Making the Internet Your Business

The internet is a place with so much potential for starting a business, especially in South Africa where more and more people are getting connected.

Our internet markets are so far from its full potential that I suggest you get yourself ready for the day when broadband becomes even cheaper. The internet will become accessible and cheaper for households throughout the country.

For you to really start earning money from multiple income streams on the internet, you have to have some sort of an online presence. 

As I have explained in a previous article on my website, you can earn an income without a website, by signing up for an affiliate programme like the one at  Bidorbuy’s auction site, promoting individual products or their seminars.

It is very limiting to only use the e-mail option, most affiliate marketers eventually opt for a website or blog. 

Where do you start?

Even though there are many free websites available on offer, it is preferable to get your own domain name to create a trustworthy site.

There are blogging sites like www.blogger.com, www.typepad.com or the popular www.wordpress.com, but most of them have rules about marketing and you don’t have 100% control of your website.

Other blogging sites, like blogs.24.com are social sites and do not allow affiliate links and other marketing tools, so ensure follow the rules of the sites you decide to blog at.

The best option is to pay for web hosting service, like Afrihost. They have various payment plans to choose from, with a reasonable cost of R99.00 per month you can host your blog or website and have total control of your content.

What can you blog about?

The best topics to blog about (or create your website around) would be things you have a real interest in. It might be something you consider to be simple, but other people might be looking to talk about.

If you are a movie buff then talk about the latest movies or if you like gaming, then write about that. You can write about writing, knitting, cooking, crafts, fishing, cars, etc. The list is endless.

Is that all?

NO! You have to do your research! Read everything you can about blogging and internet marketing. A good place to start would be a free resource from Quirk eMarketing. Keep up to date on what is happening in the internet marketing world and you will make money.

What Now?

Now you start writing! Geta few articles done and then sign up for an account with a reputable website like the TrafficSynergy Affiliate Program ,Kalahari.net’s eTrader and/or PC Mall and find campaigns to match your topics of interest. Sign up to Google Adsense immediately and start earning.

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale

My cousin e-mailed me a few weeks ago with a book recommendation, The Thirteenth Tale a debut novel by Diane Setterfield.

I waited until my leave started and then headed for the new Claremont library. The book was the first I saw as walked in – on the recommended books shelf. I grabbed it although there was no one else close by!

The Thirteenth tale is the fictional story of a famous writer Vida Winter who near the end of her life asks the daughter of an antique bookstore owner to write her biography. The book’s title refers to a missing story in an anthology of short stories she wrote as a young writer.

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Veda is haunted by her past and seems to want someone to discover the truth of her story, which she never told anyone and somehow be able to die in peace.

Margaret Lea is the biographer, who is also haunted by the secret of her own birth. She is told by Ms Winter to not ask questions, but to listen to the story from beginning to end. She however does some background investigations of her own and discovers parts of the story on her own.

The story she is told is about twins and about a haunted house.

For most of the book I was engrossed with the storytelling, but the Jane Eyre references irritated, I felt it was overdone and unnecessary, making the story seem literary pretentious.

I started off enjoying the book, especially the writing style. At first I could not put it down, but closer to the end the unraveling mystery no longer held my attention and I had to struggle to finish it.

Readers who enjoy storytelling with , a clean beginning, middle and ending and heroines that have fainting spells, would probably enjoy this story more. I was sort of reminded of the book Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews.

Looking Back at 2008

The start of the end of the year is always exciting.

Many companies close down their offices for a few days in December and it’s no different for the NGO who employs me!  We close for a month from the second Friday in December.  So I have been on holiday for nearly two weeks already! Time sure flies faster when you are at home rather than work!

I brought along my 2009 diary, incase I got in the mood to start planning for the New Year.  Each year we get a diary and each year I start off with good intentions of getting down to time-planning. By March entries become more scattered, until June when diary entries all but dries up!

December though is for relaxing and perhaps looking back over the year…and what a year it was!

I got my feet wet in January with my first blog at blogs.24.com. What an easy way to learn the ropes for someone who hadn’t even considered reading a blog! It helped that the regulars over there were friendly and helpful!

By July I was ready to move on to a blogspot blog. This blog gave me a bit more freedom to write without the obligatory reciprocal visits that community blogs necessitated.

Finally I migrated to a WordPress blog with my own domain. Wow! is all I can say! The freedom to do and write as I please is very attractive for someone who likes being in control of their own destiny! It does help that my webhost Afrihost, made the move so easy!

 In between the blog moving:

I learned a lot about internet marketing and even earned a few Rand for good measure.  After trying different affiliate programmes, I ended up mainly promoting Bidorbuy directly and received a monthly payout each month since September 2008.

