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Sell Your Used Books – Make Money & Enter Contest

Posted Friday, December 11, 2009 by momscashblog | 31 Comments so far

MomsCashBlog  has the honor of being asked by CKY Books to let everyone know about a great contest they are running and the chances for you to make money by selling any of your used books. This is a unique contest one that will enter your name if & when you sell your used books to Cky Books.

I have mentioned and written several post in the past about Cky books because I really stand behind this family owned business. They have a very clean and easy site to read and work with, if you have any problems they will always email you back within a day or sooner in most cases.  What better time of year to make a little extra cash by cleaning up and selling some of those used text books  that you have hanging around? While your at it you will be entered to win some of their prizes that Cky books are offering for their Holiday Contest. So take a peek at the rest of the post and find out how to sell those used books and chance to win some prizes. Good luck to all of you. (more…)

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Make Money for the Holidays with Affiliate Marketing

Posted Monday, November 16, 2009 by momscashblog | 36 Comments so far
The numbers  are in and E-commerce Research shows that 70% of consumers are going to research and comparison shop online for the upcoming holidays.  Halloween’s e-numbers were higher than expected by retailers which makes one think that Christmas 2009 numbers will be higher than  thought even during these economic times.   To be sure consumers are going to be making wiser decisions, and taking advantage of the online perks like, free shipping, secured shopping, overnight delivery and other great deals that  internet shopping offers the consumers.

Christmas, Boxing Day and the upcoming holidays are the biggest shopping days of the year and a great time for retailers and for online affiliate marketing to work for you.   Affiliate marketing can be as easy as selling a product on your blog/site or,  setting up a web site selling one product or concentrating on several products. This site will have the potential to  bring in extra money for you this Christmas and months after. Not getting even a small site/campaign up means you are facing a huge opportunity lost to supplement your income.

Make sure that when it comes to choosing the products that you want to sell on your new website, that you pick products that you have an interest in, it will only make it easier for you to sell something that you stand behind. You should also take a look around the internet, check out the television and thumb through some magazines for the hot items of 2009. I did a google search and some of the hot items that I found for this season are of course hi-tech products. That includes GPS Receivers, any  of the Wii games, and of course  iPods.  Also take note that Tickle Me Elmo is back again, but of course he’s now Tickle Me Elmo Extreme! When it comes to toys don’t  overlook the classic board games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Clue, which according to the  consumer magazines board games have spiked in sales since 2008.   Families are finding themselves staying at home more, rather than spending money that they may not have on going out, and this creates more family time. You may want to keep that in mind  when thinking about what products or how you will present your campaign. Don’t forget  Fido, pet toys and supplies are a big seller with affiliate marketing there is real money to be made there. Remember you have to now get consumers over to YOUR site, so think about your ads and how you will promote your site or products.

Once you’ve decided on the product[s] that you are going to sell and you’ve done your homework feeling that this item is one that will sell well,  it could be worth your while to buy a domain name and, set up a website just for that product. Remember the site doesn’t have to be a large site, it can be just a few pages to which you could add to later on.  If you don’t want to put up a site you can start selling  products that you have picked and, advertise it  on  your blog or website now. You should try to stick to the same product on one site, if you are into computers then sell them on one site.  Later on you could always open a webstore where you would sell different products, but to get something going for this Christmas  keep it simple!

In conclusion do a little bit of research for your products, get your affiliate network ready, get your site up, advertise, promote your products and wait for the money to roll in. Make this a great affiliate Christmas, you have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

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Malware Virus & What You Should Know About It

Posted Friday, September 25, 2009 by momscashblog | 23 Comments so far
Here is a guest post by my blogging buddy Plin of  myfrugalways.com, he helps us understand what happens when we are hit with the dreaded “Reported Attack  Site” on our blogs and  how, what, and why this happens.
Here is a post I wrote up. Hope this helps people that is looking for more information regarding Malware.
Here is the definition of Malware from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware
Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to infiltrate a computer without the owner’s informed consent. The expression is a genereal term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.

