Jun 23

Engaging Professionals

There are a large number of internet professionals and internet companies who can be employed to take on part of your work load for you.  In these times when we are all so very busy it is worth looking into out sourcing some of the more tedious tasks that are involved in maintaining a marketing website.  If you have already become very successful and are finding it all a bit overwhelming think about the parts of the upkeep of your site that you either do not enjoy or feel you can better employ someone else to do and seek out a company that specialises in this type of work.  There are people who offer the whole package from start to finish but probably far more practical are those that offer to take certain aspects of the work off your hands.

Although you may at an early stage feel these are unnecessary costs, and some indeed appear quite expensive at first, eventually it will become apparent that passing some of the work over to another person is by far the most cost effective solution.  Indeed the most successful of the internet marketers I have come across work with other people who take on some of the tasks for them.

Check out some of the online help available, Fiverr.com is always a good place to explore, or if you need more help try Elance for professional help.  Personally I use a good friend, Barry Wells, his fees are really reasonable and he is very good at what he does.

Put yourself first, don’t waste time doing tasks you can ask someone else to do – I always say that about housework too…

Enjoy the journey!

Apr 07

PDF Versus Book

Most writings purchased via the internet will be delivered as a downloadable pdf file.  This is an easy and fast way to get your publication to your customer.  However, unless your customer wants to print the numerous pages off and put them in a folder the only way they can be read is via the computer they are downloaded to.  There are very few publications available in book form but one easy way to read interesting publications offline is via a tablet reader.  Many marketers are now producing their content for download to a tablet and the prices of these publications are minimal.  Compare this with the price of some downloadable pdf publications and it’s a very viable option for you as the reader.  The advantage of having a book on a tablet is you can read it anywhere, take it to the beach, read it in bed, bung it in your backpack and read it on the train to work. You can’t easily do that with a pdf file.

So how do you get your content ready for sale for tablets?  Well a good friend of mine, Rob Corrigan, has a product available that takes you through the process step by step with video tutorials as well as supporting pdf documents.  He even includes a pre-formatted Kindle template so you can get started even more quickly!

Pop over and have a look at Kindle Cash Formula and see if it’s what you need to get started today!

Mar 29

The First Day Of Spring

The first of March always brings me a spring-like feeling.  I see it as the start of that time of growth and with it comes hope for the future.  New shoots are appearing, the snowdrops already in full bloom, daffodils are ready to burst forth with their eternal colour and brilliance.

Spring is a wonderful time, the weather starts to change for the better and with it we can start to feel an awakening from the winter hybernation.  Of course winter has its purpose, a time for rest and reflection, a time to recharge the batteries while we watch the natural world sleep.  And spring brings us the renewed energy, allowing us to look forward to new things.  With this newness often comes change.

Most people are nervous of change, worried about what it will bring.  Sometimes, though, we cannot progress without change.  We have to learn to embrace change and recognise it as a good thing, not something to be feared.

Sometimes change means letting go of the familiar and accepting something new and unknown, and sometimes it means adapting to new circumstances, with only slight alterations to the familiar.

This year winter has seemed long, and although spring started to show itself at the beginning of March it was only towards the end of the month that everything felt so much brighter.

As bloggers we must embrace change, but we must also take that time to rest and recuperate, recharging our batteries and build our strength for the good things to come.

Whatever spring means to you, whatever the newness in your life is, see it as a positive influence and something to be nurtured, allow the change to enhance your existence and with it will come renewed energy and an ability to move forwards with hope.

Mar 26

Building A Good Reputation

Recently I had the foresight to change the way I did business on ebay.  I sell oil lamp chimneys – it’s a particularly tight niche and I have little competition, but I always sold in bulk to trade only.  Recently I decided to sell single chimneys and I have gone from a few boxes to post to a car full at a time.

Slightly problematic with the closure of a lot of local post offices but I have found one where I can park outside, which is fortuitous, and I also now use the ‘drop and go’ service which enables me to leave my big bag full of parcels in the door and the staff stamp them for me when they have a spare minute.

One of the great things about the additional sales is at the same time as selling well I am obviously getting a stack of positive feedback as a seller, which bumps up my seller rating, which in turn has a positive impact on where my items appear in the sales list (the better your seller rating the higher your items appear).

You may wonder why I am telling you this and what it has to do with blogging.  Well, it is all about building a good reputation, a reputation that encourages people to ask for a little bit more from you.  You can build that reputation in any field you choose to research significantly.  When you are seen as an authority people will come to you, and ultimately buy from you.  Not only have I sold well with the standard products I offer on e.bay but I have had requests for specific items I can source.  Being able to deliver a good service also builds a good reputation.

Back your products up with a good service and you will always get positive feedback.

Mar 17

Easy Auction Income Update

Mac

So, I have been a member of Easy Auction Income for a couple of weeks now.  It is a seriously good course and the members area is a great additional resource with help, advice and support coming from every angle.

