Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

My little Happy New Year video:

Let this serve as an example of one of the many ways to promote your websites for free. YouTube is one medium of promotion. Like you need multiple streams of income, you should also have many sources of promotion working for you. Numerous promotion methods are free. You just need to take the time to put them in place.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Anyone Wanna Race?

I had an idea. Does anyone wanna race with me to see who can post the most HubPages articles in a month? Hubpages has become a decent source of income for me. No, it's not what it should be yet, so I have a goal to write one page article a day (or more) for a month. Several Hubpages authors have done this.

If you haven't already signed up for a free account at Hubpages, click here and sign up. There should be a link un the upper right corner of the page to sign up for an account.

Why do I promote HubPages so much? Why would I want to write that many articles on HubPages?

1. It's a way to promote my websites for free. Just like I used YouTube and continue to use Facebook and Twitter to promote my websites, I can do the same with HubPages. For example, for, I plan on writing some HubPages articles about setting goals and including my link to

2. It's easy. It doesn't take much time to write a 350-450 word article on a topic related to one of my websites or keywords I find on Wordtracker related to a topic I like. One little trick I learned to do, instead of writing one article for my website and one article for HubPages to use to link to my website, I write two versions of the same article! I post one version on my Wordpress website and one on HubPages. It saves time and provides content for both. Remember, content is king! You want unique content on your website and your HubPages. For your 2 versions of the same article, change the wording thoroughly so the articles seem very different.

3. HubPages is a surefire way to build Google AdSense income. When you set up your HubPages account, you can add your Google AdSense code under affiliate settings. Then, every time you write a HubPage article, your Google ads automatically appear on your article.

4. You can add affiliate links to HubPage articles. When you are filling out the form to submit your HubPages article, it gives you the option to add product links. Sign up for the affiliate program, and submit your affiliate ID code to the HubPages Affiliate settings. Then, when you add links, they will have your affiliate code. Add links to products on that are related to the topic of your article. The tool on the HubPages submission page where you submit an article walks you through the process.

5. HubPages help guide include a wealth of information about keyword research. Check out the section called "Before you write your first Hub." It is very informative for those who are not very familiar with how to find keywords and how to pick out the best keywords to use.

So, anyone want to race? Leave a comment if you want to race and include if you are ready to race beginning January 1st or the date you wish to start. Consider getting your Wordpress website started (as detailed in the last post) before racing so that you can take full advantage by writing 2 versions of the same article. I can't promise that I will write a new HubPage every day, but I'm going to try. Can you do it? Can you write more than 1 a day? We'll see...

The Plan for 2010 & Instructions for Starting a Website

I hope everyone is ready to set their goals for 2010. I'm working on building my monthly passive income through websites and affiliate programs. For those who may not know, passive income is money that is received over and over again from work that you did once. For example, I build my websites, then almost every day I receive money from the ads on my websites. I love checking my Google account when I wake up in the morning. It shows that my websites are working for me even while I was sleeping. That's passive income.

I recently added affiliate programs to my passive income sources. I will explain that further in a post in the near future. First, I want to make sure everyone understands how to get started with free or low-cost websites of their own.

I'll explain how to get started by explaining the step-by-step that I took to start which is the website of mine that brings in the most income at this time.

Step 1: I signed up with There's a link to sign up for Host Gator right on this page. I discovered Host Gator by asking my freelance client what hosting service he uses for his websites since he has so many websites. I thought he must be spending a small fortune in hosting fees! He gave me the link for Host Gator and quickly explained why he are the best. With Host Gator, you can have an UNLIMITED number of websites for roughly $10/month! (more or less than $10 depending on which service you sign up for) An additional reason that I like Host Gator is their live chat tech support. I have learned a great deal from these technicians.

Step 2: I bought my domain name through Host Gator. I don't always use Host Gator for domain name purchases, but that is who I used for

Step 3: The welcome email from Host Gator includes the DNS settings. On the page (or other website) where you bought the domain name, click to manage the domain name and change the DNS settings to the settings that were in the Host Gator email. After the DNS is set, it may take up to 24 hours for the domain name to be active.

Step 4: Sign into Host Gator. In your control panel, you will see Fantastico towards the bottom of the page. Click Fantastico, then click Wordpress. When you download Wordpress to your domain, you enter the domain name as the folder where Wordpress will be installed. After Wordpress is downloaded, it gives you the link that you will use to sign into Wordpress and manage your new website.