There are many different types of Malware including computer virus, worms, trojan horse, ect. Each different types of malware varies in the way they infect the user’s computer and how much control the Malware has. One of the most common issues bloggers encounter is known as iframe injection attack. In an iframe injection attack, the malware inserts a piece of code that looks like:
/<iframe src=”*some bad website*//” width=1 height=1style=”visibility:hidden;position:absolute”></iframe>/
into your code base. The most common target files are index.* since it is the first page loaded by any website. Essentially what the </iframe/> code does is it forwards your website to the bad website. As a result if a user visits your site they will be directed to another site that might be filled with even more malware.

There are numerous ways in which the malware can infect your account but two of the most common ways are a result of hosting servers and ‘FTP. In the case of hosting servers, some hosting company does setup their security setting properly and as a result when an account is comprise the hacker gains access to other accounts as well. E.g. suppose JJ and my blog sits on the same server and I am running a very old version of WordPress. If a hacker hacks my account and the security is not set up properly, he can now access JJ’s files too even though JJ is very vigilant in keeping her copy of wordpress up to date. This is a known problem for some of the hosting company and it is why one should be wary of free/cheap hosting solutions. If you have ssh access to your account, make sure to change the permission of your files to the highest level.

2. FTP password. Most bloggers work on their wordpress files on their local computer before FTP the files to the server. As a result FTP passwords are often a target of malware. If you visited some unclean website, your computer can be infected with malware that sniffs for FTP passwords. The moment when you upload your files to  your FTP account, the password is captured by the hacker and they can now automate the iframe code insertion process using your FTP password. In fact, it is better to use secure FTP (SFTP) so the data exchange between your computer and the server can’t be easily sniffed.

To cleanup after an iframe injection attack:
>Keep your anti-virus software updated on your home computer
>Update your WordPress to the last version. WordPress is known for security flows and they constantly release security patches.
>Change all your passwords. A good password should have a mix of upper case, lower case, and numbers.
>Avoid use applications that requires your password in on a public computer. Internet cafes are especially deadly.
>Check all your wordpress files for <iframe> tag and remove them. The key files are index.* However, other files might also be affected.
>Investigate how the attack was originated. This one is a little more difficult but I would suggest try to think whether you have downloaded unknown software recently
Some good blogging practice to keep your account safe:
>Rename your administrator account to something other to admin or administrator account. This will prevent attacks where the malware uses admin as username and simply try all the words in the dictionary. (Hint: using dictionary words as password is a very bad idea)
>Backup your database on a scheduled basis.

Cheers Plin, (more…)

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What to do about Reported Attack Site message

Posted Friday, September 11, 2009 by momscashblog | 30 Comments so far

Last week I had a Malware Virus to deal with,  so upon visiting my site you may have seen the blog but also gotten a warning to stay away from this site or you could get a virus. (Don’t worry, it’s very safe!) For those of you with certain virus protection you did not see my blog. In it’s place was a red warning page titled “Reported Attack Site” and a paragraph saying this site was under attack… which is how I found out I had a virus on my own blog! I thought “well, I’ll just go to my WordPress and see what’s up. (Duh!) My site was taken down so there was no WordPress to go to.  Also my webmail was taken down, and my blog’s name and domain was removed from all search engines. I’m told that if my blog did get into the search engines it would have had a warning saying not to come to my site. Ouch! But with the help of Hostgator, GoogleWebmasterTools, and Lloyd Lopez, I got through the malware attack pretty much unscathed. I didn’t lose anything and in the end, it was much less traumatic than I expected. Of course, when it first happened I was stressed, but so far, so good.

The message “Reported Attack Site” is a little confusing to me. I’m thinking maybe they should say “Report an Attack to Google” because that is what you have to do. Google detects the malware virus and shuts the site down to prevent it from going any further and protect anyone visiting the infected site. It is then your responsibility to get it fixed and send a report to Google. When it finally gets a clean bill of health they will put your site back up.

I found out that many new bloggers just abandon their blogs when they find the “Reported Attack Site” message because they don’t know what to do about it.Malware virus/hacking is something that all bloggers could encounter, so I will pass on the process that I went through to get my blog back up and running. Keep in mind that there are many different types of hacking and viruses, but mine was a malware virus. To learn more about malware viruses and how to protect your blog, go to WordPress.

