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Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Truth About Making Money with Pawn Shops by Marc Charles


If you Google my name you’ll see I’ve been talking about the viability of pawn shops for a long time.



But more important, pawn shops can be very profitable in a Depression.
Have you seen Pawn Stars on History Channel.



If not, you should!



It’s a great show….and you can learn the “essence” of how to make money with them.


Making money is the key. Most pawn shops are either broke, saddled with debt or both.

Pawn shops can be an excellent source of income in a depression.




I’m not kidding.


What’s more, I made an amazing discovery about this market.


First let me warn you ……


Most of the pawn shop franchise opportunities available today are over-hyped and overpriced! 


The best way to approach this business is to build and form your own brand…and franchise if you plan to expand.


But I found one franchise which may be worth a look.


First off….


I like the concept of a “franchise.” 


Franchising can be applied to hundreds of markets and products. Franchising your product, service, or business is a great way to build a fortune.


Will Wright applied franchising to his software game The Sims in 2000, and the rest is history. The Sims franchise recently hit the 100 million units sold. At $39 a pop that’s a nice payday.

On a smaller scale, one-store franchises like The Mail Box Stores can be profitable too. 



Sometimes you can acquire an existing franchise and hire someone to run it for you.


The Golden Rule of Franchising: Tap into a Rising Trend

When it comes to successful franchising it’s all about flowing the rising trend. 




A hot franchise ten years ago could be history today when the trend is toast.


Pawn shops and cash advance stores tap into hot rising trends.


eBay Drop-Off Franchise Bites the Dust

You probably noticed a business trying to tap into a hot rising trend – the eBay drop-off center. 


The business caters to people who understand the concept of eBay but do not have the time post, sell and monitor eBay auction listings. 


ISold It on eBay was a franchise designed to help people sell stuff on eBay for a fee.


EBay drop-off centers may be a rising trend but not in the current form. 


Most eBay drop-off centers today are riddled with problems, ridiculous up-selling fees (like $19.95 to change photographs or images) and excessive shipping charges. 


But the concept of  “eBay drop-off center” within an established company or franchise should do well.


An eBay drop-off center is not technically a pawn shop. 


An eBay drop-off center differs from a pawn shop in a couple of ways. The main difference is immediate cash


If you’ve never been to a pawn shop (or eBay drop-off place), let me explain.
When someone walks into a pawn shop they usually want cash for the items being sold (or a discount on an item they want to purchase). 


An eBay drop-off center is more of a consignment agreement – people receive money IF and WHEN an item sells on eBay.


The Cash America Franchise Opportunity

Make no mistake about it, pawnshops can be very profitable. 


I’ll show you the numbers. 


The “pawnshop business model” has existed in one form or another for thousands of years. It’s certainly been around longer than most blue-chip companies.


Ten years ago, most people wouldn't be caught dead in a pawnshop. 


If people needed cash they would just borrow from a relative, get a cash advance on a credit card, or tap into the equity in their homes. 


But today the old methods for obtaining cash are drying up.


In other parts of the world, like Mexico, China and India, pawnshops are a common way of doing business. 



There are more than 2,500 pawn shops in Mexico today, and the market is growing like wildfire. 


Value Pawn and Jewelry in Orlando opened their first pawn shop in Mexico last year.


In the U.S., pawn shops are becoming an acceptable way of getting cash for every income level. The attitude is changing.



If you like the concept of a pawn shop, then a Cash America franchise may be worth considering... for several reasons.


The concept of an upscale pawn shop hasn't caught on with consumers yet.
The trend, though solid, is in its infancy. 


But in most cases it will mean the franchises, like those offered through Cash America, are not overpriced (yet). 


What the Heck Is a Cash America Franchise?

A Cash America franchise is a local store that provides a simple and convenient way for people to get cash for the items they own. 


Customers can sell thousands of different categories of products and items to Cash America on the spot. 


Cash America is also a great source of quality pre-owned merchandise such as computers, jewelry, home electronics, gold, video game consoles, sporting goods, tools, and even cars and motorcycles. 


Cash America has reinvented the pawn industry with its modern buildings and business practices. 



Most people will not be ashamed to walk into a Cash America store.


Cash America is a leader serving the needs of the under-banked community in the United States. 




They include lower income folks, immigrants, people that have recently gone through bankruptcy, and others. Some experts put this community at nearly 15 percent of the country’s population.



That’s a lot of potential customers, and despite what you may be thinking, they can be very lucrative customers.


Cash America more than 500 locations nationwide, and the company appears to be growing. The current owners (franchisors) also seem to be happy.


How Much Does a Cash America Franchise Cost?

The cost of opening a Cash America store will vary, depending upon the size and location. But start-up costs are between $200,000 and $300,000.


I know…….I try to avoid business opportunities with huge start up costs like this. 


But we’re talking about a franchise with an established, recognized company in a hot rising trend. 


I’m more accommodating when it comes to investing this kind of money in a viable franchise that is positioned in a rising market.


How Much Money Can I Make?

Oh yeah, it’s all about the money!


The amount of money you make with a Cash America franchise (or any pawn shop for that matter) will depend on your location and how efficiently you run your business. 


Another consideration will be employee costs, and whether or not you want to be an absentee owner.


The most successful Cash America franchises are located at busy intersections, and are typically a short drive to major interstate highways.


Most franchise owners rent or lease retail space in popular strip malls or shopping locations. 

However, dozens of Cash America franchise owners choose stand alone locations.


From my research, I’ve found that most Cash America franchises have much higher cash flows and lower operating expenses than a typical fast-food franchise.


For example, let’s say a typical Cash America franchise in Las Vegas generates $650,000 in sales per year, with operating expenses (rent, employees, insurance, legal, etc.) of $250,000. This would leave a net profit of $400,000. Not bad.


On the other hand, if a typical Subway franchise at the same location generates $650,000 in sales, the operating expenses (including food costs) will usually be in the neighborhood of 70 percent to 80 percent. 


If the operating expenses for the Subway were 75 percent, that would mean $487,500. The net profit works out to be only $162,500!


What’s more, I think the employee requirements and turnover would be much less with Cash America.


If you think that’s great, listen to this…


The Cash America profit margins will smoke most restaurants (and even most franchise opportunities). Profit margins on some items and loans can be as high as 50 percent.


The profit margins for a sub shop or a pizza restaurant can be as low as 8 percent.
Can I Sell the Stupid Thing If It Doesn't Work Out?

It’s relatively simple to unload a profitable franchise quickly if things don't work out as planned. 


But, the current economic climate favors buyers.


A friend of mine tried to sell his pizza shop on a semi-popular beach for more than two years. He finally unloaded it at a deep discount. 


I think a Hungry Howie’s pizza shop franchise at the same location would have sold much sooner, and without the need to extend a discount.
 

If a franchise has a trusted brand people know and love, selling it will be much easier. Selling into a hot rising trend is also easier than selling into a sinking, dying trend.


Think about it this way: Being an entrepreneur means taking calculated risks. If you can do this before the masses jump onboard you could invest less money and make yourself a fortune.


