How do you spend your lunch break? Taking a turn round the park? Checking Facebook? Catching up on the work you should've done in the morning? All of these options have their place, but here's something else you can be doing: Making money.
There are more ways to earn some extra dollars from the comfort of your office chair than ever before, thanks to the all-encompassing power of the internet. That said, there's no magic formula here—you'll need a bit of persistence and imagination to start turning your lunch break into dollars and cents.
1. Freelance your skills
The number of freelancers in the workforce is growing, and if you've got a skill—whether it's writing, coding, designing or something else—chances are you can find some work. Get yourself a professional-looking website (or at the very least, Twitter profile) and start pitching. Sites such as Freelancer.com sometimes make the process easier, though there can be a lot of junk to wade through first, depending on your particular niche. Twitter is another useful tool for searching for freelancing opportunities, though again the signal-to-noise ratio is somewhat overwhelming unless you add a few more specific keywords.
Of course, you don't have to spend your lunch hour working on small projects—the 60 minutes you have to yourself can be used to work on something much bigger, such as that novel you've always been meaning to write. Self-publishing is easy, too—if no one likes your writing, start your own blog. If no one picks up your designs, put them on t-shirts and sell them yourself onCafePress. Photographers have plenty of options for selling their pictures, including Flickr.
With the office internet connection to hand, you can work for someone hundreds of miles away, but don't dismiss the local option. Does your church need a new logo? Would your local sandwich shop appreciate some help with setting up a website? Even if you're not a HTML genius you may well know more about WordPress than they do. Word-of-mouth recommendations can then lead to more opportunities.
2. Give your opinions
Even if no one in the office ever listens to what you've got to say, your opinion is more valuable than you might think—and people are willing to pay for it. SliceThePie, for example, will pay you to listen to and rate unsigned bands, with the amount you earn dependent on the length and quality of your review.
Filling out online surveys doesn't bring in a huge amount of cash, but it's not difficult to do and is certainly better than nothing. Stick to the bigger, more reputable survey companies such asOpinion Outpost and Springboard America, and avoid sites that ask you for an up-front payment. Gift vouchers are a common form of payment, so you can pick up some free music or movie rentals based on lunchtimes spent ticking a few boxes.
This doesn't have to be an online activity, either; check local press for market research groups meeting in your area, where you can give feedback on a new shampoo packaging design or fruit juice flavor. Another way you can earn money for your opinions is by becoming a mystery shopper. This doesn't mean you have to walk into Best Buy with a broad-rimmed hat and enigmatic air, but you do have to rate the shops you visit based on service and quality. As with online surveys, there are a number of agencies you can sign up with; by going through theMystery Shopping Providers Association you can ensure that they're genuine.
3. Offer your services
There are all manner of online marketplaces where you can offer up your services to help others for a fee. One of the most comprehensive and well-known is Fiverr—here you can offer to do anything that will fit into your lunch hour for $5. It could be dog-walking, it could be writing a poem, it could be showing tourists around your home town. If you're struggling for inspiration, check the "Request Gigs" panel where users are looking for specific services.
The Amazon Mechanical Turk marketplace is another site you can frequent to find simple, online tasks that pay. You're not going to get rich in the space of a week, but if you're willing to research web rankings, complete short surveys, or transcribe videos you'll have enough for an extra beer or two come Friday. Use the sorting filters to place the highest-paying tasks at the top of the screen.
4. Sell your stuff
Selling your unwanted bric-a-bric via eBay is an old trick but still a good one; you might get more than you think for that unused router sitting at the back of your wardrobe. What about the vintage vase in the attic? Now might be a good time to have that spring cleaning you've always been promising yourself, and you can use your lunch break productively by listing items and responding to buyer questions.
Selling on eBay doesn't have to be restricted to unwanted goods you no longer have a need for. You can use it to easily set up a storefront for your hand-made crafts, your unsigned band's latest album, or anything else you can make a profit on. If you're going to get serious about your eBaying, think about products that people can't easily get elsewhere.
If you're craftsy, you should also consider setting up an Etsy shop to sell your homemade or vintage goods. There are no membership fees to join, and it only costs 20 cents to list an item for four whole months. Those hand-carved troll dolls will be paying off in no time.
