Category Archives: Uncategorized

As an Easter promotion, Kroger is giving quadruple credits toward discounted fuel at their gas stations when you buy gift cards at the store. After picking up a few groceries and buying some gift cards to send to our kids the other day, it reduced the cost of gasoline from $3.75 a gallon to $3.15 when we filled up.

You need, of course, a Kroger affinity card. You can check out all the details on the store’s website.

Finally, while the 4x credit will only last for a while, Kroger always gives double fuel credit for gift card buys. The 4x deals kick in around holidays. If you regularly shop at stores like Target, pick up gift cards for yourself and enjoy the extra savings on gas.

Starting your Blog is Easy and Can Be Inexpensive or Free

There are great options for hosting your blog.
You have good choices when it comes to hosting your blog.

In the first article in this series I said there were three basic ways to make money writing for the Internet, or at least using the Internet to facilitate your writing business:

  • Blogging,
  • Writing content for sites such as Yahoo Voices, and
  • Using the Internet to connect with freelance clients.

Today we’ll look a little more closely at blogging.

Are you an expert in something? Do you have opinions that will rock the world? Do you like telling tales about the funny stuff your family does? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you sound like an aspiring blogger to me.

Getting your start in blogging is easy. There are free blogging sites that provide everything you need to get going. A quick Internet search will find them all for you, but for right now these are probably the most popular and powerful:

Unless you’re a highly esteemed, established authority in a specific field, or have a high volume of traffic going to your site, no one is going to pay you cash upfront to write a blog. You’ll make money by advertising on your site. Blogger and Tumblr allow ads., not so much. If you have a free blog on the WordPress site, you cannot run ads unless your blog gets really popular and you qualify for their WordAds program and get your own domain name.

This leads to an important point. If you’re serious about developing your blog, you need to have own your own domain name and not use one of the free blogs mentioned above. Here’s the difference: I own “” and that’s why the web address is If it was a free blog at, its web address would be See the difference? Immediately people know it’s a “free” blog, so how serious could the author be?

There are many places where you can buy your own domain name and host your site, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. offers a “domain mapping” paid service that costs about $17 a year. However, except for the WordPress Wordads program, you still can’t run ads on your blog.

Various web hosting providers will charge between $5 to $10 a month to host your blog and then you will have full control of how many, and what kinds of ads you want to run. You will also have access to add-ons like a shopping cart if you want to sell something, like an ebook.

Now we’re starting to get more deeply into how you can make money on your blog. This is called “monetizing” your blog and we’ll pick that topic up next time.

In terms of web hosting, I’ve had good luck with Godaddy. Their phone support has been excellent. Do you have a web host that you really love…or hate?

There’s Gold in those Old Books, DVDs and Video Games!

Okay, can we talk? When’s the last time you watched that 3-disk set of season one of “The Office”? It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Then, why is it still cluttering your shelves?

eBay’s sister site,, is a great way to get rid of your DVDs, books, CDs, video games and video game systems. Setting up an account is easy. You’ll need to enter some basic information along with a credit card number and bank account information. only uses your credit card information to confirm your identity. When you make sales on the website, the money is deposited to your checking account. This is one of the main differences between selling on and eBay, which deposits money to your PayPal account.

One of the best things about selling on is the ease at which you can list your books, CDs, DVDs and games. Carve out a little time to your bookshelves for the tomes you’re never likely to read or need again.

TIP: If you haven’t touched it for a few years, get rid of it.

Now comes the easy part. Sit down in a comfortable chair with your stack of books, log onto and start entering your information. For books, you type in the ISBN number. For other items the UPC code is the key.

Unlike eBay, you don’t have to give your sale a title, upload pictures and answer a bunch of other questions. The system fills in most of the information. You just need to give each item a condition rating and if you think it’s helpful, describe or explain the condition. For a book you might add, “Slight crease on the back cover,” for example.

TIP: Be totally honest about the condition of your items. Nothing trumps customer satisfaction when you’re selling online. Never misrepresent your goods. It’s better to have a customer be pleasantly surprised by the great condition of your items than disappointed by items in unexpectedly poor condition.

Also unlike eBay, items listed here are not going up for auction. You set your price. Depending on the condition of yours and previous sales/listings of the same item, will often suggest a price.

Finally, to point out one more difference between selling on and eBay, whatever you list on stays there until it is sold, unlike eBay auctions which have an end date.

This should get you started. Next time we’ll talk about which kinds of items do the best on, shipping and a few other tips.