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Friday, February 27, 2015

Socialboosterservices.com: The Deal at a Glance

In last Monday’s post: Social-media-marketing-helps-your-business, I revealed Common Core Money’s latest acquisition: Socialboosterservices.com.  Socialboosterservices.com is a site that helps people and businesses improve their online social media presence.  The past few days I've been working on the front page, editing the offerings.  There are four Facebook options: Page Likes, Website Likes, Video Likes, and Followers.  There are four YouTube options: World Views, Channel Subscribers, USA, and UK Views.  There are also Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and even Pinterest offers.  I don’t want to clutter the home page with the myriad types of offerings.  A person could get a quote for something not advertised by inquiring using the Contact page.  Social media marketing is one-third of the equation for attracting business, sales, leads, etc. to your company.  There’s also Search Engine Optimization and Content (video, well-written articles, e.g).



The experience thus far has been extremely positive.  For starters, I'm learning how to manage a WordPress site out of necessity.  Socialboosterservices.com was built with WordPress 4.0.  I’m just beginning to get comfortable seeing all the buttons on the dashboard!  I have yet to add a blog post to the site.  This is something I will get to just as soon as I get some time.  I want to work slow and not accidentally delete the entire site by accident.  Lucky for me, the site’s seller is just an email away.  He’s been very helpful.  And this brings me to a couple of questions you may be pondering…



How did you come to buy a website?  Where are you finding this stuff, Carlos?

About two weeks ago I Googled:  “Passive Income Websites for Sale.”  Why did I Google this?  Because I’m not comfortable paying a software engineer in India hundreds of dollars to make me a site, especially when I don’t even have a product to sell!




I was looking for three things: 1) A great site with 2) A great product or service that 3) Did not require hours of oversight beyond the initial transfer, i.e., had passive income potential.  Being an investor allowed me to think about time as my greatest asset, and money as my greatest tool.  Is that how you think about time and money?

From the Google search I found Flippa.com.  Flippa.com is a market place where people sell domains, websites, and even blogs.  Like Ebay, you can bid on a domain or website/blog of your liking and if you’re the top bidder, you win the auction.  Some sellers even provide the BIN or Buy-It-Now option.  Like any market place, it's a place where the buyer must beware.  It's entirely up to the buyer to do their due diligence.  In fact, throughout the bidding time you can both openly and privately message the seller.  You are able to tell right away which domains or sites have the most attention from buyers from the string of multiple comments and questions toward the bottom of a sale page.  Flippa.com provides a free downloadable eBook for both potential buyers and sellers.  I suggest that if you plan on using the site, you read these eBooks first.  Flippa.com is a great site for people who want to have their own online business or want to make money flipping domains (buying them cheap, holding them, then selling them for more in the future).  SEO companies can buy domains to get backlinks for their clients as well.  Now onto the deal for Socialboosterservices.com.



I found the sales page for socialboosterservices.com, and like all the others I had glanced at, began reading the seller's information about the site.  One of the first things you notice after clicking an offering you like is the “At a glance” info, e.g., the Listing Type, Site Age, Platform, Site Type, and site Uniqueness.  These are all important pieces of information to help with your decision.  Other important factoids are if the site is monetized, and how the seller explains money can be made from the site.  Don’t just buy a site that is set-up with AdSense and affiliate marketing ads.  Make sure there is an actual service or product (an eBook, e.g.) that can be purchased by future visitors to the site.  You want to have the potential to upwell as well.  Socialboosterservices.com is not a unique site.  You too could probably find a similar site to buy on Flippa.  What makes it “unique” is that it's tied to me, my brand, and Common Core Money Content marketing services.  Below are the numbers.  I’m sure everyone wants to know these right about now.

Cost of the site/Purchase price: 
$67 

I used the BIN feature as the bidding was around $35 when I first looked at it, and time was of the essence.  I didn’t want someone to BIN before me!

I spent $59 on web hosting service via GoDaddy.com

That was it.  Total cost was $126.  

Now it’s up to me to start monetizing the site and paying me back for the initial investment.  The income potential is infinity so long as I keep the site active.  I’ll have to spend about an hour each night processing orders, I figure.

