Thursday, November 30, 2017

10 Quick and Easy Tips to Save More Money on Amazon

By With 7 comments:
No matter if you’re shopping for back to school supplies, birthday presents, Christmas gifts, or just for you, Amazon can be an awesome place to find good deals and fast shipping! I’m a huge proponent of shopping on Amazon. I’m a Prime member and I don’t mind showing my support. They make shopping online so much easier with their huge selection and quick shipping. Their customer service is really good as well (if you’ve ever had to use it). 
Amazon has introduced same day shipping in our area. I did try it out and it was pretty cool. I ordered in the morning and the item was there that night. Most of the time they charge extra, but the item I bought was free that same day. This service is only available to Amazon Prime members. If you’re not one, why not try out a free, 30-day trial?

10 Easy Ways to Save Money When Shopping at Amazon


Today, I’m going to share with you 10 ways, yes 10, to save more money when shopping at Amazon. Not all of these are revolutionary, but they will make you think before you click the checkout button. If you check all of these out, you can really save good money when shopping at Amazon. You can also ensure you’re getting the best price possible. There are times when Amazon is not the cheapest game in town and I know that can be the case. Having said that, I also account quick shipping, ease of returns, and customer service in my reasoning to purchase something. Typically, there are few retailers who can compete with Amazon on all of those levels.
Without further ado, let’s get started. Here are the money saving tips everyone should know before shopping on Amazon!

Amazon Warehouse Deals

This is the place to shop! I have saved so much money here and the products are just as good. Amazon’s Warehouse deals section is for the open-box and discounted used items Amazon has around. Since they are the largest retailer, they get items that have shipping damage, were opened and then returned, or a customer just didn’t want them. It happens to every retailer. Instead of just calling it a loss, Amazon sells the items they deem are in good condition.
When on Amazon, head over to this page to start shopping their warehouse deals. Amazon grades the merchandise in their warehouse to help you make a better decision on what you want. They are New, Like New, Very Good, Good, and Acceptable. I would stick with the first three when buying anything. I was able to save $75 off a camera lens for my wife just because the shipping box was damaged. It was labeled new, but since there was box damage, they couldn’t sell it at full price.

Amazon Outlet

If the warehouse deals weren't enough, Amazon also has an outlet section. This is where they stick their overstocks, older models, overruns, closeouts, and markdowns. The items are all new, but they put a deep discount on them in order to sell. Right now, you can typically score a deal up to 60% off the regular price. It’s a pretty good section to look at. Not every category has an outlet section, but they deal mostly with clothing, electronics, outdoor equipment, musical instruments, and a few more. You can typically find outlet deals for Amazon’s most popular categories.
It’s a good place to look for items you know are not in season. If you need something that you can use in the summer, but you’re buying it in the winter, check Amazon’s outlet section. You never know!

Amazon Subscribe & Save

Want up to 15% off items you normally buy each and every week? Then you need to be a part of Amazon’s subscribe and save program! Yes, this little gem allows you to subscribe to a bunch of products you normally buy (think everyday items), but save money on top of it. Subscribe and Save sends out products to you on a regular basis. You choose what products you want to be delivered and when each month. Amazon will do the rest.
The best part is if you have five or more items on subscribe and save, then you get 15% off. You also get free shipping on your items (doesn’t matter how many you have). This is the perfect way to keep your house stocked up without having to drive to the store every month the replenish your supplies. They will be waiting for you at your door at the time you specify. It’s not much easier than that!
Oh, and you can also include some coupons in the mix. Amazon does have some instant clip coupons just for subscribe and save items. Hot dang!!

Amazon Coupons

Did you know that Amazon has coupons? Most people didn’t know that, but they really do. Amazon has an entire coupon section just for those looking for some deals! Now, these coupons tend to be for the bigger manufacturers, but the best part is they are an instant clip. If you’re looking to buy some diapers, you can head over to the Coupon section and see if they have any diaper coupons. One click and the savings are yours.
If you want to just navigate to the coupon section, you can just go to www.amazon.com/coupons/ and you will be there! 
They break out the categories for their coupons into sections such as Most PopularBeautyGrocery & GourmetHousehold SuppliesElectronicsBaby & Child CareVitamins & Dietary Supplements, and much more. Depending on your need, there might be an instant clip coupon waiting for you!

