Archive for the ‘money’ Category

Sell on Good News

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I worked for almost 15 years at Lockheed Martin. I still have some Lockheed stock form those days. This morning Lockheed Martin announced better than expected earnings and the stock dropped 4 and half points.

I know that this is no unexpected. Stocks go up on bad news and down on good news, but that doesn’t mean it makes any sense to me. In the book I read about the Dutch stock market (Confusion de Confusiones by Joseph De La Vega) in the 17th century there is an explanation for this. I understood it at the time, but I could not explain it now. It is a very basic fact about free markets, but I still don’t get it.

Comparison of Google Adwords to Project Wonderful

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I wrote a short article on advertising for small websites comparing the relatively unknown advertising page Project Wonderful, to Google’s advertising options. It’s over on my Blog’s Eye site.

Blogs Eye – Comparison of Google Adwords to Project Wonderful.

Cash for Clunkers

Friday, August 7th, 2009

I bought a new truck during lunch hour today.

If you have a car that is at the tail end of its trade-in value, you really should get rid of it now. I got rid of a 23 year old car that I did not drive and was not worth much more than scrap value and got a $4500 Cash for Clunkers deal on a new truck.

I started this earlier in the week, but due to the feeding frenzy that this deal has caused, the first truck I bought was already sold by another salesman as I was getting ready to sign the papers. I had to take the identical truck, but in a color that I did not want.

In addition to the Clunker deal, I also got 0% financing. I was able to get an extra $200 off the price because of the mix up.

This is like getting a new car for free. I have a very low monthly payment and as soon as I get an old fashioned cassette player in the truck I can cruise down the highway playing the harmonica along with my blues tapes, smelling that new truck smell.

Newsweek: Growing Rich by Blogging Is a High-Tech Fairy Tale

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

This guy, who had lots of hits, never made any money. In his best months with more than a million hits he made about a grand. I have made more than that on my harmonica blogs in some months.

The thing is that blogs that do not focus on a specific segment of the market do not make any money. I make money on the harmonica sites because advertisers want to advertise on harmonica sites. Harmonicas, the most popular instrument in the world, are big business. The blogger in the Newsweek article wrote about Steve Jobs. There is no focused market for Steve Jobs. No advertiser thinks that they can sell their product to people interested in reading about Steve Jobs. Without the tight link of content to advertising, there will be no ad revenue.

The one exception that I have discovered to this tight focus rule is Speculative Fiction. Other genres seem to work. Romance especially seems to make money. There is little or no money in SF and Fantasy fiction. The only way to get readership and ad revenue in spec-fic is to tie it in to comics, games and movies. I am a purist and I will not sink so low.

That being said. I am looking for an artist willing to work with me to produce some graphic stories. I’d like to convert a few of my ideas to graphic novels. I have even started to storyboard some ideas. Artists, it seems, are not that interested in working with writers. We seem bookish, boring and very uncool, I guess. It would be a difficult step for a teenage artist to take direction from an old guy like me.

Growing Rich by Blogging Is a High-Tech Fairy Tale | Newsweek Daniel Lyons | Techtonic Shifts | Newsweek.com

Census workers

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Anyone looking for a part time job with decent pay might be interested. I understand census work is pretty simple and low pressure. You can pick up $400 a week for up to 12 weeks for simply wandering around with a clipboard, usually in your home town.

You’d can get to RCC and check it out, but can also apply on the census website. This for the 2010 census, but the work starts in the spring of 2009.

Kathy Bookman, from the U.S. Census Bureau will be in the Atrium, Cultural Arts Center tomorrow, Dec. 4, 2008 from 10am-2pm for the following positions:

Recruitment Assistants
Crew Leaders
Field Staff

Starting salaries range from $18-$20/hr for part time work.

Cyber Monday

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Here’s how I did on Cyber Monday:

Stars: $98

Google: $26

Chitika: $0.30

Kontera: $1.50 (estimate)

Ebay Partner Network: $5 (Estimate)

The last two sources delay their reports. Ebay might not report until the actual auction closes.

