Archive | June, 2010

Mystery shopping Wahms

If you’re looking for an unconventional Wahm job, then mystery shopping might be for you. The concept of mystery shopping or secret shopping is simple. You get assignments to visit a business place, make a purchase and then fill out a form to evaluate the customer service, quality of your purchase and other things about your experience.

Secret shopping is done by ordinary people who provide a company with feedback about their service. Companies hire mystery shopping for a wide variety of reasons. Some want to investigate the quality of their employees. Others may want to find out how their locations do with stocking items. There are many different reasons that a company looks to hire mystery shoppers.

Although companies can hire mystery shoppers directly, most of your mystery shopping jobs as a Wahm will come through a secret shopping company. As a mystery shopper, you’ll be asked to visit a wide variety of stores and businesses in your area. Sometimes you’ll be assigned to purchase clothing from a store in your local mall. Other times you’ll have to visit a coffee shop and rate the friendliness of the wait staff. After you gain experience with mystery shopping, you can receive assignments to eat at restaurants and stay at hotels.

As a secret shopper, you will not only get the chance to try out products and services for free, but you will also get paid. You can get paid in several different ways depending on the mystery shopping company. You can get paid at flat fee for completing the job, or sometimes you are just paid with the free product or service. Obviously the jobs that are paid a flat fee are more desirable. But when you are first starting out, you may need to take some of the other type of job just for experience.

Most mystery shopping companies pay by check on a monthly or biweekly basis. You’ll get paid for a shopping assignment when you complete the necessary paperwork on your shopping experience. Your paperwork can normally be filed electronically, although some companies require you to mail in your reviews. This can make the payment process slower.

To get started with mystery shopping, you’ll need to find a mystery shopping company to work for. Unfortunately, many of the companies that offer mystery shoppers assignments are frauds. Many will ask you to pay them for a list of mystery shopping opportunities. You should never, ever have to pay for someone to hire you and this is no different for mystery shopping. Becoming a mystery shopper is totally free when you find a reputable company.

When you start doing assignments, you will be asked to pay for the services or products that you will be trying. Although this may sound like a bad deal, the mystery shopping company will reimburse you for your purchase. The reason that they require you to pay upfront for your purchase is because the mystery shopping company doesn’t want to take the chance of your getting a product for free and then not turning in a review.

Although being a secret shopper can be rewarding, it’s not something that can be relied on for consistent monthly income. You’ll never make enough money as a mystery shopper to live on each month. However, you may get enough to pay your phone bill or electricity bill. When you add the perks of getting free meals, products and services, mystery shopping is a nice stream of income for any Wahm looking to make money in their area.

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Online Auctions

One of the best, and simplest, ways to start a Wahm business online is to become a seller on one of the several online auction sites. Ebay is the most popular, and most widely recognized. However, sellers are also having success on Yahoo auctions, Overstock auctions and many others. Being an online auction seller has many benefits for a Work at home mom. You can run your business from your home. You can set up auctions to automatically list at certain times of the day, so you don’t always have to be at the computer. Plus, there is guaranteed traffic to the auction website which makes it simple to get new customers.

Before you start an online auction business you should decide whether or not you have the skills or willingness to do so. Although there is a lot of money to be made in auctions, there are also a lot of challenges. As a successful auction Wahm, you need to have the tenacity to try different things to increase you sales. You must also have knowledge of what the market wants so you can provide in demand products that will sell. Money management is a must, since selling on an auction is typically a home-based business. You will be in charge of the finances of the business and need to be responsible for keeping your business and personal finances separate.

Online auction businesses are very simple to start. To start an ebay business, for example, all you need is a registered account with ebay, and a paypal account. The ebay account will allow you to perform transactions on their website. The paypal account will allow you to accept payment for items that you sell, as well as pay for the ebay fees. Although you can technically take payments through check or money order, using paypal makes the process a whole lot faster and more enjoyable for your customers.