Amazon Student

If you’re a student with a .edu email address, then you can save on an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon Student is basically a Prime account, but for 50% off. You can get it for $49 a year. There are some limitations to this program, which are still available for full Prime members. You can’t share any of your shipping benefits with anyone else and you can’t get Instant Video until your free trial expires after 6 months.
To sign up, you just head over here. You don’t need to have your .edu email in your Amazon account, but they will use it to verify you’re truly a student. The program will end after four years of your sign up or they can’t verify your student status any longer, whichever comes first. This is just an easy way to save on Prime and get some discounts on books.

Amazon Smile

Do you like shopping and giving back at the same time? Good!
Amazon Smile can do just that for you. While it’s not a way to save money on Amazon, it is a way to give back while you shop there. If you haven’t heard of Amazon Smile, then here is a rough break down. 
When you shop at smile.amazon.com instead of just amazon.com, you can give back to your favorite charity. Amazon Smile lists over one million charities where you can donate to. But, how do you donate?
Simple, instead of buying an item on Amazon, you just head over to smile.amazon.com and buy the item there. It’s still Amazon’s site, but now they will give 0.50% of your purchase to the charity of your choice. While it’s not going to be a huge donation, it’s still a donation none the less. It’s basically a donation to your favorite charity just for shopping on Amazon. You don’t get to write it off, since Amazon is the one doing the donation, but still. It doesn’t take any extra time or effort on your part and you can help your favorite charity in the process.
The next time you are on Amazon looking at a product to buy, try replacing the “www” with “smile” in the URL. If the product page comes back up, then you’re in luck. Most of them work this way, but if not, just head to smile.amazon.com and look for the same product.

Add Products to Cart, but Don’t Check Out

Here is a sneaky little trick that does work from time to time. It’s not guaranteed, but I have seen it work before. Basically, this is a way to get Amazon to push deals over to you without doing any work.
When you want to buy a product on Amazon, head over there and add it to your cart. The key to this pricing trick is to NOT check out after you add it to your cart. You want to wait for some time to see if Amazon will drop the price. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.
This is what I like to call “forcing a promotion.” You must be logged into your Amazon account before you add the items to your cart. This is the only way I’ve seen it work. Once you add the item(s) to your cart, you need to leave Amazon for a few days. Obviously, you want to use this trick when you don’t need an item quickly. After some time, you might get an email from Amazon saying you have items in your shopping cart and they could provide a promotion to you. I’ve saved 20% by waiting before, but it is hit or miss. It’s not 100% effective.
It’s free to try and doesn’t hurt you, so why not? There’s a chance you can score a deal without doing anything but leaving an item or two in your shopping cart!. Winning!!

Two Browser Trick

This is basically running a small price comparison right on Amazon from your computer. You are trying to see if you can score a better deal when shopping on Amazon without being logged in. This is not 100%, but I have seen it work and have received a few lower prices. It all depends on the product and where you live.
You just need to navigate to Amazon like you normally would. Find what you want to buy, but don’t add it to your cart. Make sure you’re logged into your Amazon account!
Next, open a new, fresh browsing window (try incognito in Chrome or private window in Firefox). Navigate to Amazon and go to the same product page. Sometimes Amazon will show lower prices to those not already an Amazon customer, but this trick really works if you can get a friend in a different city to check the pricing. Amazon does really well with their product distributions, so if they can pinpoint where you are and where the product is, they might be able to score a better deal if the distribution center is near.
This trick is not hard to try, but it’s accuracy is not as good as anything else in this article. I think I’ve seen this work about 10% of the time. Either way, you can save by checking pricing on two different browsers.

Honey Browser Extension

I learned about a cool and free browser extension a few weeks ago. It has changed the way I shop online, even on Amazon. This free extension works on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, but not Internet Explorer. 
Basically, this extension scours the web for coupons and discount codes. You don’t even have to search for them anymore. When you’re about to checkout on Amazon or any other store, it will go through it’s database to try to find a valid coupon code to use. It’s not always successful, but it does work from time to time.
I’ve had some success on Amazon, but since you don’t have to do anything, it’s certainly something I would advise you try out. It really doesn’t hurt and all it can do is save you more money!