5. Try your luck
Entering sweepstakes and contests usually costs you
no more than an email address (and you can set up a special one for just this purpose) or an entry card, but the prizes on offer range from weekends in the sun to the latest gadgets. Websites and companies constantly try to drum up interest through sweepstakes and giveaways, and even if you don't like the prize on offer you could sell it on and pocket the cash instead (always check the small print for what the prize involves and what the entry requirements are).
Pay particular attention to contests that require some kind of skill, whether it's completing a tie-breaker in a certain number of words or sending in a photo of yourself from a far-flung location. If you can stand out enough, it'll give you the edge over the thousands of other entrants. Looking for local sweepstakes is another way of narrowing down the field. One of the potential downsides is an increase in junk email or spam, but most entry forms include an 'opt out' escape route if you're not interested in receiving future communications.
While they are no guarantees you'll win anything, some people do make a decent extra income as 'sweepers', and it's better to be in with a chance than not. Entering competitions is an easy and free way to spend your lunch hour, and just might lead to your next holiday or car. You'll see contests pop up on a regular basis online and offline, but if you want to track new giveaways as they appear you can use a directory such as Online-Sweepstakes.com.
Those are some of our best money-making ideas for you to consider, but it's far from comprehensive. Share your own strategies in the discussion below.
By David Nield. Article Source: http://gizmodo.com/5995121/how-to-make-money-on-your-lunch-break
How would you like to triple your traffic in less than a week? Doesn’t that sound almost too good to be true? Well, it isn’t as long as you know what you are doing. Where many internet marketers make the mistake is they don’t use their website to their advantage.
What am I talking about?
I am talking about using your website in order to get more sales. Most internet marketer’s look for ways to make money outside of their website and this is not the approach that I want you to take. I would like to see you funnel traffic through your website and onto your offer.
So, this sounds great but how do I go about tripling my traffic in just one week?
Use the methods below daily within the next week and you will see that your traffic will triple in just one week. Ok, you will not see the increase in traffic the first week, however, by doing what I have outlined below for one week you will start to see a steady climb in traffic and very soon you will see that your traffic tripled with only one week of work.
Ways to Triple Your Traffic Fast
Use Triberr – If you are not using Triberr, then you need to start. Triberr is a website that gets a bunch of people just like you and me together in order to share each other’s posts. The best part about Triberr is that you can get hundreds and sometimes thousands of shares to your posts within the first day or so. Now, if you can increase your connections on Triberr very quickly, then you will have much more of a shot at getting the increase in traffic that you have been looking for.
Get Active On Social Media Sites – Getting traffic through social media is not as hard as many people make it out to be. All you need to do is stay active on a few of the social media sites. Some of the sites that I recommend you to stay active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. By using these three social media sites you can easily get traffic without having to work too hard. One thing I do recommend is that you also use this week to increase the amount of fans/followers you have because in the end that is what is going to increase your traffic down the road.
Post 25 Comments Per Day – 25 comments per day on another person’s blog might seem like a lot to you, however, it is nothing compared to what many website owners have been doing. I have run across a few website owners that have been commenting on 250 different blog posts per day and it has really increased their traffic. The reason you need to post a bunch of comments on other blogs is because that is how some people look for more intriguing content. Just do yourself a favor and don’t make your comment look too spammy.
Double Your Blogs Posts – How many blog posts do you publish each week? If you publish 5 each week, then you need to increase this amount to 10 posts. The reason you do this is so that you can get more content out there on the web. By having more content you will also have more links to your site. This is what you need when it comes to getting more traffic.
So, are you ready to triple your traffic in no time? Just make sure you get started right away because before too long there will be hundreds if not thousands of people using this exact same method. Author: Warren Wooden. Article Source: http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/how-to-triple-your-traffic-in-a-week-0460764
Products form GE's past show you the company's longevity and their products' evolution.
If you share your company’s story with your audience, you:
Show that your business has a history and isn’t brand-new on the scene, and thereby improve your credibility
Illustrate that your products and services are not stuck in the past and that you change with the times
Imply a sense of company growth and stability as you show your evolution, and the addition of new products can imply company growth and stability
While most businesses don’t have the long history that GE does, there are other things that can be pinned from the past:
Company logo revisions
Storefront or website evolutions
Product or packaging changes
Pictures of the CEO or owner in his or her younger years
However, the story doesn’t have to be limited to the past. Taco Bell Careers pins current images of employees working in the corporate offices and in stores on their Pinterest “The Taco Bell Community” board. Doing this will give a behind-the-scenes look and help to portray the company as fun and friendly.
