Over the past month I’ve been doing a bit of research on Internet Marketing.

Thanks to ProBlogger I’ve found some great sites. One such site is Itty Biz.

Itty Biz is run by Naomi Dunford. Naomi has great practical advice for small business marketing and her writing is easy to read and often very funny.

Even though Naomi targets small business I think she could teach Skype a thing or too about Barriers to Purchase.

I sell on eBay. I use Paypal, exclusively, to receove payments.¬† I put some of the moneyI make into my bank account and leave some in Paypal. I then use the money in Paypal to purchase online services, books,etc…

Apparently eBay owns Paypal. Apparently eBay also owns Skype. Apparently though neither Skype nor Paypal know this.

I’ve been using Skype for PC to PC calls for a year now. I’ve also encouraged some of my clients and suppliers to use Skype so we can contact each other easily (read “for free”).

Last week I decided to put call credit into my Skype account. I’d been using Gizmo5 for PC to phone calls but wanted to, using a Credit Crunch term, Rationalise my Voip process. So Skype would now be used for all calls from PC and who knows I might have even bought a Skype phone or used Skype on my Three mobile.

But that’s when the wheels came off. Skype requires my Paypal account to have a credit card associated with it. Since I don’t have, or ever want again, a credit card then I’ll have to look elsewhere to spend my hard earned cash.

I don’t need a credit card to sell or buy on eBay. I want to buy Skype credit. That’s all, just “pay as you call credit”. If there’s no credit, then no call. If I’m in the middle of a call and no credit – cut me off. I’m a big boy I can take it, just cut me off. No need for guarantees then, so why the need for a credit card?

I’m not alone:

http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=102646

http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=109511

http://en.onsoftware.com/why-have-skype-changed-paypal-payments/

It seems this issue started about a year ago.

You can use Moneybookers. I haven’t used them but I think I’ll start using them now… with my Gizmo5 account.

Cheerio Skype!

Update on blogging progress

January 20, 2009

I’ve gotten back to Problogger.

So far the book has covered some very interesting topics that have helped focus me on a niche. A lot of the advice in the book is general but the exercises that are given throughout each chapter really help you decide on what you can write about.

I’m not going to reveal the niche I’ve started working on. I’ll leave that until the blog is a success!

I’m also not sure I’ve picked a great niche for earning money as there doesn’t seem to be too many affiliate programs or Adword campaigns that target it. But, it’s my first proper blog so I guess I’ll just “suck it and see”. I don’t regard this blog as my first proper blog as I am just writing it for practise and to help myself keep track of my progress.

Here’s a rundown of the chapters so far in Problogger:

  • The Introduction
    Here Darren & Chris introduce themselves (no!!). There’s a lenghty description by Darren about how he started in pro-blogging. A good start that immediately clears up the notion, in case anyone had it, that this is a get rich quick scheme.
  1. Blogging for money
    Into the meat of it!
    Well not quite but this chapter is very useful as it gives you a clear idea of what:

    • Blogging is
    • Blogging isn’t
    • Ways you can make money from blogging

    There are also some very useful sections about search engines and analysing your blogs success (or lack thereof).

  2. Niche blogging
    What is your blog  going to be about?
    I found this chapter incredibly useful, particularly the exercises regarding outlining your interests and then rating them to help in deciding what to write about.
    This chapter lays out the foundations for developing a successful blog.

  3. Setting up your blog
    I could skip through most of this section as it covers the technical side of setting up a blog.
    The main piece of advice that came through here was that self-hosted blogs are the way to go if you can. There is also a good section in this chapter about choosing a domain name.

I’ve gone through these three chapters quite thoroughly and I’ve enjoyed the read so far. To sum up, I’ve picked a niche I feel I can write a lot about and I’ve chosen a platform to host the blog.

I’m going to use WordPress as that’s what is used in the book and I’ve wanted to try it for some time now. I’ve used Drupal quite a lot in the past and present and will use even moreso in the future. But using WordPress isn’t too different from that plus it will give me an insight into what modules and features it has when compared with Drupal.

The next chapter covers writing for a blog. That should be a good one as I need all the help I can get!

Why Blogging for money?

January 9, 2009

This is the easiest question for me to answer.

QOL.

Normally I don’t like acronyms like – ASAP or ROFLAO (or whatever), although FUBAR is good. However one day a friend told me he needed to get some more QOL and I was momentarily stunned. I figured he meant Quality Of Life almost straight away but the thing that really knocked me back was that this simple phrase now had an acronym!

It said a lot to me about life, had time become such a rare commodity that we now needed abbreviations for simple phrases? It seemed so and from that day I decided to work at getting a high QOL so I’d be able to find the time to say simple phrases like Quality of Life and avoid horrible phrases such as – “Going Forward” and “Core Competancy”.

So, I’m moving. I’m leaving my land of birth, Ireland, for a life on the other side of the world – Thailand.

Sounds good to me but how am I going to make money out there? I’d lived there for two years before and did OK teaching English. But if I’m being honest I don’t like teaching English. For a few reasons, it’s hard work, the politics does my head in, I’m not particularly good at it and it can be very stressful for me. There are good aspects of teaching, it’s very rewarding, the kids can be great, the parents are genuinely friendly, in Thailand you’re seen as doing a very important job and accorded a lot of respect, and many more reasons.

So with English teaching ruled out as a job the rest of my options for earning an income in Thailand are limited. That’s when I came across ProBlogger.

I’m still not convinced it’s a viable way to make a living, but it can’t hurt to try. At the very least I’ll learn a bit about web marketing and improve my writing skills.

I’m about four chapters into the book now so I’ll give a brief overview about what I’ve done so far in my next post and after that I’ll make regular posts about my progress.

Thanks for your time.

p.s. Read more about the book here