Getting Started Help

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by numbersmom, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. numbersmom

    numbersmom New Member

    Hello to everyone.

    I am new to this site, and have been reading the posts. You guys seem very knowledgeable in this area. If anyone can help to point me in the right direction, that would be great. Also if the information I need is elsewhere on this site, please let me know. Here is my situation in brief, but, with some detail.

    I am a unmarried mom of four (ages 17, 13, 10 & 6) without family support, who is disabled. I live in Michigan and just lost my job as a bookkeeper, which I did part-time, very part-time due to my limitations. I would like to work at home, as my children keep me pretty busy with their activities and schoolwork.

    I am on a very limited budget- especially without the income I just lost- and would like to know if anyone can help with opportunities they may know of for someone in my position.

    I have tried the "get paid for taking surveys" approach, however, I don't seem to qualify for the ones that pay you; or they mostly want your credit card to "try" a product.

    I also thought about starting a website to offer help in my area of expertise which is bookkeeping and finance for individuals and/or small businesses. The issue is, I don't know how I would be compensated, or how I can be compensated.

    As I stated earlier, I am working with limited resources because I receive disability, but I am willing to spend time and some money if I have legitimate and proven information to go on.

    Again, I reside in Michigan, and I do have computer access for now, along with transportation. If you have any ideas or information as to how I can get started, I will be grateful.

    Thank you in advance for any and all help.
  2. happywife

    happywife Gold Member

    Hi Numbersmom,

    First let me say welcome to the forum. You'll find a lot of lovely and helpful people here that can give you tips and ideas.

    I sent you a private message earlier. Just check the private message link at the top of the page after you've logged in.

    Now that I've been able to read over your whole story, my heart really goes out to you. It is really tough to get established online to make money from home.

    It's definitely possible, especially with your skills, but it isn't quick. It usually takes several months of steady work up front to build a site that starts generating steady traffic and steady income. Do you have that kind of time to wait in your present circumstances?

    You could certainly build a site using your bookkeeping and finance skills in some way.

    1. You could offer your booking services from your home (maybe even targeting your own region).

    2. You could build a site about bookkeeping for small businesses, teaching others how to do it for themselves.

    3. You could provide financial advice for a specific category of people.

    Those are just a couple of quick ideas off the top of my head. You will want to narrow your topic enough so that you won't have to compete with the 'big boys' but still have enough demand that will provide you with steady visitors. (That can be explained in more detail later if you decide to go that route).

    There are different options for making money with those types of sites.

    You could write a few small 'reports' (ebooks) on particular aspects of bookkeeping or finances and sell them on your site for $7-$8. They wouldn't have to be really in depth for that price, just good quality helpful information that you know people ask a lot and would benefit from.

    You could recommend affiliate products (other people's products) on your site and earn a commission when people make a purchase.

    You could place Google Adsense on your site and earn money from Google every time someone clicks on one of their links.

    You could eventually turn it into a membership site that people pay a monthly fee ($19.95 - $49.95) to be able to have access to your help with preparing their quarterly tax statements, etc. if that is something you know about.

    There really are a lot of options. But like I said in the beginning, the hardest thing is the upfront work. Getting your site built and getting traffic to it so that you CAN monetize can take anywhere from a few months to a year. A lot depends on the niche you choose and how much time you have to devote to it.

    If you can manage to get by until your site starts bringing in the money, than it is definitely something I would recommend for your long term financial security.

    Is it possible to get some more part time bookkeeping work from home to tide you over? Maybe someone in your church or local area would be glad to have a hand with their bookkeeping. It doesn't hurt to ask.

    Meanwhile, take a look at Amazon's Mechanical Turk. You may be able to find some tasks that can make you a bit of extra income. The pay isn't much, but you can probably make a few hundred extra per month if you learn to work fairly quickly.

    I wish you all the best.

  3. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    Hi NumbersMom,

    I agree with everything that Angie said - especially the amount of time and work that it takes to create an income stream from a website.

