Thursday, July 2, 2020

Top Craigslist Alternatives

A lot of people may be surprised to hear that there are several other classified ad sites than Craigslist. In this article we will look at some of the alternatives that exist for buyers, sellers 

and marketers. Now Craigslist is the most popular by a long way but there is no reason why you cannot use the other sites for increased exposure on listings for sellers, more products and services to look at for buyers and of course more marketing opportunities.

Backpage.com: Similar to Craigslist with a very minimalistic design and split into various sub categories based on US locations. You can post a local ad where you specify the location or there 
is a paid section where you can post to multiple locations. For marketers there is a popular search which tells you what people are currently looking for.

Kijiji.com: If you can actually spell the name correctly then this is a nicely designed site which interestingly is owned by eBay who also own part of Craigslist. Just like Craigslist and 

Backpage this is the usual setup with areas defined by city to buy and sell on, there is also various sites aimed at foreign countries listed at the bottom. The usual classified categories are here and depending on the city there are a reasonable amount of listings. The UK version of this is Gumtree which is mentioned later

OLX.com: This site has a nice fresh layout, there are localised sites for US cities and states and also versions for various countries round the world. A useful popular searches feature to see 

what is currently hot. This was again relatively easy to list on from a selling point of view with a wide variety of the common listing categories available.

Oodle.com: This is an interesting one as this is used to power a number of 3rd party sites and claims to have over 600000 listings per day from 80000 websites. When I checked the stats they 

had over 3 million unique visitors which is a good amount of traffic. Easy to list on and has the usual categories such as items for sale, services and jobs amongst others.

Gumtree.co.uk: This is a popular alternative in the United Kingdom, looking at the stats it is currently slightly more visited than Craigslist.co.uk. The site is split into various cities and of course you should buy and sell in the most suitable location to where you live. A good site for UK surfers this one.

Summary

As you can see there are a few nice sites listed here which between them get about 10 million unique visitors a month. This means they are well worth buying and selling on as an 

alternative or to supplement your craigslist ad. If you are in the UK then Gumtree is slightly more popular than Craigslist so its worth visiting.

Friday, June 26, 2020

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How To Ask A Lottery Winner For Money

Are you in need of money? Perhaps you just want more money. Either way, you might be considering asking a lottery winner for money. If so, you would probably go about asking in different ways, depending on whether or not you actually know the person.

If You Know The Lottery Winner

Let me tell you a true story about two women. These two women were best friends for many years. For one reason or another, they drifted apart and didn't see each other for a few years. Then one of the women won the lottery. It was a massive jackpot worth hundreds of millions of dollars. A few years after she won the lottery, she re-connected with her old friend. Within days of re-connecting, the one woman told the jackpot winner that she had $50,000 worth of medical bills that she just couldn't pay. Read between the lines - She was indirectly asking for money.

The jackpot winner was more than happy to pay the medical bills for her friend. She told her to just give her the bills and she would take care of it. That would have been great, except that there actually were no medical bills. It was just an excuse for a reason to ask for money. The lottery winner didn't like that. If the friend just straight out asked for the money, she probably would have given it to her. But her friend lied and insulted her intelligence.

What's the moral of this story? If you have a friend that won the lottery, don't come up with a false story to try to get some money. Rather, just ask you friend straight out to give you some. They just might do it.

If You Don't Know The Lottery Winner

If you're planning to ask a lottery winner that you've never met for money, you should know up front that the odds are against you. A lot of lottery winners, especially new ones that win massive jackpots get inundated with requests for money. Often, those requests come via sob stories that tug on the person's emotions. You should know that these new lottery winners quickly become immune to these requests and tune them out.

So if you're planning to ask a stranger for money, don't come up with sad stories. Just like in the previous example, tell the truth and just say that you'd appreciate it if they could spare some money. They'll more than likely decline your request, but don't take it the wrong way - Jackpot winners can't give money to everybody that asks them for it. Just make sure that you don't harass anybody while asking them for money - That's illegal.

Best Place to Advertise Your Self-Published Book

These are notes taken from an interview I did with a self publishing millionaire on some of the best places to advertise..

Imagine my delight...

The first time I advertised my book in a tabloid I sold 700 orders. I made enough money to put myself in business - thousands of dollars the very first time.

If you have fresh ideas or knowledge to share, you have a saleable product. Offered to the right market, you can launch your career as an author. There are plenty of advertising choices out there. Some are good, some not appropriate to your market. Your success depends on your ability to choose wisely.

