Can Instant Traffic Mastery Really Turn You Into a Master?

Last week I was talking about a product for generating traffic that turned out to be less than ideal for generating traffic.

This week’s product is also about how to get more visitors to your site, and I’m hoping it stays on topic and is at least vaguely useful. The product in question is called Instant Traffic Mastery by  Jonathan Teng & Venkata Ramana.

The Pitch

The sales page heavily focuses on both scarcity and how much of a bargain this product allegedly is. I understand why saying the product has a larger value and is being discounted helps improve sales, but why do marketers insist on using ridiculous figures? Apparently this product is worth over $997 dollars but he is only going to charge me $9.95? Who falls for this rubbish?

The scarcity tactic of saying it is only available for 7 days is combined with a potential price rise to squeeze you into a panic purchase.

As well as that are the usual heavy handed highlighting and bolded text, and proof of sales that may or may not be related to the effectiveness of the product (usually it’s a not).

Purchasing Instant Traffic Mastery

As mentioned, the product is only $9.95 but this is the edge of a sales funnel with plenty of upsells being sent your way once you head down the rabbit hole.

Instant Traffic Mastery Sales Funnel

The first upsell is on a dime sale (it increases in price after every sale) and was $18 bucks when I saw it. The upsell is for a “done for you” traffic pack, which is basically a ready-made sales funnel.

The second upsell has a longer sales page, probably because it costs $67 dollars and is for a package of PLR content (articles, graphics, etc). PLR is something I always suggest avoiding if possible. While the graphics might be useful the content supplied will all need to be re-written anyway.

Next up is a “lite” version of the above PLR package at a mere $37.

The last upsell is something I haven’t seen in a while, and that is access to a membership site. The cost is OK in comparison to other membership sites, ($17 per month) but the problem with this is that it doesn’t teach you anything it instead provides PLR content twice a month… I wouldn’t touch this with a barge pole personally.

The Product

After navigating the swirling mess of sales funnel I finally arrived at the product membership page and I was slightly surprised.

Looking at the content list of the product it seems like they have packed a lot of information in here, with 50 separate items ranging from setting up a blog, through social media, building relationships, video marketing and more.

Quantity does not necessarily mean quality though.

Each item in the content list is a video, and each one is roughly 5 minutes long on average.

The videos all seem to be PLR themselves (I can’t be 100% sure but it’s my gut feeling and fits well with all the upsells) as they are labelled “50 targeted traffic methods for online business” rather than Instant Traffic Mastery.

Instant Traffic Mastery Video Example

PLR aside, the training is quite reasonable though it is obviously brief in its content.

The training covers a wide variety of traffic generation methods, some of them quite old school such as using forums, but the narrator is to the point about how effective/speedy they are; he isn’t trying to spin anything.

The traffic methods may not be suitable for pure internet marketers, as some methods such as press releases and getting into the local press just won’t work when your site promotes vacuum cleaners on Amazon.

As mentioned the content is quite brief. If we take the Pinterest and Others video, it’s 2 and a half minutes long and basically tells you that Pinterest uses images and videos and that you can add links, and that Instagram and Vine are options too.

On that note, the videos are at least a year or two old as they suggest Vine is really new and you can become an early adopter in your niche.

The Bottom Line

Instant Traffic Mastery is not a scam as such, but it’s not something I would generally recommend.

The content you get is quite wide and possibly informative, but it is brief.

If you are an experienced marketer you probably won’t get much out of this, though if you are new to online marketing, then there is probably something you can pick up from this.

Really though the information is quite basic: you are paying for an overview and for it to be collected in one spot rather than spending time trawling Google for information.

Can Instant Cash Generator Energize Your Bank Account?

The first thing that struck me about The Instant Cash Generator was a lie.

It said that the price will jump to $47 in 0 seconds, yet I still purchased it for under $10 bucks.

While some people may think that I lucked out with it, to me it screams liar, and that is never a good first impression!

