Making Money From Home – What you need to know

Making money from the comfort of your own home is a topic that is discussed here a lot at Grad Money Matters. Whether your goal of working from home if to just make a little extra money on top of your full-time job, or if you want to eventually make your home job into your full-time job, there are many things that you need to know.

Once you decide on what legitimate home business idea or what side job that you want to start, you have to start thinking about how you are going to start it, and what you are going to do to become successful. Preparing to work from home is very important.


Related posts: 

Building your Reputation as a Freelancer

Finding Private Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed

Freelancing Options

Advantages of Becoming a Virtual Assistant


Making Money From Home - What you need to know

You might have a bad month.

If your side job income is something that you really rely on (or maybe your home business is already your full-time job!), then a bad month is something that should be expected and you should be prepared for it.

No, I am not saying that you should be negative about working at home and always worried about a bad month, but you should be prepared for it and not let it break you down when something does happen.

Having a well-funded emergency fund can really help you with preparing for self-employment and a bad month. Also, living on less than your income (if you can help it), is also a very wise idea. Recently, Diversified Finances published an article about emergency funds which you should read.

You need to be accountable and have some sort of schedule.

Yes, it would be nice to think that working from home means that life will be super easy and that you can do things whenever you want. But it would probably be best to have some sort of schedule so that you can be as efficient and effective with your self-employment.

Having a routine can be very beneficial for those who work at home.

Have a place where you can concentrate.

Having a place where you can concentrate when you work at home has so many positives. If you can have a place where you can have uninterrupted work, then you will be able to complete tasks much more quickly.

If you have children, then it might be best to find a babysitter, nanny or a daycare. Just because you are working at home does not make the work any less harder! Some think that this is wrong, but what is best for your kids?

Also, having a home office can be very great as well. You want a place where you can stay organized and escape to when you need to work. If you have an extra room, transform that into a home office. If you don’t have an extra room, maybe designate an area in your family room for your business.

What else would you add to this list? Do you want to work at home?


Getting Negative Reviews on Your eBook

Something as a writer that you might need to get used to is the chance of a bad review. Not everyone will love your product. That is just life. You can’t let every little review tear you down and make you want to give up.

Not all reviews will be positive and raving about how awesome your eBook is. Take a deep breath now and say with me: “I will get a negative review, and that is okay.” Repeat this over and over to yourself until you are actually okay with negative reviews. No matter how important the topic, how brilliant your idea, and how clear, yet eloquent your prose, someone out there will dislike it, and dislike it enough to let you know.

Someone might just to be trolling and leaving horrible reviews on everything. Someone might not agree with your opinion. Someone might think you are plain ol’ WRONG. But that is okay.

You might get the occasional negative review.

Getting Negative Reviews on your eBook


The best strategy would be to not read the negative reviews at all, but since you’re only human, that is probably too much to ask. If you pour day and night and possible weeks and months and maybe even years into something, reading reviews on your product really only seems normal to me.

Now that you have read a negative review, and you find it totally off the mark and absurd; or challenges your core principles; or defiles your work in some way, how should you respond to it? Here is what you do.


Ok. Do nothing impulsive.

After a few days, if it still bothers you, then here’s how to proceed.

Continue to do nothing.

Rinse, repeat. That’s right. Do absolutely nothing. Not everyone will enjoy your writing style. Not everyone will share your opinions. Occasionally, a reader will completely misunderstand your book, or outright lash at you. It’s par for the course.

Sometimes, the reviewer will make a good point–one you can rectify and possible change in future work to make your work even better. Other times, there really is nothing that you can do about a negative review. Absorb bad reviews, deflect them, ignore them–just never, ever respond to them. To do so is eminently unprofessional and causes nothing but bad press–something to avoid at all costs if you are serious about making money selling eBooks on Amazon — or selling anything, anywhere for that matter!

Have you ever received a negative review (doesn’t have to be just eBook related)?


Why Reviews Are Important to Get Your eBook Out There

Are you looking to write a book? Maybe an eBook? One important part of writing an eBook is to get your name and book idea out there. Well, how do you do that? Getting valuable customers to write true reviews can be very helpful!

Prospective customers.

What’s one of the first things that you do before you buy a book? Usually you look for reviews. I mean how else do you find out about a book? You are either searching for it and read reviews, or someone personally tells you about it.

When your potential customer/reader finds your book on Amazon, he or she does several things. They will glance over at the cover image on your eBook, they will read the content description, they will look to see how many stars your eBook has earned, and so on. This person will most likely also read the reviews on your eBook.

Why Reviews Are Important to Get Your eBook Out There


It’s important to also note that most potential readers/customers won’t even click on a book unless it has some sort of star rating and review, so it is important that you get some positive reviews up fairly quickly when your eBook is live.

Don’t write reviews yourself.

Something that everyone wonders when they read a review is whether or not the review is even real. I know we have all wondered it. And whenever I see an obviously fake review, I almost always assume that everything is fake and that the product must obviously not be good if they have to pay someone to leave a review.