About $130 for one day, which ain’t nothing to sneeze at for such easy work (no work really, I wrote the freenameastar.com program three years ago and have been collecting ever since).

Last year I did about $70 on Cyber Monday. Things are generally looking up.

Month to month I’ve been doing about double last year. This November I did about 70% better than last November and if that holds I should do quite well for December. Last December the biggest days were on the first Thursday and Friday of December and then the three days before Christmas. I think Cyber Monday may be a media invention.

Imagine what it would be like if there were no recession!

Boys, Girls, Make Money at Home with Your Computer

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

It seems unlikely, but I have discovered that several people are reselling my Free Name A Star Certificates on eBay for about $15 (maybe more). They sell the star, go to my site and pay the $2 to get the “Free” off the certificate, print it out with a screen dump of the star map, mail it, and collect the money.

I have thought about this and decided that as long as my role is just to collect my share, it is a good idea. I envision an army of salesmen flooding the world with star certificates, and me making $2 on each one.

It is not the best way for people at home to make money, although probably easy enough.

I figure that a certificate and map on good quality paper costs about $1.

The postage and envelope have to cost about $3 for first class mail and the eBay listing fee is $2.50.

PayPal will cost you another $1.50

That $15 turns into $5 profit.

You might want to subtract out gasoline to the post office. If it takes you 30 minutes to do the whole process, you wind up making about $10 an hour, unless you can figure a way to cut costs. An efficiently run operation might double that and selling 100 stars in a 40 hour week could make a person $25,000 or more a year, hardly worth it unless you charge $20 per registration.

I’ve registered about 44,000 stars since the site went live, although only 1 in 40 is a pay star. I only have about 6,000 left on the list. I don’t remember exactly how I did this and I am wondering if I still have the master list from two years ago in order to add more stars. I hope I don’t run out of stars. I never dreamed that I would register more than 50,000 stars.

Kontera links going away

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

I have been making less than $2 a day on the Kontera context links and page views have gone down since I put them on the page. I will wait a few more weeks (until I get $100) and then pull them. I have already taken them off the blog. In the mean time I am randomizing so that they appear on about 1/3 of the pages.

I found the Kontera context links to be distracting and I think that users may have been put off by them. Anything that gets between the content and the reader is not good.

The Coming Hard Times

Monday, September 29th, 2008

dow As I write this the DOW is up a little from its 700 point loss. My stocks are down around 5% and I expect they’ll keep sliding about 20%, 40% or more. I wanted to sell, but we didn’t see the edge of the precipice until it was too late. I still want to sell. I had a few thousand dollars worth of an insurance company stock that I sold a few months ago, thank goodness.

The price of oil and the lack of oversight in the financial industry has resulted in synchronicity that will force things down and down. Banks all over the world are failing and I just read that congress has voted against the bail out. I have no doubt the bailout would have not have done anything but line the pockets of financial executives, though.

My own losses might be about $300k in stock and $300k in the value of my house, before this is over. I would say that I would get off easy except that the county government is going to have to do some cost cutting and that usually means getting rid of contractors. One way or the other, I may be retired in the coming year.

But, in spite of the bad news, I am a little happy that the economic policies of the Republicans has failed so dramatically. Bush will be remembered as the president, like Coolidge and Hoover 80 years ago, who presided over the conditions that led to this crash. The republicans were kept out of the white house for 20 years as a result of the 1929 crash. The fault was not entirely with the republicans, but the blame certainly fell on them, as it will this time. I once said that the only good thing about Bush was that after he left office few would vote for a republican president for a long time. It looks like this may be true.

The republican policies of regulation and less government oversight have resulted in their logical conclusion. We are in for a world wide monetary collapse. I expect to stand in line to get free bread as my grandfather would have done. I imagine that soon my neighbors and I will not be able to pay our property taxes and local governments will go bankrupt.

If it gets too much worse, I may have to cut back on cats. If Ollie throws up on the rug one more time… Watch out cats!