How to Make Money Online | Getting Started

How to Make Money Online is one of the largest searches that search engines see every day. Everyone wants a bite of that magical internet-earnings cherry and there are hundreds of thousands of articles just like this one already out there. So why would I bother writing another one when the web is already so saturated with them? Well, I want to share my experience with others so that they can avoid the mistakes I made and get started quickly.

There are no genuine ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Whatever you’ve been told, they just don’t exist. Any such scheme is destined to be a scam. Making money online takes times and dedication. It requires concentration, a plan and ideas.

Lets take a look at some of the things that you can do to start making money online:

 

Start a Blog

Got something unique or niche that you can discuss or share? Are you an expert in something which isn’t already covered in detail online? Blogging is an excellent way to get followers and increase traffic to your website, and increased traffic can result in excellent opportunities to convert customers into sales. It may seem very 2005 but good blogs see a lot of traffic.

 

Become a Google AdSense Partner

Google AdSense is by far the most used affiliate scheme on the Internet today. If you visit a website and see a banner advert, the chances are that the advert is being promoted by someone who an AdSense Partner; and it’s easier to get going than you think.

First of all, you’ll need to signup for an AdSense account. Once your account has been approved you can start creating adverts to add to your blog or website. It’s pretty easy to get going; just create your advert and then add the code to the page.

Just remember that you’ll have to declare any income you make and that you may have to pay tax on your Google Adsense earnings.

 

Become an Amazon Associates member

Amazon is the worlds largest online retailer and relies on people like you to promote their products. Every time someone clicked on a product link from your website to Amazon, you’ll receive a small commission on the sale. Get your blog posts just right and you can start to earn hundreds of pounds a month.

Just as with AdSense, you make be liable to pay tax on your Amazon earnings so make sure you’re all registered with the relevant government department for your country.

 

Don’t have your own Blog? Then take a look at Hubpages

If you haven’t got your own blog or don’t want to invest in hosting one, then have a look at Hubpages.

Hubpages allows article writers to earn a commission from sales and adverts (usually a 60/40 split in your favour). It doesn’t require and knowledge of setting up websites, but there can be strict rules on what you add to your articles and you have little control over the placement of product links and adverts. However, it’s quick to get started and you can start making money in a matter of hours.

 

Start a Youtube channel

I’ve seen my Youtube earnings rise from a few pennies a month to over $100 a month in just one year. How? Dedication of course.

First of all I started with some basic videos but they didn’t do much. Then I discovered that I could make “how to” videos which people actually found useful. Things like how to descale my new coffee machine, how to cook and prepare a live crab and all other kinds of things. Before I knew it I’d hit over 1000 subscribers (followers) and was making over $100 in extra incomes…all for doing something I love.

 

Open a message board or forum

Whilst most major topics have already been covered (and then over-covered), there is still scope out their for forum membership and with forums come advert saturation.

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The Nightmare of Moving Business Premises with BT

In March 2017 we moved business premises and naturally a part of this process was to have our telephone and broadband internet services with BT moved to the new site. A quick phonecall to BT assured me that this was a simple process: they would simply move the services to the new site. It sounded so simple.

I’ve moved premises with BT before and expected a few minor problems. What I didn’t expect was the fiasco that would shortly unfold and leave my business without the correct services to almost two months.

 

Phone-line suddenly disconnected

Initially the BT Openreach engineer visited to install our voice, fax and broadband services and everything seemed to be working. That lasted for 3 days before our main business line would suddenly stop working for no known reason. It would be eight days and 3 separate visits from engineers before the phone-line was working. We never got an answer as to why

No PBX line for 7 weeks

Our phone system relied on a private branch exchange (PBX) line which BT sometimes call an “aux line”. Without getting technical, this is a that switches calls between internal lines while allowing all users to share a certain number of external phone lines. The idea being that if someone was already on the phone it would still ring rather than giving the potential customer an engaged tone.

We had 5 visits from Openreach for this. They installed a second physical line, removed lines, changed cables, changed RJ11 ports – the list was endless. We later discovered that this was simply an error on the part of BT for not activating the service.

