Saturday, November 29, 2014

Looking Back Over 2014

Well Thanksgiving is now behind us, and the short run to Christmas and the New Year is ahead.

I have done alot and learned alot this year.

 Bretsuki's Books My online bookstore at amazon is providing a constant stream of income. I didn't reach the goal of getting over one thousand books in stock, for no other reason thn books were selling faster than I could re-stock. A good reason for not reaching a goal if ever there was one.

I bought a iPhone 6 plus. I had an Android phone for the last three years and hated it for every minute. So the iPhone 6 plus came in just about the time I was about to throw the old Android phone at the wall. By the way I love the iPhone can't understand why I never owned one before.

By the way did you know their are items called Selfie Sticks out there to help you have the phone camera at a better distance to take that great selfie you always wanted. I didn't.

So as I have to yet make a decent selfie I will add a selfie stick to my Christmas List.

I also got to spend a whole year with my new best friend. He is black, weighs in at about 64 pounds and answers to the neame of Leif. A great name for a Labrador Retriever I think. Since according to the Saga's Leif Ericson was the explorer who first found the Labrador Coast of Canada, where the dog breed was created to help fisherman work heavy nets and fishing gear.


On top of all that, my Zazzle Store, Bretsuki's has gone from strength to strength. We are now selling dozens of items per month ranging from iPhone covers to mugs and key chains.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Creating Designs to Sell on Zazzle Can Be Childsplay!

Recently Iwas looking around for ideas to create new designs for my zazzle products.

I came upon this idea to create designs quickly and easily.

Zazzle 'Em: Easily Created Designs: One of the easiest ways that I have found is to regress to my childhood and play with a Spirograph . For those of you who have nev...
Green Flower Mug Jumbo Mugs
Green Flower Mug Jumbo Mugs by Bretsuki
View Green Mugs online at zazzle

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Multiple Streams of Income: Web Hosting Referral Income Includes 25% Money Off Coupon

Several months ago, I wrote in a companion blog about web hosting services as a possible source of income.

Here is a link to that article and a 25% off web hosting coupon code for use when you open a Host Gator account.

Multiple Streams of Income: Web Hosting Referral Income: The internet these days makes every reader of your blog or website not only a potential customer of yours but also a potential online publi...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Host Gator Coupon Code

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Host Gator Coupon Code:   01102014aa
Coupon code :


 This offer is valid until further notice. I will receive a introduction fee if you do use this code when purchasing a Host Gator plan or service.

Try, Try and Try Again

There is an old adage which anyone trying to earn a living online should remember.

"If at first you don't succeed. Try, try, and try again."

It is a truism. that I have found everytime. I come to a project. Create a plan, execute the plan and it fails, once, twice, three times or more. I walk away for a while to lick my wounds and look at where the plan was wrong and slowly. Ever so slowly at first things start to happen, then as momentum grows, the plan starts to bear fruit.

For instance, my zazzle store, Bretsuki's, began very slowly in 2009, I sold my first item in 2011 and though I started to sell more in 2012 and received my first full pay-out in April this year I amd well on the way to receiving another full payout in the next few months.


First I increased the number of ideas and designs available. More designs mean a greater chance that people will like what they see.

Then the more items I have sold, the more zazzle promotes those items in searches.

I also allow customers to customize most of my products too so allowing individualization rather than forcing customers to buy a fixed product, and many of my customers have customized colors or added printed messages to their purchases.

Then finally I share designs of other designers. A good amount of my income this year has been derived from advertising other peoples produccts which customers have gone on to buy.  That way I can gain an extra 15% commission.

So my original plan was to create my own store and promote it. It worked ok. Then I added more products, more variety in selling prices and profit per sale, things got a little better then I added a blog to showcase my products, another gain in sales, finally I showcase other peoples products too and away earnings grow.

What took me four years to reach earlier this year, has taken me six months to reach today.

I did not give up on the original idea. I tweaked it a little over and over. Now things are moving in their own direction. A growing positive income stream and very little effort on my part.

One of the Best Selling Items in My Zazzle Store this Summer

Saturday, September 20, 2014

It Can Take Years to Become an Overnight Success

If you are like me, you possibly dreamed that a life of blogging and writing content would suddenly mean that you could quit the day job and retire to a life of success and relative leisure.

Well I began writing online about six years ago, in the month of September actually.  I have seen the latest money making sites come and most of them go.  I collected pennies here, dollars there and mostly got a return that bought me a cup of my favorite Starbuck. A plain brewed coffee with milk and three sweeteners, equal or "Sweet and Low".

This year, has been a bit of a turning point though. I am seeing several thousand visitors per month to my two main blogs, this one and William Elliott: A Life With Blindness. My online bookstore Bretsuki's Books saw sales at the top end of my estimatesand generating a good turnover and profits.