Regards,



Marc Charles
The "True" King of Business Opportunties
http://www.marccharles.com



Friday, April 9, 2010

Making Money Online in the Insurance Market -- by Marc Charles

Dear Entrepreneur:

There's no denying it. Insurance is a multi-trillion-dollar industry.

Now you can profit from this market. And you don’t need to set up a neighborhood office, make sales calls, or wait to qualify for a license or special certification.

I’ll show you how in today’s post.

This might surprise you: The best time to launch an insurance company is immediately following a major catastrophe. I know it sounds crazy - but it’s true.

Immediately after a major disaster or catastrophe, smaller insurance companies are often forced out of business because of monumental claims from customers. (Their entire business is built on the low probability of having to pay out claims.)

Warren Buffett is the second or third wealthiest person on the planet (according to Forbes Magazine). His insurance and re-insurance companies endured huge losses in New York after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

But it has been reported Buffet’s companies recouped all of their losses within six months.

They even enjoyed a profit shortly thereafter 911 because of a four-fold increase in premium charges.

A lot of smaller insurance companies and brokerages were not so resilient.

But you don't need massive start-up capital or millions of dollars in "reserve" like Warren Buffet (to cover the possibility of claims) to be successful in the insurance market. All you need is a computer and access to the Internet.

Opening a neighborhood insurance business is not a great fit for most entrepreneurs.

The thought of selling insurance over the phone or door-to-door makes most people cringe.

On top of that, a bricks-and-mortar type business can have substantial overhead costs.

What’s more, insurance companies and brokerages have boatloads of regulations, fees, licenses, certifications, and code requirements.

But there's another way to make money in the insurance business - actually, three ways.

Here’s how………

Promoting Insurance Affiliate and Lead-Generating Programs

The hottest profit centers with regard to the insurance market these days are affiliate and pay-per-lead programs.

And you can easily manage affiliate and lead-generation programs over the Internet.

An affiliate is a middleman. As an affiliate, you make a percentage of sales in exchange for promoting or marketing a product or service.

A lead-generation program collects specific information for a company - in this case, on a website - for a fee.

Here's a list of top insurance "affiliate programs" that you can start promoting on the Internet immediately and get paid for leads:

GEICO (highly recommended)
$6-$10 per lead.

US Insurance Online
Commissions of $3-$8 to start.

21st Century Auto Insurance
Pays affiliates $3 for every user who completes a free quote.

Answer Financial
Guaranteed $4 for every lead for Life, Home, Health, Auto, and Long Term Care Insurance, and Annuities.

Dental Plans.com
A $47 payout for every sale. A second-tier affiliate program is available upon request.

HealthInsurance.com
$25 for each completed application for health insurance.

InsureMe
$5 to $10, depending on the type of lead generated.

Budget Life Insurance
$10 per valid insurance request (60 percent of profit) paid monthly.

You can also look into eHealthInsurance, Outlook Health, and Kanetix Insurance Shopping.

You can find dozens of similar programs on the Internet.

But these appear to be the most popular and viable.

Google AdSense on Web Pages Built Around Popular Insurance Topics

You could, for example, launch a website that focuses on natural disasters and calamities. You could feature articles on the site that help people deal with a catastrophe. Or you could include articles that teach people about natural disasters.

You could write the articles yourself. Or you could pick up hundreds of copyright-free articles from websites like FindArticles.com, ArticlesBase.com or ArticleCity.com.

The next step is to place Google AdSense ads throughout your articles.

The code is super easy to install in your pages (or just retain a freelance webmaster to do it for you).
And here's the best part… When people click on your Google AdSense ads, you get paid (by Google).

Entrepreneurs are making tens of thousands of dollars every month on Google AdSense alone!

I love getting paid for stuff that’s just sitting on the Internet.


If you build the site properly (using meta tags, structure, page rank, back-linking, etc.), you will start to see significant traffic.

If you want to speed up the process, you can buy inexpensive traffic on pay-per-click (PPC) engines and networks like MIVA.com, ABCSearch.com, 7Search.com, Kanoodle.com and LookSmart.com.

You can also purchase prepaid keyword ads on places like ExactSeek. There are NO pay per click fees whatsoever - and no click fraud.

Web-based Insurance Comparison Site (This Is Hot!) 

One of the hottest trends on the Internet is comparison websites. You can see examples of them everywhere! Just Google the phrase “shopping comparison” and you’ll see what I mean.

The idea is to list as many insurance carriers as you can find and compare each of the rates.

Granted, rates change as often as the weather, and there are hundreds of variables.

But you can tell users that up front. Simply let people know that “actual insurance rates will vary - these rates are for general comparison purposes only.”

You can present these price comparisons on a static web page. In this case, the rates won’t change unless you update the HTML. Or you could present them with a dynamic feed like XML. In this case, you would simply enter all of the rate changes into a “form” and hit enter to change the rates on the website.

The more insurance companies you feature on your website, the better.

You can make the first couple of searches free, so people get a feel for the site.

But if someone wants to perform multiple searches, or use your site indefinitely, then simply require them to submit some information. You can ask questions that insurance companies want to know about their prospects.

Obviously, you’ll need to tell users this information may be used by third parties. And they’ll need to agree to these terms in order to proceed.

You can probably think of other ways to design your site. But you should capture information from willing users in whatever process you use.

Make sure you keep it simple. People will not sit around all day answering stupid questions. Simply ask for a user’s name, e-mail address, address, phone, fax, income, and basic insurance needs.

Once they hit "submit" and the system verifies their information (which basically means his or her email address is valid), they can search and compare insurance companies for FREE - indefinitely.

The information you’ll be capturing will be INCREDIBLY valuable to insurance providers. They will pay you cash for these leads.

Important Note: Like I said, you need to make it VERY CLEAR to people - BEFORE they fill out the web form - that a third party may use their information.
Granted, this will turn some people off.

But if you're generating 200 to 300 qualified leads from your site each month, the insurance companies will love you. And they’ll send you cash for these leads.
Depending on the type of information you collect, the leads can sell for as much as $40 apiece.

If you can generate 300 leads a month, this means up to $12,000!

What about marketing your website?

Anything you do on the Internet requires traffic.

The most powerful free traffic generators are Google, followed by Yahoo!, Bing, and MySpace or Facebook.

Purchasing keyword ads on Google can be expensive. The cost-per-click ranges from $.05 to $100. But keyword ads definitely work.

The secret is that Google is NOT the only game in town.

Thousands of search engines can deliver quality, targeted keyword ad traffic. And many of them can do so at a fraction of the top engines.

The trick is to start out small on the cheap engines. Test various keywords and phrases. Once you have a winning combination, graduate to Google. Place those winning keyword ads on Google, and let it rock!

The neat thing about making money in the insurance business on the Internet is that there's no overhead. Once you have a "formula" (a website, AdSense, organic traffic, and keyword ads) up and running, it almost navigates on autopilot.

Quick Recap

1. Build a website around a subject related to insurance coverage - natural disasters, plane crashes, terrorist bombings, or train wrecks. Write original content or grab copyright-free articles at article-database sites. Post Google AdSense ads throughout the copy. Every time someone clicks on a Google AdSense ad on your website, Google will pay you. Generate and drive traffic to your site with Google organic searches and/or Google AdWords.
You can also buy super-cheap click-through traffic on engines like MIVA.com, 7Search.com, ABCSearch.com and ExactSeek.com.

