Why an investment in knowledge pays dividends

KnowledgeAn investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ~Benjamin Franklin

You don’t get paid for the hour; you get paid for the value you put into the hour. It’s important everyone understands that important distinction dear reader.

You get paid for the value you add.

The more value you can add the more you will get paid.

It’s that simple really.

If you can solve problems for people with the skills you’ve got then you can earn a very good living.

The question is what underpins your skills? The answer to that question would be knowledge of course.

Knowledge comes from learning and learning is a lifelong process.

The quote at the top of this post from the venerable Benjamin Franklin reminds us of the importance of learning. Learning is an investment in ourselves.

We all have enormous capacity to consume and retain knowledge in our heads and that knowledge is then a currency with which we can trade. The more knowledge we have the more value we can add.

When it comes to investing, nothing will pay you a better dividend than making sure you have a good education.

And it’s not about whether or not you go to college or university. Important as they may be, learning can be achieved in many ways.

Knowledge can be gained through reading books; listening to audio and video tutorials; and challenging yourself to master anything that appeals to you. Learning from hands-on experience, making mistakes and learning the lessons you can take from any mistakes you’ve made.

In particular, if you want to master the game of money and all matters financial then you need to become a seeker of financial knowledge and know-how.

You need to become a reader and a keen student of finance. To be successful in investing, of course you really need to know what you’re doing. You need a financial education.

Ignorance can prove to be very costly indeed. And that’s true in every aspect of your life.

Education may seem expensive but it’s nowhere near as expensive as ignorance.

So, if you’re not already, become a reader.

The investment in yourself is well worth the effort and it’ll pay you a handsome dividend.

As the late, great Jim Rohn once said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

5 questions that’ll help your buying decision process

Buying Decision ProcessHow can you be expected to save money when you don’t earn enough to make ends meet as it is? I’m guessing you may have asked yourself that question at least once dear reader? If you have, you’re not alone. It’s a common cry.

However, whilst some people may struggle financially, it’s also true that far too many people squander their money buying items they don’t need and probably will never use, often in an attempt to impress people they don’t even like.

For such people, their buying decision process is usually limited to whether they still have enough credit left on their credit cards.

Well, the mantra “Have Plastic; Will Purchase” is not a good one if saving money is one of your goals.

You can earn a decent income and yet a lack of money management skills and a poor buying decision process will result in you never achieving financial freedom. In fact poor money management skills will condemn you to a life of being poor.

So it’s essential that you learn to manage your money properly, if you want to avoid long-term poverty.

Avoid the ‘I’ve got to have it’ approach:

Now be honest with yourself, how often do you buy things you didn’t really need?

Stuff that you weren’t even looking for but it was there and it looked nice and you thought I’ve got to have it. Out comes your ‘flexible friend‘ and the item is yours. A brief period of gratification follows and then the item is largely forgotten.

How often do you buy things you never use?

Take a look in your wardrobe. I’ll bet there are a few items in there which still have the store tags on them? Never used and they’ve probably been there for quite some time I suspect? Would I be right?

I’ve got to have it‘ is a great way to waste all your money. With this approach you’ll enrich other people at your own expense. Now how could that possibly make sense?

Credit cards: Weapons of mass wealth destruction

How often do you buy things you can’t afford with money you haven’t got?

It’s true, credit cards can be a convenient means for making payments of course but they can also be weapons of mass wealth destruction. That’s a fact dear reader.

When it comes to the buying decision process most of us are driven more by a desire for gratification then any sensible approach to managing our money carefully.

Most of us are guilty of buying more than we need too. Many of us are guilty of buying items we seldom use, if at all.

If you’re like this dear reader then you’re not alone I can assure you. However that’s not a good thing.

The disciplined approach:

However with a bit more discipline you could hang on to more of your own money and then build capital which, eventually, will start generating an income all of its own through interest payments on deposits  and bonds and dividend payments and capital growth on stocks and shares.

Still we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The underlying message I offer you today dear reader is that you should establish for yourself a buying decision process that will allow you to control your expenditure.

Essentially before you buy anything you need to ask yourself a series of tough questions to gauge whether the purchase really does make good sense.

And what are those questions?

The questions to ask before making any purchase:

There are in fact five questions you should ask yourself before making any purchase, as follows:-

    1. Do I really need it? Honestly?
    2. Will I really use it? Honestly?
    3. Can I really afford it? Honestly?
    4. If I didn’t have it would it really matter?
    5. Does is represent good value for money?

If you answer ‘No’ to the first four questions, the fifth question is irrelevant. A negative on all or even most of the first four questions means, don’t buy the item. Simple!

And even if you do think you need it, never buy anything if you do not have the money to pay for the item right now. Never, ever incur debt for a discretionary purchase.

It’s better to do without than to run up debt on a credit card to pay for discretionary purchases.

The compounding effect from high credit card interest rates can quickly turn a small debt into a large one.

The ‘value for money’ question is only relevant when you can answer every other question in the affirmative.

Nevertheless you should never buy something that’s not also good value for money. That is, you should never overpay for anything. Overpaying meaning the price is inconsistent with the value on offer.

Let the answers to the questions guide you:

To ensure your buying decision process is sound you must always ask these questions.

