How to Turn $50 Into $5,000 in 30 Days

A critical first step in making more money is to determine your reason(s) for making the extra money. It could be that you want to make enough money for a down payment on a new car. I heard that Mercedes has a new offer on the stylish S-Class series. Maybe you want to take a well deserved vacation. The average vacation cost is $4,580 according to Perhaps you want to save up for a wedding. Weddings, by the way, are going for a whopping $28,400 on average according to It might be that your children are bugging you to create or add money to their education fund. Education costs are skyrocketing. College costs have surged 500% in the U.S. since 1985 according to The reason could be debt related. The average credit card debt per adult in the U.S. is $4,878. The money you make could be used to pay off your credit card debt, or pay off medical bills. Medical bills incidentally, are the biggest cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. according to

It’s critical to write down your reason(s) now. Please get a pen and paper and do so before continuing.

Next Steps -

  • Establish your goal. A goal is a desired result a person, plans and commits to achieve a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. A goal is something you put in writing with a specific amount our outcome and a specific time frame or deadline. Your goal could be to earn $5,000 within 30 days as an example. Or it could be to earn $50,000 within 3 months. It’s your goal.
  • Define the objective. Objectives are closely related to goals. And the two terms are often used synonymously. But goals and objectives are different. Objectives are specific and measureable milestones that must be achieved in order to reach a goal. In this example, your objective is to find people who are interested in buying products and/or services and sell them those products and/or services at a price they can afford.
  • Create a strategy. With your goal and objective established and in writing, you can now proceed to the strategy. A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve your objective and goal. The strategy is a high-level written statement of the methods you will use to reach your goal. In this example, your strategy will be to use affiliate marketing opportunities to and a blog to bring buyers and sellers together. When a sale is made, you will earn a commission.
  • Develop your tactics. Tactics are specific actions required to deliver on a strategy. Tactics are what you do, and for every strategy, there are a number of tactics. You will be using several marketing techniques in order to attract buyers to your blog. Social media marketing, article marketing, video marketing and other techniques will be utilized.

What is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts according to Wikipedia. It’s a function of e-commerce. By the way, total e-commerce spending in the United States will hit approximately $262 billion this year, up 13.4% from $231 billion last year, according to a new projection from Forrester Research Inc. Affiliate marketing is a low-risk, high-return strategy for online marketers. U.S. affiliate marketing spending will reach $4 billion by 2014 and will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 16% from 2009 through 2014 according to Forrester Research Inc. By becoming an affiliate marketer, you are plugging into this exchange of buyers and sellers and you are giving yourself an opportunity to make a lot of money.

Some of the top affiliate marketers are pocketing over $2 million a year. There’s plenty of money to go around but no promises that you’ll make $2 million a year right out of the gate. However, if you are committed to the process, you can make a full time income working part time hours.

Okay, so the next step is to identify the industries you want to help. You may be inclined to decide based on your personal interests. Maybe you’ve read that a particular industry is about to surge. There are many industries that offer affiliate marketing opportunities.

The renewable energy industry may be of interest to you. There are many products that are available online such as solar-powered flash lights. By the way, when is the last time you saw a solar-powered flash light in Wal-Mart or your local sporting goods store? They are incredibly hard to find. Many people who enjoy the outdoors would save a great deal of money on batteries and lantern fuel if they had solar-powered flash lights and lanterns. This is just one example of items that people will gladly buy from your blog.

Another example is personal financial services. Millions of people are struggling with personal debt and need solutions to help them get back on their feet financially. By offering people credit card debt reduction services or mortgage refinance services that they can’t get locally, you are helping them regain control of their life and you will get paid in the process!

Maybe you love to travel or wish you could travel more. Providing travel packages to exotic places may float your boat so to speak.

Provide health-related products/and or services to millions of people who are searching for ways to lose weight and live a more active lifestyle. There are many options to choose from and many ways to make money as an affiliate marketer in most industries.

The next step is to create a blog so you can inform people of the products and/or services that will improve their lives. There are many companies that offer free blog space or you can purchase blog space. It depends on your budget and your technical skills. Spend a day or two learning how to create a blog and how to add blog posts to your blog.