Sales of products at my Zazzle stores Bretsuki's on Zazzle have been excellent.

Can I Give Up the "Day Job?

Not yet. But then that is not really the aim for me any longer.

It is all for fun really. I need to have most of my time filled with things to do, and if I can get paid for doing thos same things well, more the better.
Bear in mind that it is ok to want what you want . If you want to see yourself independent, that is ok, If you want to see yourself enjoying several income streams including a day job and paying hobbie, then that is ok too.

You have the right to decide where you want to take things. As long as you stay legal and don't hurt anyone. 

But always remember: It Can Take Years to Become an Overnight Success.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Goodbye Yahoo! Voices

In just over one week from now, on July 31, Yahoo! Voices will cease to be.

After several years and several name changes Yahoo! in its own infinite wisdom is withdrawing, unplugging, killing a portal for writers.

It was a nice service, while it lasted. I used to receive several tens of dollars per year from this pay per impression service, where authors could either sell their work directly for an upfront fee or take a performance option on views.

I am sad to be losing this income stream. Who wouldn't. It paid me for my Starbucks coffee for a month or two. So maybe the real loser might be Starbucks, maybe that is a bit drastic.

Why did Yahoo! Close Voices?

Well they cite a need to provide quality. But Yahoo! has been struggling lately with advertising revenues falling, sharing those impression payments with thousands of writers is an obvious drain on cash.
Yahoo! will of course continue to publish selected content already  published on the site. But they will keep the revenue thus generated. Nice of them.
Always bear in mind that you are at the mercy of such corporate decisions and when you create a piece of work. Keep most content for yourself. Create a website, for your own work. The future now lies with self published content I think not with large volume sites like Yahoo! or even HubPages or Squidoo.
We'll see what happens next.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Preserve All the Old Links

A few months ago, I  wrote of how links from my HubPages website had fallen off dramatically and how the loss of the RSS feed from my hubs had not seriously affected viewing figures.

In recent days though I have seen yet another switch in viewing figures. Possibly due to changes both at Google and HubPages recently, HubPages has now made a dramatic reappearance on my link source for viewers on most of my blogs.

We are talking dramatic changes in figures here. From 0 to 20   or 30 viewers per day over the last seven days have been coming via old HubPages links.

In the recent past I was talking to a friend who also had a presence on HubPages, he had seen a fall off in views after the Panda changes and had deleted many of his hubs, feeling them to be useless in driving traffic.

I explained to him that I would just leave my hubs alone, mark time and see what happened. I felt my hubs were worthwhile and they were still viewed, just links to my hubs didn't seem to be actively tracked any longer.

Plus add to this some grudging state that having worked hard to create hubs I didn't want to delete them willy-nilly.

So here we both are a few weeks later and he was fuming on Saturday when I told him about this latest increase in traffic.

He having deleted his hubs now has no old mature links to his websites and blogs. I due to vanity and laziness, it takes work to delete stuff, have all my old and mature links feeding my blogs again.

So the moral of my tale is keep old mature links for as long as you can. You never know when they will reawake interest in your other work.

Talking of links why not take a look at our latest MP3 Website.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Best Books For Social Media Marketing and SEO June 2014

Over the years I have learned that there is a lot of information out there to allow you to build income from online businesses. There are a lot of books which will tell you nothing that you already don't know. There are a few books from which you will be able to build you knowledge, and will prove valuable resources.

Why did I Choose These Books?

  • Valuable Tips
  • Value for Money
  • Usable information.
  • Easy to read and understand.

Valuable Tips

The book has several ideas which can help you drive traffic to sales pages.

Value for Money.

The book may not be a cheap $0.99 book, it may even cost over $10.00 but I have used the information inside and found it of value and it has returned the purchase price to me. 

Usable Information

The book is as current as can be with information on using websites as they stand in June 2014 and do not talk about long passed versions of websites like Facebook or past Search Engine updates like Penguin. These books are as currant as they can be.

Easy to Read and Understand

The book is written well, has complete sentences and explains the reasons why the information works. This means these books can be read as a normal book from cover to cover or you can pick a topic and dip for the information you need.

Just 9 Books?

To be honest these are the best of the two dozen books or so that I have read and found useful, implemented their tips on my blogs, facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites and seen real marked improvements.

It is a personal selection. You can buy, borrow the one you like the look of directly from my Amazon astore or your public library. But you should find something of use to increase your number of views and also possible increase in your income  when you use the information in any of these books.

Book List Best Social Media Marketing and SEO Books (June 2014)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Haunted Gettysburg Shirt

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Content Rules - Book Review

A few days ago I came across the book Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business
Cover for the book Content Rules: How to create killer blogs, podcasts
Content Rules Book Cover

I ordered the book and eagerly awaited its arrival.