    That said, I would definitely learn about online marketing and then build a financial site of some sort - according to your expertise.

    However, you should find traditional employment until the income from the said site is consistently high enough to pay your bills, which would probably take a good 1 year plus.

    I did a Google search (and you can do one too to find more links) with the phrase "bookkeeping freelance" and found a few links for you here:


    Some of them actually have articles on how to succeed as a bookkeeper freelancer so you may be able to learn the online side of things while your at it.

    You might also consider doing the brick and mortar side of things by contacting temp job agencies if you like.

    Good luck,

    ~Newbie Shield~
  4. numbersmom

    numbersmom New Member

    Thank you Angie and Newbie Shield,

    I usually try to work on my ideas for a couple of hours before I get the children up for school. And then also after I drop them off if I don't have any errands. So I can at least get started until I find another source of income.

    I appreciate your upfront and honest advice and answers to my post. I will definitely look into some of your suggestions. I have a few more questions.

    I have no computer experience, outside of using it for work. Where would I go to learn how to build a site, host it and all that goes with it? Second, How do you get paid when someone buys someone else's product that you mentioned? And lastly, What is the cost involved in getting started or is it mostly time?

    Again thanks for the honest and upfront answers. While I understand all things take time and even some money, getting HONEST answers to those questions have been the hardest thing for me to obtain.

    I am pragmatic and realistic in my thought process. I know time frames and cost are relative to a persons kmowledge, experience and/or contacts. However, Having a basic and realistic reference helps to know how long the road ahead might be.
  5. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    Hi NumbersMom,

    You're welcome.

    As I mentioned, it's best to first master the fundamentals of online marketing as a first step.

    That said, the next step is to goof around with free hosting. Many like to try Squidoo and/or a free blog - perhaps at You can also try additional free hosting sites such as, (aka webs), geocities, etc. Just Google free website hosting or similar.

    Don't use paid hosting until you have mastered everything else and you are ready. Paid hosting is the most sophisticated albeit has the highest income potential as well as offering the most control over what you may do with your site.

    Some of the better paid hosting accounts out there are HostGator, hostmonster, and bluehost. You can go month-to-month or a 2-3 year contract for a discount.

    You should be able to get a coupon discount code for around 20% (that includes the duration of the contract as well as any domain names). It should cost you under $200 for a two year contract.

    If you'd like an excellent package that includes all of the above, talk to HappyWife about SBI. It has an excellent reputation and I bet it's just what you are looking for. I'm sure she'd be able to explain things. You don't have to learn programming to use SBI. They'll teach you about online marketing and setting up your site with an easy wizard.

    With affiliate links just think of them as virtual sales - same as an in-store salesperson. When you sign up for an affiliate program, you'll be instructed on how to place your affiliate code in your link.

    If someone clicks on your link, their browser keeps track of your unique affiliate code. If someone buys something from the site that your link directs them to, you get a sales commission.

    You can also place ads on your site. When someone clicks an ad, you get paid a percentage of the click value.

    You can also seek out sponsors once you get your site up, get a decent amount of traffic, and establish a good reputation. Sponsors will pay you each month for a small ad space on your site. If you do well, you can eventually have several sponsors.

    Once you really know what you are doing, you can write an eBook and offer it for sale.

    There are many ways to monetize on your site.

    Feel free to ask more questions,

    ~Newbie Shield~
  6. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    PS. I almost forgot to mention the free 30 Day Challenge if you'd like a great intro to some of the online marketing fundamentals plus easy hands-on experience with the same.

    Here's the link:
  7. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    Hello and welcome, NumbersMom!

    numbersmom: Where would I go to learn how to build a site, host it and all that goes with it?
    You can study the HTML interactive tutorials at ths site - - and then test yourself whenever you want to measure your progress. You can also type the words html tutorials in the Google search box and visit some of the sites that come up in the results.

    numbersmom: Second, How do you get paid when someone buys someone else's product that you mentioned?
    You can start out using the services of a third-party processor such as ClickBank or PayPal and then consider a merchant account when your business warrants it.

    numbersmom: And lastly, What is the cost involved in getting started or is it mostly time?
    The monetary cost will depend on your particular circumstances and preferences. There are fixed costs associated with registering and hosting a domain name. That can be accomplished for less than $100 per year. But at this stage your greatest investment will be time; time researching, learning, understanding and implementing.