This product states that it will teach you how to make money online in less than one hour, with no skills needed, so let’s see if the lies continue or if it is in fact worthy of your time and money.

the instant cash generator lies

Well that was a fail…

The Pitch

The mistrust aside, the sales pitch is classic internet marketing: lots of bold statements in bright text with highlights, unprovable proof of earnings and some testimonials which may actually be partly real or might just be his buddies.

Purchasing The Instant Cash Generator

As mentioned above, what should have been a  $47 product was still purchasable at $9.95. The affiliate page states that this is on a 100% commission (so a loss leader) and that there are two upsells.

I never saw an upsell though.

the instant cash generator funnel

What upsells?

The Product

The members’ area is a one page affair with a link to download the product. Be wary if you are on a mobile device or a limited data plan as the download is half a gigabyte (565mb)!

I liked the fact that I get to download the videos instead of being tied to going back to a site again and again, but it is an unexpectedly hefty download.

The product also seems to be a re-launch, so it might be an older method than you would think (the zipped files kindly told me this!).

the instant cash generator relaunch

Inside the zip file you get the following:

  • Bonuses: 4 e-books and a Swiftly task. According to the sales page I shouldn’t have got these either.
  • A resource list: a one page Word document with basic websites like
  • 9 videos: comprising of the training

The training videos are all quite short and bite sized, ranging between 1 and 5 minutes long.

The basic premise of the product is to sell services; the author calls this Service Brokering.

The idea is that you contact likely leads such as businesses and sell them a service such as logo design. You sell then turn around to another service such as and get them to make the logo for a much cheaper price than you sell it for.

the instant cash generator service brokering

Video 1

This is a polished, short video that introduces the concept of brokering.

Video 2

The second video showcases websites where you can outsource people to make the final product that you are selling (logo, website, SEO service, writing, etc).

In fact this video only covers finding outsourcers on Craiglist

Video 3

This section covers finding people to do work for you on Elance.

Video 4

This section covers finding people to do work for you on 99designs.

Video 5

This section covers finding people to do work for you on Fiverr.

Video 6

Video 6 covers how to find buyers or customers via Craigslist. While this in itself seems simplistic, the narrator does let you know about a nice little website that will search Craigslist for you, as Craigslist’s own search system is infuriating.

Video 7

Another simplistic video, this time on how to find buyers on Reddit. I have to say using Reddit is a nice touch I wouldn’t have though to f that, but otherwise the video was basic.

Video 8

The penultimate video also made my eyebrows rise. It covers finding potential buyers on Skype, which is another place I would never have looked for customers.

Video 9

Here you will earn how to make a website! Well, no. You will earn how to buy hosting and a domain. Then you will get told to go buy a Themeforest theme. Overall this was a really poor training video, and will leave many newbies floundering with a domain and hosting but no idea how to even set up a basic website.

The videos are most definitely lifted from previous trainings, for example video 9 in this series is referred to as video 4 by the narrator.

That aside, the videos are quite high quality, both audio and visual. The narrator however is doing the training on the fly it seems, so often stumbles over topics and has to redo things.

Because of that the actual training quality is diminished.

The Bottom Line

Is The Instant Cash Generator a scam? No, but it isn’t great either. While the quality of the videos is high, the quality of the training is poor.

He could have combined several videos and reduced their content (limited as it is) dramatically and added in more information about how to create a website, or how best to word an email to a potential client.

The idea of the product is certainly nothing new, but I did like his choice of sites to find potential customers.

My main concern with this type of marketing is quality. If you sell a $200 dollar logo but you pay $25 bucks for it, it will be crap. As the middleman you will take the flak for that.

It will take time, and money, to find reliable and quality outsourcers so it is likely that a bunch of the first sales you make will be at cost or even a loss.

After finding some decent people, then yes this could work. Just expect to have to invest in other training or purchases (website design, copy writing and email writing, testing outsourcers, etc), especially if you are new to online marketing.

