What to do if you're desperate

by 1204 comments
We've been getting a lot of threads here lately from people talking about tough times. Clearly, some are for real. Others seem a bit... iffy. One thing we can be sure of is that having a bunch of these scattered through the database isn't the best way to help anyone.

So, here's the suggestion: Pretend this is a request from someone who's in a tight spot, and needs to figure out how to make some money quick. We don't know if they're on the verge of getting kicked out into the street tomorrow, or if they've got a couple of months to get something going.

Give your best suggestions, starting off with the required skills and the timeline you're addressing. Let's get one thread with a ton of ways for people to handle a tough spot.

Then, when the threads come up, we can point them here. The folks who need advice get it - a lot of it in one place - and you don't have to re-type your answers every time.

Who wants to start it off?


Edited to add: AlexCN has created a handy index that you may find helpful in getting to a useful answer more quickly. You can find that here: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post9002337
#internet marketing #desperate

  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    Fastest way to make some quick money -- without knowing the person's skills -- is to go to craigslist closest to their area and search the gigs. Many times these are cash type jobs that can be done quickly and locally.
  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    An immediate form of income, and the way I started my IM career, is to simply offer services. What are you good at?

    Writing=articles, ebooks, autoresponder series, etc.
    Research=are you great at sniffing out good niches? This was the first service I offered, and I'm still doing it!
    Software=if you have software to submit links, RSS feeds or articles to various sites, offer that as a service.

    Take a look around the WSO's and the WF Classifieds...find services others are offering and offer them if it is something you have the capacity to perform.

    It's money directly into your Paypal account and if you do a great job, you'll have MANY repeat customers.

    P.S. It's my personal opinion that EVERYONE who receives payment via Paypal should have a Paypal Business Debit Card. It takes days to transfer money from your Paypal account to your bank account where you can access it. When you have the Debit Card, every sale you make is IMMEDIATELY accessible, as long as it's not an echeck (I don't accept those at all anyways.) Having the Debit Card can allow you to have funds immediately available upon making a sale, and when you're desperate, that's priceless.
  • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
    If someone is really desperate and down to the wire, you cannot rely on the internet to pay off fast enough to get you out of your jam. Get yourself to any agencies you can find locally that will help you pay your rent, keep the electricty on or put food on the table. There is the Salvation Army, food banks, city human service departments and the like to help with emergency situations.

    Sell anything you don't absolutely need in a yard sale or on eBay. Do odd jobs around town or work overtime if you have a job and it's available. This could help give you some breathing room.

    If you aren't down to the wire yet but know you need to make money fairly quickly, selling some sort of service is probably the fastest way to do it. Think about what skills you have to offer - could be writing, could be the grunt work like putting up links, blog commenting, creating graphics...whatever you can do, you can bet someone will be willing to pay you to do it for them.

    While you're doing that to keep money coming in now, find a business model you like and start pegging away at it until it becomes a big enough income stream. This could be anything really - it doesn't matter, as long as you have some income coming in already.

  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    Great Post Paul... I will contribute the following...

    If you are just starting out and you do not know what to do and your funds are very low or even nothing, then you can start with the below plan and build on it from there.

    Let's say I just started this great blog and now I need traffic so before I go give my great content away for free to some over glorified adsense article directory I think I will try the following...

    You can get hosting for a few dollars from Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Dedicated Servers - Website Hosting w/ cPanel - HostGator and get a domain name for less than $10 at Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting - Free URL Forwarding, e-mail forwarding and DNS services are included with our cheap domain names registration service

    If you have no money at all, then you certainly can start a free blog at http://www.blogspot.com

    - Bookmark my new blog:
    Digg - The Latest News Headlines, Videos and Images
    Clipmarks - What are you finding on the web?
    Home | Propeller
    Faves: Sites you'll love, from people like you
    Mister Wong | Social Bookmarking Tool (twitter function built in)

    * Those above will get you indexed in google with no
    problem, digg and clipmarks can have you
    indexed in 10 minutes.