Let them be your purchasing guide and you’ll be in a better position to start saving money and watch it grow. Once it starts growing you’ll be on your way to building your own personal wealth.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

3 ways for getting rich

Getting richYou should never take money too seriously dear reader but, equally, you should never underestimate the importance of money either. Let’s face it, in the modern world, money is as essential to sustaining of life as oxygen. That’s a fact, whether we like it or not. So getting rich is a worthy topic for discussion.

By getting rich I mean achieving financial freedom. I think that should be everyone’s goal, if only so that they can enjoy their old age. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with getting rich providing money does not become your obsession. That is, you should have money in your head but not in your heart.

Now getting rich is easier said than done of course. It requires effort on your part and a lot of determination too.

Nevertheless getting rich is also easier than it might first appear to be.

So today I offer you three ways for getting rich which are available to anyone and everyone and they will all help you to achieve financial freedom.

1. Solve problems for people:

Working for someone else may make you a living but having your own business can make you a fortune. The only way most people can become seriously rich is by setting up a business of their own. It can be done and people do, very successfully, and it’s possible for you to do it too.

Essentially business is all about solving problems for people in exchange for money.

Businesses create products which solve problems for customers. The customer buys the product and the business makes money. Obviously you need to ensure that your revenues exceed your overheads but in essence business is that simple.

If you want to make money in business just look for problems to be solved and there you’ll find commercial opportunities.

One person’s problem is another person’s business opportunity.

However do make sure that every product you offer does actually solve a problem for your customers.

That means understanding the needs and wants of your target customers and always asking the question, “What problem will this product solve for my customers?”

2. Risk leads to reward:

If you want to make serious money you cannot avoid an element of risk. That’s a fact of business life.

Entrepreneurs have to be risk-takers by definition.

However that doesn’t mean you taking crazy risks. It means taking calculated risks by doing your homework; proper planning and market research; and using your business skills to weigh up the pros and cons of every opportunity.

Risk is simply the possibility of you getting an outcome you don’t want.

However it’s a fact that risk and reward go hand in hand. The greater the reward on offer the greater the risk you must take potentially to achieve it.

Obviously your attitude to risk is important here.

If a given risk makes you very uncomfortable then it’s probably not worth taking. It will just lead to too much stress for you. Some people have the ability to live with huge risks, whilst others cannot cope with that much pressure.

Either way it doesn’t matter. If you can’t cope with large risks don’t let it bother you. Just look for something with a lower risk and with which you can cope. Even small risks can lead to great riches.

Remember we all need a mix of certainty and uncertainty in our lives. Business requires you to live with the latter, at least to some degree.

3. The magic of compounding:

Once you’ve made some money it’s important you put it to work for you if getting rich is your aim.

And putting money to work is all about taking advantage of the magic of compounding.

Compound interest can have a powerful effect on your money.

For instance if you invest £1,000 at 2% for 10 years with annual interest reinvested and it will be worth £1,219 at maturity.

However if you invest that same £1,000 over the same period at 10% then you will get £2,594, assuming annual interested is re-invested. That’s over 100% difference over the 10 year period.

Over 20 years at 10% your £1,000 would have turned into £6,727, assuming annual interest had been reinvested.

So remember, the interest rate and the longevity of your investment both matter if you’re trying to build a capital sum.

So if getting rich is your aim then start by investing as early as you can, be disciplined and make regular contributions to build that nest egg.

Further Reading:

Obviously a single blog post can only scratch the surface of all you need to know about money.

So if you’re wise you’ll buy some books on the subject to get your financial education moving in the right direction.

Here are some books I can personally recommend, all of which I own my own personal copies:-

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich is a classic of the genre. Originally written in the 1930s but still around and still very popular. And it’s still around for a reason. It’s exceptional and definitely worth adding to your personal reference library.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

The Richest Man in Babylon is another classic of the genre. Simple but inspiring. You can read this book in a few hours but it will provide you with a series of powerful lessons for acquiring money, keeping money and making money. Again well worth adding to your personal reference library.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad is an excellent starting point for anyone seeking to improve their financial knowledge and improve their financial future. This is modern compared to the previous two but it has also become a classic and is well worth the cover price.

One Hour Investor: The Beginner’s Guide to Investing in the Stock Market by Russell Ellroy

One Hour Investor: The Beginner’s Guide to Investing in the Stock Market is recently published and so it’s right up-to-date. If you want to learn about stocks, bonds, mutual funds and much more, then this could be the book for you. Written in a very accessible style and aimed at the absolute beginner.

I have all of these books in my own personal library and I dip in and out of them frequently. You will be inspired by them all I am sure and I recommend you purchase your own copies now. You can check them out by clicking on the links above.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. These commissions serve only to cover the cost of maintaining this site. Your understanding is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

3 things you need to know about money

things you need to know about money

Today I’d like you to think about things you need to know about money dear reader. In other words, think about what it all really means.

It’s natural to dream about being rich of course.

Most people dream about being able to buy whatever they want and go anywhere and everywhere they’d like to go.

The attraction of having that pot of gold is why a lot of people will chase every rainbow.

