affiliate marketing is about? Learn all about it here.

Top 10 Cyber Security Tips

Last year was a year of struggle for me in my business. My main site got hacked and as a result I lost my Pinterest account connected to it. After a few weeks of back and forth emails without any results, I decided to start over, and this time secure my site with the help of Sucuri. Today I want to share with you my top 10 cyber security tips, so you and your web properties can stay safe this New Year.

top 10 cyber security tips

Many people are put off with the term cyber security. They think it involves highly technological processes and elaborate computer knowledge. Not at all. Cyber security is about identifying threats and taking measures as simple as creating an indecipherable password. There is nothing too technical about that. In fact, cyber security measures are all too simple to follow. Check out the following cyber security safety tips.

Top 10 Cyber Security Tips

1. Use strong passwords

This should be a given, but so many still use passwords that are way too easy to guess. Avoid using names, birthdays, addresses, and other personal information as password. Do not use a word found in the dictionary as well, since hackers have found a way to decipher dictionary-generated passwords using certain tools. In general, a good password is at least eight-characters long and should be hard to crack. You can combine upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. One good practice is to form a password from a phrase. For example, you can create t1$!C4gtMpSd from “This is so I can’t forget my password.” You can use other methods with which you can form unique and cryptic passwords.

2. Change your password periodically

This is important especially if, at some point, you have to disclose your password. Remember not to write it down, or if you need to, discard the paper immediately. You never know the danger negligence can impose on your security.

3. Be careful with emails

Unsolicited emails are sometimes the onset of cyber attacks. Remember not to open attached files from unknown senders, as they may contain malware that can open backdoors for hackers. Clicking on the links can also direct you to some compromising websites, so be cautious. If a link looks suspicious, look it up on the web and do a quick research. Avoid giving information to unknown senders as well. The rule of thumb is to ignore seemingly malicious mails. Do not reply to and forward them.

4. Install security programs on your computer and keep them updated

It is very important to have anti-virus and anti-spyware software and to keep your firewall on. Poorly secured systems are open doors for attackers and intruders, but these software programs keep viruses and spyware from penetrating and crippling your system. The firewall, on the other hand, guards your system from unauthorized access to your computer. Some operating systems allow automatic security updates. Check if yours have this option.

5. Avoid opening files sent through Instant Messenger

These files do not undergo scanning and might carry security threats to your computer.

6. Ignore the links in pop-up windows

Block pop-up ads and windows to close an entryway for malware and other forms of attack.

7. Avoid downloading files, programs, applications, or tools from unknown websites

More often than not, these free downloadable files are loaded with threats. Before you download, make sure the website is a credible source.

8. Make sure to keep your system clean

Remove any tool, application, or program that is not used. Check also unused default programs installed on your operating system. It’s better to have few programs than have many but unused ones, which can only slow down your computer and be an opening for malicious attacks.

9. Backup Your Data Regularly

It’s very important that you keep an up to date backup of your data. It can be the difference between a very stressful time (if your computer dies and is attacked), and a nice,  easy, thought out recovery of what’s important to you.

10. Keep All Applications Updated

Update your applications as soon as they get a patch or update, to keep any unsavory activity off your computer.

Why Is It Important To Stay On top Of Cyber Security

A poorly secured computer runs the risk of being hijacked and left as a zombie machine. Secretly, the hacker uses this computer to gain access to personal and confidential accounts and information. Next thing you know, your credit card has been used for unauthorized purchases, your savings account has been ransacked, your competitor has spied on your company, and the list can go on and on.

But some simple and easy-to-follow cyber security tips can eliminate the possibility of falling prey to any of these cyber crimes.

Now, if you want to keep your WordPress sites safe form hackers, make sure you check out the WP Lockdown.

Top 10 Cyber Security Tips to keep you sane and your computer safe

Social Media For Beginners

Learn how to use social media for beginnersWhether you started a blog to promote your real estate business, restaurant or flower shop, one thing is clear: Social media is a key ingredient in your overall marketing efforts. As outlined on countless blogs and sites, social media plays a big role in “search” and in being found online.

In other words we no longer can do one without the other. They both go hand in hand. So let’s take a look at a few social media for beginners tips to help you use social media as part of your overall blog marketing arsenal.

5 Social Media Tips for Beginners

1. Integrate Social Media From The Beginning

Don’t wait till you’ve become established and popular. Add social media to your blog from day one. You never know who will be listening or who might pick up an interest in your site and want to connect with you via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus. So we consider it a smart move on your behalf to include social media on your blog right away from day one.

2. Make Your Content Easy To Share

There are lots of plugins, add-ons and widgets that allow you to place Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook on your blog. However some work better than others and some are more streamlined than others. Find the tool that works best for you and your specific blog design, colors, size and so on. Also it might be best not too add to many buttons and widgets, as a reader might get confused on which one to use. Make it easy: the easier the better. Never underestimate the power of EASY.