Step 5: Sign into Wordpress. Choose a theme for your website under the category called Appearance. The theme is the look of the website. You want to select something that looks professional, has 2 sidebars, and has black type on a white background. I made the mistake of using a light gray text on a black background for at first. I changed it when I figured out that many people were leaving my website very quickly. Many people just hate black backgrounds. Once you found the theme that you like, apply the theme.

Step 6: In Worpress, click Permalinks under the Settings menu. Type /%postname%/ at custom links. Type a short word like on or at in the field labeled category base. Click Save Changes. This is what makes your article URL's say the title of the article instead of a number. Having the article title in the URL can help boost the position of the article in the search engine search resullts if the article title includes keywords.

Step 7: Under Appearance in Wordpress, click Widgets. This is how you add your Adsense code to your website and the categories of your articles so people can browse your website. Sign into your Google Adsense account. Click Adsense Setup, then click Adsense for Content. Then, you click either Ad Unit or Link Unit. I usually put one of each on my websites. When making the links, you want to choose sizes that will fit in the sidebar of your website. I think the Skyscraper ad unit size usually works well. Change the colors to match the theme of your website. For example, if your theme has a white background, make your ads have both a white background and white border so that it blends in. After you're finished, copy the code. Go back to the Wordpress widgets page and add a Text or HTML box to the sidebar where you want the ads. Paste the Google Adsense code into the box and click Save. On the other sidebar, you may want to add a Google Adsense text unit and the categories widget to show your website's content.

Step 8: Go to Wordtracker and get a list of keywords. Search for multiple terms related to the topic of your website. For example, if I was doing a website about dogs, I might search "dogs," "dog health," "dog diet," "dog training," etc. I save the search results to an Excel spreadsheet, but you could save it to a Word document. I save it to Excel, because it's easier for me to put them in the order that I want and to color the field after I've written an article about that keyword so I know which ones are finished.

Step 9: Set up you article categories on Wordpress. The link for categories is in the Posts menu. The category names will relate to the keywords that you plan on using. These will often match the search terms that you used on Wordtracker, but they can be anything that makes sense for your website. Looking at your list of keywords, imagine grouping them together under main topics. Those main topics are your categories. Add categories to your categories settings in Wordpress. You can always go back and add or change categories.

Step 10: Write some articles and add them to your website as Wordpress posts. Under Posts, click Add New. I always type my articles in Word first, and then copy and paste the article in a Wordpress post. Type in the title and paste your article in the main field. Make sure you click the category that you want your article to be in before you click Publish.

Step 11: Continue to add articles and promote your website. If you made a website by following these instructions, please leave a comment on this post with your website address so I can check it out. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section as well. If you have any problems at all with Host Gator, I suggest using the 24-hour live chat tech support. They are awesome!

And there you have it. I'll talk a little more about promoting websites for free in a future post. For now, there are two basic ways of promotion that you need to know:
1. Submit to Search Engines for free. I use Submit Plus.
2. Announce your website to your friends, family, Twitter followers, on Facebook, etc. Where ever you think people might see your link, share it. I would not promote my websites until I have at least 10 articles on it. Then when I share the website, I might mention that more articles are on the way. You don't want to share an empty website with people who will then visit once, consider it pointless, and never visit again...

Wow, so those are the basic steps to creating a website like The cost is about $10/month to Host Gator (which includes all my websites) and roughly $15/year for the domain name. That's it.

Passive income. That's what it's about. One website is not likely to provide all the income you need. If you plan on making a good income from websites, you need many websites. Multiple streams of income is necessary. If you haven't read the book Multiple Streams of Income: How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth! Second Edition
by Robert Allen, I strongly suggest it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Newest Website-

I've been working on my newest website- Goal Plan. It's not finished yet, but I wanted to show you what I'm working on.

Also, don't think because of the snags with the Social Security Administration over self-employment as I discussed in my last post that I regret working from home. The opposite is true. It has made me more determined that I do not want my income to be in the hands of such an illogical beaurocracy. It has only strengthened my drive to be off SSDI.

A Word of Caution about SSI

If you receive SSI and not just Social Security Disability (SSDI) and you start working from home as being self-employed, the Social Security Administration calculates your self-employment earnings from the beginning of the year. So, if you started working from home in July (or any other month), the SSA treats it as if you have started working from home in January.