The fees involved with running an ebay business are minimal compared to having your own store on a separate website. While hosting for a website can cost upwards of $20 per month, ebay only charges you a small percentage of the items that you sell. There are also some other minimal fees involved, and most sellers work those fees into their listing price.

Before you decide to sell on an auction site as a business, try a buying from the auction site first. Understand the process from the buyer’s point of view. Take note of how you are treated by the seller and ask yourself what you would do differently. Buying before selling is also a good method because you can build feedback in the auction site system. Feedback is left whether you buy or sell, so building some feedback as a buyer is a good idea. A positive feedback record will make you more appealing as a seller.

Finding items to sell is the biggest perceived problem with selling on auction sites. However, you can start with items from around your home. Look in your closets and in your garage for items that can be sold on the auction sites. You will be surprised by what people will buy. Selling from around your home will give you experience with the selling process and will build positive selling feedback.

Familiarize yourself with the auction process before you begin selling. Remember to start your business small and let it develop as you become more confident in your auction selling abilities.

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Writing Wahms

Working at home as a writer is one of the largest work at home categories. Being a freelance writer has traditionally been a work at home job, and now that working at home is becoming more popular, there have been more writers in the industry. If you like to write and have a good grasp of the English language, you will never be at a loss for the work at home writing jobs.

Starting your career as a work at home writer is as easy as doing some Internet research and applying for a job. There are many ways to break into the writing field, even if you have no previous experience. Online opportunities abound, and there are still many writers who stay exclusively in the print market.

While many writers dream of one day writing the great American novel, most writers are realistic in knowing that they are going to have to do some other types of writing to get paid on a consistent basis. Writing for pay is mostly, if not exclusively, done in the non-fiction genre. While occasionally you will find contests for fiction writing or for poetry, these opportunities are few and far between when compared to the non-fiction opportunities.

Writing from home as a Wahm requires that you have a reliable Internet connection, good written communication skills and the ability to be a self-starter. As a writer, you will be in charge of your time and your projects. There will always be deadlines to meet and new writing opportunities to try. You will be responsible for balancing your writing with the rest of your life. You must also have the ability to research a wide variety of topics. As you accept assignments, you’ll be challenged to learn about and write about topics that you may have little experience in.

Freelance writing from home can break down into three specific areas: writing for print, writing for the web and blogging. Although blogging is technically writing for the web, there are many distinctions that make it different from other web writing opportunities.

Writing for print is what people generally think of when they hear the term “freelance writer.” Wahm writers who write for the print markets need to first build a reputation as reliable and eloquent writer. If you’ve never written for the print markets before, start with smaller, local publications and then work from there. You’ll need to find a list of publications that are accepting “queries.” Queries are a combination of a letter of introduction and a pitch for a story idea. Most writers rely on the Writer’s Market reference guide for lists of publications. The Writer’s Market has comprehensive information on a variety of newsletters, magazines and other publications that are taking queries. Start with topics that you know the most about and try writing a few queries to get yourself going in the print market.

The only drawback to writing for print is that the period between when you write and when you get paid can be months long. For many Wahms, this is just not feasible. Writing for the web, however, can meet their income needs and still allow them to write from home. There are many categories of writing for the web. You can be a ghostwriter for e-books or other Internet media. Many people need copywriters to provide content for their sales letters and websites. You can also offer your services to webmasters who need fresh content for their blog or newsletter. The opportunities are endless.

Blogging is yet another way to make money as a writing wahm. Blogs are an ever-growing form of Internet media. Blog writers generally provide their own content. You can make money as a wahm by starting your own blog and posting to it daily. If you love to write, you can start several blogs at once and multiply your earnings. Once you become an experienced blogger, you can apply for blogging jobs and post for other people.

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Wahm Blogs

Blogs are here to stay, and many Wahms are taking advantage of the trend. Making money with blogs is a popular choice for many work at home moms. Blogs are simple to set up, and relatively easy to update. This is especially true when you compare blogs to other types of websites. Within just a few minutes, you can set up a professional looking blog for free and start your Wahm blogging business.

