Posted On: 2005-10-07Length: 32:38
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It is a warm, muggy humid Friday here at the Financial Aid Podcast in New England, but you know what it's still Friday so welcome to the Financial Aid Podcast, my name is Chris I will doing the show today with you as I do everyday. Actually had a little bit of feedback in the mail bag so I guess we will do mail call first. Had a little bit of feedback in the mail bag about someone who said that I actually talk too fast, which is true. I tend to talk very fast and real life as well, as on the podcast so what I am going to do is, I am going to a little experiment for this podcast, I am actually going to do it without having my first cup of coffee so I will hopefully speack a little bit more slowly, little bit more ennunciated and stop stumbling over quite as many of my words. The downside of course is that I may sound like I'm a complete idiot because well you know you need coffee to get things going in the morning. That is for you Mr. Summer's thanks for listening and sending for a feedback. Let's get started, well since that was mail call, I guess we could start off with a little bit of Podsafe music huh?
"Americans Real," by Jim Fiddler that was from the Podsafe Music Network, we've played Jim's stuff a couple of time before, he is a very good composer of good instrumental music and I know I play a lot of rock and alternative out here but sometimes it's nice to change things some. Let's do a little bit of news this morning. First things first, Bankruptcy Laws, as you know from tehe Jay Fleischman interview we did, oh gosh about a month ago, bankruptcy laws are changing on October 17, of this year which is a mere 10 days away. It is not this coming Monday but the next; student loans have a change in the bankruptcy laws specifically alternative student loans. Currently Federal Student Loans of course can never be discharged unless you can prove undue hardship for you payment and that is extremely hard to do, almost never happen. There is that aspect and that is not going to change, what is going to change is alternative student loans or private student loans like the one you get from www.acteducationloans.com are currently able to be discharged in bankruptcy under Chapter 7. The law changes that the law gives them insurance as Federal Student Loans, so what will happen is the guaranteed loans will be no longer be dischargeable except by proving undue hardship, so effectively all student loans whether Federal or private will not be able to be discharged by bankruptcy as of October 17, so if you are in a financial situation, where you need to be filing for bankruptcy especially with alternative student loans, you need to do that within the next 10 days. Because after that, those loans will not be dischargeable by Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, so that is one of the big pieces in the news item.
Let's see what else is in the news here. Take a quick look around, oh PHEAA, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is taking some fire from Pennsylvania State legislators who want to strip PHEAA of its role as Administrator of the State Grant program. They also want to open up the State of Pennsylvania for competition on the student loan front. Right now PHEAA essentially has a lock on all student loans in the state of Pennsylvania owing to the fact that it's a state run non-profit agency and presumption of course is that the state would do a pretty good job with it. Some really bad public relations stuff has gone on this past year with PHEAA, everything from executive pay and bonuses and state funded parties and stuff like that, so Pennsylvania legislators are taking a look at PHEAA to see what they can do to increase competition there. As you may remember Sallie Mae actually made a bid by PHEAA and was turned away by the state. It's a development that we are going to keep watching especially for the number of students who are in Pennsylvania because it's worth keeping an eye on. All right, let's do one more piece of Podsafe music and then move onto today's topic which is going to be the Cashcast, and I will explain what that is just after this piece of music.
That was "Waking up the Neighborhood," by Planet of Women. I love their group name it's so cool, from the Podsafe Music Network. Apologies to Mr. Summers, I just can't do it, I had to break down and pour myself a cup of coffee because I just can't get the day started without a decent cup of coffee. I've talked about it in the past briefly, but we roast our own coffee here at the Student Loan Network, because a lot of what you get in the stores is by the time it's in the stores, it's anywhere from three to six month's old and yeah it maybe vacuumed sealed but fresh roasted coffee there is nothing like it. Nothing gets your day started better, not even if it's on sale.
All right let us talk about Cashcast idea. One thing that I have saying a lot in our previous shows is yet you are finding anyway that you can to raise money for school. Everything from just a few dollars for expenses all the way up to paying for all of college and the primary ways we've talked about scholarships, student loans, grants, but the one area I haven't really touched on is, besides a few job interviewing things is how to raise money with entrepreneurship; how to raise money by basically starting your own business. This is a really fantastic way to do it because it gives you a lot of experience in terms of starting your own company and what's involved in it. But it also has the potential depending on how enterprising you are and how savvy you are to actually bring in more than just beer money which I want to set everyone's expectations up right away up front. The technique's I'm going to talk about they have the potential to bring in a ton of money but in all likelihood its going to be beer money at best, in all likelihood, if you succeed beyond that great, awesome, congratulations to you, if you only bring in a few dollars then hey, that's what you expected to bring in so you are not hugely heart broken. Jobcasts was covered in how to do a regular job, but Cashcast lets talk about entrepreneurial programs. The easiest way to get started with any kind of entrepreneurial program is at least in the beginning to look for an affiliate programs; at least in my opinion. You can't start your own business and maybe we'll talk about that another time. For now I want to talk about affiliate programs and these are basically companies that are asking you affectively asking you to act as their sales agent, act as their marketing agent. You find them customers and they pay you per customer. There are literally thousands and thousands of companies out there with affiliate programs. Some of the best programs to join are the ones where they are meta-programs, you work through a company-my personal preference is a company called "Commission Junction," which I will put a link in the show notes for all of this, it's at www.cj.com and basically what they let you do is they will set you up to hook you up with advertisers who want you to pimp their products and in return if you send them leads, or sales or even some cases clicks on ads, they will go ahead and pay you for that, which is nice. The other one of course is if you are going to set up a website, and no matter what kind of business venture you set up, you do need a website there's no skating around that. The website is the fax machine of the century. You can use Google Adsense, which is basically a pay-per-click program that Google has on the offers. You see on the Google ads when you use Google or when you go to a site that has these Google adwords, the text ads that usually are on the top or the bottom or along one of the sides of the page, and they are contact sensitive, which means that if you have say a website about soccer, then you are going to see advertisers that have soccer ads, buy soccer shoes or play virtual soccer fantasy soccer game or whatever.