Therefore, they can decide that you need to repay the SSI you received during the months that you weren't working. For example, I started working from home in July. I reported my income in July. They decided that I should no longer get SSI since my work from home limit was above their monthly income limit for SSI. I was totally fine with that since I make much more from home than my small SSI check.

What I was not prepared for was the letter that I received a few months later that said that I owe the Social Security Admnistration the SSI money that I received from January-July. Granted, a person can appeal this or claim hardship. Even if the person does not appeal the decision or claim hardship, when the person files their income tax the following year, the amount is calculated for the year. If the amount calculated from the income tax shows that the person did not make enough to have the SSI taken back for the year, the Social Security Administration may return some or all of the money that was paid back.

Obviously, this is not logical. You would think that the SSA would use the person's start date to do their calculations for SSI. It's just another example of how the Social Security Admnistration makes it more difficult for people who need to work from home due to anxiety disorders like agoraphobia.

So, if you work from home instead of having a traditional job, you will have to pay back the SSI from the beginning of the year if the SSA decides you no longer qualify for SSI. Also, people who work from home who are on SSI or SSDI can only work 45 hours a month. People who work outside the home can work more hours. (Again, I don't see the logic in that at all. I think it should be a straight income limit for everyone.)

If ANYONE understands the logic for these SSA practices, please share!
I am not an authority on SSA practices. Please contact the SSA and discuss your case and situation if you have any questions.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thinking about New Year's Resolutions

Consider the current balance in your life as well as your priorities for the new year.

'The Parable of the Professor and the Bucket
By Michael Masterson

A philosophy professor and his student stand in a warehouse. A large tin bucket and several boxes are in front of them.

The professor picks up a box that contains large rocks, each one about four inches in diameter, and pours them into the bucket. The stones reach the top of the bucket, and he asks the student if it is full.

'It is,' the student replies.

The professor takes another box, this one containing stones about one inch in diameter, and pours them over the rocks in the bucket. The smaller stones fill in the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asks the student if the bucket is full.

The student looks and says, 'It is.'

The professor then pours in the contents of a third box, this one containing small pebbles. Again, the student looks in and agrees that the bucket is full.

Finally, the professor pours a box of sand on top of the rocks, stones, and pebbles. And once more, for the fourth time, the student has to acknowledge that the bucket is full.

'The lesson,' the professor tells the student, 'is to do the most important thing first, and each lesser thing in order of its priority. In this way, you will be able to fill up your life four times, instead of just once. If you do the unimportant things first, you'll be filling your bucket with sand... and there won't be room for anything else.''"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Finding Topics for Articles

I wrote an article on HubPages to answer a question from one of my fans on there. I was asked how I come up topics for my HubPages articles (called hubs).

How to Find Topics for Hubs

That brings up another benefit of HubPages. The interaction with people who like your articles and join your fan clubs can help boost your self-confidence. It's also helpful to get feedback from readers that let's you know what the strengths and weaknesses are of the articles that you have written. This can help you improve your writing skills for the Internet.

Writing for the Internet is not the same as writing for print media. The ideal word count for the Internet is under 750 words. For most freelance assignments that I have had for articles for websites, the client wanted articles for 350-450 words. Since the word count is much smaller for the Internet, the articles need to focus on the most important information on the topic. If you are not used to writing for the Internet, it can take some practice to write such brief, but informative articles. This is why feedback from readers can be so helpful.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Getting Started with Freelance Writing for FREE

So, you want to be a writer. I believe that writing from home is one of the best ways to increase income from home. The Internet has made this an easy way to make some extra money.

But, where should you start? How can you make money from home without paying any money at all? While starting a website with articles about carefully selected keywords that draw visitors from search engines is one ideal way to make money as a writer, there are other options for people who want to start without paying money for website hosting.

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide to Making Money Online without Paying Anything:

Step 1: Sign up for a free Google Adsense account. Simply go to and sign up for Google Adsense.

Step 2: Start with HubPages. Go to Hubpages and sign up to be a new hubber. During the sign up process, you can add your Google Adsense code. This way, ads on your articles on HubPages will display ads with your Google Adsense code. Therefore, when people click on ads on your articles, part of the advertising proceeds will be added to your Google Adsense account.