How to Create a Sell Sheet that Sells Your Invention

Last Monday’s post described how you can generate a passive income by licensing your invention ideas to companies and other licensees. The key to getting potential licensees interested in your invention idea is to create a spectacular sell sheet. What is a sell sheet and how do you create one? Read on.

Sell sheet anatomy and physiology

If you have an invention or just an invention idea, you need a sell sheet to market that invention to potential developers and manufacturers. The sell sheet is a marketing piece that promotes your invention in a one page ad format by describing the product, its features and benefits, and whom the product can be purchased from. A sell sheet is supposed to take no more than a minute to look over and understand, so it needs to be brief and to the point.

There are sell sheets for companies, hospitals, books, kitchen gadgets, and software programs. What does a typical sell sheet look like?


At its basic level, the sell sheet contains four areas, which are the product description, photo(s)/diagram(s), features/benefits, and the inventor contact information. These areas are shown in the above generic sell sheet, but their exact locations are not static and can be strewn about almost anywhere.

While there is a section for all the features/benefits of an invention idea, there should also be a separate and overarching benefits statement. This statement should be no longer than a single line and should succinctly pitch your idea to your prospects.

Finally, the sell sheet should also contain either a “Patent Pending” statement or patent number.

For example, the Flipside Rulers product shown below essentially flips the product photo/diagram with its features/benefits, and places the description below everything else. This sell sheet also provides the single line benefits statement, “The Most Accurate Reversible Ruler on the Market!”



Why do you need a sell sheet?

You might be thinking to yourself, I already have a great invention. Why do I need to create a sell sheet?

Because, in brief, a sell sheet is much cheaper and easier to create than a physical prototype of your invention idea. The sell sheet effectively combines words and images into a kind of virtual prototype of your product, enabling you to submit that idea quickly and easily to potential licensees.

Even better, whereas in the past you’d be sending out numerous glossy (i.e., expensive) photocopies of your sell sheet, nowadays you can just email your prospects with the sell sheet in an enclosed attachment. You can even set up a website that describes your invention idea, dedicating one page of that website to your sell sheet. Then, all you need to do is provide your prospects with that web page address.

The sell sheet gives prospects a good enough idea about your invention…but that’s as far as it should go. Your sell sheet should provide only enough information to pique reader interest, not include specifics on every individual nut and bolt. The reason for this vagueness is pretty simple- the more a prospect knows about the invention, the more likely it is that he’ll find something to dislike and/or find confusing. If this happens while your invention idea is still being considered, there is a high likelihood that it will be rejected.

However, by sticking to the basics and emphasizing your single line benefits statement (mentioned in Monday’s post), you allow your potential licensee to fit your invention idea into the scope of her existing product line and manufacturing processes.

How to create a killer sell sheet

If you have a software program such as Corel Paintshop or Adobe Photoshop/InDesign, you won’t have much trouble creating a winning sell sheet. However, these programs don’t come cheap, so a better alternative might be to outsource your sell sheet to a freelancer/contractor. Where can you find one?

Sites like eLance,, and oDesk are filled with reasonably priced freelancers who can make several different iterations of your invention idea and save you the headache and expense of learning a program like InDesign or SolidWorks (a CAD program).

You might also consider working with a local community college or a design/trade school to produce more complex drawings or scale models of your invention idea. In such cases, tapping the instructor and asking if some of her students would be able to help realize your invention idea can make for a great classroom exercise, plus a little bit of money for the student.

Just make sure that you have your freelancer or student sign a non-disclosure agreement first before you send him any work. Also, because your freelancer or student may make some changes to your prototype while “fleshing it out,” it’s a good idea to have him sign a work-for-hire agreement that includes language about you being the sole owner of your invention idea. This excludes the freelancer or student from later claiming coinventor status.

What’s next?

