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Al Graham

Author & Blogger

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Money

Who do you think you are?

You try to control everything. You tell me what size my house can be.

You tell me what car to drive & how often I can drive it.

You scrutinise my grocery shopping, so much so, it’s a painful errand.

I’ll wear only what you say I can.

I’ll go where you say and go when you say.

Fine, I won’t go on holiday this year.

Dear Money, I hate you.

-ABB

Was I really born to just to work & pay bills?

As I inhaled the steam from my morning coffee, the post thumped onto the floor. Bills, bills, bills.

As I sat back in the seat of my car a very familiar sound chirped from the dash area. Fuel warning. Spend, spend, spend.

As I chomped on my sandwhich while on my lunch break, my iPhone rang with an unfamiliar number. Stupidly, I answered. “You owe, you owe, you owe”.

As I mind my own business while working, annoying, oblivious colleagues wave work group lottery tickets, sweepstakes & leavers cards in my face. Money, money, money.

As I make my way home, I pull into the supermarket for essentials & toiletries. Cash, cash, cash.

As I cook my dinner on the gas, run my laundry, load the dishwasher, turn on the heating & undress out of my work clothes, I step into the shower. Costs, costs, costs.

Time for bed.

Time to get up.

Repeat.

How to Earn from Blogging, there’s no secret

There are many articles on the Internet and perhaps on WordPress talking about ‘how I made $3000+ in a month’.  This may be so and is all very well and good, but how do YOU actually make money on the internet, via your Blog and continue making it?

If you are reading this then you are either a current Blogger who’d like to earn a little cash from doing what you love, or, you’re a new Blogger and interested in creating something with your blogging skills that could be of interest to your readers, while earning you some cash.

Aside from WordPress, there are many Blogging sites available to you, where you are free to make an account and Blog until the cows come home.  Some are more suited to, and encourage you to earn from your Blogging.

If you are in the hope of earning hundreds of pounds (or dollars) through Blogging, then WordPress or this article is most likely not for you.

So what are the best sites and how do you get started? Below, I have shared two sites that I have used and been very successful with.

Firstly, sign up to http://www.xomba.com
Xomba is a community and much like WordPress, we are all here to help one another.  You help one another by reading, sharing and voting for each others articles.
Once you sign up for Xomba, you need to sign up for a Google adsense account. Again, this costs you nothing and it is fairly simple to do.  For those of you who don’t know, a Google Adsense account is linked to your blogs with links that are of the same subject or interest to your blog or article.  You are paid by Google per click.

The next thing you should do is sign up to http://www.firstwriter.com.  This site is a fantastic place for all new aspiring writers. There is a world of information, contacts and competitions available all the time. This will assist you in keeping your writing fresh and giving you the necessary exposure you will want and need, as you work to earn on Xomba.

Okay, you’ve set up your Xomba account and you’ve setup your ad sense account after reading Xomba’s help guide. So now what? Simple. You write and write. You write well and you write lots and lots of articles. Sounds easier than it is, but it all depends on how much time you have or are willing to spend on writing articles. If you are here to make a few extra pounds (or bucks!) then writing a few articles a day or a week should be sufficient enough. Any of you who are here to make hundreds, then you need to write hundreds- literally. You can read my top tips on becoming a successful writer, here.

So what do you write about? You should write about what interests you. You do this because you will enjoy writing about it and you will be knowledgeable on your chosen subject. The other side of the coin of course is, you should write about what interests your audience. This is a little more tricky, but it can still be done:-

1. Take the time to browse and read what fellow Bloggers are writing about.
2. Browse the web and look for interesting news stories that you could link to or write about in your own words.
3. Browse websites such as Amazon.com and look at what books, DVDs and gadgets are selling and write about them. Review them if you have read, watched or used them.
4. What’s on at the cinema? Did you just see the latest blockbuster that everyone will be flocking to see? Then review it and publish it.

There are no right or wrong things to write about. Remember, your articles will not make you money overnight and it may take a while before people start clicking into them. Some of your articles will get more clicks than others. Some will never get a click at all. But the best thing that you can do is keep up to date with what is going on in the world and write, write and write.

One last thing I suggest you do is build yourself an online portfolio. The chances are that if you are reading this, you already have a WordPress blogging site.  If not, however, sign up for free and start blogging.  This will become your online portfolio, and if your articles or blogs are interesting and current, you will create a following quickly.

Remember to keep writing and writing well.  That is the only secret.

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We all dread it. Its almost a year since the car went for it’s last MOT. We try to avoid it, but can‘t. It‘s just the way it is. So, we drive into the garage and we are greeted by the smell of oil and sweat, the sound of a cheesy radio station echoes around the premises while spanners clunk and drills whirl. An overweight car mechanic, who has survived on a diet of cheeseburgers and coffee for the past 20 years, struggles out from underneath the truck he’s working on and rubs his oily hands on his already oil soaked cover alls. He takes one look at your car and makes the inevitable sucking sound through his teeth that seems to be written in the big book of car mechanics phrases and sounds:

“That’s gonna cost ya, pal!”

Of course it is. Anything automotive is going to cost, especially if you are driving a car more than 8 years old! This is when you are faced with the decision: Do I blow my money and hope that this old rust bucket lasts until next MOT? or do I just grit my teeth and bin it?
Sometimes binning it is the best long term option. If you do decided to scrap your old car, don’t be tempted to take it the a vehicle breaker just be offered £200 for it. Try some of these top tips. All you need is a little time and space in your back garden. A little mechanical knowledge would help, but it’s not essential.

1. Is the road tax still valid? Many people don’t realise that when you are no longer using a car on the road, you are entitled to a refund on the remaining duty on your road fund licence. Accompany the tax disc with the valid form to the DVLA’s office and you will receive a cheque in the mail about a week later.

2. Are the tyres still legal? If so, take them off and keep them for your next car. If you don’t fancy that idea, there are loads of road users out there looking for part worn cheap tyres.

3. How’s the upholstery? If you have car has leather interior, again, loads of car owners are looking for a cheaper option when it comes to tarting up their precious metal. You should advertise leather seats etc. in the local paper.

4. Break the engine. Easier said than done, I know. But a few hours taking common parts off the engine, cleaning them up and selling them is a fantastic way to make money. You could get up to £40 for a starter motor alone!

5. Take off all exterior fittings like side mirrors and lights. They fall into the same category as engine parts and are always sought after.

6. Interior items such as indicator and light switches are actually worth good money. Check out the prices of such things at a dealership and you’ll see what I mean. I was able to sell a set of indicator and light switches for an old Rover on eBay for £25!

7. Once your confident you’ve got the most profitable parts off the car, strip the rubbish out: Dashboard, door fascias, centre consoles etc. etc. Dispose of these items at your local recycling centre for free.

8. Providing you have space to keep your carcass outside for a while, fill it up with metal. Tins, cans, scrap metal. Clean them out, remove the labels and chuck them inside the car and fill it up. Make sure its only scrap metal you’re throwing in there.

9. If your able to deliver the carcass to your local metal recycling plant, they will pay on the weight off what you have delivered. You can expect a good payment from them. If you’re unable to deliver the carcass to the plant, many of them offer a pick up service, but this will reduce you payment quite a bit.

If you have the time to spare and the interest in this kind of thing, then it could prove to be a neat little earner for you. Advertising spare parts in local newspapers and on sites such as eBay will ensure you get a far better return for your scrap car.

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