This book is not your usual short skimpy volume that merely recites old knowledge that you and I have picked up over our time on the internet.

We could probably all write a short book about how to generate sales leads.

No, this book goes much further into the latest ideas on what type of blogs, podcasts and buyer seller relationship  you and I need to make a priority.

With in depth studies which define the old plug and sell methods, to the more relationship / knowledge based business models of today's markets. This book tells you why, one method will work at generating leads whereas the other method works at generating relationships and meaningful sales.

One of the keys to success is to define your audience. Know what your audience really want and provide the answer in a meaningful way.

The authors guide you through the use of their  methods by providing you with lots of examples as to how real world organizations have faced problems, sought solutions and used the solutions to build real sales and returns. There are also lots of examples as to what not to do in your attempts to build a business online using blogging and social media as core areas for expanding your visibility and building sales.

The authors also do not restrict themselves to the world  of blogs and article writing but also examine, video,  podcasting and also non web based methods of building a business model that works towards expanding your business.

Follow this link to read what others say about Content Rules.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

How to Make Cumberland Sausage.

One of the things which I missed most after leaving England in April 2006 was the food.

Cover of the book Homemade sausage; one of the many books available on Affiliate Link in caption

I know that you are probably thinking that English food is pretty poor fare, but we English do have some really good foods. One of the best is Cumberland Sausage, a long, course chopped meat sausage that has a distinct peppery taste.

This week-end my wife and her parents agreed that this would be a good time to make Cumberland Sausage for ourselves.

In the course of the day we had some great fun, making sausage, tasting sausage and telling sausage jokes.

My wife took lots of pictures and I have linked them all together with a recipe and method to help you create your own Cumberland Sausage from start to finish. Just click on the link to my main blog below and see how we faired.

William Elliott A Life with Blindness: Cumberland Sausage Recipe and Making:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Milestone for Bretsuki's Books

Our bookstore, Bretsuki's Books  has just passed a new milestone.

In the last nine months we have sourced, processed and shipped 1,000 books.

Add to that that this is just a part-time business for two people that is a lot of books and we are growing the business all the time.

We are even today preparing a new shipment of books to add to our ever expanding inventory.

Thanks to all those friends, family and customers who have supported Bretsuki's Books 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Zazzle 'Em: Travelling Gnome

As a small business I operate a zazzle store on, which pays a good residual income.

Here is an article I wrote on creating a new product line. In this case, mugs with a central character named Gnome.

Zazzle 'Em: Travelling Gnome: One of the great things about zazzle is that you can create stories and characters. My latest character is GnomeHe is a neighbor and frie...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Out of the Loop

I have to confess that I have steered away from HubPages for a while now.

I grew a little tired of what seemed to be constant complaints about Google or the site not generating the revenue the people thought was promised to them.

As such I fell out of the loop regarding the site itself, but in the meantime I found my interest in working on items such as my blogs, online retail and such things have returned and I am actually flourishing away from the more closed environment of one particular website.

Becoming obsessive about working on one particular income source is stiffling to my  creativity, that is what I found, trying to chase readership on a site for one source of income is fine for some, but not for me.

I am a HubPages drop out. I rarely visit the site at all these days. I still subscribe to their newsletters and get post updates, but like when you have lost a love that once burned fiercely and has grown cold, so it is with me and HubPages.

I should probably think of a new name for this blog, or maybe archive it for posterity.

Monday, March 31, 2014

My Phone Made a Joke

My cell phone is a bit of a strange animal. It says the weirdest things.

For instance everytime I go through the Drive-Thru at my local Starbucks, my phone declares.

"Wifey Hotspot!"

Not the slow, Wi - fi that one would expect but a quik wifey.

This always brings a knowing smile and squeeze from my wife.

So with that in mind I decided that the phone is very quotable, for a T-Shirt anyway, so here it is the "I have a Wifey Hotspot!" Shirt.

Wifey Hotspot T Shirt
Wifey Hotspot T Shirt by Bretsuki
Browse more Wi fi T-Shirts at Zazzle

Friday, March 28, 2014

Alligator Shirt for Toddlers

I was doodling today and cmae up with this shirt for young children. I also copied the style to a baby body suit too.

Cute Gator Infant Shirt
Cute Gator Infant Shirt by Bretsuki
Check out other Croc T-Shirts at

Monday, March 17, 2014

Veni, Vidi, Vici T-Shirt

I hate to boast, but while most of the United States has been in the deep freeze California has been warm and sunny and I have been working on a lot of T-Shirts.

Among my little group of special subjects have become a small band of Roman soldiers, Veni, Vidi and Vici.

They are a happy band and they know how to make people smile and that is just about all we need at the end of a long winter, Isn't it?

Veni, Vidi, Vici T-shirt
Veni, Vidi, Vici T-shirt by Bretsuki
Find other History T-Shirts at

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Is there Room For Everyone to Sell Online?