    - Create 3 new articles similar to my blog content and turn them into PDF with links to my blog and upload it to sites such as:
    Upload & Share PowerPoint presentations and documents
    Docstoc ? Documents, Templates, Forms, Ebooks, Papers & Presentations

    * fully fill out the profile and since I posted 3
    documents there is also an auto poster for twitter
    and facebook on Scribd - so I will tweet and post to facebook.

    - Locate my Rss Feeds on the bookmarking sites, my blog and the upload sites and post them to Rss Directories:
    RSS Submissions

    55 Active RSS Directories to Help Promote Your RSS Feeds!

    Blog And RSS Feed Submission: Best RSS Directories Where To Submit Your Blog Feed Part 1

    TopRank Best List of RSS Blog Directories to Submit Your Blog and Feed - Online Marketing Blog

    * many resources on that site above that can help.

    This would be a good start to get your content indexed before you even submit to any directory and notice since you are just starting out, none of this cost any money, its free advertising.

  • Profile picture of the author samstephens
    I'm sure there's be a lot of posts about how to make extra money, so I'm posting something different, and something that I believe should be done straight away:

    Cut your costs.

    If your incoming money isn't matching (or greater than) your outgoing money, there are two things to do: increase your incoming, but also decrease your outgoing.

    Write out a list of the costs that you need to live:

    - Rent/mortgage
    - Food
    - Transport

    Food can be greatly decreased by stopping buying so many snacks (that's how our grocery bill creeps up), and instead start buying stuff that will last a long time - ie. making a huge pot of pasta and sause that'll last three or four days. Sure, not the most nutricious, but that's another issue altogether.

    Stop buying alcohol, and if you can, cut down on cigarettes as much as posisble (I'm not a smoker, and so I can only assume that's probably hard work for most people, but I'm also assuming it's better than being homeless).

    Rent/Mortgage - talk to your bank or realestate, and see if there is something you can work out. Sometimes there is, and sometimes you can work on payment plans.

    Transport - try and walk as much as you can, or ride a bike. Sure cuts down on those fuel bills. Too far? A bus? Or at least try and minimise your driving as much as possible.

    Entertainment - this is usually a huge cost, and so have a think about free things you can do around your area.

    Drop your mobile phone to a smaller plan, or don't renew your credit if you're on prepay. You can do without outgoing calls for awhile.

    Disconnect things you don't need, such as pay TV.

    This will be different for everyone's situation, but if you sit down and right out a list of all of your monthly bills, then break it down into weekly costs, then you can see what you're spending each week and what on.

    From there you can then knock down the bigger ones, and knock out some of the non-nessessities.

    Lastly - fast way to make some money? Get out there and do some work - mow lawns for friends and family, you may even get some referals for other people.

    Hit the local shopping centres, and see if you can pack shelves at night, or do some shift work at local factories.

    Often you can find unskilled labour - sure it doesn't pay great, but it's better than nothing, right?

    We'd all love to make it big on the internet, saving us by the skin of our teeth, and sure do that at night time, but if I was in serious financial trouble, I'd be knocking on so many doors begging for work that my knuckles would bleed.

    Hope this helps!

  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
    Find something that someone else is doing with alot of success and then do it for 10% less.
  • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
    1) Look at the Clickbank new products section on CBEngine.com for all the different categories.

    2) Make a list of the site owners with contact details.

    3) Reach out to them all and make an offer to write X number of promotional articles that their affiliates can use. Also offer to contact X number of potential affiliates to find guest blogging and other content syndication opportunities for them.

    Be sure to send them each a personalized message one by one.
  • Profile picture of the author JohnB23
    The quickest way I know of to make money is to cut your expenses.

    -Esp entertainment and buying "stuff" in a real brick and mortar store. Even if you don't think you can find it cheaper online, look any way.