After you have the sell sheet generated, it’s time to start soliciting companies and individuals with whom you could see working and actually building your invention. If you spark their interest, you can offer to send them your sell sheet, plus your business card and a cover letter. Within that cover letter, you introduce yourself and your invention, remind your prospect of how and when the two of you met or contacted each other, and note your invention’s major benefit.

It goes (almost) without saying that you should never send unsolicited materials to a prospect, even if you deem that her a perfect match for your idea. Without a proper introduction and invitation, your unsolicited materials will simply get tossed in the trash.

If you get a “no thanks” after sending out your materials, try to find out why your idea was rejected. It will be immensely useful for you as you hone your idea and decide whether to take it to a different company or market segment.

Most importantly, do not become discouraged if your first few attempts at contacting and finding potential licensees doesn’t work out or produces only rejections. It takes time and continued effort to place an invention idea with an appropriate company or manufacturer. But once you get the green light, you will find the process infinitely easier to repeat, leading to a series of licensed invention ideas that generate a steady passive income for you.

How to Make Money by Licensing Your Invention Ideas

Do you have an invention idea, or even several invention ideas, that have just been sitting on the proverbial back burner? Are you worried about the cost involved with bringing your invention ideas to marketable reality?

Well, fear no more: You don’t need an expensive patent or a manufacturing plant to make money from your invention idea(s). You don’t even need a prototype. In fact, all you need is a good idea- and someone else to do the work for you.

How can you get someone else to do your work?

It’s all about licensing your invention idea. When you license your idea, someone else takes your idea and undergoes the risks of developing, manufacturing, pricing, storing and marketing the product. You, as the inventor of the product, simply collect a royalty from every sale. Typically, product royalty is 3-5%. This may not sound like much, but if you start collecting royalties from several products, the money can quickly add up. With a little bit of time, your royalties can even outpace your regular paycheck.

How to start licensing your invention

Start with a problem.

Inventions all start with a problem. If that problem is commonplace enough, the invention will experience a high enough demand to be profitable. In many cases, the problem need not be a major one- for example, consider the late night TV infomercial item, The Windshield Wonder(tm), which cleans windshields from the inside of the car. Most car owners complain about not being able to effectively clean the inside of their windshields- this item solves the issue.

Find out if similar products exist.

If your invention is good enough, there will already be similar products on the market. That’s right, your invention item should not be so unique that it can’t be located anywhere else. If it is all alone in its market niche, that brings up the possibility that your invention is solving a very rare problem. Without mass appeal, your invention won’t sell, or at least not often enough to make you a profit.

Should you find similarly-themed products on the store shelf, take stock of how they are displayed and marketed. How much do the items cost? Also, be sure to write down the names of the companies that are selling these items; these are the companies you will be contacting later.

Search the USPTO.

It’s possible that your invention idea may already have been invented, manufactured and even marketed. To find out if this is the case, scour the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office before you go any further.

It’s quite possible that a patent for the exact same item that you invented is already in existence. Before you get discouraged, find out what exactly the patent covers. It might be that what you’re looking at is a design patent, where the inventor changed the decorative appearance or configuration of the item rather than its functionality.  Otherwise, you might have a utility patent, wherein a manufacturing process or coding program is described but not the look, shape or configuration of the finished product.

In brief, find out if your exact idea has been filed with the USPTO. If it hasn’t, then you are ready to go on to the next step.

File a provisional patent application (PPA).

Protect your invention idea by filing a provisional patent application (PPA) with the USPTO. The PPA is quick to fill out, does not require the help of an attorney, and it costs only $110 to file. You don’t even need formal documentation; a few simple drawings or photographs of the expected prototype or mock-up will do.

A PPA enables you to state that your invention is “Patent Pending,” which goes a long way towards keeping competitors at bay. Furthermore, the PPA provides the same legal protections as a regular ol’ patent- and for significantly less money and waiting time.

Find out how to manufacture your idea.