1. Call your blog hosting company. Whenever your blog goes down you should call or e-mail the company who hosts your blog. I’d much rather call than send an e-mail because I like instant feedback, so make sure you have the telephone number(s) of your blog host in a notebook ready for these occasions. I use HostGator for this blog and they’re also the host for the MCB Free Blog Tutorial.  I cannot say enough good things about them. They are patient, very helpful and easy to talk to for a non-techie like me.

1a. Send e-mail to host security requesting help. HostGator told me I had a Malware Virus and that I had to send an e-mail to HostGator Security to request help and tell them of the warning Google placed on my blog. Security immediately sent notification that they received my request and gave me a case number for the process.

(Of course, you could skip the initial call  [1] and just send an e-mail to Security [1a], but I’ve always communicated better through phone… or face to face… and the call was very informative and reassuring.)

2. Wait for notification from host security. It took a while but I finally got an e-mail saying that HostGator assessed my blog and I indeed had been hacked with malware. They told me I was hacked into from  WordPress versions that had not been updated, and that my site was now clean.

Problem Solved! (Just kidding!) Now you have to notify Google and wait for Google to approve you.

2a. Report to your Google Webmaster Tools. HostGator told me I now had to let Google know that my site had been cleaned of all badware, so I did.  I then checked off the box saying “Please review my blog”..

3. Let Google review blog. I assumed I was in the clear, but Google informed me that they were still detecting “badware” on my site. So I called HostGator and they fixed each problem as Google told us of them. In my case this whole thing took about 3 days before my site was declared “cleaned of badware” .

3a. Wait for OK from Google. I checked my mail constantly and on the third day I was finally got the message: “Status of the lastest badware review for this site. A review for this site has finished. The site was found clean the badware warning from web search are being removed. Please note that it can take some time for the change to propagate.”

Keep checking to see if blog has propogated and you should be up and running when you see your blog online!!

Since my older version of hacked  WordPress was hacked into, I had to change my passwords (for Cpanel and admin. log- in too) and make them very strong and I will be changing them often. If you haven’t started a blog yet, make sure you have a notebook or two to hold all of your many passwords, telephone numbers, and dates of expiration for your domain name, blog host, etc.

To decrease the changes of being hacked make sure you have very strong passwords with numbers and symbols mixed in and change those passwords often! If there is anyone who has had this happened to them or can share more information on this type of problem and/or  would like to share in comments section or interested in a guest post please leave a comment.

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Make Money Selling Used Books

Posted Friday, August 21, 2009 by momscashblog | 46 Comments so far

Since I get a lot of key word hits on buying and selling used books online I  thought I’d revisit the topic.  An acquaintance of mine was featured briefly on Oprah for buying and selling 18,000 books online in one year. He (runs his book trading business from the Island of Frenchboro, Maine (pop. 50) and I know of many island and coastal dwellers who buy and sell used and rare books for a living. One of the reasons book selling is so popular on the Maine coast (and other coastlines) is because many famous artists, writers, actors and actresses come to live or vacation in the summer months to get away from it all and “hide out” from the rest of the world.  These people are usually well-educated, well-traveled and have a well stocked library with some very interesting and rare books… but depending on who they are,  even an average book with their signature of ownership on the inside cover can bring in a pretty penny.  These summer estates are usually second, third, or fourth homes for the rich and famous, so when they die or sell the estate, the content usually ends up being sold to local auctions or book buyers for a very good price. Sometimes they send someone to retrieve the valuables but the books are often overlooked.  Who wants to pack up a bunch of old books and send them half way around the world?

Starting any home business online whether selling used books or any other type of business you choose is an excellent   opportunity to make some extra money without the usual  headaches.  There are none of the conventional rules that are needed when looking for a “brick and mortar” business, like trying to obtain a bank loan or any of that other legal stuff that is needed to start a business.  As far as looking for a store front no need for that,  just some space in your house or garage where you can store some of your books is all you’ll have to find.  You’ll need some packing materials, boxes, shipping labels,  maybe boxes to ship the books,  and work space. That’s it!