Amazon Delivers Email Subscriptions

This money saving tip could be a little touchy for some because it involves emails. If you’re anything like me, you have an inbox that is growing by the day. I can’t handle too many emails beyond what I already have. That being said, Amazon does deliver deals right to your inbox depending on what categories you sign up for. As noted before, I get Amazon’s daily deals in my inbox every morning. This allows me to quickly look to see if the deal is anything which pertains to me. If not, it gets deleted.
It only takes a minute to sign up for different lists Amazon provides. You can go here and see what they offer, but these emails will usually be promotions and deals. It’s really just about saving money with this one and making it easy for you.
Now here is another giveaway for our reader. We are giving away $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Enter through the gleam widget and come back every day for more entries. To see the winner list visit this page after finishing the competition, we will announce here on gleam widget after 7 days of the deadline. 

$50 Amazon/Apple Store Giveaway

Giveaway UPDATE:
Due to some unknown reason, our gleam account got disabled and this is why we are going to finish all our giveaways and contests that started on/before December 13, 2017. We are going to choose a winner based on comments on our blog. We will contact and announce the winner's name here shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Winner update:
Will be posted on/before December 22, 2017.

Thank you for your support. 
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Friday, November 24, 2017

55 Free Ways To Find Leads For Your Freelance Business

By With 2 comments:
Marketing your freelance business can be a challenge. Sure, you hear about the most effective strategies, but they all require a financial investment to start. You’re just trying to land clients, not market a 7-figure business.
Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can find leads for your freelance business without spending a dime. You just have to invest your time, and get creative. Here are 50+ ideas you can start with now:
1. Get referrals
Getting recommendations from others is one of the most powerful marketing tools on the internet, and it’s the best way to find high paying freelance clients. There are many ways to set up relationships where you and other businesses recommend each other's services to your mutual benefit. Harness this strategy to find more free leads that are ready to make a purchase.