However, whilst money is necessary to sustain life, there are some things you should really understand about money. Here are three of them:-

1. Having money brings its own pressures:

A great fortune is a great slavery. ~Seneca

It’s reasonable to want to create wealth and build a fortune. As suggested above, we all want to feel financially secure don’t we? Why wouldn’t we?

However being financially secure doesn’t mean you’ll have a life without problems and worry.

You’ll just have different problems and different things to worry about.

No one goes through life without problems. Dealing with problems and challenges is an inevitable part of the human condition.

Put simply, having money brings its own pressures.

Once you’ve got money your biggest concern will be to ensure that you hang on to it.

Inevitably that means you can become a slave to managing your money, preserving its capital value and protecting your fortune.

Being wealthy may be the nice problem to have but it’s no less of a problem for that.

So keep it all in perspective.

2. Money can never be more important than people:

We love to earn money, who doesn’t? It gets you things. ~Katie Price

Earning money is great and it does allow you to buy the things you want and the things you need. However money won’t take care of you when you’re ill.

Yes, it might enable you to buy in some hired help.

However that’s not the same as having someone around who genuinely cares about your well-being. That someone for whom you matter much more than money ever will.

In my experience, whilst money is important, nothing in our lives matters more to us than our friends and loved ones. Human beings are social animals and only people matter to us really.

So never focus on money to the point where you neglect the people who should matter most to you. Forget about them and eventually they will forget about you.

You can have all the money in the world but without friends and loved ones you will have nothing at all.

Go out and earn your money by all means and enjoy it too.

However always maintain a sense of balance in your life and make sure that you allocate some time for the people who matter most to you.

An investment of your time in the people you love is an investment that will pay dividends.

3. Money is a precious resource so use it wisely:

A penny saved is a penny earned. ~Benjamin Franklin

I make no apology for repeating Benjamin Franklin’s money mantra frequently repeated by generations of well-meaning parents to their profligate children. It’s as valid today as it was in his day.

Whether Franklin was referring to money saved when making purchases or money saved from income is not obvious in his statement but that doesn’t matter.

The underlying point is that you have to be careful with your money because saving money is the key to building wealth and becoming financially successful. No one ever got rich by wasting their money.

Money like time is a precious resource, so use it wisely.

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© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

How debt prevents you from achieving your dreams

Achieving your dreams

For far too many people ‘achieving your dreams’ is a luxury they feel they can’t afford.

Now dear reader, have you ever wondered what you would do with your money if you didn’t have any bills to pay?

Imagine that just for a second. How does it feel?

It can be fun to imagine occasionally and dream once in a while but most people think achieving your dreams is something for other people and not them.

Most people quickly return to their daily routine thinking it could never happen to them so why bother?

It’s a fact that as long as you bear significant levels of debt you’re a prisoner within the walls that such debt effectively builds around you.

The only way to see outside those walls is to change your mindset and realize that getting rid of your debt is the only way to real freedom.

Have you ever found yourself wishing you could take a nice vacation, put more money into a savings account, or maybe just have the ability to use your money to help others?

To have the freedom to use your money in any way you choose?

Wouldn’t that be a nice feeling? It’s called financial freedom.

Dreaming is one thing but when reality kicks in and you realize you that can’t do any of these things because you’re actually broke then it probably feels like a big letdown, doesn’t it?

Debt is nothing less than a dream stealer:

The problem with debt is that it can take control of your life.

And once it has taken control of your life it can cause you to lose hope. And of course, once hope is gone, your dreams will start to die and you can experience a vicious circle of misery.

The question is how can you regain hope?

How can you break out of the circle of misery?

It is possible, of course, but only when you realize that you do have a choice.

Change can happen but only if you’re prepared to change. If you make a positive decision that you’re going to change and do something about your situation then that can be the beginning of where you regain hope.

The problem with personal debt:

Debt can limit your life options in all sorts of ways. For instance it may prevent you from pursuing a career path that you would otherwise be passionate about.

I’m sure you must recognize that work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money.

That money then allows you to live and pay your bills.

However if you’re bearing high levels of debt, that money must also go towards servicing the interest and repayments you’re obliged to pay on that debt.

As your debt level grows, to keep financially afloat you must earn more. To put it another way, you must run faster just to stand still.

This is where debt limits your options.

It’s an irony but true, more options tend to open up for you when you aren’t constantly pressured to ensure you have a certain level of income each month. Debt has the ability to keep you stranded in a job you hate just because you cannot risk having insufficient income.

Why is that so?

Well suppose you make a decision on your ideal career but you realize it will mean you re-training or taking another professional qualification. Perhaps it would mean you returning to full-time education for a period of time, say a few months or even a year or two years.

In the long term that may increase your earning potential but when you’re carrying debt your focus is on the short term and making sure you can meet the interest and debt repayment schedule. So you can’t go off in the direction you’d like to go because you can’t put your current income at risk.

Essentially debt is a form of slavery. That’s a fact dear reader.

It’s financial slavery.

Yes there are times when debt cannot be avoided of course. Taking out a mortgage for instance to ensure your family has a home in which to live.

However all too often people experience a significant debt burden for no other reason other than they’ve spent far too much money they didn’t have on things they didn’t need or could have lived without.

And in doing so they’ve used unsecured debt like credit cards with extortionately high interest rates.