Of course you can always find books at yard, lawn, and estate sales, library sales and  even at your own home where you  always have books laying around. You may decide that you want  to handle all and any types of books to sell or you may want to stay with a certain niche and sell just cook books, mystery,  field guides, books by certain authors or specialize in rare and first edition books.  Make sure that you let your family and friends know that you are now in the business and have them networking for you,  when they see a yard sale or book  sale somewhere have them call you.  Search the newspapers for sale locations, use Craig’s List to find any sales or to announce your new business, and watch the internet for any sales on books. Have some business cards Make Money Selling Used Booksmade up at Vista Print and give them out whenever you get the chance to spread the word that you are now in the book business. If you have an existing blog/website not generating much money  you can always sell your used & new books on the side. Books will go with any blog or website no matter what the subject. (more…)

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JJ’s Back at MomsCashBlog

Posted Saturday, July 25, 2009 by | 31 Comments so far

OK, I am back! I’ve had a lot of medical and legal things to deal with because of my hospital stay and I needed a little vacation. The good thing is that MCB makes money even when I’m not here and I actually made very good money while in a coma — but it’s not a good way to monetize a blog so I don’t recommend anyone try this at home! lol Now the first thing I want to do is thank everyone who wrote to me and let you know how I’m doing. Your prayers and good wishes were a big help to me. So, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You!

If you’ve read my last post, you know that I went into the hospital with kidney stones and ended up in an induced coma. What I didn’t say is that I was kicked out of the hospital after leaving the Critical Care Unit. When I say “kicked out”, I mean kicked out! I was told there was nothing wrong with me. I was in pain, very confused. I was being treated for pneumonia and could hardly talk after being intubated on a ventilator, but I managed to call my sister and tell her that a doctor/hospitalist told me I “wasn’t in a hotel and it was time for me to go!”

My sister called the Hospital Patient Advocate from the legal department and made arrangements to meet him in my room. A Patient Advocate is supposed to intervene in situations like this and legally should be on the side of the patient… but he clearly was there to represent the hospital/doctor and not me! At the same time, one of the nurses laid her job on the line and put a complaint in to the Legal Department about the doctor who was discharging me. So the Patient Advocate had 2 formal complaints, one from a nurse and one from my sister, but none of this mattered. He told us that if the doctor (hospitalist) said I was able to go home then I must go home. My sister said “I was told she had pneumonia and she clearly isn’t well, so I refuse to take her home!” He said “then we can have a van drop her off at her house.” She said “do you realize that just the other day she was in a coma?” He said, “yes, I’m aware of that, but she is fine now”. Sister: “then I will bring her right back down to the Emergency Room!”. Patient Advocate: “If you come to the ER we can refuse her.” They argued back and forth and his last words were “Sorry, but she has to leave.” So, I was given a dose of morphine for the pain and some discharge papers that said I had a “small bowel obstruction” (with no mention of kidney stones or anything else that happened) and sent home on one of the coldest nights of the year.


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From a Coma to My Blog

Posted Friday, April 17, 2009 by momscashblog | 72 Comments so far

From a coma to my blog — Part 1

It’s been 2 months since I went into the hospital with kidney stones and then had my “near death experience” and I finally feel pretty much back to normal — or as close to “normal’ as I’ll ever get! lol  I’m told these are some of the first questions I had when I awoke from the coma… “Where am I?” and “What day is it?” and the strangest one of all, “Oh no, did my blog expire?” lol They say everyone laughed and was relieved that I hadn’t lost my memory and that I was pretty much all right in the brain department. They say I also worried about my cat, my bills, my finances, and my house… so basically I woke up worrying! lol

I think everyone has wondered what it feels like to be in a coma and now I know. For me it was confusing. The last day that I was conscious blurred into the day I woke up, but I do know that I was irritated, upset, and felt very helpless. Waking up on a respirator is not fun! I have since learned that they have to take the respirator and breathing tube out of you the moment you wake up… it would be nice for the patient if they could take it out BEFORE you are conscious. That way you could just open your eyes and wake up peacefully… like they do in the movies! But that’s not how it is done. If you were dependent on a respirator to breath while in a coma, they take the breathing tube out the minute you wake up. If they find that you can’t breath on your own, it goes right back in and you get heavily sedated until they decide what to do. Luckily, I could breath on my own and did not become dependent on the respirator/ventilator to breath for me. (more…)

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