2. Build an insurance comparison website or engine. Allow visitors to search for free - the first time. But when they do a second search, ask them for some basic information. Insurance companies will pay you for these leads.

3. Become an insurance affiliate. The work will be entirely Internet-based - and you'll receive compensation via check or PayPal.


Valuable Resources / Insurance Comparison Sites
InsWeb
LowerMyBills.com
RealRate
Comparison Market
Insurance.com
Insurance Finder
GetAGreatRate.com
Insure.com
InsuranceTracker.com

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Are Cash Flow Notes For Real? Can an Entrepreneur Make Money with Them?

Question: I've seen cash flow notes plastered all over late night infomercials. I've also Googled them, and researched them somewhat. But I would interested in what you have to say about them. Can an entrepreneur make money with them?
D.S. Palm Springs CA

Answer Marc Charles:

Hey DS...thanks for your note, and question. I'm glad you're watching late night infomercials for ideas. I'm serious. Almost everyone berates late night infomercials. But I think you can learn a lot about making money and legitimate business opportunities from watching them.

Anyway..................

You can make a ton of money with real estate notes.

But the competition is fierce.

What’s more, there’s a right way and a hard way to do this business.

Don’t worry, I’ll explain what I’m talking about.

On top of that, the market is much larger today than it was three or four years ago because of the economy and the collapse of the real estate market.

But let’s get real........

Most of the time, it will be seasoned investors and bankers who are on the inside track for the best real estate notes.

However, I'll show you how to find the best real estate notes (also known as “cash flow notes”), how to list or sell them, and more importantly how to GET PAID.

What the heck is a cash flow note?

Cash flow notes are IOUs, essentially an agreement to pay someone a specific amount of money, with interest, over a specific period of time.

The most popular cash flow notes are commercial paper (mortgages) and residential mortgages.

But there are cash flow notes available in almost every conceivable real estate investment. And most are secured with a title deed.

But like I said, you can find cash flow notes for everything from accounts payable, structured settlements, royalties, leases, pre-construction, and more.

But I’ll focus on real estate cash flow notes in this week’s issue.

Here’s an example of a simple cash flow note…

The Johnsons sell their $250,000 home with owner financing.

The Johnsons ask for $25,000 down and finance the balance of $225,000 at 10 percent interest. The Johnsons receive monthly payments on this note until it’s paid off.

This is where the “cash flow” part comes in.

An entrepreneur calls the Johnsons and offers them $220,000 for the note on their home. The Johnsons agree. The entrepreneur buys the note and then resells it to another buyer who is willing to pay $225,000 for it.

The first entrepreneur keeps the $5,000 difference and the Johnsons get $220,000.

The process is contingent upon locating note sellers and brokering these notes to willing buyers. And in the real world it takes a lot of time, energy, and money to build a network of qualified cash flow note sellers and buyers.

But the important thing to remember is entrepreneurs are making money in this business.

What’s more, there are established networks of entrepreneurs who are already these deals… they’re called bankers, lawyers, and real estate investors!

Insider Secrets to the Cash Flow Business Revealed!

One of the biggest secrets to the cash flow business is direct marketing.

That’s right! Who would’ve guessed direct marketing is the key?

If you get into this business, understand you’ll need to reach a fair number of qualified cash note sellers. These cash note sellers will typically be home owners, business owners, and other real estate investors who have provided financing to buyers.

One of the best ways to reach a large targeted audience quickly (if you don’t have an established in-house list of contacts) is with TV.

That’s right - television. Stay with me now… it’s not as expensive as you might think.

It should be fairly obvious but know this… cable and satellite TV advertising is down BIG TIME!

Therefore, cable and satellite TV channels are willing to make deals on advertising.

For example, you can target more than 1 million late night viewers in New York City with a spot ad for under $2,500.

Check out National Cable Communications – they specialize in “spot” commercials.

You can even setup spot TV commercials with Google TVAds.

And don’t worry, you won’t have to pay actors or film crews to get your commercial done. There are several companies that offer pre-made spot TV commercial packages, including Spot Runner, Inc. I've heard Spot Runner is having trouble financially. But there will be others in the space...just Google it.

Anyway, Spot Runner offers TV advertising (and remnant packages) in hundreds of markets across the U.S. and Canada.

The benefit of pre-made commercials is cost savings. You can select from dozens of pre-made commercials and simply add your message, website, 800 number and bingo - instant exposure!

The most expensive part of any commercial is the production - that’s money you have to spend before you’ve made any. SpotRunner enables you to eliminate a large portion of this expense.

But some marketers prefer to produce their own commercials – and you can do that too.

The objective of any marketing is to attract qualified note sellers.

But you could also run commercials (in a different market) to attract note buyers. You could do these simultaneously as well.

The objective is to compile a list of qualified note sellers… and/or a list of qualified note buyers.

The next step is to simply match them up!

Granted, there is some legwork involved in this business. Plus, it’s not entirely free of red tape or paperwork.

But this business is fairly simple if you have qualified buyers and sellers! Your compensation would be on the difference between the seller’s price and the buyer’s price.

If running commercials or larger direct marketing campaigns is too much for you at this point, you can start out small by running promotions in your local paper or on popular local websites too.

Most local newspapers and web portals are desperate for cash and advertising. Negotiation is king!

An acquaintance of mine generates $50,000 to $75,000 per year on real estate notes and pre-foreclosure deals by simply running cheap classified ads in small regional newspapers. Cheap meaning $20 to $50 per month!

Newspapers are good source of leads in this business. And if you haven’t noticed, newspapers are dropping like flies! Like I said, they want and need your business in order to survive… and most of them will cut deals on pricing.

It’s also important to have a simple website which attracts note sellers. Just Google “cash notes” and you’ll see hundreds of examples of simple websites in this niche.

You could have a separate website or landing page which attracts note buyers too.

I recommend two separate websites or landing pages is because note sellers and note buyers are two VERY DISTINCT markets and mindsets.

You see, note sellers are often in need of immediate cash (for whatever reason).

Note buyers on other hand often have a longer-term objective. Granted, note buyers are often looking to sell notes as quickly as possible. But most of the time not buyers are not in desperate need of immediate cash.

When you’re marketing to note sellers you’ll be addressing the fear, uncertainty, desperation, and other survival instincts.

But when you’re marketing to note buyers you’ll be addressing different emotions, like an excitement for seizing opportunities.

But whatever approach you use, it’s important to capture your prospect’s e-mail address and ideally an address and phone number.

There are a lot of ways to market this business and capture qualified leads. But the objective is the same: to find viable, qualified sellers and match them with qualified buyers.

There are a ton of websites which enable you to buy, sell, and broker cash flow notes too.

Here are three highly recommended websites:

Cash Flow Forum

The Cash Flow Lounge

NoteWorthy

Oh…

I also want to give a quick plug for Tyler “Ty” Hicks and International Wealth Success too.

Ty publishes an old world print newsletter called International Wealth Success. But believe me, it is anything but “old world”. It may be a traditional print newsletter, but it’s definitely cutting edge.

Tyler has written more than 30 books on real estate, business, funding ideas and more. I highly recommend his products.

