Peer To Peer Lending

You may have heard of peer to peer lending but what is it?

Peer to peer lending involves lending money directly to people and businesses who need it cutting out the banks and passing more of the profits to the people who’s money is being used. Peer to peer lending also appeals to investors as the interest rates are typically much higher than the abysmal rates offered by banks on savings at the moment.

How does it work?

Peer to peer lending is really simple platforms match together people who require money with people who have money to invest. As an investor you can choose which platforms you use which offer a range of different levels of flexibility around which opportunities the money you invest is used to fund.

Who am I lending money to?

When you invest money in peer to peer platforms some allow you to choose specifically who you lend money to you. Most platforms lend to businesses but there are some that lend to individuals. A lot of platforms also do credit checks on the businesses and individuals that they lend to.

Is it safe?

As with all investments there is always a risk of losing your capital but peer to peer lending has a good track record, always check the individual platforms you are using to see there statistics. I also recommend only using platforms that are FCA approved or the equivalent in your country. Lots of the peer to peer sites also secure the loans they are making against assets to reduce the exposure. All investments come with their own risks make sure you know the risks and safeguards that are in place before investing any money.

How do I get started?

If you like the sounds of peer to peer lending and want to give it a try you can get started today. All you need is the money you are willing to invest and you can get started.

Some of the peer to peer websites I recommend and use personally are:

Funding Secure

Funding secure have a reliable track record and also allow you to choose which investments you invest your money in and how much you invest in each one. Their site is very clear and easy to use and they send you emails to let you know when new opportunities are available. They also offer an IFISA so you can make your investments tax efficient. Funding Secure also offer interest rates of over 10% on most of their opertunities which makes it very appealing.

You can also look at their statistics to see what their books look like.

If you sign up using my link and invest over £1000 you will get £25.

Lending Crowd

Lending Crowd also have a good track record. They also allow you the choice between an auto investment account where you just put your money in and they automatically spread it across a range of opportunities for you and ensure that there your money is well diversified, which is important when making any investment.

If you sign up using my link you will get £50 if you invest £2000 or more, terms and conditions can be found on Lending Crowds website.

Kuflink

Kuflink are a relatively new peer to peer platform, what makes them appealing is that they invest up to 20% of their own money in each investment opportunity, this makes the investments much safer and also increases investor confidence in the opportunities.

If you sign up using my link and invest £500 or more you will receive £100 which is an instant 20% return on your investment! Terms and conditions can be found on Kuflink’s website.

Other Platforms

There are also many other platforms available so if none of the above ones appeal to you then I would recommend searching the web and checking out some others.

When investing I would always recommend that you do your research and check out exactly who you are giving your money to and what they will do with it to check its safe.

Diversification

Diversification is always important when making peer to peer loans its always a good idea to spread your money across a range of different platforms and different opportunities within those platforms.

Further Information

Two blogs I highly recommend you check out that provide lots of information and review on peer to peer lending:

https://p2pblog.co.uk

Disclaimer:

The above article is purely for information purposes only, investments come with their own risks and you should always do your own research before investing. When investing in peer to peer loans your capital is at risk.

 

Freelancing

Freelancing is a great way to use your spare time to increase your income and use your skills to increase your income.

There are many different platforms available that match you with individuals that require items of work or projects completing and are willing to pay you for your time and skills to work on them. The best thing is that you can choose exactly the type of work that you want to do and also the size of the work you want to do.

Freelancing also gives you the freedom to work anywhere in the world all you need is a laptop and an internet connection.

So how do you get started?

1. Think about what skills you have to offer

The skills you have are what you are selling here so you need to think about what you can offer. Highly desired skills are currently in the tech space but there are opportunities in a wide range of areas from design through to translation. If you don’t have any skills in the desired areas but are interested in learning them you could also learn new skills. You may also be able to find some projects that are willing to let you learn on the job or you can offer to work for very little money or even free at first to build up your skills and portfolio of work.

2. Brush up on your skills

Once you have identified what skills you have to offer brush up on them. Its important to always keep your skills fresh and up to date so that you can offer the best service possible.

3. Put together a portfolio of work

Your portfolio is your CV in the freelancing world, people don’t have much information on you so you need to make yourself stand out from the crowds of other people who also want the freelance work. You do this by putting together lots of good pieces of work you have done in the past that demonstrate your skills.

4. Bid for work

Now you are ready to go and apply for work, you can do this by signing up on sites such as Upwork or Freelancer.com then start looking for opportunities that interest you and match your skills. Contact the people offering these opportunities and justify to them why they should choose you using your portfolio.

You can also find other freelancing providing platforms by searching online.

5. Complete the work

When you are successful in finding an opportunity that you are interested in and the person offering the opportunity gives it to you now you have to complete the work.

