a home based business onlinehome business ideas

   A Home-Based Business Online


   April 28

   Sent to 4,416 subscribers

  Editor: Elena Fawkner
  Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
   Contact By Email



1. Welcome and Update from Elena
2.  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Medical
 Transcription Service
3.  Feature Article - What's Your Niche?
4.  Program Review - Cognigen Networks
5.  Web Watch - Bleeding Heart Fraud
6.  Pro-motion Column - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
7.  Freebies
8.  Subscriber Q&A
9.  This Week's Web Site Pick
12.  Subscription Management
14.  Contact Information

1.  Welcome and Update from Elena

Hello again, and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
who have joined us this week!

Thanks to those of you who have written this week with
suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed in
AHBBO.  I've taken them on board and will certainly be including
them in upcoming issues.

A couple of subscribers with web.tv addresses have mentioned
that their browser freezes when trying to save AHBBO to their
hard disk because it is so long.  If you are experiencing this
problem, I suggest you unsubscribe (see instructions at the
end of this newsletter) and instead read AHBBO online at
Home Business Newsletter .  The current issue
is posted to the AHBBO site a day or so after the publication

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week's issue.
Remember, this newsletter is for YOU! If you have comments
or suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed,
or would just like to share your experiences with other
subscribers, I want to hear from you! Please send comments,
questions and stories to Contact By Email

2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Medical
 Transcription Service

Each week when I sit down to write this segment, I start out
by researching the idea to give you some idea of what's
involved and the issues to think about.  This week, when
preparing to do some research on this topic, I was delighted
to discover a site that had done it all for me.

So, without further ado, the site to go to to find out ALL the
ins and outs of this home business idea is.com start-up guide for
a home-based medical transcription business.


There are many more ideas like this in AHBBO's Home Business
Ideas page at AHBBO Unique Home Based Business Ideas with more being added all the time.


The best thing since Cookie Cutter ... this little gem can put
steady cash in your account every day and comes with free
personalized support from AHBBO.  Get yours today!

3. Feature Article - What's Your Niche?

Copyright © 2017 by Elena Fawkner

The Internet has been likened by many to the vast frontier
faced by those who took to the wild west in search of gold.
The enormity of its potential certainly draws many a gold
seeker ... but just as the gold diggers of old had to stake
their claim before digging for gold, so too must you.  Online,
it's called finding your niche.

Chances are, your online business idea has already been
done.  To death.  Does this mean that the market is
saturated and there is no room on board for you?  No.
Not by a long shot.

To be successful in an online business, you need to be
the best.  Now, that doesn't mean the best overall, or
even the best in your general category.  What it means
is being the best in your specific category ... your niche.

If the niche you're interested in is already occupied, can
you be better than the best in that niche?  If so, go for it.
If not, find another niche!

So, how exactly do you go about finding your niche? Here's
five steps to staking a claim to your share of the Internet


To start with, you need to have some idea of the general
category you're interested in becoming involved in as a
business venture.  It may be something to do with health
and fitness, nutrition, pet care, home-based business,
internet marketing, whatever.

Now, see if you can narrow down your area of interest a
little.  Let's say your general area of interest is health and
fitness.  Can you be more specific?  Does your interest lie
in aerobic exercise, weight training, nutritional supplements,
diet?  This is your sub-category.


The object of the exercise is to identify an unmet need that
you can fill.  This will become your niche.  How do you identify
an unmet need?  By listening to what the people interested in
the sub-category you identified in step 1 are saying.  A good
place to start is to sign up to various mailing lists and read
newsgroups relevant to your sub-category.

Let's say your sub-category of interest within the general
category of health and fitness is weight training.  You
would sign up for mailing lists and read newsgroups that deal
with this subject.  Pay attention to the kinds of questions people
are asking each other.  It is likely that the reason many of these
questions are being asked is that the questioner hasn't been able
to find adequate information online that deals with the subject
matter.  These sorts of questions are good sources of potential

Continuing with our weight training example, the results of
this step may suggest that some potential areas of unmet need
exist, such as the benefits of weight training for: seniors, injury
recuperation, weight loss, bone density, mental health, blood
pressure, and so on.