Tyler Hicks understands the real estate note s better than most people.

Here’s a link to his website: International Wealth Success.

New Cash Flow Niche: How to Make Good Money from BAD Paper

Don’t kid yourself… most real estate businesses require at least some money… or quick access to it.

If you can get your hands on some money or get quick access to funds, I found a new “niche” business opportunity which might be a nice side business for you.

A good friend exposed this business to me over lunch the other day… and I sat at the table amazed at what I heard.

Here’s the lowdown on this baby…

Have you heard the term “bad paper” before?

It’s pretty simple. Bad paper is a broken promise to pay by another party.

The agreement or “paper” is usually secured by real estate (or some other asset). The payor is in default if they fail to pay in accordance with the agreement - that’s why it’s “bad”.

It’s pretty obvious there’s no shortage of “bad paper” and “toxic assets” in the market today!

There’s another term which you’re probably familiar - it’s called a “mechanic lien” or “contractor’s lien”. These documents are filed at the local recorder’s office, courthouse (or town office) whenever a contractor does work on a home and doesn’t get paid.

A lien of $3,000 (this is the average lien amount) on a $200,000 or $300,000 property is VERY BAD.

As real estate values continue plunging to new lows, there’s a boatload of BAD paper.

Here’s how my friend makes money from bad paper:

1. Walk down to your local recorder’s office and make a list of mechanics’ liens. (Don’t worry - its public information.) Some recorder’s offices make the information available online but they are typically slow to upload new information.

2. Compile a list of contractors who have liens on properties. Make another list of the homeowners’ or business owners’ addresses. Let’s say you find a roofing contractor who has lien on a homeowner’s property for $1,500 (because of a failure to pay the balance for work performed).

3. Now send the contractor an unsigned check (window envelopes are the best) for HALF of the amount of the lien. (In our example, the check would be for $750.) You might want to include the words “I’ll send you this check today” or something to that effect. In my friend’s experience most contractors accept the offer. After all, half of the money right now is better than none of it!

4. Contact the homeowner and inform him or her of the seriousness of the lien. You should also mention you are entitled by law to the collection costs. (In most states, you are entitled to include “collection costs” of up to $1,500 to satisfy a mechanic’s lien.)

In this example, you could charge $750 for collection costs. The total amount the homeowner owes is $2,250 (the $1,500 lien plus the $750 collection fee).

5. You then present an offer to the homeowner to settle the lien for HALF of the amount due - which in this case would be $1,125. Your letter should be useful and accommodating – there’s no need to threaten a lawsuit.

Help the homeowner or business owner understand a lawsuit will be filed if the lien is not satisfied. You can also remind the homeowner or business owner most mechanics’ liens are satisfied in favor of the contractor or supplier.

In most cases, the homeowner will agree and write you a check for $1,125.

6. Lastly you write a check to the contractor for $750. You get to keep the difference of $375. ($1125 - $750) This is your profit.

Note: This is a simplified example. Most contractors’ liens are considerably larger than $1,500.

To Sum Up How This Business Works

If a contractor has not been paid for services rendered he or she can file a lien against a homeowner or business.

When someone has a lien on their property they are unable to sell it or make changes to it. The lien can also show up in credit reports and other publicly accessible documents.

A contractor simply wants to get paid. A homeowner or business owner wants the lien and problem (contractor) removed.

An entrepreneur like you can “fix” the problem by offering the contractor half of the value of the existing lien, and the homeowner or business owner with a way out at a reduced cost (and avoiding court action).

When the contractor accepts your offer for half the amount (paid immediately), he or she willingly removes the lien from the homeowner and business owner’s property.

For an entrepreneur in this business, there are only two forms / sales letters which need to be mailed, and maybe a phone call or two.

What's more, in larger cities and towns hundreds of liens are filed each and every month - and this is where the opportunity exists.

Obviously, there’s room to work your deals up or down.

Making money on bad paper is a unique side business - especially if you’re already doing real estate deals.

The downside is if the homeowner or business owner has a problem with the work that was done - or with the supplies that were delivered. But you can determine this before risking any time on the deal.

It is fairly simple to determine if a homeowner has a valid “counter-claim”.

A homeowner or business owner will be required to provide viable “proof” of shoddy workmanship, or proof work was never rendered.

Granted, homeowners or business owners often have complaints against contractors. Unfortunately the law often sides with the contractor or provider of services.

In most cases, 90 percent+ according to my friend, liens are settled quickly and easily without going to court.

A Surprise Cash Flow Niche - Mobile Home Paper!

There’s a surprise niche in the cash flow business almost no one pursues.

It’s called mobile home paper. If you search this term on Google, you’ll find more information on the topic than you could possibly digest.

Here’s the deal in a nutshell…

Almost every real estate investor, speculator, and developer considers mobile homes the bottom of the barrel.

Whether this is true or not is irrelevant.

As an entrepreneur you can make money in this market.

What’s more, there’s more than enough “bad mobile home paper” to go around!

If someone is at risk of losing their mobile home to the bank because of a hardship or bankruptcy, you can offer to buy their note (at a discount of course).

Then you can rent the mobile home to the homeowner, refinance the deal, or do a combination of both.

One of the reasons I like this niche business is because mobile homes are relatively inexpensive.

In fact, I located more than a dozen mobile homes (in fairly good condition) in my neck of the woods for less than $50,000 each.

In some cases, the deals were contingent upon moving the mobile homes from a park or land. I think this is common problem in this market.

But the reality is mobile homes can easily moved and set up in a park or on land for $3,000 or less (and everything is negotiable).

Anyway, mobile home paper is a great niche in the cash flow note market.

I hope that helps!

Regards,


Marc Charles
Your Resourceful Editor



Additional Resources:

CRE Online

eNote World

The Note Network







The Paper Source (20 years in business)

DMO Direct Funding

The Note Center

Real Estate ABC

Monday, March 15, 2010

How to Tap Into a Legitmate $47 Trillion 24-Hour Market with Ease

Here’s the deal……

The Treasury bond – or T-bond – futures market is a global cash monster with a market value of more than $47 trillion!

There are ways for a start up entrepreneur….heck even a seasoned entrepreneur can make money in this market
I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah..that sounds great Marc, but what about someone with limited cash and smarts”!
Listen…… I started trading T-bond futures as a newlywed, when my bank account was so small I was actually charged a minimum balance fee each month. Not having much cash didn’t stop me.

And in the “smarts” department I wasn’t captivating the scholarship boards either!

I was an average student in school.

However, I developed a passion to learn as an entrepreneur, and that made all the difference.

I learned about the T-bond market from a successful entrepreneur, the same way you’re going to learn from me.
My friend showed me how to trade without having to move to Chicago or New York (where two major exchanges are physically located).

On top of that, he showed me how to limit my downside risk by using a strategy professional traders use.
I’ll show you the same technique in today’s post.

I’m not an idiot….

I know there are a lot of seasoned, street smart T-bond traders with very, very deep pockets ...

These professional traders love it when “sheep” (new or super small speculators) enter the market.

But the T Bond market is a fairly level playing field. You have the same opportunities to make a living in this business as they do.

There are ways to make money and trade this market if you have limited resources too.