Step 3: Write articles for HubPages about your interests. During HubPages sign up, you may be directed to select areas of interest. You are not restricted on writing articles only in these categories. HubPages has numerous categories and writers can add articles to any of them.

Step 4: Practice doing keyword research and writing articles about a keyword. Use the information on this blog about WordTracker or click to add on the blog to be taken to WordTracker. There, you can do free research on keywords. Select several keywords related to topics that you would like to write about. Then, write articles for HubPages on these keywords.

Step 5: Spread the word! Let people know about your HubPages articles as you submit them. After publishing an article on HubPages, there is a function that makes it easy to share your articles on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking websites. Feel free to post a comment here to let me know of your articles on HubPages and I will be happy to check them out! I also encourage anyone who finds this blog helpful to offer mutual support and encouragement by checking out each other's articles and offering feedback through HubPages voting feature or with an encouraging or helpful comment. Let's help each other!

In addition to letting people know about your HubPages articles here and on social networking websites, you may email your friends and family the links to your articles. Google will eventually index your HubPages articles, but if you want to help that process along, you can submit your article link to for free. This may speed up the addition of your article to several search engines.

A word about the quality of articles:
Don't be intimidated by making your article perfect. A heartfelt, informative article can draw readers in. However, I would suggest writing the article in MS Word first so that spelling and grammar errors can be caughts before publishing the article to HubPages.

If you would like to add a photo to your article, which can make the article more attractive to readers, there are websites that have free public domain photos. Two such websites that I use are:

Imagebase Free Photos
Photos8 Public Domain Photos

When you write 2 HubPages articles on similar or related topics, you can link them together. For example, if I wrote an article on Lupus, then wrote another article on the treatments for Lupus, I may put a link on the end of on my first article that looks something like this:
For information on Lupus treatments, look at my article on Treatments for Lupus.

After typing that, select the words "Treatments for Lupus" and click the world with a chain (hyperlink) icon. It will allow you to select one of your other HubPage articles to link to. It's very easy, and you will see what I mean when you are doing it.

If you have any questions about HubPages or anything in this blog entry, feel free to ask a question by posting a comment. If some things about HubPages are unclear, you can read their guide after joining HubPages. They have a lot of information that walks you through the process of writing and posting articles.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Complex PTSD Should Remain A Fictional Diagnosis

Why Complex PTSD Should Remain A Fictional Diagnosis

Please take a minute to read this article. I have a couple good comments. I hope for more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SSI for Anxiety Disorders: A Bridge to Wellness

I wrote this article to express my opinion about why SSI is important for people with anxiety disorders:

SSI for Anxiety Disorders: A Bridge to Wellness

In the article, I also discuss the basic options for achieving independence after receiving effective treatment for the anxiety disorder. Though this article was written specifically for anxiety disorders, the information could apply to several disabilities.

Monday, October 19, 2009

How to Make Money With HubPages

Here's one free and easy way for writers to make a little extra money. Apparently, some writers are doing very well with this. I'm talking about HubPages.
Here's my first HubPages article:

Symptoms and Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Feel free to sign up for HubPages from my article page. You can write about anything that interests you including health, parenting, pets, writing... I mean anything!
It's pretty cool because you can add pictures and videos to your articles too.

After you sign up for HubPages, sign up for a free Google Adsense account if you don't already have one. Then, go back to HubPages and put in your Adsense ID # in the Affiliate Settings section. HubPages will automatically add Google ads to your HubPage articles (called "Hubs"). So, when people read your articles, you can make some money from people clicking on your ads.

One word of caution for people who may not be familiar with Google Adsense. I plan on putting much more information on this blog about making money with Google Adsense. Google Adsense is free for people to post ads on their websites and receive part of the revenue from Google ads. Never pay money to someone to join Google Adsense or make money with Google Adsense. Also, never.. and I mean NEVER click your own ads. Google can close your Google Adsense account and ban you from Adsense. It's not worth the risk. Instead, learn how to legitimately make money with Google Adsense. I suggest you start with HubPages. I will talk more about choosing keywords for Hubs and so forth, but for now, join and post your first Hub. Get a feel for it. They have an excellent guide to show you step by step how to do it.

Also, after you publish your first Hub, share it with people! If they join, you can earn a little extra income from their web traffic too. Remember, it's free to join. It's free to post articles. Google Adsense is free. Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Google Scams

I want to make it clear that by mentioning AdSense as one stream of income for people to get off SSI, I am NOT advocating the popular Google money system scam going on right now. Here is an excellent overview of the Google scam that I found on YouTube.

