Friday, April 13, 2012

Legitimate ways to make money online

If you enjoy writing as a hobby or maybe have a blog or website that has a decent following, you could make some extra cash by selling an eBook.  It doesn't have to be the next great novel, the beauty of eBooks is that they cost very little or nothing to make.  There are no printing costs so the initial investment is really just your time.  So, you can sell them at a very low price and still make money.

Photography can be more than just a hobby, it can be a source of extra income.  With a fairly decent digital camera and a good eye for composition, you could start making money with your website or hosted blog.  Show your customers what they are getting by posting a small, low-resolution sample or a watermarked version of your photograph.  Then, you can sell a license to use the photo with a copy of the high-resolution image in compressed form.

For the musician or sound designer, make a few extra bucks selling individual tracks or sounds online. Make more money by putting together a complete library of sounds or an entire album.  You could even make an image file that your fans can print up to put in a CD case when they burn the CD.

If video is more your style, you could set up shop selling full-length versions of smaller clips that you post on YouTube.  Or, maybe you have a video tutorial series that you could feature on your website and sell as a downloads.

Enjoy making websites?  Fire up Dreamweaver or Expression Web and make some website or Wordpress templates to sell. Sites like are charging between $60 and $4,000 dollars for a template depending on the license that the buyer chooses.

No matter what your hobby is, with little more than a PayPal account and a digital goods delivery script, you could start earning some extra cash selling virtual products online.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

remodeling reality

My wife and I are planning a small bathroom remodeling project. We are considering doing the work ourselves to save money on labor. What are the pros and cons of doing your own work versus hiring a professional?

The first thing that I like to tell people who ask me this question is to only do the work yourself if you “want” to. The reason that I say that is because most people don't actually save any real money when they do a remodeling project. I'll explain why later.

The fact that you are asking this question tells me that you aren't sure that you “want” to tackle this project on your own. The best advice I can give is to watch some home repair and remodeling shows. If you watch them and feel excited and interested, you may just “want” to dive right into your own project. If it looks like a lot of work and your palms sweat and your heart races at the thought of doing your own bathroom, you may want to hire a professional.

The reason I say this is because, typically, you might not be saving as much money as you initially thought. In fact, you may actually not save any money at all. Two things that you need to seriously consider is how long the project will take you to complete and how much you make at your regular job. That's where your savings comes into reality. If you are planning on taking a week off from work to complete this project, how much did you lose in wages? Remodeling contractors typically complete a bathroom remodel in a week. The average homeowner, however, will take much longer. So, how much do you normally make in four weeks at your regular job? Also, if you take the amount of labor costs you are saving and divide it by the (realistic) amount of hours it will take you to complete your project, how much are you making per hour?

This is why I say that it all comes down to whether you “want” to do the work yourself. If you think that it will be fun for you, go for it. If you feel that you will get a sense of pride from your accomplishment and have faith in your craftsmanship, break out the tools. If your main (or only) motivation is to save money, you might want to think it over some more. A better plan may be to try to put in some more hours at your regular job, try to get some overtime. The professionals make money by sticking to what they know how to do. You may find that this works best for you as well.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas in a tough economy

I'm going to deviate from my regular format and not answer a specific question.  Many of my close friends have called me and expressed concern over the upcoming Holidays.  They are all parents who are caught up in the commercial side of Christmas, the shopping, the spending and the demands that are self-imposed.  They are parents who care for their children and do not want to disappointed them by not buying them what they want for Christmas.  But Christmas isn't about how much money you spend, is it?

Looking back at my childhood, my most cherished Christmas memories were not about gifts.  In fact, I honestly could not tell you any present that I got as child unless I really thought about it.  I could, however, tell you about the time that my Mom turned our kitchen into a bakery and we made cookies, fudge, brownies (you name it) all day long.  It was amazing.  There were these little thumb print cookies with mint jelly in them.  I didn't even know they made mint jelly.

Another great memory was the year we went to Texas.  We stopped at a Kmart on Christmas eve to go shopping.  I was six years old.  I got one gift that year and I can't even remember what it was.  But, I do remember going shopping with my Mom late at night.  It was fun and made me feel very close to my Mom, like I was an active part in the Holiday and not just the recipient of gifts.

This year, things are tough, the economy is bad and money is tight.  It may be a good time to think about giving a gift that last forever and won't break the bank.  The gift of a lasting Holiday memory.  Trust me, your kids would much rather have your attention than your money or gifts.  Look back at your childhood and think about what stands out to you the most.  Was it the memories or the presents?

Happy Holidays!
I miss you Mom, hope I make you proud of me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Is an online dating site right for me.

I am a single mom and have a full time job so getting out and trying to meet new people is a chore. I would like to date and my friends are pressuring me to join an online dating site. Is this a good idea or does it just reek of desperation?
~Single and Searching.

Online dating is actually a sensible alternative to meeting people in bars or night clubs. It doesn't reek of desperation. In fact, with more and more people sharing their success stories from online dating sites, it has become much more acceptable and even trendy.

Signing up is free at® Official Site or you can get a  7 Day Free Trial @  The monthly cost of a membership at an online dating site is often less than the cost of one night of bar hopping with your friends. Plus, having a profile on an internet dating site makes you available to be found at any time. Which means that your exposure to new people is not limited to just the time that you are out looking to socialize.

The best approach to internet dating is to treat it like any other social networking site. You want to start by just finding new friends. Communicate with these new friends throught the dating sites anonymous email system until you decide whether they are worth getting to know better.  Another advantage to online dating is the ability to remain anonymous and not give out any personal information. This is a great feature, especially for women.