Ensure that you communicate clearly and set expectations early on with the person who has hired you, let them know how long the project will take you, when you expect to have each part completed and confirm the payment structure so everyone knows what to expect. Communication will be important throughout the work so ensure to check in with them regularly to ensure they are happy with the work you are doing and know how well you are progressing.

6. Reviews

Ensuring that the person who hires you has a good experience is very important as you want to ensure that you build up a positive reputation with each piece of work you do. Once a project is finished always ensure that you ask for feedback and get the hirer to give you a review which you can use to share with other people when you are looking for your next project. Overtime you can build up a series of reviews and use the feedback to improve the service you offer which will mean you can charge more money and be offered more work when looking for opportunities.

 

Referral Links

Referral links are a great way to make money from visitors to your brand, by posting links to products or service that are relevant to your brand this can be useful for your users to show them products and services they will be interested in and also allows you to earn a fee for referring them.

Most established companies offer referral links through affiliate schemes, these can be found by searching the company name followed by affiliate. 

Each affiliate may offer a different payment scheme some give a flat fee for each users you sign up and others give a percentage of earnings from the user you sign up. Be sure to read all the terms and conditions of the affiliate schemes you choose to use as if these aren’t followed you may not get paid and make sure the brands you promote are relevant to your own brand. 

There are also affiliate companies who handle affiliate schemes for multiple companies which can be useful for finding affiliate schemes. One is CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction).

Adding Ads To Your Website/Blog

Once you have regular views on your blog you can start to convert those views to money.

Serving ads to your users is one of the oldest ways to make money online, advertising giants like google allow you to set up Adsense which enables you to add adverts to your website/blog with ease and start making money. 

There are also a number of other providers who will pay you for having their ads on your website. Which you can find on the web.

These advertisements tend to pay either per click or per impression, be sure to read the terms and conditions to understand the payment structure of the advertisements you decide to use.

Always ensure that ads are relevant to your brand, this will help you and the advertiser as it helps the advertiser reach the right kind of people and shows your users content they may actually be interested in. 

Also try to ensure that ads are not to intrusive as this may lead to users using your site less or not at all!

Another less common way of making money through ads is through sponsors, you can ask companies and brands related to your brand if they would like to sponsor your website/blog. This will mean you will sell them some advertisment space on your website for a fixed period of time and they will pay you for this. 

Cyptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is everywhere at the moment, but what is it? Should you buy some? can you make money from it? read more below to find out.

With any financial decision you should always know what you are spending your money on and what value it has. Cryptocurrency is a very fluctuant asset at the moment and the price of it shifts regularly from day to day.

What is it?

Cryptocurrency is a digital form of online currency, intended to replace or work alongside the existing fiat money system. At the moment you can purchase cryptocurrency using fiat money from online exchanges such as Coinbase or from individuals using LocalBitcoins.

In theory these cryptocurrencies can be used to make purchases just as you would with regular cash, however at this time they are not widely excepted by businesses/individuals.

Just like exchange rates with foreign currencies the price of cryptocurrencies are not fixed and tend to fluctuate on a day to day basis depending upon news and supply and demand. Cryptocurrencies however tend to fluctuate much more than fiat currencies on a day to day basis.

Cryptocurrencies are held in digital wallets similar to real wallets where you have a balance which you can then send to other peoples wallets.

You can read more about what cryptocurrencies are and how they work here.

Can you make money from cryptocurrencies?

In a word, yes you can but like any investment you can also lose money. So be careful if you are intending to purchase some cryptocurrency, make sure you have a good understanding of the cryptocurrency you intend to purchase. Good things to look at are the technology behind it, how it works and what its performance has been in the past. It is also a good idea to read news articles related to the cryptocurrency you intend to purchase to get a good idea of what others think about it.

Trading cryptocurrencies is no different to trading fiat currencies, just like fiat currencies can go up and down in value so can cryptocurrencies so always be careful when purchasing.

Attracting Visitors To Your Blog

Attracting visitors to your blog is one of the most important things you need to do. It is no use having loads of great content if no one knows about it. So what do you have to do? How do you attract visitors to your site?

In order to attract visitors you need to increase your online presence and build your image.

Social Media

You do this by creating social media profiles and commenting on topics relevant to your blog and then direct people to your blog to read related details.

Social media is one of your most important marketing tools, be sure to post to your social media profiles each time you publish a new blog post. You need to let people know about your articles and give them any easy way to share your content via retweets/shares of your post. Also add social media sharing buttons to your blog if you don’t have them already, this allows people to easily share your content with their followers, which in turn brings more people to your blog.

You can also use social media to remind people of your older posts or let people know when they have been updated to bring old visitors back and raise awareness of your older articles that your followers may be interested in.