My big news is I made a sale!  My first, which feels amazing!  I had a personal template made, even though there are free templates available.  I wanted something to fit in with my overall look here so I can use this site to host my images so customers can come here and view additional prints, so I wanted it all to look similar.  I am over the moon with the template.  If you want to take a look at one of my listings to see the template I had made click this link:  Mandy’s ebay listings.

I decided to slightly change the listing from the one recommended in the course as I wanted to obtain print on demand images rather than printing my own.  They cost more than self produced but I think the quality is amazing.  I obviously had to factor this cost into my listing price so my ticket price is higher than others offering the same image.  It didn’t make a jot of difference though as I still made a sale.  So now all I have to do is rinse and repeat!

Believe you can do it and you will do it!

Mar 10

Love Life

This weekend was a glorious, sunny weekend here in the UK. It seemed that everyone was out, in the parks, on the beaches, anywhere they could catch some rays and enjoy the great weather.  It seems to have been a long winter, with the massive flooding on the coasts here, the devastation the weather and water brought to businesses, homes and families.  Then we were struck with massive gales that affected the whole of the country.  I don’t think there were many places that came off unscathed at some point this winter.

Everyone has been talking about the dreadful weather we’ve had this winter, but I doubt it will be long before many are complaining about the heat in the summer too.  It seems nothing pleases us any more, there’s always something to complain about.

Too many people spend too much time criticising, regretting, being stuck in a place they don’t want to be, and it’s a shame because there is so much more to life and so much about life to enjoy.

A great way to start turning your thinking around is to try to focus on the good things that happen rather than the not so good.  At the end of each day try to spend a small amount of time for yourself.  Keep a journal where you can write each day.  Try to write about all the things that were good about the day, things that went right or things that made you glad or content.  Soon enough you’ll find your thinking starts to focus on the better things rather than the things that are not so good.  It is also really good practise for you if you are thinking of blogging in the future.  It creates a writing routine in your life.

I have been blogging for a number of years now and every week I try to find a topic to write about that is positive and that encourages others to think in a positive way.

Start your journal today and if you get to the point where you want to share your thoughts with the blogging community drop me an email and I’ll help you to set up your future online.

 

Mar 03

Consider Your Passwords

The one thing I have discovered in my internet experiences is to seriously consider my passwords and never use the same username/password for everything!

Many years ago when I was very, very new to the world wide web I used one word as a password for everything.  Very easy to remember.  I mean, why use loads of different words and then have the problem of forgetting them all the time?  All was fine for several years, until key loggers hacked into my ebay account.  Of course, the result was that they also accessed my e.mail account and my paypal account.  They diverted all my e.mails somewhere else.  Their intention was to list unsavoury items and e.bay soon discovered an unusual pattern on my account and froze it.  The first I new about it was a telephone call from e.bay that alerted me to the problem.  It took ages to sort out, ages to get my e.bay account back and working properly again, and I lost all those e.mails that had been diverted, many of them may have been personal.  Luckily I did not lose any money, I was very poor at the time so my paypal account was virtually dormant!

Now, you can use your browser to automatically enter your username and password.  I am constantly asked if I want the information to be remembered.  This is very useful but I like to have a back up.  What would happen if my laptop was stolen?  I would need the information to be stored somewhere else so I could still access my various accounts and saved webpages.  I have found a useful free software package that I store on a USB stick so I always have all my usernames and passwords available to me.  There are many available but you should store them on a separate facility.

In terms of choosing your passwords I sometimes use a password generator as it randomly picks letters, numbers and characters that would be very hard to guess, although that isn’t guaranteed.  I recently had an email account hacked that used a generated password.  Another way I sometime choose a password is to replace letters with numbers or characters in a memorable word.

Whichever way you choose, always carefully consider your passwords and password storage.

Enjoy the journey.

Feb 24

Always Take Notice Of Your Commenters

My previous post was a copy of my second blog post on the first version of mandyallen.com, Learning How To Work The Internet For Profit.  This post originally went live on 12th February, 2009.  In the post I talked about how I had been successfully making money via the internet, and in particular the amazing success of my new ebay venture.

The recent reprint of the post encouraged a host of comments from my readers, many asking the same questions, so I wanted to write a public response to those comments, and to let you know that I take notice of your comments.

The most frequently asked question was do I still sell on ebay?  Well, yes I do, I still sell exactly the same product that I started selling in 2009 when I wrote that post.  I am now a power seller and a top rated seller with ebay, and all based on one single item that I source and resell.  That item is Duplex oil lamp chimneys.

You see I was lucky enough to have found a niche, a very, very tight niche, and I get repeat sales and have regular customers coming back all the time.  I was also lucky enough to have found a supplier of the product at a price I could make a profit on.  It’s not a huge profit but I am happy to go for volume of sales rather than a larger profit per item.

