Saturday, September 28, 2013

Earndit - Rewards for Working Out

Earn for working out?  Not exactly but you can earn points towards products you might already be using which will help you save cash.  Earndit is a site that gives you "rewards" for working out.  You sign up with one of the acceptable exercise monitoring devices such as Fitbit, Nike+, Garmain and more.  You sync your device's account with your Earndit account and you rack up points through exercising.  You have the option to spend these points towards cash off products or charity rewards.  The cash off usually comes in the form of a coupon code.

The products are usually fitness and health related including food, beverages and exercise gear.  The charity rewards are from legitimate organizations.  I'll admit I haven't been happy with the quality of my current Fitbit device so I'm not using this service right now but will start back up I get another device.  But I have redeemed some of my points on products and given to some of the charity products which change every so often.  Even if you don't think you need a kick in the pants to work out, you may enjoy some of the rewards you receive or give.

Sign up at the Earndit site here.

Disclaimer:  I do earn points for this referral link.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Selling Books Online at Etsy

You may not think of the online craft-selling giant Etsy when you want to sell books, but my recent experience has taught me that it can be a good place for sales depending on the type of books you're offering. Some of the keywords are vintage, supplies, and patterns.

I haven't offered a lot of books for sale yet on Etsy but almost all of the ones I did have sold.  The majority of them were vintage children's books in good condition, some with slight wear.  Another was a book of transfers to be used in crafts.  But like with any other venue, you need to be patient and know the possibilities for each site.  The children's books may have sold to collectors but artists and crafters might use them too in collage and altered book art.

Etsy has specific rules for applying the terms vintage and supplies to your items.  The Etsy DOs and DONT's page is a good place to start to find them.  The Vintage Books team at Etsy is an excellent resource to learn the best selling practices.  Good luck!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Selling Books Online - Amazon Trade-In Program

Moving right along in the series on selling books online, this one is about the Amazon trade-in program.  I'm not covering selling in general on Amazon as that deserves its own post.

I'm brand new to this program myself, so I'll share my experience and tips to get you started.  If for whatever reason you don't want to sell books directly on Amazon, this program might be a good alternative for you.  The steps are pretty easy:

  • First go to the Trade-In store.
  • Go to the scroll-down menu and choose what type of item you'd like to trade-in, i.e. book, DVD, CD, etc.
  • Type in a description such as title or ISBN number and hit GO.
  • You'll be taken to a page that tells you what the trade-in value is if any.
Keep in mind, the amount offered may be a lot less than the current asking price.  The main benefit is getting money now rather than having to compete with other sellers and hoping for a sale.

If you choose to trade in your item, then you will be given a packing slip and shipping label to print, which you don't have to pay for.  Print them out and follow the directions for packing.  I packed my book in a padded envelope.  You can choose either UPS or USPS as your shipping service.

Once the item is received, inspected and approved, you'll receive an Amazon gift card deposited to your account.  If they don't accept your trade-in, you can chose to have it returned to you free of charge or have them keep it.

I've traded one book so far and received the gift card amount in a timely manner.  Make sure you know what Amazon considers good condition.  In this video from earlier this year, it looks like you have the option of picking 'like new' or 'good' but I only saw the one option of good when I went through the process, so I don't know if they've changed that policy.

Related reading:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Selling Books Online -

I'll be doing a series of posts on selling books online at various venues.  First up is  I haven't tried this site yet but it has some good reviews.  According to the company website, they accept books published no later than 2009 for the most part.  This seems like it would be a good place to sell textbooks.  Learn more from the company CEO in the intro video.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Create a Stand-Alone Website with Blogger - Tips and Link Roundup

I wanted to share a great free tutorial I found on how to create a static website with Blogger.  I've been wanting something really streamlined with simply links from my website to other sites such as where I have blogs and content writing.  This tutorial was created by web designer Katrina at Pugsy Pixel.  It's a pretty easy video tutorial to follow.  I did have to do some tweaks to get it to work for me.  Unfortunately, I didn't write the tweaks down to remember in the future if I need to but I think people who can follow the tutorial can figure out what they need to do.

Here's the new site I created with the tutorial.  There are more samples at Katrina's site.  I may do some design tweaks but I'm pretty happy with it right now.  I created the contact form using Kontactr which was very easy.  I used the pages feature on Blogger to make the different pages on my site.  I also used this tutorial on how to add a table to blogger to put the links to the different pages on my site.

I think this would be helpful for people who like me have work spread out over the internet but would like one central site with a contact form and links to all the other sites.

Friday, August 31, 2012

US-Based Massage Therapy Organizations

[Author note:  HubPages is making changes again and I'm moving some of my hubs to other outlets.  This article was originally published in January 2012 and I still think it has some valid advice, so I'm republishing it here.]