    Even stuff like bubble wrap, it costs 3x as much at a store 10 minutes from my house, than if I bought it online (from ebay), even with shipping. Small expenses add up, so be sure to research everything.

    No reason at all to pay full retail for anything. Esp Dvd's or any movies. I don't believe in starving yourself, or taking extreme measures if you're desperate (like no tv or entertainment for 3 months).

    -Write down what you spend everyday and where it goes. You'll be shocked.
  • Profile picture of the author IMRookie1
    1. Sell stuff on a garage sale or on Ebay.
    2. Get a job nobody wants to do. (This is just temporary until you get back on track)
    3. Offer your services. There are a lot of marketers that pay for time-consuming tasks such as social bookmarking, link building, etc...
  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    The first thing you need to do is create a plan.

    Start by figuring out your budget. How much do you currently make? How much do you currently spend? Where can you reduce or eliminate expenses?

    Too often, people just say they "need more money" but without a budget, they don't have a plan for the money they do get in. So, any extra money may not go to where it gives them the best bang for the buck. By having a budget set up, you can better figure out where to spend any extra income you get. And, when starting out online, for most people, any income they get is going to be spotty at best. So, figuring out where to utilize that money--whether it is $20 or $200--is very important. You want to make sure you use that money where it will help you the most.

    Once you have a budget, then you can develop a plan. This is where you'll figure out how much more money you need to make and how much more money you want to make. Do you need $50 more per week? $500? Do you need another $5000 a month? How much is long term? How much do you need in the short term? Once you've determined your needs, then you can start a plan of attack.

    Your plan may be finding work locally, providing services online, selling stuff on eBay, etc.--the things others have mentioned. And you have to break down your plan into short term and long term objectives. You might take a job temporarily at a fast food joint to help until you can get your online business going, for example.

    Hand-in-hand with your plan is a daily schedule. If you want to make money at IM, you are going to have to work at it on a regular basis. You can't just do stuff here and there. That will just lead to spotty results and you probably won't be able to earn a decent income with intermittent efforts. So, create a schedule that works around your regular job (if you have one), your temporary job (if you have one), and whatever else may be going on in your life (taking kids to soccer practice, for example). Make sure you create time to work on your Internet marketing business on a regular basis. Daily, if possible. If not, then make it as many times a week as you can. If you can only do it on weekends, then plan around that too. Bear in mind that software like WordPress allows you to schedule posts, so you create posts on weekends and schedule them to appear throughout the week so that your blog is updated daily. If you are blogging, of course. That's just one example. Some article directories let you schedule things to a degree, so take advantage of that where possible, etc. There are workarounds for many things, so don't let stumbling blocks steer you off-course.

    Consistency is what you really need to achieve results. So, create a plan and a schedule that will allow you to do that. Treat your IM efforts as a business not a hobby.

    Once you have your plan and your schedule, you're going to have to figure out what you're going to do when you're sitting at your computer ready to do your Internet marketing work.

    So, the first thing you'll need to do is find a niche. You'll want to choose a niche where there are hungry buyers to make it easier on yourself to sell something. You might choose multiple niches as well, but just stick with one thing until you get it going. You should diversify, but don't do it so quickly that none of your "diversifications" ever gets off the ground! There are plenty of threads around here for choosing niches, so I won't get into that here.

    Once you have a niche, then you have to find a product. You have several options. You could be an affiliate for an existing product. Look at places like ClickBank, Commission Junction, PayDotCom, LinkShare, ShareASale, etc. for products you may be able to promote as an affiliate. Another option is to create your own product and sell it. Another option is to purchase a product with Master Resale Rights or Resale Rights and sell it. Yet another option, if it is a physical product you are looking at, is to become a reseller for that product. This can be expensive and is not going to be a practical option if you are desperate. In that case, you'll want to look at dropshipping, where the manufacturer or seller will dropship a product for you so that you don't have to stock anything and you only pay for the product when you have a sale. So, there are lots of options. In most cases, however, going with a digital product is going to be the most effective for the desperate Internet marketer that's just starting out.