  8. happywife

    happywife Gold Member

    numbersmom: I have no computer experience, outside of using it for work. Where would I go to learn how to build a site, host it and all that goes with it? Second, How do you get paid when someone buys someone else's product that you mentioned? And lastly, What is the cost involved in getting started or is it mostly time?

    You're probably farther ahead than I was when I started two years ago! I pretty much only knew how to send emails. [​IMG]

    There are a lot of different programs, ebooks, etc., that claim to walk you through the process. Some are pretty good, others, not so much so.

    I ended up choosing SiteBuildIt (SBI) when I decided to take the plunge. It is a package deal that includes the step by step instructions as well as all the tools, the domain, the hosting, etc., that you need to build a successful website business.

    The cost of SBI is $299 per year (which works out to be $25 per month, but must be paid up front the first year). They have a money back guarantee, but they charge a year to begin with to weed out people who aren't really committed to building a business and perpetually buy and refund things. [​IMG]

    They are having their annual Christmas special at the moment which is buy 1 get 1 free. So you'd get two site packages for $299. The first one starts immediately, but you have 9 months to activate the second one.

    If you knew someone else who was interested, you could split the cost, or just give it as a gift (would your 17 year old be interested?).

    Anyway, there ARE other ways to learn how to build a site, and they may even save you a few dollars a month, but from what I have observed in a variety of forums is that most people really struggle to put all the pieces together on their own to build a successful site without a clear blueprint and the tools you need already integrated for you. That's a judgment call each person needs to make for themselves.

    Personally, I count it a blessing to have found SBI, and I still use them for my sites.

    To answer your second question, you get paid from the various sources that you choose to monetize with. Shield pretty much already explained about the fact that they give you a little code that you place on your site so they know the sale came from you. Then they just send you monthly checks or quarterly, or when you hit a threshold.

    For instance, Google sends me a check every month for the advertising I allow them to place on my site. They only pay out when you reach at least $100 in earnings. The first few months after adding it to your site you probably won't get a check, but once your traffic starts growing you'll get one regularly.

    I also get checks from a number of different affiliate programs. Some of the companies have their own independent program and they send me a check directly.

    Other companies are part of affiliate clearinghouses like Commission Junction, Linkshare, Clickbank, etc., and the clearinghouse sends a combined check for the commissions for all the companies you have earned from throughout that month.

    Finally, I am part of a network marketing company whose products I recommend on my parasite site. They are a little different from 'affiliate marketing' but it works similarly. They send me a monthly check on my commissions earned for the month.

    So, it does cost a little money to get started, but it is mostly time.

    I'll send you a link via private message that will let you download a free copy of the Action Guide I mentioned and you can take a look at it and get an idea of what is involved. You won't have access to the tools they are referring to or demonstrating in the video version of it, but you can still get a good general understanding of the blueprint just by reading/watching it.

  9. unselfishbuddy

    unselfishbuddy New Member

    If you have limited budget for starting out, I suggest that you work with a program that has little or no start up investment on your part. Then, you can re-invest a portion of your profits towards advertising or another business that yields higher profits. Most importantly, you will need to learn how to market effectively as this is very critical to home business success.
  10. Homeboy

    Homeboy New Member

    happywife: I ended up choosing SiteBuildIt (SBI) when I decided to take the plunge.

    They really do have excellent content, especially for beginners. If you're gonna spend any money online learning the ropes, SBI would definitely be the first place I'd start (if only I'd known about them sooner, lol.....)

    But anyway, enough shameless product endorsement, lol. I'm not even an affiliate of theirs (although maybe I should be...hmm......)

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