2. Use databases
There are plenty of databases available on the web with company names and contact information. You can sift through these to find potential leads for your business. Check out Data.com to start.
3. Word-of-mouth
You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands on expensive advertisements to get your business noticed on the web. A much more powerful option is leveraging word-of-mouth. Encourage other people (your friends, family, clients, business associates) to talk about your business online and recommend it to others. News will spread about your freelance services much more effectively.
4. Use Quora
Quora is another great place to find leads for free. People regularly ask questions on the platform that your skills and expertise can help with. Set up a professional profile highlighting your business. Then start answering questions to get in touch with potential customers you can help. Become an authority on the site to get even more reach.
5. Cold calling
Actively search for people and businesses who might benefit from your services. Check out their website, get ahold of their contact information, and start cold calling to generate leads. Few freelancers use this direct strategy anymore, and people will be surprised by your professionalism in choosing to cold call. This will help you stand out from the competition.
6. Public relations
Getting you and your business featured in the media is a great way to attract new prospects. All you need to do is a little public relations to make it happen. Keep an eye out for opportunities where your business can be a part of an interesting, informative, or entertaining news piece. Publish press releases and pitch these ideas to local journalists and news organizations to see if they get picked up.
7. Email marketing
Converting leads doesn’t have to be a one-shot deal. With email marketing, you can spend time nurturing relationships and convincing people of the value of your services at the same time. Build an email list and start sending out marketing materials to help them move down the sales funnel.
8. Influencer marketing
You can only get so much reach on social media by sharing interesting posts and following new people. If you want to really get noticed, you’ll need the help of influencers. Influencers are popular profiles on social media who can share your content with their audience. Find powerful ones and encourage them to share your blog posts and other content to get more reach.
9. Special events
Host a special event on social media and around the web to generate buzz and attract new clients. For example, you can do a sweepstakes or photo competition with your current audience. You can also offer special, limited-time discounts for your services.
10. Create a quiz or poll
Host a quiz or poll on your site or on social media. This will help you engage more with your audience and get more buzz for your content. Twitter has the polling feature built in. You can also use free tools like SurveyMonkey to create your own.
11. Networking
No matter if you work online or in the real world, networking can help your business succeed. It might not feel valuable to just keep making new contacts, but you never know how they might help you later down the road. Take the time to meet, greet and get to know people in-person and online. Make sure they understand what your business is all about. They might not become customers, but they can help connect you with free leads later on.
12. Publish news stories
If you’re having trouble getting in the news organically, you might try writing news stories yourself! They don’t have to overtly promote your business, but can help you gain reach as the author. There are plenty of magazines and news sites that allow you to open-pitch news stories.
13. Newsletters
Newsletters are another great way to market to your current clients and prospects who haven’t become a customer yet. Regularly send out newsletter updates to your list to keep your business in the forefront of people’s minds.
14. Trade shows
Trade shows are a great opportunity to meet people in your industry and generate buzz about your business. Most trade shows have an entrance fee for booths, but you can also show up as a free agent to network and pass out leaflets as well.
15. Blogging
Blogging can help you attract more traffic to your website in a lot of different ways. Create content that people actually want to read to make it work. Make sure you cover topics that your target audience is interested in. You can then promote these content pieces on social media and elsewhere. Having a blog will also give you more pages on your site that Google can index.
16. Use a lead capture form
Most freelancers put calls-to-action on their sites asking prospects to set up a consultation. This is a great strategy, unless your prospects aren’t quite sure if they want to purchase your services yet. Add a lead capture form on your site where people can sign up to get more information. Then you get their contact information and can continue to market to them.
You can create a lead capture form easily using free plugins for WordPress.
17. Free lead magnets
Email list building can be a drag, unless you use lead magnets. These are free offers of valuable content that you give away in exchange for someone’s contact information. This can be free guide, PDF, template, coupon or free consultation, to name a few examples. Just make sure it’s something your target audience would really value and benefit from.
 18. Article marketing
Instead of just sticking with run-of-the-mill blog posts, write some in-depth articles. Make sure they are the most authoritative pieces on the topic (e.g. ultimate guides, top 100 lists). Promote your articles around the web to start getting links back to your pages. This will boost traffic and improve your SEO.
19. YouTube marketing
People become famous on YouTube all the time and it’s a great place for businesses to get reach as well. You can create and publish informative how-to videos that your target audience would value.
For example, say you’re a social media expert. You could create tutorials showing people how to use different social media tools to grow their lists. Then you can include a call-to-action asking them to hire you if they need help!
20. Leaflets or inserts
It might seem like an old-fashioned marketing strategy, but that’s part of the reason it still works today. Not a lot of freelancers bother passing out leaflets or inserts advertising their business in the physical world. Using this strategy will help you stand out from the competition by using a novel marketing medium.
21. Website popups
Website popups help your visitors understand exactly what you want them to do on a given page. Even if you have a call-to-action already, popups can help you drive the action home. Exit popups are also a great way to encourage conversions when people are navigating away. Search WordPress for popup plugins to start.
22. Ad swapping
You might not be in the position to pay for advertising, but that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise! Enter into an agreement with another business to advertise each other's products or services. Then you both get ad space and expand your audience without spending a dime.
23. Hand out business cards
It sounds old-fashioned, but business cards are still a very valuable marketing tool. Most promotions and advertisements come through on people’s phones, computers and the TV. If you hand someone a business card, that’s a rare item that people see in the physical world around them. It can help your business stand out.
24. Guest blogging
Guest blog on other sites that have a big audience to broaden your brand reach even further. You can usually get a byline and link back to your site. All you have to do is search Google for guest post opportunities. Use “[niche keyword]+ write for us” or “[niche keyword]+ contributor guidelines” for starters. Just make sure the site you pitch to has an audience that will be interested in your business.
25. Use Facebook
Create a business page on Facebook and start attracting likes. Share entertaining, informative posts and link back to your website. You can also encourage people to convert right on Facebook by installing a signup form on your business page.
26. Use Twitter
Twitter is all about marketing. Share content your audience would like and use the right hashtags to do it. Follow people who would make good clients for your business to encourage them to follow back. Link back to your site from your profile and posts.
27. Use Google+