A blog is an easy to update website that looks sort of like a journal. Entries are made at a minimum of each week, and the newest entries appear at the top. Entries are normally short articles of 200 to 500 words. Readers visit the blog or read the new blog entries through a blog reading program. Readers can also comment on entries and provide links between their own blogs and your blog.

With blogs, the opportunities are wide open. Choosing a blog topic is as easy as looking at your own life for inspiration. There are blogs about everything from celebrity news to bathroom cleaning tips. Before you start a blog, do some research on the Internet to see if people are interested in your possible blog topic. Your topic doesn’t have to be popular, but it does have to have a dedicated group of people who are interested in the topic.

When you pick a topic, make sure to stay within a fairly small “niche.” The term niche is used to describe a group of people who have a similar interest. There are big niches – like working at home – and small niches – like tips for training your cat to sit on the toilet. Try to find a happy medium between a popular topic and a niche interest so your blog has plenty of readers. Some topics, like working at home or parenting, are too broad and have too much competition for readers.

You can set up your blog through a free blogging platform, like www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com. There are also a half dozen others to choose from. The blogging platform will walk you through making your first entry into your blog.

After you’ve made a few entries into your blog, its time to monetize your blog. This means you’ll be making specific changes to your blog in order to make money. One of the most popular ways to gain income from a blog is by using a contextual advertising program, like Google Adsense or Chitika. Contextual advertising pays you for each time a reader clicks on one of the advertising links on your page. The advertising program will scan your blog entries for keywords, and then place advertising on your page that relates to your page content.

For example, if you have a blog on children’s television and write an article about Sesame Street, the ads appearing next to that article will have to do with that program. They might be links to shopping for Sesame Street items, or an ad for vintage Sesame Street collectables selling on ebay.

One thing to note with contextual advertising is that you won’t have to worry about placing the ads yourself each day. Once you enter the code on your blog, the program will automatically refresh the advertising when you make a new post. You will be paid several cents for each click. It doesn’t seem like a lot per click, but it sure does add up quickly.

Contextual advertising is just one way to make money from your Wahm blog. You can also make product recommendations and suggest information products (e-books) to your readers. Each time someone buys a product you recommend, you will get a commission. Many bloggers find that making gentle product recommendations throughout their blogs are a way to garner extra income.

Finally, some companies will pay bloggers to create posts that suggest certain products or services. These companies pay a few dollars per post, and are fairly easy to use. The only drawback is that you’ll have advertising posts throughout your blog content. However, many bloggers have found a way around this by putting “And now a word from our sponsers” at the beginning of each of their required advertising posts. This helps the advertising appear less intrusive.

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10 Home Based Business Time Management Tips

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Organize Your Home Office

Running a home-based home based business can be a rewarding endeavor. There are many advantages to finding business opportunities and becoming your own employer, which is why many people have now chosen this path. Though there are many benefits associated with being your own boss, it will take a certain amount of acclimation. One of the most difficult tasks when running a home-based home based business is time management and getting organized in your home office. The good news is it is possible to be organized and manage your time when you choose to follow a few simple tips.
When you run your own business, time is money. You get paid when you work, but it can be difficult to stay focused on the present task when you are working from the comforts of your own home.