Remember; the compounding effect of very high interest rates can quickly turn a small debt into an enormous mountain of debt.

Debt can be a source of stress:

Another way to think about debt is that the burden loads you down with stress and frustration.

This can make it impossible for you to focus on those things that really matter in life such as spending time with family and friends.

It can also mean you miss out on some of life’s more exciting experiences such as travel to interesting places.

Whilst carrying a debt burden, you’re not able to save, invest or give.

And of course, it can be highly rewarding to give and help those people less fortunate than yourself. However with the burden of debt you’ll simply be further enriching those people who are already very wealthy.

Debt will steal your dreams and it can steal your life.

It’s a form a bondage you can do without, so quit digging yourself into a hole and start a new chapter in your life.

Get out of debt as quickly as you can:

Whatever your mindset regarding the debt that surrounds you, remember it doesn’t have to be this way. You have the ability to change everything starting right NOW.

Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Get your act together, make a list of your debts (no matter how scary this is), and start working on a plan of action.

Discipline yourself. You’ll make mistakes of course but don’t give up. Financial freedom and the ability to dream big can be within reach.

Further Reading:

At this point some further reading might appeal to you. If so, one book I recommend you read is The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.

This book is a very easy read and it’s a timeless classic.

It’s one of the most useful books I’ve ever read and essentially it contains the financial success secrets of the ancients.

This classic holds the secret to personal wealth and financial freedom.

This book holds the secrets to acquiring money; keeping money; and making sure your money is earning you more money. It will also provide you with a cure for empty pockets or a lean purse.

It’s well worth the cover price and you can check it out on Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. These commissions serve only to cover the cost of maintaining this site. Your understanding is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

Please share this post with your friends:

Did you find this article interesting and useful? If so, then please share it on social media with your friends. When you share, everyone wins.

So please share it now. If you do I will be ever so grateful and you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

Thank you.

Other articles you might also find interesting:

© Roy Joseph Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Here’s why you should consider becoming self-employed

Becoming Self-employedThere are many ways to make money dear reader and they all have their merits.

For instance if you get a job with a big corporation potentially you’ll earn a decent income and you’ll enjoy a few fringe benefits too.

And if you get a job in the public sector the pay may not be quite so good but the pension scheme is usually the best you’ll find anywhere. And of course working for the Government is usually fairly secure employment too.

If you become a wage slave in any sector you can make a living, and sometimes that can even be a decent living too.

However unless you work on Wall Street or for an investment bank in the City of London, you’re unlikely to make a fortune. Unfortunately dear reader, that’s a fact.

So if your aim is to make serious money you should consider becoming self-employed.

We live in an age in which becoming self-employed has never been easier or cheaper. As a result of the Internet there are so many opportunities that were simply not available to previous generations.

And the best news is, you don’t even have to give up your day job, not initially anyway.

You can start your own business as a part-time venture and keep it that way until the income your business is generating for you is sufficient for you to live on.

You can even start one business to generate extra cash and as it makes money you can invest that cash into bigger and potentially more profitable opportunities. The possibilities are endless.

As an employee you’re trading your time for money and that’s fine.

However if your firm does well, you’re unlikely to benefit significantly from any extra profit they make. You might get a bonus but regardless of personal contribution, it’s more likely to be an incidental sum rather than life-changing money.

With your own business you can be making money whilst you’re sleeping.

In fact it you

 want to get seriously rich then you’ll have to start making money whilst you sleep.

Now dear reader I can hear you asking, but how do you make money whilst you sleep?

Let me give you some examples of online businesses that you could start with little or no money and start making money whilst you sleep:-

Selling Products Online:

Through the Internet potentially you can reach most of the people on the planet, wouldn’t you agree?

Think about that for a second.

If you create a website or an online store then billions of people around the world will have access to it. And those people can access it whilst you’re asleep.

So the potential is there for you to create something that can be generating money for you 24 hours a day 365 days every year.

Still not convinced? Let me give you some examples of businesses you could start to achieve this goal:-

Amazon:

If you’ve ever bought anything from Amazon you’ll probably have noticed that they are not always the actually seller of the item you’re seeking to purchase. Other suppliers sell their own products through Amazon via what is known as Amazon Marketplace.

And when third party suppliers sell products via Amazon they can also use a service known as Fulfilment by Amazon or FBA.

This means if you’re the seller, you simply deliver your stock of products to Amazon and they’ll handle all the logistics associated with product delivery to the buyer.

Fulfilment by Amazon:

If you want to sell products but you don’t want to handle your own packing, postage and delivery then you can get Amazon to handle it all for you using the solution known as Fulfilment by Amazon.

You can do it yourself of course but the point is that you really don’t have to because there’s an easier way.

So you can just focus on finding products that will offer solutions to the problems your target customers may have and then you just let Amazon do the rest.

And remember this; those products don’t even have to be new.

They can be ‘second hand‘ or used items too.

As long as you can find a suitable niche in second hand products then there’s money to be made there too.

Let me offer you an example.

Each year graduating students have textbooks to sell. Maybe you had that experience dear reader?

Essentially such students just want to get some cash back for those books they’re unlikely to read ever again.