Write a few posts detailing information about your industry and the products and/or services that will soon be available on your blog. Make sure your content is informative and interesting. The last thing your visitors will want to read are blatant advertisements.

Next, apply to become an affiliate marketer for the companies in your industry. Use Google to locate the providers for the types of products and/or services you have selected to sell and complete their affiliate marketer application. You will get an answer within 48 hours in most cases. Be sure to keep track of which affiliate programs you have applied for and what the outcome is for each application.

You can then begin adding affiliate links to your blog for the products and/or services you wish to sell. Try to balance your blog with content and advertisements. A rule of thumb is to load up your blog with 70% content and 30% advertising. Another piece of advice is to offer products and/or services that will give you a good range of commissions. In other words, include high, medium, and low commissionable items on your blog to give yourself a good mix. You may sell several of each during the course of a day and having the right mix will enable you to reach your income goal.

Now it’s time to market your blog. People will learn about your blog through your marketing efforts. Your marketing plan should include social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others). It should also include articles and e-books as well as SEO (Search Engine Optimized) blog posts.

Write down a list of keywords your niche market will most likely use to search online for the information and items you’re publishing on your blog.

Spend at least an hour each day marketing your blog. Be sure to include the list of keywords you just wrote down for your Twitter searches. Follow people who are industry leaders as well as people who appear to be novices in the industry. By the way, the industry leaders typically have many more followers than novices have.

There are many Twitter tools available which you can use to reduce the time required to build, maintain, and communicate with your Twitter following. Search for Twitter lists related to your industry and create a list for your account.

Use online automation tools for the delivery of your blog posts to your target audience to reduce the amount of time and effort required for tweets.

Include a Facebook Fan page in your marketing plan. Create a Facebook Fan page and add relevant content and photos. Post snippets of your posts on the Fan page to pique the Facebook visitors’ curiosity and encourage them to visit your blog.

Articles and videos should also be used to promote your blog. Ideally, you should write one or two articles each week. You can convert the article to an e-book and even a video after the article has been published. Establish goals for your marketing plan and adjust your efforts until your goals have been reached. I have written other articles as well as blog posts with thorough instructions on writing articles, setting social media marketing plan, conversion goals, and creating an overall online marketing plan as well as other tips and tricks.

Replace low-performing affiliate programs with other programs until the conversion rates are at acceptable levels.

Continue to market, measure, and adjust until you have reached your traffic, conversion, and income goals.

In summary, when you identify the reasons for making more money and you have clearly established a written goal, you can then proceed to creating objectives, strategies, and tactics for reaching your goal. Monitoring your progress on a daily basis and making adjustments, will keep you on track. E-commerce is here to stay and there is a growth surge just before the holiday season but anytime is a great time to get started. Your start-up costs should be around $50 or less depending on the blog service you use and other blog-related items you choose.

The two most important things to remember is you need to align yourself with the people and resources which will provide assistance to you at any point in the process and you need to get started now.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” — Helen Keller

“You may delay, but time will not.” –Benjamin Franklin

The Importance of Employment Tests

It is a known fact that the success of an employer and a company as a whole depends largely on the quality and reliability of its employees. This is the reason why employers must invest time and even money in the recruitment and interview process. Doing so would ensure that only the best possible candidate will be considered for a particular job.

When it comes to screening of potential employees, no other tool does it better than employment tests. These tests can measure what is called the KSA – knowledge, skills and abilities of the job candidates. Employment tests in this context are generally written or automated tests, but also include interviews, personality tests, skill tests, psychological tests, performance tests, medical examinations, agility tests, and so on.

A hiring process that is poorly designed is much like a recruitment process based on flipping a coin. Employers are well-aware that the impact of inefficient recruitment decisions can have costly and detrimental outcomes, which may include expensive training costs, decrease in overall productivity, increase in employee replacement, and increase in legal exposure.