Featured on this board are images of a jalapeno-eating contest, company award ceremonies and other fun events.
Even if your business isn’t as large as Taco Bell, you can pin images of:
Another way to tell your story is to share the causes that matter to you. Many people appreciate doing business with and can relate to acompany that gives back to the community.
Mr. Rooter has a Pinterest board to showcase the non-profit foundations they partner with and support. They also highlight what their franchisees are doing on a local level to show that the giving goes beyond the corporate office.
These pins display the many ways Mr. Rooter gives back to the community.
While sharing your story, it’s important to remember that your company is more than just a logo. Many businesses on Pinterest use recognizable logos for their profile images, but to build a personal connection, pin a photo or video of yourself.
Followers now have a sense of who the people are behind the Pinterest account. Instead of users leaving comments for a large company, they can now communicate with the actual people who represent the company. This simple video makes a large company feel very approachable.
Pinterest followers leave questions and comments for the community managers under the pin.
#2: Recognize Loyal Customers
Long ago, before video game consoles became as common as toasters, kids would have to venture out to arcades to play video games. One thing all of the gaming machines had in common was a screen that would show the initials of the top-ranking players.
Having your initials listed as a top-ranking player meant that you were pretty darn cool. It took time, skill and money to achieve that status and the initials were the video game makers’ way of rewarding you.
As a marketer, you can now use Pinterest to recognize and honor your clients or customers.
UGallery includes the weekly guest pinner's name and website URL in the description of the board.
The guest pinner is featured on the UGallery blog and on the Pinterest board along with their pins. The guest pinners bestowed with this honor are likely to become loyal customers of UGallery and share the good news with their friends.
#3: Make Your Boards a Resource
Lowe’s, an international home improvement retailer, is a good example of a company that uses its Pinterest account to provide value.
Lowe's Pinterest account provides value to followers beyond links to products.
The boards Lowe’s has created not only feature products and projects from their website, they also have many pins that link to other websites and blogs for inspiration and instruction. When Lowe’s customers are looking for help with their next project, they can visit the Pinterest account to seek guidance.
#4: Verify Pins Before You Share Them
Repinning is encouraged on Pinterest. When repinning something that you think wouldprovide value to your Pinterest followers, click on the pin to verify that it leads back to the original source.
Remember, the links attached to pins can be changed or broken. Before repinning to your account, verify the origin of the pin by clicking on it and only repin if it goes to the original source of the image. Pinning images with bad or broken links provides little to no value.
Pinterest is a great social media platform to help build connections, trust and loyalty in a very visual way. Use these tips to leverage this social media platform to build the trust and loyalty of your audience.
What do you think? How will you use Pinterest to build a connection with your clients or customers? It would be great to hear your ideas. Go ahead and share them in the comments below!
By Cynthia Sanchez, Article source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/pinterest-to-build-trust-and-loyalty/
As an internet marketer it is our responsibility to create a list. Well, we can if we want to but all the internet marketers that I have come to know have lists. It is because of this that I want to talk to you about my secret to list building and why it works so well.
My secret to list building is a little bit different than what most people do. My secret is to offer a high quality E-book that you can actually learn from and then wait for word of mouth to take effect. So, why does this method work so well? The trick is to get people talking about what you have to offer and then remind them who you are.
Here is how it is done.
Step 1 – Get somebody to download your FREE E-book. If you have not done so already, then I highly recommend you do it now. Once you get people do download the E-book you will want to start marketing your name and your E-book.
Step 2 – Internet Marketing – I use a bunch of different tactics to get my name out there and some of these tactics include; blog commenting, forum posts, Facebook marketing, Twitter, and article marketing. Facebook and Twitter work the best because your name can go viral in the matter of minutes and once it does you will see just how many people want your book.
As you can see, the trick is to offer a quality product and in my case it is my E-book. If you don’t have an E-book just yet, then write one or get a quality writer to write it for you. I know that paying somebody to write for you might not seem like the right thing to do but it actually works and you may not even know the difference. Trust me, just getting a quality product out there is the first thing that you want to do.