Google+ is a bit quieter than the other major social networks, but it makes it easier to get your voice heard. Join Google+ groups related to your niche and join the conversation. Become an authority on the platform by sharing informative content and insights.
28. Use Pinterest
Pinterest caters to a very specific audience demographic, so make sure you check that out before deciding to market on the platform. If Pinterest works for your audience, then set up a profile and related niche boards. Start pinning, and join relevant group boards as well.
29. Use Instagram
Instagram is a great place for freelancers to show off their creative work and attract new clients. Use the platform to document your work process and feature the results. Make your career a prominent part of your profile so people know what you do. This will keep you at the forefront of their minds if they need a service like yours down the road.
30. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is all about professional networking. Set up a complete profile that highlights your business and skills. Use a professional photo. Then you can start posting updates and joining LinkedIn groups related to your niche. Join the conversation and offer helpful insights.
31. Use other social platforms
You don’t have to stick with the biggest social networks. Market on niche social platforms to reach your audience more directly. Here is a big list of popular niche social networks.
32. Trendjacking
Monitor hot topics on Google Trends, Twitter, and Facebook Trends. Incorporate them into your blog posts and social content to ride the wave of excitement and get more reach.
33. Publish on LinkedIn or Medium
If you have trouble attracting traffic to your own blog, you might try publishing your content on LinkedIn Pulse or Medium. These are third-party platforms that have their own audience you can reach. Your content also might rank better in search results on these platforms.
34. Card decks
Card decks are books of coupons from a variety of different businesses that people receive in the mail or other ways. Create a promotion for your business and get it featured in one of these card decks to get more free leads.
35. Blog commenting
Find popular blogs related to your business niche and read their content. Offer insightful, valuable comments to join the conversation. Make sure you use a Gravatar or fill out the site’s profile information with your first name, last name and photo. You shouldn’t overtly promote your business with this strategy, but it is a great way to get your name out there and network with other industry players.
36. Optimize your website
Your freelance website should be more than just a glorified portfolio and contact information. Every page on it should be optimized to help your leads convert. Use your words wisely by highlighting the value of your services on the site. Include prominent calls-to-action encouraging site visitors to join your mailing list, set up a consultation, or make a purchase.
37. Optimize your signup form
Your email sign up form also needs to be optimized to encourage people to convert. Even if you offer a great lead magnet, people might turn away if your signup form has too many questions or is difficult to read. There are plenty of free WordPress plugins out there that can help you A/B test different forms and see which one works best.
38. Use social sharing plugins
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to share your blog posts around the web. This will get you more reach than your regular social media efforts. One way to do this is by using social sharing plugins. Then sharing is only a click away for your site visitors. There are plenty of free ones out there you can install.
39. Social bookmarking
Social bookmarking involves tagging web pages to read later, using tools like Delicious, Evernote or even Pinterest. Market your content on social bookmarking sites to get more reach and attract traffic back to your site. These signals might also help it rank better in search.
40. Host a webinar
Webinars can help you build a personal relationship with your leads and create more buzz about your business. Cover topics that interest your target audience and offer expert advice as part of the show. Promote the webinar around the web to attract people who could benefit from your services.
41. Leverage testimonials
When you talk about how great your freelance business is online, people are going to take it with a grain of salt. They know you’re promoting yourself. But if you leverage testimonials, then you’ll have third-party endorsements that people can believe in. Publish them on your site and share them on social media. Your current clients will probably be more than happy to write one if you ask.
42. Use an email signature
Create a professional email signature including links to your website, social profiles, and more. This looks professional and helps attract more traffic back to your site.
43. Interview influencers
Conduct an interview of big players in your industry and publish it on your site. It could be something as simple as asking them to contribute quotes to a list post. People love seeing content that features them and their expertise, so your influencers will want to share it with their audience. This can help attract more traffic back to your site.
44. Watermark images you share
If you’ve created a cool GIF or own the rights to an image, you should definitely watermark it before sharing! This doesn’t mess with people’s ability to consume the content, but also serves as a sort of signature to spread the word about your business.
45. Engage on forums
Find online niche forums where people discuss problems related to your niche. For example, if you offer site-optimization services, find threads where people ask common questions about this task. Start responding to posts with helpful advice and mention you can help them out with it if they need.
46. Do SEO for your content
If you want your blog content to show up in search results, you’ll need to target specific keywords on-page. This includes body content, post title, image alt tags, meta description and other elements. Optimize all your blog posts for SEO and start ranking better in search.
47. Social listening
Keep track of what others are saying about your business online. You can use Google Alerts to do this for free. Just set up an alert using your business name as the keyword. Look for opportunities to find new clients and brand advocates through social listening.
48. Create a podcast
Create a podcast for your business, and you can start attracting a whole new section of your audience that likes listening to content more than reading it. You can list your podcast on special directories to get more exposure as well.
49. Register on HARO
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a platform where journalists publish queries for experts related to different topics. Register on the site and you can start responding to these queries (which are sent right to your inbox). If a reporter picks you, then you’ll be quoted in their news piece.
50. Use LinkedIn Advanced Search
Use LinkedIn Advanced Search to find profiles that are your ideal prospects. You have the option to save this search, so LinkedIn will send you periodic email updates when new profiles show up.
51. Create infographics
Infographics are a powerful content type that attract more interest than a simple blog post. They can get shared widely on Pinterest, get indexed in Google Image search and more. All you have to do is gather the data, then use a free tool to create it.
52. Back-end marketing
If earning more profits is your real goal, then sometimes it’s better to target your current customers than finding brand new ones. Make efforts to encourage your clients to become repeat purchasers. You can also offer add-on services that complement your main service to get more money with each project.
53. Online events
Set up an online event, like a Google+ Hangout or Reddit AMA. These will help you build trust by engaging in real-time conversations with your prospects.
54. Become a radio guest
If you freelance offline in your town, becoming a radio guest is a great way to get your business noticed. Look for opportunities to get on your local station for some free publicity.
55. Help out your current clients
If you freelance online, most likely your clients are running businesses of their own. You can help them out by promoting their products/services in exchange for the same.
Know of any other free ways to find leads for your freelance business? Tell me in the comments!
Originally published on forbes
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