Once you’ve filed the PPA, it’s time to find out just how much money it will cost, and what methods must be used, to manufacture your idea. You’ll also need to understand your idea’s technical hurdles and how to overcome them. To this end, you should contact different contract manufacturers that produce items similar in scope to your own product idea and ask them how feasible it would be to realize your particular invention.

You can find contract manufacturers through trade associations. These associations exist solely to put customers like you in touch with vendors and other businesses, so don’t be shy about asking for help and obtaining contact information for at least four or five vendors.

How do you get contract manufacturers to do the grunt work of estimating your manufacturing costs? You can ask to speak to one of their sales reps, then ask her how much it will cost to produce 1,000, 10,000 or even 100,000 units of your invention idea. By creating a sales inquiry and not just a random request for information, you get the sales rep thinking that this could be a huge sale (i.e., commission) for her. This makes that salesperson much more inclined to help you out.

Generate a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA).

Before you call your contract manufacturers, you should create a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) and have it ready to go when the person on the other end of the line asks for a drawing of or additional details pertaining to your invention idea. NDAs are easy to generate and can be found on a site like Docracy. The basic NDA contains legal language that protects your invention idea from being disclosed to third parties. The document also allows you to take legal action if there is an information leak.

A decent NDA will contain the following four provisions:

  1. All parties agree not to disclose each other’s confidential information.
  2. All parties agree not to use each other’s confidential information without providing compensation.
  3. All parties agree to return all documents, prototypes and information in case no agreement is reached regarding the invention idea.
  4. All parties agree that any information already known to and used by the receiving party is not deemed confidential.

Your NDA should first be agreed to and signed before you disclose any details pertaining to your invention idea. If anyone refuses to sign the NDA, do not disclose your idea to that entity!*

Generate your sell sheet.

Now that you have your PPA and manufacturing information in hand, it’s time to organize all your invention information into a sell sheet. The sell sheet is a one page ad that describes the main benefits of your invention, some diagrams or drawings of that invention, and your contact information. Don’t forget to note that you have a “Patent Pending” on your invention.

You needn’t be a marketer or graphic designer to create a winning sell sheet. Sites like eLance, and provide you with reasonably priced professionals who can take your invention idea and transform it into a detailed illustration. Just remember to have your hired freelancer sign the NDA before you relay any invention information to him.

More information on how you can generate a killer sell sheet will be provided in my upcoming post this Thursday.

Make some inquiries.

Now it’s time to peddle your invention idea to those companies that you first looked up when first assessing the feasibility of your invention idea. When making these sales calls, you can make a cold call, if you’re comfortable with that approach. However, if you don’t like cold calls, there’s no rule about cold calls being the only way to conduct business.

To this end, you can contact candidate companies through LinkedIn, for example. Using LinkedIn, you can find the exact person within the organization that would be your best advocate for licensing your invention. Other online sites include Hoovers, InfoUSA and Zoom Info. In most cases, that ideal person is the product manager. If such a person cannot be located, your other bet is the marketing manager or salesperson.

What should you say or write once you reach your person of interest? Rather than introducing yourself as an inventor, which often conjures up images of wacky and impractical dreamers, state that you are a product developer looking to submit a product idea to that particular company. Then, assuming you aren’t interrupted, use a single sentence to state the exact benefit of your product.

What is a good single sentence statement about your invention? Here are some examples:

For a household products company: “I have a new product that safely whitens laundry without damaging it.”

For an office supply company: “My chairs are ergonomic and cost 90% less to produce than most standard office chairs.”

For a tools manufacturer: “My table saw has a safety shut-off device activated by human tissue .”

Offer more product information.

Close your call or letter by asking if you can send additional product information. In most cases, managers and salespeople won’t object to obtaining a simple email or letter containing your sell sheet; in the worst case scenario, your literature can be easily deleted or thrown out. However, should your sell sheet spark someone’s interest, you might just have yourself a licensee.