    After you have a niche and a product to promote or sell, then you need to promote it. You may be able to do this simply through article marketing and social networking, but it will be highly advantageous, especially for long term growth, if you create your own website. The ideal is to have your own domain name and hosting. If you cannot afford that, at least find a way to get $10 to register your own domain name. Then, you can start at a service like Blogger for free and point your domain name to it. That way, any marketing you do can utilize your domain name rather than a Blogger Blogspot URL. Then, when you can afford hosting, you can find a way to move your content to your own hosted blog and retain your incoming links.

    The next thing is going to be payments. If you are an affiliate, you don't need to worry about this but if you are selling your own product, you will need to have a way for people to pay you. For most new Internet marketers, this will probably mean something like PayPal. If you have a digital product, you can sell through ClickBank, and then they'll provide you with payment links and such. The disadvantage here is that you'll need to come up with $49.95 to open your ClickBank account as a vendor, which is $49.95 you may not have! so, PayPal becomes a more attractive option here. You might also consider 2Checkout and various other payment services.

    There's a lot to do, and it's easy to got confused or distracted and head off in different directions, which usually results in not succeeding in Internet marketing. That's why it is important to develop a plan and stick with it. You can keep reading things, but when scheduling your computer time, keep your "research" time and your "work" time separate. You don't want "research" (i.e., reading forums, reading eBooks, hanging out on Facebook, etc.) to cut into or reduce your "work" time. You have to work at Internet marketing to make it, um, work. So, don't allow distractions to throw you off-course. Develop a schedule and stick to it. If it helps, find a picture of some mean looking guy and put it next to your computer or use it as your desktop background and pretend that's your boss looking over your shoulder every time you're at the computer. Do whatever it takes to do the actual work of Internet marketing.

    Again, consistency is very important! As is just getting it done! A half-finished project will never make you money if it just sits on your hard drive and you never go anywhere with it.

    And, again, remember that Internet marketing will not likely be a short term fix. Short term Internet marketing successes are few and far between. Most success in Internet marketing comes from the long term. So, when you are in a bind, realize that, in all likelihood, Internet marketing is not going to help you. If you're only interest in Internet marketing is getting X amount of dollars by such and such a date so that you can get back to your "regular" life after that, Internet marketing is probably not for you. If you realize that Internet marketing is a business, if you are looking at Internet marketing as a long term solution to supplement or replace a current (or lost) income, then realize that you will need to find a temporary solution while you work at building your business.

    On the other hand, if you have existing skills that can be offered online (such as writing, researching and other things people have mentioned in this thread), then you may be able to get yourself out of a bind by offering such services. But, if you don't possess any such skills, then you are not likely to be able to use Internet marketing as a short term fix.
  • Profile picture of the author joshril
    As mentioned here, offering services is going to be the fastest way to make cash. Trying to make money as an affiliate is typically not going to be practical if you're in a bind because most payout several weeks after you've made sales.

    The best plan of action is to determine what your skill-set is...

    Writing, designing, marketing, etc.

    Sell that service...

    You can sell here by scraping up $20 to start a WSO, or on other webmaster/make money type business forums. You can also offer services to offline business. This is probably going to the most lucrative as you can normally get a much higher price for your talent offline.

    Once you start having some cash rolling in, you can scale the business and begin to work on some passive forms of online money like promoting products as an affiliate, product creation, etc.

    I know this is a generic business model, but it makes sense.

    One thing I will add...

    In many cases I think getting a job when you're in a crunch is a bad play. Let's say you get a job that pays $10 per hour. You work 40 hours your first week, so you've grossed $400. After taxes are deducted, this amount will be even less.

    Plus, in many cases, it may be another week or two before you even see that paycheck... Now, you may be 3 weeks out before you get paid. This is not going to work for someone in need of quick cash...