Advertisement

You can also use social media advertisements, social media advertisements can be an excellent way to initially attract traffic to your site. Although there may be cost involved its an excellent way to kick start a following and once you have an initial following you can then use this to attract more and more visitors.

You can also advertise your blog by doing guest posts on someone else’s blog. If you see a blog that focuses on a topic similar to the topic of your blog, don’t be afraid to leave a comment for the owner asking if you could do a guest post on their site and in return offer to let them do one on your site.

Mailing lists are another great way to advertise your blog, you can either buy an existing list or build your own. Once you have a list you just need to write captivating emails and provide lots of links to your site and provide enough information to capture the readers interest but not enough that they don’t need to visit your site.

Writing Your First Blog Post

Writing your first blog post may seam daunting and like a big challenge. A million and one things will be going through your head, what do I write, what should be my first post, how do I write captivating and engaging posts?  So what is the answer, how do you get started with your first blog post?

Step 1

Well the first step is to jump in there, make yourself a drink, brainstorm some five ideas relevant to your topic write them down. Then you have a list to use as a guide on what to write about.

Always remember you can always update your blog post at a later date and this will get easier and easier as you continue writing posts and updating content. The hardest part is getting your first post out after that they will just start to flow naturally.

If you are really struggling you can always take inspiration from other content on the internet and read it to make you think about what to write and how to structure your posts.

Step 2

Now you have written your first post hit that publish button and get it out there for the world to see. Share with your friends and family and ask for feedback on your content, ask them what they would do to improve it and what they would like to see differently. This will help you to understand what people want more and you will learn how to improve your posts over time.

 

WordPress Host

So you have a domain name, if you didn’t get a WordPress host as part of a package with your domain the next step is to choose a WordPress host.

There is a wide verity of hosts offering WordPress hosting solutions, each of these has their own perks and pitfalls, read more below to find out which one is best for you.

1&1

1&1 are arguably the best value for money WordPress host there is! They have a simple and intuitive user interface which is very easy to use. They offer a clear pricing scheme and have a 24 hour customer service team ready to answer any questions you have or attend to any issues you are having. Their team are also extremely knowledgable and provide timely responses.

They also allow unlimited visitors and unlimited email addresses even on their most basic package, where as some other providers limit you. All this combined with an easy and simplistic set up makes 1&1 all round good choice for your WordPress site. Find out more here.

 

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is one of the bigest WordPress providers on the market, they boast high up time and affordable costs.

GoDaddy will make it very simple to jump right in and get started with a WordPress site, they offer packages including domain names to get your blog started within minutes rather than hours. They have an excellent support team who are willing and ready to answer all of your questions.

GoDaddy also has a huge number of themes and plugins available for you to use on your blog so you can get it just how you want it.

Not only do GoDaddy provide all of this great content, excellent customer support and simple set up, but they also offer a 45 day money back guarantee, which is more than the standard 30 day money back guarantee!

Find out more here on their site.

Getting Started With Blogging

So you have an idea for the topic of your blog whats next.

Custom Domains

Well first you need to decide if you are going to have custom domain. To find out more read our article here on custom domains.

WordPress Hosts

Once you have a custom domain if you decided to buy one you will need to find a WordPress host. A WordPress host is a company who are going to host your blog for you, there are many advantages and disadvantages that different hosts offer. Read our post here.

Writing Your First Post

Writing your first post can be hard, it can be difficult to know what to write about and newbies often find it tough to get started. Read our guide here to help you get started.

Attracting Visitors

Once you have some content on your site you need to start getting visitors, there are many different ways of getting visitors to your site. Read our article here to find out more about how you can attract visitors to your site.

Monetising Your Blog

Monetising your blog is an important task, there are many different ways to generate money from your blog. Read our guide here on the different methods available to you.

Custom Domains

Custom Domains

A custom domain would be for example www.yourname.com rather than www.wordpress.yourname.com.

Custom domains give your site more authenticity and make them stand out from other sites.  You will also rank higher in search engines if you have a custom domain.

Custom domains do come at a cost though, however this is normally a small fee and is worth it for the difference it will make to your blog.

Once you have decide if you are going to get a custom domain you need to decide what your going to call your blog so that you can get a matching domain name.

Try to keep the name of your blog short, simple and catchy. Then pick a domain name based on that. Lets say your going to have a blog about fishing, you would not want to call your blog plenty of fish as there is already a dating site called this which could cause legal issues and will also make it more difficult to get traffic to your site. So you could go with something like “ontherod” you could then get the domain ontherod.co.uk.

How to get a custom domain

In order to get a custom domain you go to a domain registrar. Currently reg123.co.uk are offering 15% off .co.uk domains here.

You can also buy a domain name from 1&1 who also offer dedicated WordPress hosting so it could be worth looking to see if one of their package deals works for you.

You can get a custom domain and view 1&1’s other services here.