Sign up for Bing and earn rewards for searching the web!

Bing Rewards

Are you using Bing Rewards? If not, you’ll want to sign up here.

Bing Rewards is a way to earn credits for searching online and participating in daily offers. By spending just a few minutes per day, you can easily earn a $5 Amazon gift card every month.

You can read all about how it works and how to use it in my post here.

(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.)

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How to Earn Money as a Mystery Shopper

Ever wondered how people earn money mystery shopping? Well, my friend Chelsea is doing a 31-day series on her blog this month on How to Earn Money as a Mystery Shopper.

Here’s what she says:

Would you like to be making extra income by Christmastime? How would you like to be reimbursed for some of the gifts you buy in addition to that income? I would love to help you get there!

Every day in October, I will be sharing tips, suggestions, and information in my series: Earn Money as a Mystery Shopper. We will be debunking mystery shopping myths (like mystery shopping is more work than it’s worth!) and find out my favorite companies to work for, how to set yourself up for success, and more.

fter reading about mystery shopping on MoneySavingMom.com two years ago, I completed my first job and was hooked. Since then, each month I have been able to use that income to expand our monthly budget. It is a job I am passionate that almost anybody can take on, and it’s the perfect, creative opportunity to save money or pay down existing debt. I hope you’ll be able to join me!

This was something I did when Jesse and I were first married. It can be a lot of work, but it really does work and, once you get the hang of it, it can be a lot of fun, too!

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Reader Tip: Use ExpoTV to Earn Amazon Gift Cards

Meredith emailed in the following tip:

I’ve seen many posts lately on using Swagbucks to earn Amazon gift cards, but I wasn’t sure if everyone knew about using ExpoTV to earn even more Amazon gift cards?

I have been using ExpoTv for about a year. In short, you record a video reviewing a product that is one to two minutes long. In exchange for your review, you receive points that you can cash in for Amazon gift cards. It takes about one video to earn $5 in Amazon credit.

I will usually check what products they are looking for rewards for, sit down and knock out about 5 videos at a time. I’ll wait until the kids are in bed and record them. They are always looking for reviews on kid’s items so I can usually cash in!

Using these Amazon gift cards, we have been able to purchase all sorts of things:

    • diapers
    • a kid-sized picnic table that I would never have bought on my own!
    • a tent for the beach
    • Christmas gifts
    • all sorts of little items for around the house that we wouldn’t have the extra cash to spend!

Be sure to check out ExpoTV and sign up. It’s totally worth it. -Meredith

Find more ways to earn cash and free gift cards here.

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FREE 4 Week Online Blogging Class

Blogelina is once again offering her very popular 4-week blogging class — for FREE! This online class will be held in April 2013.

If you sign up for this free class, here’s what you’ll get:

  • A class manual – packed with 60 pages of information that will help take the overwhelming out of starting your own blog
  • 4 weekly online class sessions where you can ask your questions and get personalized feedback
  • A FREE year of web hosting.
  • Blueprints, step-by-step tutorials, networking with other bloggers - Everything you need to grow your blog.
  • Save yourself a lot of time, trouble, and money – learn from my own experiences what to do and not to do.

Go here to sign up for the FREE 4-week blogging class. 

(Note: Some of the links in this post are my referral links. Read our disclosure policy here.)

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Earn Money By Watching Videos on Jingit

Jingit is a newer income-earning program that pays you to watch ads online. You can also earn money for downloading the mobile app, scanning items at Walmart, and answering a couple of questions.

How Do You Sign Up?

To sign up, just go here and follow the steps outlined. You’ll need to create an account, input your phone number, and type in the verification number they text to you.

How Do You Earn Cash?

Once you’re signed up, you can begin watching videos or doing store check-ins. You should be offered at least a few videos you can watch right away. It looks like they add a few new videos each week.

Plus, if you have a smartphone, you can download the Jingit app and get paid to scan grocery UPC codes while you’re in store.

How Do You Get Paid?

To get paid, you just register for a Jingit Visa Debit Card (costs $3 from your Jingit balance to request it) and then add cash for your online Jingit balance to the Visa card.

How Much Can You Make?

There is an earning limit of $15 per week. When you initially join, you’ll have a lower earning limit but this can be raised to $15 by inviting friends to join.