The shrewd entrepreneurs recognize that there’ll be a ready market for those very textbooks at the start of the next academic year. New students are always looking for ways to obtain the course textbooks at a better price.

So entrepreneurs offer selling students a quick way to turn their textbooks into a little cash.

And then buying students will be sold those same textbooks at a rate which will save them money on the price for the same book had it been bought new.

Thus the entrepreneurial you can set up a website to attract book sellers and then through Amazon Marketplace the books you’ve bought cheaply can be sold at a profit.

And in that way you can create a profitable second hand book business.

You could repeat the same trick with music such as vinyl records and CDs, as well as films on DVD. Second-hand smartphones, tablet computers and other technology items offer another entrepreneurial possibility.

Alternatively you could source your own products, e.g. skin care products, cosmetics, household products and so on and then you simply sell those via Amazon.

Plenty of people have created successful businesses with this approach I can assure you. 

Becoming Self-employedeBay:

When people sell stuff at a boot sale or a yard sale, they usually sell at very low prices simply because they price items for a very quick sale.

This is stuff they need to get rid of as quickly as possible for whatever reason. And in that there’s a potential opportunity for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

You buy these items cheaply and you then you resell them on eBay for profit.

More importantly people sometimes sell valuable stuff at boot sales and yard sales for ridiculously low prices because they didn’t realize the real value of the item.

On the British television show Flog It, I saw a woman sell an antique vase at auction for £800 having originally bought it at a boot sale for just £1. Now that’s a very nice profit.

Yes such examples would be the exception but shrewd people can and do make money this way and eBay is a great vehicle for doing so.

Affiliate Marketing:

Essentially affiliate marketing is ‘commission only’ selling.

Linked with the idea of content marketing, what this means is that if you can direct traffic to a product seller’s website which results in a sale then you will get paid a commission for that sale.

The amount of commission can be as low as 4% from the Amazon Affiliate Program to as much as 75% from some items offered through programs like Clickbank and Commission Junction (or CJ).

How do you achieve this in practice?

Well despite its relatively low commission rates Amazon offers the easiest opportunity for the beginner. You sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and then identify a suitable niche which interests you.

Let’s say that niche is sports shoes for women. The niche does need to be focused and quite narrow. The category ‘Shoes’ would be a bit too wide. You need to think about categories for which people will be searching via Google and other search engines.

Once you decide on a niche, you then create your own website publishing say reviews of a variety of those sports shoes for women.

And remember; those reviews don’t have to be your own necessarily. They could be a summary of various reviews you’ve read elsewhere with an overall rating based on what others have been saying. In other words you’ve done the hard work for readers by providing them with a comprehensive summary of all the reviews out there and then providing a convenient a link to Amazon so that they can easily make their purchase

Creating a review summary by curating input from other sources is perfectly legitimate as long as you acknowledge the different sources which form the basis of your article.

Why review sites are a good idea:

Review sites work with affiliate marketing because they capture buying intent and that’s important.

If someone searches for a review for an item on Google then the chances are they will buy if the reviews prove to be positive.

When producing your review articles the crucial action is to embed affiliate links within the text.

Getting readers to click on those links and taking them to Amazon is how you’ll make money. If they buy within 24 hours of clicking on a link then you will get paid a commission.

Amazon commissions vary from 4% to around 10% depending on the number and type of sales for which you are credited each month.

So in choosing a niche you must think about product value too. Generate low value sales and you won’t make much. However sales for items with a bigger price tag can prove very lucrative.

That said generating some low value sales can be a way of pushing subsequent bigger ticket sales into a higher commission rate. So don’t ignore them completely.

Content Marketing:

Essentially content marketing is the idea of publishing web content in order to provide the means for promoting products and services. Content marketing is closely linked with affiliate marketing but not exclusively so.

There are two types of content you can consider, as follows:-

(1) Written Content:

For instance, if you’re producing regular content and publishing it on your own blog then there’s the potential to generate an income through advertising.

Now selling advertising space on your blog or website is only possible if you have substantial amounts of traffic. If you’re just starting out you will not reach those levels for quite some time. However what is known as pay per click (CPC) advertising could generate money for you right from the start.

Perhaps the best known CPC program is one offered by Google Adsense. You sign up for this program, then embed Google’s links in your blog and they will insert advertising on your blog that is relevant to your content.

Every time a reader clicks on an Adsense advertisement you will get paid and it’s not purchase dependent. Readers only have to click for you to get paid.

The trick with Adsense is to have a very narrow focus for your blog.

Here’s an example. Let’s say your blog is about how to keep chickens and deal with blights like red mite. You’ll attract search engine generated traffic from people desperate to deal with the problem of red mite. Google will insert ads from companies offering products that will help with this problem and desperate people are likely to click on those ads to see what’s on offer. They click you get paid.

As long as your subject matter is focused and narrow, and ideally based on a highly searched keyword or phrase, then this can be a way to generate decent money. However the traffic levels to your blog will have an impact on how much money you can reasonably make.

(2) Video Content:

Another way to benefit from Google Adsense is to create your own YouTube channel, produce videos and again insert links from Google so that relevant pay per click advertising will appear on and around the video. Again if people click then you get paid.

Write eBooks:

Devices such as the iPad, the Kindle and other eReaders, provide you with the opportunity to self-publish your own eBooks and sell them through Amazon.