In order to get started with this the first thing that you need to do is figure out what you are passionate about, what you enjoy, what you like doing, what you would do if nobody was paying any money for it, or even better what you are paying money to do. For example, one of my particular passions is quite obviously podcasting and I am fortunate enough my employer is willing to let us do this; but there is a ton of different things that you can do with podcasting that are connected to podcasting that you could make a marketable business out of. For example, selling audio equipment, if you go into Commission Junction-let's actually do this, we are going to get you started by just going to www.cj.com, this will be a sound seeing tour on Commission Junction. The first thing you are going to need to do is sign up for an advertisement account and it's pretty self explanatory, requires a few forms and basically requires you to fill out some stuff, disclose tax information so that if you do happen to make a fortune they know where to report it to. I'm going to take a moment and pause; you can put this recording on pause while you get your account set up. All right so I assume that after that brief pause you've got your Commission Junction account at least set up and you are looking at the home page, shows you your messages, program performance, quick stats, all that stuff that basically is going to be blank right now because you have not doing anything which is okay. Let's do this from the perspective of the podcasts since I know a number of podcasters listen to this, this would be a good way to get hooked up with some stuff. At the top you will see there the home, the account and links reports and mail menu items. Let's go to get links, this is where you will see the master category list of all the activities that you could possibly be interested in, everything ranging from dating, financial services, arts, photo, music, sports, fitness, you name it, it is in here. There are tons and tons of different affiliate programs that you can work with, the only ones that really aren't Commission Junction are adult programs, pornography and things like that, and that's not to say that there is not anything wrong with that if you are so inclined I'm not going to cover in this podcast because this is extensibly a family friendly work safe podcast, but just know that the adult entertainment market is one of the largest online and certainly one of the profitable as well.
There are resources out there that you will just have to go Googling for them yourself. All right so let's look at computers and electronics, click on that there, podcasting at the very minimum requires your basic types of gear. Microphones, things like that, you can end up spending a lot of money on the podcast, let's click on that and let's click in the search advertisers box, let's type in audio and hit find and it will show you about 43 advertisers which offer audio products. Everything from how to copy DVD's all the way up to transparent language products, music products and things like that let's take a look now at Pro-sound Stage lighting, DJ gear and more. You click on the name of the advertiser and you will see what they are about, what they offer and they also will tell you what they're promotions are from your perspective, so how much money you could make if they're running any incentive programs, things like that. It says here, ProSound and Stage Lighting has been America's leading DJ gear audio electronics, karaoke and lighting affects source for over 28 years. We boost your conversion rates by offering a 110% low price guarantee, blah, blah, blah basically all that stuff. We look down here and the terms of the program are near the bottom of that pop-up window and it says here their action referral period is 45 days, it's an online purchase and your commission is 6.5%. So if somebody buys for example the $10,000 home audio entertainment system, your cut of that will be 6.5% on that sale. That is a pretty good deal; let's go ahead now and close that little pop-up window and click the check box next to ProSounds Stage and Lighting DJ Music and then scroll down to the bottom screen and click apply to program. This will initiate the process where you can start-it looks like they manually approve their programs. Some programs in Commission Junction automatically approve for some you have to basically apply and wait as the publisher will manually take a look and see what you are about. Which is perfectly fine, it's a good idea. Let's pick another one here. Let's scroll down here, we have Irock Digital Audio. Here we are, let's see, and earn 12% on every sale in the industries hottest selling digital audio products. Let's see if we can get a relationship set up with them as well. You can do this with as many advertisers as you want, there is no limit in terms how many things you can do.