I read everything I could, especially through subcribes to RSS feeds of favourite blogs.  Microsoft Outlook 2007 was the best thing to happen to me and my enormous amount of incoming feeds! I have now stopped at a few mostly international technology and local and overseas general news feeds, because there is just so much information one can process in a day.  For internet marketing, a local one I read is at iMod.

Towards the end of the year, I received some valuable advice : to go with my own experiences on my blog.  I was told that most of  Tech news is there for all to see – on aggregator sites.  Great advice that turned out – and also a turning point for me.

Google tools like Analytics, Adsense, SKtool, etc. came in handy and added to the thrill of blogging.

And then there was the US elections featuring glamour candidates Barack Obama – as in Obama Cool! – and Sarah (Say it Aint So Joe!) Palin and the run up to our very own South African elections in 2009! I love the drama of politics, but politicians…not so much – except for Obama of course!

Bring on 2009…but not quite yet.

Alan Boesak – UN Ambassador?

How do a bunch of sore former ANC losers get together and form a party and then get the electorate excited?

What have Terror Lekota, Alan Boesak and Pieter Marais done all of a sudden to wipe the slate clean?

Just this evening Boesak went on Cape Talk with Mike Wills and mentioned a meeting he had with the ANC big 6, including Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe in July of this year.  They asked that he campaign for the ANC in the Western Cape during the election run-up.

According to Boesak this was not enough to tempt him to leave his post at his church!  Instead he asked for a United Nations Ambassadorship, which they rightly declined.

Hell, this is the man who was convicted of a criminal offence, not even a political one ! How could he represent our country in a official capacity in such a highly visible post after spending time in prison pilfering money from a foreign donor?

Anyone who thinks Alan Boesak has much power in the Western Cape or in the entire country must be raving mad!  He was on the ballot in the 1994 election as ANC candidate for premier, but lost to Gerald Morkel of all people. 

Hey COPE, why not Pieter Marais for candidate for WC premier seeing you are scraping the bottom of the disgraced politicians barrel?  At least Marais has a following.

In his interview on Cape Talk, Boesak intimated that the tipping point for his joining the Congress of the People yesterday was a promise of the Premiership should COPE manage to win the province.

The people on the Cape Flats might be fond of their crazy sons, but they don’t easily forgive someone who was convicted of defrauding a charitable organisation. 

Somehow I hope Boesak takes himself out of the public eye and save COPE, because South Africa needs a strong opposition and I would rather that it be COPE than any of the other naysayers.

So many people are excited about COPE. Is there not someone fresh and untainted among them?

COPE – Old Faces, Old Rhetoric, Old Politics!

So Congress of the People (COPE) began the launch of their new party today.  If only the faces were also new. 

If only the rhetoric was new too.

Seeing the same old same old politics will still be at play, with a new name thrown into the hat, can we ask that politicians stop whining?

Except for Helen Zille and her Democratic Alliance who we can never expect to stop whinning!

Today we had Misioua Lekota again calling the ANC names…comparing them to Hendrik Verwoerd or some other apartheid era leaders, regardless how offensive it is for people who spent most of their lives fighting against apartheid!  In the same breathe he constantly complains about ANC tactics.  Is this not the pot calling the kettle… uhmmm… black? 

Mr Lekota can say whatever he wants, but no one else can?  He should be able to take as good he gives and stop whining when the ANC responds.

Now if someone was actually in charge of the ANC, they could advise their delegates to keep their mouths shut about COPE and to stop all silly court actions.  Give people a chance to hear what COPE has to say for themselves.  Give COPE the rope to hang themselves – not literally COPE supporters!

So far they have not said anything different from what we get on a regular basis from the Democratic Alliance and Independent Democrats.  Nothing we haven’t heard before.

So far COPE have been a haven for disgruntled ANC supporters, more specifically disgruntled Thabo Mbeki supporters. 

If the ANC keeps the discipline that former leaders of the party instilled, then they will have very little to fear in the next elections.  Those who will defect have in all likelihood already defected – all COPE and the DA could muster in Langa in the Western Cape was 1200 votes out of 14000+ registered voters in last week’s bi-election. 

Not all ANC supporters who dislike what happened at Polokwane and the Thabo Mbeki ousting will automatically choose another party.  Whatever the anti-ANC brigade and the media says about ANC supporters blindly supporting our party, we have our reasons for being loyal. 

Another party has to come up with something different to get my vote and until now I have not heard anything new to change my vote.  Actually all the whining is just solidifying my support that might have been in the balance after Mbeki’s recall.