How do you know which are best for you? Read on...

After my initial success, I was so impressed by my results I expanded my advertising into other media.

In a small way I went into...at that time it was called The National Tattler. It's like the National Enquirer. The book didn't do well there.

It was a different kind of an audience; a lot less sophisticated. Plus they were not the type to respond to the type of copy I was using. And so, for a few years I was pretty much stuck with The Spotlight.

I tried other papers. I tried daily newspaper and it fell flat. Did I lose money? I rarely lose money.

And you won't either, once you understand the principles of direct marketing. You're not going to lose unless you really do something stupid. If you try to get cute in the headline, you're going to get killed.

Although some publications are more successful than others, I cover my costs in most of my tests. You really have to.

A couple of things that are important if I were to advise you about running a space ad and you're selling information product would be in your packaging, your mailing.

I learned a lot in that process that would made my life easier when I handled the orders, the fulfillment, the shipping, and everything.

Now I do things a lot differently. Back then I did everything myself. It was very simple. It was a small booklet. You just go to an office supply store and buy envelopes and go to the post office and buy stamps.

At that time, we were using typewriters and adhesive labels. You just type the label up. You slap it on the envelope. Stick the book in the envelope.

It was a catalog envelope. It couldn't be easier. I mailed it first class, with stamps.

It wasn't until later that I started to get involved with more books that I had written and self published.

Eventually your fulfillment starts to get a little more sophisticated. You really don't have to do it yourself. Hopefully you hire people to take care of that for you.

Your ideas, insights and teachings have value. If you're quick-witted or entertaining, artistic or creative, you can package it into a book. By doing a little groundwork and direct marketing you can reach a wider audience and bring in scads of cash.
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How to Advertise a Yoga Retreat

By a longshot, the most challenging aspect of organizing a yoga retreat is getting yogi's on those mats and securing your return on investment. You've booked the perfect locale, manifested a delicious menu, and sought out every extracurricular activity from massage to mountain climbing. Now it's time to let the world know about your yoga retreat. There are many ways to go about advertising a yoga retreat. Some work much better than others. We'll go over your advertising options and give our advice on the most effective ways to fill your yoga retreat.

Begin with your Base

Start by putting the word out to your current students. One of the top reasons that people choose a yoga retreat is the teacher, along with location, duration, and date. Your current following is the

perfect place to start. This is where having an email list becomes invaluable. An email list provides a line of direct communication to qualified prospects, namely your own students. Draft a professional email with lots of images. Be sure to include the dates, location, and perks of the amazing experience you plan to offer at the retreat. Very important: offer a referral discount. Word-of-mouth is the best testimonial you can ask for. Offer your students a discount for their friends and family they refer to the retreat.

Create Flyers

To reach local yogi's beyond your student base, have some nice 3.5" x 4.25" printed up and leave these at the yoga studios you teach at. Flyer printing is quite affordable and printing houses often offer in-house graphic designers that can help with logos and layout.

Word of Mouth

Have your fellow yoga teacher friends mention your yoga retreat to their students. Encourage your friends and family to link to your Facebook event page.

Internet Advertising

Given the affordability and the wide reach that the internet can harness, advertising a yoga retreat on the web is the most effective option. First things first, create a webpage. Your event webpage can be

very simple or elaborate and sexy. The important thing is to have a reference webpage on the internet where seekers can learn everything there is to know about the retreat and, most importantly, how to contact you for booking. If you plan to organize many yoga retreats in the future, it may be of benefit to setup an ecommerce interface where students can register and pay through your website.

Once your website is created, it's time to put the word out. Get your yoga retreat listed in a Yoga Retreat Directory where people converge to find upcoming yoga retreats in one web location. Banner advertising and premium advertising options are also available and have proven to be extremely effective in getting your retreat to stand out amongst others.

Find yoga-related message boards in both your local area and the area of the retreat. Post information on your retreat and link to your webpage. As mentioned earlier, create a Facebook page for your retreat and often link to it in your posts. Encourage your friends, family, and students to "like" your page.

There are a couple of internet advertising options that we are cautious to recommend. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising doesn't always yield a return on investment. With PPC, advertisers bid on ad

placement in web searches. For example, if someone searches for the words "yoga retreat bali", you would bid to have your ad placed on the "sponsored links" list in the search results. When someone clicks on your ad, then you're charged, typically $1-$2. Depending on the rate at which you can convert clickers to buyers, this may or may not be an effective option.