    If someone actually spent those same 40 hours offering a service either online or to offline business owners, I'd put my money on them making more than $400. Now, I'm not talking about cruising Warrior Forum for 30 hours and working 10... I'm talking actually working, selling, writing, creating, consulting... whatever... for 40 hours. And, you'll get paid immediately, and in many cases, get all or a portion upfront.

    Now, for the people that won't actually work without being told what to do(and there are plenty out there), getting a job might make sense. But, for those that are truly desperate and willing to put in the effort to change their circumstances, getting a temporary job is the worst thing that can be done, in my opinion.
  • Profile picture of the author OMI
    Offering local services offline will help, too. Christmas is coming up right? Put up some signs in your local neighborhood or grocery store bulletin board that you will hang Christmas Lights on homes. The going rate in my neighborhood starts at $200 and goes up depending on the amount of work. You may opt to charge by the hour, but people may just want a flat rate.

    Hit the streets...go door to door to help get the word out. Some people may want you to start right away or maybe over the new few weekends. Print out some business cards or flyers (if you can) and hand them out to help spread the word. Drop them in the empty shopping carts left out in the parking lots.

    Tip: Tell them that you'll give them a "package deal" to hang them up and then also take them down after Christmas is over.

    Use a calandar/appointment book so you can jot down addresses and schedules so you won't miss any clients or times.

    Hanging lights is pretty easy if you aren't afraid of heights and ladders. If you don't like that, you can also shovel snow or scrape car windows.
  • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
    This could be an All-In-One Thread.
  • Profile picture of the author Emily Meeks
    I've been in this situation. I'm still picking up the pieces, but I've been pulling it together.

    I got as angry as f***ing possible, but put it to good use. I channeled all that energy into working out. Exercise really does help you relieve stress, and help you sleep better. Once I worked out I could calm down and focus. I also lost some weight as a bonus.

    Once I worked through the negativity, I brainstormed again. I was back to the drawing board - I was already familiar with essentially zero-budget marketing that gave me pure profit. I'd abandoned it in the hopes of getting a membership site going, but once my situation struck, I had to scrap it and draw another plan.

    I'm currently ghostwriting. I've always loved writing and am constantly strengthening my skills. Since I've started I've learned how to become a better writer, have learned about a number of subjects, built relationships and earned hundreds so far. Nothing to retire off of, but it's a considerable supplement to a crappy retail job I also have.

    I'm also working on other zero-budget stuff that doesn't involve ghostwriting. I don't expect instant moneys, but I expect it to build substantially over time.

    Moral of the story: Burn off excess energy, calm down, get organized, get focused. Master these four things and go from there.
  • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
    Change your mindset.

    Thinking about lack will only perpetuate lack.

    Identify one thing that would immediately improve your current situation.

    Form a clear mental image of that thing in your mind. If you experience difficulty forming that image, keep trying. Continue to perfect the image in your mind until it is very detailed and clear to the point that when you recall the image it immediately appears in your mind in a perfect state.

    Imagine how it will feel when you have the subject of the image in physical form.

    Develop an awareness for opportunities that may lead you to the attainment of that one thing you desire. When an opportunity presents itself, take action immediately.

    Develop an attitude of gratitude for what you already have. And when you receive something, be thankful for it.

    When you attain that one thing you desire, pick a new thing that will improve your current situation.

    If you have difficulty believing you can do this, start with something small. For example, a particular book, a five dollar bill, a can of tuna, anything. Focus on that one thing until you attain it to prove to yourself the process works, then move on to something bigger.

    There is a wealth of information on this topic, and a number of "systems" for using the process.

    One book that many have found easy to understand and implement is The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles.

  • Profile picture of the author buckapple
    Hi Paul,

    I'll suggest 2, because I've used both.

    Offline. One time years ago I spent the last buck I had for a room in Richmond Va. I got the room and I was staring at the floor (long before the internet, no computer to stare at) wondering and plotting what to do next.

    A guy knocked at the door and I'll never forget it, he looked just like Woodie Guthrie. He says in a W Virginia mountain drawl, "you wanna go make some money?" I said sure let's go...