Benefits of Efficient Assessments Incorporating assessment tests ensure that your company is making better hiring decisions. It can determine whether or not an employee can meet your criterion for maintaining high productivity. Consequently, pre-employment tests can reduce expensive and time-consuming recruitment steps by straightforwardly narrowing down the choices that will include only candidates who are best fit for the job. Because job fitting is greatly improved, this scenario can also increase the chances of retaining your employees for far longer periods of time. Furthermore, a well-developed pre-employment testing program can present a professional and positive image for your company, and will decrease the risk of hiring complaints.

Although pre-employment tests are basically a tool that protects employers, it can be just as important for them as for the applicant. It would be a shameful waste of time, effort, and even money to prepare for the responsibilities and challenges of a new job, yet find out later on that one is not capable of performing the tasks on hand and is bound for failure.

The benefits of pre-employment testing are endless. However, employers must know that these tests have certain limitations. For one, written tests must only measure skills that are important for the job description that a candidate is applying for. For this, employers must carefully design their pre-employment testing program. Pre-employment tests not properly designed may create an impression of being discriminatory, and this is something employers must avoid at all times.

Designing testing tools take time and experience. If these two are something your company does not have, you can easily find pre-employment testing software packages on the market. These pre-employment tests have been designed by professionals with expertise and experience in the field of recruitment, and thus can efficiently evaluate the general knowledge, office skills, personality, and so on, of a potential job candidate. There are various types of pre-employment test to choose from, and there will surely be one that best fits your needs as an employer.

Clearly, organizations that have a carefully well-developed testing program that best meets their exact needs will have competitive advantage. Employment tests allow employers to make the best hiring decisions and will consequently improve business revenue, productivity, and overall business outcomes.

55 Creative Entertainment Ideas For Your Next Event Or Meeting

1. Hire a comedian who can poke some fun at your CEO, do an impersonation of him, or even make light of your industry as a whole.

2. Hire a magician that can incorporate your sales message into his magic, or cut your CEO or receptionist in half. He might even be able to vanish the CEO, much to the delight of the employees.

3. Book a vocal improvisation group to take requests and spin them into a funny performance.

4. Have a musician write a song about your company and play it at the event.

5. Hire a celebrity impersonator to come to the event and sign autographs and take pictures with guests.

6. Book a caricature artist to draw personalized sketches of each employee at the company. These are fun souvenirs as well.

7. Book a digital caricature artist who composes his or her photos digitally on a computer right in front of your eyes. They can even personalize the backdrop to reflect the company

or event. This is a great souvenir for the guests to take home.

8. Book a balloon artist that makes the life size figures such as Disney characters, scenery like palm trees, huge company logos, and more. The balloon artist can do these figures with everyone watching making it an experience to watch the balloons being put together.

9. How about a strolling juggler who can mingle through the cocktail hour.

10. Book a stilt walker to make a big announcement for your company at an annual conference or meeting. It is a fun and guaranteed way to get everyone’s attention.

11. A clown is a great option for events with children or families. There are also evil clowns for events with no kids or around Halloween.

12. Book a palm reader to make psychic predictions about the future of the company or to tell people’s fortunes.

13. Hire a reality TV star to interact with guests. They are far less money than big time Hollywood celebrities.

14. Book a tribute band to play the songs of an artist that is popular among the guests.

15. An a cappella group can perform on stage or stroll through the event during a cocktail hour or dinner.

16. Hire a symphony orchestra to play at the event. You will need to consider space requirements for this type of an act.

17. You could have a mime act out a corporate message to employees or event customers.

18. Book a DJ to play only requested songs or songs from a certain era such as the 80′s

19. Break dancers can be lots of fun. They are generally young, hip, and add a sense of youth to an event.

20. How about a mariachi band for some festive music.

21. A steel drum band can be a nice addition to a high end gala event.

22. Booking a fire eater can be a great way to kick off the launch of a hot new product or service.

23. Carolers can be nice addition to any holiday event.

24. A living statue can be a great idea for almost any event. Make sure you ask for a living statue that matches closely to the theme of your event or meeting.

25. Booking a cirque act is a great idea when the event needs something remarkable or to get a buzz going. Make sure you can accommodate for the space some of the cirque acts require.