Of course, as a single parent you will want to take a few extra precautions. On your profile you will want to be honest and mention that you have children, how many and whether they live with you but you should not post pictures of your children or provide their names. Maybe I'm just being paranoid but it's better to be safe than sorry. You want people to know what they are getting into if they would like to start dating you but you don't want to advertise your children to potentially bad people.

If you'd like to get some other opinions, you should take a look at this blog that discusses online dating.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How do I flirt

This may sound like a silly question but how can I flirt with a guy without being too obvious?
~ Carol

Flirting with a guy is very simple. All you need to do is play to his ego, show him that he is doing a good job. Laugh at his jokes, men like to know that they can make a woman laugh, smile and be happy, let him know that he has your attention.

Make physical contact, not too much, just enough to let him know that it's acceptable. Gently touch his arm or his hand when you speak to him. This should break the barrier of touch and make the conversation a little more intimate.

Make eye contact. Let him know that you have your eyes on him, not someone else. This is a fuzzy area because you don't want to stare but you don't want to NOT look at him either. You can also do the “look away” trick. Look at him until he notices then look away and smile like you just got caught checking him out.

Relax, this should be fun. If you enjoy this it will show and you will smile and be happy. It's easier to simply relax and enjoy the moments than to fake it.

I am not suggesting that you should act differently in order to get a mans attention. It's important that you be yourself to find someone who will like you for who you are. So, think of these tips as a way of letting the real you get noticed. Don't do anything that you aren't comfortable with, it could lead to a situation that only becomes more uncomfortable.
For example, you wouldn't want to learn a few jokes to get a mans attention and have him introduce you to a room full of his friends saying, "I'd like you to meet Carol, she's really funny" if you actually aren't.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dating a married man

I have been seeing a married man for seven years. The whole time he has been telling me that he is going to leave his wife and he still hasn't. I love him dearly and have invested so much time into this relationship that I would hate to give up now. I don't want to give him an ultimatum but I fear I have no choice. Something has got to change. What can I do to let him know that I am serious about wanting to be the only woman in his life?

The truth is that he's not going to leave her but there is an underlying issue that is much more important. He is a cheater. So, what you are asking me is, “how do I get a cheater to be committed to me?” And my answer is that you already have. At least to the extend that he is capable of being committed to anyone. He knows that he doesn't want to lose you but he is not willing to sacrifice, commit, or even inconvenience himself to give you the security you want.

I can envision you scanning this article looking for what you want to hear and I can promise you that you will not find it. It is not my purpose to tell you what you want to hear, it's my purpose to tell you what you NEED to hear. But the fact that you are looking is an important step, you know that you are in a desperate situation and you are looking for a way out. Unfortunately, you are not going to get out with what you think you want.

First of all, he is not going to leave her because he is getting what he wants. He has the security of his marriage and he has the excitement of having a woman on the side. Think about that in depth, let it marinate in your mind for a while. Now, for you, this has been a good thing. It has been filling something that you felt you needed without any effort on your part. In fact, it's more like the opposite of effort because with a married man, you not only don't have to call but shouldn't. So, I take issue with calling this a “relationship” when it, most likely started as an “arrangement” and now you are no longer happy with the terms.

Now, if this man requires the stability of a wife and the excitement of a girlfriend on the side, do you simply want to change your role? What I mean is, do you want to go from being the woman he is cheating with to the woman he is cheating on? That is exactly what is going to happen if you get what you think you want.

I can hear you saying, “But I'm different”. The fact is that you are not. You may be for the time being but once you become the person who he is committed to, that will change. You will no longer be the one who is providing him with the thrill of cheating, you will just be the one who gets cheated on. You will become the one who he is pretending to be committed to when you both know that he is simply not capable of being faithful.

What he has created here is a situation where you are competing with his wife. If you “Win” the competition, the prize is having a man who will cheat on you. Don't waste any more of your time trying to win him. The only real victory here would be for you to get out of this and move on with your life.

Could I have an STD

We learned about sexually transmitted diseases in school today. They said that we could have an STD and not even know it because some of them don't have any symptoms. Is this true or are they trying to trick us into admitting that we have had sex?

I'm going to answer your question and hope that you continue reading because there is more here to discuss than simply what you asked. Yes, like many other diseases, you could have an STD and not be showing symptoms.

I'll use the common cold for my example because it is similar to and more common than other infections. The symptoms that we notice are typically the bodies defense to an infection. The three most common symptoms are fever, swelling or congestion and fluid discharge. The fever is the bodies attempt to kill the germs with heat. The swelling or congestion is caused by the white blood cells rushing in to attack the germs. The fluid discharge is an attempt to flush the germs out with runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, stuff like that.

So, you can have an infection and not show symptoms if your immune system doesn't notice the infection or the infection is just too small to worry about. In that case, you would be a carrier. The school is not trying to trick you into admitting that you had sex, they want you to be aware of something that can affect your health.

What is more important here is that you are turning to the Internet for this information rather than talking to your parents. This is something that you should be talking to your parents about and a great way to start the conversation is, “Here's what we learned in school today”.

If you are sexually active and are worried that you may have an STD, you should get  STD Tests. Some STDs, like chlamydia can cause permanent damage without treatment. Girls should begin seeing an OB/GYN once a year when they become sexually active. Girls are also at higher risk for contracting an STD because exposure to the bacteria is actually injected into her body. That may sound vulgar but it's the truth.

The best and most effective way to stay safe from STDs is to not have sex. If you learned about sex in school today, I'm guessing you are about 13 years old. At 13, I have to say that you are simply not ready for sex. You asked a question about sex which is a good thing but until you know all the risks, you aren't ready. Now, go talk to your parents.