I hope this post has served you well.  Maybe it has inspired you to consider going into business for yourself with an online platform you can simply buy from someone else!  Don’t be afraid to try something new.  The $126 I’ve spent so far, even if I don’t make a single dollar back, is an investment in my learning.  Gaining skills in WordPress site management, setting prices, customer relations, etc., are the icing on the cake in this new venture of mine.

Thanks for reading!  Leave a comment or question below.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Cancel Your Gym Membership

Speaking of a cheapo move…why is everyone so quick to include gym membership as a cut-out budget item?  Sure, when you're considering where to save money, anything not absolutely necessary goes on the table.  Toilet paper, not on the table!  Cable television, on the table.  Beer, so not on the table.  Your wife's Vitamin water, on the table!  Okay, I kid around.  My point is that people have choices and preferences when it comes to crafting a money tight budget.  Or do they?

The thing is…most of your cut-back item choices have already been made for you.  The majority of you are just following a budgeting script set about by thousands of personal finance bloggers and writers.  Let me show you.  Go to Google right now and type: "Should I cancel my gym membership."  You can also try a derivation of this query: "Should I keep my gym membership."  Go ahead, just be sure to come back to this post…………………………processing……………………….

What did you find?  A slew of reasons why you should quit, cancel, ditch, Not keep, your gym membership, correct?  It's only when you make a slight change in your wording.  For example, "Reasons to keep my gym membership" that you actually find a competing argument for keeping your gym membership.  I'd like to personally recognize: https://14thand1st.wordpress.com AND http://reddebtedstepchild.com for not falling for the conventional wisdom given out by middle-class mindset individuals.

Now, I'm not saying there aren't good reasons for canceling a gym membership.  The main reason should be that you just don't exercise.  Point blank.  You hate moving around and breaking a sweat.  In this case, stop paying for a membership.  Now, if you do like to exercise and are simply considering cancellation because you're looking to save $20-$50 a month, then you are thinking like a poor person.  It is better to find a better membership deal at a smaller gym perhaps, then outright kill the gym routine.  Why?  Let me give you my insight:

1) The gym is where I do some of my best thinking.  I'm in and out in one hour, by the way.  But in that hour I'm focused on both my body and ideas.  Some of my best investing and business ideas were generated at the gym!


Have a System with Nutrisystem

2) Networking.  I've met many smart and interesting people at the gym.  Most of the time they're exercising next to me and I spark-up a conversation.  I don't care if they have their headphones on.  I will "get" if they want to talk or not within the first few seconds.  If they do, great!  I get a new contact.

3) Health savings.  I've been going to the gym since high school.  I got my first gym membership right out of college in 2001 and have been with the same gym franchise since this time.  I'm at the gym 4-5 times a week.  It helps me relieve stress.  It helps me stay in shape.  Most importantly, it keeps me healthy!  Why are people shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on medical expenses?  Because they're not healthy!  You will save money over the course of your life, more than you will ever spend on a membership, by investing in your health.  When you're geriatric at 65, instead of still vibrant and firm, you will come to recognize the importance of having kept-up the gym routine.

4) I don't have a weight room at home.  I could buy equipment and make my garage into a weight room if I wanted, and this would be an okay substitution, but not doing weight bearing exercises is out of the question.  Hear this, you need to do weight bearing exercises!  Cardio isn't enough.  You will lose muscle mass as you age, and be unable to get up off the floor if you should fall, or more easily break a bone.  I also happen to believe lifting weights (and body building) keeps me looking young.  Not sure if this is scientifically backed, however.

The rich don't cancel things they like to do.  If you want to keep your membership, think like a rich person would.  Ask yourself, How can I continue to afford my gym membership?  The answer to the rich is always obvious.  Make more money!  "Make more," should be your mantra.  Not, "save more."  Until next time!  Thanks for reading.  Don't forget to subscribe to CCM blog for more out-of-the-box insights.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Is Writing A Novel Worth It ($)?

I tried writing my first novel about two years ago.  It's currently sitting at around 40,000 words.  It's stuck there because I made the mistake of writing about a character who's a job injury lawyer. Part of the plot involves him coming to the rescue of his estranged father, a victim of shoddy labor code at the San Diego Harbor.  There's more to the plot of course, but the reason I stopped writing the story after nearly 50 hours of work had to do with my need to read-up on injury law or at minimum, consult with some of my lawyer friends.  And I got lazy so it didn't happen.  Moral of this story: If you're endeavoring to write your first novel, start with a subject you don't have to research, i.e., make it easy on yourself.  K.I.S.S!