26. A snake charmer is a unique way break up a meeting or attract a crowd at an event.

27. Hire a mentalist to read the minds of the guests. This is creative way that the performer can interact with the audience.

28. How about an ice sculptor who can sculpt the company logo or a corporate message live while people watch it being carved.

29. Acrobats provide a lively addition to an event.

30. Singing waiters are an a cappella group dressed as formal waiters. This catches guests off guard and is an offbeat way to infuse entertainment into the dining experience.

31. Ballroom dancers can be popular with all the dance themed TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and others.

32. A barbershop quartet is an a cappella group where all the members wear red and white costumes, similar to that of a barbershop pole. This has a nostalgic feel to it.

33. Dueling pianos are a fantastic way to get the audience involved with nonstop entertainment

34. You could have your employees put on the entertainment by having a talent show and getting everyone in the company involved including the CEO. You will want to record this so everyone can watch it later on, or you may even want to send them all home with a copy, or mail it to them afterwards. You could also post them on YouTube for all to comment on.

35. A marching band can be an official way to introduce somebody special at the event. It can also be a way of showing that the company does not take themselves too seriously if they book a fun themed marching band.

36. Book the 60 second novelist. He comes with his own table and a manual typewriter and asks guests a few questions to get a sense of who they are, and he types out a short life story in one minute. He even binds it so guests can take it home. The story is funny, imaginative and true. This is a fun way to get people to open up and share their stories and get to know each other.

37. Face painters are a neat way to entertain the younger kids.

38. A choir can be a nice way to make a grandiose statement.

39. How about an opera singer for a classy event or gala.

40. A graffiti artist that can create a painting of someone or something with a large crowd watching. Some artists do this type of thing super fast, making it intriguing to watch.

41. Book hula dancers to mingle on the dance floor with guests.

42. How about Polynesian dancers to inject a unique culture into the event.

43. A ventriloquist can be a great entertainment choice that can play well for kids or adults depending on the performer.

44. Hire a dynamic storyteller who can weave a message about the goal of the event or meeting.

45. An escape artist is a dramatic way to convey messages such as, escaping or breaking free of limiting beliefs and constraints. This can be a nice way to motivate employees to achieve a goal.

46. Booking a hypnotist can provide a serious element or a comedic one.

47. A rapper could perform a comedic rap specifically written about the company. Some rappers can even improvise this on the spot.

48. A puppeteer is another option for younger children to keep them entertained.

49. Hire a sword swallower to attract the crowd or if it fits into the theme.

50. You can always hire a real Hollywood celebrity to attract the attention and buzz you need or try booking a couple of smaller celebrities to make better use of your funds and get more celebrity drawing power.

51. You might want to book a political impersonator that is popular such as Sarah Palin or Barack Obama.

52. A harpist can add a light musical touch without loud music. This would be nice for a laid back, high end atmosphere.

53. How about having multiple celebrity tribute artists on stage performing a bunch of hits songs from the various artists they impersonate.

54. Have a stage where different executives from the company do karaoke for a variety of songs.

55. Finally, the best way to guarantee a creative entertainment experience is to have the performer or performers customize their acts to your event or meeting. This creates a memorable experience guests are sure to remember for a long time.

What Font Should You Use For Your Book?

One of the most common questions asked by would-be self-publishers who are intent on designing and typesetting their book themselves is, “What font should I use?”

I’m always relieved when somebody asks the question. At least, it means they’re not just blindly going to use the ubiquitous default fonts found in most word processing programs.

However, there is almost no way to answer the question. It’s like asking, “What’s the best car model for commuting to work everyday?”

You’ll get a different answer from almost everyone you ask. And they might all be correct.

I am willing to offer one hard-and-fast rule, however: don’t use Times New Roman or Times Roman. That will brand your book as the work of an amateur at first glance. And there are other, very practical, reasons for not using it. Times Roman and Times New Roman were designed for the narrow columns of newspapers, originally for the London Times back in the 1930s. Today, almost no newspapers still use it. How, or why, it became a word processing standard, I have no idea. The font tends to set very tight, making the text block on the page dense and dark.