[Giveaway] 10 Easy, Effective Payment Solutions For Freelancers

By With 3 comments:
Being a freelancer comes with a lot of benefits, like the freedom to work where you want and when you want. But there is one challenge freelancing presents: no guaranteed paycheck deposited into your bank account.


Luckily, there are a wide variety of payment solutions out there to help you invoice your clients and make sure you get paid. Here are 10 you can try.

1. PayPal

PayPal’s definitely the most popular option on the list. Depending on your payment type, PayPal allows users to instantly send and receive funds. You can also create invoices for your business purposes, or have a separate business account as well. Fees are low but depend on the type of transaction. Receiving money from family will cost nothing, or less than receiving invoice payment, for example.


PayPal offers its own debit and credit card and provides business loans. It accepts foreign currencies and will exchange to your native currency for a small fee. It’s one of the few payment solutions out there that accepts Bitcoin.

2. Payoneer

Payoneer is another option designed for businesses working with a global base of customers. Payoneer works in 200 countries and 150 currencies. As a payment processing solution, you can withdraw funds from Payoneer and deposit to your local bank account. It also offers a Prepaid Mastercard you can use for your own shopping.
Payoneer has a referral option where you can earn $25 everytime you refer your friends. For example, If you signup with this link you will get $25 bonus and I will get $25.

3. Skrill

Skrill is a lot like PayPal, with some perks and limitations. You can easily receive payments and send funds from your bank account or credit card. Unlike PayPal, Skrill supports more countries. Payments are processed instantly, and it’s a great option for freelancers based around the world. One functionality it lacks is online shopping payments.

4. Authorize.net

Authorize.net is specifically designed for small-to-medium businesses. With it, you can accept other digital payment options including PayPal, Apple Pay and Visa Checkout, as well as all major credit cards. If you use Quickbooks, it also integrates to update your payments. The fees are a bit higher -- including a setup fee, monthly charge, and transaction fee. But it does offer security and fraud prevention as well.