10 Home Business Management Tips

NUMBERED LIST
The first time management tip is to designate an area in your house to serve as your office. This is very important because it separates your workspace from the living area. You will be less likely to become distracted while working if you are surrounded by business-related items.
Plan for tomorrow today. Knowing what your schedule will be tomorrow is a great way to plan for your future. Always stay one step ahead of yourself and you will be able to stay on top of all the tasks you need to accomplish.
Prioritize your schedule. Break down all your activities into categories in the order of importance. This will help you keep up with the tasks you need to accomplish and complete them more efficiently.
Maximize your time by keeping a notepad, digital recorder, or iPod with you while you are away from your desk. This will allow you to jot down or record ideas as they occur to you. It will also enable you to add to your ever-growing to-do list as necessary.
Rise in the morning before the rest of your family. This will give you the opportunity to get an early start to your day before anyone can distract you. Finding business tasks that need to be completed won’t be difficult and the earlier you begin working the more you will accomplish.
Take breaks during the day. This allows you to regain energy and keep your stress level at a minimum.
Find a balance between business and personal life. The key to time management is organizing both business and personal activities so you will be able to accomplish them all without neglecting anything or anyone.
Pay attention to the little things. They really matter in the end. One example of this would be choosing a high speed Internet connection over dial up to save time. It may be a bit more costly but will be well worth it in the long run.
Take out the trash. Throw something away every day. If you don’t need it, then it isn’t worth keeping around. File the items you will use so you will know where to find them quickly.
END NUMBERED LIST

Work At Home Time Management Takes Commitment

Stay focused on your business. It takes a commitment to stay organized and make good use of your time when working from home. There will always be personal tasks that need to be accomplished, but in order to run a successful work at home based business, you will have to put in the necessary time to fulfill all your company needs. Finding business will not be especially difficult if you are able to remain attention to your new endeavor, stay organized and manage your time well.

Visit http://www.CreateACashFlowShow.com for more home based business tips.

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Virtual Assistant Wahm jobs

Starting a virtual assistant business is just one of many ways to be a Work at home mom. If you have experience in an administrative field, or can offer virtual services to business clients, then you are a prime candidate for having a successful virtual assistant business.

Getting started as a virtual assistant requires a few simple steps. There is no formal credential process to become a virtual assistant, but there are several companies who offer training and their own credentialing. This is not absolutely necessary to be a successful virtual assistant, but it can be helpful in obtaining jobs as a newcomer. Before you sign up for any program or course, do your due diligence and investigate the company. Get recommendations from other successful virtual assistants and consider finding a mentor who can help you get started.

Legally, you’ll need a business license in order to become an independent contractor. By obtaining a business license you’ll be able to open up a business bank account and keep your business and personal finances separately. Being legal also means you can declare many of your business expenses as tax write offs.

Once you’ve set up your home office, you’ll need to establish your virtual office. On the Internet, you’ll use a website to advertise yourself as a virtual assistant. Having a website is essential to establishing your presence. If web design is not in your skill set, find someone who can make a website for you. Try to contact other virtual assistants and see if you can barter for the design if it’s something that you cannot afford to begin with.

On your website you should, at minimum, list your services and who you are. You can also include an hourly rate, although many virtual assistants like to charge by the project instead of by the hour. As far as services go, don’t offer services that you don’t like to do. If you can make spreadsheets but don’t like to do it, then don’t offer that service. If you have background in a specific field, for example law, then list this as a specialty. You can also specialize in the type of work that you offer. Many virtual assistants limit their business to writing and editing, web design, data management or planning, but some offer a mixture of all types of services. Remember, this is your business and you can choose what tasks that you want to perform.

The best way to get virtual assistant jobs to begin with is to start networking. Your best leads will come through people that you already know, whether they are online or in your hometown. Let people know what you are offering and promote your website address so people can see who you are and what you are doing. Make sure to include up to date contact information on your web page, including a phone number.

When you get your first client, its important to have a contract set in place before you start working on a project. You can get many sample contracts online that you can adapt for your needs. Make sure you and the client are both on the same page about the type of work that you will be doing. That way there are no surprises when you deliver the project and your bill.

After you have a few projects under your belt, you’ll begin to build a reputation. Then your virtual assistant business will grow naturally to include repeat clients and new projects. When you consistently do good work, your reputation will precede you and you may have more projects that you know what to do with in a short period of time. Make sure not to overbook yourself, and collect a network of other virtual assistants who are willing to take overflows for you if the need arises.

Getting your virtual assistant business off on the right foot is simple when you follow the basic steps mentioned above.

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