 

Poor broadband speeds

When moved to our new premises we were told that we would be supply with a guaranteed download speed of 8.8Mbps. What we actually received was 3.9Mbps. At the time of writing that was still the case.

The promised BT Infinity broadband speed was less than half of what was guaranteed.

Poor quality voice line

From the moment we started using the new phone line the sound quality was very quiet and customers often complained that they couldn’t hear our staff very well. We were told by Openreach engineers that this was because of an old telephone line going through the bridge of a major A road next to our property. This was scheduled to be replaced but, again, it was still faulty at the time of writing. As a temporary solution I bought a 4G router and set up my business to use 4G as a Business Internet Solution (not cheap but more reliable/faster).

 

A Moving Manager without the power or knowledge to do his job

Having moved businesses with BT previously (and experience a poor service) I was quite pleased to see that the organisation had now appointed a ‘Moving Manager’ to oversea our move. I’d hoped that this would result in someone being able to take ownership of problems should they occur. It didn’t.

Although we had a point of contact, the Moving Manager was unable to deal with faults very well at all and it never felt like he was able to take real ownership of the issues. Quite often I would be told that the system didn’t allow him to do something or was out of is control.

In addition, the Moving Manager seemed to have less of an idea of the products available from BT than I did. For example, we wanted a recorded message placed on the old telephone number telling callers we had a new number. Out Moving Manager said this wasn’t a service BT offered – which most of us know is wrong as we’ve all heard those messages at some time or another.

Incorrectly billed multiple times

As the problems continued, so did the shock. I opened a bill from BT to see we had been charged over £1600 for “early termination” of our services. Of course, we hadn’t terminated our services we had simply moved them. This was later credited but it was another problem I had to spend over an hour sorting.

 

BT bill shocker – charged for cancelling service I’d never cancelled

Failure to deal with complaints properly

After 7 weeks of nothing but banging my head against a wall, I decided to place a complaint with BT. Following the procedure on the BT Business complaints website I outlined the details of my complaint.

Two hours later I received a call from BT telling me that I had to call them to report the faults before I could lodge a complaint; something I had already done numerous times already. At this point I lost the plot and hung up. It’s actually pretty impossible to complain to BT.

 

Call centre staff who could often be impossible to understand

I don’t have a particular problem with companies outsourcing their customer service to other countries. I do have a problem if the staff who are employed are difficult (or impossible) to understand. When you are stressed and feel like you’re fighting to get your services working it’s highly annoying to be faced with someone who you can’t understand or whom can’t understand you.

 

BT business movers need to make some serious improvements

In my opinion, BT suffers because it is too big so the fact that Openreach and BT are being forced to seperate can only be a good thing for customers. I hope that it will make BT and Openreach more accountable, rather than passing blame. I also hope that it will allow me to move all of my businesses services to a new provider when my contract expires so that I can get away for the monotonous BT customer ‘service’.

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Decorus UK ‘Whistleblowing’ warning letter

My employer recently received a letter on 9th March 2017 from Cambridge Regional College advising that the company I am currently studying an apprenticeship with – Decorus UK Ltd – are being investigated due to a “whistleblowing allegation”.

The letter was signed by Paul Skitt, Assistant Principle.

As a result, Tutors have cancelled their existing appointments with Learners pending the outcome of the investigation. This is somewhat annoying for me as I am currently studying an NVQ and BTEC in Management with Decorus UK and have almost come to the end of my course.

 

No contact from Decorus UK Ltd

I was disappointed that the first I heard of this incident was the letter from Cambridge Regional College. One would have expected that Decorus would have made the effort to contact and reassure Learners in advance.

On receipt of the letter I called my Tutor who advised that there was nothing to be concerned about and that Decorus were confident the matter would be resolved very soon. It would later transpire that this was not exactly the case; calls to Decorus UK just rang and rang between 24th and 27th March 2017; I gave up calling at this point.

 

What next?

The letter from Cambridge Regional College told me to contact Jamie Hall on 01223 226348 or jmhall@camre.ac.uk with any questions. Jamie called me back quite quickly and reconfirmed the contents of the whistleblowing letter. He said that I should wait until the investigation was completed and either way either Decorus UK or Cambridge College would be in touch. In the meantime I should hang on to my folder.