So, when you are looking to gain reviews on your eBook, do not by any means WRITE THEM YOURSELF. There are so many negatives to this. If someone finds out, it just makes you look really bad. That’s not how you want to start out your career as a writer, correct?

Instead of writing reviews yourself, provide a free copy of your book to a few people that you can trust to provide valuable reviews and comments and ask them to post their reviews on Amazon or other sites in which your eBook might be sold. They may feel inclined to give you the highest possible rating–but ask them to refrain, unless the book is really superior; again, browsers can tell when a review has been planted.

What you’re looking for are honest assessments which will tell your readers that this book is worth their money. Hopefully, new readers will add their own positive reviews to join them.

Have you thought about publishing an eBook? 


A quiet night in: an exercise in frugal saving.

image1As much as any couple, family or group of friends might like going out, it’s never cheap. Whether it’s fine dining or going out to your local bar or restaurant, these are costs that add up all too easily. They may seem cheap once in a while but once you start doing it on a weekly or semi-regular basis, it becomes a larger and larger chunk of your expenses.

In contrast to this, understanding the benefits of a quiet night in can prove useful. More than offering something different and relaxing it can demonstrate a way to stay cheap and cost effective whilst still enjoying the usual perks of life.


If you go out to eat, you should know how much this can cost. Cooking for yourself is usually the cheapest but there are still other options. For instance, if you have the urge for Chinese food, it may be cheaper for everyone to pool money together for chinese takeaways than visit your local restaurant. It’s much cheaper and doesn’t have the added costs of additional drinks and restaurant prices and other service charges that are often forgotten about.


Likewise, if you’re not going out, there is nothing to stop you from being social. Your home can prove entertaining enough with the right company. Cheap entertainment can be anything from a movie rental (if you’re only going to watch it once, don’t buy something you don’t need) to various games, which offer entertainment again and again. These are all cheap, whether you use it once or buy it to use again and again. This is another lesson to be learnt in saving, by understanding the real value of something.

If you come across some movies that you and your friends love, it makes sense to purchase the DVD so you can all watch it whenever you like. Luckily, you can save money by ordering your DVDs online, so you do not have to worry about breaking the bank. To make things more interesting, consider having each person purchase a DVD online and then choosing between your favorites every time you gather.

Additional expenses

Hopefully the two areas above should highlight how easy it is to cut down on those little costs for every social occasion but there are always other areas to look at. Take your appearance, for instance. If you don’t go out to an expensive restaurant you might not need to risk your best shirt or shoes. It can also save on other expenses, such as getting a taxi home late if you’ve been drinking or other travel costs.  So, next time you think you might go out, suggest staying in to the others and see how much can be saved.

How To Start Writing an eBook


Have you ever thought about writing your own eBook? eBooks are hot right now, so why not? If you have something great to write about, then your eBook may be a fast seller.

You should probably know how to write

If you want to make money writing and selling eBooks, you need to know how to write. That is very obvious, right? Obviously, you cannot write an eBook that people will want to buy if you cannot string two sentences together in a way that people can understand.

If writing is not your forte, don’t fret, there are people on freelance websites who would be more than willing to write an eBook for you for a fee. If you have something to say and you want to get your opinion out there, but are not the best at writing, then this may be for you.

Writing an eBook yourself

If you are planning to write the eBook yourself, you need to have an area of expertise that is marketable. Sure, you can write eBooks on hot air ballooning, but if you’ve never even set foot in a hot air balloon, chances are that you won’t be able to write convincing content that sells – people will pick up on your lack of ballooning knowledge when you call the thingy hanging beneath the balloon, well… a thingy.

You don’t want to waste your time (or others) on something that you know will be bad and not a good read. Writing an eBook just to write one may not be the best idea.

What should I write about?

If you have expertise and a passion for rebuilding cars, write about rebuilding cars. There are thousands of people out there looking for competent eBooks on how to rebuild classic cars.

Or, if you are a childcare guru, write about how to properly care for a child (try to stick to the non-medical areas—leave the medical information to the actual medical professionals). It’s as simple as that.

Or, maybe you are great at personal finance, and you want to help people tackle their financial problems, such as how to get out of debt fast or how to make money on the side.

The next thing you’ll need to make money selling eBooks is a little bit of start up money. Potentially, you can sell eBooks by simply writing them, putting them into PDF format and emailing them to the people who purchase them through PayPal – that would cost you absolutely nothing at all.

But if you get a landing page, optimize it for your keywords, host it on a domain name, and take some time to promote it, you can increase your potential to earn probably by several orders of magnitude.

Depending on how much of the above process you do it by yourself, and how much you outsource, you could spend anywhere in the range of a few hundreds to several thousand dollars.

Have you ever thought about writing your own eBook?


The Ultimate Guide to Writing, Promoting, and Selling an eBook

Have you always wanted to see your name in print? Are you an entrepreneur with a missionary bent? So full of ideas that your blog is no longer the best medium to share them? Or do you simply want to make your affiliate marketing sites more profitable? No matter what your reason for wanting to write an eBook, this article will provide all the information you need to set you on your way. It’s written with the non-fiction entrepreneur in mind; however, the basics will apply to any novice writer, whatever the market.