Granted, a much easier way to trade T Bond futures, and with much less risk, is with exchange traded funds (ETFs – Google it and you’ll find a ton of them)

But there are contracts specifically designed for smaller speculators called “mini” contracts. These were not available when I started trading.

But in order to walk into a $47 trillion market and remove money from the table, you’ll need to understand how the game is played. And you can’t learn everything about it in 15 minutes.

Let me repeat….. you can’t learn everything about it in 15 minutes! It took me about 24 months, and 5 or 6 hours a day to gain a basic understanding of the futures market.

You’ll need to understand how the game is played by successful professional traders who consistently remove profits from the market.

When you open a trading account with a commodity brokerage, you’ll see a lot of “fine print” in the application.
But it’s the same amount of fine print you would see when you open a bank account or buy a piece of property.
Don’t let the fine print discourage you from starting this business and making money!

Don’t kid yourself. There’s a risk of losing money in this business ... and I’m not going to pull any punches. But I’m here to tell you ... this business has less risk than most businesses.

That’s right.

I’m writing this week’s post from our winter home outside of Orlando.

On the front page of the Orlando Sentinel this morning, there was a story about a man from Poland who’d purchased a motel near Walt Disney World.

This gentleman purchased the motel for close to one million dollars. He’s owned it for about a year – and the business was (in his words) “breaking even.”

Last Friday, he was robbed at gunpoint by a 20 -year-old kid with a 357 magnum handgun. If you’ve ever looked into the barrel of a 357 magnum, you know how terrified the motel owner must have been.

Anyway, the motel owner was still shaking a week later – and so he decided to build a bullet proof encasement around his check-in counter for protection in the future.

That is my definition of a HIGH RISK business opportunity.

Things like this are not going to happen when you’re trading T -bonds.

Granted, there could be some stress and fatigue when you trade in a market as large as this – unless you’re superman or superwoman with no emotional connection to money . But, hey, at least you won’t be investing a million dollars into a venture that might break even ... and be scarred for your life after staring down the barrel of a 357 magnum!

As I said, there is a financial risk trading T-bonds.

But I’ll show you what the pros do to limit risk, and how some of them manage their profits too.

The bond market – also known as the debt, credit, or fixed income market – is a financial market where participants buy and sell debt securities. The size of the international bond market is an estimated $47 trillion+ .

What the Heck Are T- Bond Futures, and How Do You Trade Them?

A futures contract is a standardized contract, traded on a futures exchange, to buy or sell a certain underlying asset at a certain date in the future at a pre-set price.

The buy or sell date is called the delivery date or final settlement date. The pre-set price is called the futures price. The price of the underlying asset on the delivery date is called the settlement price. The settlement price normally converges toward the futures price on the delivery date.

Stay with me ...

A futures contract gives the holder the obligation to buy or sell an asset like corn, gold, currencies, or, in this case, Treasury bonds.

Both parties of a “ futures contract” must fulfill the contract on the settlement date. The seller delivers the asset to the buyer – or, if it is a cash-settled future like T- bonds, cash is transferred from the futures trader who sustained the loss to the one who made the profit.

It’s that simple.

To exit the commitment prior to the settlement date, the holder of a futures position has to offset his position by either selling a long position or buying back a short position, effectively closing out the futures position and its contract obligations.

Futures contracts – usually just called futures – are traded electronically on almost every financial exchange in the world with a system called GLOBEX.

The exchange's clearinghouse acts as counterparty on all contracts, sets margin requirements, etc.
You’ll find current futures settlement prices in just about every national newspaper that has a finance section and on any viable financial website.

An Insider Trading Secret

Amateur traders in practically every financial market usually become intoxicated after a large winning trade. What’s more, they often become arrogant and feel bulletproof. (Believe me, I’ve been there and done that!)
As a result, they don't know how or when to stop and take their profits .

But seasoned pros approach the market with a calm, deliberate assurance. On top of that, the most successful traders have learned that the markets are predictable ( to a degree). Every market tends to move in cycles, trends, and “ waves.”

The insider trading secret that many T-bond traders use is pretty simple to understand. The idea is to leverage your positions through a series of four trades. Then you remove your profits and start over again ... small.

A Hypothetical T- Bond Trade

Okay, now let's do a hypothetical trade using this insider trading secret.

I’ll base these trades on 2007 data.

If you can picture an inverted (upside-down) pyramid in your mind, you’ll have an idea of what this trading approach is all about.

Let’s say that you believe T-bond futures are going to rise dramatically because of tension in the Middle East, massive mortgage defaults, or some other reason. So you buy one June 07 T-bond futures contract “ at the market” (the current market price). This is the first of four series of trades.

Your assumption proves correct – and the June 07 T-bond futures contract takes off.

The next step is to sell one June 07 T-bond contract “ at the market” – and when that order is filled, you buy two June 07 T-bond contracts. This is the second trade in a series of four.

Okay, the T-bond market continues higher, and now you sell the two June 07 T-bond f utures contracts at the market.

When that order is filled, you purchase three June 07 T-bond futures contracts at the market. This is the third trade in a series of four trades.

Do you see the pattern here? On paper, it’ll look like an inverted pyramid.

Each time you increase the number of contracts that you buy or sell, your profit or loss will increase exponentially as well.

In this hypothetical trade, we have so far completed three trades in our four -trade series.

Now we're going to sell all three June 07 T-bond futures contracts at the market. When that order is filled, we’ ll buy four June 07 T-bond futures contracts at the market.

In the real world, markets do not go straight up or straight down indefinitely. But for this hypothetical example, let's say the June 07 T-bond futures price continues to surge.

So, finally, we’ll sell all four June 07 T-bond futures contracts at the market – completing a series of four trades.
Now we're going to remove most of our profits from the market – whether it’ s $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, or whatever – and put that money into a separate account.

Then we're going to do another series of four trades. But each time, we're going to start over again small. And that’ s an important thing to remember.

Most amateur traders “ let it ride” – like they’ re high rollers in Las Vegas. (And 95% of the people who gamble in Las Vegas lose – and most of them lose a lot more than they’ re willing to admit to.)

But we're approaching T-bond futures trading like a professional. A professional trader leaves the table with some money in his pocket – whereas amateurs usually leave shell-shocked and broke.

The insider secret and trading strategy that I’ve outlined today has probably produced more millionaires than any other system.

And keep in mind that we were using minimal trading positions in our example.

Top traders use this insider technique by trading hundreds of contracts in each four-trade series before they remove all their profits ... and start over again small.

That’s exactly how to make money by trading T-bonds like the big boys .

This strategy also enables you to limit your risk, because you won’t be “pyramiding” your positions indefinitely. You’ll have a very specific way to limit your open positions .

T rading T-bond futures won’t be an ideal business for every entrepreneur. (For one thing, some trading capital is required .)

And, make no mistake about it, there’s a lot more to understanding this market and business than what I’ve shared with you today. That’s why I’ve included a bunch of additional resources for you at the end of this issue.

But you can make money – a lot of money – whether T-bond prices go up or down. It’s definitely worth looking into.

Quick Start Insight
The first thing to do is to check out a top financial website or pick up a national business newspaper like The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. Check out the financial markets section – and, specifically, the T-bond futures quotes.