Is Google cash a scam? Well, yes and no. Unfortunately, scammers have taken what can be a real and excellent source of income and turned it into a Google cash scam. Anyone can make money with Google AdSense. You don't have to subscribe to a Google cash kit in order to make money with Google AdSense. Google AdSense is FREE for anyone to join.

Anyone can start with a FREE blog, get a FREE list of keywords from Wordtracker, sign up for Google AdSense for FREE, and start earning money.

It upsets me that people have taken what can be a free opportunity to help people with disabilities (and others) establish a source of income and turned it into a make money with Google scam.

So, please, don't pay for something that can be done for free. With a little keyword research and patience, anyone can work towards making money with Google without the Google scam.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Creating a Keyword List

Once you have done some searches using Wordtracker's Free Keyword Suggestion Tool, take some time to look over the list. Which are the top keywords? The toplist of keywords are the ones with the highest number of searches. However, there is a problem with using the most popular, highest searched, top list of keywords. The problem is COMPETITION!!!

Can you imagine creating a website on a simple, yet extremely popular keyword? If thousands of people are searching for that keyword every day, how many websites do you think already have a strong Google ranking for that keyword? Too many.

What does that mean for you? When starting a website, don't try to run with the big dogs just yet. Choose a list of keywords that fall in the middle of most searched and least searched. Choose keywords that may not have as much competition as the others but still have a decent number of searches. Common sense should help you select some excellent starter keywords for a beginning website.

If you would like to see how much competition there is for a keyword, doing a Google search for that word can give you some idea. Don't get too stressed out about finding keywords with NO competition. That is not likely to happen.

Start weeding through your list and selecting twenty keywords on your topic that would be good for a starting website. If you did keywords on more than one topic, you may want to chose one of the topics to start based on which you think has the most middle-ground keywords.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Keywords: The 1st Step Towards Making Money Online

Step One: Select a topic and generate a keyword (KW) list about the topic

What are keywords?
Here's a simple keywords definition: A keyword is a word or phrase that people use on search engines to find what they are looking for. For example, someone looking for information on "cats" may use a variety of keywords to find the specific information they are looking for. "Cats," "cat facts," "cat," "cat declawing," and "cat health" are just a few words and phrases that people type into search engines. The words and phrases that people use are recorded as keywords.

If you write an article for your website, you want to use keywords in the article. Why? If you include keywords on your website articles or blog posts, the search engines are more likely to recognize those keywords and include your website in search results. Therefore, people who are searching for information related to your website might see your website in their search results.

Once upon a time, people with a little HTML knowledge could "cheat" and include keywords in metatags for the website without having the actual keywords in the text that shows on the website. Search engines have gotten smarter. While these tools are still being used, the content of the website has become much more important.

I've written numerous articles on several websites that are consistently in the top 5 Google results. Being placed high in the Google results is important since it vastly increases the chances of your website being seen by people doing the search. Imagine the difference of being on page 1 of the Google results as opposed to page 50. Not many people even go to page 2 of their search results.

Selecting a topic for a website is not that difficult. First, jot down a list of things that interest you. They could be academic interests, medical topics or diagnoses, hobbies, skills, etc. Then, take your list and go to Wordtracker's Free Keyword Suggestion Tool. There, you can sign up for a free trial and do some free keyword searches.

You may do more than one keyword search for each possible topic on your list. Start by entering a word or phrase that best describes the subject. For example, if "psychology" is on your list, enter "psychology" in the search field. Wordtracker will generate a list of keywords. Copy the list and paste it onto a blank MSWord document.

Then, try some different phrases related to your first subject word or phrase. For the "psychology" example, you might want to try "psychological theories" or "mental illness." Copy and paste list of keywords onto your Word doc.

From this list, you will be able to make a top list of keywords. The Wordtracker results show how many searches are performed for each of the keywords. The most searched keywords for your topic are the ones with the highest number following the word or phrase. After you have gathered a long list of keywords for the first possible topic, start a new Word document with keywords for the next possible topic. Do this for all your possible website topics.

One thing to keep in mind-- all keywords are not created equal! I will discuss how to choose the best keywords to include on your website in the next post. The most searched keywords are not necessarily the best when you are starting a website!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

How Do People Make Money from Websites without Selling Anything?