    We go out to his car, he has a ladder tied to the top and a rake and he says were going to the rich part of town and rake leaves. So off we go, I stand in the yard holding the ladder and rake, he knocks on the door and does his polite looking for work routine and we get a job.

    So we clean the gutters and rake the yard, with one under our belts the rest was easy. All we had to do is point to the yard we just did and the next house didn't want a messy yard and said, "sure go ahead." I swear by the end of the day I had plenty of money to see me through a couple of days to apply for some real jobs and went on from there.

    Online... Depends on your expertise at the computer and IM. If you're just starting I would simply see what prices are for stuff on eBay and try to source a local place to get it cheaper and resell on eBay. Or just start selling what's in the basement, garage, closet, under your bed.

  • Profile picture of the author jagsenghera
    The fastest way as I see it is to get an ebook written, find a JV with a list and online marketing experience to sell the product for you.
  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    This is a cut and paste from another post of mine. It is very similar to my stock answer for this OP Qustion.

    Here is what I would do.

    First I'd build "momentum." I can work mad, I can work sad and I can work glad but I can't work hungry so first things first.

    I'd walk about two blocks to a business area and walk into the first business and say to the owner, "I'll build you a website for $300." If he said no I'd say, "How about $200?" If he said no I'd say, "How about $100." By now we would both be laughing and before I left I'd have some money in my pocket.

    Now off to Denny's, Norms or IHop for a BIG breakfast and a pot of coffee.

    From there I'd walk into every business and repeat what I did this morning. The only difference would be that I wouldn't settle for less than $300 with half down and half whenever.

    At lunch time I'd go to a mom and pop restaurant and eat a nice lunch and leave a BIG tip in plain view on the table as I asked to speak to the owner. The owner would come over and I'd tell him. "Your food is so good I want to give your restaurant a place of honor on my restaurant guide on the Internet. I'd walk out with that deposit and spend the rest of the day selling til dinner time.

    I'd be so far away from home by now I would pay to ride the bus home. Stopping off at the local market I'd buy some beer and salty snacks and stay up all night building websites.

    In a couple of days I'd return to all the people I sold to and collect the rest of my money.

    Now I would write a WSO on "How To Pull Money Out Of Thin Air" Outlining how I started selling to offline businesses and make another quick thousand or two.

    Oh wait. That's not what I "would do." That's what I did. Rinse & Repeat.

    George Wright
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Gee, I didn't know how to really put it down, but everything else here is as general, that I guess I will try to boil it down....

    1. Get a good positive attitude.
    2. Make a budget
    3. Cut back.
    4. Find a need. Hopefully one that uses your skills. The more skills it uses, the more bargaining power you have, and the higher the price can be.
    5. Try to sell it at a reasonable price.
    6. Try not to take no for an answer, but be gentle but confident.
    7. Keep/track/use contacts.

    I WILL add a few things though.

    1. Try to find services/products CLOSE to what you will offer. If you can't find ANY, try to figure out if there are problems with it. SOMETIMES, the lack of competitors is NOT good.
    2. Figure out the common features and try to standardize a price. Almost like a "COMP" in realestate appraisal.
    3. If you think the price is too low, try to add value that has a low cost but high value.
    4. Figure out your MINIMUM price, and try to make some amount over that.
    5. Try to anticipate problems/concerns, and have a good counter argument.
    6. Also, it may have been said, but keep a TODO list that can hide things you have done. That has been ONE of my problems.
    7. Keep a list of ideas. Yet another thing I have slipped up on.
    8. Always keep 6 and 7 in mind!

  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    Call your creditors!

    If you get them on the phone and explain your situation, chances are really good that they will reduce your monthly payments tremendously. They'd rather get a little money from you than none at all.

    My brother in Tennessee did this and cut over $1,000 a month off his monthly bills. And all he did was get on the phone and ask...it cost him nothing.

    Allen Graves

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