Writing is communication. To succeed, you need to reach your audience on both an intellectual and an emotional level. You want them to understand your premise–and feel inspired to use your ideas. So, for the moment, forget about sales and promotions and focus on creating a quality product.

1. Ideas

If you’re seriously considering an eBook, you’ve probably got a few viable ideas. But just in case you don’t, here are some places to find inspiration. Remember, choose a topic you enjoy, not just one that seems marketable. If you’re not interested in the subject, it will show– that is, if you finish the book at all.

  • Brainstorming
    Yes, it sounds so obvious, but that’s because it works.  Take a pencil and paper and let your mind go wild.  It may go slowly at first, but you’ll soon find yourself scribbling with abandon. After an hour or so, scratch out everything involving zombies and look at what’s left. Chances are, you’ll find something inspiring and viable.
  • Your Experience
    What do you wish you had known when you started your business? What have you learned–and how did you learn it? What would you still like to know? You know from your blog traffic that people are eager to learn from your experience; an eBook is an ideal way to share it.
  • Your Audience
    Use your blog traffic for inspiration. What topics garner the most interest and comments? What questions pop up over and over again? Which posts are shared most frequently? These are the topics your potential readers care about–the ones they want to read about in an eBook.

2. The Process

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Five Basic Mistakes Most People Make While Picking Keywords (and End Up Crippling Their Income Significantly)

So you’ve picked out your niche based on fantastic money making ideas. You’re sure it will attract swarms of traffic and catapult you to the top of Google in no time. All you need to do is throw in some content, put up some ads and wait for the cash to roll in, right?

Well, not quite. How are people going to find this terrific site of yours?

They just type in Google what they’re looking for and my site will pop up, right?

Not quite.

The thing is, you can’t take the risk that someone searching for something in your niche will find your site, informative as it is, “magically”. You need to pave the way for this to happen by making sure you have used the right keywords to attract the right kind of traffic. Keywords (or keyword phrases) are the terms people type into Google and other search engines when they need information. How can you be sure that your content contains the right ones?  The key is to do a little bit of keyword research before your build your site.

Here are some of the mistakes most people make when they build a website. Avoid them, and you will increase your earning potential significantly.

Mistake #1: Building a site around a keyword or phrase that you think is “obvious” or “great”

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The Core Elements of a Great Landing Page

People search for information because they have a problem. If you have done your keyword research and link building, that search will hopefully land them on the sales page of your eBook or information product. When they scan through your page, they’re looking for evidence that you can help them solve that problem. They want clear, credible information that steers them towards a plan of action. You need to provide them that.

When you design a sales landing page for your product, only one reason truly matters: the customer. Your customers won’t hit the “buy” button because they want to support your dream. They click because you’re offering them something they need to achieve their dreams. So, as you design the landing page for your eBook or other product, always remember – its all about the customer. If you share your dreams, it must be with the intention to show them that they can achieve their dreams too. If you pour your gut out, it must be so they are moved by it to click that buy button. Every single sentence and every single paragraph must be carefully crafted with the customer in mind.

Here are the five core elements of a great landing page.

#1 Keep it Simple

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A Few Things You Need to Know About PayPal

If you use any of the money making ideas that require online transactions e.g., eBay selling, freelancing, blogging, etc., then you need to have a means to accept payment online. And you need to be able to do this in a secure and easy-to-use fashion. Before you run off to invent your secure payment system, stop. That wheel has already been invented. And it has become a household name for people who buy or sell online. Yes, we are talking about Paypal.

PayPal has taken international business money exchange by storm. If you’ve purchased anything online in the past few years, chances are that you were offered the option to pay for your purchase using your PayPal account. If you want to make money online, you should consider creating a PayPal account so you can offer your customers the option to buy your products or services without ever touching a check or credit card.

Here are a few things you should know about this online payment juggernaut –


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The Secret to Getting Your eBook in Front of Millions of Potential Buyers

You know the saying: “Everyone has one book in ‘em.”  But you’ve gone “everyone” one better: you’ve actually written yours. And now you can get that eBook out in front of millions of potential buyers with a few clicks of a button. How? Sell it on Amazon.

Only a few years back to publish a book and have it available to thousands (let alone millions), you’d have had a limited number of choices: to play the endless lottery of agent search, continual rejections, and unwelcome over-the-transom submissions; or simply to pay someone to slap a cover on the thing and do a smallish print run so you could hawk it out of the back of your car, waiting to be “discovered”. Publishing a book was just not one of the viable money making ideas unless you were a serious writer willing to sacrifice the best years of your life pursuing a dream.

Now, with the rise of the eReaders, it is a completely different ball game. According to this wikipedia entry

In July 2010 Amazon announced that e-book sales for its Kindle reader outnumbered sales of hardcover books for the first time ever during the second quarter of 2010

You don’t need to chase publishers to get your book out there in front of millions. Instead, you can put your eBook for sale on bookselling giant Amazon–with over 65 million customers per month to its US website alone–with very little effort. All it takes is a little know-how. Your readers are out there and here’s how to reach them.

A Great Product

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