Many websites designed to make money are websites that promote opportunities such as MLM, direct sales opportunities, or websites that sell products. I do not like either as a home based business opportunity. Each of those relies too much on an investment from visitors.

How do people make money from websites without selling anything?

There are 5 basic steps to earn money from websites:

1. Select a topic and generate a keyword (KW) list about the topic
2. Choose a cheap website host with a sitebuilder and cheap domain name registration like Host Gator
3. Create the website with plenty of articles containing the keywords from your list
4. Add Google AdSense to the website
5. Promote the website

I will be talking more on how to earn money from websites. I will break down each of the steps for making money with websites in the next blog posts including what is a keyword and where you can get a keyword list on any topic.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Problem with Direct Sales

There are two big problems with direct sales, especially as person-to-person sales. The first problem is that you have to have something to sell. In most cases, that either means having inventory of items for sale or sales brochures from the supplier. The other problem with sales is that the income from sales is totally dependent upon whether the customer will part with money.

I'm not saying that I will never do any direct selling, but as far as I know at this point the only selling I will do is of my ebook when it is finished. I will probably sell it through the Kindle store at This brings up another potential problem with direct sales.

In most cases, the person must be actively selling the product in order to make money from sales. Using Amazon Kindle is a bit different because I can submit my ebook for sale and allow Amazon to sell it for me. Of course, I will do what I can to promote my ebook, but sales may occur while I am sleeping or going about my daily routine.

So, if I am not going to sell anything, how am I going to make money without selling anything? Websites. It's easy. It's cheap. And, I can work on my websites as I have time.

How do people make money from websites without selling anything? Sounds like a good topic for my next post...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1st Stream of Income: Starting Website Projects

What work have I been doing so far? I've been working on starting some new websites. I was afraid I would have to pay a web hosting service fee for each website every monthly. I knew I had to find cheap website hosting if I was going to be able to start the websites that I wanted to. When looking for the cheapest web hosting, I found an incredibly cheap web hosting deal. Unlimited websites for $7.95/month!

Another thing I really like about HostGator is that they have live chat technical help right on their home page. I tried cheap web hosting services before, and it was nearly impossible to get any technical help from them.

Strongly Recommended Reading: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This book taught me a lot about money. It amazes me how little we learn about money during our education. In high school, the only thing we were taught is how to write checks and balance a checkbook. That's it. That's pathetic. What subject could be more important that learning about money? How many other subjects in high school affect our lives as much as money does?

When I saw that a brand new copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad can be bought for under $5, I had to post it here. So, Amazon is where to purchase the book Rich Dad Poor Dad for under $5. Who would have thought that such an informative book would be so cheap?

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is written in language that is easily understood. In my opinion, it should be a textbook or required reading in high school. Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad has written several other books on topics such as investing, but this book is really essential for understanding the very basic concepts of money and business ownership.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pros and Cons of Starting a Home-Based Business

This short video clip describes some basic pros and cons to starting a home-based business. There's a lot to consider when thinking about working from home.

I find myself now wondering how I will handle not having medical insurance after I am completely off SSI. That is one difficult thing about being disabled and moving from having medicare or state medical assistance to no insurance unless you can find an affordable policy for people who are self-employed. One of the first things that I will be doing as I prepare to get off SSI is to set up an emergency fund to help cover any unexpected costs such as home repairs or medical expenses.

It's important to remember that working from home is not like taking an eternal vacation. It is a lot of work. In my situation, it is really my only option. So, I will keep doing what I am doing and press forward. For some people, it may be better for them to work on starting a small home-based business while working a regular job until they see how the income is from their home business.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Types of Legitimate Work from Home Jobs

There are several different kinds of work from home jobs. Looking at the types of home employment may help you find on that is suited to your skills and needs. Here's a list and descriptions types of work from home employment:

Provide a Service: Whether it's daycare or dog walking, there are numerous options for starting a home-based business you would enjoy. With a service business, start up costs are typically low. Some work from home service businesses can be started with a few advertising dollars to run ads or print flyers to distribute to neighbors or people who may need your service.

