Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Click here for full details and disclosures.

Tag Archives: home business

Tools and Resources I Use to Work At Home

Tools and Resources I Use to Work At Home

When I teach seminars or speak at conferences, I usually give generalizations about the tools and resources one can use to make money, but inevitability someone asks, “What do you use?” So here is a list of the tools and resources I use to make money or to provide work-at-home information.

Work-At-Home Jobs

Below are the resources I use to find jobs and tools I recommend to help people get hired to jobs. Some of the resources below include traditional jobs and may have biz ops and scams, so make sure you’re well-versed in how to avoid scams. Others are fee-based telecommuting databases. I like these options for jobs because they weed out the scams and biz ops.

FlexJobs – Has tons of work-at-home and flexible job options plus a personalized login system that will identify jobs that fit your criteria, ability to have multiple resume profiles, job search tips and checklists, and much more! For the number of jobs and added service, its a must use for the serious work-at-home job hunter.

HomeJobStop has over 100 jobs in clerical, and more in customer service, writing, transcription, miscellaneous plus 100′s of others. Very affordable.

Free job search sites (you need to search by keyword to find work-at-home jobs on these sites).

oDesk – Tons of freelance jobs in administrative support, customer service and more!

Monster.com

Beyond.com- Check out this video on how to find work-at-home jobs on Beyond.com.

CareerBuilder

Job.com

Yahoo! Hot Jobs

CraigsList.org

SimplyHired

Tools to Help You Get Hired

LinkedIn

Blog/Website – A great way to show off your skills, knowledge and post a resume and portfolio (see below for my website building recommendations).

Job RSS feeds – many of the job sites listed above have RSS feeds that will deliver new job announcements to you. Another option is to use their email or Google Alerts for new jobs.

Online Income/Home Business Tools and Resources

Website/Blog

Hostgator – I’ve used Hostgator for many years. I have moments when I’m frustrated and annoyed when my sites go down, but as I look at other website owners, I see they have some of the same issues. Another option that I haven’t used but that I’ve heard good things about is MomWebs.

Godaddy – I have over 30 domains with Godaddy.

WordPress Self-Hosted- Nearly all my sites are built on WordPress, even those that aren’t blogging sites. Like any tool, it can take a little time to learn, but once you’ve got it, you’re good to go. Even when updated, the look and how to use WP doesn’t change.  Most webhosts now offer easy WP installation through cPanel (Hostgator does).

List Building

Aweber – If you want to make money online, you have to have a list. The majority of people I know who are making good if not great money online have an email list. Aweber can be used in many ways. It has an autoresponder to automatically send follow ups. I use it to deliver WAHS U courses. You can have it pull the feed from your blog and email whenever your blog is updated or intervals you decide.

Information Product Creation Tools

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 (1PC/1User) [Download]- I own MS Office for Home and Student which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. I use all programs, except OneNote.

Scrivener – I recently bought Scrivener for writing because it has organizational and note/research keeping tools within the software.

PDF995 – Free PDF Maker

Microsoft Word PDF Add-on for 2007 (free)

Jing – I use Jing for screencapture images and video.

iStockphoto – I buy photos for products I sell (ebooks, info products etc) from iStockphoto. What’s nice about iStockphotos is that there are affordable photos and it even gives some away for free. For my blog posts, I try to find free royalty-free photos or buy photo packs through PLR sites.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 – Use a really old version of Photoshop to create and edit graphics. You can use Gimp for free.

Pinnacle Studio 17 Ultimate – I have an older version (12) that I use to edit videos for info products and YouTube. The basic 17 edition is buggy, so you might want to go with the ultimate version, which is more expensive, but includes some good tools including screen capture.

Getting Paid

PayPal – This is the fastest, easiest way to start selling online. PayPal offers many merchant options. It’s not perfect. I get more email related to not getting a download link from PayPal sales than other sources. The link is there, but PayPal sometimes makes it hard to find and doesn’t email the link to buyers. But for quick, easy and affordable merchant account set up, PayPal is good.

ClickBank – Clickbank charges to set up selling (vendor) accounts (about $50), but it’s worth the price. Not only will ClickBank collect payment (PayPal, credit card, check), but you can set up an affiliate program allowing other website owners to sell your product(s) and earn a commission. Clickbank pays weekly or biweekly and will direct deposit into your bank account.

Podcasting

YouCanBookMe – Use this free service to let podcast guests make their interview times. I’m able to limit times to days/hours I specify. Then YouBookMe adds the interview to my Google Calendar and sends me an email.