Any potential licensing company worth its salt will probably ask that you show up in person to provide a technical presentation of your product and its benefits. Thus, you will need to prepare some slides outlining your invention and all of its benefits. You might even need to throw in a few technical details in the form of charts and graphs.

If you have a friend or family member who is a good orator, don’t hesitate to ask her about coming with you and helping to explain the product and its purpose. Sometimes, it helps to have a “product team” with you during your technical presentation as a show of group collaboration and support- and it doesn’t matter if this team only consists of your Mom, spouse or high school buddy.

Seal the deal- with an attorney.

You might be offered a licensing deal right on the spot following your presentation. However, before you sign the dotted line, get yourself a licensing attorney who knows the fine details of this business process. Let her negotiate the terms for you, especially if you’ve never before negotiated with a company regarding licensing.

Don’t be shy with your licensing company. Ask your contact for sales projections for your invention and the wholesale item price that the company intends to charge. Also, find out if this company wants an exclusive or non-exclusive license on your invention. With an exclusive license, you won’t be able to license your invention idea out to anyone else for a specified amount of time; however, with a non-exclusive license, you’ll be able to query other companies and make licensing deals with them too.

The caveats to each of these license types are that exclusive licenses pay you a higher royalty, while the non-exclusive licenses offer a lower payout.

Get paid!

Once a company has become your licensee, start expecting  your royalty checks to arrive…in the near future. It could still take some time (think months to years) before your product has been developed, manufactured and sold to finally generate that passive income for you. However, if you can licence a few invention ideas each year and make 3-5% in royalties from them, you’ll be well on your way to earning a passive income.

*Your NDA may not be signed automatically if your potential licensee objects to some of the document’s clauses and wishes to modify them so the manufacturing company has better flexibility to create and market your invention. In such cases, you should have your licensing attorney look over the company’s proposed changes before signing the modified NDA.

How to Earn Extra Money as a Voice Over Artist

Did you engage in theater productions or take acting lessons in high school or college? Do you like to make announcements, toasts or give entire speeches? If yes, then you might be perfectly suited to making extra money as a voice over artist (or voice over actor).

What is a voice over artist?

If you’ve ever listened to a book on tape, a late night product commercial, or a business radio announcement, you’ve probably heard voice over actors speaking and not the respective authors, manufacturers or business owners. Voice over actors are routinely hired by both online and off-line clients because most individuals, truth be told, do not orate well.

There are many broadcast media that hire voice over artists, including TV and radio, for production numbers such as commercials, public announcements, cartoons and animations, documentaries and movie trailers. Non broadcast entities such as corporations, small businesses, religious organizations, webmasters and schools also hire voice over actors for help with creating podcasts, rich media presentations, educational, training and product videos, and even those pesky phone recordings you hear while on hold.

With apps and online games taking off, voice over actors often work with programmers and gamers to generate different character voices and sayings.

In short, there is a wide range of work available for those folks who want to be the voice behind the scene.

What equipment do you need?

At the very least, you will need a quiet, soundproof room as well as a decent microphone. You should also consider installing the free audio recording and editing software Audacity onto your computer.

Of course, as you build your voice over business, you could eventually outfit your recording studio like Todd Schick.

How much money can you make as a voice over artist?

The following voice work rate card from Voices provides you with a good idea of what to charge for your voice work. Of course, as a beginner voice over artist, you may wish to start your rates a bit lower and work your way up while accumulating referrals and samples of your work.

Still, it’s not unusual to earn $200-$300 for a 5 minute voice over even as a beginner, especially if the work is in a highly specialized field that requires fluency with multi-syllabic words and phrases. Thus, if  you have any technical or educational expertise, take advantage of your background and advertise your proficiencies up-front.

So, how can you get started in this business? The easiest way is to check out these online sites, which help you advertise your services, negotiate your rates, and scope out voice over jobs.