Freelancing: Freelancing is similar to a service business, but freelancing often focuses on specialized skills that the freelancer has. Writers, website designers, computer programmers, artists, interior designers, sales professionals, and accountants may do freelance work. There are numerous options. You might not even be aware of available opportunities. To get a glimpse of some available freelance opportunities, take a look at

Internet Income: Advertising revenue from ads on websites or blogs, affiliate programs, and selling ebooks are examples of Internet income. If you would like to own a website, but do not know how to design one or don't feel comfortable writing the content, you can find low-priced freelance services on If you feel comfortable with writing, you might want to start with a free blog. Beware of any affiliate programs that charge a fee.

Selling Products
: While many people have success with product-based home businesses such as Avon or Tupperware, I am not a huge fan of these programs. They usually require the new recruit to pay a fee. Many individuals end up spending much of their profit they receive on either merchandise, samples, or brochures.

Information Marketing: We've all seen infomercials about a book telling you how to do something, whether it is making money, getting money, or losing weight. Then there's the DVD's, kits, and CD's instructing people on how to do something. This is information marketing. The sellers are selling information. On a smaller scale than national infomercials (yet to a potentially global market), information marketing can be done through websites, ebooks, and newsletters.

I will be providing more information on finding a legitimate work from home business, but you may already have some good ideas. You may see several possible opportunities which is GREAT! We definitely want those multiple streams of income.

Recommended Reading:

Undress for Success: The Naked Truth about Making Money at Home

Work from Home Ideas

Not everyone writes well or enjoys writing enough to put the necessary hours into writing for income. That's okay. The idea is to find something you enjoy and can do well while making money. It should have potential for passive income- income from something you do once and get paid over and over again.

If you want to figure out how to work from home, look at your current skills first for work from home ideas. Consider these questions to get ideas:

What do you enjoy doing?
What do your friends or family ask you to do for them?
How would you describe your talents?
What resources do you have to dedicate to starting a home business (time, money)?
Would you like something you could do completely from home or would you be comfortable interacting with clients?

These are just some of the ways to generate a list of work from home ideas. A skills inventory is simply a list of your skills. By looking at your skills inventory and the answers to those questions, some legitimate work from home business ideas may be apparent. I will discuss the benefits and disadvantages of some work from home jobs in upcoming posts as well as how to get customers for home businesses.

One important note: Avoid work from home scams! If the business opportunity charges an upfront fee and claims to be an easy way to make real money, chances are that it's a scam. In this blog, I will only be discussing legitimate work from home business ideas, not "online turn-key cash machines," MLM or other questionable work from home opportunities.

Multiple Streams of Income

Since I have to work from home, I realize that I am going to need more income than one website or one blog can generate. I need multiple streams of income. I love that phrase. Like many people, I read Multiple Streams of Income by Robert Allen several years ago. And you know what? I didn't do it. I did one thing-- wrote an ebook on information marketing.. which is now fairly outdated. When I wrote that ebook and posted it on, I had intended to add more ebooks and create multiple streams of income, but I didn't.

As you can see already, there are two forms of multiple streams of internet income that I can develop right there- ebooks and websites. Ebooks have come along way in the last few years. Now that has Kindle, it will be interesting to see just how popular they become.

I currently have a few websites that generate a little bit of income from Google Adsense ads. Up until now, the pennies from Google have not generated a check in quite some time. However, my client has been teaching me how to use search engine optimization (SEO). I know for a fact that he gets nice monthly checks from Google. So, I am happy to learn all that I can from him to do better.

Many people criticized Robert Allen's Multiple Streams of Income, but I took one core common sense notion from the book that rings true to me-- having multiple streams of passive income is key! Passive income is income that does not need your attention. When someone clicks on an ad on one of my websites, I don't have to be working at the moment to make money. The ad revenue from Google is added to my account automatically. When someone buys my ebook, I make money for work that I did once. With a well-written ebook, I could be paid for that same work over and over again.

Now, I have to look at how to create multiple streams of income that I can do with my limited resources. Also, everyone has limited time. We all have the same number of hours in a day. And then with the additional limits due to my disability, I need to be able to work from home.

So, I am looking at ebooks and websites as the best sources of multiple streams of income at this time. I may develop other kinds of streams of income as my resources allow, but for now I am satisfied with working on these.


Multiple Streams of Income: How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth! Second Edition

Kindle: Amazon's 6" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Finding Work & Making It Legal

Obviously, it takes income to move from poverty. Wages from work is only one form of income. Income from investments is another form, but it takes money to get money from these sources of income. Therefore, finding work was going to have to be my starting point.