AudioAcrobat – I use AudioAcrobat to record and host my podcasts. Not only can I generate the online and download, but it sends the podcast to iTunes as well. AudioAcrobat offers call in lines to record your show, have customers call in for testimonials and more.

Skype – Get Skype for your Business for free conference calls and video calling. Until recently, I used Skype to call my podcast guest and Pamela to record the calls. I started having some quality issues (probably related to my Internet) and right now I’m using AudioAcrobat to call and record my show.

Pamela – I used Pamela to record Skype calls. When it worked it was great, when it didn’t it was bad. The tech support isn’t that great. A free option is MP3 Skype Recorder.

Sony Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 – I use Soundforge for audio editing of my podcasts.

MP3Tag – I use this free software to add the tags to my podcast so when you add it to your MP3 player it has the right titles and other information.

Affiliate Programs

There are tons of resources for affiliate income. These are just a few of the popular ones.

Amazon Associates

ClickBank

Conversant (formally Commission Junction)

eBay Partner Network

LinkShare

Shareasale

Contextual and CPC Advertising (*May require minimum traffic to sites)

Google Adsense

Kanoodle

Chikita *

Infolinks

Kontera *

Marketing

Publicity

HARO – I love HARO because it connects you with people needing experts and others to interview for their articles, radio shows, podcasts and more.  And it’s free!

Social Media

CoSchedule – Until recently, I would post articles on my blog and then use the Hootsuite Hootlet to schedule social media announcements of the post. No I use CoSchedule, which allows me to schedule my social media posts along with writing the post. It also creates and editorial calendar, which will be helpful as I add more contributing bloggers to WAHS’s line up.

HootSuite – I still use Hootsuite for social media, most to schedule older posts and to send out links to good articles I find online that I think my followers should read. Hootsuite is also a great way to view and manage all your social media in one place. I have all my Twitter accounts, Facebook fan pages, Google + (page not profile) and LinkedIn account in Hootsuite. Further, you can get the Hootsuite app for your phone so you can use it on the go. It’s free up to 5 accounts.

Applets – I use applets with Hootsuite, Pinterest, Evernote and Send to Kindle. When I’m on a site that I want to share or remember, I can click the applet and add it. Each browser has it’s own apps (applet, addons, etc). Search your browsers add-ons for applets that can add.

Safety and Protection

LastPass – After the scare with Heartbleed, I decided to use a program to help me manage passwords. LastPass will generate passwords that you’d never remember, but since it stores them, you only need to remember your LastPass password. It’s free on your computer, but I paid for the phone app because I have to access my information through it sometimes as well.

Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus – After my computer crashed, I paid for extra tech support which included free anti-virus software. I’d been using Trend Micro, which was fine although it slowed my machine down when it ran. But this was recommended by the tech guys. So far, I haven’t noticed any slow downs when it runs.

Productivity/Organization

Evernote – I love Evernote to store ideas, research, and anything else I might want to find again when I’m online or even out and about (it has a mobile app as well).

Google Calendar – Since changing to the iPhone, I mostly use the calendar on my PC.

Gmail – Except for WAHS email, I use Gmail for just about everything. I have it set up so I can see and manage important email while trying to keep my inbox clear.

DropBox – I use DropBox to store my current writing documents so I can work on items from any of my devices. It’s a good resource for sharing information with a virtual assistant or team as well.

About Leslie Truex
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
Connect with Leslie: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + | Pinterest
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Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you register or buy using the link. Occasionally, WAHS publishes "Supporting Contributor" posts or paid reviews for which compensation is paid. These posts are marked as such. All opinions are my own. Click here for full details and disclosures.


Speed Up Your Work-At-Home Success!

SoloMasterminds

When I started Work-At-Home Success and working at home, there weren’t very many resources to find help, support and feedback. Although trial and error is an effective way to learn, it’s also the longest and most frustrating way. In the first decade of the 2000s, I joined a mastermind group, at the time called MomMasterminds, but since changed to SoloMasterminds. I’d known about the group for some time before joining, but wasn’t sure it was for me. Afterall, I already worked at home, I didn’t need to learn how to do that. But ultimately, I’m glad I invested the money into a mastermind group and here’s why you should too:

1. Shortens the learning curve. Everything, and I mean everything you want to know about building a business, especially one online, is there. You’ll find information, courses, tutorials and more done by people who’ve been making a living online since the late 1990’s

2. Reduces mistakes and frustrations. As I said, trial and error works, unless all those errors lead you to quit because you don’t think you can do it. A mastermind group not only teaches you what to do, but you’ve got a group of successful people at your beck and call to give you feedback and support to make necessary changes and adjustments as you build your business.