You may not be able to come up with the next Harry Potter work of fiction but there is good money to be made writing ‘How To’ books on just about any subject.

They don’t even need to be that long either.

As little as 50 pages or 8,000 – 10,000 words covering a topic of general interest can be enough to produce something that will sell for one dollar or one pound sterling. That might not seem like a lot but sell 1,000 of them and you’ve made a decent sum of money.

Write something on an evergreen topic and it could sell for years.

If you then write several eBooks like this, again on evergreen topics, that could become a decent income stream.

And what do I mean by evergreen?

These are topics for which people have always looked for solutions. That might be something like tips for good time management or how to lose weight, and so on.

And even if you’re not an expert you can research the necessary information and pull it together for people. Essentially you will be doing the work for them.

Develop Apps:

If you can learn to write code, and you can learn to write code, then you can also learn how to develop apps. If you can develop a killer app and sell it through the App Store then you can make serious money.

You’d love to but you don’t know where to start, right?

Well there are endless videos and tutorials on YouTube and from these you can learn how to code and develop apps.

Yes there’s some work to be done upfront of course.

However a good app will generate money for years to come. Just think about apps like Candy Crush Saga.

Produce something which becomes a real fad and there’s serious money to be made.

11 things to bear in mind:

If becoming self-employed appeals to you and you fancy making money as an online entrepreneur then here are 11 things you should bear in mind:-

  1. Know your target customers.
  2. Know your target niche or niches
  3. Know your strengths and interests?
  4. Apply your strengths and interests to serve customers
  5. Recognise that different markets need different strategies.
  6. Make sure you’re capturing buying intent.
  7. Create an image that will appeal to your target audience.
  8. With a website, traffic matters.
  9. Search engine optimization (SEO) will bring traffic.
  10. Getting back links from other websites will help with SEO.
  11. Be determined, work hard and learn as you go.

6 things you must do when you’re self-employed:

(1) Register with the tax authorities: Make money by all means but pay your taxes too. Upsetting the taxman is not a good idea dear reader wherever you live. In some countries tax regimes are more benign than in others but it’s always better to keep the tax authorities happy.

(2) Register for sales taxes and VAT: Again it’s all about paying your dues. If you do well financially then you have an obligation to share some of your wealth with the rest of society. Taxes are the price we pay to live in society and you can’t have a successful business without the society in which you live.

(3) Get a separate business bank account: Keep your business activities completely separate from your personal life. This is very important.

(4) Keep accurate and up-to-date records: You’ll need these in any dialogue with the tax authorities. You don’t want to end up paying more in tax than was necessary. Paying your dues is one thing; overpaying your dues is careless.

(5) Insure your business: When you’re in business, you’re required by law to have certain insurance policies in place. Exactly which policies you need depends on the nature of your business activities. Make sure you know your obligations and act accordingly.

(6) Keep it simple: In the early days you don’t want to be spending money you don’t have on things that are initially unnecessary. So keep everything as simple as possible for as long as possible.

Conclusion:

Self-employment can be an attractive proposition and for most people it is the only way you will ever make a fortune. It’s not easy of course but it can be done and you don’t have to ditch your day job to get started.

With an online business you can start small and build it up over time. And you can mix and match options. For instance you can start a website for making money with both Amazon affiliate marketing and Google Adsense.

A good review website can become quite profitable and once it’s generating revenues on ‘autopilot’ it can become an asset which you can sell for serious money. There are plenty of examples where such sites have sold for 6 and even 7 figure sums.

Don’t underestimate the challenges of course but it can be done and people do. Why not you? Think carefully about how best you can exploit the opportunities before you and then have a go.

Good luck and may you be the next Richard Branson.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. These commissions serve only to cover the cost of maintaining this site. Your understanding is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

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What makes a great idea?

What makes a great ideaWhat makes a great idea?

How is it that one idea can be successful and another idea less so?

Why has the iPhone been so successful and yet the Blackberry has all but disappeared?

How do you know when one of your ideas might just make big a difference?

The key ingredient for a great idea is timing. Ideas are a dime a dozen. The trick is to know when one of your inspired thoughts is right for its time and therefore how hard to push it.

If you’re too far ahead of other peoples’ thinking, that inspired thought you believed was great will only be ignored because it won’t resonate with people.

If you’re too far behind, then it will be ignored because they’ve seen it all before.

However if you can hit that sweet spot between the two extremes then you can generate value from your idea because it will capture the imagination of the people who are ready for it.

An idea whose time has come is a truly great idea. Though coming up with one is not so easy, of course.

It’s because great ideas are so rare that they can become so valuable. And that value is why it’s worthwhile to seek out great ideas constantly.

Should you decide the world is not quite ready for your inspired thinking then don’t worry. Not ready now doesn’t mean the world will never be ready.

Keep a journal and make a note of all those flashes of inspiration. And add your journals to your own personal library. Never throw your journals away. Go through them occasionally and see what ideas you’ve had for which the time might now be right.

Your personal journals could be a source of pure gold in the future so make sure you buy quality notebooks that you can add to your personal library as you fill them with your thoughts and inspiration.