This site, which was launched by two Voice123 co-founders, Voicebunny is a kind of “fast food” version of voice over service sites, offering clients fast and cheap turnarounds on jobs that are mostly in some kind of technical market. As such, you will see lots of requests for audio podcasts, webinars, reports and news articles listed here. You set your own rates and can also post sample voice overs (i.e., demos) for clients to listen to.


Once a client creates a work request, time is of the essence in terms of you accepting that request and creating a voice audition. In fact, you are actually set up with a timer once you take on a work gig. If that timer runs out, the work request returns to the pool.

Your completed audition is first checked by Voicebunny staff for correctness and legitimacy (e.g., not being spam), after which it is sent to the client. The client then either accepts or rejects your audition. If your audition is accepted, Voicebunny pays you your personally set rate. Rejected auditions are not paid for and there are no retakes.

Some criticisms of Voicebunny include excessive audition rejection by Voicebunny staff, lower than average pay, and no extra pay for what is essentially rush work. As such, Voicebunny is a kind of beginner’s site that most beginners leave once they rack up enough work and client referrals.


This site is not for beginners and voice over artists deal with clients directly in terms of setting up auditions, negotiating rates and getting paid. The site deals with some big-name clients including Zynga, Universal Studios and MTV.


While Voice123 charges no commission or fees on jobs, it does “strongly encourage” its members to sign up for its premium membership at $395/year. Members who are signed up under the free or standard membership are still listed in the voice actors directory and can obtain work through direct invitation, but obtaining steady gigs is slim given that standard member profiles are listed below those of the premium members via the site’s search feature. Also, premium members receive audition invitations through the site, while standard members are not notified of such opportunities.

Voice123 uses a voice casting software called SmartCast to match voice talent with appropriate clients based on prior audition behavior and thus cut down on low quality auditions and bidding wars. Thus, if you habitually audition for a type of voice over such as a webinar presentation, you will get invited to more webinar casting calls. On the flip side, if you habitually audition for low-paying gigs, you will be invited to more low-paying gigs.


This site is the crème-de-la-crème of voice over sites and offers its talent the opportunity to work with clients including national TV stations, movie studios and major corporations. Also, the minimum casting call payout is $100, with a good number of calls paying between $100-$250.


Voices, much like Voice123, offers free and paid memberships, with the free (i.e., guest) members only receiving direct invitation gigs and not appearing at the top of the search results. Also, free members do not see publicly posted jobs.

Paying members also take advantage of VoiceMatch, a software program that, much like SmartCast, matches the most appropriate voice talent to posted gigs and then adjusts its matches based on voice over artist behavior. The site also offers SurePay Escrow protection to prevent clients from ripping off voice over actors; the downside to this protection is that it takes a 10% cut for its services.

Other voice over sites

Snap Recordings

This site occasionally lists available gigs on its site. Interested voice over actors can also peruse career sites like Indeed or Monster for job openings via Snap Recordings.

snap recordings


This site doesn’t offer a ready-made area for voice talent to instantly create their profiles; however, under the Contact Us tab, artists can apply directly to Voicesnow for consideration.


Voice talent

Voice over artists can also get contracted by Voice talent; the site occasionally posts openings online or through career sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and Monster.

voice talent

Still not sure where to start?

The voice over community is fairly huge and offers many online networking opportunities where you can hone your craft, find out pay rate specifics, and find voice over gigs on your own. Here are some online sites you should consider checking out:

All Star Voices– This social networks posts jobs, lists voice coaches, hosts a resource center, and much more.

Voice-Over Friends– This Facebook group posts regular notices about the industry as well as job opportunities.

Voice Over Universe– This forum posts reviews of voice over sites, educational materials and events.

Are you a voice over artist? Please describe your experiences in the comments below.

How to Make Money as a Food Tester or Food Taster

Do you love to try new foods or are you a foodie with some amazing taste buds? You can put your taste buds to work and earn extra money by becoming a food tester (i.e., sensory panelist). Lots of food manufacturers and research companies need consumers to try out their products before they are stocked on store shelves.

