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.