3. Use It Yourself

Are you an active user of one (or more) of the social networks? We understand that each one is time consuming and therefore you might not be able to contribute regularly to each. In this case, it might be necessary to “cherry pick” and decide which one you prefer and will become an active member of. Whichever one you choose, go for it – at full throttle.

Need help with Facebook? This quick and easy to read report will give you the facts.

4. Keep Up With Changes

Another constant in social media is the myriad of changes that take place. Facebook alone is known for their constant upgrades and changes. This can be hard to manage and or keep up with, however no one wants to be “behind the ball”. So in this case, one thing you can do is to subscribe to the various blogs and sites that keep up with the changes for you. Mashable comes to mind, they usually report on the various changes from the big three in social media.

5. If You Don’t Have Time, Outsource Social Media

If you simply do not have the time to incorporate social media for your blog at this time. Then it might be necessary to outsource the task. Look in the various job boards that have job listings in social media such as the Problogger Job Board. This one only charges $50 for a listing that last 30 days. A good deal since this is a job board visited daily by web professionals who are experienced and savvy with social media.

Using a blog today to promote a business has become commonplace and for good reason. It works. When used correctly and strategically it can bring you traffic, sales, clients, prospects, leads, etc. When combined with social media it can bring about untold wonders.

Guest article written by Missy Diaz who works for various clients including a website builder tool on the web.

Social media for beginners

How To Gain Pinterest Followers Case Study

How To Gain Pinterest Followers

I had a personal Pinterest account for a few years, but never really used it for anything: just added a few things here and there for fun. A couple years ago, there was discussion about traffic from Pinterest in one of the FB groups I belong to, and I was intrigued. So, when I started a new niche site earlier this year, I decided I had to learn how to gain Pinterest followers.

Why gain more Pinterest followers? Here’s the reason: this is my site’s traffic form Pinterest in its first 6 months of existence.

Want to see what Pinterest can do for you? This is traffic my niche site received from Pinterest in the first 6 months of its existence.

Here’s a bit of my Pinterest story, so you see where I’m coming from.

I started this Pinterest account on May 9, knowing almost nothing about Pinterest. Ten weeks later, I passed 1000 followers, and 2.5 months later I reached 3000. Here’s me asking questions and sharing victories in a private FB group.

 

here's when I opened my pinterest accont

2 months after opening my account

How To Use Pinterest For Business Marketing

Since I knew absolutely nothing about how to use Pinterest for business, I decided learn from someone who knew what they were doing. I have no idea how I came across it, but I bought Pinaffiliate Masterclass (probably heard about it in a FB group! These groups are very helpful for small business owners like me), which worked great for me, since I am an affiliate marketer. This course showed me step by step how to set up my Pinterest account, and how to use it to grow my business, rather than wonder aimlessly in internet land looking for free information.

With the course, I received access to a private Facebook group too, and it proved to be very helpful to a Pinterest newbie like me.

Want to grow your Pinterest following faster? This course helped me get where I am today!

How to Set Up a Pinterest Account

Getting started on Pinterest is not hard at all. Since we are talking about Pinterest for business, I suggest you start a business account: all you need to do is go to Pinterest.com and follow the prompts: enter your email address and a password, then go on to set up your account. Here are a few important settings you need to know about:

  • take time to write a compelling “about you” on your profile. Make sure it’s clear what you’ll be pinning about. Don’t be too wordy here: there isn’t a lot of room, so you need to be concise and convincing.
  • verify your site
  • enable rich pins: this one step makes a world of difference in visibility and click through (see examples below)
  • keep your pins specific to your niche. It’s a lot easier to attract followers in your niche if they know exactly what they are getting. My personal account, which includes pins in several niches is still very small: it’s a lot harder to grow a diverse niche account.

This is how a rich pin looks compared to a non-rich pin

Choosing Your Pinterest Board Names

Once you set up your profile, it’s time to add some boards. I set up a different board for each of the categories on my blog. Create a board that will include only pins leading to your site. I didn’t know to do this in the beginning, but learned about it later.

While choosing  a name for your Pinterest boards, think of a way to say what the board is about in as few words as possible. Make sure you include keywords and phrases your audience is searching for.

Again, create a well thought out board description that includes search terms your target audience is looking for. you have a bit more room here, so use up the space to really drive home the theme of your board.

Pin at least 5 images to each board to begin with: no one likes to look at an empty board.

How To Get Pinterest Followers

Now that you have your boards set up, you’re ready to start using Pinterest to grow your business. At first, it will be slow, but as you create more pins fore your site, and find amazing pins from fellow business owners, you’ll get into a routine and things will get easier.

Many wonder how to get Pinterest followers fast, some even looking where they can buy Pinterest followers. I suggest you stay away from these types of practices, and just keep pinning great content regularly.