Armed with your list of potential niches gathered during step
two, go off now and do your own research.  See if you can find
sources of information that answer the questions on your list.
If not, keep it on your list as a potential niche.  If so, get an
idea of how much information there is out there and whether
you think you could do a better job.  If so, keep it on your list.
If not, delete it.


Now that you have a shortlist of potential niche categories,
think about your specific experience, interests and
competencies and which niche(s) you could best serve.

Pay particular attention to what interests you the most.  It's all
very well identifying a niche but if it holds absolutely no interest
for you, you won't put in the time and effort to turn that niche to
your financial advantage.  So, go with what interests you first
and foremost even if you have more experience and expertise
in a different area.  What you lack in experience and expertise
you can learn and your natural enthusiasm will do the rest.


Now that you've identified your niche, fill it!  Create a website,
publish a newsletter, write articles, promote related affiliate
programs, write an e-book, and so on and so forth.  Because
you are meeting an unmet need, you are, by definition, setting
yourself up as an expert in your niche.  This gives you an
enormous competitive advantage, at least in the beginning.

Not exactly brain surgery is it?  The Internet has unlimited
potential for virtually anyone prepared to put in the hard work.
But it rewards the innovators, not the imitators.  By taking
the time to find the right niche for you, and then building your
business around that niche, you will make a valuable
contribution and addition to the Internet community and the
Internet community will reward you for it.

Don't rest on your laurels, though.  The nature of competition,
offline or online, is that your success will entice new entrants
into your niche.  To stay on top of the heap you need to be
continually evolving and ever-vigilant within your niche.  So
stake your claim and make sure no-one moves the pegs while
your back is turned.


**Reprinting of this article is welcome!**
This article may be freely reproduced provided that: (1) you
use the autoresponder copy which contains a resource box;
and (2) you leave the resource box intact.

4. Program Review - Cognigen Networks

Cognigen Networks, the brain child of Kevin Anderson, began
in 1992 as a family business marketing long distance
communications products online.

In 1995, Cognigen introduced the "self replicating web page",
which allowed the business to build massive downline
organizations very quickly.  By the same time, Cognigen had
developed an agent force of telcom marketing professionals
so it also developed web sites to support the operations of
their agents.

Since then, Kevin and his wife, Laurel, have built Cognigen
into a strong, profitable business which, by all accounts, is
providing a good living for a quite a number of their independent

In Kevin's own words:

"Until September of 1998, we avoided building our own Telcom
MLM company, because, frankly, rates and commissions were
just not good enough to develop an MLM program which was
fair to all, and which required no money from agents who joined.
Until September of 1998, we employed a commission model
which is "traditional" in the telcom industry, focusing on high
commissions for direct sales, but reserving little for override
commissions. New tariffs have been introduced now, which has
changed that; and we set out to build the world's best telcom
MLM company.

"Cognigen Networks now has the "back office" technology to
make it easy to run your Cognigen business, with password
protected private web sites giving you instant data about your
downline, upline and account status. Because of the way we
leverage internet technology, Cognigen is positioned to become
a billion dollar company with a remarkably small overhead.

"We have employed a very simple compensation plan, which
will reward hard work, and which is fair to beginners and
experienced telcom agencies alike. We do not force you
into a "matrix", and we pay you well for your own sales, at
6%, while we also pay a full six levels of 1% commissions on
your downline agencies. If you directly sell significant total
monthly billing, your direct commission can grow to as much
as 10%. With our rates, our technology, online signup, and a
full 12% total commission payout, you can develop a huge
residual monthly Cognigen income in time, if you make a
reasonable effort.

"Cognigen will remain a family operation, which will leverage
technology so that you, our independent representatives, may
earn a good living simply offering our value priced services in
your communities. We are successful. We are publicly traded.
We have the economic power needed to team up with some of
the most powerful major companies in our industry in order to
offer low cost, high value services to our clients.  We are so
happy to have left corporate America behind!"

Cognigen's leading products are their long distance plans.
These plans are very competitive with all the major players
(AT&T, Sprint, and MCI), often beating them hands down.  This,
of course, makes the long distance plans easy to promote. In
addition the Cognigen product stable includes many other telcom
products and services such as pagers, cell phones, calling
cards, satellite TV dishes, callback service, paging service,
computer hardware, voicemail/email, Internet telephony and
web services.

You can make decent commissions on direct sales and, if
you sponsor others into the program (all this means is that
others join up as affiliates by following your URL), you can
earn commission on their sales too, down to six levels.