The typical first step to finding work is to look at your job history. I feel that I can no longer work in the field of psychology due to my disability. Traditional employment poses the same problems since my disability causes anxiety and agoraphobic tendencies. Finding work with a disability is not easy.

Since I have a problem with being in public, I need to be focused on finding work online. In the past, I have done some freelance writing work. So, I turned my attention to finding freelance work.

There is a person for whom I have done freelance writing work. The client offered me an ongoing part-time job doing freelance writing work from home. There is also the possibility of additional, short-term freelance writing assignments. This would be my starting point.

The next necessary step is making it legal. I had to contact my caseworkers and SSI to notify them of my employment. This was somewhat complicated considering it was a job as an independent contractor, as freelance work typically is, instead of traditional employment. After two phone calls and somewhat lengthy explanations, my employment was recorded by SSI.

I have to admit, SSI seems to offer help finding work with a disability. From what I understand, they work with the unemployment office to find work for people with disabilities. This process would not work for me, however, since I have such difficulty being in public. Unless I had someone who I trust like my case manager or a relative stay with me while at the unemployment office looking for work, I wouldn't be able to do so. Then what? Would my case manager or relative stay with me on the job too? So, you can see why I had to look for work online or at least work that can be done from home.

So, now I have a part-time job and it is cleared with SSI. I'm starting on my path from poverty. The freelance work does not pay enough to raise my income out of the poverty level, so this is far from the complete solution. It's a start.

The Causes of Poverty

Time to get honest about the causes of poverty that have affected my life. I believe that many Americans in poverty will relate to these causes of poverty.

Divorce- Though divorce is not necessarily a cause of poverty, for me it was a contributing factor. I had quit college when I got married fifteen years ago. Ten years later, I was left with no income and no college degree.

Disability- My disability is the cause of unemployment. Prior to the onset of my disability, I worked full-time and was doing much better than I am now. Many people who are unfamiliar with SSI may think that I should be doing okay with the monthly social security disability benefits. However, the payment is only enough to cover my mortgage and perhaps one of my monthly utility bills.

Poverty- Yes, poverty begets poverty. Poverty in and of itself make it difficult for someone to escape poverty in America. For example, my car has been repossessed. If I was able to get traditional employment, which I am not due to my disability, but if I was, I would absolutely need a car to be able to get to a job in my small town. So, since saving for a car is impossible without a job, and it is impossible to get a job without a car... you see where I am going with this? Poverty becomes a trap.

Difficult Times of Surgeries and Hospitalizations- Some of the hospitalizations and treatment I have had in the past two years while on SSI were related to my disability while others were simply a matter of bad luck such as having to have my gall bladder removed.

Low Self-Esteem- When you are on disability and told by family, friends, and caseworkers that you will always be on disability or always suffer from the disability even though there is a chance of recovery, the message of hopelessness can impede growth and damage your self-image. No one dreams of being on disability when they grow up. I've managed to hold on my hope for a better life despite these negative messages. I realize that it won't be easy to build a better life, but I'm not afraid of hard work. However, I have always struggled with low self-esteem and it does affect my behavior and relationships at times.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In The Beginning

Checking: $1.30
Savings: $ .22

Those were the stark facts that I faced this morning. Though my bank accounts are bare and I live in a house in drastic need of repair, something changed. Being that I have not won the lottery and I still live well below the federal poverty level, I can only attribute the change as an inner change.. a change in attitude.

After all, my house is still in nightmarish condition. I've lived two years now without a working kitchen other than a refrigerator, microwave, and electric skillet. At this time, I don't even have a single working sink in the house.

This is not a sob story. This blog is my way of getting honest about how I got here and encouraging myself to move forward. I need to examine the causes of poverty in my life and make the changes that I need to make. I have long had this image of myself as being not necessarily wealthy, but comfortable.

My life is not comfortable. Utility shutoffs and car repossession is not comfortable. Unemployment due to disability is not comfortable. Having your son say that he wants to get a job as soon as he is old enough so he can give you money is not comfortable. Too many people are living uncomfortable lives in poverty in the United States.

At this time when so many people are finding themselves in poverty in America, perhaps my journey to a better life can also inspire others to hang in there and move forward. Writing this publicly is not easy, but I feel the need to document my path from poverty.