Recently I have decided to spread my wings a bit and delve into the possibilities of selling other items on ebay.  My first job was to decide what I would sell.  Some years ago I purchased Stuart Turnbull’s Prints Make Profits and thought it was a great idea for an ebay product to sell.  However having bought a few old and rare books I found I simply could not cut them up for the plates!  I still have the books I bought at the time and really do treasure them.

Having owned an art gallery in the past I was still keen to explore the possibilities around art and prints, and recently two very good friends of mine, Steve King and Barry Wells, launched their latest product, Easy Auction Income.  Their training material shows the members how they can source and sell prints without having to destroy books to do it!  All you need for this home based business is a bit of time and a reasonably decent printer.  You can find a link to the sales page in the sidebar if you are interested in taking a look.

As for me, well it suits what I want to do very well so I have now watched all the videos (I upgraded to the premium membership as well, the additional information in there is so worth the money), and I am now ready to start listing prints on ebay.  I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Enjoy the journey.

Feb 06

My Second Post – Learning How To Work The Internet For Profit

I quickly got a feel for the posts I wanted to write and this was my second post on my new blog:

It is really interesting following the Masterclass course I am on to further my knowledge of the internet and all its complexities.  I doubt I will ever feel I can say I am ‘proficient’ but if I become confident enough in the areas I need to use I will be happy.  I am on week 2 of the course now.  I have been able to follow the instructions and have completed the tasks easily.  I am astounded!  So far I have bought my domain name (you are on it!!), hosted the domain for the next 2 years, joined Clickbank, set up a few affiliate links and started this regular blog.  I would never have been able to work out the process without being on the masterclass course.  I am so looking forward to the coming weeks to learn more fascinating things.  I am amazed at the ability of people to work this stuff out for themselves! I can’t wait to get this site really working for me.

In the mean time I have started to sell oil lamp spares on e.bay with great success.  They are mainly aimed at trade buyers as I sell in quantities, not singles.  I have only been listing them for 2 weeks and have been really pleased with the result.  I have tried selling items on e.bay before but had little or no success.  It’s a nice little side line.  I currently have 3 retail shops in 3 towns in Norfolk so I have storage space for quantities of items, which is lucky.  Bulk buying is so much more profitable, if you have the capital.  Prices are much lower and you can break the numbers down to sell on.  I can buy 1,000 oil lamp chimneys at once and then sell in boxes of 4 or 24 at a good mark up.  They are cheap for trade buyers who can’t buy 1,000 at a time, and are even good value for private customers.  It would be impractical to sell in singles though.  There are oil lamp sites that sell them singly.  They are twice the price I charge for 4!  So trade like me too!  The great part about this is I am getting positive feedback by the bucket load and building up my good reputation on e.bay.  You can check out my 3 shops here, the Fakenham shop, the Holt shop and the Wells shop. Feel free to tell me what you think.

One thing I have realised through my life is I can do anything if I try hard enough.

Jan 22

My First Post

As the previous version of mandyallen.com was so very successful I have decided to reproduce some of the posts I wrote for it.  This was the very first post I created on mandyallen.com.

10.2.2009 My First Post.

Life – but not as we know it

So, blogging is the new ‘it’. I’ve never blogged in my life before but may as well have a go – lots of other people seem to do it. It feels a bit like ‘dear diary’ but without the pen!

I am about to embark on a new stage of my life and having read lots of articles about blogging thought I might record my progress (or not!) here for the benefit of others (or not!).

For the whole of my life I’ve had regular jobs with regular wages and regular hours, but never quite enough for my wants, if you know what I mean.  I’ve seen lots of things stating how much money people have made from home using the internet in various ways.  I have tried a few myself, been in that place that many of you will recognise, having bought ‘the ultimate guide to making money on the internet’ (or similar texts) and been left out of pocket having failed miserably at the ‘fool-proof’ technique, even though I’ve followed every step diligently.

However, as I said before, I am about to embark on a new stage of my life.  I recently signed up for a course to become a life coach.  I am a qualified youth worker (degree level) and thought at the very least I might learn something new to use with my young charges, even if I don’t make it as a life coach.  When I received the HUGE parcel with the training manuals and dvd’s etc. I realised, actually, I already know a lot of this stuff.

It was good for me as it made me think about all the knowledge and experience I have, where I’ve been in my life and how that can be passed on to others.  I am a great reader and indulge in books constantly, most are people writing about themselves, their experiences, their lives.  Why can’t I do that too?  But writing a book?  Well, that is another matter.  Starting on a smaller scale seems the right move.

Last week I started a course about getting the stuff I write marketed via the web. I already have a million and one ideas for topics to talk about but how do I get it out there and see if anyone wants to buy it?  Well, I’m about to learn, and I am going to write down my whole experience as I go along.  I’m hopeless on the computer (I’m surprised I’ve managed to get this far!) so if you are like me and seriously know nothing and are starting from scratch maybe it will inspire you and make you realise we are all capable of fulfilling our dreams.  We just have to BELIEVE we can do it!

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