Start paper trading! That’s right. This is one of the few businesses that enable you to test your skills before you invest a nickel. Just for fun, imagine that you have $50,000 in your trading account. Then keep track of your positions to see if you’re making a profit.

After you’ve paper traded for a month or two you’ll begin to understand how people make money in this business.
When you feel you’re ready to start trading for real, simply open a trading account at any of the brokerages listed below or search the Internet for reputable firms.

I hope that helps.

Later....

Marc Charles


Recommended Books
Market Wizards: Interviews With Top Traders,
by Jack Schwager
The New Market Wizards,
by Jack Schwager
Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom,
by Van K. Tharp
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator,
by Edwin Lefevre
Agriculture Options,
by George Angell
Winning in the Futures Markets,
by George Angell
Elliott Wave Principle,
by Robert Prechter Jr.
Commodity Trading Manual,
by the Chicago Board of Trade
All About Futures,
by Russell Wasendorf Sr.
Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World’s Best Market,
by Jim Rogers
Escape to the Futures,
by Leo Melamed

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Programming Your Way to a Fortune

You can make a fortune with programming.

This is a hot rising trend with no end in sight

Forget about the programming courses you see on late night TV. I'll show you how to become a software programmer and make all kinds of money in this business.

On top of that, I'll show you where to get clients and how to promote your skills.

What Do Programmers Do?

Programming is the process of creating an organized series of logical steps that a computer must take in order to perform a desired task. Without software programs, computers are useless.

The programmer writes these instructions in a language that the computer understands. It's sort of like a "recipe" for the computer - a list of ingredients (called "variables") and a list of directions (called "statements") that tell the computer what to do with the variables.

You may be thinking that computer programming is not for you.

I'll show you some incredible opportunities that are available to you. And make no mistake about it. With this business, freelance is the way to go.

At the very least, having an understanding of programming languages like C++, FORTRAN, Basic, Cold Fusion, SQL, and COBOL will help you no matter what business you're in.

If you understand the basics of programming, you'll know what the webmasters, programmers, and IT administrators in your company are doing.

Programming will no longer be shrouded in secrecy.

You'll know how long a given project should take - and what it should cost. That's valuable information for any company these days.

How Long Will It Take to Learn the Basics?

Best-selling author, entrepreneur, and mega-marketer Michael Masterson says you can become expert at just about any complex skill by applying yourself to learning and practicing it for a total of 1,000 hours - less than 20 hours a week for a year.

You can easily manage that by putting in an hour or two on weekday evenings and a little more than that on Saturdays and Sundays.

Master programmers generally make between $300,000 and $500,000 per year (or more). A friend of mine makes six figures and travels the world first-class. He decided to specialize in corporate security and offer programming in foreign languages. He's unable to accept new clients because he's so busy.

But you don't need to reach that expert level to make good money as a programmer. Entry-level or beginner programmers make $50,000 to $100,000 per year - and there are thousands of opportunities for them.

You should be able to reach that level in a few short months.

Will Outsourcing Affect Western Programmers?

Outsourcing is not an issue.

Granted, there has been a lot of press lately about IT jobs getting outsourced to India, China, Croatia, and Mexico. And it's true.

But skilled, network-savvy programmers (especially those who understand Western culture) are in demand all over the world.

On top of that, most of the jobs that are getting outsourced are entry- and mid-level IT management positions - not programming.

The purpose of this post is to show you how and where to get more freelance projects as a programmer than you can handle.

Teach Yourself Programming

My son is fascinated with the Linux operating system. He loves the idea of Linux being an underdog and wiping Windows OS off the face of the earth.

He spent 8-10 hours a day, three months straight, learning about Linux. Yesterday, he installed a program that allows him to switch from Linux to Windows with two keystrokes (and without having to reboot his system).

He learned how to do this - entirely online - by going to Linux forums, discussion lists, how-to sites, and by "playing" with demos.

My son is 18 years old today but he started when he was 14.

In most cases, it's difficult to teach yourself something without having a mentor, instructor, or coach. But there are thousands of sites on the Internet that can help you understand and learn programming. I've listed some of the best in the Additional Resources section at the end of this issue.

Peter Norig's site is one of the best to get you up to speed on programming.

Peter is the Director of Search Quality at Google. When it comes to programming, he's a master. He covers in-depth programming issues on his site - and I think you'll enjoy it.

How Do You Get Started?

A top-level South African programmer once told me, "If someone wants to get a programming job, he should go to a good IT technical college. If someone wants to work for himself, he should just jump in and start learning it on his own. Tech schools can't and won't teach you logic, which is the foundation of all programming. If people start learning this skill on their own, they'll begin to see all of the flaws traditionally trained programmers make on a regular basis."

Okay, then. How do you get started as a freelance programmer?

If you're a beginner, you can jump right in - like my South African friend suggested. But taking an immersion course in programming might be a better idea.

Here are a few links to schools that offer immersion-programming courses:

Kaplan College

Programming Tutorials (excellent and free)

Tutorials.com

Kids Can Program

How Stuff Works

You're not going to get a degree from any of these sites - although I have nothing against degrees. But you don't need a degree. When you get into the programming world, NO ONE will ask to see your degree. I guarantee it!

(And, by the way, if you're already a programmer, these sites will help you brush up on the basics.)

How to Make Money as a Freelance Programmer

When you're just starting out, you can provide low-level programming for companies. And that's okay. I worked for a company free of charge for 30 days to prove to them that they couldn't live without me. (They eventually signed a two-year contract for my services.)

But quality programmers are in demand - so you won't have any difficulty finding work. And there are thousands of sites on the Internet that'll help you do it.

In my experience, programmers tend to be very weak when it comes to selling or marketing themselves. So you might want to brush up on your direct-marketing skills. My only recommendation when it comes to learning direct marketing is the Direct Marketing Quick Start Kit by Early to Rise.

Anyway, here are some links to help you find freelance programming projects and resources:

ScriptLance

GetACoder

CraigsList.org

ODesk

Source Forge

DICE

Marketing Your Programming Talents

Granted, most companies prefer to have full-time programmers on staff working from 8-5 (or later) every day. But despite that fact, there are literally tens of thousands of freelance projects available.

Where's the proof? Just look at some of the links I provided above ... or search Google using the keyword phrase "programmers wanted." I found more than 75 projects on the first few search results pages this morning alone!

But these sites are only the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure you've heard this 1,000 times, but the best jobs are rarely found in the classified ads or on job boards. It's true.

After you've developed your programming skills (and savvy), you'll need to set time aside every month to market your skills. Do it even when you've got boatloads of projects, clients, and deals pending. It's just a good habit and, eventually, it'll come naturally.

Direct marketing and referrals are by far the most powerful tools for marketing your talents. You could, for example, send a simple introduction and overview of your talents (less than one page) to your "A" prospects.

"A" prospects would be businesses that have purchased freelance programming services in the past - preferably many times.

"Where would I get a list like that?" you ask.

Easy. Make a list of every company that has posted programming projects on the sites listed above. Find out as much as you can about the company and its senior IT contact - and get his or her snail-mail address.

Then send your introduction and overview to that person via Priority Mail or FedEx.

