Fran Civile

Hi, I'm a freelance writer and internet marketer who runs this blog to provide useful information and resources to apprentice marketers who want to succeed with a minimum of wasted time or money. I've been writing, blogging and marketing for about 15 years of work at home business. Fran Civile - Seattle WA - United States

Working to Make a Living or To Get More Things

To Get More Things?

Working to Make a Living

It’s Father’s Day today and my thoughts go to fathers who are working to make a living for their families. In my present role of grandmother who is widowed, I get to observe the struggles of two younger generations, my sons and my grandsons and I often wonder how much working to get more things might affect their family life.

Tom Ewer has written a good article about handling money in his excellent blog Leaving Work Behind The blog’s main focus is about being able to leave a job to work independently!

In

A Brief Guide to Money

he says:

Money – and your attitude towards it – is as important as just about anything in life.

In fact, I firmly believe that creating a healthy attitude towards money represents half the battle when it comes to leaving work behind. Not only does spending less mean that you have to earn less, but having a genuine respect for money can help you to build a successful business.

With that said, in this post I want to lay bare my ideals when it comes to money – how one should think of it, treat it, and (most importantly) spend it.

What you’re about to read isn’t an argument for frugality, nor an argument for minimalism. It’s just how I see things.

Making Consumerism the Enemy

Many of us are working ourselves into an early grave, all in the name of material wealth.

To read the full article go visit: Leaving Work Behind

~~~~~~

A few days ago Leo Babauta wrote an interesting post in his blog Zen Habits

In

A Call for Revolt: Advertising is the Anti-Minimalism

he says:

The biggest obstacle to a wonderfully minimalist life is advertising.

Let’s think about that statement for a minute: what is a minimalist life, and what stands in our way from reaching it? How is advertising involved?

A minimalist life can be many things, but at its heart is becoming conscious about what we have in our lives. Space is limited: we have limited hours in a day, limited years in our lives, limited physical space in our homes.

And we fill all that limited space up unconsciously, packing it to overfull without much thought to whether that’s the best use of our space.

Minimalism is about pausing, and asking what’s necessary. What belongs in this space, and what can we toss out? Is the fantasy we have in our heads, that’s causing us to fill things up unconsciously, really what we thought it would be?

To read the full article, go visit Zen Habits

~~~~~~

In the last 20 or 30 years I’ve been getting used to the throwaway economy … we used to get toasters and percolators repaired by a handyman! Now we throw them away and get a new one but for anyone on a fixed income that can still present a problem.

Thank goodness for the internet where it’s possible to make a living at home or at least an extra income!

I would like to know what you think about working from home, or buying a bunch of gadgets, or cutting down on buying a bunch of stuff so you can enjoy more of just living a simple life full of love and laughter.

Fran Civile :)

Can Affiliate Marketing Provide a Good Income

I believe affiliate marketing really is a good way to start growing a good income! If you know anything about Affiliate Marketing, you probably know that it basically consists of recommending products in exchange for a commission, much the way it worked for traveling salesmen who received a commission for the items they sold by trudging from door to door or store to store!

The big difference is that nowadays, thanks to the Internet, you can sell or recommend products from anywhere including your own home!

Mindset over Matter

The size of your income will depend entirely on the amount of effort and dedication you put into learning the ins and outs of the methods successful affiliate marketers are using. Some have anywhere up to a million dollar income!

This is a first in a series of articles I’ll be publishing about affiliate marketing, and although I haven’t made affiliate marketing the focus of my work online I do have a bunch of helpful information besides sharing the basics about affiliate networks.

I do believe that success depends on someone having the right mindset and I’m attaching a PDF report titled

“Mindset Over Matter”

to this post.

Following is an excerpt:

The thing that’s important is that successful people have a “why”. They know
why they’re doing what they’re doing, whether it’s so they can escape a job they
hate, so that they can enjoy a better standard of living for themselves and their
families, so that they can have more free time for the important things in life, or
so that they can make a difference in people’s lives.

They’re driven to succeed, they’re passionate, they’re resolute. Nothing can stop
them. Sure, they’ll encounter the same detours everyone else gets, but they’ll
accept them as part of the process, and keep on going.

Unsuccessful people say “Hey, I worked 8 hours today, I need to relax”, while
soon-to-be successful people will say: “I worked 8 hours today, I don’t want to
do this the rest of my life, so I’ll work on my personal project now”, and have a
huge smile on their faces.

Successful people work on improving themselves as much as they work on
improving their businesses, because they know that the more skills they possess,
the more leverage they have, the quicker they’ll be able to taste their success.

Mindset Over Matter You can read the report online after you click the link, or you can right-click the link and choose ‘Save as’ to download it.