Now I'm onto novel number two.  The title of this novel is, La Buena Hija or The Good Daughter.  I really, really, like the plot I've sketched out for this novel.  But I'm conflicted.  I think many writers, especially those that are just beginning, have a constant thought in their mind:  Is it even worth it?  I'm a published short story author.  I don't even think twice whenever I sit down to write a short story.  I just do it.  But writing a novel is like writing 13 to 15 short stories!  You will spend a considerable amount of time focused on a single product.  There are no guarantees that your efforts will make you any money.  Sure, you can self-publish your novel, but don't expect to hit a home run your first time out at the plate.  You will most likely not pay yourself back for all the time you spent typing away.  I did a Google search using the query: "Is writing a novel worth it?"  I got some decent answers on this page: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/.

I'd like to share the first several hundred words I have for my second novel attempt.  Let me know what you think!



August



Mrs. Garcia’s rooster anticipated the sun’s rising by forty minutes, letting out a loud cock-a-doodle-doo from where it stood.  It set off the bark of Satanas, the Hernandez’s black lab in the neighboring yard.  The old dog stayed in his doghouse, buried his head between his forelegs, and shut his eyes once again.  Campanita, the neighborhood’s stray cat, ran cautiously across the street.  It stopped on the sidewalk directly in front of the Ramirez’s and froze.  There was movement inside.  A light came on, showing Mrs. Ramirez fully dressed, standing still near the switch.  She stared for a few seconds at the children pictures that hung along the wall.  She made a sudden move toward the window, spooking Campanita away.  “Que calor,” she said, sliding the window open all the way.
            Mrs. Ramirez walked hurriedly into her kitchen, flicking on the light.  She grabbed a pan from the cabinet directly under the stove and set it on a burner.  From inside the pantry she grabbed the canola oil, and the salt-and-pepper shakers, setting them on the counter.  She stepped with haste to the refrigerator, opened it, and saw the carton of eggs under the deli ham her husband picked out at the Super Mercado.  While shutting the refrigerator door, the face of a man revealed itself.

“Good morning,” said the man smirking.
Ay dios mío, Martin,” said Mrs. Ramirez, “you scared me.”

            Martin chuckled as he walked toward the coffee maker still in his underwear.  “The kids up?” he asked, lifting the filter lid.  “Big day for them.  Especially for Elizabeth.”
            “I woke them up,” said Mrs. Ramirez, “but I’ll go check on them again in a minute.  Let me get your breakfast started.”  She walked to the stove, made a lake of canola oil in the pan, and turned the burner on low.
            “Okay,” he said, placing a new filter in the brewing cup.  “I want to be out of the house a little earlier today.  There’s always a ton of traffic at the schools on the first day.”
            Mrs. Ramirez left the stove unattended, walking out of the kitchen with purpose.  She got to her two son’s bedroom first.  She swung the door open and saw that both her boys were still in their beds.  “Junior, Daniel,” she screamed, “get up!”  She flicked on the light, causing both boys to get their heads quickly under the covers.  “Tu papa wants us ready to go as soon as possible,” she said, walking inside and taking a seat at the end of Junior’s bed.  “Besides, aren’t the two of you excited?  First day of high school and first day of middle school!”
            “No,” said Daniel slowly sitting on the bed.  “I liked elementary.  Now I get to have a bunch of teachers.  They’re probably all stupid too.”
            “Stupid?” asked Mrs. Ramirez.  “What do you mean, stupid?  You haven’t even met them yet.”
            “I don’t have to meet them,” said Daniel.  “Junior told me they’re all lame.”  Junior poked his head out from under his blanket and gave his little brother a mean look.  He moved his head to face his mother behind him.
            “He’s lying,” he said with a mischievous smile.  “I told him all the teachers at Lincoln were excellent.”
            “Really, Junior?” said Mrs. Ramirez with a straight face.  She held her stare a couple of seconds without blinking.  “You’re going to ruin what Daniel thinks of his teachers before he even starts?”  She turned her head to face Daniel across the room.  “And you,” she said disappointedly, “believing your older brother!”  She stood up and gave the boys her back.  “You two wear me out,” she said emphatically, walking out of the room.  Junior and Daniel faced each other once their mom was out of the room.  Junior grabbed his pillow and flung it violently at Daniel.  “Snitch!” said Junior.