If you send 20-30 of these a month, you'll be amazed by the results.

Forget about sending e-mails to these guys! They'll get filtered, thrown out, or deleted faster than you can shake a stick. A snail-mail letter (Priority Mail or FedEx) is the way to go. They will ALWAYS open and read letters that arrive that way!

Okay. So you insist on marketing your talents on the Internet - and with e-mail, too. Fine. But you need to do it the right way - and only to "A" prospects or you'll be wasting your time. That means finding websites and e-mail newsletters that reach IT types in companies that regularly hire freelance programmers.

Here are a couple of sites to try:

SecurityFocus.com

ProgrammersHeaven.com

ProgrammersParadise.com

PRGJobs.com

Lockergnome.com

I highly recommend that you build a website devoted to your programming skills - one that you can refer prospects to. But don't do it (like everyone else does).

* Put your testimonials on the first page.

* Make it very clear that you're available for small "test" projects to prove your worth.

* Relentlessly submit your page to the top search engines - and consider buying some keywords on Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's new engine.

If you want to get high-level search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM) services for your website, I recommend eBrandz.com. They have offices in New York and India.

But don't hire out the marketing. That should be a regular part of your own routine. You know your prospects and skills better than any ad agency does.

Get Started Quickly with These Tips

If you're new to programming, you'll need to immerse yourself in it as quickly as possible. In this issue, I've provided you with links to some great online tutorials and programming courses.

Once you're up to speed, you can start replying to jobs posted on freelance programming sites - and you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll be hired. That's because programmers, and especially network-savvy programmers, are in demand.

Forget about the "problems" with outsourcing. The only people who should be concerned about that are overpaid middle- and entry-level IT managers and programmers.

In India, high-level programmers are thrilled to make $20,000 a year. In the U.S., the same jobs are filled by people making $80k-$100k per year. But you'll be positioning your skills as a high-end freelance programmer. This is very different than going after a full-time job.

Valuable Resources:

Alice (an outstanding educational software program developed by Carnegie Mellon)

SecretGeek (one of the best forums online for beginner programmers)

American College of Programming (to learn programming with an online degree program and tutorials)

KIDware

ProgrammingTutorials.com

CodeTeacher.com

CProgramming.com (advanced programming tutorials)

Java Coffee Break (Java programming tutorials)

WebMonkey (an all around great site)

Freelance Programming Opportunities:

Project4Hire

ScriptLance

DICE

eLance

OZZU Webmaster Forum

Guru.com

That's it.

Later...............

MC

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The China Miracle Is Knocking!

I recently completed an updated version of an ebook and course entitled China Wholesale Secrets.

It covers almost every conceievable angle with regards to importing products from China, and reselling them on the Internet, via direct mail, to retailers, wholesalers and even brokers.

The ebook is designed to help small and medium sized entrepreneurs make money from the "China Miracle". Read the testimonials and reviews....I haven't received any negative comments yet (and this worries me!).

Here's the deal........

This business and opportunity has at least five things going for it:
1) It’s easy to understand (and get off the ground)
2) It doesn’t require a boatload of cash to start
3) There are no employees (unless you want them)
4) It capitalizes on a very profitable expanding market
5) There is almost NO red tape (in fact, I’ll show you a site where you can get started today with no hassle)
I’m referring to the importing and exporting business - but not like you’ve ever seen it before.

You can import products for pennies on the dollar and resell them on the Internet directly to consumers.

You can also sell your products to wholesalers and/or retail business owners and chain stores.

And that’s just the beginning!

You can also become a middleman (or woman) and broker deals for other companies. This market is virtually untapped.

I've provided all of the information you need to get started quickly.

Check out China Wholesale Secrets here.

Later.........