Overall, this is a VERY impressive program with an
outstanding and extensive support structure.  I recommend
it to you.


5. Web Watch - Bleeding Heart Fraud

There is apparently no end to what some people are prepared
to do to get money for nothing.  Not content with the typical
chain letter scam (send $5 to the first four names on the
following list, delete those names, add yours to the bottom and
then forward to 500 of your closest friends), the latest approach
is to just come right on out and ask people to send you money.

I caught a radio segment during the week discussing a
particular example.  A listener had received the following email:

"I am a young man of 24 years old who lives in New Zealand.
I owe approximately $98,000 to various banks and other
companies and I have no funds to meet these repayments.  I
have fallen into desperate financial need and I want to get out
of my bankruptcy at the moment.  My car was repossessed
last week and it has put me in a very hard position as my
fiance is now in the last stages of her pregnancy.

"It is very humbling for me to tell you this but I want to be
able to give our child when it is born everything that it wants.
Having debts over your head is not a very good thing.  It can
cause you to forget about the simple things that matter.

"Can you please give me some assistance?  Even if you
could just spare a few dollars I would be so grateful."

Here's a transcript of the radio segment that followed:

Radio Personality: "It's basically begging over the Internet."

Listener:  "It certainly is, yes."

RP: "Who sent it to you Paul?  Was it a friend, was it part of a
mass mail around or did it come directly?"

L: "No, it came directly but I assume that this is part of a
bulk mailing order that you can now get.  Obviously you can
buy a bulk mailing order now through various companies and
this is the thing that probably irritates me most of all is that
there are now individuals and companies obviously that are
using my email address and yours and presumably
millions of others and turning it into a commodity.  And
selling it on to people like this person and they do whatever
they want to do with it, things that are probably not really

RP: "Paul, thank you for drawing our attention to it.
Bernadette Steele is the director of the Office of Fair Trading
and Business Affairs.  ...  Is this legal, to send an appeal like
this over the internet into Victoria [a state in Australia]?"

BS: "Well, it's not illegal to ask people for money.  I can't
think of any law that's being broken by it."

RP: "Unless I suppose some of the representations made in
the document are false or some of the contact details for the
person that are contained in the email are deceptive."

BS: "Well, misleading and deceptive rules generally apply
in trade or commerce under the Fair Trading Act and because
this is not trade or commerce (probably) then it's probably not
an offence under the Fair Trading legislation."

RP: ""Julian", as he calls himself, writes from an email
address that's very generic, directs money to a post office
box in New Zealand or to a bank account number in New

BS:  "Well, it could be just a straight-out fraud.  I mean,
if he's not Julian and he's not suffering from all of those
disabilities that he says he has and all of those problems
and he's simply somebody trying to get money out of
people, then it's a crime."

RP:  "Whose job is it to check that?  Who polices internet

BS:  "Well, to some extent we do and there are actually
quite a number of agencies internationally looking at this.
We recently participated in an internet sweep with the
US Federal Trade Commission and agencies from about
30 other countries and we went to a number of internet
sites and identified known scams and so forth ...".

RP:  "You found the Nigeria letter, did you?"

BS:  "We did.  That's very big on the Internet now."

RP:  "It used to get around by ordinary mail and now it's
all over the place on the internet too.  "Send me this and
you'll make millions of dollars."

BS:  "That's right, and "give us all your bank account
details", in fact, "so that we can put money into your bank
account."  Of course, that's not what happens.  Chain
letters, business opportunities with unsubstantiated earnings
claims, those sorts of things are very big on the net now
so what happened with this particular sweep is that all
those sites were sent a message saying that what you're
doing is illegal and we're just about to participate in the
next step which is to follow them up and see whether
they've regularized what they're doing on those sites."


RP:  "And I assume that the advice to receivers of the email is
what it always is with chain letters and the like ... delete it."

BS:  "Well, that's right, delete it and never of course give your
bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or personal
information unless you've first checked out that you know who
you're giving them to. I mean the best thing with internet
purchases and so forth is to actually get a location and
contact details as well as an email address so that you can
follow it up if the goods that you're purchasing don't come
through or you have some problem."