Sometimes, the work requires that you show up on-site and be a part of a focus group or consumer panel. In many cases, however, you might complete your work online as part of a consumer survey or online forum. Thus, even if you can’t always be physically present at a test facility, you can still make money from home as a food taster.

Food testing companies and laboratories

There are many companies that perform food testing and research for big-name clients like Dole, PepsiCo, Tyson, Nestle, Kraft Foods, etc. These companies often hire food testers for consumer panels and studies that take place throughout the year. Here is a list of some companies you can periodically check in with about food testing opportunities:

Contract Testing, Inc.

This company has offices in Ontario and Georgia and is always recruiting food tasters on its website’s database. Eligible participants are most often called in to work at one of the company’s field sites; however, some products can be taken and tried out at home. Surveys are conducted by computer.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

The Consumer Product Testing Centre, located in Alberta, Canada, periodically recruits food testers through the following web page. Participants can try a variety of food products including pasta, yogurt, chocolate and cookies. An honorarium of $15 is paid for every completed study.

Food Perspectives

This Minneapolis/St. Paul-based company recruits both adults and children to its consumer database.

Franklin Foods

This company strives to “re-invent cream cheese” by researching novel dips, spreads, sauces, etc. Those interested in joining the company’s consumer panel can sign up online.

Herron Research

This market research firm periodically recruits food testers in the Indianapolis, IN and Tampa, FL areas. Interested participants should leave their name and contact information in Herron’s database. Herron will then contact those participants whose specifications match study criteria to join its on-site consumer panels.

Leatherhead Food Research

Leatherhead not only conducts food tasting studies, but also performs consumer analysis and food nutrition studies. This means that panelists who sign up with the site might be asked to undergo fasting, for example, during a study on appetite and certain foods.

Participants in these consumer groups must reside in the U.K.; however, Leatherhead is also looking for home product testers based in the U.K., France and U.S. through its SenseReach program.

MMR Research

This international company, with locations in the U.S., China and the U.K., performs a wide range of analyses for companies like Kellogg’s, Unilever and ConAgra. Occasionally, sensory panelist and consumer focus group opportunities are listed on the MMR Careers page.

National Food Laboratory

This California-based company performs research studies on everything from food safety to packaging to visual appeal. Sensory panelist positions are occasionally offered on the NFL’s careers web page.

Northland Laboratories

This company is based out of Illinois and recruits participants for its food and beverage studies through its online sign-up form.

Food manufacturers

Individual food manufacturers and restaurants will also recruit food tasters and compensate their efforts with not only money but cool schwag like T-shirts, food items and gift cards.

McCormick Corporation

This company recruits consumer panelists to its Maryland office for periodic taste tests. Individuals can participate in McCormick product tastings once every three months.

Schwan Food Company

Schwan is based in Minnesota and, via its Sensory Tasting Laboratory, offers opportunities for taste testers to sample its foods, provide feedback, and be compensated for their time. Potential food testers can learn more about the program through the following web page. The company pays $15 for each completed study. 


This company, based in St. Louis, develops soy-based products and recruits participants for its food tasting studies on the following web page.

Additional places that list food taster opportunities

Some food testing companies and manufacturers do not list food taster opportunities on their websites but rather on sites like SimplyHired, Monster, LinkedIn, Indeed and CareerBuilder. To find these opportunities, use search terms like “food tester,” “food taster,” “sensory panelist,” or “taste tester.”

You can also try inputting the same search terms into Google or Bing and seeing what pops up. If you’re hoping to work with a specific brand, use Boolean search and input that brand’s name into your search- for example, you could input “food tester AND Kraft” to find out if Kraft is recruiting food testers.

How much money do food taster studies pay?

Food testing focus groups often pay $60-$75/hour for participants who show up and successfully complete the study. Companies that offer online surveys pay between $1/question or $15/survey. Occasionally, companies will offer combined compensation in the form of money and gift cards or free product coupons.