Tips on Building a List
Stay Connected – I have signed up for many lists from some “A” list bloggers and many of them send stuff on a daily basis. Now, there are also those that only send out an email once ever few months and those are the people that struggle to get any results from their list. It is because of this that I strongly recommend that you stay connected with your list.
Don’t Spam Your List – Are you sending out crap that you know your list will not like? If so, then stop. The problem with spamming your email list is that they will start to hate what you are doing and then remove themselves from your email list. This is a problem because the less people you have on your list means the less response/money/traffic you can get from it.
Keep Building – A list is never big enough, so don’t stop building it. So many people are afraid of taking their list to the next level and having to pay the fee from the email service provider but just know that it is well worth it if you have a quality list of hundreds of thousands of people.
Give Something For Free – Yes, you gave away a free product when the visitor first signed up for your list, but now what. Are you just trying to get stuff out of your list without giving them something in return? If so, then you need to try to give something away for free and see how well that works. A lot of people do this and they offer discounts for online items, free E-books, free seminars and also gifts. You may want to try this is you are not getting much out of your current list.
So, are you ready to start building a bigger list right now?
By Warren Wooden, Article source: http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/my-secret-to-list-building-0451829#E7TBvMZVu3E9IS9L.99
I’m seeing companies spend lots of money trying to get customers to talk about their brands and products in social media.
For many of these companies, it’s a big waste of money.
Let’s be rational about this. What customer wants to tweet to his or her friends about toothpaste or B2B procurement services? (Please repeat after me: “None of them.”)
So what do we do when our customers just aren’t that into us? We come to grips with the fact that social media isn’t all about us, it’s all about them.Companies should be much more focused on listening to customers than they are on talking to them.
Here’s an example that I heard at a recent SAP Forum: Some Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies like General Mills have invested in analyzing the social media conversations of their various target demographics. In one case the trends showed that mothers are concerned about protecting gluten-sensitive kids from getting sick. That led General Mills to begin prominently labeling its appropriate foods “gluten free,” which helped drive more sales, according to Marcus Shingles of Deloitte, who spoke at the Forum about research he has done with CPG companies about market analytics.
The increasing power of analytics should not be used with customers alone, however. We must also listen to the market,as SAP CMO Jonathan Becher pointed out recently.That means developing sophisticated analytical capabilities that enable us to make better decisions across the business. Here are some best practices that I picked up at the Forum for doing that:
Know what your competitors are doing with analytics. In CPG, for example, a few companies have constantly been pushing the envelope of analytics for decades. Now that the analytical possibilities are exploding, that’s a gap that competitors need to close—fast.
Let customers do the data gathering.Gigwalk is an example of how CPG companies can crowdsource tasks that normally cost them a fortune in employees’ time and labor. In a typical Gigwalk example, customers get a nominal fee to walk through stores and monitor things like stock outs and competitive placement.
Keep an eye on startups. Gigwalk is just one example of the many startups blooming in the fallow field of analytics. “Three or four CPG companies have worked with all of the startups,” said Shingles. “Other companies need to start doing the same if they want to keep up.”
Create an analytics sharing model. Companies need easy ways to share analytical information across the organization to improve and speed up decision making. But they also need to share analytics nerds, who are in short supply right now. Shingles recommends establishing an analytics center of excellence.
Keep the insights simple and visual. Analytics is for nerds, by nerds. To make it accessible to humans (and salespeople), put it all in a visual format—it’s how our brains like to process information.
Speed translates into margin. What good is insight if it comes too late to act? Especially in social media, companies must be ready to decide and act quickly—which means the data must be processed quickly. German home shopping network HSE24 uses real-time data from CRM and social media to determine the right up-sell and cross-sell products to offer customers while representatives have them on the phone. In another example, Fox saw that the lead ape in Rise of the Planet of the Apes was trending more on social media than the human actors. So Fox ripped down all the human posters and replaced them with shots of the ape.
What do you think? Have you stopped talking about yourself in social media yet?
By Christopher Koch, Article Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2013/04/01/analytics-and-social-media-6-tips-for-selling-when-customers-just-arent-that-into-you/