Category Archives: Employment

Failing at your own business–Buy Me A Coffee Crowdfunding

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So you know I like trying out different ways to make a bit of cash. And here’s my latest find. Although I warn you, I can’t imagine how this particular setup will make millions for you.

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

Here are the basics.

Buy Me a Coffee is a crowdfunding platform for creators, artists, and writers. I’m a writer now with actual books, so I qualify! Fancy that. In case you didn’t know, you can find my currently available books listed here.

Here’s my Buy Me a Coffee page.

The idea is that instead of buying that overpriced Mocha Cappuccino Caramel Frappe today, you donate $3, $4, or $5 to the creative genius of your choice via Paypal.

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You can also “purchase” exclusive material for the cost of the donation. Right now I have one section of the book I am working on available here.

I’ve set up a low-level goal of $15 just because I never seem to have any luck with crowdfunding efforts. And I’ve added the button to the sidebar on my page and Tumblr.

And that’s pretty much it. I know my current writing endeavors aren’t nearly as important as say the Guatemalan volcano survivor assistance project Genesis is doing here, but nothing ventured nothing gained right?

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Last call–Work at Home Super bundle

Yikes! Did you know that the Work at Home Super Bundle expires in just a few days? I nearly missed it myself! I thought I still had time to get my copy and then suddenly the deadline was fast approaching and well, I went ahead and got it yesterday. Whew! And it is amazing!

Don’t wait! The Work at Home Super bundle offer ends June 30th!

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Failing at your own business–Product Reviews

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Over the last couple of months, I have been trying to eliminate the affiliate ads on my site that didn’t generate any money and clutter up my page.  However, there were some sites that I felt strongly enough to apply as a direct affiliate rather than through sites like Shareasale or FlexOffers. Therefore, I was delighted when one such company sent me an email asking if I would be interested in one of their products in exchange for a blog review.  

I accepted and received additional instructions. Instead of buying the product directly from the company’s site, I should purchase it through Amazon Mexico in order to leave a product review there as well.

I wasn’t able to find the product listed on Amazon Mexico, so the company representative sent me a direct link.  I ordered the product and sent the receipt for reimbursement. While I waited for that, the product itself arrived and I tried it out and wrote up my post.  Then the company representative wrote to tell me that supplier that sent the product was not authorized by the company and that I should send the product back and get a refund from Amazon Mexico.

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I was a little peeved at this.  I had already used the product. While Amazon has customarily been good about refunds, the supplier that sent the product stipulated on their terms and conditions that the product must be returned in the same condition it was sent in order to receive a refund.  Furthermore, Amazon Mexico said that the supplier had done nothing wrong by stealing the manufacturing company’s ads and photos and reselling the product on the Amazon Mexico site at double the original price. Doing a little investigating on my own, it appears this supplier orders things on the US side of the border, transports them south of the border and then ships the items throughout Mexico both on Amazon Mexico and Ebay Mexico.  While this is something I would expect on eBay, I had previously believed (naively) that Amazon had more legit selling conditions.

Since the company representative had sent me the link himself, he agreed to the original terms of our agreement and reimbursed me the full purchase price of the product in exchange for the product review on my site and on the company site.  Fortunately, I loved the product and was able to give an honest, positive review despite the hassle with Amazon Mexico.

unbiased

I decided that reviewing products would not be my new side-gig after all.  I also am more diligent about checking the suppliers on the Amazon Mexico site.  I now only order items that are delivered directly from the Amazon warehouse in Mexico City.  That way refunds are no problem with the guarantee that Amazon provides. It limits the already limited products available on the Amazon Mexico site, but I’m ok with that.  It curbs my internet shopping spending somewhat.

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Failing at your own business–College Essay Reviewer

Internet connection being what it is in Mexico, I thought I’d try and expand my employment tentacles and applied for a job reviewing college essays. I had mixed feelings when I heard back from the company.  While it would be great that I wouldn’t have to keep on eye on my signal bar or panic when the electricity flickered off like when I was teaching live classes, I didn’t really want to work more hours.

With a sigh, I reviewed the writing sample and sent copies of my diploma and university transcripts, demonstrating my more than adequate qualifications.  I wasn’t surprised that I got the job.

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Although the pay rate was $13 USD per hour, I could only request payment for 30-minute increments which meant I would need to review 2 papers per hour.  Initially, I tried to note each and every error so each essay was taking me well over an hour, sometimes 2. I learned quickly to only accept essays 4 pages or less, which sped things up a bit.  I could also preview the essay before accepting, allowing me to avoid the worst of the lot but I had the thought “you graduated from high school?” on more than one occasion while rolling my eyes at yet another misused word.

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Most of the errors were in citations.  It’s been more years than I care to admit since my last professional paper, so I had to do quite a bit of review of MLA and APA standards.  This research was useful while I was converting my ebook A to Z Reasons Why La Yacata is the Best Place to Be in Any Disaster to paperback though.

I diligently cranked out at least one hour of work per day throughout the first weeks of December.  Then suddenly, the well went dry. Christmas vacation you know–no essays due. I submitted my timesheet and found I had made $68.21 payable through PayPal.  That was about what I had been making for 2 weeks at the elementary school.

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In January, essays started piling up again, but I was done with all that.  I toyed with the idea of doing live essay grading or Spanish tutoring on my days off from online teaching, but then I’d be back in the same boat worried about the internet.  So while it’s good to know that I have another income option, I’ll just let it be for now.

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