Candi commented on my post about Jingit and said:

I have tried it and found that it is really very easy to make a couple of bucks. They videos you watch are super short, so it really doesn’t take too much time. I have also done the “check in” feature which has you scan in items Walmart and answer a couple of questions and you get money instantly! Fairly simple, but I have had it not scan a couple of items. I will only scan items in store if I need to be at Walmart anyway, you are only going to make a buck or two at a time so it is in no way worth the trip to the store for that. -Candi

(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.)

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5 Questions You Should Always Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

Recently, someone asked me what I would counsel them to consider before starting a home business. As I thought about this, I came up with five questions I think everyone should ask themselves before they start a business (or blog):

1) Am I Truly Passionate About This Idea?

If you want to be successful, your business idea must be your own. It can’t be a great idea that someone else told you that you should do.

It needs to be your brainchild, something you are wholeheartedly excited about and in love with. Because, believe me, you’re going to need that passion on those long and hard days when you feel like giving up.

I’ll never forget an email I received a few years back. It was someone I’d never heard from before and it came very out of the blue. They told me they wanted to start a website, but they couldn’t come up with a name. They said that they figured I probably had some good name ideas so could I please tell them what I thought they should name their website.

While I love helping budding entrepreneurs and try to answer as many questions emailed into me as I can, I knew that it would just be wasting my time to give this individual a name for their site. Why? Because they didn’t appear willing to work hard to see their idea succeed.

If they had emailed in with a list of ideas of possible names and a succinct vision for their site, I would have done my best to respond and give input. Instead, they wanted me to tell them my idea so they could use it.

If you’re wanting someone else to give you a big leg up with getting a business started, I can almost guarantee you that you’re not going to be successful. Because successful business owners take initiative. They are out there putting in the back-breaking personal effort to make things happen. They aren’t expecting someone else to spoon-feed them their success.

2) Who Is My Potential Customer?

When I was recently putting together my book proposal for the book I’m currently writing, one of the exercises I did was actually create a fictitious person in my mind that this book was written for. I didn’t go so far as creating an actual name for her, but I wrote down how old she was, what her personality was, how many children she had, and more. This might seem a little over-the-top, but it really helped me to solidify in my mind who I was writing for, once I’d created a sort of face for my audience.

Before you can create a marketing plan or a vision for your business, you need to have a good idea of who you are trying to reach out to. Because you’ll want to take a completely different approach if you’re trying to reach teen guys versus middle-aged moms.


3) Can I Afford the Start-Up Costs?

I believe strongly that you should never go into debt to start a business. Otherwise, you’re beginning with a noose around your neck.

If you don’t have the money needed for the start-up costs, I suggest that you either go back to the drawing board and downsize your idea, or that you save aggressively for six months or more in order to have the cash necessary to cover all of the start-up costs. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to cover the first three to six months’ worth of costs with your savings, without even making a dime of profit.

Not only will this cushion relieve a lot of stress that is often involved with starting a business, it will also allow you to invest some or all of your initial profits back into the business. This will give you an even stronger foundation for your business.

4) Have I Done Enough Research?

Most people are so eager to jump ahead and start the business that they don’t take enough time to really do their research. I recommend that you read at least 10-20 business-related books (here are 7 books I recommend that all work-at-home moms read) before you start a business. These will help you shape your business from the get-go and will also cause you to analyze your plan and preparations to make sure things are solid.

I also recommend that you talk to every person you know who has started a business or who works in the field or industry you’re wanting to go into. Tell them about your business idea, ask them for input, and pick their brain on the lessons they’ve learned along the way. This counsel could prove invaluable. Truly, every great idea I’ve ever come up with has been initially sparked by something I read or someone I talked to.

Once you’ve begun your business, don’t stop reading and growing as a person and a business owner. Challenge yourself to read at least one new business or leadership book every month, subscribe to a magazine like Inc., follow blogs like MichaelHyatt.com, and listen to podcasts like the EntreLeadership podcast. Always be experimenting with new ideas and never allow yourself to grow stagnant or content with the status quo.

5) Am I Willing to Fail?

If you jump out there and start new things, you are going to fail at least some of the time. Expect to succeed, but willingly accept failure. Not every business idea is going to be a homerun. In fact, most of them won’t be.

However, success is almost guaranteed to those who are willing to try, try again. Even if your first or third or fifth idea doesn’t work, you’ll eventually land on something that will be a success. Don’t give up!

What questions do you feel are imperative that someone should ask before starting a business or blog? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

photo credit

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