5. Payline Data

Payline Data is an all-in-one merchant account, great for freelancers for a lot of reasons. The online payment gateway integrates with Quickbooks, API, third-party shopping carts and other point-of-sale tools. It even offers mobile phone credit card processing if you work with clients in-person.

Unlike a lot of other merchant account providers, Payline Data offers month-to-month contracts and no fees for early termination, so commitment is minimal.

6. Due

Due is a great option for freelancers because it offers more than payment processing. You can also use it to track time for hourly jobs and create your invoices. Due processes domestic and international credit cards with a flat-rate transaction fee (2.7%) for all. It also serves as a digital wallet and supports ACH payments.

7. 2Checkout

2Checkout is a great option for the truly international freelancer. It offers global payment options, supporting many different languages and currencies. 2Checkout has mobile and desktop platforms and supports hosted checkout and recurring billing.

It integrates with PayPal and all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is received, you can send it to your bank account by wire transfer. Transactions fees are 2.9% for domestic and 3.9% for international, plut a $0.30 fee per transaction. Charges for currency conversions range from 2-5%.

8. ProPay

ProPay is an e-commerce merchant account provider with a lot of great features for small businesses and freelancers. It offers online and mobile payment solutions, QuickBooks integration, online store integration, ACH processing, and more. Its ProtectPay solution makes sure your online payments stay secure. Use ProPay Jak and you can process payments via smartphone, online or offline. These extra features are best for people who need more versatility in payment options than the average freelancer. The fees for using ProPay depend on your business type, size, and other factors.

9. Escrow

Escrow is a payment solution specifically designed for freelancers. It helps you make sure you receive the money you’re owed by holding it in “escrow” for you for a small fee. You don’t start work until the money is deposited, and then it’s released after you complete the job. It’s a great option when working with new clients.

10. Google Wallet

If you’re already a big fan of Google integrations, then Google Wallet is a payment option that will interest you. Use it to accept free money transfers and send them on to other payment systems. The fees are low, and Google will track your account information to prevent fraud as well.

These are just a few of the many payment options out there that freelancers can take advantage of. Shop around for one that works the best for you and your clients.

To promote our blog and fund you for next festive season we are giving away $40 cash or card to 2 of our lucky readers. Please feel free to come back daily and increase your chance of winning.


$40 Gift Crad or PayPal

Giveaway UPDATE:
Due to some unknown reason, our gleam account got disabled and this is why we are going to finish all our giveaways and contests that started on/before December 13, 2017. We are going to choose a winner based on comments on our blog. We will contact and announce the winner's name here shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Winner update:
Will be posted on/before December 22, 2017.

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Black Friday Deals on Laptops Under $500

By With 8 comments:
Laptops are always one of the hottest items to go on sale every Black Friday, with multiple retailers competing to offer the best deal. We've compiled a list of the best deals you'll find, featuring top brands at popular retailers including Best Buy, Office Depot, Dell, and Costco. These made a list either because of the major price cut or the total cost being so low, it's an impossible deal to pass up.

Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Windows 10 laptop, $360 at BestBuy

Available at Best Buy, this Dell laptop, which usually sells for more than $500, is a rare opportunity to experience Windows 10 with a powerful Intel Core i5 at such a low price. Featuring a 2 TB hard drive, 8 GB RAM, and a touchscreen, you'll have a difficult time running out of storage space, but no trouble at all when it comes to multitasking. And with a free 6-month Trend Micro Internet Security subscription that works on three devices, you can protect your computer, tablet, and smartphone from viruses, malware, phishing scams, and more, that's one less thing for you to worry about.


Samsung Intel Celeron Braswell 1.6GHz 11" Chromebook, $99 at Best Buy

Best Buy nearly cuts the price in half on this Samsung Chromebook, which matches our prediction for Chromebooks with 2GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD. The limited RAM and hard drive space make this the ideal setup for a light user who only needs a computer to access email and social media. Since you can run from the cloud with Google Drive, you won't have to waste precious hard drive space on office software, but you can still keep your important documents on hand. All you need to get started is a Google account – so it's an excellent choice for children and older adults who don't consider themselves tech-savvy.