My personal preference is for the RHINO A4 160 Ruled NoteBook which can be purchased from a great selection of notebooks that Amazon has in stock.

You might consider this notebook to be a bit expensive of course but buying cheap notebooks is a false economy.

In keeping journals you’re creating value. And value starts with a good quality notebook which you can BUY HERE.

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Disclosure: This post includes Amazon Affiliate links, meaning I will receive a modest commission should you make a purchase from Amazon via one of the links included in the text. However there would be no additional cost to you in making any purchase. These commissions serve only to help with the cost of maintaining and operating this website. Your understanding in this matter is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

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The secret to being a successful entrepreneur

The secret to being a successful entrepreneurHow often do you hear people say that they’d love to be an entrepreneur?

People will tell you that they’d love to be a success in business, making a difference to peoples’ lives with great products and services.

Then they’ll add the caveat that unfortunately the time’s not right for them at this moment. One day they’ll have a go but their circumstances won’t allow it at present.

However very few of those who say they’ll have a go, will ever actually have a go. They don’t really have the desire and they probably don’t understand the secret to being a successful entrepreneur anyway.

The only way to get rich:

As an entrepreneur, success is measured by the money you make. Let’s face it starting any business is all about making money for the owners. Otherwise why would anyone bother?

And starting your own business can be a fantastic thing to do and, for most people, it is the only way you’ll ever have the chance to make some serious money.

Certainly you’re unlikely to get seriously rich working for someone else.

However to succeed in business, first you must get started.

The critical ingredient to success in business is you getting off your butt and actually doing something about it. And the best time to do it is now. Last year or the year before might have been better but otherwise now is always the best possible time. It’s simple really.

The secret to making money:

Getting off your butt is one thing but how do you make money as an entrepreneur? Well dear reader pull up a chair and listen carefully for the secret is very simple.

The secret to making money as an entrepreneur is to solve problems for people. To make their lives easier in some way.

Solve problems; make money:

Every product you sell must solve a problem for the customer.

So if you can identify problems for which people need a solution and if you can offer those solutions, otherwise known as products, at value for money prices then you can make money and you can be successful.

Remember this too; you don’t necessarily have to be the first with a solution either. If you can improve on an existing solution in some way then you can still make some serious money. If you can ‘build a better mousetrap‘ then people will buy it.

For instance, Steve Jobs and Apple were not the first to offer cellular mobile phone handsets, and nor were Samsung. Yet these two companies both dominate the market for smartphones right now.

The secret to being a successful entrepreneurMake a difference:

Has your appetite for business been whetted dear reader?

Do you have any ideas you think might make a difference? You do? Then you have to be prepared to take action. Having ideas means nothing unless you take action.

Ideas are ten-a-penny. Plenty of people have good ideas that never see the light of day.

Occasionally people will have good ideas but just leave it all too long and then someone else comes along with the same idea and beats them to the draw.

Having ideas is easy. Implementation is the tough bit and there are too few people with the drive and determination to turn a good idea into a business opportunity and then make money from it.

So you must take action if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.

Not tomorrow; not next week; not next year; but right now.

Become a ‘doer’:

In my experience, true entrepreneurs are doers, they’re not dreamers.

So go on, get started right now.

Solve peoples’ problems and you’ll be on your way down the road to riches. Good luck.

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Rules for Business Success Simply Explained

Rules for Business SuccessAnyone can start their own business. You don’t need any special qualifications. You just need the desire and determination to succeed and a little appreciation of the basic rules for business success.

There are many attractions of running your own business too. When you make a profit it’s all yours. You will be building your own dream rather than helping someone else build their dream. And you will be calling the shots, rather than having to work with someone for whom you have little or no respect.

Now running your own business is not easy of course. However it’s the best chance you’re ever going to have to make some serious money. Look at any self-made millionaire and in all probability they’ve made their money by starting their own company. The chances of you getting rich as a salaried employee are slim to non-existent, unless you work on Wall Street perhaps.

Let me be honest here. There’s no easy formula for success in business; there’s no magic bullet. Business involves some risk and it also involves a lot hard work. You have to be prepared to work hard that’s for sure. Anyone suggesting there are easy ways to make money in business is either dishonest or deluded.

Nevertheless plenty of people do succeed in business, so why not you? If they can succeed then you can too with a little self-belief, surely? Believe you can and you will.

However there are some basic rules you should bear in mind. Here are 12 rules for business success that you must always bear in mind:-

  1. Always have target customers and their problems in mind
  2. Solve a problem for your customer
  3. Create a product around the solution to that problem
  4. You don’t have to be first, just build a ‘better mousetrap’
  5. Remember: Your customer is your boss
  6. Until money is coming in, spend as little as possible
  7. Money in must exceed money out to make a profit
  8. Success depends on making a profit consistently
  9. Your profit margin should be worth the risks you’re taking
  10. Use the skills and resources you’ve got
  11. Be flexible and adapt when necessary
  12. Go for activities where you can add the highest value

With self-belief and determination you can be as successful in business as anyone else. Don’t let negative talk by others put you off. Just go for it, if you think you have what it takes.

Even if you’re not quite sure whether you’ve got what it takes, it’s better to have a go and fail than to spend your life wondering what might have been. Life is too short to look back with regrets.