RP:  "Thanks Bernadette.  We'll pass on details of that email to
you.  [To listeners]  If you get it from Julian.a@post.com wait
till you hear the outcome of inquiries I would suggest before
you do anything more than delete it."

[End of interview]

Apart from our friend Julian's dubious tactics, how do you
like the role of the bulk mail companies in all of this?  These
are the very same people who spam you with offers such
as "send your message to our 100% opt-in list of 500,000
email addresses for only $49".  For those of you tempted
by these offers, ask yourself who in their right mind would
voluntarily provide their email address to some company
for the sole benefit of receiving advertising? RUN, don't
walk, from these so-called "offers".  All you will get for your
money is an inbox full of hate mail from anti-spam vigilantes.
And you'll be lucky if that's all you get.

As was pointed out in the interview, business opportunity
and chain letter scams are VERY big on the Internet right
now.  Just check out some of the anti-scam sites listed
in this week's Subscriber Q&A section (segment 8) if you
want to see how big.  I can't tell you how many of the "make
$50,000 in the next 90 days" messages I've received over
the past couple of weeks.  It would have to be at least 30.
As the man said, hit your delete key.

6. Pro-motion - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"

Q. Everything written on the Internet in wide open. How do we
keep others from ruining our reputations if they become unhappy
with us? (Chuck S.)

A. Don't ever doubt how important your reputation is to you. In
fact, a "good" reputation isn't good enough. As a professional,
you'll need to have a shining reputation. However, your actions
will speak louder than the words of anyone else. One
professional always recognizes another. On the Internet, this
is usually done through email communication.

How do you treat other business owners? This is one of the
highest areas of abuse on the Internet. It's not only
unprofessional but, downright dumb to treat email from other
business owners - who may be trying to establish a business
relationship with you - as "spam." Yes - you do have to use
some selectivity, but you can't do that if you refuse to even
scan through the email that comes in.

Professionals respect each other - work together - and grow
together. I've said this before but it bears repeating.

Ignoring email without even the least attention to what it might
offer you - and not returning phone calls - is the epitome of
amateur behavior.

You may have something that will help my business or make me
money - why would I blow you off? What if AOL, Microsoft, and
Netscape had each believed they were so important that they
didn't need to respond to each other? How important were any of
them when they first started? The bottom line is - you never
know who may be a valuable contact somewhere down the road to

Ignoring the email of others with whom you have agreed to work -
is even worse!

If you are involved in any kind of project with another online
business owner, you have certain responsibilities. There may,
or may not, be an enforceable contract involved. Most likely,
there wont be. Either way - it doesn't matter! You made some
kind of agreement in the beginning!

Professionalism demands that this agreement be brought to
conclusion! Either the agreement must be fulfilled - or it
needs to be terminated. A professional doesn't terminate
agreements by changing his/her email address or refusing to
respond to correspondence on the matter. Professionals donut
just disappear!

If we routinely handle ourselves in a professional manner, our
reputations as professionals will stay intact. Any disputes to
the contrary will soon be forgotten.

jl scott, ph.d., Author
Copyright © 2017, All Rights Reserved
This article may be reprinted with permission by including the
following resource box:


dr. jl scott is the Director of the International Association for
Professionalism Online (IAPO) http://www.IAPOnline.org - and
also the publisher of MONDAY MEMO! - the ezine dedicated
to upgrading Professionalism on the Web.


7. Freebies

=>  E-book - Website and Ezine Promotion for Idiots
 (Demo version)
 If you find these "Idiot" titles more than a little offensive,
 I'm with you.  But grit your teeth and look past it if you
 can and discover why ZDNet gave this demo version
 a full 4 star rating.  If you like the demo version, there's
 a paid expanded version as well.


If you're new to A Home-Based Business Online, be sure to
visit for many more freebies like



8. Subscriber Q&A

1.  That Software I Forgot to Name

Michael and Marcia wrote in response to my comments last
week about flame baiters:

"This was your response to a subscriber's question. But you
left something out!

"The software I use to automatically process subscribe/
unsubscribe requests automatically deletes bounced messages
(using criteria I specify, such as full mailboxes). I never even
see the email that bounces. So if the object of the exercise is
to annoy me, they're wasting their time."

I read the above answer you gave but you failed to say what
the software was? I have the same problem and can't find
software that will do this. What is the name of the software
and where can I purchase it.  Thanks."