He assured me that either way I will complete the course and that if Decorus UK are unable to complete it,the college will provide a tutor to finish the course with me.

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Do I have to pay tax on Google Adsense commission?

pay tax on Google Adsense commission

Google Adsense is the most popular monetisation program on the internet today. It allows the owners of website, blogs, apps and other electronic media to earn money by placing adverts in strategic places. Every time an advert is clicked, Google pays a percentage commission to the affiliate. As a result, you’ll need to pay tax on Google Adsense commission.

I’ve previously written a successful article about paying tax from Amazon Associates earnings. Just like that program, if you live in the UK and are a UK taxpayer, and you earn money from Google Adsense, you’ll have a legal obligation to declare and pay tax on Google Adsense commission. This is regardless of how much (or how little) you earn from the program.

Commission – just like any other form of earnings income – it subject to Income Tax being paid where required.

 

I earn under my taxable income – do I still have to declare earnings from Google Adsense?

Yes. Even if you were to earn £20 in a year from Google, you’d still need to declare it to HMRC; even if you have earned under your annual taxable income.

The majority of people in the UK are currently provided the tax code 1100L, meaning that they can earn £11,000 before paying any income tax on their earnings (whether from PAYE or Self Assessment).

You might think £100 is not worth declaring, but you should always speak to HMRC if you are in any doubt. They may not require you to complete a tax return for a nominal amount but never assume.

 

I have a full time job that I’m paid monthly for. Do I still need to pay tax on Google Adsense commission?

Yes, you do. Just because you already pay PAYE or Self Assessment on a another job, doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from paying Income Tax on any other form of earnings.

 

How do I declare my earnings from Google Adsense?

You should keep a record of all earnings from any online programs that you earn money from. In my case I keep a simple Excel spreadsheet and record the date of the payment, from which company, and how much I received. I also keep a copy of the email confirmation which is sent from Google confirming how much I was paid.

If you are a Sole Trader, you’ll need to register as Self Employed with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and complete an annual tax return. If you are already a business, you’ll need to declare the earnings just like any other form of income.

You may wish to employ an accountant to complete your annual Tax Return for you. A good accountant will explain what you need to do and will usually charge between £100 and £200 per year to complete and submit your tax return.

What about National Insurance Contributions

Again, regardless of how much you earn, you may need to pay National Insurance Contributes (NIC).

However, some people may be exempt from paying NIC on small earnings. At the time of writing, the small earning threshold was £5965 [more info here].

 

The benefits of properly declaring and paying tax on your Google Adsense commission

There are a number of benefits of correctly declaring and paying the tax you owe. These include:

  • you are abiding by the law
  • you won’t be fined or prosecuted
  • you contribute to a fair society
  • you can claim any expenses relevant to your business, such as the cost of website hosting or software purchases required for you to go about your business

The penalties for failing to declare and pay tax on Google Adsense commission

There are penalties those who fail to declare and then pay tax on Google Adsense commission and you can be fined with interested added to any undeclared earnings. You could even be prosecuted or imprisoned.

HMRC employs many different methods to track down tax avoiders, including sophisticate software and checking of Googles accounts.

 

Learn more about Google Adsense

I recommend you read the book ‘How to make profit from Google Adsense‘ if you’re new to the program.

pay tax on Google Adsense commission
If you’re a UK taxpayer, you’ll need to declare and pay tax on Google Adsense commission you earn.
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Do I have to pay Tax on Amazon Associates earnings?

Pay Tax Amazon Associates Earnings

If you’re a UK taxpayer and you earn money from Amazon Associates, you have a legal obligation to declare and pay tax on Amazon Associates earnings, regardless of how much you earn from the program.

Amazon Associates is an affiliate program which works by paying those who are subscribed to the program a commission for each referral they make i.e. if someone click on a link from a blog to the Amazon website and buys something, Amazon pays a small percentage to the blog owner in commission.

Commission – just like any other form of earnings – it subject to Income Tax.

 

But I earn under my taxable income – do I still have to declare earnings from Amazon?