Business success can be achieved; people do and you can too.

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How to build wealth from nothing – 5 Top Tips

How to build wealth from nothingThere’s nothing anyone can do if you were born poor. That was just unfortunate. However you don’t have to go through life poor.

It is possible to build wealth over time and people do.

Many people born poor become very wealthy through their own efforts and you can too dear reader.

Here are five tips to help you build wealth from nothing.

How to build wealth from nothing:

1. Pay yourself first:

You’ll know I’m sure that making money can be relatively easy, whilst holding on to it is very, very hard.

We’re all constantly bombarded with reasons why we should spend our money in return for some fleeting sense of gratification. Would that be an experience you recognise dear reader?

It doesn’t have to be that way of course and rich people know that only too well.

So what do rich people do that’s different to everyone else? Simple! They always pay themselves first.

And what do I mean by paying yourself first?

I mean when you’re paid, you take a slice off the top of your income immediately and you put it away somewhere safe. And by a slice I mean say 10%.

And what do I mean by somewhere safe?

Well initially that would be depositing your money in an interest-bearing account.

However once your money starts building into a larger sum then you can start thinking about other forms of investment that’ll give you greater returns potentially. Stocks and bonds for instance.

Building a capital sum is important because as your money grows it starts to generate a second income stream for you. That may not seem important to you now but it will be as you get older.

So paying yourself first is a discipline to which you must adhere until it becomes a habit you do without thinking.

You must always put some money away and you must make that money work hard for you. You must grow and protect your investment portfolio with careful diversification and over time you’ll find yourself building a sizeable fortune.

So here’s today’s mantra for you: Pay Yourself First. Never forget that please dear reader.

2. Be an investor not a speculator:

You must understand that there’s a big difference between investing and speculation. They’re not the same thing at all.

I don’t wish to imply that there’s something wrong with speculation though. There isn’t.

In the world of finance speculation brings liquidity to the market and therefore it does have its place.

However speculation tends to operate on the ‘greater fool’ principle.

By that I mean someone is prepared to buy an asset for a given price in the hope that it can then be sold quickly to someone else, the greater fool, for a greater price.

This is what professional speculators do and they can make money this way because they know what they’re doing and they have sophisticated systems to support them.

However for ordinary people speculation is like gambling in a casino. And you should never invest your money as though you’re gambling in a casino.

You might get lucky occasionally of course but over time your losses will outstrip any gains you might make, and almost certainly by a significant margin.

So my recommendation to you dear reader is you should never speculate. Instead you should focus on becoming an investor.

By investing I mean buying stocks and shares in solid, well managed, cash-generative businesses which have the ability to pay good dividends on a sustained basis.

Buy stocks worth holding for the long term. This will provide you with a steady income stream from the dividends regardless of any short to medium term volatility in the market. And spread your risk by building a diversified portfolio.

If you reinvest your dividends then over time you will find that this approach should give you a good return on your money.

If you want to make money and build capital, then my advice to you dear reader is to be an investor not a speculator.

3. Focus on value not price:

The legendary investor Warren Buffett once said, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.

With this observation he’s making a very important point. There’s a distinction between price and value.

A low price for an asset doesn’t necessarily mean you’d be getting value. And a high price doesn’t automatically mean you would not be getting value. Price in itself is not a measure of value. You must consider other factors to judge value.

When you’re buying any financial asset, says stocks and shares, you should always focus on value and you must establish metrics by which you can adequately judge the intrinsic value within that asset.

Judged in isolation price is just a number, nothing more.

A lower price means absolutely nothing if you’re getting little or no value in return for your money.

Never, ever forget that it’s the intrinsic value that will determine whether something is really worth buying or not.

Get real value at the right price and then you can get a decent return over time from an investment.

4. Create a personal private income:

Much as we all aspire to do work we love, you must never forget dear reader that ultimately work is simply a means to an end.

Essentially work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money. In turn that money is then the fuel on which we run our lives.

Money provides us with the means to put bread on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and those of our loved ones of course.

If you work hard enough you can earn a lot of money.

Manage that money wisely and you can build capital. Invest that capital intelligently and you can create your own personal private income streams.

When you have a decent private income in your own right then you can truly pick and choose the work you do.

Then you only have to do what you enjoy doing; that thing that gives you a genuine sense of purpose.

Creating a personal private income is a worthy goal and it’s well worth the effort.

That way you’re in control of your own life and no one else can dictate what you should and shouldn’t do.

You’ll be in control of the good ship ‘Me’ and only you then decide where it goes.

The message here is, work hard so you don’t have to work hard.

5. Never forget what matters most:

It would be very easy to believe that a life filled with lots of money and materiality will make you blissfully happy. Well let me tell you dear reader, in isolation, it won’t.

I’m not suggesting that these things are not important but you must get your priorities right.

Yes of course, go out there and make money. Manage it carefully. Buy nice things and enjoy some of that money too.

However to be truly happy you must never lose sight of the most important thing in your life and that is family and friends. People are social animals; we’re not solitary like cats. We need other people and most of all we need our loved ones.

So make time for your loved ones, especially your children. Enjoy their company and make the most of every minute with them.

Never focus on work to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important of course but people are much more important.

Never lose sight of the people in your life.

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