Okay Irock auto proves as long as you got everything set up, you hit that, you're approved so now, next to their name you will see a little link called "view links" and click on that, that is going to show you all the different advertising collateral that you can use in your promotions. So we are going to need to take note of this, they've got I-Rivers and all sorts of MP3 stuff and I-Rivers are a handy thing if you are going to do those on the show interviews, on the road interview that a lot of podcasters to do; it would be something that a fellow podcaster would probably be interested in buying. So we have all these things, banner, ads, text links stuff like that, now comes the interesting part, where you have to promote this and get it out in front of people, if you are a student at school or if you are a podcaster or whatever, this is where you would take these links and put them in your website effectively and then your job is to then get people to your website. A lot of vendors in Commission Junction especially prohibit marketing via e-mail they just don't want to have to deal with the whole spam problem and if they find out that you are spamming your account will be canceled. Obviously it is something that we want to avoid, let's say you are a podcaster, you've got your blogspot page up and running and you've got your podcasting show notes out there, take any one of these links here for I-Rock that we signed up for, maybe the 125 and 125 square button, that is kind of a colorful one here. Click get HTML, this will give you all the links that you need in order to get people over to this marketer, copy and paste that onto your webpage and set that up and now you should be able to see that little advertisement there that says wherever it is you choose to put it on your page. People can click on that and if they do, and they go to this I-Rock site-I did not look at the terms of their programming. Here let me take a look real quick. If they go and buy something I-Rock will give you 12% of the purchase price and that will go into your Commission Junction account. This from then on, there is a $25 minimum payment payout, if you earn $25 in commissions or more per month, you will get effectively a check in the mail. I don't believe they do electronic funds transfer, but that is how you do it, that is how you get some money. Set your expectations, if it's going to be beer money to begin with unless you happen to have a website that has hundred of thousands of people coming to it everyday in which case it's going to be beer money for a lot of people as oppose to just beer money for you.
That's the basics for running an affiliate program. It's really not that hard to do, it just requires some time and some thought because you have to build out your website and figure out how to get people to it, if it's something that you really are passionate about and you have friends and people in the community already who would want to learn more about your passion and what it is that excites you, then this kind of a no brainer, you find the things that are affiliated with your products and services that go with the thing that you are passionate about and you tie them right into your website. From there on you promote your website as you have been doing but now it has advertiser backing to get that up and running. Next time through we will probably, we might cover adsense but adsense has a longer start up procedure because it requires approval of this that and the other thing and site reviews and stuff like that. I think that the affiliate programs at Commission Junction are a great way to start, they are good way to earn a little bit of beer money and maybe more depending on how affective you want to be. That is the Cashcast that is how to get some extra cash coming in the door without having to bagging groceries, not that there is anything wrong with bagging groceries as a career; I did it when I was in high school and I hated it, it was awful. Let's finish off with one more piece of Podsafe music, I think I will do that artist Monique again in [25:06] one correction and I will put in today's show, I actually had the URL to her from myspace account wrong yesterday, it's not www.myspace.com/monique, it's www.myspace.com/monique1, sorry about that and here is song.
New Podsafe music from Monique that was "Enyono Byelsol," it's been a while since I took a class in Spanish, it shows and it's also been only three quarters of a cup of coffee, that shows too. Hopefully it slowed down a little bit today, I know in parts I certainly haven't that's-I'll work on that, I'll work on slowing things down just a little bit so that it doesn't whiz by in one gigantic burst of information. Thank you again, anyone who wants to send feedback in constructive criticism even un-constructed criticism, I'll just delete it, but you can still send it. Helpful things like letting me know that I am talking too fast, like yesterday's show for a good part of the day, part of the show was just out of sync because I must have accidentally clicked something wrong in the garage band. Anything like that any kind of feedback I welcome it at firstname.lastname@example.org is the way to get to me, and you can also leave me a voice mail on the gizmo project if you don't have project gizmo, it's a really great free piece of software for making free phone calls and least internet phone calls. My user name on there of course is financialaidpodcast, all one word, all lower case. All right that is going to do it for today's Cashcast and hopefully you will get started with some affiliate programs and you will find that it is not that hard to do, it's a great way to bring in a little bit of beer money at least at first. Eventually, I know there are people who make a living doing affiliate marketing and stuff like that and they make a very good living on the order of $100,000 to $150,000 a year or more but for those people it has also taken them a while. Student Loan Network actually started out as an affiliate marketing company; five or six actually seven years ago now, almost eight. Joe started it in his attic, in '97. We got our start that way and as our websites got bigger as we got more people to them, bigger and bigger advertisers and bigger and bigger companies start coming in and say, "hey we want to work with you," you've got an audience now of more than five people, you've got an audience now of more than 50 people, 5,000 people, 50,000 people, we're at the point where we've got now 350,000 to 500,000 unique visitors a month to our sites. That's a big audience, so bigger and bigger advertisers come to you and saying that we want to work with you, it's a good way to get started not only with getting beer money now, but also if you are a freshman or sophomore in college by the time you graduate if you are persistent, if you keep going with it, you might have a full fledged business by the time you graduate. You may not need a job because you will have your own company, so it's something to keep in mind, something to try out, give it a shot at least once, it doesn't cost you any money to sign up for any of this stuff except maybe getting a website. But even there you can find some free websites to get started with and see what happens, let me know if you succeed wildly, hey send me an e-mail at www.financialaidpodcast.com I would be curious to see how you did it and until next time, stay tuned, stay subscribed if you are not subscribed get subscribed, show notes and instructions for subscribing are at www.financialaidpodcast.com or www.financialaidnews.com/blog, and we'll see you next time, take care.