Recently I have seen several attacks by online sellers, most of whom sell on eBay and Amzon Marketplace, saying that there are just too many people coming to those places to sell.

These people complain that the new sellers are out to make "a quick buck" and are spoiling life for them by driving up prices at thrift stores, buying items that they could have bought to re-sell and that to add insult to injury then sell too cheaply on eBay and Amazon.

The real fact is. Yes there are a growing number of people selling online, including stores like Goodwill,  once a major supplier to many re-sellers.

Prices rise both because demand rises as supply falls, but there are also additional reasons, costs for thrift stores rise too, they have rent to pay as well as insurance and utillity bills.

In my travels I have come across several re-sellers. During the course of these meetings I have learned not to fear them because as of yet we have not wanted the same book. They have their experience in the market and I have mine. They may take a book from a different area, I for instance stay away from  Romantic fiction, their customers may demand that from them. I have learned what I am happy to sell and aim for that area, sometimes dipping a toe in other areas.

When I arrive at a thrift store to buy I have a mental image of my customer. They are very much like me, looking for particular qualities in the books I buy for them. Clean for the most part, no highlights or inscriptions, covers not folded over and looking at least good.

Occassionally I buy a roughly handled book if it is in a popular area for my customers and it is at a good enough price. Even the best book at too high a price stays on the shelf. I leave that and many others for the next person to find and enjoy. My purpose is to stay in business, not to read a book for fun.

I also have budget limits. If I decide I have $100 to spend this week I cannot afford to buy everything I see. I have to choose carefully. I can still walk away with over one hundred books for my $100. I may have seen several hundred that fall into my sales criteria. But put them back. Bargains are like trains and buses, another will be along in the future, you can take advantage  then. Someone following me may wonder at the books I leave behind. But I stand to remain content with those I buy.

I have been working in retail since I was about 8 years old. My first business running errands for workmen on a building site. The brick-layers and their laborers were paid by the numbers of bricks laid. Ten minutes lost going to the shops to buy newspapers and cigarettes was expensive, my opportunity. Be there everyday wait for an order and run the errand for them for a tip, or even free for some. Very soon I was earning one or two pounds per day (I grew up in England and in the late 1960's selling cigarettes was not so frowned upon).

The opportunity was open to all the other kids in my area, but non took the time to do the job. When I pursuaded a friend or two to join me, they soon bored of the constant running to the shops.

The moral of this story is there will be plenty of room for all who want to to try to sell merchandise on eBay and Amazon or any other online venture. Many may move to be in the same liune of business as I am, most will gravitate to other areas. Many like my friends will be happy to do the work for a short time but repetition will begin to bore them, the need to earn the income become too much and they will fall by the wayside.

I do not fear competitors. There is plenty of opportunity out there for our paths rarely to cross. I will watch out for them. See if they succeed because if they do, I know the marketplace is strong enough for  all of us. I will be sad if they fail because I have been to that place and it is not nice to go there.

In the end there is a huge market, as long as we are happy being able to work only on our own businesses and not waste time fretting and complaining about others businesses there is plenty of room for us all.

What are your thoughts about this post or the question?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Preparing for Tax Season

Over the past few weeks I have been preparing my accounts for tax season.

Having several sources of income ranging from a part-time job to blog income my taxes can become a little complicated.

It did not come as much of a surprise to find my part-time job is becoming less important to my finances.

The last year has seen much of my blog income level out. But a major part of my income has now become my online bookstore on

Blogiing is my least important income. It brings in enough to cover minor bills and pay for small luxury items, here I include things like a coffee at Starbucks.

Next come product designs in my zazzle store. Last year saw lots of orders for items such as greetings cards and T-shirts. Several of those order from Europe.

Overall though the sale of second-hand books has eclipsed all the other forms of income. Income from Bretsuki's Books, my online bookstore at amazon has been recycled to increase my stock. I began with just 17 books and now have approaching 500 books. All income from sales has been used to cover ongoing costs and not taken out to pay a wage but I can now see a time in the not too far future when I will not need to reinvest my ongoing income and be able to take a wage from that business.

The moral of the tale is therefore, if you are looking for real income from the web, look to producing real goods or at least look towards marketplaces such as amazon or ebay where you can sell real goods. That is where there is real cash generation potential.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Online Bookstore Growing

A few months ago my wife and I began an online bookstore.

We survived our first Christmas season very well, and more importantly survived a disasterous November which saw our sales fall dramatically for the period of the government shutdown.

Now we are up to over 400 books in our online store, most of the time. We are constantly sourcing new books from places such as library sales and thrift stores.

At present we can sell just about every book we send in within three months.

So far we have sold hundreds of books and are happy with the results of our new hobby/business.

For latest additions see our Secondhand Bookstore Tab link above.