The holidays are a great time to make extra cash and even start something that can become your main income. However, it takes commitment and planning. Here are some ideas and resources to help you make money during the holidays:
Take on Seasonal Telecommuting Work: Many companies, especially businesses that need customer service reps, take on additional staff during the holidays. Check out Seasonal Home-Based CSR Jobs that includes a list of companies the hire customer service reps.
Offer Seasonal Products or Services: People are buying and need additional services during the holidays. If you’re crafter, you can sell your crafts as holiday gifts. If you’re good with animals, offer pet sitting for people who travel over the holidays. Read 7 Holiday Businesses You can Start Now to get ideas and tips on how to start a business catering to the holiday season.
Target Shoppers: If you already have a website or blog, look for ways to promote items that people are shopping for now. For example, if you have a mom blog, you can have a list of your ten favorite toddler toys. Just about all websites can do an Oprah-like favorite things feature.
Don’t have a website or blog? Start one. If you’re goal is to take advantage of the holiday season, you’ll need to start right away, but if you plan and execute efficiently, you can have something up and running in a few hours. Here’s how:
1) Pick an idea that lends itself well to the holidays. People are buying gifts, so choose an idea that allows you to promote items as an affiliate. Check out Amazon and Conversant for companies that sell the types of stuff people are buying for gifts (jewelry, electronics, toys etc).
2) Buy a domain and webhosting. People are more reluctant to buy off free hosted sites, so invest the few bucks it takes to launch a site. Godaddy is offering $1.49 domain name purchase (ends Nov. 8). Hostgator is offering 25% off of hosting (enter code: holidayhostsavings).
3) Install WordPress. Hostgator and other hosts have templates and other web building options, but I like WordPress. It’s easy to set up, customize and change. To set up WordPress, log into your cPanel, choose “Fantastico Du Luxe”, “WordPress” and follow the directions to install. Once installed, log into your WordPress site to change the theme and add content.
4) Purchase and rewrite PLR articles to add content to your site. Original content is best, but since you’re under the gun, purchasing private label right articles and re-writing them is the fastest way to get content on your site fast. My friend Nicole Dean has very affordable PLR articles in a variety of topics.
5) Add content that helps people buy. This would be a list of your favorite things, product reviews, etc. Make sure that any item you suggest as being great is actually great. Use affiliate links to direct people to the product page so they can buy this great item you’ve suggested. Don’t forget to put a disclaimer on your site that tells readers you use affiliate links and might get paid, per the FTC’s endorsement rule.
6) Set up an email list. The truth is that an email list is what sets the okay online entrepreneurs apart from those who are making a living or the big bucks. I use Aweber, which I recommend. However, if money is tight, MailChimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers. An email list allows you to build trust and rapport, remind people of great content on your site and even make direct offers, although don’t send too many offers, as it will annoy subscribers.
7) Market, market, market. Figure out the best people to visit your site and reach out to them where ever they are. Social media, guest blogging, PR and networking are great low-cost ways to drive traffic to your site.
Now is a great time to take advantage of the buying season either by offering products or services people need during this busy time. The trick is to plan, execute and market your venture.
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.
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