Yes. Even if you earn £1 in a year from Amazon, you still need to declare it, even if you have earned under your annual taxable income.

For example, the majority of people in the UK are currently given the tax code 1100L. This means that they can earn £11,000 before paying any income tax.

You might think £100 is not worth declaring, but you should speak to HMRC if you are in any doubt.

 

I have a job that I’m paid monthly for. Do I still need to pay tax on Amazon Associates earnings?

Absolutely. Just because you already pay PAYE or Self Assessment on a ‘main’ job, doesn’t make you exempt from paying Income Tax on your additional earnings.

 

But Amazon pay me in vouchers – aren’t vouchers tax free?

No, they’re not as they have a cash value. If it was that simple many business owners would pay their staff with vouchers. In fact, you can opt in to be paid direct to your bank account with Amazon Associates but it can be expensive depending on how much you ear (you need an International Banking Number – IBAN – and your bank will charge you commission for using it).

 

How do I declare my earnings from Amazon Associates?

Just like any other Sole Trader or business, you should keep a record of all earnings from any online programs that you earn money from. I my case I keep a spreadsheet and record the date of the payment, who it is from and how much I was paid. I also keep a copy of the email confirmation which is sent from Amazon every time I reach the payment threshold.

If you are a Sole Trader, you’ll need to register as Self Employed with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and complete an annual tax return. If you are already a business, you’ll need to declare the earnings just like any other form of income.

You may wish to employ an accountant to complete your annual Tax Return for you. A good accountant will explain what you need to do and will usually charge between £100 and £200 per year to complete and submit your tax return.

 

What about National Insurance Contributions

Again, regardless of how much you earn, you may need to pay National Insurance Contributes (NIC).

However, some people may be exempt from paying NIC on small earnings. At the time of writing, the small earning threshold was £5965 [more info here].

 

The benefits of properly declaring and paying tax on your Amazon Associates earnings

Firstly (and probably most importantly) ensuring that you pay tax on Amazon Associates earnings means you’re abiding by the law. It also means you are fairly contributing to society in general.

Secondly, there are benefits to being registered as Self Employed. For example, you can claim expenses for certain items connected to your business, such as the cost of the domain name and hosting of your website or blog. If you pay for people to design you images for the website, or pay for Google Adwords, you can also claim these if directly associated with your business. This deductions can then be offset against your total tax liability so speak to an accountant for more advice.

 

The penalties for failing to declare and pay tax on Amazon Associates earnings

There are severe penalties for any who fails to declare and then pay tax on Amazon Associates earnings which is due. First of all, you’ll be fined for any income you failed to declare and you’ll have interest added. In more severe cases there is even the chance you could be prosecuted or imprisoned.

HMRC employs many different methods to track down tax dodgers, including sophisticate software.

I’ll only earn a few hundred pounds from my Amazon Associates earnings this year but will alway ensure that I include them with my Self Assessment declaration. After all, it’s really not worth risking it to avoid paying a bit of tax, is it?

 

Learn more about Amazon Associates

I recommend you read the book ‘Amazon Associates: a complete guide‘ if you’re new to the program. There is lots of information, hints and tips in the book.

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How to deal with cold calls in the workplace

Cold calls in the workplace can be annoying, and at worst can stop you answering the phone to genuine customers. Companies are using increasingly technical methods of getting through to the ‘right’ person, so how to deal with cold calls in the workplace?

 

How to deal with cold calls in the workplace

Most of the time the cold caller doesn’t actually know the name of the person they want to speak to. They’ll usually try and get the name of someone responsible for a particular role, because once they have the name, it’s much easier to get through to them in the future. Here are some scenarios and what you can do to prevent them.

 

“Can I speak to the person responsible for the companies energy bills please?”

We get at least one of these a day. They are almost always companies trying to get you to change your gas or electric tariff, or to get the next date of your switch so that they can hound you nearer the time.

Best way to get rid of these callers is to say “Sorry, it’s our company policy not to provide this information over the telephone”.

 

“Can I speak to the person responsible for the companies mobile telephones please?”