Lenovo IdeaPad 320 15.6-inch Windows 10 laptop, $450 at Costco

Available at Costco, this Lenovo IdeaPad generally sells for $600 on Amazon. This model uses the latest, eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, which means improved performance and speed in tasks such as photo editing. While it doesn't have the 2 TB hard drive that the above Dell does, it still has plenty of storage space with 1 TB and bumps up the RAM to 12 GB for even easier multitasking. And as a Costco member, if you purchase this laptop, you'll get a free one-year subscription to McAfee Multi-Access via email.


Dell Inspiron 14 3000 Celeron 2.48GHz 14" Laptop, $129.99 at Dell

Dell will be dropping the price on this bargain machine by $100 for Black Friday. For your $130, you'll get only 2GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD, so this is best suited to users who primarily use their computers to read email and access social media. It's a good starter computer for kids and would make a decent backup computer to use on the go, as long as you don't need to perform resource-intensive tasks.




Best Buy cuts the price in half for this basic laptop. Its specs are nearly the same as the Samsung Chromebook also available at this price, but it has twice the storage space at 32 GB. The limited RAM and storage space make this a better choice for someone who only needs the computer for light usage. It runs Windows 10, whereas the Chromebook has its own OS and runs everything from the cloud. It's perfect for running basic programs, checking email, social media, and casual gaming. When you purchase this computer, you'll get a free six-month subscription for Trend Micro Internet Security that will cover three devices – any combination of computers, tablets, and smartphones.
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Monday, November 20, 2017

11 random facts about books that are weirdly interesting

By With 4 comments:
There’s nothing better than cuddling up with a good book. Books inherently offer solitude and a temporary escape from your own story. They’re basically magic. Avid readers usually have a long history with books that often either started in the womb or shortly after — thanks to parents and their incessant desire to enrich your brain. So it’s no surprise that you (and so many others) are at your happiest when you’re reading.


Even though you might be a full-fledged reading pro and know everything about all the books you’ve ever read, chances are you don’t know all the things about actual books.

Surprisingly, there are tons of random facts about books that are super interesting.
And since you obviously love reading and learning things, we decided to round up some of the most interesting facts about books so you can know a little bit more about the thing you love most.

1. There are over 129 million books in existence.

According to Google, 129,864,880 million books had been published as of 2010. That number is obviously a lot higher now. So when you say out loud “Ugh, can’t find a good book to read,” know that you have a lot to choose from.

2 The most expensive book ever purchased was sold for $30.8 million.

It was Codex Leicester by Leonardo Da Vinci, and it was purchased by Bill Gates, according to Business Insider. Don’t worry though, he probably made the money back within the hour.

3. There’s a word for loving the smell of old books.

You guys, you know you love the smell of old books. They have the aroma of dust and a whole lot of history. Well now you can call it something. “Bibliosmia” is the word you’ve probably been searching for your whole life.

4. The longest sentence ever printed is 823 words.

We have a feeling it’s probably a run-on, but it’s a legit sentence that exists in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, according to Barnes and Noble.

5. Author’s names didn’t used to be printed on the covers of their books.

The covers of the first printed books were considered artworks. They were covered in drawings, leather and even gold — so there wasn’t a place for the author’s name.

6. The first book ever written using a typewriter was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Mark Twain must have had a lot of ink and a lot of patience.

7. President Theodore Roosevelt read one book per day.

Now that’s dedication to reading.

8. The three most read books in the world are…

The Holy Bible, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, and Harry Potter.

9. Icelandic people read more than anyone.

Perhaps it has to do with the weather, or maybe they’re just taught to really love books. Either way, Iceland for the win!

10. Alice in Wonderland is based on a real 10-year-old girl.

Her name was Alice Liddell, and her family was close friends with author Lewis Carroll. While on a boating trip, she asked him to tell her a story — and that’s how Alice was born.

11. Illiteracy is still a huge problem throughout the world.

One in five adults around the world can’t read or write, with the highest rates in South and West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

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