We recommend straying away from purchasing access to email lists. The 'collected' emails on these lists consist of largely unqualified people, whom like yourself, dislike spam messages. They're likely

to remember that they didn't sign up for your retreat's email list and you'll be lucky if they open the email at all. Stick to the recommendations. Save on costs and put your efforts where they are proven to be effective.

Getting Repeat Customers

With any luck, your marketing efforts will have paid off and you'll end up with a full row of smiling faces sitting in sukasana in your tropical paradise yoga retreat. Take care of these precious people and make them happy. Like samahdi-bliss happy. Repeat customers can make up 10-20% of clientele and word of mouth is the most effective advertising. Be sure to collect some testimonials to put up on your website for your next amazing retreat.

Breaking Up Amazon Into 613,300 Pieces

Concentrated wealth/power in the hands of a few at the expense of the many undermines any legitimate claim of democracy (i.e. a government of the people, by the people, for the people). And the problem of billionaires buying government access/influence has become a major political issue ever since Bernie Standers made it the centerpiece of his 2016 Presidential run.

In recent days progressive Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has been pounding the table over the possibility of breaking up (diluting the wealth/power) of big tech firms such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple. But exactly how that break up should occur is still a matter of conjecture.

A Simple Solution
In that light I offer a simple solution to the complex problem of monopolistic monstrosities concentrating more and more wealth and power in the hands of a few at the expense of the many. Instead of breaking them up into smaller, less monopolistic pieces, why not encourage Amazon (who paid $0 in 2018 Federal taxes*) with its 613,300 employees, to become employee owned?

After all, there are currently over 10,000 employee owned companies in the US today. And generally speaking they are uniquely efficient, productive, and resilient in hard times because their financial incentives are situated in such a way that it literally pays everyone to pull together at the same time, in the same direction, towards the same goal.

Moreover, when an employee owned company wins, EVERYONE WINS, not just those fortunate few at the top. And when an employee owned company loses, EVERYONE LOSES, not just those unfortunate many at the bottom. In the process the conventional, antagonistic, counterproductive labor vs management problems are systematically eliminated.

So, How Do Employees Pay for Their Stock?
You might wonder how Amazon employees, many of whom have little to no savings or home equity, would be able to pay for stock in the company they work for. The answer is, if they use a 
strategy known as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (an ESOPs) employees are allowed to collateralize their stock purchase using the companies' future earnings (in investment circles this is known as a leveraged buyout/LBO) instead of digging into savings or putting a second mortgage on the family home.

Furthermore, in an ESOP stock purchases are made with PRE-TAX DOLLARS which speeds up the purchasing process, as well as the road to ownership dramatically. And with employees 

maintaining their wage or salary while generating a second (or a retirement) income via their new found stock ownership, it expands the tax base for all levels of government. That is to say, more people will be able to pay taxes.

Finally employee ownership stabilizes the community. Just ask the owners of the Green Bay Packers, the only NFL team that is community owned and will never leave Green Bay, WI.

Who Would Object?
So who would object to this simple solution? Surely not Republicans (including Ronald Reagan), all of whom favor grass roots, free market, private ownership solutions over 

government dominated, public ownership solutions to any problem. And surely not Democrats (including Bernie Sanders) all of whom favor democratizing the workplace and spreading (decentralizing) the wealth into the hands of the many. And surely not independents, all of whom are sick and tired of the partisan bickering between two parties who can't seem to agree on anything.

Even Amazon owner Jeff Bezos would almost have to agree. I mean he already has more money than he can possibly count. And why would he want to go to his grave known as a greedy, monopolistic, 21st century skin flint who helped to demolish American democracy?

And once Amazon is on board we should have similar conversations with Facebook (36,000 employees), Microsoft (135,000 employees), Google (99,000 employees), Apple (132,000 

employees), Wal-Mart (2.1 million employees), and McDonalds (1.9 million employees), Goldman Sachs (36,600 employees), Citi Bank (204,000 employees), Wells Fargo (258,700 employees) just to mention a few.

*P.S. It's interesting to note that although Amazon's profit was in excess of 1 Billion dollars last year, they paid precisely $0.00 in Federal taxes. And due to Trump's tax cut for billionaires and corporations, Amazon either has or expects to receive a $789,000,000 REFUND!!!!!