   

    
 What do you think?  Leave a comment or question behind, please.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Social Media Marketing Helps Your Business


Starting and running a business is difficult.  I get it.  I’m trying to do it myself.  One of the biggest challenges I’m currently facing is building Common Core Money, LLC’s brand and traffic to the site, Commoncoremoney.com  Having Google Analytics provide me with data on the URL has been of vital importance.  I am able to examine the various patterns, sources, and types of traffic, etc., for the site and make business decisions.  For example, should I buy an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) package from one of the many vendors online?  SEO helps you get your content ranked higher on Google.  SEO packages can be upwards of over $1000 a month, and do not guarantee to fulfill your site’s traffic needs indefinitely, unless you work with an SEO company that will set-you up (without additional costs) for the long haul.


It may sound like I disapprove of SEO, but really I don’t.  It is a strategy a business owner can use to get more eyes on their website, leads, and possibly sales.  However, for me, it makes more sense to use SEO not at the beginning of your business’ life, so to speak, but when it is more firmly established.  When you have plenty of content that can be utilized, meaning your blog has multiple posts, your site has video and articles that are live, and so on.  Having plenty of quality content will drive your “organic” traffic nicely and consistently.  SEO can optimize your pageviews then and move these pages to the top of Google search results.

Where and how does Social Media Marketing fit in the life of a business?

The clear-cut answer is that social media should be used especially at the business launch phase.  You have to generate positive momentum for your business as early as possible, to ensure you don’t burn through cash, and have to close down.  Without a successful launch, there is no business.  But social media should also be utilized ongoing.  Social media is sort-of like exercise:  If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.  Like a muscle that atrophies without ongoing weight-bearing exercise, your online presence stales without continual social media updates.  Your business may be getting plenty of foot traffic from being on a popular street corner, and if its economy is entirely local, then you may be okay without social.  Until the foot traffic stops coming in, that is.  Then what?


Social Media, like SEO, can be used to enhance web traffic to fresh, live content from your site.  For example, your site publishes a new blog post, and your content person (that’s you owner, if you don’t have a content manager) sends it out on all of the company’s social media channels, for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Youtube (if video), thus driving new visitors and some returning, back to your website.  Social media marketing has more power in my mind.  It has the power to shape what your customer perceives about you or your company.  It’s got branding power!


Why are tech start-ups so heavily invested in social?  Indeed, some companies require their CEO, Founders, etc., to participate in the ongoing branding campaign by Tweeting out or being on a Youtube video, etc.  Wealthfront, Inc., CEO, Adam Nash, is Tweeting about Wealthfront and even his own life, almost every day.  I know because I follow him!  I’m considering investing with Wealthfront someday.  Kevin Conard, Blooom.com Co-Founder, and guest author at CCM Blog and his two Co-Founder counterparts are also on Twitter.  I follow all three and keep up with Blooom this way.  Not to mention, it allows me to look through a window on their activities as businessmen.  Having Social Media accounts for your business is not probably something I have to convince you to do.  You’re smart enough to see the potential impact social media has for your business.



What about buying social media marketing?  How do you feel about that?  Believe it or not, social media marketing is more affordable than SEO.  Packages for social media campaigns can be as little as $50.  Saving money where you can is also of paramount importance for your business.  Social media marketing can replace traditional marketing and save you a ton of money.  Take my Sponsor, Rich-uncles.com.  They’ve used Facebook ads and LinkedIn mostly to go viral in California, saving investors from fees in the process.  Can you imagine social media replacing traditional newspaper ads and radio bites?  You don’t have to, it’s real!




This brings me to a special announcement.  Common Core Money, the company, recently purchased the site and service of Boost Social Media at Socialboosterservices.com.  It is a great synergistic acquisition in that now, in addition to quality and affordable content, CCM can offer business owners social media marketing services.  I can even package content and social media now if I want.  I’m working on it!  The best part of purchasing this site and the affiliated services was how much I learned in the process.  I’ll share it with you on a later post.  Until then!  Be sure to checkout CCM’s newest business branch at Socialboosterservices.com.  Great domain, huh?