Are you interested in a career in massage therapy? There are two major massage therapy organizations in the US. They are great sources of information on reputable massage schools and how to build a therapy practice. Therapists will also find avenues for networking with other professionals.
Massage clients are savvy and want to know that they are in the hands of a professional. These two associations will help you on the way to becoming that trusted professional:
  • American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).
  • Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).
Career and Certification Info

Many massage therapists are now certified. It isn't a requirement in every state. But certification is becoming the norm and therapists need to be kept up-to-date on the requirements of their field, especially since many employers prefer to hire certified therapists. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) is the main organization that most massage therapists seek certification from.
Both the AMTA and ABMP websites have certification info as well as a listing of schools that will provide the kind of education that will prepare you to sit for the exam. Included on both sites is contact info for each school as well as if financial aid is provided.
Benefits of Membership
Here is a breakdown of some of the benefits of membership in each organization:
  • AMTA: There are different degrees of membership with a discount for students. All members receive liability insurance and a subscription to the trade publication Massage Therapy Journal. Students can post their resume for free and general members are enrolled in the national massage therapist locator service. All members receive discounts on training courses that can be used for continuing education credits as well as tools to help promote their business.
  • ABMP: This organization also has liability insurance of different levels available to student and professional members. The ABMP also includes skin care specialists such as estheticians in their membership as well as other bodywork professionals such as energy workers and reflexologists.
All members receive a subscription to Massage & Bodywork magazine and marketing tools for their business.
Both organizations help members stay current with their profession and businesses by providing continuing education classes and publications, some of which are online. They also offer free web space for members to set up their own professional website.
Many massage therapists join one of these organizations because of the liability insurance. But with all the other perks of membership, the AMTA and ABMP are excellent resources for learning about the massage therapy profession and for professionals to grow their businesses.
Sources consulted:
Related reading:

Copyright P.J. Deneen

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Read Transcription Job Ads to Avoid Scams and Terrible Companies

[Author note:  HubPages is making changes again and I'm moving some of my hubs to other outlets.  This article was originally published in 2011 and I still think it has some valid advice, so I'm republishing it here.]

Employment Ads Aren't Always What They Seem

Have you seen an online ad for a transcription job thinking it sounded too good to be true? As the old saying goes, it probably was. Worse yet, did you answer the ad and get sucked into paying money just to apply for a job and later suspected it was all just a scam?
Working at home is a dream for a lot of people. The prospect of making money in your pajamas appeals to a lot of us. I've been doing medical transcription at home since 2005 and have learned a thing or two about how to read between the lines of employment ads. Here I share these tips with you so you can make the most of your job search and avoid applying for extremely low-paying jobs or even falling for a scam.
The Audio Hour vs. Per Hour
Let's say you've found an ad that pays $22 per audio hour. That sounds excellent right? Not so fast. In general, at-home transcription jobs pay on production, so you will very rarely be paid per hour. On-site hospital and office jobs are more likely to pay an hourly rate.
An audio hour is equal to one hour of dictation. Depending on the difficulty of understanding the dictator, i.e. accent, background noise, etc., that audio hour could take an average of three to four hours to type. At four hours of typing, that $22 audio hour actually equals $5.50 pay per hour in real time. If you wanted to make at least $10 an hour for your time (and remember, this is most likely as an independent contractor, so you'll have to pay self-employment taxes), then you wouldn't want to apply for a job that pays less than $40 per audio hour (based on the assumption that it will only take 4 hours to type give or take).
The audio hour rate is usually found in job ads for general transcription. Medical transcription ads on reputable sites such as MT Stars and are mainly from companies that hire at home. These listings usually state pay based on lines since that is how production is calculated for work-at-home MTs. For example, one common rate would be 8 cents per 65-character line. Many companies want their MTs to type 1000 to 1200 lines per day, so the math for hourly rate would be:
  • 1000 lines divided by the average 8-hour working day = 125 lines per hour
  • 125 lines multiplied by .08 cents = $10
The MT industry is also quickly moving to embrace speech recognition technology which is changing the medical transcription position to that of one combining transcription and editing. You may see comparatively low rates of pay per line for voice recognition transcription. But that is because the theory is eventually the MT will be able to double their line-per-hour output.
Never Pay to Apply for a Job
One of the biggest red flags to alert you to a scam is when you're asked to pay to apply. I've rarely seen this with medical transcription ads but more often with data entry job listings. This will often be stated as a fee for doing a supposed required background check. This is a scam. You should never have to pay to apply for a job. Sometimes these companies slip through the cracks on medical transcription job sites, so I'm including this info here for you to keep an eye out.
One thing I have seen are companies that are actually trying to sell you a medical transcription education program. They word the ads as such that you may not even figure out that's what they're doing until you get to the end of the ad or you're told to email them for more info. Beware. If a company isn't up front about exactly what job is being offered, especially if they don't have a website and real world address and phone number for you to check, then please think twice about applying. If you do and they email back with a request for money, then you know it's a scam.
Don't Be Fooled
The companies that place these ads may not be trying to fool you. I don't want you to think they're all a bunch of crooks. There are plenty of legitimate transcription companies out there. Many in the industry know the facts about pay rates. But those new to medical transcription and especially to general transcription may not. So, please use these tips to your advantage in your job search and use common sense.
Related posts:

Copyright P.J. Deneen