So sorry Michael and Marcia!  I should indeed have mentioned
the software I use to process subscribe/unsubscribe requests.
It's Aureate Group Mail using the free Subscriber plug-in.
Aureate is available at http://www.group-mail.com. The
registered version costs, from memory, around $50.  There's
a free version (well, ad-supported anyway) which is fine if you
don't have a large list (the bulk send mode is disabled).

2.  Scam Protection

Gloria wrote:

"Is there a source to check the legitimacy of on-line business
opportunities?  Should an on-line business opportunity be
expected to provide some statement of business scope in
writing before you sign up? How do you protect yourself from
opportunities that you send money first to sign up?  Please

Web-based resources for pre-checking on the legitimacy of
online business opportunities seem to be focused more on
which ones are scams rather than which ones are legitimate.
It's very much a case of "no news is good news", or so it
seems.  If anyone is aware of any INDEPENDENT, authoritative
sites that give a tick of approval to certain named business
opportunities, please let me know!

Fortunately, there is no shortage of excellent sites devoted
to exposing scams.  I featured one, Scambusters, as last
week's website pick of the week (http://www.scambusters.org ).
Just a few other excellent ones are:

=>  The Internet Scam Patrol

=>  Internet Fraud Watch

=>  Better Business Bureau

As for whether an online business opportunity should be
expected to provide some written statement of "business
scope", anyone promoting an online business opportunity
should clearly explain, in writing, at least how the opportunity
works (i.e. what the product or service is, who it appeals to,
how it is presented, how it is marketed), who is behind it,
what the upfront costs (if any) are, the circumstances under
which you will be entitled to a refund of your investment and
perhaps an indication as to what you can expect to earn from
your business.  Be wary, though, of anyone who tells you you
can expect to make $x within y days.  Your success in ANY
legitimate business is directly dependent upon your own
efforts and hard work.

As for protecting yourself from opportunities that require money
up-front, as a rule of thumb, steer away from these unless you
know exactly who you're dealing with.  Although there are
many legitimate business opportunities that require a financial
investment to get started, DON'T send money to anyone who
asks you for payment before they give you the information you
need before making a decision about whether to participate and
DON'T send money to anyone whose "business opportunity"
involves you doing piece work such as envelope-stuffing, craft
assembly and the like.  In the vast majority of cases, these are

Also, pay attention to how you came to learn of the particular
"opportunity".  If it came from spam mail, do you really need to
think about it?  If this is such a legitimate opportunity, why
would someone have to resort to these sorts of tactics to
generate interest?

There are MANY scams around that prey upon people's
willingness to pay first and ask questions later. Make sure you
ask a lot of questions up front.  If you don't get honest, forthright
answers, keep looking.  When you've received answers to your
questions and you're ready to go ahead, check with the Better
Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org) to make sure they haven't
received any complaints about the opportunity you're interested
in.  In other words, do your due diligence before making any
sort of commitment, financial or otherwise.


9. This Week's Web Site Pick - EntreWorld


They say it best themselves (from the About EntreWorld page):

"EntreWorld is designed to increase your productivity by getting
you essential information as quickly and easily as possible.
Recognized by USA Today, Forbes, Inc. and Fast Company as
a premier online resource for small business owners, the
EntreWorld search engine delivers the best and most useful
information, guidance and contacts for you, the entrepreneur.

"We actively seek out and provide "A+" content -- more than
1,000 articles, audio clips, tools, databases and even town-to-
town small business event listings -- to put the most essential
entrepreneurial resources immediately at your fingertips. We
add to this content dozens of original management articles
written especially for EntreWorld visitors -- candid features
from entrepreneurial icons such as 1-800-FLOWERS ®' Jim
McCann, Lillian Vernon, Guy Kawasaki of Garage.com and
other successful business founders.   EntreWorld eliminates
the need for you to research and bookmark great Web-based
resources. We do the legwork for you -- centralizing the most
important entrepreneurial resources from the best sites,
combining it with our own top-quality content, and making all
the information easy to find."

The information at EntreWorld is organized according to stage
of the business lifecycle - Starting Your Business, Growing
Your Business, Rapid Growth, Supporting Entrepreneurship.

12. Subscription Management

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14. Contact Information

Elena Fawkner, Editor
A Home-Based Business Online
Contact By Email


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