 

Just like the energy companies, anyone who calls you and asks this question is trying to get names and dates. Again, reply with the same response: “Sorry, it’s our company policy not to provide this information over the telephone”.

Sometimes you’ll get an aggressive seller who will ask you why not. Simply respond with “sorry, we don’t discuss that over the telephone. Feel free to write to us with any questions”.

“Before I say anything else, I just want to let you know I’m not selling anything”.

This is almost always a lie. When someone starts the call with this line, they are almost ALWAYS calling to sell you something. The moment you get any suspicion they are selling something just hang up – if they can be rude enough to lie to you about their intentions, you are entitled to repay their rudeness by handing up.

 

Business Telephone Surveys

These are some of the cheekiest of calls in my experience. A company calls you, want you to spend 10 to 20 minutes giving them loads of information which they will then use to sell to other companies.

If you’re not careful, your employees may give away important (sensitive) information about your organisation. Make it a policy not to answer telephone surveys and instead invite the caller to write to you.

 

Start a procurement system

Large organisations have a procurement system and starting your own is a great way of dealing with cold calls in the workplace.  By adding a procurement system to your new supplier processes you’ll weed the wheat from the chaff as decent companies will make the effort to fill out your forms and supply you with the information you require to consider them as a supplier. Poor quality companies will rarely bother with this process.

 

“But they’re only doing their job”

Of course this is true, and there’s nothing wrong with someone trying to earn money. But cold calling is a cheap and outdated method of getting  custom. It’s an old fashion version of spam email.

Decent companies invest in a long-term strategy for marketing. They invest in their sector and want to keep their customers happy. They gain new customers by recommendations and by building on quality service. Cold calling is not quality: it’s random, time-wasting and annoying.

That cold call might have just cost you money!

If you’re a small business or a sole trade, that cold caller may be holding up the telephone line from a genuine customer with money to spend. Learning to deal with cold calls in the workplace is vital to preventing you from losing money.

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Mobile Phone Etiquette in the Office

Mobile Phone Etiquette in the Office

Mobile Phone Etiquette in the Office is not the same as using your mobile in personal time. If your office relies on mobile phones then it’s you’ve found yourself irritated by at least one colleague and the way they use their phone in the past. From annoying ringtones to unnecessary shouting, there are plenty of ways in which you lovely work colleague can turn into your most hated person.

Etiquette is important in all areas of life and it doesn’t stop just because you’re on the phone.

Don’t shout

Some people just can’t help themselves. They have to shout down the phone, as if the other person will hear them clearer. The reason people shout when they’re on their mobile phone is simple: they have the handset volume to high.

Turn the handset volume down and you’ll immediately notice the shouting turns into softer speaking.

Enough with the stupid ringtones

You’re in the office, not out for the night with your friends. While you might think that the Star Wars theme is a great ringtone (and who wouldn’t?) not everyone shares your enthusiasm for Darth Vader’s March. Equally, no one needs to hear your phone repeatedly announce that your mum is calling or making stupid sounds every time you get a new email.

Turn it down

If you must have your phone on at work, turn the ringtone down and chose something subtle. People are trying to concentrate and no all of them need to know every time someone calls you. So have some respect, and turn the volume down.

Leave the room

When you’re on your phone, one of the most annoying things you can do in the Mobile Phone Etiquette in the Office battle is to have a really loud conversation next to people who are trying to concentrate.

Consider leaving the room to take that call if you really must take it.

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Gable Insurance policies EXPIRE on 16th December 2016

I have today spoken to the FCSC regarding the saga of Gable Insurance AG going into default. They have advised that Gable Insurance policies will EXPIRE on 16th December 2016 and that my company must purchase a new all risks insurance policy with a new insurer. If we fail to do so, we will not be insured.

The FCSC have advised that there will be a refund of some of the policy (which cost us around £12,000 per annum due to the high risk of our industry), but they cannot say how much we will receive OR when we can expect to receive the money.

This leaves us facing a bill of £12,000 to allow us to continue to trade, having paid this only a few months ago before Gable went bust. This is a terrible strain for a small business to have to deal with.

Meanwhile, we also have a £12,000 claim outstanding with Gable relating to a break-in during the spring.

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