3. Get feedback. I’d already been successful working at home when I joined, but I still get a lot of help from the other members because “four eyes are better than two”. When something isn’t working or I’m not sure about it, I can post in the mastermind forum and ask for help. If my site has gone wonky, a tech person helps me figure out what’s wrong. If ad copy isn’t pulling, a copywriter tells me how to tweak it. If a site doesn’t look quite right, a web/graphic person suggests improvements.

4. Work for yourself, but not by yourself. Let’s face it, if you’re alone in your work-at-home venture, it can be very difficult. Nay-sayers and negative Nellies will pull you down. But not through a mastermind group. The members will cheer you on, celebrate your successes, and support you through disappointment.

5. Be accountable. How long and how many attempts have you made to work at home? How many times have you let your work-at-home dream slide by because you’re too busy or maybe too afraid? A mastermind group is a great way to make yourself accountable. Members will be there to support you and remind you of goals you made. They aren’t going to hunt you down and demand you work (unless you ask them to), but there is something about putting your goals out into the world that automatically make you more accountable.

6. Extend your network. Not only do you have supporters, but you’ll have people ready to share your business with their networks. Networking is one of the best ways to get clients, customers and traffic to your business. Members will know, like and trust you and be eager to share your business with their network.

7. Get resources. Along with learning resources, you’ll learn about other services and you need to build your business. Do you need a good graphic designer or virtual assistant? Odds are there is someone in the mastermind group who is one or knows one. Further, many group members offer discounts to other members.

8. Reach for more and better. I recently invested in a program to help me get more sponsors so I could have less advertising on WAHS. When I connected with the program developer and mentioned some of my ideas, she said, “Yes, and more.” Sometimes we limit ourselves, partly because we don’t know there’s more and partly because we think we can’t have more. A mastermind group will help you explore ideas and push you to reach greater heights.

9. No tire kickers. Have you ever joined a free forum or discussion group, but all that is posted is spam? This is one reason WAHS doesn’t have a forum anymore. Because it costs money to join a mastermind group, only people who are serious about working at home successfully join. That automatically heightens the level of interaction. You won’t get spammed or asked to join people’s programs.

10. More affordable than coaching. Getting one-on-one help is the ideal way to build your business, but it’s expensive. The next best option is to join a mastermind group, where you get the help from many successful entrepreneurs (many of whom are coaches) at a fraction of the cost.

There are a lot of mastermind groups out there and many are good. But you want to pick a group that you feel good about. I chose SoloMasterminds because I knew many of the members from around the web. Many have been on the WAHS podcast. I knew they knew what they were talking about and they’re down-to-earth. No one feels talked down to or dumb for asking questions.

The key to success in a mastermind group is to take your time, yet methodically work through the provided material and participate. In fact, for me, the forum has been the best part of the investment. You can ask questions, get feedback, share your disappointments and successes, get ideas, get resources, and so much more. Not participating in a mastermind group is like buying a book and not reading it. You won’t get what you need if you don’t use what you got.

I highly recommend mastermind groups, and of course SoloMasterminds. I’ve been in touch with head masterminder, Kelly McCausey who’s running a special deal. If you join right now, you can get:

147 A Video review of your site plus a 30 minute coaching call.

147 Total access to a powerful set of learning tools that will teach you what you need to know.

147 Access to a collective of successful solopreneurs who have achieved what you want and are willing to help you do the same.

147 Get feedback about your business, ask questions, find joint venture partners and feel a part of a community.

147 Stay a member for 12 months, and at the end of the year, you can enjoy LIFETIME FREE ACCESS.

I know that the cost will seems like a lot for some people, but how much are you willing to pay to finally have success working from home, doing what you want, when you want and how you want? A mastermind group will not only help you make more from home sooner, but the investment can be a tax deduction.

I’ll be honest, I’m as stingy as people come. I don’t pay for ads or buy a lot of how-to programs. What I invest in are things I KNOW will help me make more money and Solo Masterminds has done just that. In the beginning I wasn’t sure it would be a good investment, but when I finally committed to learning from the other experts and participating in the forum, my hobby website called Work-At-Home Success grew into it’s own income stream, led to interviews in top magazines, and eventually got me a book deal! That’s that power of a mastermind.

About Leslie Truex
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
Connect with Leslie: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + | Pinterest
Sign up for the newsletter below to get more great tools and resources.



Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you register or buy using the link. Occasionally, WAHS publishes "Supporting Contributor" posts or paid reviews for which compensation is paid. These posts are marked as such. All opinions are my own. Click here for full details and disclosures.