I hope you enjoy the report and share some thoughts in a comment.

Fran :)

Goals for Your Freelance Writing Queries

Reading about goals for freelance writer queries in Carol Tice’s post today I decided I should share the article with my readers. I can relate to some of the anxiety provoked when an editor responds to an article submission with a request for some changes – I’ve been there! – but I was somewhat surprised at some of the reactions Carol describes in her article.

Her take is that the competition is not as fierce as freelance writers might fear! She says:

Mediocrity is the norm in much of the freelance-writing world, and there’s plenty of opportunity to stand out. If you don’t believe me, go to your Chamber of Commerce, get a copy of all the brochures out of the display, and go home and read them all. You’ll see they’re not all exactly Shakespeare.

Besides simply writing competently — which in itself can make you stand out in some industries — what else can you do? Here are my top five favorite easy ways to win clients over

I feel sure that many writers will feel reassured by following at least one of Carol’s suggestions for winning over new clients. This number 2 seems elementary:

2. Proof your work

I know — you’re thinking, “Doesn’t everybody?” No. They don’t.

You’d be surprised how many writers think the first thing they jot down should be turned in, or emailed off to an editor as a pitch. If you’re bad at proofing, try to swap some writing with a friend and get them to catch your typos.

Well-proofed work makes editors less suspicious that your article is sloppily researched and reported. Instead, they’ll think you’re brilliant.

Three of the points made focus on emotional reactions to perceived rejection and they touch on areas that really matter to people who feel they’re putting themselves out there in a vulnerable position.

The fifth suggestion seems most important to me because it involves improving my skills! I think improving our income by specializing in a particular area is always worthwhile doing and writing sales letters is one of those skills.

Read more at Make a Living Writing

Making Money Blogging and Guilt-Free Selling on Your Blog

I’m reminded about making money blogging and guilt free selling on my blog while reading Gary Korisko’s article titled: “Guilt-Free Guide to Earning an Honest Buck from Your Blog” in his guest post on Jon Morrow’s popular blog Boost Blog Traffic, and I want to share it!

I think it’s a great article that really describes the way many of us bloggers feel about selling on our blog. Most of us want to provide some kind of help on our blog but we are also squeezed for time, because of family and job commitments.

Gary’s article clears up some confusion that exists because of difficulties for many aspiring bloggers to fulfill their aspirations to run their blog as a business. He says that the bloggers who make a real difference in the long term are those who’ve found a way to operate their blogs more like a business, either blogging full-time, or at least making it their main focus.

Here are some more of Gary Korisko’s thoughts on the subject

Those who don’t, or don’t have a concrete plan to do so one day, are effectively condemning their blogs to insignificance, and leaving most of the people they could have helped to struggle alone.

But if that’s the case, why don’t more people transition from fun part-time hobby to sustainable business? The answer is simple.They have a strong negative reaction to one small word: SELL

That’s right. The idea that they might ever sell anything from their blogs is deeply offensive.

Strangely enough, they often don’t have a problem with the idea of making some money from their blogs, but the idea of selling anything breaks them out in a cold sweat. However, a generalized aversion to selling is completely understandable because of all of the negative stereotypes of selling we’ve been inundated with over the years.

I have to admit that it’s taking me a long time to feel comfortable selling as an affiliate marketer on this blog although I feel comfortable selling services related to writing or editing.

Read More at Boost Blog Traffic

I hope you enjoy reading this article and would love to read some of your thoughts on the subject in a comment.

Fran :)

Successful Blog Brings Unexpected Popularity for Guest Post

Guest blogging is one way bloggers and freelance writers hope to gain popularity for their blog. If they get published on a successful blog they will probably immediately get more visitors to their blog and more subscribers will probably follow. I intend to feature more articles about guest blogging but today I had the good fortune to read an exceptionally informative blogpost on Firepole Marketing, one of my favorite blogs …

in it Leah Manderson starts with: “Yes, you read the headline correctly: this post is all about how she “accidentally” got published on Forbes.com.”

Syndicators and Aggregators

Then Leah very generously details the steps that lead her blogpost to appear in Forbes.com and that makes her article particularly valuable. Bloggers or freelance writers who are interested in spreading their reach can use that information to work backwards through syndicators and aggregators.

Leah explains all about how she figured that there must be hundreds of sites that spread their content wide and she gives some pointers on how to go about finding them or reaching them.

She says: “of 5 articles I wrote in 2013, three of them landed on Forbes.com, and all of the posts were shared around the web on sites including Yahoo!, Lifehacker, SavvySugar, the Chicago Tribune, the Zillow Blog, Levo League, and more.
In other words, the more I wrote, the more opportunities I had to reach my target market. It was a guest poster’s dream come true
.” Read more at:how she “accidentally” got published on Forbes.com.”