MC

Friday, February 19, 2010

How To Make Money As A Freelance Writer - The Real Story



Look….
You can make money as a freelance writer….and in this economy!
I’ll show you how to make money as a freelance writer -- without succumbing to all the smoke and mirrors.
I know you’ve probably heard this line a thousand times!
But here’s the difference………
I have the inside track on one of the most lucrative writing markets in the world.
I’ll reveal some of the details in my post today.  
What’s more, I'll show you how to start landing projects by the end of the week.
Granted, if you’ve never written a word in your life, then it might take a couple of weeks to land your first deal.
But believe me ……you CAN make money as a freelance writer without journalism training or an English degree.
And you won’t have to crawl on your belly like a reptile for a job.
The Best Selling Authors Do Not Always Make Big Bucks
Contrary to popular opinion, best-selling authors do not always make big bucks.
And some of the most “educated” writers don’t fare much better.
Here’s an example…….
I had coffee recently with a best-selling children's book author who lives on the coast of Maine.
He said, “Large advances are a thing of the past and royalties are shrinking, too.”
This author didn’t reveal whether he was struggling or not, but he wasn’t thrilled with his publisher that’s for sure!
Anyway, when I talk about making money as a freelance writer -- I'm not talking about writing novels.
There are hundreds of other ways to make money as a writer - and believe it or not most of them are more lucrative than writing books for the top New York publishers.
I stumbled into the writing business.
But I’ve always treated it like a business.
And if you want to make real money as a writer you should do the same.
If you approach the writing business like most writers do, you'll go broke.
I'm not kidding!
Here’s what I’m talking about…….
Most of the writers I’ve met have literally NO marketing or business savvy whatsoever.
Most writers talk about a “big break” or a deal from one of the top New York book publishers.
But in most cases the “big break” rarely comes true for these writers for three main reasons:
1) They’re in the wrong market (newspapers, magazines, poetry, novels, and technical writing to name a few).
2) They’re clueless about the principles of direct marketing and persuasive copy (not only in their actual writing but also when it comes to selling their work).
3) They approach writing as a job rather than a freelance business.
My foray into freelance writing went like this…
In 1994, I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about three college kids who were getting paid to write website reviews. There was this frenzy at the time over a thing called the World Wide Web…can you believe it?
The article talked about publishers paying college kids to write website reviews.
There was a growing interest in the Web, and people wanted to know more about websites.
I thought it would be fun to write website reviews "on the side."
I'm always looking for new business opportunities and ways to make money, so these reviews (which I could do quickly and easily) seemed like a natural fit.
I contacted more than 30 publishers who specialized in Internet and Web-related content.
All of the publishers turned me down (or ignored my letter)… except one.
This publisher asked for samples of my website reviews.
But get this… I didn’t have any samples and I had NEVER written a website review in my life!
So……I scoured the publisher’s website and read dozens of their website reviews.
I used the reviews which were already published as my “template.”
Then I copied “the formula” of the reviews, added my personality, and sent them to the publisher.
Three weeks later, I received a FedEx from the publisher with a two-year freelance writing agreement enclosed!
Don't get me wrong.
This project was NOT big bucks. I was only paid ten cents a word! Can you imagine? Most so-called professional writers would be laughing hysterically at an agreement like this ….but not me!
This was my first paid writing assignment.
And it convinced me there was a market (and business opportunity) for freelance writers.
My assignment was on the low end of the freelance pay scale. But the experience opened the door to a boatload of very lucrative writing assignments and projects, including Yahoo! Unplugged.
I still receive e-mail from people about my Yahoo! Unplugged column almost 15 years later!
But I’m not living in the past. Let’s fast forward to this week!
I just completed a freelance writing project that consisted of writing a few comments and critiquing a sales letter for a software product. It took about an hour and half. I’ll receive $500.
I realize $500 is not going to break the bank. But you only need a couple of projects a month, and a steady stream of qualified clients to make a really good living at this.
If you have dreams of writing a New York Times best-seller, go for it! Although rare, it's not unheard of for people with no experience or uniqueness to secure lucrative book deals from the “Big Boys.” But don’t put all your money and time into making this dream come true. You won’t make a living chasing a dream.
But by approaching freelance writing in the way I’m telling you about today there’s a good chance you’ll have the time and the money to make a very good living on while you write a best selling book “on the side.”
Anyway, the type of freelance writing I'm talking about promotional writing is different than what you’re probably used to. But you’ve seen this type of writing every day of your life, probably without realizing it.
And there are many, many opportunities for freelance writers of this type in hundreds of industries. For example, the multi-billion dollar travel market.
If this market and type of freelance writing appeals to you, you can find out more by clicking here.
And get this: there is a market that dwarfs the travel market! It's called direct-marketing copywriting.
If you want “Navy Seal-type” exposure to the world of PROFITABLE direct-marketing copywriting, I only have one recommendation.
And my recommendation has not changed in almost five years!
The program I’m talking about offers the best and fastest way to make money as a freelance direct-marketing writer – end of story!
You can search Google until you're blue in the face or burn through books from Amazon until your fingers bleed. But you’ll never find anything close to this program and course:
I’m serious. This program will change your life. It changed mine!
If you apply 20 percent of what you learn in the first 72 hours, you'll be making money in no time flat. I ordered the program five years ago, and I made $50,000 in the first 12 months with small "side projects."
The travel and direct-marketing industries are not the only places to make money as a freelance writer. They just happen to be the most lucrative! Now, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of this baby.
Great Ways to Make Money as a Freelance Writer
Check out Writer's Market, a book which retails for about $20 (I found a used copy on Albris.com this morning for two dollars).
Writer’s Market features more than 4,200 listings of publishers, magazines, editors, newspapers, websites, and literary agents. You can also find used copies on AbeBooks for about $10.
If you've never written a word in your life (which is hard to believe), and you'd like to make money as a freelance writer, you'll need three things:
  • A basic understanding of how to communicate an idea or concept in writing. I'm not talking about spelling and grammar. I'm talking about communicating a simple idea with words.
  • A pool of qualified prospects willing to pay you for articles, reports, sales letters, promotions, special reports, etc. Not every publisher is a "qualified prospect." You really need to understand this otherwise you'll be waiting for publishers to respond to your submissions when you are 100 years old!
  • A strong commitment to deliver projects on time, preferably BEFORE the deadline. You should deliver more than you promised, too. I haven’t missed a deadline in 15 years! And I’m busier than most people. And I still have kids at home.
A Wake-Up Call!!!
Writing projects are not going to drop out of the sky. They're out there - tens of thousands of them - but you need to go after them.
This is what I mentioned earlier. Most writers wait for the phone to ring or for publishers to pound down the door. But you’ll never get a gig that way.
And don’t think you need to know everything about the subject before you get started. If you don't feel qualified to do a particular project, act like you are!
I was paid a hefty sum recently to write a 20-page special report on Russian oil companies. I’ve never been to Russia, and I don’t know anything about Russian oil companies (other than that the principles have a lot of money). But you can bet that after getting the job I learned as much as necessary to get the job done.
Imagine having to close a writing project deal in order to eat or feed your family. How would you proceed?
Most of us are spoiled and lazy, which is fine if you don’t want that much out of life. But sometimes we need a “pit bull” attitude.
A friend of mine auditioned for a Broadway musical. The only problem was she couldn't dance very well (and her singing was marginal).
When the producers asked if she could sing and dance, she confidently replied with a huge grin, "Of course, this is a musical." She was hired, and the show ran for more than two years.
Broadway producers do not always hire the best dancers, singers, or actors. They hire the people who can get the job done. Publishers do not always retain the “best” writers either! They’re not looking for someone to write the next great American novel. They need people whose writing can sell.
Here are some of the markets and projects which desperately need freelance writers (I found these this morning):
  • Travel
  • Direct marketing
  • Website copywriting
  • Search engine copywriting
  • Financial products and services (this market is HUGE!)
  • Ad agencies
  • Newspapers (I’m always giving newspapers a bad rap… and they are in serious trouble. But they can’t survive without writers, especially when it comes to those that can increase ad sales and subscribers!)
  • Magazines (same thing as newspapers)
  • News portals
  • Market commentary and advice (stocks, bonds, futures, precious metals, currencies, and commodities)
  • Restaurant reviews
  • Sports writing
  • Educational publishing and tutorials
  • Screenwriting (I know. This is another hard market to crack, but Paul Lawrence will show you how to do it!)
  • Nutritional product marketing (Can you say $10 billion market?)
  • Book reviews
  • Travel blogs (travel publishers are launching these in droves. Check out the WrittenRoad for a quick snapshot into this market)
  • Grant writing (non profit companies and foundations pay grant writers big bucks IF they can close a deal)
  • Career advice
And the list goes on!
The opportunities for freelance writers have never been better.
The best markets are the ones you’re excited about (or could GET excited about). If you're not excited about a topic, market, product, or service it'll be hard to write about it with passion and enthusiasm. And believe me, people won’t read it enthusiastically either!
For example, I was not doing back flips about Russian oil companies when I first accepted the “special report” project mentioned earlier.
But I was excited about how entrepreneurs exploited business opportunities. It became easy for me to write with passion and enthusiasm about this sector because business opportunities are right up my alley!
Now, go and do thou likewise!
Here are some fast start tips I’ve recommended to would be freelance writers:
If you want to jumpstart your freelance writing business, then enroll in AWAI's Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting today.
This is the only copywriting program I have ever recommended.
Order a copy of Writer's Market. Then familiarize yourself with some of the available projects and ventures.
Go to CraigsList.com (under the Jobs or Gigs category). This place is a wellspring of legitimate projects, ventures, and opportunities.
You can also find hundreds of freelance writing projects at MediaBistro.com. (I counted more than 30 freelance writing opportunities this morning.) You can also post your availability on MediaBistro (you can do this on CraigsList under the Resume section).
Enter the words "freelance writer needed" in Google. Now you'll start to see the tip of this iceberg.
There are thousands of freelance writing opportunities and projects available (more like tens of thousands). Make the decision to pursue them.
You'll find an endless flow of publishers, website owners, and portals willing to “accept” free content. Don’t waste your time on projects like this. You’ll have plenty of time to “leverage” your content down the road.
I provide an article or two each month under one of my pen names to a publisher for free. My articles reach more than 15,000 hardcore financial traders in every issue. More importantly, I usually attract new subscribers for a trading service I manage.
But your main objective is to secure paying gigs as soon as possible. Set a two-week goal.
And don't forget about writing opportunities with royalties. I'm talking about writing eBooks, sales letters, promotions, and other projects.
In many cases you can receive a small retainer or upfront fee in addition to a percentage of sales.
Later………

MC

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