Here are two caveats before proceeding to few recommendations:

  1. The typeface you choose may depend on how your book will be printed. If you look closely at most serif fonts (like Times), you will notice that there are thick and thin portions of each letter. If your book will be printed digitally, you should steer away from fonts with segments that are very thin. They tend to become too faint and affect readability.
  2. Don’t get carried away with the thousands of font choices available. Most are specialty fonts suitable for titles, headlines, advertising, emotional impact, etc. And never use more than a very few fonts in a single book — we usually choose one serif font for the main text body, a sans serif for chapter titles and headings within the chapters. Depending on the book, we may select a third font for captions on photos, graphics, tables, etc. (or maybe just a different size, weight, or style of one of the other two). We may select a specialty font for use on the front cover for the title and subtitle.

For 90% of books, any of the following fonts are excellent choices:

  • Palatino Linotype
  • Book Antiqua (tends to set tight, so you may have to loosen it up a bit)
  • Georgia
  • Goudy Old Style
  • Adobe Garamond Pro (tends to have a short x-height, so it might seem too small in typical sizes)
  • Bookman (the name sort of gives it away, doesn’t it?)
  • Century Schoolbook (tends to be a bit wide, creating extra pages)

You need to look at several paragraphs of each font to see what, if any, adjustments you may find necessary in things like character spacing and kerning. You want to avoid little confusions, like:

  • “vv” (double v) that looks like the letter “w”
  • “cl” (c l) that looks like the letter “d”

Such things can make the reading experience annoying.

If you ask other designers, you will likely get other suggestions, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least some of the above included in their recommendations.

You may run across some books with more unusual font choices, but there are often good reasons for it. Maybe the book is a humor book for which the designer chose a lighthearted font, for example. Such decisions should be made with care and thoughtful consideration for the effects on readability.

Never decide on your font or font size based only on viewing how it looks on your monitor. Most trade paperback books are printed in 10 or 11 point size, but some fonts require larger – or even smaller – sizes. If 12 points looks too big and 11 too small, you can try 11.5 – no need to stick with integer sizes. You might be surprised how much difference a half-point (or even a quarter-point) can make on the overall “feel” of the page.

You also have to decide on appropriate leading (pronounced like the metal), which is the distance from the baseline of one line of text to the baseline for the next line, measured in points. The result is usually expressed as a ratio of the font size in points to the selected leading in points. So, you might say you have set the body text in Georgia 11/14 or Bookman 10/12.5 (11-point size with 14 points leading and 10-point size with 12.5 points leading, respectively).

Word processing programs tend to work in decimal inches, forcing you to convert leading from points into inches. A standard point is equal to 0.0138 inches. Professional typesetting/layout programs (like Adobe InDesign) allow you to use points and picas to define all type measurements and settings. although you can also specify those settings in various other units (including inches).

Typically, book designers will develop more than one design for each book’s interior, using different fonts, sizes, and leadings. They should typeset a few pages of the actual manuscript and print them out with the same page settings they plan to use in the final book (e.g., 6″ x 9″ pages). This allows the client to compare them side-by-side and evaluate them for readability and overall look.

And don’t forget your target audience. Very young readers and very old readers do better with larger type. Books that are very textually dense with long paragraphs frequently need more leading and a wider font.

Ultimately, you have to choose based on what your gut reaction is to the typeset samples. It never hurts to ask other people to read it and tell you if one option is easier to read than another.

If you want to gain an appreciation for typography and how to make appropriate design decisions, I recommend the following excellent books:

The Complete Manual of Typography by James Felici

The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

Book Design and Production by Pete Masterson

For those who insist on using Microsoft Word to typeset books, you really should buy and study Perfect Pages by Aaron Shepard. He is the reigning guru of how to do it.

It is far better to buy professional layout software and then learn all you can about typography and how to apply those principles to book design…or to hire a professional to do for you. The latter course will leave you more time to develop a dynamic marketing plan for your latest book and start writing your next one!