Promoting Your "Amazon Published" Book or eBook Online

You've just gone through the work and the excitement of completing your first book or e-book and you are ready to showcase it to the world. Now, you have to get the word out and try to get some buyers for it. This by the way, is just as strenuous if not even more so than writing the book in the first place. You will realize soon enough that you have to dig deep within yourself to market what you have created to others to make the sales. One author I know when once asked how his books managed to sell so well said. "It's easy. Write it, put it in a place where people can buy it, and then promote the heck out of it for about 3 years."

In this article I don't plan to discuss the myriad of things you can do outside of the Internet to promote your creation such as book signings, getting a table at trade fairs to showcase your book and give away autographed copies, trying to get retailers to sell it (if you've created a bound version of it), etc. The tips provided below are written to help you get maximum publicity for your book or e-book online.

Let's start with building your online selling strategy. Where will you put your book to sell it?

The most popular choice on the Internet is Amazon. This is a very good first step for many books, particularly e-books. Amazon owns Kindle Books, the defacto leader in E-Book marketing and distribution. The whole world has heard of Kindle and there are literally millions of Kindle Readers out there that people can use to read your e-book not to mention that Kindle book reading software is available for computers, tablets and even mobile devices - so it is very easy to distribute and make your creation accessible to others. Amazon also owns "Create Space", a second entity that can turn your E-book into a bound book that can also be sold on Amazon-Kindle and through distributors globally. If you want to "pay-market" your book through Amazon? You can do that as well through building one of their economically priced advertising campaigns.

Going through this process also gets you an ASIN number for your book or an ISBN number for your book if you wish to go that route (needed for selling hard-copy books through Create Space but not for e-books just sold on Amazon-Kindle). You can enroll your book as well into the Kindle KDP Select program which is like an online library that people pay a monthly subscription to and you can get additional royalty payments for your book from here - based on number of pages read. You can also get promotional banners from Amazon that you can put on your website or blogsite and even send in e-mails to people to further promote your book.

Bottom line is that starting out, Amazon - Kindle has a lot to offer a new self-publisher. You can literally get your book out there in under a week and start making money from it if people purchase it.

But you will need to do further work to get your book to actually sell and start earning you revenues. Your book will get onto Amazon OK, but it has to be seen and desired in order for you to make sales. There are books that have sat there for years without any sales at all so don't think your done once you get your book published and onto the site. You have to help the sales happen by promoting it. So below is a list of things you should also be doing yourself online to get people to your Amazon purchased page to buy your book.

  *  Be sure you build out your Author profiles on Amazon Central and on book review sites such as "Good Reads". On Good Reads, also be sure to get your book into their "Listopia" program - so learn how to do that. Find other similar Author sites and get your name out there as well.


  *  Consider getting out an online press release on your book as well. Make sure it has back links to where people can view and purchase your book. Take a look at "Reddit" as one possible site for this.


  *  Promote your book on different social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc.


  *  Consider building a YouTube channel and creating a promotional video for your book with linkbacks to where your book can be purchased.


  *  Create your own "Author" blog-site to further promote your book. Traverse the Internet to get linkbacks to your site or book through guest posting, article writing, etc.


  *  Get an automated e-mail marketing and autoresponder system in place and use it to help promote your book - build your e-mail subscriber lists!


  *  Consider getting a podcast series going on iTunes where you can have "podcast discussions" about the content of your book. FYI - Once you get some of these built, stick an image of your book in front of them and upload these to your YouTube channel as well as "Video Podcasts".


  *  Keep posting and guest posting and getting yourself out there with people. The more people that know about you and your book, the better your sales will be. Build relationship bridges with other authors (EzineArticles and Good Reads are good places to do this), with book reviewers, people knowledgeable in your "book space", etc. Get known out there.


  *  Build a Facebook business page for your book and put your author "Good Reads" button onto your Facebook pages that can bring people back to your Author page at GoodReads. Promote your book on Facebook using the "Boost Post" feature - this is a very economical marketing platform with great targeting capabilities.


  *  Be sure to get on Google+ and build out your profile there. Then, search for and join several communities relating to your topic area and also relating to other authors - become a positive content contributor to these communities.

In summary, if you can get through all the above steps for promoting your book online, you will be well on your way of starting to build the base needed to start earning revenues for your book. Best of luck to you in your writing career.