Yes! A lot of time is taken up by marketing tasks!

Most of your days will be taken up with marketing tasks when you’re building a business. With any fairly new business, when you’re building it from the ground you will be doing some marketing!

After you decide on your service offerings and set your rates, you need to get writing samples done and feature them on your website or blog. You did get a website or blog set up, didn’t you?

All the work will be worthwhile when you’re guest posting and you can follow Leah’s successful blog posting suggestions and expect success in your business.

An Interesting Take On Mindfulness

Today when I visited one of my favorite sources of information, Tiffany Lambert’s Blog, I was bowled over by the outstanding article she wrote on the subject of mindfulness.

She starts out with:

Hi everyone! Recently, “mindfulness” has become a trend everywhere – the military uses it, executives are using it, men and women – top leaders everywhere are being more “mindful” to succeed.

Mindful thinking is being used to train soldiers – it’s no longer about brute force.
Corporations have meditation rooms.

And let me be horribly honest here – I have ALWAYS rolled my eyes and thought, “Yeah right” whenever anyone mentioned meditation or mindfulness to me prior to last year.

But man, when smiling and steeling myself against chaos didn’t work – I had nothing BUT mindfulness to get me through it. And thank goodness I wasn’t too stubborn not to try it.

Then she gets into the ways mindfulness helped her overcome the tough
times she went through and how it can help any one of us get over seemingly
overwhelming obstacles … if we can look at how mindful thinking resembles
the basic steps for breaking a horse …
It’s a very good read: Go to Tiffany Lambert’s Blog

Fran :)

A Fast Cash Idea is to Have a Firesale and Shout it to Customers and Business Contacts!

Among ways to make money, a fast cash idea is to have a firesale. If you have a presence online, such as a blog, website, autoresponder list it should be fairly easy to share a salespage you create being sure be sure you include detailed descriptions of the products included in the sale and the amounts the buyers will save so they’re well aware of the good deals they can get.

Another important piece of information will be the download information for the sold products.

If the details of preparing for your projected firesale are taking up much of your time, you might prefer to hire someone to write the sales copy. In that case, you could draft a copy with all the necessary details mentioned above and find someone at Elance or someone in a forum you visit to write a salesletter for you. If you know someone in a forum, that might be a better deal because that person might have more of a background in marketing!

Once you have a salesletter, your next step should be to send a message to your email list. This will require you to write some email copy, being careful to avoid having it look spammy by writing it like a letter. Only the URL of the sales pitch should be included.

You might say something like the following:

[Name],
I don’t usually do this, but I’m holding a firesale later this week. I’m going to sell such and such line of products for a mere 10% of the normal price.

Visitors will have the opportunity to buy at this price only on Friday. If you want a chance to get in on this incredible deal, you can check out the great list of products I’m offering at [firesale URL] and make sure to come back on Friday.

I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

I’m brainstorming a bunch of ways to raise fast cash and will be assembling them into an ebook to share with my readers. If you have any suggestions to contribute please share in the comments and I will give you credit in the ebook.

Fran :)

How to Raise Some Fast Cash – One Man’s Junk Might be Another’s Man’s Treasure

It’s an interesting phenomena that other peoples junk always seems to attract buyers: one man’s junk might be another man’s treasure!

So if you find yourself needing some fast cash, look around your room, apartment or house for things you don’t have use for any more. You might have clothes you no longer enjoy wearing, or textboks, electronics, an old computer, furniture.

That stuff that you’ve had laying around taking up space and even causing some clutter might seem appealing to other people who will gladly pay for them.

Once you realize that you could actually raise some cash you could organize a garage or yard sale and post signs in some strategic spots in your neighborhood.

To make it more interesting you could talk to a couple of neighbors about having a joint sale to make it more attractive to visitors. You would each label your stuff with a name and a price and hopefully enjoy an early spring day while collecting some $$$.

These days you do have other choices though like selling on ebay, www.ebay.com … a good place to sell clothing, electronics, textbooks and get a better price. There’s also www.craigslist.org where you can advertise things that are too heavy to ship like furniture. Interested customers usually can find someone to help them pick the stuff up if they don’t have a way to do it themselves. I’ve been lucky using craigslist!

If you decide to use either www.ebay.com or www.craigslist.org, be sure you take the time to describe what you are selling and including photos of the items you’re selling will draw attention even better than any description and are likely to make them more willing to give you a phone call.

Do you have any ideas about how to raise some fast cash you might contribute? I could include your ideas in the next post about how to raise some fast cash!

Fran :)