Here are a few things I did to get Pinterest followers fast:

  • I re-pinned wildly popular pins: ones with thousands of re-pins and hearts.
  • before re-pinning anything, I actually took the time to click through to the site and make sure the link wasn’t broken.
  • in the beginning, I’d pin about 10 to 15 pins in the morning, and then again as I remembered throughout the day
  • I requested to be added to group boards. I believe this was one of the best actions I took to grow my Pinterest following. In the beginning, it was hard to get accepted, because of the low number of followers. but once I hit 1000 followers, it became much easier. See below for my method to find group boards 😉
  • I signed up with Board Booster, which helped my pinning consistency without sitting in front of the computer all day long. This was a game changer. The Pinaffiliate Masterclass Course had a great bonus of 2000 free pin schedules in Board Booster. It’s now more than 6 months later, and I still have about 500 to use.

How To Find Pinterest Group Boards

Many will tell you to go to PinGroupie.com and search for boards in your niche. I tried that and unfortunately, I didn’t find many boards in my niche. So, I had to find alternative ways.

I first looked for Facebook groups related to Pinterest. I joined a good number of them (probably a dozen or so). In these groups, you can either respond to someone offering inclusion in their group boards, or you can create your own post requesting invites form others who have groups boards. This yielded a good number of group board invitations for me: somewhere around 15.

Once you are part of several group boards, your pins will get a lot larger audience, and will get shared more.

Later on, I found another way to look for group boards: I looked up other bloggers in my niche and checked out all their group boards. This was again very good for me, as I found several really good boards this way. Each board has rules you MUST obey, if you want to participate: make sure you read the rules and don’t do anything that will jeopardize your participation.

Some group boards will, have clear instructions how to request to be added, while others don’t. I usually don’t let that deter me form trying. I go to their website, find a contact link, l introduce myself and request to be added. Not many people try this, so my chances are pretty good.

Here’s how you’ll know it’s a group board: see the circle on the bottom left of the image? It tells you it’s a group board.

how to know a group board on Pinterest

How To Start a Pinterest Group Board

how to add collaborators to Pinterest group boardStarting your own Pinterest group board is good for your account: you can invite fellow bloggers, and their followers will then see your pins posted to that group board. You’ll need to create rules for your group board  and keep an eye out for spammers and inappropriate pins.

To create your own group board, all you need to do is click on the plus sign next to your profile picture on that board you’re trying to make a group board, and there you can invite people to your board. you need to know their Pinterest address, or their Pinterest profile name.

How I Create My Pinterest Images

I use Canva to pretty up my images. I add my seal on the bottom left of every image I create for Pinterest (for branding purposes), and use 2 specific fonts I chose to represent my site. Canva is very easy to use and it has templates you can use to crate images fast.

Elements Of a Good Pinterest Imagepinterest image with wrong file name

  • the image is taller than wider
  • it uses some type of branding (it can be specific colors, fonts, your URL, or a seal like I have)
  • use bright colors
  • when uploading images to your post, make sure to write an interesting description of the image, a compelling reason for others to want to learn more about your subject. The description you use for your images shows up as the description of your pin (see image to the right for how bad it will look)
  • your image file name is a keywords rather than numbers or nonsense you get from your camera

Make sure you create a specific image for pinterest. If your theme doesn’t allow for a long image in your post (because it doesn’t look good), add it to the bottom of your post and then hide it with this code: <div style=”display: none;”> image info </div> (use this code in the “text” area of your blog, not the “visual”). I do this for my site.

Many times I’s love to pin an interesting blog post, but there’s no pinnable image, so I don’t, and they miss out on some free promotion.

Make It Easy For Visitors To Pin Your Images

Your site visitors will help you grow your pinterest reach if you let them. Add some way for them to easily pin your images. I use SumoMe and I’m happy with it.

I have several pins that others pinned from my site which went viral. One day in June, about 6 weeks after starting my site and Pinterest account, I had a pin that took off and sent me about 1700 visits in one day, and the next morning, by the time I woke up, I already had 1000 visits to my site. You have no idea how good that felt for a new site.

A Few Last Suggestions

  • create more than one pinnable image for each post: one might do better than the other. Even if you don’t do it initially, periodically recreate your images for pinterest: change the photo, the text, the font, create a new concept for the same theme, etc.
  • remember to be consistent
  • don’t only pin your content: be generous with other’s content, as long as it’s quality.
  • if a pin takes off, create a similar pin
  • Get Board Booster: you won’t believe how much it will help your growth!
  • take a paid course: it will give you actionable steps and it will make you work harder. I loved the Pinaffiliate Masterclass Course

I hope you know a bit more about how to gain Pinterest followers quickly. I’d love to hear YOUR story! And I’m here if you have questions.

Want more Pinterest followers? Find out how I went from 0 to 3000+ followers on Pinterest in just 5 months!

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